Weather and environmental threats seem to be occurring more frequently, and with greater devastation. Terrorism and lone shooter incidents have grown common. And cybersecurity breaches and identity theft plague all industries. Combine these developments with an increasingly mobile global population, and you have a perfect storm. Fortunately, bold businesses like Everbridge are providing innovative solutions to these problems. As the premier critical event management platform, Everbridge is looking to make the world a safer and more secure place.
Its results surely are indicative of it with 35% three-year growth in revenue, operating income of roughly 276% and net income of 215%. It has a current market cap of nearly $1.6B.
The Evolution of Everbridge – Meeting Global Safety Needs
Everbridge began in 2002 as an innovative leader in mass communications. In the aftermath of 9/11, the company wanted to create an effective and dedicated platform that promoted efficient messaging. Knowing that time and accuracy of communication in life-threatening situations are critical, Everbridge invested heavily in redundancy and reliability. Ultimately, this led to the development of the Everbridge mass notification platform.
As modern security and safety threats advanced, so did their mission. By leveraging the original Everbridge mass notification platform, they were able to expand its offerings. Specifically, Everbridge developed a critical event management solution for all global businesses and for any context. With a comprehensive suite of enterprise applications, Everbridge provides critical event management services to over 4,200 clients today. These clients not only include large enterprises, but also municipalities, military agencies, and law enforcement groups.
Imad Mouline, Chief Technology Officer, Discusses the Everbridge Technology Platform
I had the opportunity to interview Imad Mouline, Everbridge’s CTO. He discusses how the company was founded, the complexity of critical event management software and its real-life impact.
John R. Miles: What is the Bold Idea behind Everbridge?
Imad Mouline: We were founded right after 9/11 specifically to provide emergency communications with [businesses and] their stakeholders so they could respond as quickly as possible. Whether this was first responders, residents in the area or employees.
We always had this mission at our core — that we always wanted to keep people safe. This evolved from communication to managing the entire life-cycle of the critical event.
JRM: Businesses invest significant resources in sophisticated controls to protect people, brand, and assets from critical events. How does the solution help to protect a company’s employees?
IM: Employees are part of the category we consider people. In physical security issues, you may want to categorize your employees as local employees, ex-pat, visitors, etc. In this case, we simply keep an ID on these employees based on categories.
You may have static locations and we know who is supposed to work there. But, there is also mobility you have to take into account. So, the system gathers information from a variety of sources that bring about dynamic physical local information.
So, if you have an active shooter, we can quickly develop a list of who is actually in the building and who may be on travel or working from home. We provide access to travel itineraries so if something happens across the globe, we can determine if someone is traveling there and send them the appropriate notifications. The system will then automatically provide follow-on instructions.
We keep track of a variety of bad things: Cyber-attacks, severe weather, IT issues, health and safety issues from a care team. Getting to the right sources external or internal in a very quick manner. Identifying the right stakeholders who can guide the response and then automatically kicking off the right actions.
JRM: From a technology platform perspective, what does it take to alert hundreds of millions of people?
IM: It certainly takes enormous scale. That is a big thing. We are talking about a platform that can support over 500 million people – we have static information on the vast majority. We have to process millions of events coming in. This takes a variety of real-time feeds.
It has to calculate our own intelligent feeds, information from public safety as well as other moving parts. This requires us to look at severity, impact areas, dynamic locations, asset information, supply routes, etc., which are all covered.
We have to immediately trigger the appropriate protocols and then, depending on the scale of the impact, it could mean massive amounts of communications down to the company and the individual.
This could be a limited response for a small group of people or a massive response impacting a million-person population at a time.
JRM: What is the technology platform behind the solution?
IM: It is software as a service. You can install it very quickly. It is turn-key in most cases. This is similar to a real-time security operational command correlation tool but on a much broader scale. Similarly to security correlation, we have to do a lot of alert correlations that kick-off run books.
On the IT side, we automate this process so we can reduce the mean time-to-know and mean time-to-respond.
