IBM, Cisco partner on emergency services offering

Companies' new managed service is designed to serve government and corporate customers as a one-stop shop.

IBM and Cisco Systems are expected to announce Tuesday a joint emergency services offering aimed at government and corporate customers.

The IBM Management Services for Crisis Response will combine Cisco's networking hardware and IBM's services approach to offer up a range of hardware, software and satellite capabilities as a single service.

"We'll offer upfront consulting and planning, and do periodic testing to see how the clients respond in emergency situations," said Russ Lindburg, global offering executive with IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

The new service is expected to launch in early April.

Although both companies currently have various products and services they offer to get customers up and running following emergencies such as earthquakes, floods and fire, Lindburg noted the new managed service is designed to serve as a one-stop shop.

The features include a portable communications kit with rapid deployment, as well as a server rack mount that can be portable or stationary. The server rack mount is designed to be flexible and deploy voice, data and video interoperability to various areas.

Other key components to the service include an SUV that acts as a network emergency response vehicle, with the capability to offer a medium-scale network, as well as communications and information-based services.

The communications offerings will range from Wi-Fi to WiMax to satellite, Lindburg said.

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