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Donated fire system plays critical role in fire tech training

Silent Knight and Delaware life safety company team up to ensure technical college has latest real-world fire equipment
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08/25/2014

DOVER, Del.—The recent donation of a Farenhyt fire alarm and ECS system and the free installation that local company Advantech provided to Delaware Technical Community College’s Fire Protection Engineering Technology program benefits not only the college but also the industry, according to Advantech.

Security-Net update with Jim Coleman

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Members of Security-Net, a group of 20 independent integrators that work together as a single national integrator, is having business meetings and doing some celebrating (its 20th anniversary bash is tonight) here in Chicago during the ASIS show.

On Monday, I spoke to Jim Coleman, president of Operational Security Systems, and newly elected president of Security-Net for 2014 and 2015. Other new officers include Skip Sampson, VP, Koorsen Security Technology, Steve Morefield, founder, Firstline Security, and Mike Painter of Alpha Corporation.

Coleman took some time out from training sessions that were taking place for the integrator’s SalesNet and TechNet groups. SalesNet and TechNet are networks of sales people and technicians from the different companies. The groups’ members communicate frequently and meet in person several times a year.

Coleman said the SalesNet group had a four-hour training session. “We brought in an expert to walk through the module and talk about sales leadership—how to be a sales leader in your organization,” he said. The TechNet group was in a meeting about “how you use technology internally in your organizations, how the same databases and networks that we use in the systems we install [should be used] to make your company more efficient and productive … to keep up with change in your company.”

Both groups were also spending time with Security-Net vendors working on product training. And speaking of manufacturers, Coleman said that Security-Net has negotiated an agreement with Honeywell, where “our members are going to become qualified to install and service Honeywell video and access control systems for national accounts that we would execute.” I asked him if the group would be attending Honeywell Connect, a conference in November that will for the first time bring together dealers from Honeywell’s three dealer groups, FAP, HIS and CSS. He said that Security-Net will have a large presence there. I’m going this year as well.

Asked what initiatives Security-Net is working on, Coleman said it plans to make further investment in its national accounts software platform that the group uses to share documents and other information among the different companies. Specifically, the group is working on some mobile apps for salespeople for when they do surveys, for installation people to report progress on what got accomplished, any issues in the field,” he said. The apps will be used by individual Security-Net companies internally and in concert with other companies when they work on the same national account, he said.

I’m off to the McCormick Center now for a day on the show floor. Looks like a beautiful day in Chicago from my hotel room. It took me all day to get here from Maine yesterday, but I did get to sneak in a run along the lake in the early evening. I'm looking forward to me meetings today, but I'm hoping to get out on that running path asap after the showfloor closes.

Security-Net focuses on high-level certification

National integrator has $375 million in revenue
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06/17/2013

LAS VEGAS—Security-Net, a national integrator made up of 20 independent integrators, believes the need for high-level certification for its employees “has never been greater,” Bill Savage told Security Systems News.

Advantech joins Security-Net

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06/10/2013

EXTON, Pa.—Security-Net, a provider of security integration services, today announced that Advantech, a Dover, Del.-based integrator, has joined the national integrator, according to a company statement. Advantech is the provider’s 20th member.

ISC West 2013: Day 1 & 2

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Lots of people on the show floor on Wednesday! 29,900 square feet of exhibit space and 1003 booths, is what I heard.
Wednesday started for me with the Axis Press Breakfast, where the network camera company introduced three new cameras and an upgraded Axis Camera Companion. In 2012, there were 60,000 downloads of the software, according to Axis’ Fredrik Nilsson.

The cameras of the future will be customized for customers with apps, the same way we currently customize our smartphones, Nilsson said. With that in mind, Axis also announced a partnership with the Wentworth Institute of Technology, a college in Boston, where students will design apps for cameras. One professor, Charles Hotchkiss, and two students, Joshua Ramirez and Nicholas Gelfman,  attended the breakfast and the two students talked about the apps they’ve already developed.

Gelfman is working on a 3D multi-tracking app that is intended to alert operators if someone is trying tamper with a camera. The app determines where an approaching person or object is distance-wise from the camera and sends an alert if it gets too close. Gelfman put it in simple terms for me: “Cameras see in 2D, this app basically allows it to see in 3D.”

Ramirez is a sophomore computer information systems major from Hanover, N.H., who is the station manager of Wentworth’s radio station WIRE. 
“I had a selfish reason for developing the app” he said. Students who work in the radio station are supposed to sign in and out when they come to work at the station, but they often don't do that, he explained. So Ramirez developed an app that automatically records the time that a student comes into or leaves the station, and it sends Ramirez an email alert under certain conditions.

He named the app Alibi. It "tracks students and if they log in, [the app] is their alibi to say that they were [at the station]," he said.

“It’s still a work in progress. I’ve spend six weeks on it but it was during exams and finals,” Ramirez said.   

