Is the TotalCare/PriorityCare Support worth it?

We have been having problems with our OPC tags and planned on reaching out to our system integrator for them to do a diagnosis. They gave me a quote of $3000 to have someone on site to trouble shoot one issue. For a little more we can get a year of support from Inductive Automation, but it would be over the phone.

What has been your experience with the phone support? If the problem is some other part of the system besides Ignition are they still able to diagnose issues?

If obvious when helping you, yes, but IA support does not cover anything but Ignition.

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They will help you with incidental problems that aren’t strictly in Ignition if possible and appropriate… but don’t expect them to replace your integrator. They can’t troubleshoot problems with PLC logic or most network issues your IT department would need to handle and other more “systems” things like that…

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Hi @Troy, unfortunately I can’t answer your question around whether it is worth it, as I have not had to use this level of service myself yet. For full transparency, I am a development & support engineer for an SI.

The SI should know the intricacies of the system and are usually best placed to provide support. As @pturmel has suggested, IA will/have always been helpful (in my experience), but their remit is to support Ignition, not full site-wide integrated systems. There is also the issue of remote access or phone only support, which as you’ve alluded may be a concern.

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I’ve used the phone support mostly and have nothing but good things to say about the support team, I’d say they’re more knowledgeable than the average tech support phone call. But as mentioned, the support is limited to Ignition as it should be - you can’t expect them to trouble shoot non-trivial non-ignition problems.

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I can’t tell from your post or not if you already have “BasicCare”, but I would always recommend having at least that, because it comes with unlimited free upgrades.

You should always give yourself the option to upgrade, and double/triple so if you are currently deploying a non-LTS version of Ignition.

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I can’t speak to the support question (we just keep BasicCare on everything), but it is usually pricey to get someone on site. I used to go to sites, but now do 99% remote work. It’s more efficient for clients and me. They’re often doubtful up front, but that all clears up quick when they get issues taken care of minutes to hours after a phone call–much faster than they could get anyone there–and get a bill for an hour or so of time rather than the typical $$$$/day plus travel, etc.

I don’t know if there’s something that prevents remote support in your case, or if you have anyone who can provide it. If it’s an option, it should save both time and money.

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The option to upgrade would be nice. We are running v7.3 right now and don’t have BasicCare.
I’m sure we will want to upgrade within the next 2 years, when we upgrade/change our control system.

Next day edit: Whoops! just realized it is on 7.9.3… not sure where my head was at yesterday

Hmm, yeah, another problem with being on a version that old is your average support rep was probably still in high school when we released it :rofl:

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Uh, you can expect someone capable of dealing with such an older version to charge big $$. And since it is long past End of Life, you can run into problems that can only be solved by a massive and painful crash upgrade effort.

I advise my clients to keep BasicCare in place as an absolute minimum, and to stay on an LTS version. (v7.9 is the oldest LTS currently available, and that ends at the end of this year.)

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Wow I didn’t even realize the version we are on came out 9 years ago…

IA support looks like a really good option for us, would they be able to recommend configuration settings for things like scan classes and transaction groups (for our specific use cases)? Or do they mostly try assist with troubleshooting bugs? I have been attempting to optimize them while troubleshooting our OPC tag issues

This. :100:

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This is definitely something they can try to help you with.

Often if you can’t just reduce the scan rates and be happy this leads to needing to make program/hardware changes, which begins to get a little bit out of scope for a support rep. Things like increasing the overhead timeslice in Logix or some special setting I can’t ever remember in SLCs that you get terrible performance without (@pturmel help me out here).

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Awesome, and the free upgrade with support is for v8? Or would I have to stay within v7?

Any version you want.

7.9 will certainly be an easier intermediate target for an upgrade from 7.3. I’d get that working before going to 8.1.

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This one:

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I think the IA phone support is excellent. As others have said they will not be able to address specifics of your application, but they will definitely be a valuable resource with any issues or questions you have regarding IA components, gateway, security etc that you use to implement it. I’ve also gone through their sales and gotten some specific design assistance (extra cost but fair) to help outline a skeleton for a project.

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