Kastle’s new president Glenn Felson looks to capitalize on IoT

Kastle Systems invested $60 million in KastlePresence platform
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NEW YORK—Glenn Felson on May 24 was named to the newly created role of Kastle Systems president of the Northeast region.

Felson, who comes to the security industry from the commercial real estate world, told Security Systems News he believes there’s “an unmet need for buildings to modernize and tap into the cost savings [provided by Kastle technology.]”

Over the past six years, Kastle Systems has spent $60 million developing security solutions, he said. “We focused a lot on leveraging the Internet of Things and our big differentiator is KastlePresence,” Felson said.

KastlePresence is a platform that enables “100 percent hands-free access control.” The user downloads an app to their phone. Kastle can remotely download or remove the credential to the user. The platform uses BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technology to communicate with a Bluetooth-enabled card reader and let the user walk through access points without removing a phone from a purse or pocket.

Introduced earlier this year, Presence is in use at Kastle customer sites in New York and elsewhere, Felson said.

In addition to hands-free access control, KastlePresence collects data that helps Kastle “improve the user experience,” Felson said. That data includes occupancy rates, he said. The technology also includes a virtual panic button that the user can sound if they need help.

Felson said that Kastle aims to “provide security from the perimeter of the building down to individual tenants of the building.”

Kastle Systems had about $85 million in revenue in 2015 and $5 million in RMR. Based in Falls Church, Va., Kastle has offices around the country including California, Chicago and Texas. It also has an office in Australia.

The company has about 400 employees, 90 of whom are in New York.

The Northeast business is comprised of three different brands: Kastle Systems Northeast and two companies that Kastle acquired in 2013: Mutual Central Alarm Services and Stat Land Security Services. It also owns managed video provider CheckVideo.

Felson is charged with growing Kastle’s business in the region. To do that, he plans to “leverage the combined resources of Kastle’s divisions [to offer more services to current customers] and attack more vertical markets.”

Kastle currently protects 6,200 sites in New York, including many banks, high-end retail locations, and tenants in the Empire State Building and the MetLife Building.

Felson believes that combining the offerings of Kastle’s three brands, and its Presence platform will enable owners of commercial buildings and other verticals to realize energy savings and reduce overhead.

Kastle hired 20 engineers to help develop the Presence platform. Investment in the platform is ongoing, Felson said.