Russound, on Collage, Colorado vNet - and Russound
With the late-2009 acquisition of the automation and control technology company Colorado vNet, multiroom audio company Russound set the stage for accelerated fulfillment of its business goals in a custom installation market that was changing almost too rapidly for anything but a pro-active stance.
This move, the market progress of the Russound PLC-based and retrofit-job-targeted Collage powerline media and intercom system, and tweaks to the Russound Web site and distribution model were all topics addressed during an extensive tour of the company’s Newmarket, N.H. headquarters last week.
“Colorado vNet helps us to take those steps we’ve tried to take for at least five years,” said Russound CEO Charlie Porritt of the acquisition at the opening of the tour.
The Colorado vNet marriage with Russound has proven to be such a good fit, explained vice president of sales & marketing Petro Shimonishi, because of a long string of complementary factors. “Russound has seasoned management, business acumen, worldwide distribution, partnerships, and contract manufacturing experience. Colorado vNet offers IP-based technology, an entrepreneurial spirit, a flagship brand with direct dealers, agility and third-party integration experience. We plan to leverage each other’s strengths.”
Shimonishi pointed to a key market driver that has come to the fore: a growing consumer desire for integration and control. “Our customers are beginning to tie systems together; the end user doesn’t want ‘wall acne.’ That’s where Colorado vNet comes in.”
She said that dealer input on product direction has shaped and will continue to shape the brand’s products going forward. A dealer forum accessible to the 350 active dealers in the U.S. will soon be added to the brand web site, as will online training and an email address – email@example.com. Dealer feedback is also being encouraged about how the line’s iPad applications will be developed. A demo video for dealer perusal will be made available on iTunes and You Tube beginning next week that mirrors Colorado vNet’s touchscreens, and this “phased approach,” it is hoped, will result in an iPad audio touchscreen design by December that can control the Vibe audio system, followed by lighting, HVAC and security screen designs. “The iPad offers some different capabilities than our touchscreens today,” she observed. “It can go from horizontal to vertical. Traditional touchscreens are fixed but with this, there is jump-screen capability. Dealers will know best what to do with these capabilities.”