This year’s CONNECT conference, held Oct. 24-26 in Phoenix, Ariz., marked a new beginning for Resideo, as it was the first the company has hosted independently since spinning off from Honeywell last year. The three-day-long event didn’t hesitate to send a strong message as to what Resideo’s focus will now be: playing to the strengths of its security dealers and other professionals in the HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades to bring seamlessly connected and easy-to-use smart home technologies to consumers. 

After Magician Colin Cloud of America’s Got Talent fame warmed up the crowd, Vice President General Manager of Pro Security at Resideo Alice DeBiasio took the stage in the opening general session to greet the top security dealers and HVAC professionals in the audience.

After pointing out that this was the 30th CONNECT conference in Honeywell’s history, DeBiasio asked the audience how many they had attended. While many had been to at least 10, a handful had been to more than 25 — a feat that did not go ignored.

“This is partnership and commitment at its finest,” DeBiasio said. 

Unlike previous Honeywell-led CONNECT conferences, this year’s event at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa included not only security dealers, but all of the professionals that make up the connected home. DeBiasio said this was to bring the four sectors of security, air, water and energy closer together, so they could network, learn about each other’s jobs and work together to provide the best solutions for smart home customers.

Resideo President and CEO Mike Nefkens then took the stage, asserting that this year’s CONNECT conference could help all of its professionals adapt and stay relevant in the ever-changing world of the connected home.

Nefkens said Resideo’s vision for the home of the future includes energy and water conservation, seamless software integration through one platform, a connection between the consumer and the pro channels and insight-driven value proposition. 

For this shift in focus to the smart home, Nefkens said the pros are the solution. He cited a statistic showing that 60 percent of consumers (56 percent of millennials and 65 percent of baby boomers) want a pro to “do-it-for-them" because of how confusing the smart home market can be. This, he said, could be a huge opportunity for professionals to become a trusted source of information, and a comfort to the customer. 

Resideo’s goal is to be a strategic partner to the pros, Nefkens said. The company is striving towards this by providing technology to solve problems for consumers and pros; services that create new revenue opportunities; software that creates long-term consumer relationships; tools that create leads and new business; and loyalty programs that reward dealers’ success.

Also in the opening general session, Resideo’s new president of products and solutions and chief innovation officer, Niccolo De Masi, introduced himself to the pros, giving his own personal and professional background, and sharing why he wanted to join the Resideo team after serving on the board of directors since October of last year. 

“Resideo is the original Honeywell,” De Masi said. “Our forbearers at Resideo have created pretty much every seminal innovation in the home for the past century . . . We have the broadest portfolio in history.”

De Masi also touched on the importance of privacy to the consumer, and how consumers need a pro to simplify the smart home for them.

“The home is the most fragmented and most complicated part of our lives, and it’s where we spend the most time,” De Masi said. “Do-it-for-me is what we’re all about here.”

To close out the opening general session, Vice President General Manager of Resideo Connected Home Scott Harkins spoke on how professionals can keep up in the changing industry.

“As we sit here in Phoenix, we’re already losing — that’s what every start-up I’ve encountered in the past 10 years thinks of us . . . but they don’t understand how complicated all of these systems are,” Harkins said. 

Harkins continued, saying he believes the pro is the solution to the complicated nature of the smart home, and Resideo is best prepared to support the pro. He also made a statement that would be repeated throughout the conference: security, heat, water and air are essentially the EKG, or the ‘pulse’ of the smart home.

The first day of the conference ended with a welcome reception and Partner and Innovation Showcase, in which the different professionals could explore and learn about the latest technologies, including the ProSeries products Resideo debuted at ISC West 2019.

After a sunny breakfast on the lawn of the Marriott Resort to start day two, attendees enjoyed a morning of educational sessions covering a variety of topics, from customer service, to the ProSeries, to networking for the home and business. 

One session, led by Harkins, walked pros through how to best monetize the smart home. Harkins said Resideo is working to help pros monetize by creating a branded experience, consumer engagement tools, subscription services, cross selling opportunities and moving towards one app for the whole home. Pros should then take advantage by upselling; offering subscriptions that save money and solve nuance problems, including whole home monitoring subscriptions; and driving consumer engagement through the app. 

President of the Resideo Premier Security Dealer Program Quentin Gunther announced the Circle of Excellence Award Winners during day two’s general session: ADS, Nashville, Tenn.; Alarm Detection Systems, Aurora, Ill.; B Safe Security, Dover, Del.; Bates Security, Lexington, Ky.; Briscoe Alarm, Garden City, N.J.; Central de Alarmas, Mexico; Comtronics, Jackson, Mich.; Custom Alarm, Rochester, Minn.; Doyle Security, Rochester, N.Y.; EPS Security, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Essentia, Trinidad and Tobago; Hawkeye Communication, Hiawatha, Iowa; Holmes Security, Fayetteville, N.C.; LOUD Security, Kennesaw, Ga.; Matson Alarm, Fresno, Calif.; Per Mar Security, Davenport, Iowa; Seacoast Security, West Rockport, Maine; Security ONE Alarm Systems, Lemmington, Ontario; Vyanet, Bend, Ore.; and Wayne Alarm, Lynn, Mass. 

