Rack Building Basics Cybersecurity Q&A Workforce Development Initiatives
10 20 24 30 34 38 40 42
WORKING TOGETHER Getting along with architects, builders, designers on the jobsite
CYBERSECURITY Industry experts discuss the importance of tackling cybersecurity
WHAT a showSTOPPER We take a look at the award-winning Admit One showroom
NOTHING TO FEAR Where do the opportunities lie for home technology professionals?
THE LI-FI OPTION How does this emerging technology fit into our industry?
RACK BUILDING BASICS Why do home technology professionals need a rack?
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE The technology council provide some more predictions
OPENING THE DOORS What are CEDIAâ€™s plans to bolster the workforce?
…to the Winter issue of CEDIA® Communicates, your industry resource for the latest news and stories. This issue marks a historic and exciting moment for CEDIA. As I write this, it’s been just a matter of weeks since CEDIA began operating as a global association. With that, I welcome a wider group of readers – this publication is now being distributed to our worldwide membership base of 3,700 companies. As a quarterly magazine, CEDIA Communicates is published to educate and inform our members and the wider industry, and bridge the gap between the home technology field and other complementary market sectors. Our industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies, innovations, and opportunities developing on a regular basis. We focus on a number on these in this issue, including cybersecurity, Li-Fi, and the DIY, DIFM and DIWM markets. We’ve called upon industry experts to share their opinions and advice on the business and technical aspects of their jobs, and look at new initiatives that CEDIA has recently developed. I am delighted to start 2017 off with the first issue of CEDIA Communicates, and hope you find the articles both informative and engaging.
Vincent Bruno Chief Executive Officer, CEDIA
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CEDIA 7150 Winton Drive, Suite 300 Indianapolis, Indiana 46268 USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +1 800.669.5329 Unit 2, Phoenix Park, St Neots Cambridgeshire, PE19 8EP, UK Email: email@example.com Telephone: +44 (0)1480 213744 Front cover image: Logic Integration, USA
All material in Communicates is the copyright of CEDIA and any reproduction of said material would require written permission from the publisher. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content published, CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for any factual errors that may occur. CEDIA cannot accept responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributors. ©2017 CEDIA. All rights reserved. www.cedia.net
NEWS IN BRIEF
2 BECOME 1 2017 marks the beginning of a now globally-aligned CEDIA. This follows an overwhelming majority vote by CEDIA members for the formal integration of CEDIA and CEDIA EMEA. “Operating as one global organization is an important step for CEDIA as we seek to strengthen our global voice and influence,” said Vincent Bruno, CEDIA CEO. “Our increased operational efficiencies will ensure that we are able to continue to deploy the resources CEDIA members need to be successful in every region.” Thanks to this integration, CEDIA has streamlined its governance to make decision making more efficient, representative and consistent. Instead of two separate boards, the association is now governed by one global brand. The CEDIA Board of Directors approved the 2017 Executive Committee and appointed directors at its most recent Board Meeting held at CEDIA Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.
CEDIA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DENNIS ERSKINE (CHAIRPERSON) Erskine Group, LLC, Draper, UT DAVID HUMPHRIES (CHAIRPERSON-ELECT) Atlantic Integrated, Rockleigh, NJ LARRY PEXTON (IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRPERSON) Triad Speakers, Inc., Portland, OR Ex-officio, non-voting member GILES SUTTON (TREASURER) James + Giles, London, United Kingdom
IN LOVING MEMORY OF SUZANNE COLLIN The CEDIA family was incredibly saddened by the passing of a precious friend and colleague, Suzanne Collin. Suzanne was loved by so many for her wicked sense of humor, always accompanied by a giggle, her conscientiousness and commitment to everything she did, and for being a kind, lovely and special person. Suzanne had battled cancer for the past six years, always remaining positive and never complaining, no matter how she was feeling. Unfortunately, as many of us have discovered, cancer does not discriminate and because of this, the industry has lost a wonderful friend, and her family has lost a devoted mother, daughter and sister. Those who wish to share their respects for Suzanne are encouraged to visit a JustGiving page to raise money for Macmillan. Proving just how inspirational Suzanne was, the original target of £1,500 was exceeded within just two days and currently stands at a staggering £3,276 (or over $4,000 USD). Should you wish to make a donation, please search for Suzanne Collin on JustGiving.
OMAR HIKAL (SECRETARY) Archimedia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
BOARD DIRECTORS CHRISTIAAN BEUKES Sphere Custom Design & Installation - Salt River, Cape Town, S. Africa TOM BUTLER Artcoustic Loudspeakers Chelmsford, United Kingdom JOHN CLANCY Crestron Electronics, Inc. Rockleigh, NJ
GREG MARGOLIS HomeTronics, Inc. Dallas, TX HAMISH NEALE Barco N.V. Kortijk, Belgium ROB SUTHERLAND Inspired Dwellings, Ltd, London, United Kingdom
HENRY CLIFFORD Livewire - Richmond, VA
JEREMY SWEET Connected Home Mulgrave, Australia
KEN ERDMANN Erdmann Electric, Inc. Springville, UT
DAVID WEINSTEIN Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. Coopersburg, PA
HAGAI FEINER Access Networks Encino, CA
JOE WHITAKER The Thoughtful Home Clayton, MO
VIN BRUNO serves as an ex-officio, voting member of the CEDIA Board by virtue of his role as Global President and Chief Executive Officer of CEDIA.
NEW MEMBERS Welcome to CEDIA and thanks for joining…
IT’S NEARLY BOOT CAMP SEASON In March, CEDIA offers three of the association’s hands-on training sessions, known as “CEDIA Boot Camps.” First on the schedule at CEDIA HQ is the Basic Residential Boot Camp (March 13 – 15, 2017). As the title suggests, this covers the basics – it’s the fundamentals of the biz. For a complete overview, take a look at our coverage of all three days at CEDIA.net. The Basic Boot Camp is immediately followed by the Home Theater Boot Camp (March 16 – 18) – it’s a great way for attendees to raise their game when it comes to installation and calibration of residential entertainment systems. Next up is the wildly popular Advanced Networking Boot Camp (March 22 – 24). Designing, installing, and troubleshooting home network systems has become an incredibly important segment of the industry, and this three-day immersive course covers all the info you need to approach your next project with confidence. CEDIA Boot Camps – a great way to jump start your career or improve your skill set. See you in March. cedia.net/cedia-training/in-person/boot-camps
IT’S RENEWAL TIME It is that time of the year again where CEDIA calls all members to renew their annual membership to ensure they continue to receive the significant business, education, and marketing advantages available exclusively to those who are members of the association. All members need to renew their membership before Friday, February 24, 2017 to retain access to member benefits.
Ion Smith, Cyberhomes “Being a CEDIA member company adds value when we’re presenting Cyberhomes to prospective clients.” Rayner Sheridan, Meridian Audio “We’ve been a member of CEDIA for a long time and have benefitted from its commitment to education, training and professional development.” Harshul Parikh, Trescent Lifestyles “I’m delighted to renew my membership in 2017 to be part of the evolving success of CEDIA worldwide!”
Sound Living, Australia AVAS & Concepts Inc., Canada Loosid Integration Solutions Inc, Canada Macadamian Technologies, Canada O’Neil Electric Supply, Canada Tiny Tech, Canada ADI S.A., Costa Rica KRIKA, France Sounds Good, India XPan Solutions Pvt Ltd, India TRITONE, Singapore TD Sat & Sound SL, Spain Ojea Electronics Sarl, Switzerland Smart Cabling & Transmission Corp., Taiwan EVOLVE AV Ltd, UK In-Home Media Ltd, UK Logic Smart Homes Ltd, UK Moss Technical Services Ltd, UK Out of Hours AV Limited, UK Richer Sounds, UK Skyblue Digital, UK AVID, UK Ceritech Audio, UK Marata Vision, UK OPPO, UK 6 Technologies, LLC, USA Audio Video Experience, Inc., USA Boyd’s Electric, USA Clear Stream Audio, USA Coming Attractions, USA Current Home Technologies, LLC, USA Custom Audio Video Services, USA Distinctive Home Automation, USA Enviance Control LLC, USA Focused A/V, USA Gerber Technology Solutions, USA Global DCIM Inc., USA Home Theater San Diego, USA Innovative Concepts Audio Video Inc., USA Integrated Smart Home (ISH), USA Integrative Home, USA Ionthis Inc., USA Keep Austin Online, USA Laguna Audio, USA LED Systems, USA Maximum Audio Video, USA Next Level Acoustics, USA Ocean AV IT, USA OKOL Group Home Integration, USA Pinpoint Mounts, USA Runde Electric, USA Simply Controlled Systems, USA Smart Audio Visual, USA Starry, Inc., USA Summit Control Systems, LLC, USA Surround AV Inc., USA Technology Sherpa, USA The Intuitive Home LLC, USA Total Network Technologies, USA Utopia Homes, USA Visual Concepts, USA
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CEDIA COMMUNITY ®
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JOIN THE DISCUSSION Start a conversation with your fellow CEDIA members CEDIA members enjoy being part of a community - surrounded by ambitious professionals who are interesting, have a positive view, and are focused on changing the CEDIA industry for the better. CEDIA puts its members in the center of a thriving community, where connections are formed, insights are shared, and new opportunities for growth can be tapped into. Last year, CEDIA created an online private networking and sharing forum exclusively for its members. This online community invites CEDIA members to take part in live forums, discuss ideas and share documents. Since launching the CEDIA Community, members from around the globe have joined in on a number of interesting and engaging conversations. Recently, Daniel Bates, Managing Partner of Bates Integrations in Mount Vernon, Virginia, sparked conversation by posing the question - ‘How to communicate concisely?’ The question prompted over 40 responses. Here, CEDIA has chosen three tips that were passed on from fellow members.
