Experienced said:I highly doubt they are loosing too much business. Bosch, DSC and the like generally cater to dealers, businesses, etc. not really people interested in API's and the like. As far as the Bosch panels...they do have the typical programming software as well as remote connection apps for the end-user...which is all most people (and myself) really need.
As fa as Elk, the only thing I'm hesitant about is the 'outdated' feeling...like they don't seem to be releasing a ton of new products or revisions and their whole website alone feels outdated.
I already used the Envisalink with my current Honeywell panel...I mean it's fine for basic arming/disarming and whatever, but regardless it only works with Honeywell and DSC panels...I'm definitely looking for something more capable...I'm just trying to decide between the Elk and Bosch. But I think Elk is kind of winning out for me.
Probably not a lot of business at this point but one has to question the logic of giving up business for no real reason. I've read in numerous places that the residential alarm business is shifting - massively - to DIY. Of course there are still plenty of multimillionaires and people who just don't want to bother with DIY. They are the same market as there has always been for professional installation and monitoring. The rise of more affordable DIY solutions are expanding the market for security. At the moment most of those customers are buying wireless systems from non-traditional alarm manufacturers. Some, myself included, still prefer wired. Those people will also expect APIs for home automation as that is also expanding quickly. So for a traditional alarm manufacturer to ignore that emerging market is nothing but lost business for no good reason. They wouldn't be taking business away from their dealers.
At any rate, I'm interested in understanding what you feel is necessary to be the "more capable" that you are looking for. What do you mean by "control by phone"? I assume you are talking about control by smartphone app which usually means some kind of cloud service and that is probably where you are concerned about recurring costs.
I agree with your concern about M1ToGo. I would bet any Windows-specific software will die soon. I would only recommend browser-accessible or iOS (Andriod for others). For Elk that would be eKeypad/M1TouchPro or the recurring fee cloud option ConnectONE. I assume the smartphone apps will work outside the home with appropriate opening of firewall ports and dynamic DNS (from what I've read that is true of eKeypad).
Why is your EnvisaLink any different? From what I can see it offers the same kind of options.
These cloud solutions are usually just vendor methods to extract $ from customers for making it easier to configure and operate. The cloud is just a rendezvous point for the device being controlled and the applications that want to talk to it. I have a Carrier HVAC that does that although their cloud is free. If you buy a product that happens to also work on the "local network" (without cloud) then it is possible you can configure it to work outside your home as well (open firewall port and use some kind of free dynamic DNS mapping service). Choose knowledge/time or money. Although it wouldn't surprise me if they handicapped their app to not be configurable enough to do this.
It looks to me like Bosch remote access can only be setup by a dealer with a correct license. Some way or another thats going to mean money to you I suspect and very likely recurring. They "don't market to DIYers" which is most likely code for you must buy from a dealer/installer and pay monthly fees to make it usable.