Keynote Speaker Bruce Kimbrell of the Disney Institute then took the stage to talk about leadership, and how great leaders lead off of a set of solid, consistent values. Kimbrell continued on this subject at an educational session later in the afternoon.

On Friday night, attendees traded in their business suits for costumes at Resideo’s Halloween party. Here, security dealers and integrators, HVAC pros and the Resideo leadership team mingled and danced late into the night.

Day three of CONNECT also began with educational sessions. The Resideo Smart Home Story, hosted by DeBiasio, touched on Resideo’s history and how the company is striving to be the leader of the smart home. To do this, DeBiasio said she wants to connect homes to proven experts, and assign every customer a “doctor” of the home. To be this doctor, she urged the pros in the room to harness the power of data, deepen relationships and trust with homeowners and increase lifetime account values. 

“You need to always be outpacing yourself, because if not, you’re going to become a dinosaur,” DeBiasio said. 

Another educational session, Serious About Selling Resideo Video Alarm Verification, was hosted by Resideo Business Development Manager Jen Tagle, and walked pros through how to design, demo and price video alarm verification. Tagle pointed out that as traditional monitoring is being challenged by DIY products such as Ring, pros can improve their credibility and increase their RMR with video verification services.

At the closing general session, Vinnie Schultz, general manager of Resideo’s Residential Thermal Solutions business and General Manager of Comfort/Air Petrina Zaraszczak expressed how happy they were to be able mingle with all the professionals over the past few days.

“This CONNECT event has helped us connect with each other as we work to connect the home,” Zaraszczak said.

Quentin Gunther then handed out the Life Safety Awards, commending these industry players for their dedication to security.

“We prevent bad things from happening to good people, and that’s a great commitment to have,” Gunther said. 

Recipients of the award were: ADS Security, Nashville, Tenn.; Alarm Protection Services, Metairie, La.; B Safe Security, Wilmington, Del.; Bates Security, Lexington, Ky.; Dillard Alarm, Fredricksburg, Va.; Holmes Security Systems, Fayetteville, N.C.; and Security ONE Alarm Systems, Ontario. 
B Safe Security received the Larry King Life Safety Award — Resideo’s greatest life safety award.

After a long break in the afternoon where attendees could take time to relax and enjoy the Arizona weather, everyone reconvened for the final event of the conference: the Awards Gala. 

Recipients of the Community Service Award were: ADS Security, Nashville, Tenn.; Alarm Protection Services, Metairie, La.; B Safe, Wilmington, Del.; Bates Security, Lexington, Ky.; Central de Alarmas, Mexico City, Mexico; Central Monitoring, Albany, Ga.; Custom Alarm, Rochester, Minn.; DFT Security, Fredonia, N.Y.; Dial One, Cincinnati, Ohio; Dillard Alarm, Fredericksburg, Va.; Doyle Security Systems, Rochester, N.Y.; Electronic Security Concepts, Scottsdale, Ariz.; Ener-Tel Services, San Angelo, Texas; First Response, Beaverton, Ore.; Guardian Security and Technology Services, Alberta, Canada; Habitec, Holland, Ohio; Holmes Security Systems, Fayetteville, N.C.; Kimberlite, Fresno, Calif.; KMT Systems Inc., McDonouh, Ga.; Middletown Security Systems, Middletown, Ohio; Per Mar, Davenport, Iowa; Security Central, Englewood, Colo.; Security Equipment Inc., Omaha, Neb.; Security ONE Alarm Systems, Ontario, Canada; Smithville Security, Ellettsville, Ind.; and Tri-D-FX, Alberta, Canada.

Christopher Murray of Security ONE Alarm Systems, Ontario, Canada, received the 2019 Security Salesperson of the Year Award. As a newcomer to the security industry, Murray has utilized social media to earn $327,000 in revenue with 236 new accounts. 

Vyanet, Bend, Ore., was named the 2019 Resideo Premier Security Dealer of the Year. Embracing the Resideo Premier Security Dealer Program, the customer-focused dealers experienced year-over-year double digit growth of 51 percent.

Holmes Security Systems, Fayetteville, N.C., received the 2019 Medal of Honor for seeing double digit growth over the past three years and setting the standard for those in the Premier Dealer Program. The company also received the 2019 Security Marketing Excellence Award. 

Custom Alarm, Rochester, Minn., received the Residential Security Installation of the Year Award; Roger’s Security, Ontario, Canada, received the Commercial Security Installation of the Year Award; Preventia, Columbia, Tenn., received the Security Dealer Rookie of the Year Award; and ADS Security, Nashville, Tenn., received the Connected Home Security Dealer of the Year Award. 

Before bidding farewell, Quentin Gunther announced where the Resideo professionals would be gathering Nov. 12-15, 2020: Marco Island, Fla.