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Got something to say? SIA says 'Say it here.'

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Friday, September 11, 2009
Following on the heels of CSAA's call for industry commentary on their pending standards, SIA has sent a call for commentary out to you, the security industry. SIA has released for public review a revised control panel standard that is intended to reduce false alarms. The standard under review, "ANSI/SIA CP-01-2007 Control Panel Standard - Features for False Alarm Reduction," details the recommended design features and settings for security system control panels and associated arming and disarming devices. SIA is asking members of the industry to chime in and comment before the revision is accepted by ANSI. The comment period ends Oct. 19. Some significant changes in the new version include the elimination of single button devices to initiate panic alarms, exceptions for the specified time ranges of the entry and dialer delay times, expanded range for swinger shutdown programming and more specific product documentation requirements. You can direct your comments to Joe Gittens, SIA's standards manager.

Code of ethics has legs

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Friday, September 11, 2009
I just heard yesterday that ApxAlarm wants a "seat at the table" —that's ADT chief legal counsel David Bleisch's table—as the so-called Door-knocking Code of Ethics is put together. And today, I saw a press release from Platinum Protection that they're onboard as well. Jeremy Pixton, owner of Platinum Protection, a summer-model company based in Utah, had already told me as much, but now they're officially putting the word out: Platinum's release last night says that they're working with multiple industry organizations on a door-knocking code of ethics. Click here to see the release.

Awards are everywhere: Who cares?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'm a little out straight putting out our October issue (not that you care), so I wanted to point those of you who don't go there regularly to John Honovich's post on industry awards. It's great stuff. I would only change the title to be, "Awards benefit manufacturers, not end users or integrators, and maybe no one." His point is that the awards are mostly granted with amorphous and undefined criteria, there's no rigid testing, and it's usually pay to play. Therefore, what good are they? They're just marketing tools for manufacturers. I agree with all of that. We don't do awards here at SSN for that very reason - we don't have the staffing to do them properly. However, I think you can make the argument that the awards don't benefit the manufacturers either, because no one really puts in any stock in them. So while manufacturers waste time and energy garnering awards and promoting their awards, no one really cares and most of that effort is for naught. Maybe there are integrators out there who think to themselves, "Gosh, I've never heard of BRS Labs, but they just won an award from ASIS, so I better pay attention." Maybe not. It's true that I often link to awards results and say something snarky and that does get them some recognition they wouldn't otherwise have gotten, and the other publications often make a big to-do out of their own awards, which garners recognition, so I shouldn't say they're value-less for manufacturers, but the whole rigamarole just seems so pointless. Why don't organizations like ASIS promote awards for their members? A security director of the year award would highlight one of their members and provide yet another benefit for the dues. The winning member would get a line item for the resume and the other members would learn about her/his ideas for best practices in the award write-up, and maybe steal a few things. Maybe they do that and they just don't put press releases out about it. At least those Sammys are given out to integrators and installers, and there are tricks of the trade to be stolen from the write-ups.

NBFAA to go away. ESA is new name

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Thursday, September 10, 2009
The NBFAA announced yesterday evening that members voted to change the 61-year-old association's name to the Electronic Security Association. The press release said 79 percent of voters wanted to change the name. The 79 percent is well over the two-thirds majority necessary for a name change. The actual number of ballots cast was not included in the release. I'll be calling the NBFAA later this morning when the Texas work day starts. The impetus for changing the name was to more accurately reflect the work that members do, something NBFAA officials believe will help the association in lobbying efforts, working with AHJs, and expanding membership. This is the second time that the NBFAA membership has voted on changing its name. In the winter of 2006, the membership said an unequivocal no on changing the name to ELSSA, the Electronic Life Safety Security Association. Personally, I have to agree that ESA sounds better than ELSSA. ELSSA sounds like a cow's name; ESA, on the other hand, sounds, like we say in Maine, wicked good. Here's the release:
Irving, TX, September 9, 2009 - Results from the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) name change vote were announced today. Of the ballots cast, 79% voted in favor of changing the name to the Electronic Security Association (ESA). The by-laws require a 66% margin to pass. This decision didn’t come lightly to the association. “There were many hours of discussion and reflection, before the NBFAA Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and its Board of Directors voted to recommend an update of the association brand name to the membership,” said Michael A. Miller, ESA President. “Strategically, we feel that this name change will strengthen our association and allow us to connect with a broader membership demographic.” Additionally, the proposed name and composite brand: More accurately represents the services that the members and prospective members provide. Puts the association in a position to make their strongest case to the public and authorities. Strengthens the cause with federal and state legislators as lobbying efforts are increased. Puts the association in position to grow their membership and widen their influence. “The mission of the association, to promote, protect and to serve the members and their businesses, will remain the same,” said Dave Simon. “We’ve just updated our name to more accurately reflect all of the technologies in which our members are actively engaged. We will always respect our heritage and we have confidence that this history making move will have a powerful, positive impact on our members and the industry that we represent.” The Electronic Security Association wants its members to know that the change-over will take place throughout the next several weeks. “Changing the logo, the brand, the look and the feel will be a work in progress,” said Merlin J. Guilbeau, ESA Executive Director. “Stay tuned for a new, fresh, relevant and updated identity for your sixty-one year old association.”