“Get their business card and then follow up with a brochure/portfolio and get in touch with them. It is key to follow up. Keep knocking on the door and be consistent, then visit them once a month and develop a relationship. Eventually, they will trust you with a job and then it’s your job to take care of the client.” NICK CARIPIS | BNC Technology, South Africa
“It’s important to start building up the testimonials from happy clients, including builders and architects. Ask for a written testimonial with permission to use as soon as the job is done and when the client is most happy. Also, make sure to take photos of your work and more importantly, the homes themselves, which show the scale of work you are involved in.” EFRAIN ROMAN | Enhanced AV, New York
“It is difficult to summarize what we as installers do in one word to communicate truly concisely. My company specializes in AV integration, but we also work with acoustics, lights, automation, HVAC and security. So, although we can implement all of this technology, the question is whether you can be a specialist in all of these areas and really do justice to your projects? Make sure you are clear with what you specialize in.” MEHERNOSH PERVEZ Sound Decisions Consultancy & Services, India
The CEDIA community can be accessed by members at cedia.net/community
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60 SECONDS WITH…
Joel Reis Who are you? My name is Joel Reis. I am the CEO and co-founder of Life Emotions. I grew up in a small village in Portugal, helping out with my family business. When I started college, I moved to Lisbon, where I have remained ever since. It was during my graduation in Communication Networks Engineering that I started to develop my own business. What’s your company and where is it based? Life Emotions is a company that I co-founded with Michelle Reis (Designer) and Abel Silva (IT Engineer). In 2009, we started designing and developing tailormade home solutions for high-end customers. Life Emotions is based in Lisbon in Portugal, where we have our main showroom. How did you get into the industry? I was always passionate about entertainment and control systems. I started developing a plan for Life Emotions in 2005, with the idea of enabling the home to stream entertainment content, such as movies, photos, music, and video
games across a network. I wanted to be able to allow this content to be available to the entire family from anywhere in the home using an intuitive interface. A few years later, I noticed the market was starting to shift into home integration. That’s when Life Emotions was born. Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why? Considering the potential growth of IP-based technologies for the home, I would say that IP is the future and perhaps the most important technology at present. With IP, we can create networks where all entities speak with each other. It’s the globalization of home technology. On the same IP network, we can have multiple technologies such as Modbus, DALI, DMX, KNX, BacNet, Lutron, as well as many different devices, including cameras, washers, ovens, refrigerators, cars and health sensors. Using IP, we are able to integrate all these technologies. For example, a health sensor can
trigger a phone call, turn on all the lights in the home and unlock the main entrance. Surely, in the near future, it will also be possible to send instructions to the car to drive itself to the nearest hospital. How long have you been a CEDIA member? Life Emotions has been a CEDIA member ever since the company started seven years ago. What do you enjoy most about being a CEDIA member? What I most enjoy is the extensive library that covers both business and technical topics. The training offered is also very useful and enjoyable. The awards are a challenge - in a good way - and it motivates us to deliver better projects every time. I think it is a healthy competition and it allows us to improve and be inspired by other member’s projects. If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be? In these last few years, we have been seeing a lot of new technologies and products emerging that depend on the cloud. In some cases, this has proven to be a big problem for customers when some companies close their doors or decide to discontinue a product. It would be good for the industry if there were laws forcing the companies to open their products if they cease providing the service to the customers. What is Life Emotions best achievement in the last year? Last year, we were invited to work on a project that sits outside of
our core business. The project came from the biggest hospital management company in Portugal. They asked us to customize a room in a hospital to ensure their clients feel at home. With this, they are able to improve treatment results and customer satisfaction. This achievement shows that our company is trusted to work on projects outside of our core business.
We are currently seeing a huge increase in sensors. These are used all around us - at home, in the car and on our clothes, and they can be used in data analysis and AI for improving wellness, comfort, energy consumption and security. Another area that Life Emotions will be focused on will be the improvement of monitoring every
“ If you weren’t in the home technology sector, what would you like to be doing and why?
What’s the next focus for Life Emotions? Life Emotions will be focused on emerging technologies of home automation, such as working with AI (Artificial Intelligence) for automated decisions and data analysis.
I would definitely be doing something related to improving people’s lives. I could be running a health clinic, for example.
component in the home. Not only if the devices are up and responding, but also monitoring the health of the user. Monitoring the components correctly in our customer’s home helps us to provide a much better service for them.
WHAT I MOST ENJOY IS THE EXTENSIVE LIBRARY THAT COVERS BOTH BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL TOPICS
MEMBERS’ GUIDE TO SUCCESS (PART 3) SHOWCASE YOUR BUSINESS
CEDIA membership offers each member exclusive access to a range of benefits, including industry insights, educational resources, and the latest training. Continuing the Members Guide to Success series, the association focuses on how CEDIA can help showcase your business. As a CEDIA member, you can tap into an array of smart, lead-generating marketing tools that are tailor-made to put your business in the spotlight.
Members are automatically added to the CEDIA Finder Service, which allows homeowners to search for qualified home tech pros. More than 12,000 consumers from around the world visit the finder service each month.
Receive recognition within the industry and beyond by showcasing your best work in the annual members-only CEDIA Awards program, which recognizes the industry’s top products and projects.
CEDIA is able to provide a multitude of sponsorship opportunities for trade suppliers to get in front of dealers and home technology professionals. From international events to the annual Awards program and CEDIA Communicates, there is a wealth of opportunity.
CEDIA Outreach Instructor Build valuable connections and grow your referral network by becoming a CEDIA Outreach Instructor (COI) and delivering CEDIA developed CPD courses to architects, builders, interior designers and other industry partners.
Promote your company’s expertise and commitment to professionalism by displaying a CEDIA member logo on your website, business cards, company vehicles, and in other prominent places.
Life Lived Best at Home™ Video Download the short video and share it with clients and partners to illustrate how CEDIA members enable clients to enjoy their best moments in life in the comfort of their homes – life lived best at home.
For more information and to reap the benefits, visit the members area of the website: www.cedia.net/cedia-membership/benefits
Jauregui’s a realist, though:
You’ve got to cooperate with architects, builders, designers and the like on the jobsite – but still ensure that your needs are accounted for. On a recent ride-along that yours truly took with one of the Midwest’s biggest integration firms – TRIPhase Technologies – I learned that when everyone pitches in on a project, problems are solved more quickly. Don Wolfe, GM of TriPhase, became concerned after visiting an outdoor installation last summer. A pool’s going into a nearby backyard, and the yet-to-be-built pergola off the rear of an existing
Content Marketing Manager, CEDIA
home will need audio and video. Wolfe’s a bit perplexed: it seems that both electrical lines and downspout construction might interfere with the lines he’s got to pull. That’s when I realize that even the GM will need to be hands-on. “I check these jobsites regularly — that way we can be proactive, not reactive. If I show up and something needs to be done and my guys are all elsewhere, I can do it,” says Wolfe.
The Problem In a perfect world, that’s the solution: stop by the jobsite, offer advice, and everything’s rainbows and unicorns. But architect Luis Jauregui, writing for CEDIA.net, noted that more often than not, everyone wants to be the project lead. Given his profession, Jauregui’s solution is unsurprising: “As an architect, I can unequivocally say that the right answer to this conundrum is for the architect to be the first hired by the client, orchestrate the team, and control the project. Unfortunately, the custom residential architectural industry has largely been displaced from its former leadership role and relegated to providing builders sets of construction drawings.”
“The residential building industry, on the other hand, is well equipped to orchestrate the entire custom residential team, yet even builders often leave essential components such as home technology, landscaping, and pool work to others. It’s often the interior designer who steps into more of a leadership role and represents the clients. The worstcase scenario is when the clients become the project manager, and it’s every man for himself in the battle to finish the house.”
The Solutions One way to help get an integrator in on the “ground floor” – or more accurately, while designing the ground floor? CEDIA’s Outreach Instructor program, which enables trained members to teach courses on a variety of topics specific to the home technology field. This builds a great bank of referrals over time, but also educates other disciplines about the need for pre-planning home tech. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if one’s got a background in another related field. As CEDIA noted in another story recently: For David Devanna (who’s with iTEC Consultants based in New Jersey), teaching the course that focuses on sound isolation is a fave: “My background is in architecture. Many
IT IS IN ALL OF OUR BEST INTERESTS TO LEARN TO WORK AS A COHESIVE TEAM
years ago, I had a friend who was a drummer. One of my first challenges: soundproofing his basement.” “I have people come up to me after a session and say, ‘Wow, you really speak the language.’ I’ll do a lunch-and-learn and I’ll see all the heads in the room nodding.” But there’s yet another industry that integrators should think about partnering with: realtors. In a story CEDIA posted this past September, Coldwell Banker gave us the numbers: “The latest research indicates that 71 percent of Americans want a move-in ready home – what was shocking was that of those, 44 percent believe ‘smart home ready’ is part of that equation.” In short, the tech doesn’t just make the home more livable –
it makes it more sellable. Several folks in a variety of disciplines took part in a panel discussion at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas to expand on these topics, and the YouTube video’s worth an hour of your time – it’s on CEDIA’s channel, titled “Building for the Future.” But when it comes down to truly working and playing well with others, we’ll let Luis Jauregui have the last word: “It is in all of our best interests to learn to work as a cohesive team. Working with custom residential architects, I’m striving to elevate the practice to where architects once again orchestrate the team. This requires us to become knowledgeable of all the disciplines and requirements, including that of home technology.”
CEDIA ONLINE TRAINING REACHES NEW HEIGHTS IN 2017 2016 Training Highlights 2016 was a standout year for CEDIA training. The association offered its members more courses than ever before — and across more locations — resulting in members having greater access to CEDIA education. While face-to-face training remains extremely important in our industry, an online training portal is useful to those who find it difficult to take a full day off of work. CEDIA’s online platform is proving increasingly popular with home technology professionals. With this in mind, CEDIA is strengthening its online training offering for 2017.
Getting New Hires Up to Speed CEDIA launched its New Hire Training Track in 2016 and it has been well received among member companies that are looking for an affordable way to supplement training for their employees. Available to CEDIA members only, this New Hire Training Track contains ten CEDIA eCourses and a copy of the Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems, First Edition. The track consists of the following eCourses: Basic Math & Terminology for Technicians, Customer Service Basics, Cable & Connector Properties, Network Cable Infrastructure, Monsters in the Attic, Retrofit Installation, Video Display Technologies for Technicians, Audio Technologies for Technicians, Fundamentals of Home Theater Design, and Troubleshooting, Repair & Preventive Maintenance. The eCourses consist of indepth lecture content, married with additional material.
CEDIA Think Big For individuals who may have missed out on training at the CEDIA show, CEDIA complied some of the most popular content for business owners and visionaries in the “Think Big” training package. This package of online courses contains three CEDIA eCourses and ten technology insight video lessons, totalling over six hours of learning. The package consists of the following eCourses and video lessons: The Business of VUI, Designing with VUI, Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Standardizing the Design & Engineering Process, New Technology Update Lessons from Michael Heiss, and Future Technology Lessons from Rich Green. Both voice control courses are presented by Amazon’s Alexa department.
