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Zapoj CEM Helps Manage a Robust IT System in Higher Education

An unplanned IT failure or IT service interruption which is yet to pose a critical IT threat is an IT incident. The sudden IT incident event means key business operations are not continuing, affecting a large number of service areas and people. In this instance,  near real-time, IT incident management built on Zapoj CEM provides innovative solutions with a plethora of tools- visual risk intelligence, reliable IT alerting to improve decision making and to proactively handle critical IT events in a high-growth and ever-expanding learning environments like colleges and universities. 

The CEM technology that Zapoj leverages uses AI-powered solutions to analyze the complexity of IT events, improve visualization with data integration capabilities and enable actions through apps, desktop software for incident responders. The quick actions can deliver faster resolutions to better reinstate IT services and mitigate its impact on operations that college campuses build their interdependencies upon for teamwork and communications.

Here’s what IT outages mean to colleges and universities and how Zapoj as a leading CEM software can help them boost the efficiency of their IT Service Management tool to provide a fantastic experience for staff, faculty, and students. 

What system outage costs your higher education?

What system outage costs your higher education?

IT services are the benchmark to ensure uninterrupted learning, research and development, and the undertaking of official communications and consulting services all through the day, year over year. University administrators, faculty, and staff need a wide range of IT tools that allow them to connect and communicate with students, parents, visitors, stakeholders, and peers.  Crucial administrative operations from building a virtual network for distance learning to offering rapid and ceaseless online course registration- a robust IT service extends its support for user satisfaction, unique experience, and efficiency to help foster an advanced learning environment on a higher level. 

The complexities as exacerbated by sudden application downtime, website crash, power outage, low performances of data centers, networks, and high-risk cyber-attacks can heighten the risks of service disruption

IT downtimes basically are the consequences due to critical events like heavy rains, storms, lighting, and mostly because of unforeseen developments across IT services that appear suddenly as major threats for higher education. 

IT downtime insights: 

As reported by Gartner, IT downtime costs businesses 5,600 USD per minute. A more recent report highlights that an estimated $260,000 gets wasted due to an average downtime per hour. The study reported the degradation by 60% in monetary losses since 2016 across businesses.

Higher education faces modern-day IT outages which impact its ability to deliver service across channels, large spanning departments, and leave little room for IT responders to prevent chaos and troubles.

The routine IT challenges in higher education across universities and college campuses can subside when education administrators or the IT service management team rely on visualization and comprehensive IT alerting responses.

Ensure rapid recovery by optimizing Zapoj CEM IT incident management  

AI-powered IT incident handling tool builds situational awareness across the IT Service Management and helps with event identification, prioritization, and remediation as a form of the initial restoration process. The IT support team in your college campus can establish a unified network that escalates real-time alerting and helps reduce the impact.

Route incidents with predictive intelligence

predictive intelligence

The incident routing is still inconvenient for several academic infrastructures as it relies upon manual workflow processes. The worst part is that it wastes valuable time for recovery and does not provide much progress within scheduled work hours for IT service desk staff. And in parallel, manual handling of workflow is error-prone, and hence routing is more likely to reach the wrong destination, delaying the recovery process. 

With predictive intelligence at the core of Zapoj IT incident management, the CEM tool can harness data from multiple existing ITSM solutions, Service desk, IT monitoring tools, and IT alerting tools. By analyzing risk data, Zapoj improves visibility into evolving IT threats and helps route incident handling workflows in an automated way. 

Apply IT alerting or IT incident communicationsApply IT alerting or IT incident communications

An easy-to-use command center is competent in improving visibility into your workflows. You can use predefined message templates to communicate with IT service desk staff and prioritize incident handling response by creating chatOps and war rooms.  Relying on efficient IT alerting or IT incident communication tools, you can discuss with your response team and derive actionable insights into the next step of the recovery process. 

Communicate IT issues with on-call management 

Zapoj always makes sure your on-call team is ready to solve the IT issues as soon as the issue is escalated. As you build escalation rules, on-call schedule management is much easier. So, the IT incident team is always confident that the right response team does not miss a critical alert until acknowledged and addresses the issues. 

The efficiency of delivering real-time IT incident response improves the mean time to repair (MTTR) and encourages faster resolutions of the IT incident.

Advanced reporting and analytics

Advanced reporting and analytics

Zapoj also carefully designs its analytics dashboard to help the IT response team to assess how they perform during IT incidents. In-depth analysis of team response by area and type help meet service-level expectations. From this perspective, incidents that take too long to handle can be resolved using performance analytics.

Institutes are looking for more effective IT service tools to provide uninterrupted service to advance their learning and knowledge. Zapoj delivers high-caliber support to mission-critical objectives of higher education learning management and also improves ROI by automating IT alerting. In times of pandemic where virtual learning rests on the active and robust IT infrastructure, embedding Zapoj CEM into your ITSM systems enables higher education to deliver a connected experience for students, faculty, and staff. To support your growth and transform the academic experience, Zapoj CEM must feature in your IT infrastructure. Call us for a demo.

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ZSuite

Zapoj Build The Best Academic Experience with Safe Return to Campus

A new version of campus or university safety is gaining attention as university stakeholders or leaders are faced with challenges for advancing learning in a new environment of the COVID-19 pandemic. The safe return to campus emphasizes the serious involvement of higher education institutions in ensuring safety and security to health risks for students, faculty, and staff. As they decide to reopen, Zapoj CEM enables a safe campus to allow everyone to connect, maintain, and continue future learning efficiently. By providing all necessary core capabilities to encourage the safe return of students, faculty, administration, management, stakeholders, peers, and staff to the key operations of learning management, Zapoj takes higher education to the next level with uncompromised campus experience.

