BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) Bags $20M Contract With Veterans Affairs

BlackBerry now has a $20 million contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for its communication platform, thanks to its subsidiary AtHoc. This contract marks another win for the crisis communication platform the Canadian firm acquired with the purchase of California-based AtHoc last year.

VA-PAS system makes life easier

The contract supports the Veterans Affairs’ Notification System and Personnel Accountability System by extending protection to more than 600,000 VA personnel. The system, known as VA-PAS, is usable in day-to-day operations as well as in crisis situations. It is capable of collecting information about the department’s personnel and coordinating a response.

It is designed to provide real-time statuses of all users and make immediate reports available to VA leadership with details about the status of all employees. All responses are captured in the system, which automates the processes for real-time corrective action for those who need it, and at the same time, it also monitors the status of those capable of working during a crisis.

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The VA has been using the system continuously for the past four years. It used it during the National Level Exercises, day-to-day operational VA events, and real world events such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the Washington D.C. Navy Yard shooting in 2013. It was possible for the VA to communicate with employees and deliver up-to-the-minute information to them about VA operational status during each of these events.

AtHoc – a good acquisition for BlackBerry

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company delivers innovative and secure mission critical software and services to the most demanding organizations in the world.

“We are proud to continue to provide this critical life safety system to the VA, and look forward to continuing our work together to build an innovative and secure enterprise crisis communication network,” Chen added.

BlackBerry FQ3 earnings got a boost because of the AtHoc acquisition in November. Thanks in part to the acquisitions of Good Technology and AtHoc, software and services revenue rose higher, contributing 29% of total revenues versus 15% in FQ2.

On Tuesday, BlackBerry shares closed down 3.36% at $6.75. Year to date, the stock is down by over 27%, while in the last month, it is down by over 21%.