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Rapid Response plans new building

 - 
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Local news source Syracuse.com recently reported that Rapid Response Monitoring is looking to expand its presence further in Syracuse with plans submitted for a new three-story building. The company is currently working on a 35,000 square-foot expansion of its headquarters, to be unveiled this spring.

Security Systems News has reported on Rapid's rapid growth previously. Here's a story about the expansion of the headquarters.

The report said, “The state has agreed to provide a $1 million grant through Gov. Andrew Cuomo's regional economic development council initiative to assist with the building's construction. According to Rapid Response, the 41,000-square-foot building will cost an estimated $8 million to build and approximately 50 jobs will be created.”

Contacted by Security Systems News, Rapid Response declined to comment on the project at this time.

The building will be mixed-use, according to Syracuse.com, with offices and residential space. “The plans filed with the city Planning Commission show offices and a restaurant on the first floor, offices on the second floor, and offices and three apartments on the third floor. Rapid Response would occupy a portion of the building,” Syracuse.com reported.

The new building will be about a two-minute walk from the company’s current headquarters. Rapid acquired the space in 2014, the report said.

Meeting at ISC West

 - 
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

With ISC West 2016 right around corner, my calendar for appointments is starting to fill up fast! As this is my first show as managing editor of Security Systems News, I am excited to connect with as many industry folks as I can, and learn as much as possible about the residential side of the business, which is my primary focus. To that end, I encourage you to reach out to me in the coming week to set up a time to visit your booth, or to meet and talk about the industry.

I know from my past experiences at key industry trade shows, that events such as ISC West provide an invaluable setting to meet face-to-face with people that we have developed relationships with over the years, or are just meeting for the first time after numerous conversations on the phone and email correspondences that, oftentimes, serve as our first informal introductions. But, as many of you know, it is vitally important in today’s ever-changing industry to take advantage of every opportunity to meet with peers and other industry professionals in this type of forum.

In addition to the valuable ‘schmoozing’ that goes on, I am eager to see first-hand how new technology, products and services are helping to shape and transform the industry, as well as meet with manufacturers and vendors who work closely with our readers—the security dealers and installers—to help them provide their customers with the best security and services as possible.

In addition to setting up appointments for the show floor, SSN editors, including me, will be doing short video interviews on the SSN stage outside the exhibit hall, as we have in past years. These video interviews provide a unique glimpse into the ISC West show experience from the attendees’ perspective, and I encourage you to reach out to me if you have something new and unique that you would like to talk about or share.

See you in Vegas!

Email me at: pragusa@securitysystemsnews.com.

 

ESX 2016 sessions look at key topics for central stations

 - 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ESX recently announced its educational tracks for its 2016 show; Run Your Company, Grow Your Business, Maximize Your Central Station, and Rethink the Future. At the end of 2015, I wrote about the biggest trends of the year for monitoring, and I see quite a few of those topics coming up in the Maximize Your Central Station track at this year’s ESX.

ASAP to PSAP had a big year last year, with the announced involvement of big names like ADT, Vivint and Stanley. On June 9, ESX has a session on the program, called “ASAP to PSAP - The Game Changer for the Central Station.”

Cloud came up quite bit last year too, with IBS, Dice, and Bold Technologies each announcing a cloud-based central station platform. The session   “The benefits and limitations of cloud storage in a central station environment,” and, “How UL-827 will impact you and what will be required to secure your technical configurations.”

Other topics sound new and intriguing. Lela Panagides, founder and CEO of Leap Into Leadership, will present a two-part session on “The Art of De-stressing Your Central Station.” The first part will address “How to Know When Your Team Needs a Chill Pill,” and the second will seek to give attendees “The Healthy Workplace Toolkit.”

The complete list of sessions in this track, as well as the others, is available on ESX’s website, www.esxweb.com.

Planning for ISC West has begun

 - 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Planning for ISC West 2016 has begun.

Paul Ragusa, our new managing editor;  Spencer Ives, SSN associate editor;  and yours truly are starting to schedule appointments for the biggest show of the year, but some events are already in place on my schedule.

I am moderating two awesome educational sessions including the ISC West Opening Keynote: "Lights! Camera! Action! How Paramount Pictures Delivers Enhanced Safety and Global Security While Driving Operational Efficiency and Sustainable ROI." It will take place on Wednesday morning from 8:45 to 9:45, right before the show floor opens. Here's a link with more information.

I toured Paramount's GSOC in Los Angeles last fall. The Paramount folks have a great story to tell—and they're very open about how they do things and what the potential pitfalls are. You won't want to miss this one.

