Integrators are often busy installing sophisticated, enterprise-grade networks for clients, but they really should examine the health of their own networks more often. When Shelley's Stereo owner Alon Moscovitch attended the Southern California Technology & Business Summit, he met with Access Networks CEO Hagai Feiner and realized the network security and performance of his corporate office and design center could use a boost.
Shelley’s Stereo, a custom installation firm based in Woodland Hills, Calif., is a long-time Access Networks customer, but Moscovitch knew he could use updated technology.
As an integrator with high-end, celebrity-level clients in the entertainment industry as well as other high-net-worth individuals, client privacy and network security is crucial to Shelley’s Stereo, which is why Access Networks suggested they start with an information security (InfoSec) analysis.
“Shelley’s maintains a client database of thousands of clients we’ve had through the years,” Moscovitch says. “In that database, all information must be kept confidential. Shelleys’ will never sell or disseminate that information to third parties. We take that information very seriously and are confident that Access Networks will help us to further securitize our client data from breach by unauthorized entities.”
During the analysis, the Access Networks team looked over the integrator’s current network, cyber-security procedures, and showroom processes.
“They wanted to get a good understanding of what our needs are: our back-end needs for accounting, management, and operations – our general day-to-day business needs, as well as our forward-facing client interactions,” Moscovitch explains.
“Our showrooms are very much an experience center for hands-on client access. They can feel and see and hear what’s available in technology today,” Lorin Fogel, system designer, says.
The Access Networks team started by walking through the showrooms to explore the network infrastructure as well as every piece of equipment in the back offices and the showroom.
“They took their time investigating our network infrastructure, from our main equipment hub all the way down to the smallest five-port switch hanging off our headphone display,” Moscovitch says.
Protecting Proprietary Information
The information obtained from the InfoSec analysis was an eye-opening experience for the Shelley's Stereo team. They learned not just what was needed in their showrooms to improve network performance, but also how they could tighten security processes from an operations standpoint.
“[The technical trainer's] insight into the inner workings of the different levels of products from the various vendors we are working with was extremely insightful,” Moscovitch says.
“We learned why we are experiencing some of the issues we have on a day-to-day basis concerning client devices, streaming issues, and latency issues.”
With this information in hand, Moscovitch realized they needed to take steps to improve the network as soon as possible – despite it being the integrator's busy season.
“We wanted to move forward and get our network revamped and as robust as possible,” he says.
As a result of the analysis, Shelley’s Stereo implemented additional procedures when an employee leaves the company to protect proprietary Shelley’s Stereo information.
Networking Begins at Home
With Access Networks Core systems implemented in the company's building and design center, the Shelley’s team says they feel more confident in specifying similar systems to their clients.
“Our clients are motivated by a combination of things, including advice and pre-purchase consultation, and the assistance we provide in dealing with the onslaught of constantly changing information about entertainment products and systems and, in recent years, the emergence of home automation and control systems,” Fogel says.
“They are also looking for professional design, product knowledge, sales deliver, hook-ups, installation, and integration of entertainment systems that exceed common performance and reliability expectations. If they are not running on a robust network foundation, hiccups might occur that will not be a result of our system design, but of that network.”
While the Shelley’s Stereo team has networking experts on staff, having the support of Access Networks engineers, as well as the option to specify Core systems in virtually any residential application, helps fill any gaps in the integrator’s knowledge, capabilities, and product offerings.
“I realized there is one segment of our business I felt needed some attention – networking,” Moscovitch says.
“The systems we install have grown larger over the years and are continuing to grow. We obviously need to be able to deploy systems that are reliable, robust, and built in such a way that we can have support from the vendor when we need it.”