Latest Online Training Courses CEDIA recently added a number of new training sessions, webinars and and talks to its online portal. o HDCP 2.2 Webinar Series with David Meyer (three webinars – HDCP 2.2 Overview, HDCP 2.2: How It Works, and HDMI 2.0 Mixing Pot & System Design) o 2017 NEC Updates and the Home Technology Professional webinar with Ken Erdmann o CEDIA Talks from CEDIA 2016 : • What Virtual and Augmented Reality Mean to Home Technology Professionals • Voice Control is Just the Beginning • Understanding the Opportunities of Bio Adaptive Lighting • Simple, Affordable, Reliable: Is Your Business Ready for this Connected Home Paradigm Shift? • Security, Surveillance and the Changing Landscape Until 2020 • The Internet of Intelligent Things • How Integrated Smart Home Tech Can Go Mainstream • Humanizing the Connected Home • How Millennials Will Reshape the Home Improvement Market • Expanding Your Referral Opportunities — The Value of Working with a Real Estate Professional • Disruption: How Enabling Technologies Are Addressing the Aging Tsunami o HOUZZ/CEDIA Consumer Survey Results o Size & Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market What Else To Expect This Year CEDIA will continue to host a number of webinars throughout the year, and will focus on rounding off its fundamental eCourses. The association’s goal for 2017 is to provide content for all areas of the CEDIA Electronic Systems Certified (ESC) exam.
To access CEDIA’s online training platform, visit www.cedia.net/education
GET THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR THE BUSINESS YOU WANT
The CEDIA Business Xchange
Odds are good your technical mastery is unparalleled. From design to installation to troubleshooting networks, you’re a pro in the home technology field. But how well do you sell? You’re part artist, part engineer, part visionary. But how well does your firm sell that technical excellence to potential clients – and use it to generate new business? Your business can only thrive when you add “revenue builder” to your set of skills. That’s why CEDIA’s 2017 Business Xchange in San Antonio (March 1-3, 2017) is focusing on sales and marketing. In all, it’s a comprehensive multi-day session packed with peer networking and guided workshops designed to help you maximize your sales operations – and market your talents, too. You’ll learn how to approach sales from a psychological standpoint,
understanding what makes each client tick, how every unique customer relates to your personality, and how to use that knowledge to complete the transaction. You’ll see how to turn your wordof-mouth referral model into a marketing plan that generates leads, using techniques that will help define your brand – and how to tailor that definition for maximum impact to potential customers via social media and content marketing. The CEDIA Business Xchange is tailored to your needs in the residential tech industry, designed to help you and your team increase sales in this incredibly specialized field. The Workshops On March 2, 2017, Rochelle Carrington of the Sandler Training/Second Wind Advisory Group, Inc. will dig into the ways psychology affects how you
present yourself and your unique talents to potential customers with a presentation called “Using the Sales Force: Jedi Mind Tricks for Mastering Every Sale.” (You’ll find a preview to the right.) On March 3, Jason Falls (a pioneer in online content marketing and a Forbes’ “Top 10 Business Leader to Follow”) will examine how you can take those all-important referrals you get and transform them into lead generators – without losing sight of those critical day-to-day operations. (Check Jason’s piece “Six Social Media Strategies for Your Home Tech Business” on page 45) Add networking sessions and the Idea Xchange to the mix, stir in some moments to relax and recharge, and you’ll return to your firm with the tools you need to amplify your business. The Idea Xchange After the presenter-led content on each day of Business Xchange 2017, join your fellow attendees for the Idea Xchange – a series of loosely structured, roundtable-style, topical discussions. The Idea Xchange is a rare opportunity for business owners to share their failures and successes
in a comfortable, relaxed environment — an invaluable part of Business Xchange. Thursday’s Idea Xchange will feature a predetermined set of hot-button sales-related topics for industry businesses. On Friday, attendees are put in the driver’s seat by voting on a series of marketing topics to be covered. Each topic is led by facilitators who keep the conversation flowing, and attendees are encouraged to rotate around to different discussion centers based on their interests and needs. Key benefits include:
Special Events The CEDIA Business Xchange wouldn’t be complete without a few chances to relax and recharge. Here’s what’s on the docket in San Antonio: Riverwalk Dine-Around Kick off a successful two days at Business Xchange as you enjoy a cocktail cruise along the historic Riverwalk, followed by dinner at unique restaurants, all while completing fun challenges along the way. Cap off the evening getting energized and entertained at Howl at the Moon. Chopped Kitchen & BBQ
• Insights from fellow integrator business leaders on your most pressing business issues
Reach deep into your creative mind to solve a series of culinary team challenges while creating a tasty Texas BBQ masterpiece. Be prepared to present your creation to the judges and sell them on why yours is the best.
• Peer-driven discussion means you set the agenda and drive the conversation • Non-competitive setting allows attendees to let down their guard and openly share both their peaks and their pitfalls • Build your industry network and community
Topgolf Closing Celebration Our closing celebration at Topgolf is sure to bring out everyone’s competitive side. Enjoy a fun activity for all, even if you aren’t a serious golfer. There is still time to sign up now at cedia.net/businessxchange
The First Step to Closing a Sale: Maintaining Your “Nurturing” Role By Rochelle Carrington Have you ever wondered why you seem to connect with some prospects and not with others? Having a handle on the theory of Transactional Analysis (TA) is the first step to understanding why. The TA philosophy states there are three ego conditions that influence behavior: The “Parent,” “Adult,” and “Child.” It’s a kind of “Parent” that can best close the sale – but more on that in a moment. First let’s define the other two. Simply put, we follow “Adult” behavior when we are solving problems in a logical, rational and analytical manner. The “Child” is the six-year old decision maker. It is that voice that demands, “I want this” or “I don’t want to do that.” There are two models of “Parent:” The “Critical Parent” who may be critical, judgmental or prejudicial or the helpful, caring “Nurturing Parent.” In the role of business development or customer service, it helps to stay in the “Nurturing Parent” role as much as possible. Too often, salespeople are in their “Critical Parent” role, which often comes across as “telling” a prospect what to do rather than asking leading questions and allowing them to figure it out. It is the “Nurturing Parent” that encourages buyers to open up, which builds trust quickly. Keep these tips in mind to stay in your “Nurturing Parent” mode:
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Meet & Greet Lounge Open
5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
• Stay emotionally objective – a sales call is no place to get your “needs met” – it’s for “going to the bank”
7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
• Preparation is key – the more prepared you are, the more you can nurture your prospect
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
I Am CEDIA: Buddy Hughes
8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Using the Sales Force: Jedi Mind Tricks for Mastering Every Sale
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Chopped Kitchen & BBQ
THURSDAY, MARCH 2
• Use your ears more than your mouth – listen for what the prospect says between the lines and ask deeper questions accordingly
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8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
I Am CEDIA: Amanda Wildman
When you step into the role of a “Nurturing Parent” you helpfully steer a prospect along a path of discovery. They will appreciate your guidance, discover they are not the only ones experiencing issues and because their six-year old decision maker trusts you, tell themselves, “I want that.”
8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Moving Beyond Referrals to Lead Generation
About the author:
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1:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Topgolf Closing Celebration
FRIDAY, MARCH 3
As the CEO of Sandler Training, Rochelle Carrington has advised large companies including Time Inc. and Georgia Pacific as well as small enterprises on best practices for sales, hiring, and leadership. Rochelle is the author of a forthcoming book entitled “Believe it to Achieve It…the Sandler Way.”
Get down TO BUSINESS Leslie Shiner, a CEDIA instructor who has presented a number of courses at both the CEDIA show and ISE, was previously a consultant to both the construction and non-profit fields. “Unfortunately, they’re very similar,” she jokes. In the early 2000s, a friend told her about the CEDIA channel, and she was intrigued: “These companies have a lot of the same issues as contractors, but some have a retail component, some have a manufacturing component – they’re all unique, complex businesses even when they’re small.”
As Leslie dug in to the needs of businesses in the residential technology field, she quickly noted areas where a number of companies faced challenges. First and foremost: “Just because they’re good at what they do – providing that seamless home experience – doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to run a business well.”
produces results that they can then interpret and use in staffing, profitability, margins, and so on.”
One of the biggest expenses that CEDIA business owners don’t take into account? The time those owners invest in the companies themselves. “With the smaller business owners, I constantly say to them: ‘Just because you do it, doesn’t mean it’s free.’ “My goal is to help them better understand the value of what they’re doing. What’s the most valuable use of their time? Is it updating the website, or is it paying someone to update their website so they can sell more?” And Then There’s Cash Flow
Job one for Leslie: Help these companies really understand their balance sheets.
“Another error many companies make is not understanding cash flow, particularly if you’re what I call a ‘money ahead’ company,” says Leslie. “You get your deposits up front, and often you don’t know how much money you’re sitting on that doesn’t really belong to you. Companies sign a contract, they have a whole bunch of money – and they wind up having to use the money from tomorrow’s jobs to finish today’s work.”
“My focus is helping companies be more profitable by understanding the numbers behind what they do. I help them better understand metrics, make sure that their accounting data
Take, for example, the Brexit vote that wound up clobbering the British pound. A client that had contracted a CEDIA company in the UK suddenly found himself short on liquid cash, and
How Much are You Spending – Really?
the gorgeous home cinema he’d wanted fell to the chopping block. The problem for the home technology professional? That money had been used to finish a previous job in the queue, and suddenly the company had to scramble to cover. “Imagine how profitable you’d be if you only had to finish the first 80% of any job,” notes Leslie. Tech is Evolving, But Business is Business As for the explosion of devices on the IoT, jumps in machine learning, and the preponderance of voice control, Leslie notes that all of that exponential technical growth has little effect on the old standbys in the business universe; profit is still profit, and losses still hurt. What is changing, however, is the role of the home technology professional. In 2017, the smart home’s smart money lies in services, not products.
“You’ve got guys who used to be able to make a fortune very easily by marking up all this spectacular equipment. Nobody could get it anywhere else. You could sell a plasma TV for 12 grand; and make all this money on it. So we talk a lot about the commoditization of the industry – and that’s where the problems quite often occur. You’ve got all these companies that are competing, in essence, against the internet.” Companies aren’t necessarily focusing on what they need to be doing, according to Leslie, and that’s essentially presenting themselves as the IT expert for the home. The selling point: Anyone can buy all this stuff and jerry-rig a network. But is it intuitive, is it functional? And does it truly fit the customer’s needs – without the frustrations attendant when it comes to issues such as interoperability?
Just because you’re busier doesn’t mean you’re making more money
Online Offerings from Leslie Shiner at cedia.net: Creating a Breakeven Analysis Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Create Attractive and Motivational Pay and Bonus Structures Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Best Utilize Subcontractors Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Create Job Cost Reports to Stay on Track Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Get Paid for What You Do by Managing Change Work Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Keep the Money You Earn by Implementing Internal Control Webinar Increasing Profits: How to Measure And Track Employee Productivity Webinar
Increasing Profits: How to Minimize Waste Webinar Inventory Tracking Webinar Job Costing & Overhead Webinar Managing Cash Flow Webinar Markup vs. Margin Webinar Pricing Time & Materials (T&M) Jobs Webinar Tracking True Profitability Webinar Understanding and Tracking True Labor Costs Webinar Want Greater Profitability? Find the Answers In Your Financials Webinar
CEDIA GLOBALLY Wendy Griffiths
VP Global Development
As Wendy Griffiths steps into her new role as VP of Global Development, she provides Communicates readers with an overview of her objectives for 2017. Following a membership vote in favor of formal integration between CEDIA and CEDIA UK, we are now operating as a global association. This development is an important step for CEDIA, and one which will be of great benefit to our members. I have taken on the role of VP Global Development. My objective is to grow and support international markets, and reignite and foster membership in under-represented countries. This activity will be supported by the international board, as one of their key strategies is global development. In the past few years, we have concentrated our efforts on two core markets - the UK and US. Now is the time to change this. As our industry continues to grow internationally, and CEDIA membership has expanded into new regions, we need to turn some of our attention to supporting membership outside these two countries.
International Events Calendar:
• Australia • China • Columbia • India • Mexico • Middle East • Netherlands • New Zealand • South Africa We are interested in growing our international events calendar even further, and will be looking for membership support to allow us to do so. Our Tech Forum event is a tried and tested format that has
Currently, nearly 40% of EMEA membership is located outside of the UK. To date, we haven’t been able to dedicate enough resources to allow us to better understand the different markets and build a strategic plan to develop customized services for members in these countries. In my new role, my team and I will be working with local members to develop and implement this plan. We will also focus our attention on creating a calendar of international events in 2017 and beyond. We have already identified nine countries that we would like to visit this year. The planned events in these regions will bring education and networking opportunities to local members.
proved successful in a number of countries, including Ireland, India, and France. Combining education and networking, these events provide sponsorship opportunities for trade suppliers and educational support to home technology professionals. In our opinion, the more we can host these types of events, the better. We have clear objectives in mind, and will be taking the necessary steps to implement these. We look forward to a productive year of supporting our members through increased education and resources, with the aim to make member companies more lucrative and the industry stronger.
If you have any questions about our plans for global development, or wish to input into our plans, please contact me on +44(0)7968 141566 or email@example.com
A CYBERSECURITY WAKE UP CALL Recent cybersecurity attacks demonstrate that
connected devices to be securely updated when
internet security must be a priority at the consumer,
their software has been compromised, is essential.
technology professional, and manufacturer level.
For home technology professionals, it is critical to
For manufacturers, the challenge is to build
work with IoT/network device suppliers that take
products that do not sacrifice security for
security seriously, and vet them to ensure they
convenience. The ability to allow installation
are implementing strong security practices. These
professionals to enter secure passwords, close
professionals should educate clients on the risks
unnecessary ports and, most critically, enable IP
and rewards of network enabled devices.
CEDIA Communicates talks to a number of members to find out their opinions on this.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOU ARE BUILDING PRODUCTS THAT DO NOT SACRIFICE SECURITY FOR CONVENIENCE? PHILIPP > Security does come at a cost. However, this cost does not need to be convenience. At Loxone, we make use of proven security methods, including encryption to ensure that our products are intrinsically secure. Secondly, we raise awareness about security with our installation partners and customers by strongly encouraging them to choose secure passwords to help them protect themselves and their homes. JASON > LILIN always prompts users to change default passwords when connecting to a device via the browser. We also close all unnecessary ports and do not allow access via services such as Telnet. Neither are there any “backdoor” passwords.
use of technology increases in our homes. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that we will automatically be safer as technologies continue to develop. In fact, I believe the opposite will occur. Cases, such as Mirai, have shown that many products are not secured by default, and at times, can’t be secured at all as a result of cost cutting in the product design stage. Only increased awareness of the risks and the demand for secure products will lead to the wide adoption of stringent security standards. JASON > Recent use of IP cameras and recorders to host the Mirai botnet has brought the security risks to the mainstream media. LILIN was not on the list of devices searched and compromised by Mirai, but the concern is now recognized by the trade and end users, so better protection is being considered at system design stage (firewalls) and at installation (complex passwords). The risk of a compromised video device should never be underestimated, especially when that device might be in a private residence.
Progressive professionals should begin to think about adding security as a service WHAT ARE YOUR PREDICTIONS FOR CYBERSECURITY IN THE FUTURE? AS TECHNOLOGIES CONTINUE TO DEVELOP, WILL THIS BECOME LESS OF A RISK? MIKE > Security is a constant game of cat and mouse. Because of this, new technological developments create more exposure, which carries additional risks. Importantly, as we continue to introduce hundreds of new connected devices, we need to ensure firmware is kept up to date to reduce risk of exploitation. PHILIPP > Security will become an ever more prevalent topic as the
As video cameras become ubiquitous, they will become more attractive to hackers.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO HOME TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS? MIKE > Home technology professionals must take security seriously by following basic best practices for issues, such as password management, remote access, and firmware updates. Realize that security is no longer limited to just the home - it now touches every aspect of your customer’s life - personal technology, automotive, healthcare. Therefore, it is critical to educate the end user on security. Progressive professionals should begin to think about adding security as a service.
This includes offering subscriptions to Intrusion Protection Systems and services that keep their databases updated constantly, firmware updates on a regular basis, periodic security scans and assessments. Not only is it extremely valuable to clients, but it mitigates liabilities and creates a recurring revenue opportunity for your business. PHILIPP > As a home technology professional, you have a duty to provide a system that keeps your customer’s data private and their home secure. We would recommend that you should find out what mechanisms have been employed by the manufacturer to ensure its safety and what steps you need to follow during the installation stage to ensure that these mechanisms are effective. JASON > Always change default usernames and passwords! Design in network protection for your systems, never assume someone else is handling network security, restrict access to devices and their ports, and don’t use port forwarding unless necessary. Also, peer-to-peer solutions can provide better security so consider the use of a VPN for added protection.
WHAT ARE THE GREATEST RISKS YOUR CUSTOMERS FACE WITH REGARD TO CYBERSECURITY? ANKUR > The potential threats our clients face include privacy violation through remote monitoring via sensors/ video surveillance, home intrusion through activity monitoring for extended absences or leaked security lock codes and virtual intrusion (bank accounts, medical records, email, etc.) via malware through connected device apps. RAJIV > Cybersecurity can affect everyone from the average man to an aircraft owner. Customers are worried about the fact that they are exposing their house to all kinds of cyberattacks the worst-case scenario being a hacker taking control of their house. OWEN > We can’t ignore the recent news stories that mainstream IoT devices - mostly CCTV devices - have been used for DDNS botnet attacks, or that CCTV cameras were accessed without permission. However, it’s likely they were DIY-installed. A trained networking professional would never let that happen, regardless of brand.
DAVE > Our customers would like to use simple, easy to remember passwords, which are often the same from account to account and device to device. They tend to have a very limited number of favorite passwords, which they use everywhere, leaving them open to the risk that should one service have a security leak then all their service security is compromised. We also find that devices in their networks installed by them or others often still have the default passwords set, making them vulnerable to attack.
WHAT STEPS DO YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THE EQUIPMENT YOU INSTALL IS PROTECTED? ANKUR > Technology and humans interact through smart devices to create a database of behavior dynamics – the starting point for cyber hackers and third parties. We focus on this entry point and aim at securing cable and wireless networks by installing firewalls, anti-virus software, software updates and patches to control access and address vulnerabilities. RAJIV > All our sites are protected by firewalls to ensure that the network is adequately protected. Also, the automation system we work with runs on a real time operating system, making it even more difficult to hack. OWEN > As soon as you put devices on a network, clients will hold you liable for the whole thing, so the best approach is make sure you own the network. Specify all the hardware, set it up, and make it secure. It’s then up to the client if they want to look after it moving forward, or pay us a recurring fee to do it. We have a mix of both, depending on how technically adept the clients are. Having successfully passed CEDIA’s ESC-N networking exam in
2015, my success rate for network services and hardware has doubled, so this is certainly a course I would recommend other home technology professionals to consider. Giving customers the peace of mind they want is priceless. DAVE > We ensure that all the equipment we install has up to date firmware and secure passwords are used on all accounts, with a particular focus on the devices at the edge of the client network, such as routers and wireless access points.
ARE YOU FINDING THAT CONSUMERS ARE BECOMING WARY OF SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY NOW THAT THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CYBERSECURITY ISSUES? ANKUR > Not conclusively. We should ask ourselves: Is the threat of cyber-attacks real? Absolutely. Is it preventable? To an extent. But what truly is the difference between a cyberattack and a physical attack (break-in, theft, insider job, eavesdropping)? The timeline and method of discovering the attack. It’s a trade-off and the customer will decide which holds higher risk. RAJIV > I wouldn’t say consumers are wary. They have their concerns, but are receptive towards the technology. If the fear of the unknown is explained well and if you discuss how the system they are living with has been protected
Having successfully passed CEDIA’s ESC-N networking exam in 2015, my success rate for network services and hardware has doubled
at each stage, this will usually go a long way in restoring their faith in the technology they are embracing. OWEN > I believe consumers are certainly more wary. One Google search and the recent news articles with horror stories come up. The problem is, on one side there’s this ‘start up’ culture of very affordable IoT devices from tiny companies - their exit strategy is hoping to get bought by a Google or Amazon - there’s no longterm plan and security takes a back seat. In the CEDIA world, we specialize in the premium, well-established, niche companies that are here for the long term. These products are inherently more secure to start with and far easier to lock down tight. I talk to my customers about “the Internet of Better Things,” and that seems to get the message across. DAVE > In general, we have not found customers to be more wary of smart home technology yet. Until we explain the risks, they are often quite relaxed about cybersecurity. They are, however, becoming more receptive to sticking with our password policies, as they have usually heard of the issues that can occur, but they rarely relate these stories to their own circumstances. We try to educate our customers in good security practices and highlight any risks in their existing setup.
IAM â€œ CEDIA brings people together. My business has benefited greatly from peer-to-peer networking, conversation and community. We all have plenty to learn from one another, and CEDIA allows us to do that.â€? Giles Sutton James + Giles, London Member since 2007
Explore the benefits of membership today. #IAMCEDIA
ADMIT ONE HOME SYSTEMS
DELIVERS A SHOWSTOPPER Admit One Home Systems was awarded Best Showroom at the CEDIA Awards 2016 for its newly developed showroom in Minnesota. The CEDIA judges commented that this showroom was found to have “great demonstration areas for custom integration in the home, and the scale and size matches high end clients’ homes.” When deciding to design and install a showroom in its Edina-based
office, Admit One Home Systems’ aim was to be able to show end users what is possible with the latest home tech products. The forward thinking home technology professional wanted the space to feature an “all-singing, all-dancing” home cinema and a show apartment that would highlight all aspects of smart technology. Both areas needed to be set up to impress end
users, builders, interior designers and architects. Admit One Home Systems also wanted to be able to host industry events in the space. This 8,000 sq. ft showroom incorporates distributed video, audio, security, motorized shades, lighting control, cameras, a home cinema, temperature control, and advanced automation control.
