Why Control4’s Deal for Pakedge Creates a Home-Automation Powerhouse

Pakedge is known in the industry for its many networking innovations and home automation solutions.

Control4 & Pakedge: A Beautiful Marriage
Control4 and Pakedge mesh well in many ways, starting with their complementary products. Control4 makes smart-home systems for controlling lights, thermostats, motorized shades and many other devices in the home and enterprise. The company also make A/V distribution systems that deliver high-resolution audio, high-definition video, and HD video surveillance throughout the premises … all the while communicating two-way with cloud services.

All of this functionality screams for a sturdy network with quality of service, designed specifically for multiroom A/V streaming and remote network management. That’s what Pakedge has offered for a dozen years.

While Cisco and others specialize in enterprise-grade networking solutions, only a handful of companies like Pakedge focus on the home-technology channel, serving manufacturers and integrators that won’t compromise on network performance – the foundation of a smart home.

High-performance home-networking solutions can cost well into the thousands of dollars, but the category has nevertheless enjoyed strong growth in the home technology channel. Among CE Pro top 100 dealers, home networking and surveillance cameras have been the top two fastest growing categories for the past few years.

Pakedge’s top competitors in the channel include Luxul, SnapAV (Araknis networking products and OvrC remote management service), Ruckus, Ubiquiti and to some extent power-management companies like Panamax (Blue Bolt) and network monitoring providers like Ihiji.

Currently, Control4 sells Luxul and Ruckus products through its e-commerce portal, and starting today dealers can buy Pakedge there as well.

The company will continue to support all three partners, each of which integrates with the Control4 ecosystem.

When Plaehn speaks about networking products “integrating” with Control4, he says that at the basic level, “their configurations are compatible with the way we want to work with IP networks.”

On a deeper level, though, “when the software taps into our open API, you can get real-time information from our system or from our cloud to help understand what’s going on in the network at any given time,” Plaehn says. “Pakedge’s BakPak [cloud service] not only sees the networking equipment but also the Control4 equipment and everything that’s connected to it – every device.”

He adds, “This is a cohesive platform. We were two teams; now we’re going to be one team.”

Pakedge Gets a Bigger Stage
Pakedge founder Victor Pak, who launched his networking business a dozen years ago to serve the A/V integration channel, says he knew what he had right away.

“Even within a year of starting, we were approached to be acquired,” he tells CE Pro. “In the last three years, we’ve been doubling down on investment. We’ve always been dedicated to this channel.”

He adds, “We have 10 times more developers than Luxul and SnapAV combined.”

The tipping point, he says, came last year when the entire ecosystem of IP and the Internet of Things (IoT) came together and Pakedge had all of the elements in place to virtualize the network.

“We can see everything on the network,” says Pak.

Pakedge also can heal the network using its Connect+ platform, incorporating proprietary “artificial intelligence-based algorithms” to detect, diagnose, self-repair and resolve network problems.

As the company puts it:

Pakedge virtualization technologies enable network devices, whether within a single network or across multiple networks, to be uniquely grouped and managed in new ways. Pakedge advanced software, such as Pakedge Zones, creates new networking capabilities for prioritizing network use for audio, video, communication, security, bulk-data and management applications. The cloud-based management technology, BakPak, enables remote management and maintenance. The Pakedge platform-architecture approach enables scalable and tightly defined integration with third-party devices from many manufacturers, similar to how Control4’s architecture enables third-party products to integrate with its platform.

“We said, ‘This technology deserves a bigger platform, a bigger microphone. Control4 is the perfect partner.'”

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About the Author


Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration.

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