Fight Alert Fatigue

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How to Win the Alert Fatigue Battle IT engineers and DevOps teams cannot help but experience alert fatigue when they receive after-hour alerts lacking context or relevance. Messages come in, for example, telling the engineer on-call that disk space is used up. Does this mean 60% used up or 100% used up? Or an after-hours message might come in alerting to a downed server. Which server? Did the back-up server come on-line as a result? The remedy then is to implement an IT alerting system that differentiates high priority alerts and allows for messaging with attachments. Lack of context can cause significant frustration among engineers as well as alert fatigue. Impact of Alert fatigue Companies shouldn’t downplay the impact of alert fatigue. There are also significant financial implications for companies if they have stressed out, unhappy, sleep deprived engineers. For example, engineers who are feeling the stress of alert fatigue are […] Read more »

OnPage: The perfect companion for IT monitoring tools

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Advanced Network Products (ANP) is a Philadelphia-based MSP specializing in services such as WAN, LAN, desktop and server management and support. ANP uses OnPage to manage issues such as downed services, security or connectivity. Business Situation ANP needed to implement a better incident management solution to handle critical incidents. Tickets created in IT monitoring tools like ConnectWise or through other mechanisms were getting to the NOC team but falling through the cracks and not getting elevated. Solution OnPage’s persistent alerting tool provided a fail-proof escalation mechanism. Some of the benefits were: Sent an audible alert to the NOC team when a ticket was created by the IT monitoring systems. Improved engineer workflow. Budget friendly. Reduced downtime and ensured every incident was handled within times specified by the SLA. Easy to deploy with virtually no learning curve. Reliable on-call scheduler with escalation. Conclusion  OnPage allowed ANP to tap key engineers for […] Read more »

7 steps to creating an actionable IT on-call schedule

How to make sure IT on-call works for you I spent a bit of time on Reddit the other day and thought it interesting just how many posts were focused on IT on-call and on-call scheduling. Some posts were rants on horrible customers – who hasn’t had some of those? Some actually wrote about positive interactions from being on-call – those were rare posts. But many engineers in DevOps and IT posted on their trepidation about being on-call. They wondered: What is the best way for my team to create an IT on-call schedule? How do I ensure I wake up if I am alerted? Should my growing on-call team use an on-call cell phone and hand it off between rotations? How do I manage being on-call and then having to show up at 8 a.m. the next morning? Is it reasonable to expect on-call duty 24/7? The answers to […] Read more »

Cygnus Systems Decreases Costs and Improves Response Time

OnPage facilitates Cygnus Systems’ growth of 25% per year through efficiency, cost reduction and improved response to critical alerts By using OnPage’s cloud-based, virtual paging app in conjunction with ConnectWise, Michigan-based MSP Cygnus Systems Inc. has grown faster than Plasticman. Through OnPage integration, Cygnus has been able improve its response time to critical IT alerts , grow its profits by over 25% in the last year alone and provide consistent service to its customers. In writing our case study on Cygnus’ successful use of  OnPage,  we talked to the company’s operations manager Craig Isaacs to learn how our technology has enabled the company to manage over 1100 endpoints and grow significantly. According to Craig, OnPage provides him with the necessary confidence to assure clients that IT downtime will be managed and mitigated through immediate and persistent alerts.  ConnectWise’s innate ticketing capabilities are triggered by an alert from LabTech.  Upon receiving the alert, ConnectWise […] Read more »

OnPage Ensures Advanced Network Products’ Alerts Are Heard

Incident Management Gets a Voice By using OnPage’s cloud-based, virtual paging app in conjunction with ConnectWise, Pennsylvania-based MSP Advanced Network Products (ANP) has been able to dramatically improve its response time to critical IT alerts and better manage SLAs. ANP’s biggest pain point prior to OnPage was hand-offs of after-hours alerting by the NOC team. OnPage’s technology has provided the solution by providing alerting to its IT on-call policy. NOC team oversight means less burden for IT on-call engineers In writing our  case study on Advanced Network Products, we talked to the company’s Mike Silverman to learn how our technology has enabled the company to solve their pain point. According to Mike, prior to using OnPage, there was little oversight of the NOC team. As such, ConnectWise tickets that needed to be escalated to the on-call engineers weren’t. With OnPage, that oversight is enabled. Where email fails, critical alerting succeeds Previously, all alerts […] Read more »

