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John Loud

AT&T bringing home security in Dallas and Atlanta this summer

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Monday, May 7, 2012

It’s official now …. AT&T plans to bring its home security/home automation offering to Atlanta this summer … and also to Dallas, the Dallas-based telecom announced today. It’s the start of a nationwide launch, the company said.

AT&T’s Digital Life services will be professionally monitored from AT&T owned and operated 24/7 monitoring stations, the company said in a May 7 news release.

The company announced this morning that it plans to begin trials of Digital Life in Atlanta and Dallas this summer. Connected devices offered will include cameras, window, door, smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, thermostats and appliance power controls, the company said.

I learned late last year that AT&T planned to come to Atlanta, where its new Digital Life Services division will be based. Although the company declined to confirm the move at that time, I talked to John Loud, president of the Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association and owner of Kennesaw, Ga.-based Loud Security Systems, who said he had learned about the plan from an AT&T representative.

According to a report in The Dallas Morning News, an AT&T spokesman said that its Digital Life offering will benefit from “AT&T’s involvement with a smart home startup company called Xanboo,” which it acquired in December 2010.

Just a year ago, Security Systems News reported that AT&T was terminating its Xanboo dealer agreement. AT&T wouldn’t comment on what the company was going to do with the Xanboo technology, but there was speculation then that AT&T was going to get directly involved in the security business.

I'll continue to report on this story. Here’s more from AT&T’s release:
 

AT&T Plans Nationwide Launch of Wireless-centric Home Security and Automation Services

Checking on the welfare of loved ones, protecting your home from intruders, fire or water damage,  unlocking a door for the repairman or changing the temperature setting on the thermostat – and doing it from wherever you happen to be, here or abroad  – can be as easy as if you were right at home.

AT&T today announced plans for a new portfolio of all-digital, IP-based home security monitoring and automation services.  Called AT&T Digital LifeTM, , the services will give users unparalleled control and security of their homes using any web-enabled device, PCs, tablets and smartphones, regardless of wireless carrier.

AT&T plans to begin trials in Atlanta and Dallas this summer.

Managed by a newly created Digital Life group, the remote monitoring and automation portfolio will feature web-based access to automation, energy and water controls, as well as professionally monitored security services.

“The AT&T Digital Life service has the potential to take home monitoring and home security solutions to another level,” said Larry Hettick, Research Director, Consumer Services, for Current Analysis. “The service promises to be as robust as anything in the marketplace today backed by the trusted AT&T brand. I am particularly impressed with its IP-based wireless platform, plans for a nationwide offering, and a wide range of devices that can be monitored and viewed from any carrier’s wireless or wireline Internet connection. These consumer-friendly capabilities will help grow this industry.”

AT&T Digital Life will feature a robust lineup of connected devices like:

    Cameras
    Window/door sensors
    Smoke, carbon monoxide, motion and glass break sensors
    Door locks
    Thermostats
    Moisture detection
    Appliance power controls

The devices will be wirelessly enabled to connect to the IP-based AT&T Digital Life platform inside the home.

"AT&T Digital Life will change the way people live, work and play -- and meets a clear need in the market,” said Kevin Petersen, senior vice president, Digital Life, AT&T Mobility.  “The service is smart, simple and customer centric– freeing homeowners to do the things they want to do without compromising on the things they need to do to care for family and home.”

Unique Digital Life Trial Features

AT&T Digital Life will include numerous unique features and benefits:

    Professional installation of the platform, sensors and other devices
    Integrated, wirelessly enabled platform that combines home security and automation capabilities
    AT&T owned and operated 24/7 security monitoring centers
    A state-of-the-art user interface application, which allows customers to customize a solution based on individual needs, and the ability to manage and control their services from the U.S. or while traveling abroad
    The option to experience and purchase the service in AT&T’s distribution channels, including AT&T company-owned retail stores. The service will also be made available for purchase on att.com when available commercially.
    The ability to add more features and services after the initial installation, hassle free

The Digital Life platform includes built-in AT&T mobile internet service and will also be capable of Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and wired broadband connections. Trial subscribers can use their own wired broadband solution with the Digital Life system and can access the service and remotely control the products from smartphones, tablets and PCs, regardless of carrier.

“We’re planning a unique suite of services, from start to finish, that will give homeowners control of their property and their possessions through an easy to navigate user interface,” Petersen said.  “Our focus is on providing our customers with a comprehensive home security and automation solution that offers the best possible customer experience, and uses the most advanced mobile internet technology on the market to make their lives easier and keep their families and property safer.”

In February, AT&T announced plans to launch an SDK for international providers to equip global service providers with capabilities to offer customizable, web-based home automation, energy and security services to their subscribers.

 

Loud Security hopes to score with baseball advertising

Using a former major league star in TV commercials and running ads on scoreboards, the Georgia company aims to win more customers
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03/07/2012

KENNESAW, Ga.—Take your security company out to the ballgame when it comes to advertising. That’s an approach that Loud Security, a regional based here, is taking this year, and president and owner John Loud suggests that other security companies might benefit from sports-centric advertising campaigns as well.

