Protect Your People with COVID-19 Updates via Mass Notification

As the coronavirus forces people to work from home, organizations still need a way to share information efficiently. Mass notification offers a number of ways organizations can check in on employees, share operational updates and generally keep people informed on ongoing developments.

Guest Editorial by Paul Shain, President and CEO of Singlewire Software

The coronavirus has caused immeasurable disruptions across every possible industry. It presents a very real threat to many organization’s daily operations.

While we often think of severe threats in terms of tangible dangers, like active shooters, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has compounded and complicated responses for unprepared organizations.

One of the biggest obstacles many organizations are discovering is the inability to reach all of their people with vital information.

The coronavirus outbreak is an ever-evolving situation.

Restrictions and guidelines are changing by the hour leaving many organizations scrabbling for how to respond and communicate that response to their people.

People need to receive clear, consistent information from organization leaders on what expectations are, how schedules may change, and whether or not an organization will require people to work remotely.

That last item is particularly challenging as reaching people with updates becomes even more difficult once people are off-site.

(Combine the power of mobile and on-premises devices to reach everyone, every time. InformaCast Fusion mass notification system takes the most powerful components of InformaCast Advanced and Mobile, to provide an unparalleled notification solution. Using a single interface, InformaCast alert software reaches on-premises and mobile devices with a versatile array of messaging formats to provide organizations with the most complete mass notification coverage when it matters most. And with high availability, you never need to worry about your notifications failing to send. Courtesy of Singlewire Software and YouTube.)

A mass notification system can help many organizations manage the crisis being caused by the coronavirus by establishing a central, authoritative communication channel that can shares informative updates.

Mass notifications can reach large groups of people quickly which is critical during a rapidly changing event like the coronavirus pandemic.

Many mass notification platforms offer the ability to customize message templates, so organizations can create messages with information that is most relevant to their recipients.

These messages can also sometimes include the ability to prompt a response from the recipient.

Organizations can use this feature to confirm that recipients have read and understand the message.

Those that don’t respond can receive a follow up message to ensure everyone is aware of changes to operations.

With InformaCast alert software from Singlewire, they connect people when and where it matters. When an emergency occurs, the mass notification system helps keep people safe and informed, everywhere, every time. 
With InformaCast alert software from Singlewire, they connect people when and where it matters. When an emergency occurs, the mass notification system helps keep people safe and informed, everywhere, every time.

Messages can also include simple health and safety tips like good hygienic practices that can help prevent the spread of the disease, and best practices for maintaining productivity while working from home.

If an organization does decide to have people work from home to help prevent the spread of the disease by practicing social distancing, a mass notification system can become even more crucial to an organization’s communication plans.

Mass notifications delivered to mobile devices as SMS text messages will become an important way to directly contact an entire organization with same information.

Without the benefit of on-premises communication devices like desk phones, IP speakers and digital signage, mobile devices will become a primary communication device for many remote workers.

Everyone receiving the same communication will help combat misinformation and confusion about expectations during the crisis.

For some mass notification systems, a similar function can be accomplished by automatically sending out a conference call invitation to mobile devices.

Desktop notifications will become another important delivery method for organizations to grab people’s attention with alerts that pop-up over other open applications.

A notification’s effectiveness is determined by how many people it reaches and how quickly it is consumed.

The more an organization can do to ensure that a notification interrupts ongoing activities the more likely it is that the information being communicated will be consumed quickly.

While not every workforce will have access to desktop computers when they work remote, it’s important to leverage as many communication channels as possible to get messages in front of the right people.

Similarly, mass notifications sent to collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams can also help inform people when they are remote.

The way workforces communicate is changing, and these kinds of tools have grown in use over the past few years to become a dominant communication channel in many offices.

InformaCast helps extend the reach of communications tools already in place, reducing costs and saving time.

Effective mass notification relies on messages reaching people on the devices and in the applications they use frequently.

For organizations that rely on these tools for day-to-day messaging, it can be an effective way to relay information.

When connected to the right mass notification systems, collaboration tools can have the added benefit of being an easy way to gather key stakeholders.

The coronavirus will require ongoing monitoring and updates from organization leaders.

Following a mass notification distribution, the system can automatically launch a collaboration space to quickly bring together the right people who can assess developments and determine next steps.

For some mass notification systems, a similar function can be accomplished by automatically sending out a conference call invitation to mobile devices.

This can be less time consuming than manual invitations or calling trees, meaning responses can be deployed more quickly.

Email is another channel organizations will want to leverage, but they should be cautious not to rely too heavily on it as a primary means of communication.

While mass notification systems can deliver messages as emails throughout an organization, emails are easy to ignore.

(See how InformaCast mass notification can help healthcare facilities send alerts about Code Blue events. Healthcare workers can also utilize the confirmation response feature to let others know that they are responding to the situation. Courtesy of Singlewire Software and YouTube.)

When dealing with information that impacts people’s health and safety, organizations need them to prioritize reading messages.

Email should be used to supplement other mass notification delivery methods, but SMS text messages and desktop notifications may be more effective when organization leaders need recipients to notice and read messages as soon as they are sent out.

Because mass notifications can often be scheduled, organizations may want to consider sending daily updates to stay connected with remote workers.

This helps remote workers know that organization leaders are actively monitoring the situation as it develops, but can also help reduce the feeling of isolation workers may feel while being stuck at homes.

Deploying mass notifications on a regular schedule can get people in the habit to checking for updates at the right time so everyone can stay on the same page.

