Alula new features and capabilities for Q1

Q1 2021 Partner Update

Welcome to the first edition of our quarterly partner update on the new features and benefits added to Alula’s capabilities via firmware updates and back-end improvements.

Each quarter we will highlight the most important new capabilities, to make sure you don’t miss any of the great new tools available to help your business.

Here are the top 3 new features:

  • IP-only BAT-Connect Service Option: Offers partners a chance to provide a low-cost option for customers who don’t need cell service.
  • Ability to Remotely Toggle Cell: Now you can install in lower-cost IP Only mode, but have a cellular path available if it is needed. Remotely turn on or off a customer’s cellular connection in AlulaConnect, allowing dealers to troubleshoot without a truck roll and offering unique IP/Cell service options for builder markets.
  • Dashboard Analytics: AlulaConnect provides a visual data overview of your customer base, delivering business-critical information, such as accounts at risk of attrition.

In addition to those big improvements, we’ve also added the following:

You can find more information about all of these by accessing your account in the PRO Partner Portal and AlulaConnect.

Thank you for your interest in Alula and stay tuned for more updates on new features and benefits being added weekly for Alula Pros.

Alula VP Paul Saldin featured in Security Today

Alula VP of Engineering Paul Saldin contributes a column to this month’s issue of Security Today.

Called “Cutting the Cord,” the column explores how the introduction of reliable wireless communication has changed the security industry for the better and created the “Internet of Things.”

Saldin writes:

The self-contained panel–with its user interface on the front and battery and electronics on the inside–was an architectural innovation that proved to be a game-changer for the security industry. For the first time, security panels did not need to be installed in basements and utility closets. They could be placed on a wall near the front door, or on a kitchen counter — a more convenient location for homeowners and installers alike.

This was also the dawn of a fundamental change to the industry: the gradual move by installers away from charging for a full day’s labor pulling cables and instead shifting to the recurring revenue model.

Read the full column here.

Alula Pro Roundtable: Insights on the ADT/Google Partnership

Alula recently hosted an interactive panel discussion with insiders from various segments of the security industry to discuss a number of changes and developments impacting the security industry, from Google’s partnership with ADT to the effects of COVID-19 and social unrest. Below are some key takeaways from this wide-ranging and informative discussion:

Tech Giants Entering the Market

The recent partnership between Google and ADT highlighted a number of factors, the first of which is the value of the professional channel, specifically the “feet on the street” and technical leadership necessary to bring value to the connected home/connected business experience. That Google would partner with ADT to launch security offerings demonstrates how much value there is in the professional channel.

This deal also underscores the point that security is the lead technology that ties a lot of automation solutions together in the home or business. Security, life safety and protection services becomes the lead element and drives the adoption of other connected devices. Big tech hasn’t quite figured out how to monetize the connected home yet, but the security industry has. The value of the professional channel and the dealers who will participate in this deal are now highlighted in Google’s investment and their partnership with ADT. 

Security is in a great position, with Google coming onto the professional installer’s turf, and if installers continue to innovate and differentiate themselves in the marketplace, everyone is going to have a bigger piece of pie. 

More than Technology

Google has been making bets on devices with Nest and Dropcam. This latest development demonstrates Google’s desire to monetize those investments and its recognition that it takes more than technology to be a success in security. 

This may be the first of many dominoes to fall because based on how this partnership works out, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see more movement into security from other tech giants like Amazon (which has already entered the market with its acquisition of Ring).

Like Google, Amazon hasn’t had a ton of success monetizing their devices, so you can be sure they’re watching the Google-ADT partnership to see what works and what doesn’t. And they’ll likely be looking for their own “feet on the street” partner – or straight-up acquisition – in the not-so-distant future.

Where the large tech companies have missed the boat is in the services aspect that goes along with the technology. Devices themselves are one-off sales, but the professional security market has long realized that the real money is made in the recurring revenue component from service offerings. Traditionally, that may have been monitored security intrusion going into a central station, but those services have become more all-encompassing in recent years. So while Google and others may have been entering security from a technology standpoint, a more accurate measure of their penetration going forward will have to include some consideration of recurring revenue elements around those companies’ devices. 

Security in an Uncertain World

Security has long been an event-driven purchase, and pandemics and social unrest are certainly events. Uncertainly, anxiety and change seem to be the new normal in day-to-day life, and as a result there is a greater desire to settle in and protect. As a result, we’re seeing an uptick on security devices going into homes, and people turn to people they trust, and in security and life safety, that tends to be a company with a local presence. This is where an ADT comes into play from Google’s perspective. While we don’t know what the world is going to look like in the next 18 to 24 months, the good news is that recent events haven’t negatively impacted the security industry. It’s just forced people to rethink how they go to market and how they do business.

What’s Next?

Between the global pandemic, social unrest, new players entering the market and other changes and uncertainty, the security industry needs to be flexible and creative. This opens up opportunities to bring a heightened level of service to emphasize the customer experience, support and professionalism. At the same time, we need to be mindful of the relationship we have with our customers, which, as Google recognized, is as much a factor in business success as the technology itself.

Alula Launches Wireless Outdoor Siren to Protect the Yard

The new device adds to an outdoor security products line that includes an outdoor gate sensor, outdoor motion detector, outdoor bullet camera and doorbell camera

Alula, the leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers and the award-winning inventors of the Connect+ Platform, today announced the latest addition to its line of outdoor security products, the RE636 Wireless Outdoor Siren.

The Wireless Outdoor Siren is an extended perimeter warning device that produces high volume alert sounds and visual strobing. The device provides an early warning to summon help in the event of burglary, smoke or carbon monoxide alarm conditions. The siren’s volume and strobe lights are adjustable through AlulaConnect to accommodate any installation scenario, and the siren can be incorporated into home automation routines through Alula’s Scenes engine.

“In an emergency, there’s no time to waste, and we’ve seen tragic instances where first responders weren’t able to find the right house,” says Dave Mayne, VP of Products for Alula. “With the outdoor siren, there’s a flashing light that tells police and firefighters exactly where help is needed. Eliminating confusion in those crucial moments can save lives.”

The RE636 includes a multi-cadence siren, 2-5 year battery life (batteries included), and IP56 water resistant enclosure. The siren can be installed with AC power by routing the power supply wire through the hole in the back plastic, while wall mounting can be achieved by securing the siren to a surface with the included mounting screws. The Connect+ panel supports up to eight RE636 sirens at one time for especially large properties. 

“There has been a dynamic shift with people spending more time at home this year,” said Alula CEO Brian McLaughlin. “It’s more important than ever to feel secure at home, and the Outdoor Siren offers an early warning that can save lives and provide peace of mind.”

How to use Google Home with Connect+

How to use Google Home with Connect+

Install the Google Home app for iPhone or Android

Press the “+” symbol in the upper left

Click “Set up a device”

Choose “Set up new device”

Choose “Have something already set up?”

Scroll down to “Alula Security” and click it

Sign into your Alula account with your Username and Password

You’ll see a list of all your Smart Home devices.

Click on all of the Smart Home devices you want to add.

Navigate back to the home screen and find the microphone button in the bottom middle of the screen.

Press the microphone button and speak to enter Google Home commands for your Smart Home devices.

You can say phrases such as:

  • “Set my Connect Plus to stay”
  • “Set my security system to stay”
  • “Set my security system to away”
  • “Set my security system to night”
  • “Disarm my security system” (Google will ask you for the pin)
  • “Disarm my Connect Plus” (Google will ask you for the pin)
  • “Is my system armed?”
  • “Is my Connect Plus armed?”
  • “Is my front door open?”
  • “Are my doors open?”

Other household members

You can give other household members access to the connect plus in two steps

  1. Make sure Connect+ and sensors are added to a “home” in the Google Home App
  2. Use the Google Home App to invite home member to the “home”

Alula’s Slimline Touchpad honored in SIA’s New Product Showcase

Alula, the leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers and the award-winning inventors of the Connect+ Platform, was recognized by the Security Industry Association (SIA) with a New Product Showcase Award in the Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions category for their Slimline Touchpad. The awards are presented in coordination with ISC West — revealed on July 9 as part of a virtual presentation ceremony.

Alula’s Slimline Touchpad was commended by the judges for its ability to instantly modernize old security panels with at-a-glance control of video, security, environmental and automation sensors. The Touchpad creates an encrypted feed to Alula Video Cameras, including the Video Doorbell, so customers can see, hear and speak to people at the doorstep.

Installers have acknowledged the touchpad for its ease of use. The touchscreen looks and drives just like the Alula smartphone app, with a vivid 7” landscape view. That means only one set of controls to teach, with no manual needed, which saves security professionals both time and money.

“We’re honored to be recognized for the innovative Slimline Touchpad,” said Brian McLaughlin, CEO, Alula, “We’ve heard back from partners that the Slimline Touchpad is a system-seller that their customers love. This award from SIA is wonderful recognition of the hard work of our talented engineers.”

SIA’s new product showcase awards strive to recognize innovative physical security products, services and solutions. The technologies showcased provide the most innovative products on the frontline of security. Alula’s 2020 New Product Award win for the Slimline Touchpad follows up a 2019 SIA Award for the Bat-Connect communicator.

The Slimline Touchpad is now available pre-programmed as part of a new Connect+ kit that can be set up by a professional or an end-user with Pro assistance in 30 minutes or less.

“We know that a customer’s satisfaction with their security system will largely depend on their experience with the app and the home touchscreen controls,” says Dave Mayne, Vice President of Product Management at Alula. “That’s why we worked so hard to create a seamless user experience across those screens. Thank you SIA for continuing to recognize and celebrate innovation in our industry.”

About Alula
Alula is the only all-in-one security and home automation platform purpose-built for today’s independent security and installation professionals. From sensors to hub to network, Alula offers a complete, end-to-end solution and one accountable partner. Today, thousands of partners across North America have over 300,000 active locations secured and connected with Alula. Designed for professionals, the Alula platform provides a complete security, automation and video solution for renters, homeowners and commercial installations. Alula is a business-driven platform designed to reduce truck rolls, increase RMR, simplify inventory and put today’s professional providers in control of their business, their customers and their revenue. The Alula platform is available nationwide through distributors that cater to the alarm and integrator industry. For more information about the Slimline Touchpad, visit . For more information about Alula, visit

UL 985-6 Compliance features

UL 985-6 Compliance features

With Connect+ firmware version or later the following UL 985-6 features are enabled when the feature UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to OFF (UL Compliant) in AlulaConnect or Connect+ Installer Application.

  • First access code entry during a fire alarm just silences the sirens for 2 minutes,but the alarm remains active.   Second access code entry within 2 minutes (any valid code) cancels the fire alarm.   In Default Behavior mode, there is no change in the procedure to cancel a fire alarm.
  • Trouble beeps now sound every 10 seconds when UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant, otherwise trouble beeps sound every 60 seconds.
  • Battery is now load tested for 5 minutes every 4 hours when UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant, otherwise battery is load tested every 24 hours.
  • No longer allow siren to time out if we have any life safety zones in alarm and one or more of those zones have not restored.   When all life safety zones have restored, the sirens will be allowed to time out normally.   This is a UL985-6 requirement, and is enabled when the UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant.
  • Change timing for Temporal 4 cadence to comply with the UL985-6 requirements.  Now 100ms on, 100ms off for 4 cycles, then 5 seconds off.  Previously all siren cadences used a 125msec tick and total cycle time was 4 seconds.   This new cadence timing is used only for the temporal 4 cadence and only if the Default/UL Compliant Setting is set to UL compliant (OFF).  Also, still play the old temporal 4 cadence, so wireless sirens will be synched every 4 cycles (22.8 seconds), since the wireless sirens will still be operating on a 4 second cycle for all cadences, including temporal 4.
  • Trouble beeps are now enabled for Server Comm Fail trouble condition, but only if the Default/UL Compliant Setting is set to UL compliant (OFF).
  • Declare server comm failure quicker than 30 minutes if we have events to report and are unable to set up a session with interactive server.  Timing is dependent on interfaces installed and how they have failed.   UL 985-6 requires X minutes or less.
  • When we have a server comm failure condition and server comms are restored, we will now send a CS Comm Trouble event (350) and restoral, then the server comm trouble is cleared, only when UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant.
  • Set CE Compliant status to be 1 to allow Helipads to enable prompting for an access code before showing system status and silencing trouble beeps.   This happens only when UL_Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant.
  • Set validUserCredentialRx bit in panel status for 20 seconds after a valid access code is received from a local device,    Used by Helipad to allow access to status menu.  This happens only when UL_Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to UL Compliant.

Coronavirus Opens Commercial Security Opportunities

Providing security systems to commercial clients during the pandemic is vital opportunity to help those businesses stay ahead in uncertain times.

Dave Mayne 

Originally published in CE Pro

Owning and managing a business day-to-day is challenging in normal times. But in a global health emergency like the coronavirus where tens of millions of workers are being told to stay home, customers are keeping their distance and supply chains are in a state of upheaval, the combined challenges can seem overwhelming.

Buildings are empty or operating with a skeleton crew. Assets are being left unattended. The familiar faces who deliver goods on a regular schedule are being replaced by strangers who come and go at different times.

Business owners are concerned not just about the security of their operations, but about keeping business moving along in a world that changes constantly.

Security integrators can help them on both fronts.

