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Huronia acquires Ontario Security Systems

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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.

ADT and Amazon team up

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ADT announced a new strategic initiative with Amazon where it will support integration of Amazon’s new Alexa Guard feature with the ADT Pulse security system.

Starting later this year, this partnership helps ADT customers enhance their home’s security capabilities by detecting specific sounds via the customer’s Echo device when they’re away from home, ADT said. Once available, ADT professional installation and monitoring solutions will be offered to customers through the Alexa Guard website and Amazon mobile app.

“In 2018, ADT set out to redefine security with innovative products and services, such as ADT Go and Digital Security. The integration of Amazon’s Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional installation and security monitoring services is an exciting next step on our innovation roadmap and our successful collaboration with Amazon,” Jim DeVries, current president and incoming CEO of ADT, said in the announcement.

He continued, “Amazon’s vision to simplify the smart home experience through voice-enabled action matches perfectly with ADT’s passion for security and customer service, making us natural collaborators to ensure our customer’s smart home is a safe home. Today’s announcement will extend our footprint in the security and automation space, open new eCommerce sales and marketing channels for our products and services, and further expand our leadership in the category. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Amazon to provide innovative security solutions to our customers and broader audiences.”

ADT worked closely with Amazon to seamlessly integrate Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional monitoring to enhance ADT customers’ security when they’re away from home. When a customer enables Alexa Guard on their Amazon Echo device and says “Alexa, I’m leaving,” Alexa will notify the customer if she detects the sound of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or breaking glass while the customer is away. These notifications, called Smart Alerts, are delivered to a customer’s smartphone to let them know which sound was detected, and provide an audio clip of that event. Customers with an ADT Pulse system using Alexa Guard can choose to forward Smart Alerts to ADT monitoring professionals to help determine if additional action should be taken, including dispatching first responders if needed.

“Customers love using Alexa to help make their daily lives easier, and we continue to build new voice-first experiences to make customers’ homes even smarter,” Daniel Rausch, VP, Amazon Alexa, said in the announcement. “ADT has over 140 years of experience in the professional security installation and monitoring business. We’re so excited to team up with them for the launch of Alexa Guard. Since ADT brought the simplicity of Alexa voice control to their home security systems, we’ve heard from customers that they enjoy the added convenience and peace of mind they have using the ADT Pulse skill. Now, with Alexa Guard we’re making that experience even better for customers. When Alexa Guard is enabled, customers can choose to have their Echo devices detect the sounds of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or breaking glass when they’re away from home. When the selected sound is detected, customers with ADT Pulse will be able to forward their Smart Alerts to ADT, offering an extra layer of security.”

Later this year, ADT will offer new Echo devices directly to new and existing customers, assisting with product set-up and additional support for those who purchase the device through ADT. Additionally, ADT and Amazon are working together to provide offers and promotions to Amazon customers for ADT services and solutions, creating eCommerce opportunities for ADT while enabling customers to have enhanced home security options nationwide.

 

SSN seeks nominations for great Women in Security

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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. 

Parks looks at IP camera sales, DIY’s impact

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An estimated 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889 million in revenues, according to research from Parks Associates entitled Smart Product Market Assessment: Networked Cameras.

“Networked cameras have experienced a positive growth rate over the last year—2018 is expected to witness a roughly 11 percent increase in unit sales from the year prior,” Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates, told Security Systems News. “Overall, the broadband household penetration rate is estimated at 9 percent in 2017 and is expected to nearly triple by 2023. Furthermore, the CAGR rate for all-in-one camera purchases from 2018 to 2023 is about 19 percent.”

Abdelrazik noted that advances in image recognition and ease of self-installation, combined with a strong user experience, “are driving increased adoption, with retail channels (online and in-store) starting to dominate sales,” she said. “IP cameras are key security-related devices and provide peace of mind to consumers. As such, these devices are consistently among the most popular smart home devices.”

While retail channels dominate (approximately two-thirds) in terms of channel purchase locations for consumers, security dealers were the next option, followed closely by “broadband service provider” and “direct from manufacturer.”

According to Parks’ findings, DIY cameras represent the majority of sales as these products are improving consumer experiences for installation, setup and usage. The good news for security dealers is that consumers still value recommendations and setup assistance, as 7 out of 10 consumers planning to buy a networked/IP camera would consider recommendations from an insurance or security company to be “important or very important,” according to Parks.

“Standalone IP cameras, video doorbells, and all-in-one cameras all provide an added layer of security for the home alongside security systems,” said Abdelrazik. “Security dealers have an opportunity to offer these products during their sales or installation processes to educate the consumer on the value of the device, as well as enhance the overall utility of the security system.”

She continued, “The attachment rate of video cameras and home control products to new security systems continues to climb, as does the incremental RMR from video services. Video provides unique value to consumers. Once consumers have the ability to check in to see a live view of their home from anywhere in the world, it is hard to give up that experience.”

Parks’ market assessment notes that voice integration and the development of AI as it relates to image and sound recognition will drive the next generation of networked cameras. For example, more than 80 percent of consumers who own or plan to buy a networked camera consider image or sound recognition abilities to identify safety and security events (like glass breaking or a person falling) to be appealing or very appealing, Parks found.

Looking forward, Abdelrazik said AI and the integration of voice control “will help drive further engagement with consumers, which will continue to drive positive consumer experiences. While consumer privacy concerns do exist with networked/IP cameras, we project double-digit growth for the IP camera market, as consumer familiarity rises, price points continue to drop, and millennials buy homes, acquire pets, and begin having families.”

Year of the acquisition continues

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

This week Security Systems News reported on the sixth acquisition this year for both Convergint Technologies and ADS Security, two companies that have been very active this year on the M&A front, representing a continuing trend in this “year of the acquisition.”

