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Honeywell to offer DIY home security system

 - 
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Honeywell began notifying customers this week about the launch of a new DIY home security system.

“We are actively working with our professional security dealer and installer customers to grow their businesses as this industry evolves, Brian Casey, vice president and general manager, Residential & Intrusion Solutions, Honeywell Security & Fire, told Security Systems News. “We believe the rapidly growing self-installed security space represents an opportunity for professional security dealers to expand their existing business models. The new Honeywell Smart Home Security solution gives our dealers an opportunity to sell to a different type of customer, and compete against the new players expanding into this space.”

Honeywell said through email that the new solution—called the Honeywell Smart Home Security System—is “targeting tech savvy consumers. The new solution will be an all-in-one, self-monitored and self-installed system that is attractive to the estimated 60 percent of U.S. households who aren’t interested in traditional security services and contracts. Honeywell Smart Home Security System will be available for professional dealers early next year to help them reach this market.”

This is a very interesting announcement, especially coming on the heels of all the recent developments in the DIY space, including announcements from Samsung/ADT, Ring and Nest.

In addition, SSN’s News Poll is focused on the topic this month.

Alarm.com Academy launches training conference

 - 
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Alarm.com announced today the launch of its PowerUp Conference, an intensive multi-day training program exclusively for Alarm.com's service provider partners. At the training conference, scheduled for Nov. 14-16, 2017 in Dallas, Texas, participants will learn technical and operational skills, and sales expertise in the smart home and business security fields. Created by the Alarm.com Academy training program, PowerUp offers a customizable schedule of specialized, hands-on training and industry insights.

"PowerUp is a comprehensive, immersive learning environment designed to ensure that our service provider partners come out of the conference with actionable skills and knowledge to improve their business," Katie Refano, Alarm.com's director of training, said in the announcement. "With more than 25 sessions to choose from, as well as presentations from Alarm.com executives and product updates from hardware partners, attendees will be able to tailor a learning experience to their exact company role and business needs."

PowerUp is the latest addition to the Alarm.com Academy, Alarm.com's program of in-person and online training for service providers. Continually refreshed and expanded to keep service providers ahead of the latest innovations and market trends, the program offers end-to-end training across all areas of a service provider's business, helping Alarm.com's partners to become experts in selling, installing and supporting Alarm.com products and services.

In terms of overall growth for the Academy, Matthew Zartman, director of marketing for Alarm.com, told Security Systems News that from 2015 to 2016 “we’ve seen a 57% increase in in-person training participation. From 2015 to 2016 we’ve seen more than 170% increase in participation in our online training program."

PowerUp offers a broad array of focused training sessions for different roles within service providers' businesses, including:

•    Installation: Technicians can learn how to get every installation right the first time and avoid future truck rolls with Alarm.com's mobile tools, while earning Continuing Education Units that keep their qualifications up-to-date.
•    Operations: Managers can learn how to get hands-on with system integrations, business intelligence reporting and account set-up tools.
•    Sales & Marketing: Sales personnel will learn to use Alarm.com's end-to-end suite of resources to increase close rates, grow RMR, and maximize lifetime customer value.
•    Customer Support: Join advanced workshops in remote troubleshooting led by Alarm.com's C.O.R.E. support experts.

Alarm.com service providers can register to attend PowerUp by clicking here, or by emailing: academy@alarm.com.

 

Rapid Response plans to expand its California facility

 - 
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Rapid Response Monitoring recently announced that it will be expanding its West Coast facility in Corona, Calif. This news comes as the company is currently working on expanding its headquarters here from 40,000 to 75,000 square feet. 

“Our partnerships with dealers on the West Coast have increased steadily since the opening of our Corona facility in January 2015. The growth of our dealer network and our commitment to provide the highest level of support for the industry is the driving force behind this project,” said Spencer Moore, vice president of sales and marketing for Rapid Response, said in a prepared statement.

