Alarm.com rings up Vonage for alliance
MCLEAN, Va.--Alarm.com and Vonage entered into a co-marketing partnership in a move to not only increase business opportunities and stave off service limitation concerns, but also bridge the gap for central stations monitoring accounts where landlines do not exist.
Both companies offer services built on emerging technologies, such as broadband and wireless networks, that offer cheaper alternatives to pre-existing applications. But at the same time require a certain amount of handholding when it comes to adoption.
Through the partnership, Vonage can refer potential customers to Alarm.com that would like to drop their landline telephone service, but still require a stable means to communicate alarm signals. For Alarm.com, the deal provides a steady stream of customer leads.
In November 2003, the Federal Communications Commission cleared the way for phone number portability, enabling customers for the first time to switch their landline numbers from traditional telephone companies to cellular and VoIP service. This milestone opened the door for a number of companies to offer their services in a new way.
For alarm subscribers, the FCC's decision provided a conundrum: if they did drop traditional phone service, how would that affect their alarm systems? Furthermore, customers were also to face any expenses it would take to change over from one service provider' technology to another.
"We recognize a lot of these customers are weary of any up front costs," said Mary Knebel, vice president of business development at Alarm.com. These include upgrading to new alarm panels, for example.
Even with these types of hurdles, business has been strong for Vonage.
"Right now, 60 percent of our customer base is porting their numbers," said Jamie Serino, director of corporate communications at Vonage. "With over 600,000 customers using our services, it is significant."
Based here, Alarm.com offers wireless monitoring services to residential and commercial customers throughout Canada and the United States. The company offers basic notification and web management applications on its own and the ability to sync up to a central station. The company's services are built around GE Security products and do not require broadband or traditional phone lines to communicate.
Vonage, a privately held company based in Edison, N.J., enables broadband users to layer voice services on top of their high-speed Internet connections. The company's services for residential and commercial customers include regional and international calling plans that are less expensive than traditional phone services.