New Product Offers Recurring Revenue, Reduced Service Costs
During CEDIA EXPO this past fall, Nuage Nine Inc. introduced the industry to its remote error discovery, prediction, and correction solution for high-end homeowners’ digital systems. Formed by former electronic system contractor and IT industry veteran, Vaughn Petraglia, the company offers products that are designed to solve service issues remotely and cost-effectively, providing dealers lower support costs, improved customer service, and a recurring revenue stream. Here’s how Petraglia explains his company’s value proposition.
Vaughn Petraglia, President and CEO, Nuage Nine Inc.
Why did you form Nuage Nine?
The whole service model that we use in this industry is based around the way products used to be and not the way they are today. And what I mean by that is that if you look at the way most of us used to do business when everything was analog or certainly not programmable, we designed a system, got the wires installed, installed the hardware, tweaked it a little bit, then it just sat there and ran. There really wasn’t a lot of maintenance associated with that equipment. Now that we’ve moved to systems where just about everything is dependent on software and firmware, so we’re seeing the same kinds of maintenance and management issues that the computer industry has dealing with for many years now and that’s actually the majority of my background. I come out of the computer networking industry and the services side of it. So about a year ago I decided to spin off on my own, get a few people together, and try to really attack this situation at least a very macroscopic view, the same way you would service computers and networks.
What does your system specifically do?
What we’ve set out to do is to design a system that the electronic systems integrators can use that monitors all of the technology in the home, and right now that is all IP-based technologies or gateways to IP-based technologies. We want it to give the systems integrator a heads up when something is broken or something is about to fail. We do a lot of monitoring of threshold events. For instance, discs are getting full, your network utilization is getting too high, or you’re starting to get intermittent errors on your WiFi connection to your touchpads. Then we can get an e-mail out to the systems integrator to help them diagnose the problem. They also can go in through a browser-based dashboard and see everything that’s going on in that environment and diagnose whatever that problem may be. In many cases we actually let them repair the problem remotely. The real problems we’re running into today in the complex digital environments is that the software has to be re-cycled.
The Nuage Nine suite provides proactive, complete remote monitoring and management for complex, luxury home systems.
Just about everything’s a hard drive these days.…
Correct, and even with “non-intelligent” devices like cable boxes, we can do power switching to re-cycle it that way. There’s the ability to give a lot of different commands to certain devices, depending on what they support. In terms of diagnosing a system, if a dealer has to roll a truck, we give them enough information so that the person going out to the site knows what to fix and can send someone with the right skills and bring the right parts along with them to take care of what’s going on.
But sometimes a truck roll can lead to more business, right?
Yes, we generate reports about each customer’s site that the dealer can use any way they see fit. It could be an excuse to make a sales call, going out every six months and saying, “Hey this is what we’ve been seeing in your system. Everything’s been running well but you’re getting a bit tight on disk space on your media server and we should upgrade that.”
What sorts of training do you offer your dealers?
We have a lot of training programs in development. These folks are not used to selling service contracts. We intend to help our dealers a lot with that. We have to explain the value in this to dealers and they have to be able to explain it to their customers. The dealers who understand are selling it the same way that they sell power conditioning. You’re buying a very complex system from me and this is how I maintain it Mr. Customer. You need this. They understand its recurring revenue and it saves them a huge amount of money in their service departments.