Technology integrator graphic

A Solid Technology Provider

Final Thoughts

A Solid Technology Provider

what builders, designers and architects should look for in a technology partner.

BY Paul Starkey

smart home technology graphic

THAT ALL TECHNOLOGY DESIGN AND SYSTEM INTEGRATION COMPANIES are not the same is stating the obvious. As many of you have experienced, the road to intuitive and functional home technology is littered with less than awesome experiences. So what should a builder, designer or architect look for in a technology partner?

Here are some easy checkpoints I suggest you consider as you evaluate your partnerships:

• Does the technology company have qualified designers, and not just salespeople?
• Do they have a track record of outstanding service and response?
• Will they be around for the long haul; because frankly the systems require it.
• Do they service other companies like yours?
• Will a large project consume all of their resources?
• Does the company have the technical bench strength to perform consistently?
• Do they provide technical documentation at a level on par with your requirements?
• Do they finish on time and on budget?
• Is their finish quality representative of true craftsmanship?
• Do they have your client/their client’s best interest at heart?

In my experience working with technology design firms for over 20 years, systems integrators who specialize in upscale projects have to consistently meet these ten tenets in order to produce quality work. It is better to pay more and receive the very best experience and service then save a few dollars and experience much less. As that old chestnut keeps delivering, you get what you pay for.

Focus on the experience before and after the project. Is the technology designer informed on the latest technologies, do they have a discovery process to explore client expectations, are their people on time and perform their tasks with precision, and are they able to deliver on time and on budget? Most importantly, are they there for the client post-installation to ensure 100 percent satisfaction?

If you are not getting this quality of service and work, seek out a more qualified technology designer on your next project. Only then will you have a true reference for the quality available in residential technology design.

You deserve the very best. And so do your clients. There are eminently qualified integration firms across the country who are skilled at the intersection where technology meets design. Seek them out.


Paul Starkey
Paul Starkey is CEO of VITAL MGMT, a business coaching firm for custom integrators. For 27 years he has worked with over 400 technology providers. He founded a major network of luxury tech design firms whose aim is to lift the experience of both clients and their construction partners.

Paul Starkey