Security Systems News

AUG 2018

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

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an overview of some recent Parks research on the smart home. Looking at the use cases that consumers are interested in for the smart home, she noted, "Security and safety rose to the top and are the key value propositions that consumers understood, followed by access control and energy moni- toring and management." In terms of smart home device owner- ship, she noted that 56 percent are security systems owners, with 37 percent saying the main purchase driver was to "keep your home safe." Safety and security were also the main drivers for purchasing a security system, she said. Overall, Parks forecasts shows "the mar- ket is shifting away from the traditional offering, and more and more consumers are adopting interactive services and home control systems," said Abdelrazik. "So the competitive landscape is changing and if the dealer isn't offering home security with interactive services and smart home prod- ucts, they are really going to fall behind." She then looked at the type of security system desired by those who do not cur- rently own one. Based on 2017 data, Parks found that 52 percent would choose "a sys- tem that could be monitored or controlled from my phone" while 36 percent would choose "a system that works with other smart devices that are not part of the secu- rity system," followed by at 36 percent, "a low cost, no frills solution." The top device added after installation included "cameras" at 30 percent, followed closely by motion sensors, door/window sensors and door locks, Abdelrazik noted. She also shared Parks research on the average upfront price consumers paid for a security system that included smart home devices, which was $1,405, around double what they paid for a basic security system that included a control panel, system sen- sors and a keypad. When dealers were asked why they offer smart home services, Parks found the top answer at 76 percent was "based on custom- er requests," while the other top responses included "RMR opportunities" and "because our competitors offer it." And when dealers were asked what their biggest business challenge is, the No. 1 answer was inability to find qualified per- sonnel. All on the panel agreed that with technology advancing so quickly, especially in the smart home space, hiring will con- tinue to be a challenge. They also see great opportunities for dealers that are embrac- ing this smart home movement and offering smart home options as part of their overall selling approach. Having a "good, better and best" option for customers will help simplify the process for homeowners, they said. Each of the panelists pointed out that smart home services are driving greater interaction with their systems, which increases the perceived value of a system that prior to the smart home was not there. Customers who are more engaged with their systems spend more money and are easier to retain, the panelists all agreed. Later that morning I had the pleasure of moderating the last session of the day, "Proven Customer Care Programs: Tips For Getting Started" featuring an excellent panel of John Bazyk, vice president of sales, Command Corporation, and Philip Pearson, president, Smart Home Consulting Group, who each provided great insight into how to engage with and know your customers, including best ways to collect and use data to lower attrition. Bazyk has been perfecting his company's customer retention program for several years and shared some of the key tenets of his program, which has helped his company achieve a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate, he pointed out. The two also looked at best ways for deal- ers to communicate with their customers, including the importance of having a dedi- cated mobile app, as well as the potential for creating an e-commerce website and offer- ing DIY products and services. Next, I attended the Closing Keynote Luncheon, entitled Stronger Security, Safer Schools, which featured a panel that includ- ed H "Butch" Browning, state fire marshal, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal; Guy Grace, director of security and emergency planning, Littleton Public Schools (LPS); and Ryan Petty, senior vice president, busi- ness solutions, Cable & Wireless Commu- nications Inc. B r o w n - ing started b y t e l l i n g a t t e n d e e s , "You are part of the solu- tion, giving us the equip- ment and ser- vices to help keep every- o n e s a f e , " noting that "the security t e c h n o l o g y piece" should be an integral part of every school's strat- egy. P e t t y , w h o l o s t h i s d a u g h - ter Alaina in the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day 2018, said that it is vitally important that parents understand their school district's security strategy and pro- cedures, most important of which is hav- ing a "dedicated person overseeing security," including overseeing emergency prepared- ness planning, preparation and training. Grace agreed, noting that a school must unify and integrate the different systems— fire, access control, video, mass communica- tion, etc.