JCI / Napco Integration Battle

By: Dan Gelinas, Published on Aug 30, 2018

JCI and Napco are firing salvos at each other over integration issues which both sides blame on the other.

The bigger problem is that central stations and their dealers are caught in the middle.

IPVM came across a general advisory from JCI about StarLink Communicators online and started investigating.

In this note we examine:

  • What both parties are alleging
  • What issues are occurring
  • How this impacts central stations and dealers
  • Plus explaining the underlying technology, standards, and APIs behind this

Some ******* ** ** ************** ******** ***********

****'* ******* ***** ****** explains** ***** **************. **** the ******** ***** ****** away **** ****-***** **************, problems ***** **** ************ signals ********* ** ****** and **** **** *** Internet. **** *** ** the *********** ** ** specific ****** *** *********. Years ***, ******** ********* their *** *********** *************/*********. However, ******* ******** ** not **** ** *** a ******** ** ***** each ***** ************.

**** ********* *******, ********* SIA, **** *************, *** a ****** ** ******* stations, ****** ** **-**, which** ** ****-******** **-************** standard *****(**** ** **********, ***, Essence *****, *** ******). When ** ************** ********* conforms ** **** ********, it ***** *** ********* in ******** **** ********* well **** ***** ********* conforming. *******, **** ************* have *** ******* **.

******, ***** ************** ********* are *********** *** ******* the *** ** ** API **** ** ********, probably **** ********* ********* to ********* **** *** third-party ********** ** **** some ***** *** ** make ** ****.

**** *** **** ***** on * ******-** ********, DC-10. *******, ** ***** moved ****** *** ***** stage ********* ** ******* close ** *** *******.

Integration *** ** ***

******* ************ *********, *** needs ** *** * manufacturer's **** *** *********** (*** ****'* *** *****). ***** **** ******** a ******* *** ******** support. ***** **** *** have **** ** ******** agreement, ********* ** ******* IPVM ******* *** **. API *********** ** ***** complex, ********* ******** **** for ********** ********. *******, working *** *** *********** is * ******* ********** by **** *********** ********.

What **** **** ******?

*** ******* ***** *** no *************. ** * general ******** ** ****** partners ***** **** **, 2018,*** ********* **** *****'* integration ** ***-**** ** receivers *** *** "************ ******* ******** *** is *** ********* ** [them]."

*******, *** **** **** use ** ***** ******** Communicators **** ***-**** ********* will **** ** *** not ********* *******:

*** ******** ** ******* support *** *********** ********* with ***** ******* ** them *** **** ********* by ******* **** *********:

**** *** ******** *******, JCI **** *** ** 'is ***** *** ***** on **?' *** **** I *** ***, **** say **** ***'* ******* support. * ***'* ** in **** *********. * need ** ******* *******. I **** ** ** able ** **** ** dealers **** *** *** Napco, *** ** ***** down ** ***** ** support, *'** **** *******.

*** *** ****, ********* ** ** ****** 7, **** ********* ****** to *** ********* *********** *** ** **** trying ** ***** *********** and ** *** ******** in * *** ********** partners ******. *******, ***** blames *** ****** ** the ***** ****** *** improperly *********** *** *******:

** ******, ** ** true **** *** **** stand ** **** ** competitively ******** ***** **** working **** ***-**** *********.

Why ** **** *********?

*** ****** **** ***** with **** **** ******* that ***** "******** **** across * *****" ** the *****-********* "**-** ******** and **** ** ** try ** ****** ** integration ** ***-**** *********. But **** ****'* ***** still." *** ****** **** that **** **** **** to ***** *** ******* by ******* *** ***** Napco ******* ** ******** cards ** **** *** traffic ***** *********** ** chunked *** **** ***** traffic ** *** ********. This *** ********* *** entire ******** **** ********. No ******* ******* ***** to **** **** * prospect ***** ** ****** problems *** ***** ****** whose ******** **** **** that ********.

The ******* *** *** ****** ** *** ******

******* ******** *** ***** in * ***** ******** between *** ************* *** can *** ** **** not **** ******** *** a ****** ********** **** demands **** ***** *********** from ***** ******* ******** so **** *** **** their *** *** ***** happy. ** * ******** crashes--or **** **** *** consistent ****** ********** ** latency, ** **** *******--***-**** customers ********* ****** ** their ******** ******. *** security ****** ******* ** the ******* *******. *** central ******* **** ******* at *** ************ ******** who ********* **** ******** to *** *** *****:

** *** *** *** giants ****** ** *** the ****** **** *** stuck ** *** ******. It *** ** *** point ***** *** ***** system *** ******** ****** 5 *********. ** ***** take ***, *** ***** everything. *** ******* ***** to ******** ****** ** larger *************. **'** ********** it **** *****. ** you're * **** ******* with **** * ****** 2 [********] ***'** ******** fine.

