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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The red herring: Where is Alarm.com in the IPO process now? We got some new information about the Alarm.com IPO on Monday, June 15, when the interactive service provider filed its preliminary prospectus for its IPO. It will offer 7 million shares of Alarm.com for “between $13 and $15 per share,” according to the document. Assuming shares go for $14, Alarm.com will raise $98 million.

Monday’s announcement comes about three weeks after its May 22 IPO S-1 filing with the SEC, which was valued at $75 million. Here’s my report on that filing.

Why did the value of the IPO change in three weeks and what’s the prognosis here? To get up to speed on Alarm.com’s  IPO process and what to expect in coming weeks, I made a few calls to some friendly finance mavens for an IPO primer.

Below is what I learned.

The first step, which Alarm.com took on May 22, is the filing of its S-1 with the SEC. That’s the 250-page tome that commandeered my office printer for a while and is now sitting on a shelf in my office. As part of the filing, Alarm.com has to provide various required documents to the SEC and to the other organizations. They also have to choose underwriters.

Who are these underwriters?  They’re investment banks that agree to underwrite or take risk on the new shares. In the Alarm.com case, the underwriters are –well, about every bank you’ve ever heard of: Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Credit Suisse; BofA; Merrill Lynch; Stifel; Raymond James; William Blair; and Imperial Capital.

What do the underwriters do? It’s their obligation to stand behind the stock in the IPO process. They weigh in on the preliminary prospectus, particularly on the business description. Did I mention that the preliminary prospectus is a second 250-page document, which I did not print out.

Between the S-1 and the preliminary prospectus, the estimated value of the IPO went from $75 million in the S-1 filing to $98 million in the preliminary prospectus. That jump represents what the lead underwriter believes the market will bear.

The preliminary prospectus has another name. It’s called a “red herring.” Not a very flattering name for a document you’re going to base an investment on, if you ask me. But that’s because I didn’t know the third definition of red herring until today.

Here are three possible meanings for a red herring:

1. A smoked fish, which is red and has a pungent smell.
2. Something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand; a misleading clue.
3. Also called red-herring prospectus. Finance. a tentative prospectus circulated by the underwriters of a new issue of stocks or bonds that is pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: so called because the front cover of such a prospectus must carry a special notice printed in red.

Now we’re ready for the next step: The road show. “Red herring” in hand, the underwriters and Alarm.com folks visit big cities and talk to investors about how great Alarm.com is.

The roadshow will last one- to two weeks while underwriters "build a book"—that is, compile a list of potential investors. Their goal is to build the book to well beyond what they need to sell. So if they have to sell 7 million shares, for example, they want to get orders of more than 7 million. That’s because in the aftermarket, there are people who may flip the stock for a small profit.

Most of the stock will still be owned by the Alarm.com management and their private equity investors. Those guys cannot sell the stock for a certain period of time—roughly 150 days.

Typically an IPO represents only 25- to 40 percent of the value of the company sold to the public. The public shareholders are the ones who could possibly flip the stock. Still, it’s good to have lots of orders for the stock above and beyond what’s required. It stabilizes the price in the case of flippers.

Once the underwriters are comfortable that the book is robust enough, the IPO happens.

About a week after the IPO, the final prospectus comes out and anyone who owns stock gets this final prospectus.  It is no longer a red herring! It includes information on final commissions, who sold what stock, disclosures about how much the underwriters got paid, and ultimately the net proceeds.

Alarm.com and the underwriters are in road trip mode now. If all goes well the IPO should happen by the end of the month. In the first week or so of July, we should have a new and improved number on the value of the IPO and the fully diluted market value for Alarm.com.

According to the red herring prospectus, the common stock to be outstanding after this IPO will be 44,846,440 shares. The underwriters will get a 30-day over- allotment option to purchase up to an additional 525,000 shares.

 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 10, 2015

There’s been a lot of talk about cloud services and managed services proliferating in the security industry, but “to a large degree it has been a head fake,” according to John Mack, EVP and co-head of investment banking at Imperial Capital.

