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C4 Connect and Assist - new CIaaS offering


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This is going to be interesting... I think Assist is a good option for dealers that do not currently have service plans setup. That said as we currently have service plans with our clients, from a dealers point of view, will have to wait and see what the margins are like to see if this makes sense for us.  

As far as Connect goes, I am just glad they are grandfathering in existing customers for now... but watch out for this line though... "There will be no changes required for existing Control4 customers or 4Sight subscribers, but certain software improvements will only be made available to active Control4 Connect accounts."

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to me some details are missing

The $899, will they install drivers?  only C4 drivers or 3rd party drivers?  Do they do any programming on those drivers they install?  Will they only install drivers for c4 hardware or would they install lutron drivers (c4 driver, but not c4 hardware).  For network support, would they only support Snap branded hardware?  So those with say Unifi APs or Rukus or something, are they SOL?  

And the difference between C4 Connect and 4Sight seem like just $100/more a year - the features of Connect read like word salad to me.

 

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5 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

to me some details are missing

The $899, will they install drivers?  only C4 drivers or 3rd party drivers?  Do they do any programming on those drivers they install?  Will they only install drivers for c4 hardware or would they install lutron drivers (c4 driver, but not c4 hardware).  For network support, would they only support Snap branded hardware?  So those with say Unifi APs or Rukus or something, are they SOL?  

And the difference between C4 Connect and 4Sight seem like just $100/more a year - the features of Connect read like word salad to me.

 

All good points on Assist, more details I look forward to learning. They mention this is done with OVRC so I assume that the support will stop there... 

For sure on Connect, they just rebranded 4Sight and increased the price 100% and made it required. I'm sure this has everything to do with the stock price:)

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as long as it is regular and frequent updates and assistance then I can see the value and not just a money grab.   something that they don't have a very good track record of doing compared to some other systems in this space.  How does assist compete with or compliment Parasol?  Or is this just a rebranding of Parasol?

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8 minutes ago, GregCAMS said:

as long as it is regular and frequent updates and assistance then I can see the value and not just a money grab.   something that they don't have a very good track record of doing compared to some other systems in this space.  How does assist compete with or compliment Parasol?  Or is this just a rebranding of Parasol?

fairly sure its a rebranding of Parasol and this is how its rolling out in the C4 world

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Connect seems to add a few new features over 4Sight:

-System Updates

-Advanced System info/feedback

-Added built-in troubleshooting/user guide

 

Not a US dealer so not affected at this time....will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

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I'm actually exited about Connect and additions they may add, and in 2024 having remote access standard is nice! The one place I think there is an over reach is with the CoreLite.  I hope they change the stance on this requirement. As a one room universal remote, requiring a customer to pay $100 year I just don't see the value.

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39 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

fairly sure its a rebranding of Parasol and this is how its rolling out in the C4 world

I think it's more of a rolling parasol into something more (note that I'm saying more, not better as I can't judge that)

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10 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Connect seems to add a few new features over 4Sight:

-System Updates How is this going to work? A customer can trigger an OS system update? Auto Update? 

-Advanced System info/feedback

-Added built-in troubleshooting/user guide

 

Not a US dealer so not affected at this time....will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

 

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On the assist page, it seems like the Post-Install Personalizations and Programming† under assist premium is just When Then. 

"†Programing may be limited to programing that can be performed by using the system’s “When >> Then” programing functionality as well as adding new products that can be reasonably added remotely. Security system updates are not included."
 

 

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59 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

fairly sure its a rebranding of Parasol and this is how its rolling out in the C4 world

Based on a FAQ document in dealer knowledge base, Parasol remains as a separate entity.

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24 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Connect seems to add a few new features over 4Sight:

-System Updates

-Advanced System info/feedback

-Added built-in troubleshooting/user guide

 

Not a US dealer so not affected at this time....will be interesting to see what comes out of it.

Get access to software and security updates that help your system evolve and improve over time. These updates are crucial components of living with technology and are essential for long-term satisfaction, keeping your system reliable and secure.

That is from the site - does that mean they will give you the latest OS update when its released automatically?  Kind of like how iOS will eventually just update your firmware eventually overnight when you are charging it?  To me the "software" part is access to Composer HE.  So I am questioning the "security updates" to me, those are already rolled out, and not firmware updates...So really, what is new here?

