Remote management: Long-distance liaison

The ability to remotely manage AV devices regardless of your location is a huge bonus for end users and the AV industry. Paul Milligan finds out how integrators can also capitalise.

Dealing with mundane issues such as changing projector lamps is not something that any integrator would ever put at the top of their ‘reasons why I do this job’ list. Yet this joyless task will take up a portion of every week in the life of an AV engineer. So imagine if there was a way you could monitor how long a projector lamp was being used every day, and by knowing how long its lamp-life was, that when it got to 95% of its life it would automatically order you a replacement to your desk, so downtime was zero. Sounds pretty sweet, eh?

Well that’s what remote management can do, and a lot else besides. As well as providing a significant benefit for system integrators, it can also provide clients with a wealth of multi-site building data at their disposal. So what is it that end users typically want a remote management system to do for them? Traditionally it was the monitoring of devices to ensure the FM or IT team could undertake pro-active maintenance in each meeting or presentation room.

“As time has progressed the importance of the other elements – ensuring efficient power usage, and making sure the room is turned off when it doesn’t need to be on, and using the remote management system to integrate with room booking systems has become more important,” says Brian Davies, technology director, AMX. The attractive point for end users is the ability to see everything from their entire estate in a single location, and remote management can help you turn your IT/FM provision from a purely reactive system (i.e. telling you a projector has stopped working) to a preventative system (telling you a flat panel is getting too hot).

“People don’t have to run around a building checking what’s going on. Having remote access, where you have all the functionality means you don’t have to crawl under a table to fix a problem, you can fix it from your desk,” said Mark Ridgwell, business development manager, Crestron.

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