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I-View Now announces new service

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I-View Now recently announced the launch of a new service: Police Alarm Portal. The process is powered by I-View Now’s Software as a Service Video Verification platform, and will send video directly to authorized emergency responders through the ASAP to PSAP program. Additionally, I-View Now will provide the service to law enforcement free of charge.

In the announcement, I-View Now said that Police Alarm Portal helps the entire electronic security industry by improving the path of communications flow from end users to the monitoring station and then to law enforcement. “It allows for a faster and safer response to alarms by authorized emergency responders, increases the value of the alarm provider's monitoring service, and improves customer retention,” the company said.

The new service will provide better information and collaboration to help keep communities safer, according to I-View Now.

"We're thrilled to be offering this revolutionary and patented service at no cost to law enforcement,” Larry Folsom, president of I-View Now, said in the announcement. “When an alarm goes off, you don’t always know what you’ll find. Using video verification with the Police Alarm Portal changes that unknown factor. Authorized emergency responders will have real-time information about what’s happening at the protected premises through live video and video clips. Police officers can respond appropriately and more safely to a verified alarm event.”

Police Alarm Portal is being tested at 911 Communications Centers across the nation, including in Richmond, Virginia, the first city to go live with ASAP to PSAP.

"The City of Richmond is honored to have been chosen to participate in a pilot of Police Alarm Portal with I-View Now,” Bill Hobgood, systems developer lead for City of Richmond, Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team, and recognized ASAP subject matter expert, said in a prepared statement. “The delivery of video sent via the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) program sent by an alarm monitoring company when suspicious circumstances are present, is a value added for public safety. The video will enable dispatch staff in the emergency communications center as well as responding officers to easily navigate to the same video witnessed by the alarm operator adding another tool in the interest of officer safety and suspect apprehension."

“ADT is a founding member of the ASAP system, and also the nation’s largest user,” Don Young, ADT’s chief information officer, said in the announcement. “As our nationwide deployment of Video Verification with I-View Now is complete, making that same video content accessible to law enforcement is a natural extension of the services we currently provide our customers. ASAP is the premier standard for sending life safety information to PSAPs, and ADT is excited to further enhance our outstanding partnership with public safety officials.”

Arecont Vision files for Chapter 11

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES—Arecont Vision announced this week that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware, and agreed to have substantially all of the company’s assets acquired by an affiliate of Turnspire Capital Partners, LLC, an equity firm that is known as a turnaround specialist. In the Arecont press release, the company stated that the proposed transaction will enable Arecont “to pursue accelerated development of new, industry-leading video surveillance products and better meet the needs of its customers today and beyond.”

Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision’s chief operating officer and general manager, said in the announcement, “Through this transaction, Arecont Vision will shed its debt and make bolder decisions to invest in our future versus maintain the status quo. We are excited to have found a partner in Turnspire who shares our vision and will ensure an exciting future for the Company to the benefit our customers, employees, and partners,”

He continued, “Manufacturing, customer service, and sales activities will continue uninterrupted. Our employees will receive their wages and benefits as before, and our own vendors and suppliers will be paid in the ordinary course of business going forward.”

Arecont said that current management will continue to lead the company, and business “will continue uninterrupted, and operations will be supported by debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing provided by Arecont Vision’s current secured lenders.”

The Turnspire bid will be subject to an auction at which it will be subject to higher and better offers, and require Court approval. The Company anticipates the transaction will move swiftly and close within 60-75 days.

“Arecont Vision implemented key strategic initiatives beginning in mid-2017 that continue in the current year, all aimed at enhancing customer engagement, increasing revenue, and optimizing business processes. The goal is to better address the needs of the market and maintain and expand our industry technology leadership,” said Calderon. “While these efforts bore fruit immediately, we can now accelerate that progress unburdened by excess debt. Ultimately it was determined that using the chapter 11 process to facilitate a reorganization and sale was the swiftest and most efficient way to reduce debt while accelerating sales growth and product development.”

The Company is advised by the law firm of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones LLP, Armory Strategic Partners as the Company’s chief restructuring officer and financial advisor, and Imperial Capital as the Company’s investment banker.

Court filings as well as other information related to the restructuring are available here.

ASSA ABLOY set to buy two in the US

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NEW HAVEN, Conn.—ASSA ABLOY recently announced agreements to purchase two U.S.-based door and frame manufacturers: Pioneer Industries, based in Carlstadt, N.J., and Concept Frames Inc., based in Newton, N.C.

"The addition of Pioneer allows us to fortify our steel door and frame offering in the US and in particular the Atlantic region," Lucas Boselli, executive vice president of ASSA ABLOY and head of the Americas division, said in a prepared statement.

