Subscribe to

Blogs

Alexa for Business?

 - 
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

No one can refute the impact that Amazon’s Echo device has had in the home—if I had a nickel for every time someone yelled out the name Alexa in the home, I would be on a warm beach somewhere instead of trying to keep the cold drafts at bay in my office here is chilly Maine. But I digress.

With the success that Amazon has had with Alexa in the home, it is not surprising to see the company try to move into the office with the introduction of Alexa for Business, which was announced earlier this month at the AWS Re:Invent event.

As much as this raises interesting questions about possible uses within the office—in addition to the way these devices interact with other IoT devices in the office—it also raises many questions in regard to the place for voice assistants and voice assistant devices outside of the home.

In the home, Parks Associates estimates that nearly 50 percent of U.S. broadband households use a personal assistant through an application or dedicated device. And currently 10 percent of U.S. broadband households own a smart speaker with a personal assistant, such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Parks Associates recently released a new whitepaper, Enabling Voice in the Smart Home, with research showing 49 percent of U.S. broadband households use a personal assistant through an app or dedicated device, which is a key use case for a voice-based user experience. The whitepaper, sponsored by the ULE Alliance, examines the influence of the voice-first interface on the adoption of connected products and presents market strategies for long-term success in the voice technology market.

“Collectively, companies are competing to stay in the race for dominance in the voice-first market,” Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates, said in a prepared statement. “Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung continue to announce new product enhancements in order to stay ahead of the demand for voice technologies. As the voice-first landscape expands, we will see voice capabilities embedded into a variety of devices, from appliances to thermostats to lighting. Voice alleviates complexity in the user experience for these products, and as a result, voice will serve as a prime differentiator in the user experience for the smart home.”

But will this same battle for the smart home play out in the business world as well? That is a question that only time will answer, but Amazon is hoping that the demand at home will influence and drive the demand outside the home, as consumers come to expect the same kind of convenience and seamless experience in the office.

Amazon offered up some interesting use cases at the launch of Alexa for Business, such as having Alexa make calls, send messages, record important meetings and control thermostats, lighting, and other IoT-enabled devices around the office, for example, but what role will voice play in the overall smart building ecosystem that we are moving toward as an industry right now? This is a question that is loaded with other concerns, such as privacy and cybersecurity, to name just a few.

What do you think the role of the voice in the office will be and how far are we from hearing Alexa called out incessantly in the office as well?

ASIS changes conference name to Global Security Exchange

 - 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

ASIS International announced this week that it has changed the name of its annual security conference from the ASIS Annual Seminar and Exhibits to the Global Security Exchange (GSX). Building on its 60-plus year legacy as a premier security event, the newly branded GSX will take place in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 23-27, 2018, in partnership with InfraGard and ISSA.

"In what will be our 64th year of delivering the security industry's flagship event, the Global Security Exchange, or GSX for short, will build upon the change and reinvention introduced at ASIS 2017," Peter J. O'Neil, CAE, CEO, ASIS International, said in the annoucement. "This name reflects the Society's commitment to unite the full spectrum of security—cyber and operational security professionals from all verticals across the private and public sector, allied organizations and partners, and the industry's leading service and solution providers—for the most comprehensive security event in the world."

The education program, led by ASIS, InfraGard, and ISSA subject matter experts, will deliver an immersive and interactive learning environment for security professionals at all experience levels. The exhibit hall will be transformed into a learning lab environment, showcasing new and emerging products and technologies such as machine learning, robotics, forensic analysis, and artificial intelligence. In addition, the revitalized networking events will facilitate relationship building and the sharing of best practices with peers from across the globe.

"From the Internet of Everything and soft target attacks to data breaches and drones, the velocity of change and risks knows no boundaries," Thomas J. Langer, CPP, 2017 president, ASIS International, said in the announcement. "GSX fills the industry's need for a global event that brings together the entire security industry, to exchange ideas and lessons learned, keep informed of current and emerging risks, and gain exposure to the emerging technologies shaping society and our workplaces."

