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ISC West 2015

UL talks about cybersecurity in UL827

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

When I asked UL’s engineering manager, Steve Schmit, how the ISC West show was going, he said he spent a fair bit of the show discussing the recent updates to UL827, now including requirements for cybersecurity.

“Now with [cybersecurity] in the standard, we’re going to have conversations about [central station’s] network security, how they keep their customers safe,” Schmit told Security Systems News. Cybersecurity is something previous standards hadn’t formally  required, he said.

These cybersecurity measures include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, “risk assessment, developing a mitigation plan, to deal with those risks, and putting that all into practical application,” Schmit said.

UL spent five years developing the latest standard, released in October, Schmit said. It currently has a future effective date of late 2016.

Cybersecurity is a topic that is coming up more in the physical security industry. SSN readers earlier this year pointed toward this trend. CSAA’s annual meeting will even start with a keynote on the subject

Is now the time cybersecurity will start concerning central stations? Has it always been a priority?

I’ve heard from some in the industry that this could really impact monitoring centers looking to get—or—keep UL certification. If you have any insight or opinion on the changes, reach out to me and let me know. My direct line is 207-846-0600 ext. 254, email: sives@securitysystemsnews.com.

BeON seeks to secure those who don’t want traditional tech

‘Preventative’ LED light system designed to win over resistant homeowners
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04/27/2015

LAS VEGAS—A startup has set its sights—or rather, its lights—on a market that has been elusive for decades. BeON is targeting homeowners who have no intention of investing in home security systems.

The Great ISC West 2015 Roundup

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04/22/2015

LAS VEGAS—ISC West expected that the 2015 show would be the second biggest ever, and although no official attendance figure has been released yet, that certainly appeared to be the case. The expansive show floor was packed with exhibitors and attendees and busy even during the dwindling hours of the show Friday morning. SIA reported that attendance at its education sessions was up 18 percent over last year, up a whopping 91 percent since SIA assumed responsibility for the education program in 2010.

ISC West 2015—The daily monitoring report

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Friday, Day 3

The last day, like the first, started off with a great meeting at the media stage. This time I met George De Marco, ESX chair, and talked about how the different ways booths look to bring in visitors, everything from booth design to attractions. 

Then I headed into the show floor for a meeting with Cliff Dice, company president and CEO, and Carol Enman, Dice SVP for strategic business. We talked a lot about the reception of Dice's cloud-hosted central monitoring software platform, now UL certified. "I actually thought there would be more resistance to it when we came out with it," Dice said, pleased with the positive reactions he's heard at the show.

Just after noon, outside the show floor, I did a video interview with Darryl Bray, sales manager for Security Central. We talked about the company's upcoming CSAA Five Diamond certification and increasing sales efforts.

I then went back in to the show to visit EMERgency 24's booth to hear about the partnership with BluePoint. I met with Patrick Devereaux, SVP of EMERgency 24; John Shales, partner at BluePoint; John McNutt, partner and CEO at BluePoint; and Terri Douglas, co-founder and principal at Catapult public relations firm.

My final meeting of this year's ISC West was with Larry Folsom, president of I-View Now, who told me about the company's latest integration with Honeywell's Total Connect.

I thought it was a great show. I look forward to hearing more from the people I met with, and seeing them at future shows.

Thursday, Day 2

Helping out at the Security 5k in Sunset Park was certainly not a bad way to start the day. It was sunny, with very little wind—all around a great day to get out for fresh air and a walk or run. On the ride back, I met Kevin G. Clark, global communications & PR for Genetec who was kind enough to point out some of Las Vegas' notable buildings along the strip for this new-comer.

One of the things I liked hearing from central stations at this show is what makes each of them stand out. My first show floor meeting of the day was with Acadian Monitoring Services, where I met with Jason Caldwell, national sales representative, Tim Newman, business development, and Kristin Hebert, security operations manager. "Where we really differentiate [ourselves] is our special focus on video monitoring and medical monitoring," Caldwell told me. The company also operates the second largest AES network in the country, according to Caldwell, which has seen a bit of growth lately. "We're seeing a lot of growth on that network now," with upwards of a thousand customer radios added recently, he said.

From there I went over to IDIS, one of the top 10 biggest booths at the show this year, to hear about what the company was doing with all the space. Right away, I met Benjamin Bryant, IDIS public relations consultant and Tara Farley, IDIS marketing and PR consultant. While at the booth, I was able to talk with a couple of people from 4sight imaging, one of IDIS' partners. Brook Jackson, managing director for 4Sight, and Marcus Boden, business development director,  talked with me about 4Sight's license plate recognition and gave me a demo. I also met with Young-Dal Kim, company CEO. 

Jens Kolind is the VP of external partnerships at Innovative Business Software. We spoke a couple of months back about SBN Cloud, the first UL-listed cloud-hosted monitoring automation platform. It was great to meet him and amazing to see what a UL central station could look like with SBN Cloud, below.

