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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mission 500 recently hosted a service trip in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where volunteers from the professional security industry worked on repairing the homes of two families still suffering from the effects of hurricane Maria in October of 2017.

Hurricane Maria caused $92 billion in damage, leaving millions of families without everyday necessities. Volunteers spent several days repairing roofs, siding and plumbing; installing new windows; and removing trees capable of causing additional damage to the affected structures. Additionally, Mission 500 volunteers bought food, supplies and toys for the children.

“Our team of Mission 500 volunteers, including several of our children were able to not only improve the living conditions of these two families, we also helped to restore their sense of dignity with a little happiness and hope for a brighter future,” Alan Forman, president of Altronix Corporation, said in the announcement.

This year’s service trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico took place from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 and raised $12,000, which was used to provide two families with extensive home renovations.

“The trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico was Mission 500’s third service trip, which aim to help families in need whether located here in the United Stated or abroad,” George Fletcher, advisory board member of Mission 500, said in a prepared statement. “In providing assistance to people in crisis, Mission 500 continues to bring together the growing community of security industry professionals who are looking to give back and make a difference.”

Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500, told Security Systems News that these trips end up being very rewarding for those who volunteer.

“At our first team meeting in Puerto Rico we instructed the team that as you participate in the work of helping those in desperate need it is very likely that the experience will have a greater impact on your life, personally, than on those you seek to help,” Nolan told SSN. “In our daily end of the day debriefing time we heard many personal stories from our team about the effects that serving had on their lives. One great story came from Stephanie Mayes from Synectics. As she spoke at the SIA night of Honors dinner, Steph stated that participating on the past Mission 500 Service Trip was the most impactful experience of her life.”
 
Nolan pointed out that while in the past Mission 500 scheduled one service trip per year, in 2019 and beyond it would like to schedule two per year. “After the trip to Puerto Rico we all realize how important it is to join together from many different organizations as one industry to get involved with some of the tragic situations we see happening around the U.S.,” he said. “As we pulled our team together, we were all amazed at how much work we accomplished in a short one-week experience.”

Mission 500 extends a big thank you to the individuals who donated their time, financial support and gifts to ensure the success of this trip, as well as to corporate sponsors including: Aiphone, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, BRINKS Home Security, ESA, Hikvision USA, Milestone Systems and Synetics Global.

Mission 500 is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis. Mission 500’s primary goal was to focus security industry efforts on sponsoring more than 500 children through World Vision’s humanitarian outreach.

For more information on Mission 500 or on how to become involved in supporting Mission 500, contact Tom Nolan at tnolan@mission500.org, or call 516-903-7291. For more information on contributions or sponsorships, please visit mission500.org or contact Jeff Eichenlaub at jeichenlaub@mission500.org.
 

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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

EMERgency 24, a network of wholesale monitoring centers headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., recently named Steve Mayer its vice president of operations and administration. Mayer will replace long-time executive, Patrick Devereaux, who has retired but will remain with the company in an advisory role.

Prior to joining EMERgency24, Mayer served as the VP of operations for Cook’s Direct, an Illinois-based distribution company. He has also worked in finance, operations, corporate real estate and procurement at United Airlines, Bally Fitness and Career Education.

“Steve’s diverse professional experience will allow him to delve into Emergency24’s operations with a unique and fresh perspective,” Baird Larson, E24’s vice president and director of technology, said in the recent announcement. “We selected Steve because he demonstrated the ability to achieve strong financial, operational and customer-service performance. He has in-depth experience in strategic planning, financial analysis and process improvement.”

Like his predecessor Devereaux, Mayer is a “numbers person” and he says the company will continue to measure itself and implement ways to further strengthen operations, the company said.

“I’m excited to join a well-running and long-standing operation that is already a market leader with its people, service and technology. The culture is a great fit with my continuous improvement philosophy,” Mayer said in a prepared statement. “Emergency24 has many strengths and a tremendous future. It is very clear that our people and our technology are what attract new customers and have retained existing customers for decades. What excites me most is our opportunity to use these core strengths to grow and improve our services and customer experience.”

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by: Spencer Ives - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Monitoring Association announced today through its blog that AvantGuard’s president and COO Justin Bailey has joined TMA’s board of directors, representing contract monitoring companies.

