Security Dealer & Integrator

AUG 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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32 Security Dealer & Integrator / August 2018 Residential Security sessions," during which his team explains why their experience makes them a better choice for security and automation systems, pointing out the builder chose KPS and not an MSO for the job. DIY products generally appeal to a younger, tech-savvy homeowner con- fident they can pick the best product, then properly install and maintain it. e integrators say that while it is dif- ficult to keep this group as long-term customers, both have seen an uptick in requests to install DIY systems. Although Motheral calls these prod- ucts "glitchy" and not equal in perfor- mance to professional-grade systems, he will let his technicians install DIY products if the customer is willing to pay Republic's full labor rate. Page is even more disdainful of DIY systems. "We don't have a prob- lem with a homeowner installing a lamp or appliance module," he says. "But we will not install DIY or any equipment not purchased through us. We found that if they get defec- tive equipment or there's some other issue, we will get the blame. It is not worth getting into an adversarial rela- tionship with our customers." Other Issues and Advice Recent reports of hackers breaking into homeowners' IP-based equip- ment worry both integrators. Page says he prefers to hardwire equipment like hubs and cameras into a network switch vs. putting it on Wi-Fi, making it more difficult to hack and reduc- ing the amount of equipment on the customer's Wi-Fi network. His team also makes sure customers change any manufacturer's default passwords. Page and Motheral say it is import- ant to work with UL-listed equipment, generally a sign of a well-made prod- uct. "We want to work with manufac- turers who don't rush to market too soon with products that aren't ready," Motheral says. "When you work in the new home market, the profit margins are slim. If you have to go back to a house two to three times for service calls, you've lost the money you made." As far as advice for integrators look- ing to get into the new home mar- ket, Motheral says to take a lifestyle approach with home builders instead of giving them a hard sell. "Do your homework to understand the mar- ketplace," Motheral says. "You can be great at knocking on doors and selling aermarket equipment, but the (new home) world is different. Remember, builders are under pressure to con- trol budgets – but don't forget what's important to the homebuyer." ■ Private Equity Firm Acquires SimpliSafe DIY security provider SimpliSafe announced in July that it had entered into an agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC. "Home security is at an inflection point. Despite the market's growth, today still only 20 percent of homes are protected. With innovative tech- nology, unparalleled service, and radically fair prices, SimpliSafe is rapidly making its vision of 'every home secure' a reality," SimpliSafe Founder and CEO Chad Laurans said in the statement. SimpliSafe, which allows consumers to install their own security equipment with the option to purchase professional monitoring with- out a long-term contract, now protects more than two million people nationwide. According to a statement, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018 and is subject to the waiting period under the HSR Act and other customary closing conditions. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed, however, multiple reports have placed the value of the deal at $1 billion. Qatalyst Partners and Raymond James Financial served as advisors to SimpliSafe on the transaction and Goodwin Procter LLP acted as legal counsel to SimpliSafe. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to Hellman & Friedman. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advi- sor to Sequoia Capital.

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