I met Kevin Helmig, president and CTO for Centra-Larm, and Scott Mailhot, VP of operations, not too long ago, but it was good to see them again and their first ISC West booth.

I circled back to the IDIS booth a little later, to talk with Keith Drummond, senior director of sales for IDIS America. He told that this event really signals the company's entrance to the American market, a key step in becoming a global company. While this regional launch was preceded by two others, UK and Middle East launches, the American extension of IDIS was planned before the first step outside of the company's native Asia region. Launching in America was a very strategic process, according to Drummond. "The one thing I'm letting people know is that we are here to stay." I got a chance to meet IDIS America president Andrew Myung on this second trip to the booth.

I briefly met Brett Springall, Security Central's CEO, at the media booth. He mentioned that the company has been increasing its sales team lately.

After that, I met with a.p.i. Monitoring's Lewis Jacobson, the company's director of dealer sales. He told me that a big thing for the company at this show is the release of their partnership with Numera's mPERS.

Monitronics' Bruce Mungiguerra, the VP of operations, told me that the company is moving to a new facility, 165,000 square feet large. This will be the consolidation of three different Monitronics buildings in the Dallas area under one roof. The new building will be three stories, which makes more sense for a central station than the current building's six floors. The new building is on a lake, with walking trails in the surrounding area, and two gym facilities. This will create "a campus environment that our employees can be proud of," he said.

One of the biggest things I heard about when talking with COPS Monitoring, is that the company is expanding in both staff and technology. In terms of staff, it is adding 30 dispatcher stations at its Florida center, with similar expansions planned for COPS' Tennessee and Arizona facilities, Jim McMullen, president and COO said. In technology, the company is upgrading its capacity to be able to handle as many as 3.4 million accounts. 

"We've been talking a lot about the econtract app" at the show, Michael Zydor, Affiliated Monitoring's managing director, said. Apps were the big thing this year, with a new end-user app, which takes functions from the company's previous end-user app and puts it into a newly made format, made much "simpler," according to Zydor.

Next, I met with Steven Schmit at UL to talk about new standards under the new version of UL827, published last Fall. Central stations will now need more redundancy and capablities and cybersecurity measures. This is the first time Cybersecurity has been directly involved in requirements, Schmit said. "Now with that in the standard we're going to have conversations about [central stations'] network security, how they keep their customers' data secure." The current plan is for these standards to be required by late 2016. I also met with Neil Lakomiak, director of business development and innovation, at the UL booth. Lakomiak and I talked about some of the other technologies that could see standards with UL, such as mPERS.

My final floor meeting was guided by Tiffany Coles, marketing manager for Bold Technologies. I started by talking with her and Chuck Speck, company president about the next version of its Manitou platform, Neo. From there, Tiffany and I walked over to White Rabbit's booth, where I met Rod Coles, White Rabbit's CEO, as well as Toby Prescott, White Rabbit's product engineer, and saw a demonstration of their products which are designed to lead DIY and home automation back to the central station.

After leaving the show floor, I attended Dynamark's party, held in the renaissance suite in the venetian—quite a view from the 36th floor. There, I met Trey Alter, president and CEO, and Hank Groff, senior VP of marketing and business development.

My final event for the day was to have dinner with Galaxy Control Systems at Carnevino in the Palazzo. It was nice to meet Rick Caruthers, company VP, and Luke Krawec, account executive with LRG Markerting. 

 

Wednesday, Day 1

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, this is my first ISC West show. Day 1 of the show went pretty well, from start to finish, I thought. I got the chance to finally meet some people in person whom I've talked to via phone about multiple times, like Christopher Denniston of Rapid Response and David Smith of COPS.

My day started with the "Meet the Editors" event at the media stage outside the show floor. Here I briefly met Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS Monitoring. I also met two members of the CheckVideo team: Nik Gagvani, president and GM, and Ed Troha, director of marketing.

My first meeting on the show floor was with Christopher Denniston and Dan Gelinas of Rapid Response. Unlike every other person listed in this day's blog entry, Gelinas is one person I had met before, at Security Systems News' office in Yarmouth, Maine. I had a question on my mind for a couple of months; what is Rapid Response referring to in he company's ad which states that on "everything changes" on 4.15.15, today. When I met with Christopher Denniston, he told me that it referred to the company's new mobile apps for monitoring one or multiple PERS, updates on existing dealer and customer apps, as well as the increased redundancy in the company's relatively new California facility. The facility will be able to handle the company's entire account load at one time, he said.

