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Live from Las Vegas... It's the Second Annual Security 5K!

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Well, it's the North American security industry's big week this week out in Las Vegas. A bigger, bolder, rebounded ISC West is ready to go down in Sin City at the Sands Convention Center, and the editors of Security Systems News and Security Director News will be there, talking with industry players and bringing you the news you need as it happens.

If you'll be traveling out to Vegas to take in the show, please stop by and see us at our Meet the Editors event, which will take place at the ssn/sdnTVnews desk (right outside the exhibition hall) on Wednesday morning from 8:30-10:30 Pacific. We'll be handing out complimentary coffee and asking people about their plans for the show and for the coming year.

Start your day off right with the News!

Of course, we'll all (Martha, Tess, Leischen and I) be tweeting and blogging live from the floor, as well as interviewing select luminaries on camera for ssnTVnews and sdnTVnews. Drop by SSN and SDN often for updates.

Now, recently I told you all about the Security 5K happening on Thursday morning. There's still time to register if you want to walk or run in this great charity race to benefit Mission 500. If you can't make the show or the race, but want to tune in live, you can check out SSN's live Security 5K Channel at Ustream. You can check out SSN publisher's assistant Cath Dagget and I kicking the race off with our rousing rendition of the National Anthem, followed by the starting gun, the launch of the pack (the SSN/SDN Newsbreakers will be at the tip of the phalanx, I'm certain) and live highlights throughout the race. Watch Twitter for a tweet when the Security 5K Channel goes live on Thursday morning.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Vegas!

UTC Fire & Security has new president; launches new brand

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Lots of hot news from UTC Fire & Security: It has a new president, Scott Buckhout, and it just aligned its United States fire and security services businesses under the Chubb brand.

Buckhout succeeds William Brown as president, according to a company press release. Brown has been promoted to senior vice president, corporate strategy & development, of United Technologies Corp., in order “to provide a comprehensive and fully integrated approach to acquisitions and other growth initiatives,” the release said. UTC Fire & Security is a unit of United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn.

Buckhout joined UTC in 2007 after 15 years of general management and strategy consulting experience at Honeywell and Booz Allen, respectively, the release said. He has held senior UTC Fire & Security management roles, including president of the Systems & Fire Fighting business in the Europe-Middle East-Africa region and most recently serving as president, Global Fire Products, according to the company.

“Scott’s significant experience in Europe, coupled with his general management skills, and broad industry knowledge make him well qualified for this important UTC leadership position,” UTC Chairman & CEO Louis Chênevert said in a statement.

In other news, UTC Fire & Security announced today it has aligned its United States fire and security services businesses under the Chubb brand, “providing a new, more seamless interface to customers. Multiple service entities that are part of UTC Fire & Security, including Detection Logic, Fire Systems Inc. (FSI), Florida State Fire and Security (FSFS) and Red Hawk, are now known as Chubb, a UTC Fire & Security Company.”

“The transition is more than changing our name – we are transforming our business and are committed to providing the highest standard of service, professionalism and quality for our customers," Sean Flint, president of UTC Fire & Security's services business in the Americas, said in a statement.  “Above everything, we are in the business of protecting property and safeguarding lives, and we remain committed to and passionate about doing that.”

Here’s more from the release: “Founded in 1818, Chubb has a rich history and strong reputation in the life safety and security services. With nearly 10,000 technicians and more than 400 locations, Chubb serves more than one million customers worldwide. The company offers cost effective solutions that include installation, service, test & inspection and monitoring of fire/life safety systems, electronic and physical security solutions, and ATM services.” 

“Centralizing the service businesses in the U.S. aligns with UTC Fire & Security's long term global strategy," said Flint.  "Our fire and security service businesses in Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, France and Belgium have already been consolidated under the Chubb name.”

“The U.S. businesses that will combine under the Chubb brand include Antronnix, CalProtection, Detection Logic, Diversified Fire Products, Fire Systems Inc., Florida State Fire & Security, HFP Corporation, Lane Fire & Safety, Pratt Landry Associates, John W. Polhemus, Red Hawk, and Vantronics Security Systems.”