Many of the so-called cloud products are not true cloud-based systems, and managed services is in it infancy as well, Mack said.
 
He believes that the news that Dean Drako, owner of cloud-based VMS provider Eagle Eye and founder of Barracuda Networks, has purchased Brivo, the original cloud-based access control system, may help propel the emergence of a new kind of security dealer.

“These guys will be the leader,” he said.

“My guess is that we will see the evolution of a new class of dealer focused on the managed services and cloud-based model” who will do high volumes of business with small- and medium-sized businesses, Mack told me.

The combination of Brivo and Eagle Eye products (the companies will offer an integrated version of their products beginning in July) would provide a “complete solution” for dealers to sell as a managed services offering to the SMB market and multi-site location businesses, Mack said.

This new managed services security dealer would have to be more like an alarm dealer who focuses on RMR as opposed to an integrator who focuses on install revenue. They would also have to be “sales oriented guys not tech-oriented guys,” Mack said.

But, they’ll have to have the technical sophistication to deal with SMB owners, he said.

This model involves high-volume work, which requires capital to subsidize the installation, larger dealers would likely have to secure a lines of credit from banks.
 
But the RMR would be much higher than the alarm model. It could be as much as a couple hundred dollars versus $40 for an alarm monitoring contract, Mack said. Importantly, the attrition rate for Brivo customers “is meaningfully lower than the 12 percent you hear about [in the residential market],” Mack said.

“It will be a great business model that can create a ton of value for dealers,” Mack said. With a lot of managed services RMR, that dealer would be an attractive acquisition target for ADT, Stanley, Protection 1, and Diebold that want to increase their presence in the SMB and multi-location business market.

Who knows, Mack surmised, the future may find a Monitronics-type business that runs a dealer program and buy accounts from security dealers who sell Eagle-Eye/Brivo-type products. “That would take bank capital- raising out of the equation.”

“A lot of positive things for dealers could spin out of this business model,” Mack said.

Imperial Capital advised Brivo in the deal.

 
 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vanderbilt Industries on Monday announced it has completed the acquisition of the Security Products business from Siemens.

The deal, announced in October, expands Vanderbilt’s footprint, R&D capabilities and product portfolio. The Siemens' division has been rebranded as Vanderbilt and is headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Joseph Grillo, Vanderbilt managing director, spoke to Security Systems News in November about the deal. Here's a llink to that story where he said Vanderbilt will look for more acquisitions.

And here's a link to a story about proprietary versus open systems. It's based on a TechSec educational session that Grillo participated in.

In Monday's announcement, Vanderbilt said it will expand beyond its presence here in North America and in Europe and is particularly interested in South America and Asia Pacific.
 


The Security Products division brings with it access control, intrusion alarm and video surveillance products. Its brand names include: Aliro, Alarmcom, Bewator, Cotag, Europlex, SPC and Vectis. Vanderbilt plans to retain existing brand names.
 


In a prepared statement, Grillo said the company has "a commitment to reinvest at least 10 percent of our annual revenue into new research and development, and therefore, look forward to introducing new innovations that exceed industry expectations and drive sustained growth

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Alarm.com's announcement that it will go public has a lot of people talking inside and outside of the security industry. Many of the insiders, however, will not talk on the record, at least not right now.  

I was interested in talking to someone who knows IPOs, understands the security industry and is familiar with Alarm.com, and I came up with Chris Black. Black is the former CFO of Vivint who helped Vivint prepare for the sale to Blackstone. He's also helped other companies go public. Today he works outside of the industry as CFO of Viamedia and as a board member of Sports Information Group which owns the Daily Racing Form.  

In an email interview Black called Alarm.com "a terrific company with a strong management team that I gained a lot of respect for during my interactions with them while I was at Vivint."

He said an IPO can "have a transformational impact on the business" and a positive affect on the industry.

"The IPO will provide them with access to another source of capital to continue to grow the business and invest in new products and opportunities. I also think it is a great event for the security industry as a whole. It serves as further validation of the space and will bring in new equity investors that may or may not have looked at security companies in the past,"

The only potential downside, Black said "is the amount of time the management team, particularly the CEO and CFO, are required to spend on investor relations activities including calls with equity analysts, investors and presentations at equity conferences and the like."

