INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Third-Party App Enhances Campus Security

[January 23, 2013]

Third-Party App Enhances Campus Security

Jan 22, 2013 (Government Technology - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The majority of emergency calls received by police departments and security offices on college campuses today come in via cellphone -- as many as 95 percent, said Josh Sookman, CEO of mobile emergency infrastructure provider Guardly. For those without mobile phones, however, there are bound to be gaps, despite a well coordinated system of emergency call boxes and physical help points. This can potentially leave students vulnerable in times of crisis.


"Blue light phones can't be everywhere," Sookman explained to Government Technology. "Our technology is actually able to deliver on a lot of the promise of existing infrastructure, which is to know the real-time location of where they are, as well as provide a way of immediate communication." Users of the Guardly smartphone app create a brief profile that includes physical characteristics and medical information. Those details are available to emergency responders when they activate the app, allowing a more personalized response. Extreme allergy sufferers experiencing anaphylactic shock, for example, can be met with informed, properly equipped medical personnel. Law enforcement responding to a sexual harassment case access the Guardly subscriber's incident history, which can contain information critical to the timeliest, most effective response.

"We actually provide a lot of information that typically wouldn't be available," Sookman explained. "In the first five seconds, we let you know who it is, where they are and the nature of the emergency. And that's really powerful to dispatchers who have to make really important real-time decisions." Louis Toromoreno manages campus security at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), situated within the downtown entertainment district in Toronto, Ontario. A campus of approximately 6,000 students, Toromoreno describes the student body as 85 percent female. Bustling downtown streets featuring popular nightlife destinations like clubs, bars, theaters and restaurants divide the buildings that make up the university.

Campus hours at OCAD stretch as late as 2:30 a.m. during certain times of the year, creating a challenging environment for security personnel. Following an increase in student reports of harassment from patrons of local businesses a few years ago, the university installed a Code Blue phone in centrally located Butterfield Park. But officials soon realized that the phone, described as a "giant panic button," wouldn't fully address the problem.

"We quickly started to realize that this one phone in the park isn't probably the best option for us," Toromoreno said, adding that he began to investigate other solutions. "How can we reach out to people and give them something that will help them feel safe in the situation of an emergency, on and off our campus " Following the recommendation of a colleague, Toromoreno contacted Guardly. OCAD conducted extensive on-campus testing of the mobile technology, and officially launched the app, free to students, in September 2012. Since then, Toromoreno said, they have aggressively marketed the app to first-year students, and are currently conducting department-level training sessions for students and staff. As of Jan. 1, 2013, the app had 447 users.

There are four ways that the app reaches appropriate security personnel when accessed in an emergency situation: it generates a phone call and an email, as well as an online dashboard featuring both visual and auditory alerts.

The app, while bringing benefits for all students, offers particularly valuable emergency help to students with accessibility issues who may not be able to physically access emergency phones or communicate their needs as easily.

According to Sookman, the app is also generating interest from cities and transit systems. The company also targets lone workers, like realtors and home health-care workers, who often meet strangers and share close quarters in remote locations. The Guardly app is available for iPhone and Android devices, as well as BlackBerrys and Windows phones.

"For our campus, this isn't the only tool we are going to use, and it never will be," Toromoreno said. "But we need to make sure that we're looking at options on how we can put people that are in an emergency into access with campus security or campus police as quickly as possible. And I don't think in this day and age, that we should rely on something that is completely hardwired anymore." OCAD University photo courtesy of Urban Space Gallery.

___ (c)2013 Government Technology Visit Government Technology at www.govtech.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.