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Affiliated and Essence USA launch new PERS program

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

UNION, N.J.—On Monday, connected living solutions provider Essence USA announced a new program, created in partnership with Affiliated Monitoring, to benefit dealers of Essence’s PERS products.

“The fully customizable program gives dealers a range of options about how to best run their PERS offerings, including order fulfillment - direct to the consumer or distributed to the dealer, customer service, invoicing and collections, equipment retrieval and refurbishment, and branding options,” the announcement read.

“PERS is a major focus at Affiliated,” Daniel Oppenheim, Affiliated’s vice president, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to be able to provide this advanced system to our dealers who are interested in a turnkey PERS program.”

“We can customize a program for any dealer to make it easier to get into PERS,” Affiliated Managing Director Mike Zydor said in the announcement. “For the dealers already in the market, we can provide access to preprogrammed, leading-edge products at discounted rates.”

Essence’s Care@Home suite of PERS products benefits both dealers and end-users, Essence said in its announcement. The offering has a large radio communications range for devices, “allowing users maximum flexibility in moving around their home and property. They also offer a wide variety of safety and security sensors, giving dealers an attractive and scalable offering for their customer base,” the announcement said.

“Essence is on the forefront of in-home PERS technology and has a veteran management team behind it,” said Yaniv Amir, President, Essence USA, in the announcement. “Essence historically has only worked directly with larger players in the space, and we are excited to now bring our products to all Affiliated dealers.”

The program is scheduled to launch within the Affiliated dealer network at the end of May.

SSN opens nominations for ‘20 under 40’ Class of 2017

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Security Systems News, for the 11th year in a row, is seeking the best and brightest young professionals in the security industry for its annual “20 under 40” awards.

"The award recognizes the next generation of leaders in our industry—the ones who are going to help push the security industry forward and drive the constant evolution in technology necessary to keep it strong and vibrant," said Paul Ragusa, editor of Security Systems News.

Nominations are now open. If an integrator, installer, monitoring center professional, dealer or end user stands out to you, feel free to submit their name here. Please specify which class your nomination is for—integrator, which encompasses roles within the industry, or end user. The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 30.

Employees from manufacturing or consulting companies are not eligible. However, they are encouraged to nominate an integrator or end user that is eligible. Nominees must be age 40 or younger—born in 1977 or later. You can nominate more than one person, and you can nominate yourself.

"Each year we look for security professionals who make everyone around them better through their dedication and hard work, and through their innovation and ambition to make a difference at their company or organization, and in the communities they work in," Ragusa said.

Profiles of each “20 under 40” award winner will appear at www.securitysystemsnews.com and in our print editions later this year.

All “20 under 40” award recipients will be honored at a special reception at SSN’s TechSec Solutions conference, held in Delray Beach, Fla., in February 2018. TechSec Solutions is the industry’s premier conference on new and emerging technologies, and “20 under 40” winners are often invited to speak at the conference.

Convergint acquires Operational Security Systems

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

At ISC West last month it was nice to meet and catch up with Convergint Technologies' executive chairman and founder Dan Moceri, and president and CEO Ken Lochiatto, who were both kind enough to participate in an ssnTVnews video interview on the Security Systems News' trade show floor stage.

The global systems integration company has been very busy recently—and since its inception in 2001—and just completed an acquisition this week of Operational Security Systems Inc. (OSS), an Atlanta, Ga.-based security integrator with an additional location in Orlando, Fla. Founded in 1972, Operational Security Systems is run by president Jim Coleman, who along with more than 50 colleagues from the company will be joining the Convergint team.

Moceri told SSN that he is excited to have Coleman and his entire team joining the Convergint Technologies family, as the company shares many of the same values as Convergint.

“We have a lot of respect for Jim and his company as he has created a strong culture and team that is very focused on the service side of the business, which is how we have grown our organization,” said Moceri. “In addition to being strong from a service perspective, Jim has developed a very strong engineering company and a solutions provider that brings additional capacity and capabilities to our team.”

“Operational Security Systems and Convergint Technologies share two common core values: looking after the needs of our customers and looking after our fellow colleagues,” Jim Coleman said in the announcement. “Joining the Operational Security Systems team with Convergint Technologies brings deeper resources to our clients and new and exciting opportunities for our colleagues. This acquisition will prove beneficial to all involved.”

