Tuesday, 28 April 2020 11:50

Microsoft supports ANU with response to COVID-19 crisis Featured

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Microsoft has supported the Australian National University (ANU) crisis team with the configuring of a COVID-19 crisis management platform in just three days.

Built on Microsoft Teams, the crisis management platform is designed to protect and inform the ANU’s 25,000 student body – 5,000 of which currently live on campus.

Microsoft says the ANU’s traditional learning model has been mostly face-to-face apart from students’ access to recorded lectures, but with the spread of the Coronavirus epidemic the university moved quickly to transform the way it operates.

Through the crisis management platform, ANU is able to:

  • Broadcast critical information that needs to be shared with students and the wider community, such as building closures or health alerts
  • Communicate with internal and external members of the crisis management effort – which consists of 90% ANU personnel and 10 percent external consultants – in one streamlined platform
  • Address issues such as community wellbeing and teaching/research continuity through dedicated communication channels
  • Enable crisis management teams to easily store, manage and analyse data – allowing them to best assess future risk 

The ANU’s crisis management team was formed in January 2020 to respond to the impact of bushfires and smoke, then Canberra’s massive hailstorm and floods.

For the ANU's COVID-19 crisis management effort, 90% of the people involved are ANU personnel, with the remaining 10% external experts and consultants who are also able to access Microsoft Teams.

According to Microsoft stakeholders across ANU acknowledge that the “rapid utilisation of the Digital Collaboration Suite has provided an effective platform enabling timely and collaborative responses to emerging issues” - and a mechanism for “cross-collaboration, breaking down silos, broad thinking, capability uplift, visibility and accountability and a solid foundation to now be working virtually”.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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