In 2020, Everbridge customers used the provider’s critical event management platform to send more than 5 billion communications, up from 3.5 billion the previous year.
While this figure includes communications on events ranging from forest fires to protests, it is clear that the Coronavirus pandemic was the number one critical event in the world in 2020.
“COVID-19, the pandemic, has just started to shine,” said Everbridge technical director Imad Mouline. “[It] made the need for critical event management much more visible. “
Everbridge, based in Burlington, Mass., Claims approximately 5,400 customers, including governments, financial services and hospitals. Its critical event management software offers services such as mass notification, risk intelligence, analysis, planning and now contact tracing.
We spoke with Mouline about critical event management best practices for businesses, the key challenges of 2020, and how Everbridge has adapted its platform to help customers during the pandemic.
Now that we are about 10 months away from the pandemic, what is most important to how businesses undertake critical event management?
Imad Mouline: Critical event management has always been important: the ability to know if something serious was going to happen and have an impact on your organization, whether you are a business, a hospital or a hospital system, or a healthcare entity. public security. [That includes] the ability to understand the potential impact; the ability to do something, to try to mitigate, to eliminate the impact; the ability to see how successful you have been, so that you can improve yourself next time.
Imad MoulineTechnical Director, Everbridge
What’s different with COVID-19 is that it was a wake-up call that managing critical events is now an imperative at the CEO or board level. Most organizations, whether in the public or private sector, have realized that they cannot have another critical event where they are caught off guard, whether it is an impact only on their own. organization, their peers or the whole world.
Having critical event management can help you, whether you are dealing with a pandemic or any other type of critical event, be it a hurricane, a wildfire in California or Australia, terrorist attack or use of force.
What has been the biggest challenge of the past year for Everbridge?
Mouline: Let more people know that we can help them, especially at the start of the year. There was probably a slight sense of frustration on the part of the employees, seeing some of the initial chaos around the world of what was happening – the impact on lives. And knowing that if more organizations, if more countries had implemented part of our management of critical events, whether at company level, at state level, our public alert systems at globally, that things could have been better. More lives could have been saved.
When you know you have the means to help, but that help isn’t necessarily reaching everyone in the world just because some of these countries aren’t organized well enough or just don’t know you, it can be a little difficult.
How has Everbridge had to scale its business to cope with the increased activity during the pandemic over an extended period of time?
Mouline: From an underlying technical point of view, we haven’t really had to do anything different for our platform to evolve. We built it specifically to be able to evolve and face those huge peaks and valleys. And what the pandemic has shown us is that we have done it the right way.
One thing we needed to do was add functionality that hadn’t been in the plan – that’s part of our flexibility and resilience. We ended up dating COVID-19 Shield [which includes] for example, the possibility of having pandemic-focused risk information flows. Let’s make sure we tell all of our stakeholders, all of our customers, not only where the virus is spreading or what the numbers are – there are so many other sources for that – but what the impact, the impact on transport, the impact on production facilities around the world, the impact on the supply chain.
We added extra features like contact tracing later in the year when we went from the impact of the pandemic to how to get back to work, get back to campus, get back to life faster. [That includes] the ability to search contacts based on proximity or location.
What are the trends in how governments and businesses are using Everbridge, given that we are in the middle of vaccine distribution, some companies have returned to work, and there are still many new cases of the coronavirus? every day ?
Mouline: We have an incredibly unique point of view because we support organizations every step of the way. vaccine supply chain. Everbridge customers develop, manufacture, transport, distribute, regulate and administer vaccine, right down to the last mile. They all rely on Everbridge’s Critical Event Management to ensure that, end-to-end, the vaccine will reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible and as efficiently as possible.
By bringing all of these things together through what we call the Everbridge network, this information does not slip through the cracks, that there is a certain level of cooperation and collaboration between private and public entities to ensure that the distribution of vaccines can be optimized. As a resident of a city or town, you may have received a message inform you about the status of the pandemic or the lines from a testing standpoint, or what is happening with the vaccine distribution.
What are you expecting in 2021?
Mouline: If we are to look beyond post-pandemic initiatives, 2021 is the year when just about all European countries must select a public alert system, in accordance with an EU mandate.
What we think will happen is that instead of selecting the bare minimum required by the EU’s mandate, some of these countries will heed the lessons of the pandemic and start thinking more broadly about what they really have. need. They will choose a system that can help across the full spectrum of critical events, throughout the lifecycle, not only by notifying the public but also by communicating with all stakeholders, understanding what is going on that may have an impact. impact on their first responders, their populations, their tourists.