Mass notification is the general umbrella under which both emergency and non-emergency communications within an organization fall. While the main aim of the mass notification system is to protect life by informing people in an area about emergencies and instructing them about what to do, the system could also be leveraged to improve communications within an organization – resulting in lowered costs and increased revenues.
Not all notification systems are created the same way. They vary in mode, price, functionality and even user experience. If you are looking for a mass notification solution for your organization, you must find a vendor that will fulfill all your notification and communication needs. Regardless of the kind of organization you run, here are some factors that bear consideration to ensure that the service your mass notification system provider offers is right for you.
1. Speed of message or notification delivery. The most common way of sending notification at present is through text messaging or SMS, due to the number of individuals who own cellphones and smartphones. Ideally, a notification service provider can send as many as 48,000 text messages in less than a minute.
Notification providers generally use two ways of sending notification messages – through email or short code. Sending text messages through email is not very ideal, since bulk sending can cause the mobile carrier to consider your message as spam and block it altogether.
Using short code is the more universally accepted method of sending SMS, especially because of its security features. However, short code can be shared – meaning several services can use the same phone numbers, which can put the integrity of your notification services at a compromise. Therefore, you need to look for a provider that uses a dedicated short code, or its own specific number for sending your alerts.
2. Modes of delivering the message. While SMS is the most popular way of delivering notification messages, not everyone in the organization will be reachable by text message all the time. So another factor you need to consider is the coverage of message delivery used by the vendor. Does your provider offer outdoor warning systems, webpages, digital signage, and the like?
Some communities make do with a basic mass notification system, with the belief that more complex systems will be expensive and difficult to implement. However, there are vendors that offer multimodal communication functionality with ease and low costs. You only need to do your homework and find out as much as you can about your different options before you decide on deploying a system.
3. Vendor support. Notification solutions must generally be easy to use, but regardless of this, the level of support that your provider will give before and after your purchase of the system must also be taken into account. Make sure to ask questions regarding the setup and the maintenance of the system. The mark of a good vendor is one who does not just train you on the system functions but also shares best practices and recommends improvements for your system.
5. Vendor experience. Notification solutions are very popular these days, so it is no surprise that everyone wants to be a provider. Sure enough, you do not want to be the guinea pig. So invest in a vendor that has been in the industry long enough to have a comprehensive experience in emergency services and knows exactly what mass notification really is.
A mass notification system is critical to the safety of any organization; therefore, you must exercise your best in finding a provider that will give you the features and the functionalities that you need at a price you can well afford. You need a provider like DeskAlerts, an internal communications provider that services more than 700 clients in different locations. But don’t take our word for it; call them now at 1-703-881-3166 (US) or 44-203-514-2353 (UK) to learn more about the notification systems they offer.