Convergint Technologies has seen a steady track record of both organic growth and growth through acquisition since its founding in 2001.

“We continue to grow very aggressively organically, but you can only grow so fast organically, so when we have an opportunity like this to bring in good quality people all at one time, we certainly want to take advantage of that,” he said.

Will Convergint continue to stay active on the acquisition front? “Absolutely—stay tuned,” said Moceri. “As always, we’ve got a nice pipeline of acquisitions and we expect another exciting year on that front. We’ve started off very strong in the first quarter along with very strong organic growth over the last year and we continue to supplement that growth with acquisitions.”

In addition to this acquisition, the company just opened an office in Toronto, which is part of the company’s planned expansion in the greater Toronto area. The new office is strategically located in the Bell Trinity Square beside the Eaton Centre on the PATH system, which is mostly an underground walkway that links about 30 km of shopping, services, and entertainment in downtown Toronto, the company noted.

“This exciting new location enables us to be at the doorstep of the downtown Financial District and to support all of our existing and future clients in the area while delivering our Values & Beliefs to be our best customers’ best service provider,” Greg Taylor, vice president, Eastern Canada Operations for Convergint Technologies, said in the announcement.

Security and building automation technicians, as well as locksmith services, will also be added to this location to provide rapid response for clientele, and the new office will also serve as a satellite learning center. “We plan to host Lunch & Learns at the site with our technology partners to provide our clients with information about the latest trends and technologies in electronic security and building automation solutions,” Eric Heagle, business development manager for Convergint Technologies, said in the announcement.

Galaxy Control Systems embracing the cloud

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

At ISC West 2017 earlier this month, Galaxy Control Systems solidified its commitment to cloud-based solutions with the announcement of its new Cloud Concierge, a cloud-based access control and monitoring solution. Galaxy also just released a new whitepaper this week entitled, “Understanding Cloud Services for Access Control,” further exemplifying the company’s commitment to its customers by providing education and awareness. 

“Galaxy Control Systems recognized early on that cloud services had the potential to deliver new flexibility and benefits for the security market,” Lukas Le, director of Cloud Services, Galaxy Control Systems, told Security Systems News. Le said that Galaxy has been working with cloud and hosted solutions for years to develop a high level of experience and expertise so the company could provide leadership and strong support for its customers.

“We have also been watching the market to gauge the increasing level of interest, knowledge and acceptance of this new approach,” he explained. “Today, we see that the current mature state of the necessary technologies will let us leverage the recent release of our mobile applications while delivering on a business model that is mutually beneficial for the integrator, end user and Galaxy alike.”

“Security professionals—both channel and end users—are recognizing the operational and cost benefits of a hosted collaborative access control solution,” Rick Caruthers, executive vice president, Galaxy Control Systems, said in the announcement. “With Cloud Concierge, we’ve reduced the complexity to allow resellers to comfortably sell a cost-effective solution to their base without having to assume responsibilities associated with system monitoring and management.”

He continued, “By joining the Cloud Concierge program, integrators who specialize and excel in their specific areas can focus on what they do best rather than trying to provide an end-to-end solution themselves. Best of all, by working with trusted partners to deploy, administer and maintain systems, end users can devote their time and energy to their
core business and operations.”

Unlike a traditional access control system, where door locks and controllers are connected to on-premise access control servers that store the system settings, enrollees and rules, and run the access control software application, with the new Galaxy Control Systems cloud-based access control solution, the access control servers are located remotely.

“Door locks and controllers communicate with the remote cloud servers through an encrypted Internet connection,” said Le. “This arrangement offers security and maintenance advantages, and lets system administrators and service staff access the system from anywhere they can reach the Internet using a standard browser, with no special software required on their devices.”

Le said that there is an up-front cost savings for customers who are installing new systems, and for customers with existing systems “the choice of timing might be dependent on the age of the on-premise hardware, availability of service and maintenance staff, and similar factors,” he noted. “Initially, we will focus our efforts on our current dealers, and we expect that continued education using webinars, workshops and similar hands-on methods will continue to increase adoption.” 

