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How about some updates on the residential side?

Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated ProgrammerPosts: 1,917
Today started off alright. I didn't hit much traffic on the way to work. I was prepared to tackle the long day ahead and was feeling good. As I walked in the door at our office, I noticed my boss sitting at his desk. I said hi and we started talking. Seems another prospective client was comparing what we offer to something another company is offering with Control 4. My boss went on to tell me that the client was aware that some of the things were still in development, but the dealer assured them that things were developing very well. The client also mentioned how the Control 4 website and a whole bunch of other sources he found indicated the same inexpensive yet reliable control. This is about the time my boss started the all too familar rant about AMX's marketing and website deficiencies on the residential side. He went on to tell me about how Control 4 website excited the customer and the AMX site seemed to only confuse the customer.

This evening I got bored and decided to check out the residential site myself. I was almost shocked by what I saw. When viewing the gallery picture for each of the 3 residential jobs, I saw the PANJA brand while I waited for the Control It app to load. I also saw a lame viewpoint controller and nothing close to a G4 panel anywhere. Then I decided to read some of the description. Check this out:
The entire media system, as well as the home's front entry, security, lighting, environment, fireplaces and pool/spa are controlled using AMX integration technology. The system was originally installed in 1993. Subsequent upgrades have included rewiring the house to install Landmark PLK-DMS keypads and trading the Axcent2 head-end for a Landmark Card Cage. Today, the family is using the AMX Color Tiltscreens, Inwall Touchscreen, Keypads and Softkey Remote Control for convenient access to the various functions.

In the media room, simple one-touch commands using the custom-icons and buttons on the 10" Touchscreen allow family and guests to easily switch from satellite to Laser Disc, CD and VCR entertainment sources. When the projection screen is engaged, it automatically switches off the TV. And when the owner selects "Audiophile" on his Touchscreen, the system automatically switches from the theater speakers to the professional-quality sound speakers.

There are a few words that talk very briefly about some of the common controls integrated with AMX, but there is absolutely nothing graphical demonstrating what the interface could be like. There aren't any interesting graphics anywhere in this GALLERY. Each Gallery entry has only 1 fairly lame picture. Now, how many dealers are even able to BUY a laser disc player anymore, let alone sell it's integration as a key point? CD and VCR??? what about DVD? Landmark Card Cage??? I think it is quite evident that the residential site does need some MAJOR work soon. Especially if AMX expects us to continue to be able to sell touchpanels with a $400 stand that should be included.
I don't doubt the value of AMX products and I know that AMX is a better solution than Control 4 (as it is now), but it is very difficult to get some customers to understand this without support from AMX. I know that AMX has been getting it's name out there, but most people wind up going to the website when they want to learn more about the cool touchpanel they just saw at CEDIA. Do you really think they find it cool to hear about the latest Laser Disc installation AMX was involved in?

This is all my opinion. I wish I had time to offer more constructive critism, but it's been a long day. I just thought of an idea. How about simply asking visitors which portion of AMX they are interested in when they first hit the home page? Dealers can easily bookmark the existing dealer site, but make the residential page more simplistic. Take away all of the dealer and commercial options, it just seems to provide a point for confusion. In fact, the first thing I did when in the residential section was click the Dealers link thinking that it might take me to a list of dealers.... or atleast a form to get in touch with a dealer. You have some great printed materials that as I remember are very intriguing and interesting, carry that forward to your website. Just remember that most residential clients don't care about the type of connectors a processor has, they care about how cool the product looks or what cool things it will control that they can show off to their friends or what convenience options the product adds. The item most residential clients will interface with is most likely a G4 touchpanel, but I don't recall seeing a single one anywhere in the residential site. That should be one of the first things a residential client sees. And it should be very clear that this touchpanel gives them CONTROL over their house.

