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Year of the acquisition continues

 - 
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

This week Security Systems News reported on the sixth acquisition this year for both Convergint Technologies and ADS Security, two companies that have been very active this year on the M&A front, representing a continuing trend in this “year of the acquisition.”

It turns out that the M&A landscape overall is very strong and will continue to offer opportunities for companies looking to acquire and for companies looking to be acquired, according to Imperial Capital.

During his keynote presentation, Finance and the Future for Cloud and Security, at the Cloud+ conference (more coverage on this to come), Sept. 5-6, 2018, in Delray Beach, Fla., Rick Juarez, managing director, Imperial Capital, provided a rosy M&A picture for the industry today and moving forward.

He noted in his presentation that the security M&A market remains steady across all three major subsectors—physical security, identity solutions and information security—with strong activity seen in 2017 and YTD 2018.

“In terms of the overall health of the M&A market, if you are a young company looking to get acquired, or if you are a more mature company, the good news is that there is still a demand out there,” he explained, pointing to a slide showing 2018 ahead of the past five years in terms of M&A activity. “Going into the second quarter of this year, it is one of the strongest years for M&A, so I think that if you have a good solution, it is a good time to really explore an out, as it is not always going to remain like this.”

As is the case with companies like ADS and Convergint, acquisitions have helped the companies bring on more talent, increase capabilities and expand service capabilities and reach, while helping to grow the overall bottom line.

Convergint, for example, has strategically grown its service footprint across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific through strong organic growth and the completion of 20 acquisitions since early 2016.

In terms of overall growth, Convergint's CEO Ken Lochiatto told SSN that Convergint will finish the year with strong organic growth in the mid-teens percentage-wise. “And if you take that along with the acquisition activity, we should be north of a billion dollars by year’s end, which is very exciting when you consider that we finished last year at $840 million.”
 

ABCO Security announces rebrand

 - 
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Earlier this year, Bates Security, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., acquired ABCO Security, which is based in Eastern Kentucky. Now, ABCO Security is refreshing its brand with the same name. Jeremy Bates, company president, talked with Security Systems News about the rebrand and what it means for both companies.

“The whole … intent was to keep ABCO as its own separate business down there—support them as much as we could from the corporate office, but we wanted to maintain their brand in that area. They’re very well know, very well respected. I’ve known them for years,” Bates said.

“The integration of their company into Bates Security has been great,” he continued, citing instances where the companies will help by servicing each other’s accounts when needed.

The ABCO Security logo was recognizable for having “ABCO” in red, with “Security” below that in black, Bates said. In the brand refresh, both of these elements remain, but with a slight change to the font and putting the name in a yellow octagon, it shares elements of Bates Security’s logo design.

Another element unchanged in the refresh is the company’s tagline: “People who know, trust ABCO.”

Rolling out the new yellow octagon yard signs with all ABCO customers serves a dual purpose. “It just stands out a whole lot more, which is good for us for advertising, but it’s also good for the customer as far as letting people know that they’ve got a top-notch security company protecting them,” Bates said.

The brand refresh also included changing the company’s website, vehicles, graphics, communication and correspondence, “giving ABCO a very consistent look. So, it’s more impactful to where people are noticing us more.”

The company has also started TV, radio and billboard advertising to reinforce the new appearance.

Bates said that the brand refresh “shows our dedication to ABCO security. It shows to the employees that we’re serious about investing in the company to make it successful. It shows the customers that we are investing in the company to maintain the level of service that they are accustomed to. And, it shows to the community that we are investing in ABCO because we want to maintain and grow its reputation and its success in the community.”

The brand refresh was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 13.

Global Security Exchange adds to keynote lineup

 - 
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

ASIS International recently announced that Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy and former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland will join the keynote lineup for Global Security Exchange. In the first year of its rebrand following a 63-year history as the ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, GSX will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 23 to 27.

“Our keynote lineup—featuring recognized experts in global affairs, technological innovation and industry transformation—delivers on our new brand promise to host a truly comprehensive global event,” Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, 2018 president of ASIS International, said in the announcement. “These speakers provide diverse perspectives that will set the tone for each day and bring to light both the risks and opportunities facing the profession and businesses at-large.”

As Commander of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, General Spacy is responsible for mission support capabilities to 77 Air Force installations, nine major commands and two direct reporting units with an annual budget of approximately $10 billion. His Sept. 26 keynote, kicking off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, will examine the changing security landscape, both in the U.S. and around the world, ASIS said.

