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Don’t run from DIY, pros say at ESX 2015

Learn from it and leverage it

BALTIMORE—DIY is everywhere, the consumer-driven products are polished and are connected to powerful mobile apps, and it’s up to traditional security companies to decide whether they’re going to embrace it or dismiss it, according to panelists at ESX 2015.

It’s all about the Millennials

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It’s the Millennials who are the biggest DIY buyers, according to ESX 2015 panelists at a “DIY Security—Competition or Opportunity” discussion. 

Icontrol’s 2015 State of the Smart Home Report, a nationwide survey which Security System News conducted and has reported on earlier, also found that the Millennial generation, loosely defined as those born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s, are big consumers of home automation. You can read more about the survey at the above link, but here a few new tidbits from it from its recent official release.

The report said, “U.S. consumers aged 25-34 express a higher level of excitement around the following benefits of the smart home:

  • Greater productivity and ability to manage work-life balance, 40 percent vs. 23 percent of consumers overall.
  • Making it easier to enjoy music, movies and web surfing anywhere in the house, 26 percent vs. 18 percent.
  • Helping anticipate the needs, such as shopping lists and minor repairs, 24 percent vs. 18 percent.
  • More interactive features that help me connect with the people in my life, 21 percent vs. 13 percent.”

Entertainment has emerged as a smart home driver, icontrol found. Interest in the entertainment link has grown to 55 percent since last year’s report. Consumers want their entertainment rooms connected to their smart home, followed by their kitchens and bedrooms. 

A challenge is getting that younger generation to move from DIY to traditional security providers, according to Brian Leland of Interlogix and Sterling Barnes of Melaleuca Security, the panelists at the ESX discussion. You'll be able to read more about the ESX DIY panel later, so stay tuned, please. 

The icontrol report had some other great factoids as well, so stay tuned for more info on that as well. 

Daily dispatches from ISC West

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Monday I’m headed out to ISC West. I’ll have my boots—well, actually, my sandals because it is Vegas, after all—on the ground Tuesday through Friday.

I’ll be adding to this blog post each day, keeping you updated with the news I find and the people I talk to on the show floor. So check back here often. You may just read something you’ll want to check out on your own while you’re there.

One of the best things about ISC West is the opportunity it gives me to meet with our readers. It’s helpful to know why they read Security Systems News, learn more about their work and what they’re seeing as industry trends on the frontlines. Please stop by our Meet the Editors event from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday and say hello. It’s informal, just a chance for the editorial staff to say hello and in many cases put faces to the names we’ve interviewed and talked to so often on the phone. The event will be held at the SSN Media Stage, right near the main entrance to the show floor.

My schedule is pretty full, but if you can’t make it to Meet the Editors and would like the chance to say hello in person, shoot an email to and I’ll work hard to make it happen.

Tuesday I’ll be attending the DMP Owners Forum and then, that evening, the Women in Security Council’s 2015 Women of the Year Awards and Networking Reception.

Wednesday, after the aforementioned meet-and-greet, I’ll be hitting the show floor, interviewing and visiting with, among others, Honeywell, 2Gig, Qolsys, Interlogix and Icontrol. 

Bright and very early Thursday I’ll be participating in the Mission 500 5K/2K with SSN’s Security Sys-tahs team. I’ll be doing the 2K walk. (Maybe the 5K race next year?) Then it’s back to the media stage where from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I’ll be conducting interviews on camera with four key players in the industry. Want to know who? You'll have to come and watch live! The videos will be posted later on the SSN website, but we do have comfy audience chairs if you need an informative break. After that, it'll be back to the show floor for meetings that include those with, Guardian Protection and Genetec, before returning to the SSN stage for the Mission 500 5K/2K awards ceremony.

I have a few other appointments set up for Friday and hope to spend some time meandering through the exhibits and booths on my own.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the week, and you should, too! You could win a prestigious plaque from Security Systems News for being the Top Twitterer on our Twitter Wall. Use #ISCW15. Read more about our Twitter Wall and contest here.

My colleagues, Martha Entwistle and Spencer Ives will be providing their daily news from ISC West as well. Be sure to check out their blogs, too.

Meanwhile, have a great show and I hope to see you there!