While the annual event's new name is debuting now, the full rebrand will launch at the 2018 ASIS International Leadership Conference, which will be held Jan. 16-19, in Arlington, Va.

SIA launches new robot-focused working group

 - 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Security Industry Association on Dec. 1 announced its new Autonomous Security Robots Working Group, appointing Mark McCourt as the group’s chair. McCourt talked with Security Systems News about the group’s formation and core focuses.

McCourt said that he’s been working on the group since September. “We thought about getting out in front of this topic by taking the robotics, the drone, the anti-drone [or] drone defense, underwater unmanned vehicles, that section of the market that serves security, and start early on what SIA’s platform should be to help grow this industry successfully as a partner.”

This would give robotics companies a more direct reason to be a part of SIA, getting a voice at the table with SIA’s various segments, such as its legislative, education and standards teams, McCourt added. The Autonomous Security Robots Working Group is a part of SIA’s existing Public Safety Interest Group. The working group is currently seeking input and participants.

“We want to create good communications around this topic that we can get out and talk to people about.”

The working group will be looking at a variety of relevant topics. “One of the things we want to do is hone in on the go-to-market strategy and the role of channel partners,” McCourt said.

Education for end users and security practitioners—to inform them of the benefits of robots within security—will be a goal of the working group. “It’s not all about job replacement and cost reduction,” McCourt said. There are other elements of productiveness, and allowing people who might have their jobs impacted by robots doing other tasks to add value to their organization

“Robotics technology, especially when powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, has the potential to reshape how we think about security,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said in a prepared statement. “The Autonomous Security Robots Working Group will help industry members and end users manage and leverage this change to greatly enhance the protection of people and property.”

McCourt currently works with Cobalt Robotics, helping the company with commercialization.

Reed announces Unmanned Security & Safety Expo

 - 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reed Exhibitions on Nov. 14 announced the launch of Unmanned Security & Safety Expo 2018, set to take place Nov. 14 & 15 in New York City, alongside next year’s ISC East show at the Javits Center. The launch is an expansion of the Unmanned Security segment at Reed Exhibitions’ ISC West event.

“The all-new event is focused on drones and robotics for commercial and government security and safety use-cases and drone detection/anti-drone solutions,” Reed said in its announcement.

“We’re excited to launch this cutting-edge event co-located with ISC East in New York in 2018,” Will Wise, ISC group vice president, said in a prepared statement. “Reed Exhibitions’ security portfolio strives to provide the industry with the latest products, technologies and education in security and safety. Unmanned Security & Safety Expo directly embraces an essential need in the industry for addressing the in-depth issues and opportunities of security and safety for UAVs and UGVs. In line with this launch and continued rapid expansion of unmanned security and safety coverage across our portfolio of events, we’re enthusiastic to also announce a collaboration with the Commercial Drone Alliance.”

In its announcement, Reed gave an overview of how drones have entered the space, after the FAA updated Part 107 of its guidelines in June 2016, which governs the commercial use of UAVs/drones. The changes reduced barriers for UAVs in commercial applications.  Increasing the adoption of drones for security.

“The launch of Unmanned Security & Safety Expo directly addresses this need in the marketplace,” Reed said, adding that 67 percent of ISC’s traditional audience is interested in evaluating unmanned technology products, and 75 percent of attendees are interested in learning more about ongoing FAA adaptions to UAV regulations and policies. The Unmanned Security & Safety Expo will include education sessions and product demos on the exhibit floor.

“Our Commercial Drone Alliance has been heavily focused on security concerns and the growth of the drone security market, and we’re thrilled to support the Unmanned Security & Safety Expo at ISC West & ISC East in 2018”, Gretchen West, co-executive director, Silicon Valley - Commercial Drone Alliance, said in a prepared statement. 

Attendees of the inaugural Unmanned Security & Safety Expo in New York will also have full access to the ISC East 2018, Reed announced. ISC East has a built-in audience of 4,500 security professionals, all of whom will also have access to Unmanned Security & Safety Expo. Both events are also supported by the Security Industry Association.

