Case Study: Emergency Response Systems Rely on Timely Messaging Through PowerMTA

By Port25
Port25

Boasting delivery rates of over 5MM messages per hour, eAlert from MIS Sciences is United States' leading emergency alert notification system. An extremely reliable and flexible system was key for handling the delivery of several million high-priority messages each day.

About MIS Sciences Corporation's eAlert Service

eAlert is the leading notification service for organizations ranging from transportation agencies, small community groups to the largest corporations, and government agencies. For more over 10 years, eAlert has provided notification services to the transportation industry, federal, state, and local governments; schools and universities; homeowners associations; the health care industry; and others.

eAlert delivers to SMS devices, PDAs, cell phones, pagers, email accounts, fax machines, and other devices at the rate of over 5,000,000 messages per hour.

eAlert's clients include the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of Defense, transit agencies, and several 911 emergency operations centers. These clients have diverse and complex sending characteristics with regards to prioritizing message delivery through various devices and configuring IPs.

The Solution

As the chief crisis management solution nationwide, it is essential that eAlert utilizes a delivery system with maximum reliability, delivery performance, and reporting features to meet its clients' demands and provide time-sensitive alerts and messages to each type of audience and device. PowerMTA was the only SMTP server software flexible enough to supply these necessary features and easily integrate into eAlert's current system without interruption. On integration with PowerMTA, Jeff Willis, a VP at MIS Sciences, said, "PowerMTA was ready to run 'out of the box.' The ease of configuring a VirtualMTA for each client and their unique attributes made deployment very simple."

Challenges

Disaster management planning requires quick and efficient transmission of important information. These transmissions are detailed and must be well coordinated; the ability to relay critical information and instructions to multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary agencies is paramount. Therefore, as a high-priority immediate notification system used by emergency and government agencies, eAlert had two conclusive challenges to surmount. eAlert required the ability to satisfy each client's exclusive sending patterns and policy based requirements with "one" comprehensive delivery solution. Given the urgent nature and high volume of these notifications, the solution also had to be a remarkably stable one, with the ability to analyze and report on each individual campaign's performance based on deliverability.

Actions

It was obvious to MIS Sciences Corporation that PowerMTA was the most innovative delivery software that had the malleability and functionality necessary to perform the tasks required for their eAlert service. With PowerMTA's APIs and merge capabilities, the company now serves clients such as the New York Metropolitan Transit Agency with confidence. Using PowerMTA's VirtualMTA dashboard, the eAlert successfully delivers time-sensitive alerts to 1,000,000 plus subscribers. Additionally, it can process multiple other email streams simultaneously. MIS Sciences Corporation required a solution to process over 5MM email messages hourly, given its diverse range of end-user devices. Furthermore, the powerful reporting provided eAlert's clients with all the delivery performance metrics required.

Additionally, PowerMTA possesses the robust email authentication tools eAlert requires to mitigate "bounces." Sometimes the alert is rejected because it is being sent to an invalid email address. However, many advanced anti-spam filtering policies will cause a message to be returned because the ISP requires authentication and/or a whitelisted server. Pioneers of email authentication, PowerMTA overcame this challenge through the implementation of PowerMTA's DKIM verification tool, which allows eAlert to auto-generate a unique public and private key for outgoing messages, thus increasing the ISP's natural inclination to steer these alerts to a user's inbox, rather than rejecting or returning them.

Related topics: Email

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