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Industry mourns the loss of Mountain Alarm's Rod Garner

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Security Systems News, along with the entire security industry, was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mountain Alarm’s Rod Garner on Feb. 18, 2018, as a result of complications from surgery. Rod’s sons, Eric and Josh, reached out to SSN by email, noting that their father, Rodney Grant Garner, of Pleasant View, Utah, “returned home to our Father in Heaven.”

Born on June 11, 1948, Rod Garner began working with his father in law at Mountain Alarm in 1973. As president and CEO of Mountain Alarm, he grew that small four-person operation to one of the largest security companies in America. Today, Mountain Alarm has more than 43,000 customers and employs more than 275 security professionals with 11 locations across six states. Mountain Alarm has a strong DIY brand, Link Interactive, which he “was so proud of,” his sons said, noting that he was passionate about his work and never planned to retire.

Eric and Josh shared by email the following remembrances of their father:

Rod made friends everywhere he went. He considered many in the security industry to be some of his best friends. He valued honesty and loyalty above all else and others saw that in him.

Rod loved acquiring other alarm companies. Often sellers would choose to sell their business to Rod solely because they trusted him to do what he said he would and care for their customers. Rod helped Mountain Alarm acquire over 30 security alarm companies over his 45-year career.

Above all else Rod loved his customers. Almost daily Rod would call a number of his 43,000 customers to make sure they were happy and satisfied. In fact, a few weeks ago he noticed a house he passed on his way to work everyday had a competitor's sign in their yard instead of a Mountain Alarm yard sign. Immediately he stopped and knocked on the door to see why the customer switched to the competitor. He introduced himself as the CEO and mentioned he noticed the change in yard sign. Luckily, the customer only bought solar from the competitor and still had Mountain Alarm for their security system. Rod gave the customer his card and told them if they ever needed anything to call him personally. The customer was in awe that the CEO would stop and knock on their door.  He also quickly replaced the yard sign. The day before Rod passed away, his primary care doctor called to check on him and Rod said after the call, “Dr. Hanson really loves his patients, just like I really love my customers.”

Rod’s greatest desire was to perpetuate his legacy in the alarm industry. His sons Josh and Eric Garner will carry on that legacy at AvantGuard Monitoring Centers and Mountain Alarm respectively.

Rod recognized that his greatest achievement was his family. Each of his five children and 21 grandchildren believed he or she was his favorite. He did an excellent job balancing his work and family life. He spent lots of time with everyone he loved sitting on beaches, skiing, fly fishing, pheasant hunting, and discussing the mysteries of life.

A celebration of his life will be held at 11am on Friday Feb. 23, 2018 at the LDS chapel, 3602 N 500 W Pleasant View, UT. A viewing for family and friends will be held at Linquist Mortuary, 2140 N 400 E, North Ogden, Utah, Thursday February 22nd from 6-8pm and at the chapel from 9-10:30am just prior to the funeral.

ESX announces 2018 keynote speaker

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

ESX recently announced the keynote speaker for its 2018 show in Nashville, Tenn. Scott Stratten, a disruptive marketer, best-selling author, and president of UnMarketing, will talk about the current business climate on the ESX Main Stage, Wed., June 20 from 11:30 a.m. 12:45 p.m. in Nashville’s Music City Center.

"Today’s business climate is changing at an unprecedented rate,” Stratten said in the announcement. “Every week, it seems there is a new strategy, social media site or technology that is a ‘must use’ or a ‘game changer.’ What we lose in this endless quest for the next bright shiny business object is that at the core of business while everything has changed, nothing is different. Trust, connection, consistency and service will always trump any new app to hit the market."

His presentation, titled “The Age of Disruption: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different,” is no stranger to the limelight. His clients include Walmart, Microsoft, IBM, Toyota, Pepsico, and Edelman.

“At ESX, he will draw on information learned while writing his five best-selling business and marketing books to teach ESXers about the Millennial myth, social media, and how customers make buying decisions in a digital world,” the announcement read. “Stratten’s presentation is one of three Main Stage events at ESX intended to educate, energize and inspire audiences to elevate their personal and professional lives.”

The ESX Opening Keynote Luncheon is sponsored by Security Dealer Network and endorsed by Security Systems News.

Registration for ESX is open and early-bird pricing is in effect for a limited time; Premium Passes are currently priced at $199 for a limited time.

