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EMERgency 24 hires new VP of operations and administration

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

EMERgency 24, a network of wholesale monitoring centers headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., recently named Steve Mayer its vice president of operations and administration. Mayer will replace long-time executive, Patrick Devereaux, who has retired but will remain with the company in an advisory role.

Prior to joining EMERgency24, Mayer served as the VP of operations for Cook’s Direct, an Illinois-based distribution company. He has also worked in finance, operations, corporate real estate and procurement at United Airlines, Bally Fitness and Career Education.

“Steve’s diverse professional experience will allow him to delve into Emergency24’s operations with a unique and fresh perspective,” Baird Larson, E24’s vice president and director of technology, said in the recent announcement. “We selected Steve because he demonstrated the ability to achieve strong financial, operational and customer-service performance. He has in-depth experience in strategic planning, financial analysis and process improvement.”

Like his predecessor Devereaux, Mayer is a “numbers person” and he says the company will continue to measure itself and implement ways to further strengthen operations, the company said.

“I’m excited to join a well-running and long-standing operation that is already a market leader with its people, service and technology. The culture is a great fit with my continuous improvement philosophy,” Mayer said in a prepared statement. “Emergency24 has many strengths and a tremendous future. It is very clear that our people and our technology are what attract new customers and have retained existing customers for decades. What excites me most is our opportunity to use these core strengths to grow and improve our services and customer experience.”

ONVIF celebrates 10th anniversary

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ONVIF, a global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products, celebrated its 10th anniversary at its annual membership meeting in early November, reflecting on its past while looking to the future.

Attendees heard presentations on the final release of Profile T in 2018, an advancement that represents how ONVIF keeps pace with technological advancements that affect product development and interoperability between IP-based physical security products.

In an acknowledgement of its 10th anniversary, ONVIF chairman Per Björkdahl highlighted the forum’s achievements over the past decade, including an overview of the six ONVIF profiles, with emphasis on the newly released Profile T for advanced video streaming. Collectively, the profiles provide support for the more than 10,000 conformant products that are increasingly included in various bid and specification processes in projects around the world, he said. Björkdahl also cited the continued involvement of ONVIF as part of the work of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s TC79 for international standardization.

ONVIF also recognized the contributions of four individuals from various ONVIF technical committees for their work on different profiles and committees. Fredrik Svensson of Axis and Dora Han of Hikvision were recipients of the ONVIF award, which acknowledges individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to ONVIF. As chairman of the Profile T Working Group, Svensson was a leading force in the development and successful final release of the Profile T specification. Han received the award for her extensions to the specification, and for supporting the development of other members’ extensions to the specification.

One of two 2018 ONVIF Distinguished Service Awards was given to Baldvin Gislason Bern of Axis for his role in developing and proofing the evolution concept as chair of the Technical Services Device Test Tool Evolution. Joining him in receiving this award is Dr. Hasan Timucin Ozdemir of Panasonic, who served as chairman from 2009-2018 of the ONVIF Video Enhancement Working Group, which is responsible for formulating and prototyping new features for the ONVIF specification.

“All of our honorees have shown their significant and long-term commitment to the organization as a whole, and in turn have directly and positively impacted the work of ONVIF,” said Björkdahl. “The success of our organization would not be possible without the innovative contributions and hard work of our members, and for that, we say thank you.”

ONVIF Technical Committee chairman, Hans Busch of Bosch, spoke to members about the specification development roadmap and its alignment to the standardization activities within the IEC TC 79 working groups for video surveillance and physical access control standards. Technical Services Committee (TSC) chair Andreas Schneider of Sony gave an overview of the committee’s work on new and existing profiles, client and device test tools, updates to the conformance process and tools and Developers’ Plugfests.

ONVIF Communication Committee chair, Tim Shen of Dahua, provided a recap of ONVIF communication efforts in 2018, with a continued focus on market education about the specific profiles through presence at industry events and media activity. He also reported on the success of the first ever ONVIF Open Source Spotlight Challenge that took place earlier this year.

