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State of the physical access control market, part II

Market gaps and strengths, and a future look into physical access control
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10/02/2019

YARMOUTH, Maine—Security brands and companies offer varying technologies, products and services within the physical access control (PAC) market today; therefore, all security companies and professionals must work extra hard to stay relevant.

State of the access control market, part I

Current physical access control (PAC) trends shaping the security industry
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08/20/2019

YARMOUTH, Maine—The concept of access control is simple — to allow or restrict people, animals or things from gaining access to a particular space.

ACRE to acquire RS2 Technologies

CEO Joe Grillo speaks with SSN about the deal and path forward
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04/24/2019

LAS VEGAS—ACRE, a global security company, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RS2 Technologies in Munster, Ind., a deal that enhances ACRE’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its access control business and product portfolio.

ACRE to acquire Texas-based Open Options

Deal strengthens company’s access control business in North America
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12/19/2018

LAS VEGAS—ACRE, a global security services and products company, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Open Options based in Addison, Texas.

ACRE, AlertEnterprise announce strategic alliance

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09/12/2018

LAS VEGAS—ACRE, a provider of integrated technology solutions and services, announced today that ACRE, Vanderbilt and its subsidiaries, have entered into a strategic alliance with AlertEnterprise to expand and diversify technology options for customers.

ACRE COO looks at future of access control

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LAS VEGAS—Security Systems News caught up with ACRE COO Ron Virden, who this week published a great piece titled, “Electronic Access Control & The Future of Security: Is the Lock and Key Obsolete?”

Virden noted in his article that the end of the traditional lock and key may be here as wireless technologies transform “the possibilities for electronic access control.”

With Google and Amazon getting into the residential space, they are “really helping to drive that tipping point and you will see the consumer demand speed this up into the corporate space, especially the SMB market where we are already seeing this happen,” he told SSN. “But for the larger [enterprise] groups, where you still have to have the identification piece that a badge provides, the migration will take longer and I don’t know if it will ever be a 100 percent migration to mobile.”

And while wireless locks have been in existence for a long time, “next-generation products equipped with near-field communication and Bluetooth represent a quantum leap forward,” he noted in his article. “With established players such as ASSA ABLOY, Allegion and Dormakaba bringing their high-tech products to the market, wireless will rapidly become the standard means of managing access.”

He continued, “This is game-changing because it extends monitoring and control capabilities to a far wider range of access points. Today, most organizations limit digital locks and access credentials to the first line of defense—external doors. With nextgen wireless, any internal or external door can be added to the network so that traffic can be monitored and controlled throughout the building or complex. Not only does this improve the level of security and visibility, it also has the potential to provide valuable usage data that can help to reduce energy consumption, enhance safety and comfort and even provide predictive analytics that can guide space allocation or development.”

But before the industry can realize this new generation of wireless and mobile technologies, Virden said there are some challenges to overcome.

“The market is fragmented and territorial with lock manufacturers and mobile access firms focused on developing proprietary credentialing systems that protect their market share,” he explained in his piece. “However, that doesn’t serve the needs of the consumer or business market, both of which are resistant to being ‘locked’ into a specific brand of hardware or software.”

This is why, Virden told SSN, "open platform" is so important. “If you look at the intrusion business, you can go in and take over a panel and you can change who your provider is, so we have to have some way in the future for companies to not just be wed to one platform, and if you want to change who your credential provider is, you are able to do that,” he said.

Companies that focus on open platform and working well with others will benefit the most moving forward. “Focusing on hardware-agnostic software or credential-agnostic hardware will generate a bigger, more sustainable market,” he noted in his article. “Players that adopt a collaborative approach, aim for the mid-market, and look for ways to add value—whether through enhanced safety, convenience or data-driven insight—will see big opportunities in the coming years.”

For the full version of Virden’s article, click here.

ACRE announces senior leadership changes

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ACRE, a global leader in providing security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, announced today the promotion of Andrew Acquarulo Jr. to president of ACRE Americas. Ronald Virden, who was recently named ACRE COO, will also assume the role of president of ACRE International. The evolution of the company's leadership roles will allow ACRE to refocus its efforts based on geographic regions, providing greater alignment between its Vanderbilt and ComNet brands in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. 

Virden, who will assume his expanded role effective June 1, 2018, will be based in Dublin, Ireland, and take over the Vanderbilt CEO role from Joe Grillo, who will continue to serve as ACRE CEO. All of the management of Vanderbilt's international operations, as well as ComNet's UK-based operations, will fall under Virden's purview. Virden will also remain COO of ACRE.

“Joe [Grillo] has had the foresight to create a successful independent security company, and as I contribute to adding to that legacy, it's critical to ensure ACRE continues upon its growth trajectory,” Virden said in the announcement. “I'm eager to take on the additional responsibility as President of ACRE International, focusing on growing and streamlining operations across its global markets.”

As president of ACRE Americas, Acquarulo will be responsible for the strategic vision, operations and sales initiatives for both of the company's ComNet and Vanderbilt brands in the Americas under the ACRE moniker, effective April 1, 2018. Acquarulo has served as president and CEO for ComNet since 2010, leading the company's strategic vision across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. He played an instrumental role in positioning ComNet into developing more networked-based solutions and guiding it to offer a combination of fiber optic, electrical and wireless solutions to increase options for its global customer base. Acquarulo also helped transition the brand into the ACRE group in 2016.

“As the market continues to transition into one driven by emerging technologies, such as cloud services and intelligent platforms, ACRE is poised to continue its leadership role in these segments,” Acquarulo said in a prepared statement. “This evolution marks a tremendous opportunity for ACRE to extend its leadership position in the industry, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Acquarulo will oversee sales and revenue growth, and prepare the brands for new expansion opportunities. He will report directly to Grillo and Virden.

“Andy had the foresight to help shift ComNet toward the emerging trends across the security and intelligent transportation systems market long before many of the company's competitors, and Ron brings a significant amount of global executive experience to our team,” said Grillo in the announcement. “ACRE continues to look for ways to streamline operations and make continued investments in its leadership team, which will help propel our brand forward and solidify our strength in the marketplace. We are also interested in positioning the ACRE brand for future expansion that will allow additional revenue streams and the addition of key markets across the globe.”

Founded in 2012, ACRE’s Vanderbilt and ComNet brands deliver advanced solutions to thousands of customers around the world. Today, ACRE employs more than 325 employees in more than 15 countries.
 

Five Questions: Ronald Virden

 - 
03/28/2018

Ronald Virden was recently appointed COO for ACRE, a global provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets. Virden is a seasoned global executive with extensive experience with Fortune 50 organizations, including most recently at UTC. Security Systems News asked him five questions.

ACRE appoints Ron Virden as COO

 - 
02/28/2018

LAS VEGAS—ACRE, a global provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, announced the appointment of Ronald Virden as chief operating officer, effective April 1, 2018.

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