Fact: Small-site failures can cause big-time costs

Damage at small sites can be very expensive
Think small site monitoring isn't worth the cost? The truth is, damage at small sites can be very expensive.

If you're not monitoring your small sites, you're gambling - you're making a bet that the damage caused by small-site failures will, on average, always be less than the cost of network monitoring.

But think about can go wrong at your small remote sites and what those problems can cost.

  • Power outages: Every site is vulnerable to power loss. You may have redundant backup systems, but if you don't know when they've taken over, you won't know you need to intervene. And when the last backup system fails, it will be too late to prevent costly equipment damage.
  • High temperature: Cooling systems and their power supplies also fail, creating more equipment damage and repair costs.
  • Water damage: Rainstorms and floods can punch through your site structures. If you don't find out about rising water, it can short out every piece of equipment at the site.
  • Backup equipment failures: Here's an all-too-common scenario: The primary unit goes down, and the secondary unit takes over ... and no one knows about it. Weeks, perhaps even months pass - these problems can have very long fuses. Then the backup unit fails, and the site goes dark.

What do all these site failures have in common? They're all preventable, IF you have advanced warning of the problem. But failures like these happen all the time. And the damage they cause is a lot more expensive than the cost of an RTU. How many failures have you had, this year alone, at your small remote sites? How much are small site failures costing you?

"OK, already! I know it would be great if I could monitor my small sites - but what about the cost?"

Good point. Given what the suits like to call "today's budgetary realities," just because you need RTUs at your small sites doesn't mean you'll get the authorization to actually buy any.

But think hard about the assumptions that are keeping you from monitoring your small sites.Don't let a faulty cost-benefit analysis expose your network to preventable threats.

What are the perceived cost barriers to monitoring small sites?

  • Equipment costs: Conventional wisdom says that remote alarm monitoring always requires a large, expensive, high-capacity RTU.
  • Installation costs: Conventional wisdom says that installing an RTU takes hours of technician labor for wiring, turn-up and testing at the remote site - plus more hours of configuration work at the master station.
  • Transport costs: Conventional wisdom says transporting alarm data means recurring monthly costs for phone lines, cell transceivers or dedicated circuits.

But are you really limited by these preconceived cost barriers? And if you're not, why shouldn't you monitor every site in your network?

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