The uptake of RMS in the previous Version 3.x and current Enterprise form in Australia and New Zealand has been significant, but unfortunately some of the actual deployments have not realised the potential they should have – for a variety of reasons.
I’ve been aware – and concerned – for some time that there are sites out there that need help to get RMS running a lot better than they are. It’s an awkward situation because we as the AMX distributor cannot offer you as the end user a finished, working system. That is the role of the integrators (channel partners) just as it’s their role to provide complete AV systems.
Where this model fails with RMS is that dealers don’t truly understand the subtleties of managing a large geographically spread fleet. And conversely, university people without any exposure to RMS don’t know what they should be asking for. What is obvious and logical after the fact is not necessarily so apparent beforehand.
What typically happens is the brief from the university is lacking in detail and the integrator delivers something that falls short of the university’s expectations. Making assumptions in the absence of detail is always a danger.
Building the optimum RMS system is tricky without prior experience. On both sides – university and integrator.
This is where I come in. We have decided to take a more direct approach to RMS and offer to work with universities to ensure they get the best from their investment. And I have been tasked with leading this effort – a challenge but one I gladly take on.
What this looks like in practice will vary widely. In some cases it may be providing simple advice – ‘hey - have you thought of changing that wording to make it clearer?’. Or it could be getting a new system operational with some pilot rooms ready for a full scale installation.
I don’t expect this to be a simple or trivial task in some universities. There are many factors at play like..
- Getting an accurate brief from the university
- Identifying a ‘champion’ – someone who owns the RMS system; the go-to person
- Getting ‘buy-in’ from support staff – developing confidence and acceptance of its value
- Getting ‘buy-in’ from AV/IT management to provide the necessary resources (staff time, network access, information etc).
- Negotiating with server, database and network staff
- Code ownership (who owns the AMX code running in rooms)
- Remote access for ongoing support and diagnostics
Our ultimate goal is to make any new RMS installation smooth and painless, and remove any pain from existing installation not delivering on expectations.
I’d like to stress right up-front that we see this as a partnership. It will require a commitment and effort on the university’s part as well as ours. It is like Araldite - without the right mix of Part A and Part B, all we’ll end up with is a sticky mess.
Please drop me a line if you would like to participate in this process. Obviously we don’t have unlimited resources available, so there will be some prioritising needed.