Pioneer will continue to be led by its current management team. Pioneer was founded in 1930 and currently has about 100 employees. The head office and factory are located in Carlstadt, N.J.

The Pioneer acquisition is conditional upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2018, ASSA ABLOY noted in its announcement.

Concept frames has a focus on custom-made steel doors and frames for commercial and industrial applications. "I am very pleased to welcome Concept Frames into the ASSA ABLOY Group,” Boselli said in a separate announcement. “Concept Frame is a complementary addition to ASSA ABLOY and adds to our leadership in the door and frame category in North America.”

Concept Frames has expertise in customer service, project specifications and quick delivery, primarily covering the southeast region of the US, ASSA ABLOY noted in its announcement. The company was founded in 1982 and has approximately 68 employees; its head office and factory are located in Newton, N.C.

Canon acquires BriefCam

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Canon today announced the acquisition of BriefCam, a provider of Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions. Closing of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions.

“The acquisition will create even greater synergies between the BriefCam Video Content Analytics platform and Canon’s Network Video Solutions portfolio,” Trevor Matz, president & CEO of BriefCam, told Security Systems News. “BriefCam will continue to innovate and deliver best-of-breed video content analytics enabling law enforcement,  public safety agencies and major enterprises transform their video surveillance footage into actionable intelligence and dramatically shorten the time-to-target for security threats while increasing safety and optimizing operations.”

Masanori Yamada, Canon Inc. managing executive officer and group executive, Network Visual Solution Business Promotion Headquarters, said in the announcement, “We are very excited to work with such an innovative organization and we welcome BriefCam into the Canon Group. With BriefCam, we can deliver an even broader range of leading-edge technology and solutions in the fields of network cameras, video management software and video content analysis software to customers and partners across the globe.”

BriefCam will continue to operate under the leadership of its current management structure, remain an open platform, and continue to provide its software to the market through its own sales channels.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with a global leader in digital imaging,” said Matz. “The acquisition will allow BriefCam to continue to deliver industry leading video content analytics solutions, while remaining a standalone company within the Canon Group. The opportunity is a testament to the innovative technology we have built, the outstanding team we have assembled, and the rapidly growing business we have created.”
 
The acquisition will also enable BriefCam to enter new markets, deliver stronger vertical solutions, and serve global customers even more effectively, he said.

Founded in 2007, BriefCam’s Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions are used for rapid video review and search, smart alerting and quantitative video insights.

Note: SSN continues to report on thsi story.

Mission 500 raised more than $110k at ISC West 2018

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mission 500, a charitable organization that works closely with the security industry to serve children in need in the U.S., announced yesterday that it raised $113,000 at its ninth annual Security 5K/2K Run/Walk and related sponsorships at this year’s ISC West.

Proceeds from the event will benefit children in need in the U.S., with a portion donated to a project in Puerto Rico which benefits children living in poverty who have been affected by Hurricane Maria, Mission 500 said in its announcement. Some ISC West attendees assembled Mission 500 Care Packs for 500 children in need living in Las Vegas, which were distributed by The Children’s Health Fund and were personally delivered and donated by Mission 500, HID Global, Freeman and the ISC West Security Events team.

The Security 5K/2K is a joint collaboration organized by United Publications, the publisher of Security Systems News, ISC Events and Mission 500.

“ISC West continues to be one of the cornerstone events that Mission 500 participates in every year,” Tim Purpura, chairman of the board for Mission 500 said in a prepared statement. “On behalf of Mission 500 and all of the children and families in need we support, I extend my sincerest thanks to all of our sponsors, volunteers and people who participated in the successful fund raisers staged at this year’s show.”

The Brink’s Home Security team raised the most at the 5K/2K, a total of $9,880. Jeff Gardner of Brinks was the top individual fundraiser, collecting $8,750, followed by Altronix's Ronnie Pennington with $3,100. Heather Miller of Anixter raised $1,720, which will be matched by her employer for a total of $3,440. Two staff members from Brink’s Home Security, along with Jeff Gardner, were awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Mission 500’s next service trip in Puerto Rico.

Mission 500 acknowledged medal winners and sponsors at the Security 5K/2K awards ceremony. This year’s fastest female was Karen Salerno of ISC Events with a time of 21:43. The fastest male and overall winner was Brian Matthews of Vingtor Stentofon, who completed the 5K course in 20:42.

Additionally, Mission 500 honored The Hurricane Harvey Heroes with its annual Humanitarian Award and Corporate Social Responsibility Award, which acknowledges individuals in the security industry who make important contributions to those in need. Winners of the Humanitarian Award include Curtis Kindred, president of American Defense Systems, Harley Schild, president of Vault Security, and Todd Fitch, president of Point Security. Altronix Corp. of Brooklyn, NY, received Mission 500’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Amazon shakes up home security business

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Amazon announced last week that it is jumping into the home security business—with both feet I might add—with the unveiling of five security packages for both homeowners and renters. What is most interesting about this announcement, though, is Amazon’s go-to-market strategy, which involves no monthly fees, just an upfront cost for the equipment package. Plus, all five equipment packages include free installation and visits from Amazon smart home experts to go over what is the best fit prior to choosing an option.

