Vivint

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Vivint, Inc.
Private
Industry Security Systems, Fire detection, Home Automation, Photovoltaics
Founded 1997
Founder Todd Pedersen, Keith Nelleson
Headquarters Provo, Utah
Key people
Todd Pedersen, CEO, Alex Dunn, president
Number of employees
7000
Website www.vivint.com

Vivint, Inc. (formerly known as APX Alarm Security Solutions Inc.) is a private home security, home automation and energy management services provider in the United States, Canada and New Zealand.[1][2][3] In 2012, The Blackstone Group acquired Vivint.[4][5] As of June 2014, Vivint had approximately 7,000 employees serving 800,000 customers.[6] Vivint is currently listed on the Forbes list of "America’s Best Employers” and was also named one of Forbes’ “Most Promising Companies” in 2013.[4]

History[edit]

In 1999, Keith Nelleson and Todd Pedersen co-founded APX Alarm Security Solutions in Provo, Utah.[7][8] At the time, the company sold and installed security systems.[7] Vivint began retaining customers in 2006 after it became a home monitoring provider.[7] The company expanded its service to Canada that year after signing a $75 million credit facility agreement with Goldman Sachs.[9] Goldman Sachs and APX Alarm completed another credit facility agreement worth $440 million in 2009.[9] That November, the company acquired a central alarm monitoring station from Criticom Monitoring Services, a subsidiary of Protection One, in St. Paul, Minnesota.[9] APX Alarm opened a new corporate headquarters in Provo, Utah a month later.[10]

APX Alarm Security Solutions rebranded the company to Vivint in February 2011.[7][11] The company completed a $565 million senior debt financing led by Goldman Sachs that month.[12] Vivint also received funding from Peterson Partners and Jupiter Partners.[12] The company launched Vivint Solar, a solar energy company, in 2011.[13] The company partnered with Alarm.com early that year to deploy severe weather alerts to their customer base.[14] Vivint was acquired by The Blackstone Group in September 2012.[15][16][17][18][19][20] In 2013, Forbes ranked the company 46th in its annual ranking of "America's Most Promising Companies."[21] Vivint acquired Smartrove, a wireless mesh networking technology provider, and began wireless broadband in August 2013.[22] In October, Inc. named the company the second most job creating private company in the United States.[23] In 2013, the company created the Vivint Fellows Program, a summer internship program at the Vivint Innovation Center.[24][25][26][27]

Vivint acquired the cloud storage startup Space Monkey, a company founded by Clint Gordon-Carroll and Alen Peacock in 2014.[28]

Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen appeared on the season finale of the CBS show "Undercover Boss" in February 2015.[29]

The company opened a new monitoring center in Eagan, Minnesota in August 2015.

Products and services[edit]

Vivint launched Vivint Sky, a cloud-based smart home solution, in June 2014.[30] The system provides a centralized control, remote smartphone applications and learns algorithms that automatically pick up on a user's patterns.[31] In 2014, the Vivint SkyControl panel received a CE Pro BEST Award for "new custom electronic products introduced in 2014."[32] In 2015, Vivint introduced the Vivint Doorbell Camera to its smart home solution.[33] The product allows consumers to see, hear and speak with visitors on their doorstep from any mobile device.[34]

Vivint Solar[edit]

In 2011, Vivint Inc. launched a standalone company, Vivint Solar,[4] as a solar electricity provider that designs, installs, and maintains residential photovoltaic systems.[35][36] The company offers solar panels via a power purchase agreement (PPA).[37] Vivint Solar owns, installs, and maintains solar panels on customers’ homes in exchange for customers agreeing to purchase the solar energy their panels produce. Customers do not pay for installation, but pay for energy that the panel's produce, for the life of the contracts.[33] Vivint Solar is similar to other alternative solar companies like SolarCity, SunRun, and Sungevity. Its innovation in the field is the use of microinverters for each separate solar panel, allowing maximum production when some of the panels are in the shade.[38][39]

In October 2014, Vivint Solar made its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol VSLR.[40] In July 2015, SunEdison announced plans to purchase Vivint Solar for $2.2 billion.[41]

Vivint Innovation Center[edit]

Vivint announced a new innovation center February 2013.[42][43] The Vivint Innovation Center is the research and development arm of Vivint, Inc. It is located in Lehi, Utah in the business park adjacent to Thanksgiving Point and officially launched in October 2014.[44][45] It is staffed by approximately 320 hardware, software and radio engineers, industrial designers and user experience professionals. The Center is led by Matt Eyring, chief strategy and innovation officer; Jeremy Warren, chief technology officer; J.T. Hwang, chief information officer, and Jim Nye, vice president of product development.[46][47][48] Warren joined Vivint from 2GIG Technologies,[49] Eyring joined Vivint from Innosight, the innovation consulting firm co-founded by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, where Eyring served as a managing partner"[50]

Awards[edit]

Women’s Choice Award: Vivint is the 2015 recipient of the Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best Home Security System.

