The Upside Of Uptime

How can extended warranties, service contracts and service level agreements enhance solutions?

As AV solutions become more network-centric and entwined with business-critical processes, an increased need exists to ensure that installed systems continue to function as planned.

The appropriate extended warranties, service contracts, upgrade programs and service level agreements (SLAs) not only ensure essential support and protection for end users, but also offer a sustainable way to plan and budget for total cost of ownership (TCO). In addition, these arrangements offer vendors and integrators an opportunity to add real value to their solutions. It’s also important that everyone involved in the deployment be on the same page, with a crystal-clear understanding of costs, responsibilities and exclusions.

To serve their purpose effectively, solutions must continue to work at the expected level. Users and meetings/events must be supported; software must be kept up to date; and cameras, servers, control systems, processors and projectors must be repaired and maintained. That takes careful planning, commitment and, most of all, effective communication among everyone involved. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, the greatest obstacles to system security and continuity are the illusion that they have been achieved.

We asked a diverse group of experienced industry professionals—consultants, end users, integrators and manufacturers—how they help ensure that the systems they design, use, build and install continue to perform as required. Their answers touch on many of the challenges we’ve all encountered in this area, and I hope they will be useful to you.

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