Apx donates $10,000 to school

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009
[caption id="attachment_2231" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Banner from the Sept. 2 event"]Banner from the Sept. 2 event[/caption] File this under nice back-to-school news: As part of the APX Alarm's Family Foundation campaign, the summer model giant donated $10,000 to Sunset View Elementary School in Provo, Utah. The funds will be used for education programs at the school this year. Stuart Dean told me that Apx is partnering with the local elementary school in other ways as well. "Our employees are involved with tutoring and mentoring programs with the students," he said. Apx formally awarded the $10,000 to the school at a Sept. 2 student assembly celebrating the school’s 50 year anniversary.

You asked for it: BICSI/ASIS overlap

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My attention was drawn by a commenter to the fact that the BICSI show and the ASIS show overlap later this month, much the way PSA and ESX will next year. The question: Does this matter? First, a note on BICSI, for those of you unfamiliar.
BICSI is a professional association supporting the information transport systems (ITS) industry. ITS covers the spectrum of voice, data, electronic safety & security, and audio & video technologies. It encompasses the design, integration and installation of pathways, spaces, fiber- and copper-based distribution systems, wireless-based systems and infrastructure that supports the transportation of information and associated signaling between and among communications and information gathering devices. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA, BICSI membership spans nearly 90 countries.
It's kind of strange to me that there's an entire organization and expo revolving around data transfer. Aren't all of these people parts of other industries? Is there really a common mission that crosses industries in cabling? I guess there is. They list security prominently among its members duties, so is it weird that they're holding their big event in Las Vegas at the same time ASIS is holding their big event in Anaheim? Probably not. The attendees at ASIS are theoretically end users, while the attendees at BICSI are integrators and installers. Although integrators might be exhibitors at ASIS, the vast majority of them aren't big enough to exhibit there, and the big ones are probably going to send sales guys to ASIS and techs to BICSI. As for the vendors, the overlap is just nine (thanks again, Cath!): Anixter IDEAL Industries Keyscan Lockdown Solutions NVT Panasonic Tyco UL ADI is also at BICSI, and not at ASIS, but that makes sense. They don't really have an end user play. The size isn't really comparable, either. BICSI has 107 exhibitors; ASIS has 751 (listed - we'll see how many show up). So, with 872 total exhibitors, there is nine overlap: just over one percent. With PSA/ESX, you've got 242 total booths and 17 overlap: that's just over seven percent. Make of all that what you will. It was an interesting exercise, anyway.

Get your voice heard and help shape the future of the industry

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I got my most recent edition of CSAA's Signals today. The first item is a call for commentary on CSAA's standards and draft standards. The review period is going on now, so stop on by and voice your opinion. The CSAA Standards Committee and its chair, Lou Fiore, announced the opening of a public comment phase for four CSAA standards and draft standards. Two of these standards are already ANSI standards but are being updated. The first is CSAA_CS_V_01_2004, Alarm Notification and Verification Procedures. This will be the second public comment period for the rewrite of this standard. A current draft is available online here. Please forward us any comments or questions, using this form. Be sure to sign the form and submit it to Celia Besore. The second is CSAA-CS-CO-01-2008, Carbon Monoxide Alarm Supervising Station Response. A copy of the standard is available online here. Please forward any comments or questions to CSAA using this form. Be sure to sign the form and submit it to Celia Besore. Two draft standards are again open for public comments. The first is CSAA-CS-V-02-200x, Video Verification Procedures for Burglar Alarms. The current draft is available online here . Please forward CSAA any comments or questions using this form. Be sure to sign the form and submit it here. The second draft is CSAA-CS-AUD-01-200x, Audio Verification Procedures for Burglar Alarms. The current draft is available online here. Please forward CSAA any comments or questions using this form. Be sure to sign the form and submit it to Celia Besore. The public comment period will end on October 26, 2009.

