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Former ADT finance director wants to kick-start home security company

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Christopher Carney, a former director of finance M&A and director of finance, sales and marketing for ADT, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new company, Abode Systems.

The 45-day campaign aims to raise $100,000 by May 7 to bring the “new kind of home security and automation solution to market,” Carney said in a prepared statement. The solution “will put big security companies on notice,” he said.

Carney co-founded Abode, based in Palo Alto, Calif., with Brent Franks, previously an account executive with and EVP and co-founder of TerraSmart, a turnkey solar ground mount provider.

The DIY Abode system puts the customer in charge by allowing them to customize, he said.

"My last decade in home security showed me that big security companies have serious flaws and don't consider the changing lifestyles of today's consumers or accommodate new technologies and devices coming to market," CEO Carney said.  “When developing Abode, we had a vision for a self-installable security system that grows with you and your evolving needs, while also remaining capable of utilizing new technologies next month, next year, or further down the road."

Carney said the system offers portability in that it can be transferred to a new home with no reinstallation costs; it eliminates false alarms by sending real-time visual verification and, through its built-in body analysis technology, by being able to tell the difference between people and animals; has a built-in backup power and a 3G radio for use when Internet connections are lost; provides home automation capabilities at no extra cost; can be controlled through a web portal and mobile app; and has an optional 24-hour monitoring available.

The system includes the Abode gateway, motion camera, streaming camera, door and window sensors and key fob.

Who will be the top twitterer at ISC West this year?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The top Twitterer of ISC West 2014, in terms of both quantity and quality, was the Security Industry Association.

Who will be the top Twitterer of 2015?

Once again Security Systems News is sponsoring a Twitter Wall at ISC West. This year it will be located near the ISC West Media stage, just outside the entrance to the show floor.

Stop by to check out real-time,140-character ISC West news and notes from a variety of sources. Better yet, join the conversation using this hashtag #ISCW15

Remember to turn out tweets that are newsy and original. Extra points for breaking news and also for making us laugh.

What's the reach of an ISC West tweet? Well, check out these stats:

Also tweeting  A LOT last year were: ISC West News, Microsoft Global Security, some of our friendly trade publication competitors, Identiv, Inovonics, Pelco, Tyco Security Products and yours truly @ssn_editor

If you're the Top Twitterer, you'll not only get your message out, you'll be the recipient of a Top Twitterer plaque. If you visit the SIA office, you can see their handsome "Top Twitterer" plaque in the office lobby.

Let's meet at ISC West

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

As some of you may know, I joined the industry in November when I started at Security Systems News. This means that 2015 will be my first time at the ISC West show. I'd love to meet everyone, and hear everything, but that might not be possible, so reach out to me when you can. I already have several appointments set up, but I’ll be as accommodating as I can be.

Also, give me a heads up on what you’d like to talk about. Definitely tell me if your company will be showcasing something big at ISC West, like mergers and acquisitions, new directions for the company, opening another central station or releasing a new software platform—or anything else notable.

If you want to meet me, or have something new to talk about with your company, feel free to reach out to me by email at to set something up. Just let me know what you’ll be doing at ISC West and where.

I look forward to seeing those of you who will be at the show in person!

Tyco wants to invest in your startup

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Tyco Security Products announced yesterday that it wants to invest in tech startups and other “innovators.” TSP, a division of Tyco International, launched InnovationWorks, a program designed to “help innovators and entrepreneurs bring new and advanced ideas to the marketplace.”

TSP is soliciting applicants who will present their “business ideas and goals” at the InnovationWorks Summit that will take place during ISC West (April 15-17) in Las Vegas.
Interested? You need to apply online at You’ll have to answer questions about your company/product profile, present funding, channels and unique selling points.

Applications will be reviewed by TSP VP of marketing Anita Santos (Santos is also an SEC accredited investor and owner of Ascend Investments), Tyco VP of corporate development Robert Locke, and other TSP managers.
I have an interview request in to Santos. In a prepared statement, she said: “We encourage all those with creative products and ideas to submit an application on the InnovationWorks website.”


APT to rename itself after a tree in April

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY—Alarm Protection Technology, also variously known as Alarm Protection and APT, will change its name next month to Alder.

On the heels of a big court win against resi giant ADT, which sued APT for trademark infringement and deceptive and fraudulent sales practices, APT told Security Systems News that a rebranding is in the works.

Before the ADT vs. APT case went to trial in February, a federal judge had issued a preliminary injunction preventing Alarm Protection Technology from using its APT acronym. So the company temporarily dropped the “T” and went by Alarm Protection, according to the company’s general legal counsel, Adam Christian.

The company could go back to using its full name now that it has won its case, Christian said, but is opting instead to go with Alder.

“Alder, comes from alder tree. We like the symbol of the tree. It’s a tree of protection, a tree of opportunity and it reflects family as well,” Christian said.

It also reflects the company’s future expected growth and expansion of services, he said, declining to comment specifically on what that service expansion will include.

“There will be other services that are closely aligned with protection and our interests,” he said.