Ok, I'm done ranting. Need some sleep for tomorrow's "must be done for the Super Bowl" programming session ;)

Jeff

Comments

  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I agree 110% Jeff. I find the AMX website to restrictive in some areas where it should be wide open. IE: the new product section. If you want to view the product then you have to log in. Kind of hard to sell something if nobody but authorized people can see it. The control 4 website is much more open and user friendly to the average Joe who is interested in home automation. I find that people want flash (impress the neighbour?s type thing) not what type of polymer was used to make the thing or that it's using a gold connector rather than silver. Just my 2 cents(4 cents Canadian, eh)
  • RicardoSiqueiraRicardoSiqueira Junior Member Posts: 373
    We had a tread last November about the weakness of the AMX residential web site:

    http://www.amxforums.com/showthread.php?t=1055&highlight=Residential+Site

    I also agree with both of you. Here is what I posted back then, but unfortunately nothing has been done yet to improve the site.
    Here is what I think it is missing:

    1) For end users (residential), the main products should be displayed right on the first page. AMX has a beautiful Line of Modero touch panels, but none is displayed on the residential site just the old G3 viewpoint and if your Flash banner scrolls you will see a 10" G3 panel. Where are the Moderos??? You could select the AMX LITERATURE link and a bounch of pdf files are available. However, remember the attention span of web users, If they need to download pdf files and then search for products, they may give up and look at the competition.

    2) We should have a link on the residential page called PRODUCTS which takes the end user to a page where the Modero and Netlinx products are displayed. Remember the old saying a PICTURE is worth a 1000 words. You don't need to display all the tech info, just the basic stuff with nice pictures.

    3)Nothing wrong on the current demos available on the residential site, but they should be a secondary subject not the main one. Use FLASH to show Modero touch panels and MIO keypads, bring the same excitement that we dealers see on the AMX product line to the end user. If you show, they will buy. Nowadays, the Web is a vital research tool. I use it to read reviews, get info and in most cases it helps me to decide on what to buy.

    4) Some of my potential clients complained that they couldn't see the products that I was trying to sell them on the AMX web site. Again the residential site doesn't show the current products, only deep inside the pdf files under the AMX LITERATURE.

    I believe I lot of the residential dealers will agree with the above topics. AMX, show your products to the World, and I am sure you will sell much more.

    Even on my small company web site I try to expose my user interfaces to the end users: www.advancedanomaly.com. The competition is doing a good job showing their products. AMX needs to catch up and we all can benefit from it. I hope the above helps...

    Ricardo W. Siqueira
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I remember that thread. you had some very good points. Too bad it has yet to be acted on. :(
  • GSLogicGSLogic Original Member Posts: 562
    Well said Jeff, I agree 100%!
    I've been wonder about the residential side of AMX. The only residential product I've seen in a long time is the remote control. They stopped making the AS8 and AS16 switchers without any new product to take there place.
  • pauldpauld Junior Member Posts: 106
    I Just looked at the Residental site, when was the last time the site was updated? Good Lord how are the dealer soppose to sell AMX Gear if the client cannot see the products on the web site???

    I completely aggree with everything that has been said by the other posters.

    Pauld
  • HARMAN_Suzanne YoungbloodHARMAN_Suzanne Youngblood Administrator Posts: 68
    Please be patient! We feel your pain!
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Thanks Suzanne, yet another you rock :) IMHO I would like pretty much an open AMX website where you only need to log into protected areas like the 'tech' section etc. All products and like should be wide open for potential buyers to see.
    P.S. can you do something about the 'I promise' popping up for everything you download. I would ask all users that already have access granted to the protected section to read and Ok the policy in our personal details section. I know Joe asked about this some time back.
  • wcravenelwcravenel Junior Member Posts: 114
    I agree

    I would love to not have to "agree" every session!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • vincenvincen Junior Member Posts: 526
    wcravenel wrote:
    I would love to not have to "agree" every session!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Me too ;)

    Vince
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    I just made a call to a_little_bird() and got this in return:

    "'There is a MAJOR rework of the AMX currently under way. The new site will most likely not even resemble the old site in anyway. There is no announced date for it's release, but it is probably 1-2 months away.'"

    [wild speculation] My thought is that they don't want to put a deadline on the new site so they don't have to deal with impatient programmers (like what is happening with VA). They will release it when it is finished, as opposed to putting something half complete up and announcing "Still under construction" [/wild speculation]

    I just don't know why I didn't consult a_little_bird() sooner. Ohh, and for those wondering... a_little_bird() is the new and improved version of a_bird() and has very little relation to the_bird()

    Jeff
  • wcravenelwcravenel Junior Member Posts: 114
    Jeff,

    You really shouldn't refer to the a_little_bird() function or the new little_bird() function without exposing it fully or properly commenting your code.

