Smart Technologies for Smart Retailers

Home networking, control and energy management are mainstream differentiators

Strong partnerships with key vendors will become more important as CE and appliance dealers develop home networking divisions and competencies to differentiate their businesses, drive incremental sales and generate bigger profits.

In the upcoming technology section of Dealerscope’s July issue, we spoke with key representatives from three companies-Intel, Cisco and Control4-that dealers with any interest in selling solid home technologies should be partnering with. These vendors, despite their ups and downs, eventually succeed in delivering new technologies and solutions that change the face of their target markets. Many of those solutions and products fit well within the business models of today’s innovative CE retailers.

The companies also have solid records in supporting their authorized dealers. Once a trusted relationship is established, the companies have proven that they’ll work closely with their partners to drive business. CE and appliance dealers are becoming increasingly important to them as home networking and its related solutions grow more essential to mainstream consumers. It’s up to dealers, though, to make the first move.

Since its inception, Intel has been a forerunner in emerging technologies that expand beyond its processor technologies and embrace full solutions. The company has been on the forefront of home health care and telemedicine solutions (areas we implore CE retailers to explore) and, most recently, is working with the industry to develop home energy management and smart grid solutions. Many players in the CE industry see this as a realistic and logical emerging market for retailers.

“Our role is to sell silicon, but Intel has always played a big role in opening the barriers of entry,” said Ryan Parker, director of marketing for Intel’s Embedded and Communications Division. “We’ve always worked with our partners to solve problems, and that will continue to big part of what we do.”

Sometime early next year, Intel expects to begin delivering its Home Dashboard and intelligent home energy management solution to retail manufacturers, including OpenPeak. Based on Intel’s Atom processor, the

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