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2 min read

Four Tips in Evaluating Alert Notification Systems

With disasters capable of affecting business operations anytime, anywhere, many companies are now realizing the value of having an alert notification system. This type of program can aid companies in informing their employees during emergencies like weather disturbances, terrorist attacks, and earthquakes, among others, hastening their evacuation in the process. An emergency notification system in the office can minimize loss of life and damage to property.

If your company has no alert notification system yet but is actively shopping for one, what are the things that you should look for in such type of system? Is it just all about the price? Or should you focus more on the features? This article shares some tips in shopping for an emergency notification program in the workplace.

1. Understand your business needs first.

Having an understanding of your company’s business needs will guide you in determining the right alert notification system in the workplace. Determine whether you need a system that will only be useful during emergencies, or one that can be tapped for other purposes such as operational alerts and supply chain issues.

You must also consider the geographical location of the company. Does it have regional offices? Is it located in other parts of the globe? If so, you would want to buy an alert notification system from a vendor with a global infrastructure and presence.

2. Consider who will send and receive alerts.

The manner in which the alerts will be sent will also have to be scrutinized. Does IT have to be heavily involved in the sending of alerts? Or can it be delegated to another unit in the organization, such as the security team?

Ideally, the alert notification system should be easy to use that non-IT personnel can send alerts particularly during an emergency. An authorized employee, like the head of the security unit, or even the corporate communications boss, can be tapped as the administrator of the system.

Avoid buying a notification system that is so complex you would need support from the IT department.

You must also look at how the alerts will be received by the employees. Is it strictly through mobile phones? Or is the system powerful and versatile enough that alerts can be sent in a variety of ways, from mobile handsets to desktop computers?

3. Scrutinize the features list.

Many vendors of emergency notification systems try to impress their potential buyers by bombarding them with a long list of features, which when scrutinized, aren’t really needed by the companies.

Multiple-channel notification, for example, may not be really needed if all your workers are office-based. International coverage and points of presence may also be an unnecessary feature if you have a small, localized business.

The right emergency notification system has features that can be customized according to the needs of the business.

4. Consider the customer support and service.

Good customer support and service is something you should be concerned with if the company sees emergency notification system as a long-term investment. The vendor should make available different channels through which it can be reached.

Find a vendor that will work with your team during the roll-out of the system. The vendor should not just give you the program and then disappear. It should be willing to teach your employees, particularly those who will be tasked to administer the system, the things to expect from the emergency notification program.

There is no question that investing in an alert notification system isn’t as easy as say, procuring a new set of desktop computers. By following the aforementioned tips, though, should make it easier for you to find the right emergency notification program.

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