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ESX reaches $1m milestone

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

So I got this news from ESA and CSAA the other day. Apparently ESX, which touts itself as the only trade show owned by the industry and existing for the benefit of the industry, has raised north of $1 million for the associations since the show's inception in 2008. That's pretty cool news, given the state of the economy over the last several years.

ESA and CSAA have funneled all that money back into the industry in the form of funding for more education and more legislative initiatives, and public relations to benefit integration and monitoring companies.

ESA president Dom D'Ascoli was clearly pleased with the milestone. From the relase:

In addition to providing invaluable education, networking and vendor contact for our member companies, ESX is an important source of funding for ESA. The event has generated substantial funds for ESA during a time of general economic headwinds and has helped the association expand and improve its services.

CSAA prez Ed Bonifas also chimed in on the accomplishment.

CSAA is thrilled to be an owner and sponsor of ESX, and is proud of all that it does for the industry. Its profitability for the associations in every year since its launch is a testament to the event’s quality and structure.

I spoke with Ed just the other day about the current state of the ASAP-to-the-PSAP program and how the automated data transfer protocol faired during the natural disasters--the rare East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene.

John Galante, president of AE Ventures, producer of the ESX show was also excited by the news and hopeful of what it meant for the future.

AE Ventures is proud to produce an event that helps fuel industry growth through the programs of CSAA and ESA. All parties are committed to producing a growing, high quality event and making sure the industry is the principal beneficiary of its success.

ESX will be return to its roots in Nashville, Tenn for the next two installments.

 

 

NFSA: ‘We will NEVER forget!’

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

As the 10th anniversary of 9/ll approaches this Sunday, the thoughts of the nation turn to the events of that terrible day.

John Viniello, president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, has gone further than most. He wrote his thoughts down into a song and sings it in a video that you can view on YouTube.

You also can link to it through the NFSA web site, which posted the video. Here’s what the NFSA had to say:

In honor of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, NFSA is proud to present this video. The song was inspired not only by the tragedy and insurmountable loss of life, but by the bravery and undaunted will of the firefighters, police, EMS workers and all volunteers who persisted in the effort to search for survivors, help the injured and clean up the horrible aftermath. We will NEVER forget!”

 

 

How will Stanley change Niscayah in North America?

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stanley Black and Decker announced Friday night that all systems were go--it’d “satisfied all conditions” for its $1.2b cash bid for Niscayah.

Stanley says it now has 94.9 percent of Niscayah’s outstanding shares (as the result of shares tendered in the offer and shares acquired outside of the offer). The settlement is supposed to start on Sept. 9., but Stanley has extended the acceptance period to Sept. 23 for shareholders who have not yet submitted their acceptance.

What’s next? I’ve got calls into Stanley and Niscayah, but haven’t heard back from Stanley yet. I’m wondering if Stanley’s going to want to wait until ASIS to talk about this acquisition – (and its $61m. acquisition of Microtec in Canada, which is scheduled to close shortly). 

I had an interesting email conversation with Dennis Raefield about the deal, part of which he’s allowed me to share here. Dennis, the former CEO of Mace, has a connection to Niscayah.

Raefield ran an integration firm called Omega Corporate Security for about 20 years, which he sold to Pinkerton in 1995. The idea, he said, was to start one of the first national systems integrators. Dennis served as president of Pinkerton Systems Integration from 1995-1998. “We acquired eight of the best regional integrators and PSI thrived. Later, after I moved on, PSI took a setback before the whole of Pinkerton was sold to Securitas.” 

Raefield said that “under Marty Guay’s [Niscayah president] excellent leadership, Securitas Systems rebuilt the brand name and gained market share again. He built a great brand and a great team. I never understood why Securitas let that division break off as Niscayah, but it turned out to be a good move for the Niscayah owners, and obviously Securitas re-thought their decision when they made a competing bid.

Raefield predicted  that the integration of Niscayah into Stanley “will certainly be tough, with conflicting cultures and overlapping regional offices.” Raefield said  the Stanley management will need “to understand the unique Niscayah culture [to] find a way to preserve the best parts.  Integrations are always tough, and jobs will certainly be lost to pay for such a combination.  Let’s hope the Stanley will do a better job than the many rollups that have come before them.”

Raefield noted that the concept of a quality national integrator “has become the new standard, but no matter how large they become, it will always require dedicated regional and branch offices with quality staff to maintain and grow an integration business. With minimal recurring revenue, each office must bid, install, and service new systems every month. They cannot miss a beat in execution.  That has and will remain the toughest part of systems integration.  They must do the tough work every day to keep loyal customers.”