At the meeting, the results of the annual elections for committees of ONVIF were announced by ONVIF executive director Kevin Schader. Re-elected to the ONVIF Steering Committee were Mayur Salgar of Honeywell and Stuart Rawling of Pelco by Schneider Electric. For the Technical Committee, Hanwha Techwin’s Sujith Raman, Pelco by Schneider Electric’s Steve Wolf, and Tyco Security Product’s Stephen Serplus were re-elected, while Hikvision’s Dora Han joined the committee as a new member. Bob Dolan of Anixter and Giri Guntipalli of Honeywell were re-elected to the Technical Services Committee, along with new member Marwan Obeidat of Pelco by Schneider Electric. Tim Shen of Dahua, Jens Berthelsen of Hikvision and Xinming Kang of Honeywell were re-elected to the ONVIF Communication Committee, while Cathy Zhou of Huawei joined the committee as a new member. Founding members Axis, Bosch and Sony automatically retain seats on the Steering, Technical and Technical Services Committees.

Founded in 2008, ONVIF is an industry forum driving interoperability for IP-based physical security products. The organization has a global member base of established camera, video management system and access control companies and more than 10,000 profile conformant products. ONVIF offers Profile S for streaming video; Profile G for recording and storage; Profile C for physical access control; Profile Q for improved out-of-the-box functionality, Profile A for broader access control configuration and Profile T for advanced streaming. ONVIF continues to work with its members to expand the number of IP interoperability solutions ONVIF conformant products can provide.

TMA adds AvantGuard’s Justin Bailey to its board of directors

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Monitoring Association announced today through its blog that AvantGuard’s president and COO Justin Bailey has joined TMA’s board of directors, representing contract monitoring companies.

Justin Bailey has worked with AvantGuard Monitoring since 2010. Bailey was promoted to the role of president and COO mid last year, prior to that he served as the company’s COO. Bailey is also a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner from the Class of 2011.

“I’m excited to join the TMA board, after having served on committees for a number of years,” Bailey said in TMA’s blog. “I see the pace of change increasing from within the industry as well as from disruptors, and know we need to evolve more quickly as an industry to remain relevant.  I look forward to working with the other TMA board members to that end.”

AvantGuard Monitoring, a wholesale central station with locations in Ogden, Utah, and Rexburg, Iowa, offers a variety of monitoring services, including security, fire, PERS and mPERS, and IoT monitoring. In addition, the company has also been creating hybrid monitoring options, for security companies that would like to use their own central station part of the time.

 

JCI to sell Power Solutions business for $13.2 billion

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Johnson Controls International announced a definitive agreement to sell its Power Solutions business to Brookfield Business Partners L.P. in a cash transaction valued at $13.2 billion.

"Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Johnson Controls portfolio," JCI chairman and chief executive officer George Oliver said in the announcement. "The sale of our Power Solutions business will create value for investors by streamlining our portfolio and giving us increased financial flexibility to strengthen our balance sheet, return capital to shareholders and create optionality in our Buildings business. This focused portfolio will allow us to capitalize on secular growth trends and to deliver strong financial performance through improved free cash flow conversion, lower capital intensity and continued margin expansion."

Net cash proceeds are expected to be $11.4 billion after tax and transaction-related expenses. JCI expects to deploy $3.0- to $3.5 billion of proceeds toward debt pay-down and retain an investment grade credit rating. The remaining proceeds will be available to return to shareholders, with more specific details to be announced around the close of the transaction.

"With this transaction, Johnson Controls becomes a pure-play building technologies and solutions provider that is better positioned to lead the integration and evolution of the connected building and to capture strategic opportunities in the HVAC industry,” Oliver said. “I would like to thank the Power Solutions team for their significant contributions over the years and their dedication throughout the strategic review process."

Johnson Controls' Power Solutions business, and 15,000 Power Solutions employees create, manufacture and distribute “the most advanced battery technologies for virtually every type of vehicle. These technologies deliver uniquely sustainable, next-generation performance,” JCI said.