Razberi gets $3m, new board members, CTO

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Razberi Technologies, which was reinvented three years ago by Tom Galvin, today announced that it received a $3m investment from a new investor, LiveOak Venture Partners of Austin, Texas.

I had a chance to speak to Galvin about the deal. “We launched the company exactly three years ago, in November 2011. We’ve been growing nicely through word of mouth but we got to the point where, to sustain growth, we needed outside capital,” he said.

The funds will be used “to invest in sales, marketing and branding awareness to fully leverage what we’ve built here in our product line and to invest in R&D. We want to continue to evolve and to develop the product line,” Galvin said.

Razberi’s flagship product is its ServerSwitch, which combines “the functions of a network video recorder and ethernet smark switch into a single compact appliance.”  These appliances, “go where IT doesn’t go because of cost or form factor,” Galvin said. Currently in development are a “ruggedized line for outdoor applications. There’s a growing energy business in the U.S., with oil and natural gas and windmills and they all need video surveillance,” he said.  

Galvin also announced that Ken Boyda has joined Razberi as non-executive chairman of its board of directors.

Boyda built Interlogi company, which he sold to GE Security and was subsequently sold to UTC. Galvin and Boyda worked together at GE before Boyda retired. Boyda has stayed active in the industry, Galvin said, serving on the board of VideoIQ before its acquisition by Avigilon. He also currently serves on the board of PSIM provider VidSys.

Boyda introduced Galvin to LiveOak Ventures.

“Razberi [which is based in Carrollton, Texas] is LiveOak’s first investment in North Texas. There’s a start-up market here that’s underserved by financial [backers], and LiveOak saw us a real opportunity,” Galvin said.

Jiri Modry, whom Galvin called “one of the pioneers,” has also joined Razberi’s board. “He developed the first DVR for security and sold it to Interlogix [which was sold to GE.] … The GE DVR line at the time was based on Yiri’s technology. It’s great to have his expertise on the board as well,” Galvin said.

Ben Scott and Krishna Srivivasan, both of LiveOak Venture Partners, also joined the board.

Razberi also hired Rich Anderson as its CTO. “He’s a key hire for us. He served in different executive capacities at GE and Casi Rusco back in the day,” Galvin said.

SW24 adds DIY to tap apartment market

Security provider will sell the systems at new Manhattan store and online

NEW YORK—Targeting what it sees as an underserved market—apartments, with more than 2 million in metropolitan New York alone—SecureWatch 24 is getting into do-it-yourself security and is opening a store near Rockefeller Center to sell the systems.

Former Interlogix president joins Guardian Protection


WARRENDALE, Pa.—Bob Haskins, former president of Interlogix, will fill a newly created position at Guardian Protection Services, according to a company announcement this week. Haskins’ responsibilities as Guardian’s VP of strategic planning and business development will include helping to expand the company’s dealer program, the announcement said.

ESA of Florida to hold inaugural event

Friday, September 14, 2012

I wrote this spring about the Irving, Texas-based Electronic Security Association launching a state-chartered chapter in Florida. Now ESA of Florida is about hold an inaugural event.

ESA created the new state chapter because Florida is home to so many security companies.

The Sept. 20 inaugural event, which will be a legislative dinner featuring the chairman of the Electrical Contractors' Licensing Board, Ken Hoffman, who will discuss licensing requirements in Florida and the function of the board, according to an ESA news release. Also, updates on ESA of Florida and the upcoming ESA Leadership Summit in Orlando (slated for this Feb. 18-21, 2013) will be shared.

Steve Paley, president of Rapid Security Solutions LLC and chairman of the ESA of Florida steering committee, said a prepared statement: “We're excited to kick off the activities of ESA of Florida with this legislative dinner. We're encouraging everyone interested in helping to grow the security integration and monitoring industry in Florida to attend.”

Hoffman also said in the news release: “The security industry in Florida is primed for growth, and I'm happy to be able to address companies looking to improve their businesses and serve their customers even better.”

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. at
Ruth's Chris Steak House at 2525 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale.

The event — which is sponsored by Interlogix, Honeywell, Telguard and Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution — is open to both ESA members and non-members. Registration for ESA members is free; non-member registration is $35.

For more information or to register, visit or call ESA's Member Service Center at (888) 447-1689.