Alula Marketing VP Brad LaRock featured in SDM

Alula Marketing VP Brad LaRock is featured in SDM magazine’s new “State of the Market” report for 2020.

LaRock comments on the Interlogix shutdown at the end of 2019 and the opportunities it opened up for innovation.

Brad LaRock, vice president of marketing at Alula, an all-in-one security and home automation platform based in St. Paul, Minn., says 2019 was a year of transition, partially due to big companies such as Interlogix closing their doors.

Alula took advantage of the instability by creating new solutions, such as the Connect-XT, which helped professional installers upgrade Simon panels after the Interlogix shutdown.

“Innovations like this led to over 50 percent growth in activations for Alula Interactive,” LaRock says.

LaRock also discussed how Covid-19 has led to a surge in partner wishing to offer a customer-installed do-it-with-me solution.

Alula has seen increased interest in adoption of its pro-guided, contactless install model since the pandemic started.

“The industry had already started dipping a toe in self-install models to compete with big tech DIY brands, but with the sudden onset of social distancing, we expect this trend to markedly accelerate with every company exploring new ways to reach customers without face-to-face exposure,” LaRock says.

Read the whole article here.

Alula’s New Connect-XT Offers First Ever Remotely Installed 5G-Ready Sunset Fix

Alula, the leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers, announced a solution for dealers to stay on track to upgrade smart home security systems to meet the approaching 3G cellular sunset. Connect-XT provides dealers with an easy-to-install product that upgrades an outdated panel while servicing customers in a safe way.

Connect-XT, which can easily upgrade Simon XT, XTi and XTi5 panels to a modern, mobile, interactive security experience, can now be easily installed at home. Alula is the first to offer a 5G-ready cell card that can easily be installed by the end-user. This allows Pro installers to get ahead of their sunset obligations even if they are unable to do an in-person visit due to concerns around Coronavirus.

The new CAT-m1 cellular card interacts with the Simon panel serial automation interface, providing full sensor status, system status and arming controls. Not only will this card save Simon products from the upcoming 3G sunset, but it is also compatible with the 5G standard as well, meaning that Security Pros and their Simon customers need not worry about the next cellular sunset.

Beyond technological upgrades, the Connect-XT offers a solution for customers who are hesitant to have individuals enter their homes in these unprecedented times. The Connect-XT’s easy, one-tool installation allows for any individual with a legacy system and a screwdriver to complete the upgrade.

“At Alula, we are striving to do our part to maintain business operations and safety for our partners and their customers during a time of social distancing and uncertainty,” said Paul Saldin, Vice President of Engineering at Alula. “Providing this first-to-market product for an incredibly easy install gives Security Pros the opportunity to get ahead of the Sunset even if they can’t visit a customer’s house right now.”

During the development of the Connect-XT, the Alula engineering team drew on deep knowledge of the Simon products and harnessed this insight to deliver a solution that’s easy to install and upgrades the functionality.

“No longer must a security dealer choose between maintaining a security system and adhering to appropriate social distance protocol,” Saldin said. “The Connect-XT is a solution designed to keep our partners and their customers safe.”

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 Connect-XT, visit For more information about Alula, visit

Alula’s Slimline Touchpad Honored as Most Valuable Product for 2020

Alula, the leader in smart security and automation systems for professional installers, has won Security Sales & Integration award for the 2020 Most Valuable Product (MVP) for the Slimline Touchpad, the latest security and automation interface to deliver the integrated app experience powered by Alula Interactive.

This award acknowledges superior products and services for electronic security industry professionals. While the MVP Award is typically announced at ISC West, due to the postponement of the event, Security Sales & Integration has announced the award winners ahead of this year’s conference.

“I don’t envy the panel of independent expert judges who had to evaluate and select winners among so many outstanding solutions,” says Security Sales & Integration Editor-in-Chief/Associate Publisher Scott Goldfine. “But pick they did, and those entrants should be quite proud of the achievement while dealers and integrators should be paying very close attention so as to integrate these offerings into their portfolios.”

