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Pinnacle Security award winning

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Pinnacle Security was among the winners of the Electronic Security Integrators (ESI) Forum 2012 Best Practice Awards, announced earlier this month at the co-located ESI Forum and ESA Leadership Summit in Irving, Texas.

Pinnacle Security won in the Production Management (Design/Installation) category for its Pinnacle's Dashboard and MySales websites.

Here’s more from a news release from the Orem, Utah-based residential-and-commercial security company:
 

Pinnacle Security's Dashboard and MySales websites allow for instant access to real-time data as it pertains to sales and installations. The websites were given the ESI Best Practice Award because they are a good example of the use of technology for tracking and motivating staff to increase overall job performance.

Whether on a personal computer, a tablet or a smartphone, employees have instant access to real-time data via the websites, on not only themselves and their team, but for competing teams as well, thus fostering a spirit of healthy competition. Pinnacle Security has increased the overall quality of installations, and the progress per technician, by tracking individual status for the current year, as well as past years worked.

"We are pleased to be recognized by our own industry experts as one of the best in the business," said Michael Heinz, senior vice president, field operations, Pinnacle Security. "Developing and providing technology platforms that enable representatives to access data in real-time is another way we enhance the Pinnacle Security experience. …

... The annual ESI Forum Best Practice Awards Program recognizes outstanding business processes in the electronic security integration industry. A panel of anonymous industry experts selects the winners.

Other winners include: Mijac Alarm in the Financial, Legal and Human Capital Management category; Inner Security Systems, Inc. for the New Technology Implementation category; Pro-Tech Systems in the Profit-Generating Strategies category; and ASG Security, in the Sales and Marketing Management category.

 

Vance in Vegas; Five Diamonds for Johnson Controls

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The last time SSN caught up with Mary Jo Vance, in April 2011, she was contemplating taking the summer off to “ride cross-country on my Harley” after leaving CenterPoint Technologies. Vance, better known in the industry as MJ, recently let CSAA members know she is “alive and very well in Vegas” after landing a new gig: manager of 1 Time Inc.’s new central station in Henderson, Nev.

MJ says she’ll have more details soon about her latest endeavor, but the company is still building its website and sorting through “new ideas and new adventures. … Right now we can’t give you the full picture.”

MJ served as vice president of operations and business development for CenterPoint for three years before what she described as an amicable departure last spring. A well-known and respected leader in the industry, she received the CSAA’s Manager of the Year award in 2007 and the Presidential Award from the Fire Marshals’ Association of Missouri in 2010.

Five Diamonds for Johnson: Congratulations to Johnson Controls’ central station in Milwaukee, which recently joined an elite group by earning Five Diamond certification from the CSAA. The station is among 132 of roughly 2,700 centrals nationwide to have received the distinction, according to the CSAA’s website.

To qualify, all of Johnson Controls’ central operators had to pass a CSAA online training course, proving their proficiency in alarm verification, PSAP communications, knowledge of electronic communications equipment and the standards of Underwriters Laboratories, Factory Mutual, the National Fire Protection Association and other organizations.

“This prestigious certification reflects the dedication and determination our central station operators bring to the job to help protect the many corporate customers we monitor every day in the U.S.,” Paul Pisarski, manager of field support and remote operations for the company’s Building Efficiency unit, said in a prepared statement.

Calling all duffers: Looking to get into the swing at ISC West before everyone hits the show floor? Then this one’s for you: the ninth annual Alarm Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) golf tournament, scheduled for Tuesday, March 27 at the Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas.

The Electronic Security Association created the nonprofit AIREF in 1977 as a way to help raise money for industry research. Funding for the foundation is derived almost solely from the golf tournament, which promises players “a casual golf outing” with other industry professionals while supporting AIREF in the process.

To register for the tournament, visit www.airef.org. For more information, call 203-762-2444 or email Pat Remes at premes@airef.org.

