Syn-Apps Blog

Tech Tips for Schools | Evaluating Mass Notification Providers

Posted by Sydney Hirshberger on Tue, Aug 09, 2016 @ 06:43 PM

 School Notifications

To prepare for the upcoming academic year, schools should review their mass notification systems and communication procedures to ensure they're equipped to communicate to students, faculty, or first responders during emergency and non-emergency situations. 

Mass notification systems (MNS) help reduce communication barriers and help schools quickly manage situations. MNS serve as the "communication engine" that unites disparate technology into a single platform used to rapidly relay information to anyone affected by a situation, which is imperative during emergency situations and a critical component to school safety initiatives. 

It's important to find a trusted MNS provider that adapts with your evolving needs, offers a simple and reliable notification experience for users, is compatible with multiple systems and services, supports multimodal communication, and alerts the right people within a timely manner.

Here are a few tips to consider when evaluating notification systems:
  • Understand Your Technology & Notification Needs - Reviewing and testing existing systems and processes helps crystallize notification needs and identify potential communication gaps.

    For example, activating a district-wide notification may be challenging if buildings are equipped with different systems. Notification software can help schools overcome this communication gap by connecting disparate sytems together.


    • Unite IP and Analog Systems - Advanced notification systems should be scalable to unite existing analog technology, like speakers and intercoms, into the IP network to streamline notification management and extend the life of legacy systems.

    • Broadcast Quality Audio to Ensure Alerts Are HeardIntelligible audio is critical when communicating information to speakers in noisy areas, like classrooms, gymnasiums, or hallways. 

  • Know Your Audience -  Whether broadcasting daily announcements, paging faculty, or initiating a district lockdown, schools need a system that supports dynamic notifications for various situations. 

    I
    t's also important to understand which communication mediums are most effective to reach your intended audience. For example - Activating a panic button to alert safety officers during a classroom emergency may require a more discrete communication process than broadcasting daily announcements across classroom speakers.


    Robust notification systems should be scalable to simultaneously alert devices such as:

    • On-premise communication - IP phones and speakers, intercoms, analog devices, bells/beacons/strobes, desktop computers, panic buttons, and digital signage

    • Off-premise communication - Mobile phones, SMS messages, IM clients, email, text-to-speech services, or social networks
  • Automated Alerts Save Time and Resources - Automation increases safety and situational awareness by eliminating the need for a person to manually activate alerts. Automated alerts are especially beneficial during emergencies when every second can make a difference. Examples of automated notifications include:

    • Scheduled Notifications - For routine communication, like daily announcements or school bells
    • Automated Weather Alerts - Connect NOAA / NWS to receive automatic alerts for severe watches and warnings in your area
    • CAP Alerts - Subscribe to County, State, or National CAP feeds for critical information
    • One-Touch Activation - Connect panic buttons to automatically initiate emergency procedures for situations like lockdowns or building evacuations
    • Email Monitoring - Alert personnel when incoming emails match specific filters, like email address or keywords
Notification providers like Syn-Apps have been helping schools manage emergency and non-emergency communication since 2001. Visit www.syn-apps.com/solutions/education to learn more.
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Tags: SA-Announce, Mass Notification, Unicast to Multicast, Lockdown, Automated Alerts, School Safety, CAP, Emergency

Syn-Apps Announces Upcoming Webinar

Posted by Marie Thiele on Mon, Mar 09, 2015 @ 03:37 PM

Mesa, AZ — Syn-Apps LLC, a leader in Mass Notification and Paging solutions, announced it will host an educational webinar on March 20, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST. Shirryn Williams-Padilla, Syn-Apps’ Director of Sales, will present strategic notification methods used to optimize communication environments by aligning technology with emergency and non-emergency communication objectives. The webinar will include a brief overview of Syn-Apps’ notification software, SA-Announce, followed by a Question & Answer session.

