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Checkpoint sells CheckView; Richmond honored for ASAP

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Checkpoint Systems, a global supplier of loss-prevention products and solutions for the retail industry, announced earlier this month that it was negotiating the sale of its CheckView integration and monitoring business. On Monday, the buyer was ID’d: Platinum Equity, a California-based private equity firm, which will make the deal for $5.4 million.

In a blog Tuesday, Seeking Alpha analyst Brenon Daly called the deal “one of the more financially lopsided divestitures we've seen in some time. ... The electronic security unit generated roughly $77 million of revenue in 2012, although it did run slightly in the red.”

The transaction includes CheckView’s CSAA Five Diamond-certified central station in Chanhassen, Minn. CheckView also sells digital video cameras and monitors to combat retail crime, along with fire and intrusion alarm systems for that vertical.

In a prepared statement, Checkpoint said its board of directors had determined that CheckView could better serve its customers as an independent, entrepreneurial and more focused organization. George Babich, who was named Checkpoint’s CEO and president on March 4, said that Platinum Equity has “a strong track record helping companies reach their full potential. … We are committed to support CheckView throughout the sale process to ensure an orderly transition with full continuity of service to customers.”

“CheckView will act as a platform acquisition and allow us to focus on the core business while pursuing organic-growth initiatives and strategic add-ons in a highly fragmented space,” said Platinum Equity principal Jason Leach.

On March 5, Checkpoint reported a fourth-quarter loss of $35.4 million, or 86 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $19.1 million, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier. The company’s shares closed at $13.43 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

ASAP honors for Richmond: Computerworld, which bills itself as “the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers,” recently gave a nod to Richmond, Va., for a tech program that’s been making headlines in the alarm world: the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol.

Richmond’s participation in ASAP earned the city a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate, an award that recognizes “visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.” Richmond was one of three public safety answering points that served as charter municipalities for the program; six were participating by the end of 2012.

“Receiving Computerworld’s Honors Laureate acknowledges the outstanding achievement and advancement of our city’s Department of Information Technology and 911 staff in providing excellent service to Richmond’s residents,” Mayor Dwight Jones said in a prepared statement. “The benefits of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol program are tremendous as it reduces 911 processing times, reduces response times by first responders, and provides an extremely accurate data exchange between the alarm monitoring companies and [PSAPs].”

Vivint CEO buying golf course, becoming developer

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Vivint has been in the news a lot since it was acquired late last year by the Blackstone Group for more than $2 billion. But the latest scoop is actually about the CEO of the Provo, Utah-based company, Todd Pedersen. He’s about to buy a golf course in nearby Orem and turn it into a housing development where he and others will live, according to the Daily Herald, a Provo-based newspaper.

But Pedersen also will give 20 acres of the property back to the city for recreation, the report says.

The paper says the Cascade Golf Center has been in business 45 years but has announced this year will be its last because it’s being sold to Pedersen for a residential development. The paper quotes Keven Stratton, Jr., who runs the family-owned golf course, as saying the economic downturn and competition from new golf courses have made business difficult.

Here’s more from the newspaper's March 21 story:
 

Todd Pedersen acknowledged Wednesday that he is in a business arrangement with the Strattons on the sale of the lease and is going through due process and will eventually come to the city council for approval. Pedersen's proposal would give him land to develop low-density homes -- approximately 12 to 15, with his being one -- but he would return to the city approximately 20 acres of land worth $7 million in fully developed parkland, sports fields, with infrastructure, parking, bathrooms and more.

"My wife and I have lived in the valley and we want to do something that most residents can enjoy," Pedersen said. "I want to make sure for the city management that the best uses will be made for the most citizens."

Pedersen knows many golfers in the community will be unhappy losing Cascade and he understands how they feel.

If Pedersen's proposal is carried through it will bring approximately $300,000 in property tax revenues to the city. He said that more than replaces the $450 a year the city receives through the Strattons' lease. Because the property is zoned R1-12 the plan Pedersen is proposing complies with the zone.

