Managed services have grown in popularity across the AV sector as users want to ensure their systems operate as they should for the longest time possible and with the minimum downtime.
However, there has been some confusion about what is covered by managed services and what users should expect from any agreement. In short, AV managed services devolves the management and maintenance of AV to the service provider. This can include everything from lifecycle design/build to onsite support and analytics.
As this is quite a wide-ranging definition, to get the most out of any managed services agreement, it’s important to understand the scope of the deal and how it will benefit your AV inventory.
The Benefits of AV Managed Services
First of all, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of having a managed services agreement in place for your AV systems.
Top of the list is cost savings: By having a managed service agreement that includes remote monitoring of devices on the network, it is possible to make substantial cost savings. Consider the cost per incident when a technician has to be dispatched, particularly in a large building, university campus or office with remote sites. In these situations, the return on investment for an effective remote monitoring and management system can be very high.
Second up is the issue of preventative maintenance. AV managed services can include monitoring and processes that regularly check your devices to ensure they are operating at an agreed level. In the longer term, this will also generate data that could enable teams to correlate issues with room equipment to network or server glitches, changes in electrical load or temperature extremes. This ability to resolve issues before they impact your customers can significantly reduce downtime while providing a more reliable experience for users.
Finally, investing in managed services frees up your in-house resource and can ensure issues are dealt with more quickly. If your agreement is in place globally, your service provider will be able to identify and solve problems at any of your sites in an effective and timely manner, making it easier to scale and standardise on kit across your global estate.
What AV Managed Services Includes
As AV managed services can cover a wide array of eventualities it’s important to decide the level of service that your organisation needs. For example, CDEC can offer same-day call outs or next-day working support, depending on how mission-critical the tools involved are. For more immediate queries help desk support is available, while for complex issues the on-site service team is skilled in AV preventive maintenance services. All of this and more should be covered in the Service Level Agreement (SLA) you have with the supplier so be sure to read through this in detail and clarify anything that isn’t clear.
It is crucial that you develop an AV managed services strategy that is suited to your business, with tailored preventative maintenance protections to keep AV systems running at their peak alongside a reactive support team that is on hand should any issues arise. We’d also suggest having a clear escalation plan, should issues turn out to be more challenging than originally thought.
When it comes to the details of an agreement, we’d advise opting for regular health checks and assessments to reduce the risk of unexpected equipment failures and the downtime and cost this incurs. This proactive monitoring of individual devices and integrated systems means your kit is always optimised for use and allows your supplier to schedule in any upgrades or maintenance at times that suit you. It also enables them to diagnose and detect problems before they impact your organisation.
Finally, it’s important than any supplier of AV managed services also understands the importance of IT, whether that’s speaking the language of IT to ensure network security is up to scratch, or learning the lessons of standardisation and scalability that IT is already adept at. AV/IT specialists are able to offer full-service support while also bringing the skills and knowledge needed to ensure the two work in harmony.
From help desk support staff to the dedicated field service engineers, CDEC are relied upon to manage AV/IT estates by major organisations across the globe. To find out more about the services we offer, contact us here.