Spacy will also provide details on the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the Air Force is looking to collaborate with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Attendees will also learn about the evolving AFWERX/ASIS partnership and will be the first to hear a special announcement about the AFWERX Challenge.

McFarland will close out the conference on Sept. 27 with her address, which will cover geopolitics around the globe. As the first deputy national security advisor in the Trump Administration, she will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defense issues. McFarland’s presentation is open to all GSX registrants—including Expo-Only registration.

Spacy and McFarland join the GSX keynote program, which includes CNN Host Fareed Zakaria and futurist Scott Klososky.

ADT announces senior leadership succession plan

 - 
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced today that Jim DeVries, currently president of ADT, will be promoted to chief executive officer to succeed Tim Whall, who will be retiring on Nov. 30, 2018 after a decades-long career in the security industry.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this talented team as we continue to drive operational excellence with the customer as our true north,” Jim DeVries said in the announcement. “Together, we will execute our strategies to innovate the customer experience, enhance our service capabilities, and deliver value for all stakeholders. ADT, including our dealer partners, has an exciting future ahead and I am energized by the opportunity to further establish the Company as an innovative leader. I look forward to working closely with Tim to ensure a seamless transition.”

DeVries will be appointed to the company’s board of directors following the transition, and Whall will remain on the company’s board and serve as an advisor to the Company.

“The Company has strengthened its core operations and is successfully executing on its strategy, and both the Board and I believe that now is the right time to initiate this transition of leadership responsibilities,” Whall said in the announcement. “Jim DeVries has led many of the Company’s recent operational and strategic improvements as Chief Operating Officer and President, making him well-positioned to succeed me as Chief Executive Officer. Today the fundamentals of our business are strong and I am confident that under the leadership of Jim and the current management team, ADT will continue to perform and deliver on its long-term growth plans.”

“As President, Jim has demonstrated his deep understanding of the dynamics of our business and what it takes to win in the marketplace,” Marc Becker, chairman of the ADT board of directors stated in a prepared statement. “Leveraging his strengths, including developing strategic partnerships, Jim is well suited to lead the Company’s efforts to drive innovation, expand market share and create shareholder value. The Board expects the transition to be seamless and efficient, and with a world-class leadership team in place we will continue to build on our efforts to grow the business in a disciplined manner.”

He continued, “On behalf of the Board and the Company, I want to thank Tim for his many contributions to ADT. Tim is a thirty-year pioneer in the security alarm sector, and over the past two years, has led the effective transformation of ADT operationally and allowed the Company to deliver an enhanced customer experience through faster service delivery and higher quality customer care, while reducing costs and customer attrition. Through this laser focus on customer service and retention, as well as a more disciplined and robust customer acquisition strategy, Tim and the ADT team have positioned the business for continued strength and value creation.”

DeVries, who joined ADT as chief operating officer in May 2016, has served as President since September 2017. Prior to joining ADT, he held senior leadership roles at leading companies in the insurance, financial services and telecommunications industries, including most recently as executive vice president for Allstate Brand Operations.
 

Securing New Ground names keynotes

 - 
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the keynote speakers for its annual executive conference, Securing New Ground (SNG), where more than 250 senior-level industry leaders and financial partners will gather at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, Oct. 25-26.

Jerome Pickett, senior vice president and chief security officer at the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Valerie Thomas, executive information security consultant for Securicon, will give remarks at the event, which brings together industry leaders and key players for two days of information sharing, networking and business analysis.

Thomas, also an ethical hacker and author, will speak at 11:15 a.m. on day 1 of the conference about securing the future of physical security, and Pickett’s remarks at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon will share global lessons from the NBA’s security program, how he’s handling disruptive technologies and using intelligent security solutions to prepare for threats and more.

“Each year, SNG attendees get to dive deep into the security trends that matter to them, and this conference helps them clarify business strategies and drive their business forward,” Don Erickson, SIA’s CEO, said in the announcement. “We are excited to welcome Jerome Pickett and Valerie Thomas to SNG 2018, where attendees will gain top insights from these distinguished security leaders.”

