The name ProActive Technology was selected for a reason. For years I had been involved in building database-centric solutions, which of course included both data input (screens) and data output (reports). But I had a picture in my head of technology that told you when something interesting happened, instead of you needing to run a report to check. I had a vision of technology that gave you the ability to be proactive. Most reporting and analytical tools, including most business intelligence tools, are designed to help analyze what happened. And while we think this is a very important part of business insight, it’s missing an important component, the ability to react in real time. Enter ProActive Insight.
We’ve built several different iterations of this vision over the years, with the most successful example being Vigilix, a technology and, now, sister company, that provides the leading remote monitoring and management tool used in the retail and Point-of-Sale (POS) space. The interface for Vigilix makes one assumption, that it will monitor the same types of systems every time. The Vigilix team works with customers to define templates for the different POS hardware and software solutions and then users simply select the right template for a given situation.
It’s been a great and simple to use solution, but most businesses aren’t cookie cutter. No single monitoring situation is the same. In manufacturing, and most other businesses, users need to be able to define each alertable situation each time.
That’s why we created ProActive Insight. ProActive Insight is a cloud-based solution created on top of the core Vigilix infrastructure that allows an organization to define and manage exception alerts for their enterprise.
So how does it work?
First, because it is cloud-based, almost all the infrastructure is hosted by us. There is one, small service, “the agent”, that needs to be installed on some server inside the enterprise. This server must have the ability to connect to the core data source being monitored and it must allow the agent to phone home over a secure connection. In other words, it needs to be able to connect to a database and the internet, pretty common. There is no hardware to purchase and no major infrastructure changes required. Run one installation package, ensure that the agent can connect via HTTPS back to the ProActive Insight home, and you are ready to roll.
Now you have an agent installed, and doing nothing. Good news! Getting the agent to do something is easy too! ProActive Insight provides a simple web interface that allows you to define database connections, define exception queries and define alerting rules for when an exception occurs.
For example, a user might define a connection to a Quality Database, then define an exception query that will alert whenever a high-impact defect is detected more than three times in a 10 minute window. They will then define a group of people to alert when this occurs during a day shift, and another group for night. Once this ProActive Insight configuration is published to the agent, the queries will run continuously, and when it detects the high-impact situation, it will send alerts to the proper shift personnel.
In less than five minutes of effort, ProActive Insight can put important information into the hands of people who have the ability to make an immediate impact. For one of our customers, a major manufacturer in the upstate, ProActive Insight is having a huge impact, being used to alert on over 400 potentially high cost situations daily.
The potential applications of ProActive Insight are limitless. I challenge you to think about your business, can you think of any information that, if you could know about it faster, would reduce cost, increase revenue or lower risk? If you could afford to have someone run a report for you every minute of every day and tap you on the shoulder when the report shows something important, would you? With ProActive Insight, you can…and it never needs a vacation or a bathroom break.