Keeping the ‘Connected Home’ connected—to professionally monitored security

Jay Kenny, VP of marketing for Alarm.com, talks about how security is the foundation of the connected home
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

YARMOUTH, Maine—It seems that everyday there is a new connected device, whether it is a smart thermostat or a spoon that counts your bites (yes, this exists), which can connect to the Internet. This is a part of a larger technology trend called the “Internet of Things” which represents the potential for everything to become a sensor or device that collects and shares information through the Internet.   

The growth of the “Internet of Things” is having a direct impact in the security industry. Connected devices, powered by cloud services are driving demand for the connected home.

As this market has grown we have seen increasing interest and innovation from people who make the “things.” It is a rapidly growing and evolving landscape, and I believe dealers should keep in mind a few important considerations as the industry navigates this fast-moving opportunity.  

We believe that the attributes that made the security industry successful in delivering, installing and monitoring today’s connected home will continue to be an advantage going forward. Consumer research studies show that the top consumer purchase driver for home automation is home security and that the most trusted providers to monitor these systems are security dealers.

This trust wasn’t earned by accident. Dealers are hands-on, customer-centric businesses with a well-deserved reputation.

Studies also show that consumers want professional installation and ongoing support across a wide range of home automation services. Security dealers offer outstanding, easy-to-use technology with home security as a core feature. They are professionals that consumers can trust to service their connected home solutions.  

As the Internet of Things trend accelerates, I believe dealers with the right technology partner can expand their footprint inside the home by offering a fully integrated connected home security solution. This delivers a better user experience than a stand-alone device, maximizes lifetime account value and helps protect a dealer’s core service of professional monitoring through reduced attrition.

The announcement of a new connected device seems to happen every day, but not all devices are built for security. Security dealers should recognize the potential risks associated with some of these new devices.

Dealers should choose a technology partner with a proven track record of delivering reliable, security-grade technology with life safety services at its core and robust support and training for your business.

With so many new devices, it’s important to stay focused on providing meaningful benefit to your customer. On their own, most devices can only do so much, but in the connected home they work smartly together. For example, the garage door can automatically close, lights can adjust, and locks can secure the home’s doors all when the user arms the security system. The connected home also enables intelligent new features that a stand-alone device cannot offer on its own.

By marketing and selling the entire range of connected home services, dealers can attach new devices to an account and strengthen the trusting customer relationships that are so important to success today.

Security will continue to be the foundation for a valuable connected home experience. Combining security sensors with an integrated cloud experience provides the services and features that consumers want, while the professional installation, support and monitoring that security dealers uniquely offer makes it easy for consumers to get the right solution for their needs.

But many new devices are being marketed to question the value of “traditional” security services and being positioned as alternatives to monitored security. Dealers should actively communicate to the market that security is a professional service with 24/7 monitoring, and avoid installing the very devices that aim to replace the core service that drives our industry. Fully integrated connected home devices give customers a better technology experience and complements the service that your customers want—professionally monitored security.  

Innovative new devices and sensors will continue to open new doors for dealers to offer services all around the home and to significantly expand our industry’s footprint. However, opportunity and risk unfold together. Finding the best technology and business partner that understands and supports the security industry will keep you ahead of all this change and is the best way to capitalize on this opportunity.

Jay Kenny is vice president of marketing for Alarm.com