Cloud giant ServiceNow releases coronavirus crisis apps
Cloud software company ServiceNow has announced a suite of dedicated applications to assist companies in their response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The apps have been released for free for customers through to the end of September. The first is an emergency response operations app developed in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Health, now available to all US government entities. The app involves the digitisation of processes to eliminate what was previously labour-intensive work improving the visibility of resource allocation for responding to the crisis.
The remaining three applications are geared towards the private sector, aiming at ensuring the continuation of normal business operations during the pandemic. The Emergency Outreach program allows employers to request responses to gain confirmation of employee location and safety. Emergency Self Report consists of a workflow enabling employees to inform employers about the status of their self-quarantining measures.
Emergency Exposure Management, meanwhile, is perhaps the most crucial of the three. In the event of an employee being diagnosed with the illness, companies can identify those who have potentially come into contact with them by examining the employee’s history of meetings and work locations.
“In this battle to flatten the COVID‑19 curve, none of us is as smart as all of us,” said Bill McDermott, president and CEO of ServiceNow. “These ServiceNow applications will enable emergency outreach, self‑reporting and exposure management, which are precisely what organizations need to do right now to help people get through this crisis.”
Operating on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, ServiceNow emphasises its ability to improve workflows within an organisation via its role providing all forms of technical support and managing IT operations. Customers include the likes of Allianz, Siemens and RBS.
Last year, the company received a new CEO in the form of Bill McDermott, previously of German enterprise software titan SAP. McDermott replaced John Donahoe, who moved to sportswear manufacturer Nike, the pedigree of both companies reflecting ServiceNow’s increasingly prominent standing.
Legend: John McAfee
John McAfee is credited with starting the entire cybersecurity industry. In 1987, he set up McAfee Associates and released VirusScan. Previous antivirus programs had been released, but McAfee’s was the first with mass appeal and was soon a day zero (or at least day one) installation for Windows users as well as corporate clients.
But McAfee was also a hugely divisive character. He dismissed his own software, claimed he never used it, and rejoiced when Intel bought McAfee and took his name off “the worst software on the planet.” He was anti-tax, pro-drugs, anti-war and pro-free trade. He was also a tireless crusader for cyber awareness, and set up a political party called the Cyber Party in order to make a bid for the office of president of the US.
“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet”
McAfee: born in the UK
McAfee was born in Gloucestershire, UK, but moved to Salem, Virginia, where his American father (his mother was English) shot himself when McAfee was 15. McAfee worked at NASA, Univac, Xerox, Computer Sciences Corporation, Booz Allen Hamilton and Lockheed. It was while working at the latter he was given a copy of Brain, the first computer virus for PC, and began to engineer a defence.
Controversy dogged McAfee. He was implicated as a ‘person of interest’ in the search for a neighbour who had been shot. He married a prostitute. He claimed a cocaine baron was writing his biography. He was arrested for possession of an unlicensed weapon and for manufacturing drugs in Belize (later released without charge). There were various other arrests (mainly weapons related) but not much would stick until McAfee’s anti-tax stance caught up with him.
He fled the US as tax authorities turned up the heat on at least four years of non payment of tax and was arrested (again) in Spain in October 2020 at the behest of the US Department of Justice. Charges for fraudulently promoting cryptocurrencies were soon added and he was formally indicted in March 2021. In June 2021, the Spanish National Court authorised McAfee’s extradition to the US, and McAfee was found dead in his cell just hours later in what is widely believed to be a suicide.
Even in death, McAfee courted controversy, having announced that if he was ever found to have committed suicide, it would mean he had been murdered. A slew of conspiracy theories mushroomed in the hours after his death was announced. It’s just what he would have wanted.