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Why would/should a potential customer choose your product(s)?
This thread has 7 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 17:53
Hasbeen
Super Member
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As I'm getting more and more removed from the latest products in the CI channel, I find myself asking question as I'm working on CI websites...So if you guys can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

1.  Why should a prospective customer choose a system like Control 4 over a mix of systems say for example...Philips Hue or Caseta lighting, Sonos app, etc.  Is it about consolidating apps or is there more to it?  Tell me.

2.  If your system is using Alexa or Google for voice control, why can't I just cut out your system and let Alexa handle everything...like talking to Philips Hue light bulbs?

3.  Why is your security app for cameras or security system better than that of Xfinity or Vivint?

4.  Why is your WAP better than something a person can buy at BB, for example Eero?

How are you guys selling around this?

I understand that the prospective customer gets "you", and that certainly has value, but if you're steering them in a direction for specific automation products why is it?  Are the off the shelf units "buggy", are they lacking features?

What's moving the needle?
Post 2 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 19:35
Audiophiliac
Super Member
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You brave! I imagine you will get some strong opinions here....some of them maybe out of line. But I am looking forward to it. :)

My observation is that the Control4 app or the Elan app or whatever other app you want to toss in, is a clusterF^&# compared to using the "Lutron app, the SONOS app, the Luma NVR app", etc.

The value of the "Single UI" angle is eroding IMHO. A homologous aesthetic is one thing. But giving a full experience, comparable to the native apps of the products you are trying to integrate is another. And no one has both as far as I am concerned.

For me, the biggest selling point is the ability to actually automate things. I mean, this is "home automation", right? IFTT is pretty powerful, but is also pretty limited. If you want things to happen across multiple systems with a single user input, you need a control system. But this could likely be added as an "invisible" layer of control, allowing still, the use of native subsystems' apps.

Selling hardware is easy. Compare and contrast. This $2000 soundbar will demolish the freebie they threw in when you bought your TV at the furniture store. These $500 WAPs will work much better than the 4 wi-fi repeaters you are using now. The $3k screen is going to look sooo much better than the white sheet on your wall.

Selling the user experience is what you make it. For people who do not "get" technology, the single UI is great. It allows us to only give the basics to people who are...well....basic. If you like to have full control over everything, a "power user", if you will, you might be happier using all the apps.

Different strokes.
"When I eat, it is the food that is scared." - Ron Swanson
Post 3 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 19:36
Dean Roddey
Advanced Member
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925
If your automation system has a serious interface for things like the Echo, you can do vastly more complex things with it compared to what it can do on its own talking singly to individual products it knows about.

We can allow very nice customized commands and queries via the Echo, which adds a lot of value to the voice control scenario.
Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems
www.charmedquark.com
Post 4 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 19:51
roddymcg
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On November 10, 2017 at 17:53, Hasbeen said...
As I'm getting more and more removed from the latest products in the CI channel, I find myself asking question as I'm working on CI websites...So if you guys can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

1.† Why should a prospective customer choose a system like Control 4 over a mix of systems say for example...Philips Hue or Caseta lighting, Sonos app, etc.† Is it about consolidating apps or is there more to it?† Tell me.

Some clients want the ease of all in one, some do not. Educate the client on the pros and cons of each method. Many of us both...
2.† If your system is using Alexa or Google for voice control, why can't I just cut out your system and let Alexa handle everything...like talking to Philips Hue light bulbs?

If this is what you are looking for shouldn't be interviewing Home Depot and Amazon installers?
3.† Why is your security app for cameras or security system better than that of Xfinity or Vivint?

Have you ever called Comcast for tech support?
4.† Why is your WAP better than something a person can buy at BB, for example Eero?

Eero is a decent product, but we use enterprise grade networks designed to support 100's of simultaneous users.
How are you guys selling around this?

I understand that the prospective customer gets "you", and that certainly has value, but if you're steering them in a direction for specific automation products why is it?† Are the off the shelf units "buggy", are they lacking features?

What's moving the needle?
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
Post 5 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 20:27
Fins
Loyal Member
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June 2007
9,580
1. If an Alexa compatible camera detects motion, it can only notify you on your phone. It canít turn on the lights, lock door locks, and send a notification to any cellphone or email that you wish. Or if your burglar alarm goes off in the middle of the night, it canít start flashing the outdoor lights to help police locate your home. With Alexa and stand alone systems, they will never be truly smart and work together.

2. If you use Siri or google on your voice, does it work 100% of the time? I know my Alexa sure doesnít.

3. How many people work for Comcast? How many of their employees will have the ability to access your system without you ever knowing it? Did you ever see the story where a Geek Squad employee was caught planting a camera in a cuatomerís Bathroom?

