Proactive Maintenance and Support Maximizes the ROI of Your Audio & Video Systems

Proactive Maintenance and Support Maximizes the ROI of Your Audio & Video Systems

When organizations are looking to design and implement an A/V system, they seldom consider the long-term maintenance and management of the solution. They’re concerned about how the system is going to function — and, of course, the total cost of the project. A managed services agreement might seem like an unnecessary added expense.

However, maintenance and support should be part of the conversation from the outset of the project. Otherwise, issues are bound to arise that reduce the ROI of the solution.

Let’s say that a sales person is doing a presentation for a prospect and the connection drops. By the time she’s able to get back online, the meeting is derailed and the prospect is no longer interested. Or let’s say your procurement, logistics and service delivery teams are trying to coordinate an important project, but one of the teams is unable to connect to the web conference. These kinds of issues can impact your organization’s bottom line.

Some organizations establish internal processes for A/V maintenance and support. Someone on the IT team is assigned to check each meeting room on a daily basis to ensure that everything is operating normally. If an issue arises, users are directed to call the help desk and open a ticket.

There are a couple of problems with this approach. First, IT teams are typically stretched thin. There may not be adequate staff resources to do that “preventive maintenance walk” every day. If a user calls the help desk for support, a tech may not be able to get there quickly enough to salvage the meeting.

Second, IT pros aren’t always familiar with A/V equipment. Issues can arise that they won’t be able to troubleshoot in a timely fashion. If the person conducting the “room sweeps” is unable to solve a problem within 15 minutes, the issue should be escalated. That escalation is a burden when the organization doesn’t have dedicated, knowledgeable A/V staff who can actively take on those issues.

And often the answer lies in the network rather than the A/V system. For example, vendors automatically send firmware updates via cloud servers to their devices over a customer’s network, which provides convenience and quality control of their products. However, this can cause problems in complex A/V control systems. If the firmware changes the names of devices in a command line, for example, the A/V programming suddenly won’t be able to communicate as it is referencing a different command. 

Rahi’s A/V team has the experience to recognize these issues and has seen them happen on many occasions. With a managed services contract in place, to monitor system functionality, Rahi’s experienced field engineers can extend their reach to its dedicated A/V team to quickly reprogram the controller. The typical IT pro likely wouldn’t know where to look.

Sometimes the IT team inadvertently causes the problem. The network administrator might perform updates and forget to set the right permissions for the A/V equipment on the network. Or A/V devices might not be able to communicate if they’re rebooted out of sequence.

You can avoid these kinds of problems with managed services from Rahi Systems. Our A/V professionals will perform preventive maintenance on your A/V systems to ensure that they’re always up-to-date and functioning optimally. We can coordinate with your IT team to stay ahead of firmware updates and other changes to the network that could impact the A/V environment. And when problems arise, we can troubleshoot them remotely or dispatch an experienced tech to your site. That technician comes with the support of experienced A/V engineers, A/V programmers and IT engineers and will address the issue within the agreed SLA. 

It all boils down to value. You invested in A/V systems to help enhance productivity and customer service. Proactive maintenance and support help ensure that your A/V systems deliver maximize ROI.

Effective Collaboration is Key to Driving Workplace Productivity

Effective Collaboration is Key to Driving Workplace Productivity

What exactly do we mean by “workplace productivity”? It’s not the same thing as efficiency, which is simply the output generated versus the resources used. Productivity, on the other hands, refers to both the amount of work completed and the value of that work. Two hours spent cleaning out your email inbox isn’t as productive as two hours spent working on an important project or nurturing a customer relationship.

Of course, nobody works in total isolation. Advancing that important project may require ideas and input from a number of colleagues and specialists. Nurturing that customer relationship may involve complex business processes that span multiple departments and individuals.

The term “workstream” has been used to describe the progress of a business process across these various groups. A workstream isn’t the same as a workflow, which is a means of making a process more efficient. Workstreams focus on the human interaction needed to drive a business process forward.

Trouble is, the people involved in a particular process or project may be scattered around the world. Companies are hiring outside their region to obtain needed skill sets, gain cost-efficiencies and support around-the-clock business requirements. The workplace is global. To be productive, workers may need to collaborate with team members in different locations, in different time zones and on different schedules.

That’s why many businesses are looking to enhance their workstreams with communication and collaboration tools. They’re supplementing email with chat and presence, and making video conferencing more accessible to users. Video conferencing enables greater collaboration and productivity than traditional audio conferencing.

Forward-thinking companies are taking video conferencing to the next level with interactive “whiteboard” displays. After all, you can’t beat a whiteboard when it comes to brainstorming, capturing ideas, and building energy and support for a project. With traditional dry-erase whiteboards and easel pads, however, teams have to snap photos in order to preserve the information. Interactive whiteboards integrate with video conferencing systems, enabling users in any location to scribble notes and drawings in real time and capture all of the information electronically.

