Everything You Need to Know About Commercial Digital Signage SLAs

Digital signage has become an essential part of thriving in today’s competitive customer experience environments. Indoor and outdoor displays, matrix screens, and custom video walls help capture the attention of customers and create a level of engagement that simply wasn’t possible in the past.

One key area that must be addressed, however, is the support and maintenance of digital signage. That’s where Service Level Agreements (SLAs) come in.

Here’s an in-depth overview of what digital signage SLAs are, how they work, and how they can help give your organisation peace of mind when it comes to managing your screens.

A real-life example

Before diving into what digital signage SLA’s are and how they work, let’s take a look at a real-life example.

A few years back, Telstra, one of Australia’s leading mobile network providers, launched a brand new store format at one of their stores, which was the first of many.

To celebrate this massive milestone, Telstra planned to have a red ribbon-cutting ceremony early on a Wednesday morning. On Tuesday night, Engagis received a frantic call from Telstra’s project manager, reporting that a shopfitter had accidentally swung a piece of wood into a video wall.

Shortly after receiving the call, Engagis dispatched a team of technicians, gathered the products needed for the repair, and headed to the store. By Wednesday at 9:00 am, the technicians had the solution installed and returned to service, enabling the ribbon-cutting program to go off without a hitch.

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This example easily met the criteria to be classified as a Priority 1 case (which will be explained further throughout the article). While not every incident is this critical – nor do all customer SLAs dictate this level of response – the incident illustrates how Engagis commits to the response and resolution of major issues.

What are digital signage SLAs?

Simply put, an SLA covers the response and resolution of any service request to fix an issue. It’s based on an agreed set of priorities where a focus is placed on resolving issues that will have the biggest impact on your business or customer experience.

With Engagis, our SLAs are broken into four different priority levels, ranging from low to critical. A Priority 4 case, for example, is a situation that results in minimal disruption, that’s manageable and that has a low business impact. On the other end of the spectrum, a Priority 1 case is an incident that leads to major disruption and a serious business impact (one in which serious damage to reputation or finances can occur).

The higher the priority, the quicker the response time and resolution need to be. This graphic breaks down each of our four (4) different priority levels in detail:

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Having digital signage SLAs in place ensures there’s a rigorous process for support management and clear accountabilities. In turn, cases are resolved quickly and efficiently, and downtime is kept at an absolute minimum.

Some additional elements you can expect to find in an SLA are:

  • Key definitions
  • Commitments
  • Contact options
  • Support scope
  • Resolution processes
  • Resolution times

It’s also important to understand what your SLAs cover. For example, equipment SLAs through Engagis Support include:

  • Digital media player hardware provided by Engagis
  • Screens and screen cabling provided by Engagis
  • Solution software provided by Engagis; in line with applicable agreements
  • Solution content provided by Engagis; in line with applicable agreements

On the other hand, Engagis SLAs often do not cover:

  • Power for electrical devices
  • Internet and network connectivity provided by the customer
  • Customer or 3rd party created solution software and content; in line with applicable agreements
  • Customer or 3rd party provided hardware; in line with applicable agreements

By formally outlining everything from the start, you’ll know exactly who to get a hold of if any issues with your digital signage arise.

How does support outreach work?

SLAs should also dictate the specific processes through which service will be provided.

With Engagis, for instance, you’ll first contact a help desk by either phone or email to explain the issue and your request. The helpdesk will log the situation and assess the severity of the request, based on the four priority levels listed above.

From there, Engagis Support will create a case in the Engagis Support CRM, and you’ll be provided with a unique case identifier via email. At that point, Engagis Support assumes responsibility for the incident and will manage it every step of the way until it’s resolved.

To help you stay up-to-date on the status of your incident, Engagis provides full transparency through an online portal service where you can see current open cases, as well as recently closed cases.

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How fast is the response time?

As mentioned earlier, exact response times typically depend on the severity of your issue, and should be defined in your SLA.

Say you were having a critical major problem with an outdoor display screen that you believe could have a severe impact on your organisation and its ability to provide an appropriate customer experience.

