How To Send A Notification
Welcome to another AlertFind training session. In today’s session, we will be looking at different modules in the User Interface, specifically, the Compose Advanced module. It allows you to create a communication from scratch in the sent notifications section, which is where you can review the results of the communications that you have already sent out.
When you click on Compose Advanced, a new window will open so you can create your new communication. In this new window, you have to populate the To field, the subject line and the message area exactly like you would when you are creating an e-mail.
Where AlertFind differs is that it is a two-way communication stream, and therefore you are able to create different responses that your users or colleagues can send back.
Now, let’s take a look at each of these sections:
To field: In order to add a recipient in the To field, you need to click on the Select Recipient button. When you do this, a new window will appear. In this section, you can choose from users, broadcast groups, escalation groups, smart groups that you have created or the geo-fence tool (map selector). You can use any of these options to choose the individuals that will receive the communication.
To add an individual user, search for the user in the search bar. Once you have found the person that you want to add, click on the plus sign next to the name on the right. You can also double-click the name and the user you selected will be added to the recipient list on the right.
You can add a broadcast group in exactly the same way you would as an individual user, with the only difference that you have to click on the broadcast group tab located next to the Users tab. To add, either double click the broadcast group or click on the plus sign next to it.
For this particular example, I’ll select the broadcast group ALL, which is basically a broadcast group of the entire organization. I’ll be sending it out to everybody in this particular environment.
In regard to Escalation Groups, when you have already created one, you would be able to select it and add it as a recipient in the exact same way as we did for the broadcast group, as well as for smart groups.
However, the geo-fence tool works differently. Geo-fencing is an AlertFind functionality that works with the geolocator to populate the recipient’s list based on a certain area that you select.
There are two ways in which AlertFind knows exactly where a user is. Either the longitude and latitude information is provided through the import process or if users download the AlertFind app to their smartphone and enable location check-in, the app will capture the exact location of the users.
As an example, let’s say that a hurricane is going to affect Houston and I’m sending out this communication to all the users in that area. I will search for Houston in the search bar and choose the correct location from the available list. I would then select the draw option here, and I would define the area that will be affected by the hurricane. The system will search for users that are currently within that area and will add them to the recipients list for this communication.
Once you have the area selected, you click on ADD POLYGON and it will be added to the recipients list.
If you want to know which users were identified in the selected area, all you have to do is double click the name of the polygon, under the recipients list, and you would have the users’ names displayed. Now, since none of the users in this environment have checked in their location, there are no users in that selected area.
As a recap, you can choose your recipients from individual users, broadcast groups, smart groups, escalation groups or use the geolocator to choose the users that will receive a communication. Once you have populated the recipients, you can click on Save and you will be directed to the previous page, where you can continue setting your notification parameters.
For the subject line, you can either copy and paste from a document that you have previously created or you can type it in. For this training purpose, I’ll use “Training test.”
Message: There are different ways to populate the message section. The first way is by clicking on “Call to Record,” if you want to record the message instead of typing it. A new window will pop up, you provide a phone number, select whether the phone number is international or US and Canada and then click on the “Call Now” button.
The system would automatically call the phone number you provided and you would be able to dictate your communication. Then the system would append the audio file to the communication.
If you already have an audio file recorded, you can upload the audio file by clicking “Upload Audio” and the system would append your content to the communication.
The other way is to manually type or copy and paste from a pre-existing document into the message area. In this case, we’re going to copy and paste “This is not a real emergency. This is just for training purposes.”
Let’s say there’s going to be a hurricane in the Houston area and we want to make sure that all our users know that the hurricane will be making landfall soon and they should take precautions.
We would say something like: “Note: Hurricane Michael is due to make landfall in your area. Please take precautions and follow your local authority’s advice.”
You can change the content to make it more eye-catching, by bolding words, changing the color of the font, creating italics or underlining. You can also highlight the background color of a certain section or either left justify, center justify or right justify the copy as well as create a link.
For instance, if you want to provide some additional information on the hurricane, we could add an hyperlink to the Weather Channel. We are going to type “click here,” then highlight it with our cursor, click on the hyperlink icon and insert the URL. Users would be able to get news updates on their laptops or cell phones through your communication. You can also create a bulleted or numbered list.
