I've been tasked to provide our organization with an emergency desktop alert pop-up message solution.
The criteria (must haves and should haves):
1. Our receptionist must be able to hit a hot key such as Ctrl-F5 and an emergency alert message is automatically sent to a set of computers, to pop up immediately on their desktop. For example a pop-up alert sent to the desktop of all Department Heads that says, "Help, I'm being robbed!"
2. The receptionist must be able to send "less than emergency" urgent messages to all computers in a group. For example, "Attention. There is a hurricane warning today from 2:00 P.M. until 10:00 P.M. Please make appropriate preparations."
3. Department Heads or other selected individuals should be able to send "less than urgent" important messages to all or selected computers. For example, the CEO should be able to send a desktop alert saying, "Due to the Holiday weekend, everyone may leave the office at 2:00 P.M. today."
That's pretty much the functionality I need. Flexible and configurable are big pluses. Ease of deployment would be nice. Free a big plus, almost a necessity, (We are a non-profit org.)
I do some VB.Net programming, but do not have the skills to write something like this myself so I'm looking for some, preferably open-source, software that we can deploy.
I had tried a program called "Desktop Alerts" that installed as a service, but I'm looking for something new since we have replaced many of our computers with Windows 7 or Windows 8 boxes.
I'm going to be "Googling" as well but looking for suggestions from people who have used something like this and recommend something they like. Please NO Google links; I can find those on my own. ;-)