If you work on the operations side of the digital signage business, you know all about the complications and cost of “rolling a truck” to visit a deployed site to get an outage resolved.
Ideally, truck rolls are a last resort because you need to find qualified techs, schedule them in, and get ready for an invoice of several hundred dollars … or more. Great device management software – that not only tells you there are problems but has tools to fix things remotely – are essential to networks with any kind of scale and diversity of locations. But there are other tools that can also help.
I bumped into a solution online, called Truck Roll, that would at least seem to address some of the issues signage ops guys run into every day. Developed by Kandy, a Silicon Valley-based real time communications firm, Truck Roll is an online and mobile toolset that gives people on both ends of a outage call a shot at figuring things out and NOT rolling that truck.
From the website:
Again, anyone who has done ops knows the eternal pain of trying to get local building and store managers or staff to help troubleshoot an issue. It’s a beautiful thing when the support guy has a technical person on the other end, but more often it’s someone who’s never going to feel comfy rebooting a router or recycling power on a player. I know a company that had to fly a guy from NYC to Indianapolis to reboot a PC in a store, because the store manager couldn’t help over the phone. he walked in, rebooted it, went back to the airport and flew back to NYC.
What’s also pretty interesting about this is how it could work with field technicians – including installers – who are on-site and have some technical chops. The old school method is to call into operations and report something isn’t working, and then try to figure it out by phone. When that doesn’t work, another tech familiar with the hardware or software needs to get rolled out there … adding more cost.
The idea here is that adding real-time video to that first conversation would quite possibly get things resolved, instead of people going back and forth trying to describe blinking light sequences and connectors.
There may be competing products out there, but these guys are smart by making the purpose of Truck Roll really obvious. If you’re in ops, or handle ops budgets, this may be worth checking out.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.