The MessageNet Blog

Get The Message Out!

How to Create an Active Shooter Alert

Sometimes it seems like the only news we see nowadays is of mass shootings. Gun violence is everywhere, from schools to public places. It’s more important than ever before for an emergency communication system to be able to address this kind of emergency with an active shooter alert that provides detailed instructions so that everyone knows what to do in an emergency. With MessageNet Connections, you can create an active shooter alert message (and an accompanying drill message) that has both text and audio as well as flashers to get people’s attention more easily. So how can you create this active shooter alert message?

Create a New Message

Log in to the MessageNet Connections Administrative Interface and navigate to the Message Directory. Choose a message to use as a template and click on the question mark button to open that message. To create a new message, first select the Message Directory in which the new message will be saved – if you have an Emergency Message directory, it’s best to save the message there. Then, enter a new name (for example, Active Shooter Alert) into the Message Name field. Once those two fields have been changed, click Save as New.

Send to Sender

Because this message will display on signs, it’s important for it to be set to send to Sender. This means that the message will appear in the Inbox of the user who sent the message. That user can thus maintain control of the message and can cancel it and relaunch as needed, in case there was a mistake, such as the wrong message being sent by accident. If it’s not configured to send to the Sender, then if the Sender needs to close the message, they will have to contact the person who received the message in order to do so. This could take time in an emergency situation that just isn’t available. Sending the message to Sender instead of to another user will automatically send the message to the Inbox of the user who sent it so if any corrections need to be made, it can be done quickly.

In the Send To field, click on the arrow button – this will open a new window with a list of all users in the system. At the bottom is a button for Sender. Click Sender and then OK.

Select Sign and Audio Groups

Messages can be sent to any combination of signs, but for an emergency message, it’s recommended that the message goes to all of them. The MessageNet system automatically creates an ALL SIGNS sign group that contains every sign defined on the system – new signs will also automatically get added to this group. If the available signs have audio capability (Omni devices, MediaPorts, IPSpeakers), there will be a corresponding All Signs audio group.

Click on the arrow button for each of the Sign Group and Audio Group fields. Select All Signs in the window that pops up (or other group if needed). Then, click OK to save the change.

Message Text

The Message field is where the text that will be the body of the message is entered. This is what will be displayed on the signs. For an active shooter alert, it should read something like this: “Emergency Alert. Active Shooter reported. Lock and barricade all doors until further notice. Take cover. This is not a drill.”


For emergency alerts, flashers are always recommended. They can get people’s attention much more easily than a scrolling message can alone and they are color-coded so anyone seeing the message will readily understand that it’s an emergency. Omni devices and IPSpeakers have built-in flashers.

To add flashers, go to the Sign Appearance section of the Message Editor. The method for adding flashers is different depending on the device. For IPSpeakers, use the Msg Alarm field and select which combination of flashers is needed for the message. For Omnis, the flashers are more sophisticated and have both more colors and more options. For an active shooter message, either flashing red (for emergency) or flashing blue (for shelter in place) is recommended. Select the color and the action in the Signal Light field. Then, in the Light Duration field, select how long that action should be performed (for example, for ten seconds, thirty seconds, the duration of the message, etc.).

Emergency Alert Status

On an Omni device, the background color of the screen can be changed to reflect the emergency alert status of a message. For example, an emergency message will have a red background, while a shelter message will have red at the top and yellow at the bottom. To set the emergency alert status of the message, go to the Security Controls section of the Message Editor. Select the desired status – for an active shooter alert, either Emergency or Shelter is best.

Save the Changes

Once the changes to the message are complete, it’s important to save the message. Scroll all the way back up to the very top of the message and click the Save button. Then, test the message to make sure that it works exactly as expected.

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Why You Should Use Your Emergency Communication System Every Day

Help sign

Emergency Communication: An Unfortunate Necessity

While it would be nice to live in a world where emergency communication wasn’t necessary, it’s unfortunately not the world we live in. Every organization, from schools to companies should have some kind of emergency communication system. Even the Gotham Police Department has the Bat Signal and the Bat Phone. Most emergency communication systems aren’t quite as simple as flicking the switch on a spotlight or picking up a phone, however, so it’s important to know how to use it properly.

