Appalachian Network Services (AppNet) seeks to maximize the efficiency of its employees by reducing travel requirements with remote configuration capabilities.
has been providing commercial IT support and technology integration to businesses in western North Carolina since 2006. As technology changes and solutions improve, AppNet has continued to adjust and expand its diverse offerings to service commercial customers of all kinds. Some of their core areas of focus are the design and implementation of wired and wireless networks as well as security systems.
This network-savvy company has always sought to maximize the efficiency of its employees by enabling remote configuration and programming. For video security systems, AppNet has been a long-time user of Bosch Configuration Manager, which has enabled the company to reduce the travel requirements of its programmers.
For a recent project at a continuing care retirement community in North Carolina, AppNet tested the Bosch Project Assistant app and Remote Portal for the first time. Bosch Project Assistant is a free app that supports system integrators in the planning, pre-configuration, commissioning and reporting for video security projects. For AppNet's 49-camera project at the continuing care retirement community, Bosch Project Assistant enabled the two on-site field technicians to work faster. One technician used the app to name the previously-mounted FLEXIDOME IP outdoor 5000i cameras and load basic settings, while the other technician was able to move ahead to locate and begin work on the next camera.
"Project Assistant easily cut our camera installation labor by 30%,"
Using Remote Portal, Bosch's cloud-based solution that offers secure remote access to customer devices, AppNet's programmer updated firmware for all of the cameras remotely. Historically, their programmers have connected via VPN to use Configuration Manager installed on a server at the customer site to set up recording. With Bosch’s recent integration of Configuration Manager to Remote Portal, this configuration can be done directly, even without VPN access.
"Project Assistant can help get our field technicians off the ladder faster and give them the ability to name and focus the cameras. This means our experienced programmers working back at the office do not need to do these tasks."
The result is reduced labor costs for the company.
AppNet plans to use the additional capabilities of the Project Assistant App on future jobs to pre-provision the cameras before going onsite. With Project Assistant, users can create a set of virtual cameras within the app that eliminates the need for unboxing and re-boxing of products for labeling and pre-configuration. Once the cameras are physically installed on site and connected to a network, they are ready to be matched to the virtual cameras set up in Project Assistant. By simply scanning a QR code from the camera box, on the outside of the Bosch camera, or the sticker sheet inside the box, the MAC address of the camera is identified and assigned to a specific virtual camera in the app. This action writes the pre-defined settings in the Project Assistant app directly to the camera.
"This represents a progression in project planning. For our next project, we will use the QR scanning capabilities to pre-provision the cameras. We will label the boxes with their position based on the blueprint of the project," continued Russello.
Russello credits a strong relationship with local Bosch Application Design Specialist Matthew Cirnigliaro who provided guidance on using the various Bosch tools available to customers.
"AppNet is unique in the amount of project work they are able to perform remotely. Other security integrators can learn from the efficiency benefits that AppNet is gaining using Project Assistant and Remote Portal," said Cirnigliaro.
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