Ottawa, Ont. (March 5th, 2007) - On February 13, the CATAAlliance and the Canadian Red Cross welcomed 42 representatives from 32 IT businesses to the Canadian Red Cross Vendor Outreach Forum (VOF).
The VOF brought together leading Canadian IT businesses for a half-day forum where the Canadian Red Cross presented its technology needs and priorities and asked businesses for suggestions and solutions.
A four-member panel from the Canadian Red Cross presented the organization's mandate, collaborations, and Information Services (IS) goals and plans. IT businesses were given additional insight into the Red Cross' needs through a Town Hall Q&A session. Furthermore, Red Cross representatives rotated among five roundtables. The roundtable discussions allowed the representatives to share more detailed information and gave businesses the opportunity to get answers to their specific questions.
"The forum gave the Red Cross the opportunity to establish relationships with IT vendors and begin information sharing and discussions in order to support the Red Cross' Information Services (IS)," says Hélène Mousseau, Chief Information Officer for the Canadian Red Cross. "We look forward to reviewing the recommendations and solutions businesses will present and working with these businesses toward the advancement of the Red Cross to continue serving Canadians."
The CATAAlliance will act as the primary contact for IT businesses that wish to respond to the Red Cross' request for recommendations and solutions.
As part of the procurement process, the CATAAlliance will be working in partnership with the Red Cross to build an Internet portal that IT businesses can visit online to review the needs of the Red Cross and to submit details of their capabilities and interests.
"The Vendor Outreach Forum was the first forum of its kind for the CATAAlliance and both the Red Cross and CATA are pleased with the result," says John Reid, president of the CATAAlliance. "The Red Cross was able to express its technology needs, IT businesses began to respond, and partnerships to benefit both are in the making."
This is a good opportunity for Canadian IT businesses to collaborate with the second-largest recognized brand name in the world. It will also provide the opportunity for IT businesses to pilot their new technology with an international organization.
The forum put business executives in direct contact with key Red Cross decision makers and provided insight into the organization's goals, challenges, and priorities.
"Personally, I found the event useful as a first step and I found the transparency of the Red Cross, with respect to their IT challenges, refreshing," says Marg Wilson, in Business Development at TGO Consulting.
"The CATAAlliance is pleased to be working with the Red Cross in their initiatives and looks forward to the headway that can be made in Canadian business and serving Canadian citizens," says Reid.
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