Defending schools around the world with ALE
ALE is a communication company dedicated to helping companies and teams connect in a range of diverse environments. In the education space, ALE has introduced a variety of solutions over the years to enable more secure and reliable collaboration between students and faculty. Now, the company is rolling out new offerings intended to protect schools from security and safety issues that they face every day.
The new crisis management solution for campus safety from Alcatel Lucent Enterprise ensures that in the event of a campus emergency, schools can access the tools they need to collaborate, communicate, and reduce threats wherever possible.
I spoke to Jacques Der Ohanian, the Head of Government Market solution marketing for Alcatel Lucent Enterprise, to discuss the new solution.
Jacques told me that the security situation for educational groups is becoming a serious concern – particularly in certain parts of the world. In the US, for instance, there were countless school shootings, and the problem is still growing this year. In 2016, there were 2,044 fires that occurred on campus and 37,389 criminal offenses too.
Educational professionals and leaders are looking for new opportunities to protect themselves, not only from physical dangers like fires and shootings but cybersecurity threats too. In the past, even huge brands like Harvard University have been bombarded by spoofed inbound calls designed to harm its security.
According to Jacques, “We’re countering these attacks – in all of their different forms. In times of crisis, communication is key. If you don’t have the right communication strategy in place, with the right resiliency and availability, that’s where problems start to grow.”
“With our crisis management tool, we can make sure that not only people are communicating properly, but that objects are communicating too”
With their new crisis management solution, ALE hopes to increase the responsiveness of campus environments every day, to improve safety overall, ensure that people get notifications in crises, and provide the right guidance to deal with emergency circumstances. To serve their education customers, ALE started by looking at communication between people, then moved onto looking at IoT too.
“The connected object can be crucial in a crisis. It can alert people that something is happening before an issue gets out of hand. For instance, a detector can notify of an intrusion in a restricted area, or if an attack starts with a cyber breach and someone trying to disable a video system, then this could trigger your alert strategy and let you know that someone is trying to access your information. We can use IoT to start alarms, communicate with thesecurity teams , and more.”
With its Rainbow CPaaS offering, ALE hopes to provide educational groups with the ability to eliminate silos and help communication to thrive in a dangerous environment. With triggers, it’s possible to connect people and artificial intelligence solutions, adding more efficiency and speed to the way a crisis is handled.
“We want to provide a full 360-degree solution for security that covers everything from cybersecurity breaches to managing communication and safety in the case of things like fires and shootings.”
According to Jacques, the role of ALE’s work around the crisis management platform is to protect people, bring groups together, and reduce the number of risks in the education environment.
“We’re giving people a combination of coordination between things and people, responsiveness through multiple communication tools like SMS, chat, calls and video, and alerts too”
Importantly, the Crisis Management tool will also provide options for people to communicate with the authorities in ways other than using their voice – for times when they might not be able to make a phone call without risking their safety. People will be able to text messages or access bots that help them to contact the authorities quickly.
Additionally, because the Crisis Management service allows groups to replay and analyse the emergency scenarios that they’ve experienced in the past, they can learn from their experiences and build out more secure strategies for the future. By identifying patterns amongst stored information, connected AI can help to move to predictive security.
ALE owns a lot of the solutions within their CPaaS strategy. They have the platform and the underlying technology that they can adapt to suit any vertical and need. This means that as threats get smarter, ALE’s solutions can grow increasingly intelligent too.
Jacques told me that ALE is always working on continuously adapting and improving to suit the latest technology and the new requirements of their customers. Today, ALE can see that security is a crucial factor, not just in the education environment, but in the government and other verticals too. Through immersive security and crisis management solutions, ALE can give their customers access to things like premise security, networking, and infrastructure management, IoT support, and more.
“It’s not just the US customer that can benefit from these new crisis management tools either. The UK and other parts of the world are increasingly beginning to see the value of having the right solutions in place to deal with crisis – whatever those crisis moments may look like.”