There are plenty of good automated notification and crisis management tools out on the market today. One that I have recent, in depth, hands-on experience with is MissionMode. And, like all the other similar tools out there, the value and benefits you realize from the use of this product are directly related to how you plan for and implement its features.
Too often, I see organizations rush to implementation of a new software product without first spending the time to properly design and strategize over the best use of the product. Going back and fixing obvious implementation mistakes, poorly thought out naming conventions, or complicated hierarchy and categorization schemes can be costly, both in terms of hours spent and in the damage done with the confidence and conviction of the user community.
Having said that, I think that if implemented properly, MissionMode can satisfy most organization’s emergency notification and incident management needs.
Like I said, similar to other tools of this nature, it will take time to install properly – you do not plug it in and have instantaneous automated notification at the click of a switch. You need to give some thought to the proper user naming conventions, incident templates, notification groups and what notification devices to use for which incidents. If possible, I would recommend reaching out to other MissionMode users and gain some ideas from them on what they found out works and does not work well for them. Or, you can get assistance from a consulting company that has experience with the product – oh, I don’t know, maybe a company like Safe Harbor Consulting, perhaps (gratuitous self promotion warning!).
And, of course, how you train end users and how you test (and the frequency in which you do so) the product will greatly influence how well it is received and used in your organization. Although a relatively easy, user friendly tool – like all other similar products – if not practiced and routinely accessed, your user community will forget passwords and be clumsy with its usage – all of which, limits the effectiveness of the tool at time of need – during a crisis.
I did find the folks at MissionMode willing to listen; work with you; and, give serious consideration to your proposed product enhancements and changes. They are not a market leader in the industry yet, but are willing to do what it takes to help change that fact.
You may find better tools for emergency notification or better software for crisis management – but if you are searching for one tool that combines both disciplines in one product, I would recommend that you include the evaluation of MissionMode in your software cost/benefits analysis.