Remote Monitoring: So Good, It Virtually Needs No Human Intervention

Avaya Alarms

Have you ever done something so well that others struggle to believe it’s true? On a recent Sunday afternoon, after mowing the lawn and finally sitting down to enjoy a cool beverage, I pulled out my smartphone and was deflated to see an email from Avaya IT that our alarm management solution, EXPERT SystemsSM, was failing to deliver inbound actionable alarms to our support engineering team. This is a rock-solid application for Avaya and so having downtime was surprising and frustrating.

When I got in touch with the development team responsible for the solution, I was pleased to learn that there had been no outage. The team had implemented some enhancements to the logic of the solution, and we were now doing such a good job filtering out and programmatically resolving alarms that alarm-generated support tickets were barely coming into the support team. That team had reported this as an outage, not realizing the tool was just being very efficient!

EXPERT SystemsSM is a proactive remote monitoring tool that is included in the Support Advantage Preferred support offer. As mentioned above, we’ve invested a lot of time and money in the last 18 months to redesign and optimize it.

  • Doubled the resolution effectiveness
  • Added support for 20 new products/versions
  • Added support for 130+ new alarm types, taking our total to more than 800
  • Now have more than1,000 algorithms to auto-close alarms

A 2014 internal study from Avaya showed that customers who utilize EXPERT SystemsSM are 73 percent more likely to avoid an outage. And with the average industry outage costing a customer $385,000, this means real value to our customers.

Let me take this opportunity to explain what Avaya’s EXPERT SystemsSM does for our customers every minute of every day.

Avaya Support Alarms Data

As you can see from the chart above, Avaya receives about 14 million alarms every month, and 99.6 percent of those we’re able to filter out as non-actionable. That typically includes informational alarms that don’t require us to do anything, as well as filtering out duplicate alarms. For example, if a product sends us ten duplicate alarms within a minute, we know we only need one support request opened, not ten separate ones. Of the 60,000 alarms a month that remain, we create an Avaya Support Request and then attempt to programmatically clear the alarm using our EXPERT Diagnostic scripts.

Nine times out of ten, those scripts are successful — meaning that only 6,000 alarm-based service requests, or 0.04 percent of all alarms, make it to an Avaya Support Engineer. Because the engineer is starting from an alarm, and not the report of a symptom, these service requests are resolved five times faster than average.

The result is that Avaya is able to programmatically handle 99.96 percent of supported alarms, providing our customers with peace of mind that issues that come up will be handled as fast as possible, preventing them from snowballing into full outages.

Using our Web-based ManageAlarms tools, customers can:

  • Customize alarm filters
  • Set up time bound filters for planned upgrades, making sure that Avaya knows to ignore any alarms during that timeframe
  • Set up recurring schedules, such as maintenance windows. For example, if a customer site has a maintenance window scheduled every Saturday from 2 to 4 a.m., that schedule can be entered here and Avaya will ignore all inbound alarms from that site during that period.

Another tool we offer is the Test Alarms tool, which allows for triggering test alarms to be sent from the product to Avaya, resulting in an email notification to the user that alarm processing is working properly.

Putting all of this together, I challenge you, our customers, our partners, and/or our Avaya employees: Are your Avaya systems protected by EXPERT SystemsSM?

Contact or follow me on Twitter: @CarlKnerr