Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Will Coordinate Super Bowl Security Through Microsoft-Based Collaboration Solution

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 2, 2005 — To help ensure public safety and security at Super Bowl XXXIX, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) in Florida will use a new collaboration system to coordinate the activities of more than 4 dozen law enforcement agencies and provide swift response to any security-related incidents. The collaboration solution, called E-Sponder, is based on Microsoft
® Office SharePoint®
Portal Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003. The solution was developed by Microsoft Certified Partner Convergence Communications LLC.

Coordinating security for the Super Bowl will require the JSO to instantly share information between multiple agencies — from the more than 1,800 JSO personnel around the city to the 53 federal and local agencies participating in securing the event. With E-Sponder, commanders have complete visibility of all planned tasks and can instantly identify any unplanned event.

The portal, combined with the familiarity of the Office desktop programs, streamlines the flow of information between field personnel and the operations center, enabling commanders to quickly deploy first responders from multiple agencies and rapidly respond to any incident. For instance, should a car accident occur near the stadium, all relevant agencies with responsibility for that security zone will be notified instantaneously to determine the appropriate level of response and the role for each agency involved. Agents based in the operations command center can view this activity on two screens simultaneously, monitoring a real-time display of what is supposed to be happening and one that shows what is actually happening, ensuring greater coordination and cooperation.

“With a limited time frame and so many stakeholders, we needed a solution that could be deployed quickly and did not require extensive training for our personnel to use effectively,” said Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford. “E-Sponder gives the personnel in our command center the ability to coordinate all the agencies involved and manage the thousands of tasks that need to be completed, and provides us the confidence that all of our personnel is in place so we can ensure a safe event for our citizens and visitors.”

E-Sponder is based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, utilizing the .NET Framework, and relies on Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003 on the desktop. Electronic forms built using Microsoft Office InfoPath®
2003, the information gathering and management program, are used to replace a paper-based incident command system, including forms that contain itemized tasks to be completed before, during and after the event. The E-Sponder solution also delivers collaboration tools such as e-mail, shared documents, task lists and instant messaging that allow local, state and federal law enforcement personnel to efficiently work together, fostering broad and real-time situational awareness to ensure event control.

“Efficient information-sharing is a vital component of special-event security and our nation’s overall homeland security effort,” said Tom Richey, director of homeland security for Microsoft Corp. “By using the power of the E-Sponder portal solution, agencies like the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office can benefit from the vast resources of federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies in a secure and affordable manner. Whether planning for the big game, monitoring current threats or responding to critical incidents, E-Sponder is the perfect example of electronic collaboration.”

“E-Sponder’s purpose is to provide key information to the command staff and exceptional situational awareness to the professionals who are charged with protecting us,” said Robert Wolf, CEO of Convergence. “All the end users know Office, so SharePoint Portal Server 2003 became the obvious choice for the foundation, and by using the .NET Framework we are able to build the functionality and provide a complex solution that typically requires large IT departments to build and maintain.”

The Convergence E-Sponder solution has already been deployed at many major high-profile events, including the 2004 Major League Baseball World Series and the 2004 U.S. presidential debates. Convergence is a St. Louis-based communications provider, specializing in providing secure real-time collaboration solutions for both the public and private sectors. More information about Convergence and E-Sponder is available at http://www.e-sponder.com .

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote® 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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