A visitor to the showroom doesn’t need to make much of a leap to visualize the display in their own living space
CINEMA ROOM The dedicated cinema space includes a Stewart Filmscreen Director’s Choice screen that expands to a width of 20 ft and can shift sizes and aspect ratios to help a customer see their choices. It is complemented by a Sony 4K laser projector and a JBL Synthesis system surrounding the room’s 14 seats. “Our showroom started out being a go-to destination for a client who wanted to see what a six-figure cinema looks like,” says Lance Anderson, CEO and Founder of Admit One Home Systems. “We consider our cinema room to be uncontested in quality and size in our market.” SHOW APARTMENT A larger area of the showroom features a rear projection star glass screen, four flat panel screens and a
six-screen Planar video wall system, along with three surround sound systems and multiple speakers. Admit One Home Systems also showcases different speaker choices, including invisible speakers. “Without a doubt, the showroom has shown our clients what is possible with home technology, and has helped them to visualize the systems in their property” continues Lance. “We have had several clients state that they hadn’t anticipated investing heavily in a cinema room, but after seeing what we can achieve, they changed their minds.” This showroom highlights Admit One Home Systems’ dedication to displaying the latest and greatest in technological innovations. This includes the largest home cinema screen in Minnesota and home audio, video and automation systems controlled with your phone.
I DON’T NEED
TRAINING I KNOW HOW TO DO MY JOB! It’s 9:20 a.m. and our sales trainees for the day are filing into the training room. Amongst the warm smiles and polite handshakes, we hear a few grumbles: “What time does this finish? I’ve got to be out of here by twothirty.” “We’re not doing role-play, are we?” “I don’t need training. I know how to do my job.” And so on. There are always a few grumbles. For new starters, sales training is part of their Paul Laville induction, so they’re usually Director of T21 Training fine with it. However, for and Development anyone who’s been in their job for many years, it can be difficult to understand why the boss has signed them up for training. Some might feel they’re being targeted for underachievement, or that their jobs are in jeopardy. And there are always a few who simply feel that they know everything there is to know, so they don’t need training. They know how to do their job. We don’t mind. Really, we don’t, because we know that within an hour, those grumbles will be left behind, and by the end of the day, the handshakes and smiles will be more enthusiastic, more heartfelt
and far more relaxed and optimistic.
“If your manager asked you to attend training, it’s because they’re investing in you”
Training shouldn’t be a burden. It’s an opportunity to increase your knowledge, your expertise and your value to the business. It’s a chance to discover more about your abilities to equip yourself with new tools that will empower you to be even better than you already are.
It’s well recognized that customers are much more informed than they were five years ago. They can compare prices and buy from your competitors at the tap of an app. So, if you’re still selling to people the same way you did in the pre-smartphone days, then the chances are you’re losing sales, which means that your business is losing out on revenue. If, at the same time, your competitors are gaining sales, then your profile within your customer base is diminishing. There’s a danger that your business is no longer a primary destination for the products and services you sell, and that’s the thing that really puts your job in jeopardy, not training. Here’s a question:
What can you do when more customers constantly press you for a discount? On paper, the answer is simple - you sell value rather than cost. In other words, you sell what your customer gains (benefits of buying from you) rather than what they lose (say an extra ten bucks on the price). Easy. But how do you do that in the real world? How do you sell the value of a thing in your shop on a Wednesday
morning when you have a loudmouthed customer telling you repeatedly that you’re more expensive than your competitor? How do you sell to customers who just seem to be using your premises as a showroom for something they’re going to buy off the internet, and how do you achieve this without compromising your excellent customer service? Understanding why customers behave in certain ways, and what you can do to influence those behaviors, is a core component of great sales training, and taking advantage of any training opportunity you’re given will only help you. Maybe you lost a few sales recently. A few customers said “Let me think about that” or just simply “Thanks for your time” and they walked out, never to return. Why? Surely you didn’t do anything wrong - did you? Attending a training session will help you identify exactly what happened and enable you to take positive action to limit it happening again. If training helps you convert just one more customer every day, then it’s working to help you become more productive, more efficient and as such, more valuable to the business. You’re one step closer to realizing your true potential, and that benefits not just your employer and your customers, but you too, because these are now your skills, this is your expertise that you’re building. Which leads me onto this final thought - if your manager has asked you to attend training, it’s because they’re investing in you. Yes, of course they want you to sell more, and sell more profitably, and be more productive and efficient, but if they didn’t think you were worth it, they wouldn’t be spending the money on you. So, if you’ve been asked to attend a training course on your day off, don’t see it as an imposition and don’t feel threatened or insecure. See it as an opportunity to grab something that will help you raise your game and be the best - the absolute best that you can be.
CEDIA’s annual Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Industry study report is designed to quantify, segment, characterize, and forecast the market at large. For this preview, we’ve parsed some highlights in two of the many areas covered by the report, Home Theater and Distributed Audio.
Home Theater Trends Home technology professionals receive most of their residential revenue from home theater and media room installation. Close to one-fifth of all the survey respondents noted this specific category as an income driver - more than any other. Remember: that’s just a portion of the “entertainment” segment of the industry — distributed audio and video, the rebirth of high-end two channel listening, and outdoor TVs and speakers. This is particularly true over the last five years, after seeing a dip in the late 2000s. The end of the Great Recession saw demand for home theater spike, and a rise from 2011 to 2013 reflected pent-up demand suddenly satiated. There was a slight dip in the average number of installations in 2014 and 2015, but expectations are now rebounding: an average of 28 home cinemas and/or media rooms is expected per installer when numbers are tallied for 2016. All signs point to a return to normalcy as the economy continues to recover. Revenue is growing as well. The revenue average charted here shows growth since 2011 of over $13,000, while the median’s up over $7K. Flat-screen manufacturers should be giving CEDIA channel businesses fruit baskets every week. CEDIA Research Manager Stephanie Simopoulos says “With roughly 90 percent of all home tech pros installing flat screens, these folks are responsible for selling approximately 1.1 million screens — and influencing buying decisions on another 500,000 to 700,00 screens.” That averages out to approximately 123 flat screens per firm per year.
Distributed Audio Trends When it comes to multi-room sound, the report notes that “systems integrators reported an average of 32 audio installations for 2015 with an estimate of 38 for 2016. In
2013, the average number of audio installations for systems integrators was 24, which is a 16% annual growth rate.” We also noticed a spike in audio installations in 2014– which was a bit of an anomaly. We believe the sudden uptick is largely due to the pent up demand,
increasing popularity of streaming music services and economy coming back after the recession. The 2014 boom commanded an average price for distributed audio systems of $19,605. When the industry corrected in 2015, the average dipped to $18,567. Cue the research team: “Despite the number of audio installation projects dropping from 2014 to 2015, the average project price remained consistent – a good sign for this market segment. Additionally, the average price per audio system has increased 62% over the last 5 years.” – CEDIA Research Manager Stephanie Simopoulos “These numbers should dispel the fears that commodity products have and will disrupt profitability in distributed audio. People are listening to music more than ever, and audio is a great segment of our market that should continue strong growth for the foreseeable future.” – CEDIA V.P. of Emerging Technology Dave Pedigo (By the way, if you missed CEDIA’s Dave Pedigo presenting the results of the most recent Size and Scope study at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas, you can find that talk on our YouTube channel.) The full 2016 report is available to CEDIA members at no charge. (The non-member price is $999.00.)
HOME TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS HAVE PLENTY TO GAIN AND NOTHING TO FEAR With more and more consumer products being launched, it is no surprise that the conversation around whether these products will result in the demise or success of the home technology channel is still ongoing.
CEDIA Communicates caught up with Vincent Bruno, CEO of CEDIA and Dave Pedigo, CEDIA’s Vice President, Emerging Technologies to discuss this topic in more detail and focus on three important acronyms – DIY, DIFM, and DIWM.
How would you describe the recent growth in smart home devices aimed directly at consumers? Dave: The growth has been exponential. There is something called the law of accelerating returns, which means things are changing so fast that it is almost impossible to humanly comprehend. We think that is exactly the point we are at with the proliferation of smart home devices.
Which Do It Yourself (DIY) brands and technologies have been most influential in this expansion? Dave: We think the expansion of smart home devices aimed directly at consumers can be traced back to mobile devices. First, the iPhone and
then Android made an extraordinary number of control options available to the mass market. From there, we’ve seen companies, such as Nest, Google, and Amazon leading the way in showing consumers that smart home products can be accessible, simple to use and enhance your quality of life.
What have been the challenges, up until this point, of this DIY proliferation for the home technology professional and why has our channel been overlooked thus far? Vincent: I’m not sure that our channel has been overlooked. The paradigm shift is that now there are solutions available to people at all levels and that is a great thing. There are people who will lean towards a DIY solution, but when it gets complicated, it’s not working as it is meant to or they are
ready to upgrade, they will look to a professional who can be their “guy” or “gal”. The biggest challenge for our members continues to be a lack of recognized terminology in the industry, making it hard for clients to find us. If a consumer is looking for someone to make technology in their home seamless and work for their life, the first thing they Google probably won’t be “home theater”. As we continue to assert our place in the marketplace as the single point of contact for technology needs, a recognized terminology is paramount.
What has changed recently to open opportunities for the home technology professional? Dave: Voice control has truly exploded in the market and it represents a great opportunity for CEDIA members. The
companies that are creating voice control products have big marketing fire-power to reach the consumer audience. On the industry side, companies such as Amazon — through its Alexa products — have been eager to collaborate with other manufacturers in our channel to curate new wholesystem and whole-home solutions for homeowners. These products may initially be viewed as DIY, but they are bringing new consumer awareness to the bevy of solutions that CEDIA members can provide.
How would you describe the Do It For Me (DIFM) opportunities and how do these differ from a Do It With Me (DIWM) approach? Vincent: The DIFM opportunities are the ones that CEDIA members are certainly more accustomed to. Our members are skilled professionals who are prepared to recommend products, talk about system design and execute exceptional experiences. The DIFM approach is not going anywhere, but our members will need to be prepared to work with a range of products, including those that might be perceived as more entry level or DIY. We see the DIWM approach as an emerging opportunity. What this may look like for our members is a business model where the professional installs a robust, secure home network and they manage and monitor that network as a trusted advisor to the homeowner. Then, when a homeowner decides they want to add another device to their ecosystem, they would ideally consult with their CEDIA pro to understand how to best integrate the new device and secure it on the network.
