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Leaning on Colleagues

Sometimes it takes more than one integration company to get the job right.

Leaning on COlleagues
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We have written before about building relationships in the industry with other integrators, whether in your market or not, so you have someone to bounce ideas off of and others to help you in times of need — be that manpower, product, or knowledge.

A few months ago, Todd was contacted by Crestron customer service to work with an end user who had called in to get help. They bought a new apartment and wanted to outfit it with Crestron. Their prior apartment was a Crestron home and their office is fully Crestron, so they wanted the same in their new home. This is a $5 million, 5800-square-foot residence with a 4000-square-foot roof terrace in South Harlem, just north of Central Park — a showpiece apartment with amazing décor and attention to detail.

Todd went on the consultation and realized the home was already fully outfitted with a full Control4 automation system — hybrid lighting (centralized and wireless), remote controls, Lutron shade integration, Sonos integration…the works. He knew the replacement would be pretty straightforward and he undertook the project.

Then he went to order product and ran into the massive backorders that are now plaguing Crestron and have been plaguing the rest of the industry for two years. Most importantly, he could not get lighting controls, either panelized or wireless, for four to six months. Instead of making the client wait, he proposed temporarily leaving the Control4 lighting and shade integration in and installing Crestron Home to control the AV side of things, switching out the lighting later when inventory became available. He knew he could accomplish this because Mark would be there to handle the Control4 side of things. Mark felt there would be no conflict, since it wasn’t a Control4 and Crestron competitive situation — the client was taking out Control4 and going with Crestron no matter what. She would not be convinced otherwise, as the existing Control4 dealer had tried already and was unsuccessful.

Also by Todd and Mark: The Ups and Downs of Technology Advancements

On the day of the initial installation, Mark went with Todd to the home and mapped out everything in the Control4 system, including IP addresses of all the IP-controlled devices, identified lighting loads that are panelized and those that are on ZigBee dimmers, and the IP address of the Lutron system so when the time comes, Todd could easily integrate it with Crestron.

Without the partnership and friendship between us, this would have been a risky and messy proposition for Todd. This shows how building relationships across the industry — with dealers of different products, with different skill sets and different clientele — can be mutually beneficial. With a great friend and partner, the initial phase went extraordinarily smoothly, and the client is very happy with the progress so far and has great faith in The Source Home Theater to bring her expectations to reality.