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ENHANCED FIELD ENGINEERING APPLICATION

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000248601D
Publication Date: 2016-Dec-21
Document File: 11 page(s) / 2M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Andreas Nikas: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Presented herein is an application solution for collaboration between field engineers (FEs) and a technical assistance center (TAC) and/or support engineers to facilitate customer repairs and maintenance in a remote "lights out" data center. The application leads the FE through the data center to the customer cage or specific row. Second, the device to be serviced/repaired is identified and a secure data communication link is established. Third, the application guides the FE through the repair/troubleshooting via electronic conferencing (e.g., video conferencing, teleconferencing, etc.) and a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

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Copyright 2016 Cisco Systems, Inc. 1

ENHANCED FIELD ENGINEERING APPLICATION

AUTHORS: Andreas Nikas

Ramses Smeyers M. David Hanes

Amos Brown

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

ABSTRACT

Presented herein is an application solution for collaboration between field

engineers (FEs) and a technical assistance center (TAC) and/or support engineers to

facilitate customer repairs and maintenance in a remote “lights out” data center. The

application leads the FE through the data center to the customer cage or specific row.

Second, the device to be serviced/repaired is identified and a secure data communication

link is established. Third, the application guides the FE through the

repair/troubleshooting via electronic conferencing (e.g., video conferencing,

teleconferencing, etc.) and a customer relationship management (CRM) platform.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Many computer network customers store their equipment in co-located, remote,

“lights out” data centers. Not only are the customers many miles from their data centers

but they often do not know where their equipment is physically located within the data

center. Additionally, “lights out” data centers may not be staffed because they are

completely “dark” in order to save power and to increase security.

This creates a series of challenges for the remote field engineers (FE), whose job

it is to maintain and repair the devices and servers contained in these data centers. They

face issues including quickly identifying the specific device in a data center of thousands

of similar devices (e.g., servers). Next, the FE may be dispatched to work on multiple

servers for the same or different customers at the same location. Key information (e.g.,

Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number, equipment serial number, credentials,

and required actions) is often hand written and requires a call to the service provider for

Copyright 2016 Cisco Systems, Inc. 2

clarification. Finally, after the device is identified, the technology required to make the

repair may be complicated, and the FE may not be familiar with all the details of the

hardware, like the location of specific components (e.g., dual in-line memory modules

(DIMMs), jumpers on a motherboard, etc.).

Therefore, the FE’s job becomes more challenging and inefficient, which causes

TAC engineers and their customers to spend an inordinate amount of time assisting the

FE. The application described herein removes these inefficiencies while providing for

more secure and accurate repairs along with a seamless integration with a CRM system.

The application includes at least three functions:

• Unattended Data Center Concierge - leads the FE through the data center to the

customer's cage or row.

• Device Identification and Communication - identifies the specific device within

the customer’s cage or row and establishes a secure communications link with the

device.

• Repair and Troubleshooting Guidance - guides the FE through the

repair/troubleshooting electronic conferencing software and a...