Finding the Right Tech Partner

Finding the Right Tech Partner

What do you look for in an integrator?

For builders and remodelers looking to partner with a technology integrator, it’s important that you find someone who’s trustworthy and competent — and you’ll also want someone who understands YOUR processes and needs.

To that end, we asked a general contractor/remodeler (Christopher Wright, WrightWorks, LLC) and an architectural designer (Adam Gibson, Adam Gibson Design) this simple question:

What do you look for in an integrator?

Christopher Wright: In many ways, I look for things that I look for in any vendor that I work with, whether that's my plumbing distributor, my lighting distributor, whoever. I look for people that will take care of my client, that will communicate well, that will understand we're all working toward the same goal and none of us is the most important person at the table, but we all have an input to give that's going to further the experience.

I want to give them a comfort level that communicates: "Okay, we're not just going to over-sell you." I want to make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze; that we're not just putting in gimmicks.

When we design a kitchen, you're asking a client, "How do you live? How do you cook? Where do you like to put things?" When it comes to technology we ask that client, "Tell me about your current experience with your network? What devices do you have? Where do you want to watch content? Where does that content come from?" Then we go from there with the integrator.

Gibson, Wright

Adam Gibson: Communication is absolutely key. I really want to understand everything that the integrator wants to do, scheduling-wise. I want to make sure that they're not going to slow things down and that they are delivering the best results for the client.

I do appreciate an integrator who will show clients things they may not realize they could have. Not necessarily trying to upsell them, mind you — but if they don't realize that they could have a lighted pathway from their garage to their kitchen, to let them know: "Actually, with a push of a button from your car, we can provide that lighted walk." As designers, we don't think about those things. We just think about how things look or how things function, but we don't think about the technology that we can offer.