Case Study: Consolidating several alarm and alert systems into one – affordablyNovember 15, 2017
How one company was able to unify its lone worker, alarm systems and machines, with 100% adoption and super-fast alerting
Separate lone worker, alarm and machine alerting systems
This company initially came to us with a specific problem and a requirement. They wanted a new lone worker protection system. They had around a dozen lone workers, mainly electricians and engineers. They’d been using a radio system which was bulky and which the lone workers weren’t keen on carrying around. Depending on the type of emergency on site, the company may have to coordinate the response from a range of locations. But their wireless solution wouldn’t support this…
They needed to replace their wireless solution. As you can imagine, they wanted to keep their staff safe and they had compliance obligations for their lone workers. The company wanted indoor and outdoor positioning, onsite communications and improved alert response, all within an ATEX environment. They also knew that their alarm systems and their machine alerting systems were separate to the lone worker system. Nothing was connected, or consolidated into one monitoring, alerting and communications system.
Combined alarm solution for lone workers and other staff
The company looked at a range of international providers who could do everything they needed, but only one solution provider could do everything from one consolidated, unified system. That was Isle Systems. We showed them how they could do everything they needed with mobile phone technology, including Push-to-Talk, ‘walkie talkie’ capability.
At this point the company realised they could get rid of their 2-way radio system and expand the Isle Systems solution to over 100 staff. This was because staff could use the same technology wherever they were, at all ranges, inside or outside their buildings. Critically, all staff could now use the mobile devices to not only receive alerts from lone worker colleagues but also from the fire alarm and other infrastructure alarms.
The company also had very stringent data protection and process requirements, and so Isle Systems implemented a dedicated system for the company. The system was also a turnkey solution, allowing the company to start using a full working solution immediately. The company supplied the SIM cards and a list of all staff and their numbers. Isle Systems acquired the devices, compiled the data and installed the software onto each device.
We completed all the indoor mapping, involving almost 50 drawings, each with a number of beacons for the indoor positioning. We provided all the necessary training and documentation for a smooth implementation. Deployment of the solution was a few weeks after the company signed the order. This was a large change management exercise for the company, and the project was strategically important too, touching all staff. The solution had to work on the ‘go live’ date when the first batch of staff received their named phones, switched them on and started using them. The project went on line seamlessly.
Adding machines into a truly unified alerting system
As the company continued to roll out the Isle Systems solution, they saw the improved communications and the quicker responses, since the alarms raised were immediate rather than an alert going to a cell centre which then called back to tell the company to activate the alarm.
The company built on this success by looking to further reduce the amount of different systems they used. This was the opportunity to integrate process control alerting for key machines into the same Isle Systems solution. This allowed machines to send information to be processed and in turn sent to engineers. For example, if a machine’s gas valve fails, the machine sends an email to Isle Systems solution which stores it, processes it and translates it into a useful alert message to the responders for that machine. This entire information flow is configurable within the Isle Systems solution.
Faster alerting, and one communications umbrella
The change to the Isle Systems solution was a significant event for some of the staff, especially those who had not used a smartphone before. The roll-out was extremely successful and over the course of the project achieved 100% adoption.
Isle Systems developed a unique solution to the problem of slow delivery of SMS text messages. Using Bulk SMS services providers was considered but these can also be slow as they are better designed for the delivery of 1000’s of messages to 1000’s of users in a bulk send with many minutes delay. Our SMS Gateway now supports multiple delivery paths and can deliver up to 90 messages per minute per path, allowing super-fast inbound and outbound texting.
The unified approach and the success of the project gave the company the confidence to add more phones and increase alerting capabilities, to allow their machines’ output to be processed in the same way as a human alert or fire alarm.
Extending the solution to the next site
While many companies claim a unified alert management and communications platform, this story demonstrates the benefits this company actually achieved from the Isle Systems solution. They’ve brought one system into the heart of their business, and pulled everything together under one consolidated communications umbrella.
18 months on, and buoyed by the ongoing success of this affordable and unified approach, the company is now extending the solution to its next site.
Get in touch to discuss your various alerting systems and how you can bring some or all of them into one unified alarm monitoring, management and communications system.