Service and Maintanance Policy

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iPulse Biometric Products
Service & Maintenance Policy

 

iPulse Systems sells biometric devices with a one year, carry-in warranty that covers manufacturing faults at a hardware level, and guarantees that the software will work as advertised. A full copy of this warranty is available on our website, and should have been included on your product CD.

However, in order to maintain your biometric device, there are a number of processes that should be followed to ensure that you get the best value from your investment. In order to explain this, we have compiled this document to help you understand how our products work, and what you are responsible for in order to maintain the devices, and ensure their longevity.

Understanding the Software Components

iPulse software is made up of three key components that drive the devices, and these are:

1)      Operating System (OS): This is the underlying operating system that drives the hardware of the device.

2)      Reader Firmware: This is the actual business logic that makes sure the readers are able to do what they are supposed to, and allows them to interact with other programs and software like the IQSuite product range.

3)      Secugen Firmware: This is provided by Secugen Corporation themselves, and drives the sensor operation and fingerprint   algorithm that is embedded in these devices.

iPulse takes responsibility for investing in continual upgrades to the underlying Operating System (which we change very seldom) and the iPulse reader firmware. These changes are made for the following reasons:

1) Bugs: The iPulse firmware is stable and does not often require an update for anything other than a minor bug, normally caused by new releases of features. Updates for these reasons are normally denoted by a small point increase if it’s a little bug, ie, 6.2.33 to 6.2.34 or a medium point increase if it’s a larger one, ie 6.2.33 to 6.2.4. Such updates are only suggested if the specific listed bug manifests on a particular site.

2) Performance: We are constantly seeking ways to improve the performance of our readers, from a speed, reliability and longevity point of view. Typical focus areas include better auditing features, more mature backup features and easier field upgrade options (such as the X.3 OS upgrade). These are normally part of major upgrade, ie, 6.2.33 to 6.3.0, or in some cases, part of an underlying OS upgrade, ie, 1.2 to 1.3.

3) Features: This is the most common reason for firmware updates. It is because of the new ranges of software packages, and the features that we add, that updates and new features are often required on the hardware. Again, if these are smaller features required for specific functions, these are normally covered in a minor point increase, such as e, 6.2.33 to 6.2.34 or as part of a major firmware upgrade, ieie 6.2.33 to 6.3.0. Such firmware updates are normally accompanied by new versions of the IQSuite product range, that allow users to exploit these new features, and should therefore only be done in conjunction with a software upgrade.

4) Hardware Changes: Due the nature of our business, there are sometimes unavoidable hardware component changes that need to be made. Typically, this is due to a change in key components, such as a screen type or other major component. In these cases, it is normally the operating system that has to change, as the device requires new drivers to manage these new components. This almost always will result in a major OS upgrade, ie, from 1.0 to 2.0.

 

In the unlikely event that a major bug is discovered in the firmware, we notify our channel immediately, giving them access to the tools to update readers in the field, and iPulse always ships readers with the latest firmware. This is a given. However, the liability for such an update is limited to our requirement to provide a fix within a reasonable amount of time, and we are not in any way responsible for making sure that readers in the field are updated. In the event of a major bug, readers may be brought into iPulse for a free firmware upgrade if required.

With regards to the Secugen sensor firmware, changes are out of our control, however, we are satisfied that when we ship a reader, the firmware is stable and will operate perfectly for the lifetime of the product. Any benefits to be gained from updating this firmware are not required, and therefore, upgrades are only suggested rather than enforced.

Understanding the Hardware Components

The iPulse biometric devices are made up of a few key components, most of which should last the average lifetime of the product. However, like all such devices, there are a few components that are more susceptible to damage or which can degrade in a less dependable manner.

The key two components to worry about in terms of most iPulse devices are the following:

1)    The fingerprint sensor: This is an optical device, which relies on the brightness of the light reflected to operate at efficiency. Like any light-based device, it has an MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure), which on these units, is roughly three to five years. However, as this is an AVERAGE, some devices may start to offer less quality earlier than others.

2)      The casing, and in particular, the keyboard: As the physical outer shell of the device, the casing, and the keyboard in particular, take a lot of abuse during the life time of a product, especially where the keyboard is used for time & attendance, or pin code entries.

Aside from these two components, any exposure to electricity spikes, or lightning, will obviously cause major failure to the device, and this is the most common cause of devices failing in the field.

The iPulse policy document has been designed to allow for the management of the known issues that occur over the lifetime of these products, and therefore addresses the two key components as part of this document.


The Recommended Maintenance Policy Explained

The key to understand this policy document is understanding what iPulse is NOT responsible for, and therefore, what should be done by end customers, preferably through their iPulse Authorised Dealer channel, to maintain the quality of their products:

  •  iPulse Systems is NOT responsible for upgrading readers firmware, operating systems or Secugen firmware on readers already sold. Nor are we responsible for ensuring that readers at a client site are on the same versions of the various elements of the software.
  • The end customer, along with their partner is responsible for the service, maintenance and upgrade of their products if they wish to enjoy longevity of the product.

In general, iPulse biometric readers last longer than most competitive products. Life expectancy is 60-72 months. Post this 60-month period, iPulse will recommend that readers are uneconomical to repair. However, customers need to understand that if they wish to enjoy the latest functions, features and services offered by iPulse, that they need to continually perform PRE-EMPTIVE MAINTENANCE on these products.

This leads to the suggested maintenance plan iPulse has put in place:

 


    iPulse suggests that a reader be sent in for a full software refresh every 18 months, and

    for a full hardware check (and possible casing/ keyboard replacement if required) every

    36 months (i.e. every second maintenance cycle).

 

Ideally, customers would rotate their readers, and make sure that every 18 months, all readers are sent through for these quick service updates to iPulse Systems over a period of time.

 

    However, this is NOT the responsibility of iPulse. This responsibility rests solely on the

    shoulders of the customer, and the partner who is supporting the site, if they are paid

    to do this.

 

 

iPulse Systems therefore offers the following two pre-emptive maintenance service options to customers who wish to follow this policy in order to get the most out of their products from their customers. Please note that all fees quoted are subject to change without notice, and that they specifically EXCLUDE any fees or charges the supporting partner may charge in order to remove, deliver, collect and re-install these readers.

Service Description

Fee

 

 

18 Month Service – Software Refresh

Readers are brought in for a full test, software refresh and CMOS battery change. Provided that the reader is between 16 and 20 months old, this all-inclusive fee will waive any other labour charges for these readers, provided that the reader is in a working condition when brought in, and that no other repairs are required.

R250.00

 

 

36 Month Service – Full Refresh

Readers are brought in for a full test, software refresh, new sensor, CMOS battery change, and are also given a new casing & keyboard. Provided that the reader is between 32 and 40 months old, this all-inclusive fee will waive any other labour or component charge for these readers, provided that the reader is in a working condition when brought in, and that no other repairs are required. iPulse offers a 3 month warranty on components replaced.

R1,000.00

 

Regards

The iPulse support team

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