Order of the Blue Polo: British Telecom

It’s nice to be able to post a new Order of the Blue Polo entry. We haven’t had one in while, so it’s good to have an excuse to remind everyone about the program.

One of the best ways to promote OpenNMS is through customer stories. If a company like your company is using OpenNMS, then it makes it easier to convince the decision makers in your company to consider it. However, it can be a real pain to get approval to share a story. A lot of companies are hesitant to talk about the software they use for a variety of reasons, ranging from a perceived liability that they are “endorsing” a product up through security issues. In fact, the short testimonial in Rob’s entry had to be approved by BT lawyers, and you can see what little remained.

Thus, in exchange for taking the the trouble to get such an approval to use a story on the website (complete with company name), Order of the Blue Polo members get a nice little certificate, the coveted blue OpenNMS polo, as well as being immortalized on the wiki page. (grin)

A few weeks ago I got to go to historic Adastral Park near Ipswich, Suffolk, UK to spend a week with BT working on their OpenNMS deployment. I was a little nervous (this is British freakin’ Telecom after all) but Rob and John made me feel at home. They really understood what we are trying to do with OpenNMS, and John would even go home and play with the application after a long day of working on it with me, They were tasked with coming up with a management solution for a large number of remote sites, and their current standard of using $COMMERCIAL_PLATFORM coupled on $COMMERCIAL_OS was not only cost prohibitive it would have been hard to maintain, not to mention that it wouldn’t meet their needs. OpenNMS running on Linux, coupled with a high level of customization, fit the bill just fine.

I did miss seeing the sun, however (usually I bring great weather with me to England but my luck didn’t hold out this trip) but they made it up to me by finding a pub with a bar billiard table for Friday’s lunch.

I love playing this game, but I’ve only had the opportunity to do so twice. Both times I shot out to an early lead only to lose it after the bar fell.

I guess I need more practice, more ale, or both.