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A (Re) Introduction and Homecoming

 - 
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

“It’s good to be back.” This phrase has been running through my mind since I joined SSN’s editorial team as managing editor just a few days ago. I have fond memories of the security industry, and although a lot has changed and I have some re-learning to do, I’m refreshed and ready to take it on.

Having served the security industry previously for three years, and after about a four-year hiatus, I’m back to doing what I love: meeting industry professionals, writing and editing, being part of the security industry “family,” and shaking things up a bit with fun, conversational yet professional, honest and authentic commentary.

I am excited to engage again with industry leaders, build strong relationships, and share and report on newfound industry knowledge as well as establish and retain rapport with readers. I hope to inform, educate and inspire in my role at Security System News by assisting with editorial content, providing thought-provoking blog posts, participating in trade shows and chatting on social media.

I feel like I’ve returned home. I’m ecstatic to be a part of the SSN team and returning to an industry that truly impacts the world for the better.
 

Security Systems News hires new managing editor

 - 
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Security Systems News is excited to announce the hiring of Ginger Schlueter as the new managing editor of the publication. Ginger brings three years of prior security industry reporting experience, as well as a proven track record in both print and online media, with particular expertise in social media.

As Ginger says in her first blog post today, she is happy to be back in the security industry after spending a few years away as a freelancer.

“I have fond memories of the security industry, and although a lot has changed and I have some re-learning to do, I’m refreshed and ready to take it on,” she said.

As I have been told by many in the industry, and as I told Ginger, “Once you’ve worked in the security industry, you can’t leave—it keeps pulling you back in.” Many in the industry I am sure can relate to this sentiment.

And while SSN is forever grateful to former managing editor Spencer Ives for the outstanding work he did here at the publication (good luck Spencer in your next endeavor!), we here at SSN are excited to have Ginger joining the team!
 

Security Systems News hires new managing editor

 - 
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Security Systems News is excited to announce the hiring of Ginger Schlueter as the new managing editor of the publication. Ginger brings three years of prior security industry reporting experience, as well as a proven track record in both print and online media, with particular expertise in social media.

As Ginger says in her first blog post today, she is happy to be back in the security industry after spending a few years away as a freelancer.

“I have fond memories of the security industry, and although a lot has changed and I have some re-learning to do, I’m refreshed and ready to take it on,” she said.

As I have been told by many in the industry, and I told Ginger, “Once you’ve worked in the security industry, you can’t leave—it keeps pulling you back in.” Many in the industry I a sure can relate to this sentiment.

And while SSN is forever grateful to former managing editor Spencer Ives for the outstanding work he did here at the publication (good luck Spencer in your next endeavor!), we here at SSN are excited to have Ginger joining the team!
 

Rick Caruthers named Galaxy Control Systems president

 - 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Board of Directors of Digital Systems Corporation, the parent company of Galaxy Control Systems, a leading provider of integrated access control and security solutions, announced the appointment of Rick Caruthers to the position of president at Galaxy Control Systems. Effective immediately, this appointment reflects the company’s long-term planning and succession strategies.

“Rick has essentially been working in the capacity as president of Galaxy Control Systems for the past several years, and with this appointment will be able to execute his vision and goals for the company,” Robert Laughlin, chairman of Digital Systems Corporation, said in the announcement. “After 17 years of proven service and dedication to Galaxy Control Systems, we are most confident that Rick is the person best suited to be at the helm of this organization moving forward.”

Caruthers’ extensive experience and proven track record in the professional security industry spans over 28 years, where his career was initiated on the integration side of the business then migrated into the manufacturing space. Over 17 years to date, Caruthers has risen through the ranks in positions ranging from regional sales manager, government sales director, vice president of sales, executive vice president, to his current role as president of Galaxy Control Systems.

“I am extremely honored with the Board’s decision to entrust me with the continued expansion and growth of Galaxy Control Systems,” Caruthers said in the announcement. “There are so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead for Galaxy as we continue to evolve and supplement our portfolio of on-premise based and cloud access control solutions, and expand internationally. And we will maintain our focus on the core values that have propelled Galaxy Control Systems over the years, including exceptional customer service and outstanding quality hardware and software offerings that will remain designed, developed and manufactured in-house in the USA.”

The Galaxy Control Systems portfolio is centered on the company’s System Galaxy v11.02 and Cloud Concierge access control platforms, which accommodate the latest reader technologies and technology trends, as well as holistic VMS integration. The versatile offering provides resellers and users with the unique ability to implement the access control solution that best fits their specific needs and budget.

