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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, November 6, 2019

One of the more heartwarming aspects of reporting on security is seeing how much the industry gives back, in a myriad of ways, through individual and company efforts, and through work with organizations like Mission 500, the non-profit charity supported by the security industry and dedicated to serving the needs of children and communities in crisis.

Mission 500 recently completed its fourth service trip within the United States, making this the second trip to Puerto Rico to assist families still struggling from the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

“Unless you have spent time in these communities, it’s hard to understand the enormous impact of these tangible, real actions on the families we help,” George Fletcher, Mission 500 advisory board member, said in the announcement. “We added an 8 by 8 foot addition and a full bathroom to one home, for example. The main breadwinner of that family has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and will no longer have to use the detached outhouse that the family had been living with. Maybe the best thing about a program like this is that both the families we help and the industry volunteers benefit. Bonding, lifelong friendships, and touching families’ hearts – these intangibles also deliver life-changing impacts.”

Thirty Mission 500 volunteers lent their physical support along with financial assistance to help assist two families this year. One house was essentially rebuilt from the foundation up by reinforcing unstable flooring, installing new siding and a new roof. The second house received a small addition and a new bathroom that replaced an old outhouse. One house received a new washing machine, and the other received a new refrigerator. The team also provided new doors for bedrooms, bedsheets and carpet to provide improved living conditions for the families.

Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships, Mission 500 said that this year’s Mission 500 service trip was “truly amazing. Every person on the team brought their unique viewpoint and skillset and was ready to help. Even though this particular group had never worked as a unit before, the team dynamic was so unique and special — and we worked so well together — that we were able to accomplish much more than any one of us had imagined possible.”

Volunteer support came from representatives of 11 companies, including ADS Security, Altronix, Axis, Brinks, Core Logics, Five Alarm Security, Galaxy Systems, Gould Alarm Communications, Hikvision, Milestone, Resideo Pro Security and WeSuite.

“We are excited about how the Service Trip brings together security industry professionals who care about helping others,” said Jason Lutz, Industry Affairs at Resideo Pro Security. “The Resideo partners are big supporters in their local communities, and we were happy to make an even bigger impact on this trip by uniting with the extended team.”

Ronnie Pennington, National Sales Engineer at Altronix, added, “The service trip was beyond all expectations. Thirty volunteers started this journey as strangers and left as a family with a bond that will last a lifetime. Our collective ability to provide hands-on assistance to two families in need was both rewarding and very humbling. It is a life experience I urge others to consider should the opportunity present itself.”

To donate or volunteer for this worthy cause to help American families in need, please visit https://www.mission500.org/ or contact Tom Nolan at [email protected], or call 516-903-7291.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Recent mega deals — Alarm.com acquiring OpenEye and ADT bringing on I-View Now — couldn’t be more timely as this month’s News Poll looks at the topic of M&A, which seems to be as active as ever with big deals hitting what seems like weekly.

These two deals, which happened within the same week, are making waves in both the residential and commercial markets.

SSN caught up with John Mack, executive vice president and co-head of Investment Banking with Imperial Capital, which represented OpenEye in the Alarm.com deal, who said that the deal makes a lot of sense for Alarm.com.

“Alarm.com has a lot of exposure to the residential alarm business, and while there still is good potential there, to try and continue to show 20- to 25-percent year-over-year growth, diversifying into other channels that are going to show strong performance is going to be important,” Mack said. “Commercial is probably the biggest and most obvious of the areas to move into and this deal is an important enabler for commercial, where video and related information is increasingly critical to success in that sector.”

He continued: “They’ve got the intrusion piece; they have been developing the access control piece; and this OpenEye deal gives them the cloud-managed video piece, so they kind of have the triple play, as well as all of the accouterments that you can add to the triple play, like video analytics, where they have some of the leading engineers and also in software, data analysis and cloud hosting, so they are a pretty formidable competitor.” 

Mack pointed out that this deal is also indicative of the interest there is in cloud and managed services, noting that there is strong M&A activity in this area.

Looking at the ADT deal for I-View Now, George De Marco, ESX chairman/managing partner, DECO Ventures LLC, noted on the phone and in his blog that alarm verification technology, like I-View Now’s, propels monitoring services to the next level.

