Christmas in July
My daughter, now 14, has decided that indeed there is no Santa Claus. I have tried to explain to her that if you believe in Santa, he will bring you goodies on Christmas Day. I still believe in Santa, and he hasn’t failed to bring me something every year.
I also know that if you want something for Christmas, you had best make your desires known loud and clear. My lovely wife has this down to a science, providing me with catalogs marked up with her selections, including sizes and colors where applicable. She knows what she wants, and she usually gets it. For you married gentlemen out there please remember “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
And although Christmas is still months away, now is the time for me to ask Santa for the new product that I would like to see our vendors produce for our industry. After all, he might have to round up a bunch of IP-trained elves to get the job done.
Here is the type of product that I believe would be of great benefit to our business: IP Alarm Transmitters in every control panel.
When producing control panels in quantity, it is inexpensive to add an Ethernet RJ-45 port to any circuit board, with cost estimates of less than $10 per control. Our industry needs to dump the POTS/digital communicator method of alarm signaling, and the sooner the better. As dealers nationwide wrestle with the reality of the 2G cellular sunset, many are opting for the next generation of cellular alarm transmitters. While this is a solution to the immediate problem, I sincerely believe that it is foolish to think that the cellular carriers will stop at 4G; they want to evolve their technology so that they can deliver HD movies to smart phones and charge $5 for each download. Because alarm transmitters do not generate a ton of billable signals or downloads, I believe our industry stands at the periphery of the cellular business and the functionality of our systems won’t be an important consideration for the cellular providers.
Internet alarm signaling is the answer, simply because the technology of how the Internet works cannot be changed. There are billions of Internet-connected devices and the communication methodology can’t be changed; too many devices would be disconnected. This is the reason why, in this world of constant change in communication technology, the Internet will stay the same. This is the way we need to provide central station communications for our clients.
Control panel manufacturers can help push our industry in the right direction by including IP alarm transmission capability in their entire panel product lines, from the inexpensive six-zone boxes on up. Digital communication is such an inbred technology that the cost to provide standard POTS digital capability costs manufacturers very little.
Smart dealers should clamor for the addition of IP transmission capability, even if the dealer is going to connect the panel to the central station using the traditional phone line for today’s installation. If that client changes their telephone service or dumps their phone lines completely, dealers will have a built-in method to reconnect these new-breed hybrid panels to the central station via IP. End users might turn off their POTS lines and just keep their cell phones, but they will maintain their broadband Internet connections.
It is the customers’ decisions as to what technology they are going to use to make voice phone calls and those decisions can and will cost alarm companies time and money to re-establish central station connections.
It should be noted that Honeywell Security does provide a control panel in its Lynx product line that includes an Internet-based alarm communicator that connects through the client’s Wi-Fi to the Alarmnet central station service. It would be nice to see other vendors follow this lead and expand on this type of offering.
A belated congratulations and best wishes for two of my friends in the industry who have recently retired. Jim Michalak was a fixture at the ADEMCO-to-ADI distribution center in Elk Grove Village, Ill., serving in a variety of management and sales positions. Jim is and was a fun guy to work and travel with, and could be depended on to provide wise counseling for a young Dave E. as he traversed the Midwest market selling ADEMCO and ADI products.
Bill Russell was an inside salesperson for ADEMCO/ADI and later with Tri-Ed. Much of my success in my sales career is directly attributable to Bill’s careful handling of our mutual accounts. I would set up a deal, and Bill would make sure that the customer got great service on a constant basis. His absolute reliability in performing his job made my life so much easier.
By protecting clients’ persons and property, we in the electronic security industry provide a critical, potentially life-saving function. Whether it is a factory worker building the product, a salesperson taking an order, a warehouse person packing the box, or the technician installing the products, we all contribute to the safety and well-being of our nation.
Each of these men dedicated more than 30 years of their careers to our industry, and got the job done right. It is my privilege to have worked with them, and trust that our friendships forged in the heat of commerce will extend into the future.
Do you like reading Dave’s column? You can read each one online, and go back into the archives for more of Dave by visiting www.SDMmag.com/Networkings.