Caruthers told Security Systems News that some of his short-term goals for the company include bringing both the on-premises and cloud solutions together to provide one platform.

“Early on, our cloud development team worked to get the product up and running so I had two engineering efforts—our on-premises team and our cloud team,” he explained. “What we are doing now is merging the two together, so our focus is to let everyone know that the Galaxy product can be used on premises and in the cloud. We are basically building a platform around the philosophy that the only thing you need to decide is where your database is going to reside: Is it going to reside on a server on site, or is it going to reside in a hosted cloud environment, or in a hybrid set-up?”

He continued, “So all of the tools, the web interfaces, the client stations—every bit of the software behind that—works simultaneously and seamlessly with both. So we are moving those two platforms to one starting in 2019 and hope to have our software in at least a beta format by ISC West, along with a couple of new mobile apps.”

A key long-term effort is “strengthening our core intelligence inside our technology group to reflect that next generation of developers that is going to take us to the next 20 years,” said Caruthers, who noted that more and more clients are embracing cloud-based solutions.

“While SMB companies are certainly embracing cloud, some of our bigger corporate clients are adopting cloud for all of their applications,” he noted. “And many are doing it for cost savings, especially when considering the continual investments in refreshing servers and hardware that are required with on premises data centers or server rooms."

Mission 500 trip to Puerto Rico brings aid to families

 - 
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mission 500 recently hosted a service trip in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where volunteers from the professional security industry worked on repairing the homes of two families still suffering from the effects of hurricane Maria in October of 2017.

Hurricane Maria caused $92 billion in damage, leaving millions of families without everyday necessities. Volunteers spent several days repairing roofs, siding and plumbing; installing new windows; and removing trees capable of causing additional damage to the affected structures. Additionally, Mission 500 volunteers bought food, supplies and toys for the children.

“Our team of Mission 500 volunteers, including several of our children were able to not only improve the living conditions of these two families, we also helped to restore their sense of dignity with a little happiness and hope for a brighter future,” Alan Forman, president of Altronix Corporation, said in the announcement.

This year’s service trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico took place from Oct. 31 through Nov. 4 and raised $12,000, which was used to provide two families with extensive home renovations.

“The trip to Ponce, Puerto Rico was Mission 500’s third service trip, which aim to help families in need whether located here in the United Stated or abroad,” George Fletcher, advisory board member of Mission 500, said in a prepared statement. “In providing assistance to people in crisis, Mission 500 continues to bring together the growing community of security industry professionals who are looking to give back and make a difference.”

Tom Nolan, director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500, told Security Systems News that these trips end up being very rewarding for those who volunteer.

“At our first team meeting in Puerto Rico we instructed the team that as you participate in the work of helping those in desperate need it is very likely that the experience will have a greater impact on your life, personally, than on those you seek to help,” Nolan told SSN. “In our daily end of the day debriefing time we heard many personal stories from our team about the effects that serving had on their lives. One great story came from Stephanie Mayes from Synectics. As she spoke at the SIA night of Honors dinner, Steph stated that participating on the past Mission 500 Service Trip was the most impactful experience of her life.”
 
Nolan pointed out that while in the past Mission 500 scheduled one service trip per year, in 2019 and beyond it would like to schedule two per year. “After the trip to Puerto Rico we all realize how important it is to join together from many different organizations as one industry to get involved with some of the tragic situations we see happening around the U.S.,” he said. “As we pulled our team together, we were all amazed at how much work we accomplished in a short one-week experience.”

Mission 500 extends a big thank you to the individuals who donated their time, financial support and gifts to ensure the success of this trip, as well as to corporate sponsors including: Aiphone, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, BRINKS Home Security, ESA, Hikvision USA, Milestone Systems and Synetics Global.

Mission 500 is a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to serve the needs of children and communities in crisis. Mission 500’s primary goal was to focus security industry efforts on sponsoring more than 500 children through World Vision’s humanitarian outreach.

For more information on Mission 500 or on how to become involved in supporting Mission 500, contact Tom Nolan at tnolan@mission500.org, or call 516-903-7291. For more information on contributions or sponsorships, please visit mission500.org or contact Jeff Eichenlaub at jeichenlaub@mission500.org.
 

ONVIF celebrates 10th anniversary

 - 
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.

EMERgency 24 hires new VP of operations and administration

 - 
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.”

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

 - 
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

 - 
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.

TechSec 2019 program is here!

 - 
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.
 

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