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Protection 1

Protection 1 makes biggest buy in its history

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01/09/2013

ROMEOVILLE, Ill.—Protection 1—which bills itself as the nation’s second-largest business and home security company—announced this week that it has acquired Vintage Security, which is based in the nation’s capital and has more than 15,000 customers. Protection 1, based here, says the acquisition is the largest it has made in its 25-year history.

Banks are a key vertical and video surveillance is central to solution

Regulatory compliance a top concern, use of analytics on the rise
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01/02/2013

Several national security providers—among them Diebold, Stanley Security Solutions and Protection 1—said they would be focusing on the financial and banking vertical market in 2013.

ECKey closes funding round

Investors include industry vet Robert Chefitz
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10/17/2012

LANCASTER, Pa.—ECKey, a startup manufacturer of smartphone access-control readers and systems, has closed its first funding round, Paul Bodell, ECKey president, told Security Systems News.

Protection 1 makes another commercial buy

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things have been busy in Romeoville this quarter. Protection 1 announced Tuesday that it’s made another buy. An IT-centric systems integrator, based in Fort Worth, Texas, called Suntera Security.

It’s a really interesting purchase and comes on the heels of another IT-centric buy P1 announced at ASIS, of Integration Logistics. Here’s that story.

Suntera brings P1 into some new territory with its GSA contract, DoD work and some big-name customers such as Bell Helicopter, Lockheed, XTO Energy and ExxonMobil.

I’m on the road right now, but will be interviewing someone at Protection 1, hopefully today, so check back for a story on this as early as Thursday morning.
For now, here are some excerpts from the release:

“Suntera is an IT-centric systems integrator and, for Protection 1, the move is a continuation of its effort to build out a true integrated systems division for today’s IT landscape.
Suntera serves the complex security needs of a broad range of commercial clients with a specialization in Department of Defense (DOD)-related security clients and the energy markets. The company has played an integral role in working with cities to author security requirements to protect citizens from potentially dangerous industrial sites close to urban areas.
“Our acquisition of Suntera will truly be mutually beneficial,” said Protection 1 Chief Executive Officer Timothy J. Whall. “We’re now able to expand our offerings to existing and future clients that are looking to leverage their IT infrastructure to create additional reliability and cost savings for their security systems. In addition, Suntera customers will benefit from Protection 1’s broader footprint and ability to offer services on a national basis.”
The addition of Suntera adds 15 employees to Protection 1’s roster and the General Services Administration (GSA) contract, along with the Texas Mutual Award Schedule (TXMAS), will be transferred as well. This will enable Protection 1 to provide services to both Federal and state government agencies, as well as others requiring DOD security requirements.
The more comprehensive offering also allows Protection 1 to provide additional options for Suntera’s current customers, particularly with their latest video services. Other noteworthy customers now under the Protection 1 umbrella include Bell Helicopter, Lockheed, XTO Energy and ExxonMobil.
“We’re excited to begin working with Protection 1’s outstanding leadership and highly technical staff,” said Les Vernon, Suntera’s founder. “This enables us to not only strengthen our focus on custom integration solution designs, but also expand our ability to provide proactive monitoring services knowing the Protection 1 infrastructure is able to support future growth.”
This is the second integrated solutions acquisition in as many months for Protection 1. In September, the company added Newark, Del.-based Integration Logistics, adding new integrated systems capabilities to its commercial and national account security offerings.
The additions allow Protection 1 to provide a more robust customer experience in terms of products and services, while growing its employee base with subject matter experts on various topics. The company has experienced triple-digit growth over the past two years in its national account division – growth that is attributable to Protection 1’s strong and growing knowledge of integrated and highly complex network-based solutions.”

MIT gives Pro 1 kudos for 'working smarter'

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A study by the MIT's Center for Information Systems Research gives Protection 1 kudos for Working Smarter.

At MIT, Working Smarter is a proper noun, a concept the group defines as having "an organization-wide habit of using a digitized platform to optimize each individual's contribution to enterprise business objectives."

