Why It Matters:
A reliable, full-featured monitoring system requires a solid number of installations and many years of field experience. No amount of “laboratory“ testing can duplicate the conditions of one actual operating environment -much less the characteristics of many different operating environments over extended periods of time. What assurance do you have that your monitoring system will perform as promised? How confident are you in the accuracy of the diagnoses your system generates.
The Best Approach:
Insist that your vendor document the amount of time their system has been in actual use in operating locations. Determine the amount of time in which the vendor has resolved problems and implemented user suggestions from the field in order to refine the performance of their monitoring system.
Ask for references. Contact as many of them as possible. Better still, visit user sites whose environments most closely match your own.
Input from vendor representatives is useful. However, uncensored comments from genuine users are invaluable in deciding whether a prospective system will meet your expectations.