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An introduction to Monitoring Fundamentals strictly from the perspective of telecom network alarm management.
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When he first talks to a client, Dodd determines the client's present needs, as well what they need to achieve their future goals.
"First we look the challenges you're facing right now. What are you currently working with, and why isn't it working for you? What are your current system's shortcomings and pitfalls?
"We have an extensive site survey we work from to understand your network," said Dodd. "What equipment do you monitor? What alarm equipment do you currently have? What protocols and interfaces do you use?"
"But we also look at where you want to be in the future, five or ten years down the road. We want to find out what a perfect long-term system for you would look like. We don't want to provide you with something you'll have to re-do two years from now."
The next step is to design an alarm monitoring application that will serve as a bridge between the client's current state and future objective. The goal here, Dodd said, is to create a "perfect-fit" solution.
"A perfect-fit solution is different for everybody's application. It might mean visibility of network systems you haven't been able to monitor before. It might mean consolidating visibility of your whole network to one console. The key is creating a solution that's simpler for you to manage, from your operational standpoint," said Dodd.
In most cases, the client's needs can be served with an existing DPS product. But if current products don't provide that perfect fit, Dodd will work with the DPS Engineering Department to develop a custom solution that meets the client's exact requirements.
When it's developing a custom product, DPS doesn't just send a two-page document to the client. Each client receives a detailed report about the proposed solution. This report begins by restating the overarching goal of the project. It includes contact information for referrals in similar situations and relevant case studies of past results.
The client also receives a virtual prototype of the proposed new product. This prototype is typically passed between DPS and client several times. With each revision, the design better meets the client's needs. And because the client is kept informed throughout the development process, there aren't any surprises when it comes time for full-scale deployment.
When the client accepts the virtual prototype, DPS uses it to build a quote for the project. Once an agreement has been reached, the DPS Engineering team goes to work.