ISC West 2019: Qolsys Overview with Jeremy McLerran, Qolsys Marketing Director

ISC West 2019: Qolsys Overview with Jeremy McLerran, Qolsys Marketing Director

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In this video, Frank talks with Jeremy McLerran of Qolsys to discuss how Qolsys has grown as a company and their more recent transition into commercial markets. Qolsys was originally created with home markets in mind, but they have worked to make their IQ Panel 2 Plus System suitable for businesses.

Transitioning from a primarily residential system to a dual-purpose residential and commercial system has greatly shaped the development of the Qolsys IQ Panel 2. Qolsys made sure that the system featured a user-friendly layout that was easy to use for home users. The DIY market flocked to the IQ Panel 2, as users greatly appreciated the system's intuitive menus and its general ease of use.

Qolsys also added various features to the IQ Panel 2 that improved the experience for home users. They made the automation menus easily accessible and added two-way streaming capabilities with cameras. Facial recognition and Bluetooth disarming were also applauded additions that enhanced the experience for residential users.

But Qolsys saw the opportunity to take their existing system and make it suitable for commercial use as well. The IQ Panel 2 Plus brought over all the existing features of the original IQ Panel 2 and added support for extended range PowerG Sensors. These sensors are great for larger commercial and businesses settings where reliability is a must. The company also obtained various certifications and credentials that made their system suitable for commercial applications.

The result was a commercial-grade panel that provided the same ease-of-use as a home security system. Thanks to their innovation, Qolsys was able to revolutionize the security industry by making one of the first dual-purpose residential and commercial alarm systems. Plus with the company's Qolsys IQ Hardwire 16-F and support for legacy sensors, it is super easy to upgrade to the IQ Panel 2 Plus from an older existing system.


Hi, DIYers. This is Frank at Alarm Grid. We're here at ISC West 2019, at the Qolsys booth with Jeremy. And he's going to be doing a quick little overview of the Qolsys booth and the technology that they'll be releasing this year, as well as the PowerG technology that they've already released that we're excited to start blowing into our commercial platform.

Thanks, Frank. Really appreciate the opportunity here, guys. ISC West has been crazy today. If you guys aren't here, you will see it's very, very busy. Hopefully, we'll get some shots of how crazy the show floor is. So it's been a lot of fun.

Qolsys started back in 2013. Launched here at ISC with our first generation panel. And we're now on our second generation panel, and we call it the Plus version. That has the PowerG radio built into it, as Frank alluded to.

Here at the show, we're talking a lot about our commercial platform. And I think it probably-- before we dive into that, it's probably smart to talk first about how we came to be. There's a lot of companies that they've taken their old legacy rubber button keypads and tried to make them more like a tablet, tried to make them more like a smartphone.

And we took the opposite approach. We took a tablet, specifically the Qualcomm Snapdragon, which is a chipset that's in, I think, billions of smartphones and tablets all across the world. And we partnered with Qualcomm, and said, we want to take this tablet and turn it into a security panel.

Now, there's things that a tablet has that really add a lot of value-- Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, the operating system, an access point, or hot spot, as some people call it. There's a lot of really powerful things in there.

But there's things that a tablet doesn't have that the security industry requires, things like a security radio, whether it's a 319.5. 345 megahertz, PowerG, whatever it is, something to talk to the security sensors, the lights-- I'm sorry, not the lights-- the security sensors, something to talk to the security sensors or the motion sensors, the smoke detectors, things like that.

But then you also need Z-Wave. Z-Wave controls lights, locks, thermostats, et cetera. So having both of those required us to build a little daughter card that we snapped into the back of the panel and allowed us to do that.

Now, through software, we're constantly unlocking new potential with this. We like to use the term forward compatibility. We're taking our hardware and making it forward compatible for the things that we haven't even dreamed up of yet.

One of our last software updates, for example, we took software, and we enabled the ability for cameras to appear on screen. And now you can have view your cameras on screen. You can answer your video doorbell on screen. And it's this really great experience that the homeowner loves to me.

Me, personally, when I get home, my wife says, hey, call the kids up for dinner. OK, sure. I walk over to the panel. I say, kids come up for dinner. And inevitably, they're, OK, Dad. And I look, and I'm like, you said, OK, but you're not moving. Get up here. And I can see--

The only panel in the industry to do that so far.

Yeah, absolutely. So you know a lot of really-- and then, of course, answering the video doorbell, especially great in, like, a multi-family situation. You've got an apartment? You don't want to open the door? You could answer the doorbell from the safety of inside your apartment, the safety inside your home.

If I have the app and the Sky Bell rings on my phone, that doesn't do me any good here at ISC West. What about the people that are at home? They need to be able to answer the doorbell too, whether it's my kids, my wife, whoever, a guest who's watching over our home. You need to be able to have that.

So software capabilities like that become more and more powerful and more and more easy to sell and to create usage. And that's really what it's about. It's about creating more usage.

Well, this residential panel, which is arguably the best residential panel in the market right now and continuing to advance and continuing to add new and exciting things to it, we decided that with the PowerG range that we were getting-- well, let me back up a little bit. Dual SRF is pretty important here.

We had a lot of people who were saying we want to be able to use your platform and take over an old system, but then still be able to do some of the new equipment stuff.

Expand further with wider range but still accept those older sensors.

Correct. And that's where Dual SRF on the IQ panel 2Plus came in. We said we needed three different flavors, where you could say, hey, I've got an old Honeywell system. Well, now you can take the panel in the silver box, install that, pair all the old systems with it, all the old sensors with it, and then add in any new sensors with PowerG. Maybe there was an upstairs window or an exterior garage you could never get to. Well, now you can. Add that PowerG sensor, and you can get there.

Well, more and more people were telling us, well, I use PowerG for commercial. I sure wish I could use your panel for commercial, but you're not certified. You don't have the partitions, things like that. So we said, well, let's do it.

And through a software update, we took the same residential panel that people have been installing all over the place, gave it a software update, got it UL 1610, which is commercial burg.

I didn't know that.

And now, we're actually doing this in commercial scenarios, and it's been phenomenal. I mean, I'll be honest, I run marketing for Qolsys, and my expectation was there was going to be a lot of skepticism. There was going to be a lot of dealers who were going to come in and say--

Well, wireless, in general, is--

Yeah, I don't do wireless for commercial. I don't do a residential panel for commercial. I need this commercial solution. But it's actually been the exact opposite. I'm finding more and more that people are thrilled to use this great looking panel.

And the range of PowerG allows them to do a building almost any size. I had a dealer the other day telling me that he did an elementary school. He bid three days worth of work for it, and he turned around and was able to do it in 10 hours and that included customer training.

Think about his profit there? He's got three days worth of stuff that he's already gotten paid for, and he only did it in one day. Not only was the customer thrilled, but they referred five other schools. He said he's swamped with business right now.

I had another customer said, I bid the job with four different repeaters. I didn't use a single one. Power G was so powerful, I had no clue that I wouldn't need those repeaters. He goes, all that was profit for me. I now have the confidence to go in and do 800,000-square-foot buildings without any problem.