 

 

Century-old security company on the block

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

For sale, as listed in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal: the New York Merchants Protective Co. Inc., a financially embattled New York-based alarm company that has been in the same family for about 100 years.

Interested? You have until 4 p.m. tomorrow (Sept. 2) to make an offer.

In January, Bank of America sued NYMP and its owner Wayne Wahrsager for more than $19.2 million for allegedly defaulting on a loan.

In August, a court-appointed receiver overseeing the company posted newspaper notices that it intends to sell “substantially all the assets of the company.” The notice says that the assets, which range from accounts to furniture and inventory and also intangible assets, will go to Professional Security Technologies LLC under an asset purchase agreement unless the receiver gets “higher or better” offers by tomorrow afternoon.

I'm trying to find out more about Professional Security Technologies.

How much has Professional Security Technologies offered for NYMP? I don’t know … the asset purchase agreement is available to interested buyers on request.

But in a memorandum that the receiver, attorney Ronald Friedman, filed with the court this summer, he estimates the sale of NYMP to Professional Security Technologies will realize “$6.5 million and $9.5 million depending primarily upon the volume of NYMP customers that execute contracts with [the] buyer.”

 A judge will make a final decision on whether the NYMP sale actually goes forward. The decision is slated to happen Sept. 16. Stay tuned…

 

Exacq and others on Inc's 2011 fastest growing company list

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

VMS provider Exacq Technologies made Inc. 500 for second year in a row. Exacq had revenues of $9.7m in 2009 and $19.2m in 2010. Its three-year growth percentage is 851 percent, according to the Inc 500 list. Exacq was number 401 on the list.

Will the company double its revenues again in 2011 and make the 2012 list? Roger Shuman, marketing manager for Exacq, told me that he’s not sure they’ll go through the process again, but that revenue numbers for 2011 thus far show that “we’ll be very close to doubling revenues again.”

Exacq is not alone among physical security companies on the expanded Inc 5,000 list this year.

Intelligent analytics and search solution provider 3VR came in at # 531 with 635 percent growth and $14.4m in revenues.

VMS Alarms of Warwick, R.I. was # 573 with 572 percent growth and $12.2m in revenues.

Megapixel camera manufacturer Arecont Vision is # 756 with 416 percent growth and $51m in revenues.

An ADT dealer, Integrity Alarms, is #989 with 310 percent growth and $6.5m in revenues.

DTT Surveillance is #1491 with 187 percent growth and $14.3m in revenues.

Ron Oetjen’s systems integration firm Intelligent Access Systems of N.C. grew 125 percent and had revenues of 11.1m.

Here’s the list of the top security companies on the 2011 Inc. 5000 list, though many of these are not physical security providers.

Back to Exacq, Shuman said the key to Exacq’s growth is the company’s three-tier approach with its software and hardware—offering “Start, Pro, and Enterprise level ... built on the same kernal software.” Exacq’s products are “scalable and cross compatible,” he said.

Shuman said the company has seen growth across all vertical markets. “We certainly do a lot of schools and hospitals, just as many corporate installations.” The company has added 30 new employees since 2010 (and hired two more this week, Shuman said. “The strategy is to continue to bring on new engineers and sales people and expand into other [vertical] markets.”

Exacq has formalized its certified reseller program, offering one-day training programs. IN addition, it’s added ADI and Ingram Micro to its list of distribution partners. “We work with most of the major players in the physical security [and now,] the network IT world, as well.

Exacq and others on Inc's 2011 fastest growing company list

 - 
Thursday, September 1, 2011

VMS provider Exacq Technologies made Inc. 500 for second year in a row. Exacq had revenues of $9.7m in 2009 and $19.2m in 2010. Its three-year growth percentage is 851 percent, according to the Inc 500 list. Exacq was number 401 on the list.

Will the company double its revenues again in 2011 and make the 2012 list? Roger Shuman, marketing manager for Exacq, told me that he’s not sure they’ll go through the process again, but that revenue numbers for 2011 thus far show that “we’ll be very close to doubling revenues again.”

Exacq is not alone among physical security companies on the expanded Inc 5,000 list this year.

Intelligent analytics and search solution provider 3VR came in at # 531 with 635 percent growth and $14.4m in revenues.

VMS Alarms of Warwick, R.I. was # 573 with 572 percent growth and $12.2m in revenues.

Megapixel camera manufacturer Arecont Vision is # 756 with 416 percent growth and $51m in revenues.

An ADT dealer, Integrity Alarms, is #989 with 310 percent growth and $6.5m in revenues.