When selecting collaboration tools, organizations should focus on reliability and ease of use. Workers should be able to start a meeting with a few simple clicks. If it takes 10 minutes to set up a meeting, and there are six people on the team, that’s an entire hour lost. The productivity enabled by collaboration can easily be offset by overly complex technology.

Ideally, the solution should be consistent across the environment. Workers should be able to move from a huddle room to a conference room to an all-hands space and intuitively understand the user interface. Consistency also makes it easier to scale the environment to support more users and locations.

Rahi’s team of audio and video experts can design meeting spaces and recommend communication and collaboration solutions that will support the workstyles of your team. Our team will also ensure that your audio and video systems are easy to use and deliver the highest audio and video quality to maximize user adoption. Let us help you drive workplace productivity through the strategic application of audio and video technologies.

Rahi Systems Partners with Spirent to Deliver Lab as a Service Solution

Rahi Systems Partners with Spirent to Deliver Lab as a Service Solution

Rahi’s data center and networking experts help customers build out lab environments that fully leverage Spirent’s Velocity platform.

Fremont, Calif. — November 14, 2019 — Rahi Systems announced today that it has partnered with Spirent to deliver a Lab as a Service solution for developers and testers of networking equipment. The solution leverages Spirent’s Velocity Lab as a Service platform combined with Rahi’s design, implementation and integration expertise to create more manageable and cost-efficient lab environments.

On-demand access to lab and testbed resources enables organizations to get products to market faster and quickly resolve support issues. The Velocity platform features orchestration tools that automate the standup of physical, virtual and hybrid testbeds — increasing productivity, ensuring the accuracy of configurations, and maximizing test coverage and reuse. Velocity also provides developers and testers with interactive workflows, and can integrate with existing automation and DevOps toolchains to enable continuous testing.

Lab managers gain the tools they need to maximize resource utilization while reducing CapEx, engineering, and power and cooling costs. Intuitive dashboards provide insight into resource availability, enabling lab managers to quickly locate and reserve resources that meet user requirements. Zero-touch, self-service testing increases user satisfaction.

“Rahi’s experience in datacenter and networking design, deployment, and management is an ideal match for our customers seeking to consolidate or co-locate large scale lab operations, said Patrick Johnson, General Manager, Automation Platform Technologies, Spirent. “Rahi’s expert capability combined with Spirent’s Velocity LaaS solution provides an unparalleled, full service operation to transform costly, multi-function networking labs into an agile, self-service cloud experience.” 

The Spirent partnership is a natural fit for Rahi. The Rahi team has helped organizations worldwide build out lab environments, consolidate development and testing facilities, and leverage Velocity to address resource management challenges.

“Spirent’s Lab as a Service solution eliminates time-consuming and error-prone manual processes, enables global accessibility to lab resources, and helps lab managers better predict resource demand,” said Bill Muczko, Executive Vice President of Sales, Rahi Systems. “Our team adds significant value by helping organizations create an efficient, easy-to-manage lab environment that takes full advantage of the Velocity platform.”

About Rahi Systems

Rahi Systems delivers a suite of solutions and services that optimize the cost, performance, scalability, manageability and efficiency of today’s integrated environment. Founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs with deep understanding of the needs and challenges of service providers, government agencies and enterprises, the company has grown through a solutions-oriented approach, outstanding support and a culture of customer success. Rahi has its corporate headquarters in Fremont, Calif., with offices in the U.S., India, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.

Media Contact:

Alison Lolis
VP of Marketing
+1 510.651.2205
[email protected]

Defining the Hybrid Cloud Starts with an Evaluation of Business Objectives

Defining the Hybrid Cloud Starts with an Evaluation of Business Objectives

What is a hybrid cloud? Ask 10 people in the IT industry and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. At the most basic level, a hybrid cloud is the intersection of an off-premises, hyperscale cloud service and a privatized IT infra­­­structure that you run as a cloud. The degree to which those two environments intersect can vary widely.

For some organizations, it simply means managing both ecosystems in a way that meets cost, performance and security requirements. For others, it involves passing data between the two environments — even just using the public cloud for backup. At a more advanced level, the on-premises and cloud environments are integrated such that the organization is able to move workloads between them as needed. 

When you add vendor definitions of the hybrid cloud, things can get confusing. Vendors tend to view the hybrid cloud through the lens of the products they provide rather than what the hybrid cloud model can do for the customer. That’s why it’s important for organizations to step away from preconceived notions and consider the problems they are trying to solve.

Generally, customers are looking to reduce risk, lower costs or add value, and within each of those objectives there may be business, financial and technical requirements. For example, organizations may adopt a hybrid cloud due to security, privacy and regulatory compliance concerns. In some cases, organizations look to the hybrid cloud to balance OpEx costs and capitalized investments. Sometimes it’s about driving better scalability when on-premises infrastructure is limited by physical or operational constraints.

