Opportunities, Solutions and Tips for Selling Home Automation
2N’s Chief Product Officer chats with SSI about what it takes to win more home controls business.
2N Chief Product Officer Tomáš Vystavěl recently spoke with SSI about the latest opportunities in security and automation, tips to win more home controls business, the company’s latest offerings and more.
1) What are some of the exciting opportunities you see for home security and automation integrators?
I would highlight two in particular.
First, the growth in interest in mobile credentials, partly driven by the pandemic, which is the most significant trend shaping our industry right now. Our phones are not communication devices anymore, they are essential tools in how we live our lives. Increasingly, people want to use them to access their homes as well.
2N recently launched WaveKey, our next generation Bluetooth-based mobile access technology, to meet this demand. There are huge opportunities in mobile access control, which is why we have prioritized it over recent years, investing heavily into improvements in security and reliability.
The second trend we are seeing is the integration of new solutions like mobile access control and video calls from door intercoms into home automation control apps. To be able to do that, your devices must be IP-based to be able to offer appropriate APIs. It is also essential that manufacturers can offer SDKs for an app, so it can be integrated into home automation solutions.
2) How do you see the ongoing pandemic affecting home systems integrators and their customers?
We have seen a boom in e-commerce during the pandemic, as well as ongoing interest in technologies that limit unnecessary face-to-face contact. One solution which responds to both of these trends is an intercom system which allows deliver drivers to be given access to the building — whether or not the tenant is actually at home — and leave packages in a secure area designed for that purpose. Solutions like this have been installed at both 105 Fifth Avenue and The Orchard in Manhattan and are very popular with tenants.
Customers are also, quite rightly, more and more concerned about cleanliness in every area of their lives. Even supermarkets disinfect shopping carts these days and customers also need to know that their intercoms are completely safe to touch.
Our intercoms can be cleaned with alcohol-based disinfectants and can also be sprayed with high-pressure water to remove bacteria and other microorganisms as well as grime. They can withstand up to 176°F hot water. These are the kind of details that are no longer ‘nice to haves’ — they are requirements.
3) Some tips for them to win more home controls business, especially amid tough competition?
Any decision about home security involves a lot of emotional investment. People aren’t prepared to take chances with who they are letting into their homes. Decisions like this therefore require trust, both in the person they are dealing with and the solution they are buying. This is one of the reasons we prioritize our pre-sales team, which reacts to every request and meets our customers. Customers appreciate that level of care and experience and we find that it leads to us being recommended to other people.
It is the same for our partners. A professional approach matters hugely, but that isn’t enough on its own. Consumers are increasingly knowledgeable about the technology, so it is also essential to recommend the best technical solution. That’s particularly true for the most demanding customers, of which we know there are many in home automation. Those customers tend to find strong, stable brands very reassuring.
But let’s not forget design too. These days, if a device doesn’t look great, there’s no future for it. 2N recently launched the 2N IP Style, an intercom with a 10″ touchscreen display. It recently won the 2021 CE Pro BEST Product Award at the CEDIA Expo and was specifically designed for modern residential entrances.
4) What solutions does Axis and 2N have available to support those integrators as they look to differentiate and grow that business?
2N is an Axis brand. Axis solutions span the security and commercial markets, and 2N has been widely known for access control solutions to the residential, commercial and office sectors. 2N applies its knowledge of IP-based devices which is why we have focused so hard on integrating mobile technology into access control. We will continue to invest in developments in this area.
As well as WaveKey, the next generation mobile access technology that I mentioned, we also offer applications like the 2N Mobile Video, which lets people communicate with visitors via their mobile phone and the intercom installed at the door. We provide smart solutions for the elevator cabin as well.
Through the Cloud, access security devices also no longer need to be connected to a single local network. You only need what is already available in most residential buildings — an Internet connection.
There are instances of 2N and Axis working together on integrated residential projects. One example is in Boston, where Urban Property Management maintains a portfolio of more than one hundred upscale condominium properties in the city and outlying suburbs.
The consensus among residents is that the new access control solution our partner Advanced Network Connections (ANC) installed — which combines 2N intercoms with Axis cameras — makes them feel safer and in control.
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