Saving time and money on network troubleshooting

15th April 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Saving time and money on network troubleshooting

The network service business, ISG Technology, has experienced cost and time saving benefits, when installing cables and network troubleshooting, with the IDEAL Networks handheld NaviTEK NT Pro. ISG Technology specialises in rapid digital transformation services with specific expertise in the retail, automotive, hospitality, quick service restaurant and ICT and telecoms sectors.

With customers spread over large sites, such as big retail outlets or student accommodation, where working in tight spaces is often required, test equipment needs to be easily portable. With the potential for troubleshooting call-outs to occur 24 hours a day, it is also important for network and cable test equipment to provide a fast and simple solution.

“Time pressures are always a factor,” explained Justin Hill, Senior Engineer, of ISG Technology. “Customers want to get up and running as quick as possible and avoid downtime, and we want to get the job done as fast as we can.”

To keep jobs profitable, it is important to both maximise productivity and prevent delays on site. Managing costs is also of paramount importance, so while the company’s previous testers met many of their needs, the cost of the equipment and support was proving extremely expensive. 

ISG looked to find an option that performed as well, if not better, than their existing network troubleshooting testers, but at a more competitive price. This led them to the IDEAL Networks NaviTEK NT Pro.

On meeting with the experts from IDEAL Networks, ISG specified a list of their testing requirements. The NaviTEK NT Pro delivers many features needed for a wide range of ISG’s cable installation and network troubleshooting services, such as port information, IP address, VLAN service detection and Power over Ethernet (PoE) tests. IDEAL Networks then also ensured that the software for the tester supported all the switches that ISG’s maintenance engineers commonly need to work with.

The company has purchased seven NaviTEK NT Pro testers in total as well as Fibre Kit accessories.

“NaviTEK NT Pro saves us time, saves us money and makes my job a lot easier when it comes to troubleshooting,” said Hill. “There were big benefits beyond just the cost savings.”

Whether working with copper or fibre cable, NaviTEK NT Pro is a lightweight handheld tester that is easy to transport across large sites and makes working in confined spaces simple, even when operating through awkward or ceiling-based access points. 

“This is a more convenient and efficient alternative to network troubleshooting using a laptop or software tool,” added Tim Widdershoven, IDEAL Networks Marketing Director. “Plus, a single tester can meet multiple needs, from checking a device is on the right VLAN to detecting the IP information or checking cable length for compliance with standards. This means less equipment is needed for efficient troubleshooting.”

The tester enables ISG’s maintenance engineers to identify faults from one place on site, rather than moving between different locations. This not only simplifies testing and troubleshooting but saves a significant amount of time, especially on big commercial sites. With previous equipment, the tester would need to be connected both at the device end and the comms cabinet to provide the information needed. 

Hill continued: “As the tester can locate cable breaks, shorting pairs and incorrect wiring, we no longer have to trace the cables manually. You also don’t need to plug in to both ends of the cable unless you’re doing a wiremap which makes troubleshooting much easier. Before, our testers provided limited connectivity details, so we’d frequently need to ring up network departments in large organisations to get hold of certain information. 

“Checking the network and making these phone calls was very time consuming but now we can get the information we need more independently which saves a lot of time. We’re also able to quickly find out when an issue is not related to ISG’s part of the job, so rather than wasting time, we can simply pass it on to the relevant team to fix before we start.”

NaviTEK NT Pro offers several features to help boost onsite efficiency, such as the VLAN detection feature, and Port and Network information can be easily identified to make sure that devices are correctly configured.

The troubleshooter’s cable tests also make it simple to tell whether a device is using PoE or not, and if it is getting enough power. 

Some customers want a report on the performance of the cable to prove it is working as intended and more easily identify the cause of any future faults. A wiremap can also be provided to the customer to help prevent unpaid call backs, making jobs more profitable.

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