Oracle, Unisys Team on Transportation Security

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2003-04-07 Print this article Print

Duo tapped by Homeland Security agency to construct an online resource for reporting transportation security incidents.

Oracle Corp. and Unisys Corp. have been tapped by a Homeland Security agency to construct a single online spot to report security incidents relating to airlines and other transportation systems and for travelers to check on situations in flux. The companies expect to announce on Monday that they will be installing software for the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA is one of 22 Homeland Security agencies and is charged with protecting the nations transportation systems to ensure the transit safety of both people and commerce. The technology to be installed will include Oracle9i database with RAC (Real Application Clusters), Oracle9i Application Server, database security options including Oracle Label Security and Oracle Advanced Security, and Oracle E-Business Suite CRM (customer relationship management) software. Oracle Label Security enables row-level access control of the database, allowing user communities to share one database while only accessing data rows for which they have been granted permission.
The project will culminate in a portal put up by Oracle Consulting, Unisys and Deloitte Consulting that will be the front door to the TSAs intranet and will also provide a public-facing, central spot for citizens around the world to report suspicious goings-on as they relate to commercial or public transport systems.
According to Tim Bethea, a partner at Unisys, of Bluebell, Pa., and lead for enterprise applications deployment under the Unisys IT managed services contract with the TSA, the system will support internal case management for airport incidents. Such incidents will be logged in directly from airports. The CRM module, which will support TSAs headquarters contact center, is an automated data capture system for travelers inquiries and will serve as a tracking repository for follow-up action, Bethea said in a statement. Steve Perkins, senior vice president for Oracle Federal and Oracle Homeland Security Solutions, said that such case management will support TSAs pursuit of prosecution in legal cases involving security incidentsK&K—a common use of CRM applications today as legal firms use them to track dispositions and their associated documents. Perkins said the purchase of RAC technology indicates that business continuity and system fault tolerance will be crucial to the TSAs information architecture. "[RAC technology] enables you to operate a scalable database, add new servers and databases by simply plugging those in without having to do a rewrite of the applications," said Perkins, in Reston, Va. The TSA is the first agency specifically formed with the mission of safeguarding aviation, passenger transport and cargo transport, Perkins pointed out. As such, both Oracle and Unisys officials are hoping that it will serve as a blueprint for other Homeland Security agencies as they put together their information management architectures. Latest Stories by Lisa Vaas:
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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