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SurgeX, Certified Cyber Solutions Form ‘Joint Venture’ [UPDATED]

SurgeX, a leader in power management, becomes exclusive distributor of remote network management products from Certified Cyber Solutions in select channels including commercial and residential A/V.


Julie Jacobson · February 16, 2012

Please see today’s update (2/16) following the original story, which was posted yesterday.

Feb. 15—SurgeX, a popular provider of power protection solutions for the custom installation channel, is now the exclusive distributor of Certified Cyber Solutions (CCS), maker of remote network management systems.

That was the word today from the rep firm Omega sales, which mentioned the collaboration today in a blog posting.

The companies have worked together for the past year to integrate their offerings. In June, they announced a “partnership” to bring CCS technology to SurgeX’s iControl power management platform.

The combination, they said, would provide “unsurpassed protection and power management for AV systems.”

Now the two companies have extended their partnership, making SurgeX the exclusive distributor of all CCS solutions, including the Home Cyber Shield (HCS) diagnostic system that monitors the IP network, home automation systems and other devices on the home network.

The extent of the partnership has not been revealed, but manufacturers’ rep Omega Sales calls it a “joint venture.”

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 2/16/2012
We spoke with SurgeX senior vice president Shannon Townley today, and he offered more details about the company’s partnership with Certified Cyber Solutions.

He doesn’t call the deal a “joint venture” but a “licensing agreement” in which SurgeX will come to own CCS’s remote network management technology for the pro A/V and residential A/V channels, as well as four other undisclosed markets.

For now, though, it’s business as usual for existing residential dealers, who will continue to deal directly with CCS, says co-founder Doug Weinstein. In areas where CCS does not have a presence, SurgeX reps will be invited to take on the line, most notably the flagship Home Cyber Shield (HCS) remote diagnostic system, mentioned above.

CCS also will continue to offer technical and training support for its own products, as well as for SurgeX products that incorporate CCS technology.

At some point, however, the technology as our channel knows it will be incorporated into SurgeX products and sold under the SurgeX brand … with SurgeX power protection.

Weinstein tells CE Pro that the company is evolving its business in other channels, and working with additional manufacturers to implement remote-access services for their IP-enabled devices. 

Why the Deal Makes Sense: Software vs. Hardware

The deal makes sense, Weinstein explains, because it is much easier to sell software-based technology into our channels when it is attached to traditional hardware. (Remember Premise Systems?)

“Something like power management is going to be spec’d anyway,” he says, so why not include remote network monitoring with that? Power protection rival APC had the same thought when it teamed with CCS competitor Ihiji for combo power management and remote monitoring last year.

It’s no secret that CCS and its competitors in the remote network management business have had a tough time selling their solutions into modest-sized installations. In smaller projects, the network service isn’t cheap, and the category is still new. But surge protectors – everyone knows what those are, and it’s not a stretch to add a layer of CCS technology into a Web-enabled power-protection device.

RELATED: Remote system diagnostics, monitoring needs new biz model

“Dealers who were buying the [CCS] technology will now get the best in network management, security management and control management,” says Townley, “They will now also get the best in surge protection.”

And not only surge protection, but power cycling and energy monitoring/management via SurgeX’s XW715 (iControl) Web-enabled power conditioning management system. Currently that product provides a rich Web-based interface for remote management and control … but only for one box at a time, each with its own IP address and its own interface.

Implementing CCS technology in the SurgeX product will not only add remote network management and system monitoring, but it will also enable integrators with multiple accounts to view all customers in one dashboard. Ditto for facilities managers who have multiple zones (boxes) in one locale.

“It will be a one-to-many solution,” Townley says.

In the next couple of months, he says, SurgeX will announce a rich product that combines iControl with CCS … with more to come.



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  About the Author

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 julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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