In fiscal 2018, Power Solutions generated $8.0 billion in revenue and $1.68 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. The transaction price of $13.2 billion represents a multiple of 7.9x trailing twelve month EBITDA, according to JCI.

The transaction is expected to close by June 30, 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals. Power Solution's operating results will be reported in discontinued operations beginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2019.

Centerview Partners and Barclays served as financial advisors to Johnson Controls, and Simpson Thacher served as legal advisors.

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and multi-industrial company with 120,000 employees serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries.

COPS Monitoring adds to management team

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J.—COPS Monitoring recently hired Joe Parisi to its leadership team as director of project management. Parisi has more than 20 years of alarm industry experience and will play a key role on the company’s management team by leading technological projects related to COPS’ network of monitoring centers, the company said.

“The last two years have been very dynamic for us,” Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS, said in the announcement. “As a result of our sustained growth, we believe it’s best to narrow the areas of responsibility of executives to ensure we maintain high quality support and throughput from their respective departments.” 

Parisi’s new role of director of project management is a newly created position, designed specifically for his skill sets, according to COPS. Key areas of the job will include facilities, alarm receiving equipment, and telephone system infrastructure. Parisi will also oversee the COPS technical support team that is designed to support COPS’ alarm dealer customers in troubleshooting communications related to signal transmissions.

Parisi will also spearhead large-scale initiatives such as facility expansions/updates, infrastructure upgrades, and other special projects, including the imminent launch of COPS’ Mobile Personal Emergency Response System division.

McMullen explained that the restructuring strengthens further its management team as it “adds depth to the bench.” Parisi is one of three competent and focused leaders in COPS’ technical department who help position COPS and its customers for the future.

“My career in the United States Marine Corps has been the foundation of my technical and leadership skills that have been instrumental behind my successful 20-year career in the security industry,” Parisi said in a prepared statement. “My extensive electronics training in avionics lead to an electrical engineering degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. I joined Radionics [now Bosch] after graduation as a Research and Development Engineer. I was fortunate to be a part of the team of engineers who developed the state-of-the art D6600 central station receiver utilized by today’s leading monitoring companies.”

Parisi is a Security Systems News “20 under 40” award winner, Class of 2013.

After his time with Radionics, Parisi shifted his focus of expertise to wholesale monitoring where he integrated new technology, trained operations personnel and field support, and converted central stations onto a single platform.

He has also volunteered with the Electronic Security Association. “I had the pleasure of leading the New Jersey Chapter as President of the New Jersey Electronic Security Association (NJESA), now one of the largest chapters in the country,” Parisi said. As NJESA president, the national ESA recognized Parisi as 2013 Chapter President of the Year at the Leadership Awards.

TechSec 2019 program is here!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Security Systems News is excited to announce the education program for our TechSec Solutions conference, Feb. 25-26, 2019, in Delray Beach, Fla., at the Delray Beach Marriott.

This year’s TechSec Solutions’ theme—Securing a Connected World—looks at how new technologies are being used in real-life scenarios and how they are leveraged by security professionals—integrators, consultants, manufacturers and end users—to provide cost-efficient and highly effective security services and solutions, all for the betterment of the entire security industry. 

Last year, attendees gave the program strong marks, with 100 percent of attendees who completed our evaluation saying they “Would recommend TechSec to others” and “TechSec exceeded or met their expectations.”

Some of the highlights of this year’s program include two keynote speakers. On day one, Bill Bozeman, CEO and president, PSA Security, will deliver an Integrator State of the Union, giving a unique glimpse at the key technology trends impacting integrators and the industry today, while looking at which ones have the greatest potential and present the greatest challenges moving forward. And on day two, Rob Simopoulos, founder and president, Defendify, will present Cyber and Security: Together, a Shared Vision, looking at how physical and cybersecurity are coming together like never before, creating both challenges and opportunities.

