U.N. World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is one of the world's frontline humanitarian agencies fighting and combating against hunger worldwide. They are on the ground right after an emergency breaks, providing the food and water to sustain the lives of people around the world. They often operate in very remote locations, and a key component of being able to provide these services is the ability to communicate quickly. The Twisted Pair WAVE® solution built on the Microsoft OCS platform enables WFP workers the ability to communicate between PC, radio, mobile phones, around the world.

Transcript

Amir Abdulla: United Nations World Food Program is the world’s frontline agency fighting and combating against hunger worldwide. We’re on the ground right after an emergency breaks whether it’s a natural disaster or a conflict. These are times when people rely on the World Food Program to give them the food that basically will sustain their very lives.

Ernesto Baca: Usually we have to operate in very remote areas in the world where telecommunications are very scarce. We’re very proud to say that about 80% of our staff is located where the action is and this is where we have to reach with our solutions, so it’s a huge challenge for us to be sure that we reach each and one of those more than five hundred sub offices so the challenge is to be there quick, to be there with the right set of solutions and to be there with the right telecommunications capability.

Dane Novarlic: The first need of the responding staff on the ground is need to communicate. It is not only food and water needed. It’s actually much more but to get information from the place when the emergency strikes to the outside world, what exactly is needed, when it is needed, how it is needed, that’s where we come in.

Sheela Matthew: People working out in deep field are equipped with radio handsets, but they’re only able to communicate within the radio network and we plan to provide the interoperability so that they will be able to contact anybody, any colleague of theirs regardless of whether they’re mobile or sitting at their desks. They will be able to use this Microsoft OCS as far as communication and Twisted Pair Solution-based software will help us bridge the gap between a desktop or a mobile device to AVHF radio handset that a relief worker uses in deep field. It really wouldn’t be possible without software.

Tom Guthrie: As the UN World Food Program deploys OCS one of the purposes of that is to list the resources and know are they available? But you don’t have to be worrying about what communication device do they have. Are they available? Are they present? Can I talk to them now regardless if they’re at end of a PC or they’re at end of push-to-talk radio or some other device.

Shaun Botha: If I wanted to speak from this radio I could just speak, radio test one, two, three, this is me speaking on a radio, and it comes out the standard Windows mobile software, easy as that. If I wanted to speak back from this Windows mobile software I simply just push a button. Hello, test one, two, three, this is me speaking on the phone. It’s as easy as that.

Tom Guthrie: So what was brought to bear in this solution was OCS as a communication platform so that that is the basis for the unified communication and then for the situational awareness, it’s good to know where geographically are each of the resources. So that can overlay that on top of these maps and then linking through our WAVE software is how do you get out to a push-to-talk radio system or Windows mobile device or a simple telephone.

Ernesto Baca: We’re all very proud no matter whether you work for WFP, Twisted Pair, Microsoft, but being part of this gives you a sense of accomplishment and it’s a rewarding thing, so it’s magic to see how people get mobilized behind an objective like this.

[End of Audio] Duration: 3 minutes 37 seconds

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Category: Case Studies