—so the key information—such as red flags that are often raised prior to these tragic events occurring—are received by the right people in the school, as well as law enforcement, so they can possibly prevent these incidents from happening. Grace pointed to his school's anonymous messaging system that allows students to share info about other students without fear of being labeled a snitch, which many times prevents students from coming forward with vital info that could have prevented a violent act from occurring. Spencer's wrap-up Wednesday, June 20 I started my day with this year's OpenX- change breakfast. Held on the main stage, Michael Simmons, CEO of Driveway, Mike Soucie, senior product marketing manager for Google, and Jeremy Warren, chief tech- nology officer for Vivint Smart Home gath- ered for a discussion, moderated by ESX chairman George De Marco. In large letters projected onto a screen, De Marco highlighted the idea of disruption and some key questions around that topic, such as whether a company is changing as fast as the world around them, or if there are factors blinding a company to change. Simmons introduced himself and out- lined the mission for his company, Driveway, as wanting to cure car crashes. The Drive- way app utilizes mobile phone sensors to keep track of driving habits and keep users safer. It can let a parent know if their child is not available to talk or text due to driving and it can alert authorities in the event of a crash, among other functions. Soucie defined his role with Google as seeing how Google, Nest and partners work together. He addressed his reason for being—as a company with a primarily DIY product offering—at a professional security conference: "We actually believe there is a tremendous market opportunity for your, for this chan- nel." W a r r e n s t o o d u p a n d p o s e d s o m e c o n - s i d e r a t i o n s to the audi- ence around changes in the market place, such as what to do if new com- panies enter the market with different ideas of prof- it margins for similar offer- ings. A m o n g a variety of questions, De Marco asked about how to make sure that dealers and integrators remain the preferred home providers. According to Warren, it's about finding out where it is that companies are really pro- viding differentiated value. Soucie brought up making business models around reduc- ing complexity for consumers, as well as hearing from consumers what is important to them. From Simmons' perspective, it will be important to have great customer experi- ence, but also around a profitable business model. The first educational session I attended for ESX 2018 was, "The Monitoring Center of the Future is Here Now! – Technology You Must Leverage to Thrive," featuring Mike Tupy, director of central station tech- nology at Vivint Smart Home, Ken Green, CEO of ItsPayd, and Justin Bailey, president and COO of AvantGuard. Tupy opened the session with an over- view of several topics. He started with the alarm panel, and keeping users upgraded is important, he noted, and even if it comes at a fee. Green brought up the changes in paths of communication and how to best reach cus- tomers, specifically hitting upon the value of text messages. He offered several reasons for why companies should look into offering text messages: it offers flexibility, and it can help reach new younger customers—the millennials. Bailey covered uses for analytics and other data analysis tools. Staffing is one problem that affects a lot of monitoring centers, he noted. The right analytic tools can provide a better picture of where the best operators are coming from and metrics can show how and why a great operator is a great operator. At this year's Opening Keynote Luncheon, Scott Stratten, president of UnMarketing, presented "The Age of Disruption: Every- thing Has Changed and Nothing is Differ- ent." Stratten said that the most effective marketing happens not through market- ing campaigns but through interactions between employees and customers. "The front line affects your bottom line," he said; companies often want good word of mouth but that means doing things that would be worth talking about. Creating stories that evoke an emotion makes them more likely to be shared, Stratten said. Thursday, June 21 My first session of the second day was "Improving the Customer Interaction Experience: Strategies to Consider Before Implementing IVR in the Monitoring Cen- ter." Here, Peter Giacalone, president of Giacalone Associates, and Morgan Hertel, VP of technology and innovation for Rapid Response Monitoring, presented on inter- active voice response technologies, or IVR, and the benefits for the companies that implement them and their users. The main benefit of IVR is not its reduc- tion of labor for a company like a moni- toring, but instead providing a better user experience, and it can be utilized to achieve both, Giacalone said. Hertel used Rapid Response's relationship with Connect America, a PERS company, as an example for the benefits of IVR, though he said the technology benefits other com- panies in the space as well. One observation about senior users of PERS systems is that they often don't want to bother people or be a burden, Hertel said, and that can be a diffi- culty when asking them to test their systems frequently. With IVR their test signals are handled quickly, and through automation. He also highlighted the reduced workload for test signals by handling those with IVR. The rollout process for IVR should be a careful consideration, Hertel said, not some- thing that goes on overnight but rolled out in phases with different groups. For a few years now I've been hear- ing about the concept and potential for on demand or pay-as-you-go monitoring models. A panel tackled exactly this topic in "Next Gen Monitoring—Do Monitoring on Demand or Pay-as-you-Use Models Really Work?" Morgan Hertel served as modera- tor, leading panelists Caroline Brown, EVP form Security Central, Mark Matlock, SVP of UCC, and Thomas Nakatani, IT VP—cus- tomer monitoring technology and product, ADT Security. Customers understand that, with the MIY model, they do need to eventually sleep or go on vacation, Hertel said to open the conversation, and when they don't want to they'll seek a professional monitoring options. UCC does some work with DIY installed systems, such as Lowe's' Iris offering. Mat- lock said that, overall, the company has seen a good adoption rate from MIY set ups to on demand customers. Continued from previous page Don Yaeger, associate editor for Sports Illustrated and NY Times best seller, presented on the factors that make up good teams. ESX 2018 see page 28 SECURITY SYSTEMS NEWS A U g UST 2018 NEWS 7

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