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System secures windows from burglars, drafts

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I live in Maine, where the fall weather can be up and down—wintry one day, almost balmy the next. On the warm days, I’m likely to yank open a window to make the most of the fresh air before we batten down the house for the winter. But afterwards, I sometimes forget to lock my windows. That’s why an announcement this week of a new system designed to alert homeowners if their windows are unlocked caught my eye. It was developed by Honeywell and Andersen Corp., of window fame, and it seems it would be useful not only for security reasons, but to make sure that your windows are locked up tight against winter drafts. The system works for doors too.

Here’s more from the Oct. 31 release:
 

Honeywell and Andersen Corporation are collaborating to provide a first-of-its-kind system that allows security alarms to alert homeowners if their windows or doors are unlocked. The VeriLock sensor technology embeds Honeywell’s widely used 5800 series of wireless sensors inside the locking mechanisms of a select group of windows and patio doors manufactured by Eagle Window & Door Manufacturing, Inc., a subsidiary of Andersen Corporation.

Similar technology can only detect if a window or door is open or closed. VeriLock sensors are the first that can detect whether they are actually locked or unlocked, in addition to open or closed.

“Statistics show a large number of home invasions are the result of an intruder simply walking in, and not ‘breaking in,’” said John Kovach, Honeywell’s global director of marketing for sensor products. “Whether it’s people rushing out of the house or simply going to bed forgetting to lock up, it’s easy to leave a door or window unlocked and easily accessible. This is the only technology to offer another layer of home protection.”

VeriLock sensors will initially be available on Eagle Axiom casement and awning windows, Talon double-hung windows, and Ascent hinged French patio doors and sliding patio doors. The sensor devices are ideal for single-family homes, multi-unit light commercial dwellings such as assisted-living complexes and remodel projects. In addition to security, VeriLock sensor technology can help reduce home energy use by notifying homeowners when doors and windows are unlocked .

“Windows and doors are a home’s first layer of protection for both comfort and security.  It’s important to make that layer ‘smarter’ for added protection.” said Holly Boehne, senior vice president of Andersen Corporation’s research, development and innovation.

The VeriLock sensor technology is available January 1, 2012 on Eagle products from select Andersen window and door dealers in North America.

 

Verizon securing nation’s homes

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It was big news in January when Telecom giant Verizon debuted its new home security/home automation offering at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Now it’s even bigger news that the company has finished beta testing the product in New Jersey and launched it for real to Verizon broadband customers nationwide in mid-October.

The company’s Home Monitoring and Control Service—which has no professional monitoring component—costs $9.99 per month, with equipment packages starting at $69.99. Verizon said the service “enables customers to remotely access, control and monitor doors, thermostat controls and appliances well as view home-energy use in near-real time—all via a smart phone, PC, FiOS TV and, eventually, a connected tablet.”

And this may be only the beginning. A Verizon spokesman, Clifford Lee, told me last week that Verizon may consider the possibility of adding a burglar alarm security option in the future. Lee said it’s too early to discuss specifics, so it’s not clear if this would be a professionally monitored option or not.

So what does Verizon’s offering mean to professional home security providers?  Is this going to cut into your business or is there enough business to go around for everyone? Verizon also is known more as a communications/entertainment provider … will customers trust the company to also provide security as much as they do professional security providers?

I’m talking to industry experts to find out the answers to those questions and more for a Market Trends story in our upcoming December issue. Also, I’d love to hear your answers to those questions. Please participate in our December Newspoll on this topic, which you can find by scrolling down to the bottom of our site. Let us know what you think!

Personnel changes at Diebold, Pivot3

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pivot 3 has a new CEO, and Diebold is looking for a new leader of its security division, according to announcements, released today by the two companies.

Excepts from releases below:

Diebold’s Stephenshon to retire, Engelhardt to serve as interim VP

Diebold announced that Bradley J. Stephenson is retiring from his current post as leader of the company’s security division. Diebold is conducting a national search to identify a replacement for Stephenson, according to the company.

In the meantime, Kevin Engelhardt, vice president, security operations, will serve as interim vice president, security solutions.

Stephenson joined Diebold in 1973 and during his tenure has been part of the significant evolution of the company’s security business. He has served in a variety of senior management and technical positions, including general manager of physical security, card systems, fire services, NexusSoftware and the original equipment manufacturer division. He led the company’s electronic security division from 1996 to 1999, developing security solutions to meet the needs of financial services, retail and higher education clients. Appointed to his current role in 2009, Stephenson’s retirement will be effective in December.

Engelhardt joined Diebold in 2004 via the company’s acquisition of New York’s Antar-Com, Inc. In his operations role, Engelhardt is responsible for the business operations of electronic security solutions in North America for all vertical markets. He has managed and executed a multitude of successful project implementations, including those underway at World Trade Center (WTC) Tower 4 and the WTC Transportation Hub.