The Bat Signal

The Problem with Infrequent Usage

Practice Makes Perfect

Using your emergency communication system regularly is key. This does mean running emergency drills on a regular basis so that you can be sure that not only does everyone know how to use the system but they also know exactly what to expect when an emergency alert needs to go out.

Run Regular Drills

Schedule regular drills for a variety of different emergency messages. Make sure your staff (and students, if you work in education) are aware that a drill will be occurring. A staff member who would be in charge of sending the alert in a real emergency should be the one to send the alert for the drill. If you have different types of emergency alerts, such as active shooter, tornado, extreme weather, fire, etc., then you’ll need to run tests for each one. This will ensure that not only does everyone know what to do in an emergency but also that they know exactly what to expect should an emergency arise. Plus, you’re regularly testing the entire system to make sure it functions as it should in an emergency situation, rather than waiting until an emergency occurs to discover that something isn’t working.

Use the System Every Day

Even better than scheduling regular drills is to just use the system every day. MessageNet Connections has many uses far beyond just emergency communication. You can use it for a bell schedule, posting lunch menus, displaying announcements, requesting meetings, contests, trivia, and more. Devices like the MediaPort and the Omni can display videos as well as images, PowerPoints, and text.

MessageNet Connections is far more than just a spotlight in the sky or a phone call to Batman. The system’s versatility gives it a wide range of everyday activities that can be done. The more that is done daily by your staff, the more experienced at using the system they’ll be. If an emergency situation arose, they would already be familiar and comfortable with using the system. Administration would also be more familiar with all of the capabilities of the system and so could design emergency alerts so that they utilize the full potential of the system. Emergency alerts can therefore reach more people in the event of an emergency scenario.

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Every Classroom Should Have a Camera


What Are the Concerns About Cameras in the Classroom?

Cameras are everywhere. They’re in our computers and phones. They’re in stores and in cars. In schools, they’re in the hallways, cafeteria, gymnasium, and the playground. Video cameras are a major part of the overall conversation about what can be done to keep students and staff safe. They can be an important tool in monitoring potential threats, recording any incidents that occur, and even deterring crime. So why aren’t cameras more often found in classrooms?

Safety vs. Privacy

A major concern with cameras in classrooms is privacy. Should students and teachers be able to expect any amount of privacy while at school? The majority of cameras in schools are currently located in public areas. People expect to be watched in common areas like hallways and the cafeteria. But classrooms are a different story. There are understandable concerns about what may be recorded and who can see that footage.

Teachers and parents alike may have questions about what the video footage could be used for. Would it be used as a part of teacher evaluations? What about student performance? Being on camera changes how people act – if both students and teachers alike feel pressured by the cameras, they may be less likely to fully engage with their work. They may also feel more stressed from feeling constantly monitored. The overall culture of the school could change, if neither students nor staff feel like they can relax because of the constant presence of the cameras.

A Lack of Resources

Having a surveillance system requires not just the financial means to install it in the first place. It also requires some school staff to have the technological know-how to install and maintain a system. Some may be reluctant to devote more staff time and school district money to increasing the number of cameras, especially when there may already be cameras in the hallways and common areas.

Why Should Classrooms Have Cameras?

Despite the concerns about cameras in the classrooms, there are a lot of advantages, for both teachers and students. They can contribute to keeping students and staff safe in an emergency, but that’s not the only benefit. They can improve overall behavior in everyday situations as well. The important thing is that if cameras are in classrooms, the teacher needs to have control of them.

Teacher Control

No one likes to feel like they’re on surveillance all the time. It’s a lot of pressure and the vast majority of the time, there’s nothing of note to film. But cameras in the classroom can be incredibly useful in the rare instances that there is a problem, so long as the teachers control when they’re on and when they’re not. If the teachers can activate the camera when an incident begins, the principal or other staff can be alerted and there’s a recording of what happened in case there are differing versions of the story. Some students may be encouraged to behave better, knowing that the teacher could turn the camera on at any time.

Emergency Cameras

In an emergency situation, the cameras could prove invaluable to locating and recording the perpetrator. The principal or security staff could have emergency control of the cameras to turn them on and even send the video feed to the police or other emergency responders if needed. Security can see what’s going on anywhere in the school if cameras are also in the classrooms.

