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News

Ciber supplies CDC with new CDC Alerting Service software

Ciber : 27 February, 2008  (New Product)
Ciber has successfully designed, built, and implemented a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based software application called CDC Alerting Service (CDCAS) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA.
CDCAS reliably, securely, and quickly alerts public health officials and public health organizations of disease outbreaks, bioterrorism events, and other public health events using a wide range of personal communication devices, such as domestic and international phones, satellite phones, email, text messages, faxes, and pagers.

As a result, CDC has an efficient, cost-effective method to ensure that public health officials are alerted to significant situations, regardless of their geographic location or preferred method of communication.

For the project, Ciber provided architectural consulting, standards development, business process re-engineering, and custom application development services to design, build, implement and support the system.

Ciber built CDCAS using service-oriented architecture (SOA) methodologies, which provide a flexible way to manage access, messages, target audiences (both persons and organizations), alert scenarios, and alert events. SOA enables CDCAS to be easily integrated into applications already in use at CDC, regardless of programming language.

Prior to CDCAS, CDC staff notified public health officials of emergency situations via telephone calls and e-mail messages. The method was not effective when large numbers of officials needed to be contacted.

In contrast, Ciber's CDCAS solution is designed to alert thousands of individuals immediately. As CDCAS attempts to contact a recipient, the message is escalated through each recipient's list of communication devices until the message is successfully delivered. The sender of an alert can require recipients to acknowledge receipt of message, and sensitive messages can require recipients to enter a personal identification number (PIN) to confirm their identity prior to the alert being delivered.

CDCAS's other capabilities include the ability to capture responses, provide text-to-speech features, deliver audio messages, transfer calls and return calls, initiate alerts by phone, schedule alerts, and attach documents.

The solution also offers detailed reporting and monitoring features, as well as a secure web site enabling message recipients to view and acknowledge alerts. In addition, CDCAS can send and receive cross-jurisdictional alerts, called PHIN Cascade Alerts, with public health members of the Public Health Information Network (PHIN).

'Like all federal government agencies, the CDC is under ever increasing pressure to provide advanced, highly secure emergency communication functionality within the constraints of a limited budget,' said Robb Chapman, CDC program manager. 'CDC Alerting Service provides an enterprise alerting service infrastructure that CDC Centers, Institutes, and Offices (CIOs) can securely integrate with their disparate technologies. CDCAS provides a truly reusable component framework that allows CDC to easily expand communication capabilities with little or no impact to the CIOs while reducing the cost of ownership for CDC and our Public Health Information Network (PHIN) partners. The Ciber team has expertly created CDCAS to meet both current and future needs with a highly flexible architecture and component model.'

'This Ciber team has supported CDC for nearly 20 years,' said Marcia Kim, president, Ciber Federal Government Solutions. 'Our SOA and application development expertise, as well as our experience with the federal government, was a natural fit for this project. This unique blend of technical expertise and business process understanding is helping CDC achieve a critical goal of more effectively communicating with its constituencies.'

CDCAS integrates with another Ciber-built application, called CDC Team. CDC Team is a web-based collaboration portal that enables public health officials to interact securely from any location worldwide, so that responding to public health emergencies is not delayed because of the geographical dispersion of health experts.

The two systems work together, sending alerts to members of public health collaboration teams to convene in the CDC Team collaboration portal, when a rapid response is required.
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