SA-Announce is an enhanced paging and mass notification solution that serves as a centralized notification management platform. It is used to rapidly deliver AV (audio/visual) notifications across multiple systems and endpoints. The webinar will outline multimodal communication methods and provide examples of how unifying disparate communication systems helps increase preparedness, reduce overhead management costs, decrease notification initiation time, and eliminate potential human error; all of which are essential to optimizing communication during emergency and non-emergency events.

To learn more about the webinar, visit http://www.syn-apps.com/company/events/essentialnotificationwebinar/

About Syn-Apps

Syn-Apps is a leader in notification solutions designed to improve business processes, increase safety, and streamline internal and external communication. Since 2001, thousands of organizations have integrated Syn-Apps’ software solutions with Phones, Paging Systems, IP speakers, and hundreds of other internal systems and services. For more information, please visit www.syn-apps.com.

Tags: Webinar, Syn-Apps, SA-Announce

Syn-Apps Joins VMware TAP Technology Alliance Partner Program

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 05:03 PM

Mesa, Arizona, January 28, 2015 — Syn-Apps LLC, a leader in mass notification and paging solution software, today announced it has joined the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program.  Members of the TAP program collaborate with VMware to deliver innovative solutions for virtualization and cloud computing.   The diversity and depth of the TAP ecosystem provides customers with the flexibility to choose a partner with the right expertise to satisfy their unique needs.

“We welcome Syn-Apps LLC,  as a valued member of the VMware TAP program,” said Sanjay Katyal, vice president, Global Alliances & OEMs, VMware. “This membership means customers can take full advantage of a streamlined virtualization and cloud infrastructure experience.  VMware provides an online marketplace, VMware Solution Exchange (VSX), where customers can learn more about Syn-Apps LLC collaboration with VMware and our continued goal commitment to developing breakthrough technologies that can transform business.”

“Virtualization is a critical requirement for scalable, resilient and fully redundant notification systems. Joining the VMWare TAP Alliance furthers Syn-Apps’ commitment to providing our customers with the tools they need to successfully deploy and manage critical emergency and non-emergency systems,” said Ian Pitts, President and CEO of Syn-Apps, LLC. “Our goal is to provide customers a turn-key notification solution that seamlessly integrates with their network and computing environments. Mutual customers benefit from this collaboration because they now have the capability to deploy a complete Syn-Apps notification solution compatible with VMware’s industry-leading products,” Pitts concluded.

The VSX is an online virtualization and cloud infrastructure marketplace that provides customers with a single point of entry to discover, evaluate, and rate business solutions.

Syn-Apps LLC product information, collateral and other assets are listed within the online VMware Solution Exchange at https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/companies/syn-apps-llc.

With thousands of members worldwide, the VMware TAP program includes best-of-breed technology partners with the shared commitment to bring the best expertise and business solutions for each unique customer environment.

About Syn-Apps LLC

About Syn-Apps LLC Syn-Apps is a leader in notification solutions designed to improve business processes, increase safety, and streamline internal and external communication. Since 2001, thousands of organizations have integrated Syn-Apps notification and call-recording products with phones, paging systems, IP speakers, and hundreds of other internal systems and services. For more information, please visit www.syn-apps.com.

VMware TAP Alliance Partner Program

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Contacts:

Marketing@syn-apps.com 480-355-6822

VMware is a registered trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions. The use of the word “partner” and/or “partnership” does not imply a legal partnership relationship between VMware and any other company.

Tags: Syn-Apps, SA-Announce, Virtualization, VMware TAP Alliance Partner Program

Sneak Preview - SA-Announce 9.0.14 Advanced Scheduler Tool!

Posted by Marie Thiele on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 05:16 PM

New Advanced Scheduler Tool is Perfect for School Environments! 

It’s back-to-school season again! The soon to be released SA-Announce 9.0.14 provides an all new scheduler tool that makes coordinating school bell schedules and announcements easier than ever! Stay tuned to Syn-Apps for updates and contact us to learn how SA-Announce can be used to easily manage multiple systems within your environment!

describe the image
The new Scheduler tool gives users four different Calendar views to create, modify, and remove scheduled events. Administrators can customize their schedule view and to with label colors, detailed text, audio tones, and much more!

