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3 Emerging Managed Services Companies

Three companies have emerged in the wake of Atomoo's failure. But will clients pay up to $3 per month per device to ensure home theaters and networks work properly?


Companies do not seem discouraged by the demise of Atomoo in September 2009.
Jason Knott · December 8, 2009
In the IT industry, remote monitoring systems are somewhat commonplace. But in the custom business, they are virtually unheard of. So how much should dealers be charging for these remote units?

Atlas plans to charge between $1,800 and $1,900 for its unit when it hits the market. The company also will charge dealers about $35 to $50 per month per client for remote monitoring service, or about $2 to $3 per device per month. Levine recommends dealers add a 50-point margin on that monitoring service.

Certified Cyber Solutions

Certified Cyber Solutions, headed by industry veterans Doug Weinstein of Elf Foundation fame and Russ Pritchard, owner of The Audio Warehouse, is a 25-year-old installation company in Charleston, S.C. with a unique aspect to its product: it claims to provide not just performance monitoring, but also cybersecurity that safeguards a system by prohibiting outsiders from accessing a home network. Identity theft, malware, viruses, netbots and malicious attacks can disrupt a home network just as viciously as a business network.

The company’s product group, Home Cyber Shield, launched in October and is being sold through a CEDIA dealer network, as well as through independent IT network integration firms.

“As a founding member of CEDIA and business owner who has over the years worked with many clients, I knew that as we designed and integrated ever more sophisticated digital networks in folks’ homes, we also had to assume more responsibility in safeguarding who could gain access to those networks, and that we had to protect the privacy rights of our clients and make sure cyber criminals couldn’t gain easy access to their personal computers and media content,” says Pritchard.

Weinstein says integrators should not overlook the threat of having their IP-based systems hacked, saying dealers are leaving their clients’ “windows wide open and the front door unlocked” with an unprotected IP system.

“Just as we have become proficient in safeguarding people’s physical security with home alarms, cameras and intercom systems, now is the time to turn our attention to safeguarding the security inside the home, including private information, computer systems, media content and individual appliances that can be exploited by cyber criminals or insider threats,” says Weinstein.

ihiji

ihiji is a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company run by Stuart Rench and Michael Maniscalco that debuted at CEDIA Expo 2009. The company has a product line called invision, which is a Web solution that provides a secure gateway for dealers to remotely monitor, service and maintain all aspects of each client’s in-home electronic systems, including, entertainment, network, HVAC and lighting systems.

When a dealer logs into the system, a dashboard shows the status of every system (and every component) he has in the field, depicting problems in red, warnings in orange and components in satisfactory condition in green. ihiji goes even deeper by detailing the specific problem with an individual component.

There is no software to install. ihiji does not automatically recognize components, but requires an integrator to input the specific devices in a system. ihiji has four pricing tiers ranging from $120/year to $3,000/year. The system will be available in Q1 of 2010.



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  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Security · Monitoring · News · Ihiji · Networking · Service Contracts · All Topics
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