Effective Implementation

To configure OpsCenter to reflect how an organization manages emergencies requires collecting and organizing information about the processes, procedures, and checklists of the organization. This may take some time and can be done while establishing the computing infrastructure.

Throughout the course of the implementation, Alert Technologies provides a hosted environment for your organization to use at no additional charge. This allows you to start determining your configuration in parallel with setting up the infrastructure.

The parallel approach is particularly important for your organization if there is a high degree of urgency to implement the solution.

Alert Technologies provides a detailed, easy to use Administration Manual that steps the administrator through the complete implementation process, providing screen shots of each step.

Establish a Configuration Group

Alert Technologies believes a good approach is to select a group of people responsible for determining how the system will be configured. The members of this configuration group should understand OpsCenter at a conceptual level.

The group should be very process-oriented because experience indicates this group spends 90% of their time analyzing the organization's processes and redefining as needed. They only spend 10% of their time reflecting the information in OpsCenter.

OpsCenter includes a set of Administration Screens that allow a non-technical user to configure the appearance, behavior and content of the system.

When a new configuration change needs to be made to OpsCenter, the configuration group addresses the issue and decides how it should work. Once the Configuration Group determines how the system should be modified, one or more individuals identified for that purpose make the change.

OpsCenter's configurability allows experts within your organization to configure the system to make it easier for the less experienced users.

Upgrading OpsCenter

OpsCenter is an Enterprise Application. The server cannot be upgraded like a simple end-user application where you only install a new release on top of the old.

Alert Technologies recommends that customers install a new release so that it temporarily runs in parallel with the old release. This allows the organization to practice migration of the data from the old release, test to ensure everything is operating correctly, and then switch over to the new release with virtually no system down time.

With regards to moving your data from an old release to a new release, Alert provides an upgrade utility to perform this task. The upgrade utility takes the data out of the old release and moves it into the new release. This approach allows our customers to practice upgrading the system and then removing active users for only a few minutes during the actual switchover.

Alert provides the upgrades over the Internet, provides detailed instructions on how to apply the upgrades, and provides access to live help.

Alert notifies its customers of the availability of a new release by sending out a Release Letter. The Release Letter provides detailed information about the enhancements of fixes that were made in the new release. This allows each organization to make a decision whether they should upgrade or not.

Alert developed and released ten major new versions of OpsCenter since 1999 averaging a new major release about every 18 months.

Between each major release, Alert may release a Service Pack or two, to provide minor enhancements or bug fixes. The OpsCenter product is so mature that rarely do our customers feel they must upgrade to the next release, and most of them upgrade to every other release instead of every release.