We are taking a lot of this to the security side of the house. We plug into both physical security and information security systems. But, they can be very noisy. However, you may not have an alert that comes in that says a bomb went off in Barcelona or Nice. They may have TV and its human intensive. We automate this for businesses and have our own global intelligence operations center.
We automatically scrape feeds for breaking news from governmental and non-governmental sources. Whether this is severe weather [or another threat], our 7,500 police departments in the U.S. who use our system and others, we do the correlation across them for what really matters.
The point is it happens automatically. The system gives real-time updates to all the systems you integrate it into. You must take a unified approach to the solution.
JRM: What are the challenges and complexities when building this type of solution?
IM: This goes back to some of the fundamentals of business service management. You have to go back to the services themselves. The elements of the service that must be working in unity for the service to operate appropriately.
We do something similar to business service management on a much more complex basis. The last thing you want to do is over-alert, so it is really a balance on how you show the right event at the right time to the right people.
The system has to watch the perimeters of a company. There may be an event internationally and the perimeter needs to extend. It watches what you can’t see and eliminates the impact and learns along the way to ensure the next time around it does better. It is always learning and improving.
JM: Can you give me some examples of how the solution has worked in a real-life example?
IM: During the latest attacks in London, we had a major customer and their Chief Security Officer happened to be overseas. He received two alerts on his phone before the incident was reported on the news. One of the alerts was in his capacity of a Chief Security Officer and he immediately organized a conference brief on what was going on. The second alert checked to make sure he was okay and did not personally need help.
It turned out that this was done on a very large scale. By the time he got on the bridge call, the system already knew the exposure of the entire company – How many were in London. Their proximity to the event. Had they checked in and was everyone okay.
This information is collected proactively, summarized, and the processes to reach out are all happening in the background and in real-time.
Another example is the bombings in Belgium. We received positive feedback that there were two blasts a few minutes apart. An employee got the notification not to travel on the train and then the second blast happened. If he had not been notified to stay put, he would have been on the train and likely died or been injured.
In Hurricane Irma or Matthew, you have to get to hundreds of thousands of people where evacuations have to be coordinated with massive public infrastructure. The trick is doing this in real-time and pass the information and ensure the information is complete and not contradicting.
Critical Event Management Services
Everbridge targets three key objectives for its critical event management services: keeping people safe, protecting core assets, and ensuring business continuity. Notably, an array of threats can affect these areas of concern. Without timely critical event management, catastrophes can quickly escalate. Therefore, Everbridge seeks to protect brand reputation, supply chain functionality, and operations during the unexpected. Through its first responder-grade critical event management platform, Everbridge provides the solution for these ever-expanding threats.
They also provide comprehensive critical event management services through a variety of options. For one, via the Everbridge mass notification platform, alerts and communications can target individuals or large audiences if needed. Likewise, they can be automated or customized depending on the context.
In addition, Everbridge’s critical event management platform utilizes a variety of communication networks. These include cellular, landlines, Internet-based, and others.
Finally, Everbridge also offers predictive analytics as well as visualization software for specialized situations. With such a comprehensive array of offerings, dozens of sectors now utilize Everbridge for critical event management.
A Global Leader in the Security Space
Everbridge will likely reach $146 million in revenues this year. Roughly, that is approaching 40% growth in the last year alone. In addition, Everbridge now serves over 500 million people, with its annual customer growth approaching 25 percent. A significant reason for this has been their ability to offer a full suite of enterprise solutions. These solutions take into consideration variations in cultural, linguistic, regulatory, and technological needs in different global environments.
At the same time, the growth also reflects evolving trends in safety and security needs. Roughly half of an enterprise’s workforce is mobile at any given time. This means traditional security and safety measures and communications are less effective. Everbridge, however, is able to address these advancing security and safety needs through its critical event management services.
Through location awareness technologies and mobile communications, many enterprises are turning to Everbridge for assistance.