Subscribe to Monitoring Matters RSS Feed

Monitoring Matters

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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

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.

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Security Systems News is preparing to once again highlight notable women in the security industry, with a special Women in Security feature in our December print edition, as well as online.

Security has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. SSN has been doing this feature for several years and the response has been great each year—hearing from various professionals and companies about the importance of promoting diversity in the industry.

If there is a woman in your business that you feel should be applauded, please email her name and contact information to us, along with a message about why you believe she should be recognized. Emails can be sent to Sives@securitysystemsnews.com.

If you are interested to see SSN’s Women in Security profile articles from last year, this article will give you an overview and direct you to each piece. 

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Earlier this year, Bates Security, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., acquired ABCO Security, which is based in Eastern Kentucky. Now, ABCO Security is refreshing its brand with the same name. Jeremy Bates, company president, talked with Security Systems News about the rebrand and what it means for both companies.

“The whole … intent was to keep ABCO as its own separate business down there—support them as much as we could from the corporate office, but we wanted to maintain their brand in that area. They’re very well know, very well respected. I’ve known them for years,” Bates said.

“The integration of their company into Bates Security has been great,” he continued, citing instances where the companies will help by servicing each other’s accounts when needed.

The ABCO Security logo was recognizable for having “ABCO” in red, with “Security” below that in black, Bates said. In the brand refresh, both of these elements remain, but with a slight change to the font and putting the name in a yellow octagon, it shares elements of Bates Security’s logo design.

Another element unchanged in the refresh is the company’s tagline: “People who know, trust ABCO.”

Rolling out the new yellow octagon yard signs with all ABCO customers serves a dual purpose. “It just stands out a whole lot more, which is good for us for advertising, but it’s also good for the customer as far as letting people know that they’ve got a top-notch security company protecting them,” Bates said.

The brand refresh also included changing the company’s website, vehicles, graphics, communication and correspondence, “giving ABCO a very consistent look. So, it’s more impactful to where people are noticing us more.”

The company has also started TV, radio and billboard advertising to reinforce the new appearance.

Bates said that the brand refresh “shows our dedication to ABCO security. It shows to the employees that we’re serious about investing in the company to make it successful. It shows the customers that we are investing in the company to maintain the level of service that they are accustomed to. And, it shows to the community that we are investing in ABCO because we want to maintain and grow its reputation and its success in the community.”

The brand refresh was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 13.

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, September 5, 2018

ASIS International recently announced that Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy and former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland will join the keynote lineup for Global Security Exchange. In the first year of its rebrand following a 63-year history as the ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, GSX will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 23 to 27.

“Our keynote lineup—featuring recognized experts in global affairs, technological innovation and industry transformation—delivers on our new brand promise to host a truly comprehensive global event,” Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, 2018 president of ASIS International, said in the announcement. “These speakers provide diverse perspectives that will set the tone for each day and bring to light both the risks and opportunities facing the profession and businesses at-large.”

As Commander of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, General Spacy is responsible for mission support capabilities to 77 Air Force installations, nine major commands and two direct reporting units with an annual budget of approximately $10 billion. His Sept. 26 keynote, kicking off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, will examine the changing security landscape, both in the U.S. and around the world, ASIS said.

Spacy will also provide details on the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the Air Force is looking to collaborate with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Attendees will also learn about the evolving AFWERX/ASIS partnership and will be the first to hear a special announcement about the AFWERX Challenge.

McFarland will close out the conference on Sept. 27 with her address, which will cover geopolitics around the globe. As the first deputy national security advisor in the Trump Administration, she will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defense issues. McFarland’s presentation is open to all GSX registrants—including Expo-Only registration.

Spacy and McFarland join the GSX keynote program, which includes CNN Host Fareed Zakaria and futurist Scott Klososky.

by: Spencer Ives - Friday, August 24, 2018

Leadership is a big topic around the Security Systems News office right now.

