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Control4 & DMi sign agreement


thecodeman

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http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/agreement-control4-provides-dmi-escient/story.aspx?guid=%7B0B266AFD-EBCC-4F04-95F6-6CBF9CF88061%7D&dist=msr_1

"...The agreement provides D&M with access to Control4's digital home automation technology to produce a range of Escient home control products. The Escient branded products will be available in over 27 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). "

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Funny, I just came to the forum after reading the news release by CEPro and found someone already beat me to it! :)

There is a bit more detail in the press release. Apparently, there were original conversations to have Control4 technology embedded in Escient product (Vision) but is now intended to be a private label resale of the Control4 product. So what does this all mean? Does this provide Control4 greater global reach? Is this the first step to a merger with D&M testing the waters? Is this good news for the consumer as the product will go into wider distribution, maybe improved pricing, more investment in R&D? Will Control4 move to produce better and more 3rd party integration and not be the end all solution? Is Escient now going to be their video distribution mechanism?

Hmmm ...

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... Personally, I think Control4 knows what really happened at Roswell...

Not so sure about the Kennedy thing but it is common knowledge for C4 dealers that the innards of all C4 products are based on captured alien technology from the crash at Roswell. ;)

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let the speculation begin...

OK... I'll start. In another snippet Glen Mella says "it is a stepping stone towards a larger relationship."

Their VCs are certainly thinking "exit strategy" here.

I actually think DMi would make a good buyer for C4. Better than some of the other options out there.

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So, if you hadn't already made a C4 investment, would now be the time to be cautious? If an acquisition / merger is in the offing, who knows what interest Escient might have .. though, it could plug a few gaps for them if their intent is to have an entire solution. :)

let the speculation begin...

OK... I'll start. In another snippet Glen Mella says "it is a stepping stone towards a larger relationship."

Their VCs are certainly thinking "exit strategy" here.

I actually think DMi would make a good buyer for C4. Better than some of the other options out there.

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Sorry, not up on 'Phast'.
Think Phast!

Phast was founded/owned by the Control4 founders prior to Control4's existance. Phast was bought by AMX, who then shut the company down and left all the dealers with a bunch of unsupported, no longer available equipment. Hopefully we don't see that happen again...I love Control4 and would die without future product release and support.

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So as much as I want control of my home system and disagree with the lack of 'choice' the consumer has with products such as this, I think Control4 has the best balance of the pro level solutions. However, a firm of this size and the vast number of partnerships and deals with Escient leave me wondering where this is all going.

As I'm about to pull the trigger on a home automation solution and Control4 is my leading candidate, I wonder for the long term and better assurance of longevity if I'm better of relinquishing that control and price point for a 'larger firm' solution such as Crestron, AMX, etc. I wonder if now is the right time to start a new investment in Control4.

Sorry' date=' not up on 'Phast'.
Think Phast!

Phast was founded/owned by the Control4 founders prior to Control4's existance. Phast was bought by AMX, who then shut the company down and left all the dealers with a bunch of unsupported, no longer available equipment. Hopefully we don't see that happen again...I love Control4 and would die without future product release and support.

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Control4 is a major concern for Crestron and AMX - if it wasn't - they wouldn't be now trying to come out with products to go up against it.

Plus - the amount of partners (large partners!!!) that have teamed up with Control4 - and Control4's goal of being the end all GUI for the home... I think it's fairly safe to say after 4 years - they'll be around for a long time to come. :)

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So why wouldn't Control4 be better served and in a better position to compete against Crestron and AMX if they were backed by a global power house such as DMI? Would seem taking Control4 under their wing, providing it more VC money, filling the gaps in areas such as video distribution with something like Escient - would seem a plausible scenerio. Seems these days companies are consolidating resources, front offices, sales teams, etc.

Is Control4 telling the dealers anything specific regarding their strategy, forwarding thinking ideas, etc.?

Control4 is a major concern for Crestron and AMX - if it wasn't - they wouldn't be now trying to come out with products to go up against it.

