10 Questions To Ask Before Choosing a Critical Event Management Vendor

Guy Walker
. 4 min read
These are the key questions you should ask before selecting a critical event management vendor.
Why are you considering a critical event management (CEM) system?
Organisations should establish why exactly they are in the market for a CEM platform. This internal reflection highlights what could be improved in their existing CEM tools and procedures and outlines what features they may need in their platform.
Who will be using the critical event management system?
Approach the platform from the perspective of daily users. By understanding who will be using the platform, you can get a better understanding of how they will use it. Factors such as the complexity of the platform, what features it offers, and its device compatibility are all essential to consider.
How many users need access to the critical event management system?
Pricing typically varies depending on the number of users. Consider who will need to use the platform, as this could affect what package you need. The number of active users will also affect how you use the platform.
What will the critical event management system primarily be used for?
Evaluating how you will use a CEM platform will guide you towards the features and integrations that you need. For some, features like WatchKeeper’s Alert Manager will be crucial, for others it will be Case Management. Consider your organisation’s specific needs.
What is lacking/failing within your existing critical event management procedures or tools?
Most organisations opt for a CEM platform as a way to improve some element of their existing operations. List out the top pain points and manual steps involved in existing response processes that could be solved or automated by a CEM platform. This will help define the scope and requirements for a trial or POC. For instance, you may wish to automate alerting to improve corporate security response times. Recognise what is needed from a CEM platform so you pick the right platform and features for your needs. 
Do you need a critical event management system accessible from any device?
Depending on your organisation’s needs, you may need to use your CEM platform on mobile or tablet devices. Before selecting a CEM platform make sure the critical event management vendor supports the range of devices your organisation uses.
Will your employee and asset data change frequently?
Most CEM platforms have different ways of uploading client data. Some require you to manually upload assets, while others allow you to connect the CEM platform to your internal systems. For organisations that only have a limited number of physical locations, either of these processes would be adequate. However, organisations wanting to monitor tens of thousands of employees and facilities around the world in real-time will need to ensure the CEM platform they opt for has an automated mapping solution.
What data and critical events matter to you?
A central part of any CEM platform is the data it ingests. As an organisation, you have to consider what critical event data you need within your platform. This may depend on where your operations are based, how many assets you have and what risks your organisation is vulnerable to. As some CEM platforms may not be able to integrate the data you need, it is best to opt for a vendor-agnostic platform.
Are there existing procedures or tools that you want to keep using?
If there are certain tools or data sources that you want to use with your new CEM platform, make sure to check that the integration or tool is available with the CEM vendor. Some CEM providers limit external integrations, so if possible, it is best to go with a vendor-agnostic platform. 
How important is scalability and will your organization’s needs change over time?
A rigid contract could prove problematic for many organisations, as they could grow rapidly and their needs could change. For example, an organisation may require new sources of data, different features and more platform users. As such, organisations should ensure that any platform has the add-ons they may need for their future operations too.

To find out more about WatchKeeper’s new critical event management platform and how it can help your organisation, please visit https://watchkeeper.com or email info@watchkeeper.com.
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