Focus on what you CAN do, now, not what you can’t

Focus on what you CAN do, now, not what you can’t

Thanks to COVID-19 the world is facing a crisis unlike any other and try as we might, there’s little anyone can do to change its course. Rather than get bogged down in the exhausting negative narrative, focus on what CAN be done now, at a time like this. As the world slows and all are in a similar position, things you never felt you had time for or that have gotten de-prioritized because other, more pressing issues take the lead are prime for resolution. 
 
Here are 5 things you can do now to stay actively involved, engaged, and, quite frankly, sane:
 
#1 Opportunity: Buff up your website
  1. Get website updates & enhancement done. It’s not often we get the gift of lower website traffic around the globe. Take advantage of this by handling updates, enhancements, and make sure all plug-ins and security updates are done. Be sure you’re sharing data or access with only those who are deemed critical to your site’s operation.
  2. Look at the language and images your site uses. Is it up to date and using the same language, tone, and approach as you and your team? If not, update it. Ask your team what they’d suggest and if you can, also as your closest clientele to share thoughts on how your brand presents itself to the outside world. Start a punch list and work from easiest to hardest so you don’t overwhelm yourself or those you’re asking for input.
  3. Take a look at SEO and how you might be able to attract new prospects or trades to your brand, start a list of keywords, phrases, and competitors you want to monitor closely. SEO MOZ offers a host of free tools and more if you want to pay. https://moz.com/free-seo-tools.
#2 Update your Social Media profiles
  1. Now’s a very, very good time to invest in a wholesale review of you and your company’s social media profiles and overall presence. Are your profiles, contact info, hashtags, URL, and related information still current? Are the images used for the Cover and Profile sections as high-quality and on-point as they should be and do they reflect you and your company’s current offering? Is the language being used appropriate, effective, and targeting your intended audience? Update passwords and initiate 2-step verification where it’s offered.
  2. Do a thorough review of who you follow and who follows you,  and eliminate all that aren’t relevant to you, your company, or its offering. High follower counts do not equal a high-performing feed or following, period.
  3. Check other connections. Look at the platforms and who they or you are sharing your information with. If you don’t recognize any that you see, delete or disconnect them.
#3 Introduce yourself to “adjacent trades”
  1. “Adjacent trades” are those who you or your company may interact with on projects and would include architects, designers, specifiers, etc. Now is a great time to reach out to them with a brief introduction of your services and offering and ways you and your company could be beneficial to them in the future. Don’t pitch or sell, just share and seek a connection down the road.
  2. Offer to do a short 30-minute webinar for the adjacent trades or the contacts you’ve made within them, specifically. Give them the knowledge and resources they need to make you and your firm part of the future work and follow up in 30-days. 
  3. If you’ve got an AIA or other course that offers CEU make that content available to them online, on-demand, etc. 
 
#4 Start a genuine conversation and stay present
  1. As COVID-19 spreads and state and local mandates are evolving rapidly, people are understandably going a little crazy. Take 30-minutes every day to reach out to your team members, clientele, partners, and peers to see how they are, what they need, and how you might be able to help them. Send a text, an email, a DM, or just make a call. Just be genuine, no matter what you do.
  2. Share the services you and your company are able to provide during these times. Now, more than ever, people need strong internet, access to entertainment, and the ability to communicate with loved ones. Don’t be pitchy, but do let people know what’s possible, now. If you offer remote services to troubleshooting, support, etc., share how that works and consider making it free for all during this time. Be the resource your community needs, now.
  3. Find and share funny memes, sayings, etc., to introduce levity into people’s lives and give them something else to focus on. Make sure whatever you share is appropriate for your audience and if you happen to slip-up, be quick to delete (then move on, don’t hold onto that mental baggage).
#5 Take a break
  1. Turn off the TV and step away from your news sources for at least a few hours every day or for as long as you can stand it. Do NOT let the news be your day-long background noise or narrative.
  2. Bodies in motion stay in motion. Start or get back into a workout routine, just get your body in motion. Go for a walk, take the dog out, or just sit in the open air. 
  3. Learn a new skill or take care of honey-do’s. YouTube is full of insightful, educational content and you’ll be amazed by what you can learn in a day, hour, or even 5 minutes. Likewise, you undoubtedly have a list of things to get done around the house. Take the time to get those done and give yourself the gift of time, later.
Last but not least, just breathe. This too shall pass!
 
