Control & Automation

Best Buy’s Magnolia Launches Mag Care Remote Network Support, Powered by Domotz

New Mag Care app, powered by Domotz, is being deployed by Best Buy's Magnolia to help customers monitor their own networks and receive remote tech-support from in-store specialists.

Best Buy’s Magnolia Launches Mag Care Remote Network Support, Powered by Domotz
Best Buy's "Magnolia Care" service uses a branded Domotz Pro network-monitoring system for remote diagnostics and tech support. The companion Mag Care app helps homeowners manage their own network.

Julie Jacobson · May 19, 2017

Last year, Best Buy's Magnolia selected Domotz to help serve customers with remote network monitoring and tech support. Magnolia has been fairly quiet about this offering, but it is now rolling out its service under the new Magnolia Care plan.

Clients who purchase custom-installed smart-home solutions from Magnolia receive a Domotz Pro box, as well as one year of free service:

Magnolia Care is our promise to deliver an exceptional level of customer service from consultation to installation and beyond. As part of every custom installation project that goes through our Budget Builder process, you will receive, at no additional cost, one year of Magnolia Care. This program provides post-installation follow up, preventative maintenance and troubleshooting, done in a proactive and timely manner. You can also upgrade Magnolia Care to include Remote Management, adding an even greater level of support to your networked components. Together, these services cover your system like never before, for enhanced peace of mind.

The plan comes with a consumer-facing app called Mag Care (below) that allows users to monitor their own networks and perform certain diagnostics.

Mag Care App

Mag Care, the consumer-facing app for Magnolia Care clients, has between 100 and 500 downloads from the Android Play Store.

Meet "Magnolia Care" – The System Support App.

The first app designed specifically for Magnolia Design Center "Magnolia Care" customers – streamlining "smart home" support and troubleshooting of audio/video/control/automation and networking systems.

The Magnolia Care app makes requesting support from your local Magnolia Design Center easier than ever. The homeowner can request support and troubleshooting on a one-to-one basis to solve "smart home" issues faster than ever.

The app lets you request support from Magnolia with one tap, but in homes with "smart" power devices on select components, the app allows the homeowner to solve simple issues themselves with a device "reboot" feature.

PLEASE NOTE: The Magnolia Care App requires a special Log-in and password that can only be obtained from your Magnolia Design Center installer.

Magnolia Care's features include:

  • One-tap Support Request: request support from your Magnolia Service Technician in one tap via the app. Get help for an issue faster than ever!
  • Device Reboot: Reboot certain devices in one click to make a locked-up device work again (coming soon)
  • Alerts: Receive alerts when new devices join your network – to detect new people or intruders on your network
  • Who's Home: Visualize who is at home based on their personal devices – family, guests or unknown devices connected to your network (intruder detection)
  • Home Tech Inventory: see the devices on your network – and which are on-line or off-line
  • Network Diagnostics: run an Internet speed, latency and packet loss test to measure the quality of your Internet connection.

Help with Magnolia Care

The Magnolia Care App requires a log-in and password which can be provided to you by your Magnolia Design Center. Contact your Magnolia Design Center today to find out more about Magnolia Care getting access to the Magnolia Care App.

The Job of a Magnolia Care Specialist

A job posting for a Magnolia Care Technology Specialist provides additional information on the service:

The Magnolia Care Technical Specialist is responsible for providing a premium experience in the Magnolia VIP Care Program, which entails providing post installation technical management of the Magnolia products installed and programmed in residential and commercial spaces. The Magnolia Care Technical Specialist will serve as a single point of contact for clients in their post installation system monitoring, maintenance, and repair.

As a Magnolia Care Technical Specialist you will:

  • Perform ongoing monitoring, pro-active system maintenance, configuration and programming of advanced audio, video, lighting, surveillance, automated, and networked systems in Magnolia Care qualified residential spaces both remotely and onsite
  • Monitor, test, diagnose, repair, recreate advance programming, optimize and maintain client's Magnolia purchased equipment to ensure proper system functionality and performance benchmarks are achieved
  • Responsible for facilitating product repair in clients' system and expediting exchange of products, installation and programming.
  • Complete delivery and installation of audio/video, control and networking equipment
  • Educates clients on system operation tutorial

What are the Professional Requirements of a Magnolia Care Technical Specialist?

