Kordz Leads Next-Generation Cat6 and Cat6a Networking with New 28AWG Cable and Professional Briefing

Kordz delivers the products and support systems integrators need to advance their Cat6 networking projects with faster, easier installs and top-notch performance.  

Hong Kong, China (February 16, 2023) – Dedicated to providing systems integrators with the premium cabling products, tools, and support they need to deliver exceptional connectivity to their customers, Kordz has developed a comprehensive, insightful Professional Briefing on the history, evolution, recommended practices, and growing use cases of 28AWG Cat6 and Cat6a cable in computer networks. Particularly helpful to integrators faced with fitting cable through tight spaces and challenging retrofit situations, the thinner, more flexible form factor of 28AWG cable offers greater installation ease than bulkier traditional 23 and 24AWG cables. 

The paper, Kordz Professional Briefing: The Application of 28 AWG Category 6 and 6a Cable for Small and Medium Sized Networks, is available to systems integrators at https://www.kordz.com/whitepapers/. Replete with fresh, relevant content, it provides integrators with a strong working knowledge of 28AWG cable that can be applied to current and future small to mid-sized networking projects. The Professional Briefing also details Kordz’s new Cat6 28AWG networking solution, PRO SlimCat™ Network Cable System, a turnkey solution for fast, reliable end-to-end connectivity that meets all current networking standards and is PoE++ compliant up to 50 meters. 

“Computer networks have come a long way since their inception in the late ‘70s. Network cable technology has progressed along the way, leading us to the next generation of Cat6 and Cat6a cable — a 28AWG solution that delivers all the advanced performance required of today’s technology in a thinner, more flexible cable that’s easier to handle and install,” says James Chen, Kordz Managing Director. “Systems integrators looking to stay ahead of the technological curve should embrace new 28AWG as a viable alternative to their standard network cable. Our PRO SlimCat™ line coupled with our informative Professional Briefing gives them all the knowledge and tools they need to progress their skills and offerings to the latest generation of Cat6 cable.” 

As outlined in the Professional Briefing, utilizing thin, flexible 28AWG Cat6 cable can simplify installation in high-density equipment racks, tight bend radiuses, and cramped wall spaces. Despite being half the size of other Cat6 cables, it supports the data rates and bandwidth requirements of current networking standards. Discussed are 28AWG solutions including Kordz PRO and PRS Patch Cords, as well as its new PRO SlimCat™ Network Cable System. 

About PRO SlimCat™ Network Cable System
Kordz’s latest innovation, PRO SlimCat™ Network Cable System, comprises bulk-reducing 4mm diameter 28AWG Cat6 cable and specially designed RJ45 crimp connectors and RJ45 keystone sockets for robust, compact end-to-end connectivity. Simplifying retrofit installation, the thin, flexible cable fills a void in the industry while supporting 100W PoE++ and delivering 1Gbps network connectivity up to 50 meters. The PRO SlimCat™ system comes with a lifetime warranty and complies with both EU and US fire rating standards. Components are conveniently packaged in standard lengths in an easily identifiable Reel-in-Box. Like all Kordz products, each component of the PRO SlimCat™ system has been individually tested during each phase of production for quality assurance and adheres to the latest performance standards and fire ratings. For more information about the Kordz PRO SlimCat™ line of products, please visit www.kordz.com/new-from-kordz.

About Kordz
Kordz’s professional-grade products are designed, engineered, and constructed to enable industry partners to focus on the big picture, not the little hurdles. The company’s extensive line of robust, fast, and effective cabling and networking components deliver the seamless interoperability and digital experiences today’s tech-savvy end-users expect and dramatically simplify deployment for systems integrators. By offering a wide range of professional cabling solutions backed by expert technical support, Kordz helps systems integrators around the globe meet the evolving cabling requirements of a wide range of residential and commercial environments. For more information about Kordz, please visit kordz.com and follow the company @kordzglobal on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Media Contact
For interviews, reviews, and more information please contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett of KMB Communications at +1-425-328-8640 or katye@kmbcomm.com

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

Leon Speakers Announces Thea Enterprises as New NYC Area Representative

KMB - Logo for Leon SpeakersThe new Leon-Thea partnership aims to boost two luxury lifestyle powerhouses by combining custom integration capabilities and a focus on the design community in order to cater to upscale, design-savvy clientele.