Ensure campus readiness for everyone at higher educations



Ensure campus readiness for everyone at higher educations

The foremost requirement for a safe return to campus is to ensure effective measurements to help control infection from spreading and build a safe environment for campus reopen.

The Zapoj CEM facilitates stakeholders, administrators, security response teams to monitor the infection trends closely using its location intelligence across campus areas and in close proximity in the neighborhood. Gathering trending data to overlay into the system helps visualize case by case status of the infection based on deaths, infection spike, and also cumulative cases. This advanced level of risk visualizations offers a real-time data mapping capability to make data-driven decisions. Therefore, with a clear picture of the situation, higher education institutions can validate their steps to mitigating infection risk or carefully planning the return to schools.

Zapoj also empowers institutions to bolster their campus readiness preparedness strategy and execution. Using the opt-in services, university administration can invite students and each of the university members to submit their responses about regular health status. Zapoj has built-in contact centers where all member or students details are easily accessible and trackable. This is how universities can take advantage of contact tracing and identify infected students or members by using wellness checks or health status surveys.

Based on the real-time health screening feedback, colleges or universities can plan their strategies accordingly. If certain symptoms appear critical to campus reopen, universities can ramp up their efforts to strictly maintain social distancing norms, warn their people of using the infected locations around the college campus, and most importantly instruct the positive members or students to go for quarantine or people in close contacts with the infected person to take extra precaution to curb the transmission.


Prepare school or campus assets to reopen



Prepare school or campus assets to reopen

The facility mapping gives complete awareness of how higher institutions can better manage significant criteria of disease control. Using location intelligence technology, Zapoj empowers facility managers to fully utilize its geospatial mapping solutions to quickly identify the risk-prone zones inside the premises of the campus or within a particular space such as library, office, administrative departments, and anywhere in the university.

This smart approach provides an additional advantage of maintaining social distancing compliance, while also preventing any chance of close proximity encounters. Location mapping observes the social distancing parameters to help with assessment. For instance, if any encounters occur between a healthy member and an infected person, location-based facility mapping instantly sends out notifications about interactions for immediate recovery processes. And in parallel, managers can optimize contact tracing to determine the infected person and identity places with higher risks of contact transmission.

Location tracking when combined with contact tracing capability can be more of use to improve density management. Location tracking is especially important to track density in some spaces like halls or events and, alert over violation of social distancing parameters.

Zapoj prioritizes sanitation drive as a step towards building a clean environment that promises a safe and risk-free campus for students. Real-time infection status through contact tracing is a flexible capacity of Zapoj to keep track of full audit trail history, and therefore, ensuring cleaning tasks when and as necessary over time.

From initiating isolation activities to launching cleaning initiatives, Zapoj CEM is purpose-built to prevent transmission risk and support continuity.


Enable return to campus conveniently with Zapoj 



Build The Best Academic Experience with Safe Return to Campus

A safe return to campus also requires vaccination status on campus. Zapoj CEM is capable of managing a vaccination drive for students. Higher education institutions may need this approach to amp up their campus readiness. Enrolling campus members, staff, faculty, and students in the vaccination is readily available with Zapoj contact tracing capabilities. As members sign up for opt-in services, they can communicate their current status after vaccination and receive reminders for the next dose of vaccine. By having everyone in the contact centers, administrators can keep track of vaccine status and ensure wellness checks. Multiple communication channels also help members continue the vaccination drive and meet all necessary requirements for a safe return to campus.

Zapoj CEM gives scalability with a number of solutions to effectively manage campus readiness. Contact tracing, location intelligence for proximity checks, vaccination status, cleanliness drive are ensuring campus safety and prepare universities to embrace and encourage the safe return to university or campus.

As you begin to reopen, get Zapoj CEM. Contribute not only towards continuity of learning but also ensure active participation in limiting the spread of deadly diseases like COVID-19. Need to know more. Call us or ask for a demo.

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ZSuite

Get smart visitor management solutions for higher education safety with Zapoj CEM

College or university campuses are none less than a micro-city, spreading over acres of land with an uncountable number of people moving around its multiple buildings or facilities and between departments. Staff, faculty, students, and additional people gather here- the number of visitors also fluctuates on any given day, which requires the university to keep track of its people for extra layers of security and safety.

An extreme challenge reveals the inability of the emergency response team of a higher education institution when there are a large group of students, parents, visitors, and sports fans gathering for different events and purposes. To manage an influx of people across college campuses and ensure their safety, an emergency communications system may lack robustness of Critical Event Management capabilities and visitor management applications altogether.

Visitor emergency communications when combined with Critical Event Management enables the higher education institutions to leverage the best-in-class emergency mitigations tools for its people to keep them informed, prepare them for safe evacuation, and ultimately keep them safe out of danger. 

Here’s how SaaS-based CEM platform tool, Zapoj helps security operations managers at higher education with comprehensive visitor management solutions.

Why on-site scenarios at campus call for additional efficiencies and conveniences with emergency communications?



Why on-site scenarios at campus call for additional efficiencies and conveniences with emergency communications

A high volume of visitors can pose safety risks as operational challenges continue to linger with increasing need for quick evacuation processes. Keeping a tab of every visitor on-premise and monitoring their movement is a key approach to discovering what’s going on in and around, and therefore assessing the risk factors.

