How do you inform users of system outages that may/will affect their computer usage

At present if I am performing an upgrade I inform users by email with a one line explanation of the work im performing and the issues it might cause users.  Im looking for something a bit more comprehesive, more informative and structured.  Any recomendations is appreciated?
resolver1Asked:
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AmickCommented:
The method of notification depends somewhat on the work being performed. E-mail is a good medium, but other methods that are useful include a notification at login, or on the default page of a website or portal.

In terms of what information should be provided, the key is to provide information that addresses the needs of your user community.  
1. Provide as much advance notice as possible.
2. Tell users when the event will occur, and what the expected duration of the event will be.
3. Help the user community understand what is going to happen, why it is being undertaken, and  what the changes might mean to them.
4. Provide the event manager's contact information.
5. Provide notification when the event is over.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Actually email is one of the best solutions we have worked with because of the ease of use and all users read there email. If put them on websites as well but you just don't know how many users are reading the site. Sending a monthly or weekly downtime email informs the users of the affected systems and what they might see.

Email gives you direct access to the users and if the users do not read their email then it is their fault not knowing what the current downtime systems will be.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
One more thing we have tried a newsletter as well informing users of downtime in the newsletter and giving some tips too.
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ormerodrutterCommented:
You may try some inter-communication software in office. We are using a software called Realpop - a freebie so it has NO support. It works on all 32-bit Windows platform.
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Joseph RuizSystems EngineerCommented:
Use an e-mail message from "The NOC."
Noc Sample
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Joseph RuizSystems EngineerCommented:
Heres another one:
 sample 2
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resolver1Author Commented:
Any recommendations on standards forms for administrators to email so they can be emailed or messaged to users ? For example:

Affected services blah blah blah
Expect down time between date 1 and date 2
Reason........
solution ......
ect.
ect.
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Darius GhassemCommented:
Organize the email from Critical services down to non critical.

Affected Service and who could affected
How long it will be down
What is the reason and why
Then any information if the system is being upgraded
How to report an issue
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crash2000Commented:
You could add an announcement to Sharepoint (companyweb) and then link to it in an email

Mark
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resolver1Author Commented:
Thanks Amick I used your suggestion as a template and ammended it slightly to our requirements with the other suggestions.  I've also created a table with all our services that could be affected with a affected colunm (yes/no) plus a comments column.

thanks.
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