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How to Close Messages

Closing a message removes it from active status and, if archiving has been set up in the Message Editor, sends it to the Archives. Messages that do not have archiving set up will disappear when closed. Closing a message will also stop any additional features of the message, including text or media on signs, signal light flashing, etc. Messages can be closed manually via the Inbox or Stop Active Messages, or automatically via duration or by another message with a command list. There may be limitations to who is allowed to close certain messages, depending on user class and other restrictions.


  • Click on the Inbox tab/
  • Click the checkbox next to the message you want to close.
  • Click the close button.
  • The screen will then refresh.
  • Note: MGR users with access can use the arrow button to navigate to another user’s Inbox and follow the steps above to close messages sent to someone else.

    MessageNet Connections Inbox

    Stop Active Messages:

  • Click on the Other Screens tab and select Stop Active Messages.
  • Click the button next to the message you want to close.
  • The screen will refresh.
  • Note: MGR or AMG users can close any active message from the Stop Active Messages screen. Users of any other user class can close only messages that also appear in their Inbox.

    Stop Active Messages


    Messages can be set to close automatically by specifying a duration in the Message Editor. Navigate to the Message Editor (either by clicking on the button next to the message name in the Message Directory, or by clicking Other Screens and selecting Message Editor and using the Message Directory and Message Name fields to select the message


    Message Editor

  • Use the button next to the Message Duration field to open the Message Duration pop-up window.
  • Enter the hours, minutes, and seconds you would like the message to remain active, and then click OK.
  • Click the check box if you want the option to change the message duration when the message is launched.
  • Click No Expire to have the message active until manually closed by a user or closed by another message.
  • Message Duration

    Command List:

    Messages can be closed by another message, which will require set-up in both the message that will be closed and the message that closes it.

  • First, navigate to the Message Editor for the message that will be closed.
  • In the Label: field, enter an appropriate label name of your choice and click Save at the top of the message.
  • Note: This feature closes all messages with that label, so any messages containing that same label will also be closed.


    Next, navigate to the Message Editor for the message that will close the other. Scroll down to the Command List and click on the icon, which will open a the Command List screen in a new window.

  • When: On Launch
  • Command: Reply Msg
  • Column A: LABEL:
  • Column B: the label (all caps) that you created in the first step
  • Click Save, then Done, which will close the Command List window
  • Command List Label

  • Click Save at the top of the Message Editor.
  • Scroll down again to the Command List field and it will now say Exists next to the icon.
  • Command List Exists

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    Omni – Safety, Security, and Communications All in One

    Recent emergency events such as school shootings have shown that emergency communication systems need to be more than just audio PA because a fire alarm can drown out an audio announcement. An emergency communication system needs to be both text and audio, as well as have cameras and signal lights to be more effective. But putting all of these different types of devices and systems into an organization can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why MessageNet is introducing the new Omni device – an all-in-one room appliance that is designed to have all of these features and more in one low-cost, easy-to-install device.

    The Omni comes with built-in flashers, a high-definition LCD screen, speakers, and a camera. It can connect to external devices such as wireless panic buttons via Bluetooth. It’s easy to install – it mounts on the wall and doesn’t require pulled cable because it plugs in with a PoE power injector that plugs into the wall and connects to the network wirelessly, although a wired Ethernet option is available if desired. It can even plug into a dedicated LCD via HDMI to project the contents of the built-in LCD onto a larger screen. The Omni also has a built-in battery backup so that the device can still function for a time in the event of a power loss.

    With the Omni device, organizations can save on both the cost of the device and on the cost of installation while still getting the same features and benefits of the separate communication systems. For more information, visit the Omni web page by clicking here.

