Smartware has been around for a while with ‘Mr/Ms Techie’ having installed their Alexa some time ago. But the idea of a truly connected home has been very much in its infancy. However, the connected home is here to stay: it is estimated that the smartware market will be worth £300 billion worldwide by 2020. With homeowner expectations changing in terms of protecting their properties, now is the ideal time for fabricators and installers to make the most of the business opportunities that the security landscape affords them. ERA encourages fabricators and installers to embrace the shift towards the connected home and to use the offering of smart products as a means of differentiating themselves from their competitors.
Over the past few years, technology has changed the way people live, with the idea of smart heating, lighting and entertainment systems now an everyday reality for many. Home security is now also undergoing a tech transformation. Homeowners are combining smart products with more traditional home security solutions to give them a ‘belt and braces’ approach to protecting their home and belongings for extra peace of mind.
Fabricators and installers would be well advised to encourage customers to invest in smart security, including alarms, cameras, video doorbells and smart locks since this process of up-selling affords enhanced profit opportunities whilst at the same time giving customers real peace of mind.
At the recent FIT Show, fabricators and installers were given demonstrations of ERA’s smartware, which included a host of market-leading options. Feedback from visitors to the company’s exhibition stand was extremely positive with many saying that the systems were helping to ‘demystify’ this area of their work. Visitors said that they would be more confident than ever in offering customers smartware and that ERA was helping to make installation easier and therefore easier to sell as a proposition.
ERA’s smartware includes the HomeGuard Pro alarm, a high specification cloud-based alert and monitoring alarm system, the first of its kind to combine security with smart living. Operated by a smart phone app, HomeGuard Pro offers real time alerts, the ability to protect multiple locations, such as a house, office or holiday home, all accessible literally anytime, anywhere. The system allows the homeowner to allocate or revoke access to their home, thereby giving them the power to decide who comes in or out. The homeowner’s network of contacts is alerted simultaneously in the event of an intrusion.
One of the benefits for homeowners of HomeGuard Pro that fabricators and installers can communicate to their customers is that being cloud-based, the system is a good money-saving option. This is because as new integrations are released or new features become available, the hub can simply be upgraded via the cloud with no need for replacement or physical adaptions. With the sector developing rapidly this means this affordable product can move with the times.
Likewise, ERA’s new WiFi video doorbell, DoorCam allows homeowners to view all callers and talk to them in real time, whether they’re home or not. With ease of operation in mind, once DoorCam is wired in, the householder can simply plug in the WiFi chime which comes as standard, connecting up to four more chimes in the home, all as part of the package. This means a chime will sound in the house, with adjustable sound, volume and light function, eliminating the need to carry a Smartphone around. DoorCam allows homeowners to collect video clips via its history log, thanks to adjustable motion detection.
ERA’s TouchKey, a keyless smart lock bringing to life a fully integrated suite of connected Smart Security Products. Working in combination with ERA’s SureFire lock, the TouchKey also offers a solution for multi-point locks on PVCu and Composite doors. Developed to be secure and simple to use and easy to fit, SUREFIRE delivers effortless multi-point locking: simply close the door to engage the trigger and turn a key to deadlock.
ERA’s smartware range, with more innovative products to follow, provides the cutting-edge security technology that the customers of fabricators and installers now demand.
With smartware, the important components are hidden, so it is difficult, if not impossible to look at a piece of smartware and ascertain its quality and reliability. When choosing a supplier, fabricators and installers need to look at their supplier’s reputation, and ask themselves some key questions: do they provide quality products? Can they offer me help and advice if required? Is there a good after car service for the homeowner?
For those who have until now only offered traditional products and for whom working with smart solutions feels a little daunting, ERA’s in-house panel of experts offers help and advice. It has been expanded with the implementation of a dedicated helpdesk specifically for its portfolio of smartware products. The four-strong team is on hand to answer queries and provide peace of mind for fabricators and installers as they familiarise themselves with smartware, also giving them a clear point of contact to refer their customers to for aftercare if they have any questions post-fitting.
The personal service means customers are guaranteed a ‘solve’ or ‘resolve’ outcome for their query. If their query cannot be solved on the spot, they can rest assured that the helpdesk team will go away and resolve it usually within 24hrs. The team is currently running at a 98% solve rate at point of contact with the customer, with the remaining queries requiring additional input from other areas of the business. The team also offers live chat web-support too. The new ERA Smartware Helpdesk Team can be contacted on 0345 257 2500, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.
ERA’s training suite is the perfect facility to help customers to gain a full understanding of ERA’s smartware range. The company can offer classroom training, hands-on product experience in relation to real installation scenarios and the opportunity to ask as many questions as needed. Training also affords the opportunity of getting to know the ERA team by meeting the product manager and discussing new and upcoming technology and seeing the company’s design and test area.
In preparation for Autumn when the nights draw in and the cover of darkness makes break-ins easier, homeowners traditionally turn their attention to home security issues. It is therefore the perfect time for fabricators and installers to up-sell their service offering by adding smart products. And with many homeowners not confident in installing such technology themselves, it falls on the professionals to help. A great new business opportunity for the trade, but also a genuine source of peace of mind for customers.