Now let’s take a look at the Responses section. AlertFind gives you the possibility of creating predefined responses according to the information that you want to receive from recipients. Therefore, they can provide a response by just clicking a key or a number. The system has pre-defined templates if your message is an announcement, a conference call, a poll or survey or first responder.
You can create your own, as well as customize the default options. In this case, since we are sending an announcement that says: “There’s a hurricane and you need to take precautions.” A response that says, “I confirm that I received this message,” is adequate enough for those purposes.
Let’s look at a different scenario. Let’s say that the hurricane has already passed and you’re sending out a follow-up communication to your users asking if they are OK. In order to create this follow-up response, you need to click on Add. A new window will pop up showing the Response editor. You’re going to create a set of responses for the question, “Are you OK?”
The first response would be: “I am fine”. In the abbreviation section, please use an abbreviation that makes sense to you since this is what you will see as part of the response report that you will have access to. In this case, since it’s a small number of characters, I will use “I am fine.”
A second response is: “I am fine but I need some time off before I can return to work.” In the abbreviation, we can say “Need time off.” If you receive a communication from one of your colleagues that says “I am fine, but I need time off before I can return to work,” most likely your next question would be how many days off before you can return to the office?
AlertFind allows you to ask a secondary question by activating Allow response data. As soon as the user chooses to respond with “I need time off,” the system will automatically ask them the second question, “How many days off do you need?” Then the user would be able to input the amount of time, via cell phone or e-mail.
Another possible response could be: “No, I need assistance.” In this case, as soon as you receive this response through the live reporting screen, you would be able to contact 911 to alert authorities that a colleague, named John Doe with Phone Number X, located at Y, has reported that they need immediate assistance. You can proactively help your colleagues based on the responses that you get back from them.
Now, let’s create another scenario. Let’s say that your E-mail server has been hacked and you need to host a conference call with all your IT team members to discuss the issue and mitigate any damage.
To do this, the TO Field needs to be populated with your IT Team, the subject would be: “Server has been hacked” and the message would be: “Our server has been hacked. Need to have a conference call right now.”
For the message’s responses, we can expect two different types. The first response is: “Yes, I can attend the conference call” and the second is “No, I cannot attend the call.”
In this one, I will use “Can attend” as the abbreviation for the first response and “Cannot attend” for the second. Next, you would need to turn on the “Bridge conference call” by pressing the radial button.
The system will then require you to provide the conference bridge phone number, select whether it is a US/Canada or international number, provide a meeting ID and any additional key strokes that are required to get into the actual conference. For instance, WebEx will always ask you to input your meeting ID and then the pound key.
Since the pound key is a keystroke that you need to provide after the meeting ID, you add the pound key as a suffix. Anything that comes before the meeting ID would be a prefix.
Unfortunately, the system will not allow me to save a response where the conference bridge is turned on without the minimum information, which is the phone number and meeting ID, therefore I will turn this feature off. However, this is something that you can test out in your system as soon as you have that conferencing information.
You can have as many responses as you want as there is no limit. You can set up an alert for each scenario, depending on the communication that you’re sending out, the possible responses and the information you would like to receive.
To change the order, just choose the one that you want to move and use the little arrows to reorder them.
One thing that I would like to highlight is that AlertFind does not have a recall message button. Before you click send, you need to verify that all the information you created in your communication has been set up correctly. Once you click Send, there is no way for you to recall it.
Now let’s take a look at the other options in the Compose Notifications screen.
Attachments: You can add an attachment to any communication. However, you do need to consider two aspects of adding an attachment:
In an emergency situation, you want your communications to be as small as possible, in terms of kilobytes. The smaller the size, the faster it goes out and the faster it reaches your user’s devices.
If you add a large video, audio file or document, the communication will get bigger and it will take a lot more time to reach the different devices that you are targeting. If your users are paying for a data plan on their smartphones and the communication is extremely large, it might add an additional cost.
Another approach that you can take is to add a link to the content so that the users can go there to see the additional information without you having to add it all into your message.
To add an attachment, you need to click the Attachment button. The Attachment Editor will open and you can choose if you want to include a link to the attachment or if you want to include a copy of the attachment. After you select one, you click on the Add button, browse and select the attachment you want to add. Once it’s uploaded, click the Save button.
Escalation Override: Another thing that you can do when creating a communication is to preset your escalation override. This is the way in which you want to communicate with your users, which devices you want to target and in what order you would like to target them.
