Advice Requested - Creating an inclement weather hotline

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Kittamaru, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    So, one thing I have been tasked with is the creation of a severe-weather closure/delay hotline that employees could dial into and find out if a site has been closed or delayed due to bad weather.

    It looks like PBX systems might be the best for something like this... but we have neither a linux based system (though I could virtualize I guess) nor do I have any experience with Linux.

    Any suggestions/thoughts on this? I'd prefer to make it something free hosted on-site that they can just call to

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    We have plenty of spare numbers (all our phones are IP Phones and virtual numbers) but... yeah, never tried something like this before!
     
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  3. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    Okay... I am only asking here... Because I find this confusing...

    Why do you need to get so fancy.

    Why not fit any spare phone with an answering machine message that can be updated manually?

    When you say "Site closed for bad weather" I am assuming it is a location and not a website.

    I do not understand. Is this system meant to detect if sites are closed? If it does need manual input then why wouldn't any dedicated phone line with message work?

    Example: I could change my home telephone to say "No work today, gone fishing" and anybody phoning in will get the message I am not home.


    I imagine you have something much more complex in mind, but the way you describe it here it seems like a simple solution.
     
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  5. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    It is an option we are considering; however, part of what I wanted to do was have this set up so it would dial out and call the employees in question. This is because the weather here is... well, frankly, it's weird. We can have a foot of snow here at the site, and just a half hour away across the weather, they can have a sunny day; that would make anyone who wasn't paying attention to the site's local weather forecast not think to call in

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  7. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    Just a thought. Why not look at new social media and you can twitter it.

    I think mass texting would be the ideal solution. Most people seem able to access texts now.

    You can turn any cellphone into a mass texting device if you get an App for it. There is likely even an app that can phone employees and play them prerecorded messages, If there isn't I got dibs on the concept. lol.

    Pretty sure there is an App for everything nowadays.

    It's not glamorous, but does it need to be more?
     
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I would query what parameters the calls being made would fall under. Would they be charged at a local rate or national charge? would employee's be expected to use their mobile phones to make the call?
    Would it be cheaper having a SMS update sent to employee's that are set to go to a particular site? or would it make more sense to just have a weather watch component to a website that they can access from a computer or their phone?

    Alternatively like you've already stated you could use a PBX method, have a recording of the current weather info that can be accessed by using either a single phone number or just going through a multiple choice selection when accessing the companies phone system. (i.e. For accounts please press 1, for customer relations press 2, for current service status please press 3)
     
  9. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    @Stryder - those are all good points... I honestly dont' have the answer for those right now, but I'll have to find out!

    @kwhilborn - good point... something else I'll have to dig into!
     
  10. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member

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    Another option if you wanted to go the software route:

    Run node.js on a server
    Use websockets to get info from and to update clients
     

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