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ASIS Media Tour

 - 
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

As one of the biggest tourist destinations in the nation, Orlando, Florida represents a unique challenge for security professionals throughout the area. That is why the ASIS Media Tour provided an exciting opportunity to see what the host city for the ASIS 2016 Conference, Sept. 12-15, is doing to secure some of the major commercial buildings and facilities within Orange County.

Day One

The ASIS Media Tour started at the Orange County Convention Center, where we were able to talk with Orange County Convention Center Security director Timothy J. Wood, who shared some of the key security management strategies for the second largest convention center in North America with 2.1 million square feet of area to secure. Wood and his security staff work closely with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to create a plan for the more than 200 events that are held at the conference center each year.

“We do a full security plan 21 days out,” he said, looking at the history of the event, attendees expected, guest speakers invited, as well as any high profile attendees, such as military, government or dignitaries.

Wood noted that “although we can’t harden all areas, the goal is to minimize any soft spots” that a criminal or terrorist, for example, might be looking at, and “deter them by disrupting that cycle of planning and surveillance,” as well as being proactive in addressing any suspicious activity. He said it is also vitally important “to have a plan in advance of each event that addresses crowd management,” especially for a big shows like Megacon, which has doubled in size over the past few years.

One thing that struck me is the sense of community that is present throughout the Orlando area, from police and fire personnel to security professionals working at these high-profile facilities, who many times are former police, as is the case with Wood. “We have been working for decades with law enforcement and have a great working relationship,” which he noted includes sharing information and identifying security trends and issues.

Wood attends monthly “tourist crime intelligence meetings” with local law enforcement, FBI, SWAT, Secret Service, and bomb squad and fire personnel, to look at upcoming events, and address concerns or trends in security or for Orange County.

He also emphasized the importance of having security staff trained in hospitality, as well as working closely with Orange County Convention Center public relations, marketing and communications to coordinated efforts, such as with mass notifications, messages, news releases, etc.

For all of its security management efforts, the OCCC won the ASIS Matthew Simeone Award for Public Private Partnership Excellence two years ago.

The next stop on the tour was The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, which comprises 1.2 million square feet over several levels. Greg Moore, security director, said that because of their location in Orlando, “we have a much higher emphasis on security than you will see in other malls,” from training for security and other staff to the technology and services that they employ.

There is also a big emphasis on prevention or deterring crime. “It starts with the tone we set when you pull into the parking lot, with our police and security presence, to when you walk into the building.” He noted that the image that you create and the initial impression create a “big deterrent” to someone who might be thinking of doing something bad.

He and his security staff, including assistant security director Justin Messenger, also examine incidents that have happened at other malls, such as the shooting that happened at a Maryland mall two years ago, to look at “best and worst practices,” which can then be applied during training for their staff, whether it is active shooter training or workplace violence training.

Security guards are also proactive in identifying and dealing with suspicious behavior. “We tell our security officers to control their environment and don’t let it control you,” which can be something as simple as security guards asking someone who is looking at a map, for example, if they can help them find something.

Messenger, who oversees much of the technology employed at the mall, noted that the mall has “state-of-the-art cameras with video analytics capability,” including the ability to record all activity in the mall. A command center has full access to video and can notify security of any suspicious activity so they can be proactive in mitigating any possible problems.

Moving on from the mall, our last stop on day one of the tour was at the University of Central Florida, which at more than 60,000 students represents one of the largest campuses in the nation. To secure such a large campus with so many schools and buildings, UCF has its own Police HQ, an emergency operations center and mobile command vehicle with satellite capability.

UCF Police chief Richard Beary, who has nearly 40 years in law enforcement, noted that a university of this size presents unique challenges, including continued growth, as the campus is about to embark on a project that will add a downtown campus in Orlando.

He noted that creating a campus that is designed to address current security concerns is of the utmost priority. “The biggest challenge with new facilities is what we call ‘value engineering’ where they engineer the value right of a building,” he said. “With the new campus, we can’t afford to do it the wrong way, and then retrofit it after the fact,” which he said has been a challenge with some of the more than 200 existing buildings at UCF.