[Ann Arbor, MI] – February 15, 2023 Effective February 1, 2023, Leon Speakers enthusiastically announces Thea Enterprises will be representing the Leon Speakers business in the New York City metro area.

With over 90 years of service to the residential market, Thea has ample experience representing design-oriented, best-in-class brands aimed at the luxury residential market. This experience aligns with the core design positioning of the Leon brand and the growth direction of the business.

Thea’s custom-integration and specification experience and deep relationships in the design community bring a tremendous opportunity to better reach, educate, and work with architects, designers, and builders—delivering more value to the residential clients of Leon’s metro NYC dealers.

Leon Speakers will be Thea’s only Audio and Technology concealment brand, bringing a unique and creative offering to their lineup. Leon’s creative approach to the AV industry and broad palette of both customizable speakers and technology concealment solutions are an ideal fit for Thea’s audience of upscale, design-savvy clientele. 

Leon joins many other design-forward manufacturers already in Thea’s portfolio, including Lutron, Josh.ai, and Rosewater Energy, and will expand Thea’s breadth of solutions, projects and value to their dealerbase.

“Together, we anticipate many opportunities to educate and bring high design to the often-left-behind category of AV and technology,” said Leon Speakers owner and founder Noah Kaplan. “We are so thankful for the continued partnership and support of our New York dealers as we build more opportunities and provide better solutions to their market.”

“Thea’s core values and ethics are unwavering, and we simultaneously continue to grow and look towards the future by partnering with new, like-minded brands,” said Thea Enterprises Vice President of Residential & Distribution Sales Scott Davis. “Thea Residential, a division of Thea Enterprises, has carefully curated a line card that consists of products and solutions that seamlessly blend design and technology. We believe Leon fits well within the brands we represent, and we look forward to creating beautiful luxury spaces together.” 

Thea will be replacing Leon’s former New York area representative, Special Sound and Vision.

“We remain so grateful for the valuable relationship we have had over the past 23 years with SSV and owner Anthony Chiarella,” said Kaplan. “Both Leon and SSV have changed and evolved a great deal over the years. SSV now concentrates almost exclusively on Performance Hardware, while Leon has pursued the Luxury Lifestyle Market—-this change in representation will hopefully strengthen both of our core businesses.”

For any questions with the Leon team, please reach out to Carolyn Ceccoli, Director of Sales & Marketing, at cceccoli@leonspeakers.com.

For any questions and support from the Thea team, please reach out to Scott Davis at scottd@theaenterprises.com

About Leon Speakers
Leon brings a creative approach to the AV industry by designing and manufacturing customizable speakers and technology concealment solutions that enhance the sound and style of any space. For over 25 years, it has been a leader in the conversation on merging design with technology, creating innovative products that serve both the residential and commercial markets. Learn more at leonspeakers.com or by following @leonspeakers on social media. 

About Thea Enterprises
Founded in 1930 in New York City, as one of the first electrical manufacturer representatives in the NY/NJ Metro area, Thea Enterprises is proud to be a family-owned and operated business for almost 100 hundred years and more recently an ESOP-owned business. Thea Enterprises sells all manner of electrical supplies and provides warehousing, staging and logistical services. Their breadth of services and expertise, plus comprehensive portfolio of brands, allow them to support every stage of commercial and residential projects. 

Media Contacts
Press Contact: Katye (McGregor) Bennett
KMB Communications
(425) 328-8640

Company Contact: Carolyn Ceccoli
Sales & Marketing Director at Leon Speakers
(734) 926-4092

Access Networks Starts New Series of ACE Sales and Design Certification, Network Training, and Virtual Sales Webinars

NewCompany logo

Access Networks experts provide network design and installation training at select Snap One partner stores, virtual sales webinars, and in-person ACE Certification for integrators.    

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 15, 2023) – Dedicated to providing systems integrators with the expert-level design and installation services and support they need to deploy reliable, stable, high-performance enterprise-grade networks, Access Networks, a Snap One brand, will host a series of informative, practical training sessions starting late February and going through March 2023. Through a combination of in-person training at select Snap One Partner Stores, 30-minute sales webinars, and Access Networks’ popular in-person ACE Sales Training and Certification, technology integrators have several ways to expand their networking knowledge, boost sales, and advance their design, configuration, and installation skills. 

Consumer demand for better, faster, more reliable enterprise-grade networks is at an all-time high, requiring integrators to fine-tune their networking businesses through better customer engagement, installation, service, and support. Now is the time for systems integrators to shift their business offerings and build more successful, profitable networking businesses with the help of Access Networks’ team of expert instructors. 

