Qatargas EMS department first in the Middle East to achieve international accreditation
The Fire & Rescue Emergency Management Services (EMS) Department of Qatargas has been awarded the distinguished “Accredited Agency” status by the US-based Centre for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) after successfully meeting the rigorous criteria set by the CPSE’s Accreditation Commission in the areas of continuous quality improvement and enhancement of service delivery. With this, Qatargas EMS became the first CPSE accredited department in the Middle East region and it joined a line-up of 218 such accredited agencies around the world. CPSE provides the only accreditation program for Fire & Rescue Emergency Management Service organizations in the world.
Representatives of the EMS Department, led by EMS & Security Manager Hassan Jassim Abu Khamis, have received the accreditation certificate at an awards ceremony recently organized by CPSE in Atlanta, USA following a face-to-face hearing session with the Commission members. It was the culmination of a four-year long documentation and assessment exercise that involved a rigorous process to determine risk and safety needs, evaluate current performance of the department, and establish a method for achieving continuous improvement. During the final phase of the process, site visits had been made by the CPSE officials to Qatargas headquarters in Doha and Ras Laffan Plant to verify the EMS Department’s compliance with the set criteria.
The accreditation process was demanding and challenging for Qatargas EMS Department as an industrial based organization with multiple sites spread across Ras Laffan Industrial area. This feat has demonstrated the Department’s commitment to providing high-quality services to Qatargas. The department has been able to use the accreditation process as a proactive mechanism to plan for the future of Qatargas Emergency Management Services and identify areas where it can improve on the quality of services it provides.
Qatargas, as a company, benefited from the accreditation process as well. Under the continuous improvement model used in seeking accreditation, the company is required to maintain an active strategic planning program as well as a comprehensive assessment of the overall level of risk. This “risk assessment” helped the company make an informed decision on the level of service desired.
The CPSE Accreditation Commission is governed by an 11-member council representing a cross-section of the fire service industry, including fire departments, city and county management, code councils, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the International Association of Firefighters.
Established in 1986, CPSE is a non-profit organization that serves as the governing body for organizations offering accreditation, education, and credentialing services to agencies and fire service industry professionals. The CPSE’s accreditation program is a comprehensive self-assessment and evaluation model that enables fire and emergency service organizations to examine past, current, and future service levels/performance and compare them to industry best practices. CPSE is dedicated to assisting the fire and emergency services agencies throughout the world in achieving excellence through self-assessment and accreditation in order to provide continuous quality improvement and the enhancement of service delivery to their communities.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”