“**'** **** ****** ****-***-***** between *** *** – Johnson ******** *** ***** **** *** ****** indicating *** ****** *** being ******** *** *** latter ******* ****’** **** everything ** **** *** everything**********. **** ****** ** be ** ** *******. We **** **** ******* on * ****** **** Napco ****** **** ******* the ******. ** *** to **** **** ********* and ******* ***** *** *** *** *** supposedly. ** ******* ** if **** *** *** working **** *** **** would **** ** ****** to ****** **** **** a ***** ***. **** happens **** *** ***** changes ** ***** *** again?”

***** *** *** **** in *****, ********* ** IPVM's *******. *******, ***** talks ********** ***** **** over *** ***** *** wanted ** ********** ******* the ***********. ******* ******** just **** *** ******* fixed:

**** **** ** *** for ** ****** ********* and ** *** ***** thing.

No ******* **** ****

*** *** *** ****** requests *** *******. ***** noted *** ******* *** said **** *** *** have * ******* ** this ****.

Comments (13)

What does a license agreement from jci entail? 

My research at this time does not include input for either Napco or JCI. However, I know there was money involved. I'm not sure what else might have been part of it.

Interesting battle. I recall how Tyco shafted Napco around 10 years ago by getting them to develop a DT uniquely for ADT (UK), build thousands for them and then running to Honeywell leaving warehouses full of their ADT branded detectors.

From personal experience of having worked for both there is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that Dick Soloway should not give way to JCI who have a track record of shutting down competitiveness and any open protocol arrangements.

Just putting it out there, but just a reminder of who we're dealing with here.

This is a tough one to pick a side. On one hand, Napco should follow standard procedure and not try to make their own integration without the other side knowing about it. Can't really go around blaming your customers for not configuring things right, when you have a patch work integration. On the other hand, sounds like Surgard/Johnson Controls is charging possibly much more than they should, simply because they can.

I'm not an expert, but that's what it sounds like to me. Like JCI is taking advantage of a situation because they can, because Napco did an integration without having official support spelled out in a contract with JCI like they should have. It sounds like blame is on both sides.

In the past, unless the receiver manufacturer listed support for a “format” they did not support it.  This goes way back to the digital dialer days.  Napco needs to pay JCI to support it.

Can we add a "Both" selection to the poll?

For those who have never bought or sold a central station receiver I’ll add some color.  I have done both. 

When you buy a receiver it’s a huge investment. Whether it’s for a small private central station with 2 line cards (old school) or a national contract station with tens or hundreds of thousands of accounts, you research what communicators you will be working with and select a receiver to match. 

If a manufacturer states they will work with X products or formats, then you hold their feet to the fire.  If an alarm transmitter says it works with a certain receiver (many have a proprietary one) then you hold their feet to the fire.

It appears in this case Napco believes because they adopted a standard that the receiver should handle it and support them.  Well, that’s not how it works and even with CID from Ademco as a published SIA protocol, other brands using this method didn’t always work right.  Dealers were told to “pick another format.”

I remember when MAS would get $5,000.00 for just about anything and you would be “put on a list” but it gave you access to all the large monitoring centers and national alarm companies.  It was a price you paid to do business. 

APIs (non-public) and third-party integration require NDA’s and license agreements between both parties because the intellectual property will be shared. It sounds like Napco reversed engineered SurGards protocol which are now creating issues within central stations.

There are many other manufacturers utilizing the SG protocol to be able to send signals to a SG IP receiver. Did they have to sign an agreement with JCI? I believe they had to. Napco should do the right thing and get a proper agreement in place.

Pushing a product out and claiming it’s compatible without actually having support seems grossly careless to me. 

The link to IPVM burglar alarm basics leads to a page that is unreachable

 

That should be fixed now. Please let me know if you still have trouble.

Anyone have more specific info on the issues?

 

we are considering migrating our napcos to IP (it’s a no brainer, except this issue) and would like to avoid issues.  I don’t want to rely on the central or Napco being helpful on this.

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