Colleges alert notification services are widely used by higher education institutions to inform students, parents, faculty and other constituencies of important announcements and updates.<br> <br> While most people think that these services and systems are put in place for emergency uses, the technology is actually more often used for other purposes such as phoning alumni, or contacting students during the admission process.<br> <br> Colleges interested in improving communications have a choice to make in how they set up their system. They can install an inhouse system or they can hire an outside vendor who provides the service. Generally speaking, outsourcing the service is much less expensive and faster to implement for several reasons, including the fact that installing, maintaining, and paying for hardware, software and telephone lines is be very costly, especially for something that wouldn't be used everyday. On the other hand, an outside provider already has the infrastructure in place and colleges can access and activate it anytime, from any location that has web access. Moreover, colleges can use the service on a pay as you go basis. There are no upfront costs or outlays and if the service is not used, there is no cost.<br> <br> The other advantage to outsourcing an alert service is that it would have a much greater capacity to distribute alerts quickly because of the number of phone lines that can be accessed. An internal system may only have a handful of lines that can be used to dial out, versus a service bureau which probably has hundreds of thousands of lines. In theory, if you have a 30 second recorded voice alert message, a service bureau that 1000 lines, could deliver 2000 messages a minute. (Of course, that does not take into account how many rings it would take for someone to answer their phone, or how long it would take for their voicemail to pick up for you to leave a recorded message.)<br> <br> At first glance, many colleges believe that the best way to communicate with students is through text messaging. However, in a recent article entitled, "Text Messaging as Emergency Communications Superstar, Nt so gr8," Dewitt Latimer, the CTO at Notre Dame, said, "Although SMS (text) message delivery is usually rapid, receipt time and actual delivery can't be guaranteed. A recent study found that 91 percent of SMS messages were delivered in less than five minutes, but the same study determined that approximately 5.1 percent of messages were not delivered at all. In short, the SMS infrastructure was never intended to be used for real-time mass notification in emergency situations; it was designed as a unicast messaging system to support low-volume, one-on-one communications."<br> <br> While colleges should use a variety of overlapping methods to reach its constituents in emergency situations, It is apparent that cellular carriers, as an example, prioritize regular voice traffic over text messaging. That being the case, a college's best bet for first line notifications would be to phone broadcast recorded messages, then back those up with texts, emails and even old fashioned PA (public announcement) speakers.<br> <br> In non-emergency applications which are used much more often, such as phoning alumni about events, or school applicants about deadlines, phone broadcasting is the ideal method. You just set up an account with an outside vendor at no cost, then upload your phone list to your online account and record your message over the phone. You simply choose your phone list, pair it with your voice message, and press send. And instantly, thousands of messages are delivered. It is the fastest, Webpushr - https://www.webpushr.com/ easiest and least expensive way to target and reach your contacts.<br> <br> In summary, outsourcing a phone broadcasting service that can deliver voice messages over the phone is probably that best way to begin building an effective college alert notification system that will inform contacts of important news quickly and efficiently.