Campus events – sports day, music fest, public figure speech, including campus visit, parents weekend and more such events are huge crowd-pullers than usual days at the university premises. There could be many such instances that result in unforeseen risks from active shootout, gunman attack, campus fire, and facility damage.

Such scenario urges for an immediate requirement of emergency communications which helps locate and reach the visitors during an emergency. Most importantly, real-time emergency updates are crucial to making sure that every person whosoever is in danger could be reached out during emergency procedures and provided with information that guides them properly. Leveraging Zapoj CEM helps scale visitor management and notifications, while allowing for real-time threat visibility that improves emergency preparedness management.


Act quickly in different critical scenarios with Zapoj CEM solutions



Act quickly in different critical scenarios with Zapoj CEM solutions 

Zapoj uses AI capabilities, which makes identifying threat scopes of unpredictable risks efficiently, enabling emergency security teams to use the built-in contact centers immediately and escalate emergency communications.

As the visitors or groups on university campuses are diverse, Zapoj contact center is flexible to adapt to event-based opt-ins that allow each type of group to sign up and receive real-time event information for increased visibility into the emergency situations . Not only is the contact center fast to get visitor information, but also the predefined messages are scalable to save time and shareable across social media platforms and other channels to enhance reach during emergencies. During any critical situations, higher educations can responsibly connect with the targeted recipients via Facebook, text, webpage, voice call, and on email also.


Marking restricted zones 


The colleges or university can invite different types of visitor groups to its public events. And in parallel, those visitors can also be eager to know more about the safety preparedness. For events like music fests or guest lectures, visitors become careful about their safety.

Marking restricted zones

As part of robust visitor management procedures, emergency security teams can mark hazardous zones as restricted areas. With this precaution in place, in case of an emergency fire breakout, Zapoj CEM  can detect this threat and relay the data to the command center. Using geolocation, Zapoj can mark the exact location of the command center and help the emergency rescue team reach the targeted locations and launch the evacuation process.

Providing on-site visitor management experience 

Providing on-site visitor management experience

Zapoj CEM using its location intelligence technology can help track the whereabouts of visitors in the premises. This capability also enables higher education to know how many visitors and college or university members are on the premises currently. This is helpful in guiding people for evacuation if any emergency occurs.

Accessibility is another security feature of Zapoj CEM to help enhance visitor management. With opt-in features, the identification of visitors can be established, thus eliminating the chances of unauthorized persons to access the premises.

Location technology also scales as an highly efficient wayfinding system to give an opportunity to navigate the large premises with ease. Multiple departments sprawling from one point to another is making it difficult for visitors to locate the right destination, wasting their time and adding to poor visitor experience. Zapoj CEM can help locate the target location as the visitors sign-up for opt-ins and reach the selected destination with no more extra effort.

Visitor engagement and management is an important criteria to ensure safety and security for every visitor higher education has on special days. The ability to provide real-time information through emergency communications is one of the basic requirements that college or university can provide to its people. Zapoj CEM helps in this perspective by enabling real-time emergency response and crisis management capabilities to provide improved visitor experience.

To learn more about Zapoj CEM, and its smart solutions for visitor management, give us a call or book a demo.

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ZSuite

Top 3 Things Higher Education Can Do To Build Resilience

Overview 

A real-time risk mapping allows higher school authorities to allocate appropriate resources to anticipate, locate, and respond to critical threats with the help of location intelligence and crisis communications- ensuring safety and security for everyone on and off campus.

Key Takeaways 

  • Emergency responders can use visual risk intelligence built on Zapoj CEM to detect the potential threat and its impacts.
  • Security teams can derive data-driven insights into threats and achieve accuracy with decision-making.
  • Higher education authorities can rely upon Zapoj CEM to evaluate safety measurements at campus and build a safe and secure learning environment.

An integrated suite of emergency communications and visual risk intelligence gives stakeholders, facility management and emergency security team of a higher education institution the freedom to prepare their contingency plan effectively. Taking into account the volatile nature of any critical events, getting insights into the trends can improve understanding of the potential risk and anticipate their impact

on the facilities, people, assets, and operation continuity, encouraging remediation efforts rapidly. 

To keep ahead of the critical events, higher education needs real-time data feed from a variety of sources – IoT sensors, drones, satellites, social media channels to achieve speed and relevancy so that they can establish accuracy in decision making and reduce mean time to repair.  


Unpreparedness ramps up unprecedented risks 


Several academic administrators still rely on disjointed emergency communications systems when they seek to adopt tools for critical event mitigation. 

The diverse and evolving nature of critical events can be intimidating when they ensue. Extreme weather conditions – floods, cyclones, including other natural disasters like earthquakes, system outages or IT incidents, campus shootouts or gunman attacks, or disease outbreak could amplify the risk factors for higher education,requiring them to ensure safety and security for their students, staff, administrators, stakeholders, peers, and partners. The ability to mitigate risk, keep everyone safe, and restore functions at scale is the pillar stone to ensure resilience. 

Campus safety

This powerful approach on the other hand could send out a message to students and their families about their capabilities to help build an efficient emergency preparedness strategy, and also inculcate an outlook to be a reliable and safe academic institution. To begin a comprehensive risk assessment and mitigation plan, higher education institutions can seek Zapoj, a fundamental CEM application to eliminate risk and build resilience into higher education ecosystems. 

Let’s illustrate how administrators, stakeholders, and instructional staff can use Zapoj to become resilient by tapping into competitive advantage. 


