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Cloud Security Perspectives and Insights

American Red Cross Manages Volunteers' Identities with Oracle

Maywun Wong
Director, Product Marketing

I remember watching the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the wildfires in Paradise, CA, and it’s hard not to have your heart break for the victims of natural disasters.  For that, I’m so grateful that organizations like the American Red Cross exist.  In researching information for this blog, I learned that for 136 years, the American Red Cross has been dedicated to serving people in need during disasters through volunteers and the generosity of donors.  They told us at OpenWorld that they provided more than 3.6 million meals and almost 1.5 million relief items in 2017 alone. 

Those are staggering numbers and with 90% of the Red Cross workforce as volunteers, I can imagine it must be a daunting task to coordinate all of the supplies for the volunteers.  With so many volunteers, donations, and locations to distribute materials to those who need help, I am sure that the Red Cross has a strong system to ensure aid gets to the right people in their time of need.  From a logistics perspective, the American Red Cross has five nationwide distribution centers, and they open smaller, temporary hubs, along with rental warehouse space and trucks in areas hit by disaster.  Volunteers step up to stock the warehouses, run the shelters, and transport supplies for up to two weeks at a time.

All of these logistics are dizzying, but I am grateful that the American Red Cross has built an early mobile system to get a single view of everything for the volunteers – orders, inventory, and transportation services in a streamlined process.  I’m proud to be a part of Oracle, because Oracle is part of that integrated system.  Oracle Cloud Platform, with Mobile Cloud Service and Integration Cloud, integrated with Oracle E-Business Suite, help deliver a mobile application to order, process, and track donations for the volunteers.  The Red Cross uses Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) to authenticate the volunteers to ensure the donations do not fall into wrong hands and volunteers can quickly distribute help to those in need.

Normally, when we think about IT security, images of large data centers and codes of data security come to mind.  With the American Red Cross, we are reminded of the importance of security to identify and validate all of those volunteers for the Red Cross to make sure that they have a single view of the inventory, orders, and transportation to set up a shelter and provide help to those who need it quickly.   Identity Cloud Service, a key part of the Oracle Security portfolio, provides a cloud-based, integrated service that delivers all of the core identity and access management to organizations of all sizes.  With IDCS, the Red Cross has a single, aggregated view of the volunteers’ identities across all channels (mobile and on laptops) to define and enforce consistent identity policies. 

The mobile application that was shared at OpenWorld 2018 was still a pilot, but the senior director of information technology, Susan Gorecki, sounded optimistic when it went live after Hurricane Florence in September 2018.  I look forward to hearing more about how the mobile app will continue to be rolled out to help more people in the future.  Visit the Oracle Identity Cloud Service webpage to learn how IDCS can help your organization. 

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