Google / Nest Dealer Program Unveiled At ISC West

By Ethan Ace, Published Apr 21, 2015, 12:00am EDT

A year after Dropcam's puzzling appearance at ISC West 2014, now-parent company Google/Nest is back, marketing its new Nest Pro dealer program. 

Nest had their own big, wooden, nest-like 20'x20' booth near the end of the show floor, perhaps only coincidentally near other home automation providers such as Ring, Doorbot, and the Z-Wave alliance.

We talked to Nest at ISC West and in this note we take a look at what this partner program includes and its potential impact.

The Partner Program

The Nest Pro partner program includes three key benefits to dealers:

Discounts

Dealers receive discounts on all Nest product, though they would not share exact percentages. These discounts apply to Dropcam, as well as the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke alarm. 

Note that according to Nest's partner program, product may not be resold online by dealers, and they must observe a minimum pricing policy, seen here:

RMR

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In addition to discounts on equipment, dealers receive a percentage of Dropcam cloud recording plans per month. As with equipment discounts, Nest declined to share exact percentages.

Lead Generation

When users request professional installation or on-site tech support, these leads are sent to local dealers. Included in this program is a novel text message lead notification, letting dealers quickly reply to new leads and follow up with customers.

To train dealers on Nest products and the partner program, they are holding roadshows across North America. Nest also offers online training as part of the dealer signup program, which dealers must complete before they are approved and listed. Note that there is currently no training module for Dropcam in Nest's partner site, only the Thermostat and Protect.

Potential Impact

Nest has maintained a partner list for some time without publicizing this program, but it mostly consists of HVAC providers due to the popularity of their thermostat, with some residential AV and electrical services. Offering discounts, leads, and RMR may incent more security installers to sign up, especially given Nest's strong marketing and brand awareness, one of few really known to consumers in these markets.

However, many installers may not have the licensing or knowledge required to properly connect Nest Thermostats or Protect, limiting the program's penetration.

Moreover, Nest's products do not integrate with the typical offerings of residential security installers, and many intrusion platforms (Honeywell, DMP, DSC, etc.) traditionally carried by these companies have added thermostats, lighting controls, lockset integration, and wireless video cameras which compete directly with Nest's lineup. Gaining traction against these entrenched platforms may be difficult.

If Nest's offerings shifted to include more security and home automation features, or if they were to release an expanded camera line requiring more security and/or installation expertise, we would expect more momentum for this partner program. As it stands, it may not be a fit for many installers.

1 report cite this report:

Nest Wants You To Be A Pro Dealer on Nov 18, 2016
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