Onsite vs. Remote Support - What’s the Best Option?

August 21, 2018 Chris Beyries

A big part of Electrosonic’s success is its dedication to listening to the customer and then devising the right AV solution for the company. However, a comprehensive audiovisual deployment rarely ends after the install. Often, the ongoing support is the most significant component of a successful deployment.

Sometimes, providing the customer with the best solution means placing a qualified technician or even a team of personnel onsite. Our onsite professionals become an integral part of the facility and the actual day-to-day management of the AV operations.

Justifying Onsite Support

Companies with mission critical systems find onsite support to be the best option. The best managed service engagements provide support across a facility or campus rather than being dedicated to a specific piece of equipment. This approach provides customers with support for an evolving environment and an avenue to continue growing often without adding additional technicians.

Onsite technicians provide a fulltime resource at the location, which significantly reduces the response time when there is an issue with a mission critical system or an AV deployment that is directly tied to the bottom line – as is the case with museums or customer experience centers. When a customer has decided that any significant interruption is unacceptable, often in cases where the AV system is quite critical to their income we strongly recommend Onsite Support.

Onsite deployments can vary significantly. For instance, some involve one person working a straight 40 hours work week while others involve various technicians with overlapping schedules to provide around the clock coverage. Many of our venues also have event spaces which tend to become part of the tech’s responsibility as well. The nature of events creates inconsistent schedules, our team then adjusts for the specific requirements that week.

Going Remote

An onsite technician is not always a necessity. When properly deployed, remote support can solve many issues. Remote service provides technicians with valuable insight into what is going on at the customer location. It may also provide a means of making changes or resetting the system when necessary.

When considering remote services, the size and amount of deployments often plays a key role. For instance, remote can be a great option when a company has multiple identical rooms with a consistent use case. It tends to work well in boardrooms, classrooms, etc. when remote technicians can see pieces of a system, assess data points and make informed decisions when to intervene remotely or prompt onsite support.

Remote service results are best when it is considered a tool in the toolbox. It is not the ideal tool every time. For example, remote support does not work well in environments that are highly customized and constantly changing. In these instances, it is best to have a set of eyes on the ground.

Although they work in conjunction, there is a significant difference between remote monitoring and remote support. Monitoring is a passive way to assess system status whereas support provides a conduit into the system enabling changes as needed. It is always best to design remote support into the system from the beginning to ensure maximum benefit through equipment selection. Retrofitting may be possible, but often limits the tools available through remote monitoring and support. Remote access requires a stable and clear path from the internal deployment to a dedicated cloud portal. Any interruption in the IT network or infrastructure makes remote monitoring challenging.

For effective remote monitoring and support, it’s crucial to establish a joint understanding of a fault. We work with our customers to understand what normal operation for them looks like, and at what point are they issues requiring action.

Bottom Line

Every organization is unique, and their technology solutions are as varied as their business themselves. We supply service options from remote support, response contracts, to onsite technicians, or any combination. Finding the right solution for each circumstance is a source of pride at Electrosonic.

In some instances, a blend of remote and onsite can be the best option. For example, when pairing onsite with remote service, the ability to provide constant remote monitoring helps alert onsite technicians of any issues requiring immediate attention at times when they are working in entirely different areas of an expansive campus. Recently we have found great success using remote access to provide additional support to our technicians and remote service when the technician is not available.

Remote support can be a great tool to supply more information to the service team and in many cases provide an avenue to remedy the situation without the need to dispatch a resource. Remote support can reduce downtime and the requirements for an onsite support, saving everyone time and money.

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