“Home networking continues to evolve quickly, making it difficult for integrators to stay abreast of the changes that ultimately impact their businesses. Our mission at Access Networks has always been to provide our Partners with the type of guidance, expertise, and services to help them stay on top of the trends, enhance their networking offerings, and refine their networking design and installation skills,” says Jon Peckman, director of sales at Access Networks. “We made sure our new series of training programs demonstrate to integrators the importance of aligning with a networking provider, like Access Networks, that delivers the level of service and support they need to succeed.”  

In-Person Training at Snap One Partner Stores
At select Snap One Partner Stores Access Networks will enlighten attendees about current and evolving access point technologies, best practices for deploying robust, reliable networks, and tips on how to effectively market and sell enterprise-grade networking solutions. Also discussed will be the key features and benefits of Access Networks’ award-winning ARCC (Advanced Resilient Cloud Controller) platform and its custom Core System option processes. Also covered will be Access Networks’ Basic Configuration Services, a new program providing integrators with industry-leading in-the-field support and service to help streamline the deployment of small- to medium-size networks. This two-hour in-person course will be presented by Andrew Ward, Access Networks business development manager, at the following Snap One Partner Stores:

  • Simi Valley, Feb. 21
  • Cerritos, Feb. 23
  • Irvine, Feb. 28
  • San Diego, March 2
  • Riverside, March 7

To register for these training sessions, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/access-networks-socal-trainings-q1-2023-1731129.

Virtual Training Webinars
For integrators interested in gaining a high-level view of the vast array of Access Networks solutions to better specify systems to customers, Access Networks will present 30-minute training webinars twice a week for five weeks. These virtual training courses will cover the following topics:

  • Topic 1: How & Why to Sell Enterprise-Grade Networks
  • Topic 2: Access Networks Access Point Technology 
  • Topic 3: Benefits of ARCC Cloud-Based Controller
  • Topic 4: Basic Configuration Services 
  • Topic 5: Core Systems

To save these topics to your calendar, please visit the virtual training site HERE.

ACE Certification Training
Lastly, and back by popular demand, is Access Networks’ ACE Training and Certification Program with a new focus on network sales and design. This series guides integrators through proper sales, specification, installation, and troubleshooting techniques of Access Networks products. Integrators who complete this training earn ACE Sales & Design Certification, which signifies they have the skills and technical knowledge to confidently deploy Access Networks enterprise-grade networking systems. ACE Training will be held at the following locations:

  • Fort Lauderdale, March 14th
  • Bellevue, WA, March 30th 

To register for ACE certification training go HERE.

To learn more about Access Networks, its enterprise-grade systems, and exceptional IT service and support please visit www.accessnetworks.com, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

About Access Networks
Access Networks, a Snap One brand, is a trusted provider of enterprise-grade networking solutions for the residential and commercial technology integration markets. Access Networks’ mission is to deliver premier networking solutions that lead to exceptional client experiences while maintaining the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and innovation. This commitment to excellence is leveraged by Access Networks’ superior IT support. From initial design to final configuration, Access Networks’ team of networking specialists is on-hand to help integrators deploy projects with confidence. A clear, well-defined focus on managed services and support, combined with an ever-evolving portfolio of best-in-class networking solutions, positions Access Networks as a leader in the networking industry—enhancing home and business environments through reliable, stable, and secure digital connections to what matters most. To learn more, visit Access Networks online at www.accessnetworks.com and follow us 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.

Your Audience Awaits

Here’s a short guide to help you implement video marketing this year.

In the custom install biz, we typically all share a love of video. Only it’s usually 4K video projected onto a huge UHD screen in a built environment with immersive surround sound, killer acoustics, and super-cushy seating. YouTube and Vimeo? Not so much. However, the time has come for brands and businesses to embrace video from a marketing perspective.

Video Marketing
Getty Images

Creating video as part of your marketing strategy takes a lot of time, energy, scripting, shooting, editing, optimizing, uploading, and so forth. Sometimes, the life cycle of a video is short — the ephemeral nature of a tradeshow booth video, for example — making it hard for the small business owner to see the benefit of investing in video.

