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How SNMP RTUs can save your company money

At a lot of companies, network management is an under-appreciated technology. In the same way people wonder about the value of insurance ("Do I really need it?"), you probably don't fully appreciate the job that SNMP RTUs do for you if you've never had them save you from a disaster.

I don't mean that you'd ever roll out an entire network without any form of remote visibility, but trouble does tend to creep in around the edges. Maybe you roll out a new site, and you're a little slow in ordering and installing an SNMP RTU at that location. Maybe you don't tie every possible alarm into the RTU because of the wiring hassle involved. Little oversights and omissions like that can add up to big headaches later on. You have to diligently build your network monitoring system so that it's fully capable when your network faces a big threat (power failure, hurricane, flood, terrorism, etc.).

Let's take a few minutes to review what SNMP RTUs do for you, both to reduce costs and to keep your revenue stream flowing:

  1. SNMP RTUs reduce "windshield time" costs by minimizing technician site visits
    A good RTU will keep you informed about the status of your remote site. With that information, you don't need to send technicians out to each site just to perform simple status checks. When a problem does occur, you know exactly which technician, parts, and tools to send on the first trip. If a technician is already out in the field and another problem happens at a nearby (or the same) site, you can dispatch directly without requiring a return trip to the central office first.
  2. SNMP RTUs protect revenue by helping you to keep service online
    Every time you have a service-affecting outage, your revenue declines. This can be immediate (ex. SLA fee refunds and service billed by the minute/byte) or delayed (customers leave you and go to a more stable provider). SNMP RTUs help you address problems in your network before they cause outages and upset your customer base.
  3. SNMP RTUs reduce equipment damage from preventable conditions
    In some instances, expensive equipment damage is unavoidable. In a hurricane, for example, no SNMP RTU will be able to stop a flood or damage from high winds. The RTU's job in a case like that is only to help you recover quickly. But what about preventable damage. RTUs can help you anticipate and prevent damage from overheating, fires, water leakage, out-of-tolerance voltages, and similar causes.

Don't think of SNMP RTUs as purely a cost center. They pay for themselves by helping you to prevent even one significant event or outage.