Over the years, we've seen many notification and alert programs flounder (and sometimes fail) because a comprehensive approach wasn't taken. The topic has become more complex. No longer is it as simple as buying technology, getting some training, then expecting success. The approach needs to span well beyond technology. Plus, the approach needs to include a mechanism for staying fresh - particularly important as individual communication preferences continue to evolve.
A senior public safety technology manager for a large city told us last week that he's seen a significant gap in the implementation side of technology initiatives, such as alerting and notifications. He said they had been able to buy "cool stuff" through federal grants, but have struggled to put the "cool stuff" to good use. Implementation help from the outside would be helpful, he told us.
Whether the three recent RFPs represent the beginning of a trend in the area of alerts and notifications, we're not sure yet. We hope so. Granted, our hope is a bit self-serving since this type of consultation is a practice area for our company. But, that aside, we think outside help will lead to more successful alert and warning programs. If nothing else, it forces focus. Public safety officials are multi-taskers by necessity; focus on a specific project is difficult. By using outside consultants, public safety officials can force focus.
All the best,