Feature Article

January 18, 2016

Department of Veterans Affairs Expands BlackBerry Contract

While most of BlackBerry’s headlines over the past couple years have largely revolved around its attempts to win back market share in the smartphone space with devices like the BlackBerry Z3, the company is still a respected name in secure mobile communications. Indeed, BlackBerry recently announced that the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded a $20 million multi-year delivery order against the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Solution for Enterprise-Wide Procurement Government-wide Acquisition Contract.

The delivery order is for the continuation and extension of the AtHoc networked crisis communications platform that supports the VA Notification System (VANS) and VA Personnel Accountability System (VA-PAS). This demonstrates VA’s commitment to “leading the way in protecting and accounting for all of its employees, contractors and visitors during crises.”

The order extension brings protection to over 600,000 VA personnel, while expanding the scope and functionality of the system. The system features alerting via telephone, text message, pagers, fax, desktops and smartphones, along with integration with other VA systems. The VANS System facilitates alerting to, and response collection from, all targeted users for crisis management at the local or national level.

VA-PAS is used by VA for crisis event management, as well as day-to-day operations. It is used to streamline operational response activities, while protecting VA staff and contractors with a secure, state-of-the-art system capable of providing real time status of all users. All responses are captured by the system, which then automates the processes for real time corrective action for those in need.

"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 at 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."

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere

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