With Florida a concealed carry state, Beary is concerned about current campus efforts to allow concealed weapons on campus, as he feels the training to get a permit “only requires a 45-minute class, which is not adequate enough training and does not even involve teaching them how to handle the weapon or even fire it.”

Jeff Morgan, UCF director of the department of security and emergency management, noted that the UCF Crisis Intervention Group “is a huge program that is very beneficial” as the group is trained to deal with the many issues that occur on campus, including sexual assault and other violent crimes.

Managing a campus with 11,276 doors with locks creates its own safety and security challenges, and Morgan noted that the campus is researching adding some more capability to the more than 2,000 cameras on campus. “We have had vendors come in and there are future plans to add that analytics capability.”

In addition to a fully functioning Police department, the EOC was activated in 2013, providing a state-of-the-art facility (with a backup generator) that allows security to monitor all facilities, host training of all kinds, leverage the latest technology, and to connect, coordinate and talk with law enforcement, security, fire and hospital personnel while pushing important and relevant security info to all parties in real time.

The EOC is also used as a backup for federal marshals, as well as by FEMA and DHS for training.

Days Two and Three

Our first tour stop on day two was at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which recently brought on Chris Savard to fill a newly created position of director of security. Savard works closely with Annette DuBose, account manager for Andy Frain Services, a security management company that oversees the Phillips Center, to provide comprehensive security management protocols for a facility that is within sight of town hall and very much a part of the fabric of the community.

Savard, who is recently retired from law enforcement, said he wanted to begin to “change the culture and mindset” at the theater, with a stronger emphasis on security while still maintaining an “inviting and welcoming environment” for theatergoers.

One of the first things Savard did was start bag checks to better enforce a strict no weapons policy at the theater. “I was amazed and shocked at what they were trying to bring into the building,” he said, noting that items found during newly instituted bag checks included guns, knives, pepper spray and bullets, to name just a few.

Changing the culture at the theater is challenging, as bag checks or the use of wands, for example, is not something that is being done yet in New York’s theater district, for example. “Here in Orlando bag checks and the use of wands is becoming more of the norm, as you see it being done at Disney and other theme parks, so people are starting to get used to it,” said Savard, who noted that the theater is also considering starting checks for weapons using a wand, which would be done on a random basis. “After Paris, people want to see an increased police presence and focus on security.”

He said another important initial step to boost security was adding a police officer inside the building as well as a more strategic use of law enforcement officers outside. “We added a canine officer outside the theater to greet people as they drop-off and enter the valet area in front of the building, which we feel is a huge deterrent for a bad guy,” said Savard.

Security also brought in the Department of Homeland Security to do a complete assessment of the facility, looking for vulnerabilities and areas that can be hardened. “They found a few things that we were able to correct, such as varying our valet parking procedures,” noted Savard.

The assessment process included a 3D virtual analysis of the building that provided a comprehensive look at all of the access points and areas in the building, which can then be shared with and accessed by SWAT teams, for example, to aid them in getting in the building in the fastest and safest manner possible during an emergency situation.

In terms of video surveillance, cameras are located throughout the facility, especially “in high-value areas,” Savard noted, including five out in the front plaza area, as well as at all levels of the loading dock.

Security staff and employees are also given active-shooter and workplace-violence training. “This training is vitally important,” Savard said, as it teaches situational awareness, behavior assessment and counter surveillance, as well as how and when to engage someone who might be showing signs of suspicious behavior.

Savard also started offering a situational awareness and self-defense training class for female employees and their daughters, to teach them some basic techniques on how to neutralize someone and defend themselves better.

“Overall, we have increased security and taken it to the next level, so we are doing a lot better than we were,” said Savard.

Our next stop on day two was the Florida Hospital, where William S. Marcisz, senior director of security and a member of the ASIS Health Council, provided a comprehensive overview and guided tour of the hospital’s security program. With 10 hospitals over eight campuses, Marcisz relies on a large and highly trained security staff to manage buildings, including more than 1,000 access points and approximately 2,500 cameras.

When Marcisz arrived about three years ago, he suggested that the campus-based management structure be reorganized into one security department. “We designed it similar to a corporate security program but it is scalable,” said Marcisz, who noted that the program has five key elements, including operations (guard force management, for example), a communications division or dispatch, technology, including an IT department, a training division and investigations.

