Top 2015 monitoring trends: ASAP, DIY, PERS and cloud

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—CSAA’s ASAP to PSAP program, DIY being paired with 24/7 professional monitoring, PERS, and cloud automation were talked-about trends in monitoring in 2015.

This was the year that ASAP came to fruition. ASAP is a program that improves the speed and accuracy of central station dispatches by sending alarm information electronically to responders. ADT joined the program in August, and CSAA’s executive director Jay Hauhn predicted that other nationals would be close behind.

Vivint joined the program the month after ADT. Amy Becht, Vivint director of central stations, told Security Systems News that the program affected less than 1 percent of Vivint’s account base. “It’s not as much about what the program does for Vivint right now, but it is a lot about the future potential of the program—and not just for Vivint, but the entire industry,” Becht said.

Diebold was the first commercial provider to implement ASAP when it joined in October. Stanley and CMS also adopted the protocol this year.

A number of monitoring companies tapped into the DIY market this year, bringing together DIY-installed devices with professional monitoring. Monitronics entered the space in a big way in February with its $67 million acquisition of LiveWatch. Then-SVP of Monitronics’ parent company, Ascent Capital Group, John Orr called the deal “a nice buy of a strong engine for ongoing growth in the space.”

Most recently, My Alarm Center opened a new division with this model. World Wide Security started offering a plug-and-play IP camera option to its customers, automatically connected to its central station. Utah-based DIY company Novi, said it was looking at a professional monitoring option for its equipment, too.

USA Central Station Alarm announced a new DIY offering at ESX show in June. The company worked with Videofied to make a neighborhood watch offering, linking many outdoor cameras to a single hub with administrative controls for adding multiple users.

Videofied president Keith Jentoft called the offering a way that the standard alarm dealer can play in the DIY space. Dealers get a link to a website, branded under their company’s name, that sells and ships equipment direct-to-consumers. Jentoft said the offering requires minimal start-up cost and opens the door for added RMR.

PERS was in the news every month in 2015. Numera, the Seattle-based PERS company, made headlines in 2015, when it was acquired by Nortek for $12 million, and when it rolled out EverThere. The EverThere platform proactively tracks PERS users’ activity levels, compiles the data and allows family members to set alerts based on conditions like inactivity.

Securus’ name came up a lot, when it divided and sold its business. AvantGuard bought the PERS business—and renamed the division Freeus—and BrickHouse security acquired Securus’ GPS business.

An educational session  at ESX underscored the fact that medical monitoring, while a great business, may not be for every central station. Attendees at AvantGuard’s bi-annual PERS Summit in October debated the benefits and shortcomings of fall detection technologies. AvantGuard CEO Josh Garner summed up opinions of the technology by saying, “Dealers need to have it in their repertoire to offer clients, but at the end of the day it’s a very small use case. By and large, pushing a button is going to be the best, most effective way to get help.”

MAMA, the Medical Alert Monitoring Association, also gathered PERS dealers in Orlando to talk about mPERS, fall detection and the 2G sunset at its annual meeting.

The PERS space also gained new entrants like Consumer Cellular and Blue Star, a veteran-focused PERS provider based in Maryland.

The cloud was a recurring topic in 2015, starting with IBS getting the first UL certification for a cloud-based central station automation platform—its SBN Cloud. Later, Dice and Bold Technologies each released automation platforms based in the cloud.