When seeking a notification system, whether it’s for the first time or an upgrade of an existing system, it’s important that you get more information than can be found in a company’s marketing pieces. Pay special attention to jargon or buzz words; often one company will give a common feature a fancy name—and then claim they are the only company that provides that feature. When choosing a reliable notification system, it’s important to compare apples to apples.
This list will help you in your search:
- Determine your need. A good place to begin is by asking yourself how robust of a system you need by taking a look at your own business continuity plan. Making some rough estimates of how often you’ll use the system and how many recipients you may have is an important part of finding the right solution.
- Use analyst reports wisely. Review recent analyst reports for strengths and weaknesses, but keep in mind that there are many features that will not be included in such reports, so don’t rely on them alone. Look for the features that are most important to you and seek out the company that executes those features best.
- Draw on word of mouth. Ask around and find out what other businesses in your field are using. Are they satisfied? Have they ever had to rely on the system in a time of great disruption? Even more important, have they suffered any failures?
- Follow the leader. Ask potential vendors if they provide the same solution to Fortune 500 clients or other large, well-known enterprises. A client list doesn’t have to be enormous, but it should have lots of recognizable and respected names on it. You can count on larger companies to devote significant resources to making this sort of choice and ride on their coattails, to a certain extent, to make your own wise choice.
- Peek behind the curtain. Behind the curtain features are those that often don’t show up in marketing brochures. How reliable is the company behind the solution? How reliable is the solution? What kind of testing has the company done to prove reliability? Ask about infrastructure, is it sound? Is it redundant, with data centers in different locations? What about security of data; can the company reassure you that your data is safe? Companies these days often do background checks on employees on a regular basis to ensure the security of your data.
Use the questions above and see what comes up. You won’t know if you don’t ask, and really a good vendor will welcome the opportunity to help you dig deeper to find the best possible automated notification solution.