However, video is how most people on the internet prefer to consume content. In fact, YouTube is now the second-most-popular social media platform behind Facebook, with 2.52 billion active users. Instagram, with 1.39 billion active users, is making more and more video-forward adjustments to its platform, and then, of course, you have TikTok, which personally, I’m not a fan of for brands in our channel unless budgets are such that this can be added and not taken from another platform’s allocated budget. YouTube Shorts are coming in H-O-T, and their connection to Google from an SEO perspective cannot be ignored. You’ve heard me say this before: “Feed the beast,” which is to suggest that using all the tools a platform like Google offers will increase your results.

Most Popular Social Media Platforms chart

So, “to video or not to video” is not the question. Because there is no question that video should be part of your marketing plan. The question now is how to produce these videos. This month, we’ll talk about getting started with the types of videos and the various phases of the customer’s so-called “journey” with your brand. Next month, we’ll dig into how to get it done.

Videos That Attract Customers

Some brands do this with a video that plays automatically as soon as you land on the home page (be careful with sound here, as you don’t want to annoy your visitors, either). Your website is the spot for videos like an intro to your company or service, a how-to, or a testimonial. These intro-type videos should only be visually appealing, entertaining, and limited to one to no more than two minutes long. Videos should be produced in a square format for use on Instagram and Facebook.

Heads up: Social media platforms, which include YouTube and Vimeo, frequently change sizing parameters so it’s always best to check each platform’s sizing guidelines before uploading your videos. Once you publish a video to YouTube you cannot replace it without losing all the analytics that go along with that content. OUCH! Ask me about some painful and expensive lessons clients have learned by not heeding this warning.

Videos That Engage Customers

Once you’ve attracted the customers to your website and they’ve learned a little bit about your brand, now is your opportunity to engage them more deeply and get them into a sales funnel. This is where social media comes into play in a more robust way. With your intro videos on your website, social media presents the opportunity to do a bit more selling, without being to sales-y. At KMB, we always recommend approaching each video, no matter how hard the sell, with a healthy dose of authenticity. Engaging videos include things like webinars that give your customers further info while allowing you to be the authority on a particular topic. Q&A videos allow the audience to engage with you directly or watch later (make sure live Q&A sessions are archived!). Tutorials/how-tos/behind-the-scenes, and unboxing videos are also extremely popular and helpful, offering the customer a learning opportunity, something far beyond a pitch. You can even experiment with user-generated content, such as a new homeowner showing off his motorized shades or new high-end soundbar.

User-generated content is usually easy to find if you have an active social media following. Make a request that people tag you on social when they post a video (or photo), and you’ll be able to reshare this content or ask the user privately via DM for the raw file, which you can then add your own branding to, edit for length, and so on, depending on permission from the user.

Finally, consider video content that is simply part of great customer relations, such as a thank you video, a funny holiday greeting, a new customer welcome email, a walk-through of a project, a new brand introduction video, providing a quick “hack,” or fun way to use a product — things like that.

Of course, once you have converted someone into a customer, you must continue to please them or you run the risk of either losing them to another provider or them forgetting you exist. Stay in it to win it!

Stay tuned for next month’s column, where we will cover what it takes to properly plan and produce video. KMB has a lot of experience in this regard, having shot videos for clients for years. Give us a shout if you’d like to learn more at kmb@kmbcomm.com.

CES 2023 – It’s Alive and Well, With Practical Innovation Galore

CES 2023 was alive and well: It was clear from the moment I deplaned and made my way to the CES 2023 badge pickup at the Harry Reid International Airport. After being absent from this particular trade show for the past eight years or so, the upbeat vibe was a nice surprise. The line to pick up my media badge, although long, was ridiculously fast. The CES organizers were ready! It was the same quick and easy experience, despite a fairly packed crowd of eager attendees, getting onto the show floor. Even more impressive, especially coming off a rough couple of years, people were polite, friendly, and patient—even in the unbelievably frustrating taxi queue. The vibe was positive, the energy invigorating, the trade show traffic intense but rarely congested, and the organization, and management stellar. 

