"DPS Engineers focus on results that achieve client satisfaction."
That's one of the "21 Defining Characteristics of DPS Engineers," according to Mark Carberry, DPS Telecom's Engineering Director. You can see Carberry's list of principles everywhere you go in the DPS Engineering Department. It's posted on the hallway walls. Engineers hang copies over their desks.
Maintaining a team spirit of discipline, high morale and focus on the clients is an essential part of the Engineering Department's work, Carberry said.
"The only thing that's important to our clients is that our product will work in their environment, the way we promised it would. So we're very results-focused and very motivated in Engineering. We take great personal pride in delivering quality products," said Carberry.
Team spirit is also important for managing all the different parts of Engineering. Since DPS Telecom designs and builds all its own products, Carberry's group is responsible for every phase of product development: circuit board design, software design, case design, tech support and documentation.
"Everybody knows that everybody else on the team is contributing. All the parts of the product have to be good. Another of our '21 Defining Characteristics' is that DPS engineers follow through on their commitments, to the team and to the client.
"Sometimes that means staying late or coming in on weekends. But we follow through and give what we promised," said Carberry.
The real-world problems and needs of the clients are the focus of Carberry's work. At many other companies, the engineering department is the most distant from the customer - at DPS Telecom, the engineers work directly with the clients.
"The Engineering Department is tied very closely with the clients," said Carberry. "Tech Support is part of Engineering, so we're always involved in listening to the clients, finding out what they really need, and making it happen. Engineering also works very closely with the Sales Department, and we work together in developing new products based on client requests."
The DPS engineers have to be responsive to client requests, because DPS's core business is delivering perfect fit solutions that meet 100% of the client's needs. Every client is different and every network is different, so a perfect fit solution is often a custom-engineered solution.
"Custom engineering is what we're good at, and we love doing this kind of work. Typically, a client needs a custom solution to support existing infrastructure. Sometimes they face interface challenges, like they need to convert serial into IP and back to serial, or they need support for an older protocol," said Carberry.
When his team is working on a custom engineering project, Carberry's goal is to preserve and maximize the value of the client's existing network, while also adding new alarm monitoring capabilities.
"We want the clients to be able to interface with non-DPS products, so they don't have to do wholesale swapouts of their network. We're trying to find ways they can evolve their networks by introducing new products with new capabilities - seamlessly, using their existing interface and protocols.
"And we always try to add that one feature that's on the client's wish list, the one thing they'd really like to do with their network. Maybe no other client will need it, but this client does, and it really makes the difference. So we try to slip it in, to give them that little piece of perfection," said Carberry.
Before delivery to the client, every custom design product is stress-tested in-house multiple times, and then a DPS engineer oversees field tests and installs.
"We want to make sure the product works as expected, under real-world conditions. So we send an engineer out there and make sure it works right," said Carberry.
Carberry said that his team can engineer to that level because they have the right tools, the right people, and above all, the right attitude.
"I call it willingness to engineer. We're not afraid of work, and we're not afraid of new things. You've got to be willing to learn. College doesn't teach you this stuff, because what we do is so specialized. You've got to recognize that you have to put in your personal time and your personal efforts," said Carberry.
With that kind of commitment, Carberry said, there's no limit to what his team can do with the technology. "Tools are never a limiting factor for us. If there's something we need, we go out and get it. And if something you can't get, we build it. We build a lot of our own tools, in-house programs that simulate different protocols and network environments, so we can really stress-test our products.
"We have a can-do attitude here. We have a lot of confidence that we can design what the client needs, because we've done it over and over again. Not everybody has that attitude. Not everybody can do this job. We're looking for the best of the best people, and I think our clients deserve that."
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