11-02-2008, 02:44 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
iAmResponding.com / telephone call-in services
My department (volunteer EMS) is just starting a trial of iamresponding.com - it's a service where you register all of your members' phone numbers, and when a page goes out, they (speed) dial a given toll-free number, and the computer at the other end checks the caller ID against your roster, and updates a web page (in real time) with a list of who's called in.
Has anyone used them? Any opinions? More importantly, does anyone know of any other companies offering this service?
To dispense with the questions - most of our dispatchers can't do their job, so we have to go with something like this. We're dispatched by another town, and have no way of changing that, so getting them to do their jobs isn't a solution. We don't have the money to issue our members portable radios, so that's not a solution either. My biggest reservation with this company is lack of reliability (they talk a lot about "redundancy" but when I asked them a few specific questions, they tap-danced around all of them) and also that they won't give us access to the raw data from the schedule or call-ins, so there's no way to process the schedule like we currently do (cross-referencing call sheets to see who was in duty and who came out on a general, etc.).
I briefly thought of doing this in-house, but don't think that the cost of an additional 3-4 phone lines and the hardware would be less than the $60/month iAmResponding charges.
11-04-2008, 04:34 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
Its funny you question the reliability. We have used the iamresponding.com system for over a year and have never had a problem. Our responders' calls always appear in about 3 seconds on the screens. Just quoting their website here on their system, so I am not sure what your issue is:
Simply put, there is no substitute for system reliability.
We understand that IamResponding.com's Emergency Responder Reply System™ is relied upon by our subscribers 24x7x365, and that service interruptions are not acceptable. IamResponding.com was designed and deployed on a fully redundant and fault tolerant network infrastructure in order to avoid service interruptions to the greatest extent possible.
Because IamResponding.com is an entirely web-based system, users are not responsible for loading, configuring, or updating any software or programs. No computer technicians or IT professionals are necessary on the user end. The only thing that subscribers need to do in order to use IamResponding.com is to log into our website (www.iamresponding.com) from any internet connected computer that has Internet Explorer as a browser.
There are two primary components to the system infrastructure of IamResponding.com: our network infrastructure and our telephone system, both of which are in constant communication with each other.
In web-based applications, redundancy and fault tolerance are critical to system reliability. Before subscribing to any web-based application, you should always be diligent in learning about the network infrastructure that supports the application. If you are looking for a reliable system, you should make certain that the infrastructure is fully redundant, with no single point of failure. What this means is that every hardware component needs to be at least duplicated, with each component of the infrastructure designed to automatically fail over to comparable hardware in the event of any failure of any component of the network. If the application's infrastructure is not fully redundant and fault tolerant, then the application can be subject to substantial down time in the event of any hardware or network failure.
The network infrastructure of IamResponding.com fully addresses these issues with a fully redundant and fault tolerant infrastructure. Unlike traditional web applications, there are no scheduled “service” or “maintenance” windows for IamResponding.com. Rather, our network infrastructure is designed to provide uninterrupted service 24x7x365. Many Internet based systems are backed by claims of 98% or even 99% system uptime. While this may sound impressive, a system with only 99% uptime will still be down for more than 87 hours per year! That is simply not acceptable, and is why the complex network infrastructure of IamResponding.com is fully redundant and fault tolerant. Substantial resources have been devoted to the network infrastructure of IamResponding.com in order to ensure the highest level of system availability possible, with an infrastructure that meets or exceeds any in the industry.
In addition to the complete redundancy and fault tolerance of the network infrastructure, all of our servers are backed up at least daily, and are often backed up even more frequently. All servers and network devices are monitored 24x7x365, allowing the proactive detection of any potential issues before they can impact system performance.
Our network has redundant and fault tolerant 1 gigabit/s (1,000 Mb/s) Fiber Internet connections to a Tier 1 network provider, which has a multitude of network paths to the Internet. This enables the network infrastructure of IamResponding.com to remain accessible via the Internet at all times. In order to protect against Internet outages or service interruption on the user end, IamResponding.com is embedded with an industry leading application that fully restores user connectivity and sessions to the latest data views without users having to re-launch or log back into the application. Even if your station loses Internet connectivity, your system will be fully re-connected to IamResponding.com and updated upon the resumption of your Internet connection without you having to do anything, even if your Internet connection is interrupted for as long as eleven hours.
Power at our primary data center is supplied by dual redundant power grids, and has primary and redundant un-interruptible power supplies. We have eleven emergency back-up Caterpillar diesel generators, each of which has 3000 gallons of fuel, and we have 60,000 gallons of fuel held on-site in reserve. In the event of a primary power failure, un-interruptible power supply batteries support the complete power load of our network infrastructure until automatic transfer to generator power is completed.