Viniello leaving NFSA, but still passionate about the cause

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

John Viniello, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, is stepping down after 28 years on the job.

In announcement on the Patterson, N.Y.-based organization’s website today, Viniello writes that he’ll retire as of March 1. “I will turn 70 years of age at the end of February and it’s time step down. It’s been a great run.”

He said that Russ Fleming, NFSA’s executive vice president will handle day-to-day association matters until a new president is elected. “I will work with him to insure a smooth transition of responsibilities,” Viniello pledged.

I haven’t met Viniello personally but have interviewed him over the phone on a number of stories. I’ve been impressed with the way he always returns my calls so promptly. I think that’s because he’s so passionate about the need for fire sprinklers that he never wants to miss an opportunity to get publicity for the cause.

A recent letter that he posted on the site is a good example of his passionate feelings about fire sprinklers. It’s an open letter to Chicago media outlets regarding a tragic fire in a high-rise apartment complex in that city last week.

A 32-year-old woman who lived at the Lake Shore Drive building died when she arrived on the 12th floor by elevator after a fire had begun in an apartment belonging to other tenants, the Associated Press reported. The elevator door opened onto an inferno and Shantel McCoy died of carbon monoxide intoxication and inhalation of smoke and soot, the AP said.

McCoy’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the companies that manage the building, the AP said. It said the Chicago Sun-Times reported that JoAnn McCoy claims her daughter still would be alive if a sprinkler system had “been in place to put out the Jan. 9 fire.”

Such a tragedy could happen again, Viniello warns in his strongly-worded letter to the editor. Here’s what he wrote:
 

Elevators stopping at the fire floor…no fire sprinklers installed. Sounds more like the script from the film “The Towering Inferno”. Yet, sadly it happened once again in the City of Chicago. It becomes painfully evident that hundreds of thousands of residents living in high-rise buildings throughout Chicago are at risk of dying in a fire. These “ovens in the sky” will continue to kill or injure Chicagoans, including firefighters, because of a failed administration, including the former and current Mayors and Board of Alderman. They all lack the political will to enact legislation that requires retrofitting these unsafe building with life saving fire sprinkler systems. It is not a question of if it will happen again. It’s a question of when. How high does the “body count” have to get before the city administration becomes proactive rather than reactive? Sadly, those “who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

 

Women in Security: Who are the industry leaders?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Do you have a female colleague who’s a great leader? Know someone who's given back to the women’s business community by mentoring or supporting other women in the security market? Consider nominating her for the Women’s Security Council’s “Women of the Year” awards. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.

Click here to nominate yourself or a colleague for WSC's Women of the Year awards.

In case you’re not familiar with the Women’s Security Council, it’s network of successful security professionals focused on promoting the advancement of women in the industry. WSC will recognize top female professionals in the physical security industry in a variety of categories. Winners will be honored during ISC West 2012 in Las Vegas. They’ll also be profiled in the special April 2012 eWSC awards newsletter and announced in an official WSC press release to be distributed at ISC West 2012.

DMP makes "All-American."

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A unique house is being built in Bozeman, Mont., and security products manufacturer Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) is playing a role in its construction.

Dubbed the “All-American Home,” the 2,200-square-foot dwelling, with an estimated final cost of $400,000, is being built with products that are predominantly American-made, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle newspaper. And now DMP, an independent manufacturer of intrusion, fire, access control, network and cellular communication products, has been chosen to provide the home’s security system—because that company says all its products are made in Springfield, Mo., where the company is based.

Here’s more from a news release the company sent out last week:
 

Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) has been selected to provide the security system for the All-American Home, being built in Bozeman MT, with the help of Kenco Security and Technology to install the system. Anders Lewendal, an economist turned builder, is constructing the 2,200 sq. ft., three-bedroom home entirely from U.S.-made products in order to demonstrate the economics and benefits of buying domestic goods. The XT Series Burglary/Fire/Door Access Panel chosen for the home, like all DMP products, is designed and made in Springfield MO. Kenco Security and Technology will install the system.

