IBM Spurs Development of First Responder Cloud Apps

By Brian Carey, Contributing Writer  |  November 19, 2015

On Tuesday, IBM (News - Alert) announced that it is offering developers access to the IBM Cloud as part of an initiative to create an applications that can assist first responders.

The Challenge

The challenge, which runs through Dec. 14, is part of a joint venture with IBM partner Vencore, Inc. as well as USGIF and APCO. The group intends to provide an application ecosystem that provides users with predictive analytics and mobile apps that can help them solve real-world problems.

The ultimate goal of the effort is to save lives and property.

To win, developers must produce the best solution that addresses requirements specific to five unmet needs. Those needs include emergency tracking, easier access to information, 911 services, first responder assistant apps, and fire prevention. The software must be installed and running on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud solution, or IDEAS, Vencore’s Intelligent Data Exploitation and Analytics System.

Registration is open until Dec. 11.

Familiar Territory

IBM has been a key player in the ongoing effort to move the public sector, including the U.S. federal government, to cloud-based solutions. The first responder initiative is part of that focus.

The high-tech company also announced that five new federal partners will assist in the advancement of the hybrid cloud. IDC’s (News - Alert) U.S. Government Private Cloud Infrastructure as a Service 2014 Vendor Assessment pointed out that Bluemix plays a “leading role for federal hybrid clouds.”

A hybrid cloud is a cloud platform that uses a mix of private and public cloud services.

As further evidence of IBM’s significant role in the public sector cloud space, Deltek showed IBM leading the market for contracts won between 2011 and 2015 in its latest Federal Cloud Computing Competitive Landscape Snapshot.

The challenge for a “first responders” solution is not the first of its kind for IBM. In April, the company opened Bluemix to participants in NASA’s Space App Challenge.

IBM is part of the U.S. Federal Partner Acceleration Program. The company has hosted more than 70 events, including challenges, workshops, and hackathons for public sector solutions.

"The best innovation takes place when you drive toward a common goal. And it's no different in government, where an ecosystem of developers, academia, technologists and others come together to address challenges," said Anne Altman (News - Alert), general manager of IBM U.S. Federal and Government Industries. "With Bluemix, we bring a cloud platform that can help all those involved in championing better solutions for our first responders through innovation to quickly build and implement new solutions."

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere