Remote Diagnostics 101

What you need to know and how to take advantage of it

At COS Sales our service comes complete with remote diagnostics. Learn more about remote diagnostics and its benefits below.

What's the first thing that you do whenever your printer's down?

You should call your service provider and request an onsite visit. Once the technician arrives on the agreed date, they will diagnose the issue, and possibly find out that new parts are needed for the repair. Unfortunately, these components aren't available on-hand and will take a few days to order in. Finally, after a week, your printer is up and running again.

Does this sound familiar?

You are probably accustomed to this lengthy process since that's how it has always been. It's not all bad as you still end up with a fixed printer.

However, you could be missing out. Have you given thought to how much your business has lost during the time that you couldn't use your printer? Think about it.

  • Your employees' productivity is disrupted.
  • Important tasks are delayed.
  • Your business lost money in the process
  • The time lost during the downtime could have been used somewhere more important.

Overall, this affects your business negatively. So how do you avoid these problems? The answer is Remote Diagnostics.

What is Remote Diagnostics?

Remote diagnostics is a method of analysis and observation that happens remotely.

Monitoring, diagnostics, and troubleshooting are done without a technician being physically present onsite. You may not even be aware of it, but remote diagnostics is not a very new concept. It even happens in our daily lives.

For example; you have an issue with your internet. You call your service provider and ask for tech support. During this process, the technical guy asks you questions about what the issue is, or if there are any error messages. From there, you're given specific instructions like go to this page, click this, describe what happens next, etc. The problem is then either resolved or you are transferred to Level 2 tech support.

This is one good example of what remote diagnostics is.

Depending on the type of industry, the methodology used for remote diagnostics may slightly vary. It can be as simple as troubleshooting over the phone; or as complex as using a software which includes security, video conferencing or messaging platforms, and data access tools.

Still, it all boils down to one thing. Remote diagnostics fixes a problem through a collaborative effort where human operators and pieces of hardware can be scattered around the world but still be able to work together as if they're in the same room.

Some of the industries that make use of remote diagnostics are as follows:

  • Telephone systems
  • Medical sector
  • Automotive industry
  • IT industry
  • Printing industry
  • And a whole lot more.

Remote Diagnostics in the Business World

Many people don't pay much attention to printers and copiers, and won't consider them as business assets. They tend to fade into the office background, however these overlooked devices can cost businesses lots of money. This happens when they're not properly maintained and optimised for the needs of the business.

This is where remote diagnostics play a significant role. By eliminating distance as a hurdle, printers can be troubleshooted without the need for a technician to be physically present. Businesses benefit greatly from the time saved, and when time is saved, so is money.

Machines nowadays are becoming more and more intelligent. The older printers that they once were are now equipped with sensors and software that allow them to collect and share information about themselves. This, in turn, allows for the collection of more valuable data which is used to manage them more efficiently.

How is Remote Diagnostics Done?

In general, there are five steps involved in this process:

  • Regular remote monitoring of critical system parameters.
  • The data gathered is analysed to detect trends.
  • Data and analysis are compared to known/expected behavior.
  • Predict when the system will fail through extrapolation provided that the comparison resulted in performance degradation.
  • Maintenance is scheduled and done if needed to prevent failure before it happens.

How Can It Benefit You?

Technology is definitely evolving at a very fast rate. As such, companies are constantly looking for different ways to improve business while reducing cost.

So, is remote diagnostics a good thing for your business? Here are some of its benefits to help you decide.

  • Downtime is avoided. If not avoided, minimised to a higher degree. Gone are the days when you have to wait for days or weeks for your printer to be fixed. Through remote diagnostics, symptoms are detected early on and treated before they even happen.
  • Deadlines are hit. Making sure that everything is on track and deliverables are sent on time is a crucial factor for any business. The last thing you want for your business is a bad reputation for missing a deadline. A working printer will help in avoiding this happening.
  • Productivity is increased. Whenever your printer is acting up, who's the person that takes care of it? Your manager? An office staff? Regardless of who it is, having to fix the machine takes a good portion of their time. Instead, let an expert technician do the job for you and so you can focus on other tasks.
  • Time is spent wisely. Remote monitoring and diagnostics can significantly reduce the time needed to work on your machines since the technicians are already informed of the issue well ahead of time, and catch it before it becomes a significant problem.
  • Reduces costs. This is the most obvious benefit of remote diagnostics. Maintenance costs, service visits, replacement parts -- the costs of all these things add up over time. The need for routine maintenance is lessened by remote monitoring and analytics because issues are immediately noticed before it affects your business negatively.

To Conclude

By embracing the concept of remote diagnostics, it is possible to cut costs, improve productivity, and gain maximum return on your printer investments. After all, your print environment should never be a cost and productivity issue.

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