Justin Bailey has worked with AvantGuard Monitoring since 2010. Bailey was promoted to the role of president and COO mid last year, prior to that he served as the company’s COO. Bailey is also a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner from the Class of 2011.

“I’m excited to join the TMA board, after having served on committees for a number of years,” Bailey said in TMA’s blog. “I see the pace of change increasing from within the industry as well as from disruptors, and know we need to evolve more quickly as an industry to remain relevant.  I look forward to working with the other TMA board members to that end.”

AvantGuard Monitoring, a wholesale central station with locations in Ogden, Utah, and Rexburg, Iowa, offers a variety of monitoring services, including security, fire, PERS and mPERS, and IoT monitoring. In addition, the company has also been creating hybrid monitoring options, for security companies that would like to use their own central station part of the time.

 

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by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring recently hired Joe Parisi to its leadership team as director of project management. Parisi has more than 20 years of alarm industry experience and will play a key role on the company’s management team by leading technological projects related to COPS’ network of monitoring centers, the company said.

“The last two years have been very dynamic for us,” Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS, said in the announcement. “As a result of our sustained growth, we believe it’s best to narrow the areas of responsibility of executives to ensure we maintain high quality support and throughput from their respective departments.” 

Parisi’s new role of director of project management is a newly created position, designed specifically for his skill sets, according to COPS. Key areas of the job will include facilities, alarm receiving equipment, and telephone system infrastructure. Parisi will also oversee the COPS technical support team that is designed to support COPS’ alarm dealer customers in troubleshooting communications related to signal transmissions.

Parisi will also spearhead large-scale initiatives such as facility expansions/updates, infrastructure upgrades, and other special projects, including the imminent launch of COPS’ Mobile Personal Emergency Response System division.

McMullen explained that the restructuring strengthens further its management team as it “adds depth to the bench.” Parisi is one of three competent and focused leaders in COPS’ technical department who help position COPS and its customers for the future.

“My career in the United States Marine Corps has been the foundation of my technical and leadership skills that have been instrumental behind my successful 20-year career in the security industry,” Parisi said in a prepared statement. “My extensive electronics training in avionics lead to an electrical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. I joined Radionics [now Bosch] after graduation as a Research and Development Engineer. I was fortunate to be a part of the team of engineers who developed the state-of-the art D6600 central station receiver utilized by today’s leading monitoring companies.”

Parisi is a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner, Class of 2013.

After his time with Radionics, Parisi shifted his focus of expertise to wholesale monitoring where he integrated new technology, trained operations personnel and field support, and converted central stations onto a single platform.

He has also volunteered with the Electronic Security Association. “I had the pleasure of leading the New Jersey Chapter as President of the New Jersey Electronic Security Association (NJESA), now one of the largest chapters in the country,” Parisi said. As NJESA president, the national ESA recognized Parisi as 2013 Chapter President of the Year at the Leadership Awards.

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by: Spencer Ives - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ATLANTA—Apartment Guide, a resource for renters and part of the digital marketing solutions company RentPath, recently published a blog highlighting security as an amenity many renters are looking for.

The blog included data from RentPath surveys including an “online, blind survey of 2,000 renters … conducted by Egg Strategy in conjunction with RentPath in 2017, with the final analysis completed in February 2018,” and an “online, blind survey of 750 renters conducted by RentPath Research between November 10 – December 4, 2017.” In addition, the blog referenced The 2017 Kingsley Nationwide Renter Report, which was conducted in July 2017 in partnership with the National Multifamily Housing Council and surveying 269,332 renters.

Angie Amon, director of research for RentPath, talked with Security Systems News about the trends among these reports. “People are looking for their home. It’s not a car that they’re going to rent for a few days, or even a car they’re going to buy that they could easily get rid of if it didn’t work out. It’s their home, and the things that they’re trying to do is make it feel like home. They want to feel safe, they want to feel secure … and that it’s not a hassle to live there,” Amon said.

RentPath distributed surveys to people seeking apartments, specifically renters that were open to developments with 50 or more units. “We really drilled down into a specific segment of renter population,” Amon said.

Despite prompting survey takers to “think big” and be imaginative, many still put emphasis on practical conveniences like having a washer and dryer in their unit, Amon said.