In the new business landscape, where face-to-face interactions are not an option, remote control, remote access and full visibility into properties and assets have become critically important. Enterprises that use fully integrated, cloud-based security systems will find the day-to-day challenges less daunting.

With the right technology in place, businesses can worry less and get back to doing what they do best: serving the customer.


Integrated Security Helps Overcome Challenges

Social distancing rules during the pandemic mean businesses of all kinds face a fearsome new hurdle: keeping operations going with few or no people on site while serving customers who don’t dare venture outside the house.

But commerce goes on, after a fashion. People still access properties to perform necessary work, although they’re discouraged from interfacing with others. And properties and assets—which are more vulnerable now–still need to be kept secure.

For many businesses, securing the operation means using some combination of intrusion prevention, video surveillance, access control and energy management. Some businesses use four separate systems with four separate interfaces to handle these critical functions.

Four separate systems is complex enough on a normal day, but during an emergency that upends daily life and keeps people home, patchwork systems like these quickly become untenable. And they also don’t offer a complete view.

Access Control, for example, will show who entered a specific segment of the building, but doesn’t see movement inside a property.  Cameras can detect movement, but they can’t determine if they’re seeing an authorized person or not. It is through interactions between systems that a more complete picture is formed.

Additionally, in a fragmented security setup, security and access systems are set up to run according to a certain set routine, which in normal times might be easy to stick to. But if a single routine changes—for example, if a delivery schedule changes—all four of these systems must be updated to account for the change.

And since the pandemic started, constant change has become the norm. Staffing levels and schedules have changed. Access patterns have changed. And because of social distancing protocols, personnel are scattered and working at different times, which means people may need access to places they didn’t use before.

Business today is a fluid situation, and every change four times is not just inefficient and prone to errors. Today, it’s next to impossible.

Combining all of these functions into a single interface is the way businesses can resume some version of normal operations. It’s also the way the security integrator goes far beyond the role of watchdog, and helps business owners manage the day-to-day functioning of their business.

Go Beyond Just Access Control

The way for them to get these features without piling cost and complexity on top of an already difficult situation is to use a solution that unites all of these functions in a cloud-based system, and offers them on a single interface.

Disparate systems are complex even when things are going smoothly, and it may be awhile before things run smoothly again. Marrying the various critical functions of security, access and building management is a necessity now, but will remain immensely valuable long after the pandemic has passed.

Alula’s cloud-based security platform has been giving businesses simple remote control of their operations for years, and we’ve recently extended our platform in a way that’s especially useful in the new business climate we’re only now beginning to see play out. We’ve expanded and tightened the integration on the intrusion side. Beyond just remote control, we now view all sensor and user activity. We provide full remote visibility into a broad range of intrusion systems

Partnering with Brivo, the global leader in cloud-based physical security, means offering a maintenance-free, cloud-to-cloud API integration that makes it easy for integrators to install and configure both systems quickly.

Intrusion detection, access control and interactive features like video and energy management can all be accomplished remotely, and from a single interface.

This is the kind of flexibility and simplicity that businesses need in a fast-changing situation where all of the normal processes have been turned upside-down.

Business owners, for example, can now remotely manage unattended delivery, allowing the delivery person to access a portion of a property without risk of generating a false alarm, and getting verification that the delivery occurred – even including visual verification of the package.

New or temporary employees can now disarm a security system without having to share a code, managing this all through the access badges every employee receives. Video events can now be tagged with details of specific security and access control events, making it easier to sort through weeks of surveillance video.

Business owners and managers need to focus on how to serve a customer who’s needs have dramatically changed – leaving little time to constantly configure and change multiple different security and access systems.

While this type of integration is prompted by the current challenge, early adopters will find it offers benefits long into the future.

Dave Mayne is Vice President of Product Management at Alula, the leader in smart home security and automation systems for professional installers and the award-winning inventors of the Connect+ Platform. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

Signals Generated by the BAT-Connect

The BAT-Connect will relay any signal from the the panel to which it is connected. Additionally, the BAT-Connect generates the following signals:

Signal Report Code Device – Zone/User
Peripheral Tamper 341 BAT-Connect – 0; Touchpad – 600+ Touchpad #
Peripheral Trouble (Supervisory) 330 Touchpad – 600+ Touchpad #
Peripheral Low Battery 338 Touchpad – 600+ Touchpad #
Peripheral AC Fail 342 Touchpad – 600+ Touchpad +
Comm Test Fail 358 BAT-Connect – Zone (slot) 3
Expansion Module Failure 333 BAT-Connect – 0-3
Comm Test 601 Manual Trigger from AlulaConnect