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 at its best. Simply put, when integrators get the network right they generate higher 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 top 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 clients 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 levels. In this context, the reliability of the home network has moved from becoming an important factor to mission critical on every installation. Now and in the future, the home network has to work all of the time.
Hand in hand with reliability is 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 clients request while adhering to the latest and greatest technologies.
Finally there is the serviceability factor. While integrators strive for a flawless network, when working with technology, 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 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 prerequisite for any integrator.
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, 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 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.
Greater insight and system control is not only an excellent problem-solver but also reduces costs, improves relationships between integrators and clients and generates revenue. Many minor issues can be solved 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 is fundamental to the implementation of a reliable, high performance home network.
In support of this networking ecosystem, network training and education including guided, hands-on learning provides integrators with 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. That’s why paying attention to reliability, performance and serviceability matter so much when creating robust and secure networks.
Nick Bovill leads the integrator training for Snap One’s networking solutions and the OvrC remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform.