Whether your office, school or healthcare building was built in 1904, 1984 or 2004 there’s a chance you have outdated communication technology. Perhaps your hardware still works, but you are lacking modern features and capabilities like wireless panic alarms or active shooter detection. Or maybe you’re simply tired of all your systems not communicating with one another easily.
Before contacting a mass notification software provider like Layered Solutions you and your technology team should know the following 4 key pieces information:
1. Your existing communication technology and hardware specifications
Whether you’re remodeling an existing building or starting from scratch with a new one, it’s important to understand what kind of communication technology you already have in place. This will help you determine what kind of mass notification system you need and how it can be integrated with your existing hardware systems.
If you have buildings across town or many in a campus, chances are each building was constructed (or remodeled) at different times or completely different eras. You’ll want to develop a comprehensive list of communication hardware including make and models for each building such as:
- Intercom & P/A Systems
- Bell Schedulers
- Fire Systems
- Door and Key Card Access
- Security Cameras
- Visual Displays / LCD Panels
- Personal Panic Alarms
2. Know your why — your reasons for upgrading communication software
There are many reasons why schools and businesses upgrade their communication and security systems. Some of the most common reasons include:
- A recent natural disaster – you found lapses in your communication or were unprepared for situations
- A recent security incident – perhaps there was a shooting at another school in the area
- A desire to improve emergency response times
- Compliance with new regulations
3. Know your safety and security protocols.
It’s important to understand your school or organization’s safety and security protocols before choosing a mass notification system. This will help you ensure that the system you choose is compatible with your existing procedures and that it can be used effectively in the event of an emergency.
Many of our school and office clients will consult with local law enforcement and first responders to make sure they plan for all scenarios including:
- Weather Emergencies
- Natural Disasters
- Active Shooters
- Fire Safety
- Personnel Health Emergencies
- An Unruly Patron
4. Know your technology budget.
Every school, warehouse and workplace has a different set of safety and security protocol in place which makes estimating a general budget nearly impossible. Mass notification systems range in price based on the capabilities you need to achieve the goals for your workplace. Whether or not you can reuse or repurpose any existing hardware can help make upgrades to your system more budget friendly. With a Mass Notification Software Overlay, you can utilize your existing communication equipment to maximize your dollar investment.
From our experience, the first step to finding the right mass notification solution for you is to identify gaps where your hardware can’t effectively meet the protocols and communication demands of various scenarios. Once we understand the challenges you’re facing, we can help you find the best mass notification system to address those challenges.
Questions about updating your disparate communication technology? Let’s have a conversation. Schedule a strategy session today.