Eaton PredictPulse Review

Helpful, user-friendly solution that I can rely on

What is our primary use case?

We are a 911 center, so we have building-wide UPS. We have two very large UPSs, and each of our systems are on either UPS A or B. We were very careful to make sure that everything was on the same UPS. Therefore, if one goes down, we only lose half our center. That is why we went with Eaton. It is just built for that type of resilience. Resilience is everything when you are a 911 center. We have two PDUs supporting the UPSs: Model 9395-550 UPS units.

I use a weblink to access PredictPulse, primarily using the email. We have certain emails for critical things set up to come to us, so we don't really have to use the dashboard often. We use the solution as an alerting system.

Right now, we very carefully filter through and select the emails that we're interested in. When we get an email that says, "I'm sorry, this is going on," then we try to figure it out. For example, with circuit breaker overload, we say, "Let's look at our spreadsheet and see what that circuit breaker goes to. Let's go figure out why this is overloading. This is not good." 

Another example might be if we get an email that says, "The building is on generator." Then, why is the building on generator? 

Should there be a very catastrophic situation, then we get an email that says, "I'm sorry, but I'm running on UPS." This means we need to figure out why the generator didn't kick on and transfer to our emergency generator number three by using a manual transfer switch ASAP.

The solution is hired wired to our network.

How has it helped my organization?

We mostly use it for alerting via email. We rarely find a need to log in. However, when we do, a picture is worth a thousand words. The graphics are really nice if I want to give it someone. For example, if somebody said, "How reliable do you find Eaton?" I could print them those beautiful little graphics, and say, "Well, what do you think?"

What is most valuable?

The alerting and Event Viewer are the most valuable features. We have to maintain certain records for fire insurance ratings and Event Viewer helps with that. 

The alarm notification calls have helped us feel more secure.

I like the dashboard and the way it looks. I like the pretty view. 

The email is fantastic. If we just relied on using the web browser once a week on Mondays at two o'clock, then there was a generator failure or something significant on Friday, we don't want to find out on Monday. Therefore, we get instantaneous email. That is why so many people get the email, because whoever is on call/onsite gets that email.

What needs improvement?

It is just so reliable that we use the email and don't really use the app. The PredictPulse application dashboard lets us know about more information than is there. The reason we found out about this initially was I noticed it on our contract, "Wait a minute, we have what?"

My problem is that certain ports are blocked. I haven't figured out what the problem is and gotten the problem fixed. It might be nice to be able to have some configuration options. 

Right now, the problem with our emails is we do not have a way to separate emails to Eaton versus us. So, we get a lot of alerts that we might not get, which are almost considered spam. It would be nice if we could segregate them: This group of people gets these emails and this other group of people gets these emails. As of now, it's a shotgun approach where we get so many. It's like, "Oh God, another one," as opposed to being able to filter out exactly what we do want, since we don't want to miss any.

For how long have I used the solution?

It is part of our annual contract. We started using it in January of 2012. We used it minimally because our UPS board did not have the ability to provide everything that we now have. Over time, they have upgraded the board to upgrade the solution.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have yet to have a failure since we have had them. We are a public safety, 911 center, so Eaton was selected for two reasons: its reliability and ability to go into power save mode.

The system is so reliable. We certainly count very heavily on our vendors as a 911 center. Also, we do have other 24/7 vendors who watch everything, which is important to us. As the system gets older, we may start relying on them more heavily to double check things, e.g., with some of our other systems, we had have them come in and remotely check everything before a hurricane because we can't take a chance.

We got a new control board with the new version of PredictPulse a little over a year ago. It's just so reliable that we haven't really gone in and played that much with what it does now that it's been updated. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I called their contact on their webpage for assistance: The first number was an invalid number and the second one got me to BMW who asked me for my contract number.

When the technical support updated Eaton, there was an issue with getting our accounts setup. It seems our email addresses have numbers in them, and apparently, that was the issue. So, we had to call tech support and create an account. They got that fixed. Other than that, I haven't had to call them. It took a while to fix, but they were very friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to help us out.

Eaton has a subcontractor from General Power and Control Corp. that does the scheduling. Those kinds of things go through them rather than through Eaton themselves.

PredictPulse Insight might be something that would be feasible. I don't know if you need to have a place to add extra nodes, but if they could consider giving us a YouTube video on some of the features of it or a quick webinar, like Zoom meeting or training on it, to let us know what all we can do with it. Then, it might be feasible. Obviously, this is not something that you want to schedule right now when everybody is doing virtual conferences. We don't want to do anything now, as it's a 480 volt system. So, I'm not touching it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Compared to our old solution, if we had a power failure and were on generator, we relied on text messages from Entergy or a text message from the people on the floor that said that the lights had been on dim for way too long. 

I don't want to know what would happen if we had to go back to the old days where they sent emails that said I'm sorry that the lights went a little too long or the generator kicked in again. We knew that it kicked in for exercise on X day, X time, but you'd be surprised how often we didn't get that email. In fact, we had to set up a UPS workstation hiding in a corner, Then, when the power went off, it sent out an audible alert so they would know to send us an email.

One of the reasons Eaton was selected was the power save mode. In fact, I believe the building contractor had hoped to use what they considered some equivalent UPS system, and it was vetoed because it didn't have a power save feature. This one was spec'd, and we're very happy with it. We've always been extremely happy with the professionalism and training of the technicians.

How was the initial setup?

When it was initially set up, we built a new building. This solution was spec'd to be put in the building when it was built. Before we took significant completion, they trained us, but it was installed before the building was active.

What about the implementation team?

Eaton had to change the cards so we could use all of the features of PredictPulse. Apparently, there were some issues when we were getting it programmed. I believe it failed, then Eaton's person came in, but he got called out for an emergency so we didn't get the new one in and programed. So, for that two week period, we received an alert that said, "We can't see your equipment. What's going on?"

Our entire team is responsible for administrating and maintain this solution. This is our entire tech and facilities team, which includes approximately eight people.

What was our ROI?

It hasn't really saved us money. Because if the system goes down, we have to go to our backup sites. We need to have power. There is no way a 911 center could run without it though, it carries us over every time our generator kicks in. It gives us the confidence that should the generator fail, we have enough time to get our generator functional or get to our backup site. As a 911 center, we're not exactly a big office building or even a big medical center, so we need to have the suspenders and a belt. 

This solution has kept us from having to go to the backup site due to the generator. We have had the generator fail and the automatic transfer switch fail, but the UPS carried us over.

The solution has saved us time and increased productivity by allowing us to focus on other tasks. We don't have to do a thing for this solution, other than schedule our preventative maintenance annually, e.g., we're scheduling the capacitors and batteries right now. We had some scheduling issues last year because it was hurricane season as well as all the problems with changing out the cards, but they did all the work for that.

Event Viewer saves me a lot of time when getting everything ready for our fire insurance rating inspection, once every seven to eight years.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In order to give us the latest, greatest version of PredictPulse, Eaton had to give us new cards on our UPS systems. Eaton provided the cards and had our technician install them at no cost to us.

In our case, the pricing and licensing were put it in our annual contract.

What other advice do I have?

While Eaton is not an educational application, it's very helpful and user-friendly. I learned I can rely on it.

I cannot access it using the web browser, but I'm going to fix that today. 

I would rate this solution as a nine (out of 10).

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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