Day 2 at ESX: Looking ahead, on technology, leaders, and sales
“Forward thinking.” That the term that Hank Groff, national director of Pittsburgh-based Guardian Protection, used today when I asked him about his impression of the second day of the ESX show, being held here in Nashville.
Groff told me that’s a theme he’s noticing at the show, and said it dovetails nicely with Guardian’s approach to the latest technology.
“We’re really driving our dealers to sell everything cellular and mobile app technology,” he said.
He also said a Texas dealer is the first among Guardian’s dealers to go completely paperless. Every one of the dealer’s approximately 40-50 sales reps has an iPad, which they use to do everything from the presentation in the home to the contract, he said.
His comments got me thinking about other aspects of the show that also were about the industry adapting to the future.
Take this morning, for example. I attended the ESA Eye Opener Breakfast, which honored a group of Security Systems News’ 20 under 40 Class of 2012 professionals.
A panel discussion—led by SSN editor Martha Entwistle and featuring class member Laurie Jackson, VP gaming sales, North American Video; Mike Jagger, CEO and founder of Provident Security and an alumnus of the SSN 20 under 40 Class of 2008; and also Mel Mahler, CEO of ADS Security and a mentor for the class of 2012—talked about such topics as what companies can do to encourage their employees to become future leaders of the industry. You can’t get much more forward-looking than that.
Afterwards, I chatted with Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, who attended the breakfast and said he found the panel discussion enlightening.
Harkins said Honeywell was not introducing any new products at this show. Of course, the company just announced earlier this month the release of some very forward-looking technology: the LYNX Touch 5100, the latest version of the company’s popular self-contained wireless touch-screen security system; and the Wi-Fi version of Tuxedo Touch, a touchscreen security and automation controller with Z-Wave functionality.
Among other activities on Tuesday, I also attended a seminar titled “Achieving RMR from Home & Building Automation,” which focused on how market leaders are creating new RMR models around home automation. The panelists were Patrick Egan, president and founder of the Pennsylvania-based super-regional Select Security, and Greg McLochlin, head of the Honeywell Security Dealer Development Group.
During the discussion, McLochlin expressed a forward-thinking idea about the entrance of telecoms and cablecos into the security market.
“Are they a threat to RMR or an opportunity for RMR?” he asked. “Are they turning over rocks we never thought about turning over anymore?”
He suggested the latter. “They have a different view of the market,” McLochlin said. “They see it as a lifestyle sale as opposed to a life safety sale. We as independent dealers can learn from them."