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Get ready to vote

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Looks like the NBFAA is moving forward with a potential name change to the Electronic Security Association, or ESA, according to a letter emailed out today by NBFAA president Mike Miller. Here are the details (many of which you know from earlier blog entries):
We're at an exciting time in the security industry. Our capabilities are expanding rapidly with new product announcements and daily advancements in technology. Video surveillance, access control and integrated systems are fast-growing categories of our industry and we are energized about what our future holds. Because of our industry's remarkable progress, NBFAA Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and its Board of Directors realize that the words "burglar and fire alarm" describe only a portion of the products and services our members, and the industry as a whole, provide. The words "burglar and fire alarm" limit our association's ability to increase membership among integration and supplier companies and, as a result, we are falling behind the trends of our industry. We need to address this issue now.
I would agree with this. Burglar is just an antiquated word in general. All I can think of is the Hamburglar, really, although I think McDonald's decided he was a bad idea a while ago. And, really, the idea of a burglar, like that guy dressed all in black in the Broadview commercials, is sort of an antiquated one. I don't think the methheads that are robbing your house bother with the all-black stuff anymore. They're not quite that coherent.
After many hours of discussion and reflection, the NBFAA Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and its Board of Directors voted unanimously to recommend an update of the association brand name. Strategically, we feel that a name change will strengthen our association and allow us to connect with a broader membership demographic.
Again, I mostly agree with this, but, on some level, what's in a name? There's been a lot of talk in the offices here about branding, considering Broadview's new name, Niscayah, TAC moving to Schneider, and now the NBFAA potentially making a switch. What do you lose in brand equity that you gain in a new message, etc.? In the cases of Broadview and Niscayah, they didn't really have a choice, and with TAC, it's not like that's a 20-year-old brand. But look at ASIS. Doesn't anybody think of them as the American Society for Industrial Security anymore (and did I even get that right? They don't even have the acronym spelled out on the Web site anymore)? I don't think so. Why couldn't the NBFAA just be the NBFAA and not worry so much what the letters stand for anymore? That way, they don't have to spend a bunch of money and effort on the rebrand, and the people they've been working for and lobbying to over past decades won't be confused. Just a thought.
We have produced an audio presentation regarding the name change which you can view at http://www.alarm.org/av/brandupdate.wmv. Should you have any comments or concerns, please email us at brandupdate@alarm.org by July 22. A vote of the general membership will be conducted (via mail) within the next 60 days.
They couldn't have just put that up on YouTube? Then I could have embedded it...
Our association is looking forward to a future of growth. I urge you, along with all of the members of the Strategic Planning and Executive Committees and NBFAA Board, to back this recommended update. Please support us in this endeavor as we work to strengthen the future of your association.
It's worth remembering that this vote could go awry. The last time they tried this, people rebelled. I'll keep you posted.

2009 CSAA Central Station Excellence Awards

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Monday, July 13, 2009
The CSAA announced the winners of its annual excellence awards at this year's ESX show in Baltimore on June 24. There were nine awards given, and, for the first time since the the awards' inception four years ago, honorable mentions in each of the three categories. The award categories are Central Station of the Year, Central Station Manager of the Year, and Central Station Operator of the Year. Here's an excerpt from CSAA's Signals:
2009 Central Station of the Year: DGA Security Systems, Inc., New York, N.Y. Honorable Mentions: ADS Security, L.P., Nashville, Tenn.; Doyle Security Systems, Inc., Rochester, N.Y. 2009 Central Station Manager of the Year: James Riti, DGA Security Systems, Inc., New York, N.Y. Honorable Mentions: Greg Hurst, Monitronics International, Dallas.; Suzie Nye, AvantGuard Monitoring Centers, Ogden, Utah. 2009 Central Station Operator of the Year: Jeffrey A. Karabinos, Vector Security, Inc., West-Central Monitoring Center, Pittsburgh. Honorable Mentions: Charles Balletto, DGA Security Systems, Inc., New York, N.Y. Stewart Pittenger, Vector Security, Inc., Eastern Monitoring Center, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
The purpose of the awards, according to the CSAA, is to "establish and promote the inherent value of central station services, to honor those who have made the most significant contributions to the service, and to promote the distinct level of professionalism attained by UL-listed/FM-approved central staions." Participation in the awards is open to any UL-listed/FM-approved central stations, regardless of their affiliation with the CSAA. Keep your eye on the next issue of the CSAA's Dispatch for more details.

