EBS: When Do Contacts in Sequenced Groups Receive a Notification in Everbridge Suite?

Question:

When do contacts in sequenced groups receive a notification in Everbridge Suite?

Answer:

The Everbridge Notification Engine uses the Response Needed and the Wait time fields specified in the Edit Sequenced Group Settings, in conjunction with each individual contact's response to a notification to make a determination of when to send the next message.

Initially, the notification will be sent to X contacts in parallel, where X corresponds to the value specified in the Response Needed field. For example, if Response Needed was set to "2", and a sequenced group contains four contacts, then when the notification is initiated it will be sen to the first two contacts at once.

After the initial set of messages has been sent out, the system will then wait for one of three events to occur to make a determination of how to act:

  • a contact responds with a confirmation
  • a contact responds with a negative acknowledgment
  • the Wait time expires

The system keeps track of the number of remaining unconfirmed contacts, the number of responses still needed, and a single timer to keep track of the designated wait time. Depending on the event, the system acts accordingly:

  • If a confirmation is received, decrease the number of unconfirmed contacts and decrease the number of responses still needed.
  • If a negative acknowledgment is received, decrease the number of unconfirmed contacts, AND IF the number of unconfirmed contacts is LESS THAN the number of responses still needed, initiate the next contact and reset the wait time timer.
  • If the wait time expires, initiated the next contact and reset the wait time timer.

The following is a time-based example of a notification using a sequenced group consisting of five contacts, where three responses are needed, and a wait time of five minutes has been set.

  • At 12:00: Contact 1 and Contact 2 are initiated, the wait time timer is set for 12:05, the number of unconfirmed contacts is equal to two, and the number of responses still needed is three.
    • Explanation: Because our Response Needed is set to two, we send out the notification to the first two contacts immediately. We set the timer to go off in five minutes as configured in the Wait time field. The number of unconfirmed contacts counter is initiated to the number of contacts we've sent a message to, which is two. The number of unconfirmed contacts is initiated to the value specified in the Response Needed field, which is three.
  • At 12:02: Contact 1 responds with a negative acknowledgment, Contact 3 is initiated, and the wait time is reset for 12:07.
    • Explanation: Contact 1 responds with a negative acknowledgment so the number of unconfirmed contacts is decreased to one. We see that the number of unconfirmed contacts is less than the number of responses still needed (1 < 3), so Contact 3 is initiated, the counter for unconfirmed contacts is increased to two, and the timer has another five minute wait-time amount added to it.
  • At 12:06: Contact 2 responds with a negative acknowledgement, Contact 4 is initiated, and the wait time is reset for 12:11.
    • Explanation: Contact 2 responds with a negative acknowledgment so the number of unconfirmed contacts is decreased to one. We see that the number of unconfirmed contacts is less than the number of responses still needed (1 < 3), so Contact 4 is initiated, the counter for unconfirmed contacts is increased to two, and the timer has another five minute wait-time amount added to it.
  • At 12:08: Contact 3 confirms, and no new contacts are initiated.
    • Explanation: Contact 3 responds with a confirmation so the number of unconfirmed contacts is decreased to one, and the number of responses still needed is decreased to two. We continue to wait until either the wait time expires, which was set for 12:11 in the previous step, or we receive another response.
  • At 12:11: The wait time expires, Contact 5 is initiated, and the wait time is reset for 12:16.
    • Explanation: The wait time expires at 12:11, and because no responses were received, Contact 5 is initiated, and the timer has another five minute wait-time amount added to it.
  • At 12:16: The wait time expires.
    • Explanation: The wait time expires at 12:16 because no responses were received. We have not reached our Response Needed value, but we have no other contacts to initiate, so the notification is concluded.
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