Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Everbridge IT Alerting.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
What I would like to see is vendor alerting. It's not structured to take into account that users outside of our environment, users outside of IT, may not be in the group. IBM is an outside vendor for us, and we have IBM CEs who come in on a regular basis. If there's a problem, we call those vendors in. That should be tied into the system where we can say that vendors A, B, and C have these users and we want them available to come into the office when there's an issue. We want to be able to alert them in the same way we alert internally. If this contact is not available it would move to the next and the next. It would be great if it could do that. We have tons of vendors we use from outside of our organization that are not part of the contact list, they're not users in the firm. But if they could be a "vendor contact" and we could scale it the same way we do with individual employees, that would really be the icing on the cake.
The IT Alerting portion of the Everbridge platform is built on all the fundamentals set by their mass notification product. Some of the specific use cases for IT response could use a little attention, in terms of changing the default behavior of the application. That would be the number one for me, which I know that they're already looking to address.
I would like them to add GPS going forward. I think they may be working on this, but it is not implemented yet. We want to be able track our shipments, people, and every asset in real-time. With global positioning, especially in oil and gas, we might have a fleet in a pirated area (with active shooters) and have to move fast in situations. We need to know where our people are, how to locate all our assets, and secure them, regardless if they're people, places, vessels, or structures. The company would also like to have super detailed analytics, as we integrate this with our security software, e.g., camera systems. We want to see ant walking on the ground type of detail. That is the pinpoint analysis that we are looking for in this solution.
The feature that xMatters has that Everbridge doesn't have, or has in a limited way, is a method of funneling some alerts, as an FYI, to other stakeholders who are not necessarily prime actors in an incident. For example, you have a support team that supports critical application X, and you have somebody who is actually the application owner. The application owner normally does not normally get called out in the middle of the night to let him know that his application is down, unless it's super-critical and it's going to stay down. But they would be receiving a copy of the notification that was sent out so they'd know that something happened overnight, or that something is happening right now.
Everything could always be a little bit easier, a little bit faster, but I'm not sure that I can really name anything else off the top of my head.
With their templates, you can only have a maximum of three phases: new, updated, and resolved. It's not always that easy when we open up a call, that we identify who we need, page out, and we're good. A lot of time it requires multiple page-outs. Being restricted to those three phases, there's no way to say, "I want this variable to be persistent, and this one to not be." Everything that you select will be brought over as you continue. In our environment, as we have many different call-outs that have to happen, even though they are incredibly simple to select and execute now in Everbridge, it is quite the long list. I would like to make it a bit easier and more intuitive. I would like to see a bit more flexibility and tighter control over the templates and the variables you can create. Also, they still have a limitation due to their partner, I believe it's Twilio, where, if you're on an incident call, there is a four-hour time limit. We often have calls that go over four hours in length so people have to drop and rejoin to reset their four-hour timer. It's a minor inconvenience, but it's not ideal. That is pretty persistent with any IT alerting partner you go with.
The integration with other solutions needs improvement. I am not at liberty to share the name of the application/vendor we are trying to integrate with, but I can tell you that it is our incident management tool. Due to issues with the libraries provided by Everbridge, we have not been able to integrate IT Alerting with that tool.
Explanations are limited to 500 characters in description fields. While the reporting is good, we are having a problem with one particular report which is creating a large manual process for us.
It does have a pretty steep learning curve, especially if you're trying to parse information, instead of just sending it raw. Learning the Regular Expression language, to try and get it to pull out what you want, is a pretty steep learning curve upfront. The steep learning curve is specifically for IT Alerting, its features. And, for the API integrations, you've got to know how to write the REST API code if you want to use them. The Everbridge system itself was fairly straightforward to learn. An incident management feature would be nice because, as it stands now, you select different items when you're filling out a form to launch a notification. If those were more conditional it would help. Right now it just puts out whatever you put into the form, whereas, if you could specify a "yes" or "no" and it would input a different verbiage depending on the case, that would be nice to have, instead of having to spell out all the verbiage. The only thing our users want, because they work 12-hour shifts and it times out if they're not using it, would be to stay logged in for at least 12 hours before it times out. The max is eight hours right now.
An ability to get to the database that houses our information would be great. Currently, we are at the mercy of Everbridge and, if they do not have the function built, we cannot gather the information that we would like.
I swapped two people's weeks, and at least from what I saw, I had to do each day individually. It would be nice if I could swap two people's weeks without having to do it each day. There may be a way to do it, but I just didn't find it, so I did it day-by-day. This would be a neat feature to have.
In recent weeks we've been talking to Everbridge about leveraging some new functionality that they're demploying right now around orchestration. Imagine a full, closed-loop event remediation: auto-remediation. A server throws an alert. We catch it in our monitoring tool. We page or SMS text, using Everbridge IT Alerting. A group member receives that text and responds to the text with "Option One." Option one can say, "I want to go ahead and execute an orchestration that will automatically stop and restart the services on that box or even reboot the box." That would, again, further reduce service restoration time, and significantly reducing the manual engagement of logging a ticket, logging onto the box, restarting the box or the servers or services manually. All of that can be done through automation. We're not there yet, but that's what we're talking about right now, as a part of our next wave of moving along the crawl, walk, run journey. In terms of what could be improved, almost always, there is something that could be improved. I've been in this industry long enough to know that there is no perfect system. All the good ones still offer opportunities for getting better. I think if you were to look from their point of view, they would also see themselves in a crawl, walk, run journey. They may be further along in their walk, but they're probably not in the "Olympic sprint" or "Olympic marathon" stage yet. They've got lots of potential, room for feature enhancements, improvements. A couple of key ones might include - and I think they are working towards these things - analytics. If I want to do sophisticated reporting and analysis of the data that's being captured in IT Alerting, at the moment, the reporting interface is immature. They're very helpful. They get it. They're listening to us, but it's weak. It's growing. It's getting better. Reporting and analytics would be one space. Their integration capabilities are still progressing, but not quite where we'd like to see them yet. They're moving there with that orchestration capability where they're seeing the potential of an API-first mentality. So instead of trying to build custom connections into everything, you open up APIs to allow other systems to talk to IT Alerting and allow IT Alerting to talk to other systems. There is room for improvement, but they get it. They're listening in that space, too. Sure, there are things they can be doing better, but in partnership with them, us among other customers, I think we've got their ear, and they're being very proactive about listening.