One of the questions that is always asked is whether service contracts are ‘worth it”. Bombarded by publications like Consumer Reports that tell us not to spend the money on service contracts for our iPads and laptops, there is an understandable concern that a service contact on a high end AV system might also be a waste of precious dollars.

Comparing the two, however, is like comparing apples and airplanes. In the professional AV world, our systems are as complex as an iPad is simple.

Professional systems are central to our work and mission. When a conference room, board room, media center or video conferencing center goes down, people all across the enterprise are affected.

So, the answer is not always simple. To help here are a few questions you should ask yourself to decide whether service contracts make sense for you.

Do you have someone on staff techically competent to track down and quickly repair system problems? This includes deep experience in video, audio, distribution, networking and software, because all of those elements are part of the modern AV system.

If you do have someone, do they have the time left from their regular duties to do routine maintenance, systems diagnosis and repairs? Most facilities are running their people at maximum productivity already. What doesn’t get done while your engineer or technician is dealing with maintenance and repair?

Do you have a system in place that keeps up with the latest updates and changes that affect your system? With everything being so interconnected and software based, this is more and more important.

A good service contract does more than fix your system, it keeps it maintained to run optimally by monitoring and updating your system regularly, saving money by preventing problems before they happen. They keep your operation and people doing their jobs while the service provider brings just the right mix of skills and knowledge to bear on your issues.

If you are considering a service contact, there are a few things you should make sure of.

Make sure your contractor has people dedicated to service. This assures they are available when you need them.

Make sure your provider is highly certified by InfoComm. This assures the people taking care of you are highly trained and that their knowledge is always current.

You want to have a service contract customized to your needs. Never sign a “one size fits all” contract.

Your work probably isn’t 9 to 5 hours anymore and your service provider shouldn’t be either. Ask if they have a full time assistance center to contact when there are issues. You want to know the help is there and ready when you need it.

It is often a good idea to have the company that built your system support your system. They know it, have the drawings and product information and can do the work more affordably and efficiently because of that knowledge.

A service contract is a long term relationship. If you determine you need one, take care, follow some of these guidelines, and your peace of mind will also make sense in terms of keeping work going, and in terms of economics.

Advanced Advantage

The motto for the Advanced Advantage service and maintenance program has long been “No Meeting Missed”. Advanced AV will work with you to create a customized service program that suits your objectives and budget. From around-the-clock care to scheduled visits, there are options that will make you feel protected, with technology systems that are running at peak performance.

Read More