Keeping your people safe on and off campus 



Keeping your people safe on and off campus

Campus safety
is more significant than ever since the pandemic has hit, requiring colleges and universities to engage with students, faculty, and people all across campus to keep them informed and safe.

Higher education needs a fast and effective crisis response that is highly effective and scalable during diverse campus events like violence, active shootout, fire, and critical weather events. With Zapoj CEM, AI-powered visual risk intelligence can streamline messages and provide only actionable insights to improve decision making and deliver highly targeted messages to the right people. 

During a variety of critical events, designated emergency response teams can categorize event types and automate notifications specific to geolocations of the receiver when in harm’s way. 

This way higher education can build robust recovery operations and encourage a collaborative environment focused on student’s safety. 

By using Zapoj Critical Event Management, university stakeholders, and all partners can tap into the contact tracing capabilities and crisis communications, enabling effective management of disease control, implementing social-distancing norms, and preventing exposure. This helps the top leadership and emergency team at the universities abide by the regulatories to support the Safe return to campus. Also, colleges and universities failing to encourage reopening of learning institutions can reconsider their decision only if they seek help from a critical management tool. 


Making learning more accessible


Apart from making campus safe for students, Zapoj CEM also helps ensure an uninterrupted learning experience. With the formal education shifting to a remote ecosystem, colleges today need to employ virtual learning to adjust to the current curriculum. 


Making learning more accessible

Providing robust IT systems not only keeps up with the education but also helps in unprecedented administrative work, ensures wi-fi connectivity in libraries, and keeps networks running for administrations to continue operations.  A few seconds of IT outage can impact the learning experience and also suspend core operations. By identifying the root cause of IT incidents, Zapoj automates digital workflows to the right IT responder and helps eliminate IT issues instantly. 


Improving on-site coordination 



In the event of an emergency situation during campus events, Zapoj encourages collaboration using location intelligence and enables crisis communication in real-time.

Knowing the whereabouts of the exact number of staff, students, and visitors on the campus, universities can improve outreach and enhance evacuation during fire, shootout or extreme weather events. 

Visitor management

Visitor management is also a great way to ensure safety of people on campus or monitor movement of unauthorized people.  At the same time, location intelligence can be used to help visitors orient themselves and navigate the unidentified routes independently. Simultaneously, visitors can also know the restricted zones and avoid being safe. 

 


Conclusion 



Deriving values from Zapoj CEM gives the university, its stakeholders, and leadership an optimized experience to be resilient by defying the odds of critical events. By using the Critical Event Management platform, higher education can plan, monitor, mitigate and recover the impacts of critical events more effectively. They can therefore enhance their learning efficiency, improve learning outcomes, and deliver bespoke campus experience. 

Many higher education can benefit from critical event management. To know more about Zapoj, give us a call. 

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ZSuite

Prepare for campus safety with Zapoj CEM

Lately, colleges and universities have explored a new side to emergency threats- having a one-size-fits-all crisis communication tool cannot entirely focus on risk mitigation at campus premises. The volatile nature of the world is exposing students, faculty and its staff to unpredictable campus threats that largely involve terrorisms and active shooter. 

AI-powered location aware technology with built-in risk intelligence that helps anticipate unpredictable campus events can support the recovery efforts to minimize risk and create a safe campus environment. 

As colleges feel the need for a single glass of pane to
allow situational awareness
, a location-based Critical Event Management tool like Zapoj can level up their mitigation efforts to be compliant with the Clery Act- one of the significant law guidelines that ensures safety and security for college or university students. The Clery Act compliance is one side to ensuring student safety- building the best security practices can address a terrorism event or a an active shoot incident and ensure a resilient campus. 

Those are complicated emergency situations and decision-makers need to utilize location intelligence as a basic approach to detect threats on assets and human experience. 

Here’s how decision-makers at higher education institutions can enable a safe campus culture using Zapoj CEM. 

The need for campus event safety 

Large crowds are a common scene at college music concerts, sporting events, and lectures, and hence they have higher chances of inherent risks.

Missing an important threat opportunity means fostering an unsafe environment that could help with active shooting or allow rumors of a violence. As the basic survival instinct prompts to apply any measure to escape the scene, it basically sends shock waves across the campus premises that finally ends up in crowd rush, resulting in the most possible casualties from stampede. The high-speed storm can add an additional layer of concern while mass shooting rampage continues.  Security and emergency management needs to adopt an optimal level of campus safety readiness. The disaster preparedness process requires location intelligence to identify risks and the ability to communicate instantly with its people in harm’s way. 

Given the rapid cases of active shooter events – especially deadliest mass shootings at college campuses or events, college students are worried about unsafe campus events. This evolving scenario requires the security and emergency management at higher education to revisit their emergency plans to simplify location intelligence and emergency response. 

Better insights into threats with location intelligence

Better insights into threats with location intelligence

To proactively leverage the power of emergency communications and mass notifications , emergency preparedness plans must drive real-time threat feed to build visual risk intelligence.

Location intelligence predicts the source of threats and their impacts in real-time on human life and facilities. It’s true organizations are using a large tech stack to track data feeds that provide visibility into incident events of a particular area and help assess the risk impacts on facilities or life.  Tapping into data although is easy, making sense of it seems challenging. Data needs appropriate comprehension to help join dots between dispersed components and ensure information accuracy.

Build situational awareness 

Build situational awareness

The capability to identify risk intelligence varies by how disjointed screens relay information and a single glass of pane communicates threat. 