In the announcement, Rapid said that the Corona facility—fully redundant with the company's headquarters in Syracuse, N.Y.—will be a total of 35,000 square feet after the expansion and “will include a state-of-the-art dealer and vendor training center, an enhanced employee training area and an expanded monitoring center,” the announcement read.

“We are excited to support our West Coast Dealers and vendors in an advanced space completely dedicated to learning and facilitating their growth,” said Moore.

ASIS 2017 coverage

 - 
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Excited to be in Dallas for ASIS 2017. My first two days of the show were packed with excitement, including intellectually stimulating keynotes, meetings and sessions as well as conversations with more than 30 companies, from manufacturers to integrators. I racked up about 15,000 steps on day one, but was rewarded with an invite to the Securitas’ event at AT&T stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys and the most famous cheerleaders in the world.

As I tweeted out, Securitas pretty much had a ‘drop the mic’ moment, creating a memorable experience for everyone in attendance, whether you were taking pictures with those aforementioned cheerleaders, catching passes in the back of the end zone (yes, that was me!), or just taking in the warm sound of country rising star Jennifer Nettles. This event will be hard to top next year. Big thanks to Securitas Electronic Security President Tony Byerly!

Back on the trade show floor, I saw a continuation of some of the themes that were discussed at ISC West, from cybersecurity, video analytics and big data, to cloud-based solutions, AI/machine learning, robotics and IoT.

It is also great to see the industry and manufacturers continuing to move away from proprietary systems, as partnerships and playing nice with others is helping these companies provide more comprehensive solutions. The vibe on the show floor, and within the industry is one of open architectures, seamless integration of complimentary products and companies providing open APIs that their partners can write to easily and securely, opening up so many opportunities for both integrators and end users.

And getting back to some of the emerging technologies in the industry today, it finally feels like we are starting to fulfill the promise of some of them, especially in the area of video and data analytics. As many pointed out to me, there is so much more being done with data and meta-data today, as we can now take the data from all of these disparate systems—access control, video surveillance, fire and life safety, for example—and bring them into one platform where that data can be turned into actionable info, providing greater opportunities for integrators to move into the managed services and recurring revenue model, while giving end users the power to leverage their data for not only better and more predictive security, but also operational efficiencies, business intelligence and business continuity.

I also see greater adoption of cloud-based solutions among not only manufacturers but integrators as well. And on the cyberssecurity front, I am impressed with the way the industry has mobilized to address this issue, hardening their products, providing education and resources to integrators so they can speak more intelligently on the topic.

I also see the industry continuing to embrace mobile solutions, whether it is mobile credentialing or having the power to remotely interact and manage your systems. As many pointed out, the same kind of evolution that we have seen on the residential side is moving to the commercial side. People want that same convenience and ease of use and control they have at home in their work and professional lives as well, and the opportunities that can be had with smart buildings and smart cities is really exciting; I am already seeing companies—both suppliers and integrators—making an impact on crime, and mitigating risk using these new advanced IP and cloud-based solutions.

And I would be remiss to not mention all of the M&A activity going on the industry right now. In addition to talk about ACRE selling Mercury Security to HID Global and the recent merger of ipDatatel and Resolution Products, attendees got to see the new JCI, post Tyco merger. Also, there was plenty of speculation and gossip around the convention center about who will be in the next M&A breaking news headline.

This really is any exciting time to be in the industry!
 

PERS Summit 2017 updates

 - 
Monday, September 25, 2017

PARK CITY, Utah—AvantGuard recently held its fourth PERS Summit here. Included here is a day-by-day overview from Security Systems News' managing editor, Spencer Ives, who attended the event.

Tuesday, Sept. 26

To kick off this year’s PERS Summit, AvantGuard hosted a tour of its recently remodeled Ogden, Utah, headquarters. Small groups of about eight people each were shown each department. Veronica Smith, account executive with AvantGuard, led my tour group.

The remodel was extensive, and involved moving entire departments across the building’s three floors.

Certain aspects of the remodeled building stand out. All employees have similar workspaces in a very open floor plan; no one has a separate office. The updated building also includes a new lounge for employees. Additionally, every workstation is outfit with a convertible desk for sitting and standing.

