What Kind of Technology Is Needed for Large-Scale Texting?
Your agency can choose from a few different types of platforms, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Realistically, you will probably choose option 1 or option 2. Options 3 and 4 are just for dreaming big.
- Use a fully hosted vendorA company that provides a web-based interface to store contact lists and manage the flow of messages from the sender to cellular phone carriers. solution. Typically, you'll be provided with a web-based interface that you and your program administrators can use to input and manage subscriber lists, and schedule and send text messages.
- Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solution. Your agency purchases the application, develops or modifies the user interface and hosts the database. You house the physical infrastructure and servers needed to support the COTS application. This option requires professional services to customize the database, and internal resources to maintain the database.
- Develop in-house SMS application. This solution requires internal resources to develop and maintain the recipient database. You own the user interface and database, and contract with an aggregator to transport messages to the carriers. This option requires sophisticated IT development and is unlikely to be worth the investment. Don't do this unless your department is also going into the telecommunications businessThough this option exists, it is not realistic for a health department.
- Develop application and operate as an aggregator with direct contact with carriers. Don't do this unless you've got a lot of time and money on your hands.Though this option exists, it is not realistic for a health department
Know which type of vendor you'd like to use? Move ahead to the next topic, Choosing a Vendor.