Alarm.com goes after ‘next frontier—connected business’ with acquisition of Secure-i

Commercial video surveillance offering is first step, access control and other capabilities to follow
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, known for its connected home platform, is going after the commercial market with the acquisition, announced today, of commercial video surveillance provider Secure-i.

“We aspire to not only have the leading solution for the residential market but for the commercial market as well,” Jeff Bedell, Alarm.com chief strategy and innovation officer, told Security Systems News. “We have made some investments in the commercial market, but the Secure-i deal is a big jump in this [effort] for us,” he added.

“That’s the primary driver behind this investment,” Bedell said. He declined to reveal terms of the deal, which marks Alarm.com’s first major acquisition in the security space.

Chicago-based Secure-i brings Alarm.com a “standalone, commercial grade [multi-site] video surveillance offering that includes cloud-based hosted services and Axis cameras,” Bedell said.

 “We believe that interactive services will eventually be commonplace in the commercial market,” he said.

Alarm.com has about 4,000 installer partners and Secure-i has “a few hundred” commercial installer partners, but there is some overlap. In fact, Bedell said as Alarm.com started to take a closer look at the commercial market “some of those partners told us we should buy Secure-i.”

Bedell said that Alarm.com and Secure-i have the same go-to-market strategy. “It’s through the channel, dealer first. We both recruit dealers and train them how to go to market with services.”

Both offer an “academy” to train dealers. Bedell believes there is a big opportunity for many of Alarm.com’s 4,000 dealers to get into the commercial market and build more RMR. Likewise, there are opportunities for Secure-i integrators to offer Alarm. com.

Brian Lohse, co-founder and VP of Secure-i, now director of sales of Secure-i, said that in the short term, the deal will bring Secure-i “more partners and more resources.”

“We can internally market to every Alarm.com dealer in the country. That will allow us to scale our business dramatically in a short amount of time,” Lohse said. “They have an extensive software development team, and we have a lot of things we want to do with our software. … [Similarly,] they bring resources advantages such as their data center and infrastructure.”

The plan is larger than that, Lohse said. “Alarm.com has conquered the connected home, the next frontier is the connected business,” he said.

With alarm, connected home, video verification capabilities and a commercial grade video solution in hand, Alarm.com will work with Secure-i in the future to “add access control and other devices to create a single platform for running your business.”

Success will hinge on educating the installer, Lohse said.  Lohse, Eugene Szatkowski [VP of Development and Operations for Secure-i] and other Secure-i employees “will help Alarm.com build their commercial practice all around.”