CE PRO'S SPECIAL COVERAGE

CEDIA EXPO TOP STORY

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Vivint’s Big Home Automation News at CEDIA 2019: Control4 Integration at Last

Vivint’s security engine now integrates two-way with Control4 home-automation systems — a technological milestone for the mass-market provider, and a nod to Vivint’s new Smart Home Authorized Pro program.

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Vivint’s Big Home Automation News at CEDIA 2019: Control4 Integration at Last

Vivint Smart Home, a pioneer in self-contained security and smart-home systems, will announce two-way integration with Control4 home automation systems at CEDIA Expo 2019 – marking Vivint’s first integration with a custom-oriented home-control system.

With Control4’s SDDP technology embedded in Vivint’s Smart Hub panel, Control4 users will be able monitor and control their Vivint security system via standard Control4 interfaces.

In addition, any security sensor in the Vivint ecosystem can be incorporated into Control4 scenes and alerts. For example, if someone trips a motion sensor in the living room after sunset, the event could trigger Control4 to turn on the lights in that room to a dim level and flip the TV to CNN on mute.

“Basically, Control4 gets to use our sensors,” says Chris Ivie, senior director of Pro Channels at Vivint.

The effort took some technological doing on Vivint’s part – the company is new to the integration driver business – but the work had less to do with delivering a plug-and-play experience for integrators than to demonstrate Vivint’s commitment to the home-technology channel.

After all, much of the channel is still wondering: What is Vivint doing here?!

Vivint launched its Smart Home Authorized Pro program earlier this year, inviting select retailers, integrators and other home-technology professionals to effectively enter the security and mainstream home-automation business … without the burden of starting such a venture from scratch.

Vivint draws from its vast marketing, financial, technical, operational, educational, sales, legal, logistical and other critical resources to give Authorized Pros everything they need to succeed.

Participants head to Vivint’s Salt Lake City headquarters for arguably the best sales training that exists in this industry (I know, I’ve been!) and probably countless other industries as well. They return to their shops armed with easy-to-use software for presenting Vivint products and services to clients, and closing the sale … and scheduling the installation … and following the progress … and ensuring a positive customer experience … that generates new referrals … to fuel the operation and feed the retirement fund.

Vivint’s army of well-trained, clean-kempt technicians handle pretty much everything after the initial sale, and even suggest system upgrades and add-ons on-the-spot if appropriate. The Authorized Pro gets credit for products and services sold by Vivint itself, for as long as the client remains a Vivint subscriber.

Integration Says We’re Serious

The program is off to a good start, with some high-profile dealers signing on, and a network of independent reps recruited from the custom market.

Still, Vivint has a lot to prove to a skeptical market raised on Control4, Crestron and the like. Collaborating with these influential companies makes a definite statement, Ivie explains.

“Ours isn’t really a technical play,” he says. “We’re a business play. We’re bringing a full end-to-end solution to this channel.”

Vivint might have been queasy at first about relinquishing some control over the user experience to a third-party platform and the folks who install it. But it was always part of the plan to meet integrators half-way.

Vivint never integrated with traditional home-automation systems before. Why should they? They were busy activating hundreds of thousands of new security and smart-home accounts every year, driven largely by efficiency and predictability.

Control4 integrates with Vivint’s Smart Hub security and smart-home panel.

Vivint has new responsibilities, though, as a partner to so many Authorized Pros. As Ivie tells it, Vivint execs never flinched at the thought of integrating with the Control4s of the world: “Of course an end-to-end solution requires us to integrate,” they would say.

That one home-automation driver could open a world of opportunity for Control4 dealers (and others to come).

“We have millions of [Vivint] installations running solo,” Ivie says. “I think it’s a massive opportunity for dealers to hook into those systems.”

Control4 Dealers Relish Vivint Integration

Long-time integrator Joe Whitaker, a Control4 dealer who joined the Vivint Pro program earlier this year, can’t wait to get going.

“With the new Control4 driver,” he says, “we will be looking back to our current Vivint customers, but also the thousands of other Vivint subscribers in our service area.”

At the same time, Whitaker sees the company’s existing Control4 clients as likely prospects for new RMR (recurring monthly revenue) programs, featuring security monitoring and SHaaS (smart home as a service).

“Either way,” Whitaker says, “we have more business opportunities for ourselves, and more ways to serve our clients with an exceptional, all-inclusive experience.”

And exceptional it is, Whitaker tells us. He’s tied Control4 into practically every compatible security panel at one time or another, and none compares to the ease of integrating with the Vivint Smart Hub.

“It requires zero extra gear and zero extra software or licenses,” he says. “It only takes a couple of minutes and it’s totally secure.”

Furthermore, the two-way communications between Vivint and Control4 is lightning-fast, Whitaker explains. He’s grown accustomed to the slight but annoying lag between a tripped sensor and the system response.

“When a door is opened, it might not register on a Control4 system for several seconds,” he says. “Or if you program the lights to turn on when a sensor is tripped, you might have to stand in the dark for a while.”

Vivint-based events, on the other hand, are reported immediately to Control4, which registers the events in an instant.

“Instant response and painless integration makes this one of the best security integrations I’ve ever seen,” he says.

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