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    Complete Guide to the User Database Manager

    Complete User Database Manager

    User Directory Navigation

    • Browse: Click to browse a full list of all users
    • Find: To find a user by name, clear out the last name or first name field, enter the appropriate name, then click find. If there are multiple users with that same first or last name, make sure the cursor is in the field that you used to search, then click Next.
    • Previous: Click to navigate to the previous user record – the system sorts users alphabetically by either first or last name, depending on which field contains the cursor.
    • Next: Click to navigate to the next user record.
    • Save: Click to save changes to a user record.
    • Save As New: Click to save a new user. Note that the PIN/User ID must be changed to create a new user record.
    • Delete: Click to delete the user record.
    • Clear: Click to clear out all fields.
    • Com Ctrl: Click to navigate to the Comm Control screen. See How to Change Comm Control Preferences.
    • Ctrl List: Click to navigate to the Sys User Database Access List to change which users have access to the User Database Manager.
    • Check Boxes: Next to several fields, there is a check box – selecting this check box will allow the user the ability to change that field themselves.
    • Question Mark: The question mark icon will display more information about the field it’s next to if you mouse over it.

    User Directory by Field

      The required fields to create a new user are: Last Name, First Name, Directory, PIN/User ID, Password, Sign Group, and Class.

    • Last Name: This is the user’s last name.
    • First Name: This is the user’s first name.
    • Initial: Enter an initial if the user has the same name as another to differentiate.
    • Directory: Select a Message Directory to be the user’s default directory. This will be the directory that automatically loads when the user clicks on the Message Dir tab.
    • PIN/User ID: This is the user’s unique ID, which is used to log in to the MessageNet system.
    • Password: Enter the user’s password, which will be used to log in to the MessageNet system. Note that if a user forgets their password, for security reasons, MessageNet Support staff cannot reset the password. That must be done by the on-site system administrator.
    • Courtesy Title: Select the courtesy title for the user. This does affect the Gender field – if Ms. is selected here, Male cannot be selected for Gender.
    • Sign Group: If the user has a sign or other public device that can be used to contact the user, select its sign group here. Because this is a required field, if the user has no sign group, select No Signs.
    • Class: Select the user’s class. This determines what features and screens of the MessageNet system the user has access to. See below for a full list of user classes.
    • SS Num: This is the user’s social security number. The MessageNet system does not use this field, so it is for informational purposes only.
    • Short Name: Enter a short name for the user, if they have one. This is to help differentiate users of the same name.
    • Gender: This field sets the gender of text-to-speech messages sent by this user. It is affected by the Courtesy Title field – for example, if a masculine title is selected, the Gender field will automatically change to Male.
    • Text Device Control: See How to Set Up Text Device Control.
    • Commercial Pager: Use the down arrow to select the user’s commercial pager, which is pre-defined in the Hardware Pager Database. This is the user’s primary text device and can be either a pager or a cell phone (See How to Define Text Devices).
    • Inhouse Pager: If a user has multiple text devices, select the second one in this field.
    • Audio Group: If the user has a sign or other public device with audio capabilities that can be used to contact that user, select its audio group here. This will allow other users to send audio messages for that user to this audio group.
    • Work Phone: Enter the user’s work phone number.
    • Extension: If the user has an extension, enter it here, with the main work number in the Work Phone field.
    • Cell Phone: Enter the user’s cell phone number.
    • Reports To: If the user reports to a superior, select that user here.
    • Home Phone: Enter the user’s home phone number.
    • Other Phone: If the user has an alternate phone number, enter it here.
    • Street: Enter the user’s street address. This and all fields relating to the user’s address are fore informational purposes only and are not used by the Messagenet system.
    • City: Enter the city in which the user lives.
    • Email: Enter the user’s e-mail address. Note that this field is used for messaging, but that e-mail does need to be set up to work between the organization’s e-mail server and the MessageNet server.
    • State: Enter the state in which the user lives.
    • Zip: Enter the user’s zip code.
    • Fax: Enter the user’s fax number. Note that this field is also only for informational purposes. The MessageNet system cannot send a fax.
    • Dept: Select the user’s Department. This field can be used to logically sort users into lists.
    • Group: Select the user’s Group. This field can be used to logically sort users into lists.
    • Organization: Select the user’s Organization. This field can be used to logically sort users into lists.
    • Site: Select the site at which the user works.
    • Room: Select the room in which the user works.
    • Job Title: Enter the user’s job title.
    • Employee ID: Enter the user’s employee ID number.
    • Check Msgs: Enter the length of time (in seconds) that will be the interval at which the Inbox refreshes automatically to check for new messages. A zero in this field will indicate never auto-refreshing, while any number smaller than 60 will be treated as 60.
    • Max Priority: Enter the maximum priority the user can assign to a message.
    • Note: enter any notes about this user here.
    • Auth List Cell: Select a list to restrict who can view the user’s cell phone number on the User Directory screen.
    • Auth List Home: Select a list to restrict who can view the user’s home phone number on the User Directory screen.
    • Auth List Other: Select a list to restrict who can view the user’s other phone number on the User Directory screen.
    • Auth/Dist List: This field has two functions. If the user is a LST or LSI user class, which should only be used for lists, this field will distribute any messages sent to the user to any users in the list selected in this field. If the user is any other user class, this field instead restricts who can see or message the user within the system to only those on the list.
    • Automated Attendant: If MessageNet manages the phone system directly instead of interfacing it, click this check box to add this user and the extension listed above to the automated attendant.
    • Default Locations: this field is used to specify a specific map as the default when the users accesses the Locations tab.
    • Max Voice Msgs: Enter the maximum number of voice messages the user can have in their voice mail box at once.
    • Voice Msg Dir: Select a message directory that will hold voice messages for the user. If none is selected, the default of SYSTEM.DEFAULT will be used.
    • Voice Msg Name: Select the name of the message that will launch when the user receives a voice message. If no message name is selected, the default of VOICE MESSAGE will be used.
    • Button Control: Check the box to allow the user the ability to change messages attached to a button associated with them.
    • Auto Login: Check the box to allow auto login for this user. For security reasons, this is not recommended for any user that has multiple devices, uses any public devices, or shares devices with other users.
    • Show on User Dir: Check the box to include the user on the User Directory. Without this box checked, the user will not be listed in the User Directory.

