Check out the Yale Daily News Article on Veoci for Hurricane Response

When news spread of powerful hurricanes approaching, the Veoci team was prepared to do what we do best: prepare, respond and recover. Our platform and team are no strangers to storms. After being deployed during Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Nemo, some of the largest and most destructive storms in recent history, we knew Veoci had the power to take on the next batch of powerful storms and so did our customers. Texas Department of Transportation, the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida are just a few customers who successfully implemented our system before, during and after the storm.

Check out the article by Yale Daily News on our storm response capabilities here or inquire about how you can implement Veoci in your city or town here.

 

The Sky is the Limit: Veoci’s New Office Grand Opening and Celebration of Innovation

Photo: Jon Greenberg

In 2011, six General Electric employees took a leap of faith, leaving their jobs to build something that they believed in. Veoci began as a simple yet powerful tool for IT incident and emergency management. Since then, those six employees have grown to a team of 40 and Veoci has become a fully comprehensive platform for emergency preparedness, response and recovery as well as daily operations for a variety of industries with over 115 customers.

To make room for their rapidly growing team, Veoci very recently moved into a beautiful new 14th-floor office, staying in their home city of New Haven, of course. To celebrate the growth of this homegrown New Haven company, Mayor Toni Harp, along with members of the city’s economic development department joined the Veoci team for a press conference and ribbon cutting. With the City of New Haven and Yale University being Veoci’s first customers in 2011, our company has a strong allegiance to the city and we were thrilled to share our pride and excitement with the Mayor and all others who joined. Our innovative, diligent and diverse team has put all that we have into our product and we could not be more proud to see it grow, succeed and most importantly, help others.

The New Haven Independent covered the exciting day and told the story of Veoci in an article. Click here to check it out.

Inside Look: Missoula International Airport’s Digital Part 139, EM and Daily Ops Innovation

I’ve had a lot instances where a sales team is telling me one thing and then once you get the product delivered, it seems to be the exact opposite. With Veoci, I found that everything that I was promised it would do, it has done that and then more. And the support that the team provides has just blown me away.” – Tim Damrow, Ground Handling and Systems Manager, Missoula International Airport 

With Veoci, Tim Damrow completely reinvented Missoula International Airport’s management system. The Veoci team loves nothing more than to see a customer take the tools that we provide and go above and beyond to meet their organization’s needs and make their team’s lives a whole lot easier. Tim was kind enough to take the time out of his busy schedule to put on a webinar showcasing all current and planned Veoci solutions he and his team have created at Missoula International. Keep reading to learn a bit about Missoula’s solutions or click here to request a recording of the webinar.

About Missoula International (MSO):

 

  • 379,532 enplanements
  • Delta, Alaska, United, Allegiant, Frontier
  • 31 full-time, 24 part-time staff
  • Public safety (police, fire, EMS, ops) building, field, administration, and ground handling teams

Looking for the right system
As the Ground Handling and Systems Manager at Missoula International, Tim Damrow takes on the daily responsibility of ensuring that all day-to-day and emergency operations run smoothly and efficiently. Tim and his team had a few changes in mind to promote efficiency:

Systems Consolidation: Missoula was using various scattered systems for

  • Vaisala information (runway sensor and surface observation data)
  • Tatems (used for vehicle maintenance)
  • FIIX (for building maintenance)
  • NOTAMS
  • FIDS/GIDS for flight information and gate information displays

Emergency Operations:

  • A multi-agency collaboration platform
  • Centralized command
    • Resource/Task management – with all different agencies involved
    • Video feeds and links for staff
  • Increased operational focus
    • Essentially, taking the load of ops and public safety staff so that tasks like contacting various agencies can be delegated automatically to other individuals who are able to assist in the emergency response.

Tim shared with webinar attendees what MSO’s old emergency drill planning looked like. This is just one of many walls covered in handwritten notes. Now, with Veoci, all data is easily logged and managed in the system.

