Monitoring Needs Can Make Integrators Feel Right at Home

Some security monitoring companies were exhibiting at a recent home networks show I attended. I asked why they were interested in home systems.

There was no secret plan afoot – it’s just that the current boom in new home structured wiring installations often leads to “up-for-grabs” monitoring contracts. Builders put up the shell, electricians install the power wiring, integrators install communication cabling and controls, and buyers decide what electronic systems they want.

The companies at the show tried to convince integrators that they could provide monitoring contracts for homeowners. As a result, I expect integrators to sell more monitoring services as long as low interest rates stimulate new construction.

Contracts Are There for the Taking

The revenue impact of the recent economic slowdown sent integrators searching for new income potentials, which led them to discover that commercial monitoring contracts are available if they simply asked and had a monitoring company partnership.

Add commercial and residential systems integrators together and old industry fences break down as they become more aware of this opportunity. And this is only part of other changes occurring. Let’s look at four more, some clearly in a longer-term stage of development.

Changes Bring About Opportunity

In video security monitoring, new imaging technology is rapidly emerging: Analog cameras are being replaced with digitals, dumb cameras are becoming smart and wired cameras are becoming wireless. The Department of Homeland Security strongly promotes video surveillance. Airports and seaports can provide their own monitoring, but there are economic efficiencies in the ability of central stations to provide this service for smaller organizations.

Productivity and quality assurance are at the top of the list in American industry. Surveillance in many industrial and commercial functions are ready for nonsecurity video monitoring.

Companies are developing home appliances for plug-in to structured wiring homes, inevitably producing a diagnostic monitoring trend. A recent television spot featured a serviceman knocking on a door and saying to a housewife, “Earl sent me” because the refrigerator is about to break. Next, a child’s voice says “Mom, there’s something wrong with the fridge.” Smart appliances are destined to need diagnostic help.

As digital networks multiply and eventually predominate in even small commercial and residential locations, the potential for maintenance monitoring will grow. Our touchscreens will be replaced with newer, better models. But who knows about these new models or when replacement or upgrading is advisable? The security experts know. Can this integration trend be converted into a growing generation of monitoring services? In time, I believe it will but good marketing will be required.

The graph’s numbers (as seen in the May issue of Security Sales & Integration) are still fluid because the federal funds rate is critical to the building industry, which drives a large part of the future-proofed (structured wired) new home trend. How much of this future can integrators secure? As the industry consolidates and larger capital investments are made into new ventures, the industry’s market share of these monitoring potentials could be substantial.

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