How to Make Your Control Room Technology Last Longer
How does Barco make sure that its visualization and collaboration solutions provide reliable service for ten years and more?
Energy and utilities control centers need to be able to provide continuous service to the community, and therefore they need technology they can count on every day. As an expert in the utilities market, Barco has its own secret recipe for making sure customers can enjoy their technology for thousands of hours, with the least amount of downtime.
If you have ever been frustrated about your washing machine or flat screen TV breaking down faster than expected, you are not alone. The life spans of electronic consumer products seem to be getting shorter. However frustrating this may be, buying a new, updated product usually solves the problem.
While this approach may be fine for your household, it's not the way to go for critical technology and applications, such as control room visualization. There, a more durable product lifetime is expected.
Why control centers need continuity
In critical environments, such as transmission and distribution control centers, continuity is a given. A technology system that breaks down earlier than expected is just not acceptable, because that would severely jeopardize the continuity of vital services, like bringing electricity and water to the public.
As beacons of continuity and stability, utilities centers always consider upgrading to different or newer technology to be risky. Utilities centers want to be 100% sure that the technology works. Upgrading to a new system may also involve downtime, and even when new systems are installed, staff may need to go through a costly learning curve. Critical control centers don't want to go through this process more than they have to.
Last but not least, utilities centers are usually public companies, which means that they have limited budgets and need to deal with tax payers' money wisely. Costly technology upgrades every three years are just not an option.
With this in mind, how does Barco make sure that its visualization and collaboration solutions provide reliable service for ten years and more? Barco's secret recipe for this may sound simple, but it's difficult to copy.
#1. Designed to last
It may seem straightforward, but Barco's solutions are actually designed to last. Using durable components and thoroughly tested materials, Barco products and solutions have fewer disruptions and fewer failures, which ultimately leads to reduced downtime and costs for the end customer. Moreover, Barco has full control over its own innovations and technology, which is covered in 430 granted patents company-wide.
#2. Impeccable service organization
Barco control room customers are backed by a well-oiled, worldwide service organization that maximizes the uptime of our customers' mission-critical systems, while keeping support and maintenance costs under control. Barco recently renewed its focus on services, with a completely rebranded offering, with a clear focus on first-time-right deployment and on protecting the customers' investments. With the 24/7 helpdesk, there is always a Barco expert within reach around the clock every day to support Barco customers.
The Enable - Protect - Optimize framework is a global Barco-wide services offering that contributes to partner service excellence and drives customer satisfaction in the field. The three pillars of the framework are designed to deliver positive outcomes, with service packages that have our customers' backs from start to finish.
In addition, cloud services like Barco's Video Wall Management Suite give users real-time information on the operating conditions of their video walls allowing them to manage their assets remotely in the most efficient way.
#3. Easy upgradeability
Barco's hardware and software solutions are designed for easy upgradeability, enabling systems to last for an additional lifetime. For example, Barco is offering owners of legacy lamp-based rear-projection video wall systems the opportunity to upgrade to RGB laser technology. By simply integrating the new RGB laser-based projection module into their existing mechanical structure, the system is ready for years of extra service without any architectural or physical impact within the environment.
The modular design of Barco UniSee LCD video walls is another example of Barco's upgradeability. For example, the Barco UniSee input modules, power supply and LCD display are physically separated, so when a new input connectivity technology is available, the input boards can simply be replaced in the field.
#4. Comprehensive partner network
As a global leader in visualization solutions for the energy and utilities center market, Barco can rely on the market-specific service and support of a worldwide partner network. The partner network includes over 100+ partners globally focusing on control rooms. In close collaboration with Barco's sales and service organization, Barco's partners offer a close and accessible point of contact for any kind of service or support request.
#5. Vision and commitment for the long term
When planning a serious investment for control room visualization, you are looking for peace of mind. This is much easier when you are dealing with a company like Barco, who has expressed its long-term commitment in that market. Barco is also one of the very few manufacturers that offer the 3 dominant control room video wall technologies: rear-projection cubes (RPCs), tiled LCD, and direct view LED. Barco also has a strong vision on where the control room market is going and should be going. This helps customers to make the right technology decisions to support them for many thousands of hours. Last but not least, Barco has global reach, with different manufacturing plants across the world and more than 100 certified service engineers in 19 locations in 16 countries.
Committed to utilities
Utilities companies need to be reliable in offering their vital services to the public. As such, they need to be able to count on their technology for many years. With Barco on their side, their technology is in good hands. Few other companies have built up such a vast expertise in the utilities market as Barco has. Over the years, Barco has been able to develop the organization, network and vision to secure a long solution lifetime.