No doubt, notification services are indispensable for communicating in critical situations. The ability to quickly create and send urgent messages to thousands of people across the globe through virtually any device is powerful stuff. Add to this the capability of receiving consolidated recipient feedback and real-time status reports, and you have an unparalleled tool for crisis response and incident management.
However, organizations of all types and sizes are also now recognizing the benefits of expanding their use of notification technologies beyond emergencies. There’s a growing practice of leveraging investments in such services for routine, operational practices. Consider some of these top trends in notification uses for day-to-day operations:
Using content-triggered alerts to automate the flow of business operations
Content-triggered alerts are automated messages sent when certain events occur or when specific parameters are reached. For example, notifications can be sent based on stock price movements, security sensor signals, inventory thresholds, flight or travel delays, traffic pattern changes; virtually any content that’s important to your organization can serve as a foundation for sending automated alerts. Better quality notification services will be built with the flexibility to integrate with a multitude of other business systems, adding significant communication capabilities.
Deploying alerts for IT monitoring and response
Though technically a “content-triggered” alert, the growing practice of utilizing notification for IT monitoring and response makes it worthy for designation as a standalone trend. Notification services can be integrated with network monitoring, email or other IT-related systems. When a network goes down or a destructive virus is detected, automated alerts can be sent immediately to staff through a multitude of communications devices. And, automatic escalations to secondary teams can be configured in case the original team is unavailable. Unique modalities, such as Desktop Alerting, can also be utilized to notify workers of threats such as email viruses without using the email system.
Convening impromptu conference calls rapidly without complex IDs or PIN codes
Many organizations use conference calling on a daily basis for group communications. Often, these are spontaneous in nature. The process of initiating a conference call can be cumbersome: reserving the conference line, distributing the dial-in number and access codes, and inviting participants. Organizations using full-featured notification services are realizing they can eliminate many of the tedious and time-consuming logistics. The service can be used to call all participants at once when the organizer is ready to meet. Recipients answer their device and are given the option to press “1” to be immediately transferred to a conference bridge – no codes or reservation numbers required. New technologies even provide for mobile apps that utilize Internet Protocol (IP) end-to-end, eliminating long-distance or international fees.
Managing and updating employee contact data
Without assistance, the process of maintaining accurate employee contact data can be a chore. By using a notification service to help, however, the process can be simplified and the accuracy of the results can be improved. Generally, this involves deploying an online “Self-Registration Portal.” The portal provides a single, secure web address for message recipients to visit. Here they can create a password, supply contact information and, if desired, indicate their message preferences. Additionally, system administrators can use the Recipient Self-Update feature to prompt employees to update their own contact information at any time. Notifying staff members of shift changes and availability statuses
Notification services are being recognized as useful aids when dealing with common staffing challenges. In situations like notifying crews of shift openings, replacing sick employees, or managing surge plans, notification services can replace time-consuming manual outreach efforts with a few clicks of the mouse. Using a service’s escalations feature, managers can contact secondary team members to fill positions, halting notifications when the required number of people is reached.
Whether you are a long-time user of notification services, or just beginning to explore their capabilities, consider these and other ways this powerful technology can be used on a regular, routine basis. By doing so, employees may just be more comfortable with automated alerts if a critical event does arise, and you’ll get the biggest bang for your notification buck.