Released March 2020, the updated Slimline Touchpad controls every aspect of a modern security system, delivering control of video cameras, Z-Wave devices and intrusion and environmental sensors. It offers the ability to add audible zone status so that the device announces when a door or window opens and closes, and has a user interface that matches the cell phone app, which is unique in the industry.

“Alula is honored to receive this award for innovation and to offer our partners a modern solution for onsite interactive control,” said Brian McLaughlin, CEO of Alula. “The ability to take a clunky old keypad off the wall and replace it with a modern, interactive security and automation experience is a game changer for our partners and another reason why Pros are flocking to Alula as the fresh new alternative.”

The Slimline Touchpad works with the BAT-Connect Communicator as well as Alula’s award-winning Connect+ panel. Unlike competing products that have limited functionality for additional touchpads away from the hub, the Connect+ allows subscribers to have four fully functional Slimline Touchpads spread throughout the home.

MVP entries were judged on a number of factors, including innovation, functionality, competitive advantages, benefits to the installer or monitoring provider and value to the end user.

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

Solving the Residential Security Conundrum of COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is causing a sea change in consumer behavior, but security professionals who stay customer-centric in times like these will find ways to strengthen their position.

Originally published by Security Sales & Integration 

Consumers are craving safety in a world that seems increasingly dangerous. And while they’re eager to use sophisticated technology to secure their families and their homes, they’re not likely to open their doors to the professionals who install and maintain such security systems.

It’s a conundrum the likes of which the professional security installer hasn’t seen before, and it’s sending ripples of anxiety through the industry: Is this the moment I lose my customers to tech giants like Google and Amazon who offer out-of-the-box solutions that will turn millions of consumers into self-reliant, DIYers?

The answer to this question is no. In fact, this is the moment the professional installer becomes more important to consumers than ever, and even grows the business in ways that might not have been impossible just a few months ago.

The spread of COVID-19 is causing a sea change in consumer behavior, and professionals who stay customer-centric in times like these will find ways to strengthen their position, and show that now more than ever the human touch matters — even if it must be done at a distance.


The Contactless Install


With home visits to customers off the table in many states, the only way forward is to offer a self-install option, which means pre-provisioning many components of a security system on the bench before shipping an out-of-the-box-ready system to customers’ doorsteps.

While some professionals have been offering this option for quite some time, others have resisted, believing that giving the consumer too many “tools” means cutting the installer completely out of the picture.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed that. For the time being, there is no home visit and working side-by-side with the customer in person, so giving consumers the tools they need to install their own systems with remote help from the pro is the only option.

But this doesn’t have to diminish the role of the professional. In fact, it’s the opposite. Consumers need experts now more than ever, especially when it comes to personal safety.

Other industries are moving ahead by replacing in-person meetings with Zoom calls and finding other tech-enabled workarounds. We must do the same, because our customers need us.


Beyond Survival: Think Growth


Without the burden of having to drive to meet a customer, security pros can expand their horizons. Sending pre-provisioned security systems— and working with the customer over video chat to perform the installs — means customers can now be located anywhere.

But finding those customers may be a different challenge. Going door to door is unlikely to yield the usual results.

That means a shift to digital advertising. Stuck at home, and with the Internet as their guide, consumers are increasingly reaching out to the dealers who are visible and easy to find online. To capitalize on this trend, consider:

  • Claiming your position online by strengthening your social media presence
  • Leveraging Google Ads for improved visibility
  • Refreshing your website content with COVID-19 specific messages

We don’t know how long it will take to go back to normal, but when we get there, you’ll be well-served with the digital presence you establish now.


Choose the Right Tech


This can be a time of growth for security professionals, not mere survival. But like all adaptations, it requires choosing the right tools for the challenge.

If you’re still pulling wires, unfortunately there’s not going to be much you can do to pivot to customers self-installing. You need reliable wireless security that is professional-grade but still simple enough for an end user to install.