NoOps and the Need for Critical Alerting

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NoOps eschews critical alerting at its own peril Many start-ups’ embrace serverless architectures such as AWS, believing they will be able to adopt NoOps. NoOps means no worries about servers as everything is on the cloud and if there are no worries about servers then there is no need to worry about critical alerting. The reality is slightly different. No matter how minimized Ops becomes, there will always be a need for strong incident management applications. The emphasis will simply further push monitoring from an Ops-only role to an important role for everyone on the development team. What is NoOps and why is there so much criticism? NoOps defines an IT environment that is so automated and abstracted from the underlying infrastructure that there is no need for a dedicated team to manage Ops in-house. The two main drivers behind NoOps are increasing IT automation and cloud computing. Even among […] Read more »

OnPage Critical Alerting with Microsoft Outlook

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Let OnPage and Microsoft Office Monitor your Network While it is well known that the Microsoft Outlook client allows you to use rules to forward emails, you might not have ever realized that you can use these rules to enable critical alerting. In fact, critical alerting with Microsoft Outlook is easily enable no matter what monitoring tools you use. Monitoring tools can send emails to your Ops team in case of an outage or security issue. Your Dev team might get an email based on an APM issue. However, rather than having the emails get buried under a mountain of ever growing messages on the email client, you could have critical messages alerting for a ‘server crash’ or ‘slow program response time’ forwarded directly to your OnPage application. Critical alerting with Microsoft Outlook and monitoring tools In our previous blog on email integration with Outlook, we showed how based on various rules […] Read more »

What you need to know about MTTR and why IT MaTTeRs

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What all engineering teams should know about MTTR In the IT world, performance is everything. So when technology fails, your first thought is how to utilize incident management knowledge to repair the situation and minimize downtime. As both a manager and an engineer, you need to minimize your MTTR –Mean Time To Resolution- in order to comply with your SLAs – service level agreements – and keep your group at the top of its game.  This article will highlight the issues impeding effective MTTR management and offer insights on how to improve use of MTTR as a metric. Who cares about MTTR I have put the importance of MTTR out there and have not defined to whom in particular the metric is important. But the truth is that just about everyone in engineering uses MTTR to measure how long it takes their teams to resolve an incident after it has […] Read more »

The secret to blameless post mortems

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How your engineering teams can move past finger-pointing to effectively managing mistakes Sidney Dekker’s theory on ‘bad apples’ holds that complex systems think they would be fine if it were not for the erratic behavior of some unreliable people. According to this theory, when unexpected events are seen in an otherwise safe system, they are typically and conveniently assigned to “human error” and when they are severe to “operator carelessness”. Similarly, post mortems often look to define and parcel out blame to engineers. Yet it begs the question of how effective the post mortems are if their only purpose is to assign blame. Instead, effective post mortems needs to “acknowledge the human tendency to blame, to allow for a productive form of its expression, and constantly refocus the postmortem’s attention past it.” Post mortems vs retrospectives The problem with post mortems begins with its name “post mortem”, which if you ask […] Read more »

See You at Boston DevOps Days 2016

OnPage is proud to be a Gold Sponsor at DevOps Days Boston taking place at the Boston Park Plaza on August 25-26th.  If you’re attending, please stop by and get one of our very cool t-shirts and enter to win one of the many prizes we’re raffling off. If you want to schedule a time to chat or see some of our newest features, please sign up for a meeting with us. We’d love to speak with you. Uniqueness of Boston DevOps Days – where to start When Patrick Debois and Andrew Shafer coined the term DevOps back in 2009, they probably did not expect their concept for bringing together agile development and code deployment to become a worldwide phenomenon. However, today cities around the world host DevOps conferences and each conference has its own flavor. Boston’s attendees are not surprisingly from the high tech and biotech communities. Attendees from […] Read more »

Leading Global Insurance and Investment Company Chooses OnPage

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On November 12, 2014, Onset Technology, creator of OnPage Priority Messaging® announced that one of the world’s largest insurance and investment companies has chosen OnPage to help prioritize time-sensitive messaging within the organization. The insurance and investment company has been partnering with individuals, families and businesses, as advisors, accountants, and service agents for over 100 years and offering them a solid financial foundation, a secure financial future, and peace of mind. Judit Sharon, CEO of Onset Technology, said “We are delighted to have this corporate giant, with assets exceeding $100 billion, entrust their priority, time-sensitive communications to OnPage. They tested our product against their email to SMS system over a large array of metrics and found OnPage to be superior. We are proud to be their solution of choice.” “We have a significant amount of alerting going on that is email based…from pretty much ever system in our environment: Unix, […] Read more »

UltraRAD Chooses OnPage Priority Messaging for Reliable HIPAA Compliant Communication