PSA to host education track during ISC West

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

PSA, one of the world’s largest systems integrator cooperatives, announced it will host an education track with sessions and a workshop during ISC West in Las Vegas, Nev., April 10-12, 2018. The PSA education track will be held exclusively on Tuesday, April 10.

Members of PSA Committees, PSA executive leadership team, and other industry experts will lead the six sessions that are included in the PSA Track. Focus areas include leadership, sales, cybersecurity, marketing, RMR, and project management.

PSA President and CEO Bill Bozeman told Security Systems News that the education at ISC West and the new cybersecurity show that PSA recently launched with the Security Industry Association (SIA) and ISC Security Events (Reed Exhibitions, the global tradeshow company), are good examples of everyone coming together for the greater good of the industry.

“It really isn’t self-serving,” said Bozeman. “If you want to do something for the whole industry, you can’t just do it with PSA, so the three of us partnering together can really make a difference, and I am really excited about this partnership.”

Bozeman is also excited about the exclusive education track being offered during ISC West, which will include:

Essential Leadership Skills for the Emerging Leader
April 10, 2018, 9:00am - 10:00am
Organizations are facing complicated organizational challenges that demand the hasty development of new and agile leaders. Emerging leaders must swiftly learn and implement fundamental management skills, develop an extensive strategic perspective, and take their leadership skills to the next level. Attendees will discover key behaviors and essential skills needed in today’s marketplace for the up-and-coming leaders of tomorrow.
Presenters: Paul Boucherle, Matterhorn Consulting; Sharon Shaw, Tech Systems; Scott Ranger, Paladin Technologies; Jerrod Johnson, PetSmart

Leading Conflict: Using Conflict to Foster Leadership
April 10, 2018, 10:15 am – 11:15 am
All organizations encounter conflict, however perceptive leaders will use conflict to propel an organization rather than disrupt. The leader’s role in handling conflict is knowing why people disagree, having a process to resolve the conflicts and knowing when to intervene. This panel discussion will provide attendees strategies to utilize conflict to propel the organization forward. These strategies will help attendees create high-performing, successful teams and develop leaders throughout the organization.
Presenters: Paul Cronin, Cronin Corp.; Nigel Waterton, Aronson Security Group; Christine Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Ric McCullough, PSA

The Art of Client Loyalty - How to Build, Earn, and Retain Loyal Customers
April 10, 2018, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
How likely are your clients to do repeat business with you? Loyal clients are your most valuable customers and happy customers spend more money and more often. A happy customer is someone that will bring their business back again and again, and cut down on your own efforts to attract new business since they are usually willing to refer others to you. In this session, attendees will examine how to create customer loyalty, how to determine the wants and needs of customers, and how to deal with difficult customers.
Presenters: Tim Brooks, PSA; Christine Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Bruce Pontier, Security Consultant; Jerrod Johnson, PetSmart

Cybersecurity Tier Zero - A Guide to the First Steps of Cyber Hardening
April 10, 2018, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Let’s face it- there are a lot of excuses when it comes to implementing cybersecurity controls into your business. It’s too difficult, too time consuming, and too expensive. The only certainty is that it’s too risky to NOT do it.  This presentation will introduce you to PSA’s Cybersecurity Tier Zero Playbook. This playbook and resource guide will provide you with the simple and effective steps, questions, answers, and resources to begin the implementation of your own cyber plan.
Presenters: Bill Bozeman, PSA; Andrew Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Paul Schmick, Alliance Security; Darnell Washington, SecureXperts

Building Managed Service Into Your Business - Benefits to You and the Customer
April 10, 2018, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
With hardware and software sales increasingly commoditized, the motivation for building managed services into your business has never been greater. Listen to industry experts discuss best practices for creating a managed service program. What are the important steps in building true recurring monthly revenue into your business? What is the value to your business and your customer? Join this panel while they discuss some decisions companies need to closely consider that could mean the difference between success and failure in building managed services into your business.
Presenters: Chris Peterson, Vector Firm

The Key to Executing Business Strategy
April 10, 2018, 4:00 pm –5:00 pm
People are more productive when they clearly understand their individual and team roles within a business strategy process. Ambiguity in role clarity around a defined process often occurs when a person’s “talents” begin to morph their role and responsibilities. This can typically occur during the hiring or promotion process. Derailed hires can impact your organization, culture and customers. Hear real world experiences to help you understand best practices in disciplined hiring, role clarity and process definition that delivers long-term tactical execution results that will meet your long- term strategic business goals.
Presenters: Paul Boucherle, Matterhorn Consulting LLC

To register for the ISC West conference or learn more about the PSA education track, click here.
 

