What do Telephony Ports Have to do with Emergency Alerting?

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This blog was republished with permission by our friends at  MIR3 .

These days it’s just as easy to talk with a colleague across the globe as it is with one across the hall—sometimes even easier. Which is a good thing, because every day more and more people work from remote offices or distant locations.MIR3 Logo

But with some staff at headquarters and others scattered around the globe, it necessarily becomes harder to reach everyone when seconds count.

To quickly get in touch with all of your employees, there’s nothing like a mass notification solution that works with the most common business communication methods—mobile phones, landline phones, email and SMS.

But what enables that mass notification system? It’s telephony, the modern communications backbone that supports each of the technologies mentioned above.

Telephony, as a concept, includes traditional phone communications, Internet phone calling, cellular phone calling, faxing, conference calls, video conferencing, and VoIP communication.

And it’s at the base of all mass notification systems, whether alerts are sent via a public-switched telephone network (PSTN), cellular, TTY (for the hearing impaired), or fax.

That means an understanding of your telephony options when choosing a mass notification system is crucial in finding a solution you can count on.

How telephony ports make a differencecommunication

Simply defined, telephony is a term used to describe any type of voice communication over a distance. Telephony ports are the conduits—or digital pipes—into that system.

Where a traditional telephone conversation is essentially a steady, wired connection between two telephony ports, the advent of the Internet has made it possible to send many messages at one time—enabling individuals to communicate en masse without tying up phone lines. That’s where the power of mass notification lies.

Unfortunately, telephony ports and communications infrastructures are expensive to build and maintain, so a balance must be struck between cost, number and type of available ports.

Different approaches to that balance have led today’s communications vendors to offer four basic telephony port configurations: unlimited, shared, reserved, and dedicated.

  • An unlimited port system is shared across an entire user population, giving every customer equal access to every port in the system.
  • A shared port system is used by a limited number of customers on an as-needed basis, with customers licensing however many ports they feel will be sufficient to cover their mass notification needs.
  • A reserved port system acts as a shared port until a customer with a reserved contract needs it. When a reserved customer initiates a notification, the port becomes exclusively theirs until that notification is delivered—that is, once any current notifications have been completed.
  • A dedicated port system is the costliest as it is reserved at all times for the customer that procured it.

Summary

Service level agreements can provide some level of comfort, but if your notification doesn’t go through quickly and efficiently, money is a poor substitute when customers suffer a loss, employees are injured, or worse.

If you’re considering mass notification, consider your telephony choice wisely—paying special attention to what kind of port system you’ll be using—and be confident that you can communicate clearly and efficiently when it matters most.

Learn more from the white paper, Best Practices in Using a Notification System.

This blog was republished with permission by our friends at  MIR3 .

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