At Alula, we have Connect+, a standalone hub that requires no drilling and receives upgrades and firmware updates remotely. That means you can install and service the panel without ever having to enter the customer’s home.

However, we recommend that you plan to visit the premises once this pandemic lifts. This will be a chance to spot check the install and tackle any projects (such as mounting a touchpad) that may have exceeded the customer’s aptitude.

The follow-up visit is also a great opportunity to upsell: add cameras or additional touchpads, for example. We’ve made our system modular so it’s easy to add onto without having to start over like you would with some systems that hardlock the touchpad into the security hub.

Nobody knows how long this is going to last. You can’t just wait it out and hope it goes back to normal before you go broke. The pro-guided self-install gives our industry a way forward.

There is an old saying in politics: Never let a good crisis go to waste. This might be the biggest crisis our industry has ever faced, but it can also be our greatest opportunity to grow.

Ron Long is VP of Operations and Customer Experience at Alula, a leader in smart home security and automation systems for professional installers. Connect with Ron on LinkedIn.

Alula two-way voice sequence and operation

Alula two-way support should be handled by the central station as an instant pstn two-way session. The sequence is as follows:

  1. Alula device (Connect+ or BAT Connect) detects an alarm event.
  2. Alula device, via Alula’s network, calls a pstn based central station receiver.
  3. Central station receiver answers pstn call.
  4. Central station receiver issues CID handshake sequence.
  5. Alula device sends CID alarm events to central station receiver.
  6. Central station receiver acks each CID alarm event.
  7. When all alarms events are transferred, Alula device sends a CID 606 (two-way voice to follow) event.
  8. Alula device remains on the phone line (for up to 3 minutes) waiting for the call to be transferred  to an operator.
  9. Once the call has been transferred to the operator, the operator controls the two-way session via dtmf commands.

Dtmf * begin session

Dtmf 1 talk to premise

Dtmf 2 vox (hands free)

Dtmf 3 listen to premise

Dtmf 99 hang-up


Connect+ Firmware Release Notes

Connect+ Panel V1.1.29.0 Firmware Release Notes 



  • Allows connection for Connect+ Installer App to connect with the default password for the first 30 minutes of power up. After 30 minutes the panel can be power cycled or use an updated, custom, password. 
  • Added support for Ecolink Z-Wave siren. The siren will automatically follow alarm and status siren cadences that sound from the interior siren.

Connect+ Panel V1.1.28.0 Firmware Release Notes


New Features: 

  • Support for Touchpad OTA updates. Allows Touchpads to connect to the local WiFi network when downloading larger firmware updates. 
  • Improved handling of the panel switching back to Ethernet if Ethernet has failed multiple times and cellular is available. Panel will also remain on cellular longer until Ethernet is stable. 

Bug Fixes: 

  • Resolved issues that would cause cellular cards to reset before the expected amount of retries. 
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements.

Connect+ Panel V1.1.25.0 Firmware Public Release Notes


The following changes are included in this release relative to the current production version This version will be released for production and global OTA (all check-ins). 

New Features: 

  • Support for the new LED Keypad. 
  • Connect+ will begin sending Contact ID code 441 (Armed Stay) for Stay and Night Arming Levels. 
  • Improved handling of CS LED on Connect+ panel. CS LED will turn off when the platform fails to deliver any event or when the panel is offline. Status remains OK for 30 minutes before going into Trouble. 
  • Siren cadence buffering – If a non-repeating siren cadence (ie non-alarm) is playing when a new cadence attempts to start, the new cadence is buffered and played when current cadence ends with a 1 second pause between. 
  • When the UL option is enabled, DeviceLink card (Touchpad card) will shutdown after 1 hour of AC failure. If an Alarm, Entry Delay, or Exit Delay occurs the panel will power up the card. 
  • Added offset of 800 for interface number. Ethernet 800, Slot 1 801, Slot 2 802, Slot 3 803. Previously Connect+ sent a number (zone 0-3).


