Blackberry signs up Optus Business and Briggs Communications for AtHoc partnership

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Blackberry signs up Optus Business and Briggs Communications for AtHoc partnership

Blackberry has signed up two new Australian partners for its crisis communications software product AtHoc.

Optus Business and Briggs Communications will support AtHoc along with the rest of Blackberry's enterprise mobility suite, which also includes endpoint digital rights management tools.

AtHoc is a secure communication platform that can deliver messages en-masse or to a targeted organisation through an encrypted network during a crisis to ensure people are safe while maintaining interoperability.

The AtHoc business was acquired by Blackberry in September 2015 and was added to the Azure marketplace through a partnership with Microsoft.

Last year, Blackberry's AtHoc team deployed the communication platform to Macquarie University's Sydney campus to support 40,000 students and staff. Blackberry also announced that the Bank of New Zealand was the latest company in the region to adopt the platform.

Optus Business director of cyber security Stuart Mort said AtHoc would help expand the telco's range of enterprise-grade security solutions.

“In today’s business environment, our customers are dealing with a new world of threats.  Whether it’s a cyber-attack, natural disaster or other threat that impacts public safety, governments and businesses want to better protect their people, data and maintain business continuity when something goes wrong," he said.

Briggs Communications, a Melbourne-based crisis communications specialist, has launched a pilot program for a secure communications platform based on AtHoc called The Melbourne Shield. The platform will be offered to organisations to allow them to connect with each other in case of an emergency to obtain and share information to maintain business continuity.

“Whether it is an airport, stadium, corporation or casino, any place or business where people gather needs to have an impenetrable incident management strategy in place in case of emergencies, but often this is overlooked," Briggs managing director Allan Briggs said.

"As a crisis management specialist, our ambition is to help clients be prepared for such incidents.  Our approach is to combine our expertise with BlackBerry’s crisis communications software, offering a turnkey solution."

While traditionally known as a smartphone vendor, Blackberry formally announced plans to transform into an enterprise software company in September when it handed smartphone production over to a third-party.

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