Over the past year, the need to collaborate has become critical for any organization looking to keep operations running smoothly in the face of the pandemic. As attitudes towards remote work continue to shift, the ability to have tools in place that make it easy for people to communicate in small and large groups will continue to be a priority for many organizations.
However, having a tool in place that only addresses a single challenge is rarely cost effective or practical. Too often organizations are spending too much money investing in multiple disparate systems rather than looking for ways to consolidate and simplify their environments. Adding a collaboration tool without any way to integrate with other devices and systems offers little value in the long run.
Collaboration tools are all about communication, so finding ways to amplify the communication abilities of these tools offers organizations more value. Mass notification systems in particular can offer numerous benefits for organization looking to enhance communication and safety.
Mass Notification Systems & Tools
Mass notification tools offer organizations a quick and easy way to get the word out during a crisis. One of the best ways to ensure messages are seen and people begin taking action to keep themselves safe is by delivering information directly to the devices and systems they use on a regular basis.
Being able to send messages directly into collaboration tools means organizations are able to get messages in front of people so they can understand what is happening and get out of harm’s way. Using text, audio and visual elements, effective messages can interrupt ongoing activities and grab people’s attention, so little time is wasted responding to an emergency.
Mass notification systems can also help automate collaboration during an emergency by following up messages with invites for specific stakeholders to join a virtual collaboration space.
The longer an organization takes to respond to a crisis, the more likely it is that potential issues will arise. Being able to quickly gather the right people who can analyze the type of event taking place help deploy a response so people receive the assistance they need as quickly as possible.
With the right integration, collaboration tools can also be used to launch mass notifications to an entire ecosystem of connected devices. Typing in a short command to the tool can trigger alerts that get broadcast to other collaboration tool users as well as other devices.
There are no specialized tools to access, logins to remember or complicated procedures to follow. Immediate threats require immediate action, and this saves time by putting the power to alert large groups of a people at a moment’s notice in the hands of those who need it.
Once a notification is triggered from a collaboration tool, it can reach people in other places using different delivery methods via the mass notification system.
Desk phones, IP speakers, digital signage, and mobile devices can receive and broadcast text and audio messages to reach people on-premises or when they are away from their desks. The more channels an organization can use to get the word out, the more likely it is people see or hear messages in a timely manner.
This also has the added benefit of establishing reliable channels for emergency communication that provide consistent messaging no matter where someone sees a message. During an emergency, confusion can sometimes be the most harmful factor. If people do not know where to turn for information, they may get it from unreliable sources.
This can lead to rumors spreading inaccurate information that can make situations worse than they already are. Using collaboration tools to deliver messages gives people a trusted, easy to access place to receive their information during a crisis.
Mass Communication Tools in Practice
So, what does that look like in practice?
Consider an armed intruder enters a building. The person at the front desk recognizes the threat and types in a command into their collaboration tool. That tool sends an alert to all members of an organization with messages reaching people within the collaboration tool, as well on their mobile devices, desk phones, and even broadcasting to other devices within a building like IP speakers and digital signage.
The message lets people know there is a dangerous situation happening and can include instructions for evacuation or lockdown. At the same time, security personnel and upper-level administrators can receive an invite to join a virtual collaboration space so they can assess the situation and coordinate an effective response.
When the situation has been resolved, “All Clear” messages can be sent out to let everyone know that operations can resume as normal.
Benefits of Mass Communication Tools
The benefits also extend beyond emergency situations. Daily communications and workflow improvements can also be accomplished with mass notifications integrated with collaboration tools.
Daily announcements can be scheduled using a mass notification and be shared within a collaboration tool. School bells schedules, shift changes, ransomware attacks, and even health and safety reminders can all be issued via a mass notification system to the devices and tools that people are most likely to see a message on.
With customizable message templates, there’s no limit on what organizations can prepare for or the type of information they can share.
When organizations look to implement a collaboration tool, safety may not be a top-of-mind concern, but for organizations looking to get the most value out of their investment, outside of the box applications like emergency communications can yield substantial results.
The benefits of collaboration, like streamlining communications and improving efficiencies, have direct correlations with the goals many organizations when it comes to safety.
Combining collaboration tools with mass notification aligns these goals and offers organizations a more powerful tool for keeping everyone safe.