by Jeremy J. Glowacki
AVAD has reached an agreement with Crestron to develop and support a select dealer base of Crestron customers. Through this partnership, authorized AVAD dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada will have access to Crestron’s more Prodigy and Adagio product lines.
The Crestron lines will be considered “managed lines” for AVAD, meaning that dealers will be required to achieve certain certifications and qualifications to be able to sell those products. If you don’t, it’s not even available to you for purchase at this point.
With Crestron, this will be a multi-step process, according to AVAV VP and GM Jim Annes. “We’re going to qualify dealers just like we do every day and judge what they’re capable of selling effectively,” he said. “So obviously those that have a proven track record of designing and implementing more complex home automation solution will be the first to qualify.”
To gain authorization, dealers will also be required to attend Crestron training courses offered through AVAD University, AVAD’s continuing education program that makes manufacturers directly available to dealers, and install working demos in their showrooms or other locations. Together, AVAD and Crestron will provide dealers with an extensive number of webinars and on-site training at each of AVAD’s 28 North American branches.
Prior to beginning dealer training, however, AVAD is leading a series of internal trainings to make sure its own field staff and sales associates are qualified to sell Crestron products.
Once approved, AVAD dealers will be authorized to purchase products from Crestron’s Prodigy and Adagio lines. Prodigy offers dealers an affordable, simplified control solution for whole-house automation including music, movies, lights, thermostats, and security. A stand-alone system from Crestron, Adagio is a simple-to-use, easy-to-install home entertainment system that provides a dealer’s clients with access to their entire media collection.
According to Annes, the addition of integrated offerings from Crestron is the next step in AVAD’s evolution. “AVAD has always been committed to providing a very effective and flexible toolkit to our dealers. That starts with point solutions, where you can buy a single remote control from us or a single panel or single Blu-ray player. We also, through the years, with the Integration Partners program have offered a unique way for our customers to bring together multiple brands in an integrated solution. This, in my mind, is the next evolutionary step, where now you can buy a complete closed-loop solution.”
Wally Whinna, who retired from AVAD last year and is consulting on this new partnership, agreed with that assessment. “I think the strength of Adagio and Prodigy is that they’re single-brand solutions that are basically pre-engineered,” he said. “That means they’re much easier to program, easier to install, and more repeatable. There’s a lot less risk for the dealer, plus there’s additional features and benefits, because the system is integrated. We just see this as a good solution for our customers.
Crestron products will begin to arrive at AVAD locations by the third week of April, Annes said, and the distributor will begin looking to qualify dealers and solidify training programs in the meantime. “It will be around mid May when we see the first significant sales,” he said. “But, if an existing Prodigy dealer needs to pick up a dimmer or another component, and they’re already certified on the product, they’ll be able to drop in and purchase the product from us.”
by Jeremy J. Glowacki