Companies to Watch: Kaazing

Key points

  • Kaazing’s specialty is cost-effective, real-time delivery of data, anywhere in the world
  • The company has launched DisasterAWARE Enterprise, a risk intelligence platform that turns hazard data into actionable intelligence enabling private companies to better assess risk from natural and manmade disasters
  • Following a particularly destructive 2017 hurricane season, enterprises are keen to improve protection of their staff and assets in affected areas
  • DisasterAWARE Enterprise works on PCs as well as mobile devices, online and offline, to better allow users at the scene of a disaster to coordinate relief efforts
  • The platform gathers data from any form of connected device or sensor, which has implications for smart city use cases

Introduction

Kaazing is an enterprise infrastructure company and the developer of the Websocket standard, offering users the ability to implement personalized services and support for real-time web and mobile apps. It was founded in 2007.

Since 2017 a key focus for Kaazing has been its partnership with the US Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) to make its disaster risk intelligence platform available to enterprises. The PDC is an applied research center managed by the University of Hawaii that develops cutting edge technologies and practices to help reduce disaster risk worldwide. In March 2018, Kaazing officially launched the DisasterAWARE Enterprise product, a Disaster Risk Intelligence platform that enables private sector businesses to better protect their employees and their assets such as facilities and supply chains.

Innovation spotlight

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculated that 2017 was marked by higher-intensity storms than usual, with three hurricanes classified at 4 or above impacting US territory in the Atlantic and Caribbean and directly causing nearly 200 deaths, as well as an undetermined number of indirect deaths in Puerto Rico. For 2018 NOAA is forecasting normal or above-normal hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific regions for 2018, making it crucial for enterprises to be able to protect their employees and assets, and ensure business continuity in case of natural or manmade disasters.

This backdrop of increasing weather uncertainty makes it more crucial than ever for enterprises to ensure staff safety and business continuity. Kaazing’s DisasterAWARE Enterprise is designed to address the lack of reliable, real-time hazard-related information, help firms assess and reduce the risks to their staff and business from disasters, and design continuity plans based on the likelihood of disasters. For example, cloud and virtualization company Citrix has signed on to use DisasterAWARE Enterprise for this purpose, eliminating their previous challenges of sourcing, aggregating and curating data from different sources and of making decisions based on risk information.

Hunderedsof data layers
Examples of data layers in DisasterAware

DisasterAWARE Enterprise offers over 200 layers of data derived from sources such as geographic information systems (GIS), sensor data, satellite images, real-time advisory, live traffic videos, social media heat maps and historical hazard data. The platform offers a visual overlay of these layers onto world or regional maps, allowing businesses to add their own data (such as employee location, facilities, asset locations and more), filter by 18 hazard types and five levels of severity to see which assets and offices are at risk, and to provide timely updates and reports to management.

Another crucial aspect of the platform is delivering data onto smartphones, both online and offline, allowing employees onsite to report back and coordinate repair or relief efforts in real-time, via SMS or email. This real-time functionality also allows DisasterAWARE Enterprise to gather information via social media, such as Twitter, giving companies an idea of where users are concentrated and what they are seeing. DisasterAWARE currently has 1.7 million mobile users across 65 countries, though as the Enterprise version rolls out to further customers this number is expected to grow.

Multiscreen
DisasterAware Enterprise on multiple screen sizes

There are implications for IoT use cases, as well, as DisasterAWARE Enterprise can collect data from any sort of transducer, ranging from ocean buoys to security cameras to other types of IoT sensors. Kaazing is also positioning the platform for enterprise partners that are designing smart city projects, and is investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning to be able to better determine patterns and forecast events.

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