How to use SMS alerts for IT outages

The only thing worse than downtime is unexpected downtime. SMS alerts help you manage customer expectations in smart, empathetic ways.

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Reach everyone

If there is a complete server or network failure, employees may be unreachable via their IP-based desk phones or emails. SMS is the fastest, surest way to reach your employees as they all have a mobile phone next to them – all of the time.

Reduce calls and costs

Protect the IT department from a flood of calls to find out the problem and when it’s likely to be fixed. In the meantime reduce IT’s comms workload so they can focus on the challenge itself.

Boost productivity

By giving employees information from the moment an outage hits, you can reduce confusion and wasted time. This empowers employees to find a workaround – meaning productivity won’t dip too much.

Automated and global

If you connect your systems to your mobile messaging system via an API, SMS alerts can be triggered precisely when an outage hits – then automatically sent to any employee around the world affected by the outage.

Manual sends

In the case of specific server outages or problems, the IT administrator can manually initiate an alert through a UI. When a network operations is down however, keywords can be texted to the system to send different types of alerts out.

Mobilise IT

IT can request a response from different members of the technical team in different regions to ensure someone is ‘owning’ the issue. If no one responds within a certain time period, they can escalate the action – for example, notifying a manager.

Secure your systems

If there’s been a security breach, you can notify employees of the threat and let them know they need to change their passwords right now.

IT downtime costs businesses in North America and Europe an average of 545 person-hours per company, according to CA Technologies. Moving fast can save your business significant sums.

By keeping employees informed, you increase their ability to work around a situation. Some 47% of businesses in an ITIC survey estimate a single hour of downtime can cost their firms between $300,000 and $400,000 in lost revenue and end user productivity.

SMS alerts tend to be read within seconds. By using SMS to mobilise IT staff swiftly, you could save your business vast sums over the course of a year.

Move fast

If communication doesn’t take place within seconds of an outage, employees can flood IT departments with calls. Ensure an automated alert is sent the moment an outage hits – then supplement automated messages that are in your outage conversation flow with manual messages when needed.

Update regularly

Anticipate what your employees will want to know and when they’ll need to know it. Add time frames to manage expectations, and tell recipients when they can expect to receive a progress update. Send instructions and options on how to proceed – i.e. “Contact our helpline for specific details on ‘X’

Use the cloud

Rely on a totally cloud-based mobile messaging system so it isn’t hit by your own outages.

Apply learnings

Use your learnings from each outage to hone future workflows and messages.


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The ability to reach employees immediately on their mobile devices has definitely solved the problems we were having. Now if we experience a system of network outage, employees are kept informed even if their desktop workstations are affected by the outage. And the alert service has stopped the flood of phone calls to the helpline.

Tushar Dingale, Network Outage Center Manager Amdocs-India

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