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San Fran PE firm buys big biometrics company

 - 
Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cross Match Technologies, one of the largest providers of biometrics, has been acquired by PE firm Francisco Partners.

I spoke to David Buckley, when he was named CEO of Cross Match in March 2011.

At that time, he said his goal with the company was to “continue the evolution of the company from being just a technology player into providing a full set of solutions for the customer.”

Buckley is traveling until mid-August, but I’m hoping to speak to John Hinmon, who’s in charge of marketing and some M&A activity at the company.
I’ve left a couple of messages for Tom Ludwig COO at Francisco Partners, but haven’t heard back yet. The company web site says the group provides "transformational capital for technology companies."  

It has 55 portfolio companies I didn’t notice any other physical security companies when I glanced at their list of investments.  The FP statement notes the Cross Match has “secured significant contracts with the most discerning government clients.”  

Cross Match, which makes fingerprint, palm and full hand scanners, facial recognition, iris scanning, document readers and biometric software, has contracts with DoD and DHS among others. In the private sector side,  Cross Match works in hospitality, gaming and financial services. It has 400 employees, 5,000 customers worldwide and over 250,000 products deployed in over 80 countries

Founded in1996 and based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Cross Match also has offices in Washington D.C., Quebec and in Jena, Germany. It does cross-engineering with its office in Germany and has several partners it works with in Asia.

Terms of the deal were not released.

 

Don't email, call today

 - 
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wondering why Tess, Rich, Whit and I haven't returned your email today?

We can't.

Mail server has been down all day and is supposed to be down until tomorrow morning.

If you need to reach us, give us a call: 207-846-0600, Martha: ext. 261; Tess: ext. 232; Rich: ext. 254; Whit: ext. 227.

 

Get your new product listed in SSN's ASIS show products section

 - 
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Manufacturers: Do you have a new product that you'll be introducing at ASIS this year? Would you like to have it appear in the September issue of Security Systems News in the ASIS show products section?

Just follow the simple instructions below, and get all the material to us before the August 10 deadline.

Is the August 10 deadline firm? Yes.

All companies exhibiting at the show can submit a product that is making its debut at ASIS 2012 in September. Companies that have more than one division may submit one product for each division.
>  
> To take advantage of this free editorial opportunity, please send an email with the following information in the body of the email to cdaggett@securitysystemsnews.com
>  
> 1. Company name (to be published)
> 2. New product name (to be published)
> 3. Description of new product (no longer than 75 words)
> 4. Photograph of your product, 300 dpi or better. This is optional.
> 5. Web site (to be published)
> 6. Company telephone number—only ONE please (to be published)
> 7. ASIS Booth number (essential; you must be exhibiting at ASIS)
> 8. Contact number at your company for follow up. (This will not be published and we’ll only contact you if we have questions or a problem.)
>  
> The firm deadline is August 10. Space in the print issue is limited, and products will be listed in the order in which we receive them so get your information in early.
>  
> Questions? Please contact Cath Daggett, advertising coordinator for SSN and SDN. Her number is 207-846-0600, ext. 300, and her email is cdaggett@securitysystemsnew.com.

Rapid plans to add up to 200 jobs in Syracuse expansion

 - 
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rapid Response has won preliminary approval for a tax break that could pave the way for an $11.3 million expansion on its home turf in Syracuse, according to a report Tuesday in The Post-Standard.

The project, which would add up to 200 jobs, would include the purchase and renovation of the 37,500-square-foot building that Rapid currently leases, according to the report. Rapid also plans to build a 20,000-square-foot facility nearby.

The “payment in lieu of taxes” deal, or PILOT, approved by the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency would save Rapid about $738,000 over 10 years. A sales tax exemption on construction materials is expected to save the company another $500,000, the report said.

The expansion is not a done deal, however. The tax plan still needs to be approved by the City Council, with a bigger potential hurdle at a higher level: acquiring financial help from the state.

Ben Walsh, the city’s deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development, told The Post-Standard that the project is contingent on Rapid receiving assistance from Empire State Development, a state agency.

An application has been submitted to the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, which recommends projects for state funding. ESD officials are expected to announce the list of projects that receive funds by late October.

A start date for the project, which the company says would take about two years to complete, has not been announced.

