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Membership FAQs

Z-Wave Alliance Organizational Questions

  • By making these changes to the Z-Wave Alliance’s role and to the Z-Wave Specification, our goal is to facilitate open IoT deployment and engage new kinds of companies into Z-Wave development to bolster the ecosystem, such as silicon vendors, software developers, and others to bring Z-Wave to more devices and more industries.
  • We’re also making the Z-Wave Alliance a steward of Z-Wave technology, going a step beyond just generally supporting it and manufacturers who implement it. We want the Z-Wave Alliance to become a true system of change and development to drive forward the adoption of Z-Wave in the smart home and larger IoT.
  • There are large companies and disruptors in the IoT that need sub-GHz solutions, operators who demand second-source hardware availability, and service providers who want to be able to contribute to the protocol and certification specifications. This move will allow us to address these needs and allow Z-Wave to reach new heights and applications in the market and the Alliance to gain influential new membership.
  • We want to make sure manufacturers and developers have access to Z-Wave and there are significant growth opportunities that come from being multi-source versus a single-source supplier.
  • We are happy to announce that the Z-Wave Alliance is now a fully formed SDO!
  • Existing Z-Wave Alliance members will have a period of 6 weeks to easily transfer their membership to the new organization while maintaining their membership renewal dates.
    • Members with renewal dates falling within June, July, August, and September 2020 have already been invoiced under the existing member dues rates, and those rates will be honored for the renewal term with no additional fees.
    • Members with renewal dates of October 1, 2020 onward will be invoiced at the new annual dues rates.
    • In order to receive the Transfer/Termination Agreement and new Membership Agreement the existing Membership must be in good standing with no past due invoices.
  1. Current membership levels have been revised to reflect the new Standards Development Organization (SDO).
  2. Under the new SDO, Z-Wave Alliance Membership is defined as the following:
    • Founding Member – This level of membership comprises the founding members of the Z-Wave Alliance. Founding members have a board seat on the Board of Directors with no term limits. Primary responsibility of the Founding members is creating charter, bylaws and establishing the board. Includes all benefits of lower level memberships.
      • $65,000 annual dues
      • Membership limit: 7
      • BoD seats: 7
    • Principal Member – This level of membership has a board seat on the Board of Directors. The board seat is a 2-year renewable term and is approved by vote of the board. Principal members have voting rights, can chair committees and working groups and can certify Z-Wave products. Includes all benefits of lower level memberships.
      • $65,000 annual dues
      • Membership limit: Up to board limit, less number of Founding Members
      • BoD seats: Up to board limit, less number of seats reserved for Founding Members and Manufacturers 
    • Manufacturer – This level of membership is for OEM/ODM companies manufacturing and certifying Z-Wave products.  Manufacturer members can participate in executive committees, chair working groups and have voting rights. They are licensed to use the Z-Wave Certification marks. Two (2) manufacturer members can have a board seat for a 1-year renewable term as voted in by the board. Includes all benefits of lower level memberships.
      • $10,000 annual dues
      • Initiation fee: $10,000 (initiation fee waived if first time joining)
      • Membership limit: None
      • BoD seats: 2 options
    • Brander – This level of membership is for companies whose brand/logo will be placed on Z-Wave certified devices. They are licensed to use the Z-Wave Certification marks. Brander members can participate in the Marketing committee and Marketing Work Groups.  
      • $5,000 annual dues
      • Initiation fee: $5,000 initiation fee waived if first time joining)
      • Membership limit: None
      • BoD seats: N/A
    • Affiliate – This level of membership is for companies whose primary business is wholesale or distribution; or developing product based on Z-Wave technology not for commercialization as a Z-Wave product. Affiliate members can participate in the Marketing Working Groups.   
      • $1,500 annual dues
      • Membership limit: None
      • BoD seats: N/A
    • Installer/Reseller – This level of membership is for companies whose primary business is installation with direct sales to the consumer. Installer/Reseller members can participate in the Marketing Working Groups.
