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A new locale for ESX

 - 
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ESX will take place west of the Mississippi for the first time in its history next year when it moves to Ft. Worth, Texas.

The tradeshow organizers announced that the show will take place June 8-10, 2016. Organizers said Fort Worth was chosen because of ease of access from most cities, hotel selection, state-of-the-art convention center, and a "walkable and safe urban environment."

ESX will announce the schedule of events and the educational program in January.

 

 

Monitronics moved

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Eighty-seven percent of Monitronics’ 1,100 employees were fully moved into the company’s new campus by the end of July (photo of new facility on left). Now all that’s left is to move the central station, which will happen around the beginning of Q4 this year, according to Bruce Mungiguerra, Monitronics’ SVP of operations. I caught up with Mungiguerra recently to hear about how the move went.

“Obviously, moving a thousand people … is never an easy task,” Mungiguerra said. “Providing … the service to our customers without a hiccup was the important part. So, we staggered the move on a weekend-by-weekend basis.”

In these weekend time windows departments, like customer care, tech support, and dealer development, were guided by identified “move captains.” Moving groups department-by-department made the move easier, Mungiguerra said.

I’ve heard a lot about the move over the past several months. I remember talking with Mungiguerra earlier this year about what the move would add to the company’s culture. Here’s a story on that. Not too long ago, when I was at ESX I heard more about it from the company’s dealer sales and marketing coordinator, Bre Otero. "It'll be great to have everybody back in one building," Otero told me.

Now, the bulk of the move is finished. Mungiguerra, when I spoke with him recently, said he was surprised at how smoothly the process went, always waiting for the unexpected to happen—but it never did.

“I don’t think we could have even anticipated that it went as well as it did,” said Mungiguerra. “[I] couldn’t be happier with how the entire company pulled together to make it as successful as it was.”

New product debuting at ASIS?

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Do you have a new product to introduce at ASIS next month?

If so, get it in gear, folks, and submit relevant information for Security Systems News’ ASIS New Show Products section. Just giving a shout out for your benefit and for your last chance. The SSN show issue is always popular and space is limited, so please get in touch asap! We want to know, and so do our readers!

All companies exhibiting at the show can submit a product that is making its debut at ASIS 2015 in September. Companies that have more than one product division may submit one product for each division.

To take advantage of this free editorial opportunity, please send an email with the following information in the body of the text to cdaggett@securitysystemsnews.com

1.  Company name
2.  Company website
3.  Product name
4.  Three bullet points that describe your product, each 12 words or less
5.  ASIS booth number (essential; you must be exhibiting at ASIS)
6.  Image of product (JPEG file with a DPI of 300 or greater. No PDFs, please.)

We can wait until Friday, but that’s it.

Space in the issue is limited, so submitting early ensures you a place in the section!

Hope you all have a great show!

 

Alarm.com's commercial move solidifying

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Alarm.com, the interactive services platform provider, made its first foray into the commercial market, with the purchase, earlier this year of Secure-i. Here's that story.

Its recent integration with Tyco Security Products marks another move for the interactive services platform provider into the small-to-medium commercial market.

Tyco is integrating its PowerSeries Neo platform with Alarm.com’s cloud-based services (interactive security, intelligent automation, video monitoring and energy management solutions). This, Tyco said, gives dealers the opportunity to offer small-to-medium commercial customers "simple and scalable" interactive services.

PowerSeries Neo "combines the flexibility of a modular, hardwired system with the simplicity of a wide range of compatible wireless devices," Tyco said. This platform uses PowerG wireless intrusion capabilities for a hybrid intrusion system. PowerSeries Neo features built-in Z-Wave capabilities through CDMA and HSPA (3G) communicators.

“We’re excited to bring the next generation of smart technology to the commercial space with the PowerSeries Neo powered by Alarm.com,” Dan Kerzner, chief product officer, Alarm.com, said in a prepared statement.