For those who have been following the success of Amazon’s Alexa, this move really shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially considering all of the inroads Amazon has been making in the smart home space, from its acquisition of Ring, the smart doorbell company, to its new in-home delivery service, Amazon Key, that features its Cloud Cam and partnerships with smart lock providers. 

It will be interesting to see how this will shake up the current home security market, which traditionally has existed on a RMR model that includes spreading some of equipment cost out over several months or years. It will also be interesting to see how this move succeeds overall for Amazon, as the security packages get a bit costly on the higher end.

So, let’s take a look at what packages they are offering, many of which work in tandem with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. Amazon is offering two outdoor security packages and three indoor packages. The first outdoor package, for $240, includes “expert smart lighting that will make it look like you’re home,” the website reads, while the Outdoor Plus package adds in a smart doorbell. For indoor security, the base package for $320, which is “perfect for renters” the website says, includes motion, door and window sensors, an indoor camera, smart siren and smart home hub. Homeowners can choose from Smart for $575 or Smartest for $840, each of which adds devices to the base package.

As consumer buying seems to be moving more toward a subscription-based model, this seems like a bit of risk to ask homeowners to pay that much up front, but it may be a risk that pays off for Amazon. For one, consumers who may not have taken the leap into the smart home or home security will see this as a way to get both—the Alexa voice assistant and home security—all from one provider in a very seamless way.

SSN would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.

 

CSA publishes State of Cloud Security report

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud-computing environment, recently released its State of Cloud Security 2018.

The report, authored by the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board, examines such areas as the adoption of cloud and related technologies, what both enterprise and cloud providers are doing to ensure security requirements are met, how to best work with regulators, the evolving threat landscape, and the industry skills gap.

“The state of cloud security is a work in progress with an ever-increasing variety of challenges and potential solutions,” Vinay Patel, chair of the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board and managing director at Citigroup, said in the announcement of the report. “It is incumbent upon the cloud user community, therefore, to collaborate and speak with an amplified voice to ensure that their key security issues are heard and addressed. We hope this document will serve as a roadmap to developing best practices in the establishment of baseline security requirements needed to protect organizational data.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

•    Exploration of case studies and potential use cases for blockchain, application containers, microservices and other technologies will be important to keep pace with market adoption and the creation of secure industry best practices.
•    With the rapid introduction of new features, safe default configurations and ensuring the proper use of features by enterprises should be a goal for providers.
•    As adversaries collaborate quickly, the information security community needs to respond to attacks swiftly with collaborative threat intelligence exchanges that include both providers and enterprise end users.
•    A staged approach on migrating sensitive data and critical applications to the cloud is recommended.
•    When meeting regulatory compliance, it is important for enterprises to practice strong security fundamentals to demonstrate compliance rather than use compliance to drive security requirements.

Noting that “innovators and early adopters” have been using cloud for years for quicker deployment, greater scalability, and cost saving of services, the report noted that the growth of cloud computing “continues to accelerate offering more solutions with added features and benefits, including security. In the age of information digitalization and innovation, enterprise users must keep pace with consumer demand and new technology solutions ensuring they can meet both baseline capabilities and security requirements.”

Interestingly, the report pointed out that increased adoption in cloud services has followed consumer confidence with the security of cloud providers, who continue to invest in the security of their platforms. CSA referred to a McAfee survey, Navigating a Cloudy Sky, which found that complete trust in public cloud offerings increased 76 percent in 2017.

As CSA noted in this report last year, technology is outpacing the skills sets within companies and businesses to adopt them, according to CSA’s report. “As organizations react to this demand to stay competitive, secure adoption of these technologies becomes an even greater challenge. With cloud and new IT technologies, the supply chain ecosystem needs to collaborate so that large enterprises and regulators can understand how to securely adopt new technologies and new features on existing provider technologies. Each party must play a role in securing customer data and sharing best practices for secure operations.”

Ultimately, education and awareness still needs to improve around provider services and new technologies for the enterprise. “Small-scale adoption projects need to be shared so that security challenges and patterns can be adopted to scale with the business and across industry verticals. This skills gap, particularly around cloud and newer IT technologies, needs to be met by the industry through partnership and collaboration between all parties of the cyber ecosystem.”

For the full report, click here.