Basically a traditional command center that higher educations use for the campus safety are not appropriately connected with proper locations. The data feeds it streams are presented on different disjointed screens, making it difficult for security analysts to monitor and develop accurate situational awareness.

The command center built on Zapoj gives a holistic view of its campus events- its surroundings, assets, and people all through a single pane of glass. It fetches all incident feeds and overlays them with so many other sources of data feed. Campus administration and security response teams can derive valuable metrics using AI-powered risk intelligence and assess the trends of threats. 

With predictive analytics identifying the possible potential disruptions through a single glass of pane, security teams can gain situational awareness and improve their decision making. This helps higher education alert people who’s responsible to mitigate the risk and ensure safety to people in harm’s way. 

Quick alerts and mass notifications for campus community Quick alerts and mass notifications for campus community

improving emergency response is critical to ensuring active remediation of critical threats on campus. During an emergency event, campus authority must look to provide contextual awareness through its notification message. Not every specific emergency notification would work for all people in danger. For different scenarios of an active shooter, one segment of people may need emergency notification to evacuate, the other section may hide out to avoid risk, while another segment of the community requires instruction to help with the recovery process. 

Zapoj Critical Event Management gives the emergency response teams the flexibility to preconfigure messages to fit the demanding situations and rapidly reach masses with accurate information. The critical mass notifications also never miss people who’s in danger, which reach the destination via multi-modal paths – including emails, voice calls, social media, SMS or text messages and many more channels. Zapoj critical alerting or mass notifications also escalate via two-way messaging to ensure they are acknowledged and to notify if the recipient is safe or may require immediate support for rescue operations. 

Be compliant with the Clery Act 

Be compliant with the Clery Act

The risks associated with special or large campus events are concerning. Neglecting the Clery Act and your basic responsibilities to have your contingency plans ready means you expose your students and people to life-threatening mass shooting, or terrorism incidents at campus events. ,

The very basic requirement to comply with the Clery Act is to establish a dedicated critical emergency communication and mass notification that could ensure campus safety. According to the Clery Act, universities or colleges must reveal their steps to controlling threats on campus and the inability to comply with the law may draw penalties for them. 

The rapid frequency of campus critical events are a growing concern for higher education and its students. The Clery Act provides guidelines on how universities and colleges can keep their students informed as emergency incidents are unleashing. 

According to the act, the critical event management platform must emphasize on critical communications to alert its stakeholders and help them with the rapid preparedness process. Additionally, the critical communication must provide real-time feed to its students and keep them informed of the situations. By providing visual risk intelligence and location intelligence,  Zapoj helps avoid information fatigue and deliver the right message with its mass notification or emergency alerting system. To simply put, Zapoj Critical Event Management can provide data analytics and reporting, simplifying compliance with the Clery Act. 

Conclusion 

Critical event management platform Zapoj builds a robust recovery plan to combat catastrophic events at campus. To be compliant with the Clery Act and most importantly ensure campus safety, higher education needs AI-powered risk intelligence and emergency communication tools. Using its location intelligence, situational awareness, and mass notification capabilities, Zapoj helps bolster campus security and provides a safe environment for everyone associated with the campus community including your students, faculty, and staff. 

If it is a campus event or natural disaster, Zapoj keeps your people informed and safe and to the best of its potential, it encourages resiliency. 

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ZSuite

Top 10 reasons why organizations need to have critical communications

Is your business resilient? It leaves us puzzled with no correct answer to reply to it. The impact of COVID-19 has us struggling to cope with the evolving situations, whereas we already have some familiar critical events like severe weather, supply chain disruptions, workplace violence, and lots more to cause business disruption while exposing our people and assets to potential threats. Business crisis communication plans are the key to prevent future threats. But, without a robust business-critical communication tool organizations cannot activate this strategy.

What are critical communications? What is their importance before, during, and after critical events?

Critical communications are the ability to communicate appropriately with your people when you need it most before, during, and after critical events like a pandemic, supply chain disruptions, bad weather, flood, cyber-attacks, or any other industrial events.

During these evolving times, a legacy system falls short of delivering reliable, consistent, secure, and easy-to-use critical communication flexibility.

Critical communications that easily allow businesses to leverage the advanced level of mission-critical communication flexibilities along with data visualization can help emergency response teams communicate with people in the field or onsite in a much better way. However, not only the emergency response team, chief security officers, chief information security officers need critical communication in IT departments, no matter what the verticals are.

Hence, your critical communications can become faster and your recovery process can deliver expected results.

A critical communication tool must have lots of solutions and features to solve problems arising from critical events on the ground, office, or anywhere.

Zsuite, a comprehensive CEM or Critical Management platform is designed to process threats, analyze their nature, and foster ways to handle your business crisis communication plans to mitigate threats on time.

As a leading CEM tool, Zsuite takes an initiative to advocate for the importance of critical communications for businesses and encourages why businesses should not overlook this critical matter. Here are 10 reasons why organizations need to have critical communications.

Data intelligence

Today, critical events are fast evolving, frequently occurring, and complicated too. Different types of critical events can be coincidental, creating challenges to review data using legacy systems. In most organizations, emergency response teams still follow the manual process of data gathering. This process is rigid and making assessment and validation of information is tough. As a result, organizations cannot visualize threats and add context to emergency communications. There is a high chance that key intelligence would go haywire.

Zsuite CEM platform is a critical communication enabler with a granular level of focus on data intelligence, making your critical communications much more efficient and reliable at times of emergency.

