Control & Automation

Brand-Centric Business Model Boosts Integrator’s Profits by 50%

Houston integrator Digital Delight leaves traditional business model based on equipment margin for a high-volume operation using Logitech for control.

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17 Comments
Posted by nicko82 on August 13, 2017

Funny when the people vocally against these types of installs disappear when a success story comes up.

Posted by Ridogn on August 13, 2017

How do we get a hold of Rory Dooley?

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 13, 2017

Hey Ridogn, I work on the pro channel for Logitech. What can I help you out with?

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 13, 2017

nicko82. We are just happy when articles like this are shared highlighting that Logitech has a real solution for the channel. I was on the phone an hour ago with a dealer in LA who was saying how much he liked our products, and thanked me for helping him to find a distributor and answer some of his product questions. Are you already a Harmony dealer nicko82?

Posted by Ridogn on August 14, 2017

@bbjorkquist Great.  How do I get a hold of you?

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 14, 2017

Brett Bjorkquist
[email protected]

Shoot me an email and we can figure out a time to talk today and get your questions answered.

Posted by MaverickAV on August 14, 2017

I’m glad someone is finding success in this niche, but I’d be curious to know what the service call rate is on consumer equipment, with customers having access to programming, etc.  I’ve personally spent a few hours trying to get a customers harmony remote to do something that took us 5 minutes with C4 or Savant.  I’d be interested to see how their pro offerings have changed.  As for the stress of financials of a larger system?  A company should never float costs for a large project, or any project for that matter.  Customers should always have a clearly planned draw schedule.  It’s not uncommon for our customers to pay 60% down on contract closure, no matter how small or big the project.  This protects us and allows us to be assured that the customer is truly financially capable of handling the financials associated with a large project.

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 14, 2017

@MaverickAV I’d be more than happy to put a call together and go over the capabilities of our products. If you ever run into a programming issue, we have a dedicated dealer support line, open 7 days a week for installers. If you email me, I am happy to provide it to you or anyone else that needs it. Let me know and I am happy to set up a video conference call to walk you through anything you might want to know.

Posted by Ron Callis - One Firefly on August 15, 2017

What a great business turn around success story. We are going to see more and more “classic” large project integrators turn to the middle market. These “DIFY” customers want and need the help. Who better than our channel to design business models to support them. Great job Jason finding this story and sharing with the industry .

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 15, 2017

Agreed Ron. In my 15 years in the CI space I’ve programmed a variety of different sized systems. There is no question that the middle market is underserved by our channel, but is growing dramatically, spurred on by brands that haven’t classically been considered CI. While Digital Delight decided to change their entire business model, I speak with a few dealers a week that are looking to capture new market with brands like Harmony, Sonos, Lutron, Amazon Alexa, Nest and others; all while maintaining their larger control business. I sit down and help them design a quick, profitable, solution-driven business model with premium products their installers can get up to speed on quickly. This segment of the market will continue to be one of the strongest growth areas for the industry, and we just want to make sure as many dealers as possible take advantage of that growth.

Posted by topp on August 15, 2017

I have been using Harmony exclusively for more than 10 years.  I will work/have worked on a number of large pre-existing centralized systems but I always talk people out of doing that on jobs I start/finish.  I love the single room system, and I love the middle market.  Perfect for my two person business.

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 15, 2017

Thank you Topp we appreciate the loyalty. If you aren’t already you should send me an email and I’ll make sure you get invited to our Webinar series. We have great tips and tricks for new guys and those 10 years in. In September we will do a CEDIA recap, followed by product training and some industry trend data, you haven’t seen anywhere else. Plus it’s an open forum with Pike and myself where we answer questions live for an hour, register for giveaways and just have a good time while supporting our dealers. Actually I’d invite any dealer that wants to learn more to email me and I’ll get you signed up.

Posted by Niko on August 20, 2017

(Different Niko).  I could be cynical and say that these guys couldn’t hang with the big boys at high end homes so they’re going after the tract home market but I’ll assume they genuinely want to serve an under-served market.  The problem is, consumer products are here already.  The DIYers and people who live in a $200k house already own an amazon echo and can do many things on their own with Nest Cameras, thermostats, Caseta wireless lighting, etc. Why do they need THESE guys? On top of that, what happens if these guys go out of business or move on to a different product? The customer is stuck with an obsolete product that they can’t get support for.

