More than 500 people from 31 countries attended this year’s annual Microsoft Worldwide Public Safety Symposium (PSS) last week at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The conference gathered thought leaders and practitioners from a broad range of fields, from law enforcement and fire prevention to border security and intelligence. Participants at all levels seized the opportunity to learn new operational and technical insights, see advances in equipment, and cultivate relationships to help them better achieve their missions.
The symposium this year not only attracted its largest number of attendees ever, but it also attracted its greatest press and social media coverage ever, too. To date, we’ve seen content from the symposium mentioned in 40 articles and 92 press release reposts, for a total of 132 media placements in primarily in top-tier tech industry and news outlets including GeekWire, Network World, and Emergency Management, among others. For instance, Nancy Gohring of IDG News Service wrote excellent articles on the opening keynote on shrinking public safety IT budgets requiring public safety organizations to think smart about IT and on our “Social Media in Public Safety” panel discussion.
Social media is an increasingly important means for public safety personnel to collaborate, and we’re thrilled to report that the symposium has received a ton of social media coverage. So far, the event has generated more than 970 tweets and the @MicrosoftPSNS Twitter handle (for Microsoft Public Safety and Defense) has doubled its number of followers since before the conference. The Microsoft on the Issues blog post announcing Microsoft’s implementation of new data visualization and analysis technology across our three Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs) received a notable 1,834 views in the first three days after it went live.
One of the most written- and tweeted-about topics was the presentation of a police car outfitted with a prototype tablet-based app that enables officers to control the car’s in-vehicle systems – lights, sirens, doors, etc. – via voice command and keyboard. Created by Modularis, a Microsoft partner, the app runs on the upcoming Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and enables police organizations to collect information from multiple vehicles through Windows Azure. Network World, GeekWire, The Verge, and Mobile Magazine all covered this really unique and exciting demonstration of innovative leveraging of Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technologies to cost-effectively improve on-the-ground capability.
Bloggers and trade media weren’t the only people with good things to say about the symposium. Many of our customers told me how attending specifically helped them:
Jon Melvin, a deputy with the Grant County Sheriff’s Department in Grant County, Washington, said attending PSS was invaluable for the opportunity to assess products and solutions quickly and discuss them with industry experts. “It would cost me so much more to hire a consultant, when in two days at PSS, I can see all the presentations and make a decision for myself,” Melvin said.
Olivier Gasson, co-founder and vice president at Modularis, said PSS is helpful in tracking the evolution of Microsoft products to the benefit of his clients. “It’s a window into what’s coming in technology, and we really appreciate that,” Gasson said.
Elaine Queathem, director of partner and channel development for NC4, said PSS enables her to network not just with clients but also Microsoft regional leads, which is a key part of developing business for NC4.
If you couldn’t attend the conference – or even if you did – and you want to learn more, we’re making the conference presentations and videos available on the symposium website in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
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