38 BUSINESS FEATURE: SOLUTION SALES
Single group or multi-brand? Among the integrator community opinions vary considerably regarding the desirability of sourcing all products in a solution from a single brand family – but what are the true pros and cons? David Davies sought perspectives from two leading manufacturers – as well as a prominent integrator Core Brands – ‘Seamless, connected solutions’ Core Brands engages in the audio, control and power management business segments which serve the residential, commercial and professional market spaces. Its brands include ATON, ELAN, Furman, Panamax and SpeakerCraft.
‘It’s essential not to mistake quantity for focus’ Joe Lautner, Core Brands
According to Joe Lautner, director business development, “the convenience of a single point of contact can benefit integrators, with regard to both convenience and programmes. In our US market, Core Brands sells directly to dealers, and our Dealer Rewards Program provides substantial benefits to integrators who carry more products from our brands. Outside of the US, we sell through distributors and, depending on the market, they carry many or all of our brands. We work with them
to be the in-market single point of contact for dealers – both for products and for training. And our cross-brand solution still provides benefits. For example, our Auriel multi-room audio and control chassis is based on the ELAN Control Platform. This made it easier for us to integrate Auriel’s new internal audio streaming into the new ELAN 8, which in turn, makes it easier for dealers to install.” However, Lautner emphasises that “it’s essential that any multi-brand or ‘group’ approach does not mistake quantity for focus. We spend a lot of time listening to our integrators and distributors, and creating solutions that help them deliver the best possible connected home to their clients.” Understanding how various needs correlate and then delivering solutions that enable reduced installation time and fewer integration issues is pivotal, says Lautner: “For example, take system controllers, distributed audio controllers and ampliﬁers – three categories that are very important to us. Our expertise in these categories informs the design of our power conditioning products so that the conditioners do the best job at improving the longevity of the controllers and performance of the amps. Again, it’s not about just ‘covering the bases’, but providing seamless, connected solutions.”
Harman Professional – ‘Giving integrators conﬁdence’ Harman Professional Solution is a leading manufacturer of professional audio, video, lighting and control systems from brands including AKG Acoustics, AMX, BSS Audio, JBL Professional, Martin, Soundcraft and Studer.
‘Integrators are looking for something that is designed to work together’ Paul Chavez, Harman Professional
Explaining the beneﬁts of a ‘one-group’ approach, Harman Professional Solutions’ director of systems applications, Paul Chavez, says: “Integrators want to implement systems as quickly, efficiently and reliably as possible. If they have systems that are already compatible and engineered to work together it gives them conﬁdence they can be installed and operate without a lot of tweaking. Ultimately, this means they save time and can be more proﬁtable.