Wilkes University Selects Iwatsu Voice Networks' Enhanced Messaging Application to Accelerate Communications

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Powerful suite of applications supports Wilkes University's practice-leading emergency communication strategy.

There cannot be a higher priority than ensuring the safety and security of the campus community. Now, we have a more direct and effective way to communicate in case of threat or emergency.

Iwatsu Voice Networks (http://www.iwatsu.com), the leading provider of hosted communications solutions, today announced Wilkes University's use of Iwatsu's Enhanced Messaging Application (EMA) for Emergency Broadcasts.

EMA, a hosted interactive communication and notification system, is used by school districts and institutions of higher education for emergency notification or for communication of everyday activities to parents, guardians, teachers and administrative staff to enhance and ensure the safety of students and faculty members. EMA provides true 360 degree communication allowing urgent information to be pulled and/or pushed using common telephones.

Wilkes University has elected to send its faculty and staff instant messages to their mobile or landline phones alerting them to urgent or emergency news.

"On-campus security is something we take very seriously at all times," said Chris Bailey, Director of Campus Support Services, Wilkes University. "EMA provides text and voice alerts, and upgraded functionality we feel is important because some mobile and landline phones cannot receive text messages. The system also rings classroom emergency phones so students and faculty who have switched off or muted their cell phones, are alerted to emergency news."

This important initiative is an enhancement to the University's existing emergency communication procedures which include mass emails/SMS, phone hotlines, a web-based news delivery system and more than 40 emergency phones in campus buildings with direct dialing capability to the public safety office.

EMA enables timely, consistent, cost-effective voice communications. The hosted solution:

  • Improves the dependability and consistency of messages - Messages can be sent to multiple contact numbers and parents, increasing the likelihood of the message being received. Recorded messages, from the voice of authority, are presented consistently to all recipients.
  • Saves staff time and cost - Thousands of messages are sent in minutes, a tiny fraction of the time compared to arcane phone trees or manually dialed messages. Contact lists are prepared in advance, centrally stored and secured, allowing immediate response when needed.
  • Improves safety and parental involvement - Timely information means parents, emergency personnel and staff remain informed while allowing University officials to focus the event management and resolution.

"We were able to bring this new security measure on-line quickly because we were getting ready to implement it when the unfortunate events at Virginia Tech occurred," said Wilkes University President, Tim Gilmour. "There cannot be a higher priority than ensuring the safety and security of the campus community. Now, we have a more direct and effective way to communicate in case of threat or emergency."

In delivering peace of mind, data is confidentially stored on hosted servers in secure facilities with access restricted only to authorized personnel. Access to timely, accurate information provides families with the comfort of knowing their loved ones are cared for in emergencies as well as in their daily routine.

People receiving messages are able to be automatically connected to a live operator at the school by simply pressing a number on their keypad. Events are best-managed through the dissemination of information. EMA provides a plethora of options to supporting universities in meeting urgent/emergency communications challenges.

"EMA is a key addition to Wilkes University's safety and security protocols," said David Carissimi, President, Iwatsu Voice Networks. "The beauty of our hosted and secure solution, beyond its power and simplicity, is that it does not require any expensive hardware, software, staff support/maintenance, nor the hundreds of phone lines required by other solutions.

About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Providing a sense of values and civic responsibility, Wilkes encourages its students to welcome the opportunities and challenges of a diverse and continuously changing world.

About Iwatsu Voice Networks
Iwatsu Voice Networks (IVN) provides leading edge business communications solutions to small and medium sized business (SMB), the educational market and many other market segments. The Enterprise platform provides cost effective unified communications, speech recognition, call reporting, in-building wireless, campus networking and text-to-speech applications that are typically used by Fortune 1000 companies. IVN is a subsidiary company of Tokyo-based Iwatsu Electric, a 70-year industry leader and pioneer of many firsts in the telecommunications industry, doing business in North America through over 250 authorized business partners.

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Teddy Mahan
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