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X-Factor Adds Mobile and Non-Carrier Devices to Notification Service
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A company producing a mass notification service that can deliver an emergency alert to almost any endpoint on the network has updated its feature set to include a mobile alert agent too. The service provided by X-Factor Communications currently delivers alerts via digital signage, computer screens, Web sites, intranets, IP phones, interactive voice, pagers, SMS texts and email.
An enhancement expands that distribution to include messaging for devices that don't necessarily have carrier service but are on the environment's Wi-Fi service, such as interactive whiteboards and tablets. To work, the devices need to have the company's HTML 5 agent installed.
"In our experience," said CEO Charles Saracino, "there's a desire in education to connect those devices as well for lockdowns."
The service also allows for embedding of interactive content, such as clickable objects or the capability to solicit feedback; it lets receivers confirm receipt of alerts by dispatching a signal to the sender; and content can be sent to the entire system or targeted locations.
Saracino noted that it's common for schools and colleges to have multiple systems for communicating during an emergency. This latest addition to X-Factor's service addresses is intended to help consolidate those mechanisms under a single browser-based dashboard interface to speed up communications. "Our platform not only allows our clients to be able to quickly and confidently broadcast alerts to multiple network connected devices but also provides an interactive response capability back to the master control operator where he or she can provide additional information and guidance."
Added CIO Brian Watts, "The ability to communicate with devices without relying on cellular carriers means that we can reach over 95 percent of network-enabled devices including smartphones, feature phones, tablets, digital signs and desktop PCs."
The same platform is also intended for other kinds of mass communications, including weather advisories, event updates and class cancellations.
X-Factor makes its platform available as an on-premises system or as a cloud-based service. Customers may license a bundle or choose specific device types.
Current customers include Seminole State College of Florida and Kingsborough Community College in New York.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.