“The new Chubb fire and security services business in the U.S. will migrate to a single website, phone number and identity for vehicles and uniforms. The new web site is: www.chubbfs.com.

The company also released this information about Brown:

"UTC has emerged from the recent economic downturn as a leaner and more focused company, and we are well positioned for strong growth,” Chênevert said. “As UTC Fire & Security president, Bill made significant contributions to UTC’s success and we look forward to his leadership on UTC’s acquisition and organic growth initiatives.”

“Under Brown’s leadership, UTC Fire & Security completed over 40 acquisitions to improve product offerings and expand the company’s geographic reach, culminating in the 2010 acquisition of GE Security. Since Brown became its president in 2006, UTC Fire & Security grew sales from $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion while tripling operating profits and becoming a global leader in the fire safety and electronic security markets.”

I'll be following on this news to learn more.

 

ADT to acquire PSIM manufacturer

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Monday, April 4, 2011

 I sure wish they'd time these announcements when I'm not trying to pack and catch a plane to Vegas, but how 'bout this:

ADT just announced they're acquiring PSIM manufacturer Proximex. I'd tried to fit a meeting with Proximex into my ISC West schedule, but couldn't...I do have a meeting with John Kenning on Wednesday, so will have much more on this later 

Gotta run or I won't make it to Vegas, but here's the release:

BOCA RATON, Fla. – April 4, 2011 –  ADT Security Services, Inc., today announced it has acquired Proximex, a top provider of Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) system software, to be operated by ADT’s Commercial business.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Proximex is a privately held company. It was founded in 2004 and is known for its innovations in application software design and implementation. John Kenning, president of ADT North America Commercial, said the new relationship with Proximex will provide enhanced service to customers and help to further position both companies for continued success.

“Going forward, PSIM will support the growth of our business by serving as a foundation for managed service offerings to our customers,” said Kenning. “This important addition to our business further demonstrates how ADT Commercial is broadening its position as the leading enterprise security systems integrator.”

 The flagship product of Proximex is Surveillint, an enterprise-wide solution that joins and correlates information from multiple security systems into a simple interface, making that information more useable and actionable. “With this new relationship, Proximex gains an increased level of service for our partners and vendors,” said Jack Smith, president of Proximex. “We also can leverage ADT’s scale and assets like their Centers of Excellence for installation and service.”

Proximex will retain its branding and continue to maintain its relationships with customers, manufacturers and vendors.

 

Congrats to all who've registered for the Security 5K walk/run at this year's ISC West

 - 
Friday, April 1, 2011

I just got an email from Mission 500 Volunteer and Advisory Council member George Fletcher. I wasn't the only one. Everyone who has registered for the upcoming 2nd annual Security 5K road race, which is happening at this year's ISC West in Vegas, got the email, I assume. It's nice to see the industry pulling together for a good cause and raising some money for the needy.

I think this year's race will be even better than the inaugural installment last year. That first race raised around $30k. Let's hope we do equally well this year.

Though I haven't been promoting this fact, I feel I should perhaps mention it now. Following in the footsteps of SSN editors before me, I'll be singing the National Anthem before the race along with my colleague, SSN publisher's assistant Cath Dagget. I'm not promosing an overwhelming emotional response to our well-rehearsed, on-key, on-target, patriotic portrayal, but I think we'll at least get the words right. I hope.

Good luck to everyone who registered to walk or run in the race. Let's do some good and have a great ISC West!

Here's the email from George Fletcher. Thanks for the props, George!