“We have seen smart home technology dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of homes and create more value for our dealer partners, and we believe there are significant opportunities in the commercial market to help business owners manage their locations, secure their properties and make them more efficient.”

Tim Myers, director of product management, Intrusion, Tyco Security Products said in a prepared statement that “The integration of PowerSeries Neo and Alarm.com uniquely anticipates the future needs of the connected environment, whether a residence or a multi-tenant commercial property, and provides infinite opportunities to maximize the system."

What do you know—We will be talking about this very development at Cloud+, SSN's new conference focused entirely on cloud-based technology. Here's a story about the conference and here's a link to the website.
 

Will DIY, MIY impact you?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What’s the future normal for home security? According to an article from Business Insider, it’s DIY and MIY, all from Silicon Valley giants Google and Apple along with telecom big names.

What do you think?

I speak to resi dealers five days a week. They tell me that DIY is often a selling point for them and that it works very well for some of their customers—especially in helping homeowners understand their systems better—but that MIY, on the other hand, is not beneficial. What happens if you’re an MIYer and you’re 1,000 miles away from home on vacation or a business trip?

Traditional home security systems are still the mainstay, but not for long, according to the report from Citi, the primary source in the Business Insider article. Even though traditional systems/companies currently make up 93 percent of the home security market and DIY/yet professionally monitored make up 4.7 percent, Citi says in the article, that’s all going to change.

Google’s Nest and Dropcam and Apple’s HomeKit control 2.3 percent of the market.

That 2.3 percent market share will grow to 34 percent in the next five years, Citi says, with the traditional professional systems dropping to 61.6 percent.

How will this play out? Do you agree with the Citi study? I’m interested in your opinions for future articles in Security Systems News. Please let me know. Comment, email me at acanfield@securitysystemsnews.com or call me at 207-846-0600. Thanks!

 

 

 

AvantGuard PERS Summit looks at fall detection, other trends

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

AvantGuard’s PERS Summit is coming up at the end of September in Park City, Utah, and the company recently released the event’s itinerary. This event is held every two years now, with the last being in 2013. 

While MAMA is also hosting its annual meeting this fall, the two cover different areas of PERS monitoring, even complementing each other. “We’ve created this conference for specific PERS dealers. It’s apples and oranges different from MAMA, where they’re more focused on the government aspect,” Troy Iverson, AvantGuard’s VP of sales and marketing. AvantGuard is a member and supporter of MAMA, he said, and isn't looking to compete with its efforts.

“Fall detection technology is going to be … a hot topic in the industry,” Iverson said. This year’s summit has a panel specifically discussing the technology: “Fall Detection… Is it the ‘Holy Grail’ of PERS?” On this panel will be representatives from PERS manufacturers Climax, Mytrex, Numera.

Some of the other sessions are “State of the PERS Industry,” “PERS Monitoring Trends” and “PERS Contracts: Cover Your Assets.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be NFL’s Steve Young, talking about his experiences as well as meeting with attendees.

The summit will start with a tour of Avantguard’s facility. Networking and sharing best practices between PERS dealers is a big part of the summit, Iverson said. “Our whole goal of this is to bring … AvantGuard dealers, non-AvantGuard dealers, manufacturers, industry experts together for three days, and let’s grow—let’s grow together.”

De Fina: A forward-looking industry veteran

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Like others here at Security Systems News and across the industry, I was saddened to learn of Frank De Fina's death.

Over the past 10 years I got to know Frank and I admired him a lot. He was a great businessman who knew his technology and the security industry inside and out, but one of the reasons I liked talking to him is because he knew as much about music and art as he did about IP video.

And more than just talk about music, he was a musician. If you've been to PSA-TEC, you've probably enjoyed watching Frank play guitar at Bill Bozeman's annual PSA Jam. Here's a link to a 2010 performance.  And here is a photo of Frank playing at the House of Blues in Chicago at ASIS a couple of years ago.