How might the IPO affect customers?

"This is really just another form of financing the growth of the business and shouldn't have an immediate impact on Alarm.com's customers one way or the other. Longer term, one could assume that access to public equity will allow the company to invest in the business and continue to develop new products and enhance existing ones either organically or through acquisitions, or both," he said.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Apollo Global Management is about to take one giant leap into security with its May 19 agreement to acquire Protection 1 and ASG Security.

Under the agreement, the combined companies will operate under the Protection 1 brand, with Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall at the helm.

Security Systems News reported on the proposed deal last week. Here's that story.

I had a chance to interview Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall, CMO Jamie Haenggi and ASG's CEO Joe Nuccio last night. I was looking for details about how the new management might be structured, but that will have to wait until the deal is closed. The earliest possible closing date would be July, Whall said.

The May 19 announcement did not include proposed terms of the agreement, though $2 billion has been reported by Rueters.

Whall said that the “combination of Protection 1 and ASG instantly gives both companies a wider footprint where they each did not have one and a greater density in the markets where we overlap. There is a definite benefit for the customers as well as the employees. And given our like-minded approach to the operations, the combination will be a force in the marketplace."

Haenggi added that “the combination of the two companies creates a $40 million recurring revenue and over $600 million entity, with more organic growth and acquisitions on the horizon. It has never been Protection 1’s or ASG’s goal to be the biggest—it has always been both companies aim to be the best both for our customers and our employees.”

Whall, Haenggi and Nuccio all spoke about the benefits of having a private equity group the size of Apollo (this group manages $163 billion) involved in the security industry. When Apollo gets involved, other funds take notice, Whall said.

That means more resources for Protection 1 and potentially for other security industry companies.

I spoke with Michael Barnes, a partner in the consulting and advisory firm Barnes Associates, who is advising Apollo. I asked him about the people at Apollo who are behind the deal. Barnes said while Apollo is a huge fund with many employees, "the team that has been focused on the security alarm industry and driving these deals is relatively small. They are very smart and they cycle through tough decisions quickly. They should make a great partner for P1 and ASG."

How might the group from Apollo work with managment? Barnes said, "From what we can tell, their philosophy seems to be to pick the best horse and jockey and then let them run. To extend the analogy, I am sure they will influence things like what races they enter, but as long as they are winning they will likely just focus on making sure they have the needed resources and otherwise stay out of their way."

I posed the same question to the folks at Apollo in a couple of calls last night, but they declined comment.

Whall, Haenggi and Nuccio also spoke about how the new Protection 1—with the staff, expertise and client base and geographic coverage that ASG brings—will be uniquely positioned in the industry.

Haenggi said that Apollo has been studying the industry for some time. They liked that Protection 1 has "not only has the national footprint, but also the breadth of services and markets serving residential, commercial and national accounts," she said.  "Back in the day, there was ADT that had the size and breadth. Today, there is no one serving across all of these segments with the size of Protection 1. We are in a position to take that lead but do it with a decidedly ‘Protection 1 approach’ to business."

Barnes concurred with Haenggi, saying P1, especially with ASG added, is the largest industry player with "a business model on which most of the industry was built. That is, having a large commitment to specific geographic markets and a broad range of product and services aimed at virtually the entire spectrum of customer types—everything from low-cost, entry-level residential systems, including a DIY offering, all the way up to large-scale systems for the commercial and institutional segments.

Both companies also know how to acquire and consolidate smaller companies, Barnes noted. "This robust approach is in contrast to virtually all of the other large, national players, who are more narrowly focused, such as Tyco, Stanley and Diebold on commercial markets, and ADT, Vivint, and Monitronics primarily on the residential market."

What does Tim Whall say about Protection 1's expansion plans? Will it expand beyond the U.S. market? “I think it's safe to say that Protection 1 will hold not just a U.S. footprint, but a North American footprint," he said.