“With the recent announcement of ADT’s purchase of I-View Now’s technology, this move may finally propel the industry to aggressively adopt and adapt next-gen solutions that use sensors, images and data to effectively determine the threat level from an intrusion or fire alarm activation,” De Marco said. “False alarm dispatches may finally become a thing of the past.”

False alarm dispatches have plagued first responders since the dawn of the alarm industry, he noted. “Always a contention, the common denominator with police departments is that — 98 percent of all dispatched alarms are false and draw valuable resources away from other police priorities.”

Mack noted that Larry Folsom introduced video verification technology that is “critical to the residential alarm business. The professional residential alarm business needs to be much more focused on verification and reducing false alarms and they have been talking about it for years in the industry. This is the technology to kind of make that real and to be serious about solving this problem. This technology is the wave of the future and ADT wants to be out in front and say that it is the point of differentiation for buying an ADT system.”

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Once again this year, the folks at the Security Industry Association (SIA) — including Don Erickson, Scott Schafer and the rest of the incredible team there — have identified the key “megatrends” that are impacting the security industry as we move into 2020.

Hard to argue with any of the trends on the list, as SIA always has its finger on the pulse of the industry, providing thought leadership and bringing top industry subject matter experts together for education at key industry conferences such as ISC West/East, Securing New Ground and Cyber:Secured, to name just a few.

Drum roll, please … The 2020 Security Megatrends are:
•    Cybersecurity Impact on Physical Security
•    AI
•    Facial Recognition
•    Emphasis on Data Privacy
•    Cloud Computing
•    National Security Concerns
•    Connectivity and IoT Everything
•    Workforce Development
•    Move to Service Models
•    Identity as the New Perimeter

SIA’s signature annual Security Megatrends report defines these top 10 factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry.

“Cybersecurity resoundingly tops the list of Security Megatrends again for 2020. With the increased risk and frequency of cyberattacks, today’s systems integrators and product developers are working to make sure that security solutions meet or exceed an organization’s cyber-preparedness standards,” Scott Schafer, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors, said in the announcement. “SIA also forecasts that the trends of artificial intelligence and facial recognition will dramatically impact the industry in coming years. Both AI and facial recognition are experiencing clear technology advancements, and SIA will continue to track the industry and consumer tech adoption rates and emerging applications for these dynamic Security Megatrends.”

The selection of 2020’s Security Megatrends was based on fall 2019 focus groups and survey data gathered from top security industry business leaders, association leadership, key volunteers and speakers for the 2019 Securing New Ground (SNG) conference taking place Oct. 29-30 at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City.

Each year, SIA produces the Security Megatrends report, which is made available to SIA member companies and registered attendees of SNG, the security industry’s executive conference. The Security Megatrends are the top forces at play in security, expected to have far-reaching impacts on businesses across the industry. As such, these trends play an instrumental role in the insights and discussions at SNG, an annual conference bringing together the leading entrepreneurs, luminaries, CEOs and investors in the security industry for top-level information sharing, networking and business analysis.

For the second year in a row, cybersecurity was identified as the predominant trend shaping the security industry and a major concern for C-suite executives, government buyers, enterprise organizations, integrators and more. Moving up the list from being ranked fifth in SIA’s 2019 Security Megatrends report to ranked second for 2020 was the trend of artificial intelligence (AI). Respondents noted AI’s role underlying advancement behind nearly all technology promises.

A resounding number of respondents called for facial recognition to be added as a 2020 Security Megatrend, bringing the newcomer to the number-three position. Also new to the 2020 Megatrends are national security concerns and identity as the new perimeter.

In addition to defining the latest Security Megatrends, the forecast for 2020 also denotes potential disruptors in the security industry and other forces at play that may have a clear impact on some or all businesses.

The official 2020 Security Megatrends report will be published in December 2019 and available online for download and/or purchase.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has unveiled the new SIA Center of Excellence, a member-driven learning consortium for education, research and training resources serving the security industry. This online repository of vendor-neutral, vetted information includes easy-to-access, on-demand learning and development tools and resources like training courses, e-learning modules, webinars and articles created to improve individual, team and organizational performance.

“The SIA Center of Excellence was created to foster security industry expertise and help SIA members and the entire security ecosystem stay at the forefront of evolving market demands,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said in the announcement. “This new learning tool will help provide tangible value to our members and help raise the industry’s level of professionalism and knowledge.”

