St. Louis County Taps BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)’s AtHoc Platform for Crisis Communications

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has announced that the St. Louis County Emergency Management (EMA) signed its crisis communications unit known as AtHocto provide secure and reliable critical communications. The deal was inked in preparation for the first anniversary of the Ferguson violence. BlackBerry hasn’t disclosed the financial details of the deal, but clearly touts the software technology that AtHoc owns.

The St. Louis County EMA wanted to have in place a robust crisis communication system as the county marked one-year anniversary of Michael Brown shooting. The incident sparked widespread unrest in Ferguson in August 2014.It turned out that BlackBerry’s AtHoc was the most suited to render what the St. Louis County EMA wanted.

According to BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), the emergency management team within the police department of St. Louis County spearheaded the search for a robust crisis communication channel. The selection team was guided by Paul Dupuis.

Capabilities that saw AtHoc selected

Among other things, the emergency management team was interested in a system that could be deployed quickly and support multiple communication channels. Moreover, the St. Louis County EMA was looking for a system that is capable of coordinating multichannel communication with real-time report and full accountability.

With AtHoc getting the crisis communications platform socket in St. Louis County, BlackBerry feels justified in its move to acquire the asset earlier this year. BlackBerry didn’t disclose how much it paid to purchase AtHoc, but it is clearly banking on the platform to bolster its software and security offerings.

Software revenue

With cracks in its hardware business, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)is looking for redemption in software and services front. The company targets to reach $500 million in software sales in fiscal 2016. The adoption of AtHoc to support critical communications in St. Louis County may not be a game-changer in itself, but it could cause a positive halo effect on BlackBerry’s crisis communications business.

Besides St. Louis County, BlackBerry’s AtHoc technology is also used by the Homeland Security and Department of Defense.