“It’s unfortunate that building a home from only U.S.-made materials is newsworthy,” said Vice President of Sales, Mark NeSmith. “DMP believes that there are many benefits to designing and building products right here in America. It enables us to stay more closely connected with customers, respond more personally and quickly to their needs, and expedite delivery of products. DMP is the only security technology company able to stamp ‘Made in America’ on every product we sell.” …

“As a local company, we are especially interested in the idea of buying American-made products in order to increase jobs here at home,” says Thad Lensing, Director of Sales and Marketing at Kenco, [which designs, sells, installs and services commercial and residential burglar and fire alarm systems in Montana and Wyoming, and provides monitoring for alarm subscribers from its Monitoring Center in Billings.] “We are proud to be part of the program, and hope it raises awareness of the benefits each of us can create just by buying products made here in the U.S.”

Everything from the nails, screws and bolts to the steel, staples and bathtub is made in the United States. In all, the home will include more than 120 products from more than 33 states.

In addition to proving that it’s possible to economically build a home using only domestic materials and products, Lewendal also sees this as an opportunity to stimulate the U.S. economy. He cites figures demonstrating that, if every builder bought just five percent more U.S.-made materials, it would create 220,000 jobs.

 

More money for VideoIQ

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

VideoIQ yesterday announced it received $3.5 in funding from existing investors Atlas Venture, Matrix Partners and Tenaya Capital.
 
This is an expansion of a Series C funding round. In September, the company got $7.5 million in September from the above investors and another existing investor, Cisco.

Also in September, VideoIQ named Ed Bednarcik as its new CEO. Bednarchik, who is known for readying companies for IPOs, replaced Scott Schnell.

The company, which makes IP cameras and encoders with on-board storage and built-in self-calibrating analytics, said funding will be used to expand sales and product development teams. It also announced "record growth" over the past year. I’m currently enroute from the ESI Forum in Dallas to Maine, but am looking forward to getting more details from Ed Bednarcik during an interview tomorrow. I’ll have more on this deal, and the ESI Forum, in stories later this week.

Talking about new entrants in Dallas

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I’m in Dallas at the ESA Leadership Conference and ESI Forum.

If you’re at the event, check out the educational session I’m moderating today. It’s called "What the Arrival of New Industry Entrants Means for your Business"

The panelists are Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG Security, and John Loud, president of Loud Security. We’ll be talking about  the cable and telco companies that are playing in security now.

There are seven at last count, and they’re not all taking the same approach. We’re going to take a look at who the new entrants are, analyze their offerings and approach, and talk about what traditional security companies should keep in mind as the competitive landscape shifts.

The session begins at 1:45 today. See you there.

Bay Alarm exec on state board overseeing alarm companies

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Monday, January 9, 2012

I’ve written about Pacheco, Calif.-based Bay Alarm before. The company, which is more than 65 years old, says it’s the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the nation. It’s certainly a competitive player in California, and now the company’s co-president has been appointed by that state’s governor to an important committee that oversees alarm companies in the state.

Here’s more from the news release Bay Alarm sent out early this month:

In one of his final appointments of 2011, California Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. named Matthew Westphal to the Alarm Company Operator Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC), part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, on Friday, December 30.

Westphal, co-president of Bay Alarm Company, the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the United States, has been a board member of the Security Network of America since 2001 and the California Alarm Association since 2000, where he served as president from 2009 to 2010.

"Because of my in-depth knowledge of the industry, and the California Code of Regulations, I feel well equipped to help steward this important Consumer Affairs Committee through the years ahead," Westphal said. "I am honored to serve on the DRC, and look forward to sharing my ideas and expertise."

The five members of the Alarm Company Operator DRC are appointed by the Governor of California and include three alarm company operators and two members of the public. The committee reviews appeals of fines against alarm company operators or their employees, and denial, revocation, or suspension of licenses, certificates, registrations or permits issued by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

Dice vs. Bold: Case closed?

