In these challenging economic times, when a choice must be made about who a custom integrator will do business with, service is the differentiator—just as it is at the client level.
Home Automation System: Crestron While upstart competitors aim for the venerable category leader’s downmarket underbelly, Crestron’s awesome array of technologies, products and systems still represents the state of the art in home automation. www.crestron.com Control4 Fresh off a nationwide deal with Tweeter, Control4 continues to pose the question: “Why can’t home automation be for everyone?” A growing number of C-businesses are eager to answer in the affirmative. www.control4.com Exceptional Innovation Lifeware With Lifeware, EI embraces both Windows Media Center and a number of best-of-breed third-party products. The question over the next year: Will C-businesses embrace EI and its buzzworthy platform? www.exceptionalinnovation.com Media Server: Niveus
It's a sweetheart of a deal for AVAD's founders, but is the rest of the industry feeling the love? By Janet Pinkerton Ingram Micro's purchase of AVAD, a deal completed July 21, has evoked a curious mix of industry awe and dread—awe for the manufacturers' reps who created the distribution group and sold it for big bucks, and dread for what an Ingram Micro-owned AVAD might do to specialty A/V margins and the overall custom retail business. The business questions surrounding this deal focus on what vendors will do now that AVAD is owned and capitalized by Ingram Micro, the enormous IT distributor that