With the tragedy at Virginia Tech only a week old, many business leaders and their IT organizations are realizing exactly how unprepared they are for security emergencies and how unprepared they are for controlled information distribution.
Yes, organizations need to facilitate emergency notification capable of working with any service – email, SMS, voicemail broadcast – but executed professionally that is used sparingly, tested from time to time, and user-based priorities updated from time to time.
Key service features that I would recommend:
- Supports email, SMS, voicemail, desktop client (PC, Linux, Mac)
- User defined selection of priorities, sequences
- Scalable for rapid send – no point in taking 2 hours to deliver an emergency message
- From time to time, inserts updates into the regular messaging stream to allow users to update their preferences. I am reminded of the softphone E911 location confirmation feature of the RedSky E911 soluion.
- The user acknowledgement of any message so that the next communications media is stopped.
Here are a few other timely posts.
- April 20, 2007 – Time for emergency notification, Infoworld.
- April 18, 2007 – Texting when there's trouble Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
- March 16, 2007 – Schools go wild with automated calling Wall Street Journal (subscription required)