Although there are many customers who understand the cloud, cloud service adoption “is primarily about educating our customers about the benefits.” Le said. “For those already familiar with the benefits of cloud services, it’s an easy discussion—these customers can’t wait to move their access control into the cloud. For those that are less familiar or less comfortable with cloud services, they will need a bit more education to prepare them to make this move.”

A good example of Galaxy’s ongoing commitment to educate and inform is the publishing if its new whitepaper, which provides insights into the growing realm of cloud-based services and how they are changing the way access control systems can be deployed and used. In the paper, readers will find an overview of cloud technology and learn how and where access control cloud services can be applied for maximum economic and security benefits to the organization. The whitepaper also touches on decision factors to assess when considering a move to cloud services, each of which helps inform the decision-making process.

“We recognize that not everyone in the security industry has the time or resources to stay current with new technologies,” Caruthers said in the whitepaper’s release. “We developed our new whitepaper to provide information for our community, to help accelerate their understanding of the benefits of access control cloud services.”

To access the full whitepaper, click here.

TMA announces annual meeting details

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Monitoring Association, formerly CSAA, announced details of its 2017 Annual Meeting—the first since the name change—which will be held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., October 7-11. Jack Uldrich, a global futurist, speaker and author of 11 books, will deliver the conference's keynote on Oct. 9.

Uldrich is a frequent speaker on emerging technology, change management and leadership and has addressed hundreds of corporations, associations and not-for-profit organizations, TMA noted in its announcement. 

“In the near future, the greatest change will be the accelerating rate of change itself,” Uldrich said in a prepared statement. “I’ll outline the trends transforming the world of tomorrow, as well as identify concrete actions business leaders can take today to future-proof themselves and their companies against ‘the tides of tomorrow,’” he added. 

“Over the past several years, we have ‘reimagined’ our annual meeting to provide participants with the kind of value in both content and engagement that is unmatched at any other industry event,” TMA president Pam Petrow said in a prepared statement. “2017 will build on our past successes – we’ll present a program of the kind of top-level engagement and professional development that our members have come to expect from our Annual Meeting, while we celebrate our new name and our mission to advance the professional monitoring industry.”

Additional education sessions at the Annual Meeting, which will be held Oct. 9 to 11, will focus on helping leaders address critical issues and challenges facing the monitoring industry, such as best practices in operations, executive management, technology updates, and telecomm issues, TMA said in its announcement. The complete roster of speakers will be announced over the summer. TMA will hold Board of Directors and Committee meetings October 7-8.

To see the preliminary schedule, register, and reserve hotel rooms for the TMA Annual Meeting, visit tma.us/2017am. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is approximately a 30-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Smarter consumers, smarter homes

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

LOWELL, Mass.—Consumers see more clearly how smart home devices can directly benefit their lives, and are planning to purchase more smart home devices in the future, according to a consumer survey commissioned by PlumChoice Inc., a provider of premium technical services for IoT and cloud brands, and the Z-Wave Alliance, an open consortium of leading global companies deploying Z-Wave.

According to this second annual consumer benchmark survey, titled, “2016: Year of the Smart Device,” 52 percent of all respondents plan to buy a smart device in the next two years, and of those who own smart devices, 84 percent said they may make another smart purchase in the next two years

“It’s clear from our data that not only has the smart home arrived, but the benefits of adding connectivity to the things in our home are finally being realized,” Mitchell Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, said in the announcement. “It’s exciting to finally see consumers understanding the value of connecting multiple devices together and to see categories like smart security, thermostats and safety grow year over year.”

The report helps device makers and their partners understand current connected and smart home device ownership, interest in future purchases and perceived smart home device benefits. In addition, it outlines the services that brands can tie to these products to drive more revenue and consumer loyalty, and highlights the need for companies to provide consumers a user experience that allows their smart home devices to fit easily into their lives.

With the majority of consumers reporting owning a total of four to six smart home devices (61 percent having interconnected some of those devices), interoperability becomes a key factor as consumers add more connected devices, according to the report.
   
“The smart home industry is thriving, and many companies are recognizing that their success is dependent on a seamless consumer user experience,” Noelani McGadden, vice president of IoT at PlumChoice, said in the press release. “Last year was a pivotal year for the smart home industry, with the number of people who own a smart device increasing by a staggering 259 percent. As smart home device adoption continues to grow, brands must cater to consumers who are expecting support services as part of their purchase, and at the very least provide installation support.”

