Monitronics launches Total Connect

Thursday, November 12, 2009

DALLAS, Texas—It’s the idea that home security “has to be more than just a piece of plastic on the wall,” that led Monitronics to launch in October Honeywell’s Total Connect system to its dealers.

Total Connect allows businesses and homeowners to keep close tabs on their home or business via cell phone, PDA or computer. It enables them to remotely arm and disarm alarm systems, receive alerts and view video clips.

“It started with the fundamental belief that you’ve got to make security more mobile and a more relevant part of your customers’ daily life,” said Mitch Clarke, Monitronics VP of marketing.

Gordon Hope, general manager of Honeywell’s AlarmNet, said he’s happy to be working with Monitronics on this launch. He noted that because Total Connect has “new edges that touch portable devices and the Internet,” it’s not the kind of product that every dealer—or even the majority—is ready to tackle today.

That will change, and soon, he predicted, as more dealers “understand it and understand how it will increase the value of their accounts and make them money.” In the meantime, Honeywell’s goal is to “surround the dealer with more than the product,” to expose them to the technology “and provide them the training and the technical solution that’s got to be there,” so they can take advantage of this opportunity, he said.

Clark reiterated this point saying, unlike other products, Total Connect, is something dealers and customers need to get their hands on to be comfortable with.

“Words are not nearly as powerful as the experience. You have to really engage with the dealer,” he said. Clark likes that Honeywell will hold training sessions at ADI offices to teach the dealers how to use the product, how to present it to their customers, and how to identify those customers who are likely prospects. “Those who invest the time to learn it are going to sell more,” Clark said.

Monitronics is talking to dealers who have already expressed interest and will be working to get more dealers involved over the next several months.