OrionVM transforms Australian disaster response efforts with the Cloud

OrionVM and Sorell City Council launch world class emergency services platform
in Tasmania

TUESDAY 21 MAY 2013, SORELL TAS, SYDNEY NSW – Australian cloud services innovator, OrionVM, is powering the cloud based infrastructure behind the Tasmanian deployment of Sorell City Council’s emergency services initiative.

The ground breaking project, jointly developed by Sorell City Council, Concursive Corporation and Galbraith & Co, has been in development for over six months and is hosted on the OrionVM cloud platform.

The Comprehensive Online Community Emergency Management Service (OCEMS) is designed to provide
external emergency service agencies including fire, police, SES and others with real-time local knowledge and information to complement their own systems in mission critical timing.

Under the project, the NBN fibre infrastructure is being used to share information between key stakeholders involved in emergency management and recovery situations. The bespoke platform incorporates video and audio conferencing and advanced mapping capabilities to provide comprehensive coverage of remote areas for use in emergency effort coordination and planning.

The Tasmanian town of Sorell was part of the initial clusters of the NBN deployment and has served as a test city for many of the NBN Co initiatives.

The platform also provides for active community engagement using social media and mobile apps which
can be access from any browser capable device.

“The strength of the emergency services application is that it was designed and developed from a local community perspective and serves the needs of the community and the key stakeholders that engage with the platform. By using local cloud technology innovation, OrionVM and Sorell City Council have built a flexible and powerful community tool for critical services engagement that showcases new capabilities that the NBN can deliver,” said NBN Co Advisor Broadband Application, Sean Casey.

As it is an area that is traditionally susceptible to natural disasters such as floods and fires, Sorell Council has already tested elements of the system during January’s bushfires while the project was still in the initial stages of implementation and deployment.

The solution is based on data collaboration for emergencies from the highest levels of disaster response agency coordination to the local community and citizen level.

Using online, mobile and social interfaces, local citizens use the system to view live updates during emergencies, with GPS data, advice and announcements, as well as communicate directly with disaster services.

“Leveraging the benefits of cloud based infrastructure on this scale showcases the power and efficiencies of using the cloud for mission critical activities. The OrionVM team is proud to be part of an NBN initiative that can potentially save lives and transform the way communities and nations respond to emergency situations where IT infrastructure can often be a casualty. Cloud based services married with NBN infrastructure can deliver IT agility, protection and efficiency in ground breaking ways that will pave the way for further innovation,” said OrionVM founder and Managing Director Sheng Yeo.

Sorell City Council is part of five Digital Local Government Programs which are helping ensure that local residents, community groups, councils and businesses experience the full benefits of the NBN.

“The NBN infrastructure allows for a whole new realm of innovation which utilises enterprise-grade
technologies to engage with broader community to prepare for any emergency event. The project has
allowed us to develop disruptive innovation for Australia’s evolving digital economy with particular focus on community social collaboration which should prove to be a benchmark for mission critical services in Australia and internationally,” said Galbraith & Co, Partner, Simon Curry.

Tasmania will be the first state in Australia to be fully connected to the NBN with completion of the rollout in 2015.

OrionVM, which launched in 2010, is backed by one of Australia’s most progressive technology entrepreneurs and technology investors, the co-founder of Pipe Networks Steve Baxter. It has also attracted the foundation investment from U.S computing pioneer and senior Microsoft researcher, C. Gordon Bell.