    User Classes

    Class defines a user’s access within the MessageNet system. The on-site system administrator should decide what duties each user should have and what features they’ll need access to before creating users. A full list of user classes and what features they have access to is available by clicking on the Help tab from the User Database Manager. There is also a chart of screens and the most common user classes and what those classes have access to. The most commonly used classes are MGR, LIB, CL1, CL4. JOB, LSI, and ROM.

    • MGR: MGR stands for Manager and is the highest class of user and has access to all screens. Any on-site system administrators should be this level of user class.
    • AMG: This is the assistant manager user class. It has the almost the same access as the MGR user class and is intended for high-level users who are not system administrators.
    • LIB: This is the library-class user and is meant for creating Message Libraries for the Connections Mobile app.
    • CL1: This is the highest class of standard user. This user class has access to the Message Editor for message creation.
    • CL2: This standard class of user also has access to the Message Editor, but has access to fewer Other Screens.
    • CL3: This standard class of user can launch messages, but not edit or create them.
    • CL4: This is the lowest class of standard user.
    • JOB: This is used to define a role or job within the organization that can then be forwarded to different users who hold that position at varying times.
    • CST: This is the customer-class user and allows access only to the inbox and message directory screens and is only valid for a default of twenty days.
    • GUC: This is the General User Class. It allows access only to the Send, Reply, User Directory, User Database Manager, Comm Control, and Stop Active Messages screens
    • MUC: This is the Message User Class. It allows access only to the Send, Reply, User Directory, and Stop Active Messages screens.
    • LST: This is a list-class user that is used to forward messages on to user lists. The LST user class sends one message to all of the users on the list so that if one person replies to it or closes it, it is closed for all other users as well.
    • LSI: This is a list-class user that is used to forward messages on to user lists. The LSI user class sends each user on the list their own copy of the message so one user replying to or closing the message does not affect the other users’ copies of the message.
    • ROM: This is a room-class user and is used to define rooms or locations so that messages can be sent to public devices with no user owning them from the User Directory.
    • STU: This is a student-class user and is only allowed access to view their new and old messages.
    • GRD: This is a guardian-class user that is associated with a student and is allowed access only to view old and new messages.
    • TAP: This is a user class designed to define other computer systems as users so that the MessageNet system can receive input from the computer system’s TAP protocol via the modem connection. When the MessageNet server sees input from the TAP protocol it matches the TAP user’s PIN and then looks in the Directory field for the user’s default directory and then looks for a message that matches the input to launch.
    • XPA: This is an Extend PA user class that has access only to the Locations and User Directory screens.
    • LOC: This is a location-class user that has access only to the Locations screen.
    • SGN: This is a sign-class user that can only send pre-defined messages from their own directory and to reply to messages.
    • KSK: This is a kiosk-class user that can only send pre-defined messages from their own directory.
    • PAG: This is a pager-class user that can only send pager messages from the User Directory. All other User Directory icons will not be visible.
    • UDM: This is a User Database Manager class user that is only able to manage, create, and delete user accounts in the User Database Manager.
    • ADM: This is the Administrative User class. It’s designed to be able to manage, create, and delete user accounts but cannot assign passwords to user accounts.
    • SCR: This is the Security user class and can only assign passwords to user accounts or upload CSV files.
    • DIR: This is the directory class user and is allowed access only to the User Directory.
    • Browse

