To justify the cost and quantify a product’s importance, via functions such as deriving statistics about the performance and usage patterns, are particularly important. “Usage data allows them to make and justify not only purchasing decisions but technology spending and budgeting,” says Joncas.
The RMS helpdesk button on the AMX touchpanel in a Texas Woman’s University classroom is the pride and joy of the Support Services department. “The technology of RMS is the right complement for the support we offer,” says Foulds. “We know from a human standpoint that getting through two screens on the touchpanel is the typical maximum for an instructor or student hitting the helpdesk button.” A virtual touchpanel representing the touchpanel that is in the classroom where an instructor is having a problem comes up on the tech’s screen so that the tech can see what the instructor sees.
The helpdesk button is something that CCS Presentations has implemented for many clients. “But it has also been an issue for a lot of clients,” says Andrewson. “We’ve been careful to coordinate and train the end user regarding the button. It can be inadvertently pressed or it can be over-used. That immediacy of help via a button on a touchpanel can sometimes be a hindrance to effective use in a classroom.”
CCS has worked with clients who felt that the instructors and students were leaning too heavily on the button when they get a response from somebody live on the SIP interface on the touchpanel. To counteract that, the one who needs help is empowered to figure it out.
“We developed within our touchpanel applications, a group of pages that walks somebody through what the problem is,” says Andrewson. “For example, a problem with a laptop connection: ‘Are you sure you used the function plus LCD display key on your laptop?’” At the end of the discussion, if the problem is not resolved, they have the ability to ask a tech for help. “This process helps to fast-track that helpdesk support person. The tech knows that the instructor hitting the helpdesk button followed the instructions and is still having a problem. “This way the helpdesk knows that maybe this is something more serious.”
The goal is to manage resources most efficiently. The helpdesk button, the built-in help pages on the touchpanel, or even something as simple as a laminated quickstart guide on the wall have allowed organizations to save costs on manpower and leverage the technology that an integrator provides. “Many clients are very excited to know that the helpdesk capabilities were already there,” says Andrewson. “They just needed to give us direction on their helpdesk needs. They also need to have staff that knows how to leverage from a remote location what we just hooked up.”