Basic Qualifications

  • 2years of experience with home audio/video installation work.
  • 2years of customer service experience
  • Must have valid Driver's License
  • 1year of experience with Control System Programming
  • Must be 21 of Years of Age or older
  • Must have a Clean Driving Record
  • Must be able to carry/lift/push/pull weight up to 75 lbs. with or without reasonable accommodation

PreferredQualifications

  • 3years of customer service experience
  • 6months of experience with using Inventory Management systems
  • Experience in escalating technical support issues
  • Microsoft Office expertise

 NEXT: Who Will Own the Home Cybersecurity Market - Security Dealers, Home-Automation Pros, Comcast?




  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

Follow Julie on social media:
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View Julie Jacobson's complete profile.



  Article Topics


Control & Automation · Networking & Cables · Networking · News · Products · Best Buy · Domotz · Magnolia · RMR · All Topics
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Comments

Posted by Frederick Ampel on May 23, 2017

Hi Bruno,
I don’t blame them or fault them for trying it’s just that they should have done more due diligence before rolling it out- they really need to recognizance that thier customers don’t want to work at making their systems function - if they don’t understand that major hurdle they are in deep trouble from the outset. I don’t think BB management will give them the kind of time (and $$) to spend a couple of years working out the kinks - the % of gross revenue Magnolia contributes to BB’s gross isn’t large enough to get that kind of rope. Remember they didn’t give Geek Squad much rope either. The senior folks up in Eden Prairie don’t see the long term view here - they look at quarterly spreadsheet and per store revenue first, last, and always.I don’t think that very many if any Smart Home/IT geeks made it to the   top floor of corporate management. It’s the money guys, and CFO’s who run the store at a company that size.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 23, 2017

Dear Frederick Ampel,

Really, I can’t blame them to try it. It worth the try. They have a reputation, so they can relie on.
At least some have balls to systematize it, and that not the case of our industry.
And for sure, they will face millions of problem, but they will adapt and little by little find the best way to do it.

Frederick, do you use remote supervision?
(if you don’t you are not allowed to talk here) grin  grin  grin

Then, I’m sure that Magnolia will find a way to get paid for service and maintenance. And this is also something that our industry is struggling with. So if they find out a way to monetize a better service thanks to remote supervision, I’m happy, it makes my day.

High tides raise all boats as told me a Krika competitor one day.

Bruno

 

Posted by Frederick Ampel on May 23, 2017

At first blush this seems like a great idea, and as pointed out a handy-dandy ice-breaker for the CEDIA world to push into this arena much more aggressively. However…............... the flaw in this roll out is asking the customer to do any kind of diagnostics or even to push re-boot on their own. Realistically, I am even less assured than Bruno, and would say he needs to include that last .0001 % because 100% of the buyers, especially high-end wealthy clients don’t want to do anything resembling work to keep their systems up and running. Even with a GIANT screaming international warning orange reboot button on every keypad, they still call at 10PM on a Sunday- we all know this. Magnolia is going to find this out the hard way, even though they should know better (remember the old joke about VCR’s flashing 12:00 years after install). Good concept, bad execution. If anyone knows how to get the client to push re-boot on their own let me know! Let’s just remember that these same clients either can’t or won’t do something as simple as clicking OK on Microsoft updates or patches for their home PC’s or regularly back up their data, so why does anyone think they will do any self-diagnostic work. That phone number is going to melt down from overloading by clients who could, can, and should be able to do what Magnolia thinks they should , but simply won’t because they paid Magnolia to do the work (eventually I suspect in many cases) and they believe that it is Magnolia’s problem when something stops working..
Physiologically these clients believe that this level of interaction with their technology is beneath them, just like turning on their sprinkler systems or cleaning the pool, Good Luck Magnolia!

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 21, 2017

Hey SpivR, I love this quote on your website, it sounds familiar to me! grin
Proud you use remote supervision for your client. There are not enough.

WE WON’T LET YOU DOWN WITH TECHNOLOGY!
WE OFFER SERVICE, MAINTENANCE PLANS, AND REMOTE SUPERVISION

Posted by SpivR on May 21, 2017

I think this is an excellent move.  Our company, www.DoItForMe.Solutions, already uses Domotz to support our customers (client buys the box, we provide free service) and this only helps the validate the market.

