How Nest, I-View Now Integration Fuels Video Verification RMR for Security Pro Channel
I-View Now has created an integration with Nest Cam security cameras that will allow installing security contractors to offer video alarm verification services to residential and small commercial business subscribers.
PALO ALTO, Calif. — Nest is expanding its products portfolio to offer professional security dealers a unique value proposition that allows them to pursue new streams of recurring monthly revenue (RMR) with residential and small business customers.
At the foundation of the new offering is the integration of Nest Cam security cameras with I-View Now’s alarm video verification platform. The collaboration allows I-View Now to integrate security system signals, video sources, Cloud applications and Internet-connected devices into Nest’s Cloud platform. The key benefit here is providing end users, monitoring centers and emergency responders with better information so they can prioritize resources.
Nest will now offer RMR with all Nest Cam security cameras via the new I-View Now video verification Works with Nest integration program.
I-View Now’s Cloud architecture and Software as a Service (SaaS) model negates the need to purchase additional software or hardware — be it at the edge, in the monitoring center or for emergency responders. Unifying these technologies and constituencies results in fewer false alarms, faster response times and safer communities.
I-View Now assists security dealers with a go-to-market strategy with central station video services by working with them to define markets, assemblies, creation costs, end-user pricing, operator training, installer training and sales training.
Nest Product Marketing Manager Erick Low and I-View Now President Larry Folsom explain how alarm dealers who sign up to become Nest Pros will be able to leverage this new offering.
What do see as being advantageous about working with the pro security installer channel?
Erick Low: I think one thing that’s really exciting about professional security installers and installers in general is they’re on the frontlines. A lot of times it’s really important that we arm those people on the frontlines with products that make sense for both their business as well as the users and customers that they’re supporting.
The Nest camera makes a lot of sense and can help their businesses with things like the I-View integrations. It makes sense for installers when they’re both installing it for their users and homeowners, as well through I-View to have things like subscriptions and ongoing recurring revenue.
How will you get the messaging out to the pro channel about the new offering with I-View Now?
Low: We have launched an initiative to really promote our Nest Pro program. That’s something we’re going to continue to do and add more resources and more people to help build that program. It’s everything from supporting tradeshows, providing information, working on things like our portal where pros and consumers can find more information. If you want to become an official Nest installer you can go and work on that and sign up. Or if you’re a consumer, we’re also doing a lot more marketing to get the word out for our products.
This is like consumer retail marketing that would go to an end user, saying, ‘Hey, these products are designed to do it yourself, but some of them are a little bit more complicated. If you’d like someone to help you handle it for you and take all the hassle out of it, just go to our Nest Pro finder online, and we can hook somebody up that can absolutely do it for you.’
We’re doing a lot of proactive marketing from the Nest perspective to educate both the pros and installers that we have products that are for them. And that’s through all the usual grassroots ways as well as media, as well as educating the end users or homeowners who are actually going to be asking for this, so they can also seek out and ask pros for Nest products by name.
Describe Nest Labs’ expanding portfolio of cameras.
Low: The Nest Cam IQ outdoor camera is a great fit for the pro audience and a lot of installers and their businesses. It fits in with other things they may already be installing, in terms of carrying it on the truck or bringing it out to customers in the field. You may start with something like a Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera, but it’s a great way to also move into other products in the home, like thermostats or smoke and CO alarms.
What’s really cool about the Nest Cam IQ outdoor is it’s weatherproof, tamper-resistant and designed to be plugged into a power outlet inside the home. For customers interested in getting a Nest camera this is something a pro would be really well suited for. We’ve done research and seen that some consumers aren’t comfortable doing that type of install. Previous outdoor Nest cams were more DIY-oriented. The IQ is a good alignment of product that fits this segment really well and fits in with what the pros are already doing.
We’re also working to bring more intelligence to the cameras with things like facial recognition technology through a feature we call familiar face alerts. That allows our cameras to detect a familiar face like loved ones as well as an unfamiliar face like a stranger and send a personalized notification to a phone. That’s a big initiative we’re going to be marketing and branding to get the word out.
How did Nest zero-in on video verification and how did the relationship with I-View Now develop?
Larry Folsom: I first started talking with [Nest Head of Professional Channel Gene LaNois] back in 2014. We came up with the idea of the Nest cameras being able to work with the traditional channel with the security systems that dealers were going to sell, and being able to associate those signals in our I-View Now Cloud with their video Cloud and pull them into the central station. We’ve been fans of this idea for a few years. About a year ago we really started to get to a place where both Nest and potentially our platform had matured where it made a lot more sense.