In addition to two stellar keynotes, this year’s Mega Panel to start day two brings leaders from the industry’s top associations—the Security Industry Association (SIA), ASIS International and the Electronic Security Association (ESA)—together with keynote speaker Bozeman, head of the world’s largest system integration collaborative, to look at the current state of the industry, new trends and technologies that are impacting, disrupting and shaping the industry, and what the more successful companies are doing to stay relevant and profitable.

In support of this year’s theme, there are two sessions looking at “Securing a Connected World,” as well as sessions on securing, storing and leveraging data, and one on protecting critical infrastructure featuring Colby Meshey and James Ell from the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, who will join Kevin Didden, senior manager, Security Programs and Administration, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and Joe Morgan, Business Development Manager for Critical Infrastructure, Axis Communications.

Plus, Gretchen Gordon, president and sales team transformation expert, Braveheart Sales Performance is presenting “How to Train and Retain a Tech-Savvy Sales Force” on day one. In this session, Gordon will explain how security companies, integrators and manufacturers can improve sales performance, giving attendees an effective strategy on hiring and retention, while showing them the importance of adapting to stay profitable and relevant.

And, as always, one of the highlights of the conference is the “20 under 40” Award Reception on the evening of day one, where this year’s class of 2018 winners will receive their awards and just have some fun by the pool. There will be several winners, both previous winners such as Simopoulos, and current winners, including TechSec Speakers Meshey (Pentagon), Didden (MTA) and Josh Cummings, director, Engineering Services, VTI Security, to name just a few.

All told, this year’s program has something for everyone. We hope to see you in Delray Beach Feb. 25-26.
 

PIVOT3 having banner year

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Pivot3, the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) performance and technology company based in Austin, Texas, announced that it experienced more than 50-percent growth in bookings in Q1-Q3 2018 over the same period in 2017, with significant growth among large enterprises and complex, mission-critical use cases.

With IT requiring automation and intelligence to manage increasingly complex workloads and multi-cloud environments, Pivot3 saw high demand for its hybrid cloud solutions. Pivot3 also experienced continued expansion with Internet of Things use cases, particularly with smart and safe city initiatives.

“Q3 2018 was remarkable for Pivot3, from our growth in sales and introduction of new products to the announcement of our global strategic partnership with Lenovo,” Ron Nash, CEO, Pivot3, said in the announcement. “Enterprises are demanding more from IT, and our growth indicates that the market is increasingly aware of Pivot3 and the power of our Intelligence Engine to simplify management at scale as well as deliver the security and resilience needed to support mission-critical workloads.”

Pivot3’s developments in Q3 2018 include:

•    More than 50-percent growth in bookings in Q1-Q3 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, with 86 percent of new bookings in Q3 comprising large enterprises.
•    A 95-percent increase in average deal size in Q3 2018 over the 2017 average.
•    Nearly 65 percent of 2018 sales to date have come from satisfied existing customers expanding their deployments to include multiple mixed workloads. Additionally, more than 70 percent of new customers deployed multiple mixed workloads on Pivot3’s platform, indicating that customers are increasingly—and repeatedly—relying on Pivot3’s Intelligence Engine to automate and manage multiple mission-critical applications on a single platform.
•    Continued adoption of its hybrid cloud solutions, representing more than 60 percent of new sales in Q3.
•    Named a Strong Performer in Hyperconverged Infrastructure in The Forrester Wave: Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Q3 2018. Pivot3 ranked within the top three vendors in the current offering category and achieved the highest scores possible for the criteria of built-in security, customer support options and quality of operations and support.
•    Announced a global strategic partnership with Lenovo to develop, market and sell solutions optimized for mission-critical smart city applications and use cases, both in the core datacenter and at the edge.
•    Continued growth of mission-critical smart city initiatives, including with the City of Bogotá, Colombia, which is deploying a highly efficient Lenovo/Pivot3 solution to achieve maximum infrastructure efficiency and scale as its surveillance needs grow.
•    Launched Intelligent Edge Command and Control, a new ruggedized and SWaP-optimized hybrid cloud solution to support sophisticated analytics, VDI and IoT use cases for defense, intelligence and other extreme operations at the “tactical edge.”
•    Released a new large-scale IoT solution designed to support mission-critical deployments of 500TB or more with greater resilience, scale and ease of use, fundamentally altering the economic equation for customers in large IoT data-capture scenarios.
•    A diverse range of new customers, including numerous military and federal agencies as well as local governments, a nuclear research facility, multiple educational institutions, a large manufacturing organization and a major sports and entertainment complex. The top industry verticals represented in Q3 sales include government, logistics and transportation, energy and utilities, hospitality, and education.
•    Certified its infrastructure solutions for mission-critical IoT, safe cities and smart building environments operating with Milestone Systems video management software. This allows organizations to gain access to infrastructure proven to deliver the performance, resilience and scale required in mission-critical environments.