Update on JM Allain/Panasonic

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Thursday, July 9, 2009
Well, I submitted some email questions to Panasonic regarding JM Allain's departure, and this is what I got: -- Me: Do you intend to keep this role permanently or are you now looking for a replacement for JM? Panasonic: Joe Taylor is acting as interim President of Panasonic System Solutions Company (America), in addition to continuing to serve as Executive Vice President and COO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Panasonic intends to fill the position. Me: Whose decision was it for JM to leave his role? Is Panasonic satisfied with JM's performance in his role? Panasonic: JM Allain resigned to pursue other interests. [No further comment.] Me: JM spoke very much about being a "solutions" company. Does his leaving alter that new tack for Panasonic Security Solutions? Panasonic: Panasonic System Solutions Company’s overall “systems solutions” market strategy was in place prior to JM Allain joining the company, however due to his background he was very much a proponent of our solutions-oriented approach. Panasonic’s Security Systems business will continue to provide cutting-edge video surveillance products and system solutions – as we have been for over 50 years – and we also will continue to work closely with other Panasonic business units and third-party players to provide comprehensive and integrated system solutions as part of the Panasonic experience. -- So, just about what I expected for responses. Panasonic isn't exactly known for airing their dirty laundry. Ladies and Gentlemen, get your resumes polished. There's a pretty good job open...

More photos from Brink's/Broadview event

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Thursday, July 9, 2009
Finally have a few minutes to post some photos that I took at the bell-ringing event at the NYSE. I took them with my iPhone, so the quality may not be totally up to snuff. [caption id="attachment_2085" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="There was a professional photographer at the event, taking better photos than me, no doubt. Here\'s Bob Allen infront of the Exchange."]There was a professional photographer at the event, taking better photos than me, no doubt. Here's Bob Allen infront of the Exchange.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2094" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Bob Allen chats with some of the eight Broadview employees (dealers, technicians, customer service reps) who were chosen to travel to NY for the event."]Bob Allen chats with some of the eight Broadview employees (dealers, technicians, customer service reps) who were chosen to travel to NY for the event.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2090" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="[caption id="attachment_2092" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Shon Mellow, a technician from Sacramento, in the NYSE boardroom before the event, with a new Broadview Security Lawn Sign. Bob Allen said the new lawn signs will be used on all new installations. The old Brink\'s signs will be replaced upon request or when dealers go out for service and inspection calls."]Shon Mellow, a technician from Sacramento, in the NYSE boardroom before the event, with a new Broadview Security Lawn Sign.  Bob Allen said the new lawn signs will be used on all new installations. The old Brink's signs will be replaced upon request or when dealers go out for service and inspection calls.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2098" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Brink\'s employees infront of the exchange. Those chosen to attend the event included: Thomas Maye of Tampa, Fla. Kurt Strothenke of Milwaukee; Dennis Stricklin of Little Rock, Ark.; Karen Dunkley of Irving, Texas; Fredrick Watson of Irving, Texas; , Genice Perkins of Irving, Texas; Shon Mellow of Sacramento, Calif.; Deborah Stabosz of Chicago; Senglany Phetsadasack of Tampa. Also attending, but not on the podium were two general managers Tony Cervantes from Los Angeles and Kevin Oaks"]Broadview employees infront of the exchange. Those chosen to attend the event included: Thomas Maye of Tampa, Fla.  Kurt Strothenke of Milwaukee; Dennis Stricklin of Little Rock, Ark.;  Karen Dunkley of Irving, Texas; Fredrick Watson of Irving, Texas; , Genice Perkins of Irving, Texas; Shon Mellow of Sacramento, Calif.; Deborah Stabosz of Chicago; Senglany Phetsadasack of Tampa. Also attending, but not on the podium were two general managers Tony Cervantes from Los Angeles and Kevin Oaks[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2099" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Broadview employees are excited to be in NYC."]Broadview employees are excited to be in NYC.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2100" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Brink\'s employees, along with some people from Ketchum, the PR group, and Landor Associates, the branding company."]Brink's employees, along with some people from Ketchum, the PR group, and Landor Associates, the branding company.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2101" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Gary Samberson, left, Shawn Lucht, Bob Allen, Steve Yevich, Dwayne Sigler"]Gary Samberson, left, Shawn Lucht, Bob Allen, Steve Yevich, Dwayne Sigler[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2102" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="getting ready for photographs"]getting ready for photographs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2103" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Dennis Strickin, of Best Security, a Broadview dealer from Little Rock, left, and Shon Mellow, a technician from Sacramento in the NYSE boardroom before the bell ringing ceremony. That\'s the urn someone told me was from Czarist Russia. Hmm? Wonder who re-gifted it?"]Dennis Strickin, of Best Security, a Broadview dealer from Little Rock, left, and Shon Mellow, a technician from Sacramento in the NYSE boardroom before the bell ringing ceremony. That's the urn someone told me was from Czarist Russia. Hmm? Wonder who re-gifted it?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2111" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Table in the boardroom. Ever see the old movie Citizen Cain? I half expected to see Orson Wells at the head."]Table in the boardroom. Ever see the old movie Citizen Cain? I half expected to see Orson Wells at the head.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2105" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Broadview employees in the boardroom holding new signs"]Broadview employees in the boardroom holding new signs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2106" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="After the bell ringing ceremony, we went back into the boardroom to watch Bob Allen be interviewed from the trading floor by Fox News. Some reporter--can remember if it was the FOX report or not-- lamented that Allen wouldn\'t be able to get him a ride in a Brink\'s truck. Bob Allen told him he\'d be happy to get him a ride in a Broadview van."]After the bell ringing ceremony, we went back into the boardroom to watch Bob Allen be interviewed from the trading floor by Fox News. Some reporter--can remember if it was the FOX report or not-- lamented that Allen wouldn't be able to get him a ride in a Brink's truck. Bob Allen told him he'd be happy to get him a ride in a Broadview van.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2107" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="View of the entrance of the NY stock exchange on July 1"]View of the entrance of the NY stock exchange  on July 1[/caption]