Scalable decision-making

Most organizations still rely on siloed systems to handle crisis communications. Although security teams or emergency response teams are available 24×7, they do not have an integrated communication tool to enable crisis communications and keep everyone informed about changing situations. This is in fact leading to more gruesome challenges as organizations fail to identify exact business threats and take measures for risk handling. Lack of coordination between teams gives rise to confusion, impedes situational awareness, and delays appropriate decision-making.

Many crisis communication tools like Zsuite help you make efficient emergency plans and tackle immediate pressure with scalable decision-making.

Message fatigue

A crisis communication plan must include an integrated and unified communication system. This kind of orchestration not only improves communication and collaboration but provides visibility into who has been reached out, when they have been connected, how has been that person contacted, and what feedback has it received. Also, it provides the capability of leveraging pre-built message templates which are consistent and do not cause message fatigue.

As with fragmented communication channels that are omnipresent in many organizations, they can be subject to message fatigue.

Administrative overhead

Critical events can never be limited to a certain region. The reason is the advancement of digitalization. The information erupts as fast as wildfire through social media, personal messages, emails, news, and different entities among others. Messages can be voluminous, repetitive, and incessant resulting in wrong interpretation of certain messages and add to panic buying. Organizations need to coordinate with their people to give them real-time and fact-filled critical information to keep them informed so as to avoid unintended consequences.

Zsuite CEM enables two-way communication via multiple channels and improves organizational response.

Direct communication

Critical communication is always direct, consistent, and contextual. But, when your legacy system does not allow you to nurture the advantage to edit and approve of messages to be used as pre-built critical messages, you tend to impede human intelligence to take charge and act more responsibly. Using a Zsuite CEM platform, you can build your emergency response to help avoid ambiguity while also keeping everyone informed. This can be the most effective means of critical communication that enables a faster recovery process.

Better coordination

The right crisis communication plan can focus on coordination strategy. Having the right tool that allows you to enhance your critical communication can help you collaborate easily with all your stakeholders internally and externally and your people. Zsuite enables you to collaborate and communicate effectively so as to allocate resources better and act as necessary. This can add to better organizational resiliency.

Multimodal communication channels

Before, during, and after critical events, stakeholders must ensure their assets should not be in harm’s way. To ensure your people are safe, you must reach them at an incident site at the right time. No matter what device your people use, the idea is to reach them, so they never miss critical information. However, connecting does not always mean it is over. People receiving the message have to understand it and make a reply. Critical communication tools that integrate multiple languages allow communicating at ease while two-way communication brings feedback at a lightning speed, ensuring plans are being strategized as designed.

Contextual and location-awareness

Not all CEM is built to derive location intelligence to help reach people in harm’s way and save them. Zsuite CEM enhances its critical communication ability by leveraging the power of location intelligence and contextual awareness.

Zsuite relies upon location data it fetches from its contact centers, which helps provide visualization and analysis of geographical data. Also, by drawing spaces in the smart map in the dashboard and integrating it with demographic, traffic, and weather data, you can gain location awareness and add context to your critical communication so that you can predict the potential of threats, take appropriate action, and help save your people.

Accurate analysis

Powerful crisis communication can provide visibility into the incident’s nature, its causes, and its effects. Which part of your organization was badly damaged? How is it impacting spaces and life outside of your organization? Using Zsuite, your crisis management or incident management team can gain a better understanding of loopholes and prepare a better version of internal and external recovery plans with necessary inputs from stakeholders. It improves your monitoring of the factors impeding your recovery strategy and lessens the impact of disasters.

Plan and test your recovery plan

Critical communications enabled by a CEM platform such as Zsuite can help you run drills and evaluate the scope of your plans and their efficacy before a disaster happens. As you practice with simulations of critical events such as earthquakes, IT Incidents, terrorist attacks, or hurricanes, your emergency response teams can enhance their crisis communication plans, be prepared for the next disaster, and be more proactive to mitigate its threats.

Critical communications are the backbone of business resiliency. In the event of a crisis, crisis communication tools scale and give robust communication flexibility that can narrow the gap between life and death.

Are you prepared to handle critical events? Schedule a demo today.

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ZSuite

How CSO or CISO need to prepare for physical and digital security threats

How CSO or CISO need to prepare for physical and digital security threats

Cyberattacks, once an underrated topic to discuss, suddenly evolved into a huge concern for organizations after the COVID-19 pandemics forced businesses to stop their operations. With so many uncertainties still doing rounds, especially the ongoing second wave of the pandemic and the probability of the third wave, cybersecurity is capturing high attention to meeting agendas across the board for CSOs/CISOs. The continuous challenge to meet the safety and security standards that could ensure network wellbeing, employee mental and physical health, and business resiliency is becoming more exacerbated. Adjusting to the new normal of hybrid work culture needs to pay more attention to protecting high confidential corporate data while encouraging safer work from home environment. Meeting these high expectations can help CSOs and CISOs keep up with employee productivity, business continuity, and revenue generation.

 

Cyber threats- an evolving challenge for CSOs and CISOs

Home workspaces were the only devices made available to most workforces as soon as the lockdowns began. Organizations with little to no adequate resources at hand quickly nodded to these norms without measuring their effects. But, the saddest part, many organizations, especially small-scale organizations failed to provide a cyber-safe telecommuting ecosystem. The sudden scenario exposed the organization’s security at risk and led to cybercrime inadvertently.

As per reports from National Cyber Security Center, there was an increase in cyberattacks during the pandemic. WFH was the leading cause of this concern because of the lack of inherent protective home devices.

