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AT&T launches mPERS unit

The EverThere is professionally monitored and manufactured by Numera, has both enterprise and direct-to-consumer solutions
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12/13/2013

ATLANTA—AT&T has launched its mobile PERS units, called the EverThere, a small wearable device manufactured by Numera, a Seattle-based provider of mobile health solutions.

AT&T rolls out mPERS unit

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

AT&T has officially launched its mobile PERS unit, called the EverThere, a small wearable unit manufactured by Numera Libris. The device automatically detects falls, has two-way emergency calling, and will deliver both enterprise and direct-to-consumer solutions.

Chris Penrose, SVP, AT&T, emerging devices, shed some light on AT&T's plans for channeling the product to market. “In terms of end-users, unlike traditional PERS, which target individuals in their 80s, this mobile solution would offer true independence and freedom for the healthy aging population as well as those living with chronic conditions.”

For me, AT&T’s announcement has a touch of synchronicity.  For something of a niche offering, mPERS has come up quite a bit over the past two weeks, the topic surfacing in conversations with Josh Garner, CEO of AvantGuard Monitoring, and Kristin Hebert, dealer relations at Acadian Monitoring Services, who both said their companies have made strides with the fledgling offering. Though traditional units still comprise about 90 percent of their PERS account bases, the gains do represent some modest traction for a market that was essentially a non-starter some three or four years ago.

Unlike the market for traditional PERS, which consensus says is poised to explode, mPERS tends to have a few more skeptics. A common critique I hear about mPERS is that if you’re pitching the product to a healthy, ambulatory, active senior demographic, that very same demographic, by virtue of being healthy, ambulatory and active, will see no reason to pay for the unit. Another position I encounter is that cell phones, in all their ubiquity, have all but usurped the value of mPERS units.

This second point is worthy of consideration, but as AT&T’s device illustrates, the automated response provided by certain mPERS units or even professionally monitored mobile apps offers some differentiation.

As always, time will tell whether mPERS adoption will be buoyed along with traditional PERS, as the latter makes its projected rise in the market. As these markets become more valuable, I’ll be interested to see how some of the central stations fare as competition proliferates, both in the industry and outside of it.

Company offers cellular medical alarm

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11/26/2013

CONCORD, Calif.—In a wireless age, many people are dropping landline service.

AT&T’s Digital Life in 52 markets this week

The company exceeds its goal of expanding to 50 markets in 2013; ARPU higher than expected
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10/23/2013

DALLAS—When AT&T this spring launched Digital Life, its home security/home automation product, the company set a goal of being in 50 markets by the end of this year. But by the end of this week, AT&T will have surpassed that goal and says it plans to continue expanding to even more markets this year and next.

Women in Security: 2013 Special Report

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The editorial mission of Security Systems News is distinct from other publications in the security industry. We focus on breaking business news (as opposed to products, how-to information or case studies). More specifically, we focus on writing stories that will help our readers make good decisions about their businesses.

In our November issue, we will dedicate one story in each section of our publication—Commercial and Systems Integration; Fire Installation; Monitoring; Residential; and Suppliers—to a woman leader in security. In addition, two women leaders—a consultant and a legislative expert—are profiled in our General News section. Those profiles will also be online this week.

This year, we interviewed Terry Basford of 4b Technology, Elizabeth Hunger of SIA, Karen Head of Kratos PSS, Jennifer Jezek of York Electronic Systems, Betsy Francis of AT&T, Elle Daley of COPS Monitoring and Deb Spitler of HID.

It’s our annual Women in Security special report. This is the fifth year in row that we’ve compiled this report. We don’t go through a formal nominating process, so this is not a vote-driven selection. Rather, we ask our readers to send in nominations and then Tess, Leif and I decide who we’d like to profile.
 
I’m happy to tell you that we get more and more nominations every year. It seems like it’s not as difficult to find women leaders in all sectors of security as it was five years ago. The women who were nominated but were not chosen this year will, in many cases, be interviewed for SSN news articles in the future.

While the women profiled all have unique stories, there’s one noticeable common thread. They love their work and they’re making a difference in their respective workplaces. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that we still hear about how women are “tested” in the boardroom or field because men assume they don’t understand technology, and we still see a paucity of women in the industry—across all sectors.

