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The central station of the future? Sign me up!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Got an email via the ACCENT Listserv the other day. Grace Fanzo who runs the list for the CSAA after SIA gave it up, wanted to let all us central station types know about an educational opportunity going down.

"What will central stations look like at the end of this decade--the equipment mix, the makeup of its workforce, the types of services that it provides?" The posting from Grace read. "Stay on top of this ever-evolving topic at ESX."

Now if all goes well, I'll be at ESX and I can tell you this sounds pretty cool and exactly like something I want to sit in on.

Actually, I just wrote a story about CSAA's new membership marketing campaign, which highlights the important role of the association as an educator. Here's the rest of Grace's posting:

The session, "Central Station 2020: Technologies and Operations of a Central Station of the Future," taps some of the industry's most forward looking technologists and operators to provide you with a vision. Get great input for your central station technology and a human resources roadmap.

Speakers include: Morgan Hertel, Director of Central Station Operations, Mace CSSS Inc.; AND Matt Riccoboni, Global Director of Marketing, Oz Vision.

For more information, including date/time and additional courses in the Central Station Operations Track, visit

Hurry! Discounted registration rates expire THIS FRIDAY, May 13.

I actually just wrote a piece for our Central Station Source Book (coming up in the June issue) that examined how the central station was changing in form and function and what changes were likely to take place in the near future. Look for that online in the premium section after the beginning of June. In the meantime, don't forget to register for ESX, which authorities say is going to be bigger and better than last year.


See you all in Charlotte!

ADT hiring in Knoxville

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just arrived in Chicago a couple hours ago for an ADT media event which starts tomorrow morning and I happened to see this news item about ADT looking to hire 50 people now and “dozens more through the rest of the year” at its (formerly Brinks/Broadview) Knoxville, Tenn. central station

This event I'm attending is commercial-, government- and enterprise-business focused, but this place will be swimming with ADT folks tomorrow, so I expect I'll be able to find someone to field a question or two about the hiring spree at the Knoxville central.

From the story:

“Candace Lane, a human resources manager with ADT, said the job growth stems from ADT’s $2 billion acquisition last year of Brinks/Broadview Security, which had operated the Knoxville call center and opened the current facility in 2006.

“We’re now in the process of integrating the two businesses. As a result of that process, we are expanding our work force here,” Lane said. “We’re now supporting ADT customers as well. Knoxville now is handling 6.3 million customers in the U.S. and Canada.”


Lassoing a new business on Colorado's Front Range

Monday, May 9, 2011

Heard about an interesting new acquisition from Honeywell First Alert dealer Safe Systems. That security company, based in Louisville, Colo., has just announced it has acquired D-Tech Alarm Specialist in Pueblo, Colo. The acquisition adds to Safe Systems growing security business in southern Colorado, according to a press release.

Here’s more from the May 7 release:

“D-Tech, a Pueblo institution for over 20 years will now operate as Safe Systems. Safe Systems is excited to offer industry leading technology and customer centric monitoring services to D-Tech’s former customers.”

The release quotes Larry Halpern, president of Safe Systems as saying: “We feel it is a win for both Safe Systems and our clients. We will be able to offer progressive services and technology that were not yet available to the southern Colorado market. This will not only make security easier to use for both commercial and residential clients, but may result in tremendous cost savings as well.”

Safe Systems is described in the release as “the largest independently-owned, full-service UL-listed monitored security company in Colorado. Safe Systems designs, installs and monitors custom commercial and residential security systems exclusively for Colorado's Front Range [the most populous region in the state].”

After getting the release, I talked to Halpern and Safe Systems sales manager Tim Watson to learn more and Watson told me this acquisition is just "the tip of the iceberg" in the company's plans for growth. Stay tuned to the SSN site to learn more about this very interesting company, which has seen tremendous growth since Halpern started it in 1982 while he was still in college.


Herve Fages has new role at Schneider Electric Buildings Biz

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I saw an announcement Friday afternoon about a promotion at Schneider Electric. According to several different reports, including this one from BusinessSolutions, Pelco by Schneider officials have announced Hervé Fages has been promoted to the position of SVP, global product marketing, for the Schneider Electric Buildings Business. Fages was previously VP of global product marketing, Buildings Business for one year. Before that, he was Pelco CMO.

I haven’t been able to find an official announcement on the Schneider site, but I’ve got some emails out to see if I can chat quickly with Herve.  I spoke to Herve earlier this year for a story I did about the Pelco Schneider internal reorg.

 (In 2010 the company realigned the entire management structure of Pelco with the management structure of the buildings business—including sales, technical support, marketing, finance, manufacturing/logistics, and customer solutions. The idea was to establish one point of contact for customers dealing with Schneider Electric building organization sales, whether they were looking for access control or cameras.)