As someone one said, competition is good, when you don’t have anyone else doing what you are trying to do, that is the time to worry.

It is so much easier to say “We can do what xyz is doing, but different/better….” than trying to carry the education burden alone.

I am curious to see what happens when the consumer-oriented FingBox ships (company was purchased by Domotz last year and they just raised over $800K on Indiegogo)

From what I recall, they are planning to use BestBuy as one of their distribution channels.

There is overlap between Fingbox and Domotz - the differences are subtle and not the easiest to explain in a consumer/retail environment.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 20, 2017

Joking mode “On”
This false good idea has no chance for any success at all. According to 99,9999% of custom installers, they can’t sell remote supervision because there is no way to sell service, maintenance or any kind of RMR to clients. As all systems are supposed to be DIY, clients expect it to work forever without any issue. End of the story…
Joking mode “Off”

This said, I feel like Joseph. Happy and Proud that a big company like Best Buy’s Magnolia have the courage to do this and in the same time show to custom installers how to become home technologists. A little sad that our channel has never been able to set this standard by itself despite all the efforts done by CEDIA, the press and remote supervision manufacturers. But it’s never too late to do it good. In this case, Best Buy’s Magnolia are a little like GAFA. They will open the road for our industry. Let’s hope we grab this opportunity.

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on May 20, 2017

This is awesome!  Finally someone is setting the standard for tech support in a big way.  This is great for the service-oriented integrators in CEDIA because the bar they’re setting, while generally low, is still better than most integrators today.  That will vault the service-oriented ones to the front and should lead to their success.

Some details from Magnolia’s website:
-Mag Care includes basic remote support/follow up
-they offer “Remote Management”, aka monitoring, for an additional fee
-their marketing pitch is clearly selling peace of mind - the king of tech retail knows they’re not selling technology here, but an experience.
-they have a dedicated email and phone number for support, providing guaranteed 48-hour response time from M-F 10-6:30p
-they’re including one year of the Mag Care plan for free after every project, then they will charge for it after that

This is very much in-line with what OneVision has been doing with its platform, but the quality and response time is much better (instant, 24/7 support at no charge).

There will be a need for premium tech support in the market.  Best Buy will cater to the masses, but the wealthy will always be willing to pay more for better.  As an industry, we’ve already captured the wealthy end of the market for buying technology (just like Best Buy did with the mass market) - now we need to learn to monetize that relationship with service (just like Best Buy is doing).  We should stop worrying about the technology and start worrying about the experience we’re delivering.

Posted by Joseph Kolchinsky on May 20, 2017

This is awesome!  Finally someone is setting the standard for tech support in a big way.  This is great for the service-oriented integrators in CEDIA because the bar they’re setting, while generally low, is still better than most integrators today.  That will vault the service-oriented ones to the front and should lead to their success.

Some details from Magnolia’s website:
-Mag Care includes basic remote support/follow up
-they offer “Remote Management”, aka monitoring, for an additional fee
-their marketing pitch is clearly selling peace of mind - the king of tech retail knows they’re not selling technology here, but an experience.
-they have a dedicated email and phone number for support, providing guaranteed 48-hour response time from M-F 10-6:30p
-they’re including one year of the Mag Care plan for free after every project, then they will charge for it after that

This is very much in-line with what OneVision has been doing with its platform, but the quality and response time is much better (instant, 24/7 support at no charge).

There will be a need for premium tech support in the market.  Best Buy will cater to the masses, but the wealthy will always be willing to pay more for better.  As an industry, we’ve already captured the wealthy end of the market for buying technology (just like Best Buy did with the mass market) - now we need to learn to monetize that relationship with service (just like Best Buy is doing).  We should stop worrying about the technology and start worrying about the experience we’re delivering.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 20, 2017

Joking mode “On”
This false good idea has no chance for any success at all. According to 99,9999% of custom installers, they can’t sell remote supervision because there is no way to sell service, maintenance or any kind of RMR to clients. As all systems are supposed to be DIY, clients expect it to work forever without any issue. End of the story…
Joking mode “Off”

This said, I feel like Joseph. Happy and Proud that a big company like Best Buy’s Magnolia have the courage to do this and in the same time show to custom installers how to become home technologists. A little sad that our channel has never been able to set this standard by itself despite all the efforts done by CEDIA, the press and remote supervision manufacturers. But it’s never too late to do it good. In this case, Best Buy’s Magnolia are a little like GAFA. They will open the road for our industry. Let’s hope we grab this opportunity.

