NationWide enters mobile PERS market

VP of sales and marketing: Offering has huge upside
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

FREEPORT, N.Y.—NationWide Digital Monitoring, which earlier this year expanded its footprint in the Southeast, is now stepping up its presence in the PERS space with launch of its first mobile PERS unit.

Howard Avin, VP of sales and marketing at NationWide, believes the offering can extend the company’s reach in the market. “Not only is this an upgrade, but we believe it’s going to get us into a younger market,” he said. “This product is for active seniors, so this will broaden us in terms of who our dealer prospects really are.”

He added: “The upside [for mPERS] is huge.”

Rolled out in January, the device is manufactured by Numera Libris and has two-way voice and GPS. While the company hopes to make inroads into the active, ambulatory seniors demographic, Avin believes mPERS can even appeal to far younger customers. “This could even be something for college kids when they go away for school,” he said. “It’s got a lot of potential to help more people, and it’s something we believe the marketplace has been looking for.”

Avin added that while mPERS is still “coming into its own,” it’s not his job to speculate on the viability of the product, but rather to “make dealers aware of it and let them choose if they want to offer this or not.”

A long-time player in the traditional PERS space, NationWide has also upgraded its offerings on that end with a new cellular PERS unit. Manufactured by Israeli company Essence, which has a U.S. branch in Hoboken, N.J., the plug and play offering takes the limitations of landlines “totally out of the equation,” Avin said.

The mPERS launch and the upgrade to a traditional cellular PERS unit, together with NationWide’s finance and funding initiatives for dealers, are part of the company’s broader effort to distinguish itself in the increasingly competitive central station arena, Avin says. “There are lots of good monitoring stations out there, us included,” he said. “We have to show why we’re different and separate ourselves from the competition. Hopefully dealers will see us as proactive in helping them do business.”