RentPath also asked survey respondents to select an item that most interested them and one that least interested them out of larger groups. “Out of that came the gated access, the security measure,” Amon said, and this group was the highest at 35 percent. “That was the number one ‘most interested’ thing that people mentioned, and had the fewest votes of ‘least interested’ in.”

The company recognized another trend of people looking for app-controlled door locks, rating at 25 percent.

Property managers and companies could benefit from emphasizing the security measures at their properties, according to Amon. “It comes up over and over and over again in both the quantitative and the qualitative work that we do, where people talk about wanting to be in a safe area. And they define that in different ways, some of it has to do with what security measures are at the property … others define it by what kind of activity is going on in the area.”

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, recently announced that its Avigilon Blue cloud platform is now integrated with SureView Systems Immix CS and Immix CC software, which will support professional video monitoring.

The Avigilon Blue cloud platform features patented self-learning video analytics that detect movements of people and vehicles and generate an alarm with a short video clip, allowing central station operators to more efficiently verify and respond to potentially critical events. The integration with Immix CS and Immix CC software will feature alarms with live and recorded video as well as audio transmission, the announcement noted.

"Video analytics-based alarm management will enable central stations to manage significantly more cameras and sites with fewer resources and help provide faster response to events, which ultimately creates a better monitoring experience for both the central stations and the end users," Ryan Nolan, senior vice president of business operations at Avigilon, said in the announcement. "With our advanced video analytics, the Avigilon Blue platform integrated with SureView software will provide our customers with a single point of control for security response and coordination."

The Avigilon Blue integration with SureView Immix CS and Immix CC software is expected to be available in November 2018, the announcement noted.

"At SureView, we develop a powerful monitoring platform to improve customers' ability to manage and respond to security events," Simon Morgan, CTO at SureView Systems, said in a prepared statement. "With Avigilon Blue's exceptionally accurate analytics and low false alarms, this new integration will further enhance the operational efficiency and value of professional monitoring services."

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

HENDERSON, Nev.—I-View Now, provider of a cloud-based video monitoring platforms for central stations, recently announced an updated and improved integration with monitoring center automation software platform partner MASterMind.

This updated integration improves signaling by utilizing a dedicated MASrecv I-View Now Receiver. Built in conjunction with MAS, these processes employ dedicated and proprietary signal types and signal formats which provide richer contextual information and video, the company said.

“We are thrilled to further our partnership with MASterMind and offer these enhanced features to monitoring stations and their customers. This integration enables the distribution of better information to end users, operators, and first responders,” Larry Folsom, president of I-View Now, said in the announcement. “We’re very proud of this integration allowing for true collaboration between all parties. Our ultimate goal is to catch the bad guy more often, while greatly reducing unwanted false alarm dispatches.”

The MASterMind Auto-Notification and Verification Interface with I-View Now integration provides mobile verification to central station customers. This process allows the end user to cancel the alarm, request dispatch, and call the monitoring center.

“A key value at MAS has always been to help alarm monitoring stations streamline their dispatching processes and provide better service to their customers,” Shin Voeks, general manager for MAS, said in a prepared statement. “The MASterMind integration with I-View enables users to conveniently cancel or confirm an alarm using their mobile devices, and allows monitoring stations to respond to alarms more effectively.”

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, October 10, 2018

OGDEN, Utah—Last week, on Oct. 3, there was a test of the Presidential Alert system, which went out to televisions and radio as well as mobile phones. AvantGuard Monitoring, based here, noticed that there was a spike of false alarms—including glass break sensors and PERS button presses—linked to the test.

“Oftentimes, [when] we see a spike in a certain kind of alarms, they’re related to a storm or a localized natural disaster, and it generally affects a certain type of alarm like a security [system],” Justin Bailey, AvantGuard’s president and COO, told SSN. A simultaneous spike in security and PERS was very unusual for the company, he added.

The alert’s tone happened to match the frequency that some glass break sensors look for, AvantGuard said in an announcement, which caused the sensors to send false alarms. “It was a unique event for us. … As we started looking to see a common causality on the security side, an unusual number of alarms were [triggered by] glass break sensors. It’s not uncommon to have one of them in the buffer at the scale we have,” Bailey said. AvantGuard’s monitoring centers received about 70 glass break alarms that it can link to the presidential alert.

