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T/Mon Tip: Acknowledge Alarms From Your Cell Phone

T/Mon NOC Remote Alarm Monitoring System
The T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System can send alarms straight to your cell phone - and you can acknowledge alarms with a simple reply.

Nowadays, you can do anything with a cell phone - including receiving and acknowledging alarms from your T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System.

More and more T/Mon users are choosing to receive email alarm notifications on their cell phones. This gives you detailed alarm notifications wherever you are, without your having to carry an extra pager.

And being able to acknowledge alarms from your cell phone makes it even better. NOC managers can immediately know that a tech is working on the alarm.

And it's easy to set up. Here's how you can quickly configure T/Mon to send email alarm notification directly to your cell phone, and how you can acknowledge them.

The procedure below is a moderately detailed overview. For more details about setting up T/Mon cell phone alarms, download this PDF "how-to" guide.
The T/Mon NOC alarm master can send text message alarms to your cell phone or BlackBerry(R) smartphone.
Step One: Configure T/Mon to Send Email Alarms

To send and receive email, T/Mon must be able to connect to a mail server via LAN. The mail server should support SMTP (for sending outgoing mail) and POP3 (for receiving incoming mail).

T/Mon needs an email account, a user name, and a password on your mail server. Contact your network administrator for assistance in setting up an account for T/Mon.

Once the email account has been created, T/Mon needs to be configured to access the account. Set up two virtual port LAN jobs to represent T/Mon's access to the SMTP and POP3 servers. For full instructions on configuring T/Mon for email access, see "Alarm Notification via email" in Section Seven of the T/MonXM User Manual.

Step Two: Define Email Recipients

Email alarm recipients are defined in T/Mon's Pager Carrier list.

From the T/Mon Master Menu, choose Files > Pager > Pager Carriers to open the Pager Carriers screen. To add a new person to the list, find a blank entry and enter his or her initials and names. If your alarm recipients only want to receive email, you don't need to enter a pager number for them.

Press F6 to access the list of e-mail recipients.
From the Master Menu, choose Files > Pager > Pager Carriers, then press F6 to access this screen.

Now press F6 to access the Pager Carriers email list. Enter an email address for each person you want to send email to.

Step 3: Activate Ack by Reply

If you want to acknowledge alarms from your cell phone, you need the correct response privileges.

Response privileges are defined individually for each email recipient. Select an email recipient and press F1. This accesses the Response Options screen, which looks like this:

You can individually control the response privileges of each email recipient.

There are four response options for each email recipient:

  • Ack Single Alarm: The recipient can acknowledge single alarms. An HTML link will be included in emails to this recipient, and the recipient can acknowledge the alarm by clicking the link.
  • by Reply: The recipient can acknowledge alarms simply by sending a reply email to T/Mon.
  • Ack Site: The recipient can acknowledge all the alarms at the site where the alarm occurred by clicking a link in the email.
  • Tag Single Alarm: The recipient can tag alarms by clicking a link.

The most convenient option for acknowledging cell phone alarms is Ack by Reply. This allows the recipient to acknowledge the alarm just by hitting "reply" and sending a blank email in response.

To activate this option, turn on Ack Single Alarm and Ack by Reply.

(Hint: If you don't want your email recipients to ack any alarms, turn all these options off.)

Choose a message format to edit from the Alpha Formats submenu.
Step 4: Format the email Alarm Notification

Before T/Mon can send email notifications, you must define the message format it will use.

Keep in mind - cell phones have small screens. Format your email alarms so they give the most information in the smallest space.

From the T/Mon Master Menu, choose File > Pager > Alphanumeric Formats. This will open the Alpha Formats submenu, where you can select one of four message formats to edit.

Define the text of your email alarm notification in the Edit Alpha Format screen.

The alpha pager format lists the fields that T/Mon will fills for each alarm, such as Level, Description, Site Name, etc. The actual information that T/Mon places in these fields is specific to each alarm.

You can select up to 14 fields for each message format. To edit the format, select a field and press the Tab key to open a list box of possible fields. You can fill the message format with a little information or a lot, depending on how much detail you want the email recipient to see. You can define different message formats for personnel with different responsibilities and security clearances.

For a cell phone alarm, pick basic information like Level, Description, Site, Date, and Time.

It's very important to select the right character width for each field. Choose a narrow width to fit in a cell phone screen. But keep in mind that if the information for the field is longer than the selected width, the message will be truncated.

For full instructions on editing message formats, see "Alphanumeric Pager Formats" in Section Six of the T/MonXM User Manual.

Step 5: Assign Each Email Recipient to a Pager Operator, Schedule, and Profile

Assign each of your email recipients to a pager operator, schedule, and profile. These are successive steps that define which alarms are sent to the email recipients. For full instructions on assigning specific alarms to email recipients and pager carriers, see "Pager" in Section Six of the T/MonXM User Manual.

Step 6: Acknowledging Email Alarm Notifications

If an alarm is sent to your cell phone, you'll get a text message that looks like this:

Example of a T/Mon alarm received via text message on a BlackBerry(R) smartphone. To acknowledge this alarm, simply...
Reply to any text message alarm to acknowledge that alarm.
You have now configured your T/Mon master station to send alarms to your cell phone or BlackBerry(R) smartphone.
Send Email Notification for Any Alarm with T/Mon NOC

T/Mon NOC adds advanced alarm monitoring capabilities for your whole network. T/Mon supports over 25 protocols, and easily mediates legacy alarms in E2A, TBOS, TABS and proprietary protocols to SNMP or TL1.

T/Mon NOC gives you complete visibility of your legacy alarms, plus email notification on every alarm, upgrades to SNMP and ASCII, nuisance alarm filtering, and more

See Full Specifications of the T/Mon NOC Remote Alarm Monitoring System

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