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OnPage announced today that UltraRAD selected OnPage for their after-hours critical customer support team.   OnPage will ensure that UltraRAD can be immediately reached by its customers requiring emergency support, while at the same time, enable UltraRAD to reliably and securely communicate with and dispatch its technicians as quickly as possible. As a leading medical imaging company, UltraRAD provides vendor-neutral software solutions and cloud-based services to the healthcare industry. UltraRAD specializes in software systems for radiologists, teleradiology service providers, private practices, imaging centers, and hospitals. Any software failure at a customer’s site must be addressed with the utmost urgency as an entire radiology practice can come to a halt. Prior to switching to OnPage, UltraRAD used a hosted VOIP phone system for their messaging needs, but experienced a number of reliability issues. OnPage enabled UltraRAD’s to track all of their incoming and outgoing messages, all in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner. […] Read more »

OnPage Brings Reliable and Secure Paging to GNS Science

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OnPage announced today that New Zealand’s GNS Science selected OnPage for all their critical communication needs. OnPage will provide GNS Science’s emergency response team the capability to send highly reliable and encrypted messages and alerts with a complete audit trail that automatically notifies the sender when a message was delivered, when it was actually read, and when it was replied to. This will greatly enhance the efficiency of GNS Science’s emergency response team, whether responding to an occurring natural disaster, coordinating public information release, or responding to IT outages that are critical to the detection and monitoring of natural disasters. Prior to switching to OnPage, GNS Science used conventional pagers and experienced a multitude of problems, including spotty coverage leading to missed pages, not knowing whether pages were actually received, having to send multiple pages to get around the 160 character limitation of conventional pagers, and the inconvenience of having […] Read more »

Get the Ultimate Control Over Your Messages

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Presenting the world’s most advanced web dashboard for group or individual paging, monitoring response, analyzing and reporting. Previously named Web Management Console, the OnPage Control System allows you to manage all your company’s communications easily and reliably. The system is unbelievably user friendly and intuitive, totally secure, and it allows you to be in complete control under all circumstances. With The OnPage Control System You Can: Send Messages from the office manager desktop and follow up with further instructions upon response Send as many messages as you need in seconds and monitor their status in real time Manage contact information for multiple users and groups Create users in a unified way for easy access Page an individual, group or escalation group Define escalation groups to a list of individuals to ensure prompt response Sync all OnPage contacts to all users’ devices Survey all messages within your organization Comply With HIPAA […] Read more »

Minimize Server Downtime or Pay Thousands!

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A recent study done by Ponemon Institute & Emerson Network Power shows that healthcare organizations face an average cost of $690,000 per outage incident. This comes as a 41 percent increase since 2010. The study also shows that larger groups with more extensive IT systems could pay our nearly as much as $1.74 million per incident. These costs come at a hefty price, but server downtime for the healthcare industry can be detrimental to daily operations. The healthcare industry is very dependent on data for all aspects of care including clinical metrics, patient care, and billing and reporting. The fines associated with each incident do depend on a number of factors such as length of data downtime and complexity of downtime.  “This increase in cost underscores the importance for organizations to make it a priority to minimize the risk of downtime that can potentially cost thousands of dollars per minute,” said […] Read more »

Email & SMS: NOT Good Enough For IT Monitoring

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Are you an IT Administrator staring at your phone’s screen all day waiting for an email or text?  Have you ever missed a CRITICAL email or text because it didn’t grab your attention? Using email and SMS for network alerts has been a widely used practice since the early 90’s, but is not an effective and efficient way of receiving these kinds of CRITICAL alerts.  Alert notifications are a crucial part of your system monitoring. Missing even one single email or text can result in downtime which can also result in revenue loss, reputation damage, and potential customer defections. System monitoring without a noticeable alert is like getting a Pizza delivered to your building but not knowing when, so unless you sit there by the lobby waiting for that Pizza, by the time you find the Pizza it’s stale and cold. OnPage helps to eliminate this process so that you can receive your […] Read more »

IT Alerts: How to Improve Responsiveness

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Click to read the entire Whitepaper- IT Alerts_ How To Improve Responsiveness As an IT Professional, receiving CRITICAL alerts in a timely manner can be the difference between company up-time and down-time.  You need to ensure that you receive these alerts promptly and effectively in order to ensure operations are running smoothly.  To accomplish this, you must first increase your response rates to these CRITICAL messages. This can be done by starting with these three, very important actions.  1) Ensure your IT team gets alerted immediately on their mobile devices about pending problems or performance degradation with a unique continuous alert. Your team needs to have a distinguishable and persistent alert that will immediately grab their attention and will keep them from ever missing a message. Using SMS or email for CRITICAL alerts should be omitted for this reason. OnPage has a very distinct alert that will grab your attention immediately. […] Read more »

