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Kratos personnel moves

 - 
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kratos announced  this morning that Jack Turley has joined the company as VP of Strategic Development, responsible for all marketing, vertical market development, and strategic alliances for systems integration business. .

Most recently, Turley was the VP of Sales & Marketing for Gallagher Security, and before that, he was VP of Sales & Marketing for Aronson Security Group, the West Coast ASG.

In a prepared statement, Kratos PSS president Ben Goodwin said: "Jack has a strong background in marketing with many innovative programs for various facets of the security sector in his previous roles and will work to enhance the Kratos|HBE brand to support our key initiatives."

In other Kratos news, Kratos CTO Chris Peckham has joined the TechSec Advisory Board. We have a couple other new members of the board as well; we'll be making a formal announcement before the end of the month.

Alarm industry keeping pace with PERS

 - 
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

With baby boomers reaching age 65 and more of the elderly population living independently, personal emergency response systems have become the safety net of choice for millions of Americans. While central stations have been dealing with PERS for a few years now, the stakes are rising and the game keeps changing—think of GPS and two-way voice from a pendant. Technology has come a long way from “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” and training and procedures must keep pace.

The developments haven’t been lost on the Central Station Alarm Association. It has been working on establishing a standard for PERS technology and monitoring through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is in the final stages of the process, Executive VP Stephen Doyle says in the latest edition of CSAA Dispatch.

“The CSAA board recognized that education and training on PERS would be needed if there is to be long-term credibility in the marketplace and with the AHJs,” he writes.

Few would disagree, but technology doesn’t sleep and people don’t always see eye to eye on where it is taking us. Looking farther down the road, who will serve as the gatekeeper for issues that emerge as PERS devices evolve beyond where they are today?

“With the formal promulgation of the … PERS standard and the training of PERS monitoring operators in the probable near future, it seems as though the time has come to consider forming a PERS Council,” Doyle says.

The council’s role would be to “help shape issues” specific to the interests of its members pertaining to PERS monitoring. Doyle said that the mission would be a natural for the CSAA.

“With the growth of the aging population, PERS monitoring and dispatch will become an increasing issue for the AHJs and the PSAPs,” Doyle says. “And who better to deal with the issues attendant to this technology than CSAA—as we have done very successfully with public safety entities for so many years.”

Council membership and other details are likely to be discussed at the CSAA’s midyear board meeting at ESX on June 25, according to Doyle.

Last call for ESX discounts: It’s not too late to get the early-bird discount for ESX Nashville. The deadline has been extended for one week, with lower registration rates available until Friday (June 8). To cash in, go to www.esxweb.com/register.

Rush bust-cam manufacturer not disclosed

 - 
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You've probably heard that radio personality Rush Limbaugh has been memorialized in the Missouri state house with a bronze bust. Click here to see a photo.

Limbaugh was inducted into the “Hall of Famous Missourians” a couple of weeks ago in a closed-door ceremony, which, according to this AP report, had police posted at the door to prevent any disruption of the event.

Worried about vandalism of the bronze sculpture, the House spent $1,100 on a security camera to keep an eye on Rush’s bust. While the Limbaugh statue was paid for with private funds, taxpayer funds were used for the camera.

There was an existing security camera in the state house rotunda, but Rush’s is the only bust with its very own camera, according to the story.

Missouri House Clerk Adam Crumbliss, who signed off on the purchase, is quoted as saying that the Rush bust-cam is serving as a beta for possible future video purchases. He’s quoted as saying that the House is considering installing cameras to broadcast its sessions live and the Rush bust-cam perfomance will help House leaders assess resolution and picture quality.

Curious about the manufacturer of the Rush bust-cam? About who installed the camera?  I spoke with Missouri House communications director Trevor Fox last week, and he said he’d get back to me. Called him again today.

Will let you know when I get a call back.

Cooper Notification: New LED appliances are ‘industry’s first’

A Florida fire company likes the devices because they’re energy efficient and have a smaller profile than traditional ones
 - 
06/05/2012

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.—Advanced Fire & Security, based here, is eager to start installing Cooper Notification’s new LED notification appliances for reasons that include energy efficiency, ease of installation and a smaller profile, according to the company’s owners.

LifeShield socially savvy about home security

 - 
Monday, June 4, 2012

A lot of companies talk about the need to employ social media to promote home security, but LifeShield Security doesn’t just talk about it—it’s really using the social online space in a wide variety of ways. It doesn’t just have a Facebook page, according to a recent company news release, but uses all kinds of social media, from virtual pinboards to viral memes and videos.

Yardley, Pa.-based LifeShield offers wireless digital home security systems that are self-installed and professionally monitored. I’ve written here before about LifeShield’s penchant for tapping into the popular zeitgeist. For example, LifeShield in 2010 brought on NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino as an investor and to help market its product on TV. In 2011, the company added John Timoney—“America’s Top Cop”—as an advisor to help the company and customers protect against burglars with the aid of Timoney's inside knowledge of criminals’ minds.

Also, LifeShield last year piggybacked on the popularity of Airbnb—an Internet "bed-and-breakfast" service though which people can rent rooms or homes for vacations from private home and apartment owners—by offering a free home security camera promotion to Airbnb landlords.

Recently, LifeShield put out a release detailing its “multi-tiered approach” to social media to attract customers. Here’s more from the June 1 release:
 

LifeShield has learned how to connect with its users in new ways while also providing a social online atmosphere where customers can engage with each other.

