(NEAR) Notification and Escalation Alert Resource Server
A Notification and Telephone-Voice Interface

One of the many improvements we are currently adding to ACE is the expansion of its communications capabilities. As a part of that, we are introducing a feature that will let ACE call, or page, technical personnel (referred here as the user), present a list of pending problems (notifications), and allow the person called to actually resolve these problems by taking actions using a standard dial-up phone line and DTMF signals. The Notification and Escalation Alert Resource Server (NEAR Server) will work with ACE to provide this feature. This eliminates the need for a user to get a page and dial back into the system, saving critical time when a possible system outage may be occurring.

For each alert situation that can be remotely resolved by technical personnel, ACE will send a message to NEAR. In this message, NEAR will find: a notification identification number, the department it belongs to, the host system where alert occurred, it's severity code, a text description, and up to five action commands with corresponding text descriptions. With this information, NEAR will create a notification record and update the notification database. The user database will contain: department number, escalation priority, identification number, password, and the information required to contact the user. Based on both user and notification databases, NEAR will start calling and/or paging users. Depending on user preference, NEAR can either call first and page if unsuccessful, or page first and call if no reply is received within a pre-determined time period.

NEAR will always try to first resolve those notifications with higher severity codes, that have been pending for the longest period of time. The user with priority 1, within the responsible department, will be contacted first. If NEAR does not succeed in contacting this user, it will try to contact the user with priority 2, 3, and so on.

In order to establish contact, the user will be prompted for his UserId and Password (via DTMF signals). Upon verification of UserId and Password, NEAR will let the user browse through a list of pending notifications for his department, pick one to take an action on, listen to a list of possible actions, and finally take an action on the chosen notification. The NEAR Server will then send to ACE the action command chosen by the user, so that ACE can execute that action command for the corresponding alert. Next, the user can either go back to the pending notifications list or end the call.

Three standard actions are available (by default) for every notification: take responsibility, call next user, and have 15 minutes to think. These standard actions can be individually turned off for each notification. All actions and steps performed by the NEAR Server are logged to an audit trail log database. Availibility 4th qtr 1995.

Diversified Data Resources, Inc.
7200 redwood blvd., # 222
Novato, CA 94945