Download Our Mass Notification System Comparison Worksheet

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Mass Notification System Comparison

In an article for Campus Safety Magazine, Lt. John M. Weinstein, commander of strategic planning and outreach for the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department, offers a system organizations can utilize to determine what is their most pressing need when it comes to purchasing safety technology. But what if you already know what kind of technology you need to purchase? how do you find the right solution to meet your needs?

When it comes to a mass notification system, you can boil your needs down to two criteria: speed and reach. How fast can you get a message out and how likely is it that that message is received by all of the devices and people that need it? However, purchasing decisions are rarely that simple, and using only two criteria isn’t going to help you make a decision when comparing multiple products.

To help with this process, we’ve developed a free worksheet you can download to compare our InformaCast mass notification software with other solutions. In this blog post, we’ll break down how we developed it, how to fill it out and what your next steps should be once it's completed.

Download our mass notification system comparison worksheet 

Understand What You’re Comparing

We divided the worksheet into two sections: message triggers and message recipients, which correspond with our previous criteria of speed and reach. Message triggers relate to speed, so we looked at all of the ways people want to be able to get the word out. We’ve broken this section down into two subsections: manual and automated triggers. Each has their own benefits, but the more options you have to trigger a message, the more likely it is you’re making it easy for someone to get the word out. This can decrease the time it takes for everyone to be aware of an emergency situation and increase response times.

Message recipients correspond with reach. We’ve broken this section into three subsections: on-premises recipients, mobile recipients, and collaboration groups. While it may not seem like there’s a reason to make this distinction, each subsection fulfills a different need, and some mass notification systems can only reach one of these groupings while ignoring the others. This makes it difficult for your organization to reach everyone with important information.

Read about the challenges of mobile-only notification

On-premises devices can initiate lockdowns, help facilitate evacuations and alert everyone within a building or campus. Mobile devices help keep people away from dangerous environments and get information to people who may not be near on-premises devices that are relaying messages. Collaboration groups help bring key stakeholders together to begin managing the situation once an initial notification is distributed. Each of these pieces is helpful on its own, but used together, they give you the best opportunity to reach everyone.

Completing the Worksheet

The worksheet will require some legwork on your part. We’ve included three columns. The first is for our InformaCast solution and has all of the relevant criteria marked off. This gives you the opportunity to directly compare two other solutions you may be considering. Review their websites, watch videos, read their blogs and talk with their team to get your questions answered. It’s important to understand not just if the solution can do something, but also how it does it. For example, InformaCast can reach on-premises phones by broadcasting an audio message, while other solutions need to place calls. This can be a slow and cumbersome process, impeding your ability to execute an efficient notification plan.

Learn more about calling vs. broadcasting

Check the boxes as you discover more information. Once you know whether the system can fulfill each item, you’ll have an easy visual comparison of different solutions. This sheet is not intended to provide you with the ultimate answer about which solution you should purchase. It should act as a guide to help better understand how you can notify your people about an emergency and how different solutions can accomplish that.

Next Steps

Depending on where you are in your purchasing process, there are different steps you may need to take. You may want to schedule a demo, to ensure each solution can do what it claims. If that is the case, be sure to review our blog post on the 12 questions you should ask during your mass notification demo. You may want to review case studies, to see how other users have implemented the solution. Or, you may want to just speak with a territory manager to discuss your needs, environment and have questions answered. At the end of the day, this worksheet will be a helpful tool for you to make a decision and be confident that the solution you selected is going to do everything you need to keep your people safe

 

 

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