In this post, various uses of remote technology will be reviewed. This is the second of 5 posts on improving operations and maintenance with remote optimization. The final post will contain a link to the complete article.
Remote technical support
Typically, once a new system is installed, the customer will want to fine-tune performance by reconfiguring various system and process settings. Later, he may request support in troubleshooting problems. Service engineers usually need to return to the site for these tasks. The traditional way of handling these has many disadvantages: Symptoms are often forgotten; data is sometimes collected only after an issue has occurred; and data collection can be delayed while waiting for an engineer to arrive, especially when the site is distant. With remote services, however:
− Data collection and analysis begin immediately.
− Experts are brought closer to the problems (and the solutions).
− Technical collaboration shortens time-to-resolution.
− Solutions can be deployed via remote connections.
In addition, more advanced remote services can be offered to complement the above. These include periodic life-cycle reports and health checks; 24/7 priority support with one-hour response times; support via customer-controlled remote connectivity; and consolidated reporting on support activities across a fleet. And, if customers so desire, they can request a designated support engineer – a “familiar face.”
Remote FAT and training simulators
The traditional factory acceptance test (FAT) involves a customer team traveling to the factory or to a site. FATs involve high travel costs, schedule slip (if issues are discovered late on) and, because usually only limited resources are sent to a factory-based FAT, a lack of “eyes.” Remote services, however, enable the customer to access and review ongoing projects that are in the FAT phase via a dedicated and secure website. This brings many benefits:
− It is cost effective (no travel required).
− Delivery schedules are shortened by early participation.
− The FAT can be adapted to the customer schedule.
− Additional stakeholder reviews are easily possible.
− Ambiguity that may result in costly changes is eliminated.
− Approval waiting time is reduced and the need for an on-site FAT may be eliminated.
− Communication between project participants is improved and costly errors caused by late, inconsistent or misinterpreted data is avoided.
In addition, the customer has the option of using remote training simulators located at the factory instead of having to purchase and maintain them himself.
Next week we will cover security and remote access. Do you see this as an issue?