Protection 1, Chicago, announced that it has been awarded a contract that gives USAA’s more than 10 million members’ access to security and life-safety solutions through its established partner programs.  Headquartered in San Antonio, the USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 10.3 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families.  Wade Chance, general manager of USAA Alliance Services Company, added, “Protection 1 offers members a suite of additional home security solutions while providing the world class customer service that our members expect from our alliance relationships. Our relationship with Protection 1 allows us to expand valuable solutions and services in this innovative and fast-moving industry with another premier provider.”

This is the largest affinity partnership in the industry, stated Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing and customer experience officer for Protection 1. The five-year contract goes live on January 23, 2015. With the agreement, USAA members can receive the latest in security and home automation technologies from Protection 1, encompassing intrusion detection, fire protection, video surveillance systems, thermostats and locks, with all systems offering interactive remote services. Program options include both Protection 1 professionally-installed and self-installed systems with a range of options for members. 

“We are proud to offer USAA members a wide range of solutions and introduce more of the latest interactive technologies to its members,” said Timothy Whall, CEO of Protection 1. “We are proud that USAA selected us based on our proven track record of innovation and high level of customer care. We are honored to serve the USAA member base of active and former military members and their families.”

The process of securing the contract with USAA, who was previously in a long-term exclusive agreement with another provider, was an in-depth one. The two companies had a lengthy research and development process with one another that included many visits to both companies for management and general staff. “One thing that makes USAA unique is the depth they go to determining who will be their partners, which translates into loyal membership,” commented Haenggi.  Both companies worked hard to ensure the partnership was a beneficial for everyone from clients and customers to staff and management.

One visit to USAA’s headquarters brought 50 Protection 1 staff via bus to San Antonio, for a presentation by Protection 1. Haenggi recalled that after the meeting, USAA representatives were surprised while checking out a P1 video solution.  P1 had installed a camera on the bus and when USAA represents clicked on the camera icon they were greeted with live video from the bus of all of the P1 employees.  “Then we had all of our employees from the bus wave and cheer for USAA,” said Haenggi. “Everyone got to meet each other and have a tour of the USAA campus. It was a wonderful win for all involved.”

Creating a mentality of solidarity was apparent throughout the R&D process, noted Haenggi, and employees from all areas, not just top management, were part of it. “We believe our employees make a difference in the success of Protection 1, and we wanted USAA to know this about us,” said Haenggi.  “When representatives from USAA visited Protection 1’s call center, we left the room and let them speak to our operators alone. We wanted USAA to know that our story is authentic and our staff really care about the work they do. USAA’s culture mirrors ours, and we are excited to be working with an organization with so many similarities to us.”

Protection 1 employees took a training class on the culture of military life to prepare them for their new clients. “USAA is really engaged with their customer base, and they are extremely loyal to their members and their partners,” added Haenggi. “Roughly 20 percent of USAA’s members are active military members, the rest are retired members and their families, so they do have the same needs as a general public audience, but this group is more security minded, perhaps more than your average customer, given they are from a military background.” 

And so are many of Protection 1’s employees. Between 15 to 20 percent of them are veterans. “We appreciate the service and sacrifice made by the U.S. military,” added Haenggi. “We are happy to get out in front of 10 million USAA members to offer them products that will benefit them. We like the idea that we can serve them, too.”