SIA applauds passage of Power and Security Systems Act

 - 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

President Donald Trump recently signed into law the Power and Security Systems (PASS) Act, P.L. 115-78, culminating a yearlong effort led by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to preserve an important provision in federal energy efficiency requirements critical to the operation of security and fire alarm systems.

"The PASS Act provides much-needed certainty to manufacturers, installers and service providers who are among thousands of Americans that work in the security industry … but ultimately it benefits the millions of American consumers that depend on such security and life safety systems." Jake Parker, SIA Director of Government Relations, said in the SIA announcement.

Drafted with assistance from SIA and in collaboration with the energy efficiency community, the PASS Act extends a policy exempting security and life safety external power supplies (EPS) from having to meet a "no-load mode" energy efficiency standard, since they must always be connected and in active mode by design and no efficiency gains would result.

The new law makes the exemption essentially permanent by removing the July 1, 2017 expiration date on the exemption and providing the U.S. Department of Energy with authority to retain the common-sense policy in any future updates to energy efficiency standards governing external power supplies.

SIA led a coalition of industry groups in working with Congress to secure the exemption in 2011, which included a "sunset provision"—a common way of ensuring a new policy set forth in legislation is reviewed by Congress before becoming more permanent.

Preserving this exemption was a key concern for security manufactures and systems integrators, according to SIA, noting, “Without it, product redesign and adjustments to manufacturing processes would needlessly increase the cost of the equipment by 200-300 percent according to industry estimates, affecting not just manufacturers but the entire value chain.”

Enactment of this important solution would not have been possible without the bipartisan leadership of the bill's sponsors Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), as well as Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Susan Brooks (R-Ind). Over the past two years, Gardner, Welch and Brooks have been recognized with SIA's Legislator of the Year award for their support of this and other policies important to the security industry.

Updates from Honeywell's CONNECT 2017

 - 
Friday, November 10, 2017

This afternoon, I landed in San Diego to attend this year’s Honeywell CONNECT conference. Below you’ll find an overview of educational sessions I’ve attended and key themes and technologies highlighted throughout the conference. Be sure to check back as I’ll be updating it for each day of the event.

Saturday, Nov. 11

In CONNECT 2017’s third general session, Michael Flink, president of Honeywell Security and Fire who flew in the previous night to address the event’s attendees, talked about the company’s perspective and approach. He talked about how new entrants to the security industry from Silicon Valley have the model of putting out a product to learn from customers and improve on it.

This is the process that Honeywell is taking with its new DIY security system; using a crowdfunding site to get a product in the hands of interested consumers to learn from them and improve it.

Additionally, Flink said that the company is looking to invest significantly in research and development in the near future. Similar to DeBiasio, Flink discusses the company’s decreasing time from a product’s development to its release.

Jason Dorsey, a consultant and speaker from The Center for Generational Kinetics, was brought back after a popular performance at Honeywell Connect 2014. He addressed some myths and realities of Millennials, such as their spending habits and their presence in the work place, as well as how their key attributes compare to other generations.

After the general session, I attended “We’re Here to Help: Leveraging HIS Resources, Services and Programs to Grow your Business,” to hear about the ways Honeywell supports its HIS dealers. The session was presented by Deanna Smith, sales supervisor for Honeywell Integrated Security. and JoAnne Goldman, HIS channel manager.

Goldman and Smith showed the HIS dealer website and its feauters. In the session, they covered a variety of topics, including online resources—such as webinars, articles and case studies, training materials, and specifying tools among others.

From the last selection of breakout sessions at Honeywell Connect 2017, I went to listen Honeywell’s Quentin Gunther and Russ Ackerman, industry veteran and the new residential sales manager for Bates Security’s Jacksonville, Fla., branch. The two presented on how to approach a customer and decide which items to sell in a home security setting in a session entitled, “When Do I Sell What in Residential?”

