Home Technology Association Launch - Press Release - August 2017
Created to empower and educate homeowners while recognizing and supporting exceptional integrators, HTA Certification is now open to custom installation firms nationwide
Santa Monica, CA (August 30, 2017) – The Home Technology Association is the first independent organization to educate and empower homeowners in their technology purchases, recognize exceptional businesses, and elevate the technology integration industry’s status and stature with a rigorous third-party certification process. Founded by integration professionals and supported by industry veterans who serve on the HTA Board of Advisors, the Home Technology Association announces its official launch during CEDIA 2017 and reveals HTA Certification, a new mark of excellence for home technology professionals.
Identifying Integrators that Provide a Seamless Technology Experience
Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for household goods, the GIA grading system for diamonds, or 5-star Safety Ratings for automobiles, an HTA Certification distinguishes the top 10 to 15 percent of integrators in any given U.S.-based market through a stringent third-party, 60+ point vetting process.
Taking highly valuable CEDIA technical knowledge and training certifications to the next level, HTA Certified integration firms must consistently provide exceptional service in three categories: Technical Ability, Customer Service and Aftercare Support, and Reputation. Integration firms must pass a series of scoring factors that includes having three consecutive years of successful business performance, structured customer service and aftercare support policies in place, and be able to supply endorsements from three industry manufacturers as well as three local industry professionals to qualify. Candidates must also not have any negative reports regarding financial history or stability, and work primarily in residential low-voltage systems or have a dedicated team within the company that does.
Validation for Top Integrators, Peace-of-mind for Consumers
Home technology professionals, builders, architects, and interior designers agree: the barriers to entry in the residential low-voltage market are too low and there are too many disreputable firms taking business away from quality integrators.
With no third-party rating or endorsement system to classify and certify integration firms, consumers often make decisions based on price alone, which leads them to become cynical and distrustful when the result is not what they expected. Homeowners and builders often become frustrated with their home technology systems, blame the manufacturers, and request their next project include “less technology.” Though this harms the entire industry, it hits technology integrators the hardest. That is what the HTA intends to resolve, as a complementary certification that differentiates integrators and validates their offering.
The HTA seeks to end these challenges with a rigorous certification process designed to enhance the technology experience for consumers and give high-quality, HTA Certified integrators the leading edge in the marketplace.
“In an industry with no side rails or quality standards and easy access to products, what happens is chaos. HTA has developed standards to move our industry into one which imbues trust, standards, and regimen. It’s about time!” says Richard Glikes, President of Azione Unlimited and a member of the HTA Board of Advisors.
HTA Online Budget Calculators Helps Consumers Make Qualified Buying Decisions
HTA has developed a proprietary and first-of-its-kind technology budget calculator designed to educate consumers about how much it will realistically cost to fulfill their technology needs and give them the confidence they are contacting the right integrator for the audiovisual systems they both desire and can afford. “I am excited that our industry is banding together to get behind the HTA certification system. As a manufacturer and former integrator, I look forward to a future where consumers choose the right integrator the first time, and the ‘takeover’ project is a thing of the past,” says John Clancy, VP Residential Sales for Crestron Electronics and a member of the HTA Board of Advisors.
How the HTA Helps Qualified Integrators Grow Their Business
HTA Certified integration firms will carry the HTA Certified Mark of Excellence logo on their website, work trucks, business cards, and other marketing collateral and will, additionally, be listed on the HTA dealer locator. Studies show that 92 percent of consumers have more confidence in the information they find online than they do from any other source and that 70 percent of all buyers consult online reviews or ratings before making a purchase. Like the Better Business Bureau, the HTA provides third-party validation that an integration firm meets rigorous criteria and will provide an exceptional technology experience to its customers.
Complementary Certifications Elevate the Industry
As CEDIA exists to provide education, tools, support, and certification for business owners and technicians, the HTA’s mission is to certify and support technology integration firms based on tiers that represent the type of clientele and projects they excel in. This complementary approach will elevate the reputation of the industry at large while supporting HTA Certified companies with referrals and marketing tools.
Led by Josh Christian, the HTA makes its debut at CEDIA with an experienced and passionate Board of Advisors that includes John Clancy - VP Residential - Crestron; Frank Sterns, VP AV Specialty/CI – Sony; David Weinstein, VP Residential Sales – Lutron; Noah Kaplan, President – Leon Speakers; JC Murphy, Executive VP – Savant; Richard Glikes, President – Azione Unlimited; Bryce Judd, SVP Worldwide Sales – Control4; Jason Sloan, Chief Sales Officer – Dana Innovations; Jason Knott, VP of CE/Security Group – EH Media.
“Having an organization such as HTA to institute a benchmark will pay dividends for the entire CI Community in the long-term,” agrees J.C. Murphy, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales for Savant.
"If you look at the service industries, almost every other industry has some designation that separates the best from the rest. The home technology industry has never really had that distinction and, as a business owner, I'm looking forward to it," concludes Travis Leo, CEO of Residential Systems, Inc.
About the Home Technology Association
The Home Technology Association (HTA) was formed to create a preeminent standard of excellence for the Custom Installation (CI) industry. HTA Certification is a rigorous to achieve standard that homeowners, builders, architects, and interior designers can rely on to find the very best residential technology integrators for their projects. Technology integrators who have passed a demanding 60+ point vetting process that focuses on solid customer service and aftercare support, and a positive business reputation will be HTA Certified and part of an elite group of dedicated, highly skilled firms. This stringent criteria was developed by industry veterans and refined by the HTA Board of Advisors, which includes top executives from Sony, Lutron, Crestron, Control4, Savant, and more.
The mission of the Home Technology Association is to raise the bar in the CI industry by giving exceptional integrators a prestigious third-party endorsement they can use to differentiate their offering and ultimately, win more projects. Not only does this drive more business to the integration community, but it also ensures consumers have consistently great technology experiences. The result will be a dramatic transformation of the reputation and overall presence of the integration community and those who serve it. Learn more by visiting HTACertified.org and by following the Home Technology Association (HTA) on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
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