January 01 2019

Download The SAUSD Case Study Here

Santa Ana Unified School District was Founded in 1888, SAUSD is the 7th largest school district in California, and the largest in Orange County. SAUSD has 60 schools with approximately 50,000 students and 4,654 employees. SAUSD recently partnered with Maxxess Systems to deploy a powerful new security and operations solution  that leverages the power of smart mobile devices to maintain comprehensive communications and emergency management operations. SAUSD had their first wide-scale use of the system during the annual earthquake preparedness drill called the Great Southern California ShakeOut.


SAUSD has 60 sites and is concerned with gaining total awareness of all its sites while coordinating an appropriate response. SAUSD has a ‘duty of care’ for their 54,654 employees and students imposed by law to minimize the amount of harm that happens. This requires heightened levels of situational awareness.

SAUSD’s EOC needs to remain fully informed of missing people, dangerous situations, property damage and more during the emergency simulation. The EOC’s staff needs to instantly generate various reports and assign the appropriate personnel to respond to action items. SAUSD not only needs to act on reports that come in but be able to anticipate issues during an emergency on a day-to-day basis. SAUSD needs all the information gathered and actions taken during an emergency captured for reporting and future audits.

Priorities Included:

  • Enhancing situational awareness to know who needs help, where geographically they need help, and what help they require.
  • Receiving and sending the earliest notification of an incident to take the earliest action possible
  • Improving response coordination by making sure the flow of information goes to the right people, right away
  • Using the system as a training tool to find security and safety gaps while also simulating an emergency environment for those administrators who don’t have experience as emergency specialists.


The ambit solution:

Maxxess Ambit, provides private, two-way, managed messaging and intel on a more personal and inuitive level. The Ambit solution leverages the power of smart mobile devices to maintain comprehensive communications and emergency management.

SAUSD uses the “human intelligence” functionality that provides their system managers communication and location knowledge for remote personnel. It uses the personal devices of school personnel for alerts, notifications, status assessment and access management.

The use cases:

Response Coordination: “With Maxxess Ambit, our Emergency Operation Center (EOC) was able to receive simulated eyewitness accounts and requests for assistance from multiple staff members at schools across the district. The information with GPS locations provided by Maxxess Ambit came into the EOC rapidly, providing first responders with the specific details they would need if we really had experienced a disaster” said Camille Boden, Santa Ana Unified School District, Executive Director of Risk Management.

Situational Awareness: During an earthquake scenario, SAUSD can broadcast a mass notification that will be sent to all users of the organization. This allows emergency personnel to quickly monitor staff status, communicate with staff members using an organizaed interface, and help first responders act efficiently. A geo-tag is placed on a map to correspond with each mobile user’s location.

Training: Most district employees have not been through emergency response training. Ambit provides the tools to simulate the best environment for training. It allows districts and schools to identify their security and safety gaps prior to an actual event.

The benefits:

  • Total situational awareness for security and intelligence.
  • Enables early action, allowing our organization to deal with issues when they’re small – before they become large and costly.
  • Faster response times with real-time event notification and communications.
  • Improved workflows for security and operations/administration management.
  • Simple to use, scalable in functionality and system size.