Throughout the session, Ackerman and Gunther highlighted the benefits of using a questionnaire in sales to determine key information about a potential customer, such as the reason they’re looking to get a system, the amount of time they are typically outside of the home and what they most want to protect.

Customers don’t always value what seems most important to the salesperson, Ackerman noted, citing an instance where a potential customer had a home and a family but was not interested in monitored fire protection.

In the session, the two speakers role played a customer interaction—with Ackerman as the salesperson and Gunther as the prospective customer—to illustrate the type of information that can come out of using a questionnaire, the importance of how questions are asked and the difference in response when a customer is asked to expand. For example, a customer might say they don’t travel much, but, in actuality, they are away most weekends.

Friday, Nov. 10

Three words were projected above the stage before the first general session: Differentiate. Disrupt. Deliver. These three words serve as the main themes for Honeywell’s CONNECT and I saw some of that in the previous day’s sessions; differentiating your company by being more involved in the community.

The general session started with a video address from Michael Flink, president of Honeywell Security and Fire. He highlighted the theme and introduced Mandy Harvey, a singer who differentiated herself by singing and making music despite having lost her hearing due to a disorder. Harvey performed her original song “Try” live on stage here in San Diego.

Following Harvey’s performance, Scott Harkins, Honeywell’s GM connected home, came on stage and addressed the theme of “Disruption.” Companies that want to do well in the industry need to be open to the idea that disruption is possible in the industry, he said.

Harkins addressed the recent spin-off of Honeywell’s residential and ADI businesses, which total a $4.5 entity. The commercial security and access control sides, a $5.5 billion business, will remain within of Honeywell. This will allow both businesses the ability to be more disruptive.

Harkins outlined the market into three categories of U.S. households; the 20 percent without broadband internet, 60 percent that have internet but don’t currently have a security system, and an additional 20 percent that have internet and a security system installed. Honeywell recently announced a DIY-installed home security system, and it is currently on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. This system is a way for Honeywell dealers to compete in the other 60 percent of the market, Harkins said, calling it “professionally-enabled DIY.”

Alice DeBiasio, Honeywell’s VP and general manager of software solutions, took the stage to talk a bit about the company’s work in 2017. This year, Honeywell launched 10 products in its hardware business and more than 10 software offerings.

The company has also improved its pace of release, she noted: it launched it’s lyric platform in 12 months time, then its Lyric Gateway in less than 10 months, and the company’s new DIY system is on pace to be less than 9 months.

The company released a new version of its Total Connect app, which has been highly rated by users, DeBiasio said.

One thing the company is working on now: partitions. Honeywell is working to enable users to arm and disarm different partitions of their property and assign different users to different partitions.

Josh Linkner, the first keynote speaker of this year’s CONNECT, delivered his presentation "Harnessing Innovation: Fresh approaches to Growth, Creativity, and Transformation." Linkner has authored three books and founded multiple companies, including Eprize and Detroit Venture Partners.

To open, he said his goal was making the terms disruption and innovation more tangible and accessible. A theme throughout his presentation was that people should can, and should, stop and apply creativity in their business challenges.

He challenged attendees to think of one new idea for innovation; even if it’s not implemented, professionals will start to think in that direction and that can even spread to coworkers, he said.

After Linkner’s presentation, Honeywell’s Medal of Honor award was presented to Doyle Security Systems and accepted by Kevin Stone, Doyle’s chief operating officer. 

Jerry Camarillo, operations manager for Dillard Alarm Company, presented one of the day’s first sessions “Building RMR into Your Video Business Model.” One of the technologies that Camarillo highlighted was MAXPRO Cloud, Honeywell’s cloud-based hosted services platform for access control and video surveillance. "There's a different way to make RMR now," Camarillo said.

In his presentation, Camarillo pointed to a few benefits of using Honeywell products, such as recognition and trust with the brand and resources for technical support if a dealer needs help.

Within the “Building RMR into Your Video Business Model” session, Tim Sutliffe, regional sales manager for Honeywell Security and Fire, looked at a couple examples where equipment that is being installed today could utilize MAXPRO Cloud. When looking at the examples, Sutliffe pointed out that there’s a certain amount of up-front revenue, but more RMR that can be gained through adding this offering.

Adding RMR services to a system that was already being sold by a dealer is a way to be disruptive in the industry, Sutliffe noted.

John Cerasuolo, president and CEO of ADS Security, gave advice for onboarding, ways companies can make their best first impression to new employees with some examples from ADS’ processes. "I really spend most of my time on building the culture of our company,” he said, underling company culture’s importance. "Sometimes it's easy to overlook the cultural stuff."

In his presentation, “Onboarding Employees for Success,” Cerasuolo looked at several phases and scenarios for new hire and new employees.

Presenting culture begins in the recruitment phase, Cerasuolo said, with the information from ADS. Specifically, ADS focuses on messaging about culture and the high-tech nature of the business.

Prospective employees also get information from sites like Glassdoor, which allows current and former employees to review an employer, Cerasuolo noted.

Companies can also get involved after an employee has been selected but before they start. ADS sends a fruit basket to new employees. "I can't emphasize enough how significant [that] is," Cerasuolo said.

When the employee starts, ADS’ main goal is to have them feel that they made the right decision in joining the company.

Companies should prepare for new employees, he said, meaning having all equipment—uniform, work phone, tablet, work vehicle—ready when a new hire arrives. Additionally, people in the company should be aware of the new hire.

In the first 90 days, ADS wants to have employees engaging with leadership and reflecting the company’s culture to its customers. Cerasuolo also said that asking employees of 90 days for feedback on their roles can be a good way to field objective suggestions for improving the business.

Clearly conveying the company’s culture is also important with onboarding employees following an acquisition, he said.

Conveying the right message to new employees isn’t something that owners and business leaders can delegate, according to Cerasuolo. "To do it right, it needs the involvement of the senior leaders," he said.

At the start of the day’s second general session, Quentin Gunther, Honeywell’s dealer development manager, gave awards to companies that have now been Honeywell dealers for 20 years—Interface Security Systems and Western Alarm—or 25 years: Golden Bear Alarm, KST Security, Pasek Corporation, and RFI Communications and Security Systems.

Several dealers got on stage to their views on disrupting, differentiating and delivering.

First, ADS Security president John Cerasuolo, talked about ways Honeywell products can help a business like ADS differentiate itself. ADS is exclusively using Honeywell products for its residential business, he said.

Specifically, Cerasuolo looked at the Lyric product, which has been positively reviewed by ADS’ installation team, sales team and its customers, he noted. He highlighted three main benefits to offering the Lyric. It allows dealers to more effectively control and manage the installation process, it helps reduce service costs, and with new features coming out for AlarmNet 360, it can help to cut attrition, he said. "That's a combination that you just can’t avoid," he said.

Alexandra Curtiss, Alarm New England VP, talked about her approach to starting a DIY business. One step Curtiss took was calling large competitors, such as LiveWatch and SimpliSafe, to see how they go to market. A lot of what Curtiss does is similar to large players in the industry, but is backed by a family-owned business.

Curtiss suggested that attendees should call their customers, to see if they are pleased with their service or if they might like more aspects to their system. By understanding the market, companies can better understand how they are different and teach their reps to speak to that differentiation. 

Scott Hightower, president and CEO of Verified Security, addressed the topic of delivering the best results, both for industry businesses and their customers. In order to deliver, Hightower said that companies need to do four things: be innovative in the offerings provide solutions, give reliability, and support the products and services.

Hightower also addressed several ways that companies can know if they are delivering, such as customer surveys, net promoter score or by getting reviews or testimonials.

Honeywell’s Life Safety Award was this year given to Graham Bloem, the founder of Shelter to Soldier, a charity that rescues dogs from shelters, fully trains them to be psychiatric service animals, and pairs them with a veteran who is recovering after returning home.