Nilsson said that Axis didn’t give the students any ideas about kinds of apps to develop. They approach the project with no preconceived notion of what kinds of apps to develop. Axis has been amazed with the results, he said.

After the Axis breakfast, I did a video interview with Renae Leary and Matthias Ernst of Tyco Global Accounts were I got an update on how Tyco's global enterprise customers are standardizing their security systems across in offices spanning the globe.

At a press conference Bosch launched 110, count ‘em, 110 new video products and previewed its ‘4K Ultra HD’ camera. It also announced its integration partner program and is showing integration with 5 VMS providers in its booth.

Next, I interviewed Mark VanDover of Tyco IS for ssnTVnews. He talked about the progress the integration giant has made as a standalone entity over the past year and a half.

More mobile news: Jay Hauhn, Tyco IS Chief Technology Officer, also did an interview for ssnTVnews. We talked about Tyco’s launch of  MSM, Tyco’s Mobile Security Manager.

Next up was an interview with Tony Byerly, Felix Gonzales and Jeremy Brecher of Diebold, where I got to see a demo of their very cool “SecureStat” enterprise security platform. I heard about it at ASIS and saw if for the first time at the show. Here’s a YouTube video about the platform.

At a NICE press conference, Tony Ruiz, City of San Diego, talks about implementing NICE's Situator, to manage protection for its critical infrastructure, and for the city too. The implementation is new, but Ruiz said it's already saving training time and money for the city and taxpayers.

Back on the show floor, I met with Bryan Schmode, EVP of Global Sales at Avigilon. We talked about Avigilon’s the Adaptive IR in its new bullet camera, and the company's new Dallas headquarters.

Also had a chance to swing by Next Level Security Systems and talk to Bill Jacobs. I got to see some of the stuff I spoke to Bill and Jumbi Edulbehram about in this story.

Next I had a chance to visit with Stan Oppenheim and Dan Oppenheim at Affiliated Monitoring. Looking forward to seeing their new monitoring station the next time I get to NYC.

And, I wrapped up Day 1 after catching up with Will Schmidt and other CapitalSource folks.

THURSDAY, April 11

Is Thursday Day 2 or Day 3 of the show? Officially, it’s Day 2, but with so many events scheduled for Tuesday, it really is Day 3 for most of us.

Whichever day it was,  it kicked off brilliantly with the fourth annual Security 5K!

We had a different course this time. Rather than starting near the Fashion Show Mall, the 2013 start line was a half-mile jog or bus ride away from the Sands in an office park of sorts. The course was a completely flat out-and-back labyrinth of switchbacks. Best course yet in my opinion. It wasn’t exactly bucolic, but the office park was considerably greener and cleaner than past year’s courses, and it was fun to watch the crowd of runners ahead of you snaking back and forth around the park. And because of the switchbacks, the finish line appeared closer than it really was.

More than 400 finished the 5K and there was a big crowd for the 2K as well.

Most important, we raised more than $90,000. Mike Perkins of Anixter raised more than $7,000 with his company match. Jesse and Nicole Foglio raised $2,350, and Bob McKee raised $1,685.

Mission 500’s George Fletcher said that 650 people registered for the race. If each person raised $100, we would raise $65,000 before any extra fundraising efforts—something to think about for 2014.

Back on the show floor on Thursday morning I did an ssnTVnews interview with John Mack, managing director and head of M&A for Imperial Capital. We were talking about the availability of financing and the flow of PE money into the industry. Here’s an interesting statistic: More than half of the top 20 alarm companies are now owned or have majority ownership by private equity firms. Five years ago “it was just a handful,” he said.
It’s a great time for alarm company owners and integrators to refi their debt or make acquisitions, Mack added.

I stopped by the Stanley booth on my way to Denis Hebert’s HID Global Strategy Briefing, which was packed, as usual. Hebert gave a great presentation. His focus this year was on the opportunities and potential pitfalls the security industry needs to be aware of as access control goes mobile. The move to mobile will “redefine credential use and management” he said. As a result, “best practices” for end users and integrators will become more important than ever. Privacy is an increasingly crucial element for all stakeholders to consider, he added.

Next I met with George Farley at Observint Technologies. Owned by The Carlyle Group, Observint was formed in 2006 with the goal of acquiring security-focused companies. Observint acquired Supercircuits in 2006. It subsequently bought Security Cameras Direct, DIGIOP and SC Technologies. Last summer it helping LG Electronics relaunch its security products in the United States, and this past November it acquired access control provider infinias. Farley said the last six months have been “all foundational work for us. … [building] a comprehensive sale and support solution.” That was Phase 1, he said. Observint is in Phase 2 now, he said, which is centered on its distribution partnership. Digiop and Infinias had distinct partners before the acquisition, and Observint is finalizing relationships with a variety of distributors, Farley said. The next phase will focus on the dealer, “building a robust and differentiated program … that will include demand generation support and sales support.”