While the coronavirus is an ongoing event, at some point, routines will return to normal. Mass notification systems can be used to let remote workers know offices and facilities have reopened and regular operations will resume.

Organizations that put mass notification solutions into place now, will have the added benefit of having a powerful safety and communication tool in place should their organization face other emergencies down the road.

singlewire software

Violent intruders, severe weather, chemical spills, and other crisis events can all be managed with help from a mass notification system.

Safety should always be a top priority, and with a mass notification system organizations can improve their chances of reaching everyone, every time with critical safety information.

About the Author

Paul Shain, President and CEO of Singlewire Software
Paul Shain, President and CEO of Singlewire Software

Paul Shain serves as the President and CEO of Singlewire Software. He has led the strategic direction of the company since its founding in 2009, and under his direction, the Singlewire team has grown from a handful of people to over 100 employees.

Paul is a seasoned technology industry executive who previously was Senior Vice President and Executive Committee Member at CDW, a leading provider of technology products and services for business, government, and education.

Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a bachelor’s degree and MBA in finance. Paul holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and has served on executive partner councils for both IBM Corporation and Cisco Systems.

In addition, Paul currently serves on the board of directors for Fiduciary Management Inc., American Family Insurance Company, and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Singlewire Takes Home the Gold in ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

2019 'ASTORS' Awards Program Banquet Luncheon
2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program Banquet Luncheon

Singlewire Software

  • Best Mass Notification System – Application

  • InformaCast Fusion

  • The InformaCast Fusion mass notification system using a single interface (InformaCast alert software), reaches on-premises and mobile devices with a versatile array of messaging formats to provide organizations with complete mass notification coverage when it matters most.

  • Singlewire Software was also a 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winner.

Singlewire to Compete in 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

Enter today to Compete in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland SecurityAwards at


The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.

Deanne Criswell
Deanne Criswell the Commissioner of the New York City Emergency Management Department is responsible for oversight of the City’s efforts to plan and prepare for emergencies, educate the public about preparedness, coordinate emergency response and recovery, and disseminate emergency information.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

American Security Today is pleased to announce that Deann Criswell, the NYC Emergency Management Commissioner will deliver the keynote address at the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon Banquet in New York City.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards at

Comprehensive List of Categories Include:

Access Control/ Identification Personal/Protective Equipment Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism
Perimeter Barrier/ Deterrent System Interagency Interdiction Operation Cloud Computing/Storage Solution
Facial/IRIS Recognition Body Worn Video Product Cyber Security
Video Surveillance/VMS Mobile Technology Anti-Malware
Audio Analytics Disaster Preparedness ID Management
Thermal/Infrared Camera Mass Notification System Fire & Safety
Metal/Weapon Detection Rescue Operations Critical Infrastructure
License Plate Recognition Detection Products And Many Others!

Don’t see a Direct Hit for your Product, Agency or Organization?

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has occurred across all fifty states in the America.

With the unprecedented occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of the safety and security industries has realized the need to increase innovations to address the daily growing challenges.

As such AST aims to make sure these firms and professionals are reflected in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, so we’d like to encourage you to submit appropriate categories recommendations and include COVID-19 Frontline Professionals in your Nominations to see that these Professionals, Facilities, and Vendors receive the Recognition they Deserve!

Submit your category recommendation for consideration to Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at:

2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William (Bill) Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD twice, the BPD, and former chief of the LAPD, on the history of policing in America and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

The event featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William J. Bratton, former police commissioner of the New York Police Department (NYPD) twice, the Boston Police Department (BPD), and former chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), as he walked attendees through 50 years of American policing history, the impacts on the communities, and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

Commissioner Bratton, one of the world’s most respected and trusted experts on risk and security issues and Executive Chairman of Teneo Risk a global advisory firm, was recognized as the ‘2019 ‘ASTORS’ Person of the Year’ for his Lifetime of Dedication and Extraordinary Leadership in Homeland Security and Public Safety.

Why the ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program?

2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Luncheon at ISC East

American Security Today’s comprehensive Annual Homeland Security Awards Program is organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of physical, IT, port security, law enforcement, and first responders, in acknowledgment of their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

Over 200 distinguished guests representing Federal, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included: 

  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
  • United States Marine Corps
  • The Federal Protective Service (FPS)
  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
  • United States Postal Inspection Service
  • DHS S&T 
  • United States Marshals Service (USMS)
  • The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Police (PAPD)
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • The New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (NYS DHSES)
  • United States Border Patrol
  • AlertMedia, Ameristar Perimeter Security, Attivo Networks, Automatic Systems, Bellevue University, BriefCam, Canon U.S.A., CornellCookson, Drone Aviation, FLIR Systems, Hanwha Techwin, HID Global, IPVideo Corp., Konica Minolta Business Solutions, LenelS2, ManTech, Regroup Mass Notifications, SafeLogic, SolarWinds, Senstar, ShotSpotter, Smiths Detection, TCOM LP, Trackforce, Verint, and More!

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, please go to the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Championship Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2019 ‘A Year in Review’.

The ‘ASTORS’ Champion Edition is published annually and includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2019 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION will have what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitgate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

singlewireSinglewire Software, develops and supports ip-based voice applications for emergency communication with mass notification capabilities.

To Learn More about Singlewire Software and InformaCast Fusion mass notification, please visit

For information about advertising opportunities with American Security Today, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at

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InformaCast Fusion Competes in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program