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Key Features Your Business Continuity Communication Software Needs

Business Meeting In A Virtual Space Conceptual Business Illustration

June 14, 2018 Posted by in Other

There are many reasons why businesses should have a robust business continuity plan in place. Despite this, a recent study outlined the fact that 25% of businesses still have no form of business continuity plan in place. This is a scary figure given that:

  • The annual cost to US businesses due to data loss was $12 billion. With all of your data on your customers, suppliers and more at risk of being lost, it will take a long time for your business to recover from the financial hit from data loss.
  • Companies experiencing a computer outage lasting longer than 10 days will never recover their full financial capacity.
  • 50% of companies experiencing a computer outage will be forced to shut down within 5 years.
  • 80% of businesses without a well-structured recovery plan are forced to shut down within 12 months of a flood or fire.

There are literally hundreds of options available for businesses when they choose software to compliment their business continuity plan.

What’s important to remember is that all businesses are different. They are different shapes and sizes, they offer different services, they are located in different areas, and they may be at high risk, or low risk from natural and manmade disasters.

However, there are some key features that all business continuity notification software must offer. These features will be outlined below.

Your Emergency Notification Software must be Reliable, Secure, and Stable

Find out if the Emergency Notification Software provider is secure, stable, and longstanding in their field.

You need to know that your data is secure and stable with regard to the providers level of security. Look for years of experience, financial stability, and an excellent track record in delivering messages securely and instantly in the face of a disaster.

Ask about their encryption practices and security policies. Ask to see a copy of their Disaster Recovery Plan if they have one, and ensure that their services will be available 24/7, 365 days of the year. Double check the credentials and expertise of their staff and evaluate any negative press that the company has faced in the past, Google this negative press if necessary. Try and find a provide whose sole area of expertise is communications.

The Software must be Regularly Updated and Improved

With technology constantly upgrading and changing how we communicate and interact with one another, what looks good today may be irrelevant in no time at all.

Is the product provider that you are considering entering a working relationship with innovation? How often are they promising to update their business continuity software? Are they going to keep costs the same as they upgrade their technology and systems? Will they ask you to trial new methods of communication and harness your feedback into improving their offering?

Although it’s great for software providers to update and upgrade their offering, this can be detrimental if things are changing all the time. Try and find a provider that knows the difference between updating their software for best practice rather than constantly updating and potentially damaging engagement levels between you and your key audiences.

What’s important is matching with a provider that upgrades and aligns with the needs and requirements for you, your staff, and your audience as a whole.

· Your Provider must be fast and able to fully capacitate your needs:

The last thing that you want when facing a disaster situation is to be let down by the speed or capacity of your emergency notification software provider.

Ask the vendor:

  • What messaging types do they offer and how many messages can be delivered per hour?
  • How can they ensure not only the sending, but the delivery of messages through to your contacts?
  • How can they help you control large volumes of messages in the event of two-way messaging in times of disaster?
  • Can messages be scheduled in advance, queued, and sent simultaneously?

It’s no good choosing to work with a provider than cannot deliver in the event of an emergency. Your business continuity plan will outline key members of staff that will use your emergency notification system to inform, educate, and reassure key people during a crisis, Make sure that your chosen provider has the capacity to deal with potentially large volumes of messages, and guarantees the delivery of such messages.

They Must Offer Multiple Messaging Options and Reporting

During an emergency, your business continuity plan will outline the main people to communicate with, and their preferred method of communication.

What’s important is that all messages reach their key audiences as quickly as possible and via a platform that works for the recipients.

Ask the vendor what platforms of communication they support. Do they integrate with social media? Do they allow SMS messaging? Do they offer voice, video, audio, and text messaging as standard? Do they offer a service that allows your customers, staff, and stakeholders to opt-in for their desired method of communication?

How easy is it for you and your staff to send messages outlined in your business continuity plan for immediate dissemination in an emergency situation?

One of the key elements in sending out emergency messages during a crisis is seeing if they have been delivered to their desired location and is accessed. It’s all well and good sending out emergency updates to thousands of staff members, but how do you know if they have received them and read them?

Find out if your software provider offers reports that evaluate the success of emergency notification campaigns. This not only helps to measure the scope and success of your business continuity plan, but it also helps to amend and and evaluate your business continuity plan when a disaster is over and business functionality returns to normal.

Businesses across the country choose RedFlag as their preferred partner for emergency notifications when implementing their business continuity plan. It is time your business should join them.

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