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North Orange County CC 'Regroups' Emergency Messaging

A multi-campus community college in Anaheim, CA has migrated to a new mass communication system to ensure that emergency messages get out in a timely way and through multiple channels efficiently. North Orange County Community College District, with 61,000 students at three campuses and other off-site locations, is adopting Regroup for information and emergency communications.

The previous emergency system took "a long time to complete message delivery," said Fredrick Rocha, district manager of IT applications support. "We were dependent on the telecoms for delivering SMS messages and we often found that our messages were viewed as spam or were throttled due to the volume of messages being sent."

He added that the schools also had to use "several systems" to get the messages out, depending on what format it followed. "Regroup changed all that for us," he said. "It is an affordable, one stop shop solution for all our messaging needs."

Authorized users can specify on the Web-based service how a message should be delivered: via email, landlines, forms and wikis, SMS, mobile texting and posted to Facebook, twitter and the school Web site. All messaging will go out simultaneously. The service also allows users to set up groups for targeted non-emergency messaging.

Besides the quality and variety of messaging options, North Orange County CC was also attracted by Regroup's capacity to be integrated with the college's enterprise resource planning system, Ellucian Banner.

A subscription for the initial service year will be about $45,000, according to notes from a recent Board of Trustees meeting.

Regroup grew out of a Stanford University project. The company's current customers include the University of Alabama, Southeast Community College in Nebraska and Hinds Community College in Mississippi, among others.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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