Control4 Rolls Out New Dealer Initiatives

Control4's Martin Plaehn
CEO increases focus on the end-user experience

Under its new CEO, Control4 will intensify its focus on delivering an exceptional end-user experience and stronger dealer programs, while cutting back on more far-reaching initiatives or working on them in a less public way.

In a recent interview, Martin Plaehn, who also serves as Control4’s president, said the company will be less vocal on initiatives such as the power grid project it has been working for the last several years with several utility companies.

“We’re still working on those, but we’re being very tempered with regard to their expectations and in regard to making public statements about things that are in a Petri dish,” he said. “Until we’ve accumulated enough mastery where we’re ready for the commercial deployment of some of those initiatives, we should just stay quiet.”

Shortly after taking the job in September, Plaehn hit the road and visited the owners and chief technologists of 21 of Control4’s top dealers. Much of the company’s recent news, including new elements to its dealer program, Control4 certified networking gear and a revamped warranty program, was based on the dealer feedback.

The initiatives follow the release of the company’s new controller, the HC-800 ($999, shipping this month). Based on Intel’s 1.8GHz dual-core processor, the control is far more power (and about half the price) of the previous generation, for a much quicker response time between the system and devices. It also now includes HDMI A/V connectivity.

“What I think I’ve helped the company do is to give it the confidence that if you put all the intellectual wood behind (core product development and the end-user experience) we will accelerate and the rewards will be far more clear to consumers, to our dealer channels, to our partners and to our stakeholders,” he said. “That’s what I’m bringing to the team.”

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