According to the report I saw, Fages is responsible for all global marketing activities for the Schneider Electric Buildings Business: product management, marketing & communications, trade shows, and training. Fages reports to Dean Meyer, EVP, Buildings Business. In addition, the report said that Fages will now act as the “site executive for the Schneider Electric, Clovis, California facility” the former Pelco HQ. In that role, he’ll be “a point of contact for the local community and will communicate on behalf of the business with its Clovis campus employees,” according to the report.


Back in town, briefly

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just back late last night from a family vacation, so I’m still weeding through my email inbox and also getting ready for another couple of trips in the next two weeks: an ADT media event next week in Chicago, and I’ll be attending PSA TEC for the first time the following week.

Here is some of what’s planned for the ADT event: A virtual tour of ADT's new $1.5 m. Integrated Solutions Center; a discussion of pervasive video's impact on the enterprise network; a discussion/case study of a municipal wireless network protecting critical infrastructure; Food Defense: How a major food processor Is working to meet recent federal mandates to help protect the nation's food supply; ADT CTO Jay Hauhn talks about ‘What's in store for the security industr'y; and, How ADT and Brivo are helping meet homeland security mandates with PIV cards providing both physical and network access in a cloud environment.

ADS Security goes mobile

Thursday, May 5, 2011

ADS Security this week announced the introduction of ADS Aniware, which it described as a new service “that offers remote management of security systems from anywhere in the world. Check-in on a home or business with remote video, arm or disarm a security system with the virtual keypad or receive real-time alerts of alarm activity, all from any computer or mobile device.”

The Nashville, Tenn.-based ADS said that the fact that many home and business owners have automation technology “has brought the convenience of mobile control to ADS customers. The ADS Aniware virtual keypad, which can be easily accessed on the Internet or with the iPhone, Android or Blackberry application, operates just like a security system keypad and offers complete control of a security system while on the go.”

“There is a peace of mind that comes with being connected anytime, from anywhere and that’s what Aniware does for ADS customers,” said Tom Szell, ADS senior VP, in a statement.

The company said Aniware allows users to check the status of an alarm system while away from home or bypass security on a door, and also receive real-time alerts about event-generated alarm activities. “These personalized alerts are received via text message or email and allow users to decide whether action needs to be taken when events occur, like a cabinet being opened or power failure detected,” the company said.

In addition, customers can do a visual check on their home or business with the Aniware remote video feature. “Look-in live on your family, pets or employees or receive video clips or pictures to your email when motion is detected at your front door, service entrance or other vulnerable area,” the company said.

“The ability to instantly view video of a home or business from anywhere in the world is an extremely powerful tool,” says John Cerasuolo, ADS president and COO.

ADS was established in 1990 and is now one of the top electronic security companies in the nation. It currently serves over 70,000 businesses, industrial facilities and residences throughout the southeastern United States, providing a full range of burglar and fire alarms, as well as video surveillance and access control systems.


Biggest guard replacement/shrink-reduction services contract in the industry?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

So I was going through my email the other day and I came across a press release from video monitoring company Iverify. Seems they recently won a pretty hefty video monitoring and loss prevention services (LP) contract with an unnamed major U.S. retailer. I jumped right on it and got some fresh feedback from Iverify president Mike May. I'm still sort of hopeful that the reatiler will come around and release its name, but until that happens, here are the particulars written up along with some of the feedback I got from my interview with Mike:

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Iverify on April 27 announced it had been awarded a five-year contract valued at $39 million dollars to provide guard replacement and shrink-reduction services for an unnamed national retailer throughout its 550 stores. According to a release from the company, it’s the largest such video monitoring contract in the history of the industry.

Iverify president Mike May said Iverify brought big savings to the table for the client.

“The client is using a robust application that uses Cernium analytics for location-based risk assessment that triggers local announcements in the vicinity of high-shrink products. Further, with sophisticated time-based analysis it then escalates the risk profile and engages a live intervention from a protection specialist,” May told Security Systems News. “They then assess and respond to a protocol based in the actual risk. This is a best case model leveraging intelligent video coupled with a loss-prevention certified specialist that responds and reduces the customer’s potential shrink losses.”

According to May, Iverify will provide its “I Guard” and “I Control” products, delivering projected savings of $62.5–$70 million.  The suite of services will reduce guard costs, lower losses from theft, and improve employee safety, according to May.

“We think we have developed an effective forward-leaning service that drives value and safety to the point of protection,” May said.

Michael Barnes, a partner in the consulting and advisory firm Barnes Associates, which specializes in the security alarm industry, and co-sponsors the Barnes Buchanan Conference, felt Iverify had a lot to offer.

“Iverify has been at the forefront of delivering improved value in security operations for national retailers while reducing the cost of security expense,” Barnes said in a statement. “Mike May has built a sophisticated team of loss prevention professionals that remotely deliver security services at a very low cost. They have driven robbery and shrink rates down by over 50 percent at a number of national retailers.”

