APX changes name to Vivint

‘Simple, affordable, whole-home automation for the average Joe’
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PROVO, Utah—The new way to spell APX Alarm Security Solutions is Vivint.

The summer-model giant announced today that it has rebranded to Vivint—a name the company said was chosen to convey the concept of “living intelligently.”

The new name reflects the company’s expansion beyond home security into home automation services such as automatic door locks, video surveillance, and lighting and small appliance control, according to Alex Dunn, Vivint COO. The company announced earlier this month that it had acquired Meter Solutions, an installer of smart meters for utilities.

“We’re really evolving into a much more broad company with much more broad service offerings and APX Alarm doesn’t convey in any way that vision,” Dunn told Security Systems News.

Today, APX technicians will be replacing more than 500,000 oval, blue-and-white APX lawn signs at customers’ homes around the country with round, orange-and-white Vivint signs.

Dunn said Vivint is entering the home automation market in a way he described as unique.

Vivint, he said, “is really going to be the first company in the home automation space that delivers simple, affordable, whole-home automation to the average Joe.”

Home automation systems typically are complicated and expensive, costing a homeowner many thousands of dollars up front and coming with virtually no servicing, Dunn said. However, he said, Vivint is offering cutting-edge technology that’s consumer friendly and the company also will be “switching the paradigm and using the same paradigm we’ve used in security.”

He said Vivint’s message to customers is that, with a low upfront cost, “you get all the features, you sign not just a monitoring, but a servicing agreement, and now we’re there to help make sure all of those things are working right, all of the time.”

The company said its current 24-7-365 monitoring and customer service support will be extended to home automation.

Dunn declined to discuss specific price offerings at this time.

He stressed that Vivint will retain all its security offerings. “We’re not in any way compromising the mission of the company in the past in moving forward,” he said.

The name Vivint is derived from the French verb “vive” meaning “to live,” and the English “intelligent,” the company said.

“In using this combination, Vivint’s mission is clear:  to help families “live intelligently” by creating simple, affordable, home automation systems where all devices work together to enhance safety and convenience and improve energy efficiency,” the company said in a statement.

Dunn said that Vivint’s salespeople, whether they are summer door-knocking teams or inside sales personnel, won’t take the approach of selling security first and offering home automation as an upgrade. Instead, he said, “we’re really going to be offering the whole package as the lead.”

He said customers still can get security services alone, but he said that once they learn about the package, he expects “very high adoption” on all available services.

Dunn said he expects the package that Vivint is offering will make it easier for the company to recruit top summer sales staff. “It certainly differentiates us being able to have something this cool to sell at the door,” he said.

Kristi Knight, the company’s VP of corporate communications, said, “Really, what we’re doing is bringing home automation to normal people. It’s been a bit of an elitist technology up until now and it is no longer.”

She and Dunn said today’s launch—which will include changes ranging from a new web site to everything from new business cards for staff to rebranded service vehicles—is actually the culmination of about three years of work on the part of the company.

To prepare for moving into home automation, the company began installing its GO!Control panels for all new customers last year.

Today, the company said, 170,000 of its 500,000 customers have the LCD touch screen panel, which centralizes all features and gives customers remote control access via the Internet or smart phones. And, more than 15,000 of the GO!Control panel customers chose to have home energy management features which APX introduced in 2010.

“We’ve been launching these services kind of one by one in a beta environment,” Dunn said.

He said that rollout has been “more of a test for us.” Now, he said, Vivint’s home automation package “is ready for prime time.”

The company in the fall announced that it had upped its debt financing by $125 million to a total of $565 million. When asked if the new investment was part of this launch, Dunn replied: “To create these customers and make it affordable, the access to capital markets is an important component of our strategy.”

 

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