4. Can you handle all of your own networking issues when something goes wrong? With my system, if it canít self correct the problem by automatically rebooting, I will be notified of the problem, possibly before you even know there is a problem. Many problems can be resolved without having to visit your home.

or

That router from B.B. will work fine in my home of 2000 sq ft. Your home is five times the size with 3 levels and lots of materials like steel, stone, and concrete that will make covering the whole home a challenge. You felt your home needed a commercial grade refrigerator when a whirlpool from Home Depot would keep your milk just as cold. You need an enterprise quality network.
Civil War reenactment is LARPing for people with no imagination.

Post 6 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 21:13
dalto
Long Time Member
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July 2005
425
On November 10, 2017 at 17:53, Hasbeen said...
1.† Why should a prospective customer choose a system like Control 4 over a mix of systems say for example...Philips Hue or Caseta lighting, Sonos app, etc.† Is it about consolidating apps or is there more to it?† Tell me.

2.† If your system is using Alexa or Google for voice control, why can't I just cut out your system and let Alexa handle everything...like talking to Philips Hue light bulbs?

Because right now, none of that stuff works together in any kind of cohesive way. If your goal is to use an app or voice control do perform tasks that you used to have to press a button or turn a dial then it is fine but if you want real automation that works together as a system that is a completely different level of complexity.

On November 10, 2017 at 17:53, Hasbeen said...
4.† Why is your WAP better than something a person can buy at BB, for example Eero?

It isn't. Anyone can buy high-end network equipment. It is the knowledge and experience of how to deploy it in a way that will provide a consistent experience and "just work".

The motivated DIY technology-centric consumer probably isn't the right target customer. They may be fine with using 5 different apps and fighting Alexa to get their equipment to work. Then again, even when they are, it doesn't mean the rest of their family is.
Post 7 made on Friday November 10, 2017 at 21:40
Trunk-Slammer -Supreme
Loyal Member
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6,544
On November 10, 2017 at 21:13, dalto said...
Anyone can buy high-end network equipment. It is the knowledge and experience of how to deploy it in a way that will provide a consistent experience and "just work".

This is pretty much going in the right direction.

It's not about the equipment in most any case, it's about the installation and support.

We've all heard the horror stories about C4, Crestron, etc, etc, so we know it's not generally the equipment, but is rather the installation.
Post 8 made on Saturday November 11, 2017 at 12:03
Lateralus462
New Member
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November 2017
5
1) Yes all of those apps do work well, but having all of these functions in on app allows for the automation and integration. Like when i press the goodbye scene on my lights as i leave the house my alarm turns on, TVs turn off, etc. Or having my sprinklers not run based on weather. Or if my alarm is on at sunset turn on some lights to make it appear i am home. Next these don't have good options for controlling your TV or theater like say savant or control4 with a dedicated single remote. and again this remote will also then have the added functions of your lights, shades, audio, thermostats, etc

2)I have access to control via alexa i couldn't have otherwise. for example my security system or my TV don't integrate with alexa directly, but my control system does and i can have Alexa tell my control system to do things with these usually non alexa capable devices

3) this depends a lot on the cameras being used i guess. But i believe vivant and some of these other security companies want a monthly fee so you can monitor your cameras via an app which i think is silly. also i bet the cameras my company sells are worlds more clear and capable then the ones from vivint. like 360 degree fish eye lens that i can go back in the recording and zoom in on specific portions of the image as if i was zooming with a normal camera live. Thermal imaging.

And again integration, trigger lights based on motion as example.

4) Eero isn't bad. But in a large home when they have friends over, will eero provide good speeds to 40+ connected devices at once? what about your backyard, need an outdoor AP, i don't believe eero has one. How secure are their products and what advanced features do they offer? Roaming between APs, having a wifi system that is centrally managed and will adjust the signal strength of APs to make it where as you walk from one side of the house to the other you can jump between APs without any low signal areas or getting stuck to one AP when you're really now closer to another one. Ruckus as an example is a wifi we use. it was also used for the olympic stadiums with 20,000+ connected devices. All of the free wifi for san francisco, ruckus.

We try to cater only to the wealthy, and show them how although sure eero or Hue are good ideas, they are designed for a basic home. They just can't handle large, custom, intricate installations. Its like buying a car or anything else, sure a Kia is a working car, but put it next to a mercedes. it just offers you more.


The other thing you have to try to pair the sale of these products with is the services it allows you to provide. If i give someone sonos and an alexa and something stops working on a saturday well they need to wait till i roll a truck monday. with a full system from say savant with a good network i can remotely log in, diagnose, reboot, and control their system. i can fix most service issues from my cell phone in my car or a laptop on my couch. And a client is always happy when you can say "its fixed" and not "i can come tomorrow and look at it"


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