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Vivint goes jazzy

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY—The downtown venue that is home here to the Utah Jazz NBA team and is the region’s premier concert and entertainment spot will now be called the Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The renaming comes along with a partnership between Vivint and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment. Financial terms of the 10-year agreement were not disclosed, according to a prepared statement.

The 19,911-seat facility, formerly known as EnergySolutions Arena, hosts about 1.8 million guests and more than 100 sports and entertainment events each year, the companies said.

“The Utah Jazz and the arena are proud to have Vivint as our new naming rights partner,” LHMSE president Steve Starks said in the statement. “Vivint is a long-time supporter of the Jazz, is a Utah-based company, and has a deep commitment to the community and our fans. These were all qualities we looked for when we began this process.”

Headquartered in Provo, Vivint says it has more than 1 million smart home and security product customers and 8,000 employees in the United States and Canada.

“The Utah Jazz and the arena have been an incredible economic engine for this region, and have created a tremendous sense of pride among Utahns,” Todd Pedersen, CEO of Vivint, said in the statement. “This agreement extends far beyond a typical ‘logo-on-the-building’ arrangement —it’s a true partnership built around innovation, community impact and the drive to elevate the prominence of Utah.”

LHMSE and Vivint say they have formed a multi-faceted strategic marketing partnership that will include an interactive “Vivint Smart Home Experience” on the arena concourse, expertise in products and services to improve the game night fan experience along with upgraded security and automation technology at the basketball facilities.

The two companies say they will also be collaborating on an autism awareness campaign as part of their joint community outreach. 

A mainstream view: What’s hot in home security?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

If you’re too focused on industry news these days, as many of us tend to be—present company included—here’s a look at what at least one mainstream media outlet has to say about the latest in home protection.

“What was previously only possible in sci-fi movies is now becoming reality,” the Huffington Post said.

Sometimes it’s helpful to get a look at what the “real” people out there are hearing—and to learn from that. Some of these are big “duhs!” from you industry folks, but I do think it’s important to hear.

So here goes—the following is taking off in the form of home security, according to the Huffington report:

·      Remote monitoring.

·      Smart door locks

·      Home sensors

·      Smart garage systems

·      Fingerprint scanners, including fingerprint door locks

·      Smart cameras

·      Complete home automation system

The report goes on to say that “the digital revolution has made its way into our homes.” For you readers, I hope it makes an even bigger dent in the near future.

Per Mar gains resi clients

Acquisition of Minn. firm brings in thousands of accounts

DAVENPORT, Iowa—Super-regional Per Mar Security Services has acquired 2,000 accounts with its purchase of Northern Safety and Security of Bemidji, Minn.

Matlins' new gig includes e-commerce

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Think Protection, the mass market home alarm company launched by industry veteran Joel Matlin in June, is preparing for another launch next month: an e-commerce store.

“The launch is incredibly exciting as potential customers can order an alarm system through the store 24/7 from anywhere in the world," Matlin's son, Adam Matlin, Think Protection's COO, told me.

"With us operating throughout the U.S. and Canada, we believe the e-commerce store will present a fantastic opportunity to dramatically expand our brand and our high value/low cost value proposition,” he said.  

Joel Matlin is CEO of the company, based and Toronto and Florida. He previously founded AlarmForce and Frisco Bay Industries.




ADS expands farther into South Carolina

Deal lands over 1,000 accounts

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ADS Security, the regional electronic security and automation company headquartered here, has made its second acquisition since June with the purchase of more than 1,000 customer accounts from ProTec Plus Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Will DIY, MIY impact you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What’s the future normal for home security? According to an article from Business Insider, it’s DIY and MIY, all from Silicon Valley giants Google and Apple along with telecom big names.

What do you think?

I speak to resi dealers five days a week. They tell me that DIY is often a selling point for them and that it works very well for some of their customers—especially in helping homeowners understand their systems better—but that MIY, on the other hand, is not beneficial. What happens if you’re an MIYer and you’re 1,000 miles away from home on vacation or a business trip?

