Mick Wright, technical director at Clever Technologies, told CRN: “We set up Clever two years ago and were initially going to focus on selling home-automation solutions, but we couldn’t find a Media Center that met our requirements, so we ended up designing and manufacturing our own. Computerlinks is our exclusive distributor at the moment.”
Computerlinks already has a reputation as a security specialist, but at the start of the year the distributor launched a multimedia networking division to focus on the home-automation market (CRN, 23 February).
John Turner, head of multimedia networking at Computerlinks, told CRN: “Over the past six months we have taken on several more home-automation vendors, held a series of home-automation seminars for resellers and invested several thousand pounds in a suite of demonstration rooms at our offices so that resellers can be trained on the products as well as bring in their customers to show how home automation works.”
Home automation is still a new concept, but Turner believes the key to selling it is to offer it to consumers in stages.
“I don’t think people are quite ready for a full home-automation system yet. The audiovisual [AV] aspect tends to be the start-point for a home-automation system in the UK at the moment, perhaps with some lighting thrown in,” he said. “Meanwhile in the US, home-automation systems tend to be made up of security and surveillance products.”
Computerlinks has recruited a handful of resellers to sell the Clever Media Centers, but would like to bring more on board.
“We see the Media Center as the stepping stone for a reseller to offer home automation to a customer,” Turner said. “We are interested in speaking to resellers with networking or AV expertise.”
Glen Monks, managing director of VAR Techies, said: “The Clever Media Center is put together well. Clever has made it look like something that people will want to have in their home.”
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