According to the report, smart appliances (smart refrigerator, washer/dryer, etc.) and smart smoke detectors are among the smart home products with the highest year-over-year growth, with 267 percent and 250 percent respectively
   
All types of services and support expected from brands increased since 2015, with installation support listed as a top need at 68 percent, the report found.

The survey also examined consumer behavior—including purchase drivers and rate of adoption—of homeowners compared to renters, along with comparisons between age, gender and current device owners.

To see the full report, click here.

On location and on camera at ISC West

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On the front page of this site, you’ll begin to see ssnTVnews video interviews posted each week from several members of the team, including myself, our editor Paul Ragusa, and SSN’s VP and group publisher Tim Purpura.

Each ISC West we talk on camera with a variety of companies—residential and commercial companies, monitoring centers, integrators, installers, research firms and manufacturers—to both hear about their latest initiatives as well as gain insight into the benefits of ISC West for companies that we speak with.

Up online now is my interview with Justin Bailey, COO of Avantguard, as well as Paul’s interview with PSA Security Network CEO Bill Bozeman.

In upcoming weeks, more videos will be released, featuring Dynamark, Security Partners, Convergint Technologies, Red Hawk Fire & Security and others.

One thing I’ve said about each industry event, including ISC West, is that it gives the editors a great chance to meet and talk face-to-face with companies; seeing as the Security Systems News office is based on the coast of Maine, most of our interviews are conducted over the phone.

Besides the opportunity to in person with professionals in the industry, it was great to be right on the show this year, able to see and feel the energy of this year’s attendance—which is up 3 percent from the previous year.

Additionally, early responses for our latest News Poll, asking readers about their experience with ISC West 2017, are also saying that traffic is up this year.

Awards all around

 - 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just starting to recover from ISC West 2017, which is a testament to how busy and well attended the show was this year. I am still waiting for final numbers from ISC but Sherida Sessa, industry vice president, ISC Events & Connected Security Expo, did say by email that both the number of attendees and exhibitors was up from last year.

There was also a sense of renewed optimism—and a healthy buzz on the show floor—about the security industry in general and where it is headed in this age of high tech products.

Speaking of new tech, there was an abundance of new products, and new companies at ISC this year, and the SIA New Product Showcase (NPS) award winners (see list below) exemplifies how tech-driven the industry has become and will continue to be moving forward. [See my and Spencer Ives’ daily blog coverage of ISC West for more].

This year’s Best New Product in the SIA New Product Showcase was CrucialTrak’s Biometric Access Control System (BACS), which according to the company is the “world’s first” multi-biometric authentication technology, providing the highest security measures by layering four different biometric authentications into one terminal. In each BACS module, up to four biometric identification technologies are considered: touchless fingerprint, iris patterns, vein patterns and facial recognition authentication.

“Many returning companies entered the SIA New Product Showcase this year, and many new entrants also competed in the showcase,” SIA CEO Don Erickson said in the announcement. “New and familiar faces did very well in the 2017 showcase. I congratulate CrucialTrak for distinguishing itself as Best New Product overall in a very competitive year.”

In addition, the prestigious Judges' Choice Award was presented to Thermal Imaging Radar for Hydra. The Thermal Radar Hydra provides wide area intrusion detection through continuous 360° thermal intrusion detection combined with 360° targeted surveillance from a 30X zoom laser IR starlight PTZ, said the company.

The SIA NPS had 120 entries from small, medium and large companies in the security industry, representing roughly a 20 percent increase over last year and set a record for entrants in recent years, according to SIA. The NPS judges presented awards in 29 product and service categories.

2017 SIA NPS Award Winners

Access Control, Devices and Peripherals
HES (1500/1600 Electric Strike Platform)

Access Control, Devices and Peripherals, Wireless
HID Global (Location Services)

Access Control, Software and Controllers
Tyco Security Products (Istar Ultra Video)

Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection
Patriot One Technologies (Nforce CMR 1)

Cloud Solutions
Feenics (KEEP)

Commercial Monitoring Solutions
Secure Global Solutions (Next Stage)

Convergence and Integrated Software and Solutions
RightCrowd (Software Essentials)

Emergency Communication/Mass Notification Systems
V5 Systems (Acoustic gunshot sensor)

Fire/Life Safety
Honeywell (5800 COMBO Smoke CO2 Detector)

Green/Sustainable Solutions Products
ASSA ABLOY Americas (IN220)

Hosted Solutions/Managed Services
SureID (Certified Edge)

Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions
Optex (Redscan RLS2030S)

Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solutions, Wireless
Bosch (Zigbee Multi-Sensor)

Law Enforcement/Guarding Systems
Sharp Electronics (Intellios Aug V)

Lock Systems and Secure Storage Containers
Securitech (Auto-Bolt Max)

Loss Prevention and Article Surveillance Solutions
March Networks (Search Lights)

Mobile Apps
STid (Mobile ID)

Network Support Solutions
KPC Networks Limited (Thru-Link)

Outdoor Perimeter Protection
Ontech (Wardium Perimeter)

Residential and Monitoring Solutions
NAPCO (Starlink Connect Z-Model)

Tools and Hardware
Axis Communications (Site Designer)

User Authentication, Identification, Credentialing and Management
FST Biometrics (iMiD Access 4.0)

Video Analytics
UMBO Computer Vision (UMBO Light)

Video Surveillance, Advanced Imaging Technologies
Thermal Imaging Radar (Hydra)

Video Surveillance, Cameras HD (Megapixel)
Wireless CCTV (Body Camera Connect)

Video Surveillance, Cameras IP
Axis Communications (Q6155E PTZ Dome)

Video Surveillance, Data Storage
Quantum Corp. (Quantum StorNext 5.4)

Video Surveillance, Hardware and Accessories
V5 Systems (Camera Agnostic Platform)

Video Surveillance, Management Systems
FLIR (United VMS)

Lasting impressions from ISC West 2017

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

By many counts, this year’s ISC West was a fantastic show. Walking the show floor, the traffic seemed great. Beyond that, there seemed to be a good level of engagement at the booths.

The SSN team gathered this week to talk about what really stood out at the show. One thing my colleagues and I heard—and saw—was the importance of integrations and partnership in this industry.

In my first discussion on the show floor, EMERgency 24’s Deanna Blair, independent sales representative, and I talked about how integrations and partnerships are crucial, as well as the company's recent integration with Aiphone's IX series. 

At MONI Smart Security's booth, I enjoyed speaking with Jeffery Gardner, company president and CEO, and Peter Tonti, vice president of product development, about the company's approach to partnerships. Recently, the company partnered with AAA and AARP. Tonti said that the company looks for organizations where values overlap. 

On the show floor, I talked with I-View Now a bit about the company's latest partnerships such as with Bosch, Hikvision, and Honeywell cameras as well as end user communication devices like Bold's NotifyMe and Affiliated's AlertMessage. This week I spoke with the company more about its latest partnership with COPS Monitoring.

For a full wrap-up of my show floor meetings you can click here. You can also find an overview of SSN editor Paul Ragusa's travels at the show here. It will be intersting to see in the future how companies partner and work together.

On the show floor at ISC West 2017

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 3

I-View Now exhibited at ISC West 2017 with its own booth space, a first for the company. When I stopped by I met with I-View Now president Larry Folsom and Nicole Swartwout, who is focused on platform integrations with the company. At the show, the company was discussing a few new integrations at this year's show. Particularly, that Bosch, Hikvision and OpenEye cameras can now come I-View Now ready.

In addition to these integrations the company has brought video to end users for alarm confirmation, through Affiliated's AlertMessage offering and Bold Technologies' NotifyMe, Folsom said that functions like these can really impact the industry.

This year, DICE brought two of its sister companies to the booth, IPtelX and Aventure6. In addition to catching up with Cliff Dice, DICE CEO, it was great to meet HR Topham, senior account manager with Aventure6, and Jordan Dice, president and CEO of IPtelX.

Cliff Dice said that the company was talking quite a bit with attendees about its cloud based automation solution, which now has more than 1 million accounts across 50 central stations.

