A Port Townsend, WA middle school recently faced a sudden closure due to a blown transformer. As a result of the lack of power, the school district’s phone tree online notification system failed to deliver phone message alerts. Further, the backup system at the central office also failed. To the best of my knowledge, no one was harmed.
In a previous blog post, I addressed some of the arguments for SaaS vs. on-premise solutions.
The benefit of a SaaS solution in an emergency notification scenario such as the one above is clear. If the physical location of an emergency notification system is involved the emergency itself (such as a local power outage), it is unlikely the messages will be delivered. A SaaS or cloud-hosted solution provides multiple levels of redundancy (including servers in multiple locations) to greatly increase the likelihood that emergency alerts will be delivered to their intended recipients.