Vivint using social media to recruit sales talent

 - 
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everyone likes to gab about their workplace, whether it’s to colleagues at happy hour after work, or by posting on Facebook or your social media channel of choice. But your workplace paying you to talk about it? That’s what Vivint is doing for its employees.
According to a news release this week, the Utah-based summer-model home automation and security company is utilizing redKonnect, “a word-of-mouth marketing web application,” to help it reward employees who pass the word to friends that Vivint has job openings and is a good place to work. The company says data show the retention rates for friend-referred employees are much higher than those of employees recruited through other means.
Here’s more from the July 17 release:

With the help of redKonnect, a word-of-mouth marketing web application, Vivint is rewarding its employees with cash for simply posting about Vivint job openings on social media. That is, Vivint is incentivizing its most loyal employees to tell their friends that Vivint is hiring inside salespeople.
In fact, every time their Vivint employees post and tweet about Vivint using redKonnect, they get paid, and every time their friends click on their post tweets they get paid more. Posts, tweets and clicks generate points and redKonnect, which their employees can convert to cash on PayPal with the click of a button. Talk about giving back.
As for some hard stats, since launching their campaign with redKonnect, Vivint fans and employees have generated, on average, 9 clicks with every endorsement. And dozens of these endorsements were generated within just a few days of the campaign launching.
Given the premium sales-centered companies place on recruiting, Vivint’s redKonnect campaign seems to represent an innovative and exemplary move toward better utilization of social media for recruiting of talented salespeople.

Vivint seems confident employees will give the company a strong endorsement. Vivint says it has “some of the highest rates of employee satisfaction and productivity.”
Benefits the company says it offers workers include health and dental coverage, paid vacation days, and a generous 401K package, as well as free lunch, casual dress and exercise facilities.
The release quotes company CEO Todd Pederson as saying, “My father always told me that if you treat the people who work for you like gold, everything else will fall into place.”

 

OV drops Samsung case, ITC trial involving Bosch starts today

 - 
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ObjectVideo issued a statement at 7:30 this morning announcing that it has dropped patent infringement charges against Samsung.  The statement came two hours before an International Trade Commission trial began at 9:30 this morning.

I called ObjectVideo, but they’re not saying anything beyond what’s in the press release. I also have a call into Samsung.

The release says that ObjectVideo filed an unopposed motion to terminate the International Trade Commission investigation against Samsung.  “Both parties agreed this was the appropriate next step as part of our continued efforts to resolve the dispute between the companies,” Raul Fernandez, CEO of ObjectVideo, is quoted as saying in the press release.

“The public trial against Bosch at the USITC, resulting from an investigation pertaining to products from Robert Bosch GmbH and Bosch Security Systems, Inc., continues as planned,” the release said.

“With Samsung out of the ITC action, we can focus on Bosch, whose products implement numerous infringing video analytic technologies, including metadata, tripwire, and slip-and-fall technology,” added Fernandez.

OV first filed a court complaint in April of 2011. It moved the complaint to the ITC in July of 2011.

The trial began this morning at the USITC in Washington.

iControl helps Silicon Valley traveler keep in touch

 - 
Monday, July 16, 2012

iControl, an interactive platform used for security/home automation by traditional security companies like ADT and the new cable entrants like Comcast, got a nice mention on the front page of the New York Times travel section yesterday.

The story, about how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs’ make travel paperless and stress-free, talks about Tim Ferris (author of The Four-Hour Work Week and other books in an updated self-help genre) has many gadgets that help him when he’s traveling, including iControl software—which keeps him in touch with his home.

From the story: “One of the world’s largest guarding companies When he’s on the road Mr. Ferriss uses iControl software, which allows him to receive e-mails with video clips from infrared cameras in his house and to receive text alerts on his phone about who’s going in and out of his home.”

Is Tim’s security system provided by a traditional provider or a cableco? I’m sure iControl wouldn’t disclose the answer to that question.

Study: PSIM market to grow to $2.8b by 2021

 - 
Thursday, July 12, 2012

A couple days after PSIM maker VidSys touted one aspect of the new Frost & Sullivan PSIM study, F&S itself today sent out a release about this study.

The projections are most interesting part of the release, I think. F&S projects the global PSIM market is set to grow from a $142.9 million in 2011 to a $2.79 billion by 2021.

