AES' IntelliStart service making an impact
LAS VEGAS—Since August 2012, when AT&T announced it will discontinue its 2G service on Jan. 1, 2017, talk about the need for central stations and dealers to protect themselves from the adverse effects of cellular “sunsets” has picked up.
Involved in the “future-proofing” discussion is Peabody, Mass.-based AES Corporation and its IntelliNet technology, a patented wireless mesh network that operates independently of phone lines or cellular networks.
The company was active at ISC West, held here in early April, launching a network connectivity tool and a configuration and diagnostic tool for IntelliNet, while also promoting their recently introduced IntelliStart service, an offering that combines on-site training and technical support for central stations in the early stages of IntelliNet deployment.
That service, according to Gary Shottes, president of AES, helps remove some of the mystery of the mesh network. Since the service’s launch, the company has seen a rise in IntelliNet adoption, Shottes said.
He doesn’t believe that’s a coincidence.
“We take our best engineers and our best technical support people and we package them up into a hardware, infrastructure and professional services offering, and that enables us to go out and engage with central stations very proactively,” he said.
A major perk of the package, Shottes added, is the accelerated deployment, which is finalized within a five-day window. Training includes sessions in the central station and out in field.
“They get the benefit of doing that which they were trained to do, and they get the benefit of knowledge transfer and best practices when we’re in the field with them,” Shottes said.
The service attempts to confront directly what Shottes views as the biggest obstacle to broader adoption of IntelliNet: the perceived challenges of owning and operating a network that’s independent of public service infrastructure. The IntelliStart service is designed to dispel whatever reservations might still exist, Shottes explained.
As for the products launched at ISC West, Shottes believes both tools will immediately strengthen AES’ value proposition. The network connectivity tool allows installers or salespersons to “literally press one button” to “determine whether or not a location at a home or business is good to install a wireless radio,” reducing what had been a 30- to 60-minute process to “between 20 and 40 seconds,” Shottes noted.
He added that the tool uses a proprietary algorithm to identify single or multiple connectivity points, the latter being ideal for wireless radios.
Also introduced at ISC West was the company’s new configuration and diagnostic tool, a component that snaps on to a handheld programmer and allows installers, central stations and dealers to efficiently manage variables and make modifications to subscriber units in the network.
Described by Shottes as a “productivity tool,” the product also “dramatically reduces the possibility for data entry error,” he said.