MIT surveyed more than 200 public companies in 2010 and said that those who adhere to practices of Working Smarter "were significantly correlated with higher business impact from IT." Yeah, yeah, that's nice, but you'll be interested in this "and higher impact from IT was, in turn, significantly (and positively) associated with return on equity."

This is not a new study (it was released in February 2012), and Security Systems News has previously reported on many of the details of the Protection 1 operation, its daily scorecard, Tech Tracker, removing its IVR (getting a real person rather than a computer when you call) etc., nevertheless, I thought this report gave a nice snapshot of the operation.

Below are some paraphrased and quoted highlights:

The report says that P1 CEO Tim Whall "set out to explain how individual employees throughout the company could contribute to this goal [delivering outstanding customer service] —in other words, how they could work smarter."

Don Young, P1 CIO spent five months developing a daily scorecard on the metrics related to Whall's "five touchpoints that could make or break customer  relationships: sales, monitoring, billing , installation, and service response." Those metrics include: "Time to installation, time to service, number of sales activities, number of cancellations, retained monthly revenue, and new sales." The scorecard summary and detailed results can be accessed online by top executives, regional leaders and branch managers. They're updated every day and "Thus line managers have come to see it as a reliable guage of their daily operating performance."

The study says: "What's unique about Protection 1's scorecard is that it does not report financial data." This is particularly interesting to me. P1 execs have told me they do not talk to their employees about financial goals but about customer service. This study backs that up.

There's a quote in the study from Don Young: "The P&L will take care of itself if we make sure that the metrics on the scorecard are up to par." And, Joe Sanchez, SVP Operations, is quoted as saying: "There's no analysis paralysis going on here. You want to have a good day? You know what's on the scorecard."

The report says: "The power of the daily socrecard is that the underlying data can be traced back to the daily performance of front line workers."

In addition to removing the automated call system, Whall mandated that all calls be answered within 60 seconds, that service backlogs be eliminated, and that installers and techs show up on time for 8 a.m. appointments.

Technology improvements include Tech Tracker, and Sales Central, which automated the quote, approval, contract submission, record of sale, parts ordering and commission payments.

P1 execs, the report says, think of themselves as coaches rather than managers and offer leadership training to help develop coaching skills for all front line managers.

The report concludes: "In companies that are working smarter, leaders focus attention not on stock price or quarterly P&L, but on determining every day whether everyone is having a good day. Protection 1 achieves working smarter by: 1.developing and constantly enhancing the underlying information 2. articulating and, where appropriate, automating business expectations 3. clarifying individual accountabilties 4. persistently coaching individuals to ensure they understand how they contribute to business success. This is hard work. But if management doesn't commit to helping everyone work smarter, no company can expect its technology to lead to success in the digital economy."

Here's a description of CISR: It "conducts field-based research on issues related to the management and use of information technology (IT) in complex organizations. Established at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1974, our mission is to develop concepts and frameworks to help executives address the IT-related challenges of leading increasingly dynamic, global, and information-intensive organizations."

The authors of the report are Jeanne W. Ross, Director and Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Sloan School’s Center for Information Systems Research, and Cynthia M. Beath, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas, Austin.

 

Pro 1 plans to expand I-View to include hosted video

CEO Don Young sees service eventually migrating to residential space
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10/10/2012

ROMEOVILLE, Ill., and LAS VEGAS—Protection 1 officially introduced I-View Now, its new cloud-based video verification service, a few weeks ago at ASIS. But Pro 1’s Don Young is so convinced that it’s going to be a winner, he’s planning to expand the offer to include hosted video by the end of the year.

CAA symposium to feature four top industry execs

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10/10/2012

SAN FRANCISCO—Leaders from four security companies will speak at an executive symposium at the California Alarm Association’s 2012 Winter Convention, to be held here Dec. 5-8.

ASIS 2012, Pro 1 buys again, mobility and the financial vertical

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It’s been a busy two days for Amy Canfield (the new lead editor for our sister publication Security Director News) and I here in Philly at the ASIS show.