“Why believe in the cloud?” This question was the session title and main point for Scott Hightower’s educational session, one of the final selection of sessions for the day.

Hightower opened with an overview of what is good about the cloud. Cloud is well tested, Hightower pointed out, cloud services have been in other industries longer than they have been in the security space. The cloud also presents an RMR opportunity for installers as well as lower initial costs for customers. Additionally, products in the cloud evolve faster, with quicker fixes to problems.

In the presentation, Hightower discussed his company’s work with the cloud, particularly with Honeywell’s MAXPRO Cloud offering. He lauded the products functionality and commented on the variety of deployment methods—hosted, managed or a hybrid model—and its mobile app among other benefits. The mobile app is a strong selling point, he said.

The platform also lets companies monitor the health of devices, and contact their customers when a product goes offline.

In terms of pricing, the industry tends to undervalue the services that it provides, he said. To help sell the service, Hightower noted that he puts an emphasis on compensating RMR that’s brought in.

Verified started with a measured deployment of MAXPRO Cloud, Hightower said, to ensure that his business could support it. Systems don't need to be entirely on the platform. Companies can have an NVR on premise and a selection of cameras linked to the cloud for redundancy, he said.

Thursday, Nov. 9

The first educational session I attended was “Maximizing you Monitoring: How to Ensure Your Central Station Is Working for You,” a presentation from Tony Wilson, president of CMS. Here, Wilson discussed key points and questions dealers should consider when looking at a wholesale central stations.

Companies should look at their monitoring center in terms of its people, he said, advising companies to tour their monitoring facilities. “Go visit your central station. See the people, meet the people,” he said. Alarm dealers should also be looking at how the central station recruits, hires and trains its employees, as well as its process for quality assurance.

There’s also the level of service to consider; while a quick response is the goal in a monitoring center, representatives should also be courteous and polite, Wilson noted. 

When it comes to the center's technology, “Make sure your monitoring partner is not cutting any corners,” Wilson said.

Companies also should have the right tools available to them. He gave an overview of how CMS worked with a third party software developer to design its new CMS Compass dealer portal to better assist its partners.

Disaster recovery is another key consideration. Dealers should know their monitoring company’s policies around events—such as natural disasters—that may affect the station or otherwise increase alarm traffic. “Ask what the plans are for an evacuation,” he said.

In the end, companies should find a monitoring center that fits them best in terms of capabilities and overall attitude, he said.

APS owner Cat Fleuriet, EPS director of business development David Hood, and Custom Alarm CEO Melissa Brinkman, in the second session I attended, each gave their insight into how security companies can differentiate and better themselves by becoming more involved in their respective communities.

Fleuriet opened the session with her company’s approach to community service. APS, based just outside of New Orleans, hears what its employees care about; the company asks each of its new hires about the community service opportunities that are most important to them.

Helping out can, in turn, help the business too. People want to do business with a company that gives back to the community, said Fleuriet. It can also be a recruitment tool, Hood noted, with employees wanting to be aligned with a company that contibutes to the area.

Community service can be a simple gesture, Fleuriet said. As an example, APS delivered handwritten notes from its employees to residents of the Ville St. Marie Senior Living Community.

Security companies can also recognize a need in their area and fill it, Fleuriet said, such as with assisting after natural disasters. Gathering school supplies for children is one example she gave, stressing the importance of returning to normalcy after a difficult event such as a hurricane.

Hood said that EPS has been embracing community service more in the past 10 years.

EPS, based around Grand Rapids, Mich., is a local businesses that is competing with national companies and community service can make a difference, Hood said. Companies can also get benefits out of more local involvement, such as networking.

Earned media recognition, when a company gets recognized for its local efforts, can also be a valuable resource, Hood said.

Companies can get overwhelmed with requests for sponsorships or their desire to help many areas of the community—don’t overcommit, Hood advised. For example, EPS tries to only donate money where it will also donate its time. 

