MessageOne's Emergency Alert System Goes Global - InformationWeek

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6/13/2008
07:30 PM
Howard Marks
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MessageOne's Emergency Alert System Goes Global

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem. Since IT was the only group that included disaster recovery and/or business continuity planning as a line item on our budgets, senior management has let the geek squad (that's us, not the guys from Circuit City) run with the ball. We can manage to keep all the data safe, keep the applications up and running, and even set up a virtual desktop and SSL VPN environment so the users can run their applications from the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, but how many of you

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem. Since IT was the only group that included disaster recovery and/or business continuity planning as a line item on our budgets, senior management has let the geek squad (that's us, not the guys from Circuit City) run with the ball. We can manage to keep all the data safe, keep the applications up and running, and even set up a virtual desktop and SSL VPN environment so the users can run their applications from the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, but how many of you have given any real thought to how you're going to let your fellow employees know that corporate headquarters is now a smoking pile of rubble and they need to do something different than they usually do next Monday?Dell's MessageOne, in addition to providing e-mail continuity and archiving services, has for the past several years offered AlertFind, an emergency alerting and crisis communications system. If you were using such a service when the excrement hit the ventilation device, you could have it automatically send your users' e-mail, SMS, pager, fax, and recorded voice messages telling them what to do. That could include calling into an IVR to report their current location if they had to evacuate because of flood or other regional disaster.

All you need to do is upload a contacts file, from AD, your HR system, or any other source and then pull the trigger. MessageOne has real live people available 24/7 to help. You can even use its Web sites for Web collaboration building FAQs, document workflows, and other tools during the crisis.

This week it's going global, letting you record and/or upload messages in multiple languages and presenting the IVR menus to users in their preferred language. You just have to specify language in your directory upload.

MessageOne isn't the only vendor in this space, and I'll note a few others on the blog over time. Any organization with over about 150 users is too big to have a call tree like your kid's Little League as its emergency notification system and should look into setting up a professional system before it's too late. After all, AlertFind is just a buck or two per user a year, and you could waste thousands tracking down a key employee during a crisis.

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