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Hertel named VP of operations at Rapid Response

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Morgan Hertel has been named vice president of operations at Rapid Response Monitoring.

That information, courtesy of a new posting on his LinkedIn profile, greeted me today as I packed up my laptop and headed out the door to ISC West. It marks a quick turnaround for Hertel, who just two weeks ago stepped down as vice president and general manager for Mace CS.

In a March 12 news release from Mace Security International, the company said Hertel’s departure was “for personal reasons” and that he would be “working closely with Mace CS in a consulting role over the next several months.” Hertel took over as director of operations at the company’s wholesale central station in Anaheim, Calif., shortly after the CSSS acquisition in 2009.

As for what lies ahead at Rapid, the 30-year industry veteran states on LinkedIn that he’s working on “several high-level projects and initiatives. … At Rapid Response I have many resources, some of which include a complete software development team, a huge IT and technical staff and one of the most educated and talented operations and finance groups consisting of almost 400 staff members.”

Hertel will be a panelist at ISC West at an educational session titled “NFPA 72: Are You Ready for the Changes?” If I can’t catch up with him before I get on the plane, hopefully I’ll get a chance to do so at the show. It will be interesting to see how his expertise comes into play at Rapid.  

See you in Vegas!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting ready today (Monday) to leave for ISC West--the three-day show that gets longer every year. I’m arriving Tuesday afternoon and have several meetings and events before the show floor even opens. I’m not complaining—I'm actually looking forward to these events.

Our newswire will go out as usual on Thursday morning, but Tess, Rich, Whit (managing editor of our sister pub Security Director News) and I will be tweeting from the show and updating our blogs daily, so go to the SSN and SDN homepages throughout the show to catch up on what we’re seeing at at the show

Today and tomorrow are the classic days for industry announcements, though folks, believe me, they are the worst days for company announcements. (I am complaining now.) I’m generally at the Portland airport when I see that something newsworthy has broken. It's a bad time to announce news. Everyone is traveling, so the news gets missed—by reporters and readers alike. Or it gets buried in news that was released and written in advance.

Of course, sometimes there’s news that you’re obliged to put out for one reason or another, but you really don’t want it reported. If that’s your situation, put that press release out Wednesday morning about 10 a.m. as the ISC West show floor is opening. It’ll get stomped on—at least for a little while.

So this is what the beginning of my show looks like: On Tuesday, after an on-time landing, I’ll be meeting with some folks about the ESX show (Nashville in June), heading to a SecuritySpecifiers.com event, checking out an Altronix press conference, swinging by the Women’s Security Council reception at Pinot Brasserie, and then going to another industry reception/dinner. See you in the hallways running from event to event.

For me, Wednesday morning will begin with the Axis Breakfast. I’m no fan of breakfasts before the show, but I make an exception for this annual early rally. Axis generally does a good job of keeping it short, informative and lively, and making execs available—plus they’ve made some interesting announcements in recent days which I’m eager to learn more about.

When the showfloor opens at 10 on Wednesday, Tess, Rich, Whit and I will be at our booth (27065) for an hour of "Meet the Editors". Please stop by and say hi.

I’ve got a couple booth visits and a press conference, after which time I’ll be moderating the WSC educational session “Sell yourself, but don’t sell yourself short.” Going to be an interesting discussion, plan to stop by.

Between booth visits, I’ll be interviewing Tammee Thompson—who on March 21 was named vice president and general manager, global security and fire for Johnson Controls on March 21; Niall Jenkins from IMS (which was acquired last week by IHS); Carey Boethel and Ken Francis, who a couple of weeks ago launched Securadyne, and PSA Security's Sharon Shaw.

There's much more, but you'll have to check back here for details.

One more thing, there’s still time to sign up for the Security 5k. Run for fun and make a difference in a needy child’s life.

Check back here for more from ISC West 2012.
 

Are you really my friend? Meet me at ISC West!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

It’s a rainy, chilly March Sunday in Maine, and a perfect way to escape the gray weather is enjoying the beautiful artwork at the Portland Museum of Art. One exhibit currently on display there got me thinking about my trip this week to sunny, warm Las Vegas for the ISC West show … and how the show is such a good opportunity to connect with people.

The exhibit is by Maine photographer Tanja Alexia Hollander, titled: “Are You Really My Friend?” Hollander set out to reach beyond cyberspace by traveling around the world to meet her Facebook friends—she has more than 600 of them. She created photographic portraits of her cyber-friends that are now on display in the museum.

The exhibit got me thinking about how many of you in the industry I feel I know because we talk on the phone and email and tweet to one another. But in many cases, we’ve never met.

So, I'm looking forward to meeting many of my cyber-friends in the security industry in person while I’m at ISC West. I’ve scheduled the three days I’ll be at the show full of booth visits, interviews, lunches and dinners.

And I’m also excited about meeting even more cyber-friends at our “Meet the Editors” hour that we at Security Systems News and Security Director News (our sister publication) have scheduled for Wed., March 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. We've been urging everyone to start their  ISC West show by stopping by the ISC West Media Studio (booth # 27065).

And please also swing by our booth at other times to grab a copy of Security Systems News and catch up on the latest industry happenings, and to say hello to our staff. Break through the bonds of cyberspace and meet me and my colleagues!

“The Trip to Bountiful”: Comcast now "at home" in Utah

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Comcast is now selling home security in Utah, right in the backyard of the major summer-model security companies.

When it comes to telecoms and cable companies getting into home security, I’ve written before about how Comcast has been in the forefront of that trend. It launched its Xfinity Home Security product in 2010.

