Jay Hauhn retires


This week is the first week in 37 years that Jay Hauhn is not reporting to work at Tyco (or former sister company ADT). Hauhn's last day was on Friday. I had a chance to catch up with Jay last week at ISC East.

Jay said he's looking forward to taking the next 6 to 12 months to "decompress" from the day-to-day corporate world. But he'll stay connected to the security industry in a volunteer capacity: Hauhn serves as president of the Central Station Alarm Association, and he's also looking forward to "re-engaging with SIA [in some volunteer capacity.]"

Jay began his career with a temporary job at ADT as a "key runner," where he literally carried a metal keybox to businesses when there was an alarm. After six months, he moved to an engineering position where he worked on the "very beginnings of computerization of central stations." He later worked in the World Trade Center in New York where did further work with ADT central stations (There were 165 at the time; today there are fewer than five.)

In the course of his career, Hauhn has worked on the systems integration side of the business, has been responsible for products, and has worked as CTO.

Asked about the most important technological change he witnessed in his career? The digital dialer, he said. "The digital dailer created the residential businesses' ability to cost effectively protect homes. That was a paradigm shift," he said. Many security companies are about 70 percent residential, he noted. "[The digital dailer] led to the growth in this industry."

More recently, an important technological advancement has been managed services and in particular hosted access. Where previously a security company that did card access and video "was lucky to get a maintenance contract," hosted access changed that.

"Steve Van Till [Brivo CEO] did this," Hauhn said. "He showed this industry how to sell card access and get RMR out of every sale."

The industry is not there yet with hosted video, he said.

Hauhn said he's a huge believer that workable video analytics will be the key to hosted video.

"That's where managed video is going to finally get traction," he said. Then, only important snippets of video will be sent to the cloud.

Then that video data will be mined. "It will be more about business operation improvement as opposed to security. That's where the ROI [for end users] would be—in improved business metrics."

I asked him about the most fun stuff he's done working in the security industry.

Hauhn spent some time in the late 80s and early 90s working for ADT's federal group. "I got to design security systems for some places that don't exist," he said. "I'm still not allowed to talk about those, but to go to those federal DoD locations and know the importance of those places, and I got to design the security systems to protect them. That was neat," he said.

Hauhn also really liked some work he did with the Navy SEALS. He declined to elaborate beyond: "I got to play with some of their toys—boats and vehicles. That was fun."

Hauhn said he may do some consulting after a year or so, but he also may decide not to.

"Tyco and ADT have been very good to me," he said. "I know it sounds corny, but I've really met some fantastic people in this industry," he said. "There's a lot of cameraderie and people care about what they do—protecting assets and property."