Loveland, Colo. - Multi-room-audio and home-control supplier
is shutting down operations for the second time in a little more than a year.
Sales and marketing operations will cease March 31, said Petro Shimonishi, vNet's sales and marketing VP. Technical support to dealers ends at the end of April.
The company will refocus on R&D until it sorts out its future, which could include a revival of the line "in a different format for a broader market," she said. Company technology includes IP-based multi-room-audio distribution and RF wireless lighting controls. The brand's high-end custom position was "too small to support the business," Shimonishi said.
It's not certain yet whether the vNet brand will be resurrected. The company also has no plans "today," Shimonishi continued, to bring vNet's products or technology to sister company Russound, the multi-room-audio company that operates as a separate corporation. "Russound is known for multi-room audio, not for home automation," she said. Rebranding a product line "is not the answer."
vNet's future will become clearer sometime in the first half of 2011, when management will announce its next step.
The company will make its best efforts to handle warranty claims after March 31 on products purchased on or after its Oct. 2009 acquisition but can't guarantee it, she said. Products purchased after Jan. 1 will be sold as-is, she added.
The majority of vNet's assets were purchased in October 2009 by Russound owner and president Maureen Baldwin after previous management effectively shut the company down, the company said. But given the state of the economy and the difficulty of turning around a company after an "abrupt closure," Shimonishi said, the company decided to close down sales and marketing operations to maximize its investment.
vNet's technology and intellectual property "still has a tremendous amount of potential," she noted.
A majority of vNet's employees will be affected by the closure, and Shimonishi said she might focus more of her marketing efforts on Russound. She has been performing marketing functions for both vNet and Russound since Dec. 1.