Which do you think will be more successful for the home technology professional? Vincent: DIFM will be more successful for the home technology professional, as it really provides them with the opportunity to develop a system that is holistic, reliable, and suited to the needs of the client.
A CEDIA member serves as that trusted advisor who is the go-to for all things technology in the home.
What will be the benefits to DIY product manufacturers? We are in the business in creating clients for life, so while DIWM has not reached a critical mass for home technology professionals yet, it does not mean that they won’t find success pursuing those opportunities in the future.
What should home technology professionals do to capitalize on the market opportunity? Dave: The reality is that people are going to continue to buy electronics and put them in their homes at an incredible rate, so demand for the skillsets that home technology professionals have is only going to increase. The call to action for our members is exploring new ways to sell and market their expertise. So many home technology professionals rely on word of mouth to find new clients. There are a variety of simple and sophisticated strategies that home technology professionals can employ to help homeowners see them as the single point of contact for all technology in the home.
What will be the benefits to the consumer? Vincent: There are countless benefits to working with a trusted and experienced professional who knows how to make all the technology in your home work properly. But, we think the biggest benefit to a consumer who is weighing the options of DIY vs DIFM and DIWM is the reliability. The peace of mind that CEDIA members deliver is unparalleled. Unlike employing a strictly DIY solution, CEDIA clients know that a system will work and perform like it is supposed to without hours spent on the phone with customer support trying to troubleshoot on your own.
Vincent: Consumers will be happier with their experiences and be more likely to invest in more technology. CEDIA members are prepared to bridge the gap between individual DIY-centric products and whole home solutions. Plus, with installations properly done, there will be fewer returns for products that work as intended.
What are the threats that home technology professionals face in taking advantage of the market opportunity? Dave: There is a natural perceived threat that manufacturers will make products that will disintermediate home technology professionals. However, this is not the reality. CEDIA’s Size and Scope of the Residential Electronics Industry Study has shown that the average job size, the number of projects, and the number of control and home networking projects continue to increase. In five years, interoperability will be just as challenging as it is today and that is where CEDIA can step in to ensure our members have the training and skills to deliver exceptional experiences.
In your view, how can CEDIA help home technology professionals prosper? Vincent: CEDIA is the connector. We connect home technology professionals to the profit opportunities and we do this in a variety of ways. Whether it is through the events that we put on that foster relationships between home technology professionals and manufacturers, or our world-class training and education that keeps everyone at a company from business owners to techs at the top of their game, CEDIA is committed to helping members at every level find success.
SMART HOME EXPANDS AT CES The 50th annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is now history. With almost 200,000 attendees and over 2.5 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, it’s the greatest electronics show on earth, and the 2017 edition was one of the most spectacular to date. The smart home section of CES occupied almost half of the top floor of the Sands Convention Center and smart home products could be found in many of the booths in the Eureka Park entrepreneurial section. Artificial intelligence (AI) and voice control seemed to be features of almost every smart home product. Alexa’s voice control was nearly everywhere – controlling lights, shades, thermostats, door locks, sound systems, kitchen appliances, and even automobiles. AI and the ability to personalize the smart home user experience could be found in everything from the Whirlpool refrigerator that could determine how much water to dispense based on your daily preferences, to the new Moen intelligent showering system that had the ability to learn your preferred shower temperature (see photo at left). Home control interfaces are no longer just keypads, graphical,
Gordon van Zuiden
Founder and President of cyberManor
and voice-user interfaces. Fibaro displayed gesture and button based control, and Seven Hugs was the talk of CES for its new remote control. With Seven Hugs, the user merely points at a light switch, Sonos speaker, or TV and the appropriate graphic control of that device shows up on the user’s control wand based on GPS knowledge of where each of these intelligent components are located in the home. THE NETWORK GROWS As home technology professionals, we have spent the last few years connecting networked subsystems in the home. Going forward, we will see a rapid progression of connected intelligence in the home. We’ll soon see scenes that we can create (from companies such as IFTTT and Stringify) to interactive voice control conversations our clients will have with Amazon Alexa and Google Home (with Apple and Microsoft to join the party shortly). Every home technology category – AV, lighting, security, HVAC control, access control – now has dozens of IoT products from which to choose, making it a challenge for the home technology professional to select the best connected product. Today, the attractiveness of a connected product is defined as much by its aesthetics and ongoing software upgrades as its current hardware features. The new intelligent Baldwin Evolve door locks exhibited at the show exemplified another emerging trend: IoT products can now be as beautiful as they are functional. Doorbird’s new line of well-designed intelligent front door stations that complement the look of the front entrances of our client’s custom homes, is
all of these different products in the home so they work reliably and consistently, but choosing the right products in each of these categories that we trust. Done properly, we will remain market leaders and delight our clients with ongoing software based innovation, leveraging the personalization of AI and the ease of use of voice communication in various product platforms.
another example of a product line with both beauty and brains (see photos above and at right). Almost everything one can install in the home now has some form of built-in intelligence, from the practical to the bizarre. On the practical side, a company called Dome demonstrated their Guardian water valve shutoff that can be placed on a home’s incoming water line. Communicating over Wi-Fi or Z-Wave, it will respond to a detected water leak in the home and shut down the main water line. In the bizarre category, that same company has introduced a Z-Wave communicating mouse zapper that will notify your phone when it catches a mouse so you can check the trap and dispose of the electrocuted little creature.
BECOMING THE TRUSTED TECH ADVISOR This is an exciting time to be a home technology professional. We have never had a broader range of products from which to choose to enhance the entertainment, comfort, and security of our clients’ homes. Our greatest challenge in the future will no longer be integrating
As home technology professionals, we own the network in the home. Traditionally, our core strengths were in the categories of AV, lighting control, comfort control and security. But, a future holistic approach to home technology will demand that we have knowledge of all the intelligent connected products inside and outside the home – from smart sprinkler systems, showers, ovens, and refrigerators to garage doors and even cars. These products will all be integral to our clients’ home technology lifestyle – and we will need to be their lifelong trusted advisors.
LI-FI OPTION This new technology offers high-speed wireless data transfer using light instead of radio waves. Technology journalist Caramel Quin reports. www.gadgetgirl.co.uk
Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is an innovative new technology that promises blisteringly fast wireless data transfer by using light instead of radio waves. In fact, it can be retrofitted to existing domestic lighting. For the time being, though, it doesn’t seek to replace Wi-Fi, rather to work alongside it and other existing mobile infrastructure. After all, our mobile devices don’t have built-in Li-Fi sensors — yet. The term Li-Fi was coined in 2011 in a TED Talk by Harald Haas, a professor at Edinburgh University. Harald went on to found pureLiFi which is leading innovation in the field and offers the world’s first Li-Fi USB dongle. Right now, the technology isn’t available to the general consumer, but pureLiFi is working with enterprise-level clients on specific use cases in various industries and markets.
One example: The first ever Li-Fi office building - Sogeprom’s headquarters in Paris. Commercial availability isn’t far off, though. Haas’s pureLiFi has teamed up with French LED lighting company Lucibel to create the world’s first fully industrialized Li-Fi luminaire. Alternatively, you can install a separate access point that adds Li-Fi capabilities to an ordinary LED luminaire. The technology strictly works with solid state lighting, as opposed to other types of light bulbs, because LED bulbs are semiconductor devices. Clever tech modulates the light’s brightness at extremely high speeds and then a compatible sensor interprets the changes in light as data. The light dims and brightens millions of times per second: so fast that the changes are invisible to the human eye and so subtle that it works even when the light bulb appears to be off. The Arthur C. Clarke quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” springs to mind. At the other end, your existing technology (laptop, set-top box, etc.) can receive the Li-Fi signal by adding a simple USB dongle such as LiFi-X. Despite its small size, the dongle can transmit as well as receive, offering data transfer speeds of up to 40Mbps in both directions.
This is by no means the limit. Li-Fi technology has been shown to offer speeds of up to 15Gbps by the Li-Fi Research and Development Centre at the University of Edinburgh. We’re talking internet access with no lag, Ultra High Definition movies that download in seconds and much more. For the foreseeable future, though, Wi-Fi will still be essential in our homes and workplaces, for the simple reason that our mobile devices don’t yet incorporate Li-Fi. However, with sufficient investment in developing and miniaturizing the technology, they might soon. Common concerns about Li-Fi are range and security. The former is valid - its range is smaller than Wi-Fi. Counter-intuitively, however, Li-Fi doesn’t require line of sight. It is ideal, but light bounces off surfaces enough that, as long as the light source and detector are in the same room, the tech still works. And security is better than that of Wi-Fi. Because the signal doesn’t punch through walls, you simply can’t conduct industrial espionage (or poach your neighbor’s Wi-Fi) unless you’re actually in the room. And so, Li-Fi is an upcoming technology to watch with interest as products come to market from the likes of pureLiFi and Lucibel. If you’re working on a particularly compelling installation, it might even be worth making contact with them now and becoming one of these cutting-edge case studies yourself. As we all use increasingly high volumes of data and seek to be increasingly mobile, Li-Fi technology is very compelling. And if you already work with lighting and smart buildings, it’s a natural addition to your offerings.
THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING BANDWIDTH If there’s one word that gets tossed around in our industry more than any other, it’s “bandwidth.” It’s even made its way into the general office lexicon (“Sorry boss, I don’t have the bandwidth to do that”). With the recent announcement of the HDMI 2.1 standard promising a staggering 48Gb/s capacity, there’s never been a more important time to fully understand the term “bandwidth.”