Read through the profiles in our Women in Security special report and you’ll notice how well this special report aligns with Security Systems News’ editorial goal of helping you make good decisions about your business.

There are plenty of studies that show that there's a correlation between the presence of women in a company's boardroom and profitability. Time after time, studies reveal that companies that have a higher percentage of women executives also have higher corporate profitability on average. Period. Here’s a good story about those studies.

Of course, it’s difficult to prove causation—to show that the reason one company is profitable is because it hires more women executives.

However, ponder that correlation as you read through this year’s profiles. We believe this industry can use more people like HID’s Deb Spitler, Kratos’ Karen Head and the others profiled here.

Hiring smart, ambitious people is a good business move. Making the extra effort to hire a few smart, ambitious women, may prove to be an even better move for your business.

‘It’s all about the confidence to believe that you can’

For the fifth consecutive year, SSN is profiling women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security. Betsy Francis, area VP of sales and marketing for AT&T’s Digital Life, is one of seven women featured.
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10/16/2013

ATLANTA—Betsy Francis, area VP of sales and marketing for AT&T’s security/home automation solution, Digital Life, believes that being a woman aids her in promoting the product.

AT&T launches Digital Life in six new markets

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10/07/2013

MILWAUKEE—Digital Life, the home management product from AT&T is now available in six new markets, the company announced recently.

Is the 2G sunset causing outages?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

AT&T’s 2012 announcement that it would phase out 2G service left most in the alarm industry, well, unfazed. With wireless technology, such changes come with the territory. Moreover, it’s not the alarm industry but the mobile phone industry that dictates network “sunsets.” As Lou Fiore, Chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Commission, put it in a recent conversation: “As long as you go cellular, there is no endgame here.”

A few months after the initial announcement, AT&T attached a deadline (Jan 1, 2017) to its 2G sunset. Since that time, the AICC has established a regular line of communication with AT&T, which sends a representative to attend the organization’s quarterly meetings.

AT&T informed AICC that, while interim changes would take place in advance of the 2G sunset, the changes would not affect the alarm industry. AICC members, Fiore said, were “skeptical.”

“We tried to impress upon [AT&T] the fact that our control sets hang on the wall, and if you change the operating parameters of that network, it may not work anymore,” Fiore said. “You can’t ask the homeowner to move the unit around to see if it works.”

Fiore, who is in the process of gathering information regarding possible outages for units tied to AT&T’s 2G network, said that in given locations, customers might still get 2G coverage but that there’s a chance it “won’t be as deep as it was before.”

Fortunately, there are some steps alarm companies can take to mitigate outages. Companies can switch to AT&T's 3G or 4G network by choosing matching hardware from a cellular alarm communicator, or to one of AT&T's competitors (the 3G and 4G networks of Verizon and Sprint are an option, Fiore said). Certain companies may be able to go with a wired network, but this is highly contingent upon business model, Fiore noted.

Still three years from the deadline, AT&T’s 2G sunset promises to be a story with several more chapters. I’ll be watching closely to see what kind of ripple effects it has on the industry.

AT&T nears goal of 50 markets for Digital Life

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Monday, August 19, 2013

AT&T just launched Digital Life, its home automation/home security product, this April. But it’s already approaching its goal of expanding into 50 markets by the end of 2013.

The Dallas-based telecom announced today that as of Friday, Aug. 23, it will introduce Digital Life in six more markets: Orlando, Fla.; Providence, R.I.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and the cities of Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse in New York.

That will bring the number of markets for Digital Life to 39, just 11 shy of the company’s year-end goal of 50 new markets.

After successful trials of Digital Life last year in Dallas and Atlanta, AT&T in April launched the service in 15 additional major markets nationwide, ranging from San Francisco to Miami, and has rapidly been adding on other markets.

In July, for example, AT&T introduced the service in Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; and Tampa, Fla.

Digital Life is professionally installed and also professionally monitored by At&T's two monitoring centers, one here and one in Atlanta. In June, the company announced that had received Five Diamond certification from the Central Station Alarm Association for its monitoring capabilities.

Customers can use their existing home broadband provider and any wireless phone service to use Digital Life, the company said.

AT&T adds more Digital Life markets

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07/22/2013

DALLAS—AT&T announced today that it plans to launch Digital Life, its home automation/home security product, in six more markets beginning this Friday: Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, San Diego, San Jose and Tampa.

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