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Universities can cut costs with integrated messaging platforms

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Regroup and Datatel are working together to provide the higher education sector with a user-friendly and cost-effective platform that increases campus safety through integrated messaging.

The emergency messaging service will be use to broadcast alerts to students, staff and faculty. Critical messages about pandemics, severe weather and more are conveyed through Regroup’s integration of communication platforms that include mobile devices, email, institutional Web sites and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Although we have just begun to use Regroup for our communication needs, we have discovered it is an efficient, cost-effective way to reach our current students, alumni and supporters,” said Sean Weaver, director of university relations at New Mexico Highlands University.

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“We, like other colleges and universities across the country, consider the safety of our students, faculty and staff to be of primary concern, and we welcome intelligent solutions like the Regroup-Datatel venture for our emergency planning needs,” he said.

With Regroup, college and university administrators have an easy, effective way to reach students on their preferred platforms and to provide important announcements in several different ways with the click of a mouse.

This improves campus safety and also can save schools thousands of dollars per year on printing expenses.

Regroup’s strategy behind providing this service is to provide administrators and their school's constituents with a robust communications and alert platform that is reasonably priced, reliable and integrates seamlessly with the social media they are already using.

Regroup addresses the high costs that schools feel they are forced to pay for alert systems due to the scarcity of viable options.

“We are well priced for the current budget realities facing higher education and in some cases are less expensive that what a school might spend on the printing costs associated with messaging students about topics like H1N1,” said Chris Utah, director of campus relations at Regroup, New York.

Regroup also addresses a common issue faced by most higher education institutions. It helps schools mitigate problems with over-messaging and student desensitization to email by giving the administration the ability to broadcast to their students over multiple media in addition to email including SMS, Facebook, and Twitter from one interface.

This alone is not enough. It then gives the recipients the ability to quickly and easily adjust their settings in Regroup so that they can control how they receive the messaging.

Sending an important message to a student at a .edu email address they never check misses the mark, but giving that student the option to receive that message via SMS, as one example, can make a significant difference in student engagement.

“Students are not tuned in to their school emails,” Mr. Utah said. “They walk around campuses with their heads down and their thumbs at work on their mobile devices.

“Today's digital natives are shaping the way the world communicates and we are helping our partners keep pace,” he said.

Giselle Tsirulnik is deputy managing editor on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily. Reach her at giselle@mobilemarketer.com.

Related content: Messaging, Regroup, Datatel, Sean Weaver, Chris Utah, mobile marketing, mobile

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Comments on "Universities can cut costs with integrated messaging platforms"

  1. Matt Smith says:

    December 7, 2009 at 11:51pm

    That's why integration with social media is so important. By doing that, you can also create a way for your community to contact each other in the case of emergency, creating an infinitely rundant system.
  2. Jim Washok says:

    December 7, 2009 at 11:45am

    A central, integrated interface can be convenient, helps speed message delivery and helps keep messaging consistent among channels.

    However, anyone who has ever been responsible for business continuity planning or disaster recovery will be aware of the risks of a single point of failure and why such scenarios need to be avoided or that backup systems and processes are in place, well documented and routinely tested.

    If all communications are originated or flow thru a central interface, any failure or delay will them impact all messaging and post serious risk.

    If a central interface is used, have backup systems on call or at least backup interfaces to the individual communication channels that the central interface would normally integrate with. Also important is not only making sure the interface is NOT a single point of failure, but that also the necessary contact data, like mobile numbers and emails, is replicated among channels... again in case of failure of the central interface or central data system.
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