Earning Top Marks from the Buckley School

“The real measure of a partner is whether they’ll be there for you when the going gets tough,” says ClearTech president Christina De Bono.

The Buckley School, Los Angeles

A recent interaction with one of our clients illustrates how ClearTech team members respond in crisis situations. It began with a call from Steve Ward, helpdesk manager at The Buckley School, a renowned Los Angeles-based K-12 institution. “The first person I reached was our service technician, Alex Navarro,” says Steve. “We were in desperate straits with an entire building’s AV being down.”
A faulty processor had hobbled AV control throughout a building that housed math and science classes – subjects highly dependent on collaboration and presentation technologies. “In a pinch we had to run cables across the rooms to the teacher stations for them just to project anything. It was an ugly temporary setup while we tried to fix the problem,” Steve explains.

Anyone who has worked with educational institutions knows that when classroom technology goes awry, schedules can get thrown off in a way that reverberates across campus. The ripple effect can disrupt much more than a single room or class. “School schedules are run like clockwork within very rigid time frames,” says Christina. “When classroom technology fails, it’s imperative to get back on track before the consequences cascade.”
Alex could tell from his conversation with Steve Ward that this was an all-hands-on-deck moment. After all, the processor failure didn’t affect just one classroom, it affected at least 12 of them. But remediation wouldn’t come easily. The faulty processor – installed before ClearTech began working with the Buckley School – was a discontinued model that couldn’t be repaired.

ClearTech's Lead Technician Alex Navarro

“Normally, we’d have a backup unit in our warehouse to deal with an issue like this,” says ClearTech lead service technician Alex Navarro, “but because we didn’t install the processor originally, we had no backup. So the race was on to come up with a fix.”
A new processor of the same type was found on eBay, but it would take time to ship. “That meant we’d have to leap into action the moment it arrived,” explains Alex.
There was a possibility that the new unit would arrive a few days later, on a Friday, so Alex remained on standby. But delivery didn’t happen until Monday, a day on which Alex was substantially booked. “I figured out a way to rearrange my schedule so I could pick up the new unit, however. Then I got to work de-installing the old one and labeling the cables for the installation of the replacement,” says Alex. “Eventually, I had to leave for another engagement, but later that day I pulled the van into a restaurant lot and started loading code from there.”
On Wednesday, Alex began the day by calling the manufacturer to make sure the source code he’d gotten from the client was complete and updated. Then he drove the 20 miles from ClearTech to the Buckley School to install the processor. “This part went fast, since I’d already labeled the cables,” Alex explains.
But then another glitch occurred. The iPad controller wasn’t working with the processor. “Again, I called the manufacturer for troubleshooting guidance, but they were of no help,” he said. “I was kind of on my own, since Steve Ward was out of the office at the time.” As evening approached, Alex reluctantly accepted the fact he’d need to start fresh the next day.
“It was really frustrating,” Alex recalls.” I actually had trouble sleeping that night. I don’t like technology to beat me.”
Thursday morning, Alex woke with a determination to prevail. He headed over to the Buckley School and met with Steve Ward. Together they puzzled through additional issues with authentication, and after an hour or so they rebooted the system. The iPad controller responded to their commands.
“But just to be sure, we went into every room that the processor controlled and tested every function on every iPad,” explains Alex. While doing so, Steve made an offhand comment about a separate technical issue that he’d been unable to address. “I asked him if I could troubleshoot it while we went room to room,” says Alex. “I was able to fix the issues. Steve was pretty happy with me, but this was a team effort. We both gave it everything we had, and Steve was extremely well prepared.”

ClearTech’s Lead Technician Alex Navarro (left) in his office with Adam Mejia.

Recalling the service issues, Alex laughs. “These were not ordinary service calls. They were real head scratchers. We did a lot of steps to troubleshoot them, but I just don’t like giving up.”
Christina and Alex’s supervisor, Adam Mejia, knew about Alex’s commitment to problem solving, but nevertheless they were surprised that Steve Ward took the time to send them a note about the ClearTech service technician. “I just wanted to follow up and let you know that Buckley enjoyed another great experience working with ClearTech,” it began.  The note detailed the processor issue and mentioned Alex’s success in identifying and solving the additional technology issues.
“We truly appreciate the continual communication to plan and execute this fix as well as the patience and dedication to troubleshoot and repair,” wrote Steve in conclusion.
“I’m always surprised and flattered when a client takes the time to drop us a line about an experience they had,” says Christina, “but I’m not surprised that Alex dropped everything to help a client in distress. I worked for years in AV sales before founding ClearTech and had seen the consequences of poor client service on the part of integrators. I was determined to create a different kind of company where it’s second nature for our team members to pull out all the stops when needed. That’s just what partners do for one another.”

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ClearTech Honored by NSCA for Excellence in Business

Unless you’re an AV integrator like ClearTech, you may not be familiar with the NSCA Excellence in Business Award. But if you’re considering doing business with us, we invite you to take a moment to learn more about this huge industry honor – because it’s all about ClearTech’s efforts to better serve our customers.

Created by the National Systems Contractors Association, this prestigious award recognizes firms that, from a business perspective, have raised the bar for the industry. ClearTech received recognition for our managed services program, which we created to provide our clients with a new standard of service – one they can count on, day in and day out, to keep their systems up and running and delivering ROI. You can learn more about ClearTech managed services here on our website, and in this article published in Commercial Integrator.

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