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The Difference Between Remote Access , Alert Notification and Monitoring.

I am couching this discussion in terms of Mission-Critical Infrastructure but this really applies to several different disciplines especially IT.

First let’s define and qualify each of these items.

Remote Access is the ability to access a piece of equipment from a remote location. A remote location can be another part of the building on the same LAN or another part of the world across the internet. The basic premise here is that you can access the device interface without having to connect directly (plug in to) that device.

Alert notification is the ability to set parameters like “if the the temperature is above 80 degrees” send a message.The message can be an email , a text message , a blinking light or a phone call.

Monitoring is when someone is constantly watching a displayed set of parameters from a device.

About now , some of you are saying “why the Ned’s First Reader definition ?” You may not be confused about which one is which but trust me there is some confusion out there. There seems to be special confusion regarding Alert Notification and monitoring.

The best analogy is to the way voice mail works. If you just have a very simple voice mail on your phone, then while you are out of the office , you need to periodically call in and access the voice mail to see if you have a message.

If you have outcalling or voice mail to email , then you get a notification pushed out to you that you have a message. This is how alert notifications work.

If you are sitting at your desk and the phone rings , you answer it…..this is monitoring.

Lets say you have a problem with your cable tv , would you rather leave a message in the voice mail that that person will get the next time they check it or one where that person will be notified of the message? Obviously notification is better but what is that person turns off their cell or doesn’t check their email? What you really want is to call and have a person answer and take care of your problem. Monitoring provides the fastest response to problems and unlike the other two , monitoring can be PRO-active instead of RE-active. With monitoring , problems can be detected and dealt with BEFORE they cause a failure.

Monitoring offers a PRO-active approach which will head many issues off at the pass. In the event that an emergency response is needed, monitoring gives the fastest reponse to critical issues.

Hardy offers all three of these options to our mission-critical clients depending on their equipment and needs. Our Premium Care Plan includes monitoring as a standard part of the package.

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