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CSAA releases info on 2016 meeting

 - 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

CSAA released a preliminary schedule for its 2016 annual meeting, to be held at the Marriot Resort on Marco Island, Fla., Oct. 22-26. Educational sessions will be held from Oct. 24-26.

CSAA wrote in its blog that long-time attendees will notices some changes. “The CSAA Board of Directors Meeting will be held on the first morning of the Annual Meeting, Saturday, October 22, with the Board/AHJ dinner that evening. CSAA committees will meet the morning of Sunday, October 23. The opening reception will take place Sunday evening,” the association wrote.

Each day of educational session has a theme: the theme for Monday, Oct. 24, is business management, for Tuesday it’s performance management, and for the final educational day—Wednesday, Oct. 26—it’s technology. CSAA said it will cover important topics for monitoring centers, including “workforce development, executive management, technology updates, and telecomm issues.”

You can view the full preliminary schedule here, which is subject to change. Housing information and registration coming soon.

Byerly on benefits of becoming Securitas

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Diebold Securitas deal, announced in October, closed on Monday.

Tony Byerly, former EVP of Diebold Electronic Security, has been tapped to lead the newly named Securitas Electronic Security.

In a statement, Byerly touted the benefits of being part of an $8 billion global security services provider, saying the new parent company brings “scale, stability, focus and resources necessary for us to grow, innovate and reach even higher customer satisfaction and performance levels in the years to come.”

This deal is the latest example of a company combining electronic security services with guarding and other security services. We’ve seen this combination on a very large scale with G4S (which has a NOC and acquired the former Adesta systems integrator business.) And we’ve also seen a number of guard companies and integrators partner in recent years.   

In his statement, Byerly said Securitas customers can benefit “from on-site security officers to mobile guarding to remote guarding to alarm monitoring and systems integration, as well as other electronic security solutions.”

 

TechSec daily updates

 - 
Monday, February 1, 2016

Day 2

The second—and final—day went really well down here in Delray Beach. The first session of the day was Ross Bourgeios, Assistant Chief of Public Safety, Mercedes-Benz Superdome/Smoothie King Center/Champion Square—all of the buildings on the Superdome campus. Bourgeios said he has "One of the coolest jobs in America." From Super Bowls to concerts, he has to figure out the security needs. "The security threat for Tool is different from the security threat for Barry Manilow."

"Cybersecurity threatens the physical security stronghold" brought attendees to look at the ways in which cybersecurity and physical security interact. Physical protection has a real impact on cybersecurity, Hikvision sales engineer Joe Coe pointed out. "If somebody gets access to [your equipment], they can install things locally that give them the ability to take that over." 

Panelists Michael Campbell, president and CEO of MachineShop, Brian Lohse, director of sales, Secure-I, and moderator Steve Van Till, Brivo CEO, presented the final session of this year's conference: "Internet of things today and tomorrow." According to Lohse, the "real magic" happens when data gathered from multiple IoT sensors gets analyzed and interpreted into valuable information for the users.

Day 1

The first day started with a great keynote from Tony Cassell, global security director for Dropbox. He emphasized that trust is key when building out a company’s security. At Dropbox, he was told he could pick and choose the technology. To instill trust, he made the process transparent, detailing why certain technologies could be good for the company’s growth, or exactly why they needed to be changed out for better ones.  

“Biometrics: Battle of the body parts” four distinct perspectives of biometric technology were presented: fingerprint, hand geometry, facial recognition, and iris scan, each represented by a manufacturer specializing in the technology. A panel of four SSN “20 under 40” winners, Class of 2015, crowned iris scan the winner. Though, an attendee poll indicated a favor toward facial recognition as the most prominent biometric in the future.

Matthew Slatoff, VP of global security and content protection, for Marvel Studios presented on what it takes to protect a big-budget movie. Sometimes this requires badging and CCTV—traditional security measures. But, when it comes to content protection, you might have to get more creative—like using large umbrellas or parking a big bus in the way to block paparazzi.

In “healthy and wise?” Ashley Ditta, from Brigham & Women's Faulkner Hospital and Christopher C. Moore, of Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth, Mass., talked about the specific challenges in securing a hospital. Ralph Nerette, director of security and emergency management for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, served as the moderator. Ashley brought up a tactic: following a specific technician regardless of company because they are the one who knows the building and its safety protocols.

Five of Security Systems News’ “20 under 40” winners, Class of 2015, talked about trends in the industry in “Next Gen integrators and end users face off.” A couple of the panelists said that relationships with manufacturers can help security companies and end users plan for the future by hearing about upcoming products.

The day wrapped up with the “20 under 40” reception. SSN was pleased to hand out awards to the 17 honorees who came to this year’s conference.

Monday, before the conference

I've made it down to Delray Beach, Fla., for this year's TechSec Solutions conference. To find out what's happening at the show, check back here for more information. 

Central Station information at TechSec

 - 
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TechSec Solutions is coming up next week in Delray Beach, Fla., Feb. 2-3, and there will be topics of interest for monitoring stations.