SIA Center of Excellence content is organized by category and type and can easily be searched to find the most appropriate resources and learning tools.

“In addition to creating a centralized learning and development environment where industry stakeholders can access high-quality educational resources, the SIA Center of Excellence is a collaborative space where member organizations can contribute training content and share best practices,” said Dr. Elli Voorhees, director of education and training at SIA. “We encourage SIA members to get involved with this exciting new initiative by submitting content for consideration and help us in growing the future of workforce development in our industry.”

To learn more about the SIA Center of Excellence or become a contributing member, please contact Elli Voorhees at [email protected] or 301-804-4798.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Security Systems News is very excited to announce the education program for SecurityNext, which will be held in New Orleans, Feb. 9-11, 2020 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

The overriding theme for the conference, “Securing Profits in the Age of Convergence” speaks to the seismic shift that has been going on in physical security with the emergence of IT and IoT, and cybersecurity as a result.

The truth is, the world of security is getting so much larger and more expansive, providing both challenges and opportunities for everyone, whether you are a systems integrator/dealer, consultant, end user or manufacturer. Toward that goal, SecurityNext was designed to help you navigate, leverage and profit from the latest technologies, trends and products to stay ahead of the competition and improve your bottom line.

To put together the program for SecurityNext, SSN enlisted the help of some of top thought leaders in the industry to be on the conference advisory board and help to advise on and provide ideas for the program. The result is sessions like:
•    The Race to Identity: Protecting in the Age of Privacy;
•    Securing Profits in the Age of Convergence and Compliance;
•    Systems Integrator Focus: How to Stay Relevant and Profitable;
•    How the Cloud is Changing Everything in Security; and
•    Building a RMR Business Model: Monetizing from the Consumerization of Security.

And, last but not least, the “End User Mega Panel” will feature security pros from Mastercard, Biogen, American Electric Power and the Air Force Insider Threat Hub. This one-of-a-kind panel will be led by Andrew Lanning, co-founder of Integrated Security Technologies, and this year’s recipient of the SIA Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award. This will be a good one!

Beyond the panel discussions, we have industry thought leaders leading discussions on topics ranging from the cloud to company culture. For example, Steve Van Till, President and CEO of Brivo — and this year’s SIA George R. Lippert Memorial Award winner — will present a session called “The Cloud Won. Now What?” and Chris Peckham, COO, Building Intelligence Inc. will present “Making Sense of Security in the Cloud.”

Other notable presentations include “Security by the Numbers: A Financial Forecast and Guide” from John E. Mack III, Executive Vice President, Co-Head of Investment Banking, Imperial Capital, and “The Secret Sauce to Success: How Top Companies Bridge the Gap from Good to Great” from SSN class of 2016 “20 under 40” winner Amanda Utter, senior account manager, VTI.

Oh, and let’s not forget the two amazing keynotes lined up: SecurityNext opening keynote, “Realizing the Dream of AI, IoT and Smart Cities” will be presented by Sameer Sharma, Global GM for IoT Solutions for Intel, who will look at how IoT, AI and ICT (5G) can create a data-centric opportunity for Smart Cities beyond just public safety, showing how leveraging more than just camera/vision sensors can produce something far more comprehensive and predictive.

And for our day two keynote, I am ecstatic to have George Barlow Brown, Information Technology Manager for the New Orleans Real Time Crime Center (RTCC). In addition to providing a unique look into the development, challenges and successes of the award-winning crime center that opened in 2017, attendees will have an opportunity to tour the RTCC to cap off the conference on day two.

In addition to soaking up all of this education and checking out the latest products and services in the exhibit portion of the show, there will be plenty of time to network, unwind and celebrate. For instance, the SSN “40 under 40” award reception on the evening of Feb. 10 is always an amazing night, providing a chance to rub elbows with the next generation of security professionals.

Hope to see you in the Big Easy in February!

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Brinks Home Security is teaming with Mission 500 for the company’s fourth annual Brinks Home Security 5K on Saturday, Oct.19, 2019, in Farmers Branch, Texas. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit children attending Farmers Branch Elementary, Habitat for Humanity Dallas, and children living in poverty across the United States.

Last year’s Brinks Home Security 5K raised more than $52,000 and benefitted children at Farmers Branch Elementary, in addition to helping families displaced by the Northern California fires, and students attending a Title One School in Boynton Beach, FL. In addition, Brinks was named the Primary Sponsor of the Lighthouse Program, which benefits Title One Schools in Houston, Texas.

