Comcast completes acquisition of Icontrol business unit

Company looks to expand on Icontrol’s wholesale platform business
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Monday, March 13, 2017

PHILADELPHIA—Comcast finalized its acquisition of a business unit within Icontrol, specifically the Converge platform. The company will bring Icontrol’s Austin-based facility and wholesale customer base into the fold while looking ahead at other opportunities.

“We got a chance to own the software stack that powered one of our most critical, fastest growing products with Comcast, we got a chance to create a kernel of an engineering hub in Austin, Texas, … and we saw a large opportunity to enter the wholesale security market, servicing some existing customers … as well as exploring new customers, possibly even entering the dealer space,” Dan Herscovici, Comcast’s senior vice president and general manager for Xfinity Home, told Security Systems News.

“The primary reason for purchasing the business was to control our own destiny,” he said. “We would be able to invest heavily in accelerating innovation, software development, etc., and bring features to market for consumers faster.”

“Now, with this acquisition, we’re going to establish an IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, tapping into the tech talent here in the Austin area, which we think is going to be a great asset to the organization.” The company has engineers focused on its Xfinity Home offering based out of Philadelphia and Sunnyvale, Calif.

Comcast added on between 80 and 90 employees from Icontrol. “I would say a majority of them—80 percent or so—are engineering talent, the rest are product managers and product leaders, and then a small sales support staff,” Herscovici said. The company intends to grow the team in its Austin Center of Excellence.

“Third … Icontrol had other wholesale customers, particularly Cox and Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse—which was recently acquired by Charter [Communications]—Rogers in Canada, Telstra in Australia, iTSCOM in Japan,” said Herscovici. “So, we’re excited to essentially stand up a new business line in the wholesale platform business, and take on those customers and grow those customers.”

The company could expand this wholesale business to serve “other constituents like dealers and traditional security providers,” he said. Herscovici couldn’t say when the company would start servicing new customers in the security space, “but, it’s on our strategic roadmap.”

Herscovici noted that Comcast Ventures was an early investor in Icontrol. “We were introduced to Icontrol through Ventures; we were looking at the home security market [around 2010].” The company launched its Xfinity Home offering in 2012. “[Now,] come full circle, Comcast ends up acquiring the business.”