Rich Watts, VP of information technology, gave and overview of the IT department. Watts also detailed the levels of redundancy, between the company's Ogden, Utah, and Rexburg, Idaho, and locations, for alarm communications.

Madison Barlow, company director of training and quality assurance, outlined the training process for new employees, including a written exam to in-call center training. This process is followed by quality assurance audits. The company also has coaches, she pointed out, which work with the operators and hear feedback and ideas.  

Cindy Miller, dealer care supervisor, introduced the company’s team of account representatives and account executives.

Spencer Dean, operations manager working in AvantGuard’s Idaho facility, met with the tour to talk about culture and finding the right people. Dean pointed to a company saying to illustrate AvantGuard’s culture, that AvantGuard cares F.I.R.S.T., meaning the company cares, it is Fun, it is Innovative, it values Relationships, focuses on Service, and builds Trust. He also highlighted that both of AvantGuard’s facilities are close to universities, allowing the company to bring in college students with new ideas.

Suzie Nye, AvantGuard’s VP of operations, discussed the company’s monitoring center. A big difference following the remodel was bringing the monitoring from the first floor to the third floor. When the monitoring center was on the ground level, windows needed to be blocked as a requirement for UL certification. Now, the monitoring center is just about surrounded by windows that can let in natural light. Troy Iverson, AvantGuard’s vice president, commented on an increase in productivity after the move.

Rich Slater, the company’s VP of human resources, talked about his team’s approach within HR, as focusing on the employees as well as the company as a whole.

 

The first day ended with a networking reception at The Chateaux Deer Valley, where the conference is being held.

Wednesday, Sept. 27

Justin Bailey, AvantGuard president and COO, presented Wednesday’s first session on “The Future of PERS Monitoring.”

Bailey first started by taking a look back at the predictions he made about the PERS industry and where it was headed in 2013.

He warned of the demise of the landline. In the last two years, he said, there are more homes with only cellphones than those with landlines.

Next he took a look at VoIP and how that’s progressed. AvantGuard has seen massive growth in non-traditional communication, according to Bailey.

MPERS has also grown greatly since 2013. In 2013, AvantGuard’s medical monitoring was 3 percent mPERS, it grew to be 36 percent in 2015 and now—the majority—55.3 percent in 2017.

Another prediction Bailey had in 2013 was toward the advancement and use of location services, and noted significant growth in that area. While there is cell ID and GPS, "What we're seeing now in the industry is the use of Wi-Fi location," he said.

Additionally, at this year’s PERS Summit he highlighted IPS—or indoor positioning system—technologies, and predicted more of those in the future.

Not all of his predictions came true; Bailey also discussed some that missed. In 2013, he predicted a large PERS and Telehealth convergence. While that hasn’t happened, Bailey expects that it will come in the future.

Similarly, the obsolescence of equipment refurbishment was another 2013 prediction from Bailey that wasn't seen in the last four years, but he still predicts it's coming up down the road.

Bailey then showed a short video to illustrate AvantGuard’s work with PERS, a true story of when an AvantGuard used the proper procedures after receiving a PERS alert. The operator, after speaking with the user and dispatching paramedics, contacted a family member who informed him of certain doctors the PERS user should be taken to. By then contacting the paramedics, the user was able to get the help she needed.

AvantGuard refers to its operators as “heroes” and following the video, Bailey asked all of AvantGuards heroes in the room to stand up and be recognized.

Times are changing, according to Bailey, with increasing Internet and social media usage as well as the number of smart phones and cell phones. One demographic that he highlighted was those 50 to 64 years old, 97 percent of who have a smartphone or cell phone.

Bailey looked at the process of the call list on an alarm, which hasn’t changed much in a while; calling a home number for one contact, then calling their cell, then moving on to the next contact. He shared that when a landline rings now, a person may not answer, thinking if it’s important they’ll receive a call on their cell. Likewise, some people are not inclined to answer a call on their cell phone from a number they don't know. The process of reaching someone can take time.

