It’s been a year of growth and real change in the home alarm industry. Looking back over 2010, there are a number of events worth sharing with you. So, as we ring out 2010, here’s my list of the Top 6 alarm industry stories for 2010.
1. ADT Takes Over Brink’s/Broadview
This has to be the top story, with the number one company taking out number two. We covered it here in a post that laid out the facts – and a few opinions. The bottom line: plenty of alarm companies are thrilled to see Brink’s gone, since they were a strong competitor with a good reputation. ADT will be hard pressed to keep all those former Brink’s customers happy.
2. Protection One is Acquired by a Private Equity Firm
Who is Protection One? After ADT absorbed Brink’s, Protection One became the new “number two” US provider of alarm systems (combined residential & commercial). The deal was worth almost $1 billion. But don’t feel bad if you have not heard of them – over 300 million Americans are in the same boat with you!
This is a biggie, and actually dates back to early 2010. What’s it mean for you? Nothing, if your alarm system uses cellular monitoring. But if you are one of millions of US alarm customers with a system that still requires a land line, you are vulnerable to your being line cut (today) and phased out (in the future). Time to upgrade! And yes, we covered this issue, too.
4. United Technologies Buys GE Security
One of the largest alarm equipment makers in the US traded hands. Who is United Technologies? That’s an easy one: ever hear of Otis elevators, Carrier air conditioners, Sikorsky helicopters, or Pratt & Whitney jet engines? They are all owned by United Technologies (UTC). Now UTC owns GE Security. This is good news for the GE brand (which came with the acquisition) – a complete commitment to quality and more R&D spending are already in evidence. Those of us relying on a strong future for GE/UTC Security equipment give this one a “thumbs up.”
5. Monitronics Acquired by Ascent Media Corporation
This is pretty fresh news – and is a shocker. Monitronics is actually the number two residential US alarm company (behind ADT). What’s interesting here is that a huge media conglomerate looked at the predictable recurring revenue and significant growth potential of a well-run alarm company – and made the move into home security. The price tag? Over $1 billion.
6. ADT Releases “Pulse” Platform
I’ve already posted about this one several times, and the jury is still out on a variety of topics: pricing for equipment and services, level of support, and even the potential message that is sent to existing ADT customers by the notion that their current alarm system is less than completely reliable if not on the new platform. The good news is that the “big guy” is finally getting with the program on cellular monitoring and next-gen interactive monitoring. It’s about time!
There were lots of other industry headlines, but these major stories give you a good sense of the direction the alarm industry is taking: enterprises are changing hands, new money is coming in with investments in manufacturers and operating companies, and technology is on the move. It’s a great time to be on the leading edge of all this change, with advanced technology that’s as proven as it is reliable. FrontPoint is fortunate in that regard: we only offer cellular monitoring, and we specialize in interactive, wireless home security that is so simple you can set it up yourself. As for being the subject of a big headline – we’ll happily settle for all those great online reviews!