Icontrol Hires Key ADT Execs to Go Head-to-Head With Alarm.com

Icontrol has hired two ADT bigwigs to help launch its Icontrol One Dealer Program for independent security and home automation dealers.

Icontrol Networks, which powers security and home automation systems for giant service providers such as ADT (Pulse), Comcast (Xfinity Home) and Time Warner Cable (Intelligent Home), is now setting its sights on a smaller target: independent security dealers and home systems integrators.

The 11-year-old company is launching the Icontrol One Dealer Program, inviting little guys to compete with ADT and all those giant cable companies.

The program looks to be targeted squarely at rival Alarm.com, which has always served independent dealers with a similar SHaaS (smart home as a service) platform. Founded in 2000, Alarm.com claims more than one million subscribers.

Right now, Icontrol One has a basic Website, and the program is featured in a full-page ad in at least one major security trade publication: Security Sales & Integration.

Icontrol marketing VP Greg Roberts so far declines to talk to the press.

So all we know for sure about Icontrol One is from the sparse site:

  • Compatible with alarm panels from Nortek’s 2Gig (GoControl), Interlogix (Simon XT, XTi) and DSC (PowerSeries)
  • Requires special Novatel 3G MiFi hub with integrated Z-Wave and Wi-Fi
  • Utilizes Icontrol’s HomeView user interface, which so far has only been used by ADT
  • Compatible with IoT partners in Icontrol’s OpenHome ecosystem.
  • Typical Icontrol stuff like HD camera support

History Lesson: IControl, Alarm.com, Telguard

When Icontrol launched in 2003 as one of the first viable SHaaS (smart home as a service) providers, it was slow going. Really slow going.

The company tried to charge $10 or $20 per month for a DIY automation system (a very good one at the time) that integrated cameras and Z-Wave devices. But just like every other initiative before it, Icontrol’s effort failed.

Recognizing that consumers would only pay $10 or $20 for automation as an add-on to professionally monitored security systems, Icontrol switched gears, creating a platform that piggy-backed on traditional alarm panels, starting with GE (now Interlogix) and Honeywell.

Voila! Icontrol landed ADT in 2009 – its first real customer in seven years.

But Icontrol couldn’t manage to snag the utilities and cable companies because 1) those constituents preferred ZigBee and 2) they needed something easier to install than a traditional security panel + add-on module + gateway.

So Icontrol acquired uControl in 2010, which had the very product cable companies wanted – a self-contained alarm panel with touchscreen, IP communications and ZigBee.

That did it. Icontrol won Comcast (now Xfinity) and the rest of the cable companies followed.

Icontrol and the Security/Automation Channel

All the while, Icontrol has tried, somewhat lackadaisically, to woo independent security dealers. For example, in 2011, it teamed with popular home security manufacturer DSC to offer a service called C24, which never really took off.

In 2012, Reed Stevens, the son of Icontrol co-founder Chris Stevens, launched a company called G2i that would target independent dealers – mostly A/V and automation professionals-with an Icontrol-based alarm and automation service.

But G2i has had a slow start and co-founder Jeff Zemanek recently left the company. Stevens maintains that the company is making strides.

In its latest effort to attract independent dealers, Icontrol teamed with Telular, which provides cellular products and services for most major alarm panel manufacturers.

In 2013, Telular launched Telguard HomeControl, effectively the Icontrol service for independents. 2Gig, part of Nortek Security & Control, was the first alarm panel manufacturer to support the new service, offering its dealers an alternative to long-time SHaaS partner Alarm.com.

DSC followed, effectively moving its existing Icontrol relationship to Telguard.

“Yes, it appears we will now be competing with Icontrol,” says Shawn Welsh, VP marketing and business development for Telguard, in a brief interview with CE Pro about Icontrol One.

He says Icontrol has been a good partner and he welcomes any improvements to the Icontrol platform that might result from the new program.

Telguard has had strong relationships with security dealers for many years and has been busy building partnerships with home technology integrators looking to get into the security and cloud-services business.

On the other hand, Icontrol hasn’t had those relationships or the infrastructure to serve a bunch of small- and mid-sized dealers.

Until now.

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About the Author


Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration.

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