Salt Lake City - Cisco and home-control supplier Control4 have entered into an agreement in which Cisco will invest in Control4, use Control4 technology in Smart Grid infrastructure and services that it will sell to utilities, and sell Cisco-branded and Control4-branded products.
Under the global agreement, Cisco will sell products through its value-added resellers (VARs) into homes in conjunction with utilities' deployment of Cisco's Smart Grid technologies, which are designed to reduce energy consumption. Cisco will also sell products through its VARs to developers of so-called greenfield cities, built on the outskirts of existing cities usually outside the U.S.
In both channels, VARs would sell products to control energy use as well as automate and control lighting, entertainment, communication and security systems. As a broad rule, control systems would be Cisco-branded, and peripherals such as lighting-control systems would be Control4-branded.
The deal provides Control4 with additional resources as well as worldwide distribution channels that "will expand our reach dramatically" by "leveraging the Control4 platform to every single home in these communities," said Control4 CEO Will West. The deal will also open up opportunities for custom integrators who could later add onto a basic Cisco Smart Grid EMS 100 energy-management system, he said.
The EMS 100 consists of Control4's EC-100 energy controller, a 4.7-inch color touchscreen controller that provides details of a home's electricity consumption and costs, Control4 Advantage software, and a WT-100 ZigBee-equipped wireless thermostat.
Although Cisco-marketed products would carry the Cisco brand, their user interface will still carry the Control4 brand. The products installed by utilities and integrators would deliver a single consistent user interface and be tightly integrated with Control4-branded products, the company added.
The Control4 EMS 100 platform has been selected by multiple utilities to connect consumers to the smart grid, the company noted.
Cisco's investment in Control4 does not make it a majority owner with control, West noted.