      • $250 annual dues
      • Membership limit: None
      • BoD seats: N/A
  3. The new Z-Wave Alliance structure will be made up of a series of working groups. These include:
    • Physical layer working group (mac/PHY)
    • Networking layer working group (Z-Wave Specification)
    • Application layer working group (command class specification)
    • Certification specification working group (tests)
    • Security specification working group
    • Marketing working group
  4. Board of Directors:
    • Founding members may hold a board seat with no term limits
    • Principal members may hold and renew a two-year  board seat (voted by current board)
    • Up to two Manufacturer members may hold and renew a one year board seat (voted by current board)
  5. Committees:
    • Founding and Principal members may participate in and Chair Committees (executive, finance, marketing, technical)
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members may participate on Technical Committee
    • Founding, Principal, Manufacturer, and Brander members may participate on Marketing Committee
  6. Working Groups:
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members are eligible to chair working groups
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members have voting rights in working groups
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members may participate in technical working groups
    • All members may participate in marketing working groups
  7. Producing Products:
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members may produce certified products
    • Founding, Principal, Manufacturer, and Brander members may brand/adopt certified products
  8. Additional Benefits:
    • Founding and Principal members may represent Alliance as spokesperson as assigned at specific events and media opportunities
    • Founding, Principal, and Manufacturer members may participate in technical events
    • Founding, Principal, Manufacturer, and Brander members may be licensed to use Z-Wave certification marks
    • Founding, Principal, Manufacturer, and Brander members have organizational voting rights
    • Founding, Principal, Manufacturer, Brander, and Affiliate members have access to final, approved specifications
    • All members may be included in Alliance marketing and PR efforts
    • All members may participate in general/annual meetings
    • All members may participate in Z-Wave Pavilions and Summits
    • All members have access to member only website and directory
    • All members are permitted use of the Z-Wave logo for marketing purposes
    • All members have access to Alliance education tools
    • All members may receive member communications/Z-Wave newsletter
    • All members may be listed as a member on Z-Wave Alliance website
    • All members may use Z-Wave installer logo if they have completed Z-Wave certified training and installer product (does not affect Installer/Reseller members)
  • The Z-Wave Alliance will be re-structured to include member-driven working groups that will assist in driving forward momentum, project development, technology development and changes, and other pieces critical to the growth of Z-Wave in the market. We don’t have details yet around what this structure will look like but will make those announcements as decisions are made.
  • Silicon Labs will continue to invest in Z-Wave technology and contribute to its future growth, collaborating with new suppliers through the expanded Z-Wave Alliance organization.
  • Current Z-Wave Alliance members can easily transfer their membership to the new organization, keeping their membership renewal dates, with no new fees or dues required until renewal.
  • Specific next steps for Z-Wave Alliance member companies:
    • All members should login to your Z-Wave Alliance member user account via the member portal (https://members.z-wavealliance.org) and make sure your contact information is correct.
      • If you are the primary contact for your company account, please ensure your contact information is correct and review the persons associated with your account.  If you need assistance or would like to confirm who the primary contact for your account is, please email administration@z-wavealliance.org
    • Primary contacts should look to receive an email in mid-August with the Transfer/Termination agreement and new Membership Agreement with further instructions.
      • In order to receive the Transfer/Termination Agreement and new Membership Agreement the existing Membership must be in good standing with no past due invoices.
  • Visit https:// z-wavealliance.org/sdo for additional information on new membership levels and more.

