by guest blogger Tiffany Coles, Director of Corporate Outreach

2017 is just days away, and for many, a new year means fresh starts, self-evaluation, and of course, resolutions. But along with personal improvement, it’s a good time to look at improving your business practices as well. In fact, it is critical to review policies and procedures within your business annually. Why? Simply stated, things change. Over the past year you may have implemented changes with your staff, advanced how you serve customers, or experienced a leadership transition; all of these impact your monitoring center performance. With that in mind, here are three things you can do for an exceptional start to the new year!

1. Make sure your hardware is functioning at peak efficiency.
Hardware is exactly that – hard. It is subject to the physical world and all the environmental elements. If your server room fans stop circulating cold air, the servers will heat up; this can damage circuits or corrupt hard drives. Other environmental elements can also cause hardware failures, including dust, jostling, or power surges.


Steps to take:

  • Devise a maintenance plan to manage all of your hardware and keep it as safe and protected as possible.
  • Prominently label the person to contact if something goes wrong with your servers, and make sure someone from every shift knows where to find this information.
  • Implement a hardware replacement plan with your hardware provider.

2. Back up your data and be sure your team is confident failing over.
Emergencies happen and an emergency is not the time to find out no one knows how to fail over or that the data on the standby server is not up to date. In the event operators discover they are unable to process alarms, they should know how to confirm replication is accurate, and how to efficiently fail over to the standby server.

Steps to take:

  • Create regular, daily backups of your data on all database servers.
  • Send a weekly copy of your backups off-site to an accessible location.
  • Regularly practice fail over procedures to ensure that one or more individuals on EVERY shift know the process and what to do when an emergency occurs.

3. Review your operational and training processes.
According to a recent Gallup poll, only between 14 to 41% of employees know what their company stands for and what makes them different from their competitors. How many of your employees understand what they are doing and why? The very best way to help increase employee engagement is to build staff confidence through training and processes.

 Steps to take:

  • Leverage your available learning tools to foster an environment of self-empowered learning.
  • Create an environment where every mistake is a teachable moment; this encourages operators to step out of their comfort zone and figure some things out on their own.
  • Clearly define your processes and procedures; this removes ambiguity and empowers operators to solve specific customer needs and issues.

These are the three most vital elements to a Monitoring Center’s success: hardware, software, and staffing. If any of these elements fail to perform at their highest level, the customer experience suffers.

By maintaining your hardware, preparing for emergencies, and engaging your team through training, you will see an immediate improvement in the performance of your monitoring center which will lead you to an excellent 2017 and beyond!