He has also managed purchasing, warehouse operations, contract administration and finance activities. In his current role, Engelhardt will be responsible for leading Diebold’s security business, with a focus on large-scale enterprise security sales and installations. He will also continue to lead all security related application and project engineering teams, as well as Diebold’s government, retail and event monitoring security business efforts.

Pivot3 names Rich Bravman CEO

Storage provider Pivot3, Inc, today announced that Rich Bravman has been named the company’s new CEO, effective immediately.

Bravman takes over for Robert Fernander, who has served as the company's president and CEO since 2007. Fernander will continue in a business development role for Pivot3.

“Rich is a proven leader with an impressive track record in taking start-ups to global publicly-traded technology leaders. Having grown through the ranks from software engineer to CEO, and having been associated with technologies that are a mix of both hardware and software makes Rich a perfect fit for Pivot3,” said Ron Nash, Chairman of the Board of Pivot3 in a prepared release.

Most recently, Bravman served as vice president of corporate development and chief marketing officer at NCR Corp, a Fortune 500 technology leader in self-service solutions for ATM machines, retail and airline check-in systems. At NCR, Bravman was responsible for all corporate marketing, business development activities, and forged several strategic partnerships for the company. Previously, Bravman was chairman and chief executive officer at Intelleflex, Inc., where his leadership helped the RFID technology start-up raise $51M in venture funding and develop key partnerships with

Lockheed Martin, Mitsubishi and Motorola. Bravman started his career at Symbol Technologies where, during his 26-year tenure at the company, he held several positions with increasing responsibility and eventually assumed the role of chief executive officer and vice chairman. As CEO, Bravman led a major turnaround effort at Symbol, which paved the way for the company’s acquisition by Motorola in 2007.

 

Mace Security sells IVS

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Costar Video Systems, which is based in Coppell, Texas—and is technically a division of Sielox, Inc., which should not be confused with Sielox Access and Video Solutions. Here are the details on that —on Oct. 21, completed the purchase of IVS, a distributor of high-end digital and machine vision cameras and professional imaging components which has been in operation since 1989. Costar paid $517,000 cash paid at closing plus an additional $100,000 consideration payable if certain revenue levels are achieved by Costar in the first 90 days following the sale.
I spoke with Jim Pritchett, CEO of Costar this morning, and he told me this security operation benefits from the purchase because “it’s a much higher preforming camera … our engineers will benefit [because they’ll learn] how to build a lower cost security camera.”
The sale includes “inventory, trade accounts receivable and payable and IVS’ related intangible assets, including its customer list and trade names,” according to a press release from Mace.
“We are pleased to announce the sale of this non-core related business. This continues our strategy of monetizing non-core assets and allowing management to focus on its key security related businesses,” Michael Smith, CEO of Mace, said in a prepared statement.

Guardian Security expands dominance in Tulsa

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Here’s a tidbit about Guardian Security Systems, located in Tulsa, Okla. It just bought a block of accounts from another Tulsa company, NEOSAT Alarms, according to an announcement yesterday by the Long Grove, Ill.-based Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group, which represented NEOSAT in the transaction.

Here’s more from the Oct. 26 release:
 

Mark Garrett, owner of NEOSAT Alarms, stated that he “was very pleased to be able to place his subscribers with a high-quality central station that has a local Tulsa presence.” Glenn Albers, Guardian Security Systems Vice-President Dealer Operations, stated that “Guardian was enthusiastic about the opportunity to add high-quality accounts to further expand their dominance of the Tulsa market.”

Guardian Security is the name under which Central Security Group—one of the nation’s top providers of security alarm monitoring services headquartered in Tulsa—does business in Oklahoma. CSG was acquired by Summit Partners, a Boston-based growth equity investor around this time last year.

Then earlier this year CSG announced it was taking that infusion of new capital and putting it to work to grow the company—by adding new technology and creating a new brand for its dealer program.

 

More changes at UTC: New roles for Barry, Orbegoso, Haskins, Hamberlin

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Since UTC announced Sept. 28 that it merged UTC Fire & Security and Carrier Corp  to form UTC Climate, Controls and Security Systems  under the leadership of Geraud Darnis, more personnel changes have been made that affect the security and fire businesses.

The company has made internal announcements and sent notices to some integrator customers about personnel changes, however it has yet to make "official" publilc announcement Asked for confirmation and comment on the changes, a spokesperson for UTC Fire & Security confirmed that personnel changes have occurred at Lenel and Interlogix, but declined further comment saying that press releases outlining changes would be forthcoming.  

