Maxicon is one of the industry’s most recognized integration firms, specializing in residential and commercial automation and entertainment systems. Their extensive team is dedicated to making dreams come true as they work with top design-build partners in South Florida and Panama.
We had a chance to sit down with co-founder and sales manager, Andres Klein to talk about their unique relationship with Samsung, how they are positioning Samsung big screen TVs in the market, and the state of their business in general.
Samsung Connections: Andres, thanks for giving us some time to talk about Maxicon and Samsung. For our readers who aren’t familiar with Maxicon, give us some background information about how you, Ilan and Samuel have built such a formidable design and integration firm.
Andres Klein: Thanks for letting me participate and speak about what a great relationship we’ve been able to build with our partners at Samsung. Maxicon has been around since 2005. We have three partners and at our core is a meeting of the minds and our common love of technology.
Our story actually begins when we were 13 years old. Two of us took care of the AV needs of the theater group in our school. We decided that we wanted to build a TV channel at our school and so we designed an infrastructure and oddly enough the school said okay! So we created a closed circuit station and produced content for the TV channel. That’s really where it all began.
Today, we are a $7M company with 32 employees, with two offices in Miami and one in Panama. Because of the nature of traffic in the Miami metro area, we decided to have one office in North Miami and one in the South. We are serving both commercial and residential markets. Our specialty is really the high-end luxury residential smart home market.
We have two Experience Centers, one in Coral Gables and one in Panama. These design showrooms allow our customers to come in and experience technology and learn about the benefits that come with integrating technology into their lifestyle. They get to listen to music in a great surrounding and watch movies in the best environment possible.
SC: In the Experience Centers, how are you displaying Samsung products and what types of people are utilizing the spaces?
AK: One of the most important things that we are demonstrating with the Samsung TV line is Ambient Mode and also The Frame. The architecture here in South Florida is very modern, with large open great rooms. And for these minimalist décors designers have to be educated about how to use the TV as a piece of art or electronic wallpaper to blend the TV into the space when the TV is in the off position. So we have a lot of designers walking through the showrooms and our staff helps them visualize what a Samsung can add to any given space.
Another feature that we are demonstrating is the new 8K TVs from Samsung. There is lots of natural light in Miami interior designs. 8K panels offer a much brighter experience. We also explain that while there is no 8K content, you can see the effects of upscaling, especially better detail. As you sit closer, you now don’t see pixels. You want to have the biggest screen possible so you feel like you are in a movie theater. Bigger, brighter and closer without pixelization.
SC: As you’ve grown your business, how have you grown your relationship with Samsung?
AK: Since forming the company, we’ve supported Samsung. In fact, the product really sells itself. When we were small we obviously didn’t know a great deal about the people inside of Samsung, but as we grew we started connecting directly with the people within the organization.
We did a commercial project at Miami International Airport and used Samsung for the digital signage we installed and that opened doors for us. And our residential side of the business moved steadily into the luxury space, so as we increased our purchases of larger TVs, that also opened doors for us.
About that time, TV profitability was non-existent for the CI channel. On top of that, the large TV suppliers didn’t understand the additional costs involved for companies like ours in providing white glove service. So Samsung began to change and focus on our needs.
And today, we are very profitable with Samsung, which is very important for the company. But Samsung is also bringing upscale products to our channel. The design and functionality of the new TVs, especially Ambient Mode is just fun to sell. We finally have a product that customers are asking for, exactly what we need to be placing in our luxury market.
I have to say that this isn’t just about a corporate strategy or just a product story. We also have great relationships with the people at Samsung. I’m not only talking about our local sales rep, but also with the distribution through Ingram Micro, our Samsung CI sales manager, and the people who do the training. There isn’t another company like Samsung. No matter who you are dealing with, from sales to training to distribution, you really get the human touch and it feels like family to us.
SC: How else is Samsung supporting your efforts at reaching out to the luxury market and the design-build community?
AK: This past December we co-sponsored an event with Samsung that specifically targeted interior designers. It is called CasaCor Miami. The exhibition consists of more than 20 spaces occupying over 25,000 square feet and thematically rooted in nature and the idea of bringing the energy of the natural environment to the bustling space of the city center. Visitors can move between different micro-environments, from wild roots to technology, to modernism, to naturalism.
The 15-day experiential urban living exhibition gives guests the opportunity to meet participating design professionals and brands while engaging with innovative design ideas that may apply to their own living spaces.
We were there to precisely demonstrate the Frame and Ambient Mode in real spaces, made by designers. The response was amazing. And our Samsung CI sales manager played an important role in ensuring Samsung’s partnership for this event.
SC: Final thoughts. We know you were at CES 2019, any thoughts about Samsung and what’s on the horizon?
AK: Well I was blown away again by The Wall. As you know, we’ve been using LED panels in our commercial division for years. But Samsung’s microLED technology is really something that I think will explode in the residential luxury market.
When we want to cross the threshold of 98” TVs, we begin to talk projection. I think microLED gives us the opportunity to put up a huge display without having to resort to a dedicated theater room. People want open space, great rooms. We have already begun to spec video walls, because imagine a shark tank that doubles as a movie theater. The experience becomes more than just a display.
SC: Andres, thanks again for your time. Always a pleasure.