Unigrafia and University of Helsinki have joined forces creating a pilot project for providing AV-facility services. The aim is to identify the possible AV challenges that might arise when using the City Centre Campus facilities. The project also gathers information to be able to determine the local support that the staff may need with the equipment in the future.
“Up till now we have made assumptions on services that might be needed and then proceeded to offer them without asking what the user actually wants. During this pilot project our aim is to find out what kind of services the users actually require and to determine the resources for the services that are considered necessary,” says Jyri Poittinen, Head of AV Services at University of Helsinki Property Services (HY247). ”The pilot covers all university facilities with AV equipment. It includes also support that is provided during the evening in order to determine the scope of services that are needed.”
“We want to keep track of the way the local AV support is received and what kind of support requests are coming in. The user needs are changing during the pilot so that is also something we keep an eye on. For this reason, we did not limit or define the scope of the pilot project,” continues Jorma Ahlqvist, CTO of Unigrafia. Each support request will be reported and the information gathered using forms. The data will be presented in common reporting format tables for further analysis and reporting.”
The group providing the local support began the work already during the summer by familiarising themselves with each facility and equipment that is covered by the support services. It was important to test the digital projectors, speakers and other AV equipment in advance, and most of the problems were solved before the academic year began.
“Based on the findings in the early stages of the project, we can already say we have been able to reduce maintenance procedures and costs at the City Centre Campus,” says Ahlqvist happily with the project. “The focus of support requests has gone from extinguishing fires related to beginning of the term and addressing malfunctions to maintenance procedures and making sure the AV production in different events runs smoothly.”
Arja Laakso and Silpa Karjunen-Aguilar, both Coordinators at University Services, are very pleased with the support that the pilot project has provided. “We were really glad when we were offered this support without us even asking. It means a lot to know that you have someone you can call and you can trust. It’s easier for us to arrange online meetings when we have received help with the equipment and the use of Skype. In other words, we really hope this project will continue.”
Without support services people are less likely to use the technology and equipment that is available. One of the most requested services is the preparation of the equipment before a meeting or a lecture begins. The local AV support instructs and shows in advance how the equipment is used or someone is present when an event starts to make sure everything is working. Sometimes IT Helpdesk also steps in to help.
“We hope AV support services can obtain additional access rights to address IT issues and problems with lecture room computers and online registrations. This would enable us to provide a wide range of services all under one roof. It would also help the customers who might otherwise be confused whether to contact IT Helpdesk or AV support, “ says Poittinen contemplating the matter.
The service has received a warm welcome and other campuses have heard about it, too. AV specialists Arttu Hinkkanen, from HY247, and Teemu Lehtonen, from Unigrafia, have received positive feedback. They have been providing technical support in the pilot project. “The clients are really happy to have the problems solved. The project has been running for a couple of months and we already have frequent customers who benefit from the service and trust us.”
Both agree that the Unigrafia and HY247 pilot project collaboration has really taken off. “Cooperation and communication is effortless. Everyone does the same tasks and assignments and it does not matter which company you come from,“ says Hinkkanen. “It’s important to have an open dialogue and to have colleagues sharing information and solutions for problems,” agrees Lehtonen. “It’s all going swimmingly!”
The service is free and available on the city centre campus. The necessity and continuation of the project will be then evaluated. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.