  • Resolved issue that could cause door lock state to be out of sync with mobile app.  
  • Added two new Z-Wave error checks that display on mobile apps and Touchpad. Checking for door lock antitheft. Checking for online devices that are not reporting status. 
  • Added Z-Wave door lock and unlock trigger options (by keypad, manual or remote). 
  • Removed Z-Wave light control during alarms feature. 
  • Improved handling of thermostat polling. 
  • Improved Z-Wave Optimization procedure.
  • Other various bug fixes and improvements. 

Bug Fixes: 

  • Improved panel behavior for zone restoral of zone configured for “no siren”. Previously only sent restoral using siren timeout which caused no restoral to be sent.
  • Resolved issue that would check for incorrect user for bypass authority.  
  • Resolved issue with Touchpad check in after update that could cause successful updates to start again.
  • Resolved issue for DeviceLink troubles to display when Touchpad is connected over LAN. 
  • Resolved issue that could cause incorrect LED status of Wireless Siren. 
  • Resolved issue that could delay Alarm cadence to play from sirens when another cadence was playing. Resolve ensures Alarms always play immediately. 
  • Resolved issue during Exit Delay Restart that would cause mobile applications to be out of sync with Exit Delay time when a zone was restarted twice or more.
  • Improved handling of DeviceLink card Supervision Failure after restarts, connected to LAN and when panel is in AC Failure. 
  • Resolved issues that could prevent two-way voice sessions to start or time out early. 
  • Improved handling of Daylight Savings. 
  • Various other bug fixes and improvements. 




Connect+ Panel V1.1.22.0 Firmware Release Notes

Public release 12/02/2020 for all two-way voice enabled Connect+ panels and new installations. Non-two-way voice panels previously installed will remain on

  • Resolves issue that would prevent two-way voice session from starting.


Connect+ Panel V1.1.21.0 Firmware Release Notes

Public release 7/21/2020

New Features

  • This release adds support for new Low Profile Glassbreak sensor.


Connect+ Panel V1.1.20.0 Firmware Release Notes

Public release 7/08/2020

The following changes are included in this release relative to the current production version,

This version will be released for production and global OTA.

New Features

  • Changes required for compliance with new Residential Fire Standard, UL985-6.  All of these items are only active when the UL Compliant / Default Behavior Setting is set to OFF (UL Compliant). See full list of compliance features here.
  • Support for OTA Touchpad updates when Touchpad is connected to local WiFi network.
  • Improved handling of an unregistered panel. Panel will check in automatically every 5 minutes for the first 4 hours after power up.
  • Added support for Zone Restorals
  • Added support for Force Arm with PIN command.
  • When Touchpad is enrolled panel will automatically check for updates for the Touchpad.
  • Set RF Jam Detect detection set to 20 seconds. Previously 90 seconds.
  • Improved handling of Comm Fail event during ac failure when UL Compliant Setting is enabled.

Bug Fixes

  • Force 1st digit of event codes (event qualifier) to be always 1 or 3, even if custom report code.
  • Resolved issue that allows key fobs to arm to lower arming level while protesting.
  • Resolved issue that could cause entry delay warning cadence to only play for 8 seconds instead of 10. Entry delay warning cadence will now begin between the last 10-14 seconds of the remaining entry delay.
  • Improved handling of negative temperatures reported from the RE618 Flood and Temp Sensor.
  • Improved handling of short cadences through wireless sirens. This could have causes only partial cadence to play through siren.
  • Improved handling of rf sequence number when device transitions from out of sync to in sync.


  • Added “Conditions” functionality to scenes engine. Triggers can now check for optional conditions before firing.
  • Added function to remove invalid scene triggers and actions. Would occur if a Z-Wave device or zone is removed.
  • Improved and added new scenes Triggers and Conditions. Additional Time options including before/after and sunrise/sunset.


