Special Feature: Intellicasa

Special Feature: Intellicasa

Intellicasa discusses how Innovation in smarter living to take advantage of up to the minute technology to enhance everyday living.

Intellicasa specialise in award winning solutions for Home and Building Management Systems (BMS). Our expertise in bespoke residential systems enable cutting edge integrated systems in Multi-Room Audio Visual Entertainment, Lighting and Climate Control (HV AC), along with many more solutions for our most discerning clients. For over a decade, as a trusted advisor, Intellicasa continues to successfully undertake prime London location projects along with our recent expansions in Europe, Middle East & Asia Pacific.

Residential is our core service

Our turnkey solutions for private individual homes have extended from home cinema installations in one bedroom apartments in London to full automation in remote country estates in as far away as Europe, Ibiza and Monte Carlo.

We provide bespoke solutions in five key areas:

  • Lighting design & control
  • Multi-room AV entertainment
  • Climate control
  • Security
  • Electrical, mechanical & automation

Our commitment to you

We pride ourselves in servicing your individual needs to help build and improve not just your property but also your home! In order for us to develop knowledge and trust with our clients in smart home products we possess and maintain strong relationships with some of the greatest innovative companies in the world, such as Crestron, Lutron Lighting Control and Savant Systems. We work closely with professionals in property enhancement serving as technical advisors, suppliers, installers for architects, property developers, interior designers, and electrical and building contractors.

Through developing these relationships we have been able to refine our services, processes and working practice so that just as the market evolves and clients’ demands change we have flexibility in our service to meet your every need.

The challenges we face

As a Home Automation (Smart Home) installer, integrator and specialist we constantly face many challenges much like any of our competitors. We have learnt a great deal over the past decade and just as the market evolves and clients’ demands changes we constantly refine our areas of offerings.

At Intellicasa it is not just about technology and products. We provide a service which is specifically tailored to our clients’ needs. One of the key challenges is trust; our clients are asking our help to build and improve their properties, their asset and in fact their home. The first phase in our engagement model in providing a bespoke solution is tailored specifically to establish trust. The Discovery Phase begins with a meet & greet session, we believe this a vital step to establish good client relationships, by reassuring who will be looking after the project. This meet and greet begins in one of our showrooms in South Kensington or Chelsea. A demonstration gives our clients an opportunity to gain hands on knowledge in options and discover new features of design in latest technologies. This follows by a number of onsite visits, which allows us to understand, conduct analysis and gather your requirements. We put together our proposal and initial designs and present the documentation and drawings for your approval with estimated cost.

At this point we go through the design together and revisit each requirement thoroughly with you, making sure they are captured accurately. The benefits of this phase include the opportunity for suggestions and problem solving, as it is easy to sell technology and a product, but we find it more appropriate to help define your actual requirements to enable our ability to make professional economic recommendations to guide you in appropriate solutions. Many of our competitors have claims to this particular service; however, we have previously found ourselves at properties with a system that fails to deliver/is complicated to use/ and/or suffers significant failures due to its inability to scale up. Some of our clients have been oversold products, with no practical application in some cases, to drive the quotation down, select multiple brandings and DIY solutions with complexity in integration with defects leading to unreliable systems.

Requirement gathering is a key to any successful project and clients’satisfaction. The discovery phase is 40% of the work and if done well we have clear direction of our clients’ expectations and the flexibility to react to changes. This requirement is also used as a guide to ensure our solutions and designs have met your requirements at completion of project.

Change is another major challenge we face continuously. Change in technology, requirements, timing, budget or regulation (the list goes on) but we have and will continue to adapt quickly to managing our clients’needs and expectations. Several years back, before Home Automation was popular and widely known, we spent more time educating our clients about what is available to them, meaning that nowadays our clients have a better understanding in Home Automation.

To better ensure clear understanding of the latest in technology, we have developed a professional consulting team to aid our core service. This is a dedicated team to aid in projects that require extra attention due to complexity, scope and size. This group ensures large complex solutions in high net worth properties and Domestic Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Consulting. The mandate is providing technical consulting services for architects, property developers, interior designers, electrical and building contractors on property development which requires us to focus one or more of the following aspects in providing advice, recommendations and design as well as solutions for software or hardware development to integrate with and existing system or infrastructure (Bespoke integration solution).

