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Energy market expert tapped as Vivint Solar’s new EVP

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10/28/2013

PROVO, Utah—Thomas Plagemann has joined Vivint Solar as executive vice president and head of capital markets, the company recently announced.

APX Group completes senior notes exchange

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10/25/2013

PROVO, Utah—The APX Group, of which home automation/home security provider Vivint operates as a subsidiary, received 100 percent of the two categories of outstanding notes that were subject to an exchange offer that closed Oct. 24, the company has announced.

Vivint hires former Alcoa exec as CFO

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10/11/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint today announced the appointment of Mark Davies, former EVP at Alcoa, as the company's new chief financial officer. As CFO, Davies will lead Vivint's financial teams, streamline processes and draw on his extensive experience with financial strategy to create business plans for Vivint's investments, funding sources and financial transactions, according to a news release.

Dynamark Convention: day two

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Embrace new technology. Adapt. Preserve a human connection in sales and seize the opportunities provided by a market that's bound to become more aware of your products and services. Those were some of the words of wisdom offered by Wayne Alter, founder of Dynamark, and Wade Moose, CEO of The Systems Depot and Elk Products, in the keynote speeches at the Dynamark Convention 2013.

A spirit of optimism pervaded the basic message, and both Alter and Moose were engaging speakers, knowledgeable and honest, with a penchant for weaving helpful and often funny personal stories into their advice for dealers. Early into Alter’s keynote, he predicted the penetration rate for the market would see a spike between 5-8 percent in the not-too-distant future. It’s a lofty projection, but one grounded in the likelihood that market awareness stands to rise appreciably in the coming years due to the influx of new players, specifically the cablecos and telecoms, whose advertising clout could prove a boon to the entire industry. This development, together with a gradually recovering economy and a profusion of home management services that boost RMR and curb attrition, might be enough to nudge that stubborn penetration rate in an upward direction. I’ll be keeping a close eye on market reports to see if Alter’s prediction bears itself out. 

Another point of emphasis in both speeches, particularly Alter’s: The industry has come full circle. “It’s new in some ways, and it’s old in others,” Alter told attendees. While the technology and the means of reaching customers have undergone dramatic transformations recently, some of the original principles of salesmanship remain as essential as ever, Alter noted. He mentioned Vivint’s door-knocking summer sales model as an example of this, as well as the DIY monitoring systems, which Alter originally thought would appeal more to hobbyists than general customers.

Another two-part prescription Alter provided to dealers: Expand the number of people in your business and train them well. It’s a tested formula for building an account base, if not always an easy one to enact. This piece of advice again harkens back to the recurring theme of the keynote—the theme of keeping pace with the evolution of the industry while preserving certain core requirements that have always been conducive to growth.  

In a funny anecdote, Alter drove home the point that many of the same sales practices that work best now were the same sales practices that worked best when he started his business in 1975, a time when he had to scour phonebooks for sales leads.  

There’s much more to say about my experience at the Dynamark Convention. But since this space is reserved for a blog rather than a dissertation, I’ll have to save these thoughts for my next post. Tomorrow I'll discuss my inaugural central station visit at Dynamark's Hagerstown, Md.-based facility, along with some other goings-on at the convention. 

Vivint gets new COO—from outside the industry

David Bywater and other outside hires bring ‘really good perspectives’ to Vivint, President Alex Dunn says
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09/11/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint has a new COO: former Xerox executive David Bywater. The recent hire marks the third time this year that Vivint has gone outside the industry to add to its executive team.

Vivint grows its infrastructure along with its business

The home automation/home security company now has 7,000 employees, and has doubled size of its headquarters, and opened two other Utah facilities and one in Washington state
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09/04/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint expanded this summer into a new 100,000-square-foot building on its campus here, which about doubles the space it occupies in Provo.