Mark Matlock, UCC's senior vice president, said that at ISC West the company has been talking about the acquisition by Lydia Security Monitoring, COPS Monitoring's parent company, 14 months ago and how it has benefited the company. Matlock said that the company is preparing to activate its back up central station, which is collocated with COPS' Dallas-based monitoring center, approximately 320 miles away from UCC's own central station in San Antonio.

Matlock said that the company has experienced some growth recently, adding on 10,000 accounts since the beginning of the year.

The Fortress UTM—standing for unified threat management—is a recently announced device that takes the place of an Internet router and monitors communications between connected devices, bringing cybersecurity into the residential market. On the show floor I got to meet Roumen Kassabov, Fortress Information Security's software engineer, Juliet Okafor, Fortress Information Security's VP of global business development, and Michael Monroe, Fortress Cyber Security's senior engineer, product lead.

At the Kwikset booth, the company was showcasing some of its most recent locks, which were also announced at this year's CES. Its Obsidian lock is a keyhole-less design that only has a number pad to control the lock. Nick English, the company's national sales manager, told me that the design, as well as others, better fit consumers looking for a more modern or contemporary look. The company was also showcasing its Convert, a system that can turn stand locks into smart locks.

I was glad to meet with MivaTek’s Joe Liu, company chairman and CEO, and Elaine Kuo, MivaTek's marketing director. MivaTek provides a platform to access connected devices from a smartphone, review and record video clips. This can allow users to verify that an alarm is real and then call contacts, such as the local PSAP, from the app.

For my final booth visit, I met with Matthew Davis, project manager and help desk for Z-Wave Products. He showed me how the company's Z-Wave Tool Box can help an installer visualize connectivity and traffic between smart devices in order to better diagnose an issue.

All around I thought that this was a great year—one thing I heard at just about every booth was how traffic was really good. I look forward to seeing how the technologies announced and discussed at the show progress over the next year. 

Day 2

The weather was very nice for the walk, and—as it always is—it was great to step away from the strip and the convention center for some more tranquil fresh air. I was happy to be alongside so many others in the industry, raising money for Mission 500, which benefits children in need.

Back on the show floor my day started out with a series of video interviews at Security Systems News’ media stage.

First, I spoke with Hank Groff, senior vice president, sales and business development for Dynamark, about the show and Dynamark’s focus of partnering with security dealers to provide them with more than third party monitoring.

John Wells, operations manager for Comtronics, and I talked on camera about the company’s switch from operating its own central station to using wholesale monitoring with NMC and how that has helped the company look at new technologies.

Tony Byerly, president of Securitas Electronic Security, talked on camera about the company’s final phases for incorporating its acquisition of Diebold’s North American electronic security division.

My last ssnTVnews interview was with Mike Donegan, national sales manager for Security Partners, and Jacob Trone, VP of Financial Security. We discussed Security Partners' new funding program for dealers and the benefits to it.

Each of these video interviews, as well as my talk on Wednesday with Justin Bailey, AvantGuard’s COO, will be available online in the future.

At COPS Monitoring’s booth I had the chance to catch up with Jim McMullen, COPS president and COO, and David Smith, VP of marketing and business development. McMullen said that several show attendees have stopped by the booth and mentioned that they like COPS’ redundancy across multiple sites. The company has five monitoring centers throughout the United States, including in New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, Texas and Arizona.

OneEvent is, as I mentioned earlier, one of the companies I got the chance to speak with ahead of the show. On the show floor I got to meet a few of the team members face-to-face: Kurt Wedig, co-founder and CEO, Dan Parent, co-founder, COO and VP of engineering and Bob Mullaly, the company's chief data scientist. The company is initially looking at how its data analytics engine can help to predict a fire, based on environmental factors.

Mullaly mentioned that the system, beyond early detection and prevention, also has the capability to give first responders more information on the nature of the event if a fire does take place.

I spoke with Everbridge recently about its acquisition of IDV Solutions. I stopped by the IDV Solutions booth on the show floor to meet Scott Morrison, IDV Solutions’ executive vice president of marketing, and Annie Asrari, director of product management for Everbridge. While I have talked with the companies about IDV Solutions Visual Command Center, it was great to see what it looks like and how it works in person.

