In Their Own Words: Scott Kelly, RTI
On the mainstreaming of home automation:
We see the proliferation of mass market automation providers and the ubiquitous app solutions being offered by cable and utility companies as a positive trend; it creates a great deal of consumer excitement and interest in all things related to the control and automation industry. However, for the end user the number one concern is simplicity—they want a system that requires no training, setup or maintenance on their part. Mass market and app solutions are able to control a few aspects of a home, but basically replace the familiar coffee table full of remotes with a tidier smart device full of apps. The fundamental problem with these systems is that no two installations are alike, and a cookie-cutter approach simply doesn’t work when the equipment, environment and requirements of the end user change dramatically from installation to installation.
It takes the expertise of a professional integrator to take a variety of components from different manufacturers and successfully blend them all into one reliable system that is simple to use, and provide the necessary support should something go wrong. This is where the value of having a professional control system from RTI becomes evident. We offer a complete line of robust control processors and wired, wireless and software interfaces to meet the needs of every installation. Furthermore, integrators can also provide consumers with the “wow” factor they crave with tablet control via our award-winning RTiPanel App and even voice control through third-party integration. All RTI solutions are programmed using our Integration Designer software, which allows dealers to customize the system as much as they like without any software coding experience. We also offer a rapidly growing library of pre-written and tested two-way drivers for a wide spectrum of A/V, lighting, security, and HVAC products including Sonos wireless music players, Nest thermostats, Denon HEOS multi-room audio systems, and much more. This allows our dealers to efficiently program very robust control systems and create custom user interfaces tailored specifically to their clients’ needs.
On what makes an RTI solution
superior to the competition:
RTI has been around for 22 years and pioneered the universal remote control; in that time we’ve come a long way from being just a “home theater remote” company. We have grown into a leading provider of automation systems, offering a full line of powerful, yet affordable, central processors, A/V distribution products, Apple and Android apps, in-wall and handheld touchpanels, and elegant remotes. The breadth of our control solutions is unmatched, from automating just one room to advanced whole-house, multi-zone systems for any residential application—all managed from one robust software platform. In addition, we offer flexible solutions for the light commercial space. Again, it is the scope of our offering that gives integrators what they need to ensure reliable, repeatable, yet user-centric installations.
Integrators also value interoperability, and RTI products integrate seamlessly with best-in-class audio, video, utility and security components in the automation ecosystem. Our Integration Designer software platform—a CEDIA Hall of Famer—continues to evolve, and our upcoming release will deliver greater speed and simplicity, while still allowing integrators to open the hood and develop custom interfaces to differentiate themselves and delight their customers. Ultimately, this is what most end-user customers desire; no reason for a corporate logo to be smack in the middle of our interfaces.
On what’s new with RTI’s approach to the marketplace: We are modifying our go-to market strategy to focus more on promoting the RTI brand directly to our dealer/integrator customer base. We are also investing in marketing initiatives that will help us move beyond the stigma of being just a “home theater/remote control” company to position ourselves as a complete control and automation solutions provider. One of these initiatives is to significantly increase the number of case studies we produce with our dealer partners and showcase on our site to highlight cool and exciting solutions-based applications in the residential and commercial markets.
In terms of supporting our dealers, we will continue to evolve in our offering of resources and tools. For example, we’ve recently partnered with SpringDeck and offer a software-based app that gives dealers access to all things RTI. The app provides a single location for product content such as images, cut sheets, videos and more, allowing dealers to seamlessly showcase products and services to clients in exciting and engaging digital presentations. We will also ramp up our marketing to consumers, delivering a message focused on enhancing the user experience and how they can take control of all aspects of their home environment with RTI.
On what to expect from RTI at
We’ll be introducing a number of products across our portfolio, as well as powerful new two-way drivers, and our next-generation APEX programming software, which is loaded with new tools to make system design incredibly simple. Stay tuned as we ramp up to EXPO.
On RTI training and events:
We are very well known for our Advanced Control University (ACU), which offers our distribution and dealer partners the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the RTI brand, product offering and programming capabilities of our award-winning Integration Designer software. ACU delivers a number of training resources to accommodate the varying learning styles of our integrators—be they visual, audible or actionable. We offer on-site training, pre-recorded tech support videos on our dealer site, technical bulletins for quick answers on specific programming topics, CEDIA EXPO and ISE training sessions off the show floor, and much more.
And we continue to enhance our training opportunities with new programs. Recently, we introduced the RTI Tech Talk Series. This unique program consists of online webinar sessions that provide our integrators with an opportunity to discuss a specific RTI technology or control driver with the engineer in charge of its development. In addition, our recently announced DevX Developers Conference is coming this spring. DevX 2015 will be held April 21-23 at our world headquarters in Minnesota and will provide participants with an opportunity to expand their knowledge on how to provide the ultimate in custom automation using RTI’s powerful software development kit. The conference will allow attendees to customize their experience by offering tracks ranging from a focus on SDK basics such as serial port control, debugging tools, and how drivers work, to more advanced development topics such as networking control, advanced GUI design, and more.
Dealers can view the complete schedule of training events as well as access a variety of other support materials via the Dealer Portal on our website. TI