AlarmPoint rings bells with new version

Event notification software maker AlarmPoint Systems has made major changes to the company’s flagship product.

Among the notable changes in AlarmPoint 4.0 is the inclusion of integrators for network management and support suites from Hewlett-Packard, IBM and BMC that is used to charge extra for, the inclusion of a mobile browser, which it used to charge extra for and support for Blackberry Enterprise Server’s push capability.

“In the life of a network or operations manager this is a very significant change in how they do business,” said Troy McAlpin, the company’s CEO.

Alarm Point is a suite of services that gives organizations the abilities to send out alerts to staffers and, depending on their roles, gives them the ability to transmit certain actions from mobile devices.

Until now it came in four versions (Express, Standard, Professional and Enterprise) whose price varied based on the features set. With the latest edition a version for Service Providers has been added to meet the demands of customers like IBM Global Services, which hosts AlarmPoint for some 400 organizations in Canada and the U.S.

McAlpin said this version includes features such as multi-tenancy and the capability to charge customers on a number of vectors such as the number of messages sent or the number of users. Multi-tenancy, which gives customers the ability to configure Alarm Point differently for separate divisions within an organization, is also included for free in the Enterprise edition.

A key part of AlarmPoint is its ability to integrate with network management applications. The integrators used to be sold separately at prices ranging from US$4,000 to US$9,000 a server. But with version 4.0, integrators for HP Operations Manager and Network Node manager for Windows and Unix, IBM Tivoli Netcool, MRO and TEC products and certain BMC service modules are included with the product. These integrators are now open source, so they can be modified and “traded,” said McAlpin.

AlarmPoint Express 4.0 also either ships with current or upcoming versions of HP’s Network Management Centre, Operations Management Centre and Service Management Centre. For administrators on the go, the support for Blackberry Enterprise Server’s push capabilities will mean an improved ability to receive and transmit messages, McAlpin said.

For those with Web access on their smartphones, the inclusion of AlarmPoint’s Mobile Gateway browser will mean information can be sent to recipients in more interactive forms, he added. Because alerts can play a crucial part in business continuity and disaster recovery planning, the Enterprise and Service Provider versions includes an Advanced Messaging Module, which lets managers create a number of lists of people to be alerted to speed incident response. In previous versions of AlarmPoint individuals or groups could be created. The new module allows for the creation of an unlimited number of messages around many scenarios – if there’s a small fire call these people, if there’s a medium-sized fire call these people etc. The module will also let an administrator know who got the message, who didn’t and who is responding.

To meet the demands of international customers, McAlpin said buyers can get AlarmPoint with support for English plus one other language at no extra cost. Users can toggle easily between languages, he said. Finally, version 4.0 now adds support for IBM’s DB2 databases to existing support for Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases.