Somfy Brings Window-Covering Pros into CE Channel
Window-shading professionals are embracing the new Tahoma home automation system from Somfy, a world leader in motorization for window coverings and screens.
Somfy, a world leader in motorization for window coverings and screens, has recruited and trained the first 60 dealers for its new Tahoma home automation and energy management system, said business development manager Steve Iommi during the Electronic House Expo last week.
Introduced last year as a means for selling more motorized shades, Tahoma is a fairly simple system for controlling the company’s own motorized shades, as well as smart thermostats, lights and other Z-Wave-enabled devices.
Programming Tahoma is a breeze, which probably explains why the large majority of new dealers comes from the window-treatment business.
Iommi says these dealers already grasp “scenes” and related home-control concepts since they work with traditional integrators for many of their jobs.
“Now they’re being taught basic lighting control and basic thermostat control,” he says.
About one-third of Tahoma dealers have window-covering showrooms, “and most of those are investing more in showing Tahoma,” according to Iommi.
He tells of at least one such dealer that has “made the decision to lead with automation,” even when a prospect walks in the door requesting little more than manual shades.
“He’s all in,” Iommi says. “He’s thinking like an automation solution provider.”
On the business side, Somfy asks new dealers to buy two kits ($1,500 total) – one complete control system-in-a-case and a turnkey demo system they can install in their own offices or take on the road.
Somfy also has implemented Zendesk customer-support software that enables quick and effective-follow-up by four Somfy customer-service agents.
Tahoma’s simple programming environment is drawing window-treatment pros, as well as integrators seeking entry-level home-automation lines
Tahoma-in-a-case can be installed in a dealer’s showroom or toted to customer premises for demo purposes
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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