Asked about possible aspirations for a global presence, Whall laughed and said: “Well, before we talk international, let’s get this deal signed first and over the line—we’ll see how international we get, but I certainly would not rule out lots of growth from Protection 1 over the next several years.”

Private equity is no stranger to security, especially in the past two years. Recent deals include: Vivint to Blackstone, SAFE to ICV Partners, ACA to Norwest Capital, and most recently, Ackerman to Imperial Capital, Barnes noted. However, this deal stands out, he said.  "I can’t remember an investor like Apollo making a first step into the industry, on this scale, doing two transactions at the same time, and particularly with such a good fit between the two."

To attract private equity investors, Barnes said you "have to have all of the requisite pieces of the puzzle…size, capability, management, and growth. In addition, you generally have to have a strong overall industry opportunity, since one is effectively competing against all other possible investment opportunities." 

The long list of dealmakers involved in this transaction include: Financing is provided by Credit Suisse, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies and RBC. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is acting as legal adviser to Apollo; Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal adviser to Protection 1; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal adviser to ASG Security. Morgan Stanley and Raymond James are acting as financial advisors to Protection 1 and Goldman Sachs is acting as financial advisor to ASG Security. Barnes Associates is advising Apollo.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—How about the news this week of a purchase of and merger of ASG and Protection 1?

I'm eager to see how this all shakes out. Taking a look at the potential 50.4x RMR mulitiple if the purchase price is $2 billion, Imperial Capital's Jeff Kessler repeated his oft-emphasized mantra that the multiple of RMR is not the be-all end-all of deal valuations. You need to look at EBITDA and Steady State Cash Flow, neither of which publicly available for these companies right now.

It's a hefty multiple though, something that Protection 1's Tim Whall has seen before, notably when HSM was sold to Stanley in 2007 for 60x Remember that? Whall ushered in the era where every alarm company owner and his brother thought they'd get 60x.

Kessler did take a gander at the per-subscriber numbers for the potential ASG/Protection 1 deal, and said that at $2 billion, the value-per-subscriber for these two companies would be $1,164. That is not a high number and it is lower that the current value of ADT subscribers and Ascent (Monitronics) subscribers, he said. BUT, then again, the mix of subscribers is not comparable, he added. For example, Protection 1 has residential, multi-family, wholesale customers—from cable companies and other entities—as well as national and large commercial accounts. ASG has a mix of resi, small commercial, large commercial and government. So, the "per subscriber" metric could also be thrown off by one of the specific groups of subscribers.

Kessler noted that the Protection 1 has "not been growing that fast" and said that cash generated has gone into it national accounts and small business divisions. He called the technology investments the company has made in this area "exceptional" and complimented its residential platform as well which uses "Alarm.com and internally generated software." He is a big fan of Protection 1's Don Young who he called a "tech guru in this industry."

Every time I speak to ASG, CFO Ralph Masino makes a point of talking about how most of the company's growth is organically generated. I have many examples, but here's a story from February 2014 where Joe Nuccio was talking about ASG's goal of reaching $10 million in RMR.

From that story:

Why is $10 million an important benchmark?
“It’s not the $10 million number that’s important, it’s [ASG’s] percent of growth year over year. [We’re able to continue to grow at that rate] even at our size,” Nuccio explained.
ASG likes to enter a new region every year. Those new regions generally start with an acquisition, but when ASG moves into that region it concentrates on internal growth, he said.
“We grow at 12 to 14 percent a year because we continue to develop our internal growth engine,” Nuccio said.
He pointed out that 76 percent of the $900,000 of RMR that ASG added in 2013 was generated by organic sales.
 

What will happen to the management teams of the two companies should Apollo's deal come to fruition? Protection 1 is clearly the larger of the two companies, but both companies have strong and highly regarded management teams. Maybe some of them want out ... for a little while anyway? We'll see. Kessler surmised that "Apollo would line them up and see who does the best job."

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WESTMINSTER, Colo.—The subtitle for this year’s “State of the Integrator” panel discussion at PSA-TEC was “Adapt or Die.”

Despite the foreboding subtitle, the panelists' outlook was decidedly optimistic ... for some integrators anyway.