This process could be changed if AvantGuard’s sent a text message to several people on a call list. The message would include a link to a browser-based chatroom, where members of the call list can discuss the alarm. Bailey called the model "Interactive Parallel Monitoring," and said it could result in improved notification and response times, meaningful caregiver involvement, increased subscriber retention.

Enhanced caregiver engagement is the future of PERS, according to Bailey.

Technological advancements can disrupt and industry. Bailey gave the example of the taxi industry, disrupted by Uber’s capabilities with a smart phone. "I want to challenge each of us to not be the taxi industry," Bailey said.

The day’s second session looked at PERS cases in court, and what business can do before, during and after potential litigations. Philip Kujawa, attorney with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, opened by saying that this presentation is not legal advice.

Specifically, Kujawa looked at what a PERS company could do to prepare for or prevent a lawsuit, such as a wrongful death suit following the death of a PERS user.

The PERS user is not a medical alarm company’s enemy, Kujawa said, and the people who get PERS to help a loved one are not either, typically. The potential problem is with people who buy a PERS for a family member out of guilt. Kujawa said that he finds plaintiffs in wrongful death cases against PERS companies don’t have a great relationship with the deceased.

"Try to evaluate who it is that's purchasing the product from you," he said. "Put high caution on those customers." If a person is paying for the PERS unit but doesn't want to be on the call list, that can be a sign of potential trouble.

Litigation in this arena is new, according to Kujawa. Unfortunately, alarm companies don't have the greatest reputation, which can make them a target, he said. Additionally, some states are more litigious than others, he said, pointing to Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois, California, and Florida as the five worst states.

"Unfortunately, you have to think about being defensive," Kujawa said, and the best defense is a good offense. In order to offensively protect a company, attendees should do a good job with their businesses, he said, adding that attending an industry conference is a good sign. Company’s that want to be defensive can develop, adopt and implement best practices in all facets of the business.

Contracts are critical, not having one is very helpful to the plaintiff’s lawyer, Kujawa said. "I want the person wearing the pendant to sign that if they can," he said; family members bringing a suit would not have better rights than the deceased. After the user themselves, the next best thing would be to have the person who is most responsible and involved in the user's life as the signatory. "What I don't want is somebody completely remote to the end user signing the contract; [such as] the hospital, the nursing home."

In preparation before a suit, those on the frontline should be aware of when they receive complaints after an event—such as a user’s death—and get the facts, do an internal investigation. Kujawa also encouraged attendees to save any media coverage related to the event, as it might be helpful. He stressed that companies should be careful regarding requests for information. Freely sharing information that the company isn’t required to—like an alarm history—may appear helpful but can create more problems in a lawsuit, he said.

Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging in Place Technology Watch, presented the last session of the day, “Key Technology Trends for the Aging Beyond 2017.”

Orlov began by pointing out four key technologies needed in the aging in place market: communications and engagement, safe and security, learning and contribution, and health and wellness. From there, Orlov examined the ways these technologies fit around aspects of aging in place.

She started with home care, which is a space that sees a lot of turnover—at least 64 percent, according to Orlov. Potential reasons for this are that the work is labor intensive compared with other low wage occupations. Home care is a space that needs partners, devices and services, she said.

One technology that Orlov highlighted was voice interactions. This is the opportunity for virtual assistants, she said. For example, a senior could repeat questions with a virtual assistant, and the response would be the same, not annoyed or frustrated.

Currently, there are 9 million devices like this in homes, Orlov said, and by 2018, 30 percent of interactions with technology will be through conversations. Examples of this category would be Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Siri with Apple.

Orlov also addressed risks and concerns in the voice market, such as the cost of broadband, language support, and difficulties implementing the system through an app.

Another technology Orlov examined was wearables. Wearables are relevant because older demographics have pets and have to walk their dog; one third of the 65+ population has a dog, she said. While some wearables appeal to a users interest in fitness, that will give way to their interest in safety, said Orlov. She listed Phillips wearable, Freeus belle+, Unaliwear, FallSafetyApp and Kytera among examples for wearable technologies.

