Talking mobile apps and new entrants at ESX

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07/03/2012

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.”