Message in a bottleneck


May 29th, 2014

message in a bottleWhen the British rock band, The Police, wanted to send an ‘SOS to the world’ in 1979, their chosen delivery mechanism left a great deal to chance. Fortunately, rapid technological advances have meant that communications have come a long way since then.

 In this three-part blog series, Boomerang’s CEO, Peter Tanner, discusses why, when faced with critical incidents that require an urgent response, many modern businesses still rely upon dated, inefficient and flawed communications methodologies that are akin to sending a message in a bottle?

A common inability to disseminate, access and track incident data currently prevents many companies from escalating a timely response to emergency situations. This can undermine disaster recovery and, in the worst instances, lead to costly operational paralysis. But these problems are avoidable. Moreover, the solutions to help address them are not only prevalent and rely on familiar, everyday communications channels, they are also easy to deploy and affordable. It’s time, quite literally, for businesses to get the message – and do something about it.

Real-world challenges, real-time response

Effective incident management is crucial to maintaining business continuity. When, for example, a network fails, a service malfunctions or a product needs recalling, organisations need to act quickly to minimise the impact and mitigate risk. Failure to do so can have major implications for service delivery, customer loyalty, brand performance and, ultimately, profitability. In some cases, a sub-optimal response can even threaten employee or customer safety. Yet historically, incident notification procedures have been managed by telephone – relying on slow, resource-intensive and manual processes that rarely meet the requirements of real-time response.

Likewise, incidents seldom occur at a time of convenience. The need for real-time response will generally come up against real-world constraints; service engineers may be otherwise engaged, out of reach or, in the small hours of the night, fast asleep. And yet to perpetuate the problem, communication with these key stakeholders is often passive – relying on one-way notification and a general inability to determine whether the message has been received, acknowledged and escalated. And all the while, the clock ticks and the potential cost of service disruption itself escalates. It’s the epitome of sending a message in a bottle – sluggish, ineffective and, ultimately leaving the messenger blind to the notion that the message has got through. An SOS to the world, delivered on an uncomfortable ship of hope.

Next month, Peter looks at how rapidly evolving technology is changing the way of things.

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