At Creston: Next, Crestron’s dealer-oriented virtual event, John Clancy, VP of residential, held an integrator roundtable with Mosey Levy of Backstage AV and Al Reinhard of AHT Global to discuss the impact that Crestron Home, nearing its one-year anniversary, has had on their respective businesses.
The two dealers offered two very different perspectives — Levy was an early adopter of Crestron Home and runs a modest business of around 40 projects/year, while Reinhard’s firm is one of the largest in the industry, completing more than 200 projects/year. AHT Global did not jump on to Crestron Home as quickly as Backstage AV, but once they did, they mandated its use across the entire company.
According to Levy, Crestron Home changed his business, but not how they design systems. As his company’s primary programmer, it allowed him to lessen the time he spends on a job site and more time at the office, making sales and managing projects. Plus, Backstage AV is now deploying projects much faster, allowing the company to increase its volume — and profit.
Speed is also the main factor for Reinhard. He does warn that Crestron Home has a finite amount that it can do, but adds that the you can fit most residential integration jobs in.
Another favorite of both dealers is the regular system updates that bring in new features (there have been seven so far). “The best part,” said Reinhard, “is letting your client know about the updates.”
“Previously, our systems were frozen in time,” added Levy, but now clients are getting new features for free through regular updates that they have come to expect from other devices like iPhones and Sonos. Plus, he added, the updates are making service contracts more attractive to clients.
When asked about customer feedback, Levy said that there is not a lot it because it just works. He sees customer approval when they ask to have it installed in a second home.
The next update of Creston Home — version 3.2 — will be available at the end of September and will include tighter home security integration and the introduction of Crestron Home Extensions, which are designed to control virtually any device type not yet native to the platform, such as smart appliances, irrigation systems, power controllers, weather stations, and more, and in coming months this will include the Delos DARWIN system. The Home Connect control platform for BSH smart appliances, such as Neff and Bosch, is the first supported by Crestron Home Extensions.