Speech Technology Magazine

 

Blackboard Delivers 13.7 Million Messages in One Day

Massive snowstorms across the country led to a record-breaking day for the mass messaging provider.
Posted Jan 14, 2011
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In response to severe winter storms across much of the nation, education and local government leaders used mass notification capabilities from Blackboard  to send more than 13 million messages in a single day on January 11, marking an unprecedented level of outreach in a 24-hour period for the company and highlighting the speed and reliability of its mass notification services.

Officials nationwide leveraged the Blackboard Connect and AlertNow services to keep their communities aware of the latest weather conditions, school and road closures, and other snow emergency procedures with an array of phone, text and email messages. At the same time, Blackboard notification tools were busy delivering hundreds of thousands of routine messages without delay, including attendance notices, public health messages, and other scheduled communications.

“When winter weather serves up its worst, leaders around the country turn to Blackboard to relay critical information to their communities,” said Ed Miller, president of Blackboard Connect. “Times like these remind us that, when it comes to the safety of our schools and communities, speed and reliability matter most, and today we have millions of informed recipients to prove it.”

Using the Blackboard Connect and AlertNow services, officials can record, send, and track personalized voice messages to landlines and mobile phones, as well as email, text messages (SMS), and messages to TTY/TDD devices for people who are hearing-impaired. Among the 13.7 million messages delivered in the 24 hour period were some 10.4 million voice calls, 3 million emails and 300,000 SMS alerts. For voice messages alone, January 11 surpassed Blackboard’s previous highest level of outreach by some 3 million calls.

Outreach spiked early on January 11 as school districts in the eastern United States began to send calls for school closures and delayed openings. In the middle of the day, traffic was characterized more by cities and counties warning residents of dangerous roads and communicating snow removal plans. By late afternoon, as weather continued to worsen, many districts closed school for the following day. During this time, Blackboard’s mass notification platform delivered an unprecedented 1.6 million messages in a single hour, between 6 and 7 p.m.

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