In speaking with Brinks Home Security President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Gardner, for my article on Mission 500 earlier this year, he told me that he first heard of Mission 500 at ISC West when he participated in the Security 5K/2K and became inspired by what the organization was doing to help children and families in need.

“When I heard about Mission 500, and what George Fletcher and others there were trying to do to unite the industry around a single effort, I decided to get really involved as the CEO of one of the national security players,” Gardner told SSN. “I wanted to do something similar, in addition to the Security 5K and to really try to assist George and Mission 500. Helping families and children in need is something that has always been important to me. So starting a Brinks Home Security 5K was something that we needed to do and that we have really benefitted from as a company."

Tom Nolan, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500, said that Brinks Home Security continues to step up to plate in support of Mission 500.

 “Our ability to help children and families in need would not be possible without annual events such as the Brinks Home Security 5K,” Nolan said. “Proceeds from this event have made a positive difference in many lives, and we are proud to work with Brinks Home Security again this year.”

The race is open to people of all ages. Participants can register now and see more information here. Registration is only $30 until Sept. 29, then $35 afterward. Cash prizes and trophies are planned for the top finishers in several categories.

Mission 500, a nonprofit charitable organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis, is once again partnering with Brinks Home Security for this year’s event. Corporate sponsorships are available at the Platinum, Gold and Silver levels, and in-kind sponsorships (product donations) are also encouraged. Sponsor benefits include a table at the event, company logo on event marketing materials, verbal recognition, and the opportunity to increase the sponsor’s profile within the local community.

For more information on Mission 500 or on how to become involved in supporting Mission 500, contact Tom Nolan at [email protected], or call 631.219.8728.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I was very excited to hear the news that Andrew Lanning, co-founder of Integrated Security Technologies, has been selected by the Security Industry Association (SIA) as the 2019 recipient of the Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award, an annual distinction recognizing leadership in security industry collaboration.

As a personal note, I am not surprised at all as Andrew is everything that is right about the security industry. I have seen in just my 3-plus years in the industry how much he gives back to make this industry better and to raise the profession of security professional to greater heights. I am looking forward to celebrating with him and others when Andrew is recognized at SIA Honors Night Nov. 20 in New York City.

Congrats Andrew!

In addition to working tirelessly to help integrators within PSA, Lanning serves as a member of SIA’s Cybersecurity Advisory Board, which guides SIA members ahead of potential cybersecurity issue related to physical security measures. He also holds a board of directors position with — and serves as the defense industrial base sector chief for — the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s InfraGard Hawaii Members Alliance.

“Andrew Lanning has consistently advocated for industry collaboration, including between SIA’s manufacturer members and PSA Security Network, best seen through his vocal support for joint programming like Cyber:Secured Forum,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said in the announcement. “SIA applauds Andrew’s leadership in fostering industry partnerships and looks forward to presenting him with this prestigious, well-deserved award at SIA Honors Night.”

Lanning also serves as a defense industrial base representative on the PSA Security Network’s Cyber Security Committee, participates in the UL Cybersecurity Standards Technical Panel for Software Cybersecurity for Networking-Connectible Products, previously served on the board of directors of the Hawaii Information, Communication and Technology Association and is a member of the Rotary Club of Hickam Pearl Harbor. He is an active member of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation and the host of Security Matters: Hawaii, a community-based webcast.

“I would like to accept this award and thank SIA, PSA and especially both organizations’ cybersecurity committee members, past and present, for continuing to drive our vision of the electronic security industry as a reliable cybersecurity supply chain partner to our country’s critical infrastructure operators, government agencies and the U.S. Department of Defense,” said Lanning.

Lanning has encouraged organizations such as InfraGard to participate in SIA’s cybersecurity education offerings and served as an active member of the SIA and Electronic Security Association task force that successfully recommended a joint strategy to help members identify, recruit and retain qualified employees for a variety of professional roles within manufacturer and integrator businesses.

The Jay Hauhn Excellence in Partnerships Award is named in honor of security industry veteran Jay Hauhn. During his tenure as SIA’s chairman of the board, Hauhn demonstrated a steadfast commitment to fostering cooperation among industry trade associations, and this award recognizes a leader who embodies that spirit of collaboration in the industry.