We have our Leadership Talks series. Through this series, we get the chance to talk with notable professionals throughout the industry about their distinct leadership approaches and styles.

This series inspired our currently News Poll, which you can find by clicking here. We’d like to hear from all of our readers about the styles of leadership you respond best to, as well as what best suits your company. Feel free to weigh in and we always appreciate extra comments.

On top of those two items, we have chosen (but are not yet announcing) the 2018 class of winners for Security Systems News’ annual “20 under 40” awards. Through this annual recognition, we get to speak to a whole group of promising young professionals that stand as the current and next generations of leaders for the physical security industry—both in the dealer, integrator and monitoring side, as well as the end user side.

We are now in the beginning phases of reaching out to and congratulating this year’s honorees. In the process, we are hearing about how they lead teams, groups, or entire companies, and the leaders that mentored these “20 under 40” winners when they first started in the industry.

Keep an eye out in future months for the whole collection of feature articles on this year’s “20 under 40” class. Be sure to also take note of the leaders you see in your company and, if eligible, nominate them for next year’s awards.

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Five manufacturers of security technologies have teamed up to provide safety and security at the 72nd Annual Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS) for the players, coaches and fans. For the first time, BriefCam and Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company are joining Axis Communications, Lenel and Milestone Systems to provide video surveillance systems, access control and network connectivity for the 10-day tournament.

These five technology providers have come together to develop a comprehensive security strategy for the 16 Little League Baseball teams and worldwide fans participating in the World Series from Aug. 16 to 26, 2018, held in South Williamsport, Pa.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come out to Williamsport to enjoy their time at the Little League Baseball World Series,” Jim Ferguson, Little League assistant director of risk management and safety, said in a prepared statement. “Along with the safety of all of 16 participating teams, our top priority during the Little League Baseball World Series is to provide a safe and secure facility for visitors from all over the world to enjoy. Thanks to these providers, we can continue to offer all of our fans, players, and volunteers a fun and safe location to create lifelong memories and exciting experiences during their visit.”

BriefCam, one of the newest contributors, is providing the company’s latest video content analytics platform to this year’s Little League Baseball World Series security solution. BriefCam’s groundbreaking video content analytics platform detects, tracks, extracts and identifies people, objects, their attributes and behavior from raw video feeds. By presenting objects that have appeared at different times within the video simultaneously, BriefCam enables security operators to review hours of video in minutes. 

For the LLBWS, this means if children and parents are accidentally separated during the event, the security team will be well equipped to potentially locate and reunite related parties more quickly, the announcement noted. Additionally, BriefCam’s solution can be used to optimize operations such as attendee and vehicle traffic flows to ensure a safe and positive guest experience. The company’s video content analytics platform aligns with Axis IP-based digital video surveillance cameras and Milestone’s XProtect video management software for a comprehensive video surveillance, management and analytics solution.

“As this global event draws families from far and wide, it is important to further enable comprehensive safety, security and operational efficiencies,” Stephanie Weagle, CMO for BriefCam, said in a prepared statement. “Our technology will be on-hand to support the Little League in their endeavor to extract actionable intelligence from their video surveillance in the event that parents or family members need assistance in finding each other or streamlining operations to ensure that all involved have a great experience.”

Ruckus Networks, the second newest technology contributor, is providing a wireless mesh backhaul to deliver connectivity to both the scoreboards and surveillance cameras. Ruckus is deploying its T300 access points (APs), along with its SmartZone™ 100 management controller, to help ensure seamless connectivity for the outdoor environment. The T300s—the Ruckus flagship outdoor APs—allow high-definition video over Wi-Fi, enabling every video stream to be captured. For the LLBWS, this capability allows all the video cameras in the stadium to be constantly streaming, helping to ensure maximum safety and security at all times.

