Category Archives: Samir Jain

Emergency Communication Outpacing Fire

In my last post, I talked about some of the emerging trends in the fire alarm industry.  If you look at the history of the industry, some very high profile fire events in the last century led to our current code-driven, failsafe system requirements.  These systems must be inspected regularly to ensure proper operation.  In fact, some have said that the threat of a Fire is a non-issue in commercial buildings due to all of the emphasis that’s been placed on fire prevention, protective building materials and rapid detection.

In recent years, it’s not fire but the increase of high-profile tragedies involving severe weather, bombings, and active shooters that are attracting the attention of the media and broader public.  Because of this, greater focus has been placed on the adoption of Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) across a number of markets.  Recent market reports project double-digit annual growth for the ECS market, far greater than the growth of the Fire Alarm industry.  Some verticals such as Military / Government are leaders in adoption, with Education and Healthcare following closely.  Other public gathering places such as stadiums and places of worship are starting to develop their respective ECS plans.

A report by MarketsandMarkets, “Mass Notification Market – Global Advancements, Market Forecasts and Analysis (2013 – 2018)” estimates the global mass notification market will grow from $2.41 billion in 2013 to $6.41 billion in 2018 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 21.6% during that time. In this report, Honeywell, which includes its endorsed brands, is named as a major player in the mass notification (a.k.a. emergency communication) market.

Although these numbers are big, I can’t see any reason for them to be wrong. On the contrary, I wouldn’t be surprised if these numbers turn out to be low. As the media continues to place a strong focus on non-fire tragedies, pressures will continue to mount for public places to have a means of communicating with occupants during emergencies.



About the Author:
Samir Jain is the Director of Strategic Marketing for Honeywell Fire Systems. In this role, Samir leads the development of the company strategy and oversees the product marketing group.​​​

Markets and Technology: What’s Hot, What’s Not

The construction market continued its post-recession recovery in 2013.  So what can we expect in 2014?  From the data I’ve seen, nonresidential markets will see 7-10% growth in new construction starts, versus the 2-3% for 2013.  Looking at specific verticals:

  • Education is still a big market, but it’s not growing at the same rate as in the past few years
  • ​​The government shutdown put a halt to a lot of federal government facilities spending, and the Affordable Care Act is causing some uncertainty in health-care construction
  • Vacancy rates for office space and hotels are steadily decreasing, which means more spending on new construction for these markets
  • As for retail, we’re seeing the same trends as last year where your dollar stores and big-box discount stores continue to grow

Customers are becoming more sophisticated when purchasing systems.  Nowadays, end users expect to find online resources to allow them to research a product before buying.  Certainly the manufacturers have to have easy-to-navigate and content-rich websites, but so do the dealers and integrators that are selling and installing this equipment.

One of the really fascinating trends is what some have dubbed the “Apple effect”.  Many a journalist has written about how Apple has productized so many disruptive, breakthrough technologies.  They also share a common theme: their focus on human factors; that is, their ability to focus on the entire customer experience, from researching a product, to buying it, installing it, and maintaining / upgrading it.  Customers want an Apple-like experience with all of their products, including their fire alarm systems.  So you’ll see more emphasis on products that are easier to install, easier to program, etc.

The one knock against Apple is the reason that Google / Android does well.  Apple has a closed (or proprietary) system, vs. Android’s open (or non-proprietary) system.  Building owners are wary of being held captive by a system that can only be serviced by a highly specialized firm.  As with anyone, they want choices.  So you’re starting to see more and more building specs that call for a non-proprietary system.

The final trend is around integration.  Many users want an integrated system, one that incorporates fire, security, HVAC, and other controls.  Some large manufacturers have reorganized their corporations to be better aligned for this.  All of this will lead fire systems to do more than just detect Fire.  All of which I’ll be discussing in my next post!


About the Author:
Samir Jain is the Director of Strategic Marketing for Honeywell Fire Systems. In this role, Samir leads the development of the company strategy and oversees the product marketing group.​​​