Leveraging Collaboration in Microsoft Teams
When we first developed our InformaCast software following the events of 9/11, one of our goals was to deliver a tool that could be easily integrated with an organization’s existing technology investment. This would help keep costs down and make the tool easy for people to use because it leveraged investments in familiar technologies. As InformaCast has evolved over time, this idea has continued to be a guiding principle when creating new features and integrations that simplify the mass notification process organizations need to have in place to keep their people safe.
That’s why we’re excited to preview a new integration coming in early 2019. InformaCast will soon be able to integrate with Microsoft Teams to help manage emergency situations. In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of Microsoft Teams and details on how this new integration will work.
Emergency Notification and Management
Microsoft Teams is a teamwork hub for organizations using Office 365. Teams creates a shared workspace where users can collaborate, chat, meet, share files, and work with business apps. This presented a unique opportunity to pair with InformaCast’s mass notification capabilities. Alerting people about an emergency situation is only half the battle. Raising awareness is an important first step, but what comes after is just as critical.
Microsoft Teams users can initiate an InformaCast alert directly from Teams using the InformaCast bot. The bot responds with an adaptive card that can be filled out to provide details about the situation taking place. Once the card is completed, the bot will confirm the submission and send alerts through Microsoft Teams, mobile phones, digital signage, and other connected devices.
Following the alert distribution, key safety team members will receive a prompt to join a Microsoft Teams channel where they can collaborate and follow up on the situation. In the Teams channel, users can view summaries of responses directly from InformaCast to see the effectiveness of the alert that was sent out. Follow-up messages can also be sent directly from Teams.
The video below represents a proof of concept that was demonstrated at Microsoft Ignite in September 2018. The final functionality for this integration may or may not include everything shown in the video, and is likely to be released in phases.
Expanding Notification Capabilities
The Microsoft Teams integration is the next step in a long line of expanded compatibilities. We recently updated InformaCast Fusion to work with non-Cisco phones. We expanded device integration to include Meraki cameras and will have more to share in 2019. All of these expanded capabilities are to provide organizations with the best possible ecosystem options to alert their people about dangerous situations and keep everyone out of harm’s way.