One session that affects all companies in the industry looks at cybersecurity, and how it threatens the physical security world. Joe Coe, sales engineer with Hikvision; Rodney Thayer, a consultant with Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew and Splinge; and Chris Pechkam will take the stage to talk about new vulnerabilities that arise from more internet connectivity.

In the “Next Gen integrators and end users face off” panel, five of SSN’s “20 under 40”—three integrators and two end users—will approach the outlook for new technology in physical security. I’m sure Josh Long of Diebold Security will bring in a good monitoring perspective on the future of the industry.

I’ve heard more than a few central stations talking about monitoring connected devices. “Internet of Things, today and tomorrow” will take a look at how prevalent the IoT has become in recent years.

Find out more about the show by clicking here. Hope to see you down there next week.  

Erin go bragh: The JCI/Tyco megamerger

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

After spending the past 10 years divesting itself of non-core businesses, Tyco is now going to become part of a much larger company. And, after being a Milwaukee company since 1885, Johnson Controls will now have its official domicile, with Tyco, in Cork, Ireland. Here's a video interview I did with Mark Van Dover of Tyco Integrated Security about being a standalone company.

Tyco and Johnson Controls announced Monday that they would merge. We don’t generally see deals this big in the security industry. I don’t usually hear news about security deals on Marketplace when I’m driving home from work, or read presidential candidates’ remarks on security deals.  

Of course neither Kai Ryssdal nor Hillary Clinton were talking about how JCI and Tyco will merge branch offices or how the combined company will nurture relationships with security integrators, they were talking about the tax-driven nature of the deal.

In moving its headquarters, or at least its tax base, to Ireland, Johnson Controls will save $150 million in taxes it would normally have to pay the U.S. Government. Tyco is experienced with domiciling outside of the U.S. having lived in Bermuda and Switzerland previously.

Tyco CEO George Oliver and JCI CEO Alex Molinaroli said they expect an additional $500 million in "synergies" in the next three years. They expect $150 million in savings in corporate reductions--within the next two years, and within the next three years $350 million in savings as the result of business and operational improvement. 

People I talked to about these projections believe JCI and Tyco are good companies that are capable of reaching that $350 million in savings, but they say it could take longer than three years. 

Once the savings are realized, the new company's challenge will be growth. Both Tyco and JCI have had trouble growing in the past three years. Will the combined company present the security industry with a better integrator? Will the combined company, on the product side, be good at nurturing relationships with integrators?  

During the Monday investors call, Oliver and Molinaroli spoke a lot about the opportunity the combined company has to "provide building products, services and technology that can serve customers' needs holistically."  Molinaroli said the integration at the branch level will not be that complex. JCI is experienced with this kind of consolidation, having done the same when it acquired York, an HVAC company it acquired in 2005. Molinaroli said he was speaking "as someone who came from the branches."

Oliver pointed out complementary capabilities and geographies. One company has a big presence in Asia and the other in Europe, and both have a big presence in North America. 

Oliver said the combined company gives "us a big leadership position in the new market being developed in smart buildings." He added "we see our industry transforming" and the "real opportunity is [with] the Internet of Things and the smart building."

Here's a story from April 2014 when I visited Tyco's Global Center of Excellence in Birmingham, Ala.

I interviewed Oliver, Van Dover and Renae Leary, Tyco VP global accounts. During that visit, Oliver talked about the importance of connected systems and the information that can be derived from those systems. “Integration capability is fundamental to our success,” he said.

A little more from that interview:

Tyco’s enterprise-level security systems include intrusion, access control, video management, fire systems and integrated systems, but the new center will enable Tyco to tie more building systems into solutions for its global customers, he said.

One immediate opportunity is fire. According to Leary, an estimated 20 percent of Tyco’s current global enterprise customers use Tyco for fire as well as security. Tyco aims to get its existing global enterprise customers to all use Tyco for fire. She predicted that the number will increase incrementally as current customers upgrade existing fire systems and/or add new facilities, and as new customers come on board.

While many global customers are still working on integrating access and video, many are starting to want to integrate fire, identity management and PSIM. “Customers are starting to try some of these things,” Leary said. “It’s picking up steam [through] trials and pilot programs.”

The ultimate goal is to have all systems integrated on a single platform for these customers and to provide business intelligence, systems and solutions “to better manage data in real time and act on data immediately,” Leary said.

Leary said that the company’s “core commercial business is still a huge focus for us.” Oliver added that "the new Tyco" is designed to "serve [commercial] customers top to bottom; [we're] very competitive at all levels."

In addition to integrating systems together, adding new technology will also be important to Tyco’s growth and ability to serve businesses large and small, Oliver said.

 

Monitronics prefers Alarm.com

 - 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Alarm.com will continue to be the preferred supplier of smart home technology for Monitronics and its dealers, Alarm.com announced today.

“We are committed to giving our customers and dealers the best technology options available and our renewed partnership with Alarm.com positions us to continue to capitalize on the rapidly growing smart home and home automation services category,” Bruce Mungiguerra, SVP of Operations for Monitronics, said in a prepared statement.