At Milestone, I spoke with Courtney Dillon Peterson, about the company’s new Arcus product  “It’s a super-streamlined VMS that’s only for our technical partners to embed, not Milestone.” Partners embedding the solution, and present at the booth were Veracity, which is offering “Coldstore Arcus” for enterprise customers; Lenovo EMC (formerly Iomega), which is offering two different versions of what it’s calling LenovoEMC NVR; and, Razberri, which is offering its “Netswitch” appliance. “They each target a different audience and each offer a different form of VMS,” Peterson said.

The bottom line differentiation for this product? That it’s multi-platform, Peterson said. “It runs on Linux, MacOS and Windows. Others are Windows-based.” The product is “versatile … [and will enable partners to sell a] preconfigured, pre-installed, simplified VMS,” she said.

Samsung is in the midst of a “massive hiring campaign,” Frank DeFina told me during our meeting. Samsung was talking about its new 6000 Series line of cameras driven off its “core WiseNet II chip.” The full line of cameras are “available in every skin. … are 2.4 megapixel, with full 1080p. The clarity is second-to-none,” Samsung marketing director Janet Fenner said. Among the analytics available in this line is a “defogging” analytics, which gets rid of smoke or fog.

Back at our booth, I interviewed Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, and SSN’s own group publisher Tim Purpura. We spoke about two collaborative efforts SIA and SSN are working on—the distribution of SIA’s “Fiscal Year Informer,” a quarterly insert available through SSN with information about government grants; and, a webcast series on security technologies, moderated by me, and featuring a variety of speakers. The next webcast is scheduled for April 24. Here’s a link to that.

I did two other video interviews. One with Matthew Ladd, president and CEO of The Protection Bureau. We talked about how The Protection Bureau is saving money by sharing certain operational metrics with employees.

The other interview was will Bill Savage, CEO of Security Control Systems in Houston, and one of Security-Net's original founders. Security-Net, a group of independent integrators that functions as a national integrator, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. We talked about how the group has grown  from 5 to 20 integrators and the efforts it makes to ensure its employees are up to date on technology.

Next, I spoke to Pierre Racz, CEO of Genetec about the company’s new cloud-based video surveillance as a service solution for small and medium sized businesses. This offering takes Genetec “out of its comfort zone … into the realm of small camera-count  jobs, the 6-14 camera jobs [that represent a huge growth opportunity] for integrators and installers,” Racz said.

Thursday ended with the Security 5K reception. Mike Keegan of Magnasphere, who was honored for his community service efforts, gave a simple and compelling argument for getting involved with causes like Mission 500, the beneficiary of the Security 5k. “The ripple effect [of these efforts] is incredible,” Keegan said.

 

Engineering focus is first at Firstline

Rapidly growing integrator is now female-owned
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03/20/2013

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Steve Morefield, founder of systems integration firm Firstline, says his company is an “engineering-driven company, not a sales-driven company.”

Security-Net introduces certification course

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03/05/2013

EXTON, Pa.—Security-Net, an integrator based in here, is providing a project management course that allows two employees from each Security-Net member company to participate in an online training course, according to a company statement.

Security-Net: Making national accounts work for everyone

Both the project and the labor are turnkey to preserve profits for all
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07/18/2012

EXTON, Pa.—In existence for nearly 20 years, Security-Net is a $388 million national integration company made up of 19 independent integrators. Nineteen independent companies working together makes for a formidable national accounts provider, executives from member companies tell Security Systems News.

Liguori ready to take helm at Security-Net

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Security-Net, a group of independent integrators that work together as a “global provider of integration services”, formally announced that Joe Liguori will take over the role of president of Security-Net’s board of directors in January.

Ligouri , who is also EVP of Access Control Technologies, in Clinton, N.J., will serve a two-year term and takes over for outgoing president Tom Asp. Asp is also president and CEO of  VTI Security in Burnsville, Minn.

I spoke to Joe Ligouri just before ISC West last March.

During that interview, he told me about how Security-Net’s companies had been working on a plan to take on national accounts, and about their efforts to coordinate from a sales, technical and fulfillment perspective.

The group, which acts as a single national integrator, has obtained national account status with some major vendors.

It has also created internal working groups called “Tech-Net” and “Sales-Net” that align technical and sales know-how.

Tech-Net is made up of head engineers and integration specialists from each company, and “regularly shares design solutions, troubleshooting tips, and technology updates,” Liguori told me during that interview.  Sales-Net includes senior security consultants and integration specialists from each company, who are aligned to develop national sales.

Security-Net has been in existence since 1992, but Ligouri told me the initial impetus behind the national sales effort was a request,  a couple years ago, from a  customer to do a multi-million dollar project. Ligouri and five other Security-Net companies were working on that project as of last March.

It sounds like a smart organization to me—I’ll be interested to see what kinds of traction they’ll get on national accounts as this effort matures.

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