All American's patriotic booth was the site of my second visit. The company decided to use ISC West 2015 to launch its My View brand of cameras specifically for its dealers. Bob Keefe, the company's president, told me that the company has spent a while testing the cameras. "We've been testing it with our sister company (EMG Alarm, a Florida-based installer), making sure the product was as good as we hoped it would be before we sold it to our dealers," Keefe said. I also met with Rob Keefe, company VP, and Tammy Zappa. Zappa said Bob Keefe is "constantly" looking for new items to offer dealers.

MKS's booth really represented part of its 30th anniversary changes, with the whole staff dressed in the company's new color scheme of orange and grey. I met with Bailey Bhogal, MKS' marketing specialist, Joe Ligouri, the CFO and COO, and Victoria Ferro, president. The company was recently awarded at the show. Ferro was named one of the 10 WSC Women of the Year on Tuesday. 

My last show floor meeting was with Alarm Monitoring Service, where I got the chance to meet Rick Jolet and Dera De Roche, the co-owners, as well as Bob Gates the company's VP of sales. Jolet is also the CEO, and Dera is the CFO. They talked to me about a few of the things that make their monitoring center unique. One thing that Dera pointed out was that the company has an answering service for its customers.

My evening was quite busy. After leaving the show floor, I went to Affiliated's cocktail reception in the lovely Lavo, in the Palazzo. Here I got a chance to meet Daniel Oppenheim, the company's vice president, Michael Zydor, the managing director, and Stanley Oppenheim, president of DGA Security.

From there, I went to the Bellagio's Hyde lounge for National Monitoring Center's annual event. I met with Michael Schubert, the president, Woodie Andrawos, the executive vice president, and Sharon Elder, NMC's vice president of sales. During my time at the event, I was lucky enough to catch the Bellagio's fountain show.

My final event for the evening, and Day 1, was COPS Monitoring's third annual "bonanza" at Gilley's in Treasure Island. Amidst good food, live music, and a bull-riding competition, I met Donavan Maden, the company's executive vice president, and David Smith, COPS' director of marketing.

Now I'm preparing for tomorrow's Security 5k!

 

Tuesday, before the show

After landing, my first meeting of the week was with Mike Bodnar, president of Security Partners, at the new facility—the next installment of On Location: Central Station. The station is brand new, having officially opened on Monday. There was certainly a "new" look to it, especially with slideshows of photos taken before and after the renovations. It was really interesting to hear from Bob Schott, Security Partners' director of information technologies, about items carried over from the buildings previous use as a government data center. I also met John McCann, who talked with me about the new line of exclusive Mace-brand products that Security Partners' dealers will be offering, among which is a diesel tank monitor. 

From there I attended Altronix's dinner, held at the DB Brasserie in the Venetian. Alan Forman, Altronix president, presented on the latest products from the company, including technology to monitor power supply. I also enjoyed meeting and talking to Kirby Han, Altronix Art Director and Rodney Thayer, a consultant with Smithee, Spelvin, Agnew & Splinge.

Prior to leaving

I'll be updating this page every day this week to stay current on my adventures at this year's ISC West. This is my first security trade show, and I'm looking forward to it. To hear about the future plans of central stations and monitoring companies, be sure to check back in!

ISC West 2015—My Day-by-Day Doings

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Wrapping it up at ISC West 2015/Friday/Show Day 3

I put in a phone call to Jake Parker, SIA’s director of government relations, about every other month. Jake gives me the rundown on activities on Capitol Hill that have direct impacts on the physical security industry. I then report on those impacts for Security Systems News. Jake is an invaluable source for SSN, but I’ve never had the chance to meet him face-to face until now. We finally sat down together at ISC West and had a friendly conversation along with discussing a few security topics thrown in for good measure. Thanks for making the time, Jake!

I met with three execs from BeOn, CEO Alexei Erchak, COO Arvind Baliga and VP of marketing Mark Komanecky. I was so intrigued by their new “preventative security” technology that our meeting extended beyond the designated 30 minutes. The technology targets the “impulsive burglar.” BeOn’s unique lightbulbs, which fit into regular, existing sockets, “learn” homeowners typical movements—on a daily basis, when do they turn on, for example, the front porch light, the master bedroom light, the living room light?  After the learning process, the bulbs turn on to naturally make it look like someone’s at home when the house is empty. The bulbs also have a microphone function that will respond to the home’s doorbell and will progressively turn on lights as the owner would if he or she were upstairs and had to make their way downstairs to answer the door. Eventually, The microphone function can also trigger the sound of a dog barking, music playing and more.  A Kickstart company, BeOn’s focus is on reaching security-conscious homeowners who, nevertheless, have no desire to install a full-fledged home security system. Check back with SSN for more info on this interesting new company …

Things were still going strong when I took a final stroll around the show floor. For a Friday, the third day of the show, it was bustling. I hope you all had a good show, I know I did.

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'Thursday/Show Day 2

My workday started out by volunteering at the Mission 500 5K/2K run/walk and ended at the Mission 500 awards ceremony, always so inspirational. Congratulations to the fundraisers and race winners. Security Systems News is proud to be a sponsor of this annual, important charitable event that aids children in need.