Wearables have changed, Orlov noted, becoming more mobile, accurate in terms of location services, and can be voice activated. One of the problems with safety wearables is that people forget to wear them, she said.

Virtual reality technologies also have potential among seniors because it can be used to show them different areas, outside of their facility, Orlov noted. 

Thursday, Sept. 28

Jason Hewlett, the speaker giving the day’s first keynote presentation, gave lively impressions of various singers, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Stevie Wonder. He pointed out how recognizable he was by simply copying one or two signature pieces of their stage presence.

Performers need to meet expectations by doing what their known for—their signature; MC Hammer had “Cant Touch This,” Billy Joel had “Piano Man,” Michael Jackson had his moonwalk. These are expectations—promises that each performer needs to fulfill when they take the stage, according to Hewlett.

"Have you thought recently about the unspoken promises inside of you?" Hewlett asked at the beginning of the session. "Each of us are performers in our line of work,” he said later.

Hewlett went on to discuss how, as performers, people have promises they need to fulfill in various aspects of their life, such as with customers or an audience, at work, at home and for themselves.

When it comes to delivering on the promise to a person’s audience, they need to consider whether the reality of their offering meets “the commercial”—their promise. "We just want to exceed expectations," he said.

People can look at work differently, as a family, Hewlett said. Additionally, everyone has a part that they play, and relying on others specialties can be a good thing.

Hewlett asked attendees whether they are consistent on and off the stage as performers. While work requires energy, so does home life, according to Hewlett; at the end of the day, he still needs energy to play with his kids.

He asked attendees to think about promises they have for themselves. These are promises that people break a lot, he noted.

He asked attendees to write down what they think they’re good at, pointing out that its more difficult than finding personal faults. A core theme of his presentation is that people need to recognize their gifts and share them.

Eric Allen, managing attorney with Allen, Mitchell & Allen based in Salt Lake City, presented the fourth session of this years PERS Summit, “New regulations for Texting and Automated Calls.”

Allen started by saying that he wouldn’t be focusing on state laws, but instead, talking more about federal.

Allen explored why this matter is important. FTC fines are now over $40,654 per individual violation, he said. TCPA—the Telephone Consumer Protection Act— plaintiffs can sue alone or in a class action for up to $1,500 per call. There are over 130,000 telephone numbers identified as being owned by individuals who sue telemarketers, and career plaintiffs or "serial litigators" on the rise.

While that seems daunting, some basic principles can offer hope, Allen said. "One, don't auto dial or auto text cell phones without consent," he said. "For anything other than an emergency call, you need some level of consent to text."

Allen added that, “you better know which numbers in your data base are cell phones."

Don't send recorded messages without consent and be able to prove you had consent, he said—"have documentation."

One point that Allen highlighted a few times—something particularly relevant for the PERS industry—is that emergency calls are a big exception, though, companies should be sure not to include and marketing or upselling during that call. Allen also advised honoring opt-outs here as a best practice.

Allen covered new technologies in telemarketing, such as ringless—where a voicemail can be left without a calling seeming to go through—and avatar—where a person, regardless of their natural speaking voice, can use small recordings of someone else to sound more natural.

Henry Edmonds, president of The Edmonds Group, and Hugh Van der Veer, attorney at Buchanan Ingrersoll & Rooney, looked at “Best Practices for Buying and Selling a PERS Business,” by each taking a different side; Edmonds presented the seller’s perspective and Van der Veer presented the buyer’s perspective.

Edmonds opened the session with the seller’s perspective. Companies should be able to outline their strategy as well clearly articulate their strategy and tell the story of their business, he said. They should also be organized, and have good financial and operational reporting, he said.

Businesses looking to sell should consider their monitoring and make sure that customers could be moved to a different central station of monitoring service, Edmonds pointed out.

State and local taxes are an emerging issue, according to Edmonds, and companies that aren’t paying tax in every state where they have customers are going to encounter problems.