What we’re excited about is they bring an unbelievable brand, but the brand is obviously about the quality of these products. It’s the quality of the product at the price point that now the consumer can get access to. I think we’re going to see not just the proliferation of video but now video services associated with the central station, which is what I think is the pro channel’s backbone.
How is I-View Now a better video verification choice than some of the competition?
Folsom: We’re probably the only ones, quite honestly, that have open architecture. We’re integrated to Bosch panels, DMP panels, Honeywell panels. We’re integrated to all kinds of other video sources.
There are some excellent other products out there for sure, but many of them are much more centralized. So a central station’s challenge becomes not everything is one brand. From an I-View Now perspective, all the video that we’re integrated with, including now these Nest cameras, playing the same player the same way for the agent; the end user messages are deployed in the same way.
What we do very differently is we’re the only platform that’s got nine central station integrations. I think we’re an open platform and we’re tying together different technologies that traditionally were very independent. We’re uniquely positioned to bring something like Nest in because the dealer gets to use Bosch, DMP, Honeywell, all these different security systems just like they were going to anyway.
Is the best tactic to present video verification as an add-on, upgrade, or lead the conversation with it?
Folsom: Unequivocally it’s got to be part of your package and part of what you lead with. You can always take it off. I think the parallel to me is in interactive services. Seven years ago when I started the alarm company I sold last year, it was an interesting time in interactive services. We fiddled with it, and ultimately, what I determined to do was raise my monthly, include the interactive services, and my attach rate was about 97%. My average recurring was obviously higher.
We did the same thing when we found a set of verification offerings that made sense to our go-to-market strategy. I think that things like the Nest camera integration do nothing but completely enhance and/or support that argument. In answer to your question, you’ve got to lead with it. You’ve got to bundle it, and I think the average dealer needs to see the opportunity to differentiate themselves against these sort of self-installed and self-monitored.
What we find with the end user, we can talk about police and priority response, and it’s clearly in this mix, but what the end user really wants is to know what’s causing their alarms. Tying it all together between the end user being able to see the video, if that end user does not participate and it rolls to the operator, having the operator now have video to be able to call the traditional responsible party and say we’ve got video of a person. Does anyone know why they’re there? By the time they’ve performed two-call confirmation, the standard of our industry, with the knowledge of video that there’s a person there, when they get to then call law enforcement, I think they have a much better story to tell.
We’ve trained our salespeople, and we train dealers today to be able to have that conversation. The end user gets it. The end user wants the additional information. The best point here would be it’s no longer some crazy expensive thing; this should just be part and parcel of what we’re offering to our potential clients.
Do you have a sense of the price range that dealers are charging for video verification?
Folsom: I would say that I still this this is part of a foundational package. I can tell you from my own alarm company we provided a cellular service, an interactive service, and then we added the service on. Without adding the central station verification service, I was [commercially] in the $48 range. When we added verification to it, we brought the price up to $67 a month. Our attach rate was fantastic.
It really starts to look like video if we’re going to do this correctly. We’re going to sell all the attributes and aspects of why the video system is important, having an ongoing relationship with the video system and the security system. It’s just a natural extension of that same sales call. We’re seeing it anywhere from $55 to $75 a month. The other services in there look like monitoring, a radio, and interactive services.
Some folks when the price deviates from the $55 to $75 they may include some level of maintenance or responsibility for the cameras. In my example with my alarm company we didn’t. We sold it with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. After that one year, we charged for service.
In offering video verification, does a dealer need to be concerned about more frequent testing and maintenance of the system?
Folsom: I don’t think so. Our philosophy from an I-View Now perspective is recorders and cameras that are connected to us, we are monitoring them to ensure they’re online, offline, and in some cases, understand their health and are able to pass that health signal status into the central station, not unlike a low battery or trouble from a traditional security system.
As long as the camera is affixed that’s probably another item here. You wouldn’t want to take a camera and stick it on someone’s shelf unfixed, and then drive off. I think you run the risk that if the person moves it to another room for a reason they might have, which would then defeat the purpose. We do believe A) all doors, and then B) the camera needs to be affixed and looking at the zone. Whether that’s externally looking at the perimeter zone, or internally looking at that zone, but we wouldn’t want the camera to be able to be moved. Other than that I think what’s fun about video in general is the customers of today aren’t going to let you not know it’s not working.
On top of that, we systematically want connection to these cameras and camera systems to make sure they’re monitored, not unlike traditional security system monitoring.
Nest Pro installers receive professional pricing and terms, along with training and tools, live support and smart home customer referrals. For more information about the program, visit pro.nest.com.
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