In addition to the keynote addresses, SNG 2018 will feature many engaging discussions and events, including:

•    The View from the Top: Challenges for Today’s Security Industry Leaders
•    Harnessing Cyber-Physical Security Technologies
•    Securing the Future Generation of Security
•    The Smart City of the Future Will Be Conscious
•    Investment Insights: Perspectives from Wall Street and Private Equity

Click here for more.
 

SSN features leaders

 - 
Friday, August 24, 2018

Leadership is a big topic around the Security Systems News office right now.

We have our Leadership Talks series. Through this series, we get the chance to talk with notable professionals throughout the industry about their distinct leadership approaches and styles.

This series inspired our currently News Poll, which you can find by clicking here. We’d like to hear from all of our readers about the styles of leadership you respond best to, as well as what best suits your company. Feel free to weigh in and we always appreciate extra comments.

On top of those two items, we have chosen (but are not yet announcing) the 2018 class of winners for Security Systems News’ annual “20 under 40” awards. Through this annual recognition, we get to speak to a whole group of promising young professionals that stand as the current and next generations of leaders for the physical security industry—both in the dealer, integrator and monitoring side, as well as the end user side.

We are now in the beginning phases of reaching out to and congratulating this year’s honorees. In the process, we are hearing about how they lead teams, groups, or entire companies, and the leaders that mentored these “20 under 40” winners when they first started in the industry.

Keep an eye out in future months for the whole collection of feature articles on this year’s “20 under 40” class. Be sure to also take note of the leaders you see in your company and, if eligible, nominate them for next year’s awards.

Security at the 2018 Little League Baseball World Series

 - 
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Five manufacturers of security technologies have teamed up to provide safety and security at the 72nd Annual Little League Baseball World Series (LLBWS) for the players, coaches and fans. For the first time, BriefCam and Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company are joining Axis Communications, Lenel and Milestone Systems to provide video surveillance systems, access control and network connectivity for the 10-day tournament.

These five technology providers have come together to develop a comprehensive security strategy for the 16 Little League Baseball teams and worldwide fans participating in the World Series from Aug. 16 to 26, 2018, held in South Williamsport, Pa.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come out to Williamsport to enjoy their time at the Little League Baseball World Series,” Jim Ferguson, Little League assistant director of risk management and safety, said in a prepared statement. “Along with the safety of all of 16 participating teams, our top priority during the Little League Baseball World Series is to provide a safe and secure facility for visitors from all over the world to enjoy. Thanks to these providers, we can continue to offer all of our fans, players, and volunteers a fun and safe location to create lifelong memories and exciting experiences during their visit.”

BriefCam, one of the newest contributors, is providing the company’s latest video content analytics platform to this year’s Little League Baseball World Series security solution. BriefCam’s groundbreaking video content analytics platform detects, tracks, extracts and identifies people, objects, their attributes and behavior from raw video feeds. By presenting objects that have appeared at different times within the video simultaneously, BriefCam enables security operators to review hours of video in minutes. 

For the LLBWS, this means if children and parents are accidentally separated during the event, the security team will be well equipped to potentially locate and reunite related parties more quickly, the announcement noted. Additionally, BriefCam’s solution can be used to optimize operations such as attendee and vehicle traffic flows to ensure a safe and positive guest experience. The company’s video content analytics platform aligns with Axis IP-based digital video surveillance cameras and Milestone’s XProtect video management software for a comprehensive video surveillance, management and analytics solution.

“As this global event draws families from far and wide, it is important to further enable comprehensive safety, security and operational efficiencies,” Stephanie Weagle, CMO for BriefCam, said in a prepared statement. “Our technology will be on-hand to support the Little League in their endeavor to extract actionable intelligence from their video surveillance in the event that parents or family members need assistance in finding each other or streamlining operations to ensure that all involved have a great experience.”

Ruckus Networks, the second newest technology contributor, is providing a wireless mesh backhaul to deliver connectivity to both the scoreboards and surveillance cameras. Ruckus is deploying its T300 access points (APs), along with its SmartZone™ 100 management controller, to help ensure seamless connectivity for the outdoor environment. The T300s—the Ruckus flagship outdoor APs—allow high-definition video over Wi-Fi, enabling every video stream to be captured. For the LLBWS, this capability allows all the video cameras in the stadium to be constantly streaming, helping to ensure maximum safety and security at all times.