Posted by SpivR on May 21, 2017

I think this is an excellent move.  Our company, www.DoItForMe.Solutions, already uses Domotz to support our customers (client buys the box, we provide free service) and this only helps the validate the market.

As someone one said, competition is good, when you don’t have anyone else doing what you are trying to do, that is the time to worry.

It is so much easier to say “We can do what xyz is doing, but different/better….” than trying to carry the education burden alone.

I am curious to see what happens when the consumer-oriented FingBox ships (company was purchased by Domotz last year and they just raised over $800K on Indiegogo)

From what I recall, they are planning to use BestBuy as one of their distribution channels.

There is overlap between Fingbox and Domotz - the differences are subtle and not the easiest to explain in a consumer/retail environment.

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 21, 2017

Hey SpivR, I love this quote on your website, it sounds familiar to me! grin
Proud you use remote supervision for your client. There are not enough.

WE WON’T LET YOU DOWN WITH TECHNOLOGY!
WE OFFER SERVICE, MAINTENANCE PLANS, AND REMOTE SUPERVISION

Posted by Frederick Ampel on May 23, 2017

At first blush this seems like a great idea, and as pointed out a handy-dandy ice-breaker for the CEDIA world to push into this arena much more aggressively. However…............... the flaw in this roll out is asking the customer to do any kind of diagnostics or even to push re-boot on their own. Realistically, I am even less assured than Bruno, and would say he needs to include that last .0001 % because 100% of the buyers, especially high-end wealthy clients don’t want to do anything resembling work to keep their systems up and running. Even with a GIANT screaming international warning orange reboot button on every keypad, they still call at 10PM on a Sunday- we all know this. Magnolia is going to find this out the hard way, even though they should know better (remember the old joke about VCR’s flashing 12:00 years after install). Good concept, bad execution. If anyone knows how to get the client to push re-boot on their own let me know! Let’s just remember that these same clients either can’t or won’t do something as simple as clicking OK on Microsoft updates or patches for their home PC’s or regularly back up their data, so why does anyone think they will do any self-diagnostic work. That phone number is going to melt down from overloading by clients who could, can, and should be able to do what Magnolia thinks they should , but simply won’t because they paid Magnolia to do the work (eventually I suspect in many cases) and they believe that it is Magnolia’s problem when something stops working..
Physiologically these clients believe that this level of interaction with their technology is beneath them, just like turning on their sprinkler systems or cleaning the pool, Good Luck Magnolia!

Posted by Bruno Napoli on May 23, 2017

Dear Frederick Ampel,

Really, I can’t blame them to try it. It worth the try. They have a reputation, so they can relie on.
At least some have balls to systematize it, and that not the case of our industry.
And for sure, they will face millions of problem, but they will adapt and little by little find the best way to do it.

Frederick, do you use remote supervision?
(if you don’t you are not allowed to talk here) grin  grin  grin

Then, I’m sure that Magnolia will find a way to get paid for service and maintenance. And this is also something that our industry is struggling with. So if they find out a way to monetize a better service thanks to remote supervision, I’m happy, it makes my day.

High tides raise all boats as told me a Krika competitor one day.

Bruno

 

Posted by Frederick Ampel on May 23, 2017

Hi Bruno,
I don’t blame them or fault them for trying it’s just that they should have done more due diligence before rolling it out- they really need to recognizance that thier customers don’t want to work at making their systems function - if they don’t understand that major hurdle they are in deep trouble from the outset. I don’t think BB management will give them the kind of time (and $$) to spend a couple of years working out the kinks - the % of gross revenue Magnolia contributes to BB’s gross isn’t large enough to get that kind of rope. Remember they didn’t give Geek Squad much rope either. The senior folks up in Eden Prairie don’t see the long term view here - they look at quarterly spreadsheet and per store revenue first, last, and always.I don’t think that very many if any Smart Home/IT geeks made it to the   top floor of corporate management. It’s the money guys, and CFO’s who run the store at a company that size.