Managing Director, Presto AV
For an engineer, the word “bandwidth” can mean many different things and its real meaning often needs additional context. To understand the term “bandwidth” is to understand the capacity of an installed system, specifically, how much data will “fit” within it. Without this understanding, we can have no real idea of a system’s real-world performance or likely reliability. Definitions Scientifically, we consider the term “bandwidth” to mean “the amount of data that can be transmitted and wholly received through a given medium within a specific time”. The “medium” in question might be a cable, a processor or even a complete transmission system, such as HDMI. The ‘specific time’ is
usually one second. It is important to highlight the phrase “wholly received” within this definition – it is crucial to understand that whatever we send must ALL be received correctly. Analog vs. Digital In the analog domain, we use the terms “cycles per second” or “Hertz” to measure bandwidth, whilst for digital, we use “bits per second” (b/s). In either case, we use standard international multipliers to shorten larger values – “Kilo” or “K” for x1000, “Mega” or “M” for x1,000,000 and “Giga” or “G” for x1,000,000,000. If we take a twisted pair data cable like Cat5e as an example, we’ll see different values quoted for analog and digital bandwidth. For example, a Cat5e will carry 1,000,000,000b/s (1Gb/s) of data over a limited length, but the cable specification might state around 350MHz for its analog capacity. So, what’s the difference? The answer lies in the format of the data being transmitted. An analog signal is constantly varying. While we often consider an analog signal to be a sine wave, in truth, it can take all sorts of shapes. For example, two pianos playing the note A4 will both have a fundamental frequency of
440Hz, but the shape of the sound wave they emit (and the shape of the resulting electronic wave when the sound is passed as an electrical current down a cable) will be subtly different. We hear this as a tonal difference between the two instruments. So, for analog signals, we need to transmit and receive not just the right number of waves per second, but their exact shape, too. With digital, it’s a little different. While it’s ideal to maintain the exact shape of a digital wave within the transmission system, each ‘bit’ of received data will be interpreted at the receiving end as simply “1” or “0”. As long as the receiver understands the intent of the signal (“1” or “0”) the exact shape of the wave is not so important. This is one of the fundamental advantages of a digital system, but also means the digital bandwidth for a particular medium is often higher than its analog bandwidth. This is because the system continues to work even though the wave shape might become distorted with higher frequency. Installer Realities Bandwidth restrictions are all around us and we must make the best use of the bandwidth that we have. We also mustn’t try and squeeze too much data along a medium that can’t carry it if we want the system to work consistently. We’ve only covered the very beginnings of the subject here, but one thing is for sure; if you’re interested in building systems with maximum reliability and flexibility, you owe it to yourself to fully understand this important subject.
We must make the best use of the bandwidth that we have.
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RACK BUILDING FUNDAMENTALS Nick Pidgeon, Managing Director of Visualization, offers some important advice for home technology professionals on the art of rack building.
Why do home technology professionals need a rack? Why not just stack all the equipment in a cupboard? We’ve all been there. Necessity frequently dictates that our equipment needs to be on site earlier than is ideal, meaning that, more often than not, you’re building racks in a dark, dusty, and dirty site environment. Once that’s complete and all other peripherals are installed, you can only then begin the testing and fault finding procedure. It’s a recipe for disaster that can cost plenty of time and money. So, the why is really based around the critically important benefit of pre-planning. A rack is not just the component that houses the kit. Specifying a rack allows for preplanning, pre-building and precommissioning so that it can then be delivered when the site is finished and ready for our element of the project. I have a structure in place for every rack that I work on, and would recommend that home technology professionals consider following these three steps.
1 PRE-PLAN As you begin to plan the project, you should first consider where the rack is going to be positioned within the property. Are you being forced to fit it within a small cupboard/plant room or are you specifying the requirements that are really needed - a spacious, well ventilated, serviceable area?
You then need to take into account the equipment specified and the wide range of rack types and accessories that are available. Thought should be given to the most suitable size and depth of the rack, and other options, including fan trays, stabilizing plinths and heavy duty casters for transportation. It’s also crucial that consideration is given to rack accessories, such as a cable tray, lacing bars, shelves and blanks. A key question at this stage is How do you plan on connecting the rack to the site system? You will be amazed how many people think this is an irrelevant question at first. But it matters. Do you plan to put a wall-mounted termination box locally and connect with tails? Do you plan to have your rack terminated to rear panels so that you can neatly loom your cables from the wall? Or are you going to hard-wire it? If your answer is “hard-wire”, then think again. Pre-building and pretesting are really important. If 50% of the build still needs to be achieved on site, then your project risk is significantly increasing. Now back to ventilation: Is your intention to ensure your rack is as small and compact as possible, keeping space required to a minimum? Or are you giving thought to a well-planned elevation, which considers equipment weight, client interaction, ventilation, and serviceability? With the above taken care of prior to moving into build, you should now be able to produce a precise set of system designs. These include rack
CEDIA AWARDS | Best Dressed Rack I consider racks to be the heart of any system, so I am delighted that CEDIA has a dedicated rack category in its awards scheme. For those home technology professionals who consider submitting entries into the Best Dressed Rack category, I would recommend that you ensure you can check all the below boxes when drafting your award entry. • Clear thought given to thermal management with regards to BTU calculations and ventilation • Great use of cable management - both horizontally and vertically • Neatness applied to termination panel • Attention paid to cable identification – labeled cables
elevations and wiring schematics, which clearly define the various details of the project - patch panels, connection boxes, and the like. This will enable the technicians to interpret requirements and will also assist procurement at time of purchasing.
2 PRE-BUILD Now, you can move on to the execution — the real nitty gritty of the rack build. Cable trays and lacing bars are among the basics to ensure the best chance of a presentable and serviceable rack. Consideration to placement of both of these items is imperative. A clearly defined numbering system that is implemented will ensure a more fluent build and future serviceability. At Visualization, we like to standardize different colours to denote different signal paths. Particular attention should be given to service loops allowing for re-termination, if needed (none of us are perfect, we’re only human and mistakes happen!). Conscious effort should also be taken to ensure cable laying is neat and presentable. Always give consideration to cable tray and lacing bar placement and for identification purposes, separate signal paths on the cable tray. Finally, be mindful to avoid tight bend radiuses, as this can affect the performance of cable as well as looking particularly unsightly.
• Thought given to service loops allowing for re-termination of connectors • Use of rack for termination between racks and site • Clear color breakdown for signal types • Consistent use of cable tie type on CAT type cable • Consistent standard of cable looms
3 PRE-COMMISSIONING Having followed all the above steps, you should have managed to pre-plan and pre-build a wellpresented, ventilated, and serviceable rack off-site. At this stage, you can consider pre-programming and pretesting prior to delivery to site. You should start by ensuring the racks undergo power continuity testing and an equipment power cycle. This allows you to deal with any issues caused from out-of-the-box failures that would result in delays if only found when installed on site. Many racks then go through thorough continuity testing as a minimum requirement, ensuring all cables are correctly routed and terminated in line with the system design. Whether through continuity or witness testing, the offsite pre-commissioning stage presents the opportunity to consider programming and the setup of control systems, digital sound processors and the like prior to delivery. Needless to say this reduces travel, commissioning, and other installation difficulties.
So, to sum up, think about the rack. Out of sight is not out of mind. Getting it right can make a massive difference to your business. Getting it wrong could be a disaster.
CEDIA TRAINING Rack Building and Wiring Fundamentals This course provides attendees with the clear, structural methodology required for rack building from planning through to future servicing. The course explores industry best practice, the importance of wiring choices and standard approaches which can be applied to projects of all sizes. Attendees can expect to gain a deeper understanding into the different types of racks and how to apply the correct knowledge for overcoming issues for wiring, connectivity and rack build as a whole.
PLANNED DATES FOR 2017: • February 24 – CEDIA HQ • May 12 – CEDIA HQ • September 22 – CEDIA HQ • November 24 – CEDIA HQ
A WINDOW INTO THE FUTURE
TECHNOLOGY PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 PART 2 A 17-member panel that makes up the CEDIA Technology Council has made their predictions for 2020. From energy to networks to robots, here’s part two: Energy consumption will diminish, making energy management less important. Industry expert Julie Jacobson says: “At some point, adjusting your thermostat to save energy isn’t going to be a thing.” In fact, some places will require new buildings to have net-zero energy consumption. Which gets easier now that solar power embedded into glass for energy harvesting is emerging. Why are your windows just sitting there when they could be recharging your phone? Also: energy harvesting is going to replace the need for batteries in some wireless
devices. As if that wasn’t enough, alternative energy systems will leverage POE (Power over Ethernet) lighting systems. Furthermore, demand response will be an optout for most energy tariffs. Because everything ultimately comes down to money, devices that react to peak power usage moments on the grid will allow consumers to dodge timevariant rates.
Aging in Place will become a major profit centre for our industry. Ric Johnson of Right at Home Technologies notes: “According to the US Census Bureau, the number of residents 65 or older will grow from 35 million in 2000 to Ed Wenck nearly 73 million by Content Marketing 2030. The National Manager, CEDIA Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
estimates that over 70% of these homeowners are planning or making aging-related improvements for themselves or their parents.” OK, now extend the concept of health monitoring to — everyone: Weight management, biometrics, and wellness management will be a fundamental block that is tied into all aspects of digital life. Telecommuting becomes closer to the norm, which increases the demands placed on the modern home office. “Consumers’ internet connection in their home is faster than what they have in the office,” notes Mike Maniscalco, Tech Council member and founder of Ihiji. “But one of the things you lose in having that home office experience is social interaction.” Videoconferencing goes a long way to facilitating those moments. Thinking will become more powerful using memory prosthetics. Don’t get too creeped out by the phrase “memory prosthetics” which could be as simple as a set of glasses that remembers people’s names for you. Anticipatory shipping will become widespread. Yep, your online retailer just delivered that Black Sabbath vinyl box set before you even agreed to the updated Terms of Service. But, policy and technology will drive the security concerns over internet and
voice connected devices. “When you add the complexity of ‘always on, always listening’ connected devices … keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind might not always be top-ofmind for corporations [producing these devices],” notes Mike. Home technology professionals will be increasingly licensed by government bodies. You’ll be all official! However, government legislation and regulation may significantly reduce the ability to pull low voltage wires in a structure. As devices become more and more efficient, and POE is able to power more of those devices, there’ll be more heat than light on this issue — pun intended. Additionally, the insurance industry will push government regulation requiring a security license to install any device or system that touches a security system in the home. We’ll see the “Uberization” of technology product delivery and continuing support services. Consumers will pay more for your CEDIA expertise when demand is high, which also means Internet service providers will expand implementing bandwidth caps. Can the surge-pricing of Netflix be far behind? The nomenclature of the home technology professional will continue to change. Are you still measuring frequency response in cycles per second? Lighting becomes more than lighting. Think about the amount of powered coverage that the footprint of a home’s network of light sockets provides. Mike has: “You can use that coverage and power to do really interesting things, like integrate sensors into the lighting.” Then, connected luminaires will significantly affect the lighting control industry. “Dad, Mom says there used to be a thing on the wall called a ‘light switch.’ Is she kidding?” Additionally, PoE lighting will impact the lighting control industry, too.
