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Cash raised & new brass at AlertEnterprise & VideoIQ

Monday, September 12, 2011

More cash and new top brass were added by two suppliers in the past week.

This morning I was working on a story out of California, about a software company, AlertEnterprises, raising $19m and appointing a new high-profile board member, when I got a press release from VideoIQ about $7.5m in new funding and a new CEO.

There were whispers last week about VideoIQ—a venture-backed producer of IP cameras and encoders with on-board storage and built-in self-calibrating analytics based in Bedford, Mass.—getting a new CEO, and this morning the video surveillance company officially announced that Ed Bednarcik has replaced Scott Schnell as CEO.

Bednarcik is experienced in getting companies ready for IPOs,  according to a press release, Most recently, he led Write Line out of Worcester, Mass., which was sold to Eaton Corp. in August of 2010. The release says Bednarcik was “an early employee of A123 Systems” and notes that A123 “was the largest IPO on the NASDAQ in 2009.”

I spoke to former CEO Scott Schnell back in May about an integration VideoIQ did with Software House, and while I didn’t write about it in the story, Schnell talked a lot about recent growth at PE-backed VideoIQ.

Here are some of my notes from that call: “VideoIQ tripled the run rate it had a year ago,” Schnell said. “Our largest customers a year ago had dozens of customers, our largest customers today have hundreds of cameras.” The company’s “huge uptick in business” he said has been helpled along by the introduction of its HD, he said. The company is big in three verticals: critical infrastucture, education and corporations, notably in banking. Schnell also said that the company does 25 percent of its business outside of the U.S.

I have a call with Ed Bednarcik today and will have something for the newswire on Thursday.

Meanwhile, out on the West Coast, in Fremont, Calif., AlertEnterprise, a software company designed for critical infrastructure, got a $19 million infusion from Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers. KPCB has invested in 3VR and iControl out in the Bay Area. KPCB managing partner,Ray Lane, is now on AlertEnterprises’ board of directors. Lane is also the non-executive chairman of the board of HP.

AlertEnterprise’s software combines PSIM-like capabilities with identity management and adds a third capability—industrial control systems. This third capability also helps the end user adhere to with government compliance standards, Pan Jamal of AlertEnterprise told me on Friday.  

From the release: “AlertEnterprise delivers true prevention of theft, fraud and acts of terrorism against critical infrastructure by analyzing and instantly responding to risks from blended threats across IT Systems, Physical Access Control Systems and Industrial Control Systems.”

More about this in a story this week. I’ll also be meeting Jasvir Gill, AlertEnterprise CEO at ASIS next week.


Provident heads to the mountains

Monday, September 12, 2011

Whistler, B.C. came onto the radar of many Americans last year, when the beautiful Canadian mountain resort played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics.

But the community has been on the radar of Vancouver, B.C.-based Provident Security for several years. A number of its Vancouver clients have vacation homes in Whistler—less than two hours from Vancouver—and those customers wanted Provident to provide services to them in that community as well. To do that, according to Provident founder and president Mike Jagger, “we have worked closely with Dow Security, a local Whistler company." Dow provided alarm response service and emergency service for alarm systems on Provident's behalf, Jagger said.

Now, Jagger announced in his company blog last week, Provident on Aug. 31 purchased Dow, which will be rebranded as Provident Security (Whistler) Corp. before the end of the year.

“We saw a lot of potential in Whistler,” Jagger told me this morning. We talked about this new venture by Provident out of the city and into the mountains—a first for the 15-year-old company—and what it means for Provident, and I’ll be writing more about that this week. Stay tuned to our web site!


Honeywell announces new dealer opportunity

Friday, September 9, 2011

Honeywell announced this week that its portfolio of VISTA Series residential and commercial security systems is now certified by home automation provider Control4. Home automation integrators and security dealers can now integrate products from both companies to create “connected homes.”

Just what does that mean to dealers? Jonathan Klinger, VP of marketing, Honeywell Security & Communications, explained that in a prepared statement.

“The last couple of years have witnessed an exponential rise in consumer demand for home automation and control systems, many of which include security as a key element of the solution. This presents a tremendous opportunity for Honeywell security dealers to deliver more value to homeowners, differentiate themselves from competitors and close more business,” he said. “The integration of Honeywell’s VISTA series with Control4 provides our channel partners and their customers with a best-of-breed solution that will help them make the most of this opportunity.”

Here’s more from the press release issued by the Melville, N.Y.-based Honeywell:

The certification assures seamless interoperability between Honeywell’s range of VISTA security systems and the Control4 ecosystem of devices. More specifically, Honeywell VISTA is the only security system able to exchange zone descriptors with the Control4 home automation system, significantly improving the efficiency of the installation process. The Control4 platform gives homeowners the ability to automate and control a broad range of devices including security systems, HVAC, lighting and home entertainment systems from a number of interfaces including keypads, smartphones, touchscreens, tablets and TVs. 

“Security is a critical element in the vast majority of connected homes,” said Jim Arnold, Control4 senior vice president of sales. “Honeywell’s VISTA series is a significant addition to Control4’s ecosystem of certified products. It increases the depth and breadth of security offerings our dealers can provide their customers.” Honeywell security dealers interested in offering Control4 technology or aligning themselves with a Control4 dealer should email Control4 dealers should call 1-800-852-0086 to be aligned with a Honeywell security dealer. For more information, visit



More specifiers expected at ISC Solutions

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I learned recently that Reed Exhibition is expanding the scope of ISC Solutions to include an educational program for security specifiers as well as networking opportunities for security specifiers to get together and discuss business with integrators and end users.

Sounds like a very smart idea.

Ray Coulombe, founder and managing director of, signed a deal with Reed and is designing the educational component. Coulombe is an industry veteran and entrepreneur who started a little more than a year ago.

Reed intends to offer the same security specifier-specific education and networking options at ISC West.

At Security Systems News, we’ve expanded our coverage to include more coverage of specifiers in many of our stories, notably in a monthly column where we do a Q & A with a specifier.

Specifiers are an important piece of the security puzzle. As Coulombe says, they “influence an estimated $4 billion in security product sales annually.” And the more communication and contact integrators and manufacturers have with specifiers the better. Kudos to Reed and Coulombe for taking the lead on this effort.

Look for a full story about the deal and the educational program this week. In the meantime, here’s a link with more information.


Pelican takes Bayou under its wing

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pelican Security Network has a new member: Bayou Security Systems, a 30-year-old life safety services and property protection provider based in Shreveport, La.

Baton Rouge, La.-based Pelican is a nationwide alliance of independently-branded life safety and security services providers, fire alarm companies, systems integrators and electrical contractors.

The announcement was made Tuesday, Sept. 6, by Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group of Long Grove, Ill., which said it represented Bayou in the transaction.

Here are some details from the release, and I’ll be calling the companies to find out more:

This addition of several thousand subscribers helps expand the footprint for Pelican in the Ark-La-Tex Region in and around Shreveport, the home of two of its three primary investors.

“I am very pleased that under the Pelican plan, Bayou Security will continue to be managed as it always has in the past, as a locally owned and operated company,” said Rebecca Norton, [Bayou] General Manager.

“In addition, under the altruistic guidance of Richard Norton III, the recently deceased founder of Bayou Security, the Company was not only known for its technological advancements and customer service, but also for its community and philanthropic activities. For these reasons, the Bayou transaction is a very special undertaking on our part,” said Louis Resweber, Founder, President and COO of Pelican.



ESX reaches $1m milestone

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!’

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?

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

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

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.