Katye McGregor Bennett is the owner of KMB Communications and the host of podcasts AV Trade Talk and Connecting Tech + Design.
AtlasIED Introduces New Sound Masking Speaker to its Popular M1000 Lineup

AtlasIED Introduces New Sound Masking Speaker to its Popular M1000 Lineup

The active M1000A35 sound masking speaker from AtlasIED delivers 30 watts of power to drive additional passive speakers. 

Phoenix, AZ – (March 25, 2020) – AtlasIED, a global electronics manufacturer providing comprehensive audio and security solutions for commercial markets, introduces the availability of the M1000A35, the latest sound masking speaker to join the company’s already extensive line of Sound Masking products. Complementing AtlasIED’s best-selling sound masking speaker, the M1000, the new active/powered M1000A35 supports an efficient, economical, and self-contained sound masking system. 

The M1000A35 is powered by an internal 5W amplifier and produces 30W output to power additional M1000 passive speakers. The M1000A35 features a non-repeatable pink noise generator and utilizes its proprietary EQ curves to make acoustical room calibrations simple, quick, and accurate. If integration into an existing control system is a requirement, a GPIO control port is incorporated to allow for remote level adjustments. 

The M1000A35 speaker allows designers to specify fewer power drops for sound masking installations, plus the scalability to accommodate flexible office environments and floor renovations or reconfigurations. Specially designed to be used with the M1000A35 is the optional AtlasIED ATMASKSC. This device facilitates remote 1dB precision level adjustments and prohibits the masking system from being accidentally turned off. The ATMASKSC is well suited to properly support the commissioning of a sound masking system.

The M1000A35 operates from 100V – 240V and is UL2043 plenum-rated. It is also CE safety-certified, making it a product suitable for global distribution and installation.

“The addition of the M1000A35 powered/active sound masking speaker rounds out our lineup and provides integrators with a solution for small- and medium-size business applications,” says Michael Peveler, AtlasIED Vice President, Sales. “Workplace acoustics and sound masking has become an increasingly important consideration in many environments, and AtlasIED offers a variety of options, including the M1000A35, to help integrators design and implement a system tailored to the specific needs of the facility.”

The M1000A35 and ATMASKSC are in stock and shipping. To learn more about this new sound masking solution, please visit www.atlasied.com/m1000a35.

To learn more about AtlasIED go to www.atlasied.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

 

About AtlasIED

A global electronics manufacturer providing comprehensive audio solutions for commercial, corporate, educational, healthcare, retail, transportation, and government environments, AtlasIED brings together the legacy, engineering skills, and legendary service of Atlas Sound and Innovative Electronics Design. Offering industry-leading mass notification, life safety, VoIP, background music, paging, and sound-masking systems, AtlasIED delivers product lines that span wide and deep, with more than 2,000 innovative audio solutions for businesses of every size. Combined, Atlas Sound and IED products have been installed in more than one million businesses over the past 80+ years.

With nine locations and a network of manufacturer representatives and distributors around the world to provide superior support to dealers and customers, AtlasIED’s customer service is an industry benchmark that competitors strive to match. AtlasIED is family-owned, with manufacturing operations in the United States that hold an ISO9001:2008 Quality Standards Certification to ensure consistently high-quality products, service, and support.

 

For more information please visit www.atlasied.com or contact us at support@atlasied.com.

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

AtlasIED Media Contacts

Gina M. Sansivero, AtlasIED, (516) 901-8542, gina.sansivero@atlasied.com

Katye (McGregor) Bennett, KMB Communications, (425) 328-8640, katye@kmbcomm.com

OneVison Resources Develops Comprehensive COVID-19 Guides to Help Integrators Strategize and Execute Action Plans

OneVison Resources Develops Comprehensive COVID-19 Guides to Help Integrators Strategize and Execute Action Plans

Publicly available resources address industry-specific concerns with plans of action for client relations, financial stability, employee safety, and more.

BOSTON, MA (March 24, 2020) OneVision Resources, a leading provider of client service and support solutions for home technology professionals, announces the availability of a set of comprehensive, industry-specific resources to help home systems integration firms deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. Home technology professionals, like other businesses, are grappling with how to keep their operations afloat during these uncertain times. Maintaining relations with clients, colleagues, and their own employees; prioritizing time and establishing policies for staff; and mitigating financial hardship are a few of their major concerns. Moreover, integration firms are faced with the challenge of helping their customers live with a sense of normalcy during these unprecedented times by staying productive and engaged. It’s a lot to digest and remediate, and with no concrete answers on which to base decisions.

