macom offers universities support in operating their digital technology

With the increasing demands of digitization and the spread of hybrid teaching formats in higher education, the pressure on those responsible for technology and operations is also increasing. AV technology is a critical factor in regular operations for productive work, especially in education. The operation of AV/IT landscapes is largely done out of university data centers, which have to cover AV technology as well. This can lead to some challenges, especially if the operations organization is not set up accordingly.

Challenges in operating AV technology

It is sometimes due to universities’ funding and procurement models that regulated maintenance and service contracts for AV technology with external service providers are rare.

As part of large investment projects, such as new construction or revitalization measures, extensive installations are purchased without the operating managers being informed. They lack control over requirements management in the procurement process. In some cases, the service providers involved are not even known. For example, the designer of a construction project may install technology that does not match his own standards.

In general, universities often have non-transparent AV/IT environments. There are many different and changing requirements in the various faculties, which operate largely independently. This volatility can create additional uncertainty for those responsible for operations. As a result, existing technology has often grown gradually and is fundamentally very heterogeneous. In some buildings, equipment is severely outdated. In others, there is an oversupply of technology, but not a sufficient operating concept and not enough personnel.

So a lot of technology accumulates, but structured maintenance contracts do not exist. The budget for service and operations, on the other hand, is often low. Operating processes and responsibilities for service personnel are often not clearly defined.

In addition, operating cycles at universities are much longer than in other organizations. We are talking about an operating period of five to ten years. Maintaining a standard and high quality once established over that time is difficult. It requires structured end-of-life management and sustained maintenance of processes.

A strong product orientation also makes it difficult to adapt to changes. If products are no longer available or manufacturers have to be changed, the response has to be fast. If, for example, cooperation with a local integrator comes to a standstill or warranty periods expire, there is often not enough money to find a replacement. Often manufacturers are then only available for support to a very limited extent.

Individual consulting: Our offer

From our years of project experience and collaboration with leading universities, we know the challenges of operating digital technology in education and the options available to support operations.

With our holistic consulting approach and individual service concepts, we address your specific needs. We analyze your operating environment and provide those responsible for operations with a practical catalog of solutions for organizing your AV environments efficiently, reacting flexibly to changes, and conserving your own resources.

We show you how to gain more control in investment projects through structured requirements management. We optimize your procurement strategy, show you how to achieve good prices and help you with warranty processing for secure support. With us, you are prepared for short-term service provider changes and always have access to suitable product alternatives. We establish regulated processes for prophylactic end-of-life management and the sustainable updating and optimization of your installations.

In this way, you can ensure the long-term operation of your technology at a high level of quality.

Author: Felix Niedrich, Editor macom GmbH