Security Systems News received copies of the following notices. On Oct. 21, personnel changes and at Lenel, Interlogix and the Fire Detection and Alarm business were that were announced included:

Building Automation & Access Control - Laird Hamberlin will lead this business unit which will include building automation with Automated Logic Corporation, enterprise security management with Lenel and intelligent locking devices with Onity. This strategic combination provides a growth platform, which will allow us to compete more effectively in the building management space including the fast-growing emerging markets.
 
Sensing & Controls - Bob Haskins will lead this business unit comprising all security panels, intrusion detection, video, HVAC controls and key management products. It includes the current operations of the Interlogix, Carrier Electronics and Supra businesses. This grouping provides for significant technical and manufacturing excellence in the area of embedded software-driven devices.
 
Detection & Alarm - Luis Orbegoso will lead this business unit which will include fire alarm panels, fire detection, mass notification, combustion controls, and specialty and high hazard detection. It encompasses the current operations of the Autronica, Edwards, Kidde Airsense, Detector, and Combustion Control businesses. Together the group will be a world leader in the design and manufacture of detection devices and will offer additional channels to market for existing products.

Prior to those announcement, in a Sept. 30 “message from Geraud Darnis” sent to some UTC customers, it was announced that “UTC Climate, Controls and Security Systems will operate through five business units."

Two business units, Automation & Controls Solutions and Transicold will operate globally. The three remaining business units will serve customers in the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA); and Asia regions. "As we begin, I am pleased to announce the following leadership appointments," the message said.

Mark Barry—who in May 2011 was named president to UTC Fire & Security’s Global Fire Products—will now lead Automation & Controls Solutions, comprising all detection and control devices that sense, operate, interface, detect, communicate and manage HVAC, fire and security systems in buildings and other applications around the world. It includes building automation with Automated Logic Corporation, HVAC controls with Carrier Electronics, security access controls with Lenel, security panel controls and videos with Interlogix, fire detection and suppression including specialty detection as well as fire fighting.

Darnis’ message said, “This strategic move unlocks a terrific growth platform and opportunity with combined revenues approaching $3 billion, which will allow us to compete more efficiently in the global marketplace.”

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – Americas will be led by Bob McDonough and comprises Carrier’s Residential and Commercial Systems (RCS), Fire & Security field operations in North America (AFSS), Fire & Security’s Global, Residential and Commercial business (GRC) and Carrier’s Latin American Operations with combined revenues approaching $6 billion.
“The new organization will benefit from tremendous scale and geographic reach with strong customer relationships across both North and South American markets,” the message said.

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – EMEA will be led by Philippe Delpech and includes Fire & Security’s Continental Europe and Northern Europe South Africa (NESA) organizations as well as Carrier’s HVAC EMEA and Commercial Refrigeration businesses with combined revenues approaching $5 billion.

Climate, Controls & Security Systems – Asia will be led by Ross Shuster and includes Carrier’s HVAC Asia business and Fire & Security’s Asia and Australasia businesses with combined revenues approaching $3 billion.

Darnis’ message also included the announcement of seven functional leaders to support the five business units:
Elizabeth Amato, Vice President, Human Resources
Mark George, Vice President, Finance & CFO
Rajan Goel, Vice President, Strategy
Nora LaFreniere, Vice President and General Counsel
John Mandyck, Vice President, Sustainability, Marketing & Communications
Ray Moncini, Senior Vice President, Operations
Bill Striebe, Vice President, Business Development

LifeShield pays customers $150 for referrals

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Monday, October 24, 2011

You know how it is when you recommend a doctor, a dentist or your security company to a friend. Your friend says, “Thank you,” but chances are you hear zip from the doctor, dentist, or security company. So this recent release from Yardley, Pa.-based LifeShield Security caught my interest because it’s offering customers a $150 bonus for every qualified referral. Now THAT’S a way to say, “Thank you.”

LifeShield is a wireless digital home security system that’s self-installed and professionally monitored. The company also is offering a free wireless camera to newly referred customers. Here’s more from the Oct. 17 release:
 

LifeShield Security is pleased to announce a new nationwide referral program designed to encourage current customers to spread the word to friends and family who are interested in a home security system. LifeShield will send customers a check for $150 every time a new customer joins by way of the referral program. There is no limit on the amount of referrals a customer can make so the amount of bonus cash they can earn is also unlimited.
"Everybody wins with this incentive program. Current customers receive a cash bonus -something everybody can use in these tough times - new customers get a free HomeView camera and we spread the word about LifeShield," said Shannon Dominello, CMO, LifeShield. "Our customers love the flexible technology behind LifeShield that works the way they live, and they already love telling their friends about us, so we expect this to be a very successful program. We're going to be signing a lot of $150 checks."
LifeShield's next generation home security system offers sophisticated encrypted wireless technology that allows for easy set-up, a significantly lower cost of ownership and free, customizable monitoring options. The free wireless HomeView Camera will allow new users to view snapshots or video clips via the web or mobile phone. Users can also program specific triggers to take snapshots or even store images online to view later.

