I believe you will find most vendors can not guarantee a delivery
percentage for various reasons. The most important aspect to remember
is that they are delivering to networks outside of their control. They
may be able to guarantee they attempted delivery, but in the end it is
up to the all the various telco, cell phone or email providers who all
have different rules and filters in place as to whether or not the
message is actually delivered. Think of it this way, you can guarantee
email delivery internally, but not to Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. as
they all have different filtering in place that you can't control.
I believe that any contracted Emergency Notification System should
"augment" a campus's existing emergency email distribution lists and
voice mail lists. Call it a second level of notification, which allows
for "PERSONAL" SMS, Cell number, home numbers etc to also be notified
(not exclusive). Your on campus systems can burst email and voice
messages far faster than a 3rd party can. You also will not need to
worry about a vendor over saturating your phone circuits, mail server
queues or bandwidth (which many schools have learned the hard way). The
last thing you want in an emergency situation is for all your phone
trunks to become busy with inbound calls asking questions when your
security office needs those lines the most.
That said, we contracted with Connect-ED and have been very pleased with
their delivery rates, generally our users receive Text, Voice *AND*
Phone calls to personal devices within mere minutes after sending.
On-campus email/voice mail systems are still much faster. Our
successful delivery rates with Connect-ED thus far have been over 98% in
each test.. and they give you details on which ones failed, with an easy
way to resend to those failures or see why they failed.. Typically when
there is a delivery problem, it's been a user entering an invalid phone
number, wrong SMS address (like to their home phone) or selecting
TTY/TTD thinking that means "Text Messages". We've also had several
cases were a user selects text messages, when they have no such service
with their cell phone provider. We then contact hose users and ask they
review their information.
Computer & Information Services
Mary Baldwin College
Theresa Rowe wrote:
> We do a pretty thorough legal review of all contracts. After just
> finishing an RFP / purchasing process that resulted in the selection
> of an emergency notification vendor, we fell into a problematic legal
> review. We'd like to check in with the community:
> Has anyone successfully negotiated with the vendor such that the
> vendor warrants that they will execute the delivery of an emergency
> message once the message has been initiated by your university? In
> other words, many of these systems work by the university emergency
> personnel logging into/calling into some system, the message is
> created in that system, then the system sends the message out to
> aggregators and into the text/cell/email/preferred delivery method.
> We understand that vendors in emergency systems can't guarantee the
> actual delivery to the cell provider, but it would seem that they
> could guarantee that their system would release the message. Comments?
> Theresa Rowe
> Chief Information Officer
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Oakland University
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