Frank was a security veteran—he spent more than 30 years in security—but he was not one to pine for the good old days of the security industry.

He welcomed a challenge and he was forward-thinking.

Recognizing that the security industry is too gray, too male and too white, he worked to prepare the security industry for a financially healthy and vibrant future in many ways.

He was a mentor to many, he was active in security industry associations, and he was the driver behind a security college degree program at Mercer County Community College, which will launch in September.  De Fina worked with the Security Industry Association, Northland Control's Pierre Trapanese and System Sensor's Dave Lyons on the idea. The two-year program  will combine security-specific training, liberal arts and business classes and will lead to an associate's degree in applied sciences. 

As the industry “aggressively moves into IP, these new [degree-holding] professionals will be well equipped to fill upcoming positions,” De Fina told me in an interview. He was excited that the new degree program will expose young professionals to the security industry, an industry that most college students do not know about. Noting the "tremendous lack of diversity in the security industry," De Fina said one of the reason organizers chose Mercer County Community College for this program is because it “draws a higher-than-normal percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women."

Frank did great things at Panasonic and Samsung and he was poised to do the same at Hikvision, but he leaves a legacy that goes way beyond impressive profits and sales goals achieved. As SIA CEO Don Erickson pointed out "he put forth ideas and proposals that would strengthen the industry rather than any one single company." 

And I think he had fun doing it. Frank De Fina was a multi-talented guy who was one of the most well-liked and respected people in our industry. He will be missed.

 

 

Entering PERS: problematic or practical?

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

PERS. It’s come up a lot lately—everywhere I look it seems that I’m hearing about new angles to the market, and new contenders. One thing I’ve also heard plenty of is that it’s not a space for everyone. But some seem to be finding it a very sensible new market.

Just recently the cellphone provider Consumer Cellular entered the market, choosing this as a logical space to make its first step outside of cell phones. I think it’s interesting that a market avoided by some can be an easy fit for others.

Another newcomer is Blue Star. The company took a look at a certain area it saw as underserved: the veteran community and their families. Now, Blue Star is looking to triple sales by the fall.

It was even a lively discussion at ESX. AvantGuard’s COO Justin Bailey said that mPERS is a quickly growing market. PERS isn’t for everyone, panelists said, because it can take a toll on your operators that you need to be prepared for. Daniel Oppenheim, VP for Affiliated Monitoring, said that it might be best left to those centrals that can handle it.

Now, the Medical Alert Monitoring Association is looking toward its annual meeting, catering specifically to the medical alarm space.

So, it seems that the PERS market is particular, a very specific niche in the industry of monitoring, but there is space for those companies willing to look into the space and work their way into it.

A conversation with BluB0X

 - 
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In the course of putting together the educational program for our new Cloud+ conference, I've been talking cloud almost every day and last week I met a new cloud provider called BluB0X.

The company is new, but the folks behind BluB0X have been doing cloud for a long time--the executives and some of the team are the people who founded TouchCom. Remember Touchcom? It was acquired by G4S in 2008. Here's a story about that deal.

I had a great conversation with BluB0X CEO Patrick Barry and COO Patrick de Cavaignac of BluB0X yesterday.

Barry told me the principals of BluB0X "took everything we learned in the 15 years building the previous [Touchcom] product and applied modern requirements and modern technology."  A significant difference is that Touchcom sold direct to end users whereas BluB0X is working with the channel. Another difference is that BluB0X focuses soley on security. "There is no facility management [component], BluB0X focuses on access control, alarm management, video, biometrics and visitor management," Barry said. 

De Cavaignac added that BluB0X also does elevator systems integrating into the destination control systems.

Barry said security has gone through three technology cycles--we're now now at the fourth technology cycle, he said

This fourth cycle, what BluB0X calls "Security 4.0," is the foundation of BluB0X's manufacturing philosophy. Barry said Security 4.0 comprises six technologies that are changing the security industry and which BluB0X is built around. They are: cloud/wireless; mobile devices; multi-factor biometrics; everything unified on a Mercury platform (the largest installed platform, Barry noted); open, standard, IP-based; and lots of analytics.

