ELK Products Is Making Its Reputation
Known Beyond the Security Channel
Todd Hudson, director of sales and
marketing, ELK Products
ELK Products first made its name in the security
channel, where it has helped lead the migration
toward more automation offerings. Initially its customers were strictly
alarm dealers looking to venture out into other
lifestyle enhancements like lighting. Now,
according to director of sales and marketing
Todd Hudson, more and more custom
integrators are looking to ELK to help them
broaden their offerings beyond AV, into
automation/control and security. ELK, he said,
prides itself on a long history of creating simple,
yet innovative products, with its flagship M1
Control System able to integrate with more than
50 manufacturers and control almost any electronic
system in a residence. “At its heart, it is a security
system with 30 years of design evolution,” Hudson said.
Here’s how he answered our other questions about the
company and its view of the industry.
How does ELK differentiate itself from others in
the channel in terms of its service, training, and
ELK is one of the most friendly, helpful, and
technically competent companies you will
encounter. Our dealers have told us that our
tech support team is the best in the industry and
has enabled us to grow long-term relationships
with our dealers. The products we offer have
industry-leading warranties, many of which are
lifetime. Our products were designed from a dealer’s point of view and are
extremely flexible and dependable. We offer in-house and field training as
well as bi-monthly training webinars.
white, black, or
How has the demand for cloud-based solutions and smart
phone integration played into Elk’s product plans, and what
are some other technical challenges or trends the company is
Cloud-based services have been established in our market as a
method to achieve a recurring revenue stream for automation.
Our customers seem to be very happy with our ability to provide
automation services to them without a fee-based cloud system.
We utilize an open connectivity platform that makes our product
easy to communicate with by our partners and enables us to be
an important part of a wider integration platform. End users still
get full capability and control of their systems, both locally
and remotely, through a variety of apps for smartphones,
tablets, and laptops. The main technology challenge for
ELK is to stay ahead of the curve of the future market
needs in an industry with long product development cycles.
Energy management is a component to your
product mix. What are the biggest challenges of
selling energy management as part of an
It is difficult in this economy to sell a “spend
money now to save money later” solution.
Dealers, however, are very successful selling
a more basic system that has upgradable
comfort and energy management features.
A controllable thermostat or temperatureadjusted
ceiling fan is an economical way to
add basic energy management. Automatically
turning lights on or off based on occupancy and/or
time of day is another simple, yet effective, way to save energy. That is the
beauty of the ELK system. It can grow and change with the homeowner.
What new products in your line received the most interest at
CEDIA EXPO 2011 and why?
We have a new, very attractive and simple-to-use touchscreen keypad
called the Navigator that has stormed out of the gate since its introduction
just before CEDIA. We also received a lot of interest in our two newest
interfaces for Lutron’s RadioRA2 and Z-Wave. The reason for the interest
is that these products were created because of dealer requests. They give
dealers a broader range of tools to further enhance their customer’s
lifestyle. CEDIA continues to be one of our most exciting shows, because
integrators venturing into security and automation understand the value
of a sophisticated security system designed to seamlessly mesh with
everything else they offer.