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Vivint takes door-knocking rival to court

Vivint contends a competitor used deception to steal Vivint customers
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08/08/2012

PROVO, Utah—Vivint is suing another door-knocking company, alleging it has been using false and misleading statements to “slam” or take over Vivint customers.

iControl helps Silicon Valley traveler keep in touch

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Monday, July 16, 2012

iControl, an interactive platform used for security/home automation by traditional security companies like ADT and the new cable entrants like Comcast, got a nice mention on the front page of the New York Times travel section yesterday.

The story, about how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs’ make travel paperless and stress-free, talks about Tim Ferris (author of The Four-Hour Work Week and other books in an updated self-help genre) has many gadgets that help him when he’s traveling, including iControl software—which keeps him in touch with his home.

From the story: “One of the world’s largest guarding companies When he’s on the road Mr. Ferriss uses iControl software, which allows him to receive e-mails with video clips from infrared cameras in his house and to receive text alerts on his phone about who’s going in and out of his home.”

Is Tim’s security system provided by a traditional provider or a cableco? I’m sure iControl wouldn’t disclose the answer to that question.

Talking mobile apps and new entrants at ESX

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New entrants into the security industry and mobile apps where major topics of interest at the ESX show in Nashville, Tennessee where Tess, Rich and I spent the last week.

I moderated three panel discussions on three different topics on Tuesday, but both of these topics came up in all three. And they came up in many other educational sessions last week,

I moderated a panel called “Technology Trends Impacting your Business,” with Wells Sampson from American Alarm, David Carter of SNA, and Lou Fiore of AICC.

Much of the discussion centered around mobile apps. Both Carter and Sampson are proponents of offering mobile apps “at every sale.”

The new cableco and telecom entrants, and many traditional security companies, are going to be doing this, they said. You ignore this trend at your peril, they agreed.

However, it’s much easier said than done. To get his sales force on board with this initiative, Sampson took several steps. There was the educational piece, which is ongoing, but he has a staff member calling every customer to ensure that mobile apps are offered at every sale.

In addition, all of his sales people are equipped with an iPad, so that they can easily demonstrate how the apps work.

A person from the audience said that his sales people have this technology at home, and it’s made them better ambassadors for these services.

Several people questioned what the adoption rate is for mobile apps, and Sampson said the projections are admittedly low. He is not concerned with that at this point. He just wants to ensure that these services are being offered, so customers know they’re available.

I have heard figures during ADT investment calls that their new interactive services PULSE offering has an adoption rate north of 25 percent. 

And during a different panel discussion I moderated at ESX “The New Competitive Landscape: Telcos, Cable Companies and Beyond” one of the panelists, Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG shared an interesting metric.

At ASG, from May 12, 2011 to May 11, 2012, 56 percent of new residential sales opted for “enhanced services.”

Of course, we’re talking about resi and small business sales here, but this trend is applicable to larger commercial and enterprise systems as well.

American Alarm and other SNA companies, and ASG both do a lot of large commercial/government systems, and those customers want mobile apps, Sampson, Carter and Nuccio said.

At the PSA-TEC conference in May, Jim Henry of Henry Brothers/Kratos held up his mobile phone and said: “We’re going to see more changes in the next 18 months in this industry than we’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

ADT enhances Pulse with new Home View application

New software allows Pulse customers to remotely interact with home devices via personalized floor plan
 - 
06/06/2012

BOCA RATON, Fla.—A new free feature for ADT Pulse enables customers to create a virtual floor plan of their home to control smart-home devices through a mobile device or on the Web.

New ADT Pulse app gives customers personalized 'Home View'

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Friday, June 1, 2012

ADT announced today it’s offering a free upgrade for users of ADT Pulse, which it launched in October 2010. ADT's new automated “Home View” application will allow customers to “remotely interact with home devices via a personalized floor plan viewed on a mobile device or the Web,” the company said in its June 1 release.

Here are more details from the release:
 

This additional software feature allows ADT Pulse customers to easily and quickly map a virtual floor plan of their home and then remotely monitor and interact with their ADT Pulse devices via any web enabled PC, iPhone or iPad.

Once a customer sets up Home View via their personal ADT Pulse sign in page, they can view color-coded icons of their security devices, lights, thermostats and cameras. By clicking on the icons, customers can easily control their home’s lighting, climate and many small appliances. And if they have cameras, customers can quickly view real time video by simply clicking the video icons. A Home View video demonstration is available at www.ADTPulse.com/Home-View.

I’ve got a call in to Boca Raton-based ADT to find out more about how this new app can help dealers gain more business.

 

Security providers early winners in home automation/home security space

But telecoms and cable companies also are ‘in it to win’ and shouldn’t be discounted, an industry analyst says
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05/29/2012

DALLAS—Security providers have a “first mover” advantage in home automation/home security right now, but the big telecoms and cable companies entering the space are serious competitors who may be game-changers in the future, according to a market research company analyst.

No. 1 ADT dealer: Doing good is good for business

Philanthropy can improve the bottom line, says founder of Defender Direct
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05/11/2012

INDIANAPOLIS—David Lindsey, the founder of Defender Direct, the nation’s No. 1 ADT dealer, based here, recently stepped down as CEO to focus on philanthropic mission work and encourage other companies to do the same.

AT&T enters security market, but can it become a billion-dollar business?

One way to build scale would be to acquire the largest player
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05/09/2012

DALLAS—When AT&T announced on Monday that it will begin trials this summer of Digital Life, its home security/home automation service, here and in Atlanta, mainstream newspapers reported that the company was looking to potentially grow the service into a $1 billion business.

Court decision favors ADT—and other alarm companies

Industry attorney: It's 'a good decision for the alarm industry’
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05/02/2012

PASADENA, Calif.—ADT came out a winner in a recent court decision here, and the finding also is good news for others in the alarm industry, according to industry attorney Ken Kirschenbaum.

Defender has new CEO; predicts strong growth in 2012

The nation’s No. 1 ADT dealer says this year will be best ever
 - 
04/18/2012

INDIANAPOLIS—Defender Direct, the country’s leading ADT dealer, announced this month that it has restructured its executive team and has a new CEO.

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