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Vivint adds $50 million to financing; surpasses RMR milestone

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08/06/2012

PROVO, Utah—Summer-model company Vivint announced in June of that it had surpassed a $30 million milestone in RMR, putting it among the top three largest security companies in the nation. Also, the residential security and home automation provider said it had added another $50 million to its financing, bringing its total senior debt financing to $812 million.

Leviton acquires Home Automation Inc.

Acquisition broadens Leviton's offerings in automation controls market
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08/03/2012

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Leviton, based here, announced on Aug. 3 that it has acquired Home Automation Inc., a provider of home automation controls for residential and light commercial applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Companies fired up about social media

Experts say a successful social media plan has specific goals, and time needs to be divided between listening, creating and engaging
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08/01/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—In the one year that Stampsco has been active on social media, staff at this small but busy fire company has had to carve out time to figure out how to best use sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Typically,” said Rodney Stamps, president of Oklahoma City-based Stampsco, “we have normal business activities during the day, and in the evenings come in and discuss what we’re going to do on social media.”

Warren Brown named president of ObjectVideo

Former Tyco Security Products VP says OEM business will be important component of business in future
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08/01/2012

RESTON, Va.—Saying it’s a “pivotal time” for video analytics in the security industry and for ObjectVideo in particular, Warren Brown on July 30 assumed the newly created role of president at the video analytics provider.

Cooperation spells success in Sacramento

SIAC teams with California Alarm Association, law enforcement to strengthen city’s alarm ordinance
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08/01/2012

FRISCO, Texas—Add Sacramento to the list of SIAC success stories.

The Security Industry Alarm Coalition, working with the California Alarm Association and Sacramento’s police department, announced last week that SIAC’s best practices have been incorporated into the city’s revised alarm ordinance. The guidelines include annual permit fees and enhanced call verification to reduce false dispatches and maintain police response.

Pinnacle corralling customers with geofences

The summer model company believes new Geo-Services technology could make customers 'stickier'
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08/01/2012

OREM, Utah—Pinnacle Security believes geofences could help keep its customers from straying.

The leading summer-sales-model home company, based here, recently announced the launch of Alarm.com’s Geo-Services technology. With the free service, customers can set geofences, which are perimeters around locations, using an iPhone or Android device. When they leave or enter the geofenced area with the hand-held device, they get automatic reminders sent to the device to remind them to arm or disarm their system.

Fire jobs ‘starting to come back’ for Northwest company

Improving economy and mass notification projects are helping to rebuild life safety business after recession
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08/01/2012

LYNNWOOD, Wash.—Fire and life safety previously made up about half of ABSCO Alarms’ business prior to the recession, when that percentage waned to about half that and the company turned its focus on growing the video surveillance and access control part of the business instead.

Dynamark launches account acquisition program

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08/01/2012

HAGERSTOWN, Md.—Dynamark Security Centers, which got back into the monitoring business by opening a new central station here last September, has rolled out an account acquisition program with no monthly minimums to give dealers more operational flexibility.

Double take on 2G: Readers see 'sunset' differently

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

If nothing else, last week's blog on the 2G sunset served to toss another log on the fire in the debate over how long the technology will last in the face of frequency harvesting by carriers. Among the responses I received was an argument that 2G will remain viable in part due to CDMA-based equipment, which could stick around a lot longer than its GPRS and GMS cousins.

"I was reading your 2G sunset blog this morning and wanted to point out that many cellular alarm solution providers support T-Mobile USA or other 2G carriers along with AT&T Wireless coverage," said the reader, who said I could pass along his remarks on condition of anonymity. "AT&T is the carrier making the most noise about phasing out 2G GPRS, but T-Mobile has no current plans to sunset. Also, CDMA-based carriers like Verizon and Sprint still have a long planned life for 2G CDMA."

The reader agreed that the issue is critical for the industry, saying the majority of cellular alarm systems currently deployed utilize 2G GPRS on AT&T. But he took issue with the terminology being used and urged others to do the same.

"While AT&T-based cellular alarm providers certainly have the largest marketing presence, please be careful referring to the AT&T GPRS sunset as a '2G sunset,' because many 2G alarm solutions will stay viable for a long time," he said.

Another reader, Steve Wallace, called attention to the fact that just because no carrier has announced a date for the sunset, it doesn't mean it's not going to happen. He said the process has already begun and commented that companies not paying heed "may be looking at this wrong."

"For quite a while some carriers, such as AT&T, have stopped certifying new 2G devices," Wallace said. "Carriers have begun to re-purpose [refarm] the 2G spectrum into LTE offerings. 2G equipment is retiring and is being replaced for 4G. 3G expansion has virtually ceased."

The reality for alarm companies is that signal strength will decline for a lot of equipment in the field as these changes take hold.

"Alarm systems with 2G radios could become more problematic long before 'sunset' is announced," he said.

Like I mentioned last week, a sunset date by AT&T would likely knock a lot of people off the fence if they've been considering a move to 3G/4G. All is quiet at the moment, but it would be shortsighted to think it’s going to stay that way. Alarm companies would be wise to plan accordingly and keep a sharp eye on the horizon.

Lenel and Mercury Settle

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last summer panel manufacturer Mercury Security filed a lawsuit against Lenel Systems International concerning a contract dispute and alleged copyright infringement. While there was no mention of the lawsuit itself, Mercury and Lenel on July 30 jointly announced a “long-term agreement for access control hardwar

I’ve called both Lenel and Mercury, but have not heard back yet. I understand that both Frank Gasztonyi, co-founder and CTO of Mercury Security, and Steve Wagner, Mercury’s VP of marketing are both, atending an event at Lenel headquarters

The announcement said the agreement is “to provide access control hardware for use with the Lenel OnGuard Total Security Platform.”  

In a statement, Gasztonyi said that Mercury and Lenel “look forward to working together to enhance and improve existing product lines and to provide the industry with new, innovative and highly competitive products into the next decade. After a successful 16-year relationship, we are thrilled to enter into a long-term agreement that allows us to collaborate closely with the industry’s premium access control systems brand.”

Joe Kirmser, president of Lenel, said this in the statement: “Mercury and Lenel have successfully innovated industry-leading security solutions for many years. We are both focused on meeting customer and market needs by jointly developing differentiated solutions.”

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