There is a reason why professional installations of systems are limited to the houses on exclusive neighborhoods (River Oaks and Memorial in Houston).  They can afford the best of the best, and they’re willing to throw it all out in 10 years and start over.  Every now and then I get a call from someone in an upper middle class house in the suburb where their builder decided it was a good idea to put in a Lutron Homeworks system and of course the original installer is long out of business. When I explain to them how much it costs to fix (which involves upgrading to QS), they go into shock.  “What?!?  None of our lights are working and we have to spend that much to get it going again?!?  This came with the house we bought! If we knew it would cost this much, we wouldn’t have bought it!”. 

In contrast, you talk to someone in a $4 million house and tell them “Yeah, your system is no longer supported, it would cost xxxxx to upgrade”, they are usually ok with it.  We are not needed for the middle class. They already have amazon and google.

Posted by Jason Knott on August 21, 2017

Niko—According to data from Honeywell, over 50% of people who buy a DIY thermostat end up hiring a professional to install it, so there is installation revenue potential in markets that are beyond affluent areas.

Posted by DIGITAL DELIGHT / DIFY TECH on August 22, 2017

Hey Everyone,
Let us start by saying “Thank You” to all the great people at CE Pro & Logitech for blessing our company with this great article. We greatly appreciate Jason’s time to speak with us to learn more about how Logitech’s Harmony system has greatly impacted our business for the better. Since its release we have had an outpour of support from several manufacturers, local distributors & our customers.

For almost 2 decades Digital Delight has striven to provide quality technology solutions & services to all of our clients here in the greater Houston area. Working with companies like Logitech, SONOS, NEST, Lutron & many more “DIY/IoT” solution providers has widened our customer reach to places we never thought we could go. These newer & affordable technology solutions have given us the opportunity to meet and work with so many more great people & really expand our client base within the past couple of years. For that we say “Thank You” to all these great manufactures & we look forward to your future developments.

We also would like to thank everyone who has left a comment thus far. We greatly appreciate your valuable feedback, and the time you took to share your opinion & views. We understand this business model might not be for everyone & that’s ok. Should you want to know more about how we are utilizing Logitech Harmony as our primary control solution please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us directly at 713.283.8100. We want to support the industry & community in any way we can. We will be attending this year’s CEDIA EXPO in San Diego so if any you would like to sit down & talk with us we would gladly welcome any invitation.

In closing we want to express our overwhelming gratitude to Logitech (Paikan & Brett in particular) & Jason w/ CE Pro for giving Digital Delight a platform to share our model with. It’s been absolutely great working with you all & we look forward to future projects. On behalf of everyone at Digital Delight we say Thank You All & wish you all a successful rest of the year.

Sincerely,
JJ Canon
Founder/CEO
Digital Delight

Posted by AVTech on August 31, 2017

I second this path, It’s nice to find another company taking the stance we have from the beginning.  I have taken more C4 systems out and replaced with Logitech than I can count on two hands.  In our market, a simple one room C4 setup can be 15-20% of a job and customers are delighted to hear they can have 95% of the same functions a single room C4 system can provide at a third of the cost.  As far as reliability, again no system is perfect but it’s far and few between that I get calls about a remote or hub locking up.  If I do, a simple reset is all that’s needed.  Nothing all that different than any major control system but clients are far more understanding that their inexpensive remote needs a reboot compared to their costly control system.  I will stick with Logitech for the long haul right now, I hope they continue to improve and innovate their products as I think they are the major player.  Logitech, if you are listening, please add a network jack on your upcoming products!

Posted by bbjorkquist on September 11, 2017

Thanks AVTech, we are definitely listening, I must have just missed this post with everything going on for CEDIA. While we don’t talk about new product before their time, an Ethernet port on the hub is a request those of us on the CI side as well as many installers like you have asked for. We absolutely take all of those requests into account when we look at new products and features to add to our road map.

Some of those new features just announced and live now or by the end of September are: an updated Sonos integration that is live now and allows the client to add and remove speakers during an activity as well as adjusting the volume by group or discretely by device. Of course we also show the now playing and can also access Sonos favorites that you or your client have created. Another great one installers have been asking for and due out at the end of September is our new HEOS integration which adds all the same controls I just listed. We also just announced IP control over Sony TVs, as well as an integration with the brand new Lutron RA2 Select that was just announced last week and expected to launch at the end of September. Of course our Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for Google Home integrations have a ton of great functionality as well and were recently updated with new skills too.

