Case Study: Centralia College Leverages InformaCast Fusion for Campus Alerts

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Enhancing Campus Safety and Communication

Threats to college campuses have administrators looking for solutions to keep students and staff safe. At Centralia College in Centralia, Wash., outdated phones, and four disparate alert systems meant communication was cumbersome during an emergency. With help from Ednetics, Centralia College updated its phone system to VOIP and implemented InformaCast Fusion throughout its campus to send mass notifications with critical safety information, eliminating the need for its other systems, and greatly increasing the speed and reach of its emergency messages.

In a recent case study with Singlewire Software, Centralia College shared what they were looking for in a mass notification system and how InformaCast Fusion has helped enhance safety and communication throughout the campus.

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From Four Systems to One

With upwards of 600 staff and faculty and 6,000 students on the campus every day, the college has evolved, renovating and constructing new buildings to accommodate a growing campus.

However, some of its technology was not keeping pace. Steve Ward, vice president of administration and finance recognized a need to update the college’s phones to a VOIP system. The college turned to Ednetics for help updating its phone system. Since InformaCast came baked into the Cisco IP phones the college was installing, Ward and Sam Small, director of information technology at Centralia, began exploring InformaCast as a possible solution.

“We had four different systems for mass notification,” said Small. “One system was used for email alerts, one for mass SMS text messaging, one for alerts on desktop computers, and another for audible alerts.”

However, these separate systems required their own logins, had to be accessed from a desktop computer, and couldn’t integrate with each other. This impeded the college’s ability to quickly send out alerts during an emergency.

The college was able to eliminate its other four notification systems using InformaCast Fusion. Centralia is able to hit digital signage, mobile phones, desk phones, email, speakers, and more to reach its entire campus population with emergency alerts.

Discover how InformaCast Integrates with Different Devices

Protecting Against Severe Weather and Life and Limb Emergencies

In addition to being able to reach a large number of devices and people with InformaCast Fusion, Centralia is also leveraging the system for a wide range of safety-related events. The two primary use cases Centralia leverages InformaCast for are life and limb emergencies, and school closures due to weather.

But for Small, the biggest reason the campus is benefitting from using InformaCast goes beyond weather interruptions.

“We have InformaCast because it will save lives,” said Small.

When there’s a life and limb emergency, administrators don’t need to worry about being near their office or desktop computer to launch a message. With the mobile app on their phone, officials can record audio and type a short text message anywhere there is cell network or WiFi access. When they hit send, their message is immediately broadcast to digital signage systems on campus, display screens on VOIP phones, mobile phones, desktop computers, overhead paging systems and more. InformaCast ties these systems together, centrally manages the login permission access, and broadcasts the alert.

“It’s just good stewardship to let your constituents, whether they are on campus or not, know what is happening,” said Ward. “InformaCast Fusion gives us a quick and easy way to do that.”

Learn more about how InformaCast can be used in Higher Education

 

 

 

 

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