Custom Alarm is based in Rochester, Minn. Brinkman gave examples of how the company has gotten involved. The company has been very involved with United Way, said Brinkman, as well as with local efforts like Fire Prevention Week and Litter Bit Better, which gathers volunteers to clean up roadsides in the area.

Custom Alarm looks to focus its efforts on specific areas, such as aiding people in crisis and the development and support of children. Brinkman also organizes where it devotes resources, looking at who is suggesting the charity—a customer or an employee—and if it is an employee, whether they are also donating time or money as an individual.

While there can be positive benefits to a company helping its surrounding community, all speakers stressed that this should not be the largest factor in starting a community service effort.

DIY's impact on security significant

 - 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

YARMOUTH, Maine—With the recent announcements from Nest, Ring, and Samsung/ADT, as well as Honeywell’s announced plans to offer a DIY solution, many in the industry are speculating on the impact DIY security systems could have on the security industry.

New research from Parks Associations shows aggressive innovations in smart DIY solutions will reinvigorate the home security market. Parks found that new and more economical DIY systems from key players, including Nest, Ring, Samsung, and ADT, are part of a key step in expanding the security market. The international research firm also notes that new smart DIY solutions will reinvigorate adoption of home security, particularly among younger consumers.

“Consumers value security and safety use cases, but the security market has struggled to move beyond the traditional 20% penetration level in the U.S.,” Brad Russell, research director, Connected Home, Parks Associates, said in the announcement. “Aggressive moves by companies such as Ring, which launched its inexpensive Ring Protect DIY home security system in October, will help attract new and younger consumers into the security market. Ring’s pricing strategy also puts downward pressure on other players to lower prices.”

Parks Associates reveals that 37 percent of smart home device owners report safety is the main reason they purchased a smart home device and nearly 30 percent bought a smart home device primarily to monitor their home while away. The firm notes that DIY innovations with on-demand, no-contract monitoring options could help expand the market for device makers and for monitoring providers who seek inroads to young consumers.

“Samsung and ADT have joined forces for the ADT Home Security Starter Kit, which expands the self-installable DIY segment,” Russell said. “Meanwhile, hub-based security systems are an intentional strategy to stake out a controller position in the home for a variety of future device and service offerings.”

This latest Parks’ research comes on the heels of findings from London-based research firm IHS Markit, which estimated that in 2016 the Americas was the largest market for DIY security alarm sales, expected to grow at a 20 percent CAGR over the next five years.

Security Systems News is also looking at the impact of DIY on security in its latest News Poll.
 

ESX 2018 registration is open

 - 
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In mid-October, ESX opened registration for ESX 2018, to be held in Nashville, Tenn., June 19-22. “To open the event to even more industry professionals, ESX is launching registration with budgeting season in mind,” the announcement read.  

"It takes people to drive profits," ESX chairman George De Marco said in a prepared statement. "At a time when market competition has never been fiercer, it's important to invest in your people—to fuel their development. Launching registration early allows business owners and management to plan for ESX, while in budgeting mode. I urge you to think hard about professional development programming for you and your team — I'm confident there's no other event that can deliver the same impact to your business."

Additionally, ESX is currently offering its full-access Premium Pass at $199. The event will feature new technologies, perspectives ideas and best practices relevant to electronic security and life safety companies.

According to the announcement, “Educational programming will address such topics as: building sales teams, increasing leads, driving profits with doorbells, cameras and door locks, tracking top KPI's, customer care programs, creation cost analyses, organic vs. acquisition growth, disruptive technologies, cyberattacks, attracting and retaining operators, and more.”

Robotic Assistance Devices partners with PSA Network

 - 
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On the Move Systems announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary Robotic Assistance Devices will make its S5 Security Guard Robot available to members of PSA Security Network, one of the world's largest systems integrator cooperatives in North America, encompassing more than 400 branch locations and employing more than 7,500 industry professionals, with more than $4.5 billion annually in security, fire, life safety and pro audio-visual installations.

