State of the Market: Alarm Systems 2012
This year the alarm industry is increasingly unshackled from landlines and high costs, buoyed by end user demand for remote/interactive services, and up against more competition.
Paley shares that his company has a strong backlog and is in a growth and hiring mode.
“In our markets, we see more and more of our commercial clients having larger security budgets. On the residential side, we see home sales and new and remodel construction increasing and existing homeowners getting more serious about security as the economy has put serious pressure on everyone. These factors give us confidence that we will have 2012 growth of 20 to 25 percent over 2011,” Paley says.
Declining prices and increased reliability are helping wireless growth in 2012, as well.
“Prices for wireless system components are on the decline as the market matures further, making them more attractive to dealers. The added value of improved reliability and reduced labor expense for the dealer continues to drive growth in this category,” says ADI’s Morra.
Mechler predicts the same trend, saying, “Panels that make IP communication easy for dealers and integrators have the greatest potential for sales. Security dealers are looking for products that help to streamline their installations at customer sites,” he says.
A Head’s up on 2G
Communication technologies will continue to influence the alarm market in 2012. Everyone is aware of POTS, but the newest “dying” communication technology, 2G, is starting to get attention. 2012 will see a push from manufacturers and distributors attempting to educate the market on the extinction of POTS. Unlike the sunset of analog, 2G seems poised for a gradual fade out, but manufacturers are emphasizing the switch now will avoid replacing thousands of accounts when the service fades out. (For a more detailed look at the extinction of 2G, read “The Importance of Switching from 2G” on page 49.)
“It’s not clear as to when 2G will no longer be supported by the major carriers, but we know it will happen at some point so we are ready to help our dealers embrace the new technology. At ADI, we are positioning our assortment with products that offer communications over 3G/4G for new installs and offer the hottest features that end users want,” Morra relates.
Dealers recognizing the shift can be ready and unaffected to a large degree when the technology does go dark. The key this year is that they understand the trend. With 2G and other changes in mind, Mechler says the market needs more education on the use and idiosyncrasies of alternative communications technologies in the upcoming year.
EMC’s Secure Path™ is its branded answer to the multiple communications paths it uses to create a strong system. Secure Path™ technology provides protection via any of three different paths of communication: phone, wireless and Internet connection. EMC Security explains to customers how Secure Path™ connects their home to its central monitoring station in Suwanee, Ga., and its redundant central monitoring center in Gainesville, Fla. In the process, EMC Security increases the perceived value of the systems it installs.
In addition to educating end users, there still is a lot of work to be done educating the alarm market, and manufacturers and associations are making a huge education push in 2012, putting together kits and training for dealers.