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Goldman, Beekman see value in NorthStar

The Utah summer-model company says those two new equity partners will enable it to grow faster
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05/22/2013

OREM, Utah—The fact that Goldman Sachs and The Beekman Group are NorthStar Alarm Services’ new equity partners is a “vote of confidence” in that summer sales company, according to Henry Edmonds, president of The Edmonds Group, which facilitated the transaction.

Post tornado, ASG employees tout 2GIG severe weather alert

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Yesterday afternoon I spoke to some Oklahoma-based employees of super-regional security company ASG Security. Thankfully, all employees and employee families are safe, according to Bob Ryan and Ralph Masino of ASG, but many were witnesses to the destruction that occurred May 20.

All touted ASG Connect, ASG’s interactive home security panel which it OEMs from 2GIG. ASG provides the “Severe Weather Alert”  service (powered by Alarm.com) to its Oklahoma customers free of charge, Ryan told me.

Bobby Walker, sales manager in ASG’s Oklahoma City office, lives in Moore. On Monday afternoon, he saw that the storm was bearing down and went to retrieve his son from school, which is located two miles away from the Plaza Towers Elementary School where several children died in the tornado.

“When I got there, they said they were not checking any more students out and we needed to take cover,” Walker said. “I found the room my son was in and we were told to take cover. … It was the scariest moment of my life. I was lying on top of my son and it sounded like canon balls were hitting the side of the building. Thuds, huge thuds and [sounds like] a jet engine firing up outside the building.”

The tornado passed in a matter of minutes, but when Walker and his son went outside, “it looked like a bomb dropped, houses were obliterated, every telephone pole was down. It was mass chaos,” he said.

Walker had two more children to retrieve. The road was impassable for cars and Walker’s car was totaled anyway, so he and his son walked the five miles to the school his other children attend.

There was no cell coverage and in neighborhoods along the way, “it was rubble propped up by more rubble.”

He feared the worst, but as he and his son got closer to the other school, there was less and less destruction. All of his children were fine, and his house, a few miles away was not seriously damaged.  (Walker took the photos in this blog on his iPhone during his walk home.)

Walker and Joshua Jones, ASG VP and GM Oklahoma region, both said the 2GIG Severe Weather Alert was key to alerting many residents about the tornado.

Jones said his system alerted his wife to turn on the television. “She was home, but she wasn’t watching TV,” he said. Once she saw the severity of the storm, she called Jones and told him to retrieve their children from school.

“If you live in Oklahoma and you don’t have 2GIG with Severe Weather Alert, you need to rethink it,” Walker said.

“So many storms happen in the middle of the night, you never get the warning our 2GIG panel gives us. … it saves lives just like fire protection,” Walker said.

ASG has nearly 6,000 “2GIG protected customers in Oklahoma” and more than 2,000, 2Gig/ADC systems installed in the Oklahoma City/Moore, area, all of whom received a critical server weather alert on their 2Gig system,   according to Bob Ryan.

For more tornado coverage, see “Oklahoma integrator High Tech Tronics rides out storm”, Tornado spares CSG Office in Oklahoma City, and “Experts: Schools can prepare successfully for disasters like tornadoes”

Big buy, another new region in store for ASG?

CapitalSource leads deal, brings in three new lenders
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04/03/2013

BELTSVILLE, Md.—Anticipating new acquisition opportunities, ASG Security last week closed a deal to increase its credit facility by $20 million, to $270 million.

At ASG Security, hosted video is hot

Super-regional takes inspiration from the intrusion sales model
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02/13/2013

BELTSVILLE, Md.—ASG Security is touting its hosted video offering as its “pathway out of analog.” In fact, its new ASG Video offering is taking off at such a rate that executives believe one year from now, the company’s sales force will sell only IP cameras—no analog at

ASG makes four buys, details sales-force segmentation plan

Super-regional eyes another market in 2013
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01/16/2013

BELTSVILLE, Md.—ASG Security announced two “year-end” buys in November but made four more purchases before 2012 ended.

For ASG: Another year, another territory

Super-regional enters Louisiana market for first time, buys bolt-on in Charlotte
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11/28/2012

BELTSVILLE, Md.—ASG Security likes to expand into a new territory every year, and 2012 is no different.

Change from ‘protection to connection’ driving values

But RMR, well-managed costs and low attrition remain ‘key metrics’ for success, a panel at ESX says
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07/03/2012

NASHVILLE—Connected services are changing the industry and creating new business opportunities but are also posing some challenges, such as enticing telecom and cableco players into the market, a panel of industry experts said at the Electronic Security Expo here last week.

Talking mobile apps and new entrants at ESX

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New entrants into the security industry and mobile apps where major topics of interest at the ESX show in Nashville, Tennessee where Tess, Rich and I spent the last week.

I moderated three panel discussions on three different topics on Tuesday, but both of these topics came up in all three. And they came up in many other educational sessions last week,

I moderated a panel called “Technology Trends Impacting your Business,” with Wells Sampson from American Alarm, David Carter of SNA, and Lou Fiore of AICC.

Much of the discussion centered around mobile apps. Both Carter and Sampson are proponents of offering mobile apps “at every sale.”

The new cableco and telecom entrants, and many traditional security companies, are going to be doing this, they said. You ignore this trend at your peril, they agreed.

However, it’s much easier said than done. To get his sales force on board with this initiative, Sampson took several steps. There was the educational piece, which is ongoing, but he has a staff member calling every customer to ensure that mobile apps are offered at every sale.

In addition, all of his sales people are equipped with an iPad, so that they can easily demonstrate how the apps work.

A person from the audience said that his sales people have this technology at home, and it’s made them better ambassadors for these services.

Several people questioned what the adoption rate is for mobile apps, and Sampson said the projections are admittedly low. He is not concerned with that at this point. He just wants to ensure that these services are being offered, so customers know they’re available.

I have heard figures during ADT investment calls that their new interactive services PULSE offering has an adoption rate north of 25 percent. 

And during a different panel discussion I moderated at ESX “The New Competitive Landscape: Telcos, Cable Companies and Beyond” one of the panelists, Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG shared an interesting metric.

At ASG, from May 12, 2011 to May 11, 2012, 56 percent of new residential sales opted for “enhanced services.”

Of course, we’re talking about resi and small business sales here, but this trend is applicable to larger commercial and enterprise systems as well.

American Alarm and other SNA companies, and ASG both do a lot of large commercial/government systems, and those customers want mobile apps, Sampson, Carter and Nuccio said.

At the PSA-TEC conference in May, Jim Henry of Henry Brothers/Kratos held up his mobile phone and said: “We’re going to see more changes in the next 18 months in this industry than we’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

ASG ups credit facility to $250m

CapitalSource leads deal; Super-regional expects to make eight to 10 acquisitions in 2012
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04/25/2012

BELTSVILLE, Md.—ASG Security now has a quarter of a billion dollars on hand, thanks to a recent $20 million extension of its previous $230 million credit facility, the company announced April 25.

Talking about new entrants in Dallas

 - 
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I’m in Dallas at the ESA Leadership Conference and ESI Forum.

If you’re at the event, check out the educational session I’m moderating today. It’s called "What the Arrival of New Industry Entrants Means for your Business"

The panelists are Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG Security, and John Loud, president of Loud Security. We’ll be talking about  the cable and telco companies that are playing in security now.

There are seven at last count, and they’re not all taking the same approach. We’re going to take a look at who the new entrants are, analyze their offerings and approach, and talk about what traditional security companies should keep in mind as the competitive landscape shifts.

The session begins at 1:45 today. See you there.

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