There may be competing priorities within the organization. The Rahi team recently worked with a customer that was highly focused on building out a DevOps pipeline to accelerate application development. The development group was inclined to use the public cloud because of the elasticity it provides, while the IT group wanted to keep everything on-premises to maximize the value of existing infrastructure

The IT group didn’t know that someone in the developer ecosystem had already signed an agreement with a public cloud provider. The company had two sunk costs — it’s existing environment and the public cloud. The Rahi team helped the organization maximize both investments by moving some developer workloads to the public cloud and keeping some on-premises in a hybrid model.

Rahi’s approach is to first understand the customer’s objectives and motivation for moving to a hybrid cloud. We then look at the IT resources the customer has in place today, and consider how to best take advantage of those resources while integrating the cloud into the IT operational model. We’ll look at financial impacts, and any existing business relationships the customer may have in place that may drive the choice of cloud provider. We’ll also evaluate the customer’s operational processes and skill sets from a technical perspective to ensure that the journey to the hybrid cloud is successful.

By looking at all those components together, we can gain a clearer picture of what a hybrid cloud solution might look like. We can help the customer determine which workloads to move into the public cloud and understand the impact on their data strategy. Ultimately the goal is to align cloud and on-premises resources to the needs and objectives of the business. That’s what hybrid cloud is all about.

A Day in the Life… of an Irish Engineer

A Day in the Life… of an Irish Engineer

A passion for computers from an early age and an inquisitive mind that pondered the workings of machines inspired Rory Byrne’s career choice. Rory, who is from Dublin, Ireland, is a Data Center Engineer with Rahi Systems.

Headquartered in Fremont, California, Rahi Systems has offices in more than 25 locations across the world. Just four years ago, the company expanded into Europe where it has a rapidly expanding team of more than 60 people. 

Before joining Rahi, Rory ran his own well-established IT repair company for four years in Ireland and enjoyed continuously developing his knowledge working with technology. Then in 2015, he “took a chance to pursue something different.”

Rory’s decision to pursue a career in the data center industry was driven in part by the rapidly growing data center landscape in Ireland.  A 2018 report by Host in Ireland, a leading European industry body, revealed that the emerging data center sector in Ireland has contributed €7.13bn to the economy in the last 10 years.

Now, as a highly-skilled, hands-on engineer Rory provides a variety of services for Rahi to keep computer systems and networks operating successfully. It is a job that comes with a variety of responsibilities that can vary vastly from day-to-day.

Working as a Lead Data Center Engineer for Rahi, Rory finds research and continuous lifelong learning to be of vital importance in keeping up-to-date with new and existing technology in the data center industry.

According to Engineers Ireland, there has been a 10 percent increase in demand for Level 8 engineering courses in the university applications since 2018. This is due to the demand and necessity for engineers in Ireland, which is of course partly a result of the country’s growing data center industry.

Like all engineers, he excels with the more “hands-on” activities such as troubleshooting, isolation testing, and networking which are part of ”rack and stack” projects.

The future of the Data Center industry in Ireland and across Europe is on the rise and it will make significant contributions to the Irish economy as the country acts as a central hub for data centers. Host in Ireland revealed that investment in data centers has reached beyond €1.3bn and that the ongoing investment in the data center sector up to 2023 will be in excess of €11bn. 

Quickfire Q&A with Rory Byrne

What inspired your decision to become an engineer? 

When I was 12, I took apart our computer at home and that’s how I began to love computers, phones and anything gadget-related. I took it upon myself to learn what I now know and figure out how stuff works!

What are the essential skills an engineer must have? 

A certain unity of skills is required to work in the data center industry, ranging from leadership, communication and management skills to the obvious — a technical and inquisitive mind.

What does a typical day for a data center engineer look like? 

There are a variety of different responsibilities that I am accountable for on a daily basis, including traveling abroad and working on a variety of projects. Going to work as a technician, you may have to attend a site and it could be related to anything from support, to rack and stack, decommissioning or equipment moves. Another day, it might simply involve running diagnostics on servers to detect faults.

Some days I’m involved in stress testing the hardware to try to make hardware fail, exposing any hidden faults or predicted failures. Then if required I might perform upgrades to hardware and software on servers.

I also have to deploy new hardware where it goes into production, which means data and live traffic is running on the servers. There really is a vast range of areas to work on depending on what is needed by our customers at that time. 

It’s extremely important to keep up to speed with new products and procedures in order to be acquainted with the current and future market.

What is your favourite part of your role with Rahi Systems? 

I enjoy all the various aspects of my job but particularly the projects that involve building! My favourite projects are ‘rack and stack’ builds, as well as troubleshooting, isolation test, and networking. One of my favourite projects with Rahi would have to be the lift-and-shift project I was involved in that included the movement of a data center from one European country to another!