The job of the residential integrator is to make magic happen. All the AV flash and fantasy is supported by the humble network. Wired and wireless, the backbone of the installation is the unsung hero behind the scenes making it all happen. When so much of what we do and create relies on internet or wireless networking, why do some AV professionals leave money on the table by not adding Wi-Fi to their offerings? Here are some common misconceptions about Wi-Fi networking, along with some tips on how joining forces with the right vendor partner can elevate your creations, increase your business opportunities, and positively impact your bottom line.
Misconception # 1: Wi-Fi is not the job of a residential systems integrator
Everything today runs on Wi-Fi. Whether you’re installing a smart TV, wireless speaker system, refrigerator, or thermostat, the first device prompt is usually about the network. All these things look for Wi-Fi as soon as they’re plugged in. Integrating Wi-Fi is a must, and if you’re not including it, you’re not only missing the point, but you’re also leaving valuable revenue on the table. Homeowners don’t necessarily distinguish between AV and IT domains. They want one point of contact for all their networking needs, and you can be the hero who provides the capabilities and service they require while building the backbone for the rest of your install.
Misconception # 2: Consumers already solve their Wi-Fi networking needs with off-the-shelf retail solutions
In some cases, this may be true, but more often than not we see homeowners with outdated routers and a cobbled-together network of extenders they’ve purchased in hopes of stretching their Wi-Fi signal to the farthest reaches of their property. These routers may not keep up with the high-speed internet services they’re paying for, nor the latest Wi-Fi standards. And the components they purchase may not be designed to work together, resulting in a weak or ineffective support system for the devices meant to run on it.
Today’s Wi-Fi mesh systems, especially those sold directly to consumers by Netgear, are powerful, seamless, and easy to install, but for customers who prefer professional support, installation, and management, Netgear also provides a full range of Pro Wi-Fi access points available exclusively through the channel. These devices offer an elegant, scalable solution that can be managed remotely via a cloud platform and provide a source of recurring revenue for the integrator.
Misconception # 3: Wi-Fi is difficult to integrate
Wi-Fi is not difficult to add to the work you’re already doing. All pro AV installations incorporate Wi-Fi. If you are already installing a router and a PoE switch, including Wi-Fi is just a matter of a simple Ethernet connection and a few minutes of your time. Just understanding a little bit of tech goes a long way to make lives and projects so much easier. And you don’t have to do it alone. Integrators looking to add Wi-Fi design to their tool kit need a partner with a wide portfolio of networking devices (both AV and IT) that are designed to work together, and a philosophy based on education, service, and support.
Netgear is here to help. Our Pro AV Design team is known for helping integrators to serve their customers with the “plumbing” that makes AV installations come to life. From pre-sales through deployment and support, our team of experts is on hand with the tools and know-how to help make projects flawless. With compatibility and collaboration with hundreds of industry partners, Netgear switches and other devices will work with whatever endpoint technology is chosen.
Similarly, our team of wireless network professionals are at your disposal — for free. The team starts with a performance-centered site survey and assists with product selection to help maximize signal throughout the site. On site, you can solve any problem in the moment with a direct line to Netgear engineers. We also help our partners keep their skills sharp through pre-installation training, post-installation support, and everything in between.
This level of partnership and a line of products, including industry-leading pro routers, cloud-managed smart switches, Pro Wi-Fi access points, and our Insight cloud management help you to provide a seamless total network solution from a single vendor that you can manage and support from anywhere without the need to roll a truck for a service call.
When you’re scoping your next project, consider Wi-Fi as a relatively easy way to expand your business offerings and distinguish your company among competitors. With the right partner, you can delight your clients with solutions to all their networking needs while establishing a new source of recurring revenue. Learning from the experts with almost three decades of direct industry experience, you can be an expert in no time.