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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.

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, 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.

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.

Dahua cameras now easier to get in North America

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

China-based camera manufacturer Dahua this week took a major step to expand its presence in North America: ADI Global Distribution will now carry Dahua products in its 103 store locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Dahua has plans to grow its presence in North America in a big way, Tim Shen, Dahua Technology marketing director, told me at ISC West.

The China-based camera manufacturer established its North American office in Irvine, Calif. in 2014. At ISC West this year, Dahua invested in one of the biggest booths at the show. It was 3,600 square feet, double the size of its 2015 ISC West booth.
I requested an interview with Shen or another Dahua executive to discuss the announcement. None were immediately available, but Raleigh Gerber, Dahua's newly hired communications manager, sent me some background information. She said that in addtiion to making the product more readily available to North American integrators, working with ADI "gives Dahua an opportunity to listen and learn more about the fast-moving video surveillance market, to gain insights about systems integrators’ needs and better help them."

She added that the partnership with ADI "supports Dahua’s open platform solutions, allowing us to provide seamless and flexible integration with our software and hardware partners, and system integrators."

 Dahua's products include its 1.3-4MP IP cameras, 8 and 16 channel POE NVRS, 1080p HDCVI cameras and tri-brid HCVRs.

Jim McMullen wants to acquire more wholesale centrals

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jim McMullen, president and COO of Lydia Security Monitoring, as well as president and COO of COPS Monitoring, is interested in purchasing more third-party central stations. Lydia’s recent purchase of wholesale central station UCC was a big topic at ISC West 2016, both in COPS’ booth and in UCC’s.

“We would like to go out there and buy other companies that specialize in a particular segment of the [monitoring] marketplace, so that we can draw on their expertise and grow it from there,” McMullen told me.

He identified access control, video, and PERS as three areas of the monitoring industry where Lydia would be “very interested in making acquisitions,” adding that the company has plenty of financial backing to do so.

“Each company [under Lydia] will have its own personality,” according to McMullen.

He described how the three brands under Lydia Security Monitoring—COPS Monitoring, UCC, and AlarmWATCH—each have their own focus. The COPS Monitoring brand would appeal to a larger dealers with a high volume of accounts.

“If you’re looking toward us for help, to teach you—the alarm company—more about how to sell, and how to market … UCC would probably be a better fit for you, because they focus on that more than [COPS does],” McMullen said.

“We’re looking at AlarmWatch for, possibly, the fire sector,” he said. “They’re … doing special things with fire systems.”

David Smith, COPS director of marketing and communication, stressed the separation between brands under Lydia. At ISC West 2016, Smith said, “People came into our booth and said ‘yeah, I’m with UCC,’ or ‘We’ve been looking at UCC,’ [and added] ‘but that’s you guys now, right?’ And honestly, it’s not. It shares an executive team, but past that … it’s a whole separate entity,” Smith said. 

ISC West also brought people outside the industry to COPS’ booth, McMullen said. He gave the example of wearable manufacturers wanting professional monitoring for their devices.

McMullen said that the company had similar conversations at CES, talking about the possibility of professionally monitoring personal drones.

The resi buzz at ISC West

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

At this year’s ISC West, the big theme on the residential side was the connected home, and all of the possibilities now available to dealers who are looking to provide interactive services, including some DIY options, to the homeowner.

The DMP Owners Forum, a daylong training event for dealers, included the introduction of new products and services tailored to help dealers take advantage of the connected home and DIY.

The smart-home theme continued on the ISC West show floor, as I visited residential smart home providers including Icontrol One,, Qolsys, 2GIG and Honeywell Security & Fire—the biggest booth at ISC West 2016 this year.

As you will see in my ISC West Roundup, many of these companies unveiled new technology, and outlined the increased support and options now available for dealers looking to provide these options to their customers.
After the show, I caught up with David Paja, president, Honeywell Security & Fire, to see if he was hearing the same kind of buzz at this year’s show. 

“For us it was probably one of the busiest shows in the past few years,” Paja said. “ISC West was very exciting for us this year as there is a lot going on in the industry right now, and I had a lot of discussions about connected homes, connected buildings, and new technology and software development in those areas.”

At the booth, Paja said the company was excited to launch its Lyric Security offering, which he said he has been talking about for over a year, but is now officially in production. “We are bringing together with Lyric our connected home offering across Honeywell, which is a family of products that cover security, safety and comfort (energy management and thermostats, for example), and the response from the marketplace has been phenomenal and the orders that we are booking are more than we anticipated.”

Paja also noted that two recent company acquisitions—RSI and Xtralis—are helping to expand Honeywell’s offerings and position in 2016.

“Everything is going visual—that is what we believe in the industry,” said Paja. “Historically, alarm notifications were enough, but with visual video verification we are seeing a strong demand from end users, as well as law enforcement in an effort to manage and reduce the cost of false alarms, as well as for central monitoring stations. This big push toward visualizing the alarms and the events is a long-term trend in our view, and RSI has a unique and leading position in terms of video verification solutions, one that we did not have in the U.S.”

As these residential-focused companies reposition themselves to stay at the forefront of trends in the industry, dealers will be able to change with the times as well, and not let new technology pass them by.


Robots: the next big thing? They'll be at PSA-TEC

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

PSA-TEC will have some new attendees this year: Robots.

There will be drones and ground-based robots at PSA Security’s annual education and training event PSA-TEC, which will takes place May 8-13 in Westminster, Colo.

Bill Bozeman, PSA Security CEO, believes security robotics is the next big opportunity—and challenge—for the security industry.

“We’ll have three sessions [related to robotics] at TEC,” Bozeman said. He noted that PSA Security led the industry on the cybersecurity front, holding its Cyber Security Congress early in 2015.

“We like to start the conversation at TEC about what the future will look like [in terms of technology],” he said.

In the days leading up to PSA-TEC, Bozeman will be attending a drone conference in New Orleans, where he’ll get a close look at aerial, ground and marine-based drones.

Bozeman said that he expects Security Robotics to be the next committee created by PSA Security.

PSA currently has five committees, relatively recently created, that explore topics of interest to security integrators. The committees are tasked with sharing information at PSA-TEC, through the PSA website and elsewhere, coming up “playbooks” for integrators and developing best practices and standards to save integrators time, money and resources.

The five committees are: Project Management Committee, Sales & Marketing Committee, Technical Committee, Leadership Committee, and the  Cyber Committee.

It seemed like everyone was talking about cybersecurity at ISC West. I had a chance to speak to Andrew Lanning, co-founder of integration firm IST, and chairman of the PSA Security Cyber Committee, at the show. Lanning’s group plans to share its preliminary cybersecurity playbook with integrators at PSA-TEC in May.

Lanning’s group is looking at processes and products with the goal of helping integrators, from the super IT-savvy integrators, to those who are just starting to educate themselves about IT best practices and cybersecurity, he said.

Anthony Berticelli, PSA director of education, oversees all of the committees. “There will be nine committee-led session at TEC,” Berticelli said. “There will be peer-to-peer sessions and roundtable sessions and several of the sessions will overlap [committee jurisdiction],” he said. 

PSA-TEC is open to everyone in the security industry. One does not have to be a PSA member to attend PSA-TEC. Here’s a link to information about the conference.