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How It Works

An IT on-call management system streamlines the process of adding IT administrators, developers, security operators, or other members of the engineering staff into after-hours or weekend call schedules, assigning them equitable responsibility for managing IT alerts outside of traditional work hours.

Team members are placed into on-call rotations or schedules, and respond to priority outages or disruptions of important technologies. With multiple staff members handling on-call duties, management becomes much easier with effective processes supported by automation. Effective after-hour policies ensure that individuals share the burden equally in responding to critical incidents that occur on weekends, weeknights and holidays.

IT on-call management system

IT on-call management system

Signs That Your Team Needs an IT On-Call Management System

Missed Alerts

An important indicator that an IT team needs to have a digital scheduler is when they miss an important alert related to equipment failure, cybersecurity threats or similar critical IT issues. Since missed alerts can lead to prolonged downtime and lost productivity, businesses often start the process of evaluating digital scheduling solutions after a post-mortem review of the critical incident.

Burnout and Alert Fatigue

Organizations that don’t have an effective on-call rotation policy, risk overburdening and burning out key individuals with after-hours work. Also, when team members don’t have a way to forward or escalate responsibilities if they need help resolving a particular issue, or if they are already working on assigned tickets and more issues crop up, they experience alert fatigue.

Before organizations risk losing high-performing IT employees, they should consider better on-call management and scheduling.

IT on-call management system

How OnPage Helps With On-Call Scheduling

OnPage’s incident alert management platform and smartphone app enable IT teams to effectively work in after-hour rotations. With OnPage, teams are able to:

  • Bypass the silent switch on all mobile devices.
  • Create and manage escalation policies.
  • Ensure alerts are persistent—Alerts continue for up to 8 hours until acknowledged.
  • Review audit trails and track messages—Teams can see when messages were SENT, DELIVERED and READ
  • Ensure that every group gets their preferred, on-call rotation with on-call scheduling for multiple individuals without limitation to location.
  • Add images and voice attachments to text messages to convey more information, allowing for informed decisions.

Three Steps to Improving On-Call Scheduling

One of the key goals of on-call is to limit disruption to the end customer. To that end, a pageable alert is only fired when an action must be taken.

Step 1: Create a Fair On-Call Schedule

Use group schedules to make sure everyone gets a chance at bat. Rotations are key in this regard as they ensure everyone is put on-call at some point during a normal schedule. Moreover, a fair schedule will promote the sense that no one group is being picked on or forced to work more hours than any other.

 

 

IT on-call management system

Step 2: Make Sure Alerts Are Persistent

How many times has someone on your team said they didn’t respond to the alert because they didn’t hear it? Most alerting technologies notify engineers via SMS or email and don’t provide persistent alerting if the engineer is temporarily out of range.

Instead, make sure you are using a tool that avoids these problems and instead creates persistent alerts that will be heard. Additionally, make sure the alerts will be heard when the engineer comes back into range.

Step 3: Messaging for Efficient Communications

Make sure the on-call communication tools you use enable communications between engineers. That is, make sure they have the right tool which will enable both alerting and critical communications. Engineers should be able to message fellow engineers as well as groups.

Ideally, your messaging platform will also integrate with widely used industry tools such as Slack. From Slack, for example, engineers could alert individuals to significant events that need their colleague’s input.

IT on-call management system

New Feature Enhancements

IT on-call management system

OnPage On-Call Reminders

Before an on-call shift begins, tasked persons will receive a reminder alert on the OnPage app. OnPage on-call reminders prevent on-call shifts from being forgotten.

Reminders can be configured exclusively on the OnPage Enterprise Gold package. Want to learn more? Contact us!

On-Call Schedule Exceptions

On-call schedule exception comes in handy when a user needs to switch on-call times with another user for a specific time frame or when a system administrator wants to make an exception to a recurring schedule for a date range. At the end of the schedule exception, the original schedule reverts back.

IT on-call management system

IT on-call management system

Override Silent Switch on iOS and DND Mode

With software release version 7.4, OnPage is now one of the very few incident alerting services to override the silent switch on iOS and Do Not Disturb (DND) mode on all devices. This functionality is already available on Android and was long-awaited on iOS. The latest software release ensures that all OnPage high-priority, critical alerts are addressed and heard regardless of one’s iOS configurations or system settings.

White Paper: How to Survive Being On-Call

Discover how to improve after-hour processes to achieve key performance goals while improving work-life balance. The “How to Survive Being On-Call” white paper highlights:

  • The processes that need to be set in place before an incident occurs
  • The best way to organize your team
  • Automation that leads to better workflow

To get your free copy of our white paper, please fill out the form below.

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