Linear execs: 2GIG still innovating

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2GIG is still innovating. That's the message I got yesterday from a briefing with Bruce Ehlers, SVP engineering for Linear, and Mike O'Neal, Linear president. It's also working with some providers it did not work with previously. The 2GIG panel has historically worked with alarm.com software. Ehlers and O'Neal emphasized that it still works with alarm.com, but it now also will work with iControl, Telular and Uplink.

"We are not walking away from alarm.com. We have a strong relationship with alarm.com. But, we're now providing an alternative [for dealers] who want an alternative," O'Neal said.

You'll remember that Linear's parent company, Nortek, aquired 2GIG in February. Here's that story. Linear and 2GIG's relationship goes back to 2007, however, when the companies began working together to develop the Go!Control panel. Once it was developed, Linear manufactured the panel, and it continues to manufacture it today.

2GIG and summer-model giant Vivint have always been separate companies, but they had the same owners until the Nortek acquisition in February. Now, "Linear and 2GIG are one and VIvint is a customer, one that we intend to support for a long time, but a customer," Ehlers said.

One of the benefits of the acquisition, Ehlers said, is that there was a perception previously that dealers who bought the 2GIG product were buying a Vivint product. The perception is going away, particularly as Linear continues to develop new feature sets for the panel and to develop new partnerships, Ehlers said.

O'Neal said there was some concern six months ago that "somehow Linear would pull the 2GIG product in and rest on our laurels of the past. But what you're seeing now is that we're taking the product further. In the next six to 12 months you'll see more innovation than what you've seen in the past. Bruce and his team are taking the historical product well beyond where it has been."

"Linear is investing in the innovation that was the hallmark of VIvint and 2GIG in the past. We're not taking our foot off the pedal," O'Neal said.

The acquisition and separation from Vivint "is opening up a pent-up demand for 2GIG," he said. More dealers are signing up and non-Vivint sales of the 2GIG panel are 30 percent ahead of where they were one year ago, according to O'Neal. The company is also recruiting 50 engineers to work on this and other Linear products, he said.

 

 

 

Vivint Solar secures $200m in residential solar funding

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08/07/2013

PROVO, Utah—Vivint Solar, a division of home automation/home security giant Vivint, based here, announced this week that it has secured two new tax equity funds worth $200 million.

Vivint teams up with builder to create energy efficient 'Zero Home'

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08/02/2013

PROVO, Utah—A new house that creates more energy than it uses has been created through a partnership between home automation/home security provider Vivint and Utah builder Garbett Homes.

Vivint gets new CIO

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vivint has a new chief information officer, Todd Thompson, who hails from the hotel and airline industries, the company announced today.

Another home security giant also just hired a new CIO. The ADT Corp., based in Boca Raton, Fla., recently tapped Kathleen McLean, a former telecom exec, as CIO.

But while the position of CIO is a newly created one for ADT, that’s not the case with Provo, Utah-based Vivint. The Vivint CIO job that Thompson is stepping into was formerly held by JT Hwang, who will become chief technology officer, focusing on the development and integration of the company's products and platform, the company said in a news release.

Thompson will be responsible for companywide information technology functions, Vivint said.

Vivint President Alex Dunn said in a prepared statement, “Supporting our culture of innovation with advanced technology and effective processes has always been a priority, and Todd's experience in IT leadership will be a huge asset to our business.”

One thing both ADT’s McLean and Vivint’s Thompson have in common is that each comes from outside the security industry.

According to the Vivint news release, Thompson most recently "was CIO for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he led the team that implemented the industry's first new-age reservation system, drove initiatives to enhance revenue and the guest experience, and streamlined the IT function." Prior to Starwood, the company said, Thompson was CIO for JetBlue Airways and before that led consulting practices for SBI.Razorfish and Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.

“Vivint presents a lot of exciting advantages from a technological perspective,” Thompson said in a statement. “As a company, we have the opportunity to do things that have never been done before, and we want to do the same thing with information technology. We, in IT, are committed to continuously helping reimagine our business so it's more effective than anything else out there as we contribute to the company's future success.”

Thompson holds a BS in computer science and an MBA from Brigham Young University.
 

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