Morrisville, NC–Home Director Inc., the spin-off of IBM’s Home Network Solutions unit, recently acquired Digital Interiors Inc., a San Jose, California, custom integration firm. Not the start of a rumored “massive roll-up” of custom integration firms, Home Director is instead delivering on its goal of developing the best of breed practices in the in-home integration, installation and delivery of home networking solutions. As these practices are established, Home Director plans to replicate them across its extensive network of Authorized Home Systems Integrators.
“As a leader in developing integrated home networking systems, we have been focused on the product component of solutions for homeowners,” said Mary Walker, president and CEO of Home Director. “Through experience, we have come to understand that a critical component to delivering truly meaningful home networks is the integration that happens in the home.
We believe that adding Digital Interiors’ expertise in integration services, including engineering, sales support, customer service and in-home installation, will help us deliver end-to-end home networking solutions.”
Digital Interiors is considered a leading home systems integration firm in the Silicon Valley area, having worked with some of the most technology savvy clients in the world. Don Witmer, CEO and chairman of the firm, explained how Home Director’s acquisition has enhanced his service capabilities. “We were providing integration solutions, such as entertainment, communication, security and management, throughout Northern California,” he said. “What we’ve done by merging with Home Director is to strengthen and solidify the hardware expertise in those solutions as well as the software expertise in those solutions.
Looking at it from the Home Director side there is a lot of value for them to have someone in the field that has actually ‘touched’ the actual homeowner.”
Witmer says that feedback can then be sent directly to Home Director’s technology labs where they can continue to refine their solutions.
For quite some time, rumors have circulated through the custom installation industry about the inevitable roll-ups of integration firms by “large players” in home networking. While Home Director representatives say that the acquisition of Digital Interiors should not be misinterpreted as the start of a massive roll up, Walker admitted that her company may eventually look for additional integration acquisitions. For now however, she was quick to add that Home Director will primarily remain focused of the manufacturing side of business.
“We don’t want to become an integration company,” she assured. “We want to remain as a technology company.”
Explaining that message is part of Witmer’s objective as he travels around the country visiting integrators, service providers and retailers. “Our focus is more of about providing home networking services to those three groups,” he explained. “There’s no roll-up intended here; there are no acquisitions that we’ve targeted. This is more about getting the industry going with home networking. There were some misperceptions, of course, but the more I talk to people and explained the benefits to them, they’re really receptive to what we’re trying to do.”
Witmer says that the combined company is already offering engineering services and best practices advice to the industry. “As I’m talking to the integrators, there are certain parts of those processes that I want to make available to them so that they can accelerate their businesses,” he said. “We’re learning how to deploy practical home networking solutions to other integrators, service providers and retailers.”
For more information from Home Director, call 800.426.7144 or visit www.homedirector.com.