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3VNet Outlines Strategy As Standalone Company

Indianapolis – 3vNet came to the CEDIA Expo with its first new products since it was sold off by Russound four months ago, and it outlined its strategy to grow as a stand-alone company.

The supplier of IP-controlled lighting and multi-room-audio systems is pursuing opportunities that its former owner did not, including licensing its IP to other companies and pursuing large commercial contracts, CEO Mike Anderson said during the Expo.

The company has already closed a deal with a resort company to install products in 27,000 hotel rooms in the Orlando area. Though that company, whose name is under NDA, will install the products itself, 3vNet has also signed a contract with a hospital developer to install lighting and control systems in seven hospitals. In this case, 3vNet dealers will install the products, Anderson said. Under a pending contract with another resort operator, 3vNet products will also be installed by 3vNet dealers.

By negotiating commercial-install deals and licensing IP, the company will generate resources to help the company grow, said Anderson, who previously was sales and marketing VP for Russound and Colorado vNet, the 3vNet predecessor owned by Russound.

Other factors that will contribute to the company’s success, Anderson said, include significantly reduced overhead from the consolidation of two facilities in different parts of the country into one Orlando facility. Another is new quality-control procedures to test 100 percent of all products before they go out the door to eliminate past quality issues, he said.

The company will also improve training, in part by building a training facility in Orlando, and reduce its dealer base to focus on accounts that focus on its products, he said. The goal is to work with 150 to 200 U.S. dealers that focus on 3vNet products, plus dealers in other countries, he said. The company previously had about 1,200 U.S. accounts, many of which did little volume in 3vNet products, he said.

Russound sold off Colorado vNet in part because Russound concentrates on selling products through distributor channels, while 3vNet products don’t have the margins to support two-step distribution, Anderson said. 3vNet products also require more technical support and training than Russound’s distributed-audio products, so closer relations are needed with dealers, he said. “Different marketing is required.”

As part of its growth strategy, the company came to the Expo with two new products, including its $399-suggested CG2 control gateway, which opens up 3vNet systems to integration with any RS-232-based home system, including Crestron, Control4 and Lutron. 3vNet’s systems already integrate with RS-232-based systems from three security companies and one climate-control company.

The second new product, the CB1 Control Bridge at $599, adds “self-healing” capability to 3vNet systems. If a component such as a light switch fails, a new component can be installed without programming it, Anderson explained.

More new products will be available in the next three months, including the company’s first thermostat.

 The company’s systems use wired and wireless ZigBee Pro for IP control, and audio is distributed in IP form over wire.