P1 has new Web-based service

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

LAWRENCE, Kan.--To address customers' high-technology expectations--particularly among Gen-X and Gen-Y consumers--Protection One on Oct. 4 introduced e-Secure, a new service that enables customers to remotely access their security system using any Internet-connected computer, PDA or text-enabled cell phone. The system can also deliver alerts via email or text message.
The system is based on Honeywell's Total Connect product, which the company highlighted at recent trade shows (search "Total Connect" at www.securitysystemsnews.com).
The increase in communications via email, cell phone and PDAs, as well as the penetration of broadband access, has affected customers' expectations and, hence, customers can "have a far more interactive and valuable experience using their security systems," Kim Lessner, chief marketing officer at Protection One, said in an email interview. Where previously customers only received alarms regarding serious intrusion or fire-related events, they can now "receive non-alarm notifications to ease their peace of mind, such as a message letting them know that a child has returned safely home from school."
On top of the traditional benefits of 24/7 central station monitoring, e-Service will help a business owner be more productive "by being able to arm the systems of four branch locations remotely without having to drive to each one, for example, in real-time," she said.
At ISC East, Honeywell executives said they planned to add video to the system in the future. Lessner said Pro One customers would be interested in this capability because it "addresses the needs many security customers have to stay in real-time contact with family members" (e.g., monitoring elderly parents or viewing children at home with the sitter while the parent is either at work or traveling on business). In addition, video would further address a business owner's need to know both the specific nature of an alarm event notification, to determine the appropriate response.
Lessner expects this product to be good for both the new and retrofit markets. "The e-Secure service is backwards compatible with the panels that many of our existing customers have in their homes. Thus, the educational curve for installers has been very small," she said. "Ease of customer use and understanding also has not been an issue given, we believe, the evolving technical sophistication of consumers these days. In addition, e-Secure's user-interface mirrors the traditional hard-wired version and makes the experience as simple and convenient as possible," she added.