Emergency Notification, Mass Communication & Crisis Management Blog

Should You Rely on a Hosted Provider for Emergency Mass Notification Services?

Posted by ERMS Corporation on Tue, Nov 03, 2009

Written by Ray Ganong, guest blogger

When seeking a solution to address notification requirements, consider the advantages of a hosted solution provider. Notification service providers can solve a variety of business problems, some with a clear ROI. ROI examples include proactive operational communications such as notifying delinquent credit account holders of their outstanding balances.

Other problems solved by notification services are a best practice approach to cost avoidance through the use of notification as insurance. Examples include notification of stakeholders (including staff) about building closures. Those closures could be the result of man-made or natural events and the notification messages would direct employees to alternate work locations, or to stay at home until further notice.

If you have a need to send voice messages to a large audience consisting of thousands or even tens of thousands of recipients then the capacity of your voice network is a limiting factor. Dedicated notification providers have purpose-built networks to accommodate the necessary traffic load, which is particularly important in crisis situations.

Your in-house capacity for message delivery would be severely impacted by a crisis messaging solution that relied on your internal network. Your normal business operations would be degraded, and you still may not have the capacity to meet your crisis messaging requirements.

Also, having a provider that has operations that are geographically remote from your operations delivers a big advantage. You never know what network is going to be out of commission or severely degraded during a crisis. An example of this is the 2003 blackout in the north-east. Having a third-party hosted solution provider allows you to deliver critical messages to all stakeholders even if your organizations network is unavailable or constrained. By trying to send messages via multiple networks and devices, a hosted solution provider increases the probability of delivering messages to recipients.

And, don't underestimate the requirement for handling personal calls during a crisis. You have employees making outbound calls to loved ones, and you have friends and family members making inbound calls to get status updates. These calls consume valuable operational resources that degrade an organization's ability to meet normal obligations. A crisis notification solution that is hosted outside your network, and that handles these personal calls, totally offloads this type of communication from your network.