Emergency Response Dialing System
Frequently Asked Questions
Size: How large is the capacity of the contact
the system currently supports 1.5 million individual contact
- Telephone Numbers Per
Contact: How many separate contact telephone numbers
are allocated to each contact?Answer: the
system currently supports 5 telephone numbers, (cell,
home, office, cottage, pager, etc) and one e-mail
address for each contact: we can add more if necessary
but we have found that 6 contact points
is more than ample for any one individual.
Numbers-Long Distance: Does the system automatically
identify long-distance numbers and add prefixes as appropriate?
Answer: the system identifies
local area codes and, by default, will identify
a local versus long distance area codes. Many
area codes have both long distance and local
calls within their calling area depending on
where in the region the system is located.
For example: Newmarket is a 905 area code and
is long distance from Markham, which is also
a 905 area code: our system can also accommodate
Number Calling Sequence: For each individual
in the contact database, will the system allow for the
prioritization of the sequence that communication devices are to be
Answer: the VoiceGate system will
facilitate telephone number “priority calling sequence” based
on time of day, input order and, or forced.
Sub Sets: Will the system allow for
the creation of subsets of the contact database for sub-groups
of any size? Can a contact be a member of more than one
Answer: the system currently supports
100 sub-groups of the central database. An individual can
be a member of multi sub-groups. These subgroups can be
based on job function, geographic breakdown or any criteria
identified by the client.
Calling Sequence: Will the system allow the
creation of priority calling levels within each sub-group
of the database to determine the order in which individuals
are to be notified within a sub-set?
Answer: the system administrator can manage
this within each sub-group. Priority of sub-groups can
also be managed.
Contact: Will the system allow for alternative
contacts to be associated to each individual in a group?
Answer: there is a field for an
alternate contact for each individual data file in
the aster database and every contact file in each
Contact Telephone Number: For each alternate
contact file, how many telephone numbers, pager numbers
and e-mail addresses can be accommodated?
Answer: the system allows 5 phone
numbers and an e-mail address for each contact file in
the database. This can be expanded on a price on request
Contact Calling Number Sequence: For each alternate
contact, will the system establish the sequence that
the communications devices be contacted?
priority sequence of calling for all contact points is
- System Access - Remote: Can
the system be administered from a remote location?
system is designed to facilitate remote access from a variety
- Database Software: Will
the system support various database contact software?
system is based on Intel hardware and a Microsoft operating
system and as such, can support a variety of database software.
- Hardware Requirements: What
type of hardware does the system require?
system is a turnkey system; all hardware we propose is
an OEM solution.
- Hardware Back-up: Does
the system come with a specific application, and backup recovery
Answer: the system is equipped with an automated
backup utility. Additionally, the system is equipped with a RAID
1 configuration. This means, in the event the primary hard drive
fails, the secondary drive automatically takes over and an alarm
is displayed alerting the system administrator there has been a failure.
- Hardware Redundancy: what
level of system redundancy is provided?
Answer: The Emergency Response comes with
a RAID 1 hard drive configuration, redundant power supplies,
and two Line Interface Modules providing a certain measure
of redundancy for data, power and dialing utilities within
the same server. Should a higher level of redundancy be
required, VoiceGate recommends a mirrored, redundant server
be installed at a separate, secure location.
- Report Audit
Trails: Does the system provide audit trails to track
system access activities?
System Administrator has the ability to audit all system
- Networked PC Administration: Will
the system allow administration of the system from a network
Answer: the VoiceGate system will support
up to five clients. This can be expanded if required.
- Message Delivery Time
Frame: How long does it take to initiate a notification
system can be activated using pre-recorded messages with
a few mouse clicks, from an easy to use GUI available
in both English and French. Optionally, dialing campaigns
can be securely launched using any touch-tone phone.
- Message Delivery to Multi-modal
Communications Devices: Will the system
deliver notification to several types of text based communications
devices such as cellular phones, business telephone systems
(automated attendants, voice mail), residential telephones,
digital and alphanumeric pages and e-mail?
Answer: VoiceGate’s Emergency
Response will deliver messages to land line telephones,
cell phones, e-mail, pagers, automated attendants / voicemail
and most answering and internet ready devices.
- Database Management: Will
the system allow the removal of specific individuals from
notification group during the activation process?