Traditional home security systems are still the mainstay, but not for long, according to the report from Citi, the primary source in the Business Insider article. Even though traditional systems/companies currently make up 93 percent of the home security market and DIY/yet professionally monitored make up 4.7 percent, Citi says in the article, that’s all going to change.

Google’s Nest and Dropcam and Apple’s HomeKit control 2.3 percent of the market.

That 2.3 percent market share will grow to 34 percent in the next five years, Citi says, with the traditional professional systems dropping to 61.6 percent.

How will this play out? Do you agree with the Citi study? I’m interested in your opinions for future articles in Security Systems News. Please let me know. Comment, email me at or call me at 207-846-0600. Thanks!




Ex-ADT exec kick-starts Abode

Home security company exceeds fundraising goal

PALO ALTO, Calif.—A former ADT executive’s Kickstarter campaign to help finance a new DIY home security company exceeded its $100,000 goal, and the company, Abode, is up and running.

Got design in mind?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You’ve heard the old real estate sales mantra: “Location, location, location.” For many in the residential security industry today, the new mantra is “Design, design, design.” 

At ISC West this year I met with a long list of security pros, from manufacturers to dealers to providers, most of whom proclaimed that on top of tech advancements their equipment was made “to look good.” 

They’re right. Their designs are looking good.

Panels, switches, sensors and more are sleek with a European-design feel. They will be less than obtrusive when mounted on a wall. No more huge black or brown boxes in the front foyer—these blend in. 

The equipment, mostly white and thin, reminded me of the first, very early, iBook I owned. So pretty and neat, small and clean. That was a number of years ago, and my iBook eventually met its demise, but I still remember it fondly, mostly for how it looked in comparison to other bulky laptops of the day. 

“This is the year of industrial design,” Avi Rosenthal, board member of the Z-Wave Alliance and VP of security and control for Nortek, told me early on at the Las Vegas show.  His comments resonated as I visited other booths after that. 

For homeowners, form is equally as important as function for all products, he and others said.

“It’s the ‘wife-acceptance’ factor. She’s the one who decorates, so the devices must look cool on the wall,” Rosenthal said.

Who wants something big, dark and ugly hitched to the wall just inside their front door? Not me. Neither did former ADT exec Christopher Carney when deciding on the look of his new Abode home resi system.

The pursuit of aesthecially pleasing design extended into the ISC West booths themselves this year. Honeywell, for example, had all of its products—from fire to resi—on interactive display in one big, nicely appointed space—think of an Apple store. 

Nortek had a new, interactive booth, too, with each of its sister companies representing myriad slick-looking products. 

How big a deal is this whole aesthetics thing to you and your companies? Are you feeling the need to adapt to the latest trends in home décor? Are you hearing this from your customers? 

If your products are less than pretty, you might want to consider how good design might add to your bottom line.

Vivint alerts homeowners about scam artists

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Say your residential security company has made a huge dent in a particular neighborhood. You’ve got the area covered and all is good, for you and for homeowners.

Then some shifty guy comes around that neighborhood, knocks on your customers’ doors and professes to offer a better deal for their homes’ security than you can provide.

The guy is likely part of a door-to-door scam, and it’s also likely more guys like him will be showing up over the summer months, according to the Better Business Bureau. I read about a spate of this going on recently in Corpus Christie, Texas, but that's not to say Corpus Christie is a unique target of such ploys.

Vivint has a way of letting its customers know to be on the lookout for such scams. It encourages aware customers to contact the company about suspected scams or deceptive sales practices in their neighborhoods. Upon that notification, Vivint will send out an alert to alarm panels owned by customers in the impacted area. The message says that security scams have been reported nearby, and also gives a 24/7 phone number to call to verify a Vivint rep who might legitimately show up at the door.

“At Vivint, we take all possible measures to keep our customers protected. This includes keeping them apprised of what’s going on in and around their homes in real time,” Steve Dixon, VP of customer experience and operations, told me via email.

"The security alert is one of the things Vivint uses, in addition to customer emails and calls, to advise Vivint customers about questionable or deceptive sales practices used by competitor sales representatives in the area," Dixon said.

Good for Vivint, I say, and to all the other resi providers who provide such a service.

Scam artists, beware!