Honeywell Dealers Challenged to Embrace Changes at Connect 2014 Event

Manufacturers CSS, FAP and HIS Authorized Dealer groups gathered in Orlando for program updates, education and networking.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Change was in the air and on the minds and lips of presenters and attendees of Honeywell’s Connect 2014 event held Nov. 13-15 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Fla. It was all about the imperative to embrace change at a time when changing technologies, changing markets and changing customer expectations are changing how security dealers and integrators need to approach their businesses.

At the same time it was about how Honeywell is partnering with its Commercial Security Systems (CSS), First Alert Pro (FAP) and Honeywell Integrated Systems (HIS) dealers to provide innovative products and a comprehensive support network to take advantage of changing opportunities. Launched in 2013, Connect is Honeywell’s annual Authorized Dealer event, drawing several hundred attendees as the electronic security industry’s largest independent dealer gathering for program updates, presentations, awards, educational sessions, exhibits and networking.

Making the change theme resonate even more loudly was the fact that two of Honeywell’s senior leaders were new to their roles since the last CSS-FAP-HIS assembly. In his first address to the group, newly appointed Honeywell Automated Control Systems (ACS) President & CEO Alex Ismail emphasized how the manufacturer is ideally positioned for continued leadership in both residential and industrial building controls. He said the company will continue to leverage and build upon interconnected devices and systems, and how the firm’s thousands of engineers will help it become the Apple of commercial and industrial building controls.

Inder Reddy, who just two months ago was named president of Honeywell Security Products, Americas, then spoke of how coming from security makes those dealers uniquely qualified to excel in the new world of connected homes and buildings. He also stressed the importance of remaining grounded and humble about the great importance the role the industry plays in providing security and safety above all else. Reddy is featured in the Hot Seat Q&A department of the upcoming December issue of SSI magazine.

Marek Robinson, president of Honeywell Dealer Programs, and Ron Rothman, president of the Honeywell Security Group and member of the SSI Industry Hall of Fame, also addressed the audience during the general session. Robinson advised not to fear change because it is necessary and is often a very positive agent. “No one wants to be the next Blockbuster,” he said. Robinson unveiled a new tiered structure for the supplier’s dealer programs that will feature platinum, gold and silver levels beginning in December. In illustrating the excitement and growth opportunities currently swirling around the industry, Rothman cited that the top national alarm company, cable company and telephone company spent a combined $240 million on advertising home security and connected services in 2014. He said there are so many new startups on a monthly basis that he cannot even keep track of them.

“We have been waiting for this to take off,” he asserted. “What a great industry to be in!”

Bestselling author and sales and customer service professional Jeffrey Gitomer was the featured keynote speaker. He stalked the stage and constantly moved about the aisles amid the seated attendees while delivering a lively, stimulating, funny and insightful talk that shattered commonly held beliefs about sales and marketing tactics. Again returning to the overall event message, he played an excerpt of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Among many things, he distinguished between customer satisfaction and loyalty, saying the latter is what a business owner’s goal should be and that it must be earned by providing true value.

In particular, Gitomer stated that the social media phenomenon has forever changed the way brands are built and maintained, as well as how customers interact with companies and either help or harm their reputations. He says security dealers and integrators today must embrace social media and have an active presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. He also pushed for companies to begin posting customer testimonials by videotaping them before, during and after the sales/installation process.

Among the many other activities that took place during Connect 2014 was a formal awards banquet and 1970s-themed costume party. And has been the tradition for more than 15 years, broadcasting legend Larry King appeared on the giant video screen to announce this year’s Honeywell Life Safety Award, which recognizes courageous individuals who go above and beyond to save lives. There was not a dry eye in the house as a tale was shared about a young Florida girl who was rescued and revived after nearly drowning thanks to the swift actions of family and first responders. All appeared on stage as the girl told the crowd how thankful she was for them saving her life. The presentation served as a powerful reminder of the incredibly important part everyone in the security industry also plays in protecting people and property.

The January Industry Forecast Issue of SSI magazine will feature an exclusive roundtable with four select Honeywell Authorized Dealers.

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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