Sargent and Greenleaf names new COO

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sargent and Greenleaf, a STANLEY Security subsidiary and manufacturer of high security locks, recently named Keith Deaton as the company’s new COO. I got the chance to talk with Deaton and hear a bit more about the role and his experience in the industry.

Deaton officially started as the COO of S&G at the end of January. “I have had extensive experience with the business through varying leadership capacities over the last several years. So, I like to say ‘I’m new to the role, I’m not new to the business,’” he said, adding that the company is “executing a seamless transition in leadership.”

Deaton started in the security industry by being recruited by Ingersoll Rand, and worked with the company for about six years.

In 2010, Deaton joined Stanley Black & Decker in an operations finance role for the company’s mechanical solutions, a business unit which was sold to dormakaba at the end of 2016. Deaton became the CFO of S&G in early 2017 and also served as the interim CFO for STANLEY’s Canadian automatic door and electronic security business from mid-2017 to the end of the year.

The new role at S&G expands the scope of his leadership, Deaton noted. “It’s really being not only involved in leading those day-to-day operations—all of the way from the front end of the business, through the manufacturing and fulfillment part of the business—it’s also really working to set strategic direction for the business.”

One of the commonalities in his new position is the similar focus on innovation, Deaton said. “We’re focused on innovation as an enterprise,” he said.

“S&G is about a 160-year-old business, and … it has just amazing brand equity and loyalty really across this high security space,” Deaton said. S&G serves financial, commercial, retail, residential safes and residential mechanical security markets.

TechSec Solutions 2018 is coming up!

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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Security Systems News’ 2018 TechSec Solutions conference is coming up—Feb 26 and 27, down in Delray Beach, Fla., at the Delray Beach Marriott—and now we’re extending a new offer to attend at a lower registration rate.

Last week, our Early Bird registration rate ended. However, we are offering another chance to get $100 off of the conference registration, if you use the promo code EML100 (which can’t be combined with other offers). To register, see the entire educational program or view more information on the conference, visit www.TechSecSolutions.com.

We’re preparing a great line up of speakers and panels to address some of the most relevant security topics today, including AI, how IT impacts the integrator, robots and the next technologies for access control.

In addition to the line-up of educational sessions, we’re excited to have two great keynote speakers. On Day One, Jim Dearing, senior analyst, Security & Building Technologies for the research firm IHS Markit, will present data on some of the trends impacting the industry. On Day Two, Hart Brown, EVP and COO of Firestorm Solutions LLC, will take a look at cybersecurity and the risks involved.

Another feature of the conference that we look forward to each year is the poolside networking reception where we honor the most recent class of Security Systems News’ “20 under 40” award winners. This is a unique opportunity to meet some up-and-coming professionals in both the end user and integrator arenas.

We hope to see you there!

TechSec focus group planned

 - 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Prior to the start of our TechSec Solutions conference, coming up this Feb. 26-27, in Delray Beach, Fla., Security Systems News is planning a special focus group dinner and discussion. The topic of discussion for this focus group is “Technology trends that impact your business model” and we are extending a special invitation to systems integrators to participate in this dinner and discussion at TechSec on the evening of Feb. 25 (the evening before the start of the TechSec conference) at the Delray Beach Marriott.

Spots are limited (looking for 12 integrators, ideally) and only available to TechSec 2018 attendees. If you’re interested in joining us for this focus group, please register for TechSec using the Promo Code—Focus2018—that takes $200 off of the regular registration rate. Plus, for those focus group attendees at the dinner, there will be random drawing for two free passes to TechSec (registration refunds will be given).

To join the focus group and register for TechSec, as well as see the great program and lineup of speakers that we have this year, please click here.
 

Registration open for new TMA event

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

VIENNA, Va.—Registration is now open for The Monitoring Association’s recently announced “TMA Technology Summit,” an inaugural event to be held March 19-21, 2018 in Salt Lake City. The event is coordinated by TMA’s Technology Committee, which is co-chaired by Sascha Kylau, vice president of sales, Onetel Security and Steve Butkovich, CTO, CPI Security Systems.

