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Keys to the Door - ResidentialSystems.com

Keys to the Door

Jason Williams, general manager for Yale Locks & Hardware’s residential group, acknowledges that integrators at all levels are being forced to grapple with the same commercial and economic challenges that are impacting growth, development, and survival in every other market.
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Yale Banks on NFC Access Control and Strong Channel Support

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Jason Williams, General Manager, Yale ResidentialJason Williams, general manager for Yale Locks & Hardware’s residential group, acknowledges that integrators at all levels are being forced to grapple with the same commercial and economic challenges that are impacting growth, development, and survival in every other market. On the security side of the market, within which his company operates, digital technologies are driving integration of AV, IT, security, and access control systems and offering challenges and opportunities to integrators. “New skills and knowledge need to be acquired, new products need to be accessed and we need to be aware of new competitors,” Williams said in a conversation with Residential Systems. Here’s how he responded to the rest of our questions:

What are the key considerations for integrators in the security market today?

At Yale Locks & Hardware, our primary goal is to build locks that live up to the Yale pedigree and enable integrators to provide the best security available. But 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 unfamiliarity and a 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.

We also looked closely at aesthetics and sought to design rather than to simply build. This is why the Yale Real Living family is elegant and good-looking–to address the aesthetic demands of every homeowner or residential systems integrator. I do think that support is also an important issue to systems integrators–especially when they’re making a leap into a new discipline within their current market or if they’re attacking a new sector altogether. They need to know that the manufacturer is proving some sort of air cover to their pioneering efforts, and this is why we’re going to great lengths to back integrators with comprehensive support.

What should integrators be considering with emerging NFC technology?

The way things are trending right now there is huge momentum for NFC in banking–where a lot of the R&D investment has been made–but increasingly so in access control. 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, 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.

Yale’s Real Living deadbolt and lever products were designed from the ground up to be a true integrated part of a system.In discussions with dealers, what are the key issues they are being asked to address in today’s installs?

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Homeowners–and by extension dealers–are under pressure from all sides but especially on price. Whereas some manufacturers have elected to go the DIY route, we’re making the dealer central to our business plan in the continued development of the residential market. Our commitment begins with the product development philosophy–building our Yale Real Living line from the ground up so that it’s an integrated part of the system–and continues through design, channel strategy, and support. Yale has never been a commodity player, and when it comes to systems– especially security and access control systems–there is minimal value (to the homeowner) in a commodity system. We’re as focused as one can be in the channels. There is not a lot of conflict, and that is one of the things that makes Yale attractive to the channel.

How has a shift to wireless affected the residential security market?

It’s not a barrier at all–homeowners and consumers, in general, have demonstrated deep comfort using wireless technologies to securely access their cars, garages, and computers, so there is strong familiarity and confidence in the market and the channel. Our research and experience is that wireless access control is widely perceived as a technology whose time has arrived and a value that makes the system more attractive and useful. Couple that with the confidence gained from knowing it’s a Yale lock, and we’ve found that consumers who get used to their wireless system are converted for life.

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