How Fast Can InformaCast Mass Notifications Reach People?


Mass Notification Speed

When it comes to mass notification systems, the two most important components are speed and reach. A system needs to be able to reach a wide variety of devices with a message, and it needs to be able to do that as quickly as possible. Every second counts when an emergency occurs and how fast a system can get a message out can make the difference when trying to keep people safe. We’re often asked how quickly messages from our InformaCast software can reach people when someone hits send. It’s an important question, and one every organization should consider when looking at investing in an emergency notification system.

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Since InformaCast utilizes multiple message formats when alerts are sent out, there isn’t a one-size fits all answer. However, in this blog post, we’ll break down the speed at which different InformaCast notification methods can reach people.

Mass SMS Text Messaging

Many organizations look at mobile-only solutions when considering mass notification systems. On the surface, this makes sense. People are rarely without their mobile devices, but in the event of an emergency, nothing should be left to chance. Mass SMS text messages may be the best fit for some organizations, but only leveraging one form of communication to send safety information is never a good strategy. The speed of mass SMS text messaging is dependent on many factors that an emergency notification solution provider does not have control over. For example, the availability of the network, the carrier being used, and how much traffic a cell tower needs to manage, can all impact the speed at which mass SMS text messages are delivered.

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Singlewire Software has optimized it InformaCast Mobile and InformaCast Fusion mass notification solutions to run as efficiently as possible when it comes to SMS text messages. As a rough example, to send 1,000 text messages, there are three steps that need to be completed. Two of those steps are the responsibility of InformaCast, but the final step is outside InformaCast’s control and can have the biggest impact on the delivery speed. For the first two steps, InformaCast can query the recipients and send the messages to the carrier in about three seconds. The final step, where the remainder of the delivery time comes from, the actual distribution of the message. This time is dependent on the factors listed above, and cannot be controlled by InformaCast. That is why Singlewire advocates organizations using a multifaceted approach when it comes to emergency notifications. The more devices and message formats an organization leverages during a crisis, the more likely it is that everyone receives the intended message.

Leveraging Phones for Mass Notification

A strong emergency notification plan leverages on-premises and mobile devices to help spread the word. InformaCast Advanced and InformaCast Fusion can reach on-premises phones with audio broadcasts that are more intrusive than SMS text messages. Some mass notification providers will claim they can reach on-premises phones, but the way in which they do this is not optimal for large organizations.

Mass SMS text messaging systems that claim to be able to reach desk phones do so by calling phones within an organization. For large organizations this can be problematic because placing a large number of phone calls will often result in a denial service, and those calls will fail. Even if calls go through, it may take a long time for all calls to be completed. That’s why InformaCast reaches phones by broadcasting, rather than calling. This ensures messages that get delivered in seconds, not minutes, and offers organizations an additional means of reaching people should SMS messaging fail.

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Email, Overhead Paging, and More

In addition to mass SMS text messaging and phone broadcasting, InformaCast offers a wide range of notification methods and device integrations. This so that in the unlikely event one of these methods fails or is delayed in its delivery, the breadth of devices and formats used for delivery will ensure everyone receives the message. Overhead paging systems, desktop computers, digital signage and more can all be used to deliver audio and text messages throughout an organization. This delivers the speed and reach every organization needs, along the peace of mind knowing critical messages will be delivered quickly and not be missed or ignored.

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