"Popular contests, thousands of Facebook followers, and a growing library of viral videos show just how much consumers have come to love LifeShield," said Shannon Dominello, CMO, LifeShield. "Because LifeShield's wireless technology is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a financial one for customers, we have embraced social media as a way to reach out to them on a personal level and it has really paid off.  We now have a direct line into how they think, communicate and react to us as a company, as well as to general interest news and topics.  This helps us better understand our customers and ultimately, deliver a better product."

LifeShield is present on the Web in multiple ways for customers and potential customers to get involved and have some fun. A sampling of LifeShield's social media presence includes:

•    Infographics on topics like Best Guard Dogs, Residential Home Security and others that deliver real data and information in an easy format with clever images that's fun to read.
•    Facebook page with thousands of followers.  Activity spikes around frequent contests and giveaways where consumers can win the latest tech gadgets.
•    YouTube Channel for Fan and How-To videos for hooking up your LifeShield system. Customers post new videos regularly offering tips and techniques for fellow customers on best ways to install and unique ideas    on securing different areas around the home.
•    Home Security Blog covers crime and home security articles in the news as well as lifestyle and general interest stories.
•    Family and Parenthood Blog for general interest stories geared to Moms.
•    Viral memes and videos is a page listing helpful and entertaining home security "shorts" to help keep the bad out of your home and neighborhood. Samples include "Bad Home Security Ideas" and "Protect what You Love" videos.
•    DIY Pinterest images to interact with customers through virtual pinboards. We pin everything from wireless tech gadgets to DIY home tips.

 

New ADT Pulse app gives customers personalized 'Home View'

 - 
Friday, June 1, 2012

ADT announced today it’s offering a free upgrade for users of ADT Pulse, which it launched in October 2010. ADT's new automated “Home View” application will allow customers to “remotely interact with home devices via a personalized floor plan viewed on a mobile device or the Web,” the company said in its June 1 release.

Here are more details from the release:
 

This additional software feature allows ADT Pulse customers to easily and quickly map a virtual floor plan of their home and then remotely monitor and interact with their ADT Pulse devices via any web enabled PC, iPhone or iPad.

Once a customer sets up Home View via their personal ADT Pulse sign in page, they can view color-coded icons of their security devices, lights, thermostats and cameras. By clicking on the icons, customers can easily control their home’s lighting, climate and many small appliances. And if they have cameras, customers can quickly view real time video by simply clicking the video icons. A Home View video demonstration is available at www.ADTPulse.com/Home-View.

I’ve got a call in to Boca Raton-based ADT to find out more about how this new app can help dealers gain more business.

 

Good news from The Hill

 - 
Friday, June 1, 2012

The Security Industry Association  this morning announced some good news for the industry. The House on May 30 passed H. R. 1299, the Secure Border Act.

Thanks to SIA’s efforts in the past year, the bill includes provisions important to the security industry.  As SIA’s press release put it: The bill “promotes the use of a comprehensive technology plan for major surveillance and detection technology programs, including a justification and rationale for technology choices and deployment locations."

I spoke to Marcus Dunn, SIA’s director of government relations, this morning and he had more good news:  Prospects are good for passage in the Senate.

The bill passed on suspension in the House—that means that it was passed by a supermajority on a voice vote. When bills are passed on suspension “the assumption is that it’s non-controversial,” Dunn said.

“Given that, we should have the ability to get it passed in the Senate,” he said. "If Congress can get [bills passed] without too much hassle before November, they are generally interested in doing that,” Dunn said.

If the Senate is able to do the same thing as the House, (it’s called unanimous consent in the Senate) the bill won’t have to go to conference and can quickly be signed into law by the president, Dunn pointed out.

The measure will be sent to a Senate committee early next week, although there is a process where the bill could skip committee assignment and go straight to the floor calendar for a vote, according to SIA's manager of government relations Stephen Holton.

"We are monitoring this legislation closely and intend on weighing in with comment once the proper committee jurisdiction is determined," Holton told me in an email.

Here’s some more information from the SIA news release:

“The bill was introduced by Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, by recommending strategies that feature video cameras and other security technologies, ensuring that the use of electronic physical security equipment would be a priority within the Department of Homeland Security’s border security strategies. H.R. 1299 promotes the use of a comprehensive technology plan for major surveillance and detection technology programs, including a justification and rationale for technology choices and deployment locations.

“The Secure Border Act will direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to Congress a comprehensive strategy for gaining operational control of the international borders between U.S. ports of entry, and also calls for the development of a five-year plan to ensure the vision of complete operational control is being met in border areas
The strategy will propose, among other things, staffing requirements, infrastructure investments, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicle, detection, and security equipment.
The bill is awaiting introduction into the U.S. Senate, which goes back into session on Monday, June 4.  SIA will restate its support for passage of this measure to the appropriate Senate committee once the jurisdiction of this bill is determined.

Integrated opening new office in N.C.

Integrated Security & Communications takes a hybrid approach to integration
 - 
05/30/2012

TOMS RIVER, N.J.—Propelled by its work in the pharmaceutical vertical, Integrated Security & Communications is opening a new office in Raleigh, N.C.

DVTEL moves beyond startup mode, looks down market for growth

Stern’s goal is to grow north of 18 percent annually
 - 
05/30/2012

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J.—One year after taking the helm, DVTEL CEO Yoav Stern says the company is eyeing the middle market for growth as it transitions from its startup phase to become a larger player in the IP video surveillance space.

Ackerman launches five-year plan

The Atlanta-based super-regional moved outside of Georgia for first time in 2010, plans to do it again within the year.
 - 
05/30/2012

ATLANTA—Ackerman Security Systems has a new president, plans to expand to a new market within about a year, and has revealed an ambitious new growth plan that calls for doubling its revenue over the next five years.

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