It also recently renamed the product as just Xfinity Home to reflect the fact that the service includes many home automation features in addition to home security.  And Comcast has launched the product in numerous major markets around the country and continues to introduce Xfinity Home in even more places. For example, it had a Seattle launch in February and this month Comcast announced it’s now offering the service in Utah, home to residential security giants like Vivint and Pinnacle Security.

I’ll be talking to them about their take on this new player both in their home state and nationwide. Keep your eye on this site for more!

How will new robocalling rules affect your business?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Calling all alarm companies …

Are you robocalling into the void in an attempt to land new business, or to sell new products and services to existing customers? There are new rules that will soon affect you.

Under provisions of an order adopted Feb. 15 by the Federal Communications Commission, express written consent will be required from consumers before a company can place a marketing robocall to a residential or wireless number. The FCC also will require telemarketers to provide an automated “opt out” mechanism during each robocall, and it is sunsetting an important exemption for businesses placing such calls.

The bottom line for the alarm industry is that companies using robocalls to market products and services will no longer be able to do so under the “established business relationship” exception, according to Lou Fiore, chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee. Instead, companies will have to obtain prior customer approval.

The good news for alarm companies is that the AICC petitioned regulators to protect certain industry uses of robocalling, and Fiore said the FCC adopted final rules that did just that.

“Alarm companies that use robocalls to try to reach customers to verify an alarm [after initial attempts by a live operator] should be able to continue such practice because it would appear to qualify as a call made for emergency purposes, and not a call made for a commercial purpose,” Fiore wrote in an online AICC missive. Calls to verify service appointments and to collect debt also will not require prior consent.

Implementation of the new rules is pending publication of approval by the Office of Management and Budget in the Federal Register. The exact time frame for that is uncertain, but it will happen. To determine the extent that it will affect the industry, the AICC is asking companies that use robocalling for marketing purposes to contact Fiore at ltfiore@aol.com by Friday, March 23.

And those political robocalls that we all know and love? They’ll still be allowed. Only seven months till November …

March Networks/Infinova deal likely to close in next few weeks

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March Networks, provider of intelligent IP video solutions, announced yesterday that its shareholders approved the sale of the company to Infinova. The $88 million deal, announced in December
may close as soon as next week and before the end of April, according to a statement from March.

March is awaiting a "final order"  from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The hearing is scheduled for this Friday.

Women in security and your business

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I hope you’ll make room on your ISC West calendars to attend the second annual Women’s Security Council educational session focusing on networking and career advancement for women in the security industry, which will be moderated by yours truly.

The session will take place on the first day of the show, Wednesday, March 28, 2012, from 12:45pm-1:45pm in rooms 206-207.

What can your business do to hire and retain highly qualified women?

This is one of the topics the panelists will address. And we've got three awesome security industry executives on the panel: Kelly Bonds, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Alarm Capital Alliance, Media, Pa.; Renae Leary, Senior Director, ADT Global Accounts, Boca Raton, Fla.; and Juliette Gustavsson, Head of Corporate Marketing at Milestone Systems in Copenhagen.

Kelly is responsible for increasing sales through acquisitions and driving the overall marketing and business-to-business development strategy. Renae has more than 15 years of managerial experience in strategic sales and marketing, with eight years of global responsibility. Juliette oversees brand and marketing initiatives, and is responsible for the Milestone Systems website, video, graphics and collateral teams.

Panelists will share tips, tactics, and resources with the audience and participate in a question and answer session.

And speaking of the WSC, make sure to stop by the WSC cocktail reception at the Pinot Brasserie at the Venetian on Tuesday night, March 27, between 6 and 9. Winners of the first annual WSC Women of the Year awards will be announced.

Questions about the WSC? Email Rhianna Daniels at rdaniels@compasspublicrelations.com

Help for “fear of IP” sufferers!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dealers, do you have a fear of IP? If so, Honeywell has a cure for you.

The industry is transitioning from analog to IP, but some dealers are a bit fearful of the new technology, according to
Shannon Wilson, marketing manager for Honeywell Systems.

“Maybe they think it’s hard to set up; it’s too complicated; they don’t know the IP address of the camera, or they’re just not sure how to do it,” she wrote in a posting today on the Honeywell’s “The Security Channel” blog.

In response, Wilson said said, Honeywell has “simplified the process with our new network video recorder and performance IP cameras. We’re saying it’s 3 clicks to live video, and it’s true.”

To prove that, Wilson said, Honeywell set up a “Honeywell IP Challenge” at one of its ADI sites to let dealers find out for themselves. Check out the video of dealers overcoming their fear of IP.

Pro1 goes after national accounts in N.C.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Protection1 announced on Monday that it has acquired Camtronic Security Integration of Wilmington, N.C.

I’m scheduled to do an interview with Protection1’s Jamie Haenggi, who is on the road, so I’ll have more in a story later this week. From the press release, it’s the national accounts that attracted P1 to this buy. After he took over P1 in 2010, CEO Tim Whall said national accounts would be a priority.  Last fall, Haenggi spoke to us about Pro1’s national accounts research

Judging by its web site, Camtronic seems to be soley focused on retail accounts. Its client list includes:  Winn Dixie, Coach, Saks Fifth Avenue, Safeway, Louis Vitton and Whole Foods.

In business since 1991, the founder and president is Jay Linton. Linton, Jim Finley, Camtronic’s vice president, managing director, and Paul Yezzi, managing partner of Camtronic, and the rest of the Camtronic employees will stay on with Pro1.

Does it seem like more owners are staying on with companies after acquisitions? It does to me. At the Barnes Buchanan conference this year, Michael Barnes said that keeping owners and staff is increasingly something sellers are looking for in today’s market.

 Pro1 acquired accounts from Sting Alarm in Feb. 2010

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