Network know-how

Snap One’s Nick Bovill, who leads the integrator training for Snap One’s networking solutions and the OvrC remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform, outlines the key considerations for integrators creating a home network and how solutions from the Snap One ecosystem can help.

A great network is the foundation for every successful connected home installation. With a solid network in place, integrators can ensure a smart home system will perform to its optimum best. Quite simply, when integrators get the network right, then, they will generate high levels of customer satisfaction, providing a route to increasing revenues and creating future business opportunities.

So, what’s important when designing a network?  Reliability, performance and serviceability should be the three connected considerations in the integrator’s mind.   

One of the effects of the pandemic has been a seismic shift in the amount of time that clients now spend working from home. Not only that, but we’ve also seen a boom in the use of streaming services for entertainment. Both trends have placed a fresh burden on the network and are showing few signs of reversing to pre-pandemic norms. They are here to stay. In this context, the reliability of the home network has moved from becoming an important factor on every installation to mission critical. Now, and in the future, the home network has to work all of the time.

Hand in hand with this reliability is the increased significance for integrators in getting the performance of the network right. Today’s network hosts numerous applications which assume no limits when it comes to bandwidth and delay. Irrespective of the number of internet-connected devices, bandwidth consumption or the quantity of audio and video content being streamed to loudspeakers and displays, the network has to be able to handle the volume and manage the network traffic efficiently. We’re talking enterprise-grade solutions with the flexibility and the capability to deliver anything our clients can throw at them whilst adhering to the latest and the greatest technologies.

Finally, there is the serviceability factor. Whilst integrators strive for a 100% robust network, this is technology and, sometimes, network products may require a fix or a reboot to get the system up and running again. When there is downtime, for whatever reason, integrators must be able to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Given the mission critical nature of the network today, being able to deliver rapid, responsive and accurate service and maintenance is a pre-requisite for any integrator.  

Snap One offers dealers the best choices to meet these three network requirements. We provide the largest portfolio of professional networking products in the industry supported by the sector’s most popular monitoring and management through our OvrC platform.

Our portfolio of professional grade networking products is engineered to serve a wide range of applications, integrator expertise and budgets. The range includes access points, together with OvrC-enabled unmanaged, front-facing and compact switches and routers, allowing integrators to build robust and reliable home networks.

At the premium end, we offer networking solutions that excel in more demanding applications with complex topologies. We offer 10 Gbps uplinks to support high throughput across multiple switches (eg AV over IP) alongside Layer 3 switching and Dante support for more advanced jobs for pro-AV applications.

At Snap One, there are network solutions at price points for every budget. In addition, to help save time and simplify setup and maintained procedures, our OvrC remote monitoring and management platform allows the network to be serviced and supported efficiently.

As networks grow in complexity, installations can become cumbersome with each access point requiring individual on-site configuration and updates. Through an advanced remote network management solution, like OvrC, integrators can remotely configure and deliver updates to entire networks with just a few clicks, including setting SSIDs, network names, broadcast frequencies, encryption methods, establishing passwords, priority networks, public networks and more. This can save hours of setup time, and it offers granular control and access for even the most demanding residential systems, while ensuring customers can leverage all the latest features and be protected by critical security updates.

By adding interface features, such as, custom groupings for clients with multiple sites, device-specific identification and alerts, and improvements in determining the urgency of an issue, using OvrC with Snap One networking solutions ensures there are fewer false alarms and more actionable information than ever before. Combined with use-anywhere accessibility through online portals available on mobile devices, integrators can provide true 24/7 network management, if they choose to do so.

Greater insight and system control is not only an excellent problem-solver but from a practical perspective, it reduces costs, improves relationships between integrators and clients and generates revenue, in its own right. Many minor issues can be rectified before clients are even aware they occurred and, with network monitoring in place, integrators can charge subscriptions fees for priority remote management services. Seamless integration with an RMM platform such as OvrC is fundamental to the implementation of a reliable, high performance home network.

In support of this networking ecosystem, Snap One also provides the best network training in the industry as well as in-field and on-phone technical support. Recent winner of the CEDIA EMEA Awards Best Training Course, our Professional Certified Network Administrator (PCNA) training is the only AV and automation-centric networking certification that combines guided, hands-on learning with an expertly-developed curriculum that can be completed entirely from home. It gives integrators the foundational knowledge of how networks function, how networks should be designed, and how they should be configured to make them more efficient and capable.

Like many industries that rely on technology, the future of the professional smart home sector is heading toward larger, ever-more-powerful systems. These systems will only perform as well, and the client experience will only be as amazing, as the home networks that underpin them will allow. That’s why paying attention to reliability, performance and serviceability matter so much when creating robust and secure networks. If you’re unsure, then talk to Snap One and we’ll get you on the right path to home network success.

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