PSA-TEC/ESX overlap

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Okay, as promised, I have the exhibitors who were at both PSA-TEC and ESX last year (thanks to the efforts of publisher's assistant Cath Daggett - you didn't think I knew how to use Excel, did you?). It's not as big a list as I would have thought, actually. Just 17 companies: Aiphone Altronix Axis Bosch Brivo ComNet GE Security GEM Electronics Honeywell Minuteman NVT OnSSI Panasonic Pegasus Rainbow CCTV ScanSource Sedona Office For some of those companies (Honeywell, Panasonic), being in both places might not be a problem. For others of those companies (Pegasus, Rainbow), it might be more difficult. Whether there's really a conflict there is hard to say. But, between them, they only totaled 242 booths in 2009, and both would like to grow. That's where the conflict might come in. Normally, each other's exhibitor list might be a good lead sheet. This year, maybe you may be asking exhibitors to choose, which could lead to bad blood between organizations in the CSAA, NBFAA, and PSA that have always played nicely as far as I know.

This has the makings of a cage match

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009
So, on Friday afternoon (surprisingly, a big time for news in security) I got the press release regarding the dates and location for PSA-TEC 2010. Mostly, though, I focused on the location, since the former location, the Pheasant Run, where I've had the pleasure of attending PSA-TEC the last three years, is, let's say, less than modern (actually, on the web site, they make it look pretty good - I guess it's not terrible or anything, just really brown). Also, it's like an hour from O'Hare and you have to rent a car to get there, etc. So, boy was I pleased to see this news:
PSA Security Network announced today that PSA-TEC 2010 will be held at The Rosemont Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on June 14 – 18, 2010. The Rosemont Convention Center is conveniently located just five minutes from Chicago’s O'Hare Airport and will provide updated facilities in a single building to host education, networking, and trade show events, as well as provide available space for PSA-TEC to grow.
I mean, really: Huzzah! Seriously, check it out. But then my attention was drawn more closely to those dates. Haven't I seen those dates before? Well, yes I have: They are the dates of ESX 2010, in the lovely city of Pittsburgh! (And I don't use exclamation points loosely.) It seems like that would create a little competition, no? The attendees might be somewhat disparate, as ESX tends to attract those companies with central stations and more residentially focused firms, while PSA members tend to be commercially focused systems integrators, but what about the vendors who support both of those conferences? Where is Pelco going to send its RV? Will companies be able to exhibit in both places? Will vendors be able to offer training in both places? Will industry publications like ours be able to cover both events? It's a conundrum in these offices, for sure. Those are two of our favorite events of the year, with both offering huge swaths of content for our readers. So, where will people go? I'm hoping it's settled via cage match, much like this classic from 1983 where Jimmy "Supafly" Snuka lost to the unheralded Bob Backlund when he attempted a jump from the top of the cage in Madison Square Garden. Watch the below, and imagine the two combatants are Bill Bozeman and Mike Miller. Who would you put your money on?

Brink's: Back in the game

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Friday, September 4, 2009
It's late on a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, but didn't want this to wait. It looks like the Brink's Company isn't ready to give up on integrated security systems, and may even be preparing to compete in the very commercial security sector that its spin-off, Broadview, has been ramping up efforts to attack. Today, Brink's announced the acquisition of a majority stake in ICD, a commercial integrator with 200 employees and offices throughout Asia, for $12 million. The press release doesn't mention U.S. offices, but I believe it's the same ICD that I wrote about early last year:
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla.—ICD Security Solutions, a security systems integrator with headquarters in Beijing, opened its first U.S. offices here in September. It is the fifth country in which the company has established operations, joining China, India, Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
Sounds pretty similar to the company Brink's just bought:
ICD designs, installs, maintains and manages high-quality commercial security systems. With principal operations in China, ICD also has offices in Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Australia.
But a little different... I'll try to figure it all out. It's kind of conspicuous that there isn't one of those "About ICD" paragraphs for a web site listed for the company on the press release that Brink's put out. I'm pretty sure it's this ICD, and here is the U.S. sales office (seems like they moved to West Palm). But why wouldn't Brink's mention the U.S. presence? I guess it's just a small part of the company, but the company only does $12 million in revenue, so it's not like any one office is huge for them. Maybe they don't want to be too overt about the fact they'll be competing with Broadview? Regardless, it's clear Brink's liked the electronic security market all along and the big question now is how heavily they get back in.

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