Plus as more devices continue to allow IP control, our network scan over both Ethernet and WiFi massively speed up the process by automatically adding IP, IR and BT networked devices, saving the installer from needing to input the IP or MAC address manually. Guaranteed, this will be huge for installers within the 12-24 months as more products offer control over IP.

As always we appreciate all of the support and continue to grow our business by helping yours. I just got back from CEDIA on Saturday night and the response from dealers was tremendous. Many dealers that install large scale control platforms (staying away from naming names) spent a ton of time with us so we could show them how to expand their business by adding a control platform that allows installers to offer entertainment, audio distribution, lighting, HVAC, and home security control options to potential clients in the $5k-$15k range, that they can literally install in 1-2 hours (hardware and programming) with a basic tech.

Add to that advanced hardware, bulletproof reliability, 7 day a week dealer support, a brand new eLearning portal, no retail sales on the Harmony Pro, and the ability to update and push a sync to your client without rolling a truck. That’s a lot of feedback we have taken from the channel, as well as a lot of reasons for an installer to be using Logitech Harmony either as a primary brand or as a strong secondary brand to help penetrate the $5k-$15k market; which is growing faster than any other channel segment.

Sorry for the length AVTech, but hopefully it shows we are absolutely listening to our installer base. Pike and I are hosting a webinar Wednesday the 20th, covering new features, tips and tricks, and some new solution selling strategies dealers can implement. You are welcome to join, just register at the below link and if you can’t make it I can get you the recorded video as a follow up. 

https://logitech.zoom.us/webinar/register/43b950f9933081637c24e00bf0acd2b8

Thanks again for the support, and to JJ and Peter over at Digital Delight as well. I actually called them while on the floor at CEDIA and they came over to talk to another great dealer I met who was looking to expand their high-end business to include Harmony for mid-base level installations.

Enjoy the day, and you have my contact info if you want to chat further as well. We’re always happy to support those growing their business with Logitech.

Brett Bjorkquist
[email protected]

17 Comments
Posted by bbjorkquist on September 11, 2017

Thanks AVTech, we are definitely listening, I must have just missed this post with everything going on for CEDIA. While we don’t talk about new product before their time, an Ethernet port on the hub is a request those of us on the CI side as well as many installers like you have asked for. We absolutely take all of those requests into account when we look at new products and features to add to our road map.

Some of those new features just announced and live now or by the end of September are: an updated Sonos integration that is live now and allows the client to add and remove speakers during an activity as well as adjusting the volume by group or discretely by device. Of course we also show the now playing and can also access Sonos favorites that you or your client have created. Another great one installers have been asking for and due out at the end of September is our new HEOS integration which adds all the same controls I just listed. We also just announced IP control over Sony TVs, as well as an integration with the brand new Lutron RA2 Select that was just announced last week and expected to launch at the end of September. Of course our Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for Google Home integrations have a ton of great functionality as well and were recently updated with new skills too.

Plus as more devices continue to allow IP control, our network scan over both Ethernet and WiFi massively speed up the process by automatically adding IP, IR and BT networked devices, saving the installer from needing to input the IP or MAC address manually. Guaranteed, this will be huge for installers within the 12-24 months as more products offer control over IP.

As always we appreciate all of the support and continue to grow our business by helping yours. I just got back from CEDIA on Saturday night and the response from dealers was tremendous. Many dealers that install large scale control platforms (staying away from naming names) spent a ton of time with us so we could show them how to expand their business by adding a control platform that allows installers to offer entertainment, audio distribution, lighting, HVAC, and home security control options to potential clients in the $5k-$15k range, that they can literally install in 1-2 hours (hardware and programming) with a basic tech.

Add to that advanced hardware, bulletproof reliability, 7 day a week dealer support, a brand new eLearning portal, no retail sales on the Harmony Pro, and the ability to update and push a sync to your client without rolling a truck. That’s a lot of feedback we have taken from the channel, as well as a lot of reasons for an installer to be using Logitech Harmony either as a primary brand or as a strong secondary brand to help penetrate the $5k-$15k market; which is growing faster than any other channel segment.

