2011: A Good Year for iControl Networks

It’s been another good year for Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, iControl Networks, which has continued to add to an already an impressive list of home automation deployment partners. This unusually extensive blog post follows on from my soon-to-be published Insight reviewing the major developments in the market for home automation as a service and summarises some of the key goings on with iControl's partners during the year.

One of the company’s earliest and perhaps most notable deployment partners is ADT Security Services, the largest security provider in North America. Whilst the company selected iControl technology for its Pulse product back in 2009, the service wasn’t launched until October 2010. Since then, details of take rates have been sketchy at best, although Edward Breen, the CEO of ADT’s parent company, Tyco International (which has provided funding for iControl in the past), did offer some insight earlier this year. Breen stated that Pulse systems being sold by ADT’s direct sales team are being taken by “15% of customers”. Curiously, no mention was made of Pulse customers signed on by members of ADT’s dealer network (which is estimated to account for around half of all new residential accounts). Furthermore, Frontier Communications signed a resale agreement with ADT allowing it to offer the latter’s home security/automation packages beginning in November 2011 in its Rochester territory.
The latest security dealer to partner with iControl is C24 Interactive, a brand within Connect24, which, like ADT, falls under the Tyco Security Products Brand Portfolio. According to the press release at the time, “iControl will power an integrated solution that will enable the DSC Dealer and Central Station Monitoring partners to offer customers interactive home security and management features.”
With regards to iControl’s cable operator partners, Comcast Corporation began an aggressive expansion of the service area for its XFINITY Home Security service. After an initial trial in the Houston area of Texas in 2010, the company started rolling out in Portland, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Naples, Nashville, New Jersey and Chattanooga during 2011. More cities are expected to be added to Comcast’s territories throughout 2012. Likewise, Time Warner Cable (TWC) has rolled out its “IntelligentHome” solution in upstate New York, Southern California and North Carolina. Given that Bright House Networks jointly tested a similar system with TWC during the summer of 2011, it would not be unreasonable to assume that it, also, is planning to deploy a solution based on the iControl platform in the not-too-distant future. Comporium Communications has also revealed plans to launch smart home management and security systems powered by iControl.
On the telco front, a key partner for iControl is Rogers Communications which launched its “Smart Home Monitoring” service in August 2011. The service, which has been marketed as "much more than just a home security system” is available in three packages: Home Basic, Home Essentials and Ultimate Home and each costs $39.99, $48.99 and $57.99 per month respectively (excluding upfront installation and equipment costs). On 26 October 2011, iControl signalled its intent to gain a foothold in the European market by announcing that it had entered into a partnership with Swisscom. The company intends to launch the “Smart Living” solution in the Swiss market during 2012 and will provide end-users with a starter kit that includes a base station, wireless sensors, energy module, door contacts and a web cam.
ABI Research will continue to provide incisive and in-depth analysis on all facets of the rapidly emerging home automation market and related areas throughout 2012. For more information on keeping up-to-date with developments in this area, please refer to the Home Automation Systems Service section of our website.