We have preset default escalation overrides at an account level within the application settings, and you can absolutely use those. As you can see, when clicking the Escalation Override button, it will automatically be set to “Do not override personal devices escalations.” This means you’ll be using the default settings or the ones that have been preset by each individual user.
If you wish to create a specific device escalation for this particular communication, then you would click on “Specify a custom device escalation.” The window will expand, showing all the different devices that we have enabled for you, based on your roster import file.
In this case, we have personal e-mail, work e-mail, business phone, cell phone and SMS phone.
We have enabled these four devices: personal e-mail, work e-mail, business phone and cell phone.
To choose which device to send this communication to, you can either double-click the name of the device or highlight them one at a time, and then click on Add selected.
If you add duplicate devices and then want to delete them, select the one you wish to delete and click the Remove button.
Another feature is to add delays between different devices. To add a delay, select the button that says “After 5 minutes escalate to” and click on Add selected.
In this case, the system would send out the e-mail to the personal e-mail address first. If the user does not reply from their personal e-mail after five minutes, it would send the communication to the work e-mail. If the user does not reply within the next five minutes, it would then send the notification to the cell phone.
The actual amount of time that the system will wait in between executing the notification to different devices can be modified and you can have as little as one minute or as much time as you would like. To modify a delay, highlight the time delay you want to modify and click the Edit button and a new window will open where you can input the time to wait.
If you remove all delays, the system would send the communication to all of the devices at the exact same time.
Once you have the devices that you wish to target and delays selected, you can restructure them by dragging and dropping them into the correct position by using the up or down arrows to the right of each device selected.
In this example, I’m removing the delays since I want you to see exactly how the results are shown live when AlertFind sends out the communication to all of the devices at the same time. Now, I would click on Save.
In case you want to do some modifications to the Escalation Override, you can click again over Escalation Override where you will be able to do further changes.
Once you are sure that you have the correct information, you click on Save and now you’ve set the escalation override.
So far we’ve looked at how to populate the To field, the subject line, the message, responses and escalation override.
Now, let’s take a look at the Advanced Options that are available.
We have the ability to schedule the communication to go out at a later date by choosing a time and a date. We can also add a recurrence, whether you want this communication to be sent out hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or annually. It’s totally up to you and your specific needs.
Another option is the e-mail status. E-mail status means that the system will create a report with the results of this communication and send it to the e-mails that you have identified in this section.
The default will always be “Do not send results.” The next option is to send the report to the “Sender’s default e-mail address.” If you choose this option, only the user that executes the notification would receive the report. The third option is “E-mail to.” You would choose this option if you want to send the report to a different e-mail or you want to send the report to a list of e-mails. Insert the e-mail address or list of e-mails that should receive the report separated by a semicolon and the system will generate the report and send it to that list.
Another setting to consider is the amount of time that you’re going to allow from when you click on send to when the system generates the results report. If you leave it at zero, then the system would immediately generate the report, providing no results since you have not allowed your users time to respond to the communications through the different devices that you have targeted.
In this case, the minimum amount that the system will allow is 11 minutes.
Now, let’s have a look at Priorities. The options available go from test to critical, and in critical you have critical lowest to critical highest that you can choose from. I will choose the test priority since this is a test.
You can also activate the “Require pin” feature. Once you activate this, your users would not be able to listen to the communication until they authenticate themselves by providing a pin. If you are going to enable this level of security, you will need to make sure that each of your users knows the pin. The pin number will have to be provided, whether you have a company-wide pin number or an individual pin number for each user.
Hotline: Every instance of AlertFind comes with a hotline number that is preset for you and it’s always available for users to call in. However, based on your company’s needs, you could purchase additional hotline numbers if required. If you purchase additional hotline numbers, and you want your users to be able to use any of the hotline numbers to reply back, you would click on “Use all hotline numbers.”
And if you do not want your users to be able to reply back to the communication using any of the hotlines, then you would click on “Do not allow response through the hotline.
The last option is Device retry. It refers to how many times you want the system to call a phone number if it is busy.
For instance, if you call a cell phone number and the number is busy, how many times do you want the system to call you back before it goes to voicemail. The default setting will always be five, but you can choose from 0 to 10. The amount of time that it will wait between one retry and the next is 5 minutes.
Now that we have gone over how to create a communication, please remember that you should verify that your to field, your subject line, your message and your responses have all been correctly preset.