SCHOOL Bells resized 600

The example displayed above illustrates a High School schedule using the Work Week view. The example includes a Fire Drill bell and recurring Morning, Lunch, and Release school bells. 

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Tags: Unified Communication, SA-Announce, Mass Notifications, Campus Safety, Notification System, School Announcement, Scheduler

Reporting and Analytics Validate Notification Software in Healthcare

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 @ 05:30 AM

The new release of SA-Announce includes Reporting and Analytics! Given the hectic day-to-day in healthcare, SA-Announce 9.0.12 provides administrators with the ability to save time by generating meaningful data in relation to the usage of the notification system. Detailed reports display notification group configuration and system user data, thus providing a high-level overview of the configured notification groups and user permissions. The reports can now be exported in various formats to retain information for archiving purposes and ROI validation.


In addition to the Reporting feature
, SA-Announce now offers a diagnostic Analytics engine. With this optional feature, system administrators can view all notification activity including both on and off premise services. Want to confirm that all hospital personnel received a Code Blue alert? By simply accessing the user interface, detailed information including; group name, activation date and time, the notification initiator, and associated endpoint data can easily be retrieved. Analytic reports can also be exported in multiple formats for further analysis and record-keeping purposes. With the continued expansion of the integration capabilities of SA-Announce, Syn-Apps remains ahead of the competition with a feature rich and cost-effective notification solution for any healthcare environment.

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Contact Syn-Apps Today!

Tags: Emergency Preparedness, Healthcare, Reporting, SA-Announce, Analytics

How to Enable Instant Two-Way Communication Between Patients & Nurses

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 @ 04:30 AM

The Business Challenge

Syn-Apps recently designed a one-of-a-kind solution for the healthcare industry. The initial request asked Syn-Apps to provide a solution to address a unique customer challenge. The hospital required a more efficient way to establish communication between patients and on-call nurses.

The Solution

To solve the business challenge, Syn-Apps created the Nurse Call System. This custom-built application, provided patients with activator and notifier, which uses an API, (application programming interface), to “bridge” nurses’ IP phones and patients’ bedside tablets - enabling the disparate devices to send and receive notifications across the network the ability to select a pre-determined message from a bedside tablet and deliver it to designated nurse IP phones.

Once received, a nurse is able to reply to the patient requests by selecting a unique set of response messages using buttons on their IP phones. 

When patients initiate a notification, they are delivered and placed into a queue, helping nurses organize and rapidly respond to their requests. The queue feature improves operational efficiencies by enabling staff to prioritize the patient requests, thus optimizing their response plan. 

Nurses use the Nurse Call System on their IP phones to monitor  the status of notifications (active, responded to, or cancelled),  view responses sent and received from both parties, as well as  additional notification details. Patients are able to monitor their wait status by checking for responses as they are delivered to their bedside tablet. 

 Nurse Notifier Queue Available Response Options Response Sent

The Value

The true value of the Nurse Call System is its flexibility and adaptability to virtually any environment. To learn how Syn-Apps can enhance your organization’s notification needs, contact us today!

Contact Syn-Apps Today!

Tags: Unified Communication, Healthcare, IP phone, SA-Announce, Notification System, Two-Way Communication, Tablets, Nurse Call Notifier

How Can Your Notification Solution Be Enhanced?

Posted by Marie Thiele on Tue, Apr 08, 2014 @ 04:30 AM

Syn-Apps’ SA-Announce 9.0.12 Now Available

Syn-Apps, LLC, a recognized leader in network-centric paging and mass notification, announces a new release of their SA-Announce notification software. Version 9.0.12 offers advanced Reporting and Analytics features, enhancements to the SA-Announce user interface, an improved Scheduler service, as well as additional broadcasting options specific to the RecordNPlay notification group. Syn-Apps continues to expand their Cloud Services integration capabilities by supporting two new services: Global Cache contact closure devices and Twilio’s Text-to-Speech services.