Vivint owners mull sale of security guard company

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Blackstone Group, which bought home security giant Vivint for $2 billion in 2012 is reportedly exploring the sale of security guard company AlliedBarton, according to a report this week from Reuters.

The report said the deal should be valued at about “$1.5 billion, including debt.”

Blackstone has hired investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG to explore the sale, the report said.

The report quoted an AlliedBarton spokeswoman saying that it’s “the right time for a new private equity sponsor.”

That timing seems right or even a little overdue as PE generally holds a company for three to five years.

According the report, Blackstone has owned AlliedBarton for six years. Blackstone acquired AlliedBarton from Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings in 2008 for up to $750 million, Rueters said.

Rueters said AlliedBarton has EBITDA of  $150 million.

AlliedBarton, based in Conshohocken, Pa., has more than 55,000 employees and 120 offices.

Where does the name 'Freeus' really come from?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Last week, AvantGuard’s CEO, Josh Garner, told me a story. He had recently heard of a woman recovering from a fall, one who was set up with a traditional PERS unit. After hearing that it wouldn’t work outside of the home, she hadn’t left the house for 15 months, he said. After a dealer heard of this, he set her up with one of Securus’ mPERS devices.

“Eventually, she took a walk to the garden, then she walked down the street,” Garner told me. “She would test her device in all of these scenarios, and realized that if something were to happen to her… it still worked.”

“She celebrated by buying a puppy [which] she walks around her block every day.”

Garner wanted to incorporate this sense of Freedom into the naming AvantGuard’s new sister company, Freeus, which recently acquired the PERS business built by Securus.

“We really liked having something that linked us to the past. Securus has had a legacy of innovation, developing products.”

Thus, “freedom” and “Securus” combine to make “Freeus.”

“It sounds crazy, but that story—to us—just epitomizes what our business is about, and it’s delivering freedom to individuals,” Garner said.

That’s where the name comes from.

Calling all women in security technology

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In the March issue of Security Systems News we launched a new series of stories dedicated to Women in Security Technology. It's a topic I've written about frequently. Here's a blog I wrote last May when I was at PSA-TEC and interviewed IST's Christine Lanning (who was also subsequently featured in our Women in Security feature in November.)

We decided to formalize the topic of Women in Security Technology into a series last month after I interviewed  Ellen Cargill, CTO for video surveillance provider Scallop Imaging. Here's that story in case you missed it.

Since I wrote that story I've heard from a few people with suggestions of women to interview for the series, so I'm happy to have some interviews lined up and I'm looking for more. If you know a woman who works in a technical/technology role in the physical security industry who would be perfect for this series, please email me at

Security Partners' upcoming plans in the west

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

In February, Security Partners appointed Rick Guzman to the role of west coast operations manager, where he will be overseeing both the new Las Vegas facility as well as the Anaheim facility. I got to speak with Guzman, as well as Bob Schott, director of information technologies at Security Partners, about what this role will entail.

A big item currently on Rick’s plate is getting the Las Vegas location ready for its opening ceremony at ISC West.

In order to meet this date, Guzman is hoping to get the facility up and running by the beginning of April.

Anything special planned for the ceremony? Other than tours, there are a couple of surprises planned, Schott said.

“A priority is people. … Making sure that we have enough people to take care of both facilities, the current dealer base, and also to be prepared for the growth we’re looking at,” Guzman said.

Part of this growth might come from the ability to show the new facility at ISC West, they said.

“Rick is also going to be a key player in establishing that continuity between the four central stations, evaluating best practices across the organization and putting that into production,” Schott said.

Schott said this will involve weekly evaluations with the staff in each location, and “taking the best of what each of our four centers have to offer, and then translating that into a standard operating procedure for the entire organization.”

Another duty for Guzman is connecting both of these facilities with the network of Security Partners’ other facility in San Antonio, and headquarters in Lancaster, Pa. This involves a redundancy to a point where each location could handle communications from all four stations at one time.

ISC West coming up fast

Monday, March 2, 2015

Will you be at ISC West? Will you have news about residential security, home automation, impactful legislation or end-user focuses that our Security Systems News readers need to know? If so, please let me know.

I’m putting together my show schedule now. Because the show is so huge and offers up so many opportunities, it’s difficult to meet up with everyone I’d like to, but I do my best, as do my SSN colleagues.

I’d like to hear about new and emerging resi securty technology, its current uses and successes. I can’t write about every new product out there, but if you’ll have end users in attendance to tell me how it works for them, that works for me.

It’s a busy show so let’s—and I mean this politely and beneficially to all—try not to waste each other’s time. I’ve booked booth visits and attended ISC press conferences before that have promised news for our readers that just haven’t panned out. As readers of SSN, you know the types of articles we report on and print.

Please contact me at with your news items.

Also, we’ll be holding our annual “Meet the Editors” event from 9:30-10 a.m. April 15 at our media stage right near the entrance of the show floor. Please stop by to say hi to us. It’s completely informal, no presentations, just a way to reconnect and in some cases put names with faces.

I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!