 

Abode receives majority stake investment

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Friday, April 20, 2018

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Nice S.p.A., a global home and building automation company, on April 13 acquired 75 percent of abode systems, a provider of DIY security and home automation systems based here, for $18.75 million. The remaining stock is held by abode’s founders.

“We actually had a lot of interest from several larger [companies based] outside the U.S. … but we felt like Nice was the best fit for us. We really liked their team and their focus on design and user experience was one of the things that drew us to their founder, Lauro Buoro,” Chris Carney, co-founder of abode systems, told Security Systems News. Nice and abode first met in 2017, Carney said.

Abode’s security system is self-installed with a self-monitoring option as well as a professional monitoring option supported by UCC’s monitoring center. Abode users can also pick on-demand professional monitoring options. The company has more than 15,000 users now, most of which are in the U.S., according to Carney, but abode has customers in 27 different countries.

“I think that we have the potential to grow into a very competitive company for the foreseeable future based on this,” Carney said. “The main thing for us was getting additional investment and resources to continue to innovate the product, add to what we’ve already built, and then we have some opportunities for geographic expansion.”

Following the investment, abode plans to increase its employee count, particularly in marketing, customer support, and development, Carney said. Abode has 33 employees now and could add between 20 and 25 employees in the next six to 12 months.

“The innovation will move—I think—at a quicker pace and we’ll be able to build and scale to support a growing customer base alongside of that,” said Carney.

The company is currently working on its new iota system, a new, smaller form factor that will be offered alongside abode’s other product. 

There are potential synergies with what Nice does, according to Carney, such as abode’s systems integrating with Nice’s products.

In a prepared statement, Lauro Buoro, founder and chairman of Nice S.p.A., said, “It is a strategic operation for the Group which will allow us to expand on our product range to include the Home Security sector for installers and end users, thereby strengthening Nice’s leadership position in USA and North America, a market that is enjoying growing demand for connected home and building automation and home security solutions.”

Buoro continued, “This partnership represents important leverage in the direct dialogue of Nice with its end user yet safeguarding the business to business distribution channels and services offered to professionals; it also offers up innovative opportunities of integration between various platforms and extraordinary, highly profitable cross-selling options with potential partners in the insurance sector, as well as the range of additional subscription services. [Twenty-five] years after Nice was founded, this is another step forward in the international growth process, in the portfolio of products and services offered by our group, characterized by a strong focus on digitalization, to become the point of reference in the supply of cutting-edge solutions on a global scale, in the home security and smart home industry.”

Cloud+ 2018 dates and location announced

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

We here at Security Systems News are excited to announce the dates and location for Cloud+ 2018, which will be held in beautiful Delray Beach, Fla., on September 5-6. The conference will take place at the Delray Beach Marriott—an intimate, Mediterranean-style hotel located on the Gold Coast at the corner of A1A - Ocean Boulevard and famed Atlantic Avenue, located directly across the street from the beach. This is also the same location where we host our TechSec Solutions conference each year.

Last year’s Cloud+ education program received high marks from attendees, and we are hard at work putting together another top-notch program that makes Cloud+ the education destination for those who are pioneering within the cloud community.

Click here for more info on the conference, the location and to see last year’s program and speakers, who are the “who’s who” of the industry. And stay tuned for more on the show, including announcements of the keynote speaker and full education program.

Connect America's Healthcare Division acquires

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

BALA CYNWYD, Pa. and PETALUMA, Calif.—Connect America, a large independent provider of PERS devices in North America, in early April announced that it acquired the Petaluma Health Care District's (PHCD) Medical Alert System Program, Lifeline of the North Bay, based in Petaluma, Calif.

“Lifeline of the North Bay will become Connect America West and serve as a base to expand the reach of Connect America's Healthcare Division throughout the state of California, bringing medical alert and mobile alert products, as well as Telehealth services, remote patient monitoring and medication dispensing systems, to a broader range of customers,” Connect America said in its announcement.

"Our Healthcare Division will continue to add to our nationwide footprint through similar acquisitions, as well as organic growth through our sales team," Richard Brooks, Healthcare Division president for Connect America, said in a prepared statement. "Strategic acquisitions like Lifeline of the North Bay, a premier Medical Alert System Program in California, enable us to establish a presence as a market leader in each new area that we enter and to build on the strength of the reputation and referral network of the companies that we acquire."

Ramona Faith, PHCD's CEO said in the announcement, "Transitioning our program and current dedicated staff to Connect America, a leader and long-time provider in the life safety industry, will bring our subscribers and providers a wealth of systems upgrades, including the latest advancements in technology and monitoring services, as well as new services to enhance their experiences over the long term. We are proud to have built a strong, life-saving system led by dedicated staff serving six North Bay Area counties, and we are thrilled to have attracted Connect America to acquire and advance our program."

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