Van Der Veer added: “Be proactive, because the buyer is not going to let your problem become the buyer's.” Additionally, companies that approach the state before it becomes and issue may be in a better position in working to resolve an issue.

Van Der Veer said, "Two things that will kill a deal: speed—trying to rush—and surprises."

Edmonds ended his portion of the presentation by covering relevant metrics—such as creation cost and attrition rate—as well as other value drivers—such as the company’s reputation and the size of the transaction.

Van der Veer began by looking at some of the traits that would make up the idea buyer: a company already in the PERS space, well financed, one that is opportunistic but patient.

While Edmonds discussed where a seller’s reputation can come in, Van der Veer advised looking at that buyer’s reputation. Selling owners likely want to protect their employees and their customers.

Van der Veer outlined some key initial steps, including NDAs for the buyer and the seller, conducting due diligence and gaining exclusivity from the seller.

Common problems that can come up are legacy problems, or lacking critical third party consent, according to Van der Veer. There are also common solutions: sharing some risk, or the fact that the seller and buyer have come too far to walk away.

Ahead of both the 2015 and the 2017 PERS Summit, attendees were given a survey about their experiences in the PERS industry. John Brady, owner of TRG associates, shared the results of this year’s survey and how some of the responses differ from 2015’s survey results.

Included here are a few of the survey questions and some of their findings.

One question asked attendees for the number of subscribers they currently service, with answers ranging from less than 100 to more than 10,000. Some notable differences: the 5,000 to 10,000 category jumped from 7 percent in 2015 to 13.79 percent in 2017. The category of less than 100 accounts, was 21 percent of respondents in 2015 and now 17.24 percent in 2017.

Another question asked ho many PERS manufacturers attending companies support. Results showed 2.8 on average, slightly fewer, than in 2015.

Attendees were also asked about the number of customers expect to add in 2017? The average number of subscribers was 4579, with revenue ranging from $20,000 to $90,000.

What is the cost to create an account? Figures given by respondents dropped more than 100 dollars on average between 2015 and 2017.

Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place and subject of the movie 127 Hours, delivered the 2017 PERS Summit’s last session and second keynote.

Ralston was hiking in southern Utah when he came to a canyon where boulders were lodged. He described the experience of watching a boulder come lose above him, ricochet between the canyon walls on the right and left side of him, and trap his right arm from his fingertips to his wrist. "And that's where I reach for the pendant I always wear around my neck," he joked.

Ralston introduced himself as the guy that cut his arm off, but said he’d tell the story of being the guy who cut his arm off while smiling.

Metaphorically, everyone faces boulders in their lives, according to Ralston. "Whatever your boulders are, we get to make choices,” he said. Later in the session, he pointed out that he had made some big choices that impacted him: going alone and not telling anyone where he was headed.

Ralston was trapped under the boulder for more than five days, attempting various means of freeing himself—using ropes to move the boulder, chipping away at the area around his arm—before using a pocket knife to amputate his arm. “I felt every bit of it, and yet I was still smiling," said Ralston.

"Boulders, obstacles—they can also be our stepping stones," Ralston said. While the experience was extreme, it brought him clarity of what was important to him: his family.

"What we are capable of is a lot more than what we believe we’re capable of. ... We're only able to find that out because of the boulders," Ralston said. 

Tunstall Americas makes purchase

 - 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.—Announced earlier this month, Tunstall Healthcare Group, through its subsidiary Tunstall Americas, acquired Providence Lifeline Medical Alert Service. Tunstall Americas provides healthcare monitoring services throughout the United States.

“For us, we were looking at really filling in geography and covering pockets that we hadn’t really had good distribution in,” Ryan Fix, VP and general manager for Tunstall Americas, told Security Systems News. “We’ve been in discussions with them … for about two years now. So, it was a long process of really getting to know both organizations and coming together to find the right solution.”

Providence Lifeline Medical Alert Service is a business unit of Providence Health & Services, with a presence in the Northwest U.S, as well as in California, Texas and New Mexico. Tunstall will be maintaining the offices and the staff, expanding its regional presence.

