COVID-19 Support – UNICC’s Crisis Communications App

14 May, 2020

Photo: Pexels/Thanyakij

A Core UNICC capability and a new service for clients and partner organizations

With the outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19, every UN organization has staff and stakeholders teleworking worldwide. In this situation, organizations can benefit from an effective tool for centralizing and managing its up-to-the-minute personnel work status, specific and changing geolocations and disseminating critical crisis alerts and updates.

Users can access relevant crisis information such as emergency contacts, company news, FAQs.

UNICC has customized and deployed a Crisis Communications app to support its almost 500 staff and contractors, all teleworking until further notice. The ability to locate staff at a moment’s notice and to send alerts is a critical function in a business-as-usual scenario; in a crisis like the current pandemic, it is absolutely necessary. Personnel may be sheltering in place at home or other unspecified locations – the app makes it a breeze for users to enter their current location and other work status details.

The Crisis Communications app, developed using Microsoft’s PowerApps, connects the organization to its staff with real-time updates. It also shares relevant and timely information to personnel. Users can access company and world news, helpful tips, FAQs, important links and emergency contacts. They can readily share their individual work status with their teams and the organization and make requests to the crisis management team.

The application can be customized to fit the needs of any organization. Some examples of the elements that can be adjusted or added to the app are:

  • Personalization of presence status
  • Text and number of email messages
  • Enabling user location capture
  • Adding functionality for segregation of information, for example by country or office.
  • Integration of information with local data sources
  • Creation of approval mechanisms
  • Customization of the dashboard aggregating organization’s data from other sources, for example with personal contact data.
The Crisis Communication app lets users share from where they are working. Photo: UNICC

Users need to have a Microsoft Office 365 license and the organization requires the Microsoft Power BI license for the Power BI Dashboard, although other dashboarding tools can be used. If the organization uses Microsoft Teams, the Crisis Communication app can be embedded into it for a better user experience, but it is not a requisite. Other ways to access the application are through browser or by installing a desktop or mobile version on a computer or device.

The Crisis Communications app can be managed by UNICC or by the Client to ensure fast and efficient crisis communications to all organizational personnel. This simple, effective and efficient tool provides excellent business continuity value to keep the UN family aware and safe during these challenging times and beyond.