This might be one of my all-time favorite quotes:
“We don’t believe the future is in warranties, but in service and support,” says Conor O’Sullivan, senior vice president, AmTrust Innovation Labs.
Integrators should take note of this. Entire warranty/insurance companies are saying that their own business models are being disrupted and they are pivoting towards providing support. The best integrators in the industry will recognize this same thing and gain the confidence to lead their relationships with service.
I agree with almost everything in the article, almost. In the 20 years I have been in this business, I have NEVER been asked about certification, not once. 99% of my customers have never heard of CEDIA, or HTA, much less any certification. The only thing most are interested in when it comes to certification is insurance and licensing. Selling is an interesting concept when it comes to the very rich. Like the article says, the vast majority of my customers have never heard of the products I am selling them. Selling the experience is of utmost importance. Letting them know they are not going to have issues with their products is paramount, as is the ease of use for them. There is a tactic I use when trying to explain to them they are getting the best products they have never heard of is from a purely selfish point of view. I let them know that, in addition to a great experience, the reason I choose to sell them the best equipment available is because I don’t want to get that Saturday night phone call when their system craps out. The higher the quality of products, the less likely there will ever be that phone call. I add that all quality integrators do the same thing. It adds a bit of levity, and shows the owner that his experience is directly linked to my own. It gains their trust while not sounding like a pitch to spend more money. The interesting thing is I am telling them the truth, and they know it.
While I agree with most of the points in the article, I’d love to know what the value of a CEDIA certification is? Nobody other than industry insiders even knows what it is. CEDIA has done a piss poor job of marketing the value of hiring a “certified” technician. Errr…Someone who paid $500.
Now, if you’re using CEDIA to learn the trade, then I suppose there is some value. But if you think slapping that CEDIA logo on your website, business cards, and vans is going to get you any new business, think again. Spend the money elsewhere.
But hey, CEDIA has got a sweet new building in Indy going up.
Wow. Not one word about the most significant upgrade this unit has over the NR1608…but the picture at the top tells the tale. Marantz is now including phono inputs on ALL of it’s AVRs now! No longer is the feature restricted to just the high end models. Additionally, Marantz has added full web-based controls, and Smart Remote Management (although I am not sure what that entails). They have also promised support for Apple’s Airplay 2 via a firmware update.
If you use a group that’s as small as the CE Pro Top 100, you have no choice but to think that the good ones are a small percentage of the industry. How many integrators are working in the US? If the number of distributors is any indication, a lot more than you seem to have considered.
If you want to see where a problem lies, look into the electricians who have branched out to attempting to do AV work. They have a total lack of understanding when it comes to cable routing and grounding for communication equipment but it doesn’t seem to keep them from thinking they can do it- hey, it’s only a matter of installing more cables, right?
Kevin—I take full blame for writing the commentary. I disagree with your assessment that it is “incorrect.” We state that Ring products “do not integrate well with traditional home-automation systems.” It’s very nice that dealers can use your custom driver to create triggers for motion and button-presses for two specific home automation systems. However, my opinion is that if there is no audio and video integration, and Ring itself doesn’t make an effort to enable such integration, then in fact the products “do not integrate WELL with traditional home-automation systems.” I believe integrating “well” would include the ability to do something that a common motion sensor couldn’t do.
Here is the story we wrote about the very nice BlackWire driver last year: https://www.cepro.com/article/control4_finally_integrates_directly_with_ring_video_doorbell_sort_of
This article is incorrect about Ring integrating with home automation systems.
BlackWire (a Ring Doorbell partner and distributor) offers an authorized Ring Events driver for Control4 and URC. The drivers allow you to program events and actions based off of the button being pressed and motion. While there is currently no video on the automation touch screens of these platforms events provide a great integration into the systems.
Glad to see more dealers understanding that packages help you sell. We have been pushing this for over a decade. People buy a lifestyle, not a part (they shop parts). These showrooms help homeowners see themselves in a new way to live. Something we did 20 years ago was get local artists to place art in our showroom that you can change out every few months to “freshen” the look and keep it new. The one room most dealers don’t have is the “Burn in” room, where we built our client’s racks and tested the system in our showroom before the local piano mover picked them up and moved them out to the jobsite. Cheaper, and did a much better job than my guys. Compared to pianos, racks are easy for them.
The only 3 TV manufactures hold top 3 spots in TV manufacturing.
Julie, Lenovo computers are already restricted as well. And I would agree with Congress that it makes sense to ban these companies from installing equipment in government facilities. Some of these companies are either Chinese State owned, or have significant ties to their military.
Our company started offering lighting and sound system installations about 5 years ago. We also started offering landscaping designs about 9 years ago. It is different than the traditional lawn care we did before. Architecture is very important in this process and there’s more on the line when you’re doing a landscaping overhaul.
It’s definitely more work and coordination but the results are worth the time and effort.
Thanks for sharing.
So true, Guy. What next—Chinese-made routers, access points, security systems, cellphones, cell towers, networking gear, rfid readers, computers ....?
I understand the US House of representatives are aware that may American suppliers like Honeywell, Tyco (Johnson Controls), Interlogix (UTC), etc. are OEM dealers of these Chinese brands, so the options will be pay 50% more on Korean or almost 100% more to European cameras.
This can impact any budget and what initially looks good to local Systems Integrator, can be a disaster to the market, with suspension of many government bids until review the costs / investments.
Are the Congress discussing this impact? The bill cover this topic?
We were there with Josh.ai
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