“We service the same customers. I think we’ve got a broader service offering as far as product portfolio. So, we’ll be able to bring that to the customers out of the gate,” Fix said.

“One of the synergies that we had—that both organizations believed in—was really that service aspect. Instead of mailing units out, we have feet on the ground and field technicians that go out and actually go to the customers homes and do the installation and do any of the service calls that are required,” Fix said.

Providence’s accounts, which were previously monitored through Phillips Lifeline, will be brought into Tunstall’s HIPAA compliant call centers in New York and Rhode Island.

Tunstall completed one other acquisition this year, a smaller purchase in the Midwest, Fix said. “Behind the scenes, we’ve been making investments into expanding technology, upgrading platforms and doing things that … we think, separated us from anybody else in the industry.

Tunstall Americas was formed in 2012, after Tunstall Healthcare Group purchased the American Medical Alert Corporation. Tunstall Americas currently has 500 employees.

In addition to medical monitoring services, Tunstall also manufactures a range of medical alert, telehealth, and medication management solutions including traditional telephone based systems, cellular systems, and mobile safety devices to meet the needs of all individuals.

Survey shows move toward cloud, away from data centers

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Survey results from Unisys show a trend away from traditional on-premises data centers toward cloud-based hosting. Survey respondents indicated that use of on-premises data centers will decrease from 43 percent now to 29 percent in 2019, while private cloud use will increase from 20 percent now, up to 28 percent in two years. Over the same period, public cloud use will rise from 18 percent to 21 percent, hybrid cloud from 11 percent to 13 percent, and use of community cloud (a private cloud shared by multiple organizations with a common mission) will hold steady at 9 percent.

"The results of this survey show that government decision makers understand the importance of embracing the cloud to help achieve their modernization goals," Venkatapathi "PV" Puvvada, president of Unisys Federal, said in the survey report. "But it also showed that nearly two-thirds are encountering unanticipated difficulties as they move to the cloud. Fortunately, those respondents who are actively working with industry partners to facilitate their cloud transitions reported a much easier road to cloud adoption by a two-to-one margin."

The respondents show widespread agreement on the benefits enterprises expect from the cloud. At least 94 percent cite improved disaster recovery/business continuity, agility and flexibility, more efficient storage, reduced capital costs and standardization of IT as being at least somewhat important. Improving agility—the capability to deploy IT resources nimbly in response to quickly changing business conditions and the factor most closely aligned to gaining competitive advantage—is the top driver overall, with 78 percent of respondents saying it is critical or very important.

In addition, many respondents report encountering unexpected roadblocks, with 60 percent saying those impediments slowed their cloud migrations and 17 saying that the roadblocks brought their migrations to a standstill.

While nearly two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) rated cybersecurity as the top priority for agency modernization projects over the next year, nearly the same percentage (59 percent) reported that they think their agency's IT modernization efforts have resulted in an increase in the IT security challenges they face. And when asked to grade their agencies' modernization efforts, 43 percent graded those efforts at "satisfactory" or lower when it comes to improving cybersecurity.

"The results of this survey tell us that many federal agencies may not have adequate staff and resources to manage security challenges in today's more complex and modernized IT environments, which in our view explains the feedback about modernization efforts exacerbating security challenges," said Puvvada. "To achieve successful digital transformation, agencies must make security a priority and embark on projects that enhance security at the core, as well as boost operational efficiency to meet mission-critical goals."

Here at Security Systems News, we feel also feel that cloud will continue to play an increasingly influential and disruptive role in security, transforming how we look at physical security in today’s digital world. For others who share this view, or are just curious about the role of cloud in security today and in the future, SSN invites you to attend our Cloud+ conference, which is Nov. 28-29, 2017, in Austin, Texas. Click here for more on the education program and to register.
 

OneEvent rolls out humidity and temperature sensor

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back in March I talked with a software company, OneEvent, that showcased its cloud-based predictive analytics engine, OnePrevent, at ISC West. The company started by focusing on predicting fires through monitoring environmental sensors and now it is rolling out a new humidity and temperature sensor which will bring information into its OnePrevent platform. 