“In a digitally connected world, safety and security are critical elements that need to be part of every network,” Bart Giordano, vice president, worldwide business development and cloud for Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, said in the announcement. “We are teaming with other companies to bring the most innovative security capabilities to the games so that every family can feel safer onsite. Our robust wireless technologies ensure every video stream is captured from all cameras, at all times, helping make this annual event fun and secure.”

Axis Communications has provided technology for the Little League for nine years and is providing AXIS Q6128-E PTZ Network Camera, a compact, outdoor-ready PTZ dome, offering 4K resolution at 30 frames per second, 12x optical zoom and autofocus. The 4K resolution provides four times as much detail as the standard HDTV 1080p resolution, improving the video quality significantly. Both of these cameras will be integrated into the scoreboard in Lamade Stadium.

"Each year we look forward to evolving the security system by leveraging the newest technology in the industry," Robert Muehlbauer, senior manager, business development partner ecosystem at Axis Communications, said in a prepared statement. "The total solution provides a comprehensive system to help keep players and fans safe so they can enjoy America’s favorite pastime, baseball. We are proud to collaborate with all of the companies involved and to continue our work with Little League Baseball.”

For the 20th consecutive year, Lenel, a leading provider in advanced security systems, will provide its OnGuard access control platform. Players, coaches, officials, staff and vendors are all enrolled in the system and receive a photo identification badge providing access to predetermined areas. The system is integrated with the Axis surveillance cameras so when someone presents a badge at one of the access card readers, live video and the cardholder’s photo are displayed on a nearby monitor, allowing a guard to authenticate the identification.

Milestone is providing its XProtect Corporate video management software, which is installed along with a Milestone Husky™ M500A NVR as one of the recording servers. The XProtect Smart Client interface includes advancements in system performance by leveraging the processing power of NVIDIA GPU cards for measurable hardware acceleration, enabling more concurrent High Definition or Ultra HD video streams on high-resolution monitors. The LLBWS is also using the XProtect® Smart Wall for viewing and sending pertinent video to monitors around the facilities, including a mobile command center. BriefCam is embedded in the XProtect Smart Client with a dedicated screen tab for easy access to search hours of video in just minutes.

“It’s truly inspiring to see the open platform community of partners coming together for this great international family event, ensuring safety through ongoing technology innovations,” Jeremy Scott, strategic alliances manager, Americas for Milestone Systems, said in the announcement. “Every year brings new winners — on the field, in the stands and behind the scenes.”

Yale and Comcast team up

 - 
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Yale Locks & Hardware announced that smart locks from its Assure Lock line can now be connected to Comcast’s Xfinity Home service, its home security and home automation solution, when purchased with a Yale Zigbee Network Module.

“We’re delighted to partner with Xfinity Home and have our Assure Lock line play a critical role securing front doors across the country,” Jason Williams, president, ASSA ABLOY U.S. Residential Group, which includes Yale Residential, said in the announcement. “Xfinity Home customers can now connect an Assure Lock that’s right for them and control access and secure their homes from the Xfinity Home mobile app.”

The Yale Assure Lock line is an extensive series of smart locks that offers homeowners the choice of key-free or keyed locks in both touchscreen and pushbutton versions, all in a choice of three finishes. Four compatible Assure Locks with a Zigbee Network Module (available for purchase separately or with the lock) can be added to the Xfinity Home mobile app. Xfinity Home customers who already own a compatible Assure Lock can purchase a Yale Zigbee Network Module separately and easily add the device onto the Xfinity platform.

When Yale’s smart lock is integrated into an Xfinity Home system, the door locks can be controlled and monitored from anywhere using the Xfinity Home mobile app (iOS or Android). Users can remotely lock and unlock doors, check lock status, and create rules such as receive a notification if the door is unlocked after 8:30 p.m. Additionally, Xfinity Home customers with the X1 voice remote can say, “Lock the front door” to lock their compatible Yale Assure Lock.

“Smart door locks can be a meaningful home security addition, especially when combined with other IoT devices like cameras,” Patti Loyack, vice president, IP services, and home automation, for Comcast Cable, said in a prepared statement. “Xfinity’s platform gives consumers the ability to manage and control all of their smart devices in one unified experience and we’re excited to give our customers even more choice by integrating the Assure Lock line from Yale.”

Yale Assure Lock line with Zigbee is now available to Xfinity Home’s more than 1.2 million subscribers through the Works with Xfinity program.

