Training Session #2

Create And Manage Templates, Manage Users & Groups 

Welcome to another AlertFind training session. In today's session, we'll be taking a look at three new modules of the user interface: Manage Library: where you will be able to create and manage templates, Alert Console: which is used to execute templates that have already been created and Groups: which are different types of distribution lists that you can be created in AlertFind.

Let's begin with how to create a template and how to manage that template in the managed Library section.

The first way you can create a template is by creating it from a communication that you have already executed. To create a template from a notification that you have already sent out, go to Sent Notification, located under Notifications on the left Menu in the UI, search for the communication that you have already executed and double click into the name of the communication that you wish to create as a template and then click on the Save as Notification Template located on the top left  corner of the screen.

When you click on that button, you will be directed to a new window that would allow you to create a template based on the communication that you have previously sent. As you can see. the TO field, Subject line, escalation profile (In case the former notification has an escalation in place), Message and Responses have all been pre-populated with the information that was already sent out. This template will also be created with the same Advanced Options Settings and any attachments or escalation overrides that you had created in the original notification.

The first thing that you would need to do is to change the name of the Template, to make sure it has a meaningful name according to the type of communication that you're sending out. In this case. We were sending out a hurricane warning. Therefore, I'll change the name to Hurricane Warning. The next section that you would need to set is the icon. When you click on the icon section, you will be able to choose the Icon and the color schemes. Note that you are not able to import your own icon figures but we do have a large selection from which you can choose from.

I'll choose green since it's a natural disaster and then choose the figure that is pertinent to the subject of the communication that you're sending up. In this case, I’ll choose the Hurricane Icon.

Another section that you can fill out is  “Description”. The description will help you identify the content of the template. This is not a mandatory field and you could leave it blank if you wish.

If you want to be able to send this notification using the hotline please click on send all notifications and either generate a quick launch ID or enter one manually using your keyboard. If you do enter one manually, remember that it has to be a unique ID for this particular notification or template. Each template that you create will need to have a unique id since when you dial into the hotline and want to execute the template, the hotline system will ask you for the quick launch ID of the template that you wish to execute.

We do recommend that you always click on auto generate unique ID to allow the system to go through all of the existing templates, broadcast groups, escalation groups, and smart groups to identify IDs that are already being used and make sure that there are no duplicates.

Next, you will need to verify that the To Field, subject line, escalation override, content, responses and any other Advanced options are all correctly set for the template. Once you are sure that all the information is correctly filled out, then you would  click on Save.

After you click on Save, if you go to the Manage Library section, we’ll see the template we just created has been added, as well as in the alert console.

It is important that the name of your template is also unique and you can also add a description in order to quickly identify them. Templates can be executed from the alert console when you are logged IN as an Admin in the User Interface, using the Alert find app or using the hotline number.

If you need to make any modification to an existing template, you would need to go to the Manage library section on the left menu, search for the template name that you wish to modify and double click into the name. This will open a new window were you can modify all of the different aspects or sections of the template. 

As you can see, the process of creating a template from a notification that has already been executed is quick and easy.

Let’s proceed to take an in-depth look at other things that you can do in the Manage Library section. You can edit an existing template, delete a template that you no longer want, by clicking on the Delete Button; generate a report for an existing template or a group of templates that you select by clicking on Report; open a specific template in the alert console in case you want to execute it by clicking on the Open in Alert Console button; show sub teams, which allows you to see to which team the template is currently on by clicking on Show Sub-Teams, as well as, clone  a template to a different team by clicking on More and then Clone to Team(s).

To create a communication template from scratch, click on the New button on the left corner and you will be directed to a new window  with all of the different settings that you will need to preset to have the template ready for execution.

For this training, let’s create a template for an Earthquake warning. In the name we would put “Earthquake Warning”. Next you can add the description that best describes the purpose of this template.

In case you're going to use the hotline to execute this template, please select the Box  Send all notifications with a Check Mark and either put a Check Mark on  Generate or put in your own Quick Launch ID. We do recommend that you allow the system to manage the quick launch id by always selecting Generate.

You would then choose your color scheme as well as your icon. We have two different earthquake icons that you can choose from. We'll pick this one.

Once you fill out the top section of the template creation window you would proceed to complete the rest of the template settings following the same process that we indicated in our first training session video “How to create a communication from scratch” called Training sessions one. In that video we explain how to set the To field,  The subject line,  Message and Responses.  As well as any other additional Advanced options that you would like to include. Please refer to that training video if you need a refresher on how to populate these sections. 

Let's quickly fill out the TO  field with the broadcast group called All, in the subject line I will put “Training test”, I will  also add the message. Please remember that there are 3 ways in which you can add a message; you can type it in, you can click on call to record if you want to provide an audio file, or If you have already created your audio, then you would be able to upload the audio using the Upload Audio Button.