Panasonic security head resigns

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Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'm still working on the details of this one, and I don't have a link for you, but I have confirmation of the following:
JM Allain has recently resigned from Panasonic to pursue other interests and Joe Taylor, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Panasonic Corporation of North America, has assumed the role of President of Panasonic System Solutions.
Allain took over the role of president from retiring Frank DeFina just last year. Under Allain, Panasonic put out new messages of being a solutions-based manufacturer (changing its name, actually, from Panasonic Security Systems to Panasonic System Solutions) and looked to work more closely with integrators. Allain's background was integration based - he came most recently from Duos Technologies. I'm hoping to get more information on whether Taylor is a long-term solution or just a stop-gap, and whether Allain's departure will mean a change of course for Panasonic Security.

Even Lockheed loves social media

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
How do you know when social media applications have completely hit the mainstream? Maybe when Lockheed Martin announces they've developed, and are releasing, a social media application (that link's possibly password protected). To quote:
GAITHERSBURG, Md., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) announced today that it will release a proprietary social media tool under an open source software license. The announcement, made at the Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston, is the first of its kind for Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin has been developing proprietary social media technology to facilitate interaction between employees to create and share secure content using blogs and wikis. As a result, Lockheed Martin has become a leader of this technology in the aerospace and defense industry.
But what's it called? They don't say in the release. I mean, what's a social media application without a silly name? Very disappointing. Also, I love that they're a leader "of this technology in the aerospace and defense industry." They're all, "In your face Boeing and Northrop Grumman! We're the first to hop on the no-profit, totally time wasting, silliest-industry bandwagon! Ha! We'll be losing tons of dosh and raising absurd capital from obscure Russian investment banks in no time!" I can't wait for LockheedSpaceBook, where the aerospace and defense industry can come together to network, share stories about how they hid things from the background checkers, relate how they used their security clearance to find out how Scooter Libby got that nickname, and post pictures of themselves lit from the pack with dark glasses, hats, and fake mustaches on. That's going to be good times.

New Broadview Security TV commercial

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
So I just saw my first prime time, broadcast network commercial for the brand-spanking new Broadview Security, formerly Brinks Home Security. It happened very quickly... I definitely saw the new logo and got the sense that they were there to protect me, which is good, and they certainly aren't wasting any time in educating the public on who they are and what they do. But the thing that sticks in my mind most was the (so it seemed to me) overly emphasized, prominently featured words "Rapid Response," which appear in all the Broadview Security commercials online at YouTube. I'm no expert, but isn't there some brand dilution going on there? Isn't this kind of like McDonalds airing a line of commercials in which they say "We're the king of the burgers, the veritable burger king!"? Interesting. I saw it on FOX while watching "Family Guy" reruns, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Keep your eyes open for it.

Foreign correspondence

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I love the way the Internet connects us with the world. Here's an email I received last night:
I know your busy but is there any chance you could tell me who the CEO of ADT in Boca Raton HQ is? Even better would be an email address. They are messing up my house alarm in France (yes France) and I can't find who is in charge of their International operations. No one in France cares. Many thanks if you can help. Regards. Guy Laurence
I told him to call John Koch, but I didn't give him his email (partly because I was too lazy to look it up - I think we have it somewhere - but partly just because it didn't seem quite fair to John). I'm very sorry to hear that no one in France cares. I've always found the French to be very caring people.

Rudy Prokupets dead at 63

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Monday, July 6, 2009
Sorry to be late on the uptake here, but I just heard that Rudy Prokupets, founder of Lenel, died of a heart attack, June 16. I never met Rudy personally, but I've been told that he was a character and a generous man, and Lenel was obviously a major innovator in the security industry. I'm also impressed by this quote from the Times: "Mr. Prokupets, a lifelong lover of opera, was recognized for his generosity with a plaque at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, of which his wife is a current board member." I love it when technology guys can appreciate the arts as well. That shows a well-rounded intellect.

Scary sales tactics in security

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Monday, July 6, 2009
Just read this story from Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO about some rather questionable sales tactics allegedly carried out by an ADT salesperson. ADT has said it does not condone the salesperson's actions. Well, I should hope not. It's a shame that people can't rely on actual events and the truth to make the sale. According to many, the current economic climate should give plenty of fodder for people to come to the conclusion they need to better protect their lives and their property.

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