Kordon Vaughn, VP marketing, campaigns & creative at SnapAV, offers the company’s views on current trends and where the industry is heading.
RESI: What kind of communications programs does SnapAV have with its dealers?
KORDON VAUGHN: While we distribute info through all the channels our partners frequent, our ecommerce store has been our primary communications platform. It was built specifically to deliver a streamlined experience with more than just simplified purchasing — it also includes instant access to the latest information on products, training, information on their SnapAV benefits and status, and more.
We then utilize other forms of communication, such as social media, forums, industry events, trade publications, and emails to help bring partners into the ecommerce platform for the latest and most relevant information.
When partners want a more personal interaction, they can simply call, chat or email our award-winning sales and support teams, who are always willing and eager to help.
How has SnapAV kept up with product demands as CI businesses get busier?
Our research and development teams are always getting feedback from partners in the field and studying industry trends, so we can develop and launch products before they even realize they need them.
In fast-growing areas of the industry — networking and remote management — we were able to release two major software updates during a time where they needed to save time in the field due to Covid-19. For example, the newest version of OvrC features a more intuitive UI, runs twice as fast, and offers full remote connectivity to SnapAV and Control4 products, plus dozens of other popular brands that they use. This gives integrators the ability to remotely upgrade software, change a configuration, or reboot a device.
We also recently released Araknis Wi-Fi Management, which allows installers to discover and configure all connected access points from a single OvrC dashboard, saving hours of setup time and creating happier customers.
Beyond our own broad line of products, we continue to add more third-party offerings from popular vendors so that our partners can conveniently shop their favorite brands and products from a single source.
What do you see as the biggest areas of growth for residential integrators in the coming months?
Investing in technology for the home has been an incredible result of Covid-19. People are spending more time in their homes, making technology “mission critical” like never before. Customers now require solid, reliable networks; surveillance systems that are safe and secure with the ability to see what’s going on around their property; the option to have their systems serviced remotely without calling a partner on-site; robust entertainment systems for downtime inside; and more.
This extends to outside the home as well. During warm weather seasons, integrators have a prime opportunity to enhance their customers’ outdoor experience with networking, outdoor televisions, all-weather speakers, lighting, mounts, wire and more. We anticipate that these trends will continue in the coming months and years.
How do you think business will reshape itself in the post-pandemic world?
Covid-19 will likely reshape our world for years to come, and many of these implications may be hard to predict. But it’s clear that the pandemic has created a need to schedule and conduct service calls remotely, reinforcing the benefit of contactless service throughout our industry — and it’s likely that this will be an increasing expectation from customers. OvrC was already a leader in this space, but we see more partners joining the platform and reaping the benefits of OvrC remote management.
Additionally, we expect that work-from-home will continue to be a trend. Homeowners will increasingly rely on professionals to ensure that their mission-critical networking and videoconferencing systems are ultra-reliable.
What kind of training is SnapAV offering in the resimerical space? Are you helping CI dealers navigate their way into the light commercial space or is the training more technical in nature?
Since many residential integrators spend a portion of their time also working on commercial jobs, we recently launched a new webinar training series titled, “Commercial Installation Now!” The webinar series featured three training modules specifically tailored to the residential custom integrator looking to expand into the commercial space.
On the flip side, we’re also seeing commercial products move into residential space due to network demands, videoconferencing, remote learning, and more. That’s why networking continues to become increasingly important and serves as a great source of revenue for integrators.
To support our partners, SnapAV recently introduced a new version of its Professional Certified Networking Administrator (PNCA) program, the only AV and automation-centric networking curriculum that combines guided, hands-on learning with expertly developed courses that can be completed entirely from home.
This curriculum is designed specifically for technicians that are comfortable with AV equipment, but not networking (though we have even had networking pros tell us that they learned things that really help them). In short, PCNA helps partners save time and money by enabling technicians to design and install more reliable networks faster.
Which of your buyer programs is most popular with dealers, and why do you think that is?
The SnapAV Partner Rewards program is historically the most popular with our Partners and has consistently been recognized in CE Pro’s Quest for Quality Awards.
In 2020 we started another popular program called The BIG Install, which was tailored towards SnapAV, Control4, PakEdge, Triad, and SnapAV Pro Store Partners. It was our largest promotional program ever, rewarding our Partners in a meaningful way for trying new products that they may not have been buying. Our Partners loved this program because nearly every product category was included and there was plenty of opportunity for Partners to redeem points for prizes or re-invest the rewards they earn in their business. We have plans in 2021 to continue building upon the success of this program, so stay tuned!