SA-Announce 9.0.12 brings Reporting, which displays detailed notification group configuration and system user data, thus providing administrative personnel with a high-level overview of the provisioned notification groups and user permissions.

In addition to Reporting, SA-Announce now offers an event analytics engine. Analytics is an optional feature which provides personnel with a holistic view of all notification activity, including both on and off-premise services. 

Analytics User Interface

The data is accessible via the SA-Announce user interface and displays detailed information including; group name, activation date and time, the notification initiator, and associated endpoint data. Both tools allow authorized personnel to export reports to Excel and PDF files for further analysis and record-keeping purposes.

With the continued development of integration capabilities, SA-Announce remains ahead of the competition by providing a feature-rich and cost-effective notification solution for all emergency and non-emergency needs.

“As the notification needs of our customers change, Syn-Apps continues to meet the challenge. SA-Announce 9.0.12 is the culmination of years of experience, technical expertise and the voice of our customers. We are excited to offer enhanced analytics and the extension to additional external endpoints, allowing customers to bring every aspect of their notifications needs under one platform while keeping an eye on the budget,” states Ian Pitts, President and CEO of Syn-Apps.

Check it out for yourself and see the power of SA-Announce 9.0.12! Schedule a demo to see how your notification system can be enhanced! Already a customer? Upgrade to 9.0.12 NOW!

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Tags: Unified Communication, Emergency Preparedness, Syn-Apps Cloud Services, Global Caché, Reporting, Contact Closure Devices, Syn-Apps, SA-Announce, Mass Notifications, Analytics, Twilio, Text-to-Speech

How Syn-Apps is Making a Difference in Healthcare

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Apr 02, 2014 @ 02:30 AM

Making a Difference in Healthcare

Rochelle, Illinois

Rochelle Community Hospital has used Syn-Apps’ SA-Announce and CallAlert software since 2012 to enhance network communications.

According to Chris Powell, Information Systems Technician for Rochelle Community Hospital, the facility chose Syn-Apps after receiving a recommendation from OneNeck IT Solutions. “After reviewing the product[s], we determined it would definitely fill our needs where Cisco CallManager fell short,” stated Powell.

According to Powell, the hospital uses SA-Announce to integrate their overhead notification systems with their Cisco VoIP phones. The integration allows personnel to easily send notifications and alerts to users in their network. “Being in healthcare, we have certain codes that need to be announced from time to time. This is used to alert people in areas that don’t have overhead speakers, such as off-site clinics,” stated Powell.

In addition to SA-Announce, Rochelle Community Hospital uses CallAlert, Syn-Apps’ call notification software. The hospital uses CallAlert to monitor 911 calls and various call activities on their network. “Some members of our organization need to be alerted when a certain number is called, so this allows us to easily notify that person. It always allows us to track numbers for diagnosing issues users may have,” stated Powell.

We have been a very happy customer for about two years now. The installation was super easy and straight-forward. We have hardly had any issues, but when we have, they have been minor, and Support has been a dream to work with. They have been very quick to respond and always know the answer I'm looking for. The website is very easy to navigate and is very intuitive.  Even our less tech savvy users can navigate it! - Chris Powell, Information Systems Technician, Rochelle Community Hospital

Many healthcare facilities recognize the need to invest in new technology to improve safety standards but are often faced with the dilemma of replacing outdated systems due to the incompatibility with new technology. As a result, Syn-Apps has helped thousands of organizations leverage their existing investments by offering enhanced paging and notification solutions compatible with existing infrastructure.

Our goal is to improve an organizations’ physical security and day-to-day communication by offering advanced notification systems with emergency response capabilities. SA-Announce provides customers the ability to do this and much more by creating a platform that provides seamless communication to and from any location.

