Transforming business with RMM

James Owens and Darren Foster, directors at UK home integration firm Halo AV, talk about their experiences with RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management) and the impact it’s having as they grow their company.

Beginning life as an electrical installation business back in 2005, Halo AV has already undergone one successful transformation when the company turned its focus towards custom installation back in 2014 and became a Control4 Partner.

“In carrying out electrical works, especially the lighting on large houses, clients were asking us more and more to look at entry-level audio-visual work as well as integration and control,” says Foster. “We moved the business in that direction with the help of Control4 and have never looked back. Now, we’re a Control4 Diamond Dealer, working mainly on large, detached homes across Essex, Greater London and the South-East in the UK.”

“The longer we’ve been in business, the more projects we’ve, obviously, completed,” adds Owens. “And that presents a challenge for a growing business like ours, where you have to keep a balance between available time, resources and revenues as you expand. We want new customers and new projects, but we also need to take good care of those clients who we’ve worked with in the past as they are a potential source of upgrade work and referrals. Time and resources are finite so anything we can do remotely is a real bonus.”

OvrC from Snap One came along at a really good time for Halo AV. OvrC is a powerful and reliable cloud-based remote management and monitoring platform designed exclusively for professionals and available free of any recurring software licence fee or extra hardware costs. From setup to support, it empowers integrators to install, monitor, and troubleshoot connected devices remotely, helping them to solve problems quickly and keep customers’ systems up and running.

“It was a big step to move into RMM but we knew that it was something that we had to do to keep us going in the right direction,” explains Foster. “We made that decision around the same time as the pandemic hit which actually proved to be perfect timing. It coincided with restrictions on visiting properties, a real surge in new business enquiries with people spending money on home improvements plus major upgrades to the OvrC platform.”

The result is that Halo has continued to grow. As part of its growth strategy, the company has also been effective in partnering with a select number of electrical contractors, training them to carry out the first fix installation element of projects to Halo’s specifications and guidelines. This has helped the company deliver work to a high standard whilst ensuring that the constant influx of new contracts continue to run smoothly. In turn, these partnerships generate more revenue for Halo from referrals and introductions to Control4 and OvrC.

Embedded within all Control4 EA, CA and CORE controllers as well as the OvrC Hub, Araknis X10 routers and RK/RT/WR routers and NK1 (Via FW update), OvrC Pro automatically finds all IP-connected devices on the network, relaying relevant device information and regularly pinging their online status. Designed to streamline workflow, the OvrC Location Dashboard view gives integrators all the information they need to make RMM a valuable and functional tool for their business.

For example, at Halo AV they can find the customer’s contact information, see a high-level overview of system status, as well as gain access to a resources section that provides one place for all team members to get project-related documentation quickly and easily. They can also use the OvrC mobile app or a web-based user interface to generate real-time feedback from all of their projects in one place at any time from wherever they are. Not only can they identify particular issues, often before the client is aware of them, but they can also take or schedule actions remotely including firmware updates and system or device reboots. 

“OvrC has really transformed how we do business,” comments Foster. “Most clients are used to paying for streaming services, security and other maintenance services so the concept of paying for smart home technology maintenance is not an issue. By offering service contracts to clients at different tiers – Bronze, Silver and Gold – we now have over 70 projects running OvrC. These agreements help to set the relationship with the client in exactly the right way. With a service contract, it's all laid out in black and white – easy for them to see what they’re getting, what they pay for, and what they don’t.”

Owens continues the story. “We now have a member of staff who manages service contracts for us full time. This means we can keep track of existing projects, generate recurring revenues and fix things, without having to visit the site. We're constantly monitoring systems, so that we can anticipate issues and rectify them before they become a bigger problem. We can share those reports with clients as well to give them extra comfort and peace of mind.”

“Recently, we received a notification that a camera had stopped working at a client’s house,” adds Foster. “I was cleaning my teeth at the time, saw it, went to OvrC and remotely rebooted the camera. It was a ten-second fix and the client was delighted.”  

Another advantage of OvrC for Halo AV is the insights that it has provided into ‘problem’ products.

“Sky boxes are a common issue which we all have to put up with,” comments Owens. “But we’ve seen recurring faults on other technologies. Every integrator wants to make sure their installations are as bulletproof as possible, so OvrC has helped us identify the flakier products more quickly and easily, and we’ve changed what we install as a result. Problem products add time and cost, so OvrC has helped us become more profitable in this way too.

“Today RMM is a big part of our sales pitch. We let clients know that by putting OvrC in place we can remotely monitor the network, that we’ll get pinged a notification if anything goes offline, and we’ll bring it back before they even notice. They really value that, and it gives them confidence in the level of service that we provide and builds the reputation that we have as a business.”

Owens concludes: “Every project that we start, and finish, uses OvrC. Now it’s embedded free within Control4, it’s easy to deploy and having every project on one interface makes remote aftercare and maintenance so simple.”

RMM through OvrC is helping Halo AV deliver better service and support, provide faster solutions and grow the business more quickly because of the recurring revenues that it generates.