 

Going with Veoci and Going Digital

Not only did Tim and his team find a way to consolidate all their systems information and emergency operations with Veoci, but what drew Tim to Veoci after looking at various vendors was the ability to “customize basically everything in the system.” And customize he did. With Veoci’s tools, and a little help from our solutions engineers, Tim took almost all of Missoula’s processes, from Part 139 operations and field maintenance to construction and administration, and digitized them into one platform with custom forms, reports, workflows and more features, all tailor-made to fit MSO’s specific processes.

Continued Benefits of the New System

Even after all they’ve accomplished in their short time as Veoci customers, Tim and his team are not even close to stopping their mission to improve and digitize every process at Missoula International. From saving on waste reduction, fuel and time spent, and with plans to expand their solutions further, Missoula International Airport has certainly stepped into the future of airport management and it doesn’t appear to be turning back any time soon.

Paper processes/Waste Reduction: Missoula has saved about $1,000/yr on printer and toner from printing inspection forms, work orders, field condition reports.

Fuel Savings/Time Efficiency: Public safety and operations staff previously had to drive over to fax machines to send out issue reports, to log and issue notams and to create airfield work orders. Veoci’s mobile capability allows them to stay on the airfield and issue NOTAMS remotely, saving Missoula $12k-$18k/yr.

To learn exactly how Missoula International Airport digitized all of their Part 139, EM, and daily ops processes with Veoci, click here to request the recording of the webinar.

Breakthrough: Altru Health System’s Incident Management on Veoci

Not only does the Veoci team have the technical expertise, but they are experts in response protocol. So as you’re working with them to configure the system to your own specific needs- they are also able to understand what you’re going through and what response protocol is required. It’s a great team, so shout out to them.” – Sheryl Austin, Director of Safety, Altru Health System

About Altru
Altru Health System is a community of over 4,000 health professionals and support staff who have served the region for over 100 years. The Altru team serves more than 220,000 residents of a 17-county region in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

Before Veoci With Veoci
Long time (45 minutes or more) to activate response team 15 minutes to activate response team
Improvised Response to Incidents One-button launch of pre-planned, yet flexible assignments, workflows and notifications for individuals and teams
Problematic Communication Responders connected immediately – instant messaging, voice calls, automatic conference calls
Suboptimal After-Action Report – from memory, paper notes and emails Continuous time-stamped multi-media log through the incident
Onerous Documentation Effort HICS Forms, HVAs, After-Action Reports in one secure platform

Veoci – The Solution
Veoci is Altru’s all-in-one solution for organizing and managing all phases of emergencies – from housing critical information, documenting each step of exercises, drills and real incidents, and gathering feedback and creating after-action reports for continued improvement.

Communication Power

At the first sign of an incident, at the touch of a button, phone calls, text messages, emails are all sent out with a canned message to the pre-planned list of people for that type of incident. Altru finds that Veoci has reduced the time it takes to get key people together to minutes, and with details with Veoci on their mobile devices or desktops.

Built-in Mass Notification: With Altru’s location in North Dakota, weather is often a major issue. This is where mass notification comes in handy everyday.  All 4,500 employees, specific lists of personnel, or one or more teams are all notified via phone call, SMS text or email all within the same Veoci platform..

Getting the team together:  An administrator can also set up response options in minutes on Veoci. After the check-in request is sent, the administrator can view all responses and choose to resend as required to get the quorum needed.

Automatic Conference Calls: An invite is sent out, click on a button to join. No dial, no fuss.

Documentation in One System from Start to Finish
HICS: Altru follows the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) methodology, a standardized process for responding to incidents in hospitals or healthcare systems. In Veoci, all standardized HICS documents and forms are right at their fingertips. On custom dashboards, the team can view all HICS objectives, key decisions, time-stamped notable events (even used to note when pizza was ordered during an overnight incident).

After-Action Reporting: The Altru team sends out easy-to-setup custom Veoci forms via email to all employees and their responses are fed directly into a Veoci dashboard.

HVAs are managed in Veoci across all of Altru’s on and off-site locations and sorted by type of risk such as hazardous material, human, natural or technological hazards. Using Veoci, the Altru team can run reports and prioritize mitigation, planning, and exercises based on their top hazards.