A warm welcome to all of you who have registered for our second Security 5K at the ISC West in Las Vegas, and a big THANKS in advance for making this commitment. We look forward to seeing you bright and early on Thursday April 7 for the run: race details are in attached document, or you can also see at: 

 http://www.security5k.com/faqs.php

 For the fourth year ISC and Reed Exhibitions have kindly helped promote Mission 500 - we thank them again for their commitment to our cause. Security Systems News  has also been instrumental in the creation of the Security 5K, and in promoting the event throughout the industry. We also acknowledge all of our sponsors and thank them for making it possible: Alarm.com, Altronix, Axis Communications, DMP, Deister Electronics, Ditek, HID, Honeywell, LRG Marketing Communications, Panasonic, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Pivot3 and Safety Technology International Inc.

 Please remember to mark you calendar for our celebratory cocktail reception on April 7 at 5.15 pm, at room 301/302 in the Sands Convention center (near the registration area): we will hand out medals, acknowledge our top fundraiser, best Team run, sponsors, and this years Mission 500 Humanitarian Award and Corporate Social Responsibility Award honorees.

 Looking forward to meeting many of you on race day and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns

 

George Fletcher

Volunteer and Advisory Council member

Mission 500

Vivint smart dealmaker

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vivint, formerly APX Alarm, has had a busy month, with its execs garnering business deal-making awards and the company winning a municipal smart meter contract.

On March 11, the Provo, Utah-based home automation/security company’s chief executive and founder Todd Pedersen and CEO Alex Dunn received 2011 Dealmakers of the Year awards from the Utah Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, according to a company press release.

The recognition occurred at the 7th annual ACG Utah Intermountain Growth Conference and ACG Capital Connection. The conference was created to connect private equity organizations with middle-market businesses in Utah, Idaho and Northern Nevada, the company said.

“We are delighted to honor Todd Pedersen and Alex Dunn as Utah’s 2011 Dealmakers of the Year,” Steven Stauffer, president of the Utah Chapter of ACG, said in a statement. “By any meaningful measure, these are two extraordinary, high-impact business leaders with a powerful drive for tangible results.”

Selection criteria for the 2011 Dealmaker of the Year Award included both quantitative and qualitative factors, with a strong emphasis on measurable performance, the release said.

“It is extremely gratifying for our company to share this honor with such successful Utah legends as Omniture (now Adobe) and Skull Candy,” Dunn said in a statement. “This award attests to the diligence and integrity of Vivint’s tremendous workforce, who have had an incalculable, ongoing impact on our growth.”

Launched in 1999, the home security company early this year introduced a variety of new home automation products and services, and rebranded itself as Vivint to reflect the new strategic direction.

Vivint also announced this month that it was chosen to install an advanced community-wide water meter system for Sandy City, Utah. Technicians from Vivint’s Smart Grid Solutions Division will install 24,000 meters over the next several years.

Sandy City will enjoy improved meter reading efficiencies and enhanced customer service while, reducing overhead costs, according to Vivint.

Vivint entered the smart grid market in December 2010 with the purchase of Meter Solutions, a smart meter installation company with more than 13 years of operational expertise.

 

Fining alarm companies for false alarms. Good idea or bad?

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

There's been a lot of online chatter out there about the false alarm ordinance in Avondale, Ariz. I wrote last summer about some ordinance wackiness in neighboring Goodyear. I spoke with Arizona Alarm Association president Maria Malice. She and SIAC worked pretty hard with the folks in Goodyear to make sure the municipality understood the possible problems with going to verified response. 

At the time, I was told there were a whole bunch of municipalities in the metro Phoenix area that were thinking about harsher ordinances, Avondale among them.

Now, earlier this month, Jon Sargent over at SIAC gave me a call to let me know Avondale had hired CryWolf as a third party administrater of the alarm ordinance. The city council has decided to hold alarm companies responsible for the false alarm fines.

Ken Kirshchenbaum has a nice collection of commentary from alarm industry folks. Maria started the ball rolling by pointing out how important it was to take action.

Ken,

    Thank you so much for putting this out for us!  We are working hard to fight this issue as we know there are other Cities here in AZ who will want to follow in Avondale's footsteps if we do not take action now.

