Home systems integrators may do a good job of installing PCs and networks in their customers’ homes, but they really don’t want to maintain those systems.
It would be nice to hand off the maintenance to a third party, but most “managed services” firms either focus on the enterprise market, or provide only rudimentary support for residential customers. And certainly there appears to be no one out there that serves the CE pro market.
Enter Atomoo, which may be the first residential IT managed services company to cater to home systems integrators.
The company, which debuted at the Electronic House Expo in March, was founded by a couple of integrators who know all too well the perils of servicing their customers’ home networks.
“We’ve done residential installs for six or seven years,” says Thad Glavin, VP of sales and services. “This came out of the problems we had—the midnight calls. We can’t bet on the Internet.”
Glavin and Atomoo CEO Brian Post were partners at LouisClark Ltd., a residential systems integration business in Evanston, Ill. (The company won a couple of convergence awards at the recent CEA/TechHome Mark of Excellence Awards.)
Now they’re helping other integrators deal with one of the biggest thorns in the integrators’ side: the home network.
Atomoo provides 24 x7 IT support for residential customers. At the customers’ premises is a Windows Home Server loaded with remote management and diagnostics software.
On its end, Atomoo uses managed service solutions from several enterprise-grade providers such as Level Platforms (LPI).
From there, Atomoo monitors the premises full-time, looking for potential threats and sometimes “fixing” any network meltdowns before they happen.
This happens all the time in the enterprise, but not so much in the residential world, where price is an issue and consumers (and their integrators) think they can do it themselves.
What it Costs, What you Get: Atomoo may seem costly by DIY standards. The company only sells through custom installers, so there really isn’t a retail price (we don’t quote wholesale prices here); however, the homeowner’s cost will probably start at over $120 per month for basic service.
WHS, Windows Home Server, Atomoo, Managed Service, Home System Integrator