Crisis management in palm of the hand

Last updated 05:00 18/08/2014

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A Wellington company's product has the ability to co-ordinate everyone in an organisation during a crisis, without any paper.

Solity Software's mobile platform has been developed to better prepare organisations for incidents, allow continuity when unexpected events strike and improve crisis management.

It transfers the paper folder of crisis management procedures found at any organisation and puts it into a mobile space.

Founder and managing director Israel Reyes, originally from Mexico, said he had been thinking of the concept since 2007, but the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 made him realise it could go to market.

"I think for many years companies were not focusing on continuity or responding; the tendency was companies were more in the idea to prepare, but now it's responding to incidents.

"It's not a case, if this happens; it's more about when this happens."

Solity's programme took incident and crisis response plans, which were mostly paper-based, and put them into mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, in a "collaborative, real-time, dynamic" environment.

This allowed multiple people to run through predictive checklists of everything that needed to be done in response to certain events.

Not only did this have the potential to save lives, Reyes said, but it ensured an organisation took all the required compliance steps.

"Let's say worst-case scenario someone lost a life; as a compliance manager or health and safety, you have to prove we sent the right information at the right time, but they didn't get it."

Chief financial officer David Humm said the key target market was organisations of more than 100 people, of which there were more than 2000 in New Zealand.

In Australasia there were more than 6000 firms with 200 employees or more.

"A key target market at the moment is organisations that require continuity, where the consequences of an event are expensive.

"It's pretty much everyone, yeah."

Reyes said Solity's platform sourced external information, such as GNS geo-science data, to prompt users when they might need to implement response procedures.

"It captures real-time information, into a system, into a platform, that can enable decision-takers to have all that information."

By being based on devices, anyone could access the information from anywhere, and be notified if a building might not be accessible.

The process was aimed at more efficiently responding to any crisis, so organisations could get back up and running quicker.

But Humm said it could be used for run-of-the-mill incidents as well, not just major events.

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"For some organisations, they need to respond to certain weather conditions.

"For example, if the wind gets up over a certain strength, they need to shut down parts of their operations."

Solity expected to have about 10 clients by the end of the year, and targeted between 20 and 25 by the end of next year.

Organisations are charged an annual subscription fee to use the service.

The company would be going out to investors shortly for its next round of funding, having been paid for by its employees to date.

"We expect pretty good traction," Humm said.

"Not expecting too many challenges raising funds."

- Stuff

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