Unified Communications is a mature information and communications tool which has been successfully utilised in national, provincial, district and local government throughout Southern Africa.
The Unified Communications platform has been developed to enable the hierarchical structures and institutional arrangements at every level of government and has allowed for all stakeholders across these boundaries to engage with one another, share information and knowledge within their relevant forums and as such enables institutions to comply with the key performance areas as required by the National Disaster Management Framework.
Through the application, you are able to create places (geographical in nature) and groups (logical groupings of people and places, for example; departmental planning groups, risk reduction project teams, joint response and relief project teams and your advisory forums at each level of government) which you are able to communicate with via one of the many integrated inbound and outbound communication methods.
By allowing all stakeholders to communicate and share information in a centralised manner, the platform is suitable to the management and oversight needs which Disaster Management has been mandated to perform and allows for the linking and reporting on all activities performed within their region, province, districts and local municipalities.
Unified Communications is an online, web-based, operational management, information and communication tool, tailormade for the Disaster Management function.
Unified Communications was initially developed in response to the need expressed by the Western Cape Provincial Disaster Management Centre. Disaster Management needed a simple, easy to use collaboration tool that enabled authorities to communicate across organisational boundaries.
After deploying Unified Communications in the Western Cape, the National Disaster Management Centre used Unified Communications to assist with the management of operational reporting and communication during the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. The development team was able to customise and deploy the Unified Communications application nationally as well as train 600 competent users within six weeks just prior to the start of the event.
Since 2010, the application has been deployed in a number of districts and local municipalities throughout South Africa.
Disaster risk management is a collaborative process that involves all spheres of government, NGOs, the private sector, a wide range of capacity-building partners and communities. It requires capabilities to manage risks on an ongoing basis, and effectively anticipate, prepare for, respond to and monitor a range of natural and other hazards.
Integrated disaster risk management depends on access to reliable hazard and disaster risk information, as well as effective information management and communication systems to enable the receipt, dissemination and exchange of information.
Unified Communications assists in the following key processes required from an information systems perspective:
- Provision of an institutional resource database; including a reporting and performance measurement facility.
- Facilitate information exchange between role players and interest groups.
- Facilitate disaster risk assessment, mapping, risk analysis, monitoring and tracking.
- Guide and inform focused disaster risk management and development planning and decision making.
- Facilitate timely dissemination of early warnings, public awareness and preparedness, especially for at-risk people, households, communities, areas and developments.
- Enable timely and appropriate decision making to ensure rapid and effective response and recovery operations.
- Facilitate integrated and coordinated multi-agency response management.
- Record and track real-time disaster response and recovery information.
Unified Communications has the capability to acquire, sort, store and analyse data for the purpose of targeting information for primary interest groups in disaster risk management. It includes basic GIS (geographical information systems) mapping and information display applications.
Unified Communications is an easy to use application and is accessible via any network connected device.
For more information about our Unified Communications solution, please visit the product website or download the functionality document. Alternatively, please feel free to contact our office to talk to one of our consultants.