Pro One launches web-based home security

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Thursday, October 11, 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 web-based and text message-based home security systems that enables customers to have access to their security system remotely 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).
Kim Lessner, chief marketing officer at Protection One, said in an email interview that the increase in communications via email, cell phone and PDAs, as well as the penetration of broadband access, has affected customers' expectations. "These advancements in, and comfort with using, technology allow customers to have a far more interactive and valuable experience using their security systems," she said. 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."
The service will also be good for "business owners or managers, who can improve their productivity by being able to arm the systems of four branch locations remotely without having to drive to each one, for example, in real-time. This is a huge additional benefit on top of the traditional benefits of 24/7 central station monitoring," 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, as well as its potential severity, to assist in determining an appropriate and timely 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.