“We invite CTOs, CIOs, and IT directors of monitoring companies to participate in the first TMA Tech Summit to learn about and discuss technology issues that directly affect monitoring centers,” Kylau said in a prepared statement. “By attending, these tech pros will learn about the newest technologies—hardware, software and services—to run their central stations securely and efficiently, minimizing downtime and protecting them from internal and external threats,” he continued.

“We also welcome dealers, owners, and interested participants from manufacturing companies,” Butkovich said in the announcement. “We’ll be talking about all the things that matter when it comes to technology and running and securing an effective business.”

Sessions and topics will include:

•           Intelligent apps and analytics

•           MPLS, SD-WAN, secure VPNs (what are they and what is best for my business)

•           Contact Center 2018 (speech recognition for QC, text to speech, AI, and more)

•           Data storage (new storage options and best practices for storage and data retention)

•           3G, LTE, FirstNet, 5G and beyond

•           Next gen Linux mainframe

•           Cybersecurity (gap & risk assessment—It’s a business issue, not just an IT issue)

•           Next gen firewalls and other cyber hardware tools

•           Data backup and recovery solutions

•           Data encryption

In the announcement, TMA noted that the Technology Summit will be modeled after its Fall Operations Management Seminar. Both days of the conference will conclude with round table discussions of the day’s presentations. The room block for the event is now open as well.

Smart home, we have a problem

 - 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The rise of the smart home has generated a lot of attention among security dealers lately, as it has disrupted the way potential customers look at and are willing to pay for security.

But it comes as no surprise that all is not golden in the world of the smart home. It turns out, more than one in three U.S. adults experience issues setting up or operating a connected device, according to data released from the Customer and Product Experience 360 (CPX 360 ) Survey by iQor, a global managed services provider based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

With the number of smart home devices being connected in the home today—security cameras, smart locks and sensors of all kinds—it is inevitable that there would be a few hiccups along the way. In fact, Gartner reports that IoT-enabled devices will reach 20.4 billion globally by 2020, almost doubling from an estimated 11.1 billion in 2018.

Traditional security dealers, who have been challenged to offer smart home services and devices, in addition to security, have been saying all along that when homeowners struggle to figure out how all of these smart home gadgets work and connect, that they will be there to pick up the pieces. Well, it looks like they could be right.

According to the CPX 360 survey, consumers report having to take more than eight steps to resolve a technical problem or issue with a smart device. Further, consumers are spending, on average, close to 1.5 hours of their own time resolving these issues and one hour working with customer service. Nearly one in four consumers (22 percent) couldn’t resolve the issue or simply gave up, and returned the product for a refund.

Throughout the customer and product service journey, the CPX 360 survey reports consumers dealt with an average of 2.1 companies, over 2.7 sessions and with 3.1 different people as they attempted to install and engage with new connected technology in their home. For 17 percent of respondents, the challenge was even greater and involved dealing with five or more people when trying to resolve an issue.

According to the data, the inability to provide a seamless, frictionless experience across all support channels creates frustration and confusion for the consumer as they interact with multiple people and companies in the resolution process. Throughout this process, only about one in three indicate their information was always retained between customer service steps. Among those whose information was not retained, 81 percent indicated this delayed their resolution and 85 percent found it to be somewhat or extremely annoying.

“Adoption of connected devices is on the verge of transitioning from early adopters to the mainstream as popularity and integration of IoT expands and homes become smarter,” Autumn Braswell, COO, LinQ Integrated Solutions at iQor, said in the study. “It is crucial that organizations streamline and improve the support process now to reduce the number of steps, people and brands required to unlock the intended value of the connected device and ensure that the customer service challenges are addressed before mass adoption.”

So, this should be a call to all security dealers about how important it is to offer a full suite of smart home services and devices beyond just security, and be that single point of contact that creates the smart and safe home people are clamoring for.

PSIA elects execs from Convergint, JCI

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Physical Security Interoperability Alliance (PSIA) announced it has elected Mike Mathes, EVP of Convergint Technologies, as its chairman, and Jason Ouellette, product general manager-access control for Johnson Controls, as its vice chairman. The PSIA membership develops specifications for enabling standards-based sharing of digital data and intelligence throughout the physical security and enterprise ecosystems.
 
"Mike and Jason bring us strong technology, commercial and industry leadership skills," David Bunzel, executive director, the PSIA, said in the announcement. "They will be powerful evangelists for how standards-based physical security systems can help the industry create new opportunities for systems integration and data sharing while solving cost and complexity challenges." 
       