    One other notable is that we have SB-1277 for statewide alarm licensing in process.  We hope to have this passed this year.

    Love your daily emails they bring such great topics to light.  Keep up the great work!  Thank you!

Maria Malice

Vice President Special Projects

COPS Monitoring

Scottsdale, Arizona office

Arizona Alarm Association, President

Randy Larkam from north of the border up in Calgary ponits out that they've been fined for false alarms for years and that that tructh has lead to kind of an evolution, where private security officers vet alarms before dispatch. It's the way Mike Jagger runs Provident, too. I've written about them before when discussing verified alarms and priority reponse.

Ken

    Here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada alarm co’s have been billed $75 for every false alarm for the last 5+ years…

This has led to a lot more guard response/verification (unarmed).

Randy S. Larkam

Many in the industry are using the analogy of the car manufacturer or the car dealer being made to pay for end users' speeding tickets. I see where that anaolgy makes sense. However, I don't really think it's exactly apples to apples. When I buy my car from the dealership, my relationship with them truly is over (unless I stupidly financed through them rather than through a local credit unio or AAA). In the alarm industry, dealers or central stations still have regular contact with the end user, and in fact, it's the central sttion that dispatches on the alarm signal.

Ken:

    The best analogy that I have heard on this approach is..."Should Ford and other auto makers have to pay the speeding tickets that you and I receive for disobeying the speed limit"  Maybe if the alarm companies in Arizona can convey this line of reasoning to the elected officials they will re-think this ordinance.

Michael Samulin

Intruder Alert Systems, Inc.

San Antonio, TX

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying alarm companies should pay for false alarms, but there IS a continuing relationship wherein the alarm company via monitoring and dispatch is directly involved in sending the police to a location where an emergency might not exist... Not really apples to apples unless I regularly am allowing the car salesman to ride with me and play really rockin' driving music and egg me on to speed.

Luis Arellano, president of Reliance Alarm Company in Pennsylvania makes a good point that ordinances often times function to keep lazy or disinterested alarm users in line. Sometimes people just don't care that they're wasting officers' time and municipality resources...

Honorable friends,

    By way of amicus curiae I would like to express the opinion that your recent false alarm ordinance, requiring the alarm company to pay false alarm fines for its customer, is a bad idea.

    For starters, your ordinance may eventually have the effect of delaying or preventing the reporting of a true alarm condition, and has the potential to cost lives.

    The end user should be held responsible for purchasing and installing false-alarm-resistant system technology; for updating obsolete technology; for keeping it in proper operating condition; for learning the proper operation of the system; and for using the premises and the system in a way that does not provoke false alarm incidents.

    While the alarm company can and should assist in the above, it does not control the end user's budget; who will be on the premises; and the broad variety of things they might do to provoke false alarms including raising dust, spray painting, burning things in the kitchen, improper testing, renovations, roof and plumbing leaks, animal and insect infestation, insect fogging and more.  The alarm company usually does not know in advance that such events are taking place on the premises and therefore cannot identify false-alarm-provoking activity until after the alarm has been tripped.

    The alarm industry as a whole has been struggling with these false alarm problems for all of my thirty-one years in business and in recent years has become increasingly aggressive in its efforts.  While great strides have been made in false alarm reduction, we have yet to find the magic bullet.

    Economically, the starting assessment of $150 is disproportionate to the fee that alarm companies charge for monitoring service, approaching and probably significantly exceeding the ultimate profit on a year's monitoring service for many companies.  Putting the burden of reimbursement on the alarm company will create friction between all parties that will ultimately prove to be counterproductive.

    Although I'm not in your area, there are some municipalities in my market area that my company simply won't serve at all for lesser reasons.  You are therefore jeopardizing the availability of affordable service in your community by driving away potential vendors; and you're giving the companies that do stay the leverage to raise their installation, service and monitoring fees substantially to compensate for the extra risk and expense.

