Home Cloud Computing Empowering Disaster-Affected Communities: Cisco’s Dedication to IRC Signpost

Empowering Disaster-Affected Communities: Cisco’s Dedication to IRC Signpost

Empowering Disaster-Affected Communities: Cisco’s Dedication to IRC Signpost


In occasions of disaster, armed battle, or pure disasters, persons are pressured to adapt and make huge, life-changing selections below excessive strain. Entry to well timed, correct, and simple security info is a useful useful resource for these communities as they relocate, seek for vital companies and battle with complicated issues. The Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC) teamed up with Mercy Corps to supply sturdy options for folks whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by battle and catastrophe. Collectively, they created Signpost: a responsive, digital info service that leverages progressive software program to answer the informational wants of populations impacted by crises.

Partnering with IRC from the beginning

Cisco has supported the event of Signpost since its inception. Our partnership with IRC started by way of our work with Mercy Corps in 2015, when Cisco offered funding to develop “Refugee Data Hub,” the precursor to Signpost. On the time, Cisco’s Disaster Response crew was deploying Wi-Fi connectivity to refugees in Greece—directing touchdown pages to Refugee Data Hub, signposting them to the place they might get related assist and help.

With the elevated want for digital info companies to succeed in significantly weak populations in the course of the pandemic, Cisco funded the launch of Signpost in three new nations and supported the event of further options essential to scale Signpost’s affect, together with off-line performance.

Cisco solutions the decision with a voice resolution

In April 2022, in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Google.org, a long-time accomplice of IRC and Signpost, approached Cisco to collaborate on a contact middle resolution. IRC had partnered with United for Ukraine to supply vital info to these affected by the warfare, and Google.org was searching for a contact middle specialist to assist them create a responsive voice bot that might deal with disaster caller-requests. Their request for experience led them to Paul Tindall, the EMEA lead of Cisco’s contact middle technical crew. Together with his crew’s devoted efforts, Paul shortly circled with a proposed resolution.

“Within the midst of a disaster, it’s a uncommon incidence for somebody
to ask if there’s a contact middle specialist in the home.”

– Paul Tindall, EMEA Lead, Cisco Contact Middle Technical Workforce

The proposed resolution concerned Signpost making a name middle geared up with native telephone numbers, interactive voice response capabilities, and multi-lingual voice companies (providing help in English, Ukrainian, and Russian). If the automated voice bot failed to fulfill the caller’s wants, they might have the choice to connect with an area agent.

Challenges on the best way to options

photo of a woman using IRC's Signpost app
Picture credit score: Olivia Blinn (IRC)

Nevertheless, the trail to implementation was not with out its hurdles. To arrange a name middle with native numbers, the answer required a accomplice with a public switched phone community supplier. Discovering a supplier able to working shortly with out incurring prices was a problem that launched some delays. In the end, Signpost obtained invaluable help from a Cisco accomplice, CallTower, who offered pro-bono service numbers in Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Google performed a vital position in supporting the IRC expertise crew with a strong fellowship program by way of Google.org that make the Ukraine program potential and generously supported staffing of the decision middle with personnel from their buyer success division in Poland. Whereas callers might now join by way of these native numbers, the native brokers responding to a name introduced a further problem. These brokers utilized quite a lot of gadgets, exposing sudden safety dangers. Cisco’s devoted crew labored diligently to help brokers by patching any platform and program vulnerabilities.

Some of the heartwarming facets of encountering and overcoming these challenges was the unimaginable responsiveness of our companions as soon as they grasped the profound significance of Signpost’s mission.

Signpost’s outstanding affect

Cisco continues to put money into Signpost, enabling the platform to scale to over 20 nations throughout 5 continents, impacting the lives of greater than 12.8 million folks in over 25 languages. This collaborative effort has confirmed that expertise and shared dedication could make a tangible distinction within the face of humanitarian crises, reaffirming the ability of partnership and innovation.


Be taught extra about Cisco Partnering for Function Disaster Response and how one can become involved:



We’d love to listen to what you assume. Ask a Query, Remark Beneath, and Keep Related with #CiscoPartners on social!

Cisco Companions Fb  |  @CiscoPartners X/Twitter  |  Cisco Companions LinkedIn




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here