“In a digitally connected world, safety and security are critical elements that need to be part of every network,” Bart Giordano, vice president, worldwide business development and cloud for Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, said in the announcement. “We are teaming with other companies to bring the most innovative security capabilities to the games so that every family can feel safer onsite. Our robust wireless technologies ensure every video stream is captured from all cameras, at all times, helping make this annual event fun and secure.”

Axis Communications has provided technology for the Little League for nine years and is providing AXIS Q6128-E PTZ Network Camera, a compact, outdoor-ready PTZ dome, offering 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, 12x optical zoom and autofocus. The 4K resolution provides four times as much detail as the standard HDTV 1080p resolution, improving the video quality significantly. Both of these cameras will be integrated into the scoreboard in Lamade Stadium.

"Each year we look forward to evolving the security system by leveraging the newest technology in the industry," Robert Muehlbauer, senior manager, business development partner ecosystem at Axis Communications, said in a prepared statement. "The total solution provides a comprehensive system to help keep players and fans safe so they can enjoy America’s favorite pastime, baseball. We are proud to collaborate with all of the companies involved and to continue our work with Little League Baseball.”

For the 20th consecutive year, Lenel, a leading provider in advanced security systems, will provide its OnGuard access control platform. Players, coaches, officials, staff and vendors are all enrolled in the system and receive a photo identification badge providing access to predetermined areas. The system is integrated with the Axis surveillance cameras so when someone presents a badge at one of the access card readers, live video and the cardholder’s photo are displayed on a nearby monitor, allowing a guard to authenticate the identification.

Milestone is providing its XProtect Corporate video management software, which is installed along with a Milestone Husky™ M500A NVR as one of the recording servers. The XProtect Smart Client interface includes advancements in system performance by leveraging the processing power of NVIDIA GPU cards for measurable hardware acceleration, enabling more concurrent High Definition or Ultra HD video streams on high-resolution monitors. The LLBWS is also using the XProtect® Smart Wall for viewing and sending pertinent video to monitors around the facilities, including a mobile command center. BriefCam is embedded in the XProtect Smart Client with a dedicated screen tab for easy access to search hours of video in just minutes.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the open platform community of partners coming together for this great international family event, ensuring safety through ongoing technology innovations,” Jeremy Scott, strategic alliances manager, Americas for Milestone Systems, said in the announcement. “Every year brings new winners — on the field, in the stands and behind the scenes.”

by: Spencer Ives - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

LAKE FOREST, Calif.—National Monitoring Center, part of the Netwatch Group, recently welcomed Grant Graham back to the team as its vice president of dealer relations. Graham will be responsible for the leadership of dealers and dedicated to their success.

Graham previously served as NMC’s operations manager from 2001 to 2016. As operations manager, he skillfully and successfully oversaw all daily aspects of NMC’s multifaceted, nationwide operation.

Most recently, Graham served as Brinks Home security’s senior director of monitoring operations where he oversaw many elements of the company's operations, was responsible for reducing costs, and increased service level for alarm response by over 10 percent and inbound calls by 24 percent, NMC noted in its announcement.

“NMC has a long history of dedication to ahead-of-industry technological solutions and valuable partnerships which lead to the formation of Netwatch Group, and we apply that same dedication in our efforts to build a powerful, synergistic team at NMC. This is why we are thrilled to have Grant Graham on the team. Grant has a proven record of building long-term business relationships and has been instrumental in facilitating growth on numerous levels. His knowledge, drive, and winning attitude are assets that will complement and enhance NMC’s ability to meet the needs of our dealers as we continue to provide more attractive services,” Woodie Andrawos, NMC President, said in a prepared statement.

Graham’s combined experience and understanding of NMC culture and mission make him an excellent fit for this role, NMC said.

“I am excited to be taking on this new role as VP of dealer relations at NMC. It is wonderful to partner with a company focused on organizational growth and constant improvement. I look forward to having an impact on dealer success and helping them successfully navigate the market, acquire new agreements, deliver new products offerings, and leverage the wealth of dealer support available at NMC,” Graham said in the announcement.

Pages