If you need to make any modifications, please do so now, because once you click Send, the communication will begin to go out and there is no recall button to stop it. There is an option to cancel a communication however, if the system has already sent it to some of the users there will be no way to recall that back.
Let’s proceed to execute the test that we have configured by clicking on send. As soon as you do this you get a new pop-up window, which is the Notification Summary. From this new window, you can review the status and results live as they come in from the different users that you have sent the communication to.
The results window is live and it does refresh on its own every couple of seconds, however you do have a manual refresh button you can use.
Let’s say that you have sent the communication out and you need to do some other work. Half an hour has passed and when you return, you want to see exactly what the results are. You would login to the UI and under the Notifications tab on the left, click on Sent Notifications.
As soon as you click it, you will get a list of all of the notifications that have been sent. You can choose the one that you want to see the results for and double click for the actual results. You go back to the same results screen where you were before.
In this example, you can see the communication has been sent out to three people and only two have replied . Let’s take a look at the different aspects you can review within the Results window. The next section is the Time Summary. Time summary provides a glimpse of how long it took the communication to be sent out.
When you’re sending a communication out to a large number of users, you will have different scales that start from zero to five minutes, from five to ten, etc. It will let you know exactly how many users receive the communication within that time frame.
Next section is All Recipients, which provides you with a list of users that received the communication. In the right hand section, you’ll see a log of exactly what happened with each of the different devices that you targeted per user. For example, you’ll see the scheduled time and the time the notification was sent and received by each device.
The next section is the Original recipient section. Here you will be able to see the full list of users that you sent the notification to. For this test, we used a broadcast group. If I want to see the actual membership, we can double click the name of the broadcast group and click the Group Membership section to see the individual user names that received the communication.
Now, as you can see, the refresh happened and I got some responses. We have one person that responded with: “Yes, I can attend to the conference call,” and we have another one that replied, “I cannot attend the conference call.”
If I want to take a look at the individual results to see exactly what happened with each one of them, I can click on View details to the left of the the actual response.
For example, if I click View Details next to the “Yes, I can attend the conference call” response, it will populate a screen that will let me know exactly who selected that response and from which device they responded.
Next, let’s say that you wish to send a follow up e-mail to the users who have not responded. You would click on Resend to non-responders. A new window pops up that is completely populated with the information that we originally sent out. And in the To field, you only have the people that have not responded yet.
You can proceed to modify the communication message by saying, “You have not responded to this communication. It is really important. Please do so now.” And then click on send and the communication will be sent again.
If you wish to send a follow-up e-mail to the same recipients, you would click on follow up, which basically opens up a new communication. It is populated with the exact same To field and then you would proceed to populate the subject, content, the responses and any advanced options that you need in the same way as I’ve explained above, and then click Send.
Another option you have is to Clone a communication. Let’s say that you want to send out this exact communication to a different group of users. You would go to the section called clone, click on the clone button and the communication will be cloned completely.
You can modify the recipients list by changing the users in the To field. Click on Send and now you have sent the communication with the same message, same responses, same escalation overrides and subject line to a new group of people.
Let’s say that this particular communication that you have created and sent out is one that you believe that you’re going to be sending out constantly. If this is the case, you can create a template based on this communication.
You need to click Save as a notification template, and then a new window pops up. Here you can choose the title and you can also select a color that matches your company’s color scheme by clicking the Icon section and selecting the color and icon from the ones available. Please note, you can’t import your own icons.
If you are going to execute templates from a hotline, it’s really important that you click on send all notifications and provide a quick launch ID. When you log into the hotline, you will be prompted to provide the quick launch ID in order to send the communication out.
In this case, you can either create the quick launch ID yourself or you can have the system auto-generate an ID for you by clicking the Generate button. Once the system has auto-generated the ID, it will populate the quick launch ID for you.
Now all you have to do is click on Save and close and your communication template has been created.
If you want to see the communication, go over to the Manage Library section on the left menu under Notification Templates. You will be able to see the communication templates there, as well as the templates you have previously created.
If you want to see how you would execute it from either the app or the user instance, you would go to the alert console and once it populates, you would have icons of all of the different templates that you have created.
We will be looking at managing and creating templates in more depth in the Training Session 2 video.
If you have any questions regarding any of the topics discussed in this video, please contact your assigned Customer Onboarding Manager and they will be able to help you with any further information that you might need regarding the topics we discussed today.