For this training, we’ll just type it: There is an Earthquake warning in effect. Please take precautions, and follow the instructions from your local authorities.

The next section that you would need to fill out, is the Responses. Since this is an announcement,  you're basically letting all your employees know that an Earthquake warning has been put in place in their area and therefore, the response that you will be wanting back will be a “message received” confirmation.

Once you have preset all of these different sections for the communication, you would click on the Save Button.  As soon as you do this, under Manage Library on the left Menu, you will see the new template that has been created, and if we come over to the Alert Console, you will notice the new template is right there, where you will be able to execute it in a quick and easy manner.

Now, let's go back to Manage Library and take a look at the other actions that you can complete regarding templates.  When you have a template that has already been created and you would like to make modifications to it, there are two simple ways in which you can do that: Highlighting the template that you want to modify and click on the Edit Button on the upper side or you can double click on the name of the template that you want to modify.

Once you have made the modifications to the Message,Subject line, To field or any of the other settings that you wish to update, then you would be able to click on Save. All of those edits would take effect on the template. As you can see, creating a template from either an existing communication that you have already executed or creating it from scratch in the manage Library section is a really quick and easy process for you to do.

It is important to remember that if you have any issues filling out the different sections of the communication, please refer to our Training Session One video, where it will be explained in more detail.

Now, let's proceed to look at how to execute a communication template that’s already been created using the Alert Console. 

When we want to execute a template, we would come to the Alert console on the left Menu in the User Interface, under Launch Center, where you have access a list of all of the different templates that have been created for your company.

The template called “Compose”, the first one on the left, will allow you to quickly create a communication from scratch through the alert console.

For this training we want to execute the template called Earthquake warning 2. We would double click into the Earthquake Warning 2 template, and you will be directed to a new  window where you will only be able to modify the To field, the subject line, and the message content. Once you have completed the modifications we would be able to click on Send all notifications to execute the communication.

You will not be able to modify any advanced options that you have preset or your responses. If you try to modify the responses, as you can see, the system will not allow us. If you do need to make any modifications to any of those additional settings, you would need to cancel out of here and Go back to the Manage library section on the left navigation section, click on the template that you want to modify and proceed with the modifications and then click on SAVE.. 

Then, go back to the Alert Console located under Launch center on the left menu for execution.

Let's say that I do not want to send it to all,  I just want to send it to Madalin.

I’ll type in “Madalin” and select it from the list, and if I have a broadcast group,  smart groups, escalation groups created, I would be able to type in the name of any of those different types of groups and the information will be populated, as you can see.

Let's send it out to everybody again.I can modify the subject line and the Message.

After verifying that everything has been preset correctly, I click on send all notifications. You can send a notification from a template with one or two clicks. You will get this notification “Success: Notification submitted successfully” in a green balloon on the upper right corner.  You can view the responses as they come in from the sent notifications section, located on the left. For more information on how to review the response, please  go to  Training Session One Video.

As you can see, sending a Communication from a template is a quick and easy process.

Let’s take a look at the different groups that we have available for you in AlertFind. Groups are basically distribution lists that you can create and modify as you wish. We have three types of distribution list: broadcast groups, escalation groups and smart groups.

Let's begin by taking a look at broadcast groups: Broadcast groups are considered static lists and by static, I mean that the list’s membership needs to be managed manually by the Admin that is creating the actual distribution list or updated whenever the API connector completes a call. 

Therefore, it is basically the same as any distribution list that you would create in Outlook or Gmail where you give it a name and you add one by one the different email addresses of the people you want to include.

Once the list has been created you can use the name of the list to populate the to field and the system will send out the communication to all of the members of that specific list.

AlertFind Broadcast groups work in the same way. However, since adding 200 plus users to a static distribution list is a really time consuming process, we have allowed all of our customers to choose whether or not they want us to create those broadcast groups for them, based on the roster import file at the moment of creating their instance.

Based on the roster import file used to create this training instance, we went ahead and created all these Broadcast Groups. Part of that process is seamless to you and it involves creating specific back-end programming scripts that would manage the memberships for you, based on the roster import. 

What that means is that these broadcast groups that are created here, Do not follow the normal static Definition for a broadcast group. The members of these list are basically managed by the import process whether it's a roster import or an API call. 

Every time that a sync happens the back-end programming that has been put in place, would automatically move the members according to the information that you are providing in your system of record.

So let's take a look at how to create a broadcast group and how to manage the members of a broadcast group from the user interface.

