Global Caché: Adapting and Innovating for Industry Success

Embracing an open systems approach helps integrators remain successful in a dynamic smart home industry.


It’s too bad there’s no crystal ball to foretell the future of the smart home industry. But if there’s one manufacturer that seems to have a remarkable knack for accurate prognostication, it’s Global Caché.

The successful developer of innovative and affordable integration hardware was right on the money years ago when it boldly banished the notion that proprietary systems would rule the smart home industry.

Instead, company founders Walt Keller and Robin Ford held firmly onto the belief that open systems would one day dominate the smart home space.

Embracing Open Systems

The two visionaries had plenty of hard-core evidence to back their stance. For nearly a decade the two had operated a tech company that made hardware that served an industry made up largely of proprietary systems. Although the venture was successful, Robin and Walt remained optimistically cautious and paid close attention to the changes in the industry—ready to adapt to any changes that would likely occur.

“When things shifted from closed, proprietary systems to open systems we were taken by surprise,” Robin says. “But we quickly responded by reinventing the company and turning it into an open systems software company. “We learned a big lesson from being on the proprietary side and having to reinvent ourselves—you can make a lot of money with proprietary systems but it’s a natural evolution to become more open and be able to mix and match products and technologies.”

At about the same time, Walt and Robin were automating their home, with you guessed it, a proprietary control system. It worked reliably and added value to their residence, but they couldn’t help but wonder, based on their experiences in the IT world, if the same end results could have been accomplished by cobbling parts together in an open systems approach. 

“This notion spurred us to launch Global Caché,” says Robin. And just as she and Walt predicted, the home systems industry began to follow a similar path toward open systems.

Leveraging Integration Friendliness

Fast forward 14 years, and Global Caché successfully applied the lessons it learned in the IT industry by developing a full portfolio of products that could be easily integrated with both open systems and proprietary systems.

This integration friendliness ultimately helps integrators transition their business models to include the design and configuration of open control systems where products of various brands would be able to seamlessly interoperate.

Granted, change is never easy, reworking business models is a hassle, and finding solid footing in new markets can be laborious, but Global Caché offers integrators the tools to adjust, adapt, and remain successful as the market shifts from an industry made up of large, complex, expensive, high-margin systems comprised of products from a single manufacturer to that of more affordable solutions comprised of a diverse integration of products from multiple manufacturers.

“Integrators can use our hardware to tie components together instead of having to engineer everything from scratch,” Robin notes. “It allows them to be more creative with their designs and to choose best-of-breed products for their projects.” Moreover, it allows integrators to branch into a new market of consumers who like the idea of being able to pick the products they like, regardless of who makes them, and be assured that they all work cohesively together.

Serving Small to Big Businesses

Given that more than 100 companies—from small start-ups of basic systems to large established manufacturers of complex solutions—have formed strategic partnerships with Global Caché, integrators have a remarkable array of integration options.

With the simple addition of Global Caché hardware, users can add unconnected devices to the network for use with popular consumer products, such as Amazon Echo, which works in unison with sophisticated and DIY home automation systems.

Thanks to the open API Global Cache available to manufacturers and integrators on Global Caché’s website, the platform with continue to grow, evolve, right along with the industry to provide integrators with versatile, flexible, scalable solutions for any size or scope of design and installation project. 

About the Author

Lisa Montgomery:

Lisa Montgomery has been a member of the CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams for nearly 20 years; most of that time as the Editor of Electronic House. With a knack for explaining complex high-tech topics in terms that average consumers can understand, her style of writing resonates with people who are interested in adding electronic systems to their homes, but are unsure of the steps involved and the solutions available. From basic lighting control systems to full-blown automation systems, Lisa understands the home electronics market well, and is able to point consumers in the right direction on their quest for a smarter, more convenient, efficient and enjoyable home.

Over the years, she has developed close relationships with key manufacturers and seasoned custom electronics professionals, giving her a keen sense of what home technologies are hot now and what is on the horizon. She shares this wisdom regularly through feature stories, product roundups, case studies technology spotlights and comprehensive guides and books.