DTT Surveillance is #1491 with 187 percent growth and $14.3m in revenues.

Ron Oetjen’s systems integration firm Intelligent Access Systems of N.C. grew 125 percent and had revenues of 11.1m.

Here’s the list of the top security companies on the 2011 Inc. 5000 list, though many of these are not physical security providers.

Back to Exacq, Shuman said the key to Exacq’s growth is the company’s three-tier approach with its software and hardware—offering “Start, Pro, and Enterprise level ... built on the same kernal software.” Exacq’s products are “scalable and cross compatible,” he said.

Shuman said the company has seen growth across all vertical markets. “We certainly do a lot of schools and hospitals, just as many corporate installations.” The company has added 30 new employees since 2010 (and hired two more this week, Shuman said. “The strategy is to continue to bring on new engineers and sales people and expand into other [vertical] markets.”

Exacq has formalized its certified reseller program, offering one-day training programs. IN addition, it’s added ADI and Ingram Micro to its list of distribution partners. “We work with most of the major players in the physical security [and now,] the network IT world, as well.

AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile blocked with government lawsuit?

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I wrote a while back about AT&T's bid to purchase T-Mobile. I wanted to look whether or not having such a large provider as the only choice for a GSM carrier would be damaging to the security industry. Whether or not it might prompt others to throw their hat in the ring as wireless service providers to the industry.

I, and others, argued that it might be dangerous from a service and pricing perspective to have one giant wireless provider being the only place security folks could go for their GSM needs.

I picked up this story today from the New York Times. Apparently the US Justice Department is suing to block the acquisition, claiming "The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services." That last quote was from James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general. The Justice Department’s complaint was filed in United States District Court in Washington on Aug. 31.

Of course, their looking to block the acquisition with an eye on the end user. However, it stands to reason that the same negatives listed above would plague security folks looking to leverage GSM technology in security solutions, doesn't it?

AT&T has vowed to "vigoriously contest" the matter in court.

The Times story points out AT&T has some pretty strong reasons to want the deal to go through:

AT&T has one powerful incentive to try to salvage the deal. Under the terms of the agreement that AT&T signed with Deutsche Telekom, AT&T would pay a breakup fee of $3 billion in cash, as well as a roaming agreement and spectrum rights — an estimated total value of $6 billion — if the acquisition did not go through for regulatory reasons.

Other wireless providers, such as Sprint, which entered the security industry as a partner with Cernium this summer, have voiced opposition to the merger.

“Sprint urges the United States government to block this anticompetitive acquisition,” Vonya McCann, Sprint’s senior vice president for government affairs, said back in March. “This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it.”

The Times story notes shares of AT&T dropped nearly 4 percent on the news of DOJ's suit, to less than $29. Shares of Deutsche Telekom, the parent of T-Mobile, fell 5 percent in trading in Frankfurt. Shares of Sprint Nextel were up nearly 6 percent, according to the Times.

It will be interesting to see how the deal--or if the deal--goes down.

Fifteen companies have the IQ

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Security Systems News has written before about how IQ Certification provides what amounts to a “seal of approval” for alarm companies.

IQ is a quality certification program for security alarm systems. Companies participating in the voluntary program have to comply with ethical guidelines regarding the selling, designing, installing and monitoring of alarm systems.

Seems to me that showing that you have the IQ and are reputable can only help a company’s bottom line. Apparently, many businesses feel the being in the program is worthwhile, as evidenced by the fact that the board of IQ recently announced that 15 companies earned their recertification this month.

The companies are: AAA Security, Diamond Bar, Calif.; Affiliated Central, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Alarm 2000, Cardiff, Calif.; All Secure Protection Systems, San Diego, Calif.; Allied Central Services, (a division of Altronics Security Systems), Bethlehem, Pa; General Monitoring Services, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Monitoring America Alarm Co-Op, Tulsa, Okla.; Murrey Installations, Phoenix, Md.; ProTec II Security Systems, Dayton, Ohio; Protech Security LLC, El Paso, Texas; Pyramid Telephone Service, McFarland. Wis.; Schultz Technology Solutions, Pottstown, Pa; Security On-Line Systems, Ambler, Pa.; Security Response Center, Sarnia, Ontario; and Shenandoah Valley Security, LLC, Waynesboro, Va.

“To ensure that these companies continue to meet the IQ Certification standards, they must annually demonstrate to the Board that they meet the IQ Certification guidelines,” Tim Creenan, an IQ board member, said in a statement. “They continue to seek recertification each year because they have seen the value of IQ Certification for their companies, for the industry and for their customers.”

