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Get in the Ring

Now is the time to get involved in recurring monthly revenue — before the decision gets taken out of your hands.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming. —Excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s Citizenship in a Republic

Snap One recently announced groundbreaking service offerings for its Control4 platform. The new Connect and Assist plans demonstrate a willingness for the first time by a manufacturer to get in the trenches with dealers and fully back installations through 24/7/365 proactive support. Many integrators find themselves staring face to face for the first time with not just the theoretical admonition to generate recurring monthly revenue (RMR), but the very real news that in a few short months their customers will begin adopting these new solutions whether they’re ready or not.

Snap One Control4 Assist Selection Plan

Depending on where you sit on the spectrum of zero-to-fully operationalizing RMR, this hits very differently. In the spirit of clarity, let’s explore common options available for offering service plans to your clients. If you’ve yet to begin implementing service plans and RMR in your business, consider this a last chance to “enlist before being drafted.” If you’re an old pro, stick around, there might be a few nuggets to mine as well.


This one’s pretty obvious and chances are you’re already doing it. How well you’re doing it is the important question. If industry online reviews are any indication, your in-house support program might not be as solid as it could be. Consider a few of the elements required for a truly outstanding remote managed services operation:

  1. Personnel — Most businesses live and die by their people. Remote support is a specialty area where it’s critical to have bright, quick, and empathetic smart home professionals on the other end of the line. Most CI businesses are engaged in firefighting day to day and it’s tough to dedicate a top technician for a remote support role.
  2. Platform — Selecting and implementing a ticketing system like Zendesk or Zoho Support is critical for keeping track of all incoming emails, texts, chats, and phone calls.
  3. Pick-A-Plan — Unless you’re presenting paid plan offerings to all your clients, you won’t be able to afford to staff your in-house offering. Train your salespeople to present paid plan offerings during every presentation and ask the client to pick the one that fits best.
  4. Proactive Culture — If you wait for a simmering pot to boil over, chances are the problems will be much worse than if you’d gotten to it sooner. By assuming an offensive stance, you have a chance to wow customers by fixing issues they may not have even been aware of.
  5. Pricing — Consider offering three pricing tiers; most clients will pick the middle choice.


Formed by three integrators in 2017 (full disclosure: I’m a co-founder of Parasol), Parasol was born of frustration after Eagle Sentry, Livewire, and ETC tried and failed numerous times to nail the DIY method. They knew that to achieve the level of quality they wanted, the offering had to scale beyond their four walls and become industry-facing just so they could have what they sought from the beginning: outstanding proactive 24/7/365 remote support where they could keep small issues from turning into big problems and staffed by top-notch CI industry veterans. Integrators can price their own plans and are responsible for collecting revenue directly from end customers. Its Parasol+ offering aids CI businesses that don’t have in-house expertise configuring subscription platforms.

Also by Henry Clifford: Learning From Lego


Joseph Kolchinsky’s service offering traces its roots back to a membership-only CI business where the idea of setting up a nationwide remote-managed services offering became a natural pivot and better fit for Kolchinsky’s passion as a self-described “service nut.” Today’s OneVision offers 24/7/365 white-label remote support for CI businesses looking to outsource their service departments. OneVision helps its dealers set up membership plans and collects revenue on their behalf.

Control4 Connect & Assist

Snap One acquired Parasol in 2022 following a round of significant investment in the fledgling remote support company. The manufacturer studied its newest brand and used lessons learned, coupled with input from CI businesses around the country, to create its Control Connect and Assist offerings.

  1. Connect: offers basic messaging support through the Control4 app, ongoing software updates, and will be required for most new installations later this year.
  2. Assist: comes in two flavors: Assist ($899/year) and Assist Premium ($2999/year). Major differences between the service tiers are price points, availability of 24/7 remote support, and custom programming.

Assist will only be available through Assist-authorized dealers and is completely optional. Current CI dealers with existing service RMR may find it challenging to integrate Assist into their offerings since Control4 is collecting revenue directly from the end customer (much the same way it’s done with the sunsetting 4Sight remote access product for many years). A solid Assist CI dealer will most likely already be a Control4 devotee, specifying systems with Snap One and OvrC ecosystem gear, maybe even having a Control4 Certified Showroom. For these dealers, Assist is a smooth transition and will begin generating substantial RMR should they decide to embrace the offering.

Also by Henry Clifford: The Power of 1%

If you’re not generating RMR in your business and have tuned out the constant din of messaging we’ve been subjected to over the last decade, you’re now going to be in the RMR business one way or the other in the coming months. Will it be your idea or someone else’s? Snap One may have been the first to throw down the gauntlet, but don’t be surprised if Savant, Nice, and Crestron (which already has a commercial managed services offering) follow suit in the coming months.

Do it yourself, work with an MSP like Parasol/OneVision, or sell Assist. It’s your choice. Get in the ring.