Iverify’s May made headlines in SSN a year ago when he was onsite doing a risk assessment for a client, a large, urban retail store in Detroit. While he was there a gang of youths attacked, and brutally beat a lone individual. May’s quick action—prompted by 10 years of law enforcement and EMT experience—very likely saved the victim’s life.


Go to Go!Control for tornado warnings

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

If you’re not tuned in to your TV or radio, you may not be aware that severe weather, including a tornado, is about to hit your neighborhood. But now Vivint is launching a free, in-home severe weather alert via its Go!Control panel for customers who live in states most affected by tornadoes. The service will sound a warning inside the home if there’s a tornado alert.

Vivint, formerly APX Alarm, a security/home automation company based in Provo, Utah, announced the weather alert service today to customers in states that the company said will include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Over the next week, the company said, “the application will be automatically downloaded to Vivint customers who have the company’s Go!Control panel. Once the application is downloaded, customers will start receiving the free tornado alerts. In addition, all new Vivint customers in the above-mentioned states will receive the alerts as part of their service.”

The company explained how the service works:

“Once a tornado alert has been issued by the National Weather Service, the information is relayed to Vivint customers via the Go!Control panel. A series of three loud beeps sound inside the home, and a detailed warning message appears on the wall-mounted control panel. The alert will continue every minute until the homeowner deactivates the warning, or until the alert is discontinued by the weather service.”

Vivint CEO Alex Dunn said in a statement: “Tornados hit fast and without much warning. Our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who have been affected by the unusually brutal tornado activity we have already seen this spring. I am pleased our team was able to fast-track this feature and get it into our customers’ hands this season.”


Diebold hires/promotes

Monday, May 2, 2011

Diebold, Inc. has just announced two key changes in its corporate leadership team.  The North Canton, Ohio—based security company has hired Alex Brown as VP, corporate strategy and development, according to a recent press release.


Diebold also announced the promotion of Scott Angelo, most recently VP and chief security officer at the company, to VP and chief information officer.


“Brown will be responsible for helping Diebold identify and consummate successful corporate growth strategies and investments with an emphasis on acquisitions and strategic partnerships,” the release said.

It said that Angelo “will be responsible for leading and overseeing the operations of Diebold's global information technology organization. He will also retain oversight of the company's information and global risk and security operations.”

Thomas Swidarski, Diebold president and CEO, said the company is pleased to have Brown on its team.

“Our company has definitive needs and aggressive goals from a growth perspective, and Alex's extensive management and advisory experience in corporate and business strategy will be invaluable moving forward in our development efforts,” Swidarski said in a statement.

He said of Angelo: “Scott has played an integral role in building our world-class information security organization, and he possesses a refined knowledge of information systems and processes. Scott's experience at Diebold and diverse background in security, IT systems and processes will drive improvements crucial to maintaining a successful IT organization.”

The release stated that Brown most recently served as a partner at Marakon, an executive management-consulting firm based in Chicago.  In addition, according to Diebold, he has held management and consultancy positions at Huron Consulting Group, Axeleration Inc., and A.T. Kearney Inc., and held leadership positions in the U.S. Army from 1990-1992.

Angelo joined Diebold in 2006 as vice president and chief information security officer, the release said. According to the company, he previously held security management positions with Ernst & Young LLP, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and McDonnell Douglas Corporation, and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1986 through 2001.


UTC Fire & Security acquires Simtronics

Friday, April 29, 2011

UTC Fire & Security is making news again.

I just wrote recently that the Farmington, Conn.-based company has a new president, Scott Buckhout, and has aligned its United States fire and security services under the Chubb brand.


Now UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp., just announced today that it has acquired “a Norway-based provider of sophisticated gas and flame detection systems, extinguishing solutions and fire prevention systems for marine and off-shore industries.”


Here’s more from the written announced the company issued about the acquisition of Simtronics ASA:


“UTC Fire & Security purchased more than 85 percent of the outstanding shares of Simtronics through its subsidiary Autronica Fire and Security AS. Autronica plans to initiate a compulsory acquisition of the remaining shares and delist Simtronics from the Oslo Stock Exchange. The full acquisition and delisting is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2011.

'This is an important strategic acquisition for UTC Fire & Security. We will beexpanding our offering of high quality gas and flame detection products, as well as increasing our ability to provide gaseous suppression solutions for our customers,' stated Scott Buckhout, President, UTC Fire & Security.

Simtronics Chairman, John Afseth noted, 'I am pleased with this transaction. UTCFire & Security will enable Simtronics to expand to even further horizons, bringing the Simtronics brand and knowledge to more customers around the world.'"

I've contacted UTC Fire & Security to find out what this means for fire dealers and installers here in North America.