To help the integration community strategize effectively, OneVision Resources (OneVision) has developed an online “Data Room” full of detailed COVID-19 resources geared specifically for the systems integration business. Available guides address everything from financial preparedness to customer engagement, regional considerations, and more.

“There’s an overwhelming amount of information available about the current business climate, but none that is specifically geared for the home systems industry,” says OneVision Resources’ founder and CEO Joey Kolchinsky. “Dealers are the lifeblood of our industry, so we’ve made it our mission, through industry-geared information, advice, and suggestions shared in the COVID-19 Data Room to help dealers survive and prosper.”

The COVID-19 resources are available now to not only OneVision partners but all integration firms and are divided into three main categories: Client and Contractor Relations, Internal Policies, and Economic/Financial Risk Mitigation Strategies. Focusing on both short- and long-term initiatives, the Data Room will be updated regularly as new information is acquired and analyzed.      

“The Coronavirus outbreak is challenging all of us, forcing us to deal with new and unpredictable problems as they arise,” says Todd Jarvis, owner of Sterling Home Technologies. “But thanks to our partnership with OneVision, we are not alone in the fight. Through their leadership and shared resources, we know we’re looking at the situation through a comprehensive framework. We are all in this together, and together we are stronger and better prepared to deal with whatever comes our way.”

As an example, OneVision’s Client-Facing Response plan helps dealers adjust operations and align client, employee, and company objectives while continuing to service the client. “One of the biggest objectives with this plan is to give integration firms detailed steps to protect the well-being of their clients and employees and to position themselves as a valuable resource to clients who now need these services in the home more than ever,” Kolchinsky explains. Some of the recommendations include specific measures for maintaining cleanliness and social distancing at clients’ homes and how to conduct remote appointments.”

The Internal Policies section details the creation of safe, productive working environments. Included are frameworks to classify employee risk, policies to ensure the safety of employees/clients during on-site appointments, and contingency plans should an outbreak occur in their office or the surrounding community.

The Internal Financial Response plan outlines the potential financial impact of the pandemic and steps to protect the short- and long-term success of the business. Dealing with labor shortages and inability to finish projects due to illness, strategies to generate revenue in the economic downturn, and preparing for disruption in the supply chain are thoroughly covered. 

Integration firms or individuals who are interested in accessing OneVision’s Coronavirus Resource Book can visit https://www.onevisionresources.com/covid19. Questions regarding the information can be directed to jason.griffing@onevisionresources.com.

 

About OneVision Resources

OneVision Resources’ comprehensive platform empowers home technology professionals, giving them the services, processes, and technologies they need to provide round-the-clock support, avoid burnout, and build a more sustainable and profitable business. OneVision’s comprehensive service delivery model combines the latest in service technology with a world-class remote support team, allowing them to not only monitor, manage, and secure their clients’ home environments in a seamless manner, but scale rapidly and profitably. OneVision and its growing network of partners support more than 25,000 connected homes across North America. For more information, visit www.onevisionresources.com and follow us LinkedIn.



Media Contact

For interviews please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

 

 

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

Access Networks Releases Enterprise-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified Wireless Access Point

Access Networks Releases Enterprise-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified Wireless Access Point

New A750 wireless access point from Access Networks offers the first Wi-Fi 6 certified access point delivered exclusively to residential integrators supported by the leader in custom high- performance network solutions. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 24, 2020) – Access Networks, the premier enterprise-grade networking solutions provider, continues to evolve its offerings to deliver the right networking products at the right price, at the right time. Its newest addition to its extensive lineup of networking products is a Wi-Fi 6 certified wireless access point that bridges the performance gap from ‘gigabit’ Wi-Fi to ‘multi-gigabit’ Wi-Fi to support the insatiable demand for better and faster Wi-Fi.

The release of the A750 is perfectly timed, as current events have forced millions of families to maintain their work and school obligations online for several weeks if not months. Struggling with the bandwidth limitations of their home networks, consumers can benefit immensely from a Wi-Fi 6 networking solution. The Access Networks A750 provides dealers with a way to begin upgrading customers’ homes simply and affordably. 

“Access Networks is committed to helping customers maintain a semblance of normalcy during these uncertain times,” says Access Networks CSO, Bryce Nordstrand. “The introduction of a Wi-Fi 6 certified access point, which ensures optimal performance of multiple devices on the network at the same time, is a huge benefit to families who rely on Wi-Fi to stay connected, engaged, and productive. Together with our dealers, we can help households overcome some of the hardships and hurdles associated with staying at home.”  

