I'm in the middle of attending the ESI Forum and ESA Leadership Summit events co-located at the Omni Mandalay at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. On Tuesday I had the privilege of moderating the general luncheon session, titled, “The ESA Home Integrator — A New Vision for the Residential Market.”

It is a topic that means something to me and I am very interested in watching how it unfolds in the industry because while working on SDM’s smartHOME coverage and specifically writing SDM’s State of the Market series (a four-part series on alarms, video, access, and fire that SDM writes at the beginning of every year) on the alarm market I have participated in a lot of conversations with dealers, integrators, manufacturers and distributors on the subject. The development of new interactive services, remote services, video services in the home, home automation, and the wide range of non-security-related services and products that are becoming available to the industry only continues to grow. The challenge for the industry is how to best respond and capitalize on them all — finding a place where they fit in the company.

After I introduced the topic and provided an overview of some of the trends driving these new opportunities, the general session’s two speakers, Jim Boots, vice president of Residential Sales and Marketing at ASG Security, Beltsville, Md., and Robert McDonald, the residential manager at Vintage Security, both presented on their companies’ experiences working with and offering some of these new technologies in the changing residential market. They shared details like their company’s sales and marketing approaches and what messages are working. They also gave advice on selling to existing customers, competing with telco and cable companies, how to select products and more. They even let everyone in on how these new services are affecting the bottom line, reducing attrition and adding RMR — giving the audience some tangible numbers to think about.

In short, I was impressed with both presentations. And I was excited. It was encouraging to see two companies, both very different yet, equally successful in their own ways, capitalizing on these new technologies and setting themselves up for long-term success in the changing residential landscape. I was also pleased that both companies took the time to present so much valuable information for anyone still contemplating how to approach these new opportunities.

Sitting up there on the stage in my black leather overstuffed chair, I must say I had a moment of industry pride. I’m more confident then ever that the industry can harness these trends and succeed in the long-term. Thanks, Jim and Robert!