Cascade Golf Center opened in May 1968 after the city agreed to lease property to the Strattons until 2060. A second-generation owner, Stratton purchased the golf course in 1989 from his father and other partners. The construction and operation of the course has been privately financed. …

… The 53 acres owned jointly with Orem City along with the majority of the 67 acres of privately owned land that make up Cascade Golf Center are being sold. That includes the miniature golf course, the driving range, the small orchard east of the range, the Valley Course or lower nine and the back nine.

While the price of the property and the lease's selling price have not been disclosed, it is no secret that Orem and other developers see this as prime property, possibly worth as much as $200,000 an acre.

 

Stanley keeps an eye on access control

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stanley Security Solutions believes iris recognition technology is going to be the next big thing in access control.

On Tuesday, it announced a new partnership with iris biometric provider Eyelock (previously Hoyos). Two years ago Stanely CSS announced a partnership with Hoyos. Here's that story.

I spoke to Stanley CSS’s John Nemorofsky who explained the difference between the partnership of two years ago and today’s announcement. Two years ago, the announcement was Stanley CSS becoming the exclusive dealer for Hoyos. Now, Stanley Security Solutions, the manufacturing arm of Stanley, is adding EyeLock to its security solutions. So, Stanley CSS will install the technology, but other integrators may install it as well through Stanley Security Solutions’ new Eyelock Certified Dealer Program.

Stanley has two dedicated teams to sell EyeLock, internally through the Stanely CSS business and worldwide. It is also working to integrate EyeLock with other access control solutions.

Hoyos was based in Puerto Rico. Its corporate office and R&D were moved to New York City when it underwent a management change and became EyeLock, Nemorofsky explained. Its operations and support are still currently in Puerto Rico, but Stanley plans to “run it through our product and manufacturing to take cost out and also to make the product even better and stronger and [more a part of the] product roadmap.”

The benefits of the EyeLock include: easy installation, simple to enroll users, easy to use, and it’s reliable because of the uniqueness of the iris.
Just about “anywhere you can use a card reader, you can use a Nano (the name of a compact EyeLock reader),” Nemorofsky said.

The main hurdle to adoption, Nemorovsky said, is misunderstandings about the technology. People need to understand the “iris reader is a camera, not a retina reader or some type of laser, ” he said.

I also spoke to Blaine Fredericks, Stanley Security Solutions global biometrics solutions leader, about EyeLock.  

Fredericks said that Stanley has installed the technology—which has some new, smaller form factors—in commercial applications where iris biometrics are not typically installed. He said Stanley believes that EyeLock is poised to become the access-control identity authentication solution of choice for the commercial space in the future.

“Typically [iris-based identity authentication] is pigeon-holed as a [solution for] banking or data centers, for very high-security areas,” he said. “We see this being used in a much broader sense [with] the ability to make our day-to-day lives easier.” He says it can be used to track kids getting on and off of school buses, to provide access to office doors and “to enable access to an ATM in the future.”

Unlike a card or other credential, it cannot be lost or shared. Hygiene is not a concern, like it is with fingerprint or hand geometry biometrics. And “next to DNA, it’s the most unique biometric,” he said. “The iris is formed randomly rather than being tied to the genetic code … So your right eye is different from your left, the irises of identical twins are different; and if you were to be cloned the [clone's] irises would be different  [from yours].” Irises also does not change as you age, he said.

Among Stanley's EyeLock installations are a large financial institution in the Southeast where it’s installed on turnstiles in the lobby and provides access control for employees.  I asked Fredericks if the iris readers on the turnstiles could tell the elevators which floors those employees worked on. He said it’s not currently set up to do that but “directed dispatch is a realistic possibility.”

Look for a follow-up story on the Stanely Eyelock deal.

SSN editors want to meet you at ISC West

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Before you hit the ISC West show floor, I hope you’ll stop by our “Meet the Editors” event.

Rich will be coordinating newswires and doing other editorial projects from the home office in Maine, but (SSN managing editor) Tess, (SDN managing editor) Amy and I look forward to meeting you at the event, which will take place from 9-10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10 at the ISC West Media Stage.

