• Remote technical assistance – The first line of defense is usually remote technical assistance, which is provided over the phone or through e-mail. There is no limit to this technical assistance, so organizations can rely on it as much as they need to. In many cases, it’s remote technical assistance that resolves a last second issue and saves an important meeting.
During remote assistance, if the client’s network is having issues with the system, the AV integrator can help troubleshoot them to preserve call quality.
• Onsite technical assistance – If remote assistance doesn’t resolve the issue promptly, the integrator will send a technician to the client’s facilities to observe the problem in person. If the technician can resolve the issue onsite, they will, or they will escalate the issue so that it is handled right away.
• Preventative maintenance – Preventative maintenance is offered either quarterly or monthly, though the more often it’s done, the better. During a preventative maintenance appointment, the integrator will dispatch a technician to the client’s facilities. Once there, the technician will inspect any equipment covered by the service agreement, assessing its performance and stability.
Preventative maintenance is critical for system performance, as minor issues can be corrected before they cause a drag on the system’s operation. Every performance fix will win back precious minutes, every time the system is used. Preventative maintenance often pays for itself, then. Technicians can spot equipment that’s reached the end of its life or is likely to fail soon, which could avoid costly downtime.
• Warranty handling and shipping – Manufacturer warranties can provide extra value to an AV solution, but only if they are properly utilized. Because most organizations don’t have a dedicated AV expert on staff, those warranties are frequently forgotten. An AV integrator can take over this responsibility, processing all warranties and shipping the equipment to the manufacturer. If special crating is needed, that is also provided
• Extra training – Training is an essential part of the AV integration process, because it’s not just the technology, but how people interact with it. Proper training will get users comfortable with the system, so they are more likely to consider it when it would be helpful. Further, training helps people avoid common user errors, which means they can utilize the system efficiently.
An AV service agreement often provides additional training, which can be used to refresh users on the system’s usage, introduce new hires to the solution, or unlock additional functions that the organization wishes to leverage. This training is provided at the client’s request, so it’s there when it’s needed.These are the important parts of an AV service agreement, and together, they offer a lot of value to organizations. That value is considerable, but a service agreement is more than the sum of its parts.
An AV service agreement creates an ongoing partnershipOnce a business or school has signed on to an AV service agreement, they have a technology partner in their AV integrator. Experienced AV integrators want to develop this relationship with their client, because AV solutions function best, in the present and long term, when they are managed by an AV expert. How so?
• An integrator’s goals are aligned with their client’s goals – An AV integrator succeeds when their clients benefit from AV solutions. That means an integrator isn’t just selling equipment and moving on to the next business. If an integrator helps their client solve problems with AV, then when new problems arise, that same integrator will be the one to get the call.
An AV service agreement means the integrator is working to optimize your organization’s AV resources. If users aren’t getting what they need from the system or if it isn’t perfectly configured, the integrator considers it their role to fix those issues immediately. It’s like having an AV expert on staff, but instead of a single expert, it’s an entire team of designers and installers. This team will monitor the solution to verify optimal performance and usage and make modifications where needed.
With this partnership in place, an AV integrator becomes a proactive member of the technology team, heading off issues in advance.
• An integrator takes a long range view of AV – Even the best AV technologies eventually need to be replaced, and when it’s time to make an upgrade, an AV integrator will provide valuable insight and product suggestions. In the AV industry, tech refreshes are usually needed every five to seven years, so it’s easy to forget when it’s time to consider a refresh.
An AV integrator, though, considers what the system might look like several years in advance, so that it can help clients make cost-effective AV decisions. If it’s time to go through a tech refresh, the integrator can steer their client through it, ensuring they maintain a system that offers intercompatibility and efficiency.The value of an AV service agreement includes maintenance and support, and it goes beyond that. With a service agreement, organizations are also getting an experienced AV partner that will put the company’s AV interests first.