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SIA hire signals new focus for group

SIA will concentrate on regulatory affairs with new legislative director Jake Parker
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01/22/2014

WASHINGTON— In an appointment designed to bring about some shifts in the organization’s direction, the Security Industry Association has hired Jake Parker, a 12-year veteran of Capitol Hill, as its new government relations director, Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, told Security Systems News.

ADT: Consumer Electronics Show 'very important'

The event is productive for the security company on many fronts
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01/21/2014

LAS VEGAS—The annual Consumer Electronics Show didn’t used to loom so large on ADT’s radar. But 2014 marks the second year in a row the security giant has had a booth at CES and the company now views it an event not to be missed, according to Tony Wells, ADT SVP and chief marketing officer.

Alarm.com puts its own spin on PERS

The offering, called Wellness, leverages sensors, panic buttons and mobile notifications
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01/21/2014

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, an interactive services provider based here, unveiled an offering at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that blends traditional PERS elements with the sensors and home automation features the company has built its brand around.  

Professional smoke alarm maintenance mandated in care facilities

Ontario also passes CO legislation, was first to require sprinklers in homes
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01/20/2014

MARKHAM, Ontario—New public safety legislation will benefit Ontario residents and the fire alarm industry, according to Steve Clemens, the executive director of the Canadian Fire Alarm Association, based here.

Fike’s new president touts company’s new green solution

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01/17/2014

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo.—Fike, a global fire and life safety solutions provider based here, is starting the new year with a new president: Brad Batz.

I-View Now, Axis team up on hosted video solution

The cloud-based service brings hosted video to I-View’s central station platform
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01/17/2014

LAS VEGAS and CHELMSFORD, Mass.—The belief that video verification and hosted video are ready for broader adoption is behind a new cloud-based service created by I-View Now and Axis Communications.

Digital Life, Imperial Capital join PPVAR

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Several organizations recently joined PPVAR’s growing membership roster, but two of the new additions are particularly striking. Digital Life, a home management platform from AT&T, is now on board, according to Keith Jentoft, an industry liaison for PPVAR. This comes about seven months after Digital Life earned CSAA Five Diamond certification.

Investment bank Imperial Capital also joined the organization. This is doubtless an interesting development as well, with Imperial being the organization's first member from the private investment side. In a certain sense, an investment bank showing interest in video verified monitoring seems unsurprising, given signs of the technology's more mainstream direction, plus the technology’s ability to drive higher average revenue returns per customer. Additionally, when a private investment bank allies itself with a best-practices organization, it suggests their interest in the value proposition runs fairly deep.

The group also added The Illinois Alarm Association and the Michigan Association of Police Chiefs as members—both organizations the likes of which we've become more accustomed to seeing engage with PPVAR, an organization focused on pooling knowledge from members in both public and private sectors.

As PPVAR forges ahead toward its goal of written standards for video verification, I’ll be keen to see what kind of bearings its new members have on the organization’s direction. Will the addition of Digital Life compel other cablecos and telecoms to join? And with respect to Imperial Capital, I’m curious to see what kind of role they play in promoting PPVAR’s cause. Will their membership generate further interest in video verification from other private investment groups?

The organization is convening in the coming days, Jentoft said. After they do, I hope to get a clearer picture of where the organization is at this stage of the process.

Verint’s latest deal may impact security business, eventually

Verint to buy KANA software for $514 million
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01/14/2014

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Verint’s Jan. 6 agreement to acquire KANA software for $514 million will not directly impact Verint’s video surveillance and physical security business immediately, but there may be some integration of KANA capabilities into the Verint’s video intelligence business at some point.

Matrix Systems splits, creates Frontier and Xentry

Frontier will be manufacturing division, Xentry will be a systems integrator
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01/13/2014

MIAMISBURG, Ohio—Matrix Systems’ transformation, which began last year when Holly Tsourides took on the role of CEO, continued Jan. 6, when Tsourides announced that the company is creating two separate lines of business: Frontier, a manufacturing business and Xentry Systems Integration, a systems integrator.

Alarm.com puts its own spin on PERS

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Alarm.com’s new Wellness solution, unveiled recently at CES, may perform some of the same functions as a traditional PERS unit, but the solution has the unmistakable stamp of an Alarm.com offering.

The solution combines mobile notifications and sensors with the company’s home automation platform, a medley of functionalities that make it a unique contribution to the independent living product realm, which is fast becoming a widespread RMR-generating fixture in the industry.

That’s not to say Wellness doesn’t feature some of the typical trappings of more traditional PERS technology. The solution includes panic buttons, for instance. But how the offering differs from traditional PERS units in some ways parallels how Alarm.com initially distinguished itself as a company in the residential security space—through its automation functions. Through a network of sensors, the solution can automatically detect unusual information and send mobile notifications to caregivers.  

Since Wellness is fully integrated with the company’s home automation, energy management and security services, the offering essentially slots in as another component of the broader ecosystem of a connected home. Another neat wrinkle to the offering, and one that maybe shouldn’t be surprising given the overarching design of the solution, is that it enables caregivers to adjust household devices like thermostats remotely.

It’s hard to think of a product perfectly analogous to this elsewhere in the industry, though that doesn’t mean there’s not one, or at least something similar in scope and breadth. In the coming days, once CES is in the rearview mirror, I plan to speak to Alison Slavin, VP of product management at Alarm.com, to find out more about how this product puts a new spin on the PERS space, as well as what the future holds for the company in that market. 

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