The Quest for Smarter Power
Integrators and users benefit from network intelligence
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Nov 01, 2015
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
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
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.