The telcos are coming!

UControl president says product platform tailored to cable/telco skill set
 - 
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas - While Cable and telco companies have dabbled in home security for several years now, no cable company has emerged as a serious competitor to traditional home security companies. That, however, is about to change, according to UControl president Jim Johnson.

Johnson, who comes from the cable and telco world, believes uControl is now positioned to help cable and telcos finally make the move in a meaningful way into home security. Traditional home security companies, if they choose, can also use his product to expand their businesses, Johnson said.

In the past, "cable companies have made half-hearted attempts to look at home security,' he said. "[The problem is that] home security, in general, is a different product for cable or phone technicians to install.' Likewise, the expected penetration rate of home security offerings is different than other offerings these industries have

With a static number of customers, the only way for cable companies to increase revenue, and for cable company executives to get their bonuses, is to deliver more services, he said. Cable companies were looking for a product that all of its users would adopt and home security did not measure up.

What exactly has changed? The sales of some products - digital phone service for example - have slowed, Johnson said. Now, they're being "forced to look at products that capture a lower segment of the market than they're used to being able to get.' Expectations have been managed, he said.

And, coincidentally, uControl has perfected its product and platform for delivery, just in time, he said. The cable and telcos will not be able to do what they did with the phone and internet market (grab 50 percent of the market within three years), but Johnson believes the uControl platform will allow them to capture more than the standard 20 percent penetration rate.

"They'll use home security as a core offering and energy management or home health care as a straightforward add on.' The second thing Johnson says uControl has done is "remove the operational barriers.'

At a prior company, Johnson did the installation and self-support software for "most of the cable modem and DSL industry.'

"We know what a cable and telephone technician need, we know what they can and cannot do,' he said.

UControl has figured out "how to do simple and fast installations and [how to] ... support the product as a managed device.' They also know how to manage the health of the broadband connection, help troubleshoot and fix the issues, he said.

UControl has focused on the cable companies and telcos because "they're the ones who kept calling.' What about traditional home security dealers? "I'm ready to work with them anytime,' Johnson said. "When they make the decision [to offer energy management as part of their home security offering] we think we'll be the best choice.'