Step 1: Consultation
When he first talks to a client, Dodd's only immediate goal is to determine the client's real needs, both for the present and the future.
"First we look the challenges you're facing right now. What are you currently working with, and why isn't it working for you? What are your current solutions shortcomings and pitfalls?
"We have an extensive site survey we work from to understand your network - what equipment do you monitor, what alarm equipment do you currently have, what protocols and interfaces do you use," said Dodd.
"But we also look at where you want to be in the future, five or ten years down the road. We want to find out what a perfect long-term system for you would look like. We don't want to provide you with something you'll have to re-do two years from now."
Step 2: Design
The next step is to design an alarm monitoring application that will serve as a bridge between the client's current state and future objective. The goal here, Dodd said, is to create a "perfect fit" solution.
"A perfect fit solution is different for everybody's application. It might mean visibility of network systems you haven't been able to monitor before. It might mean consolidating visibility of your whole network to one console. The key is creating a solution that's simpler for you to manage, from your operational standpoint," said Dodd.
In most cases, the client's needs can be served with an existing DPS product. But if current products don't provide that perfect fit solution, Dodd will work with the DPS Engineering Department to develop a custom solution that meets the client's exact requirements.
"From a design aspect, perfect fit means we match our existing products against your requirements. A lot of times, an offthe- shelf solution will meet your needs. But if it doesn't, we modify our hardware and software so it fits your needs exactly. Our hardware is modular and the intelligence is built into the software, so we can tweak it pretty easily until it's the absolute best fit for you," Dodd said.
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