Our friend Dusan is a little less balanced, in my opinion, shouting for revolution. Che may have had his impetus down in BA, but it doesn't compare to how heated alarm guys get about false alarms and fines and unAmerican legislation. I've commented on some of Dusan's input on the Article 6-E debate before.

Welcome to COMMUNIST STATES OF AMERICA. We need to overturn this idiotic government just like people do it in other countries. It is ridiculous that we let people who steal, cheat, even pay hookers with our tax money like former New York governor rule our lives. Are we bunch of kids to let anyone order us around?

Dusan

There are many other voices to be heard. Has yours been heard yet? Get involved and let the industry and your municipality know what you think when it comes time for ordinances. This kind of thing has happened before and will happen again. The best thing alarm companies can do is be invovled in their community, know the ordinances, know the city council meeting agendas. And ACT.

 

 

 

 

 

Post IPO, Infinova invests in channel

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J.—Camera manufacturer Infinova, which completed a $300m. IPO in December,  and recently announced that it was looking for acquisitions, will launch its channel partner program, called the Infinova Certified Integrator Program, at ISC West next week.

Integrators who join the program will receive differentiated pricing, warranties, products and services, Mark Wilson, VP marketing for Infinova said. They will be required to complete Infinova’s Technical Product Certification program, which the company launched in December.

Nathan Needel, VP sales Infinova told Security Systems News in an email interview that the ideal integrator for this program is one who helps “large customers migrate from analog to IP surveillance. We provide both a traditional hybrid approach and our coexistence solution in which their customer can start using megapixel cameras without tearing out their analog control room.” Needel called this “a big plus when talking to customers who are under a budget crunch and worrying about pulling out equipment before it is fully depreciated.”

The company’s suite of products “megapixel, IP and analog surveillance cameras, including specialized cameras, control room equipment, fiber optic communications and customized systems [will help integrators] say yes to a broader scope of projects.”

The company will also introduce a new “solution category at the show,” he said.

Infinova also became a public company in December when it completed a $300 million IPO in China. The certification program that it launched in December includes a one-day hands-one technical certification program that is certified by ESA and BICSI. The idea is “to bring in traditional security installers and give them the training they need to do a good quality installation for IP surveillance installations,” Wilson said. Companies must have one technically certified engineer at each site, he added.

 

False alarm doesn't make for friendly skies

 - 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

False fire alarms in homes or commercial buildings are a problem for first responders, who waste time, money and vital resources rushing out for no reason, and for municipalities and their taxpayers, who shoulder the costs of such futile trips. And, as this recent Associated Press story shows, false alarms also can create problems in the air.

The Federal Aviation Administration said that a fire alarm in the traffic control tower at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J. stopped departures for 20 minutes last Friday, according to the story.

But there was no fire, the story said. Instead, the story reported, an FAA spokeswoman said the alarm was set off at 5:50 p.m. on March 25 by a faulty sensor on the tower's 15th floor. She said the tower was evacuated with just three controllers remaining to monitor incoming flights.

Other controllers began to set up a temporary tower atop a terminal, the story said. Departures were held until the sensor was replaced at 6:10 p.m. and operations resumed.

The AP reported that four flights were diverted and landed at other airports.

 

Way to go, Go!Control

 - 
Monday, March 28, 2011

2GIG’s Go!Control panel won a high honor this month—it was named 2011 Security Product of the Year by the TechHome Division of the Consumer Electronics Association, according to 2GIG Technologies.

The all-in-one security and home automation system with touch screen interface developed by 2GIG, the Carlsbad, Calif.-based developer of home security and related systems, was honored at CEA’s TechHome Mark of Excellence Awards on March 18, according to a company press release.

“This is a huge honor,” Lance Dean, co-founder of 2GIG Technologies, said in a statement in the release. “This recognition by the consumer electronics industry’s most important association validates that we have succeeded in making the most user-friendly, feature-rich home automation and security system on the market.”

