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Look, No Hands! Automating Content-Triggered Alerts for Everyday Operations

In many situations where mass notification is required, there’s no substitute for logging in to an online service and launching alerts manually. However, there are alternative situations where it would be advantageous to launch widespread alerts automatically, without any user involvement. This is where “content-triggered” alerting comes into play, and it’s a powerful, sometimes overlooked, capability of sophisticated notification services like Send Word Now.

Content-triggered alerts can be launched for a wide variety of reasons. Examples include things like:

• Stock price movements
• Inventory thresholds reached
• Flight or travel delays
• Tripping of contact sensors
• Changing of traffic pattern
• Network monitoring alarms
• Email virus detections

Presuming there are software solutions monitoring or measuring each of these examples, it may be possible to add flexible, automated, multimodal notification capabilities where none exist. So, for example, when a network failure is detected by a company’s monitoring software, alerts can be sent to the proper IT people via email, SMS, phone call, recipient mobile app, etc. Then, notification features like group escalations, conference call transfers, polling, etc., can be leveraged to effectively manage the incident.

Doing this requires a few things. First, you need a top-notch notification service that offers an Application Program Interface (API) for integration purposes. This is simply a set of software instructions that provide secure communication “doorways” into the application. The API enables disparate systems to talk with one another.

Second, you typically need an API for one of the operational systems mentioned above. There may be alternative ways to initiate alerts from these solutions, but the methods are likely to be more complex and possibly less reliable.

Third, you need to link these systems together with basic programming. Fortunately, most software vendors who offer an API also provide the necessary documentation and code samples to make this a straightforward task for your internal techie-type people. Once the two applications are linked, your organization can begin utilizing notification in ways you never dreamed possible.

Content-triggered alerting may not be the right answer for every circumstance. However, by using their imagination and thinking beyond emergencies, it is possible for managers to better utilize investments in mass notification by integrating everyday operational tools with this powerful and accessible communication platform.