Let’s start with very simple questions: - Would you feel safe for a long trip in a plane or a bus that hadn’t had its annual maintenance? - Or after your favorite car audio dealer just finished installing a powerful high-end audio system in your car, he tells you that he can also improve the brakes and the engine. Would you let this great car audio specialist touch the vital organs of your car?
This week I was invited for two days in a boot camp organized by the French home automation Federation (FFD). One of the big theme of the boot camp was the validation of a set of specifications to create a professional quality mark for our AV & Home Automation industry. This work has been done in partnership with the French Association of Normalization (AFNOR) who will help design specifications, audit pros and promote the label.
Yep, this is a good question that confuses a lot of Home Technology Professionals. And it confuses them so much that it makes it very complicated to write down a “Maintenance” contract. Today we are going to explore this difference and see how we can easily charge it to end users.
I’m quite sure that in a few years, and probably sooner than we think, insurance companies will ask all home owners to have a maintenance contract for a pro to come once or twice a year to update all firmware, check if all devices are still secure enough, change Wi-Fi passwords and give you the latest advice in order to get your house as secure as possible.
For 20 years, our AV and Home Automation industry was all about custom design and custom installation. Olympic Games of Customization with ceremonies and awards... And for 20 years, a lot of our client has been asking themselves: “Will I be able to drive home?”
In France, we have a great baking tradition. And all good bakeries strive to have a corner of their shop window showing the baker kneading the dough and putting it in the oven. People in the street want to see how bread is made, they want to see men and women working; it builds confidence and above all it gives bread a human dimension. It gives it a story. Believe it or not, bread is way better when you know a human being made it by hand.
We all have our own definition and cliché imaginings about luxury. For the 99% of us who have not made it yet, luxury is a nice car, an incredible house, fine jewelry, the ability to travel around the world on a private jet and to tan your skin on the most beautiful beaches on earth. But when you already have all this, what is the definition of luxury 2.0?
All big industrial catastrophes in the world have this in common: “We all do it like this” for years... What you call “your work” is, for example, if you mess up the program of the remote control or a setting in a device.
As we use Amazon Fulfillment for shipping to the US and Europe, you can now chose your shipment service between Standard, Expedited or Priority (when available). Prices are calculated in real-time to always offer you the best rates.
Until recently, we used bulletproof “Professional/Enterprise Grade” network switches, routers, cables, certifications, modems, and Wi-Fi Access points for projects in the professional channel because if the network failed it could cost the company a fortune. And, we used cheap “Consumer-Grade” network stuff for the residential jobs because, well, residential is residential. I think we didn’t really understand that the trend is already reversed and the consequences of a smart house to fail can be very serious now in terms of responsibilities for the installers...
After several months of speculation, we finally know how much CEDIA was got for selling CEDIA Expo to Emerald Expositions: 35 million dollars! Yep, that amount of money seems insane compared to the amount of money CEDIA Expo generates every year, but discussing whether or not they overpaid is not the purpose of this article.
Amazon was literally everywhere at the convention center this year in San Diego. Every flag, every banner, every class, and every single training offered was sponsored by Amazon. Last year, Charlie Kindel’s keynote was “We come in peace”, and this year Sarah Zenz’s keynote was “We will give you business”.
What is a professional do to once one realizes that a manufacturer will no longer support any firmware update for a Wi-Fi access point they installed years before? What are our responsibilities, if not to inform our clients that– even if the gears seem to work perfectly– there might be a potential security issue?
I was recently at a distributor event in London, and as usual I spent time having a beer and talking with other Home Technology professionals about the state of our businesses. One integrator explained to me that he had lost almost 30% of fresh, new, first-timer clients coming to him for small jobs – small jobs like mounting a TV on the wall or setting up a cable box or remote system.
Home Technology Professionals constantly complain about connected devices, and-- most of the time-- it’s for good reason. Compared to an enterprise or a small business network that host resource heavy computers and printers, the connected fauna and flora that haunt a residential network is usually wild, exotic, and somehow, toxic.
For more years than we probably want to acknowledge, when a couple would buy a house, there was a non-stated compromise – a 100% accepted-in-advance deal about who would play what role and make which decisions with respect to household items. Decoration and organization was typically the woman’s domain, and she allowed her man to spend some money on technology and the often impenetrable world of AV and home automation.
Last week in Orlando, just one day before one of the largest commercial shows in the world, we had the privilege of being invited by Matt D. Scott to the ANVation studio and record ResiWeek podcast Episode 71. The topic of discussion surrounded the content we, the residential guys, could obtain from infoComm albeit a commercially-centered congregation.
Recently, Krika was present at the Essential Install Live show near London on the stand of our UK distributor Connected Distribution. While walking through the aisles, evaluating the latest gears our fertile industry has churned out, I was suddenly reminded of a recent HomeTech.fmpodcast: The interview of Richard Berrie, President and CEO of iHummingbird. To us, the conclusion was obvious: more than 50% of the gears dedicated to integrators exhibited in this show could be inadequate soon. In less than 3 years, “integration” as we know it today will be totally re-imagined. Let's try to find how and why
As a manufacturer, it's an everyday challenge to create new marketing approaches and engage potential-clients. As a remote supervision manufacturer, the challenge is a little more laborious than usual.
Let’s play the game of anticipation and try to seem honest for just 5 minutes: A good part of AV and almost all home automation business of the residential market is about to switch from the hands of Home Technologists to the hands of big companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple (GAFA). While we are being honest, accept that there is absolutely nothing we can do against it except to try to follow this technological locomotive, grab all possible opportunities or just be spectators and continue our business model based on moving boxes.
Our distributors around the world asked us to provide some case-studies of professionals using Krika, so they can argue with Home Technologists with real stories from the field. Believe it or not, we found out that the best case-study is the genesis of Krika itself.
When my brother Julien and I founded Krika two years ago, we were confident that within months we would be the next huge success story. We could imagine it all so clearly. Remote Supervision - a perfect tool, released at just the right time, into a growing connected home market with almost no competitors!
This is a question that we occasionally face, especially when discussing our solution with businesses who operate in the corporate, commercial, and enterprise markets. IT people in charge here will typically claim “We can do this already using tools such as Nagios, PRTG, Zabbix or Zenoss”. Let's take a closer look at Krika compares to these tools, and where it might make sense to use one versus the other.
There’s a kind of business opportunity that only happens once every 30 years or so in a given market. And in our industry that time is now. For those who are willing to see it there has never been a better time to make money in the history of home technology.
We've talked to Home Technologists all over the world. Conversations with the very few of them who have tried remote supervision solutions is always the same: “Yeah, we tested some solutions, but they didn't really help us”.
Many Home Technologists have not realized the level of responsibility they inherit as soon as they provide, upgrade, or agree to manage the local network of their clients. Not only do you become responsible for the overall performance of this network, but you also bear sole responsibility for its security and potential vulnerabilities.