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Topic:
RTI Alternatives
This thread has 94 replies. Displaying posts 76 through 90.
Post 76 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 12:40
andrewinboulder
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On December 28, 2016 at 11:21, KeithDBrown said...
I felt this way, but this year we started replacing every network we could with our router, switch and 3+ AP's. It started because I started asking every new client, "How is the WiFi in your house" or "How was the WiFi in your old house?"

In almost every single meeting I heard that it was terrible. They would list the rooms that do and don't get good wifi. Tell me stories about only being able to FaceTime from the upstairs, etc.

The solution, even at $2k+, feels like a bargain to them if I can truly give them the experience that I promise, which is essentially "If you are on your property, your iPad will work great."

I love simple jobs where we don't have to touch the network, but networking has become big business for us, and it is creating customer loyalty and generating referrals. We also setup a guest network on every system and make sure the password is impossible to forget. It gets our clients talking to their guests about how great their network is, and by extension how great we are.

what kind of network gear?
Post 77 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 12:43
andrewinboulder
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On December 29, 2016 at 11:35, radiorhea said...
I agree buddy, whatever works for you.

For me, my stress level is lower knowing that I am not dealing with some IT idiot, always changing crap, just for the sake of change, to make themselves relevant to the client or get paid something.

We have been using ALL UniFi. With the new cloud key and setup, we are getting extremely stable networks with 100% reliability. We can manage offsite also.

Set it and forget it and putting something in the kitty as well.

How do you get to 2k selling ubiquiti? Do you just mark it up more?
Post 78 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 12:50
Impaqt
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On December 29, 2016 at 12:43, andrewinboulder said...
How do you get to 2k selling ubiquiti? Do you just mark it up more?

3 Pro access points is half that. Installation, Setup, Configuration, maintinace contract.... How does it not get to 2k?
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 79 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 12:57
Impaqt
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On December 29, 2016 at 12:17, goldenzrule said...
The networks we fo sell has been all Ubiquiti also. Its been very reliable but not without issues here and there. Very minor ones typically. I still get calls from people however that believe because i installed their network that i am

A: Now responsible for every device in the house, including items added after we were there

B: That i now magically know their passwords for every service ever created (i.e. "Hey Mike, sorry to bother you but can you please send me my AOL Aim password, i can't seem to get in."

If you really run into these things and they cause actual problems, then you need to do better with expectation management.

What exactly could they install "after the fact" that we would magically need to be retroactively responsible for?

as for the passwords, "I'm sorry, I dont have that information".

why would that bother you to the point where you dont want to install networks?
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 80 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 14:02
radiorhea
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Cloud Key, Router, Switches, APs, set-up, programming, etc.

It adds up!
Drinking upstream from the herd since 1960
Post 81 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 14:22
goldenzrule
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On December 29, 2016 at 12:57, Impaqt said...
If you really run into these things and they cause actual problems, then you need to do better with expectation management.

What exactly could they install "after the fact" that we would magically need to be retroactively responsible for?

as for the passwords, "I'm sorry, I dont have that information".

why would that bother you to the point where you dont want to install networks?

You can set every expectation in the world, alllll of that goes out the window when Mr. Joe Blow wants an answer. The ONLY way to avoid them is to start charging like a lawyer and charge by the minute, including all forms of contact (phone, text, email...). I set the expectations, but they do not stop clients from contacting me. The bulk of my clients are not too tech savvy. Have one now that said one of their speakers is not working in one of the rooms. It happens to be a room with bookshelf speakers. I asked them to please check the connections, and if still not working, just swap the two. I can do it next week when I can get down there, but figured give them the option to try and correct it themselves. Told them to pay attention to which terminal that individual wire colors are connected to. They could not even get the speaker disconnected. That is fine, they just have to wait for me to get there. Point is this is the level of client I often deal with.

Any device that they connect to the network we "become responsible for". Already have one client who got a Amazon Fire tablet for the holiday that is not connecting to the network reliably. Keeps dropping off every minute or two. Guess who got an earful because, "it should just work". I am tired of those types of calls. That job has a TC system so the network is necessary. But I'll be damned if I am going to put myself in that situation on a job in which I am just hanging a TV and putting a cable box and bdp in a cabinet. It's not worth it TO ME.

As the race to the bottom continues, and cable companies, alarm companies, hell, Amazon all start to push services that intertwine a bit with what we do, my interest in this industry continues to wane. At this stage of my life, this has become a job and nothing more. No passion, just a job. I will do what I can to take the stress out of it as much as possible. If you wish to sell networks on every job, that is great as long as it works for your business model. For me, I am just not that interested in doing that unless necessary.
Post 82 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 20:40
roddymcg
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For the guys that are against supporting the network claiming they are only AV, what devices are you selling that are not network devices? I get there are the stand alone URC remotes and some dumb amps, but we are as an industry need to be strong in the network world.
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Post 83 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 20:42
goldenzrule
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On December 29, 2016 at 20:40, roddymcg said...
For the guys that are against supporting the network claiming they are only AV, what devices are you selling that are not network devices? I get there are the stand alone URC remotes and some dumb amps, but we are as an industry need to be strong in the network world.