As PSIA Chairman, Mathes will work closely with the PSIA Board to identify industry needs for new and enhanced PSIA specifications. He will be responsible for growing the organizations membership and helping companies determine migration strategies needed to specify and/or adopt and implement PSIA specifications. "With an expanded membership base, we'll see further adoption of open standards, which will drive down the cost of system integration for the end user," Mathes, said in the announcement. At Convergint, Mathes leads the Advanced Solutions Group.

Ouellette's role as PSIA Vice Chairman will include defining the technical aspects of PLAI necessary to make this an effective commercial standard, including enhancing and promoting a robust set of test tools to assure industry compliance and interoperability for PLAI. Ouellette, who at JCI is responsible for the global access control businesses, specific to program management, product management, and engineering functions, said in a prepared statement, "The PSIA specifications make it easier for integrators to offer high quality solutions with less integration time and lower total cost of ownership."

Peter Boriskin, vice president product management at ASSA ABLOY Americas, will continue as the PSIA's treasurer.

"PSIA open standards can solve real enterprise problems for customers in way that is not possible through standard integrations,” Boriskin said in the announcement. “I am looking forward to working with Mike, David and the rest of board to help the industry understand our use cases and encourage rapid adoption of PSIA specifications, in particular through the development of PLIA adaptors by manufactures."

ISC West gears up for 2018 show, educational sessions

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Earlier this month ISC West announced the program for its SIA Education@ISC for the 2018 show, to be held April 10-12. I got the chance to speak with Sherida Sessa, industry VP for ISC events, and Kimberly Roberts, SIA’s director of education and training, about some of the sessions and themes that attendees can look forward to at ISC West 2018.

“We’re very excited that we have over 85 sessions scheduled for this year. They really run the gamut, they cover most of the new and trending topics that we’re seeing in the industry, many are technologically based,” said Sessa. “You’re going to see a lot of new content this year,” she added.

“This year, we do have a standards in interoperability track … and also a security professionals under 40 track, and those are two brand new tracks that we have not had before in previous years,” Roberts said. The professionals under 40 track will be “more geared towards professionals on the integrator and manufacturer side,” she added.

Several themes from the show floor are represented in the educational sessions, Sessa said. “We’ve done that strategically. It really makes it easier for the attendees if they can learn about something in the classroom and then walk upstairs and actually see it in a working environment on the show floor,” she said.

A core theme to ISC West 2018 is comprehensive security, Sessa said. The theme encompasses the Connected Security Expo @ ISC West, which has been part of the show since 2016. “That’s actually in its third year now and is an entire area of the exhibit floor that provides holistic solutions from the IT and IoT perspective. That translates right over into our education program as well, we do have two tracks of education that focus on that: a people and process track and a technology track,” Sessa said.

This year’s ISC West show floor will also have the Unmanned Security & Safety Expo @ ISC West, which started last year and has been growing, according to Sessa. “Kimberly and the SIA team have done an excellent job of adding content to the education program that corresponds to that trend as well,” she said.

The show floor will feature more connected home technologies and there are educational sessions on these technologies as well. 

ISC West 2018’s show floor will introduce a new area for start up companies, called the Emerging Technology Zone. “It’s going to be located just near registration … on level one of the show. So, it’ll be an all new exhibit area,” Sessa said. “It’s really designed to offer an entry option for companies that are brand new to the industry.”

She continued, “We hear from attendees all the time, in our survey research, that they really come to trade shows specifically to find cutting-edge technology and brand new products. So this is one way to make it a little bit easier for them to do that.”

SIA has planned an interesting session for the Tuesday before the show floor opens, called “What’s New at ISC West?” Here, Steve Oplinger, systems design manager for Integrated Fire and Security Solutions, and J Kelly Stewart, managing director and CEO of Newcastle Consulting LLC, will present a preview of key technologies and companies they think attendees should see on the show floor.

One session that Roberts highlighted was the Active Shooter Workshop, which is a session that SIA is bringing back from 2017. “Unfortunately, in the day and time that we live in, there’s certain situations that we can’t control,” she said, adding that the presented will help end users and integrators look at technologies to implement.

Sessa highlighted another track, Security Megatrends, which includes sessions on the smart home, the DIY market, artificial intelligence, and access control.

Both Roberts and Sessa gave credit to the Education Advisory Board for the lineup of sessions coming to this year’s ISC West.

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