Q: During an average week an IT consultant can visit a number of different sites – how can test equipment help to overcome the challenges of having such a varied workload?
[Tim Widdershoven]: It’s important that a network troubleshooting tester offers a variety of useful functions. This allows IT consultants to conduct a range of different tests to solve issues more efficiently, and save time and money. During an average technician’s week, they might have a requirement to conduct wiremap tests, wireless network searches, malware scans and various other network tests. It’s possible to conduct all of these tests, plus many others, using the same LanXPLORER Pro tester.
Q: You mention saving time – how is IDEAL Networks helping technicians to do this?
[TW]: The quality and functionality of our testers reduces guesswork and allows more complex tests to be carried out. We recently spent the week with an IT consultant and encountered a good example of how this saves time. On one job at a manufacturing company a slow internet connection had been reported. Using the data traffic analysis provided by the LanXPLORER Pro the technician was able to determine the top users of IP bandwidth. He could then focus on only working on these PCs which had higher than normal usage. This removed the need to scan every individual PC and saved the IT consultant around 3 hours. In fact, across the week we found that the IT consultant saved almost a day and a half by using LanXPLORER Pro.
Q: Why is time saving so important for IT technicians and installers?
[TW]: For all businesses, time is money. Completing jobs more quickly helps companies to improve cashflow and ensures more jobs can be done, and more income can be made. The aforementioned IT consultant saved more than a day in just a week, which equated to a ?600 cost saving for that business – imagine what the savings could be over the course of a year.
Also, the effect of network downtime can cost organisations thousands of pounds per minute, so technicians are under pressure to fix any issues as quickly as possible in order to keep their customers happy. Delays in diagnosing problems can prevent work from being completed on time, postpone other scheduled jobs and even incur fines from clients for any downtime over and above an agreed limit, so it can be important for IT consultants to find new, time-saving processes.
Alongside other diagnosis and connectivity features, technicians using LanXPLORER Pro can now transfer test data via mobile devices directly from the work site using the IDEAL AnyWARE app. The app allows users to quickly and simply share PDF or CSV test reports with colleagues or clients, even those based in other locations, improving collaboration and troubleshooting capabilities as well as boosting productivity and minimising downtime.
Q: In which other ways does the right tester make things easier for IT consultants?
[TW]: When you’re travelling around to different worksites it’s essential to have equipment that is compact and easy to transport. When we recently spent the week with an IT consultant, their week included visits to the home office of a company director, a large magazine publisher, a manufacturing company and even a poultry farm.
As work sites can be so varied, IDEAL Networks develops testing equipment with maximum functionality while still being suitable for use in small or restrictive areas. For example, the job at the poultry farm required checking cables in the ceiling of a portable office building. It was far more convenient for the technician to carry out the tests with a comfortable, handheld LanXPLORER Pro tester than it would have been with a cumbersome laptop.