The A750 can manage up to 1024 client connections with increased capacity and improved coverage. This capability is particularly useful for ultra-dense environments where the proximity of many individual Wi-Fi networks often impedes performance. Additionally, the A750 connects more devices simultaneously with built-in 8 spatial streams (4X4:4 in GHz and 2.4GHz), MU-MIMO, OFDMA technology, and provides over 4,000 unique antenna patterns. 

A fully functional Wi-Fi 6 network requires that all devices on the network are Wi-Fi 6-compliant. However, Access Networks Director of Training & Development Nathan Holmes, points out the A750 can still communicate with legacy Wi-Fi devices. It just won’t support the multi-device communications features inherent to Wi-Fi 6-compliant components. “This interoperability between legacy and new devices means that your transition to Wi-Fi 6 can be gradual,” continues Holmes. “You can start by swapping out wireless access points in the most popular areas of a home, like a kitchen or family room, then add more Wi-Fi 6 access points and devices over time.” 

Certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance as Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6, the A750 validates seamless interoperability with other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 devices and achieves multi-gigabit access speeds by using a built-in 2.5GbE port to connect to multi-gigabit switches. It also features the latest Wi-Fi security standard, WPA3, for enhanced security of devices on the network.

Dealers interested in learning more about the A750 Access Point and other Access Networks products can visit their online store, MyAccess, at my.accessnetworks.com or reach out to their Client Services team at clientservices@accessnetworks.com. To learn more about Access Networks, please visit www.accessnetworks.com, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

About Access Networks

Access Networks is the premier enterprise-grade networking solutions provider for the modern smart home. We design and maintain sophisticated network solutions based on a simple premise: keeping our customers connected. Access Networks assists custom integrators by working to specify, select, source, and configure the networking gear before it is shipped to the project site. From design and deployment to service after the sale, we are here to ensure our network solutions meet the bandwidth demands of today’s AV and control components and enhance the overall technology experience. Visit and follow Access Networks at www.accessnetworks.com and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

 

Media Contact

For interviews, reviews, or media tours, please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications by phoning (425) 328-8640 or emailing katye@kmbcomm.com.

 

All products, product names, trademarks, and registrations mentioned are the property of their respective owners, all rights reserved.

COVID-19 – Is there a Silver Lining?

By Randy Stearns, CEO, D-Tools, Inc.

Entrepreneurs are optimists and opportunistic by nature. As such, even in the face of adverse conditions such as those presented by the Coronavirus, it is natural for us to try to look on the bright side. For business leaders, the business lockdowns thrust upon us by COVID-19 create severe challenges. But to those who subscribe to the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, it also presents a new and unique opportunity. What you ask is this silver lining?

Over the past weeks, the clients of most system integrators have shut down their job sites and facilities completely or, at a minimum, limited access in order to reduce the risk of contamination. As a result, talented team members are sitting on the sidelines waiting patiently for the storm to pass. Most are “working from home”, but working on what? 

System integrators have been riding the wave of economic prosperity for several years, with a seemingly never-ending backlog where 100% of the available hours are spent on project work. The intense focus on fulfilling demand has, for some, come at a price. Suddenly having access to idle resources creates a tremendous opportunity for business leaders to work on the business instead of in the business (as proffered by Michael Gerber in The eMyth). Just think of the long list of internal projects that have continued to slip down the priority list for months, if not years, while project work takes precedence. Examples include updating policies and procedures, conducting technical and product training for your staff, and implementing or updating software to simplify and streamline day-to-day operations.

How many of you have said to yourselves, and even promised your staff “as soon as we get a break from this constant flow of back-to-back projects, we’ll…[fix what’s broken in the business… and train our people]”? Guess what? That time has come. While we sit on the edge of our seats waiting for the scientific community to develop a vaccine and treatment for COVID-19, the effects of the pandemic (i.e. work slowdown) have delivered an antidote for those trying to find time to focus on sidelined internal projects.  Now is the time to build the business infrastructure required to guide your business successfully through this new decade! Make a list of projects, prioritize them, assign team members, and get to work. As soon as the Coronavirus releases its grip on the economy, hopefully you’ll find yourself energized and excited about running your redesigned business as a newly well-oiled machine.