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Monday, January 9, 2012

 

“Dice Claims Against Bold Dismissed”

That was the headline on a media release today from Richard Hahn & Associates, detailing developments in the six-month legal dispute between the two providers of central station automation platforms.

So that’s it. Case closed, right?

Apparently not.

According to court documents, a federal judge did dismiss three claims that Dice filed against Bold in an amended complaint in the trade secrets case: for unjust enrichment, conversion (civil as opposed to criminal theft), and a request for statutory damages, costs and attorney’s fees related to a copyright infringement claim.

But according to Craig Horn, an attorney representing Dice, the Nov. 29 court development was procedural and “the meat of the argument” between the two companies hasn’t changed. In other words, the legal battle is far from over.

The case in a nutshell: Dice filed suit against Bold in federal court in August, alleging that Bold unlawfully accessed Dice’s proprietary software with the help of a former Dice engineer hired by Bold. Dice, which is seeking damages and compensation, says it spent more than $5 million developing the software that it claims Bold misappropriated.

A boatload of legal briefs, claims and counterclaims have been filed since then, but Dice is holding to four points of its argument: that Bold violated the Michigan Uniform Trade Secret Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and that it infringed on Dice’s copyrights by creating unauthorized derivative works.

Bold has contested the validity of Dice’s claims, calling the lawsuit “baseless” and “a misguided attempt to level the playing field.” David McDaniel, an attorney representing Bold, declined to comment on the case today to Security Systems News.

Horn said depositions have been scheduled for the next couple of weeks and “we should know a lot more in a month than we do now.”

“Apparently, Bold is still taking the position that they haven’t done anything wrong,” he said. “It’s kind of an all-or-nothing proposition. Either we’re right or Bold’s right, and I guess that still remains to be seen.”

The Cable Guy goes pro as telecoms enter security space

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Watch out security industry! Here comes the new version of the Cable Guy—one that’s more likely to wear a suit and have a computer science background than be a rube who’s always late.

As the telecoms enter the security space at a fast and furious pace—I’ve recently written about the new home security/home automation offerings of Verizon, Time Warner Cable, Frontier Communications, AT&T, Cox Communications, and Comcast—the security industry has expressed confidence that small, professional security companies will outperform those giant companies when it comes to service.

That’s because the archetypal Cable Guy in everyone’s mind is someone who’s always late and barely seems to know what he’s doing. But as the telecoms offer new products such as professionally installed and monitored home security systems, they’re also creating new teams of professional Cable Guys to install and service those products, according to a recent The New York Times article.

Here’s more from the article, entitled “Today’s Cable Guy, Upgraded and Better-Dressed:”
 

“Long depicted as slovenly cranks who dodged growling dogs and tracked mud on the living room carpet, cable guys (and gals) these days often have backgrounds in engineering and computer science. That kind of training is now required — along with a new dress code for some, calling for button-down dress shirts and slacks — as cable companies and their telephone rivals try to lure customers and increase revenue with a suite of [new] products. ... That means added pressure for installers and new requirements for a job that traditionally appealed to high-school graduates looking for reliable blue-collar work. …

… Robert Kolb, a 33-year-old installation and service supervisor for Comcast’s Xfinity television, phone and Internet service, has a one-year certification in network engineering. He wore pressed slacks and a sporty fleece jacket on an Internet upgrade job in the Philadelphia suburbs recently, where he worked on a company-issued MacBook laptop and had a waterproof hand-held computer that could withstand a five-foot drop.

… To make sure he stays up to date, Comcast requires him and other installers to take classes at an in-house training facility known as Comcast University.

OK, the advent of the upgraded Cable Guy doesn’t mean that small professional security companies won’t still have a service edge with customers who continue to view them as their trusted security provider.

But I do think it shows that no security company should be complacent about the telecoms entering the market this time around—and that having professional, well-trained staff that provides excellent customer service is a key to success, no matter what size your company is.

 

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