A member of AvantGuard’s team recognized the coincidence in the time of the alarms and the presidential alert, according to Bailey. “When you get a drop of signals, you know something is going on, because of the scale of how many alarms we received in that short time frame,” he said. “It was … part of our troubleshooting process to find commonalities and then get into causality. It was really just our good monitoring center leadership team that made that connection.”

AvantGuard received about 100 PERS alarms related to the presidential alert, as some seniors with PERS devices heard the sound of the alert and didn’t know what the alert tone was or if it was coming from their PERS device. “It was a matter of just talking to the subscribers as we connected to the two-way and—once we determined that they were ok—asking why it was that they had pushed their buttons,” Bailey said.

AvantGuard developed a system to address alarms that were likely false. “With the suspect alarms, we were able to partition them in a different queue, and then dedicate operators to work through those alarms that we believed were affected, allowing us to free up other operators to work alarms that we suspected … were actual, true alarms,” Bailey said.

“The reason we caught it and handled it so well is because we’ve already been prepared to deal with situations like that. So, I think it makes us more aware of challenges living in a connected world,” Bailey said.

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, October 3, 2018

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.—UTC Climate, Controls & Security has completed its recently announced purchase of S2 Security, and will combine the newly acquired company with Lenel, creating LenelS2. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

LenelS2 will provide scalable, customer solutions in the access control and security management systems industry, serving global enterprises to small- and mid-sized companies, the announcement said. The business is part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

"LenelS2 unites two world-class teams with complementary strengths," Alex Housten, VP and GM, Fire & Security Products, UTC Climate, Controls & Security, said in the announcement. "Together, we have more than 50,000 systems installed worldwide. We look forward to providing enhanced service capabilities and offerings for our customers, and accelerating our access control and video-centric solutions for intelligent buildings across the globe."

Lenel president Jeff Stanek will lead the new organization and S2 Security founder and CEO John Moss will serve as chief product officer. The broader leadership team will consist of key members from each company, the announcement said.

"These are two leading brands that share a strong culture of innovation and commitment to customer service," Stanek said in a prepared statement. "Together, we will harness the power of our talented workforce to better serve the needs of customers and offer them more choices."

Moss said in the announcement, "The depth of Lenel's OnGuard platform and BlueDiamond™ mobile credentialing together with the breadth of S2's product ecosystem and channel, creates a new offering that is far greater than the sum of its parts."

Moss continued, "We will continue to advance the capabilities of all product lines, including NetBox and OnGuard."

Houlihan Lokey, global boutique investment bank focused on M+A and capital raising transactions, advised S2 on the transaction. The bank has a practice focused on the security industry and had developed a relationship with Moss, Michael Morabito, director at Houlihan Lokey, told Security Systems News.

“The sale process was robust with strong interest from a number of parties both domestic and foreign – the interest level from financial sponsors interested in deploying capital in the security industry was strong,” Morabito said.

He continued, “For Lenel/UTC, the new LenelS2 combination helps them to re-invigorate innovation within their organization, helps complement Lenel’s enterprise end-user base with S2’s strong SMB end-users/references, add world-class access control as well as video solutions.”

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

MIDLAND, Ontario—Huronia Alarm & Fire Security Inc., a full service security company based here, recently announced its purchase of Ontario Security Systems' monitored accounts.

OSS president and owner Henry Droder wanted to retire, and “we were already doing their monitoring, so, it made sense for him to pass the business over to us,” Rob Thorburn Jr., Huronia’s president and CEO, told Security Systems News. “The customers already knew of us, already [were] familiar with our station. … It’s a pretty seamless integration going forward.”

The deal, finalized at the end of August, brought about 450 accounts to Huronia. This account base was mostly commercial, small-to-medium business. Huronia’s total account base is now more than 10,000 monitored customers, with about 60 percent of those being residential.

OSS was a well-run, family owned business, Thorburn noted. “Since they’re in our backyard, it just makes sense to stay with a local company, rather than going to a national,” he said. “It fits within out boundaries quite nicely.”

Huronia’s main footprint is around Georgian Bay in Ontario, Thorburn said. “The nice thing about it: [OSS] accounts can be serviced out of three offices easily, because it’s about equal distance—more or less within 15 minutes of every office,” he said.

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