The Mark of Excellence Awards program honors the best in home electronics products, services, and installed technology. Each year, manufacturers, distributors, and systems integrators enter the contest, which is judged by independent experts within the industry, according to the release. Winners were announced this year at the Mark of Excellence Awards Presentation at the EHX Electronic House Expo (EHX) spring event in Orlando, Fla. at the Orange County Convention Center.

 

Mobotix in Atlanta

 - 
Monday, March 28, 2011

I’m in Atlanta today for the Mobotix East Coast partner conference, and we have a full day of presentations lined up. I wrote about Mobotix earlier this year when it announced it opened a new demo center in Manhattan. During that interview Steve Gorski—a veteran of Axis who joined Mobotix a year ago to raise the company’s profile in the Americas—told me what differentiates Mobotix,  is its “decentralized approach” where the image processing takes place in the camera itself instead of on a central PC.

Storage can also be done on the camera. The PC is used for viewing and controlling the camera and not for analysis or recording,” Gorski said. “And the bottom line is that means [the cameras] use less bandwidth, fewer servers or less costly servers, and because it’s megapixel, you need fewer cameras. Mobotix has its own VMS software with no licensing fee. However, he notes Mobotix is “good friends with the OnSSI, Milestone and other VMS platforms” and works well with their software.  Read more from that interview here.

From the looks of the reception last night, Mobotix has a pretty good showing here in Atlanta nine days before ISC West. There were about 100 non-Mobotix attendees at the reception and they’re expecting 150 during the program today and tomorrow.

They’re still working on launching their new channel partner program, which they’d hoped to kick off at ISC West. That kick off is likely to happen sometime after the ISC West, Gorski said.  And the company will have a big presence at ISC West. I remember meeting with Peter McKee at a small booth at ISC East three or four years ago. This year at West, Mobotix is going to have one of those 50-foot booths up front, I learned last night.

On the agenda for the day—which thankfully did not start at 7 a.m  as some agendas do—is the following:

Mobotix Welcome & Introduction Peter McKee - Global Marketing Director

Steve Gorski - General Manager Americas

10.00 am MOBOTIX Keynote Presentation Dr. Ralf Hinkel - CEO and Founder of MOBOTIX

11.15 am Facts & Figures Lutz Coelen - CFO of MOBOTIX

12.00 pm MxExpo Overview

MOBOTIX partners demonstrating MOBOTIX solutions

Steve Gorski - General Manager Americas

12.30 pm Lunch & Opening of MxExpo

1.30 pm MOBOTIX Features & Functions

MOBOTIX Hardware & Software

Examples & Latest Developments

Jörg Steuerwald - Project Manager

2.30 pm MOBOTIX USA Challenges & Potential Steve Gorski - General Manager Americas

3.00 pm Introduction to Case Studies Steve Gorski - General Manager Americas

3.15 pm Partner Case Study Presentations (Part 1)

3.45 pm Coffee Break & MxExpo

4.00 pm Partner Case Study Presentations (Part 2)

Here’s some more background on the company from my interview with Gorski:

Headquartered in Langmeil, Germany, Mobotix was founded in 1999 by CEO Ralf Hinkel. The company has 276 employees, and global sales of EUR 53.8 million ($73 million) in FY 09/10 (which ended June 30, 2010), a 20-percent increase over the previous year, according to the company.  Gorski said that IMSResearch ranks Mobotix first in global market share for megapixel cameras. In the EMEA region, IMS says Mobotix is second in terms of market share for IP cameras, he said.

With about 11 employees in North America, Mobotix has had a quiet presence here since the early 2000s. Gorski, who formerly worked for Axis Communications, was brought on last year to raise the company’s profile in North America.

IMS ranks Mobotix 10th in terms of market share in North America, Gorski said. He believes Mobotix can move to number five within a couple years. “The group of folks in the five- to 10 [ranked spots] are only separated by a few percentage points.” And, he said, Mobotix is growing fast. In the first quarter of Mobotix’ FY 2010 (July-September 2010) Mobotix sales in North America were 50 percent higher than in the same period last

 

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