HSNW conversation An HSNW conversation with Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias

Published 16 April 2009

Avalias’s solutions allow an organization to approximate the experience of a disaster, and to help the personnel charged with defense and mitigation to perfect and rehearse their responses to disaster; Harold Wolpert, CEO of Avalias: “Our technology is taken for granted. That’s because it can be”

Disaster may strike in a thousand forms. The best training for any one of them would be to have experienced and survived a similar event; and to recall, retain, and build on the lessons learned. With its customizable simulated environments, the Australian company Avalias goes some way toward enabling an organization to approximate that experience, and to help the personnel charged with defense and mitigation to perfect and rehearse their responses.

Avalias CEO Harold Wolpert told Homeland Security Newswire, “The weak link in so many security or emergency programs is people. What we do is to give the people responsible for disaster preparedness the opportunity to  exercise and test their skills — in teams either in-house or among multiple agencies - in a very realistic and interactive way.”

The company’s principal instrument for building a hypothetical or planned scenario is its Avalanche ST functional exercise and training solution, allowing coverage of the full range of an agency or company’s people, processes, and technology. The linchpin of the various versions available is the interactive and highly user-friendly Avalanche ST software, whose three editions (available in Workstation, Team Server, and Enterprise server packages) offer immersive, multimedia-rich training environments that merge readily with the client’s own applications: For example versions include use for:

  • Command & control preparedness — for control rooms, command centers, and network operations centers
  • Transport preparedness — enabling organizations that manage transport and traffic (road, rail, sea, air) to improve disaster preparedness from base and in the field
  • Multi-agency preparedness — allowing for specific applications of enterprise solutions for multiple users in multiple locations. Recommended as well for multiple users across multiple organizations

Wolpert noted that his firm need not be familiar with the user’s applications (nor is it, in most instances) to be able to provide the assessment, testing, and reporting capability that substantially strengthens an emergency preparedness program. “We are not subject-matter experts,” he said. “The organizations we work with are expert in their own subject matter. The value we add is to  provide our customers with the self-help tools - solutions and technology — with which to customize disaster readiness to their specific needs.”

Avalias does claim advisory expertise in the establishment and maintenance of clear, interdependent lines of communication that will function reliably in a calamity. In Wolpert’s view, a well designed and sufficiently tested command-and-control system ensures the maximum contribution from every element. Contrariwise, when disaster strikes, a confused or under-rehearsed command-and-control component can