Given that I had only one day to explore CES 2023, I choose to focus on the exhibits at the Venetian, where smart home technologies dominated. I’m glad I did! It was a treasure trove of technologies that simply make sense. Sure, there was plenty of CES’s standard fare of conceptual, pie-in-the-sky products that likely won’t go mainstream. The level of design and engineering that go into them were enough to warrant a “drive-by,” as we journalists like to call it. You stop long enough at the booth to get the basic gist and quickly move on to the meat, which for me are technologies that provide real tangible benefits, are within the financial reach of most people (with a few exceptions), and the real clincher—are available NOW or very soon. These were the technologies that gave me pause as I envisioned how they could make my own life simpler and safer. Here are a few of my favorites:

Rachio Smart Hose Timer

I was lucky. When I bought my old farmhouse four years ago, the landscape around it was fed water from a drip irrigation system. Unfortunately, this modern convenience didn’t last long. In my haste to rip out overgrown bushes, I destroyed the line and was back to old-fashioned hand-watering with a hose and messing with finicky sprinkler attachments. Rachio’s Smart Hose Timer takes the tedium out of lawn and landscape maintenance for folks like me who don’t want to invest in a traditional irrigation system. The Rachio Smart Hose is super easy to install, super affordable at $99, and does a far better job of keeping the vegetation green than other options. Even better, it curbs water usage, sending a drink only when plants need it, saving money. The Smart Hose Timer attaches to an outdoor faucet where it receives instructions via Wi-Fi from the free Rachio mobile app. The app carries out customized watering schedules; when it rains, the Smart Hose Time skips the watering cycle. Learn more here: rachio.com.

Masonite M-Pwr Smart Door

I love it when “everything is included.” Masonite tapped into my mindset by developing a smart door equipped with all the appropriate technology—a Ring Video Doorbell, Yale Door Lock, and LED welcome lights. A turnkey solution, the first-of-its-kind M-Pwr Smart Door installs like any other door except that you’ll need an electrician to wire it in. At first, this extra step might be a turn-off to some people, but it’s actually a great benefit. The doorbell, lock, and lights are all powered via electricity, so there are no batteries to worry about. Even if the power goes out, the M-Pwr Smart Door remains operational; an emergency backup battery can sustain system power for up to 24 hours. A companion app lets you program and control the motion-activated LED lights and confirm whether the door is open or closed. Masonite made sure to combine beauty with the M-Pwr’s brains. It’s a premium beautifully built and designed door that comes in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes. If you’re building or in the market for a new exterior door, be sure to check out the M-Pwr Smart Door at The Home Depot. Learn more here: residential.masonite.com/product/exterior-doors/smart

Kohler Sprig Shower Infusion System

I love to treat myself to a spa day, but rarely do I have the time to indulge. The Sprig from Kohler lets anyone in need of a little pampering, to bring some of the spa experience into their homes with ease, without busting the budget or eating into a busy schedule. In the time it takes to shower, the Sprig, which retrofits onto an existing showerhead, infuses the water stream with a scent of your choice. A variety of infusion pods are available; you simply place a pod in the integrated basket, turn on the water, and breathe in. At $139, the Sprig is a small price to pay to enjoy a spa-like atmosphere every time you step into the shower. Learn more here: http://stepintosprig.com/

Capitalizing on New Concepts

Rachio wasn’t the only manufacturer focused on trouble-free, efficient lawn maintenance at CES 2023; nor was Masonite the only company debuting technology gears toward exterior doors. Kohler, too, wasn’t the only health-and-wellness game in town with its spa-like technologies. The market trends in 2023 seemed to be leaning toward security, conservation, and plumbing. For systems integrators looking to expand and broaden their offerings, these three categories would be great places to start. For brands in the CI space, CES should be on your radar as, in my opinion, it’s more relevant now, than ever.

Looking Forward: The Home Tech Expo in SoCal, October 2023

As I returned home I learned that Mark Cichowski—who created and grew the popular Technology & Business Summits that CEDIA acquired in 2018—is announcing a new event designed for consumers, The Home Tech Expo, happening Friday, October 20, and Saturday, October 21, 2023, at the  ​Orange County Fairgrounds & Event Center in Southern California. While not on the same level as CES, by any means, The Home Tech Expo “will showcase real-world home technology in an in-person format that allows consumers to see, touch, and experience technology like traditional, custom integration AV as well as lighting, smart appliances, electric vehicles, wellness, outdoor entertainment, fitness tech, and more firsthand.” The consumer-facing approach of this new event will certainly help bridge the gap between mainstream technology and the specialty work done in the custom installation channel. I can’t wait to check it out! Learn more here: thehometechexpo.com

KMB Communications helps connect brands, buyers, and the media. Give us a call or drop us a line to see how we might help you get where you want to be! Email kmb@kmbcomm.com or call (406)446-1283 to get the conversation started.