Standalone video rules the FAP roost

The Honeywell First Alert Professional conference in Boca Raton, Fla., kicked off with a product showcase that was truly an indication of the way the market is headed—according to this globally recognized R&D giant. New products in intrusion, especially wireless and video and others for the home that are still under wraps will be launched in 2011. But the real focus was on video and the “much more than security theme” that former president of Honeywell Security & Communications and current head  of Honeywell Security Group Ron Rothman alluded to at last year’s meeting in San Diego.

Joe Sausa, president of First Alert Professional kicked off the opening session with the “Connect to Success” theme prevalent throughout the talks of key executives of Honeywell Security & Communications. Sausa talked about double digit year over year growth for the First Alert program, attributing it to the support and camaraderie of First Alert Dealers and their expertise in the field. “The industry as a whole is nowhere near that,” Sausa said of the remarkable growth even in the down economy. “The way you are going to grow is to get better than the competition, and we have new management and new technology to help you do that. It’s critically important we work together to get the job done,” he said, adding that this year’s convention included more sessions from dealer’s peers. 

JoAnna Sohovich, president of Honeywell Security & Communications gave keen insights into the direction which the company is headed, and the focus is on video and perhaps eventually the end of the alarm control panel, according to one of the product roadmap sessions held later in the day.

“There are some very interesting trends right now,” Sohovich told the audience. “Some say technology will leave use behind. Some say Google and Cisco will leave us out—but don’t count us out. Don’t count out the entrepreneurial spirit and the agile dealers we have working for us. It’s the knowledge that they have that will help us deliver connectivity solutions.”

She said statistics still indicate only some 20 percent of the country has active security. “There are some who say millions never will want security, but they value information and overall they want lifestyle functions–beyond security. And they want this information delivered to their mobile devices. If they don’t want security, you can appeal to them with advanced technology offerings. We want to focus on video as a standalone offering and one which will drive recurring monthly revenue,” she said.

Sohovich said all the convenience and lifestyle functions can be accomplished without a security system. “Sell standalone video to appeal to the lifestyle conveniences customers want. You can do all this without a security system. You can do it with video driven to the smartphone. Take a look at the lifestyle customers who value connectivity—who will help you become more profitable. Expand your customer set beyond the current ones and bring in a whole new set of customers. We want to help you tap into these new customers,” Sohovich said. – Deborah O’Mara, editor, Security Dealer & Integrator magazine