Earlier in August, Google announced a $450 million investment in security stalwart ADT. The partnership represents an ecosystem expansion for both players that increases their visibility and value to new existing customers by creating the next generation of smart home security offerings. Then, a few months later, Google unsurprisingly discontinued its three-year-old Google Nest Secure alarm system, seemingly to make way for its future collaboration with ADT.
The partnership will be branded as “ADT + Google” to consumers and is expected to last 7 years. It will begin rolling out in Q3 2021 when ADT will begin offering Google Nest products to its customers. This will allow Google to leverage ADT’s network of professional technicians to sell and install Nest devices. Over time, ADT devices will be powered by Google’s machine learning capabilities, which will enhance ADT’s security monitoring. The combination of Nest’s hardware/services and Google’s machine learning technology with ADT’s installation, service, and professional monitoring will create the “next-generation” of smart home security offerings. So far, there has been no formal announcement from Google about whether any new Nest devices will be developed for ADT, such as a new control panel
At the same time, Google’s investment brings into question the future of Alarm.com’s close relationship with ADT. In January 2019, ADT unveiled ADT Command, a redesigned alarm and automation panel, along with ADT Control, the corresponding app, which are both powered by the Alarm.com platform. Since the announcement of Google’s investment, Alarm.com has been in discussions with ADT about its collaboration. In November, both companies renewed their original agreement, extending their partnership until early 2023. In the agreement, ADT will continue to promote and install its Command and Control offerings until the extended deadline, while Alarm.com will support ADT’s integration of Google products into the Command and Control platforms in early 2021. Also, Alarm.com is anticipated to continue providing service to all existing ADT subscribers on both software platforms for the full service life of subscriber accounts. After the extended partnership ends in early 2023, ADT intends to offer its customers the ADT + Google software platform, and Alarm.com has agreed to support ADT’s new platform with a royalty-bearing IP license. This agreement allows for ADT + Google’s system to leverage the foundational intellectual property behind the Alarm.com-powered Command and Control software platforms. Thus, Alarm.com will continue to derive revenue from newly subscribed customers to the proposed ADT + Google platform.
Although ADT and Alarm.com extended their collaboration another year, the combination of one of the biggest tech giants and commercial security companies gives ADT and Google a competitive edge against all competitors in the smart home security market. Software and hardware providers, like Alarm.com and Resideo, will need to find ways to continue to innovate and expand the market in order to maintain their status as the gold standard in home security to contest Google.