3 Projects To Enhance Your Mass Notification System


Our Customer Success Manager, Kevin Schmotzer, outlines three mass notification projects organizations can undertake while buildings are empty due to the coronavirus to improve safety and communication.

Mass Notification Projects

While the coronavirus outbreak has forced many organizations to operate remotely, it has presented an opportunity for IT, security and facility teams to work together and address pressing building safety issues. With fewer people in buildings, it has become easier to test and configure new tools that can provide additional safety and communication benefits. For many organizations that have implemented a mass notification system, they often do not revisit how they are using their system after the initial installation. That means they could be missing out on leveraging tools that help reach more people and prepare for situations that can put people in danger. Undertaking projects that bolster crisis communication plans now will offer the opportunity for people to return to buildings that are better prepared to handle critical safety events. In this blog post, we’ll outline three projects organization can undertake now to enhance their mass notification system.

1. 911 Alerts

If someone calls 911 within your buildings, it’s important that the right people know an emergency is taking place. InformaCast CallAware can send notifications to select safety personnel or to an entire organization when someone dials 911 from a phone tied to their network. Alerts can be broadcast to IP speakers in a specific area of a building, particular desk phones, or to someone’s mobile device. The alert can include information like which phone dialed 911 and at what time. This can help safety teams respond faster since they know where an emergency is taking place. CallAware can also record 911 phone calls. Recorded phone calls can be joined in-progress by system administrators and listened to after an incident occurs to assess how well a response was handled.

2. Overhead Paging

When an emergency occurs, you need people to stop what they are doing and understand what they are being asked to do to stay safe. One of the best ways to do this is with live audio paging delivered via an overhead speaker system. Intrusive audio can interrupt ongoing activities and grab people’s attention in ways a text message or email cannot. However, because of this, it can often be difficult to test and configure without disrupting daily operations. With people out of buildings, this testing can be conducted without interfering with normal activities.

3. Develop a Monthly Testing Plan

As you build out and test new features, it is also a good idea to begin developing a monthly testing plan for your mass notification system. Again, we all too often see users set up their system, test it once, and assume everything is working as it should, only to find out that certain devices or areas of a building are not receiving notifications. Network upgrades, CUCM upgrades, and other software and hardware updates can all impact how your system functions. When an emergency occurs, you need to ensure that mass notifications reach every device and person that needs to be aware of the situation. The best way to do that is via regular testing of your system. Pick a day each month to conduct a thorough test of your system to help ensure it is working effectively.

Bonus: Notification Expansion

The three projects listed above are good places to start, but there are plenty of other InformaCast features that can add value to your current set up. Start by looking at the devices you can send alerts to and see where else you can expand. The more devices you can reach with a message, the less likely it is that someone will miss an important update during a crisis. Next, take a look at how your notifications get triggered. You may have panic buttons set up, but automated alerts can be added for monitored email addresses, RSS and CAP feeds. If you’re an InformaCast Fusion user, you can look at setting up InformaCast Command Center to easily trigger dynamic alerts for common emergency scenarios.

Resources to help you complete all of the projects listed above can be found in the Singlewire Support Community where you can access user guides, video tutorials and knowledgebase articles that will provide in-depth insight and step-by-step instructions to optimize the performance of your mass notification system.




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