Since Sept. 10, the first day of ASIS, was Amy’s fifth day on the job, she accompanied me to most of my appointments that day. She did have a chance to speak to a group of end users at the Honeywell booth. Here’s her update on that  and she was flying solo on Day 2--check out her blog  for highlights of her day, including a tour of the security operation of the Philadelphia Convention Center with integrator Schneider Electric.

Here are some highlights from my conversations on the show floor on Day 1 and Day 2. Check back tomorrow for Day 3.

DIEBOLD
At the Diebold booth I met with Tony Byerly, who’d just completed his first 90 days as head of security at Diebold, along with Diebold IT chief Jeremy Brecher and Felix Gonzalez, who earlier this summer left Stanley to join Byerly’s senior staff as the newly appointed VP for strategic initiatives and business development in electronic.security.

Diebold was the first of several integrators I spoke to who said that one focus for them will be the financial services vertical. It’s not a surprise for Diebold, who's parent company is the largest ATM provider.

Byerly touted Diebold’s long history, the company’s reputation for steady, high quality service and technology know-how as advantages in the marketplace. He also noted the shifting competitive landscape and said Diebold stands out for a variety of reasons including the fact that “we’re a strategic in the space—we’re not backed by private equity.” He called Diebold the “nation’s only pure-play integrator,” pointing out that “we don’t have an adjacent manufacturing arm.”

Brecher talked about being “in the value position” with service and technology. “We invest time and resources to create solutions instead of packaging solutions,” he said. Diebold works to leverage a customer’s existing infrastructure, and customers have a “single method to connect to Diebold … a single customer portal … the entire web experience is easy to manage.”  
 
PROTECTION 1
Protection 1 had some big news. Click here to see the story about a big acquisition Pro 1 made. It’s a systems integrator with staff that's experienced and certified to work on networks. With the new staff/capabilities, Jamie Haenggi told me, Pro 1 will be taking on jobs it would have walked away from in the past.

STANLEY CSS
Stanley announced that John Nemerofsky is the new VP of Global Solutions, and that there's a new phalanx of vertical market leaders. There’s other news as well. Stanley is bringing together three business units: the CSS team, the Mechanical Solutions team, and the Security and Automatic Door team.

The teams would work together in the past, but it “would happen more through accident,” Nemerovsky told me. Now, there’s a “process where we’ll work together to pull together the best possible solution for the client.”

And there are specific solutions for each vertical market. This infrastructure will be appreciated by global accounts customers who “are looking for consistency in deliverables … the same deliverables, billing, systems they have in Chile [for example], that they have in New York City, Barcelona, Tokyo and Paris.”

Here’s the list of vertical market leaders: Paul Retzbach – Commercial Leader, Government; Chris Hobbs– Commercial Leader, Retail; Tom Benson – Commercial Leader, Banking; Paul Baratta–Commercial Leader, Healthcare; Rebecca Durham–Commercial Leader, K-12 Education; Eric Rittenhouse–Commercial Leader, Higher Education; Jerry Walker–Global Strategic Account and SSS Solutions; Eddie Meltzer–Global Strategic Accounts and SSS Solutions; Bob Stockwell–Technology Leader; Lance Holloway–Technology Leader; Beth Tarnoff–Marketing Leader; Ryan Fritts–Vertical eServices Leader

Look for more on this story next week.

TYCO
I also spoke with Renae Leary, senior director of global accounts for Tyco. Click here to read that story.

JOHNSON CONTROLS
I spoke to Tammee Thompson at Johnson Controls, who told me that ASIS is the show where she and others "take a break from making the quarter" (but only briefly she emphasized) to check out technology. She had an army of employees out scouring the floor “looking for the latest and greatest to pull into our technology stack.” Specifically, JCI is looking for access control solutions, VMS, PSIM and ID management solutions.