Technical Questions

  • The opened Z-Wave Specification will include the ITU.G9959 PHY/MAC radio specification, the application layer, the network layer and the host-device communication protocol. Instead of being a single-source specification, Z-Wave will become a multi-source, wireless standard developed by collective working group members of the Z-Wave Alliance.
  • Previously, the network layer and host-device communication was not available for development. With this new change, the Z-Wave sub-GHz technology is becoming ratified and a standard that is only available for Z-Wave Alliance members under the new structure, to develop on and implement into silicon and software across a variety of industries and product-types.
  • This will allow for expanded growth of Z-Wave into new applications and support the growth of and leverage the existing Z-Wave ecosystem.
  • Opening Z-Wave allows for multi-source silicon providers to implement the technology. Each silicon provider will have different names for their Z-Wave chips.
    • For example, the 700 Series platform is specific to Silicon Labs. The Z-Wave Alliance will be launching a new certification for the chips that the silicon providers must pass. The chip certification will focus on the MAC/PHY layer, ensuring they are meeting or exceeding Z-Wave specification requirements.
  • Interoperability is in the foundation of Z-Wave, and the Z-Wave Specification will still be, as Z-Wave has always been, backward compatible with all versions of Z-Wave.
  • Legacy devices will remain compatible with the newly opened Z-Wave Specification and sub GHz Z-Wave radio devices and software stacks.
  • Existing certification programs, Z-Wave Plus and Z-Wave Plus v2 will still be required and now will be managed by the SDO.
  • The new Z-Wave Alliance structure will include a security working group that will work to ensure that security is still heavily prioritized for the Z-Wave Specification, as well as investigate security concerns and work alongside 3rd party test facilities with manufacturers and others implementing Z-Wave to ensure that they are compliant with the standards set at the certification level such as the Z-Wave S2 Security Framework.
  • Security S2 will continue to be mandatory in the Z-Wave product certification program
  • Z-Wave certification currently mandates, and will continue to mandate, a number of features and requirements focused on quicker device and system set-up, as well as a continued focus on best-in-the-industry security.
    • One such feature is SmartStart. SmartStart is a setup feature that removes the complexity of installation for both consumers and professional installers. SmartStart enabled hubs recognize any SmartStart enabled accessory device, like a lock or light, with a quick app scan of its QR code. With SmartStart, the device’s information is already set up inside the hub and pairing is complete prior to a consumer or installer adding product – the setup all happens behind the scenes, drastically shortening and simplifying the product setup process.
    • Security S2 is another — it is a mandatory security framework that protects devices in a Z-Wave project starting at the hub and across all end devices. If a product passes Z-Wave Plus v.2 certification then users have the assurance their devices are protected from cyber-attack on these connected devices.
  • The Alliance will establish technical working groups in mid-August to review, test and comment on version 0.7, which they will then refine and launch the new v 1.0. Exact timeline for v1.0 is to be determined, with a target for the end of 2020.

Certification Questions

  • The existing Z-Wave product certification program will continue.
  • New hardware certification program for silicon vendors will be introduced.
  • New stack certification program for software vendors will be introduced.
  • The first ratified specification as a result of the SDO will be “1.0”. This will be the new standard/specification and will continue to evolve from there.
  • New certification for the radio (MAC/PHY) layers is being developed. In this case, a new certification program needs to be created to ensure the implementation on silicon from another company is done properly and meets or exceeds the specifications. This will be for silicon providers only.
  • The Z-Wave Alliance will continue to work with the same 3rd party test houses for certification as those locations are most familiar with the process and all aspects involved. Under the new working group structure of the Z-Wave Alliance, that management will fall under the Certification Specifications working group.

Marketing / Promotional Questions

  • The Z-Wave Alliance will continue to champion and support Z-Wave from a thought leadership, marketing, PR and branding perspective — this new structure and role for Z-Wave in the marketplace will drive product growth, technological and feature-set development, and position Z-Wave and the Alliance to continue to grow as a leader in the smart home and larger IoT.
  • The marketing working group will be an active and important facet of the new alliance.
  • We don’t foresee that the Z-Wave logo, certification mark, or any other branding will change.
  • Consumers will benefit from an expanded product ecosystem and products created under the new structure of the Z-Wave Alliance.
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