Answer: the system administrator can access
and manipulate the contact database information at all
times during a call out activation.
- Message Delivery to Voicemail
Systems: Will the system deliver an alternate
message to voice mail or an answering machine?
system can be programmed by the System Administrator to
leave a customized message if a voicemail system or answering machine
- Reports in Real Time: Will
the system record the notification process, who was contacted,
and the individual response to questions, asked if any?
Answer: the system provides a complete
real-time report of all contacts, and responses, each time
a dialing campaign is launched.
- Reports on Messages Delivered
To Answering Devices: Will the system report
when an answering machine or voice mail is detected?
Answer: the real-time reports will indicate
each time an answering machine or voicemail system is detected.
For mission critical applications, it can be programmed
to continue its attempts to contact an individual, at up
to four alternate different contact numbers, should it
detect an answering device on one of its primary attempts
to contact that individual.
- Reports Customized: Will
the system enable the development of custom reports and
modification of existing reports?
system supports industry standard Crystal Reports, facilitating
easy customization of system reports.
- Reports & Real-time
Monitoring: Does the VoiceGate system allow
real-time monitoring of notification status?
Answer: real-time reports are generated
each time a dialing calling campaign is launched. If in
front of the server, the system administrator can actually
view the system’s roster fulfillment screen, populating
itself in real time as it calls, delivers messages, retries
calls and receives responses from the called parties.
- Messages Pre-recorded: Does
the system allow the system administrator to pre-record
and store or create messages at the time of use?
Answer: the system will enable prerecorded
messages to be stored, and new or amended messages can
be created at any time during a dialing campaign and delivered
in Text to Speech (tts) or Wav format.
- Messages to Sub-groups: Will
the system simultaneously deliver separate messages to
separate notification sub-groups?
Answer: if a dialing campaign is launched
to more than one sub-group, and each sub-group has the
same calling priority, the system will work its way through
the sub-groups simultaneously. The System Administrator
can determine the sequence of all calling sub-groups by
selecting the calling priority settings for each sub-group
prior to launching a dialing campaign.
- Message Review – Repeat
Message: Will the system allow an individual contacted,
to ask the system to repeat all notification instructions,
or answer or ask questions?
Answer: an individual receiving
a call from the system can be prompted by the system
to press a designated number on the telephone keypad
to receive the following options:
i) Repeat the message, ii) Confirm receipt of the message,
iii) Answer a specific yes/no question, iv) Leave a voicemail
message on the system, or v) Be transferred to a designated
extension, call centre, or phone number.
- Messages Pre-recorded: Can
the system administrator retrieve and modify previously
issued notification for re-notification?
Answer: all previously stored
recorded messages can be edited and re-sent at
- Reports on Failed Notifications: Will
the system alert the system administrator of all failed
Answer: In real-time, the system reports
will indicate all positive contacts and will indicate all
failed contacts as well.
- Hardware to Process Inbound
Calls: Can the system handle a high volume of inbound
Answer: the only limitation
on the number of simultaneous inbound calls the
system can process is the number of ports allocated
to this process.
- Reports to Confirm
Message Delivery: Does the system provide the
capability for the individual called to acknowledge receipt
of the notification?
Answer: the VoiceGate system will support
a number of notification receipt options including; i)
PIN, ii) Messages receipt and confirmation, iii) Leave
a voicemail message and iv) Call back option.
- Software Requirements: What
software components will the system support?
Answer: all VoiceGate systems are fully
compliant with any Microsoft application and are designed
to open industry standards and as such, can accept new
technologies as they become available.
- System Access Permissions: Will
the system allow the system administrator to restrict the
level of access to the system among differing employees, i.e.: enabling
staff user permissions and restricting access?
Answer: the system will enable the System
Administrator to allow or restrict the level of access
of all users of the system: there are multiple levels of
permissions possible on the system. Examples: i) who can
launch a specific dialing campaign, ii) who can abort,
iii) who can change priority setting, etc.
- System Access Restrictions: Can
the System Administrator assign user level permissions
allowing and restricting access to the system?
Answer: the System Administrator can allow
or restrict the level of access of all users of the system.
- System Access Remote
Activation: Will the system enable multi-user
access to facilitate remote activation?
