Finding the Best Emergency Notification System Vendor: 8 Tips for Approaching the Evaluation Process

By May 27, 2016 August 8th, 2018 Emergency Management

Your emergency notification system should be incredibly user-friendly—and the process to understanding your vendor and how you would partner together should be just as easy.
From demo to implementation, the process should be painless! Here are some tips for you when you’re getting ready to evaluate and implement a new technology.

First, know what your emergency notification vendor should be doing for you:

An emergency notification system empowers organizations to keep their people safe, informed, and connected through relevant, streamlined mass notifications during a critical event. Emergency notification systems automate and deliver messages so you can quickly and easily communicate with, or engage, your audience from anywhere, at any time, using any device. Your emergency notification system should monitor threats for you, establish business resilience, and protect your organization and people.

When evaluating emergency notification systems vendors and to ensure your success, it’s important to get an understanding of what you can expect from your partnership.

8 Tips for Approaching the Evaluation Process:

1. Think through your communications – Consider all the ways your organization would use a communications system. Would you use the technology just for emergency preparedness and notification? Would you use it to improve notifications around operations and logistics, to automate manual processes? For events and business communications? How regularly would you use the system?

2. Know your audience – When getting ready to select a vendor and implement an emergency notification system, consider all the people, or groups of people, you’ll communicate with through the software. Have a good idea of how you would break up these groups into hierarchies – like department, role, office location.

3. Ask questions – Establish your requirements and learn everything you can about the system you’re evaluating. Understand the features and how you would use them. What are your must-haves? Make them known upfront and see how they’re presented.

4. Timing is everything – Start reviewing vendors early (well before a contract is up), so you have an idea of what implementation will entail. You don’t want to be without an emergency notification system, and you don’t want to settle for a vendor that isn’t the best fit for your organization. Hint: Implementation and setup of your mass notification system shouldn’t take more than 24 hours.

5. Know the people behind the technology – Build a strong relationship with your sales rep, get to know the company’s mission, and what they stand for. Look for your support system. Ask about your Customer Success Manager – why not get introduced before you decide on a vendor? Your Customer Success Manager is absolutely paramount to a successful implementation and their ongoing support is what makes the partnership a strong one.

6. Learn about your vendor’s integration capabilities – Work with your Customer Success Manager to find out what integrations make the most sense for your organization and how you plan to inject notifications into your emergency preparedness planning or communications strategy. Find out what needs to be done to implement these integrations, so you can get the most out of your emergency notification system.

7. Think and plan ahead – When selecting a vendor, first, make sure they host your data in a secure environment and that they can scale to meet any requirement you have now – or requirements you have in the future. Perhaps you anticipate needing to send a large amount of messages down the road, or you anticipate gaining thousands of more users. Your vendor should be able to scale to whatever volume you need, and they should be able to help you set up your system to best support that growth.

8. Develop a communications strategy to get your team and audience on board – Work with the vendor to help you communicate to your admins and audience how you’ll be using the new system, and why you chose a particular system. This will make implementation and adoption of the technology a breeze.

AlertMedia knows what makes the best partner in the emergency notification space. At the end of an evaluation process and when you’re ready to select a vendor, the hope is that your emergency notification system is really a partner, not simply a vendor.

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