ADT media summit focuses on systems integration


ADT’s media summit wrapped up yesterday. There were a number of sessions, but the message this year’s attendees were intended to come away with is that ADT Commercial is serious about positioning itself as a systems integration leader.

I attended a number of sessions, which I’ll be reporting on later, but a couple items here for now.

First, ADT is accelerating its relationship with Cisco. At the summit, we has a TelePresence conference with ADT director of integration strategy Jim Lantrip and Bill Stuntz, VP of Cisco’s physical security business unit.

I later had lunch with Lantrip (in person) and he told be about ADT’s relationship with Cisco.

The two companies have worked together for several years, but that relationship has accelerated in the past 18 months as the two jointly develop products and services for ADT’s commercial customers.

“The relationship came to a new level because of the leadership of John Kenning [ADT Commercial president],” Lantrip said.  Among several projects ADT and Cisco are collaborating on is digital media signage. “It can be used for any kind of marketing data during normal times, and during an emergency situation it can be used to direct people to a safe environment,” he said.

ADT is also using Cisco’s network assessment tools, Lantrip said, which greatly facilitates the network assessement process. “The assessment tools help us understand the weak points of the network, which is the first step in the assessment,” he said. “And because the assessment tools are so great, we don’t have to send a CCIE [highest certification] to do the assessment, we can send in a lower certified guy,” Lantrip said. 

Are ADT commercial customers typically installing parallel networks or using their own production networks?

It’s important to do the proper network assessment, and understand how the system will be accessed, Lantrip said. But typically the production network can be used. Usually, “we can get creative with the IT department and overcome those challenges,” he said.

The goal, said Bill Stuntz during the TelePresence press conference, is to “make security one of the business systems you run on the network so you can bring more value to the company.”

We also toured ADT’s new Integrated Solutions Center in Aurora Colorado via TelePresence. This center, known in other business venues as an executive briefing center, is a real focus for John Kenning and ADT’s commercial outfit. They expect to bring in 300 customers over the course of the year to see mock-ups of vertical market solutions. They have a permanent “retail vignette” set up and a permanent “banking vignette” set up. Another room can be set up in a number of different vertical markets, currently it’s set up for a “food defense solution.”

While customers come in to see and talk to ADT personnel and subject matter experts (in-person and via Cisoc's TelePresence) about a customized solution for their particular vertical, they often check out the other vignettes, Mike Abbott, ISC manager said.

Executive briefing centers are a proven method for increasing business, Lantrip told me. “The close rate goes up, the time between meetings and close shortens, and customers are happier because the focus is on them.”