Solutions providers wanted

The Lutron folks stopped into the SD&I offices recently during a media junket to talk about their new products and mostly, to urge alarm dealers and systems integrators to become full solutions providers—and I can’t agree more.

We talked about how it’s a natural for systems integrators and alarm dealers to add services for the residential user, the commercial as well, but how it can elevate their stature and make them top players in the industry.

Rich Matthews, sales director for Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., and Melissa Andresko, senior residential public relations manager for the Coopersburg, Pa.,-based firm said the company has spent the last several years carefully eyeing the industry and developing an initiative specifically for security.

The company’s big claim to fame, according to Matthews, has been its energy savings solutions, particularly its dimming controls which have morphed into energy solutions. In fact, Matthews said the company recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dimmer—but today Lutron has some 16,000 different products.

“Now, all the technology is quite sophisticated,” said Matthews. “We’ve moved from being a dimmer company to total home control. Now we are a total energy management solutions company.”

Matthews said Lutron has been putting a concerted effort in place to reach security dealers and integrators, reaching out through traditional targeted distributors such as ADI, Systems Depot and Worthington to get their brand recognized and adopted.

Building alliances in the industry is critical to the message. Lutron is engaging with the security channel, creating residential and commercial experience centers and training dealers and integrators so they can better understand how products can enhance their value and that of their company in the field.

“Our current target is the middle market of systems integrators and dealers,” he explained. “We will be evolving our message to the channel around the interactive services model…lights, shades, door locks, iPads and smartphones will be the catalyst. They can think of it as enhanced security with lighting control or energy management monitoring and control.”

Matthews said advanced interconnectivity and advanced interoperability is the near future. “We want integrators to be able to differentiate themselves with solutions, rather than parts and pieces.”