Marcisz explained that the training division is vitally important because it helps ensure that “communications and operations are synchronized and that we have everything standardized across the system.”

One area where the hospital sees “a lot of return on investment,” said Marcisz, is through investigations. “We investigate everything that is criminal in nature and we leverage our technology in our investigations, including our cameras, to help resolve many cases,” he explained.

Marcisz pointed out that through investigations, the hospital is able to get back hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in hospital assets, such as property that is either lost or stolen, as well as provide risk mitigation and defer litigation. “We did solve a case in 2015, for example, that saved us $15 million,” noted Marcisz. 

Another key part of training is to ensure that all head security positions have certifications attached to them, such as the Professional Certified Investigator (PCI) certification through ASIS.

The hospital also developed a workplace violence prevention program that is managed through security. “We do threat management and have put together training programs developed in-house, including computer-based learning modules on active shooter and workplace violence,” said Marcisz. “And we are in the process of developing additional training for our leadership on how to manage workplace violence.”

Because the hospital has a constant turnover of staff, there is an employee orientation program, and staff receives MOAB (management of aggressive behavior) and CPI (crisis prevention intervention) training.

“Our safety violence risk assessment was also developed in house, and we are in the process of implementing that, which allows our nursing staff to match up objective criteria, in terms of a patient’s behavior, based on a stoplight system—red, yellow and green—that provides responses and actions that need to be taken as behavior escalates,” said Marcisz.  

With close to 200 security personnel and growing, the hospital has a structured onboarding training process that consists of several different training modules an officer must complete once they finish orientation. “They must attain, and if applicable, get certified in certain skill sets (handcuffing, for example) before they can even interact with patients,” noted Marcisz. “A hospital is a very unique, high stress environment, so we have to be compassionate and customer service-oriented as well.”

Outside, each campus has two security vehicles that are equipped with video and license plate identification technology, including a strict parking policy to keep employees from parking in unauthorized areas.

In addition to the security team, the hospital has a threat management team and works closely with law enforcement and fire personnel.

On day three, our final stop on the tour was at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, formerly the Peabody, where Fred Prassack, director of security, talked about the challenges of securing the largest Hyatt convention property in the U.S.

Located next to the Orange County Convention Center, the hotel has 1,639 rooms and 105 breakout rooms as well as numerous meeting rooms, the largest of which is the size of two football fields. The hotel is also getting set to add a $450 million new tower with a conference center that will have approximately 350,000 square feet of meeting space.

To secure such a large property, the hotel has a main security office, a video monitoring and dispatch center as well as a small conference room for security meetings and briefings.

Prassack said that one of the keys to their success is having a staff that is all on the same page. “We have an officer training program, as well as a new-hire orientation program,” he noted, which includes security, fire safety and other emergency preparedness training. “We also have training for managers in areas such as anti-terror, active shooter and workplace violence, which is done in cooperation with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.”

Prassack noted that he reminds security and other hotel staff that 9-11 “changed the way we live forever … many of our freedoms went away that day.” Staff is trained to look for suspicious activity and “be vigilant,” he said. “If you see something, say something. After orientation and training, I deputize them and have them sworn in, which makes them feel empowered to be able to do something, if needed.”
 
As a major convention hotel, Prassack speaks with other hotel security directors in the area and nationwide and participates in monthly sheriff’s crime intelligence breakfast meetings, which address current issues or concerns that security may need to address or be aware of, such as the Zika virus, which has been garnering a lot of attention lately in Florida. 

On the technology side, the hotel also utilizes more than 400 Panasonic cameras with IP addresses and a separate hard drive. Cameras have motion sensors and record activity, which is saved for 30 days. The video surveillance room is set up on an automated schedule that provides views of cameras in key areas at the hotel, while taking the feed off of areas that are not active, such as the bar area in the morning.

This attention to detail is paramount at such a busy and bustling hotel property, said Prassack.

 

Numera releases new wearable line

 - 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

CARLSBAD, Calif.—Numera this week announced a new selection of wearables to complement its Libris mPERS device while users are at home.