“Pivot3 has led the industry in supporting mission-critical use cases where security, resilience and management simplicity are required at enterprise scale,” said Nash. “As customers turn to IT to solve their most pressing business challenges, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning will become key drivers in enabling the next wave of enterprise-scale digital transformation. Pivot3 is positioned to support this evolution with a foundation of Hybrid Cloud and IoT solutions for the enterprise’s most critical environments.”

Mike Leone, senior analyst from Enterprise Strategy Group, said in the Pivot3 announcement, “IT organizations need new levels of automation in their infrastructure to provide the resiliency, availability and low latency required to support rapidly expanding volumes of data and the proliferation of applications and business services. The key to Pivot3’s differentiation in the HCI market lies in their Intelligence Engine, which delivers advanced resilience and security, and automates manageability at scale for customers’ most demanding workloads.”
 

Apartment Guide finds renters want security

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ATLANTA—Apartment Guide, a resource for renters and part of the digital marketing solutions company RentPath, recently published a blog highlighting security as an amenity many renters are looking for.

The blog included data from RentPath surveys including an “online, blind survey of 2,000 renters … conducted by Egg Strategy in conjunction with RentPath in 2017, with the final analysis completed in February 2018,” and an “online, blind survey of 750 renters conducted by RentPath Research between November 10 – December 4, 2017.” In addition, the blog referenced The 2017 Kingsley Nationwide Renter Report, which was conducted in July 2017 in partnership with the National Multifamily Housing Council and surveying 269,332 renters.

Angie Amon, director of research for RentPath, talked with Security Systems News about the trends among these reports. “People are looking for their home. It’s not a car that they’re going to rent for a few days, or even a car they’re going to buy that they could easily get rid of if it didn’t work out. It’s their home, and the things that they’re trying to do is make it feel like home. They want to feel safe, they want to feel secure … and that it’s not a hassle to live there,” Amon said.

RentPath distributed surveys to people seeking apartments, specifically renters that were open to developments with 50 or more units. “We really drilled down into a specific segment of renter population,” Amon said.

Despite prompting survey takers to “think big” and be imaginative, many still put emphasis on practical conveniences like having a washer and dryer in their unit, Amon said.

RentPath also asked survey respondents to select an item that most interested them and one that least interested them out of larger groups. “Out of that came the gated access, the security measure,” Amon said, and this group was the highest at 35 percent. “That was the number one ‘most interested’ thing that people mentioned, and had the fewest votes of ‘least interested’ in.”

The company recognized another trend of people looking for app-controlled door locks, rating at 25 percent.

Property managers and companies could benefit from emphasizing the security measures at their properties, according to Amon. “It comes up over and over and over again in both the quantitative and the qualitative work that we do, where people talk about wanting to be in a safe area. And they define that in different ways, some of it has to do with what security measures are at the property … others define it by what kind of activity is going on in the area.”

SIA identifies security megatrends for 2019

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has identified and announced the 2019 Security Megatrends—the foundation of SIA’s signature yearly report defining the major trends and forces at play in the global security industry.

