DPS provides remote monitoring solutions for many government agencies. One of these clients, a law enforcement agency on the West Coast, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and serving their citizens on a daily basis. Responding to an average of over 2,000 contacts every day, they rely on their telecommunications equipment to protect the lives of citizens. That's why their network alarm monitoring is of the utmost importance.
Telecommunications downtime in 911 dispatch and police/fire radio is absolutely unacceptable. This DPS client has responded decisively to this requirement by deploying proven remote monitoring technology at mission-critical sites. Radio towers and dispatch centers must always be online for first responders to communicate with and protect the public.
A specialist in the telecommunications department of this law enforcement agency (whom I'll call James for the sake of anonymity) talked with us about his experience with DPS Telecom monitoring equipment.
"I like the ability to bring it all the way down to a single alarm point and set up an alert group for each point and set up qualification delays."
This West Coast law enforcement organization has been using DPS gear to do their remote alarm monitoring for over a decade. They first purchased a T/Mon in 2008, and recently did a T/Mon hardware upgrade and software update. "Email notification was pretty critical for us," said James. "I like the granularity that it provides, meaning you can set thresholds and events - all the way down to an individual alarm point." The "granular" T/Mon interface allows technicians at the agency to view detailed alarm data.
Commercial power alarms have been one of the most critical for them to monitor. Before using the T/Mon, they received many nuisance alarms for loss of power when their main power source failed. But these alarms were mostly non-critical, since the backup generator would usually kick in.
"We put a several-minute delay on that, because we don't care as long as the generator starts. But, if we've gone several minutes without any power whatsoever, then that email goes out as a critical email with a large email group attached to it," explained James. "I like the ability to bring it all the way down to a single alarm point and set up an alert group for each point and set up qualification delays."
They've also put event qualifiers on their analog microwave system. "It can be prone to failures or fades that can cause a lot of chattering. Now, if there are too many events, then we get a notification indicating that a ring is bouncing or a path is bouncing," James told us.
Since setting up T/Mon alarm delays and critical e-mail notifications, the technicians don't have to waste time acknowledging nuisance alarms. When a real emergency occurs, it doesn't get lost or dismissed in the midst of non-critical alarm notifications.
Temperature has been one of the most important thresholds monitored by DPS gear. "In most cases, we just use the internal temperature sensor in the NetGuardian, using the minor and major alarm points, and different notifications based on each event. Having that temperature monitored and alarmed routinely catches AC failures."
"The site will begin to rise in temperature. The techs will get notified. They'll log in and they'll check out the system. Quite often, we'll roll to the site or get a vendor headed that direction to repair the AC system. That prevents all kinds of things," James emphasized.
"It could prevent a shutdown of equipment, premature battery failures... so temperature is a biggie. Most of the time at the radio sites, it comes up gradually, unless it's the heat of the summer. Normally, it will take several hours; we get an alarm, and the tech will be notified, and we still have several hours to respond before it really gets to a higher, more critical level."
The NetGuardian has effectively protected the agency's vital telecom gear, enabling them to continue to protect and serve their citizens 24/7/365.
"The interaction with support has always been really great. They're very on top of things and proactive. In fact, in my personal opinion, DPS has gone far above expectations."
James described his experience with DPS support since the agency first became acquainted with us in 2007. "The interaction with support has always been really great. They're very on top of things and proactive. In fact, in my personal opinion, DPS has gone far above expectations. Ron and I worked on a Platinum maintenance agreement some years back. We didn't have maintenance agreements in place. Things were out of warranty, but if we had a problem or a bug, DPS stepped right up and took care of it, so that's pretty impressive." The team at DPS has never turned James or his associates down for tech support, even after their warranty had ended.
During our interview, James mentioned that his technicians would appreciate a more visual interface. He was excited to learn about the T/Mon GFX web interface that will give his users a more intuitive visual experience when monitoring alarms.
James explained that Ron Stover, DPS Sales Engineer, worked with him to find a payment plan that works best for them as a government agency. Two-to-five-year agreements with periodic discounts on a T/Mon upgrade are typically made, but that type of agreement was not ideal for this client because, as James explained, "in government funding, it's easier to get recurring funds where they give you the same amount every year than it is to get money every two years or five years. That's when Ron offered the Platinum Agreement that fits our need."
DPS accommodated their limitations and offered a Platinum Agreement, which suits their budget cycles and allows them to get approved for a T/Mon upgrade every five years at a 100% discount.
DPS partners with clients to meet their specific needs. This includes designing and building custom gear that works for them. But it also includes finding a maintenance plan to best suit individual circumstances and goals.
To find out about getting a remote monitoring system that fits your organization's needs, get in contact with DPS for a free consultation. We plan to exceed your expectations like we did for this West Coast law enforcement agency.
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