A number of intelligent home solutions have emerged that allow appliances and devices in the home to communicate with each other and be monitored. These can be intelligently controlled to, say, reduce power consumption and to let you know if there has been a breakdown.
But lately there has been a lot of interest in monitoring fixed asset infrastructure, like ATMs and power grids and distribution lines. Chennai-based WebNMS, a division of Zoho, has designed a machine-to-machine solution that enables assets from individual ATM centres to communicate with a centralized control system. “ATMs are critical and costly assets. They require a lot of lights and also a lot of power for the AC. You also need to make sure that someone is always there to ensure that there is no theft,” says Prabhu Ramachandran, director at WebNMS.
WebNMS develops frameworks for network management and helps in building custom OEM (original equipment management) software. The ATM Site Manager can not only monitor assets, the framework can also offer analytics on how the ATMs are being used. Companies that manage ATMs can monitor their assets through a slew of hardware that are wired to the devices.
This requires an internet connection, but in case of a power outage, the hardware switches to an offline mode and stores data locally.The framework can monitor the opening and closing of the ATM door. It can regulate the AC accordingly. A camera placed near the ATM ensures security. If someone tries to tamper with the machine, it can alert a guard or the company via an SMS.
The WebNMS framework also has applications in power grids and transmission lines. Dilip Closepet, vice president of Sun Electric, a company that specializes in transmission and distribution technology, says that the WebNMS framework was used to monitor the fault sensors on power transmission lines.
The fault sensors had limited range and operated on radio frequencies . But once they linked up the sensors with the framework, they could monitor in real time from anywhere and when there was a break in the transmission line, they could have a lineman repair it in minutes.
“Earlier, to identify faults, you had to rely on the lineman’s experience and he did it by trial and error. With the fault sensors you could reduce the time to about 30-40 minutes . But the framework allows you to exactly pinpoint which line is down via a text message and drastically cut down patrolling time,” Closepet says.