Crafting a Customized Radio Management System
We spoke to Warren Baker, projects and technical support manager, and Andrew Austin from systems support and integration from Omnitronics, to break down the process of requested feature development.
If there’s one thing Omnitronics is known for – aside from offering exceptional products – it’s flexibility. The Omnitronics team understands that no two organizations are alike. As such, the company understands the need for customized dispatch and digital radio systems.
Anyway, ability to accommodate a variety of customer feature requests is what gives the Autralian company the edge. They have talented people who turn those requests into reality. We spoke to Warren Baker, projects and technical support manager, and Andrew Austin from systems support and integration, to break down the process of requested feature development.
The Enquiry Comes In
To understand the project management process, let’s look at a hypothetical situation. A customer has contacted Omnitronics looking to implement a DX-Altus system – the server, Alto dispatch consoles and Digital Radio Gateways. However, on top of that core system, they have a specific feature requirement not presently supported by DX-Altus.
“It happens all the time. One of the things we’ve done for a long time, basically since the company started, is to provide customized solutions,” says Warren.
“A lot of companies can only provide what they currently have, whereas we can provide either a customized hardware solution – putting things together in a different way – or potentially a software solution.”
Developing new features is obviously a process that can vary between cases, but Warren usually finds himself involved early.
“If the sales guys are finding that we can’t provide a solution with what we currently have, the request can potentially become a new development,” he says.
“We have to look at what the scope of the job is – how many units are required, how much work is going to be involved – but if it’s something feasible, we’ll determine what the requirement is and pass it to our engineers.”
Getting to Work on Development
Once the project has been given the go-ahead, its scale will generally dictate how much further consultation is required with the customer, but Warren is quick to point out that there is no set path.
“I would say that 90% of the time we say yes to things, and we go from the smallest of communications in a single email, right through to a full requirements specification and daily contact if it’s a project that requires that.”
With regards to a particularly detailed project last year, that higher level of contact was required.
“We had a lot of information gathering up front, very detailed specifications put together by our engineering department. I got involved on a weekly basis, having a Monday morning meeting to keep the customer informed that everything was on track. Even if it was only a five minute call, we did it every Monday to keep them up to date,” says Warren.
Once the development process is nearing completion – however long that may take – it’s time for Andrew to get involved in a more substantial way.
Delivering precisely what the customer is after means making sure each feature is comprehensively tested.
Testing, Delivery and Support
The Omnitronics team does everything it can to ensure they deliver precisely what the customer is after. Part of that means making sure each feature is comprehensively tested.
“In the case of a new development or project, it’s my job to test the new features, making sure they’re to the customer’s specifications and all working as they should,” says Andrew.
“We’ll have all the documentation to say what we are and aren’t doing, and will develop our testing around that agreement with the customer so there’s no ambiguity.”
That commitment to quality and collaboration also extends beyond the development and initial delivery stage, as Andrew’s relationship with customers transitions to a supportive one. No matter the size of the problem, from the smallest sources of confusion right up to the rare system-wide bugs, the customer is never left in the dark.
“You have to treat each issue individually, listen to the customer and ask lots of questions about the issue to handle it. However, if a component stops working, for example, we’ll organize a priority shipment of a new component to replace it.”
In addition to the above, we offer various training, commissioning and support solutions to clients. Contracting Omnitronics personnel to perform commissioning is a popular request, to ensure that new systems are tested and configured to the highest standards after installation.
Omnitronics also provide formal technical and operator training, either at Omnitronics’ offices or at a location preferred by the client, usually at the same time as commissioning.
Long-term support agreements are also becoming popular, as it reduces the risk of downtime for clients. It also ensures that clients have access to the latest software and most importantly, all the exciting new features that are continuously added.
Meeting Customer Demands with an End-to-End System
As mentioned, this level of attention and adaptability is a point of pride for Omnitronics, something Warren and Andrew can attest to.
“We try to listen very carefully to customers and their requirements, to make sure that we’re able to not only meet them, but deliver them on time and budget. We don’t usually miss a milestone, and our customers know they can rely on that,” says Warren.
“No system is too small for us to support, and no system too large.”
With a sentiment like that, it’s clear that Omnitronics are the right choice for your digital radio and dispatch needs.