2009-10-27Elektro-Verkoop October 2009

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Duotecno believes firmly in durable work relations

The barriers seem to be fading: basic home automation is on its way to become a standard in newly built houses and new techniques leave leaves margin for growth. Duotecno is eager to be a part of it.

Duotecno develops products for full system integration of lighting, alarm, heating, audio and video, camera security and access control. One decentralized system as heart of an intelligent home. We talk with Peter Gitsels and Burt Eeckhout who lead the company and export manager Christ Dufoszé in their superb showroom at Bruges.

Top performances
The gentlemen assure us: "A good showroom is invaluable. If our clients can experience the speed and ease of use they are easily convinced." All around us sharp digital images are projected on walls or on videoscreens." With a couple of actions on the remote control they show several applications of their system. Peter Gitsels shows: "Look, this is my garden." while the computer shows images of a closed camera system a few kilometers away. "On the floor-plan of my home and garden (click) I can activate all lighting together or individually." While he is speaking, the lighting switch on and off in real-time! The reaction time of the system impresses.

Yes, we CAN!
Christ Defoszé adds: "With the Controller Area Network (CAN)-bus system transmission speeds up to 1 Mbit a second are made possible for a cable length of about 40 meters. Longer networks are possible with an adjusted maximum speed, f.e. 250 kbit a second for a length of 250 metres." Impressive performance of the CAN-bus which easily beats other common systems. The Can-BUS is not only known in Europe, it's a world-wide standard and this not only in home automation because the automotive, the train and the airplane industry use it. The German car manufacturers (BMW, Mercedes and Audi) use it to control airbags, again because of the speed. Burt Eeckhout adds: "Home automation simply has to be high performancein small and large projects. In its most complete for it's a high end system but because it's a modular system an installation can easily start with a basic setup. Programmation is distinctly ergonomic for the installer and easy to use for the client. We offer all parts which are tuned in to each other with own touchscreens, video intercom and many more products." With Trust firmly embedded in the company culture Duotecno has been active for eight years on the Belgian market. Some people associate the company with DDL from which Duotecno originates. Peter tells us: "Duotecno has entered a new phase. After the bankruptcy of DDL we took over the activities without debts. Duotecno has nothing to do with the bankruptcy of the former DDL!" Duotecno does have a link with the realisations of the former company: Peter and Burt have gained a lot of experience while working at the manufacturer of the first touchscreens in Belgium. Up to this day Duotecno still provides service for the clients of DDL.

The mutual trust goes so far that several clients of the former DDL have switched to the new Duotecno home automation system. DDL made the choice for the CAN-bus, because the speach technology, linked at Lernout and Hauspie, DDL was involved with asked for high transmission speeds. "Abroad where people only look at our products and performances we get very good results and do not know about DDL." The trust has also been restored in Belgium, this is proven by the many installers who have chosen resolutely for Duotecno in the long run. Duotecno believes firmly in durable collaborations. Burt gladly explains: "The installers who enter into an engagement with us get a lot in return. We invest in training and support which results in almost no quitters among the installers."

With playful persuasiveness the gentlemen keeps under a spell. Where does this playful boyisch drive originate from? Burt laughs and answers: "We just enjoy doing this." Christ adds: "and believe firmly in the capabilities of our system and I guess it shows?" Two year after the startup of Duotecno the showroom was introduced and this immediately resulted in 45% extra turnover. "Experiencing home automation says so much more than numbers or an explanation." By showing what we can do at exhibitions we are able to convince installers to work with us. In a long term collaboration the percentage for the installer increases (see frame). Duotecno works with trained installers without intervention of classic wholesale. "They help us, like through dealers, to sell our products to consumers. By our direct collaboration with them they can offer true surplus value for the clients. The wholesalers who invest in training and guidance are also considered."

Jan H. Verbanck