I'll also be moderating an educational session on April 7, Thursday morning, at 10 a.m. That means I will have to run the Security 5k fast in order to get back to the Sands and be ready to go at 10. What's the Security 5k?, you ask. It's only the funnest event at ISC West. It's your chance to get away from the casinos, get some exercise and you'll be making a real difference in needy kids' lives. Walk 2k or run 5k. Here's a link with more information.

The April 7 educational session that I'm moderating after the Security 5K is called "Access Control Trends in the Education Sector."

We'll hear from two great speakers: Tara Steelman from the College of Saint Rose, and Gary Rodman from Ripon College. They'll talk about why they chose the access control systems the did and how those systems help them make informed decisions, act quickly in the event of an emergency and gather important intelligence for investigations. Matthew Zimmerman of LaForce will be on hand to give the integrator perspective. Definitely plan to attend!   Here's a link.

Do you have news to share? Are you interested in speaking to Security Systems News at ISC West this year? We'll be doing booth visits and video interviews on the ISC West/Security Systems News Media stage. Security Systems News focuses on breaking business news. We're interested in new products, but we want to know how those products and your business plans will affect our readers--the integrators and installers and monitoring companies. We don't want to talk to product folks, we want to speak to your business executives about what you're doing now, what your plans are for 2016. 

The editors' coverage areas are as follows: I cover the commercial and systems integration market; Paul covers residential; Spencer covers monitoring. Please email me at mentwistle@securitysystemsnews.com, Paul at pragusa@securitysystemsnews.com, or Spencer at sives@securitysystemsnews.com to inquire about setting up an appointment.

See you in Vegas.

A warm welcome …

 - 
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

From my coworkers here at Security Systems News, to the many in the industry that I have already had the opportunity to connect with, one thing that has softened the challenging and hectic transition to my new job as managing editor is the warm welcome that I have received from all.

During those particularly stressful moments of my first few days on the job, I must admit that seeing SSN Publisher Tim Purpura walk down the office hallway wearing a lobster hat—in preparation for the upcoming ISC West show next month in Las Vegas—brought a smile to my face, and unfortunately for Tim, some lame lobster-related puns about buttering him up that I can never take back. But I'm pretty sure I made him laugh … so I think my job is secure.

And speaking of security, job or otherwise, it was also heartwarming to find that an industry that is in the business of securing millions of homes and people, can have such a disarming nature. In my first week, I have been able to speak with a handful of industry professionals, who not only are helping me to get my arms around the market, but also assuring me that their doors are always open for a chat or a quote — whatever!  

Whether it was talking with Tom Kerber, director of research for Parks Associates, who shared some very interesting research the firm is doing, or chatting with industry professionals including Jeff Lyman, chief marketing officer for Vivint, John Loud, president, Loud Security, John Cerasoula, president/CEO, ADS Security, and Matthew Zartman, consumer marketing senior manager at Alarm.com, I am already finding that the industry is made up of people with diverse backgrounds, comprehensive experience and expertise in their areas, and not least of all, colorful personalities.

As we begin the mad dash to ISC West—and my preparation for the annual 5K run/2k walk charity event that SSN sponsors—I encourage our readers to reach out to me, if I don’t get to you first, to talk about the industry and the upcoming conference.

Email me at: pragusa@securitysystemsnews.com.

SEi adds new remote services division

 - 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Systems integrator SEi has moved to it new headquarters in Omaha, Neb. and launched a new Remote Services division, which will support SEi's growing managed services business.

SEi has "been doing managed access control for 30 years if not more," SEi EVP Tom Hruby said. But now it's doing more cloud hosting. With its managed access control business growing and its "hosted video seeing a huge uptick" there are more customer service questions too.

"The remote services group deals with issues connected with managed services," Hruby said. Questions often arise when a user updates a phone. They'll need information on code changes, setting up their iPhone app, or tablets or web interfaces, among other things.

Creating this new division is all part of SEi's focus on "the experience economy." Hruby said "Customers today will pay more for experience than services," Hruby said. "When they pay for a service, they have experience expectations. If we don't meet those expectations, they'll go pay for the service somewhere else."

"We focus on the experience at SEi; we call it 'The SEi difference," he said.

When it moved into new headquarters, SEi wanted to expand its central station, "create a great place to work and do business, ... add all new technology and furniture," he said.

SEi's new headquarters here—it's first move since it was founded in the '70s—is double the size of its former headquarters. It has room for 65 employees, warehouse space and its new U.L. listed central station is now called SEi's  Customer Care Center. 

In business for more than 45 years, SEi has 167 employees and 16,000 customers. Its 2015 total revenue was $27.6 million with $850,000 RMR.

 

 

 

 

Jay Hauhn talks on Honeywell-RSI deal

 - 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Yesterday it was announced that Honeywell acquired RSI Video Technologies (Videofied) for $123 million. Jay Hauhn, executive director for CSAA, talked with SSN about the deal.