RED HAWK
I also had a chance to chat with Mike Snyder of Red Hawk. He said that the company is finishing up “moving the infrastructure [network and IT systems] out of UTC,” and officially began its rebranding as Red Hawk in the past couple of weeks.

Snyder also talked about focusing on the financial vertical market, saying that the next wave of retail banking will not be branch operations, but ATMs. He believes Red Hawk will have a leg up on the competition because his staff has deep experience in the financial sector, some originally coming from Mosler. The company also has a partnership with ATM provider NCR.

AXIS COMMUNICATIONS
At this show, Axis Communications was showing many new products and solutions, many targeted toward the fewer-than-16 channel market. (Look for a story next week about a visit I made to Axis H.Q in Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago.) When I asked Fredrik Nilsson about all the talk I was hearing about the financial vertical, he noted that Axis had an ATM with four cameras in its booth. Nilsson said that banking is a conservative vertical that is finally making the leap from analog to IP. “Education was the first, then retail, and now it’s banking’s turn.”

He agreed with Snyder’s point that the new wave of retail banking is moving from the branch to ATMs. "When was the last time you went into a bank branch?," he asked. "I refinanced my house online."

Coincidentally, Axis is also in the process of hiring a business development specialist for the financial vertical, he said.

AVIGILON
At the Avigilon press conference, the company introduced the new version of its software. Keith Maret said Avigilon took inspiration from Google, Apple and Facebook in the development of this software. The cool thing is that the software can respond to voice commands and body movements. COO Andrew Martz demoed this capability and it was like watching a command center staffer play squash on a Nintendo Wii. The command center screens zoomed and focused in response to voice commands and hand gestures. This feature is in the alpha phase. “We’re gauging the interest in it,” he said.

Maret summarized the features thus: crash-proof enterprise server management, where all servers are grouped together; a “collaborative mode” where more than one person can log into video feed and manipulate the video in real time; and intelligent virtual matrix that “allows you to turn video walls to life.”

HONEYWELL

At Honeywell, in addition to talking to the end user committee, I spoke with Scott Harkins about Honeywell’s emphasis on the “connected business," where the access, video and intrusion systems are tied into other systems such as: HR systems, radars [in super high-end port applications] POS for example. The emphasis of course, as we heard from nearly every manufacturer at the show, is on mobility. Honeywell’s newest ProWatch 4.0 access control has a new mobile offering that enables remote access from iPads,  phones and other devices. It’s also integrated with wireless locks, something Harkins is very excited about, because it’s so much cheaper to install, maintain and manage.

FOOTBALL

The traffic on Day 1 was the lightest I’ve seen in a while at an ASIS show. It picked up considerably on Day 2, but it was still moderate traffic to my eye.

Why? Well, there’s the economy of course. Things may be looking up, but one manufacturer told me that people who’ve got money in the bank are keeping it there. They’re still cutting corners on travel—making this a one- or two-day show, rather than three.

I also heard that having the show in Philly meant that tri-staters could take the train in for Day 2 and 3.

And, I understand there may have been some football-related reasons that folks weren’t here on Monday.

Football.

I can think of about 80 things I’d rather do [including laundry] than watch football on a gorgeous fall day, but if football will help roll back the expectation that people should travel to work events on Sundays, count me in.

Go Pats. Woo.
 

Protection 1 acquires IT-centric Integration Logistics

Pro 1 launches Integrated Systems Division
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09/11/2012

PHILADELPHIA—Protection 1 has added “deep IT and integrated systems knowledge” with the acquisition of Integration Logistics, a systems integrator based in Newark, Del., Jamie Haenggi, Protection 1 CMO, told Security Systems News.

Vivint exploring sale

CEO said $2 billion offer from Blackstone previously turned down
 - 
09/06/2012

PROVO, Utah—Vivint is considering a sale with final bids due later this month, according to a Reuters report. The report said the home automation/home security company could be valued at as much as $2 billion, and that among three private equity groups looking at the company is GTCR—owner of Protection 1, one of the nation’s largest security companies.

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