  • Z-Wave Network Health. Improves handling for network optimization (occurs every 9 hours) reducing network traffic and interference for devices reporting sufficient signal strength.
  • Resolved issues for LUX brand thermostat.
  • Resolved issues for Schlage non-motorized door locks that support Security S2.
  • Resolved issues rounding thermostat temperatures.
  • Resolved issues related to z-wave exclusion of failed device.
  • Various stability and performance enhancements.



Connect+ Panel V1.1.18.0 Firmware Release Notes

The following changes are included in the release relative to the current version

Public release 3/11/2020

Alarm Panel:

  • A panel that has not been registered on will check in every 4 minutes for four hours or until registered.
  • Improved handling of OTA updates to Touchpads that are connected to the local network. This will speed up the time for updates by using the local network.
  • Implemented check-ins for Touchpads that update on the local network so the firmware version is displayed in


Connect+ Firmware Release Notes v1.1.15.0 

Public release 03/17/2019

– This release includes support for Z-Wave Certification compliance.

– Resolves issue that would cause RE616 Wireless Siren to display incorrect status.

Connect+ Panel Firmware Release Notes v1.1.14.0

Public release 01/02/2019

Major features for this release include modifications to keep silent panic “silent” on the premise.  This is important for our SMB customer safety in a panic situation. Significant effort was included to support GSM communications modules for alarm reporting and two-way voice functions.  Additionally, the panel is now reporting status on a 5-second interval during the panel entry and alarm delay periods.

-Added support for Outdoor DWS.

-Detect and reset DeviceLink module if no message from any enrolled Touchpad is received within 15 minutes.  The previous detection mechanism required 4 hours.

-Improved battery management by shutting down DeviceLink module if AC power is lost for more than 3 hours.

-Improved handling of OTA updates when the panel is armed.

-Changed the event report event code for repeater AC fail from 1370 (generic zone trouble) to 1342.

-Enable keystroke tamper function (defaults off). If 40 keystrokes are received without a valid PIN, keystroke tamper is asserted and all keypads enter a 5-minute lockout.  If armed, a panel tamper alarm is started.

-Added suppression of Touchpad display for zones with alarm type of SILENT_PANIC (always show CLOSED).

-Panel status is reported to the server every 5 seconds during entry and alarm report delays.

-Allow more than 3-panel updates per day when initiated by a Check for Updates command.  This will ensure that all updates are delivered in the same check-in interval when requested by a user.

-Added silent protest panel option.

-Add zone configuration option for Normally Open or Normally Closed.

-Add support for 2 way voice using VOIP over GSM.

-Add option to allow 2-way voice during fire alarms.

-Z-Wave improvements, updates, and bug fixes for certification.

-Various bug fixes.


Connect+ Panel Firmware Release Notes v1.1.7.0 

Public release 07/16/2018

-Added support for two-way voice over LTE. 

-Support for new features in mobile application and Touchpad versions.

-Updated procedure when a two-way session has started and a life safety device is triggered. two-way session is no longer aborted but appropriate temporal sounder is active. 

-Added support for Duress code to be used to arm a panel with Quick Arm disabled. This feature will also send a duress signal at the time of arming. 

-Improved cell card check in to handle updates to cell card more regularly. No matter the configuration the cell card will check in every 24 hours. 

-Resolved issue that would cause Silent Arming to stay active when using Night Arming. 

-Resolved issue that would cause z-wave module in slot 3 to go into supervision and clear shortly after. 

-Resolved issue that could cause Touchpad to change WiFi channel while updating. 

-Resolved issue that would cause an overflow of 602 events sent to a CS server. 

-Improved handling of queued events. 

-Updated response for zone protesting status.

-Various improvements for Z-Wave and scenes. 


Connect+ Panel Firmware Release Notes v1.1.5.0 

-This release has no functional changes to the field 

-Resolved issues that would caused comm issues with testers when generating CRC. 