Typical Healthcare Solutions:

  • Notify faculty or families of critical events via speakers, phones, text, SMS, and more.
  • Deliver custom nurse call notifications including one or two-way communication via bedside phones, intercoms, or tablets using the Nurse Call Notifier.
  • Integrate analog phones and paging systems with IP speakers and endpoints to create a single notification management portal.
  • Broadcast pre-recorded or live emergency or non-emergency instructions. This is especially useful to announce visitor hours, and notify faculty such as nurses, doctors, janitorial staff, or other personnel when their assistance is needed.
  • Remotely monitor IP-based devices and send notifications to personnel according to specified user-defined criteria using Syn-Apps’ CallAlert.
  • Target single or multiple zones on your network using unlimited SA-Announce groups. This is useful for messaging specific floors, patient rooms, or entire buildings.
  • Broadcast background music, trigger contact closures, or enable unicast-to-multicast conversion using the Syn-Apps Paging Relay.
  • Communicate to supported intercom devices. Personnel can use the two-way communication group types to converse between private offices, reception desks, or patient rooms. SA-Announce includes a full-duplex feature, which allows talkback functionality between IP phones and speakers.

About Syn-Apps LLC :

Syn-Apps brings unified communication based emergency and non-emergency notification solutions to organizations around the globe. Education, Healthcare, Retail, and Corporate entities use Syn-Apps for advanced critical communication, paging, marketing, and 911 alerting. Syn-Apps also provides call recording and reporting to address compliance requirements. Founded in 2001 and based in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area, Syn-Apps has enjoyed strong growth and has received numerous industry awards. For more information, please visit www.syn-apps.com or call 1-866-664-6071.

Tags: Unified Communication, Healthcare, Syn-Apps, SA-Announce, Rochelle Community Hospital, CallAlert

News Release - SA-Announce is now Avaya Compliant

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Mar 26, 2014 @ 02:30 AM

 

Syn-Apps Logo                                Avaya

Media Inquiries:                                                                Media Inquiries:

Syn-Apps Marketing                                                          DevConnect PR

480-355-6822                                                                    613-595-9223

marketing@syn-apps.com                                            devconnect@avaya.com

 

Syn-Apps' SA-Announce Now Rated "Avaya Compliant"

  • SA-Announce application is compatible with key Avaya Unified Communication solutions
  • Helps organizations like Education K-12, Higher Education, Retail, Government, and more by providing an enhanced paging and mass notification solution, providing audio, text, and graphic notifications across an organization.

April 26, 2014

Mesa, AZ — Syn-Apps, a leader in enhanced paging and mass notification solutions, today announced that its SA-Announce is compliant with key solutions from Avaya, a global provider of business collaboration and communication software and services.

SA-Announce helps organizations deliver notifications in real-time, pre-recorded, or scheduled announcements to streamline critical situation communication and operational processes. It also helps organizations reduce the bandwidth stream across their WAN by sending multicast audio to Avaya 9600 Series IP Deskphones.  The application is now compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with H.323 based Avaya 96x1 Series IP Deskphones Release 6.2.4 and 96x0 Series IP Deskphones Release 3.10, driven by Avaya Aura® Communication Manager 6.2.

Syn-Apps is a Technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect program—an initiative to develop, market and sell innovative third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology and extend the value of a company’s investment in its network.

As a Technology Partner, Syn-Apps is eligible to submit products for compliance testing by the Avaya Solution Interoperability and Test Lab. There, a team of Avaya engineers develops a comprehensive test plan for each application to verify whether it is Avaya compatible. Doing so enables businesses to confidently add best-in-class capabilities to their network without having to replace their existing infrastructure—speeding deployment of new applications and reducing both network complexity and implementation costs.

 

“Syn-Apps is excited to bring our 13 years of notification expertise to the Avaya Aura platform, allowing organizations to keep people informed and safe.

Now that Syn-Apps’ SA-Announce has successfully completed DevConnect testing, Avaya customers have a comprehensive solution for on and off-premise emergency and non-emergency notification needs.