For more information visit www.iqcertification.org.

 

A security cluster grows in Ohio

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I saw an interesting story this morning in a Cleveland Heights publication about intelligent access control company FST21 establishing a demo center in the city of Cleveland Heights.

Turns out this is the beginning of a security business initiative designed to make Cleveland Heights a regional center for security technology development.

Howard Thompson, economic development director for Cleveland Heights, told me that he wants to establish Cleveland Heights as a hub for security manufacturers and integrators and installers. The effort will be branded as the “Smart Safe Security City Initiative.”

The “cluster” of security technology related business and initiatives will initially be located in a former school—called the Coventry School in Cleveland Heights. There are some business and non-profit organizations located there currently. FST21 will be establishing a Midwestern office in the Coventry School building and will also have a demonstration center. Thompson is working with FST21, SGI Global Business Advisors and other entities to get other security companies to locate in Cleveland Heights.

“The goal is to provide a high-quality and value added operating platform from which high-technology companies can develop and drive the region’s economic competitiveness,” according to an outline that Thompson sent me.

The former Coventry School building has 54,000 square feet, but there are other buildings in Cleveland Heights (including other former schools) that will be available and Thompson wants the new tenants to be security manufacturers and installers.

This “cluster approach” is a tested model Cleveland region, he said, citing the  “Cleveland Clinic’s biomedical cluster driven by BioEnterprise; aerospace cluster driven by NASA and the Ohio Aerospace Institute; energy cluster driven by Nortech and other economic entities.” No other Midwestern city is trying to develop a security cluster, he said.

Cleveland Height’s cluster will be driven by FST21. Thompson said plans are in the works for city officials and SGB Global executives to travel to Israel in January with FST21 CEOs Avi Lupo and Ahron Farkash to talk to other Israel-based security companies about establishing an office in the U.S., based in Cleveland Heights. Thompson and other partners will also be working to entice domestic security companies (including integrators) to locate in Cleveland Heights.

The initiative, if successful, would bring jobs and investment to this region, but what can Cleveland Heights offer businesses that locate here?

Thompson said the city will provide a liveable, affordable location for businesses. It will provide business leads for companies. (He said that FST21 has a project for the local police department on the books, and has had discussions with other public  and private sector companies in the area.)

The City of Cleveland Heights, working with the federal Small Business Administration, the Ohio Department of Economic Devleopment and the Monte Ahuja College of Business Administration at Cleveland State University will help companies find financial resources, as well as other business development resources such as marketing and sales help. “Those are the value-added resources,” he said. “I have federal block grants that I can use for business expansion and attraction and I’m looking for more,” Thompson said. “We’re very serious [and have the capability] to bring more resources to the table.”

Judge AGAIN sides with alarm industry in Illinois

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I’ve written recently about the battle in Illinois over public entities taking control over fire alarm monitoring. A federal court judge’s ruling this week again supports the industry’s side in this battle—for the second time this summer.

A federal judge in July issued a partial summary judgment and a permanent injunction against the Lisle-Woodridge fire district, which had invalidated contracts that ADT and other companies had with their customers and put itself solely in charge of commercial fire alarm monitoring in that Illinois fire district. ADT and the other companies have sued the district and the case is making its way through the courts.

The judge in his July 20 ruling slapped down the fire district, saying state law does not give public fire districts any legal right to be in the fire alarm monitoring business.

But the fire district, which maintains it needs to take control of fire alarm monitoring for safety reasons, then asked the judge to stay the injunction, which essentially reinstated the alarm companies’ right to resume fire alarm monitoring in the district. However, the judge denied that motion this week and gave the fire district a blistering scolding.

“This case involves an act of illegal self-aggrandizement by a fire protection district,” Judge Milton Shadur wrote in his Aug. 23 decision. He also said the district had violated “fundamental principles” by “trampling on the rights of companies going about their legitimate business of providing alarm security services.”

Kevin Lehan, executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA), which has been fighting the attempt by public entities to monopolize the fire alarm monitoring business in the state, hailed Judge Shadur’s decision in an email this week.

Lehan described as “most interesting” another of the judge’s statements. The judge said: “And District's
 claimed bugaboo of endangering the health and safety of the alarm monitoring systems customers glossed over—or more accurately ignores entirely—the record's silence as to any such risks during the years that the independent alarm companies have been providing their services to customers within the fire protection district.”



Or, as Lehan put it, “In other words, the ‘public safety argument’ that some try to use to promote their ‘self-aggrandizing’ agenda just does not hold water.”

 

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