This client is one of Canada’s largest transmission companies, providing electricity transmission services to an important territory. The company is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a high-voltage electricity transmission infrastructure. It owns and operates over 10,000km of transmission lines and almost 300 substations. A few years ago, the company approached Multitel with a specific objective: finding a solution that was better than retrofitting their old, costly, and obsolete Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs). The engineers wanted a simple solution that could combine all required features and functionalities with an easy deployment and fast learning curve.
This led them to the FUSION.
OLD, COSTLY, AND OBSOLETE RTUS
Prior to selecting the Multitel FUSION, the telecom team was using the same alarm system as the substation team: traditional RTU with contact closures, which is less original and flexible, and has no new features. When these old systems became obsolete and no longer available for purchase, the client had to go through resellers to retrofit the old solution, which has proven to be more costly that just deploying the FUSION.
SNMP NOT ENABLED OR SUPPORTED
The system that the company was using prior to standardizing on the FUSION did not have the required and essential features. Collected information was not managed with SNMP. Instead, it was using serial commands and DNP. Because the company had separate systems for the telecom sites and the transmission and substation sites, it made sense to opt for a solution that could take advantage of that.
The overall way the FUSION is provisioned make it a very straightforward tool. Since the FUSION is fairly simple to configure, it gave the engineers the flexibility and autonomy to build any algorithm they wanted. They were no longer limited and could write different scripts to automate the provisioning, thus the process could be streamlined easily. Compared to the original system, which took an eternity to automate, a configuration could now be implemented within minutes.
ROBUST SET OF FEATURES
The Multitel FUSION offers a very robust set of features and sum of capabilities. Among them, SNMP and SNMPget, which enabled the engineers to directly poll information from other equipment. Everything could now be automated. Human involvement was no longer required, unless an alarm was raised that a test had failed. Then, the client knew exactly where to go.
SUITED FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF APPLICATIONS
The FUSION was designed and manufactured to offer more granularity in the alarms. For example, an alarm could be set to a specific part of a tower light (the top light or middle light). Therefore, the client could dig directly into that location, and it was no longer a guessing game.
« We began by only using the traditional alarm contact points but have now started to implement SNMPget for direct polling of other network/SNMP enabled devices, RADIUS authentication, HMI views, and more. »
The client has been deploying the Multitel FUSION for approximately 5 years and is now monitoring over 120 telecom sites. In fact, the client uses the FUSION for almost all telecom alarm points. The goal is to migrate all telecom and substation sites (even those that only have a few alarm points and are not a priority) in order to eventually have all telecom points monitored by the Multitel FUSION.
VISIBILITY AND AUTOMATION
The client now has a lot more visibility and automation. Since they have limited resources, the less often they need to send trucks out for a 3- to 4-hour drive, the better it is, and the more visibility they have.
The client was impressed by how the Multitel team always responds immediately, regardless of what information is requested. They dig in, go to the lab, and do everything needed to help. When the client asked about radius, SNMPget, or any other newer features, Multitel was right on top of it with immediate and excellent support.
« We have been treated as valued customers even though our deployment is much smaller than the large telco’s, and we always feel like we have a voice when it comes to requesting features or changes in future firmware revisions. »
Because the client was impressed by the cost effectiveness of the new solution, they even suggested integrating Multitel FIRM Suite as a national standard to get added benefits like DC power planning, battery monitoring, and real-time generator control.
« We are very pleased with the product and the way Multitel as a company does business. »
« When we do have questions, they are always very quick to respond, and whether it is sales or technical support, the employees at Multitel are always friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. »
Since it costs less to deploy the FUSION than retrofitting an old solution, the client now chooses to go with the FUSION and remove old systems rather than trying to upgrade them. This is valid even for sites that are not on the priority list if only one component fails. From a business perspective, the client gets more functionality at a lower cost than retrofitting. If, like this client, you are looking for mix of features and functionalities, you might want to follow the experience described here and opt for a simple, easy-to-use, and quick-to-learn solution. The FUSION combines all required features and gives you every needed functionality—all with a quick learning curve and an easy deployment.