“Alarm.com’s partner services are also key to efficiently supporting and managing accounts across our dealer programs, and help deliver the exceptional customer experience that is so important to our business,” Mungiguerra said in the release.

Alarm.com’s Partner Services Platform offers customer acquisition programs, streamlined installation apps, remote troubleshooting and support capability, and business advice.

Steve Trundle, Alarm.com’s president and CEO, said in the statement, “We place great value on our long-term strategic partnership with Monitronics and we are excited to reaffirm our commitment going forward so that we can each provide great services to the leading independent security dealers in North America.”

PSA has new cybersecurity advisory board

 - 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

PSA Security Network, which has been out ahead on the cybersecurity front, has assembled a Cybersecurity Advisory Committee tasked with leading PSA's cyber program "by offering expertise, resources and services to the PSA community."

The "cyber-savvy" group includes people from "a variety of practice areas including physical security manufacturers, integrators, security consultants and engineers, cybersecurity experts and cyber law,"  Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, said in a statement.

Andrew Lanning, committee chairman, co-founder, Integrated Security Technologies; Paul Cronin, SVP, Atrion Networking; Salvatore D’Agostino, founder and CEO, IDmachines; Dan Dunkel,VP-strategic partners, Eagle Eye Networks; Wayne Smith, president, Tech Systems; Rodney Thayer, security consultant, Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew and Plinge; Darnell Washington, president/CEO, SecureXperts; David Willson, attorney; Bill Bozeman, president and CEO, PSA Security Network.

2G sunset opens doors to resi acquisitions

 - 
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Now that it is the New Year—2016—it is also the year of the 2G sunset, with the effective end date for 2G signals being Dec. 31 this year. A lot of people have been talking about it, such as how to prepare for it, how to approach mass radio conversions and when dealers need to start. Lately, I’ve heard that the 2G sunset will play a role in the 2016 acquisition market.

Specifically, I’ve heard that dealers that have not completed, or perhaps haven’t started, their 2G conversions may find it easier to sell their accounts to a company that can and is willing to take on the project.

Last week, I heard from John Loud, president of LOUD Security, that the conversion might play a role in 2016 acquisitions for the company.

This week, Doug Smith, president of the commercially focused business Redwire, shared a similar sentiment—that there could be opportunities to buy resi accounts as a result of the 2G sunset.

At Honeywell’s 2015 CONNECT, there was a discussion on how dealers should get started on 2G conversions. A recurrent point was that all alarm companies should have started by now, especially as some areas have already lost 2G signals.

One speaker at CONNECT, Spencer Smith of APS, said that his company hired additional staff—a technician and a coordinator—to focus solely on the conversion.

'Poison pill' at Avigilon

 - 
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Video surveillance company Avigilon on Tuesday adopted a "shareholder rights" plan, an anti-takeover measure that's sometimes called a "poison pill." The plan has been accepted by the Toronto Stock Exchange, but it needs to be approved by shareholders within six months. Avigilon plans to present the plan at is 2016 annual meeting.

Avigilon said it "is not aware of any proposed take-over bid at this time."

We've seen some major video surveillance acquisitions recently with Axis and Milestone being acquired by Canon, and recently, FLIR buying DVTEL.

One can see how Avigilon may be attracting attention from a larger entity looking to get into physical security. Avigilon has well-regarded video and access control technology, including the former VideoIQ portfolio. It owns a lot of video analytics IP, and I hear it has very good relationships with integrators. Plus its stock is down considerably. Yesterday its stock closed at $12.90; Avigilon's 52-week range is $11.20 to $25.62.

It's also had a lot of movement internally with managers. Here's a blog I wrote about that.

Under Avigilon's proposed shareholder rights plan, one "right" will be issued for each Avigilon common share. The rights can only be exercised if an aquirer announces an intention to acquire shares that would take their holding to "at least 20 percent of Avigilon's outstanding share capital." The rights would allow shareholders, "other than the acquirer, to purchase additional shares at a substantial discount." A "permitted take-over bid" would not trigger the rights plan. 

 

Rapid hires

 - 
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rapid Response Monitoring is holding a hiring event at the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse, N.Y. Rapid Response held a similar event about 12 months ago.

Christopher Denniston told Security Systems News that last year’s event was “a very big success, so we’re doing the same thing again this year.”

“We’re working on expanding the Rapid team on both coasts,” Denniston said. The company is looking to have a similar event close to its Corona, Calif., facility, he said, but hasn’t finalized the event yet.

Denniston talked about the company’s goals for this event. “We’re looking to fill over 70 positions immediately, and then once the expansion is completed, that’ll bring that total to over 100,” Denniston said. The company is working on expanding its Syracuse headquarters from 40,000 to 75,000 square-feet this year.

“The 70 openings are primarily newly created positions, but some will fill roles vacated through internal career growth,” he said.

2015 was a good year for the company, Denniston said; Rapid Response “added some significant international business [last] year.”

How much international business did Rapid Response do previously? “We provided monitoring for a few dealers in the Caribbean on a smaller scale, but we’ve expanded that. … Today, we are monitoring for dealers in Bermuda and Cayman.”

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