Recently we have invested in our System Integrator (SI) capabilities, this means our dedicated Professional Services team will act as a Single Prime Contractor to oversee entire projects, issuing RFP, identifying and selecting the most qualified subcontractors and suppliers. This gives us the leading edge with the ability to have sound control on communications which ensures we know our clients will get what they need and asked for in the initial phases of the project.

In terms of changes in technology, there are two aspects which hugely contribute the technical challenges. From an integration prospective, many integrators choose to stick to certain brandings while clients might request to have multiple brandings with the intention to achieve better cost savings. We often find that in most cases a mix of products from various brands might reduce the supply cost, however it often contributes to a higher labour cost due to extra time spent on implementation. An integration which has never been done before also includes unknown variables which further increase the time and cost required to implement and test the solutions. The product might advertise being able to integrate with a system but often there are limitations and defects in software which requires working back and forth with a multi-vendor.

A very wide selection of products from various markers offer similar levels of functionality and integration in the market today, meaning it is very difficult to make the right choices and decisions. It is hard for one to decide what they need rather than what they want. We often find our clients asking questions and changing their mind on selections as new technology becomes available. We welcome this and as your trusted advisor, we will advise and make recommendations accordingly, always ensuring that our client makes an informed decision. Rest assured, our team of experts are always up to date with the latest market trend and have a great relationship with our suppliers which also means we can foresee future trends and products that stand out. We send our engineers and architects to a technical training course every nine months, whist constantly employing new and upcoming talent within the industry.

Commutations is another challenge in many projects, and ensuring good communication throughout the project is a huge contribution to our success factors. Our team of project managers provide governance and ensure communications between architects, engineers, the client and contractors throughout the project. Clients will be engaged with our team from initial design, cabling, network infrastructures, to installation and configuration, providing full transparency to our clients. Intellicasa will always assign a dedicated Project Manager to oversee our part of the project, even if the client wishes to manage the project and contractors themselves or via a third party project governing body. The dedicated project manager is responsible in providing regular updates and to ensure key milestones are met and reviewed with you the client.

We follow a strict working process but it is our duty to work with the client, advise, educate and adapt to change throughout the project, and continue a high level of service after completion. Our dedicated support services team will provide after sales maintenance support for all our installations. This team will ensure all information regarding the project is handed over upon delivery of the installation, which is a standard of practice during the transition of the project towards completion.

Each dedicated support engineer (DSE) manages a portfolio of properties to liaise directly with you: The client. Once the project is completed, the DSE will take over any support or repair related matter. (E.g. Check ups, software/hardware upgrades, repair, client training, and documentations).

The future

The home automation market is predicted to be worth around $78.27 billion USD globally by 2022 and these are things we believe will take shape in the years to come.

– IoT (wearable tech)

– Security/privacy

– Speed of internet service (ISP)

– Cloud solutions

– Telco wanting a slice of the smart home pie

Internet of things (IoT) is becoming more widely known and accessible with more consumer electronic products available in the market in the recent years. We believe Wearable tech is something that will very likely to integrate more heavily with home automation system. It is the prefect device that provides data for tracking purposes (location, health, live style preferences, calendar events etc.). For instance, when you are making your journey home from work, the boiler, lightings and media entertainment can be switched on when you are 1 mile away from arrival.

This actually brings us right to areas of security & privacy where the public are more alarmed following revelations like Edward Snowden’s story. Ultimately a network is in the heart of every home automation system, and to access various external services and provide any level of functionality it needs to be connected to the internet. One needs to feel reassured that connecting to the internet is safe.

Media entertainment has always been one of the main features in home automation. Large DVD/CD collections are something of the past with streaming media largely taking over, offering the consumer the ability to inexpensively stream a huge collection without any hardware constraint, other than a high speed Internet connection and a wireless network with great coverage and bandwidth. Many homes in urban area and major towns have already benefitted from upgrades in optical fibres but for some it is still not possible to have a stable enough connection to stream videos to the highest settings.

Lastly when discussing the market movement, is large telecommunications companies approach to Home Automation. Across the pond this is one of the latest trends we have begun to see in the lower to middle tier market. Comcast cable (Comcast) launched xfinity home back in 2011 but very recently they have announced a home automation installation service which they will offer to their cable subscription customers. The solutions include security, lighting and climate control and will be likely to expand. A contrarian approach in a market largely aimed at DIY enthusiasts piecing together their own home automation solution. Comcast is instead going after mainstream customers who don’t have the time or desire to fiddle with touchscreen-controlled deadbolts and their finicky apps.

www.intellicasa.co.uk

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