Southeast Nebraska Communications (SNC) is a third-generation, privately owned communications company that has provided local telephone services in Falls City and the surrounding area since 1906. The company offers local voice, long distance, internet services, Skitter TV, and bundle packages to customers in Falls City, Rulo, Stella, Shubert, Verdon, Salem, and surrounding rural areas.
Gary Cornely is the NOC Administrator at SNC. "I'm in charge of all network systems in Falls City, Nebraska," Cornely said. "They hired me to do Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and upgrade their systems. I do anything IP. I'm also a tech, so I take calls and fix things that break."
When Cornely started at SNC, he faced a common problem: a central office switch that couldn't be decommissioned because it was the only monitoring gear in the facility.
"Originally, all our discretes were handled by a central office switch, the Nortel DMS 10," Cornely recalled. "As part of the FTTH project, we did not have a solution to effectively manage those discrete contact closures. We couldn't dismantle the switch until we had a solution."
The alarm clarity from the DMS 10 was also below average. Extra steps and extra time were required to figure out what was happening.
"When we were using the DMS 10. we got a phone call that said you had an alarm," he explained. "But you didn't get any detail until you actually dialed in."
With a remote-monitoring process that obviously needed improvement, SNC started researching its options.
"My boss had done a lot of research and DPS had come up," Cornely remembers. "That was my first project when I was hired. I looked at the DPS website and talked to (sales engineer) Ron Stover a couple of times. I became convinced pretty quickly that DPS was the only solution that brought it all together. This was what we needed to do."
Cornely was particularly interested in a new monitoring system that would bring together the broad range of his existing equipment and protocols.
"The number of different devices DPS equipment could talk to, collect from, figure out what to do with, and then send alerts and information," he said. "It just made a lot of sense."
SNC started its depoyment with NetGuardian and TempDefender RTUs, configuring them to send notifications directly to technicians. No master station was required. Later, they expanded the system with a T/Mon master station to collect alarms from more equipment and centralize control over alarm notifications.
"Originally my NetGuardians and TempDefender sent emails out all on their own," Cornely remembers. "The following year, we got the T/Mon. Once we got that configured, it made it even simpler."
The SNC team hit a speed bump when some key staff left the company without leaving behind information about their T/Mon implementation.
"Unfortunately, the guy that got the most out of T/Mon left the company before he could show me how it all worked together," Cornely said. "That's why I came for a week of DPS training."
Free factory training at DPS HQ gave him a solid understanding of both T/Mon and his NetGuardian and TempDefender RTUs.
With a complete monitoring system now up and running, Cornely now has confidence that it can withstand just about any staff change.
"It's such a complete solution. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow and - the next day - my TempDefender gets hit by lightning, all my boss would have to do is call DPS," he said. "They would be able to tell him exactly what he needs to do to get it up and running."
To recover from either that kind of "perfect storm" scenario or more mundane issues, Cornely plans to take advantage of tech support run by engineers at DPS HQ in California.
"That's another aspect of DPS as a company that I find amazing: The guys that build it are doing the support," he said. "I think that's awesome."
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