The stage is right outside the entrance to the show floor—you can’t miss it. Stop by and introduce yourself, tell us about your plans for ISC West, what's going on at your company. Complaints, compliments, suggestions, scoops--happy to hear them all.

Industry veteran Don Trask dies at 75

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Sad news out of Texas: Don Trask, former vice president of operations for Online Alarm Quotes, died last week in Dallas at age 75.

“Don was one of the very first employees of Monitronics and helped build their central station,” Tom Fowler, president of Online Alarm Quotes, told SSN. “A very good soul. He was one of the nicest people I ever encountered in any walk of life. Please make mention of his passing and keep his family in your prayers.”

Trask was the executive vice president and CEO of Trask Enterprises, doing business as New West Security in Duncanville, Texas. Before his employment at Online Alarm Quotes and Monitronics, he worked for Southland Corp., the Arthur Trask Corp. and 3M Corp., according to his profile on LinkedIn.

Trask was born and raised in the Chicago area and attended the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Sheri Trask; daughters Nancy and Elizabeth; stepson Corey, and his grandchildren.

“Don was the kind of friend that renewed faith in people,” Fowler said. “He was there for you without asking and without question.”

Billionaires bet on ADT

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I’ve been writing here about the sunny outlook for The ADT Corp. stock since the newly independent company began publicly trading last fall after spinning off from Tyco International. But don’t just take my word for it—apparently 10 billionaires also think ADT is a good investment.

Gurufocus.com, a web site that's oriented toward value investing, noted this week that 10 billionaire investors have all recently invested in Boca Raton, Fla.-based ADT.

Here’s more from what Gurufocus had to say:

ADT got the attention of Investor Gurus Julian Robertson, John Burbank, Dodge & Cox, George Soros, Jean-Marie Eveillard, John Keeley, Mario Gabelli, Steven Cohen, James Barrow, and Paul Tudor Jones--all bought ADT shares for the first time on Dec. 31, 2012, at $48 per share, with a change from average of 14%. Current share price is $49.43. Top buyer Dodge & Cox bought 6,810,838 ADT shares, followed by Jean-Marie Eveillard who bought 1,526,071 shares. At the low-end, Guru Paul Tudor Jones bought new holdings of 10,000 ADT shares. See detailed Guru Trade info here.

A leading provider of electronic security, detection, and monitoring for home and business, ADT features interactive and automated products and services for active people with increasingly mobile lifestyles. The Florida company employs approximately 16,000 people at 200 locations, and serves six million customers. This week ADT announced that its Board of Directors had declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.125 per share of common stock, to be paid on May 15, 2013 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 24, 2013.

… GuruFocus performed a thorough financial and performance checkup on ADT and found only one warning sign. The ADT price of $49.43 is close to its one-year high of $49.46.

 

Floor space filling up fast at ESX

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ESX is one of the fastest-growing trade shows in the country, a distinction that hasn’t been lost on the industry’s top monitoring and integration companies. The expo floor is already more than 70 percent sold for this year’s event, which will be moving down the street from Nashville’s Convention Center the new Music City Center.

More than 140 exhibitors were on board as of Monday, including 30 companies that weren’t on the floor last year. Among the new participants from the monitoring world are Criticom Monitoring Services (CMS), Metrodial and SAFE Security.

Some of the busiest real estate at ESX 2013 is likely to be found at the NexTech Zone, where exhibitors focused on home automation, energy management, IT and interactive services will display the latest products and services. With Time Warner, ADT and other big players increasingly moving into this space, it’s probably a good idea for central stations to stay ahead of the curve (or at least not fall behind it).

There also will be 10 educational sessions at ESX focusing on central station operations and technology. Topics range from how to find and retain quality operators (and customers) to the monitoring world beyond PERS, with some of the top names in the industry leading the discussions. To find out more about what ESX has to offer—pencil in June 17-21 if you haven't already—or to register, click here.

