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The Cloud: Why 2012 Will Be a Breakout Year

Managing security, phone systems, thermostats and more with the cloud.

Brett Price launched Clare Controls in 2011 as a cloud-based home automation system.
Julie Jacobson · January 4, 2012
Indeed, one major benefit of cloud-based solutions is the elimination of bulky and often pricey hardware that rarely scales upward or downward.

To that end, says U.K. integrator Steve Moore, “You’ll need to charge for getting it right, and supporting it right, rather than relying too much on the margins on the stuff you sell.”

SaaS Still Gaining Traction
In mid-2011, UK-based research firm ABI estimated that worldwide shipments of home automation systems for 2011 would hit about 1.8 million units. Of that, about 1.3 million, or 72 percent, would be SaaS-based.

We believe ABI was a little optimistic regarding SaaS-based home control, predicting (erroneously) that AT&T, Comcast, TWC, Verizon and other service providers would have a major impact in the U.S. market in late 2011. They didn’t.

ADT boosted the SaaS numbers in 2011 with the launch of its Pulse system, powered by iControl (also utilized by Comcast and TWC; Verizon uses technology from Motorola 4Home).

SaaS-enabled control also is being driven by mass-market security dealers selling inexpensive systems door-to-door. Vivint alone sells some 200,000 systems each summer, with service provided by Alarm.com, a pioneer in SaaS-based home security and control. Alarm.com boasts more than 500,000 subscribers.

In 2012, we can expect Comcast and other service providers including AT&T to gain momentum in the space. Plus, Honeywell’s launch of Total Connect 2.0 will likely take thousands of security dealers to the cloud.

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics

Security · News · State of the Industry · All Topics
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