Loud starts off new year with new acquisitions

The Georgia security company considered a lot of other matches before finding two that really fit
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02/29/2012

KENNESAW, Ga.—In 2011, Loud Security considered making as many as nine acquisitions, but ended up turning them all down. But now, with 2012 barely under way, Loud has made two acquisitions in its backyard.

Talking about new entrants in Dallas

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I’m in Dallas at the ESA Leadership Conference and ESI Forum.

If you’re at the event, check out the educational session I’m moderating today. It’s called "What the Arrival of New Industry Entrants Means for your Business"

The panelists are Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG Security, and John Loud, president of Loud Security. We’ll be talking about  the cable and telco companies that are playing in security now.

There are seven at last count, and they’re not all taking the same approach. We’re going to take a look at who the new entrants are, analyze their offerings and approach, and talk about what traditional security companies should keep in mind as the competitive landscape shifts.

The session begins at 1:45 today. See you there.

AT&T to enter Atlanta security market

The telecom is not yet revealing details of its products and services, but it will reportedly open its own monitoring station
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12/07/2011

KENNESAW, Ga.—The news that AT&T is creating a new Atlanta-based division to offer customers home security and home automation—and that it reportedly will open its own monitoring station—carries some positive implications for local alarm companies, said John Loud, owner of Loud Security Systems, which is based here.

‘Cookie ladies’ sweeten products showcase

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The first night at Honeywell’s First Alert Professional annual convention is traditionally an opening reception with a buffet and casual social networking time.

Well, last night at the start of the 2011 convention that I'm attending here in Scottsdale, Ariz. there was something a little different. After the buffet in a ballroom at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa—food with a Tex-Mex theme, yum!—everyone wandered over to the nearby hall where Honeywell for the first time decided to put on an after-hours Products & Services Showcase. And the showcase was enhanced by the amazing “cookie ladies.”

Convention attendees—I’m told there are about 700 this year—strolled around watching demonstrations of the latest technology and talking to vendors while sipping wine, beer and other drinks from a bar and also enjoying desserts—some of the most luscious of which were served by two beautiful young women who were literally walking dessert trays.

Dressed in bright red off-the-shoulder dresses, the two looked like Flamenco dancers from the waist up. But their bodies rose out of the middle of round dessert carts that obscured the lower half of their bodies. The round, wheeled carts were skirted with red material so looked like the women’s hoop skirts. The carts rolled along as the women walked, stopping here and there to let people help themselves to the powdered-sugar-drenched cookies spread out on the carts.

The young women were charming and gracious (one posed for a picture with me—the sight has to be seen to be believed—and I’ll get that up on this site as soon as the photographer emails it to me) and convention-goers told me they enjoyed the unique method of serving up something sweet.

One was John Loud, owner of Loud Security Systems and president of the Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association. “In any business, you try to do something different to bring some value in,”he observed to me.

He and others said they appreciated the extended showcase hours to learn about products and services. “You get to spend more time with the vendors,” Loud said. There also was plenty of opportunity to network with others. “It’s a nice social environment,” Loud said.

At the showcase, I got a chance to see for myself something I just blogged about recently: a new system designed to alert homeowners if their windows are unlocked. It was developed by Honeywell and Andersen Corp., of window fame. John Kovach, Honeywell’s global director of marketing for sensor products, showed me how it works on a window, protecting homes from burglars and also winter drafts.

He also showed me Honeywell’s new 5816OD Wireless Outdoor Contact, which the company says “is the only wireless magnetic contact designed for harsh outdoor environments.” Used with a 5800 Series wireless sensor, it can protect outdoor things like detached garages, barns and other areas too costly to protect with a wired solution. “There’s nothing like this in the industry,” Kovach told me.

Stephen Wheeler, president of Holmes Security Systems, told Kovach he’s trying out the product. Holmes, a Fayetteville, N.C-company founded in 1908, has had four generations of the Wheeler family working for it, Wheeler told me. He said the company has been a First Alert dealer for at least a dozen years. That’s one of the things that stands out for me about this convention—how many Mom-and Pop companies are a part of the First Alert Professional program.

Changes underway at GELSSA

The Georgia security association has new director, new initiatives
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06/21/2011

KENNESAW, Ga.—The Georgia Electronic Life Safety and Security Association (GELSSA) saw its membership decline by 60 percent in the last five years, according to John Loud, the group’s president since January.

Loud buys bolt-on in backyard

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10/14/2010

KENNESAW, Ga.—Loud Security, a regional security company based here, made its fifth acquisition of 2010 last week, with the purchase of Helping Hands, a family-owned security company based in Cartersville, Ga.
“This brings 450 accounts, mostly residential with a little commercial, and it’s all right in our backyard, right in our footprint. It’s a wonderful addition,” said John Loud, president of Loud Security.

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