Talking keypads and panels with Brandon Savage

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—While in college at Brigham Young University, Brandon Savage, senior VP of customer experience and operations, Alarm Capital Alliance, was introduced by one of his professors to Chad Christofferson, who had won the business school’s entrepreneur of the year award for his startup company, SafeHome Security. Christofferson recruited Savage to work for SafeHome to design their customer relationship management system, and he eventually became a full-time employee.

“Over the next few years, I had a front row seat as the summer sales/door-knocking segment of our industry exploded in growth out of Provo, Utah,” he told Security Systems News.

In addition to working closely with some of the pioneers of the summer sales model, Savage also got to work for Bay Alarm and observe the ways a more traditional security company becomes successful.

Savage now works at Alarm Capital Alliance. Here’s how he manages security at home.

What kind of security system do you have?
Before I moved to Philadelphia last year, my Utah home had a 2GIG Go!Control panel with smoke detectors, a smart thermostat, Kwikset door lock, lighting automation, several image sensors and Alarm.com video cameras. I was managing the supply chain team at Vivint when Vivint launched the Go!Control panel in 2010 and was always able to get a hold of the latest and greatest equipment to install and test before they launched it companywide. Since moving to Philly, I’ve tested several different manufacturers’ latest panels, but currently have a desk-mounted Qolsys IQ Panel in my home with the LiftMaster garage door integration, smoke detectors, CO detectors, an image sensor, IQ Smart Socket and a Yale door lock.

Why this particular setup?
I’m a strong believer in interactive services and after witnessing firsthand at Vivint how 2GIG’s product disrupted the industry, I’m always eager to experiment with the latest innovative equipment that’s about to be released. I’m always interested in seeing improvements to the customer experience and user interfaces, not only for our end users, but also for our wide variety of technical partners we have in the field. Any product that can make installation quicker and easier and minimize truck rolls has a huge ROI for us.

What is one aspect of your security system you wouldn’t want to live without?
The ability to interact with my system through my iPhone. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not getting a notification or checking on my house through my phone. I’ve always been a huge fan of Alarm.com and their feature set. They’ve always been pushing and pulling their competitors in that space, and it’s been enjoyable to see everybody raise their game to improve that part of the security offering.

Where do you see security going next? What are some big technological trends?
It’s been fascinating to watch some of the hardware “outsiders” create some very innovative products in the home automation space. With Google’s acquisition and large-scale marketing of Nest, I think there is much more innovation to come. I also think the growth of the DIY segment is intriguing and should help raise the tide for market penetration within our industry. As smartphone adoption reaches saturation in the U.S., I believe that interactive services will continue to become more attractive to customers and become the leading factor in both reason to buy and reason to stay. As an industry, we need to continue to innovate behind the scenes in areas that the customer doesn’t necessarily see or we will become ripe for disruption. Areas that need more support, attention and focus include CSAA’s ASAP to PSAP initiative and developing a nationwide, accurate PSAP geo-database to verify and ensure that we are always using and updating the correct dispatch numbers for our customers.