Alerts Made Easy prepares for large update

By Gabe House

Technology evolves constantly, a fact Mark Roberts III knows well. He founded GoWeb1 in 2005 as a website design and development service. The company’s scope changed a bit when Roberts and GoWeb1 began to offer software solutions utilizing the cloud and SMS (text) messaging. SMS Elephant – a mass marketing messaging system – along with Alerts Made Easy, became their flagships.

Alerts Made Easy, launched in 2008, was the first “four in one” method of quickly communicating messages via text, phone, email and web for multiple purposes. The system is utilized by schools, private businesses and “basically anyone with contacts between 20 and 10,000 people,” according to Roberts, a Springfield native. “It’s a cloud-based solution where the account owner can log in and dispatch multiple messages very quickly to their contacts whether they’re school parents, employees wanting to know if they can come into work due to weather-related emergencies or for extra hour purposes. Any number of possibilities.”

It’s quite likely you have been in contact with the service without realizing it. A phone call from your child’s school prior to a blisteringly hot summer day notifying you of early dismissal is just one example.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Roberts said it’s time for Alerts Made Easy to evolve, as the system has remained largely unchanged since its launch almost nine years ago.

“In the last year, we’ve been updating our software significantly,” Roberts said. “Our new rollout will allow for interactive messaging. That way, account owners can send out mass alerts, and users will be able to communicate back to the broadcaster.” One example Roberts mentioned was multiple-choice questions. An employer could send out an alert that essentially functions as an employee poll. Another case would be verifying the safety of employees during a natural disaster. “There can be open-ended questions allowing users to answer back to the broadcaster,” Roberts said. “That’s a major component of the upgrade.”

Another aspect of the upgrade is the addition of more data fields when setting up clients. Previously, Roberts said, an account owner might only have the option of setting up alerts with users based on a “first-name/last-name” database. While that may often work well, there can be times where more specificity is needed.

“We might have a property manager who may want to use ‘Store ABC’ as one channel and ‘Store CBS’ as another,” Roberts said. “This will allow for a lot more flexibility where users can set up systems for their actual work needs and workflows.”

The Alerts Made Easy update is expected to begin rolling out to its initial customers toward the middle of this month. By the end of August, Roberts said, they hope to begin full-tilt business development with clients, many of which are on a national level.

Though GoWeb1 and Alerts Made Easy are based in Springfield, the nature of web-based  technology means Roberts isn’t restricted to servicing only local clients – although he’s quick to point out they do have local customers and are a huge proponent of supporting local commerce.

“With technology today, we can launch webinars and with clients we may never have actually visited,” Roberts said. “This industry allows you to have a national audience very easily.”

That said, a business must often have a physical footprint as well, and to that end Roberts said Springfield is an excellent place for a tech-heavy business thanks to its relatively low cost of living and influx of talented technological workers.

“The key is being able to find the right resources and talent, and I do see that happening in Springfield more so today than ever in the past.”

Gabe House is a freelance
writer from Springfield.