BluB0X is ramping up quickly, Barry said. It has several new customers. The company exhibited at ISC West and will be at ASIS in September. The company recently hired Siemens' veteran Perry Levine to do business development.

Want to demo the product? Barry said it's very easy to do. Because it's in the cloud, BluB0X provides a login and password "and they can use the demo site. ... They can try it before they buy it," Barry said.

It offers the standard cloud benefits of "one version, the current version that gets upgraded once a month, whereas the typical manufacturer upgrades once a year," Barry said.

Barry is also very excited about the product's ability to run on any mobile device. It's different, he said, because "it's readable whatever the dimension of the screen is ... you can run our software from a computer or when you're walking down the street with your smartphone." Many software programs work on mobile devices via apps, he said. That can be problematic because the interface looks different, there's a lot less power with the apps, and you have to keep updating the apps.

I will have more, later, in a story on BluB0X.

 

Two Navy SEALS with MBAs seek platform for security company

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

PHILADELPHIA—A news release came across my desk yesterday about Horsemen Partners, a new investment firm run by a couple guys who want to buy a security company as a platform for growth. Let’s just say I’ve seen this kind of news release before, but, this one caught my eye because of these guys’ background: They’re both business school grads and former Navy SEALs.

They’ve got backing to buy a security company, but my question was why security? Why do they want to get into this business?

I spoke to one of Horsemen Partners’ principals, Sam Alaimo. this morning. Alaimo said he and his partner, Mike Lahiff, could have invested in any number of industries, and they did take a close look at some health care-related businesses, but they settled on security for financial and personal reasons.

“We like the growth prospects, we like the [ongoing] evolution of the security industry and we like the people in the industry,” Aliamo told me.

Alaimo and Lahiff got to know security technology, specifically video monitoring and sensor technology, while serving as Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. Serving in a remote area, they saw the benefit of security technology in Afghanistan and were able to leverage these capabilities to safeguard Americans, locals, and other innocent people in the area.

“The technology has endless capacity if utilized correctly,” he said.

Horsemen Partners is looking to buy a platform for growth in the security industry. They will be active operators in the business, but they’re open to negotiation on several items such as whether the current owner retires completely or stays on in some capacity.

Geographic location is not important. Lahiff and Alaimo will relocate, “whether it’s Billlings, Montana or Austin, Texas,” Alaimo said. And, Horsemen is also not set on a certain type of security business. Alaimo said that eventually whatever business they buy will do alarm systems installations, alarm monitoring, some systems integration, sensor technology and video monitoring—but the business as it stands now “does not have to do it all, it could be any one of these,” Alaimo said.

What Alaimo and Lahiff are looking for is an independent, well-run business that has potential to keep growing. They want a company that’s been cash-flow positive for the past three years, with $5- to $30 million in revenue and some RMR.

“We’re not ADT rolling up a business, we’re two guys who want to buy a private business and take care of it. We’ll stick with the company’s core capabilities but also bring in more—some systems integration, DIY—depending on its capabilities, what is has now and also where the market heads,” Alaimo said.

Horsemen is backed by institutional and individual investors. such as: Anacapa Partners; Search Fund Partners; The Cambria Group Relay Investments; Rich Augustyn & Larry Dunn of NIP Group, a specialized business insurance and risk management intermediary; Tom Cassutt, managing partner of TD Investment Company and David Lazier, managing partner of TD Investment Company;  Doug Tudor
managing partner of Ravenscourt Partners;  Bob Oster a professional economist and banker and private investor; Tim Ludwig, a private investor; A.J. Wasserstein, CEO of Onesource Water; Matthew Burr, general partner at Matland Capital; and, Matt Estep managing partner and founder of Bosworth Capital Partners. The investment company's web site has more information.

 

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