The center of this announcement is the new Smart Cradle, which connects the Libris device with the new wearables while charging the mPERS, Anu Herranen, marketing manager for Nortek Security and Control, told SSN. 

The new wearables include a Fall Detection Pendant, a Convertible Help Button which can be worn as a pendant or on the wrist, and a Simple Help Button Pendant.

Herranen said that a noticable difference between the Fall Detection Pendant and the Libris device is their weight. The Libris is about 2.1 ounces, she said; the Fall Detection Pendent only weighs about half an ounce. The pendant is also 40 percent smaller by dimensions.

She said the two biggest benefits for end users are the ability to have a personal safety device while the Libris is charging and the option for a more comfortable device while around the house.

“[Users] can leave their Libris in its Smart Cradle, because all of the mobile PERS devices do have a battery that needs to be charged, … and they are still equally protected,” she said. The Libris has a battery life of 36 hours, she said, while the wearables’ batteries last for several years.

The new wearables also continue to track users in the EverThere program. “The Smart Cradle connected with any of the wearables provides exactly the same experience in EverThere that we do in the Libris device.” The Smart Cradle is also upgradable, via Over-The-Air software updates.

Herranen said that the ability to wear a help button on the wrist is new for the Libris offering. She said the wrist-worn help button was specifically designed for wear during sleep.

The Libris still has features that the new wearables don’t, such as voice capabilities and GPS location. 

Outsmarting the smart home

 - 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Talked about heavily at ISC West in April, cybersecurity is the buzzword in the industry right now, as manufacturers and dealers on the residential side try to figure out how to navigate through the potential minefield of new smart home products and devices that may leave their security systems vulnerable to hacking.

In a study unveiled this week, Cybersecurity researchers at the University of Michigan were able to hack into a leading "smart home" platform and essentially get the PIN code to a home's front door.

Their "lock-pick malware app" was one of four attacks that the cybersecurity researchers leveled at an experimental set-up of Samsung's SmartThings platform, and is believed to be the first platform-wide study of a connected home system. The researchers weren’t picking on Samsung, as the overall goal of the research was to show how vulnerable these new connected home devices and systems are to hacking.

The researchers found “significant design vulnerabilities from a security perspective," noting that hackers’ attacks can “expose a household to significant harm—break-ins, theft, misinformation and vandalism. The attack vectors are not specific to a particular device and are broadly applicable."

The findings will be presented on May 24 at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Jose, in a paper titled "Security Analysis of Emerging Smart Home Applications."

At the very least, this study—as well as numerous stories of hackers finding their way into connected home devices, from smart TVs to baby monitors—raises important questions that manufacturers and dealers must ask themselves in this new world of advanced technology and interactivity.

As Samsung works out the kinks in its system, many other smart home companies can benefit from this study, as it sounds an alarm—no pun intended—of the importance of cybersecurity. While no system is completely immune from hacking, the research also underscores the fact that smart home companies and dealers need to make sure they are adhering to, at a minimum, the industry’s best practices and guidelines.

One resource is UL’s new Cybersecurity Assurance Program, a standard by which companies can have their products tested and verified by UL for guard against well-known cyber risks.

Having your products and systems third-party tested is a good first step in addressing any security flaws that may be present, as well as any potential fixes, and provides a measure of comfort for customers who are making their first forays into this bold new world of connected home technology.

 
 

The 'New ADT' is here

 - 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The "New ADT" is here. As of May 2, the Protection 1/ADT deal is closed, and ADT is no longer trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal, initially announced in February, was the third major security investment for Apollo Global, which announced it would buy ADT for $6.9 billion and merge it with Protection 1.

I tried to get a call scheduled with Tim Whall who is the CEO of the combined company or someone else at “The New ADT,” but have not heard back yet.

The official announcement had little new information, it mentioned that the headquarters of the combined company will be ADT’s headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and said that the company will “operate primarily under the ADT brand.”

Will the Protection 1 name go away completely? Who will run the resi business? What about ADT's nascnet commercial business? Is CMS staying or going? CMS has the opportunity to go after the cablecos/telecom business and DIY business that other wholesale monitoring companies are doing well with. Will it? As a non-public company, ADT can concentrate on slow smart growth--something observers say it has done well with, even under the constant scrutiny of the stock market. So many questions to ask.