Answer: depending on required security
protocols in place, the system can be activated remotely
from remote computer terminals via PC anywhere, over the
Internet and from any touch-tone telephone as user security
- Message Delivery Using
ID or PIN Numbers: Will the system allow for
delivery of security sensitive information through individual
defined identification codes such as personal identification
codes and employee numbers?
Answer: the system will accommodate any
type of PIN numbering configuration the user needs to employ.
- On-going Support - Training: Does
the VoiceGate Emergency notification system provide on
site training for system operators, administrators, technical support
staff and staff/user trainers (including materials)?
Answer: VoiceGate has created user-friendly
training material. We will conduct two days on-site, “hands
on” training for all levels of users. Further, with
the purchase of the system we offer from our well-equipped
lab in Markham, on-line and dial-in technical support.
This ‘site to site” training, where we dial
into your system, on-line with your staff, and work “screen
to screen” to help with the learning and programming
of the system on an ongoing basis (where security permits).
- On-going Support: Does
the VoiceGate system come with on-going support and maintenance,
including software upgrades and helpdesk support?
Answer: The first year of technical support
and warranty coverage is included. Purchase of the
system includes a One Year wrap around warranty, technical
help desk support, on-site training and supplied training
materials and user manuals. This also includes software
upgrades to the system. The maintenance and technical help
desk support package is available for Years Two, Three
and beyond as an option from VoiceGate.
- Hardware Alert on System
Malfunction: Does the system provide alarm messages
in case of any system malfunction?
Answer: there are screen alerts that pop
up, should an identifiable malfunction be detected in the
- Message Delivery Using GIS
for Public Alerts: Can the system be utilized for
public broadcast messages to geo-spatially targeted
Answer: VoiceGate is a development
partner with ESRI Canada. ESRI
and VoiceGate have developed a link that enables the VoiceGate
Emergency Response System to work in
conjunction with the ESRI ArcView GIS mapping system.
This would be valuable when there is
a need to communicate with citizens in areas mapped
out by the community ESRI ArcView GIS system.
This integration will enable the community to define certain
geographical areas within the town/city/region and send
geographic specific emergency messages to citizens within
any specific, targeted geographic coordinates.
Delivery - Roster
Management: Can the system be used as a roster
Answer: The VoiceGate Emergency
Notification System offers three roster
1) Fit-For-Duty Scenario:
The Fit-For-Duty Scenario enables the system to call employees,
by any sub-group criteria, and enquire if they are available
to report to work. If the response is “No” the system will
go to the next name in the database. If “Yes”, the system
will ask an additional question such as “What time are you
able to report for duty?” The response, entered by the employee
on their telephone keypad, will appear in the “real-time” on
screen report available to the System Administrator as they fill
their “inventory” of responders. When the pre-determined
number of employees has indicated readiness to report for
work, the system will automatically stop the dialing campaign.
ii) Fan-out Scenario:
The most sophisticated scenario available on the Emergency
Response – Administrators can choose multiple sub groups
like: sharp-shooters, radio operators, emergency vehicle
drivers and scribes. Administrators will need to identify
how many of each sub group will be needed to respond to
a specific emergency.
Each sub-group will be delivered its own message: “The swat
team is mobilizing, please report to the compound”. Administrators
can identify how many responders of each sub group are
required to report: 1 scribe, 15 sharp shooters etc. The
system will fill the inventory of responders for each sub
group within this fan out before the system stops this particular fan
iii) Roster Database Validation and Automated Update Capability:
The VoiceGate Emergency Response can also automatically
validate and update database contact information: it
will call all the contacts or sub groups as defined and
prompt the called party to confirm or update all the contact and address
information on the database. Given the current contact information
in a “first responders” database,
this feature will help accelerate the ROI of the system.
- System Access to Terminate
a Notification Scenario: Can a notification
scenario be terminated when all parties defined for notification
have been reached, when a certain number and type of
call-back responses have been received, or when a pre-determined period
of time runs out?
Answer: the choice of terminating a dialing
campaign can be determined by the System Administrator.
The system can be set to terminate a campaign after a pre-determined
number of attempts to contact a first responder or contact
have not been successful; or, the required number of positive
response contacts has been reached. Also, a System Administrator
can terminate a dialing campaign manually at any time.
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LAST UPDATE: January 15, 2018.