Forecasting of 2019’s top 10 Security Megatrends was based on survey data generated in September and October 2018 from top security industry business leaders, association leadership and key volunteers and speakers for Securing New Ground (SNG), the security industry’s executive conference, which is being held this week, Oct. 25-26, in New York City.

These trends—the top factors influencing both short- and long-term change in the global security industry—are expected to have sweeping impact on almost all businesses within the industry.

Cybersecurity was identified in the 2019 report as the standout trend shaping the security industry. By nearly 30 percentage points, industry leaders said cybersecurity’s impact on physical security solutions was the most impactful trend they were expecting to face in 2019. A resounding number of respondents also called for artificial intelligence (AI) to be recognized as a megatrend, noting that AI is becoming vital to supporting the heightened volume of data produced by modern security solutions.

Other new Security Megatrends emerging for 2019 include workforce development, the emphasis on data privacy, advancements in digital identity and the integration of security into smart environments like smart buildings and smart cities.

The 2019 Security Megatrends are:
•    Cybersecurity Impact on Physical Security
•    Internet of Things (IoT) and the Big Data Effect
•    Cloud Computing
•    Workforce Development
•    AI
•    Emphasis on Data Privacy
•    Move to Service Models
•    Security Integrated in Smart Environments
•    Advanced Digital Identities
•    Impact of Consumer Electronics Companies

“Today, modern physical security solutions are comprised of IoT devices and sensors that generate high volumes of security data. Applying analytics and artificial intelligence systems makes this data more actionable and increases responsiveness for security systems users,” SIA chairman of the board Scott Schafer said in the announcement. “Cybersecurity continues to be at the top of the list of the most important trends identified by security industry manufacturers, systems integrators, security practitioners, architects and engineers, and SIA will continue to address this trend over the next year and in the foreseeable future.”

In addition to defining the latest Security Megatrends, the forecast for 2019 also identifies other forces at play in the security industry that may have a noticeable impact on some or all businesses, and the research identifies three potential areas of business disruption the security industry may face in 2019.

The official 2019 Security Megatrends report will be published in late November 2018 and available online for download and/or purchase. The 2018 Security Megatrends report is currently available to all members and non-members.

Each year at SNG, senior-level industry leaders and financial partners gather, trends are spotted, connections are formed and minds are opened. In addition to highlighting these Security Megatrends, SNG 2018 will feature keynote remarks by Jerome Pickett, senior vice president and chief security officer at the National Basketball Association, and Valerie Thomas, executive information security consultant at Securicon, and panel discussions on topics like the shift from smart cities to conscious cities, harnessing cyber-physical security technologies and how the changing residential security market is staying nimble.
 

Avigilon announces professional monitoring support for Avigilon Blue

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Avigilon Corporation, a Motorola Solutions company, recently announced that its Avigilon Blue cloud platform is now integrated with SureView Systems Immix CS and Immix CC software, which will support professional video monitoring.

The Avigilon Blue cloud platform features patented self-learning video analytics that detect movements of people and vehicles and generate an alarm with a short video clip, allowing central station operators to more efficiently verify and respond to potentially critical events. The integration with Immix CS and Immix CC software will feature alarms with live and recorded video as well as audio transmission, the announcement noted.

"Video analytics-based alarm management will enable central stations to manage significantly more cameras and sites with fewer resources and help provide faster response to events, which ultimately creates a better monitoring experience for both the central stations and the end users," Ryan Nolan, senior vice president of business operations at Avigilon, said in the announcement. "With our advanced video analytics, the Avigilon Blue platform integrated with SureView software will provide our customers with a single point of control for security response and coordination."

The Avigilon Blue integration with SureView Immix CS and Immix CC software is expected to be available in November 2018, the announcement noted.

"At SureView, we develop a powerful monitoring platform to improve customers' ability to manage and respond to security events," Simon Morgan, CTO at SureView Systems, said in a prepared statement. "With Avigilon Blue's exceptionally accurate analytics and low false alarms, this new integration will further enhance the operational efficiency and value of professional monitoring services."

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