SIA Honors Night — held each year concurrently with ISC East, the Northeast’s largest security trade show — features a gala dinner reception, an awards ceremony recognizing industry leaders and engaging entertainment. Along with presenting the Hauhn Award, SIA will also honor industry leaders at the 2019 Honors Night with the George R. Lippert Memorial Award, the SIA Insightful Practitioner Award and the SIA Progress Award sponsored by SIA’s Women in Security Forum.
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 18, 2019

It probably wasn’t the best idea for me — physically speaking, that is — to try and play 7 innings (no snickering!) of softball this past Sunday in support of the Mission 500 Security Softball Game, held on a beautiful day in Overpeck Park, New Jersey.


That realization was driven home (no pun intended) late in the game when I had to score all the way from first base, which is tougher than it sounds (again, no snickering). As I high-fived my teammates and gasped for air entering the dugout, I promised that if I survived I would write about how rewarding it was to help support such a great organization as Mission 500, which organized another successful charity event to help families and children in need.

All told, more than $41,000 was raised and 400 children living in severe poverty in the South Bronx received backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks were assembled over the course of the day, with the opportunity to include a note of encouragement and inspiration to the children who would be receiving these backpacks. One of the things I wrote, “don’t be afraid to dream big,” for me speaks to the goal of Mission 500 — to help level the playing field for those who are less fortunate.
 
The day before, security industry executives also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Paterson, framing walls and pouring concrete for two families in need as part of a community build project.

In addition, $2,500 was donated to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation Children’s Camp, a non-for-profit dedicated to the advancement of burn care, research, prevention, education, and the proper treatment of burns. This organization sends burn victims under the age of 18 to a camp where they can come together and put their scars aside, while having fun at summer camp. Mission 500said it is “proud to support the camp for a third year in a row.”

Tom Nolan, Mission 500’s Director Strategic Partnerships, told me during the day that he was “very pleased” with the turnout for the Habitat for Humanity build and the charity softball game, and was excited about the number of people already committed to participating in the Mission 500 Service Trip to Puerto Rico, Oct. 9-13.

Security industry professionals looking to support Mission 500 can help by joining or making a donation towards this year’s service trip to Puerto Rico, volunteering to help with the Security 5K/2K at ISC West 2020, participating in a teambuilding event with their colleagues or customers, or by making financial donations.

At the charity softball game this past Sunday, American Security was the sponsor that raised the most funds, and was joined by the following sponsors for the event: Alarm Shield, Altronix, American Security, Anixter, Assa Abloy, Axis Communications, Beacon Protection, Criticom Monitoring Services, Dahua USA, DMP, ESA New Jersey Chapter, Hikvision USA, ISC Events, Ken Gould Consulting, Lensec, LRG Marketing, M2M Services, Napco StarLink, NYFAA, Rapid Response, ScanSource, Security Sales & Integration, Security Systems News, Security Today and Statewide Monitoring.

It was great to support and be a part of such a great day of giving back and having some fun. Not to gloat, but my team, the Protection Pirates, won 21-16, over the Security Sluggers, in a hard-fought game that ended in hand shakes and smiles, and personally speaking, a few scrapes, bruises and sore muscles.

Hope to see you all on the field next year! Click here for more on Mission 500.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

There’s been a lot of activity with ADT Commerical lately and it looks like the commercial side of business continues to grow organically and through acquisition. ADT Commerical recently acquired Design Systems Group and purchased Systems Group and Fusion Fire Protection to further broaden its commercial presence. In fact, ADT's commerial side of the business now accounts for nearly $1 billion in revenue.

Here’s a little bit about each of the acquired companies and what each company’s president has to say about the acquisition.

Systems Group is headquartered in Denver and provides commercial fire alarm detection, installation, inspection and maintenance services in Colorado. It was founded in 2004 and specializes in installation and service of integrated fire alarm, fire sprinkler, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and mass notification systems. 

“The team here at Systems Group has built a company admired and respected by the industry and customers alike,” John Ballman, Systems Group president said in the announcement. “Becoming a part of the ADT Commercial organization takes us to a higher level, both in terms of delivering for clients, and further achieving professional status for our employees.”

Fusion Fire Protection is headquartered in Hanover, Md. and serves the fire sprinkler systems needs of customers in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia. Established in 2015, in its short run, the company has earned the respect and loyalty of commercial customers. 