First let's take a look at the ones that have been created here by our back-end programming. Go to Groups located on the left menu and select, Broadcast Groups. If you want to modify an existing broadcast group, all you would have to do is highlight the broadcast group that you want to modify and click on the edit button located on the upper side of the screen. If you click on view details, you would be able to check the details of this Broadcast Group, Edit the Group and download a list of the membership on a Excel file.

When you click on the edit button, you get a pop up window, which, basically, shows the general settings for the broadcast group.

As you can see here, you would be able to modify the group name, the group description and the quick launch ID. Do remember that the quick launch ID is specifically used for executing a communication from the hotline number and also accessing this particular broadcast group from the app.

It is important that you create a quick launch ID number every time you create a broadcast group. In this particular case, since this is a broadcast group that has been created by the back-end programming,  that rule does not take effect. 

Once you have made the edits to the general information,  you can click on Save.

Now, If you want to manage the membership, you would double click into the name of the group or highlight the one that you want to see and click on view details and then go to  group Membership located next to Group Details tab.

When in group membership, you would be able to click on manage membership and here you would either be able to add or remove users that should no longer be a part of this particular broadcast group. 

To do that, you can select the user you want to add from the list on the left and click on the green plus sign located at the end of the row of each user and then you will see the user added to Group Members list on the right. 

In case you need to remove a user from the Group Members list on the right, you would select the one that you want to remove and click on the red minus sign located at the end of the row. 

As you can see, managing broadcast groups is a completely manual process and that is the reason why it's considered a static distribution list.

When you are done modifying your broadcast group, then you would click on SAVE.

Let’s go back to Groups on the left menu of the UI. Other actions that you can perform to any type of distribution list from this section are:

Update the status: when clicking on update status, you can disable the group and basically, you won’t be able to choose that group in the to field of a communication.

Delete: you can use this section to delete an existing group that you no longer want to use.

Show sub-team: when you click on show sub-team it'll show all the broadcast groups on the current team, or any sub-team.

You can show all of the disabled broadcast groups by clicking on this button and you can also either compose a communication to a broadcast, smart group or escalation group that you have selected or you can download a report of that specific broadcast group.

Do remember as mentioned before that any broadcast group that was created based on the back-end programming when creating your instance, the membership will be managed by that process. And every time you complete a new roster import, the membership of the broadcast groups would automatically be update based on the new information that you are providing.

Now, let's take a look at how to create a broadcast group here in the User Interface. You need to click on the NEW button on the upper left side of the screen, you would give it a name in this case, “Training Test”, provide a description, and you can either auto-generate the unique ID or add the unique ID yourself.  As a best practice, It's easier to  select Auto Generate unique ID and the system will generate an ID for you and then you would click on Save.

As soon as I click on close,  you can see the new broadcast group has been created and a new quick launch ID has been provided. If you click on the Group Membership tab, next to Group Details you will be able to manage the membership by clicking on the Manage Membership button. Let’s proceed to add some members. You can add members from individual users, other existing broadcast groups or smart groups. 

For instance, if I want to do a nested broadcast group, I would be able to add any of these broadcast groups or smart group that have been previously created. We can add members to this new broadcast group by selecting the user you want to add from the list on the left and click on the green plus sign located at the end of the row of each user and then you will see the user added to Group Members list on the right.

In this way, you are able to add the different members to the newly created distribution list. When I click on SAVE, I see the distribution list has been created. If I click on Group Details, I see that the “Source” says UI and the “status” says enabled,  therefore this broadcast group is ready to be used. 

In other cases, you will notice that the source would say import, that means that the membership is being managed by the import process.

Now, let’s take a look at Smart groups. Smart groups are Dynamic lists and by Dynamic, I mean that the membership is managed by AlertFind based on the criteria that you specifically set. Those criteria are generated using the custom fields that you have created.

When you switch from one type of group to another, you will notice that the buttons on the top navigation bar remain the same.

You would be able to view details, edit, update status, delete, show sub-teams, show disabled, Composed to or download report.  You will find the same features that you did for broadcast groups and it will be exactly the same for escalation groups.

To create a Smart Group, you click on Smart Group on the left menu under Groups, and click on New. Once you click on New you would give the smart group a name, in this case, let's say “Location: Panama”. You could also add a description: “All users in the Panama office”. Now, we are ready to set the criteria by clicking on the Edit Criteria button. 

On this new pop-up window, let’s click on New. Now, you will see a list of all of the different custom fields that have been created. Now, we can choose which custom field you wish to base the distribution list on. For the Field name, For this training, we will use Location And  In the operator, we're going to choose equals. And the Value field needs to be filled with the criteria your are selecting. Please note that when we use equals as the operator, it’ll become case sensitive. In this case I'm going to put Panama in the value field and click Save.

As soon as you click on save, you will see that the system displays any name that meets the criteria that you created. In this case we have one person in the Panama office.


