Clients value Metinteractive for its expertise as a design and systems integration firm that develops immersive digital environments and audio/video production systems for entertainment venues, stadiums, arenas, theaters and similar spaces. But they value Metinteractive for another reason: its dedicated Managed Services Division, which provides technical support expertise and managed services.
New relationships are formed post-installation between clients and Metinteractive’s managed services team, complementing the work performed by the integration team. The managed services team forges new ties with clients staying actively engaged in a consistent cycle of communication tailored to clients’ ongoing needs. This key focus of having managed services within Metinteractive ensures post-installation relationships that are key to keeping businesses running smoothly and efficiently ensuring that access to Metinteractive’s expertise doesn’t end with the install. Install or not, it’s available to every client on a continuing basis.
AV-as-a-Service, including remote or onsite support, equipment repair, preventive maintenance, training and programming, as well as a roster of Professional Services are available individually on an as-needed basis or under a tailored service plan. Metinteractive also provides on-site staffing (short or long term); IT support for clients with or without an in-house IT team or for those who need an outsourced option; signage services for content management, design, analytics and reporting; equipment licensing and subscription-based services; and extended warranties.
The Harlem-based Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research library of the New York Public Library, worked with Metinteractive to create digital signage and content messaging systems for the public and patrons plus a new interactive Media Gallery featuring classrooms and exhibition space. A huge LED video message board, the tower wall, was installed on the corner façade to inform passers-by of upcoming events, programs, and facts about the Center.
The tower wall became an unexpected communications tool for the community during the coronavirus pandemic when the library was closed. “It was a lifeline for us and for Harlem, with messaging from ‘mask up’ and ‘get vaccinated’ to ‘get boosted,’” says K. C. Matthews, Deputy Director of Operations & External Engagement for the Center. Metinteractive maintained the tower wall’s hardware and software during and after the pandemic; it also created a software package to enable Center personnel to design ever-changing messages using templates.
“We’re rookies – there are no content or tech people here,” Matthews notes. “Metinteractive isn’t your average technology company. In fact, when Metinteractive first started training us they said let’s take tech off the table and talk about who you want to message to, what you want to get across and what’s important to you. They see tech as a way of people interacting with each other.”
Metinteractive provided the AV system installation to The New Victory Theater, a theater for young people and families near Times Square, for its substantial lobby renovation. New equipment supports teaching artists using video-based elements for pre-show engagement.
Subsequently, Metinteractive has maintained the install, added exterior digital signage and upgraded monitors. “The managed services provided by Metinteractive are very bespoke to our space and our working needs,” says Dave Upton, Senior Director of Production for New 42, the theater’s parent company. Twice a year, the managed services team performs preventive maintenance onsite to the equipment, and a block of hours is set aside across the season for any support needs; additional hours are available if necessary.
“The service techs are extremely pleasant to work with,” notes Upton. “They show up when they say they will, know what they’re doing and have good communications skills giving us status updates while they’re here. Occasionally, we’ll call in with a digital content question and Metinteractive is always happy to talk us through different problem-solving scenarios. The team is really good at relaying complicated AV information to people who don’t fully understand it!”
XL Center, a multi-purpose arena and convention center in Hartford, Connecticut, worked with Metinteractive on IT services for its offices and the IT infrastructure across the building, including Wi-Fi in the arena, data lines, TVs and ribbon boards. XL Center will partner with Metinteractive again on the upcoming update and renovation of the arena’s control room and AV equipment. XL Center is home to UConn’s men’s and women’s basketball and men’s hockey as well as to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the New York Rangers’ farm team.
The arena counts on the expertise and knowledge of Metinteractive for IT support on a continuing basis. “They understand what we’re looking for and how we operate,” says Pearson Davis, Assistant General Manager of XL Center. “They don’t just give us one Cadillac solution; they give us options based on how we work, how events in this industry happen.”
Most of XL Center’s IT support is performed remotely, he reports. “We submit a ticket, get a quick response and they remote in and fix the issue,” Davis explains. “That’s very beneficial to us because once the season starts things get crazy here!”
Software updates are essential to clients’ changing needs and meeting these evolving business requirements is part of Metinteractive’s Managed Services’ offerings.
“We tested Metinteractive’s Storyteller software app when we needed to overhaul our Media Gallery templates,” says the Schomburg’s Matthews. “The templates we had been using were originally designed for programs and exhibitions, but we have new needs for text and image content. So Metinteractive introduced us to Storyteller as a user-friendly, interactive way to handle that.”
Providing a rapid response to technical issues is crucial to Metinteractive’s clients. “There are plenty of emergency situations in a building that runs 24/7,” notes XL Center’s Davis. “Someone at Metinteractive always jumps onto our night or weekend calls. We feel that they are always on our side. They really care about us, and you can see that in the way they work with us any time, night or day.”
“When our tower wall went down for the first time recently, Metinteractive tweaked things remotely and got us back up and running,” reports the Schomburg’s Matthews. “They also trust us to go into the rack room; they’ve named all the rack mounts so we can refer to them and get instructions if there’s some simple thing we can do to reboot or reset equipment.”
At West Virginia University, Electronic Media Technician Senior Ryan Guthrie, says, “One of the things I’ve been most impressed with at Metinteractive is the service after installation and the relationship that has developed between Metinteractive and the folks in our department. Not once have we reached out to Managed Services’ techs and not gotten a prompt response.”
Victoria Brauer, Director of Operations at The Equity Project Charter School in New York City, experienced a similar quick turnaround. “Metinteractive fixed a technical issue that got us up and running instantly,” she reports. “We were so impressed that we switched to Metinteractive to support all our AV needs.”
The importance of having “friendly and helpful” contacts to reach out to on the Metinteractive Services team can’t be underestimated, notes the Schomburg’s Matthews. “Clients are always at a slight level of panic” when they call in for troubleshooting. “Metinteractive is always a pleasure to work with – they never make us feel dumb!”
New 42’s Upton agrees with the valuable role that Metinteractive plays post-installation. “Without a doubt, clear communications and a quick turnaround time would be lacking without a dedicated team. We always feel they will support us with a rapid response, solutions to our problems and an honest approach.”