Panelists agreed that independent integrators who do not embrace changing technology and update to service-centric business models will not survive, but Jorge Lozano, president of systems integration firm Condortech, pointed out why independent integrators are ideally suited to adapt and thrive.

“We’re nimble … and this is the time for nimble companies,” he said. If you look at government regulations, the threat of cyberhacks and new technology as opportunities, Lozano said, “the horizon looks good.”

The panel discussion was moderated by Bill Bozeman, PSA Security CEO, and included Lozano, Brent Franklin, president of Unlimited Technology, Ron Oetjen, SVP of Securadyne, and Christine Lanning, president of IST. It took place May 5 here, where PSA-TEC is ongoing this week. The event is attended by independent integrators of all sizes, and includes more than 100 classes and panel discussions.

Other speakers agreed with Lozano. Ron Oetjen said Securadyne’s growth strategy involved acquisitions, organic growth and this year the company has invested in a consulting division. However, the company’s growth strategy is not etched in stone: “Leadership is willing to talk about it [the best ways to grow and overcome obstacles] and re-write the book if we need to," Oetjen said.

Christine Lanning said it’s important to realize that top company executives “don’t know it all.” Lanning uses “the collective knowledge base” of information she gathers from a number of sources such as PSA Security, ASIS as well as from groups outside the security industry. She also seeks mentors “who I want to mimic or emulate … that has been extremely helpful to us.”

Bozeman asked the panelists which vertical markets the companies work in and which are the most profitable.  

Subject matter experts are important said Brent Franklin, especially when you’re working in regulated industries. Unlimited Technology “takes a team approach in attacking new business opportunities,” sending out staff members who best understand the particular vertical. Those staff members need to know more than the applicable regulations, he said. “They need to understand who [the customers] are, how the business works, what the challenges are.”

Oetjen said Securadyne “encourages sales teams to become experts in one of the six vertical markets we’ve identified.” In terms of profit margins, Oetjen said the “data center market is the strongest margin-wise” and they have to follow a number of regulations. “Number two is easily power and utility companies. Number three is the oil and gas guys … but that market is the most volatile,” he said. “Everything is tied to the gas price,” he said.

IST works in a lot of verticals including local, county and state government; DOD work; and, top commercial companies in Hawaii.

As a small company, IST relies heavily on manufacturers for required training and certifications, she said. The company has also started to do “lunch-and-learns and user-group meetings [for customers and potential customers]…. where we bring the technology to them.” This gives IST an opportunity to talk to end users and the end users in turn “get invested in the technology and nine times out of ten, they stick with you,” she said.

The most profitable vertical for IST tends to be the large commercial businesses IST works with because they tend to chose an integrator based on expertise rather than price.

Lozano said Condortech’s is really only in one major vertical, government, but that also involves hospitals, education and border security.

Bozeman asked Franklin and Oetjen to talk about the key to delivering novel and unique technology?

Franklin said his team is constantly scouting technology, but it’s important to stay connected to the customer so you “realize what the next steps are with that customer.” Also, “getting the manufacturer involved with the customer is not a bad thing,” he said.

Confronting novel technology is something to think about Oetjen said. “What are we going to do when there’s only one smart camera out there [instead of many]? When one smart camera replaces fire systems because the camera [can detect fire]?” In order to get a customer to “rely on you to deliver a novel solution and trust you to deploy and execute the solution, [the relationship] starts way back … you educate and consult with the customer over time,” he said.

“You prove your thought-leadership,” Oetjen said. “You need to talk to and educate your customer at the same time, not just send invoices and ask, ‘What other camera or door can I do?’”

What about developing a culture of innovation in a company? How should systems integrators go about doing that?

A culture of innovation starts with company leadership, Lanning said.  “Are you showing passion, curiosity, adaptability?”  It’s important to “evaluate yourself and how you come across to your employees.”

Lanning said IST has an all-company meeting every Monday and every third Monday they do a team building or other educational exercise. She also send weekly emails focused on innovation and inspiration to all employees.