By leveraging the power of the PSA Security Network, RAD will expand the geographic reach of the innovative S5 Security Guard Robot solution while allowing PSA members to gain access to the rapidly growing artificial intelligence market.

Steve Reinharz, president and CEO of RAD, told Security Systems News that he is excited to offer a robotic solution through another channel as part of PSA's expansive integrator network.

“This is a big announcement for us and another great way for RAD to be introduced to end users through the integrator channel,” he said. “We already have a couple of PSA affiliated members signed up as RAD dealers. It was really great meeting and working with [PSA president and CEO] Bill Bozeman on this partnership. The foresight he has—he really understands this opportunity—and we both feel it is important to include integrators in the RAD ecosystem. Previously I had been focusing on guarding companies, but because of Bill Bozeman and others on my team, I have opened up the channel to integrators as well.”

“Robotics is the wave of the future, and PSA strives to be a leader in the delivery of cutting-edge technologies,” Bozeman said in the announcement. “RAD enables PSA integrators to deliver advanced solutions that streamline efficiency, are cost effective and strengthen overall security. We are excited to have the opportunity to add RAD to our rich portfolio of technology partners.”

Reinharz noted that this partnership not only allows RAD to expand its market reach, but also to “educate more end users on how these solutions can solve today's most complex security problems," he said. "PSA members will now have the ability to not only offer a cutting-edge technology to their customers, but also add additional revenue to their business through our robots-as-a-service model."

RAD robotics “redefines the security services market, allowing organizations to augment the value of traditional manned guarding services with high-tech robotics,” the press release read. “Through the incorporation of advanced analytics and strategic technology integrations, the artificial intelligence solutions created by RAD accelerate deep learning, automate the security patrol process and build situational awareness for leaders and first responders in the event of an incident.”

RAD currently has a sales pipeline of more than 50 Fortune 500 companies and more than 25 qualified dealers and distributors that have a combined customer base of more than 35,000 end-user corporations.

 

TMA announces two award recipients

 - 
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Monitoring Association recently recognized two notable professionals: Morgan Hertel, vice president of technology and innovation of Rapid Response Monitoring Services, and Sascha Kylau, vice president of sales at OneTel Security.

Hertel was awarded The Monitoring Association’s highest honor, the Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award for Exemplary Service. “This award was created to honor the memory of Stanley C. Lott, a TMA (CSAA) past president renowned for his above-and-beyond efforts to lead and financially support the Association through difficult times,” the announcement read.

Pamela J. Petrow, then-president of TMA who presented the award, said in the announcement: “Morgan is someone who gives tirelessly of his time through committee work, responding on our digital community board, and in one-to-one consultation, all in an effort to improve our association and to educate others in the industry … including his competitors!”

Hertel said in the anouncement, “This is really an honor and a privilege – not only to receive this award but to be here at the TMA Annual Meeting.”

He continued, “One of the reasons I do what I do is a personal belief in the importance of giving back. I think many in our industry feel the same way. You give back to your community, church, faith, your industry that’s provided you with a great living over the last 40 years.

Kylau was awarded TMA’s President’s Award for service to the alarm industry.

“Part of TMA’s mission to provide education to our members that helps them meet today’s industry challenges. This year Sascha’s efforts as co-chair of the Technology Committee and member of the Education Committee have resulted in considerable advances toward that goal,” Petrow said in the announcement of Kylau’s award. “He helped coordinate technology webinars open to all TMA members, spearheaded the Annual Meeting technology sessions that were a big attraction at our event, and assisted in the review of the Level 1 training course.”

Kylau, upon receiving the award, said, “I am honored to be presented with this award by Pam Petrow. Not only do I consider Pam a friend but I look to her as a mentor; she has helped me to become the person I am today.  I have had the privilege of serving this association for the past 19 years. I will continue to bring my knowledge to the table and assist the association in its education as we move forward in a constantly-evolving industry.”

Both awards were presented at TMA's annual meeting, held Oct. 7-11 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Pages