Increased computing power in smaller spaces and smaller chips and with lower power consumption will allow more IoT device reliability, security, and deployment. Yep, your child’s blanket just alerted you to the fact that Junior’s got a fever. In fact, all consumer sensors will increase in sensitivity and function. The Internet of Things will become a lot like Santa: “IoT sees you when you’re sleeping/ IoT knows when you’re awake.” Devices will self-register themselves on a system. Julie explains, “The process of registering devices on a system is really becoming simpler quite quickly. There are products out there now that can sniff out what type of device is installed on the network and get them into your system rather seamlessly.” Full deployment of 5G networks and expanded wireless broadband access will level the playing field. The consumer — once all the global standards for 5G are hacked out — will be able to download movies in
Consumers will pay more for your CEDIA expertise when demand is high
seconds! Oh, and when it comes to making calls, phone networks will become IP only – all your calls will be handled over Wi-Fi connections. Enterprise-grade network monitoring and maintenance will become a service that home technology professionals offer. Mike sees agreements being written by home technology professionals and signed by consumers that include regular auditing and monitoring of a home network’s reliability and security. There’ll be reduced dependence on the LAN. “That goes hand-in-hand with the preponderance of 5G networks,” says Mike. “My personal belief is the LAN is not dead.” Mike sees the local network as a terrific firewall, and moving away from the LAN is just asking for it from a security perspective. “If all of your devices are just hanging out on the ‘big internet,’ that’s a huge security and privacy concern.” All this connectivity means we’ll see the increasing prevalence of the “disconnect event.” Even the hyperconnected are learning to take one day — perhaps only as often as once a month, or even a quarter — and simply unplug. Voice and face recognition and authentication services become more ubiquitous. Yes, your front door will recognize your face — other people’s, too. Then, far-field natural voice interaction becomes pervasive in home, car, and office. The terms “near-field” and “far-field” are fancy ways of saying “close to the mic” and “not.” And all of these jumps mean that social robots will become prevalent in the home. Yep, C3PO will be a thing.
opening the door to…
STUDENTS VETERANS AND
It’s one of the biggest struggles facing CEDIA member companies: the work is there, the clients are there, the money is there, but experienced technicians are tough to find. The home technology industry isn’t alone in this. A report from the publicradio program Marketplace in April of 2016 quoted findings from a research organization called The Conference Board which noted the following: “Retiring Baby Boomers are vacating jobs faster than young workers can replace them, especially in occupations that employed a large number of men and women who came of age in the 1950s and 1960s, such as the skilled trades, manufacturing and health care.” Add to that a certain stigma that’s been dogging the trades for the last several years: that working with one’s hands has been viewed as a less-than-
desirable career path, even if that gig involves high-tech installations. In September 2016, CEDIA announced its renewed commitment to finding solutions to this issue when it comes to companies in the home technology industry. “Our industry is growing at a rapid pace, with more than 50 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020. We are prioritizing the development of our workforce to answer the needs of our members,” said CEDIA CEO Vincent Bruno. “The strategic two-pronged approach, developed with insight from our research team, our members and our stakeholders, will allow for industry professionals and veterans to confidently and knowledgably navigate a career path within this industry.”
Part One: Apprenticeships In the UK, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has approved the development of a Smart Home Technician Apprenticeship standard, which is set to encourage young professionals to enter the home technology industry and develop a career within this sector. Since 2013, the government welcomes employer groups, called Trailblazers, to put forward suggestions for new apprenticeship schemes. Trailblazer groups usually consist of 10 or more employers who gather and develop an apprenticeship standard for their industry. Having recognized the growing shortage of young skilled and qualified engineers entering the home technology industry, 10 CEDIA members have formed a trailblazer group to create a Smart Home Technician Apprenticeship standard that will suit the needs of the CEDIA industry. In the US, CEDIA representatives recently attended a National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) event called the Construction Career Pathways Conference to learn best practices and address current problems. Additionally, there is a CEDIA initiative to become an Accredited Training Sponsor with the NCCER, thereby leveraging content produced by the Center. NCCER is well-known to state-level apprenticeship/workforce development offices and will help open the door for CEDIA for program approval.
The benefits of employing an apprentice are that they are young, eager to develop and quick learners “Bespoke Home Cinemas has been proactive at bringing new blood into the industry” comments Melanie Malcolm, Director of the Leeds, UKbased home technology installer. “Over the last couple of years, we have worked closely with local colleges to employ apprentices. We have taken on a number of apprentices and they have all fit into our business really well. This process is hugely beneficial to them, as they get to experience everything from design and build, to first, second and final fix on site. The benefits of employing an apprentice are that they are young, eager to develop and quick learners. They are interested in expanding their knowledge and they find the smart home industry really exciting, which is fantastic to see. It is important for our industry to embrace apprentices, as we need new talent that can be mentored and trained to become junior and then senior installers.”
Part Two: Veterans’ Outreach The other prong in CEDIA’s approach to finding and training potential employees in the channel - engaging with veterans who are transitioning into civilian life. Military veterans, who are struggling with high unemployment rates, possess skills and characteristics that make them a great fit for employment in an installer business. The idea behind CEDIA’s new Veterans Employment Initiative is to create a bigger workforce pipeline for military personnel transitioning to civilian careers. The CEDIA team in the US is working with the US Department of Labor, the Veterans Administration, the offices of some key legislators, and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation to create a formalized Apprentice program for the occupation of Electronic Systems Technician (EST) and a home technology industry career placement initiative. At the same time, CEDIA is creating a job applicant bank as part of members’ online resources. Some veterans who have had the right electronics training during their service can “test out” of up to half of their coursework – their military training may have given them enough knowledge to skip two years of a four-year apprenticeship. Forces Recruitment Services has recognised the opportunity within the UK market and has recently joined CEDIA. This is a fantastic development, as it shows that the home technology industry has been recognized as a viable career option for ex-military personnel, and one which will be put forward to veterans. Graham Brown, Managing Director of Forces Recruitment Services Ltd comments: “We place experienced ex-forces personnel into civilian employment after their service careers. We became aware of CEDIA several years ago. However, it wasn’t until we placed Alex Martin at WyreStorm that we started to look at how we could engage with the smart home industry. Adrian Ickeringill, EMEA General Manager
It is a very fitting industry for people with military experience. The learning curve is steep, but extremely worthwhile at WyreStorm said that there was a vast shortage of engineers in the industry, that the demand was only set to grow and that a fresh pool of talent would be most welcome. We thought, ‘What better talent than some of the best engineers and planners in the country from the best trained workforce in the world?’ And so begins our CEDIA adventure. We would like to thank CEDIA members for making us feel so welcome. CEDIA is a community like I have never seen in industry before and we look forward to helping members with their recruitment requirements.” A number of existing CEDIA members have come into the industry, with a background in the military. With no formal process in place in the past, the route to ending up in the home technology industry was a long and difficult journey. Alex Martin, IP & Control Support Engineer at WyreStorm Technologies left the British Army in 2010, after five years’ service. “When I left the Army, I didn’t have a job lined up. With no real support or direction, I spent the next few years working at a sign fitter, and as warehouse staff, but I soon got fed up of this. Having worked with General Dynamics UK Limited for a year, I was back to square one, and decided to start my own locksmith company, but this unfortunately only lasted for 12 months. Being out of the Army for almost five years, and really questioning what I could do next, I was delighted to get a call from Forces Recruitment Services (FRS), who still had my details from 2010. With the job on offer being in the home technology industry, I realized that my experiences from
the military had given me the skills needed for this role. I got the job and have spent the last 21 months using the training I received in the Army to build my skills and knowledge base to what it is now. I routinely mention this industry to friends who are ex-military, as it is a very fitting industry for people with military experience. The learning curve is steep, but extremely worthwhile.” Kris Gamble, Managing Director at Customised Ltd was in the Royal Air Force for six years. He comments: “Ex-military men and woman should not be daunted by the hi-tech gadgets and the glamorous surroundings where home technology is commonly installed. They need to realize that the technology they used during their military service and the environments in which they carried out their duties far exceed what they’ll encounter as a home technology professional. If they want to continue to work in an industry which is fast moving, cutting edge and highly professional, then the smart home industry is an opportunity worth exploring. A career in home technology is not exclusive to the ‘techy trades’ of the military. Instead, a passion for gadgets and technology, paired with training from a global trade organization such as CEDIA, will set them off on the right track.”
And the final pitch Ultimately, of course, developing a robust workforce is a team effort. CEDIA and its members will need to sell the notion of a career in home technology to an ever broader and more diverse audience.
SIX SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES FOR YOUR HOME TECH BUSINESS
Founder & Partner at Conversation Research Institute
Understanding social media strategy requires that you understand what the possibilities are when using social media for your business. Erik Deckers and I identified the six major business drivers of social media in our book, No Bulls**t Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (2011, Que). Those six drivers – or reasons – one might use social media marketing are: Branding and Awareness. Social media can make more people aware of who you are, what you do and how you can help them.
Protecting Your Reputation. Social media can help you identify and resolve public relations crises, amplify positives about your company, and help your ranking in search engines.
Building Community. Social media can help you attract a community of fans and followers who are more apt to buy your products or services than others, giving you a built-in audience or army of advocates.
Facilitating Customer Service. Social media can plug you into active customers who have concerns and questions to serve and resolve, and sometimes in very cost-effective ways.
Performing Research and Development. Listening to social media conversations can inform you about what people think about your product, your competitors and more, giving you consumer insight for product development, experience enhancements or even messaging and targeting.
Driving Sales or Leads. Social media can be used to 6 sell directly to social network users who may need your product or service Once you know what the possibilities are, social media strategy is all about picking what you want to focus on. If you have a problem with name recognition, you can focus on Branding and Awareness. If you have challenges in customer service, social media can be used for that business function very easily. If you want to know more about your prospective customers, approaching social media with the strategic purpose of R&D is probably wise.
EASY ON THE SALES PITCH While it is very tempting to zero in on driving sales and leads – especially since that’s the bread and butter driver that will make it easier to financially support a social media effort – you have to consider the medium. Social media audiences are more apt to be turned off by direct sales. You can sell using social media, but you won’t be very successful doing so if that’s all you try to use it for. Think of social media like a networking event. You enter the room, then move around listening to the various conversations until you find a group of people talking about something you are interested in. You join their circle informally until they pause and recognize you for an introduction. You participate in the conversation, build some rapport and trust with them and then perhaps trade business cards. But you don’t move in for the sale quickly, or even at that event. You nurture that relationship over time and move in to close weeks or even months later. Ultimately, you have to devote your time and resources to the strategic focal points that best support your business. But keep in mind that starting with “Branding and Awareness” or “Customer Service” will help you establish rapport and build relationships so that you can eventually turn on the ability to “Drive Sales or Leads.” SOCIAL ISN’T YOUR STRATEGY, BUT PART OF YOUR STRATEGY Social media strategy should also be an extension of your overall marketing strategy. Communicating consistently across touch points – the way you talk to customers who call you on the phone, your radio advertisements, the flyers you circulate, the content you post on your Facebook page – they’re all important in establishing expectations of prospective customers and helping you deliver on that promise. Let your social media efforts flow from your overall marketing approach.
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The Winter 2017 Americas version of CEDIA's quarterly publication serving members of the home technology industry.