Connect+ Panel Firmware Release Notes v1.1.4.0 

-Support for two-way voice alarm verification. Requires Ethernet communication. 

-Support for 40 Indoor PIR. 

-Support for WiFi Device Link Repeater. 

-Feature changed so if alarm type Silent Panic is selected the report code will change to 1122. This will ensure two-way voice muting options are properly set. 

-Feature to disable all siren cadences from playing during a VOIP session. This excludes Temporal 3 and Temporal 4 sounds due to their life safety association. 

-Feature added to allow two-way voice session to last up to 30 minutes. 

-Added features to Z-Wave support for additional options support by end-user app release. 

-Z-Wave improvements for better handling of retries and out of range devices. 

-Various other bug fixes and improvements for Z-Wave. 

-Resolved issue that could cause the panel to reset during firmware update if a check for updates command was sent. 

-Resolved issue that would cause Touchpad tamper trouble and restore to be delayed. 


Connect+ Panel Firmware Release Notes v1.0.4.0 

-Full support of scenes, actions and triggers.

-CS LED will follow Interactive Connectivity LED on panel for Connect+ and Clare registered panels.

-Auto Comm test timer is saved in panel memory through resets. Previously would reset test timer.

-Added feature that tests cell card connectivity every 24 hours if used as back up on Connect+ and Clare panels. SecureNet registered panels continue to use CS server.

-602 is sent immediately if the time interval is changed or feature enabled.

-Resolved issue that would cause an AC Failure restoral to show incorrect time stamp.

-Resolved issue that would cause Swinger Disable restore to report twice.

-Resolved issue that would cause Swinger Disable events to ignore Event Report Delay time.

-Resolved issue that would cause key fob to show trouble condition between first & second button press when enrolled by ID.

How do I delete a device from a customer’s account?

How do I delete a device from a customer’s account?

In AlulaConnect, navigate to the “Customers” tab and select the desired customer.

Click on the “Account Devices” tap on the top of the screen. I list of all devices registered to this account will appear.

To delete a specific device, click on the red “unassign from user” button on the far right end of the desired device’s row.

This device is now deleted from the customer’s account.

How do I change/update Central Station Information?

How do I change/update Central Station Information?

Log into AlulaConnect, and locate the desired customer. Click on the customer’s name.

Select the “Preferences” tab at the top of the screen.

Edit the Account Number and/or Caller ID number for the Central Station on this page. Ensure that the  “Override Panel Acct. Number” box near the top of the page remains checked.

Click “Save” icon at bottom of the page. Information is changed successfully.

How do I use the Device Migration feature in AlulaConnect?

How do I use the Device Migration feature in AlulaConnect?

** This feature is only applicable to new BAT-Connect devices on accounts with an existing BAT-CDMA device. **

Register the BAT-Connect Device on AlulaConnect, but do NOT assign the device to a customer profile; it should remain “unassigned” on your device list. (Do not delete the BAT-CDMA device from the customer account- the BAT-CDMA should be on the customer’s account simultaneously while the BAT-Connect is “unassigned.”)

Locate the BAT-CDMA device in your device list. Click on the device, and navigate to the “Profile” tab on the top.

Scroll to the bottom of the page, and locate the “Device Migration” box. Populate the “Source Device” field with the MAC address of the BAT-CDMA device on the customer’s account.

Click “Save” to initiate the migration. The BAT-Connect device will automatically transfer to the customer’s account upon completion of the migration.

It is now safe to delete the BAT-CDMA device from the customer’s account.

How to enable live video on Alula Slimline Touchpad

How to enable live video on Alula Slimline Touchpad

1) Select the Hamburger button on the top left

2) Select Cameras

3) Click Connect

4) Enter Pin

5) Select your secured Wi-Fi Network

6) Enter the password to Wi-Fi Network

7) Select the Back Arrow

8) Authenticate by entering your Alula App user name and login

9) Your cameras will populate

10) Now you can select the camera you wish to view directly from the Slimline Touchpad