Protection 1 Diversifies With Automation Services & Integrator Acquisition
Lynx Touch 5100, part of Honeywell’s family of self-contained wireless controls, features a bright, full-color touchscreen with graphic icons and intuitive prompts for easier operation, advanced alarm communications features and appealing home
IMAGE COURTESY OF PROTECTION 1
Protection 1, Romeoville, Ill., made two nearly simultaneous announcements that indicate an interesting period of diversification for the company.
First was the news of the company’s new P1 Life program, which is the company’s first foray into the home automation integrated with security space. P1 Life is a comprehensive service combining monitored security with home automation. While the company is very clear in its intentions to keep security as its primary mission and focus, the new product suite sets out to enhance the customer experience by enabling users to control other household functions such as temperature and lighting, and do it through a smart phone, tablet or personal computer.
P1 Life incorporates a new color, two-way voice enabled touchscreen keypad from Honeywell, the Lynx 5100. Tim Whall, chief executive officer at Protection 1 noted that the panel’s capabilities, which include Advanced Protection Logic (APL) that allows the system to transmit alarms even if the system is smashed by an intruder, were an important catalyst in the company’s decision to compete in the security and automation market. “We worked very closely with Honeywell in terms of what we thought the capabilities had to be,” Whall told SDM. And we thought their new release gave us what we wanted, both in the security aspect as well as the home automation piece.”
Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing officer at Protection 1 added that ensuring the company’s field capabilities were there were also a major piece of getting P1 Life ready. Whall commented that training the company’s technicians to handle new components that are not “one class fits all” such as thermostats as well as ensuring they were prepared to explain to the end users how to effectively use the panel and app, was a significant undertaking. A key piece of making the technicians comfortable with the new components was getting leaders at the corporate level to understand all of the nuances of the new offering. “We didn’t want to learn as we went,” he said.
Protection 1 already offered a mobile app that allowed customers to control their security system remotely, but the concept behind P1 Life is to further assimilate security into the home, adding capabilities to control lighting and thermostats to the same app that arms and disarms the alarm system.
P1 Life is currently being offered to new as well as existing customers, though Whall noted that there the company’s sales force is focused on going out to the market and finding new clients.
P1 Life was designed to both protect and connect. With approximately half of all U.S. adults carrying smart phones, P1 life allows customers to, among several other things, arm or disarm their system remotely, watch live security video, lock and unlock doors and control their lighting and thermostat. Heating and cooling connectivity allows for more efficient use of energy.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PROTECTION 1
P1 Life offerings start at $34.99 per month with $99 professional installation, and the most feature-laden package is $54.99 per month with $349 professional installation. Packages are customizable and customers are offered a list of products they can add or mix and match from.
Hardly a week after announcing P1 Life, Protection 1 closed the acquisition of Newark, Del.-based Integration Logistics, adding new integrated systems capabilities to its commercial and national account security offerings.
Integration Logistics is known for highly integrated solutions that include services beyond traditional access, video and fire, Protection 1 said. The company is certified in information technology and voice/telephony services. Integration Logistics co-founders Ken Schafenberg and John Smolinski will lead the new Integrated Systems Division at Protection 1, bringing all 40 of their employees with them.
Haenggi explained how the new division fits into the company’s operations: “The Integrated Systems division is significantly more technical than traditional security systems integration,” Haenggi said. “They do a lot of designing, installation and maintaining actual networks. They have a laundry list of IT certifications, so they do much more sophisticated integrations.” Haenggi added that the company provides security, integration and network for all of the data centers of the one of the largest banks in the country.
“Now — having a full enterprise integrated system serving the largest of the large — when we come to those opportunities, we already have a group now that understands how to do them, understands how to do the project management,” Whall said. “What we bring to them, of course, is now we have a larger footprint to service. They have no problem doing project management and going out and doing an installation on one of these [projects]. But after the fact, they don’t have an easy way to service it. So now we combine our branch footprint with them and they’re not limited anymore on where they can go. We have more things to offer to the growing base that they had. We expect we’ll probably get a 30 to 50 percent lift in sales in the first year. Meanwhile, we’re increasing the capabilities of what Protection 1 can do.”
Whall stated that the company strives to be the largest full service security company in the country. Protection 1 completed six acquisitions so far this year, with a seventh coming up. Whall said they want to make sure they can bring the “three-door-one-motion resis” at one end of the spectrum together with the high end, complex network integration business and everything in between, including the new full home security and automation lifestyle service.
For information, visit www.Protection1.com.