An interview with Javier Sabater, VSN's Support Director

VSN’s technical support team has been offering users in the Broadcast and Media & Entertainment industry a customized service with record figures for years.Javier Sabater, our Support Director with more than 15 years of experience, answers in this interview how they manage their daily activity, the challenges that the Covid-19 has brought about, and how they face the future of the industry.

interview with VSN's support directo, Javier Sabater

You have been receiving an average score of 9/10 from customers for four years in a row. What is the key to the success of VSN’s technical support service? What do customers value most about the service?

What customers value most is the closeness and contact we offer from the team of support engineers, so human quality is key in the process. Customers can talk to us and ask questions, and we always try to go one step further and offer, in addition to the solution, advice to optimize the use of our applications. This correspondence is reciprocal, as customers also convey their concerns to us. We prioritize the resolution of the problem and later review what we can do to prevent it from happening again and how we can improve our solutions based on their feedback.

 

In recent years, have you had any particularly complex cases that could be described as challenges? How were they resolved?

Although it may seem exaggerated, our day-to-day life is a challenge in itself: from serious hardware failures to workflow changes, even to cyber attacks on customers. In each case, we adapt to the needs of the client and are prepared for all possible circumstances.

Due to covid-19, our biggest challenge recently has been to improve our response and resolution times, as we have received many requests related to workflow changes when switching to teleworking while organizing ourselves to operate remotely. The result has been very positive, as the department’s communication and organization had already been prepared for years to offer the 24/7 service and the transition to remote working could be done without any problems.

 

In 2017, a completely renewed Support portal was launched. What is your assessment of this tool after several years of use? Do you receive specific feedback on it from customers?

We are particularly proud of our main support tool, and it has been crucial in minimizing the impact of teleworking. It consists of a complex system of artificial intelligence that checks the status of incidents, contract types, response times, resolution and other details and automatically alerts us via e-mail, Skype, Telegram… It is a very intuitive portal and it allows us to keep track of everything that is happening in record time. In addition, it also enables us to channel our clients’ feedback, since they have access and can check the status of incidents, list them and view resolution metrics in a dashboard. Our intention is that the tool continues to grow with the team and that we can count on it for many years to come.

 

How has the Covid-19 health crisis affected you? Have you had more consultations than usual? How have you adapted to the situation during these months, in particular the 24/7 service you offer?

I guess like most of us, we were taken by surprise and a certain amount of astonishment. Once we got over the initial shock and adjusted our meetings to be held telematically, we saw that not only could we maintain the levels of support service, but even improve them, something we knew our customers would need under the circumstances.

We immediately noticed the change in the type of requests, which went from notifications of software failure or breakdown towards requests to change workflows or enable remote online access, which also involved bandwidth optimizations, as production was shifted from local to online environments in many cases.

The context forced us to improve our times, a challenge for which we set ourselves the goal of providing quick and effective solutions and for which we counted on the full collaboration of our clients. After some time, the web metrics corroborate the success of the process, as today they show metrics that reflect a decrease of up to 24 hours in resolution time and record response times.

 

How do you face the future of the industry? How do you think it will evolve in the coming years and how will it affect you?

Despite the clichéd answer, we face it with much enthusiasm and eagerness. The industry is transforming every day, we started working with VRT and tapes and we have been adapting to digitalization, cloud environments, etc. The evolution seems to be moving more and more towards decentralized production, and VoD platforms continue to grow and will require increasingly better ways to administer and manage their media (VSNExplorer MAM), but also control showings and production tracking (VSNCrea). Production is becoming faster and faster, with content coming directly from journalists, simplifying ingest, as even professional cameras already enable content delivery and use of services and Internet connections.

It is possible that in the next few years viewers will change quite a bit the way they communicate with products and the companies that generate them. There will be a greater exchange of opinions, more interactivity with the contents… The amount of options provided by the available resources and artificial intelligence is almost endless.