Top BYOD Issues Facing the Healthcare Industry

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BYOD is here to stay. That’s why healthcare organizations need to establish best practices and strategies for deploying and maintaining a BYOD environment. Healthcare organizations that do enable a BYOD environment are able to streamline processes, improve physician access to information, and improve overall patient care. The benefits of BYOD make it easy for healthcare organizations to decide on making the switch; however there are a few issues on BYOD that organizations seem to fear.   OnPage, a Priority Messaging Application and pager replacement app has helped hundreds of healthcare organizations move from old traditional pagers to using their smartphones to receive pages. In doing so, OnPage has addressed these top BYOD concerns, so you no longer have to worry. Issue #1 Mixing personal and professional use of mobile devices  When you bring your own device to your workplace you are also bringing in your personal life as well. For this […] Read more »

Primary Stock Exchange Company Chooses OnPage For Secure Archived Communication

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OnPage announced today that a primary stock exchange company has chosen OnPage for their secure archived communication needs. This leading stock exchange company will use the OnPage application to replace the non-compliant SMS and Pin-to-Pin communication. The Stock Exchange Company operates the third or fourth largest equities exchange in the world, with a trading volume of 1billion to 2 billion shares per day, capturing 10-12% of total U.S. equity trading volume. The Stock Exchange will utilize the OnPage application on their mobile devices with features including a full time-stamped audit trail and message archiving. The OnPage app gives the organization the tools to implement and enforce effective electronic record keeping, supervision and data protection policies for compliance with FINRA record retention rules and to fulfill SEC obligations for electronic message broker dealer compliance. To read the Full PR Click Here! Please follow and like us: Read more »

Primary Stock Exchange Company Chooses OnPage Priority Messaging For Secure Archived Communication

To view the Full PR Click Here! Leading US Equities Exchange Company Chooses OnPage Priority Messaging to Comply with FINRA Requirements Onset Technology, leader in mobile secure priority messaging, creator of OnPage, announced today that a primary stock exchange company has chosen OnPage for their secure archived communication needs. This leading stock exchange company will use the OnPage application to replace the non-compliant SMS and Pin-to-Pin communication. OnPage combines the benefits of pagers, SMS and email into one OnPage, easy to use secure mobile messaging application. The Stock Exchange Company operates the third or fourth largest equities exchange in the world, with a trading volume of 1billion to 2 billion shares per day, capturing 10-12% of total U.S. equity trading volume. The exchange will enjoy many benefits of using the OnPage application on their mobile device, including a full time-stamped audit trail and message archiving. OnPage gives the organization the […] Read more »

Network Monitoring: Is Email & SMS Good Enough?

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Are you an IT Administrator staring at your phone’s screen all day waiting for an email or text?  Have you ever missed a CRITICAL email or text because it didn’t grab your attention? Using email and SMS for network alerts has been a widely used practice since the early 90’s, but is not an effective and efficient way of receiving these kinds of CRITICAL alerts.  Alert notifications are a crucial part of your system monitoring. Missing even one single email or text can result in downtime which can also result in revenue loss, reputation damage, and potential customer defections. System monitoring without a noticeable alert is like getting a Pizza delivered to your building but not knowing when, so unless you sit there by the lobby waiting for that Pizza, by the time you find the Pizza it’s stale and cold. OnPage helps to eliminate this process so that you can receive your […] Read more »

Email Alerts for Network Monitoring – Is Email Enough?

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Using Email and SMS alerts for network monitoring such as Nagios, Zabbix or Solarwinds has been the practice since the early 90’s. But in an era of Smartphone in which we get thousands of email messages,  IT experts ask themselves: “Is email still the right alert medium? Would I now stare at my inbox, each time I get an email, waiting for that critical email? Is SMS the right alert? Will it draw my attention?” Alerting is a crucial part of your system monitoring. A system monitoring without a conspicuous alert when something is amiss is like getting a Pizza delivered to your building but not knowing when, so unless you sit there by the lobby waiting for that Pizza, by the time you find the Pizza it’s stale and cold. OnPage, a virtual pager app for your iPhone , BlackBerry, and Android smartphones.  OnPage cuts through the clutter on your smartphone to deliver those critical alerts immediately. You can set […] Read more »