Now, if I go back to modify the criteria and I put in Panama with a lowercase P, You will see that there are no users found.

The distribution list is considered dynamic because members are chosen by the system based on the criteria used. The membership of this particular smart group automatically populates. The system goes through all of your user base, determines which users fit the specific criteria that you have set and then populates those members automatically. Every time that you do a new roster import or a new update using your API connector, the system would automatically go through these rules and update the different smart groups that you have created.

As an example, let's say that Madalin moves from the Panama office to the Romania office in the future. As soon as that change is completed in AlertFind; either through a roster import or through the API call, then the system will automatically determine that this criteria is no longer met because Romania is the new Location and it would automatically remove Madalin from the Smart Group call Panama and add him to the one called Romania.

To complete the smart group creation process you would click on save.

You can create more than one criteria per smart group, let's say that I want to make sure that I sent out the communication to not only the Panama office but also to a Department in Panama. You can create a second criteria that would take that into account. 

It is important that when you create more than one criteria you remember that the operator will always be “AND”. There is no way for you to choose a different operator between criterias. 

If you need to remove a criteria, you need to select the Smart Group, click on Edit Group and then Edit Criteria, once the new pop-up window show the criterias available, you can select the one you want to delete and click on the Delete button. 

Once you have the right criteria in place, you click on Save for the Criteria...You click on Save again for the Smart Group and your smart group has been created. 

If you want to modify a smart group that already exists you need to search for the name of the smart group that you wish to modify and either double click on the name or highlight it and click on Edit. A new window will pop-up that will allow you to modify the groups settings.

The third type of group that you can create is called a escalation group. 

Escalation Groups are used for a specific use case ,usually involving a first responder situation where you create a  list of usernames and the system will send the communication out to the first person in the list. If this person does not respond in a certain amount of time, the communication will go to the next one in the list, and so on and so forth. Until somebody responds. Then, the communication would stop.

Let’s take a look at how to create an escalation group.  You click on new on the upper right side of the screen,  give the escalation group a name, for this training I will call it: first responder. You would proceed to fill out the description field and add a Unique ID or check marked the Auto generate Unique ID. and then proceed to click on Save.  Once we have the escalation group created we're able to click on manage members by Clicking on the Group Membership’s tab and then clicking on Manage Membership. You will be able to and proceed to add the different users that we want to be a part of this particular escalation group. Note that you can add individual users, broadcast groups or escalations groups as members to the escalation group that you are creating.

In this case, let’s add Abdiel, John, David, Claire and Madalin to this escalation group test. This is the ordered list, you can move the different members up and down in the list using t arrows, according to your preference. 

So, if I want the communication to be sent out to John first ,I would highlight John and click on the up arrow until he is the one in the first slot.

Next step would be to add the delays by clicking on the ADD Delay Button under Group Members on the right, entering how many minutes you would like the delay to be, by default is 5 minutes, but you can definitely modify the amount of minutes that you want within each delay. It can be as small as one minute or as many minutes as as the situation will require. and then click on Save. The delay will be placed on the Group Members list. You can add as many delays as needed and you can move them to the specific section where you want them by using the blue arrow at the end of the row. 

When you execute the communication to this specific escalation group,  the communication will be sent first, to John and then it will wait for five minutes. If John does not respond within those first five minutes, it will be sent to Claire and then, it’ll wait for another five minutes, if either John or Claire reply within those additional five minutes the communication would stop and it would never be sent to either David or Abdiel.

In order for the escalation group to run as designed the notification responses must have the "Response limit" turn on with a specific number of people that can respond.

An example of where escalation groups have been used, is in a hospital’s emergency rooms. They would create a smart group with each one of the different shifts for their emergency room personnel. They would have shift one, shift two, shift three Etc. all of those shifts are managed based on the information provided through the scheduled API calls from their system of record.

For instance, there is a major car accident and the hospital would execute a communication to the escalation group letting them know that a major car accident has taken place and there will be an increase of patients who will need to be taken care of in the emergency room. And they are requesting additional staff to come in to work.

This communication would be sent out to the first shift, it would then wait for a short while and get sent out to the second shift, and on and on until one of those shifts responds that they are on their way to the emergency room. 

If you need any assistance to go through those use cases and see which of these distribution list would best benefit you,  please contact your assigned customer success manager, and they would be able to help you to determine which type of distribution list you need to create for each scenario that you will be using in AlertFind. 

So, To recap, in today’s Training Session, we have learnt how to create and manage templates, how to execute template from the Alert Console and the different types of distribution lists that you can create in AlertFind.

If you have any questions or concerns regards these topic, please do not hesitate to contact your Customer Success Manager for further guidance. 

Thank you very much for watching this video and we will see you on our next training session.

Have a great day!