On top of it, telecommuting is a critical step towards making public health measures effective to curb the virus outbreak. Organizations encouraging this protocol have been facing novel challenges due to the more complex nature of employee health safety standards. Also, not being able to work in a centralized environment, employee communication took a hit, impacting their mental health and also decreasing productivity.

 

Classification of physical and digital threats organizations are facing

As businesses reopen after months of lockdowns, organizations face dual challenges-

  • Maintaining COVID-19 compliance to ensure the physical security of their people.
  • Maintaining digital security to prevent cyber threats like scams, phishing, and more.

Physical threats

Physical threats are those components that pose risks to mental health or overall wellbeing. In between reopening and reclosing of businesses, the most grueling challenges for organizations or security officers are to maintain social distancing norms at office premises, maintain a proper screening process to identify COVID-19 symptoms so as to be alert, and aid in preventing the transmission risks. The incapability to maintain the basic norms can result in so many issues-

  • Transmission of infectious disease at large
  • Mass infection of employees
  • The shutdown of business operations
  • Revenue losses

Apart from the pandemic threats, bad weather, natural disasters like floods, cyclones, or man-made disasters like terrorist attacks, or active shootouts cause the same consequences for businesses.

Digital threats

Digital threats are information shared online via websites, emails, or landing pages, or social media can deliberately cause risks to physical or information security risks.

One of the key digital threats that invited risks for CSOs or CISOs during a pandemic-

Social engineering

Social engineering scams are proliferating during the pandemic. Many novel tactics of social engineering have surfaced in the wake of COVID-19. Employees are an easy target for cyber intruders to infringe data or steal important credentials.

  • Video conferencing led to data breaches for more than half a million people.
  • A phishing scam shouldering on the key interest of people to get updates of coronavirus related news also deceived.
  • False emails containing malware caused disruptions to IT systems.
  • Phishing emails with malicious links siphoned off millions of dollars.
  • Phishing-related data breaches related to WFH are likely to cause $137,000 worth of losses.

Due to these evolving situations, organizations need to boost employee cyber-security training more than ever, which is a growing challenge for them too.

Threats to concentrate on while an employee is working from home

So, due to the changing norms of work culture in society, we have a reduced workforce, putting more pressure on the employees. Not able to comply with the new work from a home ecosystem, employees tend to compromise their mental health. Away from a supervised environment like that of an office system, mindlessness may crop up. Additionally, working from home does not offer the similar degree of cybersecurity that the office follows. Besides, there are a lot of threats to home devices-

  • Absence of regular anti-virus or anti-malware scans
  • Lack of sophisticated cyber threat prevention measures
  • Weaker Wi-Fi networks, which is susceptible to cyberattacks

All these are a great opportunity for hackers or cybercriminals to prey on personal devices to steal corporate files and data and pose threats to organization reputations.

However, be it physical or digital threats, a CEM platform provides organizations with capabilities to implement immediate critical communications, keep everyone informed of the evolving situations, and prevent the risks before it becomes a huge organizational risk.

 

How CEM helps CSO / CISO during uncertain times and how it improves response times during physical and digital security threats

Zsuite CEM platform is built to handle critical information in a more flexible way that helps organizations with IT incident management, disease prevention, and business continuity. Some of its sophisticated features guarantee a great level of flexibility and agility to curb major incidents or critical events quickly.

Critical Communications

To simply put, critical communications give organizations the ability to communicate before, during, after critical events. Zsuite features robust crisis communication features to help CSOs/CISOs design their recovery plan to mitigate threats that stem from physical or digital threats.

Two-way communications, multi-channel message delivery, mass notifications, critical alerts, comprehensive contact center along with powerful pre-built message templates make handling crisis communication effortless and efficient. Leveraging these tools can speed up the communication process for CSO/CISOs, keep stakeholders, partners, and employees informed, and give them much-needed resources to communicate at the right time with the right person. Hence, critical communications can improve response time, thus accelerating the recovery process.

Situation awareness

Zsuite unleashes the power of data intelligence to identify risks at granular levels. As this CEM platform helps capture unstructured data from different sources, CSOs can have data relevancy and therefore, enjoy the flexibility of connecting dots, and find missing links. This is probably a faster process to gain situational awareness of the evolving situations, which gives the organization a competitive advantage in identifying risks and opportunities, allocate resources, and communicate efficiently with everyone exposed to risks.

Common operating picture

In-depth visibility into how the critical events can evolve with the changing time or location is an ideal mechanism that provides a common operating picture. It is situational awareness that improves understanding of the critical events for every emergency response team or CSOs/CISOs. Based on what organizations see on the system improve their action plan. It becomes easier to predict threats to physical or digital assets, determine ways to mitigate risk, improve future plans, and help boost business resiliency.

Zsuite CEM is pioneering ways to combat the growing challenges of COVID-19 threats or familiar critical events to businesses. Whether you move to hybrid culture or still follow the traditional operating model, you need the expertise of Zsuite CEM to prevent business threats. Schedule a demo today.

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Gain situational awareness and improve business resilience

Situational awareness refers to an ability to derive, process, and analyze data related to critical events. To simply put, situational awareness tells you what is happening around you, how things change with time, and being relevant to situations as they appear. Enabling human experience or situational awareness is the most important approach in bridging the gap between life and death because it helps with logical output and more informed decision-making. As critical events are more frequent than ever, situational awareness can be the key to mitigate emergencies before they occur or impact your business.