Lozano concurred with Lanning saying that we’re on the cusp of a new industrial revolution. Company leaders need to be doers. “Leadership is an action, not a position,” he said.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Cloud video surveillance provider Smartvue announced this week that it secured $15 million in financing from Fortress Investment Group, a $67 billion firm.

I spoke to Martin Renkis, Smartvue founder and CEO, this morning and asked him what Fortress, which typically works with much larger companies, saw in Smartvue. Fortress likes Smartvue's vision of being "a major cloud platform in the video surveillance services business," Renkis said.

"[Fortress] saw what we saw, which is that [the Internet of Things] is going to be gigantic and someone is going to be the leader driving video surveillance services using the cloud," he said. Renkis and others believe that many of the "things" that will be connected to the Internet—cars and televisions for example—will have cameras or will "be video-enabled somehow."

Renkis describes Smartvue as a cloud surveillance and IoTV (Internet of Things Video) technology company, that will "develop the backbone for the storage, management, security and distribution of video for the Internet of Things."

Smartvue announced at ASIS 2014 that it is working with Western Digital, "which sells one million hard drives a day," to embed Smartvue software on their devices, so customers "who buy their NAS and want to save video to the cloud can do this with this software." Smartvue is also embedding its software on HikVision cameras, so no NVR is necessary.  

Of course, Smartvue has been in the cloud business since Renkis founded the company in 1998, "Since day 1, before it was called the cloud," he said. Fortress also likes the fact that Smartvue has "27 patents filed over the past 10 years to cover the technology we develop," he said.

Smartvue provides its platform "to telcos, cable companies, security companies [commercial and residential] ... to help them generate recurring revenue."

The new funds will help support Smartvue's current work with Internet Service Providers, cable companies, telecoms, IoT device companies and cloud storage providers. Renkis said Smartvue has had notable success selling platforms to telecoms which they sell under their own names. He declined to name the telecoms Smartvue is working with. The funding will also be used for engineering staff with the goal of creating more intellectual property, Renkis said.

Smartvue is privately held, based here, and has just under 100 employees. It has three main pieces of software: VMS software that it builds into NVRs and sells; Low-level firmware (or a lean VMS) that it embeds in cameras, gaming consoles and other devices; and, centralized global video platforms.

 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AMAG's big announcement at ISC West was about selling Salient's video products under AMAG's Symmetry name. In an email interview, Matt Barnette characterized the deal as different from its partnerships with other manufacturers. Known for its Symmetry line, AMAG Technoloigies is a provider of access control and integrated security management systems for government and commercial customers.

"Traditionally, we do not resell another technology partner’s products under the Symmetry brand, but this partnership will lead us to faster and greater innovation," Barnette said. 

"We are offering Symmetry CompleteView VMS, Symmetry PowerProtect NVR platform, Symmetry TouchView Mobile Apps and the Symmetry Dual and Quad monitor Guardstation client workstations. These products augment our current Symmetry VMS, Encoders and HD camera lines," he added.
 
Asked what drove this partnership, Barnette said that AMAG has worked closely with Salient Systems through its Symmetry Extended Business Solutions Program. "They have been a proactive partner, and were always quick to update the integration with our Symmetry product whenever new features were available. Salient valued the technology integration between our two companies and made upgrading the integration a priority. We recognized what a great partner they are, and so did our customers, so it made sense to enhance the partnership."

Barnette said that AMAG and Salient's product management and engineering groups will jointly develop "a unique set of features and future products that will only be available through the AMAG channel."

"Salient offers a VMS and NVR platform, along with a robust mobile app. Many of our customers were looking for the features in the Salient platform and chose to either integrate their Symmetry system with Salient or use it as a stand-alone product," Barnette explained.

The tighter integration will make the system easier to use and may open up "opportunities now for future customers looking for a robust and more standardized access control and video management solution."

AMAG will continue to support its existing Symmetry VMS, encoders and HD cameras, along with its other video management and camera partners. "Our own video product line and existing relationships with video partners are very important to AMAG. Ultimately, what we are accomplishing with this partnership is the creation of products with new unique value and to give our customers more choices," he said.

