11.21.18 – SSI – Scott Goldfine
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. ― “We had to reinvent ourselves for the connected home, and so we spun off as Resideo,” said the former Honeywell company’s Vice President, General Manager, Pro Security Products Alice DeBiasio. “And security dealers are the best positioned to deliver that connected home experience.”
She made that statement during the opening general session of Honeywell’s annual dealer and integrator convention, Connect 2018, held here Nov. 15-17.
An estimated record 800 security professionals attended this year’s event, eager to learn about their revamped vendor partners — Resideo on the residential side (also including ADI Global Distribution) and Honeywell Building Technologies for the commercial market ― following Honeywell’s October 2017 announcement it would spin them off into separate businesses by the end of 2018.
The Resideo name was just revealed in July. Connect 2018 marked the final time all the residential dealers and commercial integrators would convene at the same event.
There was if not directly spoken a palpable sense of both relief and excitement among the Resideo and Honeywell security contractors in attendance. They were relieved to discover all the qualities they valued most about their vendor relationship were unlikely to waver, and in fact appeared primed to be further elevated.
They were excited because both businesses looked to be doubling down on R&D to not only bring leading-edge products to market, but to do so more expediently.
Many of those products were on display during the event’s “Welcome Reception and Partner and Innovation Showcase.”
Highlights included Resideo’s Next Generation platform featuring a uniform user interface and easy dealer deployment elements across the line as well as expanded peripherals and a DIY offering, and on the Honeywell side new fire and commercial security intrusion control panels enhanced with integrated functions and modular design.
“No portfolio is better equipped than the Resideo’s Next Generation for 2019, covering the basics all the way up to high-end,” DeBiasio told SSI. “It incorporates a single platform with the same keypad and it is completely backwards compatible. I have not seen anyone else doing this, and with how deeply entrenched Honeywell devices are throughout the home we and our dealer partners are in the very best position to link them all together for a true smart home experience.”
For Honeywell, on the commercial side, during the general session, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Security Peter Lau said, “Honeywell is increasing its R&D spend by 50% and also speeding up its product development by that same percentage.”
He shared with attendees Honeywell’s security priorities as follows:
- Protect what matters to you
- Deliver great products — faster and compatible
- Software that is open and easy to integrate
- Generate more demand
- Listen to our customers
Connect 2018 also included a well-planned, paced and executed lineup of educational sessions, awards presentations, networking opportunities and fun activities, as well as an entertaining keynote.
During the “Crossing the Chasm From Security to Smart Home,” a group of four presenters urged dealers to become their residential customers’ chief technology officers. They recommended being aware of a customer’s level of awareness and comfort with technology in order to best tailor their system.
They also promoted implementing products that allow dealers to remotely monitor, access, troubleshoot, upgrade and service devices in their customers’ homes to deliver faster service, reduce truck rolls and thereby save money, as well as generate more recurring revenue. In particular, smart locks and garage doors were targeted as big sales opportunities.
At the “Stand Out Leadership … Lead Like You Mean It Workshop,” the presenter said companies consist of 30% willing and able employees, 40% willing but needing guidance, and 30% unwilling. While it is the 40% who most needs management’s attention to help them elevate to the top 30% it is the bottom 30% that tend to steal away that valuable time.
What’s worse, that bottom 30% tends to drag down the middle group with its negativity. In the meantime, because management often does not properly confront the bottom 30%, the top 30% is saddled with more work and becomes unhappy in what it perceives to be injustice.
As a consequence, those companies then lose their best people as they leave for greener pastures. The solution is to take swift and stern action with underperformers and especially malcontents.
In the “Specifying Commercial Business to Win” session, attendees were instructed to uncover that business by prospecting existing or past customers, going after all levels of government work, and by pursuing new construction projects.
It was also suggested dealers/integrators take on some unique offerings such as elevator access control or managed services that competitors might not be bringing to that customer. Lastly, the notion was put forward to explore new verticals like mining, cannabis and rehab facilities.
During the “Driving New NPI Into Your Business,” the pair of speakers advised thorough technical and sales training of staff before engaging in a new product introduction. They also advocated ordering a few demo kits and setting the products up in the office for techs and other curious personnel to tinker with, as well as sending new products home with employees to use and experiment with on their own.
“Learn before you go out so you don’t look bad to the customer,” was the mantra. Further advice included: adopt new products quickly to edge the competition; rely on your vendors for support; establish customer relationships before, during and after premise walk-throughs; and always sell benefits rather than features.
The keynote speaker was seasoned motivational and business expert Connie Podesta, who combines psychology, humor, and management and sales techniques for a captivating blend that enraptured the Connect 2018 audience.
She also led the “Stand Out Leadership …” breakout session noted above. In the keynote, Podesta had each attendee identify as being represented by a square, circle, triangle or squiggle, and with that as a basis proceeded to characterize their personality traits and quirks.
It was funny but also enlightening with the primary message being that the way to reach and sell people varies and so we all need to do our best to communicate in the manner they are most comfortable.
Getting back to Honeywell’s No. 1 security priority to “protect what matters to you,” Business Development Manager Bruce Montgomery briefed SSI on what the company says is among its top initiatives for 2019 ― helping safeguard schools.
Coming from a law enforcement background, Montgomery explained how Honeywell is looking to provide police with special cards that will allow them to easily get in through any school door during a lockdown emergency.
He also spoke of a unique partnership between Honeywell and the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) to deliver affordable video analytics to schools designed to provide gun detection, gunshot detection, observe crowd behavior and fight detection.
The solution is being beta tested in a couple of schools beginning early 2019. Montgomery also noted that Honeywell is assisting schools in getting grants written to access funding by offering to partner with its integrators and the educational institutions so each of the three parties pay for one-third of the costs. “It’s all about getting the good guys into the schools faster,” said Montgomery.
The final day’s general session culminated with Resideo Vice President, Connected Home Scott Harkins introducing President and CEO Mike Nefkens for an invigorating address. His counterpart with Honeywell Building Technologies, Mark Verheyden, had spoken during the opening general assembly.
Regarding Nefkens, Harkins told SSI, “He is a visionary-type CEO who has crystalized the vision for the business and is ready to double down on the pro channel. The investment in product lines is elevated and focused on generating more leads for our dealer customers. He believes it has to be about the software to create more value and more RMR for our dealers.”
Harkins added that you can’t just be a security dealer anymore and “not to be afraid” of diving into connected home products and services.
To see what took place at Connect 2018 and pick up a few more tidbits, continue on to the slideshow. Also be on the lookout for SSI’s Annual Dealer Roundtable as part of January’s 2019 Forecast Issue.
This year, in concert with the spin-off, a second roundtable was held with commercial integrators that will also be featured in the January edition, providing readers with keen insights from a total of eight company leaders.