Ingram to head Visonic

Focus will be on wireless security, verification, RMR for dealers
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BLOOMFIELD, Conn.—Visonic Americas, a maker of wireless home security and safety systems with a substantial PERS business, has announced that president Bill Lyon will be re-directing his efforts toward corporate business development and Mark Ingram, formerly vice president of sales, will take on the role of president. Further, as of June 1, the company has split its territories, so that the officer here now only serves North America, rather than the whole of the Americas.

Ingram said his first order of business is to focus on wireless security for the residential and small commercial market. “Under Bill’s leadership,” he said, “the company really did grow in the PERS business. Visonic here in the U.S. really became known as ‘the PERS company.’ But that’s only 30 percent of our business. Seventy percent is in wireless security.”

Further, he said, Lyon will be focusing on bringing PERS to the rest of the world, where the technology hasn’t been widely adopted.

“It’s not a big business anywhere else,” Ingram said. “It’s really just the United States. I was just in Israel at the corporate offices, and the other guys from around the globe said, ‘We tried PERS. No one will buy it.’” Ingram theorized that other countries are more likely to have elderly family members on site.

In North America, Visonic has already invested in two new sales reps, bringing them to five inside salespeople plus the efforts of a rep firm. They will be selling the idea that Ingram believes separates Visonic from its competition: It will focus on wireless and broadband-based security technology for event verification, but it will not try to take a cut of the RMR from its dealers. Dealers will be free to strike deals for cellular communication to the panels with the telcom of their choice and Visonic won’t charge a monthly fee for access to web-based portals for viewing video. It will instead provide a server or servers, and help with set up, so that dealers can keep all of that monthly access fee for themselves.

“We’re strongly of a belief that the market will go for event verification and event viewing,” Ingram said. Customers “need to know about false alarms—Was it real? Was it false?—before the police get called. That’s our major focus to differentiate us from some of the others. Also, I think we’re the only manufacturers that are not in the recurring revenue stream.”

“We’re not the biggest player on the face of the Earth,” Ingram said, “so you have to have advantages. That’s what makes us different. Products are products. I’d like to say ours are the best on the face of the Earth, but there aren’t too many bad products out there anymore. We have a very robust product, but that’s not enough. You have to really look at a dealer and say, ‘you are truly my partner. I’m giving you all the opportunity to make the RMR.’ But we need to get the word out there about that.”