Control4 has acquired the intellectual property and key operating assets of Austin, Texas-based Ihiji, a pioneering provider of remote management services for technical integrators servicing connected home customers.
By combining BakPak from Control4 and Invision from Ihiji into one unified service platform, Control4 looks to provide thousands of professional integrators with powerful device monitoring and management capability to efficiently and proactively support their connected-home customers.
“Connected home opportunities are emerging globally, and their individual performance, reliability, and resilience are foundational to all successful installations,” said Control4 CEO Martin Plaehn. “By combining Control4’s BakPak, with its strong network management capabilities, and Ihiji’s Invision, with its industry-leading device monitoring and management capabilities, Control4 can provide a set of unified cloud-based services to our dealers to securely and efficiently monitor end-customer systems. Dealers will receive alerts when performance concerns are detected; they can then remotely identify the root cause and initiate resolution actions, all without being on premise. This will improve homeowner satisfaction through prompt and preemptive service, in a time-saving and cost-effective manner."
The joint team is already developing the unified Cloud-based service platform that will be made available in phases to all Control4 and Ihiji dealers and their end customers later in the year. The shared goal is to operate a single integrated monitoring and services experience that provides all dealers with complete visibility and control at the network level, which would include over 2,000 third-party products, as well as all Control4 and Pakedge smart home equipment.
Today, Ihiji works with manufacturers including Araknis, Belkin, Brocade, Cisco, Crestron, Dell, Denon, D-Link, Integra, Luxul, Marantz, Netgear, Onkyo, Pakedge, Panamax, Russound, Savant, Sky, Sony, SurgeX, Synaccess, Yamaha and others, and those integrations will continue to be central to the new unified management platform. The new solution will also deliver a comprehensive view of every home and customer to enable dealers to monitor, assess, remediate, and track performance concerns associated with their customers’ homes.
Today, Control4 will begin selling the previously named Ihiji APP-750 network appliance under its new moniker, the Pakedge NX-1, priced at $650 suggested retail. Control4 also announced the elimination of all subscription fees associated with the Ihiji Invision management service, making it easier and more financially efficient for dealers to provide remote management services to their end customers.
“Ihiji and Control4 share the conviction that network and device management capabilities are pivotal to every professional integrator in order to best serve their connected home customers,” said Stuart Rench, CEO, Ihiji. “By providing all dealers with the ability to monitor and manage thousands of devices, we are enabling them to detect and remediate issues remotely — often before a customer is aware there is even a problem. By combining with Control4, we can accelerate our plans to deliver more robust capabilities to further drive dealers’ success and end-customer satisfaction.”
The Ihiji product development and support teams are now part of Control4 and are working within the company’s networking group to continue supporting existing Ihiji dealers, and to deliver the new unified management platform later this year. All Ihiji dealers using Invision will continue to be supported and are encouraged to continue utilizing and installing Invision in new installations. Later this year, progress releases towards the new unified and integrated service platform will be made available to all Ihiji, Control4, and Pakedge dealers and their installed customers through a software update process for supported service appliance devices: APP-750, NX-1, NK-1, RK-1 and WR-1.
Control4 acquired certain intellectual property, development and support teams, and inventory of Ihiji on Dec. 22, 2017. The acquisition enhances the network and device management platform of Control4, but is not expected to contribute material direct revenue in 2018. In addition, the company anticipates that the direct operating costs associated with the Ihiji acquisition, (consisting primarily of personnel related expenses for development and support employees), will not be incremental to its forecasted 2018 financial plan. The financial impact of the acquisition was included within the company’s prior public financial guidance.