      If you click on the Browse button, this will take you to a new screen that is a list of all users saved in the MessageNet system in order alphabetically by User ID/PIN. You can navigate by filling in the Last Name, First Name, PIN/User ID, or Extension fields and then clicking Find. Click Next to navigate to the next user in order based on the field that was used with Find. The CSV button will allow you to create and export a CSV file. At the bottom of the screen are up and down arrows that will page up and down. Clicking on the number next to a user entry will take you to the User Database Manager entry for that user. To return to the User Database Manager, click Revert at the top of the screen.

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    Secure Emergency Communication Systems Prevent Misuse

    The recent increase in school shootings (more school children have died in the US this year as of writing than service members in the military) has also seen an increase in perpetrators making use of the school’s emergency communication system for their own nefarious purposes. The suspects at both Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, and at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, pulled the fire alarm, causing students and staff to leave their classrooms, believing there to be a fire drill. In both cases, the very systems designed to keep students safe were instead used against them.

    While the fire alarm is easy to access via its pull stations, it’s not the only system vulnerable to unauthorized usage. Most perpetrators of school shootings have been current or former students, or have other ties to that school. Therefore, they are more familiar with the school’s security and could know the number for the PA system and dial it, either to use it themselves or to prevent security or school administrators from using it. As more violent incidents at schools occur, the more future shooters can learn from the techniques of those who came before them.

    It is vital to secure the emergency communication system from unauthorized usage. While this may be impossible for certain parts of the system, such as the fire alarm pull station or even the PA, the system as a whole should be protected with user log in and passwords, as well as different classes of user to restrict which users have access to what features as needed. This in addition to using multiple methods of communication could help prevent further misuse of emergency systems. For example, if students and staff are expecting any emergencies or drills to be announced with both audio and visual PA, it would be easier to know that something was wrong and that it wasn’t a real alarm if they heard only the fire alarm.

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    PA Needs to Be Both Audio and Visual

    In emergency situations, audio PA alone often isn’t enough to convey emergency communications to those who need it. For example, in the recent tragic events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one of the first acts done by the shooter was to pull the fire alarm, which caused many students and teachers to believe that there was a fire drill and leave their classrooms before a code red lockdown could be enacted. More recently, at Santa Fe High School in Texas, the fire alarm was pulled, causing students and staff to, believing there was a fire drill, go outside, where they began to hear gunshots.

    Fire alarms, by design, are extremely loud – the alarm could effectively nullify any attempt to communicate via audio PA. In addition, many types of emergencies could render a substantial portion of the victims at least temporarily deaf, also rendering audio communications futile.

    To most effectively communicate during an emergency, audio/visual PA would provide both the audio announcement but also a text announcement that would reach people unable to hear the audio for any reason. In addition, text announcements can continue scrolling, preventing people from missing important information. It’s also easier with text announcements to provide different instructions to different locations without the other messages interfering and the message getting muddled or misunderstood.

    Even in situations where everyone is able to hear clearly, having additional sources of communication is essential. An audio announcement alone could result in missed information if people were not paying attention quickly enough. Also, any single source of communication could see people seeking corroboration from another source. Audio/Visual PA provides two sources of communication in one and ensures that messages and information reach people in an emergency even in extremely loud environments. Additionally, if all official emergency messages and drills utilize both audio and text, then staff could know immediately that something was wrong if one was issued by itself.