What you should have on your calendar: 7:30 a.m., April 10, 2013

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

As you’re putting your ISC West calendar together, make sure that you have The Security 5K on your list. Now in its fourth year, the race (and 2K walk) will take place on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 a.m. The start line is within easy walking distance to the Venetian. Click here for the link to sign up.

Security Systems News and Security Director News founded this event with Mission 500 four years ago. We’re proud to be involved and pleased that the list of generous manufacturer sponsors is getting longer.

Whether you walk, run or show up to cheer your industry colleagues along, The Security 5K is a fun way to start your second day of ISC West.

You and your colleagues can sign up as a team or individually online or at ISC West on Wednesday. We had more than 400 runners and walkers last year and expect even more this year.

However, the most important way you can participate is by sponsoring a runner or walker. All of the proceeds go to benefit Mission 500, a wonderful organization that literally saves children’s lives. It provides basic necessities, food, clothing and housing for some of the neediest children in the world. Last year we raised $90,000, making a real difference in children’s lives. Your participation matters. See you there.

 

Avigilon locates ‘global sales HQ in U.S.’

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Vancouver-based Avigilon, manufacturer of megapixel cameras and other video surveillance products, is opening a U.S. headquarters in Dallas, the company announced this morning.
 
This location will also be the “global headquarters for sales.” Employees will include sales, business development and customer support.  The company plans to “add additional customer support personnel over the next year.”  

Bryan Schmode, executive vice president of global sales, will run the office.

Avigilon became a public company in the fall of 2011and has reported impressive growth and ambitious revenue goals since.  Some management changes were announced in October of 2012.

In a statement, Alexander Fernandes, president and CEO at Avigilon, noted that the “U.S. market accounts for a healthy percentage of our revenue.” Notable installations include: Minnesota Twins' Target Field, the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Albuquerque and the Dallas Love Field Airport.

"We chose Dallas because it is a business-friendly city. With access to an incredible talent pool and quality infrastructure it's no wonder several major corporations call this city home,” Fernandez said in a prepared statement.

Telguard gets PERS partner; COPS plans Gilley’s bash

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Telguard has expanded its reach into the PERS marketplace by licensing its cellular technology to Mytrex, a South Jordan, Utah-based manufacturer of medical alarm systems.

Mytrex is targeting independent seniors who are doing away with POTS but still want medical response service. The technology used in Telguard’s TG-P cellular PERS communicator can now be found in Mytrex’s MXD3G “turnkey” PERS solution.

Mytrex President Richard Bangerter said his company was looking for a partner “with proven cellular technology and service to enhance our product line and help us address the growing no-landline senior population.” That led to Telguard, which provides solutions for wireless monitoring of intrusion and fire systems.

One of the selling points for the MXD3G is that it's "central-station agnostic," eliminating the need to purchase and maintain proprietary equipment.

“As long as a dealer’s central station advertises support for two-way voice, the MXD3G using Telguard service can be installed to deliver it,” the company said in a prepared statement.

The device is available through Telguard or Mytrex.

Work hard, play hard: COPS Monitoring is planning a Dealer Appreciation Bonanza during ISC West that will include cocktails, dinner, line dancing and a mechanical bull riding competition for anyone brave enough to saddle up.

“We wanted to celebrate the opening of our 8,000-square-foot central station in Texas and our recent acquisition of AlarmWATCH,” COPS President and COO Jim McMullen said in a prepared statement. “Our dealers work hard all year long. We thought that it would be exciting if we hosted an event that gave them the opportunity to play hard as well.”

The gathering will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at Gilley’s at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. There will be door prizes and dealers will be able to commemorate the evening with a Western-themed picture from the event photo booth. Co-sponsors are Alarm Funding Associates, CheckVideo, the SS&Si Dealer Network, Telguard and TimePayment.

Space is limited and is reserved for qualified alarm dealers and their guests. For more information or to find out if you qualify for complimentary tickets, click here or call Betty Hudson at 800-367-2677, Ext. 1256.

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