Forbes List of America’s Best Employers: Vivint is one of 500 companies in the U.S. to make the inaugural Forbes list of “America’s Best Employers.” Vivint is also the top-ranked security and home automation company on the list.[4]

Best Contact Centers in the World: Vivint's Customer Solutions Manager Matt Hansen won the Silver award for "Best Use of Social Media in a Contact Center" from the Global Contact Center.

Best Contact Centers in the World: Vivint's Customer Solutions Manager Matt Hansen won the Silver award for "Best Use of Social Media in a Contact Center" from the Global Contact Center.

The Stevie Awards selected Vivint as the Customer Service Department of the Year from more than 1,500 organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry. Vivint was also honored as the Customer Service Complaints Team of the Year and for e-Commerce Customer Service.

Vivint won a 2013 Inc. Hire Power Award from Inc. Magazine, ranking at #2 on the publication’s list of winners. Inc. Magazine also named Vivint the #1 job-creating company in consumer products and services and the #1 job creator in Utah.[51]

The company holds a B- rating from the BBB.[52]

Philanthropy[edit]

The Vivint Gives Back focuses on helping children with intellectual disabilities through intelligent products and services. Vivint employees and owners contribute time, money, and volunteer hours to perform services for these children.

In 2012, Vivint Gives Back was named the “Corporate Volunteer Program of the Year.” [53] In February 2014, the company donated $2 million to the Utah Valley University to establish a professional sales program,[54] as well as a SMART Lab for marketing research.[55][56]

In August 2014, Vivint employees worked with the Feed My Starving Children organization to donate $47,000 and assemble 200,000 meal kits to feed children in Haiti. In four consecutive years, Vivint donated a total of 800,000 meals, enough to feed more than 2,000 children for an entire year.[57]

In 2015, Vivint became the official safety sponsor for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism organization.[58]

Vivint employees volunteer time and money to renovate homes for families who have children with intellectual capabilities. Employees install Vivint smart home technology in the homes and sensory rooms with developmental components such as swings, rock-climbing walls, reading nooks and art stations.[59] Since its creation in 2008, Vivint Gives Back has donated $9 million and more than 150,000 service hours.[60]

Legal issues[edit]

In 2008-2009, the company paid to the state of Arkansas $65,850 to settle allegations of improper licensing of employees, including alarm installers.[61] The company paid an additional $125,000 to the state over alleged violations of state law in 2010.[62]

In April 2010, Vivint settled with the state of Oregon for $60,000 over alleged aggressive sales tactics used by its agents. The company also agreed to change some of its sales tactics.[63]

In April 2011, Vivint settled with Contra Costa County, California for $425,000 in a neither admit nor deny pleading, and agreed to conform its contracts to California law and refrain from certain sales practices.[64]

Vivint settled with the Wisconsin Attorney General's office in September 2012 after sales agents were allegedly using misleading and deceptive tactics. Under the settlement, Vivint agreed to refund up to $148,000 to consumers who were misled about their ability to cancel and about false alarm charges. Vivint also canceled nearly $450,000 in consumer debt owed to the company.[65]

In March 2013, the company settled with the Kansas Attorney General, which accused sales agents of using deceptive practices while going door-to-door offering to install new home security systems or replace existing systems. The agents also allegedly failed to advise the consumers of their rights under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act and did not disclose all costs associated with switching alarm system providers. Under the settlement, Vivint paid $55,000 to the state.[66]

The Ohio Attorney General settled with Vivint in April 2013 after consumers filed complaints alleging deceptive sales practices and the company's refusal to honor notices of cancellation. Under the settlement agreement, Vivint agreed to comply with Ohio consumer laws and paid approximately $50,000 in fines.[67]

In June 2013, Vivint agreed to an assurance of voluntary compliance in Nebraska. Under the agreement, the company promised not to make any misrepresentations while engaging in sales. The company also donated $50,000 to two charities in Lancaster County, Nebraska.[68]

As of 2014, two federal class action lawsuits (Johansen v. Vivint, Inc. and Benzion v. Vivint, Inc.) have been filed against Vivint for alleged violations of the TCPA.[69][70] In June 2014, Vivint agreed to a proposed settlement in Benzion which included a $6 million settlement fund.[71]

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External links[edit]