 

Judge OK’s NYMP sale

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

It’s official: A federal judge issued an order yesterday giving the green light for the financially embattled New York Merchants Protective Co. to be sold to Professional Security Technologies LLC in order to pay off creditors.

The written order by U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley describes the asset purchase agreement for the New York-based alarm company—in existence for about 100 years—as “fair and reasonable and in the best interest of the estate.”

The order says the purchase price includes “(a) fair market value for inventory and vehicles, (b) a sixteen (16) multiple for all performing customers of NYMP, New York Merchants Alarm Response, Inc. and NY Merch. Prot. Co., Inc. (the "Sellers"), (c) the ability to procure a substantial upward purchase price adjustment of a fifteen (15) multiple as each of the performing customers become “perfected” (i.e. contracted), and (d) an additional two (2) multiple for those customers who remain performing and but do not become “perfected” customers.”

NYMP has been in the news because Bank of America in January sued NYMP and then-owner Wayne Wahrsager for about $20 million for allegedly defaulting on a loan.
Then, in August, a receiver a judge appointed to oversee the company put it up for sale. Wahrsager, who is no longer a part of the company, has characterized the pending transaction as a “fire sale.” He claims the receiver, who fired him this summer, was mismanaging NYMP.

However, the judge in his order said, “The Receiver has demonstrated good, sufficient and sound business reasons and justifications for entering into the transactions contemplated by the APA (asset purchase agreement), and the APA represents the reasonable exercise of the Receiver's business judgment and the highest and best offer received by the Receiver.” The judge gave the receiver permission to execute the sale immediately to Professional Security Technologies of Nutley, N.J. According to New York state public records, Richard Rockwell is listed as the principal contact for the company. He also is the owner of a Maine company, Main Security Surveillance.

I’ll be reporting more on this story.

Security cos. make 'technology fast 500' list

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

A quick glance at the “Deloitte 2011 Technology Fast 500” showed several technology companies listed who are active in the security space. Deloitte, is “a global professional services firm,” and has been compiling the list since 1995. Award winners were selected based on percentage of fiscal year revenue growth from 2006 to 2010. The actual revenue figures, alas, were not included.
Here they are:

  • Avigilon, a provider of cameras, video management systems and LPR software, ranked #4 with 38,796% revenue growth.
  • VidSys, a PSIM software provider, ranked #273 with a reported 320% revenue increase.
  • Aruba Networks, ranked #316 with 268 percent revenue increase.
  • Genetec, a provider of video management, access control and LPR software, ranked #374 with 212% revenue increase.
  • Kratos Defense and Security Solutions ranked 398 with 196 percent growth.
  • Identive Group, provider of products and services for the identity, security and RFID markets, ranked 468 with 152 percent growth.
  • Blackboard Inc., a provider of mass notification systems, ranked #482 with 144% revenue increase.
  • FLIR Systems, a provider of thermal imaging technology, ranked #487 with 141% revenue increase.

Bay Alarm branching out

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bay Alarm bills itself as “the largest independently-owned and operated alarm company in the United States.” I don’t have independent verification of that, but I do know the Pacheco, Calif.-based company is a major player in that state, so whatever it does is of interest. That's why the following recent announcement about the company expanding in the San Diego area and creating new jobs caught my eye. Here’s more from the press release announcing that Bay Alarm opened its 14th service center in California in San Diego on Oct. 15:

 

The company, which has offered full-service commercial and residential security in the San Diego region for decades, plans to hire thirty employees at their new office over the next three years to support the growth in the San Diego marketplace.

 

Founded over 65 years ago, this family-owned and operated business has a long tradition of championing law enforcement in the communities it serves throughout California. "Bay Alarm is proud to support those who protect our communities. Since 2004 our company has donated nearly $100,000 per year to the Law Enforcement Training Center (LETC) located in Pittsburg, CA. The donated funds offer scholarships to worthy cadets to enable them to begin a career in law enforcement. We are proud to have put hundreds of peace officers on the street through this partnership," says Matthew Westphal, co-president of Bay Alarm Company. "Our company has also purchased bullet proof vests, team specific tactical training, and SWAT helmets for peace officers to help keep them safe while protecting our streets. We care about our communities and look forward to bringing the same level of support to San Diego.

 

I’ve got a call in to Bay Alarm to try to learn more about the expansion and what it means for the company.

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