Sorry for the length AVTech, but hopefully it shows we are absolutely listening to our installer base. Pike and I are hosting a webinar Wednesday the 20th, covering new features, tips and tricks, and some new solution selling strategies dealers can implement. You are welcome to join, just register at the below link and if you can’t make it I can get you the recorded video as a follow up. 

https://logitech.zoom.us/webinar/register/43b950f9933081637c24e00bf0acd2b8

Thanks again for the support, and to JJ and Peter over at Digital Delight as well. I actually called them while on the floor at CEDIA and they came over to talk to another great dealer I met who was looking to expand their high-end business to include Harmony for mid-base level installations.

Enjoy the day, and you have my contact info if you want to chat further as well. We’re always happy to support those growing their business with Logitech.

Brett Bjorkquist
[email protected]

Posted by AVTech on August 31, 2017

I second this path, It’s nice to find another company taking the stance we have from the beginning.  I have taken more C4 systems out and replaced with Logitech than I can count on two hands.  In our market, a simple one room C4 setup can be 15-20% of a job and customers are delighted to hear they can have 95% of the same functions a single room C4 system can provide at a third of the cost.  As far as reliability, again no system is perfect but it’s far and few between that I get calls about a remote or hub locking up.  If I do, a simple reset is all that’s needed.  Nothing all that different than any major control system but clients are far more understanding that their inexpensive remote needs a reboot compared to their costly control system.  I will stick with Logitech for the long haul right now, I hope they continue to improve and innovate their products as I think they are the major player.  Logitech, if you are listening, please add a network jack on your upcoming products!

Posted by DIGITAL DELIGHT / DIFY TECH on August 22, 2017

Hey Everyone,
Let us start by saying “Thank You” to all the great people at CE Pro & Logitech for blessing our company with this great article. We greatly appreciate Jason’s time to speak with us to learn more about how Logitech’s Harmony system has greatly impacted our business for the better. Since its release we have had an outpour of support from several manufacturers, local distributors & our customers.

For almost 2 decades Digital Delight has striven to provide quality technology solutions & services to all of our clients here in the greater Houston area. Working with companies like Logitech, SONOS, NEST, Lutron & many more “DIY/IoT” solution providers has widened our customer reach to places we never thought we could go. These newer & affordable technology solutions have given us the opportunity to meet and work with so many more great people & really expand our client base within the past couple of years. For that we say “Thank You” to all these great manufactures & we look forward to your future developments.

We also would like to thank everyone who has left a comment thus far. We greatly appreciate your valuable feedback, and the time you took to share your opinion & views. We understand this business model might not be for everyone & that’s ok. Should you want to know more about how we are utilizing Logitech Harmony as our primary control solution please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or call us directly at 713.283.8100. We want to support the industry & community in any way we can. We will be attending this year’s CEDIA EXPO in San Diego so if any you would like to sit down & talk with us we would gladly welcome any invitation.

In closing we want to express our overwhelming gratitude to Logitech (Paikan & Brett in particular) & Jason w/ CE Pro for giving Digital Delight a platform to share our model with. It’s been absolutely great working with you all & we look forward to future projects. On behalf of everyone at Digital Delight we say Thank You All & wish you all a successful rest of the year.

Sincerely,
JJ Canon
Founder/CEO
Digital Delight

Posted by Jason Knott on August 21, 2017

Niko—According to data from Honeywell, over 50% of people who buy a DIY thermostat end up hiring a professional to install it, so there is installation revenue potential in markets that are beyond affluent areas.

Posted by Niko on August 20, 2017

(Different Niko).  I could be cynical and say that these guys couldn’t hang with the big boys at high end homes so they’re going after the tract home market but I’ll assume they genuinely want to serve an under-served market.  The problem is, consumer products are here already.  The DIYers and people who live in a $200k house already own an amazon echo and can do many things on their own with Nest Cameras, thermostats, Caseta wireless lighting, etc. Why do they need THESE guys? On top of that, what happens if these guys go out of business or move on to a different product? The customer is stuck with an obsolete product that they can’t get support for.

