First big news of the year hits today as Control4 announces the acquisition of Ihiji, provider of remote management services for integrators servicing connected home customers.
Control4 has definitely been on the charge in recent times picking up new brands including Triad last year.
Basically the idea is to combine Control4’s existing BakPak solution which provides remote monitoring and Invision from Ihiji into one unified service platform. Control4 says the move will provide thousands of professional integrators with powerful device monitoring and management capability to efficiently and proactively support their connected-home customers.
Martin Plaehn, CEO and chairman of the board at Control4, says, “Connected home opportunities are emerging globally, and their individual performance, reliability, and resilience are foundational to all successful installations. 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. “Dealers will receive alerts when performance concerns are detected; they can then remotely identify the root cause and initiate resolution actions, all without being on-premise. This will improve homeowner satisfaction through prompt and preemptive service, in a time-saving and cost-effective manner.”
Already working together
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, which would include over 2,000 third-party products, as well as all Control4 and Pakedge smart home equipment.
Today, Ihiji works with: Araknis, Belkin, Brocade, Cisco, Crestron, Dell, Denon, D-Link, Integra, Luxul, Marantz, Netgear, Onkyo, Pakedge, Panamax, Russound, Savant, Sky, Sony, SurgeX, Synaccess and Yamaha. Those integrations will continue to be central to the new unified management platform. The new solution will also deliver a comprehensive view of every home and customer to enable dealers to monitor, assess, remediate, and track performance concerns associated with their customers’ homes.
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 (£480 approx).
The good news for installers is that Control4 has also announced the elimination of all subscription fees associated with the Ihiji Invision management service, making it easier and more financially efficient for dealers to provide remote management services to their end-customers.
“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,” says 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.”
The Ihiji product development and support teams are now part of Control4 and are working within the Company’s networking group to continue supporting existing Ihiji dealers, and to deliver the new unified management platform later this year.
All Ihiji dealers using Invision will continue to be supported and are encouraged to continue using and installing Invision in new installations. Later this year, progress releases towards the new unified and integrated service platform will be made available to all Ihiji, Control4, and Pakedge dealers and customers through a software update process for supported service appliance devices: APP-750, NX-1, NK-1, RK-1 and WR-1.