AMAG Technology is based in Torrance, Calif., and has offices throughout the U.S.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, April 13, 2015

DAY 2

Day 2 of ISC West started off before the sun rose at the Security5K/2K. The weather was perfect (at least for us Mainers) and the enthusiasm was high. Lots of team spirit this year among companies large and small. Axis’ Fredrik Nilsson said that 108 Axis employees are at ISC West this year and 102 are participating in the Security5k/2k. “Anyone who was not participating had to come to me with an excuse,” Nilsson said, laughing. Paxton Access had a similar ratio of participation—something like 11 of 12 employees present. Most importantly the fundraising went very well, according to Mission 500’s George Fletcher. Last year $20,000 was raised through direct fundraising. This year, more than $40,000 was raised! The total raised to help children in need will be more than double that. I’ll update this with the final fundraising numbers once they’re in.

Back on the showfloor after the 5K, I met with Jeff Pranaitis and Alper Cetingok, who run the Security Defense & Government Services business for Raymond James. Investment Banking group. The group advises on M&A, public and private capital-raising, and valuation/fairness opinion analysis for middle-market companies. Among their recent deals are: Ackerman, Iverify/TransAlarm, SimpliSafe recapitilization, and Avigilon's purchase of VideoIQ.

I had a brief interview with Yoav Stern about DVTEL’s major cybersecurity initiative called IPMune. DVTEL is definitely out in front on this one.

I did an ssnTVnews interview with Sharon Shaw of systems integration firm TechSystems, and a TechSec Advisory Board member. Sharon talked about TSI’s approach to lifecycle management and how cybersecurity fits into the picture.

Eric Yunag of Dakota Security stopped by the Media Studio to share some ISC West observations with Sharon and me.

I met with Lee Odess at Brivo and he showed me the new mobile app for Brivo OnAir. Slick and simple, Odess said it’s aimed at the small- and medium-business market to give business owners flexibility to manage access on the go. He also told me about a new Brivo initiative —called the Dealer Success Program—to teach security installers and dealers about how to sell and succeed with services. “It’s really not Brivo-specific, it’s basically a how-to kit that shows why it’s good for integrators to chase the services business.”

At smart thermal camera company SightLogix,  John Romanowich and Frank De Fina had a number of installers checking out their new offerings: SightWrap and SightSensor XA. SightWrap is a new dealer program. It’s a no-money-down RMR-business aimed at car dealerships. SightSensor XA (extended area) a thermal camera that can surviel an entire football field. The previous model could cover to the 40-yard line, the XA provides "coverage all the way to the end zone," Romanowich said.

I had a chance to meet Alarm.com’s Matt Zartmann and Jeff Bedell in person. We talked about says Alarm.com’s commercial launch. Recent tweaks and the acquisition of secure-I have enabled the company to get its commercial platform in place for video, intrusion and energy management. Bedell said installers can offer their commercial customers one or all three components.

I stopped by Arecont Vision and talked to Scott Schaeffer about the company’s Project Registration Program that he says is different because it protects dealers with project pricing that’s “intentional.” We also talked about updates to the set-up-utility and the fact that Arecont now has motorized lenses in all of its product lines

DAY 1

As it’s 1:30 a.m. EST right now, this will be a very brief overview of my Day 1 at ISC West 2015. I’ll be adding more later.DAY

The day started at 8 a.m. with the annual Axis Press breakfast. The always-entertaining Axis event had a baseball theme. Axis CEO Martin Gren tested an Axis camera’s resiliency with a bat—which woke everyone up. Some announcements: Axis’ announced its new Zipstream product. Here’s a story on that.

Gren talked about two new “non-camera products” AXIS A8004-VE Network Video Door Station, which enables “two-way communication, HD video identification and remote entry control.” He also introduces an “intelligent audio device,” the AXIS C3003-E Network Horn Speaker.

The “home run” Axis product introduced at this show, Nilsson predicted, would be the first camera in the new AXIS Q37 Series, the AXIS Q3709-PVE. This multi-sensor camera is unique because it comes “focused from the factory with three 4K sensors that together provide a perfect 180-degree view.”