“When we rolled out the product in February, it was very much around the smoke alarm, the motion alarms, door/windows, and answering the questions of ‘Where’s the fire? Where did it start? Where is it going? And, where are the people?’” Dan Parent, OneEvent's chief operating officer and VP of engineering, told Security Systems News

“The algorithms that we put into place around those sensors are extremely flexible, especially around the temperature measurements that we’re reading from our smoke alarms,” he said. This lead the company to develop the new temperature sensor that also measures humidity. Specifically, the company was looking for “a very accurate, repeatable, resilient, economical sensor that can give us capabilities in other areas.”

OneEvent was rolling out a prototype for the temperature and humidity sensor around ISC West 2017 and now the sensor is fully available. 

Parent highlighted data centers as a potential market opportunity for the new temperature and humidity center, “One of the biggest problems in an IT data center—other than cybersecurity—is the health of their equipment. … They want to maintain a particular humidity level, and they want to maintain a particular temperature level.”

Other potential markets include Residential properties worried about moisture, indoor pool areas, apartment complexes, restaurants and walk-in coolers and freezers, OneEvent’s announcement noted.

The temperature and humidity sensor has capabilities in OneEvent’s fire detection analytics. “In all NFPA regulations, you have to maintain a particular distance between the cooking apparatus and where the smoke alarm is,” Parent said. “We want to put the temperature/humidity [sensor] right over the stove.” This would help the analytics engine understand whether smoke could be related to cooking.

“It’s incredible; the power of measuring the data and being able to couple that measured data to the individual who impacts the building to create the data,” Parent said. OneEvent's also has a multi-sensor smoke/temperature alarm, door/window sensor, multi-sensor presence detector and water sensor.

Honeywell names new global leaders for security and fire businesses

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Honeywell announced today that it has appointed Richard (Rich) Lattanzi as the president of Honeywell’s global security business and Dino Koutrouki as the president of Honeywell’s global fire business.

In their new leadership roles, Lattanzi and Koutrouki will drive greater customer focus, the press release read, and both will continue to report to Michael Flink, president of Honeywell Security and Fire.

“Serving our customers and growing our business are at the core of everything we do in our security and fire businesses,” Flink said in the announcement. “Having two independent teams focused on their business will bring us closer to our customers, maximizing our core strengths and enabling increased efficiencies. I am confident that Rich and Dino will drive performance in their respective businesses to better serve our customers.”

As the new president of security, Lattanzi will be responsible for all operations, business strategy and growth for the global security business. He previously served as the vice president and general manager for Honeywell Security and Fire Americas, and prior to that held the position of global vice president and general manager for buildings within Honeywell’s Environmental & Energy Solutions (E&ES). Lattanzi joined Honeywell through the acquisition of Elster, where he was president of the global thermal solutions business.

As the new president of fire, Koutrouki will be responsible for all operations, business strategy and growth for the global fire business. He previously served as the vice president and general manager for Honeywell Security and Fire EMEA, and prior to that held the position of vice president and general manager for the Honeywell Scanning and Mobility APAC organization. Koutrouki joined Honeywell as part of the EMS Technologies acquisition, and held a variety of leadership roles across the company.

Honeywell Security and Fire is part of the Home and Building Technologies strategic business group.

SSN seeks nominations of outstanding women in the industry

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Each year, Security Systems News features notable women throughout the industry and we’d really like to hear from you about women we should feature this year.

This has been a great way to highlight women making a name for themselves, to hear about their businesses and focuses, and learn how far the industry has come in terms of diversity and including women in key roles through the physical security space.

One woman is typically featured in each section of our publication—General News, Commercial and Systems Integrators, Monitoring and Residential.  If you have a woman in mind, please nominate them by emailing our editor, Paul Ragusa, at pragusa@securitysystemsnews.com.

By clicking here, you can read about the women featured last year.

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