Rhetorical question for the most part...

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17 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

Get access to software and security updates that help your system evolve and improve over time. These updates are crucial components of living with technology and are essential for long-term satisfaction, keeping your system reliable and secure.

That is from the site - does that mean they will give you the latest OS update when its released automatically?  Kind of like how iOS will eventually just update your firmware eventually overnight when you are charging it?  To me the "software" part is access to Composer HE.  So I am questioning the "security updates" to me, those are already rolled out, and not firmware updates...So really, what is new here?

Rhetorical question for the most part...

Fair point: it'll need some clarification for sure.

To me the 'software' access actually sound more like WHEN-THEN in app than anything else from all of this.

 

Just to note again: this for now is US only so I know as little or less than the standard user, let alone a US dealer, info wise.

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No clue how it will work, or indeed as egg mentioned, it's not really all that clear it's system updates, security only updates or something in between (ie they'll update 3.4 to 3.4.1 but not to full revision 3.5)

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Just now, GregCAMS said:

$3,000 per year for Remote Assist Premium. No thanks.  Don't even spend that today on local support truck rolls on troubleshooting and software enhancements. 

 

https://restechtoday.com/snap-one-launches-control4-connect-and-control4-assist/?mc_cid=c2a696845a&mc_eid=865e14db33

I agree it seems steep on the surface, but I would say premium is more geared to the largest systems (and perhaps hospitality setups) to begin with. Premium would cover programming changes as well, not just service/troubleshooting: I expect that there would be numerous clients that wouldn't mind having that, that do do constant changes, but don't want to do it themselves (unlike most people on this forum - you all are the more active/involved people that tend to take more control over your own systems, which is in the end a pretty small amount of total users)

$900 (which I assume would include the connect fee?) is more in line with a piece of mind service package and doesn't seem unreasonable. Again it will depend a bit on what is actually included in it.

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Just now, JohnDoe said:

I will speculate this all points to Composer and the platform moving to a Software as a Service / cloud based programming model.

I will speculate that it means Control4/SnapOne is about to open the door for the Illuminati (who are in turn under control from the reptilian aliens) to take possession of the world. New brand name will be Control4ced or perhaps Control4theReptiles.

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18 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

I agree it seems steep on the surface, but I would say premium is more geared to the largest systems (and perhaps hospitality setups) to begin with. Premium would cover programming changes as well, not just service/troubleshooting: I expect that there would be numerous clients that wouldn't mind having that, that do do constant changes, but don't want to do it themselves (unlike most people on this forum - you all are the more active/involved people that tend to take more control over your own systems, which is in the end a pretty small amount of total users)

$900 (which I assume would include the connect fee?) is more in line with a piece of mind service package and doesn't seem unreasonable. Again it will depend a bit on what is actually included in it.

Perhaps you're right.  Running four separate 44RU of gear here along with 1 CA-10, 1-EA5, 4-EA-1 and Core 1 along with 21 Araknis switches.  Just out of curiosity I ran my budget spend from 2023 specifically for maintenance/troubleshooting calls (excluding upgrades and new gear) and spent $1,943 for onsite on hand items that this service would cover.  Granted I run most of my scenes in Josh.ai that I do and learned myself instead of HE and When/Then but still that that seems steep just from my perspective.  But guess they have canvassed users although I've never had a poll, survey or questionnaire come to me from Snap in the 15 years of owning C4 and related products to identify a market price for these servicing offerings included.  In fact some past years a portion of what is being offered here has been free from local dealers in exchange for word of mouth referrals, testimonials and others. 

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26 minutes ago, GregCAMS said:

Perhaps you're right.  Running four separate 44RU of gear here along with 1 CA-10, 1-EA5, 4-EA-1 and Core 1 along with 21 Araknis switches.  Just out of curiosity I ran my budget spend from 2023 specifically for maintenance/troubleshooting calls (excluding upgrades and new gear) and spent $1,943 for onsite on hand items that this service would cover.  Granted I run most of my scenes in Josh.ai that I do and learned myself instead of HE and When/Then but still that that seems steep just from my perspective.  But guess they have canvassed users although I've never had a poll, survey or questionnaire come to me from Snap in the 15 years of owning C4 and related products to identify a market price for these servicing offerings included.  In fact some past years a portion of what is being offered here has been free from local dealers in exchange for word of mouth referrals, testimonials and others. 

i had a chat with someone else about this and we are trying to find the target audience for these things.