Plus - the amount of partners (large partners!!!) that have teamed up with Control4 - and Control4's goal of being the end all GUI for the home... I think it's fairly safe to say after 4 years - they'll be around for a long time to come. :)

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I think they could be better served by a DMi, they would combine the Escient and C4 distribution through dealers and give them a more complete and integrated set of solutions. Phast was really a different animal in terms of maturity/penetration. Any buyer of C4 would be using C4 as the platform and not as the add-on. Escient fits into C4 and not vice-versa because C4 is a broader, full solution and Escient is a single component in a system. So I wouldn't worry about longevity issues...

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Sorry' date=' not up on 'Phast'.
Think Phast!

Phast was founded/owned by the Control4 founders prior to Control4's existance. Phast was bought by AMX, who then shut the company down and left all the dealers with a bunch of unsupported, no longer available equipment. Hopefully we don't see that happen again...I love Control4 and would die without future product release and support.

AMX is a very different company now than it was when it bought Phast. Under completely new ownership and mgt. So even a AMX purchase might not be the end of the world. AMX doesnt do as well in the consumer/home market as it does in commercial/education.

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It was a strange story to me too!

Just wonder...

Why the hell a succesful company is 'selling' their years of research and development in a few seconds?

Did you ever see a crestron or amx panel oem-solution made by Naim or Onkyo for example?

The only reasons I could imagine:

No possible way to enter the market and pushing away crestron-amx within a few years or....

As you mention: developing a solution like Phast and cashing it when possible.

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It's very common to OEM solutions in the Home Automation space. Crestron has a handheld touchpanel right *now* that is an OEMed piece of another manufacturer. Also, Crestron and others have used OEM equipment (touchpanels, etc.) as their own touchpanels, loaded with their software.

D&M wants their equipment to be able to do more than what it can currently do. They want a more integrated solution. Control4 has software and hardware that will help them do that. It's a good deal all around. It can only make Control4 *more* stable as a company to be pursuing OEM deals as well as selling the Control4 brand equipment.

I think you all are reading *waaaaay* too much into this.

Phast did *not* do this type of OEM deals, and it's ancient history, that really doesn't have much to do with anything these days. Phast was not invented to 'cash in quick' as some of you are implying, things don't always work out the way people want them to.

RyanE

Edited to Add: I work at Control4, but I don't speak for them or their owners, specifically in this post, although I do think everything I've said is accurate.

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It's very common to OEM solutions in the Home Automation space. Crestron has a handheld touchpanel right *now* that is an OEMed piece of another manufacturer. Also, Crestron and others have used OEM equipment (touchpanels, etc.) as their own touchpanels, loaded with their software.

D&M wants their equipment to be able to do more than what it can currently do. They want a more integrated solution. Control4 has software and hardware that will help them do that. It's a good deal all around. It can only make Control4 *more* stable as a company to be pursuing OEM deals as well as selling the Control4 brand equipment.

I think you all are reading *waaaaay* too much into this.

Phast did *not* do this type of OEM deals, and it's ancient history, that really doesn't have much to do with anything these days. Phast was not invented to 'cash in quick' as some of you are implying, things don't always work out the way people want them to.

RyanE

Edited to Add: I work at Control4, but I don't speak for them or their owners, specifically in this post, although I do think everything I've said is accurate.

I agree with everything Ryan just said. C4 is a stable company (as stable as AMX and Crestron, who I am sure are having a down year like everyone else). Selling the OS to others is a logical move if you are trying to build a critical mass of adopters for the platform. DMi seems like a great channel for doing that and a diverse revenue stream.

As for nl-newbie's question "Why the hell a successful company is 'selling' their years of research and development in a few seconds?". I don't think they are selling their IP outright. They are licensing it. There is a big, big difference. That said, I stand my my assertion that C4 is a VC-backed company, and being a VC-backed company these days means you have to be cash-flow positive, require no additional investment rounds, and have an exit strategy so the VC can get a return on its money. So I wouldn't be shocked if DMi turned a licensing deal into something more.

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