Q&A: Yale Real Living GM Jason Williams

Jason Williams, general manager of Yale Real Living, discusses the state of the security industry, including how to pitch security systems and the impact of Near Field Communication and wireless solutions.

Q&A: Yale Real Living GM Jason Williams
Jason Williams, general manager of Yale Real Living,
CE Pro Editors · November 26, 2012

It’s a fascinating time for the electronic security industry, which is tackling similar convergence aspects as control and A/V as well as trending new technologies such as Near Field Communication.

Jason Williams of Yale Real Living, an Assa Abloy group company, talked to CE Pro about what integrators should know about the state of security.

For integrators who are not familiar with Yale Real Living, can you provide a brief background of what features separate your security products?
Our primary goal is to build locks that live up to the Yale pedigree and enable integrators to provide the best security available. In recent years, we’ve been able to develop offerings that capitalize on digital technologies to provide so much more in terms of keyless access, remote monitoring and even auditing. We recognized that there would be some learning curve among residential integrators and their customers so we designed the Yale Real Living line to be easy to use and simple to install. Ease of use and intuitive interface were primary considerations.

How should integrators pitch security systems today?
The forward-thinking integrators are evolving their business models and pitching their services less as a one-off installation assignment, but instead as a consultant-type partnership that enables their residential and commercial clients to have customized integrated systems coupled with advanced service and support. This typically means tight integration of access control and security technologies with automation and A/V technologies so it’s a bigger sale for the integrator, but it’s also “stickier” model, meaning they can retain clients longer and capitalize on design and maintenance service contracts.

What are the most common questions you receive from integrators regarding installation of security for their clients?
We receive a lot of inquiries that relate to the momentum behind Near Field Communication (NFC). The access control technology community is definitely capitalizing on the infrastructure that is being built out for banking, but we’re also innovating at a really encouraging rate ourselves. Case in point is our sister company, HID, that is not simply bringing a lot of experience in credential management and authentication but also quite an array of innovation firepower to NFC. At Yale Residential, we are “productizing” that innovation for the residential marketplace, incorporating NFC into our digital locks and developing applications to use a phone on the run as a credential.

How has the shift to wireless affected security products and their applications?
Homeowners and businesses have become very familiar with wireless security in everyday life whether it be in their cars, homes or workplaces. People question the specific security of products with communication (Z-Wave and ZigBee); however, a threat will find a way to break in regardless of the technology. It’s a lot easier to break a window than get an RF signal or hack a code.

Wireless technologies are allowing for fluid digital lifestyles in that security can be monitored and controlled remotely. We built our offerings from the ground up to allow for this easy convergence rather than simply attach our new technology to the current market. I think we’ve been very innovative and understand the range of access control technologies that can take advantage of the wireless trends. Through the traction and response we have received from dealers, homeowners and businesses, I believe we have been successful.

Is there more opportunity for enterprise-grade access control on the residential market?
Absolutely the trend has already begun in the light commercial market - where budgets may be smaller but the universe is considerably larger, and it presents a compelling opportunity that is just now starting to be addressed. In the residential market, integrators and their customers may not need an enterprise-grade access control; they need the basics that are easy to manage.

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