    Tsk, tsk, locking up the comm side....

    Bill
  • Speedy.

    If it looks as good as it now runs we all should be very happy.

    Jeff, your a_little_bird() function works a lot like my a_rumor_mill() function and very similar to a often used the_grapevine() function. ;)
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    These must be new functions, I've never used any of them and they sound great! I'll definately have to devote some more R&D time on those. :D
  • mpullinmpullin Obvious Troll Account, Marked for Deletion Posts: 949
    Is this the function you were speaking of?
    DEFINE FUNCTION INTEGER a_little_bird(INTEGER word_on_street)
    LOCAL_VAR INTEGER passing_fancy{
         if(ABS_VALUE(word_on_street - honest_truth) <= a_speck) return word_on_street
         else {
              if ((passing_fancy % 3) == 2) word_on_street = a_rumor_mill(word_on_street)
              else if ((passing_fancy % 3) == 1) word_on_street = the_grapevine(word_on_street)
              else word_on_street = telephone_game(word_on_street)
              passing_fancy = passing_fancy + 1
         }
         return a_little_bird(word_on_street)
    }
    
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    Funny!

    LMAO!! :D That was great! Made my day! I'm so glad we have a bunch of people on here a great sense of humor.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Cute but will it complie? I always get a worm error with the 'little_bird' line.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    We must all have far too much time on our hands or lacking in sleep :D
  • jjamesjjames AMX Sustaining Engineer Posts: 2,901
    We must all have far too much time on our hands or lacking in sleep :D
    I just monitor my e-mail and the forums like stink on . . . umm . . . I don't think I can say that without getting the asterisks. :D Okay, back to work, have a huge project I need to keep working on. No more posts from me for a while. . . lol
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Come on there will always be work.....POST...POST...POST... ;)
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    I check the forums first thing in the morning while waiting on my brain to get into gear, and again at the end of the day when I am fried. If I check in-between, it's because I am looking for something specific, or I'm waiting on a long compile/upload/reboot cycle. But time on my hands? I think not :).
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    With over 680 post to your name Dave, you got to have some time. :) (just teasing with you Dave)
  • JillJill Junior Member Posts: 44
    OMG the residential page is older than I am. Panja, viewpoints etc. The page is in dire need of update and some really good flash work. There are only so many companies that we can sell the product to but millions of home users who would love this stuff in their homes. :):)
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Junior Member Posts: 727
    AMX + residential market = "what, are you joking?"

    Their attitude may be changing of late, but a little over a year ago, when a respected manufacturer of gizmos most commonly found in the home approached the inConcert folks about getting involved with a control system related product, they were (not terribly politely) told that AMX pretty much didn't care about the residential market, so why would they want to waste their time with their products?

    So it doesn't suprise me that the resi side of the website ain't all it could be.

    - Chip
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Unbelievable!!!!!! I think that the consumer market could be 10x or more the commercial market if they changed a few things, added some new things and marketed it right. If there wasn't a market then companies like control 4, Niles, the list goes on wouldn't be around. AMX should put an effort into the consumer side or drop it and concentrate only on the commercial side.
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    Practically all of my business is residential. I see one commercial job every few years ... there is simply too much competition in the commercial market in these parts, and that C company seems to have a lock on it (considering they are local, it's not surprising).
  • JillJill Junior Member Posts: 44
    There you go ;Dave; and many others are living proof that there is a huge yet pretty much untapped residential market. :):)
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Junior Member Posts: 727
    Jill wrote:
    There you go ;Dave; and many others are living proof that there is a huge yet pretty much untapped residential market. :):)

    Oh, I believe it's very well tapped - just by Cre$tron! :)

    Of course, Cre$tron also embraces that market - big difference.

    - Chip
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Just a FYI but I heard a 'C' radio ad today on my local station, first time ever and they were in conjuntion with a home automation company.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Chip Moody wrote:
    Oh, I believe it's very well tapped - just by Cre$tron! :)

    Of course, Cre$tron also embraces that market - big difference.

    - Chip
    Maybe in the NJ area but where I live it's pretty much open, just recently have I heard home automation ads on the radio.

    Anyways I was just checking out control 4(always a good idea to know your competitors products I think) and I like there product solutions page. Simple, clean and shows what to expect and I didn't have to log in to view their product line :)
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