-- Ian Pitts, President and CEO, Syn-Apps LLC

 

Technology partners like Syn-Apps, LLC help organizations streamline critical communications while saving valuable time and money by integrating their network-centric mass notification solutions with customers using Avaya Aura and Avaya 9600 Series IP Deskphones.

--Eric Rossman, Vice President, Developer Relations, Avaya

 DevConnect Tech Partner

Additional Resources

www.devconnectmarketplace.com

www.avaya.com/devconnect

www.syn-apps.com/sa-announce

 

About Avaya

Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

 

About Syn-Apps

Syn-Apps is a leader in notification solutions designed to improve business processes, increase safety, and streamline internal and external communication. Since 2001, over 2,000 organizations have integrated our notification and call-recording products with phones, paging systems, IP speakers, and hundreds of other internal systems and services. For more information, please visit www.syn-apps.com.

Tags: Syn-Apps, Unified Communications, SA-Announce, Avaya, Avaya Aura

Lake Michigan College - Prepares for Emergencies using SA-Announce

Posted by Marie Thiele on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 @ 08:33 AM

Lake Michigan College is a community college in Southwestern Michigan, consisting of five independent facilities with approximately 6,000 students. Although most students and faculty are likely unaware of the preparation that has taken place for emergency situations, the school has implemented SA-Announce, produced by Phoenix based company Syn-Apps, LLC as their notification platform.

Lake Michigan College purchased Syn-Apps when we replaced our old phone system with a new IP based Cisco phone system. Each facility has each of these alerts configured with specific wording about that facility, the phones are configured to set off the alert for only that location. When an emergency alert is set off an e-mail and text message is configured to automatically be sent to all college executives at each campus.  Alerts are configured to send to all phones within each facility and IP clocks in the hallways.
- Roger Shupert, Operations Manager of Information Technologies, Lake Michigan College

Lake Michigan utilizes SA-Announce to inform students and faculty of a variety of situations, for example campus intruders, campus lockdowns, severe weather alerts, and building evacuations.

Syn-Apps’ SA-Announce is an enhanced paging and mass notification solution that seamlessly integrates with Cisco, Avaya, ShoreTel, and SIP-based phone systems, providing audio, text, and graphic notifications across an organization. SA-Announce delivers real-time, pre-recorded, or scheduled announcements helping to streamline critical and non-critical communication processes. Lake Michigan College wanted to ensure that all on-premise and available off-premise endpoints were notified during any emergency situation. By utilizing their existing Cisco IP infrastructure, the school was able to leverage their initial investment by extending notification alerts through their network to deliver audio and text broadcasts to rooms with existing IP phones.

“Lake Michigan College is very happy with our Syn-Apps system, we’re currently looking into using the same pre-configured alerts to also trigger existing notification systems the school also uses,” says Shupert. Syn-Apps’ SA-Announce is a product that has unlimited capabilities to deliver notifications across the network seamlessly. It integrates with Syn-Apps Cloud Services, Desktop Computers, and a number of 3rd party systems including analog paging speakers, beacons, digital signage, and more.

The value of SA-Announce is its ability to integrate to a number of existing systems which allows customers to leverage previous infrastructure investments.  Whether your organization is looking to enhance security, deploy critical notification solutions, or just improve overall communication, SA-Announce is the essential solution.

About Syn-Apps LLC

Syn-Apps brings unified communication based emergency and non-emergency notification solutions to organizations around the globe. Education, Healthcare, Retail, and Corporate entities use Syn-Apps for advanced critical communication, paging, marketing, and 911 alerting. Syn-Apps also provides call recording and reporting to address compliance requirements. Founded in 2001 and based in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan area, Syn-Apps has enjoyed strong growth and has received numerous industry awards. For more information, please visit www.syn-apps.com or call 1-866-664-6071.

The Syn-Apps Difference

Tags: Unified Communication, Emergency Preparedness, Lake Michigan College, Syn-Apps, SA-Announce, Mass Notifications, Campus Safety