SCADA & MES Global Support

April 19th, 2017 - Authored by John Falkowski

Interested in finding out what role our global Customer FIRST Support program plays in bringing genuine value for our Citect customers? We can talk about improving operational performance, optimizing software investments, maximizing asset performance and reducing total cost of ownership; but how are these benefits realized for our customers?

It’s no secret that within our industry, trends such as globalization, evolving workplace demography and big data are driving the need for simplified and streamlined secure solutions that help save time, mitigate risk and provide richer contextual data. These trends are at the core of our ongoing software development ensuring we deliver on the promise of enhanced visualisation and intelligence, simplification and reduced engineering costs. Our Customer FIRST Support program plays a key role in helping bring this value to life and helping customers adapt and transition to our rapidly evolving digital world.

Maximize your investment

Far more than an annual Support contract, one of the biggest opportunities for customers is leveraging the value that is rolled up into our annual software releases, which has been our practice since 2015. This translates to customers receiving free upgrades to our value-rich annual software releases that embrace the latest technologies with features and functionality specifically designed to meet evolving market demands and customer requirements. In addition to annual releases and upgrades, customers now benefit from our rolling monthly patches and updates, that are focused on continuous improvements to performance and security, as well as fixes to any issues that may have arisen. As a result, customers can benefit from ongoing production continuity - taking advantage of the latest software to help improve the power, reliability and efficiency of their SCADA applications. Furthermore, they have the support and expertise at hand to help them fine-tune their specific projects and benefit from the latest enhancements and technologies, freeing them up to focus on their operations and wider efficiency considerations. The availability of a range of high-end services with tools to help streamline system and application management, only further drive value and efficiency for customers.

Support at your fingertips

The Customer FIRST Support program provides customers with a variety of access points for support and advice, ensuring that help is at hand, wherever and however they need it. Customers can access support via our 24/7 global telephone coverage, our mobile app, as well as interactive social media forums such as our LinkedIn SCADA community. Customers also benefit from access to our extensive online self-help, online product training, a dedicated web support portal and an extensive knowledgebase of technical tips, tools and best-practices to help troubleshoot any issues as they arise. Cases are logged and tracked online by our team of technical experts, with a formal escalation model in place to ensure the timely resolution of all cases. Furthermore, customer cases are stored for ease of reference, as well as comparative scenarios when helping provide valuable context, recommendations and advice on particular projects.

Your SCADA insurance policy

Having made the investment in our Citect SCADA software, the Customer FIRST Support program provides customers the peace of mind that they are not facing challenges on their own throughout their production journeys. When incidents do occur, customers benefit from comprehensive service coverage, helping to minimize costly downtime and ensure they can remain focused on optimizing operational performance. And as technologies and standards continue to evolve, customers can seek the necessary advice in ensuring they make the correct modifications to their projects and reap the maximum benefit for their operations whilst ensuring adherence to relevant compliance regulations. With any identified security vulnerabilities addressed in our rolling software patch releases, customers also benefit from the ongoing assurance that their applications remain secure and operating to their full potential, knowing that advice and support is always on hand if needed.

24/7 access to experts

Customers benefit from round the clock access to our global team of Citect support engineers with extensive core SCADA competencies and decades of experience supporting a diverse range of Schneider Electric installations around the world. Exposure to a variety of complex industry-specific IT environments and Citect application scenarios, ensures our technical experts are adept at understanding potential implementation issues, helping to mitigate risk and resolve customer anomalies quickly. Exposure to emerging technologies and upcoming development and functionality innovations, ensures our experts can help pre-empt and advise the most favorable course of action for project upgrades. Thereby freeing up customers to focus on their operations and minimizing the costly downtime associated with trying to navigate their way through any operational anomalies and potential modernization headaches.

Ongoing relationship

Rather than a yearly contract, we view Customer FIRST as a long-term relationship, with customers realizing greater return on investment as a result of engaging with a strategic partner who understands their business and is on hand to offer advice on optimizing operations at various stages of their lifecycle. As needs and market factors continue to evolve, customers can ensure peace of mind when expanding operations with a trusted partner who has in-depth knowledge of their application environments and project considerations. With changing workforce demographics, the added continuity of a strategic partner throughout our customers’ lifecycles, helps ensure that valuable knowledge and project history is not lost.

As we continue to transition to a more digital and connected world, software is set to play an increasingly critical role in helping to enable emerging technologies – particularly within our industry, with superior support and service functions only becoming more essential to customers. We are confident that our ongoing relationship with customers and unwavering commitment to world-class support through our Customer FIRST Support program will continue to bring real value to our customers and help them realize their growth potential.

Authored by John Falkowski, Global Product Manager, Citect SCADA

John is an industrial automation professional based at Citect’s global R&D headquarters in Sydney Australia. An engineering honours graduate, John has amassed more than 10 years’ experience within Citect / Schneider Electric with particular expertise in the technical services function having held a number of roles including ‘Senior Support Engineer’, ‘Global Support Escalations Manager’ and ‘Global Customer Support Manager’. In his current capacity as ‘Global Product Manager Citect SCADA’, John is responsible for the annual Citect SCADA product roadmap, feature definition and successful delivery of the software offer and is the conduit between engineering and development, sales and marketing and customer support/input.

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