Goldman, Sachs served as lead financial advisor to ADT and BofA Merrill Lynch also served as financial advisor to ADT.  Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and RBC Capital Markets, LLC served as financial advisors to Apollo and Protection 1 and provided debt financing.  PSP Investments Credit USA LLC also provided debt financing.

The deal also provided an entry for the Koch Brothers into physical security. An affiliate of Koch Equity Development LLC, the investment and acquisition subsidiary of Koch Industries, provided $750 million of preferred equity financing.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal advisor to ADT. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal advisor to Protection 1 and Apollo.  Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP served as legal advisor to Koch.

 

Affiliated’s Catalyst PERS conference sold out

 - 
Friday, April 29, 2016

Affiliated Monitoring’s new PERS conference, Catalyst, sold out three-and-a-half weeks prior to the inaugural event on May 17.

Affiliated’s VP Daniel Oppenheim told SSN that Catalyst booked so quickly due to its “focus on sales and marketing, and Affiliated’s reputation as a PERS specialist.”

“We have 160 attendees, and including staff and vendors, we're going to be at about 200 total,” Oppenheim said. Oppenheim believes it will be the largest PERS conference ever held.

Oppenheim said that Affiliated will unveil three new services at the show, but declined to give more detail.

Former major league baseball player and manager Bobby Valentine will be giving the keynote address. “We were looking for someone who we felt has managed teams,” Oppenheim said. “He has very practical knowledge about bringing in people with different backgrounds, different skill sets. … He really can talk about the grind, day-in and day-out and trying to get teammates to perform.”

He said the company will look for a larger venue for next year. “We’ll probably do it again in Florida, just at a larger resort, around the same time.”

Finding security in smart home products

 - 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

With the “smart home” taking over talk on the residential side of security, it is no surprise that research and studies continue to pop up in an effort to quantify and qualify what is going on in this growing connected-home market.

Results of a study conducted in March by August Home and Xfinity Home give some further insight into the relationship between home security and connected home devices.

When asked why they would consider adopting smart home technology, the study found that 63 percent of consumers said security or “keeping their family safe” is their top motivation.

In addition, in a Parks Associates’ survey of homeowners with broadband connections, those with a security system were more likely to say they intend to buy a smart home device in the next 12 months.  

So at a time when dealers are trying to emphasize the importance of security first in this new smart home world, it looks like consumers are heeding their message.

In terms of how many plan to add smart home technology, the August Home and Xfinity Home survey found that 18 percent of respondents said they’d likely buy a new smart home product over the next 12 months, including 56 percent of those who have already installed at least one connected device in their home.

What smart home devices are they planning on buying? Video is at the top of the list with 4 in 10 consumers (40 percent) saying a connected camera would be the product they’d most likely add to their home, followed by a video doorbell (26 percent), connected light bulb (19 percent) and smart lock (13 percent).

When asked which device they’d most like as part of a smart home-powered security system, over 63 percent of respondents chose a connected video camera inside or outside the home, while 61 percent of those with a smart home said that a video camera was the device they’d most like to access and control from their smartphone.

This is all good news for the residential security industry, and for dealers who are taking the time to reconnect with their customers who continue to find security in this emerging world of connected products.

 

Security robotics and regulation

 - 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A couple weeks ago I wrote about PSA-TEC, PSA Security’s annual training and education conference, which will take place in Westminster, Colo. May 9-13.

Kudos to PSA for being the first in the industry to take a close look at security robotics. PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman is among those who believe security robotics will be “the next big thing” in security.

Courses at TEC will explore ground-based, aerial and marine robotics. You can check out the educational sessions here.

In many ways, this robotic technology is here. Drones are being used for surveillance by movie studios and on colleges campuses. And, systems integrator Northland Controls even has robots patrolling its parking lot in Fremont, Calif.  

However, security robotics is in its nascent stage though, and the security industry has to figure out how to harness the technology more broadly, and in a way that makes business sense for end users and integrators.

