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Remote Assistance: An expert eye on maintenance operations

Our number one priority at Thales is to keep your optronic systems in tip-top condition throughout their service life by providing all the support you need, when you need it. As well as factory maintenance and repair, our range of on-demand services includes on-site technical assistance, when highly trained Thales staff work at your site to quickly resolve issues without the logistical hassle of dispatching equipment for factory services. 

But what happens when you need urgent help with your optronic equipment and our specialists are unable to come to your site due to travel restrictions? When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Thales was already prepared to step up to the challenge with its Remote Assistance Services, which are now available around the clock and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

The role of Thales technical assistance specialists

Thales’s technical assistance specialists can be deployed on-site for a specific assignment or on a long-term basis. They bring their own equipment or use the customer's repair and maintenance resources, and on long-missions they are fully integrated into the customer’s teams. Our Incident & Problem Management service, for example, finds ways to restore and preserve functionalities as quickly as possible, and a remote diagnostics service is available when needed via secure connections between our technical teams and your local staff. 

Today, Thales has expanded this remote diagnostics capability into a comprehensive set of Remote Assistance Services using the latest technologies to diagnose and resolve incidents interactively with customers. These services enable us to support customers, suppliers or even our own on-site technical assistance specialists by providing direct, secure access to Thales experts exactly when they're needed.


Collaborative problem solving

The Thales solution is a collaborative hub for sharing data with experts in real time. Available for smartphones and tablets (Android and iOS) as well as desktops and laptops (PC and Mac), its secure videoconference service allows remote users to add annotations directly onto the video or mark up photos and upload them to the platform. Various types of equipment, such as an endoscope or augmented reality goggles, can be connected directly to the platform to create an immersive, interactive experience for users and experts alike.


Operational benefits for the armed forces

Remote Assistance Services offer shorter response times so solutions can be found more quickly. As a result, maintenance is faster, equipment downtime is minimised, and the customer’s teams are freed up to perform other tasks.

On-site technical assistance specialists perform a vital role in guaranteeing equipment performance and quality of service, and they help Thales to maintain strong relationships with customers and understand their day-to-day requirements. Today, in the disjointed world of Covid, Remote Assistance Services offer a practical alternative to on-site visits, speed up the repair and maintenance cycle and help us stay in touch with our customers in a secure collaborative environment.

“The role of the technical assistance specialist will evolve as Remote Assistance Services gather momentum, and the current crisis is going to increase the pace of this change and reinforce what we had already foreseen," says Pascal Darennes, former Director of the Competence Centre for Optronics Support (CSO).

"Technical assistance specialists have a key role to play in ensuring that we meet our contractual commitments in terms of product availability and performance. And understanding the cultural aspects of a customer's repair and maintenance organisation – which vary from country to country – is a vital part of the professional skill set that's needed. With or without Covid, Remote Assistance Services are a win-win for customers and technical assistance specialists alike.”


Malaysia leads the way

Our Malaysian customer has signed up for Remote Assistance Services to help them operate a maintenance centre for its cameras. Two remote assistance missions in March and September 2020 demonstrated the speed and efficiency of the solution, and provided an opportunity to fine-tune the system's various functions with the customer. There was no need for anyone to travel and no need to return the equipment to the factory. The customer was very satisfied with the experience, and other customer sites are interested in adopting this new solution to complement their on-site technical assistance services. 

The availability of military equipment is key to mission success, and Thales works constantly to develop solutions that perfectly match the needs of its customers. With Remote Assistance Services, they have secure access to highly specialised knowledge and technical expertise, anytime, anywhere, and the peace of mind of knowing that their optronic equipment will be available for deployment and performing at its full potential whenever it's needed.