Connecting With Over 5 Million – Microsoft Technology Improves Response Time and Expands Reach to Help Bring Missing Children Home
In Canada, 41,000 children are reported missing every year. The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) uses a mix of mobile and social technology to create its emergency response Search Program, including the Most Valuable Network™ (MVN) platform which sends time-sensitive alerts and information to Canadians to help recover missing children across Facebook and Twitter.
The first hours a child is missing are by far the most critical. That’s why the MCSC knew they needed the social media alerts from their MVN application to go out faster. The program was growing fast, and their legacy system was struggling to keep up. That meant the alerts were taking up to an hour to be sent out.
Through a global initiative to put Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good – Microsoft helped MCSC rebuild and improve the MVN application. A new widget to allow users to donate their Facebook and Twitter feeds was added, as well as a back-end portal allowing MCSC to push geo-targeted messaging. The application was moved to be hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, which allowed for instantaneous scale and a secure environment to deliver these messages to the public.
“Our Microsoft partnership allowed us to take our technology platforms and connect a country,” said MCSC’s CEO Amanda Pick. “With our first MVN platform, we were able to connect information to over a million people. Now, with our new Most Valuable Network and Azure, we were able to connect information to over 5 million people.”
The move meant, MCSC no longer had to wait an hour for their alerts to go out anymore. They’re sent and received within a few seconds. The size of their audience has grown too.
“This partnership is such an important step forward for MCSC’s Search Program. This technology will help to provide the immediate information law enforcement needs and prevent other families from enduring the heartache of a missing child. I can’t help but imagine that Lindsey could be in our lives today had this technology existed when she vanished in 1993,” says Judy Peterson, an advocate and family member of a missing child.
The power of technology through the cloud has allowed MCSC to address and reduce the two key critical components to finding missing children – time and anonymity.
“Using this technology to instantly connect with people in the area where a child has gone missing and deliver real time information into their hands is a game changer for us,” says Inspector Cliff O’Brien from Calgary Policy Services. “Not only does it provide us with hundreds of thousands of extra eyes and ears but it also sends a clear a message to the offenders and would be offenders- not in our community, not on our watch! I can think of few things more noble than the police and community coming together to protect our children.”
Cloud technology has emerged as a vital resource for addressing the world’s problems, helping fuel breakthroughs across the full-range of economic and social challenges. Technology has the ability to unlock the secrets held by data in ways that create new insights and lead to breakthroughs, not just for science and technology, but helping organizations work in a more productive and efficient manner.
“Microsoft Canada is proud to partner with the Missing Children Society of Canada to help bring missing children home,” said Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada. “This partnership is an opportunity to empower more Canadians, connect a country and help to bring missing children home to their families. That is why we are committed to putting the Microsoft Cloud to work for the public good.”
Microsoft Canada and MCSC have a message for anyone who wants to help – that is to get involved and donate your Facebook and Twitter feeds to make a difference. Working together, can all make a difference and bring more children home to their families. To learn how to donate your social media feed(s) click HERE.
MCSC’s Most Valuable Network™ rebuild was also supported by long-time technology partner, Strut Creative.
To watch the Missing Children Society of Canada’s new Most Valuable Network video, please click HERE.
About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ “MSFT”) the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please click HERE.