Also, it’s not clear at all how the government is going to regulate security robotics in general, and drones in particular. There’s a bill in the U.S. Senate right now that would make drone regulation a federal responsibility. One thing for sure is that security robotics will be regulated. And, that makes sense. While drones may be safely used for surveillance in some areas, drones and other robotics may pose a risk in certain locations, such as airports. Questions of privacy will need to be addressed as well. Like it or not, some degree of regulation is inevitable and advisable.

The Security Industry Association is keeping an eye on this issue, and you should too. Jake Parker of SIA told me the “FAA is in the process of finalizing regulations that [drone] operators must follow and chances are this will evolve in the future.” He also noted that there are “significantly different requirements for law enforcement use versus private/commercial security.” He added that this topic will be discussed at SIA’s June 17 Government Summit.

I’m looking forward to the security robotics educational sessions at PSA-TEC, and I’m also looking forward to seeing the robots and drones in Colorado. Bozeman says they’ll be there.

CSAA announces 2016 annual meeting keynote

 - 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Earlier this week CSAA announced the keynote speaker for this year’s CSAA Annual Meeting, held in Marco Island, Fla., from Oct. 22-27: Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist and author of New York Times bestseller Bankable Leadership.

“We are pleased to feature a next-generation speaker at the Annual Meeting,” CSAA president Pamela J. Petrow said in a prepared statement. “CSAA members are always looking toward the future, and Dr. Eurich is sure to provide them with new strategies to stay ahead of today’s leadership challenges.”

Eurich is principal of The Eurich Group, an executive development firm that helps companies improve the effectiveness of their leaders and teams. She has a Ph.D in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University and serves on the adjunct faculty of the Center for Creative Leadership.

“By pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to business challenges, she has helped thousands of leaders over the last 15 years,” CSAA said in its announcement.

When I’ve spoken to executive director Jay Hauhn in the past, he’s said that CSAA is retooling the structure and format of its annual meeting.

This certainly seemed to have an impact, as last year’s annual meeting was one of the best attended in the organization’s history. “2015 saw the largest attendance CSAA has had in recent years, and we are confident our reimaging of the meeting will top last year’s record when we convene this fall in Marco Island,” Petrow said in the announcement.

“CSAA is entering the second phase of the reimaging of its Annual Meeting,” Petrow said. “In 2015 a new emphasis was placed on educational programming, and the general sessions were a hit with attendees. CSAA intends to bolster that emphasis on fresh, meaningful education in 2016.”

Telguard frees dealers from 2G obstacles

 - 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Telguard recently announced its new Freedom program: providing dealers with funding and equipment for 2G conversions for a $9.95 monthly fee per 2G account. Shawn Welsh, Telguard’s SVP of product line management and marketing, told me that the program helps the dealers who haven’t yet figured out how to deal with the sunset.

The sunset is an old topic, and Welsh said dealers have probably gotten a little fatigued hearing about it. He said that Telguard looked to why some dealers hadn’t started.

“What it came down to—what we heard a lot of times—was [that] some of the smaller independent dealers just simply didn’t have access to the cash that they were going to need to go and try to swap everything out,” he said.

Barriers specifically include the cost of the hardware, sending out a truck for installation, and the concern of whether the customer would disconnect their service after hearing about the needed upgrade. “When the security dealer installs the unit, we will actually … pay them [$50] for the installation of the unit,” he said. 

“We also include the ability to integrate our home automation platform, HomeControl Flex, as well as Arlo cameras from Netgear, all for that same price,” he said. “Now the dealer can go in and he can try to upsell the customer to new features.”

The program is open to all dealers, Welsh said. Telguard announced the program at ISC West.

ESX 2016: Keynotes look to question the status quo

 - 
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Keynote speakers for ESX 2016, June 8-10 at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas, were announced and include author Nicholas Webb, Provident Security founder and CEO Michael Jagger, and ITR Economics president Dr. Alan Beaulieu. Security Systems News editors caught up with each keynote speaker to get a glimpse of what to expect at the show this year.

NICHOLAS WEBB
At the Opening Keynote Luncheon, world-renowned business futurist and innovation thought leader Nicholas Webb, author of Innovation Playbook and The Digital Innovation Playbook, will provide his perspective on what he said is “a very pivotal time in the security industry.”

