Closed Loop Notification Software


IT systems have utilized alerts since computers began, with the earliest examples being the lights display on the computer console and the operator screen with all its messages. The concept is simple – the system detects some sort of situation or event, and decides it needs to let someone know in case something needs to be done. Today, this concept is used far more widely, and has become embedded in IT activity.

But as companies struggle to improve the business value delivered by their IT investments, streamlining and optimizing operational process execution as much as possible, this idea of delivering a warning and then standing back awaiting resolution is totally unacceptable. Instead, companies are looking for ways to maintain service delivery targets and achieve efficiencies by embedding the workflow needed to resolve these out-of-line situations into overall business process execution. This reduces or eliminates human latency when handling the problem and ensures a successful resolution.

The challenges in achieving this are many, however. The resolution workflow may well involve having to locate the right person to contact, finding the quickest way to get hold of them and even escalating the situation if that person is unavailable or unable to resolve the problem. On top of this, in order to continually improve the process it will be important to be able to see how the problem was resolved. All of this means that rather than problem resolution being a reaction to a warning light, the whole process is a two-way communication that takes its part in the overall process flow.

Fortunately, specialist software suppliers have emerged to handle these needs. Instead of handling situations in terms of alerts, that is fire-and-forget warning lights, these suppliers deal with notifications – that is, true information exchange. What is more, the best of these suppliers have embraced the idea of closed loop notifications, where the focus is on the end-to-end workflow required to move all the way from notifying the appropriate parties to confirming that the situation has been satisfactorily addressed. This paper looks at the whole area of closed loop notification software, and provides a best-of-breed functional checklist designed to aid users in selecting the right software offering for their needs.

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Driving productivity and higher service levels while mitigating risk

Alert handling has come a long way. Not only can a wide range of communications mechanisms be used, such as SMS Text, email, voicemail and fax, but the processing of the alert has become much more of a two-way process, moving from handling ‘alerts’ to ‘notifications’. Latest developments in the space see users looking for more business value from notification handling, culminating in embedding this support as a key element of the overall process workflow. This paper discusses this trend and looks at the functionality required in notification software to deliver this ‘closed loop’ notification processing


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