If you need audio, video or home automation installed, and Amazon Smart Home Services can’t do it, the online retailer will refer you to a CEDIA member, specifically a company with at least one technician with an advanced certification (ESC-T, ESC-D, EST-N).
The new CEDIA/Amazon collaboration was introduced today during a keynote presentation at CEDIA 2017 — the trade show for home-technology pros — by Sarah Zenz, general manager of Amazon's Smart Home Services.
In a pre-show interview, Zenz told CE Pro the program was an effort to ensure a positive experience across its broad spectrum of customers, including those who want to do it themselves, those who need a little help from Amazon’s own Smart Home Service, and those who want a full-blown custom experience.
The new program “gives CEDIA direct exposure to the consumer market, which is something members want,” says association chairman Dennis Erskine, in what might be the understatement of the year.
CEDIA members have long desired end-user awareness of what the organization represents, and what the members do – design, specify, sell, install and integrate home technologies that might include speakers, televisions, motorized shades, lighting control systems, security, smart thermostats, home theaters, voice-control systems, whole-house music systems and a whole lot more.
Typically, consumers recognize this trade by the lavish home theaters and other high-end gear that CEDIA members install, but most CEDIA integrators serve the mid-market with systems in the $10,000 to $30,000 range.
In fact, CEDIA research reveals 23% of its installer members (“dealers”) have average job sizes less than $7,500.
The association boasts more than 2,700 dealer members, but if you’re not familiar with “CEDIA,” you don’t know where to find them.
Amazon could change all that with its new CEDIA member showcase, details of which are still being finalized.
This fall, the company will launch a section within Amazon Home Services where consumers can view CEDIA member work, learn about the integration process and request custom home-technology services from CEDIA-certified integrators in their area.
Importantly, only companies with certified employees can participate in the program, which helps boost the appeal of CEDIA training and certification.
“It finally puts something on the street that says your certification is important,” Erskine says.