Our data center is also equipped with state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression systems, and climate control systems. The center is patrolled by security 24x7x365, and is fully monitored via a closed circuit camera system. Access to the data center is controlled by biometric hand scanners, and access to our system infrastructure requires three separate hand scan verifications. The building structure itself has no public signage, allows no public access, and was constructed with steel seismic bracing which meets or exceeds all seismic/earthquake codes.
The telephone system of IamResponding.com is designed to support a current capacity of several thousand simultaneous telephone calls. With each telephone call to the IamResponding.com lasting no more than twelve seconds (and with most calls lasting no longer than six seconds), the telephone system is capable of handling a call capacity which greatly exceeds that of our current subscribers. Telephone call metrics and capacity are continuously monitored and evaluated, and the scalability of the telephone system ensures that call capacity will always be increased at a rate which surpasses call volume growth.
Our telephone system is also fully redundant and fault tolerant, with a primary system located on the East coast of the United States, and a completely redundant system located in the Southwest. All telephone calls automatically roll over to our Southwest data center in the event of any unlikely failures in our primary system. The data centers in which our telephone systems are located are secure environments which share many of the same security and environmental protections of the primary data center in which our network infrastructure is located.
In the unlikely event of any technical issues, subscriptions to IamResponding.com include 24x7x365 email technical support, at no additional cost. As a demonstration of the high level of confidence that we have in the reliability of IamResponding.com, subscribers are also provided with the direct email address and direct mobile telephone number of our company President, so that our subscribers may reach him directly with any urgent technical issues.
11-04-2008, 05:37 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Just a question
My department has utilized the IAMRESPONDING website for over a year with great success. I am my department's IT person and like you we were developing our own in house system to track this type of activity. But one of my members found their site and we immediately signed up.
I am trying to understand your concept of reliability. Can you define exactly what you are looking for?
1. Are you talking about being able to get immediate attention to your questions?
2. Are you talking about being able to influence change in the system?
3. Are you talking about having all your members call at once and never get a busy signal?
4. Reliable cost?
I can reply to all these concerns.
1. I have never waited longer than a few hours for a response back to any question that I have sent to them. I will be honest I do not always agree with their response but their system is designed for use by multiple departments in a global setting. If you have done any web-based program development you should understand that to keep cost down standardization is the only practical solution. But, I would image if you really want you could speak with the owner and see if they would develop a system around your personal needs but if you do not have the money to purchase every member a portable radio, you will not even come close to scratching the surface of web page development cost.
2. This company is the only company that actual takes input from the users and has made changes to their interface. I sent a two page comment and request to the owner and he has taken many of my departmentís suggestions to modify the program into consideration. He also took the time to reply back to me on every issue and where it fell in the development process.
3. In regards to having enough phone lines to cover the incoming calls I can only tell you that at my departmentís monthly meeting where we rolled out the program, I had 60 of our members call at the same time. NOT one member received a busy signal. I can promise you that could not happen if you only have 3 or 4 lines.
4. I have searched all over to see if I could find another system that provided the same level of service for the price. I have yet to find a company that when I call I actually speak to the owner or the person who makes all the system work.
If this did not answer your reliability question, define it and I will try to give you some concrete examples that we have experienced.
05-06-2009, 04:19 PM #4
We just found out about this system and were impressed by the demo. We've requested the specs of the hardware shown in their promotional video but we'd also like to hear how other departments set their system up. Do you use a dedicated PC to run it? Do you get a site license or by computer? We have a laptop in our rescue and our main desktop for real time incident reporting.
We're looking at a 22" lcd monitor or a 27" lcd tv.
05-13-2009, 03:41 PM #5
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Atlanta, GA
If you are looking for compatible systems I would be happy to talk with you about our DAPage(tm) Notification Services offering.
Our hosted operation is also out of a High Availability data center facility and we have redundant systems to support our clients.
06-07-2009, 12:53 AM #6
- Join Date
- May 2009
06-08-2009, 11:14 AM #7
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Atlanta, GA
We don't post pricing on the website, but the Hosted Version starts well under $500/Month and then depending on the CAD, EMWIN, and other interface needs we build a custom priced solution for the client. For example we can now support status and adhoc messaging over the Nexedge(tm) and Fleetsync(tm) radio networks which requires a local hardware interface connected via VPN to our Hosting facility.
Capital cost is determined based on the agencies needs and really only applies when they select a turnkey solution over our hosted offering.
Contact me directly through our web site for more specifics.
09-27-2009, 12:00 PM #8
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
I used iamresponding.com for over a year. I had a problem getting everyone to use the system consistantly. Only a handful would use it all the time. When they are using their own phones (cell, home, etc) it is hard to make a policy requiring them to use them. I cancelled, since it was not worth it, when not everyone would use it. We are a volunteer department.
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