Because this type of incident would fall under Engagis’s top-tier Priority 1 service delivery band, you can expect to:

  • Receive a response from Engagis within 30 minutes
  • Have a remote restoration or workaround completed within 90 minutes
  • Frequent and timely updates throughout the resolution process
  • Have a technician/s on-site within 4 business hours for a metro location, the next business day for a regional location, or 2 business days for a remote location
  • Have hardware dispatched within 1 business day
  • Have a software resolution within 15 business days
  • Receive a closed case with clients confirmation and notification to all relevant stakeholders
  • Receive a Post Incident Report (PIR) with the root cause and identified preventative actions 2 days after the closure of the case

Conversely, if your situation fell into the lower Priority 3 band, you could expect to:

  • Receive a response within 2 hours
  • Receive frequent and timely updates throughout the resolution process
  • Have a remote restoration or workaround completed within 2 business days
  • Have a technician/s on-site within 1 business day for a metro location, 2 business days for a regional location, or 4 business days for a remote location
  • Have hardware dispatched within 1 business day
  • Have a software resolution within 20 business days
  • Receive a closed case with clients confirmation and notification to all relevant stakeholders

Note that Engagis offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, though SLA response times are measured in business days (8:00am-6:00pm Monday through Friday) and exclude public holidays.

Also note that, unlike many providers that only offer response SLAs, Engagis offers SLAs on both response and resolution for more robust service and absolute maximum uptime. In fact, we boast an industry-leading 99% in-store solution uptime and a 99.9% content management service uptime.

How is on-site support handled?

SLAs commonly dictate when support will be delivered. However, the quality of the support you’ll receive must be taken into consideration as well.

At Engagis, for example, we have a large team of certified technicians to handle the on-site support needs of our clients. Having this level of manpower enables us to support the complex needs of large Australian organisations and ensures we’re always prepared to resolve digital signage issues in a timely manner outlined in our SLAs.

Digital signage SLA reporting

As you review different SLAs, investigate the types and frequency of reporting you can expect to see.

In our case, enterprise support products from Engagis come with regular, customisable reporting that’s in line with applicable agreements. When available, this reporting offers a bird’s eye view of the performance of your digital media network and pinpoints precise problems, including root cause analyses and solutions.

Here are some specific elements that are included in an Engagis report:

  • Case overview: The total number of support cases resolved in a month, the total number of new support cases opened, and the current number of open cases
  • SLA adherence: Both response and resolution percentages
  • Support case summary: Includes case statistics and resolved case categories (e.g. hardware, software, and content)
  • Locations with multiple cases: Shows which business locations have reported the most incidents, along with the specific number
  • Devices with multiple cases: Shows the device name and brand associated with any cases, as well as the date the case was created, the root cause, and how it was resolved

In terms of reporting delivery time, Engagis customers with applicable SLAs receive a Major Incident Report within 2 business days of Priority 1 and 2 incidents. For more details, check out a sample report here.

Two additional factors to keep in mind

Finally, there are two additional factors you’ll want to keep in mind when considering which digital signage provider to partner with.

ISO certification

ISO certifications ensure organisations meet specific sets of standards set out by the International Organization for Standardization.

Ideally, a digital signage provider will be ISO certified. Whilst not necessary, having achieved one or more of these certifications shows that an organisation follows best business practices and is structured in a way that supports growth. Engagis, for instance, is ISO 9001 compliant, proving our dedication to putting customers first and striving for continuous improvement.

Guaranteed vs Best Efforts SLAs

In addition, be aware that some providers only offer best efforts SLAs, whilst others, like Engagis offer guaranteed SLAs. Essentially, best Efforts SLAs mean a provider will look into an issue and try to resolve it. However, they don’t make any guarantees of uptime or that an incident will be resolved. In other words, there are no promises.

Guaranteed SLAs, on the other hand, are just that — guaranteed. With these, the provider promises that an incident will be resolved and offers an uptime guarantee (e.g. 99% or higher with Engagis).

Every provider is different, but Engagis makes the following promises with our guaranteed SLAs:

  • Our support team is responsible for managing an incident until it’s resolved
  • Your support requests will be addressed quickly based on your specific SLA, and they will be either be resolved immediately or a resolution plan will be provided
  • We offer a unique identifier for logging, tracking and reporting
  • Our content management system (CMS) has an uptime of 99.9%
  • Our in-store solution has an uptime of 99% or higher

Choosing a provider based on their SLAs

Digital signage can be a game changer for today’s organisations, creating a highly innovative, engaging customer experience. That said, keeping this technology operating effectively requires ongoing support and maintenance.

Digital signage SLAs ensure a swift response and resolution for any issues that arise. By having this type of formalised agreement in place, you can run your digital signage network with the peace of mind that comes from knowing a team of professionals are ready to assist you at any time, should the need arise.

Have any other questions about digital signage SLAs or how to get started? Reach out to the experts at Engagis today.