Most people who would shell out $2k+ likely need someone to come to the house to re wire/re stack etc when making changes, they are likely not super techie.  If you are super techie, you likely use a remote dealer and wouldnt need to pay up front for this kind of service even at the $900 mark.  is someone going to pay $2k+ a year, then also have to call a local dealer to rewire stuff or something when devices change or new hardware is being added?  That is going to get expensive fast, just have the dealer come over, do the wiring as the adding drivers part is very minimal.

End of day, I've always thought C4 should move to a support model in house, and have the dealers be the sales/installation arm so kudos to them for kicking it off.  I think some of the lack of detail may be intentional as they iron out a few things.

Another business comes to mind - Big Green Egg.  not sold in big box stores or online but within the last few years BGE pivoted, you can buy online but the sale goes to a local dealer who does the delivery, set up, etc....I am sure the local store would have gotten more money if they sold it direct so corporate takes a few bux out of the deal but its a sale the store may not have gotten previously.  I kind of see that model somehow with C4 eventually....Buy through C4, authorized local tech comes out to do the design/install, then support handled at the mothership kind of thing.  C4 takes full ownership/responsibility of your experience.  May hurt the dealer base and I assume some would obviously have to close up shop.  But C4 has the marketing budget to likely keep local tech's very busy.

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I'm preparing to return to C4 and have been gearing up. I'll have to read through all of this to know what my next steps should be and how much this change is adding to my costs.

 

I have an existing account for an HC800 that isn't online. Am I grandfathered in? OR do I need to set up a Core3 or Core5 before April for some advantage?

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5 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

i had a chat with someone else about this and we are trying to find the target audience for these things.

Most people who would shell out $2k+ likely need someone to come to the house to re wire/re stack etc when making changes, they are likely not super techie.  If you are super techie, you likely use a remote dealer and wouldnt need to pay up front for this kind of service even at the $900 mark.  is someone going to pay $2k+ a year, then also have to call a local dealer to rewire stuff or something when devices change or new hardware is being added?  That is going to get expensive fast, just have the dealer come over, do the wiring as the adding drivers part is very minimal.

End of day, I've always thought C4 should move to a support model in house, and have the dealers be the sales/installation arm so kudos to them for kicking it off.  I think some of the lack of detail may be intentional as they iron out a few things.

Another business comes to mind - Big Green Egg.  not sold in big box stores or online but within the last few years BGE pivoted, you can buy online but the sale goes to a local dealer who does the delivery, set up, etc....I am sure the local store would have gotten more money if they sold it direct so corporate takes a few bux out of the deal but its a sale the store may not have gotten previously.  I kind of see that model somehow with C4 eventually....Buy through C4, authorized local tech comes out to do the design/install, then support handled at the mothership kind of thing.  C4 takes full ownership/responsibility of your experience.  May hurt the dealer base and I assume some would obviously have to close up shop.  But C4 has the marketing budget to likely keep local tech's very busy.

locally the dealers are quite contentious and cannibalize each others technicians and such.  Plus with so many different connected devices and interoperability of third party equipment I don't think this is the greatest of ideas but hell what do I know LOL.  I would just never use this service based upon being on some of the technical calls with my dealer and the Snap Support which is at some times laughable and at other times takes 30-45 minutes to get thru to a resource.  And I'd be hard pressed to think they will be able to work a flowchart/logic diagram to troubleshoot the advanced systems without either someone onsite to do some elements of follow on work or explain items done that may not be labeled properly in the project to make this effort as seamless as dreamed up.  At least with the current support (previously Parasol and now a competitor) their ability to troubleshoot, diagnose over the last 5 years has been quite limited at best.  In this model, on an advanced system, it seems that a RMR for a local company to offer this which most do themselves with the tiered service and ability to know the system much more definitely than C4.  Then comes the question of if the problem is with a connected device (Sonos, Josh, Pool Driver, etc) will Control4 offer support in this premium model or give you the dance of 'contact your dealer.'?

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