According IHS Technology, more than 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide this year Perhaps we should start looking at do-it-yourself (DIY) systems such Google’s Nest and other devices as an opportunity for existing security contractors – those that are open-minded anyway – to bring in additional customers and new streams of recurring monthly revenue (RMR). DIY systems continue to proliferate in the marketplace and are available online, at big box retailers, warehouse clubs and even Walmart. Most are now wireless, more robust and intuitive, and require little technical know-how. The typical homeowner may select sensors, detectors and control panels off the shelves and install them on their own. And it’s not just wireless intrusion detection that makes up the DIY market. According to forecasts from IHS Technology, Englewood, Colo., more than 11 million consumer and DIY network cameras will be shipped worldwide this year. There are two schools of thought regarding DIY security systems. Some believe they divert installation revenue from traditional security companies, although those margins have dwindled dramatically. But others, like Advanced Security Solutions LLC, Delmar, Del., see the bigger picture. They realize it’s an opportunity in waiting. Adding DIY To The Mix Advanced Security Solutions handles a full gamut of installed solutions, and believes in custom-tailoring the system to the customer, the market and the user’s specific security challenges. Their primary business is professionally installed alarm systems that include intrusion, access control, home automation, video surveillance, energy management, fire systems and outdoor surveillance. However, they also offer DIY system installation and support. The company prides itself on providing exceptional customer service, and for Brad Adkins, president, that means helping customers with whatever type of system solution they desire. "The DIY market doesn’t mean the security professional is blocked out of the equation" “We want to be a preferred partner for DIY systems, and that means providing whatever level of support customers need. DIY is an up-and-coming, growing market trend,” he says. “If the customer has the know-how to install their system, that’s fine. We can provide design, installation and technical support to these customers, which are free if they sign a monitoring agreement. It’s no problem if they feel they have the know-how to install these systems, but we can also assist if they run into trouble with the installation or other aspect. It’s another way we are a full-service security solution provider.” Advanced Security Solutions will provide assistance with the specification and installation of DIY products, expert help and advice on what products and technologies will best serve the customer and their home, as well as after-installation support. Tied to the monitoring agreement, DIY customers then receive free support for these systems, which includes phone assistance, videos and other technical services. New Business Model For Installers “Wireless DIY systems may be the perfect fit for a residential customer,” Adkins adds. “We can grab part of that business with our professional 24/7 monitoring services, and give customers the superior support we provide to all our clients,” he says. “We’re here to give them options that fit their lifestyle.” The mindset around DIY systems may be shifting. Instead of a threat, even larger companies such as Tyco Security Products view it as an opportunity. “The DIY market doesn’t mean the security professional is blocked out of the equation,” says Brian Storrie, senior product manager, Security Services, Tyco Security Products, Concord, Can. “We’re not opposed to having an integrator install a DIY system. This is not a threat, it’s an opportunity, especially if security installers are open to changing their business model,” he says.
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