When Email Fails, How Do You Communicate?

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Email Fails – Now What?

Early in the morning on Dec. 14, 2020, a number of services owned by Google became inaccessible. This included YouTube, Google Docs, and Gmail. This interruption took place on a Monday morning before many people had started their workday. While the issue was resolved relatively quickly, it raised an important question. If email fails during non-working hours, how are you going to communicate with your people about the operational impact of this outage?

Many organizations do not have a plan in place, much less the tools to execute a plan to deliver emergency communications if email is unavailable. However, some organizations have discovered the benefits of utilizing a mass notification system that utilizes multiple communication channels to ensure people receive a message no matter the circumstances. In this blog post, we’ll outline how a mass notification system can help you reach people in a variety of ways during off-hours if email fails or becomes inaccessible.

Mobile Notifications

Being unable to access email comes with a host of problems, including having people understand what is down and why. Without proper communications, they have no way of knowing if the issue is with their email app, the service itself, or with your organization’s IT department. When people don’t know what is happening, this can often lead to inaction, resulting in unnecessary downtime as the situation gets sorted out. Mass notifications offer a quick and easy way to reach people when they are not on-premises by sending alerts directly to mobile devices. Notifications can be sent as SMS text messages, push notifications, and recorded audio messages directly to a mobile device, as well as to collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, with the information people need to stay informed. The more channels you leverage, the more likely it is the recipient will see the message quickly and take the appropriate actions. Organizations that plan for this kind of incident can save even more time by prewriting and pre-recording messages so they can be sent with the push of a button.

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Organization leaders may also struggle with managing this incident as it unfolds. Again, mass notifications offer a way to circumvent not having access to email by sending alerts that invite people to join virtual collaboration spaces. Following an alert distribution, team members from your IT, security, operations, and other relevant management teams can receive an invitation via the methods mentioned above to meet within tools like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, or on a conference call. This helps you gather the right people in a short amount of time to assess the situation and devise a plan of action. This all helps minimize downtime and keep operations running as smoothly as possible until the situation is resolved.

Utilizing a Resilient Solution

Of course, inaccessible email isn’t the only issue that could hinder your organization’s ability to communicate. That’s why you need a resilient solution that can still function even in the face of disaster. InformaCast Fusion from Singlewire Software offers high availability to deliver messages even if your network goes down. High availability consists of three components:

  • Failover: This is data center resiliency. A typical architecture has two InformaCast Fusion servers deployed at separate data center locations. One houses the primary InformaCast Fusion server, while the other houses the backup. If the data center housing the primary Fusion server goes down, it would be detected by the InformaCast Fusion cloud infrastructure. The InformaCast Fusion cloud infrastructure would notify the backup InformaCast Fusion server, which would then activate and become the primary Fusion server.
  • Distributed Activation: This feature has the ability to distribute the notification workload across multiple InformaCast Fusion Servers. For organizations with thousands of IP phones and IP speakers, Distributed Activation offers an easy way to scale on-premises notifications, so thousands of IP devices can receive critical messages as fast as possible.
  • Survivable Remote Site Notification (SRSN): When the network is down between your data center and your remote site, you want messages to continue to be sent and received at those remote sites. Configuring Survivable Remote Site Notification with the InformaCast Fusion server at a site (either virtual or hardware appliance), notifications continue to operate. This includes live, ad hoc, and pre-recorded audio, as well as DialCast, bell schedules, and more, to keep everything running smoothly.

Each piece helps ensure that critical messages will reach the right people with the right information, no matter what happens. You can’t afford to not be able to communicate with your people when it matters most, so find a solution that helps you reach everyone, everywhere, every time.

Download our 2021 mass notification buyer’s guide to learn more.

 

 

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