He told me during our talk that there are three trends—disruptive innovation, consumerization and connective architecture—that have “hit the security industry hard and are going to hit them extremely hard over the next 24-36 months,” he said.

As a successful inventor with more than 48 patented technologies, Webb understands the power of a product or service that becomes a disruptive innovator, such as what Uber did in the taxi industry.

“With disruptive innovation you blow it up in a nuclear mushroom cloud and replace it with something that is a completely different model but significantly better to whoever your consumer is,” he said. “Uber is a good but overused example, and disrupters are out there and they are destroying everything by leveraging the fact that consumers are very consumerized—meaning that they have lots and lots of options available to them—and they are leveraging these connected devices to be able to research you in terms of looking at what better options there may be, including how well you currently serve your customers.”

One point that Webb wants to drive home during his keynote is that “you either become a hacker—a disruptive innovator—or you get hacked by a disruptive innovator.”  

He also wants ESX attendees to make the distinction between reactive intervention and proactive intervention. “Proactive innovation stops things from happening and reactive intervention, which has happened for the last 40 years in the security industry, just catalogs bad things that happen,” he said. “If there is going to be sea shift in security, it is going to be moving away from reacting to events to interacting prior to an event. And the Ring is a good example of this type of proactive innovation.” 

Webb said he also wants to stress the importance of the customer experience during his keynote, and pointed out that security companies “need to understand the five touch points of the customer journey, and how to invent better experiences across those five touch points.”

Ultimately, he said, security companies need to do a better job of knowing their customers. “After 36 months of research we saw how the best companies on the planet were using ‘customer typing’ as a way to deliver the most relevant and exquisite value to their customers.”

MICHAEL JAGGER
Michael Jagger, founder and CEO of Provident Security, flew to Tokyo specifically to go to Sukiyabashi Jiro, a three-star Michelin restaurant located in the basement of an office building.

It’s a 10-seat sushi bar presided over by master chef Jiro Ono. The plane ticket was expensive as was the sushi, but Jagger said, “It turned out to be an exceptionally cheap trip” because of what he learned from the experience.

Jagger will deliver the keynote at the Industry Excellence Breakfast at ESX. He’ll talk about what he learned from Jiro specifically, and why he believes it’s essential to look outside of the security industry for inspiration for “how to set your business apart in your market.”

Jagger has been looking outside of the industry for a number of years. He’s spent time at companies such as Toyota, FedEx, Tesla.

“The consumer has too many choices,” he said. “We’re all in business to look after our customers. If you’re not remarkable, or perceived to be remarkable, your customers will go elsewhere,” Jagger said.

He’ll discuss how he took what he learned from different innovative companies and applied it to his company culture, processes and customer experience.

ALAN BEAULIEU
Economist Alan Beaulieu, who spoke at ESX last year, will return as the ESX closing keynote speaker this year.

Asked for a preview of where the economy is headed in 2016, Beaulieu told Security Systems News, “We’re in a different place than we were last year.”

Beaulieu plans to talk about leading economic indicators, consumer activity and business activity. Hint: Things look good.

A principal of ITR Economics, Beaulieu will share his economic forecast with an emphasis on how macrotrends are affecting the security industry in 2016.

He plans to touch on what has happened in states that produce oil and gas shale. “They face a different economy [from other states]. I’ll break out when oil prices will come back,” he said. Oil prices have a major effect on business and new home construction, and both of these obviously affect the physical security and alarm industry.

In general consumers are earning more money and there are more jobs available. “There’s a lot of good news for the essential client base for ESX attendees,” he said.

Want to know the implications for the security industry of the tight labor market, rising interest rates, the presidential election? Beaulieu will give his take on all of the above.

Beaulieu hopes the audience will come armed with questions. “I really enjoy questions during and after that presentation,” he said. “I want to maximize the takeaway value.”

Beaulieu is an editor of Industry Week and is the co-author of the book “Prosperity in the Age of Decline.” ESX chairman George De Marco said that several ESX attendees have told him that they read Beaulieu’s book after his keynote address last year, and one security company owner required all of his managers to read the book and rerouted his business plan as the result of listening to Beaulieu and reading his book.

SSN editor Martha Entwistle contributed to this report.
 

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