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Critical event management provider Everbridge launched a new platform that helps organizations monitor risks and emergencies and communicate in times of crisis.
Everbridge 360, which became generally available this month, provides new features such as message templates and a full-screen takeover option and integrates the vendor's risk intelligence, communications, collaboration and coordination capabilities.
"This is [a] unified platform for all of enterprise resilience," said Julie Deppe, director of product management at Everbridge.
Overcoming communication hangups
Everbridge 360 speeds up communication and incident response and minimizes errors in communicating by bringing resources under one platform and incorporating new capabilities, according to the vendor.
"In situations where it's an imminent threat to life, it can even do a full-screen takeover," Deppe said. The desktop takeover targets recipients based on the message -- they could be anyone the sender would like to notify, such as admins or employees.
Users can predetermine event categories based on risk intelligence feeds. Custom event type creation enables users to link events, alerts and templates.
Julie DeppeDirector of product management, Everbridge
"We've brought risk event configuration into the communication process," Deppe said. "We can drive better accuracy by recommending templates that would be used for communication, in order to remove a couple of things that come into play -- the 'fear of sending out,' errors, things like that."
Sometimes an organization can take its time crafting a message. Other times, a mass notification message needs to go out in seconds.
"It easily tells you, there is no mistake you're about to send this to 50,000 people," Deppe said.
Everbridge had to recently apologize to one of its own customers -- the state of Florida -- for a test alert that mistakenly went out to millions of resident cellphones on an early morning in April, caused by human error. CEO David Wagner said on Everbridge's website that the company has added safeguards so clients only receive messages when necessary.
The "voice of the customer" has been key in Everbridge 360 development, Deppe said. The vendor tested the product and used focus groups through an early adopter program. The product was in development long before the Florida testing incident, according to Everbridge.
Templates, groups and more to come
Organizations can tie message templates to event types. For example, in an active shooter situation when time is short, the platform will push templates to the user.
"I don't have to think about that anymore," Deppe said. "And if for some reason, I don't have a template that's already been created, then I can just send a message ad hoc. It's going to pull in all of the organization defaults that have already been set."
Organizations can also set up a group and quickly remove a person from the list, if needed.
"[The ability to exclude one contact] is important, especially in situations where you're communicating about a potential threat actor where [the threat] might be a part of the group -- they might be internal," Deppe said of the new feature.
Everbridge 360 goes a step beyond the typical IT-focused disaster recovery product, said Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group.
"It covers things that we would associate with people and policies, as well as physical security," Macomber said. "For example, it can provide a snapshot into weather and traffic conditions and coordinate the dispatching of first responders."
Macomber said she views Everbridge 360 as a particular fit for schools and governments, healthcare organizations and industries such as retail and manufacturing. These types of organizations are "geographically spread out and have particular physical-related security concerns that require the coordination of a variety of individuals," she said.
Everbridge claims more than 6,500 customers. Current users can enable a toggle and move over to the new platform with no price increase, Deppe said. There is also a mobile version.
The vendor plans to roll out updates to Everbridge 360 over multiple years, Deppe said.
Pricing is based on the size of the organization and the number of contacts it needs to reach.
Paul Crocetti is an executive editor at TechTarget Editorial. Since 2015, he has worked on TechTarget's Storage, Data Backup and Disaster Recovery sites.