TiO as the Starter Home Automation System

By Todd Anthony Puma | July 26, 2017

 Last year I wrote a blog bemoaning the fact that manufacturers frequently pitch us new products to test, and then want us to pay dealer cost, or near to dealer cost, to evaluate the product, putting a strain on our resources and limiting our ability to bring in product to bench test. Well, TiO (Turn-It-On) saw that blog and sent me a starter kit to try out.

The Cascading Effect of Old, Installed Gear Dying

By John Sciacca | July 25, 2017

When something that’s been installed for years fails and the manufacturer no longer supports it, and there is no similar replacement, you can run into an awkward conversation with the customer. And short of magical foresight, there's not much you can do to avoid that.

What’s Your Value Proposition?

By Joseph Kolchinsky | July 24, 2017

It’s never been more important to think critically about the perceived value that you deliver to your customers. The connected home is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, driving down hardware margins and drawing competition from consumer-tech giants, ISPs, and other trades into the market. The key to solving this challenge lies in a simple graphic I keep next to my desk called the “Elements of Value Pyramid.”

Amazon’s Plan to Take Over the Smart Home

By Heather L. Sidorowicz | July 13, 2017

Christmas, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and now we have Prime Day—an Amazon online holiday created by them for their Prime subscription service. According to Business Insider, more than 50 million Americans visited the site during their 30-hour sale, and it was the Amazon Echo that was the top-selling item. And just when you thought the day itself was news, Amazon announced new items to their lineup. There was no big launch; they just seemed to appear on their site. 

6 Reasons I’m Not Quite Ready to Sell Alexa to Clients

By Todd Anthony Puma | July 12, 2017

After the CEDIA show last year, I was beyond excited about integrating the Amazon Echo into my Crestron system at home. As soon as it was released, I installed the drivers and tested everything out. My experience was only so-so. More recently I was beta testing some things in my system and recalled the new Crestron integration with Alexa, so I decided to give it another go. This time around, I was really impressed.

Why “Best-Effort” Service Falls Short

By Jason Griffing | July 10, 2017

Take a look at the day-to-day operations of any integration company: salesmen keep the pipeline full, engineers crank out schematics, project managers move between phone calls, emails, and briefings with the techs, who themselves are busily loading up for the day. But what about the service department? Usually it’s not so much a department, but more like one or two experienced techs—and it's not even their primary focus.

How to Maintain Growth in a Slow Economy

By Brian Good, VP of sales and marketing, iPoint | July 6, 2017

The past year has been good for AV professionals. The industry has grown. A recent release illustrated this fact, showing double-digit annual growth for most of the top 100 custom integration companies. This raises an important question: how do you keep the momentum swinging in your direction when the economy slows down?

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