Bryan Jefferson, principal of The SOHO Shop based in the St. Louis, MO area concurs with the emphasis on engaging the key players from the start. “Everyone has to be on board from the start. It is important to insure that the total project has appropriate buy-in from each of the appropriate players from the beginning,” he says. “There must be adequate connectivity and consistency among locations.”
Relationships need to be established among the representatives of the various aspects of the network in order to make sure everyone on the same page. “The largest issue when it comes to multi-building networking and installation is keeping the appropriate groups involved in the project,” says Jefferson. “If the right groups are not involved, the project will come to a halt.”
Once the teams are on board, the first steps of installation in a multi-building network is to make sure that communication can be tested among those multiple buildings. “That means getting a bare bones system in place to the point where it is possible to test communication from one building to another, or one building to many,” says Paul Williams, vice president of Security and Communications Experience at Control4. “That makes more sense than finishing one building and getting to the next one only to find that there is no communication between the buildings.”
When linking networks among different buildings, the big concept to understand is the network topology. “How are the networks connected between the buildings?” asks Williams. “Is it one big network or are they set up in several sub-networks or sub-structured networks?” The network topology is going to have a huge impact on how the system is configured and how it is maintained over time.
Unfortunately, some of the topology is going to be dictated; that’s the realm of automation, especially when dealing with a multi-building network. “Larger organizations or companies have