Published on 30-Mar-2012
Airwave Solutions Limited is a provider of secure communications services, offering radio-based network services that enable voice and data transmission among mobile users. The business specializes in supporting emergency services agencies such as police, firefighters and emergency medical service providers throughout the United Kingdom. It also operates in full compliance with the UK government's Critical National Infrastructure initiative. In addition, the organization offers nonemergency communications services to the local utilities industry.
Oracle could not support the near real-time data loads that Airwave required in order to provide fast communications to the UK emergency services so it could respond to emergency situations quickly.
Airwave deployed IBM NPS, IBM Netezza 100 and IBM Netezza 1000 technology to drive its new business analytics solution. The new architecture provides Airwave with an unprecedented view of network traffic and emergency services communications. The solution offers users and customers more open access to relevant information, delivering near real-time visibility into the status and dispensation of emergency services teams.
- Delivers information that is only 90 seconds old for more informed decision making; - Simplifies coordination of emergency services personnel, yielding faster response times and improved aid efforts; - Enables analysis of network traffic in near real time and supports long-term trending to promote process efficiencies
Airwave Solutions' head of information systems, Rick Fox, talks about his experience deploying Netezza, and the benefits from real-time emergency response powered by the Netezza data warehouse appliance.
Rick Fox, Head of Information Systems, Airwave Solutions
Our Netezza platform obviously when we initially put it in was to really replace our existing platform, it was very much a lift and shift. We’d hit a point in our BI strategy where the size of our current database was getting a bit tight. We were looking to upgrade that so we did some vendor selection. When push came to shove, and we looked at budget, performance, footprint in the data center, Netezza came up winning on all fronts. We looked at Oracle, hp, Netezza. We had a consultant come in and do some sizing exercises looking at our growth and what that would mean to our data. We then took that back to the vendors and shared them our profile and asked them to quote accordingly. Netezza’s price per terabyte was massively lower than all the others. You know, we’re probably talking 7 figure sums. They were also the most willing to having an open POC which is a big deal for organizations like us where security is a big must. Makes it a lot easier if we can bring the equipment in house rather than have to take our data outside to do those proof of concepts. It was a big win for Netezza to be able to drop that piece of machinery in.
The key business drivers for us with our Netezza platform once we got over the initial lift and shift of the existing BI warehouse was to look at how we could then exploit that technology and deliver better services out to our customers. Part of my role is not just providing business information internally to our organization, but we then serve all our external customers via an extranet connection so that they can come and self serve for information. The Netezza platform has allowed us to do just that in much more of an on demand mechanism so customers don’t have to come and troll through historic versions of reports, we can use boilerplates, they can come and refresh information there and then. More recently, it’s allowed us to develop an application specifically for our emergency services partners where they can come on board and via our Netezza platform and some front end tools actually look at what’s going on on that network and manage, plan spontaneous events in a much more efficient manner so it’s enabled us to open up our data a lot more to our customers and get their confidence in what we're doing and be much more transparent about our data on our systems which has been really good.
What the Netezza box brings to us is the power to throughput real time data and get it back out to our customers within about 90 seconds of it actually happening. And that means our customers get the confidence that they can see what’s going on on the ground. And that's a key driver for them. The obvious benefits of not being heavily reliant on DBAs to keep our system up and running means that we can actually take an extra DBA onto the grid. We just integrated it into the stack. It's run for two years now without a flicker. We've had a lot of questions that we need answers to, a lot of problems we need help solving. I think the technical guys really do know their stuff. It’s easy to deal with Netezza. I think that’s what people would say.