 

NMC hires Grant Graham as VP of dealer relations

 - 
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

LAKE FOREST, Calif.—National Monitoring Center, part of the Netwatch Group, recently welcomed Grant Graham back to the team as its vice president of dealer relations. Graham will be responsible for the leadership of dealers and dedicated to their success.

Graham previously served as NMC’s operations manager from 2001 to 2016. As operations manager, he skillfully and successfully oversaw all daily aspects of NMC’s multifaceted, nationwide operation.

Most recently, Graham served as Brinks Home security’s senior director of monitoring operations where he oversaw many elements of the company's operations, was responsible for reducing costs, and increased service level for alarm response by over 10 percent and inbound calls by 24 percent, NMC noted in its announcement.

“NMC has a long history of dedication to ahead-of-industry technological solutions and valuable partnerships which lead to the formation of Netwatch Group, and we apply that same dedication in our efforts to build a powerful, synergistic team at NMC. This is why we are thrilled to have Grant Graham on the team. Grant has a proven record of building long-term business relationships and has been instrumental in facilitating growth on numerous levels. His knowledge, drive, and winning attitude are assets that will complement and enhance NMC’s ability to meet the needs of our dealers as we continue to provide more attractive services,” Woodie Andrawos, NMC President, said in a prepared statement.

Graham’s combined experience and understanding of NMC culture and mission make him an excellent fit for this role, NMC said.

“I am excited to be taking on this new role as VP of dealer relations at NMC. It is wonderful to partner with a company focused on organizational growth and constant improvement. I look forward to having an impact on dealer success and helping them successfully navigate the market, acquire new agreements, deliver new products offerings, and leverage the wealth of dealer support available at NMC,” Graham said in the announcement.

ACaaS and mobile access adoption growing

 - 
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Access-control-as-a-service (ACaaS) market revenues will increase to $950 million by 2022, and global mobile credential downloads are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 100 percent from 2017 to 2022, according to recent findings from IHS Markit.

The London-based research firm found that small and medium-sized businesses are the leading adopters of ACaaS solutions, accounting for 21 percent of market revenues in 2017, with around 20 percent of the current installed base of access control readers will be mobile capable by 2022.

“Demand for ACaaS has grown rapidly over the past five years, and this growth is expected to continue,” Jim Dearing, senior analyst, security and building technology, IHS Markit, said in the announcement of the findings. “While there have been relatively few attempts to combine ACaaS solutions with mobile access, despite their apparent synergies, this type of integration will become more common over the next five years.”

Dearing pointed to following key benefits of integrating ACaaS and mobile access:

•    A significant segment of ACaaS end users opt for fully managed solutions. Providers of managed solutions would benefit from the ability to issue and decommission credentials remotely, allowing them to lower management costs.

•    Both mobile access and ACaaS are typically sold via subscription, or using recurring fee-based pricing models. Adding mobile credentials to an ACaaS contract would not be an issue for an integrator, and as mobile access becomes more popular in the traditional access control market, end users and installers are likely to become more familiar with the recurring-fee pricing model, which should generate additional interest in ACaaS.

•    Like ACaaS solutions, the majority of access control solutions are cloud-based. As both become more popular, end users are likely to become more comfortable deploying cloud-based security solutions.

•    ACaaS is increasing the penetration of access control systems in buildings, and many end users are owners of small and medium-sized businesses who have never owned an access control system before. This situation poses an excellent opportunity for mobile access, as providers can ensure that mobile-capable readers are installed from the outset.

In terms of overall adoption, Dearing said that, so far, early adopters of each solution are based in different industries. “Mobile access has seen its strongest adoption in the education and hospitality sectors, while ACaaS is gaining traction with small and medium-sized businesses and the property management segment,” he explained. “Due to the large number of smaller projects, a significant portion of ACaaS end users value affordability over advanced feature sets and functionality. ACaaS providers may struggle to convince end users to install readers that are mobile-capable but also more expensive.”

Despite both solutions typically being billed on a monthly or annual basis, the pricing models vary slightly, Dearing said. “ACaaS solutions are priced according to the number of doors, while mobile access is priced according to the number of credentials or users,” he noted. “Creating an intuitive but optimal pricing model for the combined solution could prove tricky for suppliers. If both original metrics are kept, suppliers are likely to encounter difficulty as end users scale their solutions.”
 

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