At Vanderbilt’s booth I met with Mitchell Kane, company president, and Kim Loy, the company’s director of marketing. I had a great chat with Kane about trends in the industry. He identified mobile credentials in access control and cloud-based or hosted systems as major trends in the industry. Both of these categories are fairly mature from a technology standpoint, Kane said, but have not matured much in the market.

MONI Smart Security is exhibiting at ISC West for the first time since its rebranding; Jeffery Gardner, company president and CEO, and Peter Tonti, vice president of product development, said that dealers’ responses to the new name and look, as well as its more consumer facing presence, have been very positive. At the end of March MONI announced that the company is offering a sign on bonus at the show, which Gardner said can really help a new dealer get started.

In early February, Bold Technologies officially released the latest version of its automation software, ManitouNEO. At this year’s ISC West, Coles and Matt Narowski, company director of development, gave me a brief demo of the new platform. Among the latest innovations is a new video interface and the ability to funnel more data on a central station’s performance into the platform’s dashboard.

At UL’s booth I met with Steve Schmit, engineering manager, Lou Chavez, principal engineer, security and life safety, and Neil Lakomiak, director of business development and innovation with UL. It was interesting to hear what the organization is focusing on, such as upcoming standards for tactical video solutions—such as thrown cameras; alarms, detectors and shut off systems for water leaks; and mPERS systems.

My last booth meeting of the day was with March Networks. Nathan Dinning, March Networks’ product manager, Donna Reid, director of marketing, and Dan Cremins, global leader of product management, talked with me about some of their latest systems. At ISC West, the company is showcasing a new camera, purpose built to bring high quality video into an ATM camera. March Networks also is debuting an integration between its Searchlight business intelligence offering and FLIR’s Brickstream 3D Analytics Sensor, as well as a new 9000 series of video recorders designed to fit well into all-IP environments.

Day 1

Starting out the show, it was great to hear the opening keynote: Philip Celestini, section chief for the FBI Cyber Division, sharing the FBI’s view of cyber threats, trends and protective measures. He talked about the four levels of cyberthreat from his perspective: certain nation-states, international crime syndicates, insider threats, hacktivists and then—at the bottom of the list—terrorists.

My first meeting on the show floor was with Kevin Lehan, PR manager with EMERgency 24 and Deanna Blair, independent sales representative. It was great to hear more about the company’s Incident Crisis and Control Service, or ICCS, which opens two-way communication with first responders in the event of an emergency. Blair discussed how critical partnerships and integrations are in the industry today. The company has recently partnered with Aiphone to offer its ICCS through Aiphone’s IX series. E24 comleted the video capabilities with Aiphone by last year’s ISC East and the two-way voice capabilities before the show.

I was able to speak a bit with Aiphone’s general sales manager, Bruce Czerwinski, and the company’s marketing manager, Dana Pruiett, about what they plan to discuss at the show. Czerwinski said that the company is focused on the message that it is not only focused on door entry, but instead multiple communication paths.

From there, I stopped by Affiliated Monitoring’s booth. This year the company decided to bring ISC West attendees on a tour of their headquarters in Union, N.J., with the help of a virtual reality headset. This was my first experience with any virtual reality system, and I found it quite interesting. I also got a live demo of Affiliated’s AlertMessage system, which allows an alarm’s call list to discuss the alarm, from Matt Solomon, who does marketing for Affiliated. The company recently brought video clips, through I-View Now, into the tool to aide the contacts in identifying if the alarm is true or false.

I’ve spoken with AvantGuard Monitoring about a few things lately, such as the company’s new hybrid monitoring models and its new chat feature. In an ssnTVnews interview, I spoke with the company’s COO Justin Bailey on camera about some of the feedback AvantGuard has been hearing at the show on these new offerings.

Brad McMullen, vice president of national accounts for STANLEY Security, told me that the company has been working on a few new things, including a personal safety offering, a new offering in data insights and a tool to help control shrink in the retail industry. The personal protection offering, STANLEY Guard, will help companies protect their workers outside of the building, he said. Through a mobile application, a user is able to trigger an alert and record both video and audio of a situation. Stanley is just rolling this out now.

With data, McMullen said the company is now reviewing data, such as with an access control system. He gave the example of a terminated employee still attempting to gain access to the facility, or another employee trying to open a door late at night.

