The Quest for Smarter Power - Security Products magazine sat down with Larry Ye, president and CEO of LifeSafety Power Inc., to discuss how rapid transformation is occurring in the technology—and how RMR is now possible, providing value to both systems integrators and their end-user customers.

Industry Professional

The Quest for Smarter Power

Integrators and users benefit from network intelligence

Think power supplies are static hardware products that don’t offer the ability to provide services and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) to systems integrators? Security Products magazine sat down with Larry Ye, president and CEO of LifeSafety Power Inc., to discuss how rapid transformation is occurring in the technology—and how RMR is now possible, providing value to both systems integrators and their end-user customers.

Since its founding in 2009, in Mundelein, Ill., the company has been working diligently on innovation that moves the category into the exciting world of monitored power supplies, shifting the trajectory of the power supply industry, revolutionizing the product category and adding new applications. With ongoing innovation, power supplies have moved firmly into the realm of intelligent networking devices.

“From the beginning, LifeSafety Power recognized there was more to what some saw as an unexciting, static product,” Ye said. “We knew straight out of the gate we had an opportunity to do something big and change the entire category with patented technologies designed to yield heightened reporting on the health of monitored power supplies. Now, through technology innovation, power solutions provide proactive reporting and deliver critical, real-time information on power devices.”

The company understands the continuing erosion of hardware margins has integrators struggling to add value and revenue streams to the business. One of its primary missions is to deliver modular, flexible and scalable remote power management devices with intelligent network monitoring that provide new avenues of RMR. Ye cited these three ways in which integrators can make RMR from power solution management.

Remote battery testing. Today’s networked, intelligent power solutions allow integrators to remotely test and assess battery system health and any potential issues in many instances without a site visit and truck roll. Remote diagnostics means more money in the pockets of the integration company and better uptime for the customer. If a visit is required, they have a better idea of what they need in terms of equipment or other devices, before they set foot on site.

Detect problems as they occur. The customer wants to be assured that their system is operational 24/7, especially in the event of a security breach or life safety event. Intelligent power system solutions will regularly assess power operation and the health of connected solutions, and pick up failures immediately. For example, a short circuit or integrated lock that is running “hot” and could present a fire hazard will instantaneously generate an email alert or Simple Network Management Protocol “trap” to notify the integration company or end user of a potential problem.

The ability to generate reports at will or on schedule. This type of proactive system monitoring, the servicing contractor has the ability to generate reports at will or on schedule to document the system health to the owner. It’s a fantastic value-add to the company, who can differentiate their service and bid-spec in the often-crowded contracting space.

“LifeSafety Power’s passion for excellence—and fine-focus on industry innovation—characterized its inaugural year,” Ye said. “But even with the introduction of the flagship FlexPower line in 2009, we had bigger aspirations.

FlexPower, whose name reflects its modularity and ability to customize product features and functions based on individual specifications—was the first product to offer a computer and networking interface— setting the stage for web reporting capabilities. Shortly after the FlexPower release, the company added PowerCom and DataLink software/firmware, yielding the ability to program and log key power supply features and data.”

Ye also said FlexPower ushered in ongoing advancements targeting networked, monitored power supplies. The results were five major industry awards in less than six years, including a 2014 Security Industry Association New Product Showcase Award for iSCAN, the industry’s first IP-managed smart power solution for access control, security and CCTV.

Evolution of Remote Capabilities

“In 2011, we brought networking more fully into the fold with the introduction of the patented NetLink remote monitoring communication module,” Ye said. “NetLink has the ability for the integrator to gain a whole new level of real-time or scheduled status reporting capabilities for installed power solutions. NetLink produces information the integrator can use to generate recurring monthly revenue through well-checks, tasks and detailed system status reports delivered to the end-user. Finally, there was the 2014 release of the FlexPower Multi-Site Manager (MSM- 200)—where information generated by NetLink modules is collected and displayed on one computer screen from multiple devices.”

Ye said LifeSafety Power is all about smarter power solutions. “Power supplies have become networkcentric devices that provide integrators and end users the technology they need to proactively and remotely assess critical power operations and ensure continued system reliability and uptime. No longer are they static devices with little intelligence. Instead, they have joined other life safety and security technologies in adding actionable intelligence through network monitoring. LifeSafety Power has been at the forefront of this evolution—adding exciting services and a new value proposition to power management solutions. Now, power supplies are connected, high-tech products that make everyone’s lives easier.”

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Security Today.

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