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If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

We’ve all heard the old thought experiment, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

 

For those in the business of incident, problem, and crisis management, the more relevant question is, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it … what is the impact?”

 

The proverbial tree might be any number of things: a server crashing, a power outage, a security breach, a sensor alarm, a tweet, or an unsolicited message from a constituent or employee.

 

In order to mitigate risk, you likely have systems to monitor some or all of your mission critical business applications, but do you have the right integrated communications plan in place for your technical and people monitors? Your organization has many systems and processes, which means that you’re also probably in a position where you must prioritize the use of technology and other resources. It isn’t physically possible to watch every server, lamppost, sensor, tweet, or mobile message. And yet, at least part of your job is to ensure that potential issues don’t escalate into full-blown crises!

 

Many systems have built-in email notifications for basic alerting. This capability can be a valuable tool, but as we know, it can also inundate users with email to the point where many become desensitized to the automated alerts.

 

How then do you create an effective communications program that emphasizes early detection, communication, and resolution without the risk of inundating responders?

 

Early detection, communication, and resolution can often make the difference between an operational incident and a business-level crisis; possibly the difference between hundreds and millions of dollars, loss of brand stature, and sometimes, even the difference between life and death.

 

The answer is that your communications program must be designed to fit the unique needs of your organization. This can be a daunting task, and one that requires buy-in at many levels of the business. It requires education of stakeholders about the benefits of having a multi-modal communications platform that can be fully integrated across the entire organization. Don’t forget that your communications program itself is a mission critical process. It is fundamental to risk mitigation with a direct line to cost savings – both in terms of Meantime to Identification (MTTI) and Meantime to Recovery (MTTR). Sure, the standard email notification that comes with most software products can be used as a mechanism for conveying low risk, low priority information to the users of that specific product, but the limitations of these notification tools and the risk of missing important alerts is too great for a single method of communication.

 

This is why Everbridge specifically designed our suite of products to provide your organization with the early detection, communication, and resolution tools you need to improve your identification and recovery rates for incident and problem management. Your organizational communications program will benefit from a unified notification experience, whether you perform system-level integration with our rich set of API features; or use one of many situational intelligence, incident management, or template-based planning, alerting, and automation tools. In addition, you have the peace of mind that you have a platform that is always available, even when your internal systems may not be.

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