Everywhere you look these days someone, somewhere, is monitoring something; CCTV on the streets, speed cameras on roads, entry and exit cameras in car parks, even your location via your Smartphone Apps, the list is endless. Not surprisingly that list includes
the ATM you walk up to when you need cash; how else will someone know that it needs more cash, needs new paper for the receipt printer.
So what do all these things have in common? No-one is sitting on the roadside, alongside the car park gate or at the ATM to look after it. They are unattended and so need to be remotely monitored.
But what about an attended device, does it warrant remote monitoring? The conclusion you will usually come to is, no of course not, the user is monitoring it.
The hidden assumption inside that answer is the presumption that the user is actually supposed to monitor the device. In fact, the user is really there to use the device and drive business benefit from it being there; in other words to fulfil a business need
ie: serve a customer. The device is only there to help with the business need. If the device isn’t working properly, then that just becomes a problem for the user as they will still need to complete their tasks set out for them ie. they still need to serve
So if a device fails, then the user will apply his/her efforts to finding a way to continue with the task at hand (serve the customer) and not start trying to figure why the device is no longer working. In other words, the faulty device will be ignored, until
such time as the user has nothing else to do. Since the processes to work around the defective device are likely to become harder and more time-consuming, then this situation could very well prevail for some time.
Remote monitoring can eliminate the time delay between a device becoming faulty and anyone knowing about it. It also removes the need for the user to worry about reporting a fault and allows them to focus on the task at hand.
Remote monitoring enables the possibility for a help desk to recover a device and get it back up and running quickly, thus reducing the time the user is having to use manual/back-up processes. If it can’t be recovered, then it also reduces the time to when
a service call can be placed for repair and, of course, the monitoring tool can also collect logs for despatch to the service provider to allow for early analysis.
As some of the recovery routes might be a firmware or pattern set upgrade, then the remote monitoring platform can also be a way of delivering those too. All without disturbing the user; leaving them to focus on the business need and the customer.
So, should you remotely monitor an attended device? Absolutely.