ABout the acquisition of Axis by Canon, Fredrik Nilsson said to expect twice as many products next year, with the resources of Canon behind Axis.

Photo: At the baseball-themed Axis Press event: Martin Gren (left) Fredrik Nilsson (right). On the video screen, the CEO of Canon. Japan, where Canon is based, is a place where baseball is also popular, Gren and Nilsson noted.

 

I picked up my show badge after the Axis event and stopped by the HID Mission 500 backpack project, where volunteers were filling backpacks with supplies for kids.

Photo: HID's Denis Hebert (left) and George Fletcher of Mission 500.

Next up were a few ssnTVnews interviews. I spoke to three of the Women’s Security Council “Women of the Year” honorees:  Vivian Hodges, Global Procurement Manager for Northland Controls; Andrea Ferrando, Industry VP for Reed Exhibition and Irene Lam, VP of R&D for Tyco Security Products.

Scallop Imaging had some news: their assets have been acquired by Vision Technologies, which makes military-grade cameras. Scallop will keep its branding, but the new company name is Blackhawk Imaging. This is an opportunity, Scallop’s Steve Gorski told me, to go after new markets.

Did you see the news that “Ipconfigure buys Cannon”? I stopped by and it is true. See photo below. 

PHOTO: IPCONFIGURE buys Cannon.

 

 

Next, I attended a luncheon where four companies presented. Teleste’s Mike Odea described the video and broadband company’s approach this way: open platform, holistic and ultra-scalable.

Richard Beard  of PSIM provider KapLogic said his company is addressing behavior analytics. It’s important to know what's not normal behavior, he said.

Kathleen Chigos of PlateSmart, a software-only LPR company said PlateSmart works with any hardware. You don’t need to worry about an "LPR" camera, she said.

Alfredo Perez said Vidcie brings surveillance cameras to places, like trains, where there were none. It does this via smartphone. I heard lots of interest from the luncheon crowd on this one.

I caught up with PSA Security’s Bill Bozeman who said that "cybersecurity is the next big thing and the next big opportunity."

Chatted with Tyco IS’s Mark van Dover about facial rec/iris biometrics. They are in demand, he said. If a "clear winner" emerged "we could sell it all day long."

Got a briefing from Dror Irani at BriefCam about the new Sindex3.1. It can filter video seven ways and do it fast. The idea is that this will get more people in an enterprise using video. Irani also showed me a demo of the BriefCam app (just for consumers now) on a Flir camera. Video synopsis goes mobile for homeowners.

 

 

 

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On my way to the show floor for Day 1. First up is Axis Communications' press event.

Here's a photo of Women's Security Council "Women of the Year" winners from last night's event. Great crowd last night. Really well-done event, as always. Kudos to Rhianna Daniels Hile, CompassPR and the WSC. Congrats to the winners!

 

 

Preparing for tomorrow morning's 5 a.m. flight to Las Vegas, the beginning of a long day of meetings and receptions on April 14, the day before ISC West 2015 starts.

After a few meetings, I'll be at the SIA event at 5 at the "Encore Beach Club." I'm don't think the Encore has a crazy beach like the Mandalay Bay, but I did hear that this venue is outside--which is always nice. Then I'll be at the Women's Security Council Reception, which will take place from 5-7 at Delmonico's at the Venetian.

Make sure to stop by to say hi to Spencer, Amy and me at the "Meet the Editors" event (9:30 to 10 Wednesday, April 15 at the SSN/ISC West Media Studio--the big stage just outside the entrance to the show floor. You can't miss it.)

Also, remember to tweet your news and observations #ISCW15. Quality and quantity may win you a handsome "Top Twitterer of ISC West 2015." SIA won last year and has the plaque to show it. Check out the cool SSN Twitter Wall which will be close to the SSN/ISC West Media Studio.

Also, you still have time to sign up to run or walk the Security 5K/2K. Here's a link. Fresh air, networking, exercise, help Mission 500 make a difference in a child's life--this is a great event!

Check back here for ISC West News. I'll be updating this blog daily. And, my bet is something will break tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14.

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