T/Mon Makes Legacy RBOC Equipment Work for a Small Modern Telco
When Utah independent telco UBTA-UBET bought three Qwest exchanges in 2001, the deal included some extras - Qwest's legacy E2A alarm shelves and former Qwest telemetry tech Rick Hofmann.
After 22 years with Qwest, Hofmann's new job presented him with a tough challenge. How was he going to adapt his RBOC alarm equipment to the operations of a much smaller company? Qwest routed all alarms to a central NOC in Colorado; the lightly-staffed UBTA-UBET needed a local system that would automate alarm monitoring as much as possible.
Hofmann needed more than a technical solution - he needed a whole new way to monitor alarms.
RBOC centralized monitoring didn't work well for a small independent
As part of the acquisition deal, Qwest continued to monitor the three exchanges for another year, and Hofmann saw firsthand that RBOC-style centralized management didn't meet UBTA-UBET's needs.
"Qwest monitoring wasn't really workable for us," said Hofmann, who is now plant manager for UBTA-UBET. "Alarms went to the Qwest NOC in Colorado, and they would generate a trouble ticket, decide whether the alarm needed action and then call us. They wanted one point of contact, so we'd have them call our dispatch center, and they would call the tech."
Hofmann had five objectives for a new monitoring system
Hofmann's goal was an alarm system that would both support UBTA-UBET's existing equipment and provide tools for the company to effectively monitor alarms on its own.
Getting support for the E2A shelves was important, but simplifying and automating alarm handling was even more important."Pager notification was my first objective. Support for legacy equipment was second," said Hofmann.
Hofmann listed his five objectives for the new alarm monitoring system:
1. Automatic alarm notification by pager and email.
2. Legacy support for the E2A shelves.
3. Access for dispatch center personnel to view alarms
4. Detailed notification.
5. Support for ASCII alarms and SNMP trap processing.
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