There is a reason why professional installations of systems are limited to the houses on exclusive neighborhoods (River Oaks and Memorial in Houston).  They can afford the best of the best, and they’re willing to throw it all out in 10 years and start over.  Every now and then I get a call from someone in an upper middle class house in the suburb where their builder decided it was a good idea to put in a Lutron Homeworks system and of course the original installer is long out of business. When I explain to them how much it costs to fix (which involves upgrading to QS), they go into shock.  “What?!?  None of our lights are working and we have to spend that much to get it going again?!?  This came with the house we bought! If we knew it would cost this much, we wouldn’t have bought it!”. 

In contrast, you talk to someone in a $4 million house and tell them “Yeah, your system is no longer supported, it would cost xxxxx to upgrade”, they are usually ok with it.  We are not needed for the middle class. They already have amazon and google.

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 15, 2017

Thank you Topp we appreciate the loyalty. If you aren’t already you should send me an email and I’ll make sure you get invited to our Webinar series. We have great tips and tricks for new guys and those 10 years in. In September we will do a CEDIA recap, followed by product training and some industry trend data, you haven’t seen anywhere else. Plus it’s an open forum with Pike and myself where we answer questions live for an hour, register for giveaways and just have a good time while supporting our dealers. Actually I’d invite any dealer that wants to learn more to email me and I’ll get you signed up.

Posted by topp on August 15, 2017

I have been using Harmony exclusively for more than 10 years.  I will work/have worked on a number of large pre-existing centralized systems but I always talk people out of doing that on jobs I start/finish.  I love the single room system, and I love the middle market.  Perfect for my two person business.

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 15, 2017

Agreed Ron. In my 15 years in the CI space I’ve programmed a variety of different sized systems. There is no question that the middle market is underserved by our channel, but is growing dramatically, spurred on by brands that haven’t classically been considered CI. While Digital Delight decided to change their entire business model, I speak with a few dealers a week that are looking to capture new market with brands like Harmony, Sonos, Lutron, Amazon Alexa, Nest and others; all while maintaining their larger control business. I sit down and help them design a quick, profitable, solution-driven business model with premium products their installers can get up to speed on quickly. This segment of the market will continue to be one of the strongest growth areas for the industry, and we just want to make sure as many dealers as possible take advantage of that growth.

Posted by Ron Callis - One Firefly on August 15, 2017

What a great business turn around success story. We are going to see more and more “classic” large project integrators turn to the middle market. These “DIFY” customers want and need the help. Who better than our channel to design business models to support them. Great job Jason finding this story and sharing with the industry .

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 14, 2017

@MaverickAV I’d be more than happy to put a call together and go over the capabilities of our products. If you ever run into a programming issue, we have a dedicated dealer support line, open 7 days a week for installers. If you email me, I am happy to provide it to you or anyone else that needs it. Let me know and I am happy to set up a video conference call to walk you through anything you might want to know.

Posted by MaverickAV on August 14, 2017

I’m glad someone is finding success in this niche, but I’d be curious to know what the service call rate is on consumer equipment, with customers having access to programming, etc.  I’ve personally spent a few hours trying to get a customers harmony remote to do something that took us 5 minutes with C4 or Savant.  I’d be interested to see how their pro offerings have changed.  As for the stress of financials of a larger system?  A company should never float costs for a large project, or any project for that matter.  Customers should always have a clearly planned draw schedule.  It’s not uncommon for our customers to pay 60% down on contract closure, no matter how small or big the project.  This protects us and allows us to be assured that the customer is truly financially capable of handling the financials associated with a large project.

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 14, 2017

Brett Bjorkquist
[email protected]

Shoot me an email and we can figure out a time to talk today and get your questions answered.

Posted by Ridogn on August 14, 2017

@bbjorkquist Great.  How do I get a hold of you?

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 13, 2017

nicko82. We are just happy when articles like this are shared highlighting that Logitech has a real solution for the channel. I was on the phone an hour ago with a dealer in LA who was saying how much he liked our products, and thanked me for helping him to find a distributor and answer some of his product questions. Are you already a Harmony dealer nicko82?

Posted by bbjorkquist on August 13, 2017

Hey Ridogn, I work on the pro channel for Logitech. What can I help you out with?

Posted by Ridogn on August 13, 2017

How do we get a hold of Rory Dooley?

Posted by nicko82 on August 13, 2017

Funny when the people vocally against these types of installs disappear when a success story comes up.