Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 32

Fire & Intrusion
The 3G Transition
Certainly,
COVID-19 has
been a big part of
delays in
upgrades since it
was very difficult
to get into homes
and business-es
for a good part of
2020.
- George Brody, Telguard
erations, is not to procrastinate. We've known
about the pending sunset of 3G/CDMA networks
for quite some time now, but sometimes
it's easy to focus on business growth rather than
how to sustain it. This is a situation that some
alarm dealers have found themselves in. They
weren't dragging their feet on upgrading systems,
per se, but they planned on having the
time and resources to get the job done, closer
to the sunset dates.
COVID changed that. It made it difficult to
access homes and businesses to swap out equipment.
It made it more difficult to find and
train technicians who could do the work. These
complications have significantly reduced the
window of opportunity that many alarm dealers
needed to complete their system upgrades
prior to the sunset.
Inventory shortages, leading to higher prices
on key components, are creating additional
challenges for both system manufacturers and
alarm dealers. Many of the components and
devices needed to build communicators and
panels are being consumed by products used in
other industries. Product manufacturers in the
security industry are working hard to find suppliers
that have the needed components. However,
in many cases they're not to be found or,
due to supply and demand economics, prices
are sometimes at more than a 50% premium.
Resideo says its LTEM-PV
Modular Communicator
offers fast operation, versatile
installation and innovative
technology. It's designed to
connect with customers' VISTA
and competitive security
control panels.
Jeremy McLerran: When quarantine started
everyone assumed that the pro install industry
would disappear, but it had the opposite effect.
Between Zoom calls everyone had a list of honey-do's
they needed to complete, and " getting
our security system working " was toward the
top of the list. Add to that the social and political
unrest that rippled across the nation and security
dealers could hardly stay
on top of the service requests.
System upgrades shot to an alltime
high and it hasn't subsided.
The security industry experienced
a wake-up call when it
came to going digital. Having
a great website, cheerful phone
support, effective email/social
media campaigns and remote
connectivity to the products installed
in the home all became
table stakes. Customers know
what technology can deliver and
they are demanding effective, re32
Security
Sales & Integration OCTOBER 2021
al-time, no-touch service. Chat should be part
of every support strategy. Remote access should
be part of every installed system. Some of this
requires an upgrade in the hardware and software
you provide, and some requires additional
training and services for your employees, especially
those who work from home.
We also saw an interesting uptick in " social
distance installs " where dealers would professionally
configure a table stand-mounted system
and deliver it to the doorstep, only to be
plugged in and finished up by the end user
themselves.
What do you recommend for dealers
reluctant to reach out to customers with
what might be perceived as a problem?
Sheffey: Educate customers as to the pending
3G sunset and how it might affect them. Create
customer incentives for customers who upgrade.
We all know that when we get to the end date,
there will be some customers that don't want to
pay for an upgrade and the dealer will be forced
to decide to do the upgrade for free or lose the
customer. Dealers can offer a service package
that includes such things as radio and battery replacement,
and some service at a nominal charge
to be rolled into the customer's monthly bill.
This increases the monthly and covers the cost
of future upgrades. There is also, of course, the
discounts associated with upgrades that occur as
part of other required visits compared to those
that may be extended to upgrade only visits.
Brody: Communicate and reach out to customers
frequently and consistently with straight
talk about the technology upgrades that are taking
place in the cellular networks. Also, reward
customers who act quickly with some type of
promotion or discounts, such as a month of
free monitoring service. Certainly, the financial
impact on the upgrade needs to be considered.
Truck roll and time at the facility, in addition to
the equipment change out, are all cost factors.
All parties involved in the sunset upgrade play a
role in the financial picture. Dealers should upsell
or share the cost with customers who should
be familiar with wireless carrier upgrades as they
are common with cellphones.
Maher: Our dealers are very open to communicate
with their customers as we're not hearing
they are reluctant, as maybe they were for the
2G sunset. They are seeing this as a profit-drivsecuritysales.com
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Security Sales & Integration October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Security Sales & Integration October 2021

Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Bellyband Front
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Bellyband Back
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 1
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 2
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 1
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 2
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 3
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 4
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 5
Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - 6
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Security Sales & Integration October 2021 - Cover 3
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