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    How to Change Comm Control Preferences

    The Communication Control, or Comm Control, screen is where users can set how they want to be contacted. It is accessible either from the User Directory or from the User Database Manager by clicking on the Comm Control button in the upper right corner of the window. Either location will take you to the Communications Control screen. Higher levels of user, such as MGR, can access the Comm Control for any user – from the User Directory, click the check box next to the user’s name before clicking on the Comm Control button and from the User Database Manager, navigate to the user’s account first, then click on the comm control button.

    Comm Control Screen

    Text Device Control: See How to Set Up Text Device Control

    In/Out Whiteboard: The User Directory shows whether each user is ‘In’ or ‘Out’ and that status can be changed here.
    Forward Communications: To forward all communications to another user, select the user’s name here.
    Cancel Forwarding: Click this button to cancel all message forwarding.
    Sign Group: To assign a sign’s text functionality (LED, MediaPort, IPSpeaker, or PC Alert) to a user, select its Sign Group.
    Audio Group: To assign a sign’s audio functionality (MediaPort or IPSpeaker) to a user, select its Audio Group.
    Display Pages on Signs: Select yes to have all pages and text messages displayed on the sign selected in Sign Group.
    Authorization List: To limit which users can contact this user, select an authorization list.
    User Note: Enter any helpful notes that the user wants visible to other users.

    Phone & Voice Mail Settings
    Active Phone Call At: Select which of the four phone options is the user’s active phone. This is the number the system will dial to contact the user by default.
    PC Alert Caller ID: Choose whether or not calls with caller ID are announced on the user’s PC Alert.
    Work Phone Number Control: Select whether the user’s work phone number is listed in the User Directory and/or dialable.
    Other Phone: Enter a phone number to be the user’s ‘Other’ phone.
    Home Phone Number Control: Select whether the user’s home phone number is listed in the User Directory and/or dialable.
    Auth List: To restrict who can contact the user’s home phone number, select an authorization list.
    Cell Phone Number Control: Select whether the user’s cell phone number is listed in the User Directory and/or dialable.
    Autho List: To restrict who can contact the user’s cell phone number, select an authorization list.
    Other Phone Number Control: Select whether the user’s other phone number is listed in the User Directory and/or dialable.
    Voice Mail Greeting: Select which pre-recorded voice mail greetings to user.
    Edit VM Greeting: Select which pre-recorded voice mail greeting you want to edit, then click on the microphone to record a new message or the speaker to listen.
    Note: The voice mail greeting option is only available if the MessageNet system is managing phone calls rather than connecting to a pre-existing phone system.

    Email Signature: Enter an e-mail signature that will appear at the bottom of any e-mail messages sent by this user.

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    How to Set Up User Devices

    User devices are personal devices or contact methods by which a user can be personally reached. These include e-mail addresses, phones, PC Alert, and text devices such as pagers or cell phones.

    Text Devices (cell phones and pagers): each device requires a license that can be purchased from MessageNet Systems. The license is per device, not the user, so if a user has multiple text devices, a license is still required for each one. Once licenses have been purchased and added to the server by MessageNet support staff, the System Administrator must define each device. Then, the device must be saved to each user’s profile in the User Database Manager.

    PC Alert: this is MessageNet’s PC pop-up program. It cannot be used for emergency communication, but can be supplementary or used for everyday messaging. It can be downloaded onto either Macs or PCs and each computer would require a license purchased from MessageNet. The PC Alert software does auto-define itself on the MessageNet system, but the System Administrator would still need to connect each one to the correct users.

    E-mail: e-mail addresses do not require a license and each user can have one e-mail address entered into their user profile. However, the server does need to be set up to connect to the customer e-mail server. This can be done either by creating an MX record for the MessageNet server or by providing MessageNet support staff with an e-mail relay, which they will then program in to the server.

    Phones: phones (for audio messaging, not texts) also do not require a license. Each user can enter up to four phone numbers into their user profile: Work, Cell, Home, and Other. The server needs to be set up to connect with the customer phone system. MessageNet is no longer compatible with T1/PRI cards, so if your phone system is not SIP-capable, then you would need to purchase a Digium VoIP Gateway that would convert the T1/PRI traffic to a SIP connection for the MessageNet system.

    All of these devices, once set up, can be added to user accounts in the User Database Manager and then set up to receive messages in Text Device Control.

    sample user database manager

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