“Aligning with ADT Commercial reinforces our customer-centric commitment by strengthening and expanding our ability to deliver the most advanced technologies while still maintaining our agility and responsiveness,” Joe Roberts, Fusion Fire partner and president, said. 

Both companies are staffed by NICET-certified professionals enabling them to assist customers with design, project management, system installation, and testing, service and maintenance. 

“Systems Group in Denver and Fusion Fire Protection in Maryland represent the very best of the best in the fire alarm, fire sprinkler, and life safety arena, and illustrate our consistent dedication to best serve the needs of our mid-market, national and large-scale commercial customers,” Dan Bresingham, executive vice president, ADT Commercial, expressed.

Existing customers of both Systems Groups and Fusion Fire Protection will continue to work with the same people they know and trust to manage their accounts, now with ADT Commercial’s added resources and reach. 

“The addition of these tenured, well-trained professional teams furthers our aim of offering an advanced suite of end-to-end solutions for security, life safety and fire,” Michael McWilliams, senior vice president field operations, ADT Commercial said. “Backed by the strength of a nationally recognized organization, these teams will be empowered by local leadership, and will continue to provide the level of service expected by their customers.”  

I wonder what ADT’s next move will be? Rest assured that you will be the first to know as I keep my eyes and ears open and on the pulse of this company.

 
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The global smart home market is forecast to grow by nearly a factor of five to reach more than $192 billion in 2023, up from $41 billion In 2018, according to the latest Smart Home Device Database from IHS Markit.

The research firm noted that the United States led all countries in 2018, representing about 35 percent of global market revenue. China was second, accounting for an 18 percent share.


The fastest-growing device types in the market include lighting, smart speakers and connected major home appliances, according to Blake Kozak, principal analyst for IHS.

“The brilliance of the smart home is that it can be molded to suit the requirements of any kind of consumer, from the strictest demands of power users to the simplest automation needs of dabblers,” said Kozak. “Irrespective of consumer tech-savviness, the smart-home market has bourgeoned into a consumer technology heavyweight, eager to move beyond the basics of security and single-family homes and into uncharted opportunities. However, these uncharted opportunities are coming with concerns about privacy and the technology’s readiness for primetime. The remainder of 2019 and start of 2020 will be a pivotal time for the smart-home market as companies and service providers fine-tune their strategies and reposition to compete with the smart home juggernauts — as well as newcomers looking to upend the status quo.”

Smart-home companies look to future opportunities

Kozak pointed out that companies looking to make waves in the smart home market include IKEA and newcomers such as Wyze, which offer ultra-low-cost devices.

He added that major players also will make pivotal strategy changes to enhance their competitiveness, with examples including Google, which recently ended its  “Works with Nest” program. In another example, he pointed to Amazon Alexa, which achieved compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

“For its part, Ring is launching into the small-medium businesses (SMB) segment,” said Kozak. “Comcast will focus on its Xfinity platform and hone its strategy around content deployment. Meanwhile, Centrica, which offers the Hive smart home, plans to focus its platform on energy and services.

Software, analytics and partnerships

A brief hiatus in hardware development has prompted smart-home companies to make advancements with software, analytics and acquisitions/partnerships, according to IHS. However, Kozak noted that another hardware push is set to arrive soon, with the arrival of new smart speakers from Google, Apple and Samsung as well as offerings for insurance companies and apartment complexes.

US smart-home penetration rises, despite privacy concerns

Although the U.S. smart-home penetration exceeded 38 percent in 2018, IHS said the market’s further progress could be impeded by privacy concerns, which is why IHS is advising technology providers to take steps to alleviate consumer apprehension.

“Rapid innovation often breeds speculation and mistrust,” Kozak said. “Because of that, smart-home companies should be as transparent as possible regarding data usage. They also should focus on edge-based processing, which reduces the need for cloud-based computing systems that send private data over the internet. The smart home should also make greater efforts to comply with standards and regulations for sectors such as security, healthcare and senior care. By having more standards and regulations in place, innovation in the smart home will be less a source of anxiety for consumers and instead become a cause for optimism and a fulcrum for peace-of-mind.”

The IHS Markit Smart Home Device Database assesses the market for smart home devices including unit shipments, installed base, housing type, route to market, system type, connectivity type, network controller, country/sub-region and market shares.

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