Lastly, for the retail sector, the company is rolling out an offering that will help detect shrink at the point of sale, such as with mis- or un-scanned items. These alerts can be compiled for the user, or given in real time in order to address the problem before the consumer in question leaves the store.

At the Rapid Response booth, I spoke with Christopher Denniston, marketing and communications manager, and Morgan Hertel, VP of technology and innovation. Hertel spoke about how the industry has been changing over the last five years, particularly with video and analytics playing a larger role. When asked what he sees changing most, Hertel pointed to the users. “Your user base is radically changing,” he said. “They’re younger, they’re more savvy, and they have different expectations.”

At the Z-Wave Alliance booth I got to catch up with Mitchell Klein, Z-Wave’s executive director who was also at this year’s TechSec solutions conference, and meet Sigma Designs’ vice president, Z-Wave business line, Raoul Wijgergangs. In addition to the company’s new S2 framework, the company also has been working on a new device, the Certified Installer Toolkit, which helps installers diagnose problems by allowing them to visualize the connectivity between different connected devices.

IC Realtime was discussing an interesting new product: a silent and rapidly deployable aerial surveillance solutions that uses an industrial balloon. The system is called PLAS, or Persistent Low Altitude Surveillance. Robert Mitchell, IC Realtime’s SME on government practice and law enforcement referred to the system as “emergency management in a box.”

Nortek Security and Control on Tuesday, April 4, launched its new 2GIG Rely, a new DIY system. I enjoyed talking with Robert Beliles, Norek Security and Control’s vice president of product, about the system. Outside of the DIY market, the system has appeal for renters, customers with a second home, and those who don’t want a contract. Beliles also underlined the focus on creating a small and aesthetically appealing system.

Robotic Assistance Devices, or RAD, is working on several things, including a robot that will be “walking” in tomorrow’s Security 5k/2k—Steve Reinharz, RAD’s president, really liked the idea of “robots raising money for humans.” The company’s robot has many different uses as the robot can be equipped with a variety of sensors. Reinharz said that the company’s roadmap includes an autonomous charging station for the robot. Speaking generally on robots in security, he said, “This is not security integration, this is not security guards, it’s its own thing.”

At the Honeywell booth I had the pleasure of speaking with Ilan Dee, director of product marketing, cloud services, Honeywell Security and Fire, and Alice DeBiasio, general manager of Cloud Services, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies, about the company’s latest advancements with Alarmnet 360. The offering can now show dealers a visual representation of their customer base which could be broken down into areas of communication type, communication failures by area, home automation services and other categories. Debiasio and Dee pointed out how this information could be used to upsell and gain more RMR from a company’s existing customer base.

Also at the Honeywell booth I got to speak with Samir Jain, general manager, enterprise solutions at Honeywell Security and Fire, and Susan Adam, marketing director, enterprise solutions at Honeywell Security and Fire. Jain and Adam told me a bit about the company’s recent enterprise access control system, Pro-Watch, which incorporates mobile credentialing as well as mobile management and controls. The company is also talking about its advancements in fire notification, such as its new L-series.

As I mentioned in my short post yesterday, I made sure to save time to see the inaugural Unmanned Security Expo @ ISC West. I was interested to see robotics, such as with RAD, but also some of the anti-drone companies. One company, DroneShield, looks to audio detection to notice drones in the area and then couples that with a gun of sorts that electronically makes the drone land. Apollo Shield takes a different approach, detecting drones and then directing them to return the way they came.

I look forward to walking in tomorrow’s Security 5k/2k. The weather looks like it will be pretty nice for tomorrow, starting off cool but warming up throughout the morning.

Pre-Show

I arrived safe and sound in Las Vegas mid-day Tuesday and am certainly excited the show this year. I've spoken with several people about what they will be exhibiting at this year's show and look forward to being able to see the technology in person. For example, I plan on stopping by OneEvent’s booth on the show floor to hear more about the company's data analytics system and its capabilities in the fire detection space. I also look forward to seeing how MONI Smart Security’s booth has been redesigned to reflect the name change. I've also made sure to carve out some time to see the inaugural Unmanned Security Expo @ ISC West.

Check back here for daily updates on my show floor meetings and some of the latest technologies.

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