Sorry, but a Roku or ATV and a few tablets can work fine on a consumer router. I am not against supporting the network. I only wish to do so when I deem it necessary, such as any Total Control system, or a more network intensive system we put in. For basic stuff, a TV hang, there is no reason to touch it.
Post 84 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 22:02
roddymcg
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On December 29, 2016 at 20:42, goldenzrule said...
Sorry, but a Roku or ATV and a few tablets can work fine on a consumer router. I am not against supporting the network. I only wish to do so when I deem it necessary, such as any Total Control system, or a more network intensive system we put in. For basic stuff, a TV hang, there is no reason to touch it.

Why are you apologizing? Roku, Apple TV, amps, AVR's, TV's, control systems, music servers, etc... are all network devices. We are the new IT people. Well, actually we should have picked this up a decade ago. And many of have...
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Post 85 made on Thursday December 29, 2016 at 23:48
goldenzrule
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On December 29, 2016 at 22:02, roddymcg said...
Why are you apologizing? Roku, Apple TV, amps, AVR's, TV's, control systems, music servers, etc... are all network devices. We are the new IT people. Well, actually we should have picked this up a decade ago. And many of have...

Guess i'm not getting my point across. I'll try one more time. A basic TV hang with a roku or Apple TV, a bdp, and cable/sat, plus two or three mobile device (phones, tablets) in the house, will work fine on the plain jane netgear router they picked up at Best Buy. That situation DOES NOT require a more robust network. There is absolutely no reason to throw in a network I now must support in that scenario.
Post 86 made on Friday December 30, 2016 at 00:35
Impaqt
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On December 29, 2016 at 23:48, goldenzrule said...
Guess i'm not getting my point across. I'll try one more time. A basic TV hang with a roku or Apple TV, a bdp, and cable/sat, plus two or three mobile device (phones, tablets) in the house, will work fine on the plain jane netgear router they picked up at Best Buy. That situation DOES NOT require a more robust network. There is absolutely no reason to throw in a network I now must support in that scenario.

So who do they call when the roku doesnt work? Best Buy, because they sold them the $39 router?
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 87 made on Friday December 30, 2016 at 08:19
goldenzrule
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On December 30, 2016 at 00:35, Impaqt said...
So who do they call when the roku doesnt work? Best Buy, because they sold them the $39 router?

Thats the great part. It does work. Believe it or not, some stuff in this world that we do not sell works. Again, depends on the application. To suggest that a consumer router cannot support a handful of devices or less is either silly or plain stupid.

I liken this scenario to a couple going to a car dealership to buy a commuter car. This car will only be used for commuting, will never be used on a track or for fun. Instead of selling them a Nissan Versa, they get sold a GTR because when you need to go fast, it can do it. Its a bunch of bologna.

Anyone selling a network to people that literally have 5 or less basic devices on the network are doing so only to put more money in their pocket, not for their clients best interest. There is nothing wrong with that if that is your business model, but to suggest that nothing will work or work reliably unless you out your gear in is just wrong. You endager looking like the car dealer mentioned above when doing so
Post 88 made on Friday December 30, 2016 at 09:48
buzz
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I'm not against using a customer's consumer grade router if it is still working. The typical "issue" is poor WiFi coverage related to the router's location. True, a really ancient router might be slower than the new stuff, but I don't see any point in trashing a functioning router when it can still provide WiFi at the Internet line speed. Why go to the trouble and expense of building a 300Mb+ WiFi connection for a 26Mb ISP account? (unless the customer is transferring lots of large files, but in my opinion this should be done over a wire)

That said, I won't hesitate to replace anything that is or will be causing issues.

At home I'm using an old Linksys E2000. Even though I've gone through some grief with these things in customer installations and I'll look for any excuse to replace them, mine is working fine for 40+ wired clients and I can realize almost 100% of my 65Mb ISP connection over WiFi. I haven't had a network issue at home since I eliminated that terrible Actiontec FIOS router a few years ago.

I ask new customers, "how is your WiFi working?". (virtually everyone is using "wireless") and go from there. If there are no complaints and the existing kit will work with any new stuff that I am installing, I'll leave the current networking in place. 'New and much improved' (and likely less expensive) is always six months down the pike. If we put off the update until it's actually needed, we conserve cash outlay and reduce clutter in the landfill. In my discussions with customers I use this approach to generate loyalty. The "don't fix it if it ain't broke" approach is much appreciated. When it is time to replace, they don't balk at going first class because they know that I'm not loading them with junk that they don't need.

