Customer smart phone controlled applications are expanding rapidly. From cameras, audio, garage doors, door bells, personal and vehicle tracking, turn the lights on, start the coffee machine and turn the heat or air conditioning on. O yeah, almost forgot, a security system with smoke detectors; I know you're familiar with that. So the question today is, are you going to adapt in this fast changing electronic world of the internet, offer the equipment and services that will not only be available but demanded by consumers, or will you slowly, maybe not so slowly, become obsolete? If you stockpiled dialers waiting for their return it's time to wake up. Use your smart phone to start the coffee.
What I think is going to be most challenging to the security industry is that competition has changed. You are no longer competing against your buddy who has the alarm company across town or down the block. You are now competing with that company, if still in business, still competing with the gorilla ADT and some new big nationwide operations who probably don't deserve mention, but you are competing with the manufacturers who make and sell you the equipment and, even worse news, well healed businesses that out from outside the alarm / security / fire business. And one more player, your local government who decides to offer alarm services.
I just read an article that talked about IoT. I've seen that before and confess didn't know what it was. Well, I too risk becoming obsolete. Dick Soloway from Napco was quoted using it in the article, and the term was bandied around by others as if we should all know what it means. It means "the internet of things", whatever that means. I suppose it means that soon just about every aspect of life, at least the electronic parts, will be controlled by the consumer's smart phone. What you need to think about is whether you'll be part of this startling evolution of technology.
I can't say we didn't see this coming. The Standard Form Agreements, particularly the All in One Agreements, have changed significantly since 2013 and require updates regularly because systems and services change, creating new opportunity for sales and RMR, and new areas of risk; they seem to go hand in hand.
The DIY market is just the beginning for this new technology explosion. It's interesting to me that some DIY operations limit themselves to certain products and services, some offering only cameras, others only security, others including some fire detection equipment, others two way audio, environmental controls, lighting and yes, coffee machines. If this business really going to be fragmented this way, or is someone going to come around and offer all of it, a single package with every bell and whistle available. I can tell you that I am gearing up to meet the challenge by having the Standard Form Agreements you need available. No small feat since we deal in 50 states and often other countries.
If you think of those who were in on the ground floor when the alarm industry began offering its services as pioneers of the industry, then you need to come up with an analogy for what you must now become, perhaps astronauts, space explorers. What you need to become are titans of industry; the security / fire / home automation / GPS tracking / PERS / IoT industry. If you don't, rest assured that others will. Don't find yourself in a room staring at shelves of dialers waiting for your dial phone to ring.
See you in the future; it's here.