What is the cost of communications not received in a mission critical scenario? What is the value of communications that are received in a mission critical scenario? At Desktop Alert we understand that it is the consideration of these two core questions that influence our customers in making decisions about implementing a mass notification platform.
Return on investment (ROI) is critical in any software or system evaluation and subsequent purchase. While ROI is important in many business considerations, when it comes to mass notifications, the value of communications received in emergencies are often only understood after the fact. In terms of investing in mass notification technology, a single tragic event -- or business crisis -- can provide more than ample justification for the investment. One might think of mass notification as an insurance method to either mitigate damages or bolster internal communications on critical matters at critical times.
Most people have life insurance and pay the premium monthly because they know if the policy is executed the return is guaranteed. Unlike life insurance, mass notification works on the premise that the best cure to a problem is the prevention of the problem. The costs incurred during and after a declared disaster can soar into the millions of dollars, affect the lives of many people and threaten the very future of a company. On the other hand, the prevention of just one such event with a robust internal communication platform can potentially pay for the entire system in one year or less.
Desktop Alert functionality also helps organizations save in other ways, such as by sending out energy saving tips to workstations daily. These tips remind personnel to conserve on lights, air conditioning, water and other resources which if properly managed can save thousands of dollars yearly at larger organizations.
Net-centric mass notification to the desktop/workstation is a new entrant to the enterprise arena and the ways in which these systems add value to the organization are growing in number every day. While there are some challenges for potential customers in quantifying the pros and cons of such a system, clients of Desktop Alert have been reporting back that their organization has become reliant on the platform and indeed; the platform has become a daily workplace tool. A tool used by many executives and managers for tasks as innocuous as password resets, and as critical as emergency evacuations.
There are also misconceptions with mass notification being sent to the desktop. One such improper characterization is that mass notification is akin to that of an instant messenger. Instant messaging platforms are that of a scattered or ‘shotgun’ approach to information dissemination. Where instant messaging is effective and fast on message delivery, it fails in its capability of operating in most circumstances on the enterprise level platform. A big disadvantage to instant messengers is that they do not integrate with Active Directory (AD) out-the-box and this provides many limitations. Instant messengers also will not provide extensive reporting and additional empirical data such as audit trails that allow management to see who received the alert, who engaged the alert and who did not. Additionally, features such as HTML constructed alerts, audio and video alerts, scheduled alerts and much more are just not possible with instant messaging. Desktop Alerts are an entirely different and more sophisticated breed of information distribution than instant messages.
The challenge remains how to knowledge investigators interested in mass notification software with compelling data and case studies. Armed with this information, these individuals can communicate with appropriate decision makers within their organization to make a Mass Notifications system a reality. As always, there must be an emphasis made on how such a platform can mitigate emergencies, yet there should be an even stronger emphasis made on how such a platform can pay for itself by bolstering intelligently routed mission critical information at all levels of the organization.
Mass notifications are intelligently routed information to intended recipients when it counts – and the rewards for successfully doing this can be immeasurable immediately .