It turns out that the M&A landscape overall is very strong and will continue to offer opportunities for companies looking to acquire and for companies looking to be acquired, according to Imperial Capital.

During his keynote presentation, Finance and the Future for Cloud and Security, at the Cloud+ conference (more coverage on this to come), Sept. 5-6, 2018, in Delray Beach, Fla., Rick Juarez, managing director, Imperial Capital, provided a rosy M&A picture for the industry today and moving forward.

He noted in his presentation that the security M&A market remains steady across all three major subsectors—physical security, identity solutions and information security—with strong activity seen in 2017 and YTD 2018.

“In terms of the overall health of the M&A market, if you are a young company looking to get acquired, or if you are a more mature company, the good news is that there is still a demand out there,” he explained, pointing to a slide showing 2018 ahead of the past five years in terms of M&A activity. “Going into the second quarter of this year, it is one of the strongest years for M&A, so I think that if you have a good solution, it is a good time to really explore an out, as it is not always going to remain like this.”

As is the case with companies like ADS and Convergint, acquisitions have helped the companies bring on more talent, increase capabilities and expand service capabilities and reach, while helping to grow the overall bottom line.

Convergint, for example, has strategically grown its service footprint across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific through strong organic growth and the completion of 20 acquisitions since early 2016.

In terms of overall growth, Convergint's CEO Ken Lochiatto told SSN that Convergint will finish the year with strong organic growth in the mid-teens percentage-wise. “And if you take that along with the acquisition activity, we should be north of a billion dollars by year’s end, which is very exciting when you consider that we finished last year at $840 million.”
 

ABCO Security announces rebrand

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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.

Global Security Exchange adds to keynote lineup

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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.

ADT announces senior leadership succession plan

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced today that Jim DeVries, currently president of ADT, will be promoted to chief executive officer to succeed Tim Whall, who will be retiring on Nov. 30, 2018 after a decades-long career in the security industry.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this talented team as we continue to drive operational excellence with the customer as our true north,” Jim DeVries said in the announcement. “Together, we will execute our strategies to innovate the customer experience, enhance our service capabilities, and deliver value for all stakeholders. ADT, including our dealer partners, has an exciting future ahead and I am energized by the opportunity to further establish the Company as an innovative leader. I look forward to working closely with Tim to ensure a seamless transition.”

DeVries will be appointed to the company’s board of directors following the transition, and Whall will remain on the company’s board and serve as an advisor to the Company.

“The Company has strengthened its core operations and is successfully executing on its strategy, and both the Board and I believe that now is the right time to initiate this transition of leadership responsibilities,” Whall said in the announcement. “Jim DeVries has led many of the Company’s recent operational and strategic improvements as Chief Operating Officer and President, making him well-positioned to succeed me as Chief Executive Officer. Today the fundamentals of our business are strong and I am confident that under the leadership of Jim and the current management team, ADT will continue to perform and deliver on its long-term growth plans.”

“As President, Jim has demonstrated his deep understanding of the dynamics of our business and what it takes to win in the marketplace,” Marc Becker, chairman of the ADT board of directors stated in a prepared statement. “Leveraging his strengths, including developing strategic partnerships, Jim is well suited to lead the Company’s efforts to drive innovation, expand market share and create shareholder value. The Board expects the transition to be seamless and efficient, and with a world-class leadership team in place we will continue to build on our efforts to grow the business in a disciplined manner.”

He continued, “On behalf of the Board and the Company, I want to thank Tim for his many contributions to ADT. Tim is a thirty-year pioneer in the security alarm sector, and over the past two years, has led the effective transformation of ADT operationally and allowed the Company to deliver an enhanced customer experience through faster service delivery and higher quality customer care, while reducing costs and customer attrition. Through this laser focus on customer service and retention, as well as a more disciplined and robust customer acquisition strategy, Tim and the ADT team have positioned the business for continued strength and value creation.”

DeVries, who joined ADT as chief operating officer in May 2016, has served as President since September 2017. Prior to joining ADT, he held senior leadership roles at leading companies in the insurance, financial services and telecommunications industries, including most recently as executive vice president for Allstate Brand Operations.
 

Securing New Ground names keynotes

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the keynote speakers for its annual executive conference, Securing New Ground (SNG), where more than 250 senior-level industry leaders and financial partners will gather at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, Oct. 25-26.

Jerome Pickett, senior vice president and chief security officer at the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Valerie Thomas, executive information security consultant for Securicon, will give remarks at the event, which brings together industry leaders and key players for two days of information sharing, networking and business analysis.

Thomas, also an ethical hacker and author, will speak at 11:15 a.m. on day 1 of the conference about securing the future of physical security, and Pickett’s remarks at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon will share global lessons from the NBA’s security program, how he’s handling disruptive technologies and using intelligent security solutions to prepare for threats and more.

“Each year, SNG attendees get to dive deep into the security trends that matter to them, and this conference helps them clarify business strategies and drive their business forward,” Don Erickson, SIA’s CEO, said in the announcement. “We are excited to welcome Jerome Pickett and Valerie Thomas to SNG 2018, where attendees will gain top insights from these distinguished security leaders.”

In addition to the keynote addresses, SNG 2018 will feature many engaging discussions and events, including:

•    The View from the Top: Challenges for Today’s Security Industry Leaders
•    Harnessing Cyber-Physical Security Technologies
•    Securing the Future Generation of Security
•    The Smart City of the Future Will Be Conscious
•    Investment Insights: Perspectives from Wall Street and Private Equity

Click here for more.
 

SSN features leaders

 - 
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.

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