The deal could help RSI further develop its offerings, he said. “Adding Honeywell’s R&D proficiency to RSI’s verification competencies is very powerful from a product functionality perspective.”

Having Honeywell and RSI could benefit central stations from a monitoring perspective. “I expect the combined offering to be an innovative fully integrated verification solution. Getting that from a single source is very attractive to a central station,” he said.  

Honeywell in its announcement highlighted RSI’s video verification capabilities. Hauhn said the acquisition is an efficient way for Honeywell to enhance its portfolio of verification offerings.  “When evaluating technologies needed within a product roadmap, a frequent question for a manufacturer is, ‘Do we develop it or do we acquire it?’ … Honeywell obviously decided their fastest path to market was going to be accomplished by acquiring RSI, a proven verification technology.”

“I suspect that there are significant sales synergies between RSI and Honeywell, often targeting the same alarm dealers,” Hauhn said.

SSN's '20 under 40' winners gathered at TechSec

 - 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Security Systems News' TechSec Solutions conference went very well this year—everything from the educational sessions to the weather. A highlight of the conference was having "20 under 40" Class of 2015 award winners in attendance. Eleven honorees from the integrators' class and six honorees from the end users joined us in Delray Beach, Fla. Included here are photos from the reception. You can find the complete collection of integrator profiles here, and the list of end user profiles here.

Above are the "20 under 40" integrators,  from left: Monitronics’ Barbara Holliday, CONTAVA’s Scott Ranger, Protection 1’s Matt Cooper, Advance Technology’s Rob Simopoulos, Northland Controls’ Henry Hoyne, Tech Systems’ Andy Chambers, Security Equipment’s Matt Vellek, Diebold’s Josh Long, Femac Security’s Corey Hendrix, Wayne Alarm Systems’ Shawn Crocker, Per Mar Security Services’ Brian Duffy, and SSN’s Martha Entwistle and Spencer Ives.

The photo on the left is the six end users who joined us, from left: Western Kentucky University’s Jeppie Sumpter, Beth-Israel Deaconess Hospital’s Christopher C. Moore, Marvel Studios’ Matthew Slatoff, City of Windsor’s Mike Cholubko, Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s Ross Bourgeois, and Comcast’s Reggy Timothee.

Thanks to all of our attendees this year, and another congratulations to all of our 2015 "20 under 40" winners.

Honeywell and UTC?

 - 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Honeywell is reportedly shopping its Building Solutions Group, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal. The Honeywell Building Solutions business, which the WSJ says is worth between $3 billion and $4 billion, provides security systems integration and other services to commercial buildings globally.  

It is a separate business unit from Honeywell Security and Fire (HSF), but they are both part of the Automation and Control Solutions unit. Alex Ismail is the president and CEO of the $14 billion Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions division.

The Wall Street Journal says Honeywell has hired Goldman Sachs Group to work on the sale, which has been ongoing for about three months.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Honeywell was in talks to merge with UTC. While those reports were followed by comments from UTC that they deal would run into trouble with anti-trust regulations, the Wall Street Journal today said “Honeywell has signaled that it isn’t ready to give up yet on a merger with United Technologies, which would be one of the biggest deals at a time when such activity is booming.”

Would Honeywell sell the building solutions business if it does merge with UTC? The Wall Street Journal report asked that question to itself and answered “I don’t know.” It also added this editorial caveat: “In any event, as always, there may be no deal at all.” 

According the WSJ report, Honeywell is working with Centerview Partners and Lazard on the UTC deal, while UTC is working with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

After ADT's news, Ascent stock rises

 - 
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ascent Capital Group’s stock price rose yesterday, on news of the ADT/Apollo deal.

I asked Imperial Capital’s Jeff Kessler about the stock’s jump and he characterized it as a “knee jerk reaction to the fact that the only other company in the United States that’s public, being traded, is being taken over.”

Yesterday (Feb. 16) Ascent’s stock price rose as high as 49 percent over its previous close of (Feb. 12) of $8.27 per share.  Yesterday’s high was $12.29. The stock closed at $11.00 and had been hovering around that price today.

Ascent’s stock price has been declining over the last 12 months. This time last year the stock price was $47.50.

Kessler pointed out that AlarmForce, another publicly traded alarm company, also saw a small increase after the news of ADT’s acquisition agreement. “If ADT is taken private [Alarm Force and Ascent] will be the only two publicly traded alarm companies,” he said.

Ascent Capital Group is a more well known peer to ADT, Kessler said, which is why Ascent’s price was affected more than that of AlarmForce.

“It will certainly have more people eyeing Ascent, to see whether or not there is some value in the Ascent monitoring capability for another buyer,” Kessler said. “Certainly I would think that private equity firms are looking at Ascent, because the stock has fallen down so far … but there’s no guarantees.” 

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