Regarding the original topic of this thread, I prefer RTI over URC because I have more control over the look and feel. If the budget is tight I'll go URC, but I don't enjoy the URC development environment. (RTI is only slightly better). I haven't done this yet, but I find the ability to build custom drivers for RTI to be attractive.
Post 89 made on Friday December 30, 2016 at 10:04
Impaqt
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On December 30, 2016 at 08:19, goldenzrule said...
Thats the great part. It does work. Believe it or not, some stuff in this world that we do not sell works. Again, depends on the application. To suggest that a consumer router cannot support a handful of devices or less is either silly or plain stupid.

I liken this scenario to a couple going to a car dealership to buy a commuter car. This car will only be used for commuting, will never be used on a track or for fun. Instead of selling them a Nissan Versa, they get sold a GTR because when you need to go fast, it can do it. Its a bunch of bologna.

Anyone selling a network to people that literally have 5 or less basic devices on the network are doing so only to put more money in their pocket, not for their clients best interest. There is nothing wrong with that if that is your business model, but to suggest that nothing will work or work reliably unless you out your gear in is just wrong. You endager looking like the car dealer mentioned above when doing so

There's no such thing as a home with 5 or fewer network devices nowadays.

If your clients are using 39 dollar routers and everything works "great", but after you put in a 2k network things DONT work great, you are doing something wrong.

Fact is, shit does indeed go wrong all the time with the $39 routers, but they dont know who to call. so they deal with it best they can. they start unplugging things. They move to a different room. they do something else. and guess what, it works later.

your scenario is silly. a GTR is completely impractical for the scenario you describe. Anyone who buys a GTR, I guarantee you WANTED that car.

a basic routers is more akin to a 10 year old high mileage but "Well maintained" used vehicle. If all you need is a commuter, wouldn't that do it for ya? why spend the extra money on a new car at all? Sure, you might have to pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck every now and then, but you'll get there right?

Our 2k networks ARE the Versa... (Actually, can we be the Altima at least? its not really THAT much more)

I guess attitude plays a big part in things like this as well.
I LOVE it when clients call me. Even if its something mundane. It gives me a chance to show them why they spent a little extra money and opens up opportunities to provide more services and equipment.

Just yesterday, I got a call from a long time Client. His iPhone stopped communicating with his Savant system. everything thing else seemed to be working just fine. His remote worked, His ipad worked. he could browse the web just fine on his phone and the wifi signal was lit up.....

Turned out his phone had jumped onto a backup wifi signal he had installed (his backup AT&T dsl router that WE didnt install! OMG!). 2 minutes of trouble shooting and he was back in business and I was the hero.... again...

I've been in this business for 25 years and I still love helping my clients.

So yeah, gonna sell the better network every time I can.
I'm no engineer, but I did stay at a Motel 6 last night!
Post 90 made on Friday December 30, 2016 at 10:15
radiorhea
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On December 30, 2016 at 10:04, Impaqt said...
There's no such thing as a home with 5 or fewer network devices nowadays.

If your clients are using 39 dollar routers and everything works "great", but after you put in a 2k network things DONT work great, you are doing something wrong.

Fact is, shit does indeed go wrong all the time with the $39 routers, but they dont know who to call. so they deal with it best they can. they start unplugging things. They move to a different room. they do something else. and guess what, it works later.

your scenario is silly. a GTR is completely impractical for the scenario you describe. Anyone who buys a GTR, I guarantee you WANTED that car.

a basic routers is more akin to a 10 year old high mileage but "Well maintained" used vehicle. If all you need is a commuter, wouldn't that do it for ya? why spend the extra money on a new car at all? Sure, you might have to pull to the side of the road and call a tow truck every now and then, but you'll get there right?

Our 2k networks ARE the Versa... (Actually, can we be the Altima at least? its not really THAT much more)

I guess attitude plays a big part in things like this as well.
I LOVE it when clients call me. Even if its something mundane. It gives me a chance to show them why they spent a little extra money and opens up opportunities to provide more services and equipment.

Just yesterday, I got a call from a long time Client. His iPhone stopped communicating with his Savant system. everything thing else seemed to be working just fine. His remote worked, His ipad worked. he could browse the web just fine on his phone and the wifi signal was lit up.....

Turned out his phone had jumped onto a backup wifi signal he had installed (his backup AT&T dsl router that WE didnt install! OMG!). 2 minutes of trouble shooting and he was back in business and I was the hero.... again...

I've been in this business for 25 years and I still love helping my clients.

So yeah, gonna sell the better network every time I can.

+1000000
Drinking upstream from the herd since 1960
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