Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Telstra Global Operations Centre

Telstra's Global Operations Centre (GOG) in Melbourne appears to be too large to be effective. David Neiger's Article in August 2009 Australian Personal Computer magazine ("Telstra's massive nerve centre exposed") ,is accompanied by photos showing a conventional command centre room.

The GOC room is rectangular, with a wall of monitors at one end straight rows of operator stations. The room is divided into two halves with a walkway down the middle, which wastes the most valuable space of the room (the center). There are five operators in each row in half the room, with ten rows: one hundred operator stations in total.

Most operators have four large LCD screens in front of them. Because of the width of the screens, the operators appear to be more widely spaced than is needed, or useful, for effective work. The spacing could be reduced by one quarter, to allow them to work together more effectively. It is questionable if one operator could usefully observe four separate LCD screens around them. Removing one screen would likely improve the effectiveness of the station. A better option would be to replace all three monitors with one large wide screen monitor.

The desks also appear to be 50% deeper than needed, most likely due to having been designed for bulky obsolete CRT display screens.

There are supplementary monitors suspended from the ceiling along the sides of the room. These are likely needed as the operators at the back of the room would not be able to read what is on the board at the front.

Making the desks less deep, placing the operators closer together and removing the central walkway would allow the size of the room to be halved. This would increase the efficiency of the operation, as the operators would be able to more easily work as a team, as well as save very expensive floor space. Curving the row of desks slightly, would also allow the operators easily see each other, as is done in the NATO Combined Joint Operations Centre (CJOC) in Kabul.

Tesltra has a more modestly sized Managed Network Operations Centre in Sydney. The MNOC has a 16.7 metre video wall and provision for 42 operator stations.

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