PIO Processes:  Altru’s Public Information Office has their own dashboard where they pull information on what happened with the incident, enter text and submit it to the incident commander for approval as needed. When severe weather keeps PIOs stranded, Veoci is accessible over the internet from wherever they happen to be.

Customizing Veoci – Do it Your Way

With 322 licensed beds, the Altru team describes themselves as “not big yet not tiny” and has taken advantage of Veoci’s easy and extensive DIY no-code configurability. Each Hospital section, finance, operations, logistics, etc. , can set up their processes with their own tailor-made dashboard with the information that matters to them – communicate, collaborate, control all in one platform.

Click here to request a recording of Altru’s webinar!

Yale University Implements Veoci for Tracking Students Abroad

With more students feeling drawn to explore different cultures and with more schools offering exciting possibilities for study abroad, university and college administrators now have an increased need for a modern and efficient way to ensure the safety of their student, faculty and staff travelers.

Yale University’s Travel Registry, a web-based tool that the Yale community uses to record travel plans in order to respond quickly in case of emergency, found a way to simplify this process with Veoci. Yale University has been a long-time customer of Veoci for areas such as emergency management and facilities management. Now, Yale Travel Registry utilizes Veoci to maintain communication with students, faculty and staff abroad, determine their location, and manage potential evacuations and other emergency procedures quickly and easily from countries away. Yale University can now flag leadership students in specific areas to receive critical information and send safety check-ins/alerts/warnings for all students or students in specific geofenced areas to respond. All reports and documentation are stored and organized on custom drag-and-drop forms and high-level dashboards for quick and easy information access.

Click the image above or click here to read Yale New’s article on their implementation of Veoci in their Travel Registry system.

Amazon S3 Outage: Our Response

What happened?
On February 28, 2017 at 12:37 PM EST, Veoci users started experiencing problems accessing files stored in Veoci as well as uploading new files into Veoci.  The issues were triaged and eventually resolved at approximately 2:30 PM EST.

How did this happen?
One of Amazon’s system administrators accidentally entered an incorrect command which resulted in the complete shutdown of many Amazon servers, thus disabling Amazon S3 services in the US East Region (Virginia) and affecting thousands of customers.  Amazon’s summary can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/message/41926/

Why this impacted Veoci?
Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon S3, is an internet storage system to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web.  It is split up among 8 storage locations around the world. Veoci uses Amazon S3 storage in the US East Region in Northern Virginia and the US West Region in Oregon. All Veoci files are stored across several servers in Virginia and are automatically replicated to Oregon. 

What Veoci functionality was impacted?
Most Veoci use was unaffected; however, uploading files, downloading files, importing via Excel, exporting to Excel, emailing attachments to Rooms, and submitting entries into public Forms with attachment fields were inhibited.

How did the Veoci team respond?
Veoci’s technical development team agreed to wait a short time after the outage to see if Amazon would recover quickly. After about 90 minutes without a resolution from Amazon, the Veoci team decided at 2:00 PM EST to modify our configuration so Veoci’s files would be directly accessed and stored using our Oregon location. This failover process was fully in place at 2:30 PM EST. At that time, the only functionality that was still impacted was accessing some previous file versions.

Amazon S3 recovered from the outage at 4:54 PM EST. To ensure that Amazon had fully recovered, Veoci’s failover to Oregon continued for approximately two days, continuing to support almost all normal operations. On March 1, 2017 at 11:50 PM EST, our team reconfigured file access and storage back to the Virginia site, restoring all normal operations. 

How did the Veoci team communicate this issue?
Veoci’s primary tool for delivering outage notifications, Mailchimp, was also impacted by the Amazon S3 outage. After exploring other communication options, we emailed all Organization Administrators at 2:03PM EST.  An update was also sent to the same audience at 2:52 PM EST.

Next Steps
To further improve our recovery method, we are currently working to configure all Veoci files to be automatically stored and accessed via both the East and West Amazon S3 Buckets. This way, should the Virginia location encounter another issue, files will automatically be sent to Oregon with no failover process needed.

Veoci is also implementing a capability for our team to broadcast an Incident Alert to all users directly within Veoci, removing our reliance on Mailchimp for distributing timely communications.