Crestron Prodigy is Backbone for New Security Business
Memphis-based Creative Media Systems bundles Crestron Prodigy with GE or DSC Security, bringing in up to $55 per month.
Creative Media Systems (CMS) in Memphis, Tenn., is like many home systems integrators, installing audio, video, automation, just about every type of home technology … except security.
“We just gave it away,” says CMS principal Mark Trusty, who used to hand recurring revenue to a local security dealer. “It sounds kind of silly, but we didn’t do security because of licensing and some other hurdles.”
But about eight months ago, Trusty and his team decided to go all-in. And, yes, CMS company has registered the domain name trustysecurity.com.
For its security business, CMS started with what it knew best, Crestron, bundling a Prodigy home controller, including dimmers and a thermostat, with a GE or DSC alarm panel. The security panels include back-up cellular communications, and the entire system is accessible via an iPhone or any browser, thanks to Prodigy’s built-in Web server.
Adding Cameras to Mix
CMS does not currently integrate cameras into its basic security offering, but it does offer standalone CCTV and DVR solutions from Speco. The TL series DVRs, which support H.264 compression, have a built-in Web server including a free DDNS service. “It’s easy, and it doesn’t cost customers anything extra [for remote access],” Trusty says.
The gear is configured at the shop and ready to install, even for the greenest installers.
“We had guys in-house that weren’t as busy as they should be,” Trusty says. “We re-trained them and, within a week, it got to be where they could to the office in the A.M., pick up the gear, and be in and out in one day.”
CMS arranges for an electrician to install the dimmers, which are already registered into the Crestron system. CMS charges about $2,500 for a basic installation and collects $38 per month for monitoring and remote access to the security system. For another $15 per month, customers also get remote access to lights and thermostats.
With this security-centric approach, “I think I can sell 100-150 Prodigy systems per year rather than trying to do 100 theaters,” Trusty says.
An added benefit? “We can be a lot more picky about jobs if we have a set amount of revenue coming in every month.”
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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