BlackBerry has been awarded a $20 million multi-year contract to support the VA’s Notification System (VANS) and VA Personnel Accountability System (VA-PAS), courtesy of its subsidiary AtHoc. The recently acquired AtHoc networked crisis communication system will support 600,000 VA personnel as well as expanding scope and functionality of the system.
VA’s Notification System (VANS) Overview
The VANS system enables alerting across telephones, text, pagers, fax, desktops, smartphones, as well as integration with other VA systems for crisis management at the local or national level. The VANS system is fully integrated with the U.S. Navy SPAWAR Personnel Accountability and Assessment Systems (PAAS).
VA Personnel Accountability System (VA-PAS)
The innovative combined system, known as VA-PAS is actively used by VA for all types of crisis event management as well as day-to-day operations. The system is used by VA to streamline operational response activities and protect VA staff and contractors with a secure, state-of-the-art system designed to provide real time status of all users resulting in immediate reports available to VA leadership on the status of all employees.
The system captures all responses and automates the processes for real time corrective action for those in need, as well as monitoring status of those able to work during a crisis. VA has used the system actively for the past four years including during National Level Exercises, day-to-day operational VA events, and real world events such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Washington D.C. Navy Yard shooting in 2013. In each of these events, VA was able to communicate with employees and deliver up to the minute information about VA operational status.
“We deliver innovative and secure mission critical software and services to the world’s most demanding organizations,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackBerry. “We are proud to continue to provide this critical life safety system to the VA, and look forward to continuing our work together to build an innovative and secure enterprise crisis communication network.”