It's a real telco/home security/home automation mash-up

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12/09/2009
What do you want for Christmas this year? And you can't say world peace or a better economy... I already called those. How about a fully-integrated bundle of home services, including cable TV, digital phone, super-fast connection to the the Internets, home security, and home automation, allowing you to control your security system, heat, lights, cable-connected DVR and maybe even your access control through your laptop or smartphone and pay for it all on one bill? If you're an end user, that probably sounds pretty dang good (visions of super-teched-out sugarplums...). If you're a traditional security guy, maybe you're thinking "well, I got the security part covered." If you're a telco that's already in the home, you're probably saying "added services, added services, added services.... check, check and check." (Unless you're Comcast). The telcos are really coming, guys. I wrote a story earlier in the year about the bad economy and how it was creating a market where people were looking for and expecting more for the money they shelled out. At the time, Tricia Parks of Parks Associates, suggested that traditional security guys really should get into adding more services in order to compete with the telcos that would inevitably be looking at security as one more thing to offer and thereby differentiate themselves. Just last month I covered a rather involved partnership between NewWave, Comporium, uControl and SMC Networks (the manufacturer of the total solution's touchscreen control panel). NewWave and Comporium are telcos. Comporium has had a developed security division for a while, though. Now they're all working together to put telco provided and monitored security in a bundle with a whole bunch of other services and offer it to new and existing customers. Yikes. Just this morning I got a press release on another new telco/home automation mash-up going on across the pond, in the old world. Here's the headline: "Intamac to offer telcos and utilities home monitoring and energy management solutions." I don't have a link, but here's the some of the release:
Northampton, UK, December 9, 2009 - Intamac, a market leader in web-based device management, today announced the company has been working with D-Link, a global leader in network devices, to develop new turnkey product and service solutions for telcos and utilities that want to deploy new offerings to their consumer base as part of their quad play and smart grid strategies. Work on the project has been ongoing for some time but the companies will unveil new product solutions at CES in Las Vegas on January 7-10, 2010, including interactive devices for energy management, security, home automation, video surveillance and telecare. 'We’re excited to be working with D-Link,' said Kevin Meagher, CEO, Intamac. 'Between us, we offer service providers and utility companies low-cost, turnkey solutions that will enable them to quickly deploy a range of over-the-top services that complement their core offerings.' At the heart of the new ecosystem is a new low-cost IP hub capable of supporting smart grid, Zigbee or Z-Wave devices, giving consumers the ability to select from a broad range of products and interactive services to remotely monitor and control their home environment. There will also be options for mobile management with widget-based solutions downloadable to handsets or integrated Java solutions for the iPhone. Third-party vendors have the ability to exploit APIs on the platform to add their own devices into this ecosystem. New Black & Decker door locks with Zigbee control have already been embedded.
I was speaking with Monitronics VP of marketing Mitch Clarke recently about their new dealer training program, MoniX. "If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd have said interactive services were neat, but weren't yet part of security," Clarke said when our conversation strayed to new interactive services coming into the security space. "Interactivity is forcing people to put in new levels of service and apply price points to all of this ... There's less and less to differentiate people now, so if you can't talk about another widget or another service, you're at a disadvantage." Maybe the Comporium/NewWave/uControl/SMC Networks mash-up is a sign... start finding content/solution/service provider partners with whom to dance. The music's starting and you don't want to find yourself standing alone.