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Control4 Acquires Ihiji for Connected Home Managed Services

Managed service providers have typically focused on business clients. With the new challenges of today's connected homes, we have started to see some providers venture into managed services for homes. While many consumers aren't quite ready to adopt managed services subscriptions for their homes, the companies with home-based workforces are looking for better ways to get support for these users.

Targeting businesses with incentives for sign-ups for home-based employees can be a great strategic move for MSPs looking to break into the connected home market. The business can subsidize the subscriptions or could offer other types of incentives to encourage sign-ups. The benefit would be both to the business, as their home-based employees will have more consistent technical support at home, and would benefit the employee as they get more smart home devices plugged into their network.

Control4 Acquires Ihiji

To assist MSPs with this market, the Austin, Texas-based company Ihiji, provides remote management services for technical integrators servicing connected home customers. The Invision platform from Ihiji provides device monitoring and management capabilities, which service providers can use to tap into a home-based market.

Control4 has also been providing a way for MSPs to bring network management capabilities to connected homes through the BakPak platform. Recently the company announced the acquisition of the intellectual property and key operating assets of Ihiji to deliver a services platform that combines both the BakPak and Invision platforms from the companies.

Through this acquisition, Control4 can provide a set of unified cloud-based services to dealers to securely and efficiently monitor end-customer systems. In a prepared statement from Martin Plaehn, CEO of Control4, the company claims that "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 companies state that their shared goal is to develop a single, integrated monitoring experience that provides all dealers with complete visibility and control throughout the connected home for projects of every size.

Control4 will now sell the previously named Ihiji APP-750 network appliance under its new moniker, the Pakedge NX-1, priced at US $650 MSRP. Control4 has also eliminated all subscriptions fees currently associated with Ihiji's Invision management service. All existing Invision monitoring installations will automatically be converted to a license that does not require a recurring fee, and no action is required to transition individual projects.

As part of the deal, the Ihiji product development and support teams are now employed by 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.