When we fail to have a good understanding of a critical event or don’t have full situational awareness, poor decision making, inadequate communications and weak management of the crisis are likely results. It sounds straightforward in principle, but in reality, it requires defined processes, appropriate resources and practice. Often, many crisis management teams and enterprise command centers (ECC) overlook and result in last-minute scrambling to figure out the information management process and fully understand the incident and its impact.

But, the question is how capable are you to achieve situational awareness? If you don’t have insights into this, what ways can you try to seek it?

 

Challenges for a modern business to get hold of situational awareness

Did you ever think about what stops you from taking proactive action to mitigate the fast-evolving impacts of critical events? The answer is no. Reasons can range from information overload to the traditional approach of handling emergencies for organizations. They include,

Incessant attacks of critical events

Incidents are more frequent these days. Businesses are at stake as the synchronicity of different incidents makes it more complex to handle. With pandemics still raging through, one could never anticipate how it can complicate measures to handle critical events like natural disasters, man-made disasters, industrial threats such as IT incidents, or data breaches. Due to the evolving nature of these events, crisis response teams fail to leverage enough data from critical event endpoints, which is indispensable to build situational awareness.

Information overload

The digital world is full of DATA, DATA and DATA. Crisis Management teams often describe gathering situational awareness and managing that information during a crisis as like drinking out of a fire hose. How does one manage such a volume, velocity and variety of information?

A traditional approach to data handling

Most organizations still rely on an old infrastructure to analyze information wherein the crisis response team manually integrates data into a system. But they lack a comprehensive understanding to validate data, resulting in intelligence slipping through hands. These siloed systems add to more complexity to discern who and what are in harm’s way and delay informed decision making.

Inability to parse explosion of data

Data is generated in a massive volume. But, there is unstructured data more than ever business can draw immense value by deriving them. But, businesses using conventional systems are not capable of parsing this which can be valuable to tap into insights. In another way, it is tough for businesses to store a massive volume of unstructured data. As we gather data related to critical events, we can’t verify its accuracy because of its inconsistent nature and quality issues. However, by implementing the power of natural language processing or artificial intelligence, we can make findings more valuable for critical event management as they provide risk intelligence.

To build situational awareness, we need accurate data, not inconsistent data.

Sources of data to build situational awareness

To create situational awareness, we need to derive data from disparate sources. One thing is critical that manual data processing can ruin its approach. The comprehensiveness of relevant information related to specific locations or surroundings or assets in connection with the incident can be of immense value. So, we need to work with stakeholders and partners to gather validated information for complete visibility into situations. Demographic breakdown of data can help us make a visual representation of incidents and potential threats to people and assets and thus improve situational awareness. To add to this, data may include an existing emergency plan, a live feed from sensors, weather or traffic feed, or dynamic data like critical events. By integrating these data points into a system, organizations can build a common operating picture, simplifying the process of getting risk intelligence for ever-evolving emergencies and enhance decision-making.

Importance of visualization in critical event management

Leveraging the common operating picture is critical to resolving issues faster and preparing a more robust approach to handling future threats. Situational awareness solidifies the foundation of the common operating picture wherein emergency response teams can use technology to bring context to information and integrate it into a system. Using all datasets, we can visualize data or build an intuitive model that enhances understanding of critical events that change with time and necessitate emergency preparedness. Through comprehensive situational awareness, we can better visualize to allocate emergency help to priority areas well in advance so further damage to life or property can be avoided.

Situational Awareness is key to business resilience

Critical events undoubtedly restrict business operations. The ongoing COVID-19 has its impacts on the global economy as businesses had to pause and shift to new models of doing business. Besides, natural threats, cyberattacks, or any kind of disasters can aggravate supply chain disruptions, putting direct effects on its scalability or resilience. Having situational awareness into the evolving situations can better prepare your emergency response, which comprehensively helps in mitigating risks and encouraging business continuity.

Role of situational awareness in critical event management

As we discussed, situation awareness gives you an idea about what is going on around you, ways to predict things with time, and remain relevant to the changing environment. Critical event management gives your organization the fastest means to unify data by communicating with stakeholders or partners and make more informed decisions specific to emergencies. A CEM system eliminates the necessity of having so many tools to communicate, gather data, map risks, and mitigate risks in real-time. As the unified CEM brings you valuable data, you can easily incorporate them to create situational awareness, therefore making more informed decisions, speeding up the process of handling situations better.

Ways to achieve situational awareness

It is all about getting better ideas to respond to critical events more proactively. Situational awareness makes it easier to get insights into types of incidents and various approaches to deal with them. Since data is key, we need a more comprehensive system that collects data from even disparate sources and gives context too. Zsuite – a powerful CEM tool that enables organizations to gather the right information at the right time from the right source can provide comprehensive data to locate, assess, act, and analyze.

Zsuite features the most advanced tools that include unified communication tools with two-way communication and multichannel capabilities to help keep information consistent. Integrated with geofencing location tracking and sensors, Zsuite can scale with situations, provide contextual information to be relevant to your emergency handling workflows, and finally help react to mitigate critical events. So with the right data in hand, you can gain situational awareness by implementing the right method.

 

Values organizations can derive from situational awareness

Situational awareness enhances the ability to comprehend, react, and decide based on geographic context. Organizations can power up their emergency preparedness plan before any event occurring. This ability helps mitigate the crisis in a much lesser time, improves cost-savings, enhances overall productivity and efficiency while also generating revenues.

Handling critical events depends on situational awareness. And we can bring a more comprehensive approach to this dynamicity using the Zsuite CEM tool. It enhances data gathering, communication, visualization, and emergency response.