Last year, whole home control companies made a lot of lofty acquisitions. A few of them seemed to gravitate themselves to speaker companies - and we predict that the next batch will be lighting - but in the meantime, Control4 hasn't lost the plot.
Today's announcement has signaled that Control4 has begun the next phase of work following their acquisition of Pakedge in 2016 by purchasing the intellectual property and key operating assets of Ihiji. Ideally, Control4 will merge the best parts of BakPak with Ihiji's Invision platform to offer a remote management to thousands of devices, with no recurring revenue.
“Connected home opportunities are emerging globally, and their individual performance, reliability, and resilience are foundational to all successful installations," President and CEO of Control Martin Plaehn said. "By combining Control4’s BakPak, with its strong network management capabilities, and Ihiji’s Invision, with its industry-leading device monitoring and management capabilities, Control4 can provide a set of unified cloud-based services to our dealers to securely and efficiently monitor end-customer systems."
Plaehn notes that dealers will begin to receive alerts that identify problems remotely, "[improving] homeowner satisfaction through prompt and preemptive service, in a time-saving and cost-effective manner."
The move is significant for Control4 who has been on a pretty steady rise following their key acquisitions. This one, in particular, wasn't one that Control4 couldn't have figured out in-house, but the 2,000 and then some products make the Ihiji shortcut a smart one to get results now.
The joint team is already developing the unified cloud-based service platform which will be made available in phases to all Control4 and Ihiji dealers and their end-customers later in the year. The shared goal is to operate a single integrated monitoring and services experience that provides all dealers with complete visibility and control at the network level.
“Ihiji and Control4 share the conviction that network and device management capabilities are pivotal to every professional integrator in order to best serve their connected home customers,” said Stuart Rench, CEO, Ihiji. “By providing all dealers with the ability to monitor and manage thousands of devices, we are enabling them to detect and remediate issues remotely – often before a customer is aware, there is even a problem."
"By combining with Control4, we can accelerate our plans to deliver more robust capabilities to further drive dealers’ success and end-customer satisfaction," he added.
Currently, Ihiji works with a massive list of manufacturers including Crestron, Denon, Luxul, Onkyo, Russound, Savant, Sony, and others. The new solution will enable dealers to monitor, assess, remediate, and track performance concerns associated with their customers’ homes which would include over 2,000 third-party products, as well as all Control4 and Pakedge smart home equipment.
As of now, Control4 will begin selling the previously named Ihiji APP-750 network appliance under its new moniker, the Pakedge NX-1, priced at US $650 MSRP. Support for the new Control4-Pakedge-Ihiji platform will be available later this year including a software update process for supported service appliance devices: APP-750, NX-1, NK-1, RK-1, and WR-1.