When I spoke to VidSys CTO James Chong the other day, he said that his company’s commercial business is on the rise. The Frost & Sullivan study says that’s the way it’s going to go. Revenue generation from will shift from solely to include more critical infrastructure to first responders and commercial entities in the future.  

The biggest driver will be “word of mouth” about PSIM capabilities, the study says.  Frost and Sullivan even gave that phrase its very own acronym—“WOM.”  That’s a new one for me.

There’s not a lot of WOM yet, because most enterprises are still grappling with the convergence of physical security and IT security.  

From the news release: "The majority of security integrators are focused on solutions they are used to and their unwillingness to learn information technology and implement software products is restraining the PSIM market," explains [Krzysztof] Rutkowski. "This is a major challenge because awareness of customers may not be improved by the systems integrators."

As such, being a well established player in the PSIM and security market is crucial for market success. Value added products will be able to capture more of the market share.

"Being well recognized in the market sends a positive message to the customers on expertise and future reliability in terms of installation and upgrades support," says Rutkowski. "Another key aspect to success is the value a PSIM provider can add to the solution i.e. a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) option or a command and control (C2) centre."

The study advises video and access control systems companies to "tie up with PSIM players" to avoid being edged out.
 

Fraud trial, white gloves in McGinn, Smith case

 - 
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

When the Securities and Exchange Commission charged alarm industry investors David L. Smith and Timothy McGinn in 2010 with running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of at least $80 million, one of the SEC’s contentions was that some of the money was diverted to pay for “strippers and go-go dancers” on McGinn’s You Only Live Once cruise ship business.

Now, a judge has ordered that another cruise business associated with the case—this one with the tonier name of White Glove Cruises—be sold for more than half a million dollars to help pay the creditors of Smith and McGinn—who served as CEO of IASG from 2003-2006.

McGinn and Smith, founders of an Albany, N.Y.-based investment firm that conducted dealing in the alarm industry, also were indicted this year on criminal fraud charges that could send them to prison for years, if convicted. Each has pleaded not guilty and their trial—originally scheduled for last month—now is set to begin on Nov. 13.

The sale of Dania Beach, Fla.-based White Glove Cruises was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge David R. Homer in a June 20 decision in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York. The buyer of White Glove, and a related business called Luxury Cruise Receivables, is Caribbean World Travel Services, and the purchase price is $575,000 in cash, along with other considerations, including being relieved from further lease obligations of more than $258,000, court records show.

White Glove is a travel agency “with Timothy McGinn appearing to have taken a material role in its management,” according to court records.

This business sounds much more refined than McGinn’s YOLO (You Only Live Once) venture. The agency specializes in booking cruises “on more luxurious cruise lines,” and had gross billings of between $9.7 million to $12.4 million for each of the past three years, court records say.

DICE rolls out backup in Colorado fire

 - 
Tuesday, July 10, 2012

They are powerful numbers: More than 18,000 acres burned, 32,000 residents forced to evacuate, and nearly 350 homes destroyed. The Waldo Canyon fire outside Colorado Springs is now under control, but not before leaving its mark as one of the most destructive in the state’s history.

It’s a long way from the sagebrush to Bay City, Mich., but that’s where DICE Corp.’s Disaster Recovery Center geared up to help any clients threatened by the Waldo wildfire and others in the region. DICE software is used to monitor thousands of homes and businesses in the Colorado Springs area.

“Having accounts in an area that could, at any time, be in jeopardy on a large scale … will cause intense management issues at the monitoring centers located in non-affected areas,” the company said in an email statement. “Part of the preparation we did on behalf of the recent Colorado evacuations was to make our Disaster Recovery Center available to receive signals from any of our clients if the [fire] was affecting their normal day-to-day businesses. In doing so, it provided an advanced storm mode, if you will, in which case the extra signal activity is removed from the center’s inbound circuits, which is really an expansion of capacity and services to the center.”

Melissa Courville, head of marketing and communications for DICE, said there were clients in the Colorado Springs area that did turn to the company’s DR center for assistance, but she was not at liberty to disclose who they were or to what extent they were affected.

Courville said the situation served as a reminder of when the company provided backup for a central station that was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina until it was able to rebuild.

“I’m humbled to say it was my first opportunity to step up as an emergency operator to dispatch,” she said. “To us it is only natural to offer our assistance, as we have done always and continue to do so.”
 

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