I did three video interviews today, first with experienced industry pro Joel "Disruptive" Matlin, whose new resi company, Think Protection, is right on track to be up and running in June. Next up was Don Moore of Moore Protection, or, as I like to call him, resi provider to the stars. He serves high-end clients in the Los Angeles area, from movie studio bigwigs to celebrities to other million- and billionaires.My third video interview was with Margaret Spitznas, general manager of family-owned Washington Alarm, based in Seattle. Each of my video interviewees had unique perspectives on the industry. Stay tuned to the Security Systems News website to watch the videos. You’ll learn a lot.

During a visit to Alarm.com, Anne Ferguson, senior director, partner marketing, and Matthew Zartman, director of communications, told me about the company’s multi-faceted Partner Resources program, available to their 5,000 dealers. They also discussed the impact of home automation on their company. In previous years, dealers who had been in the business for a long time—those with physical security at their core—were hesitant to embrace the smart home, Ferguson said. But now, much to their benefit, they get it, she said. They know that if they don’t take home automation “to heart,” someone else will be installing those services to their customers over the next three years. Alarm.com dealers are hungry for training, which Alarm.com is happy to provide, she said. At the same time, Alarm.com is paying close attention to expanding beyond the home. For example, through their "wellness" offerings, they can connect a customer with an elderly parent’s residence. The customer would be able to see if your aging-in-place mother opened her medicine cabinet by a specified time and would get an alert if she didn’t, which might signify she didn’t take her medication on time as prescribed. Home automation has transformed the security industry, Ferguson and Zartman said, and the industry is in a great position to prosper.

Two years ago, Doug Farber, chief of security for the new World Trade Center complex, was one of our “20 under 30” winners. I spoke to him by phone a number of times, but due to work commitments—the construction project and its security implications were HUGE— he was unable to make it to that year’s TechSec conference to receive his award. A former Secret Service agent, Farber had impressed me with his passion for his job and his patriotism. Finally, finally, I got to meet him in person today. We talked about his challenges at such an emotion-ridden site—and we talked about his 9-month-old daughter! Doug is a great guy, a true patriot and professional, and I’m so glad we finally met up. Here’s to you, Doug! Keep doing what you’re doing so well!

At Genetec, I met with Andrew Elvish, VP marketing and product management, and Georges Karam, the new chief commercial officer. Genetec has so much going on. The company is growing, it’s introducing new products and is preparing to expand into market sectors it hasn’t broached before. Its Security Center upgrades and Cloud Link are on the cutting edge.

I did a spin around the show floor a couple of times during the day and was happy to see crowded booths and enthusiastic attendees, and this was even before the happy hours broke out! I’m interested to see the attendance data for ISC West 2015. Anecdotally, it’s been a very strong show.

I have a morning’s worth of appointments tomorrow, so stay tuned.

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Wednesday/Show Day 1

Home automation, device aesthetics, intuitiveness and ease of installation were recurring themes of the day as I made my way around the jam-packed show floor.

At Honeywell, Richard Conner, director of marketing for the SED Channel talked about the wireless trend for fire alarm systems. Requests for voice notification also have gone up, he said, along with making sure the devices look good. I also got demos of Honeywell’s Lyric and MAXPRO Cloud. Honeywell had a new booth design this year, with all of its products on interactive display in one big area, kind of like an Apple store. It looked great and was effective.

At the Nortek booth, Larry North, director of marketing, talked about the integration of 2Gig, GoControl and Linear products and how Nortek’s name change to Nortek Security & Control was a way to bring about cohesiveness and a closer relationship between the companies. Expect bundled, full-service sets from them in the near future along with PERS innovations down the road. Nortek’s booth had a new look this year, too, with all sister companies in one place. It also featured “A Day in the Life of Home Control.”

At the Z-Wave Alliance Pavilion, with nine member companies displaying their wares, alliance board member Avi Rosenthal also discussed home control. The ultimate goal is to have not just a connected home, but a true “smart home” that thinks for itself, he said. This is the year of industrial design, he said, with the focus on slick, European-style designs. “It’s the 'wife-acceptance' factor. She’s the one who decorates, so the devices must look cool on the wall,” he said. Form and functionality matter for all products, from sensors to switches to control panels.

Jim Vogel, VP of dealer services for ADT, said he’s excited by the company’s growth opportunities. He’s optimistic that the uptick in the housing market will mean more business for his company. (And its ad campaign featuring Ving Rhames hasn’t hurt a bit, either.) Pulse has taken off, he said, with 1.1 million ADT customers out of a total of 7.2 million using it. Meanwhile, ADT is “future-proofing” the Internet of Things, he said.

At OnGuard, product manager Brian Tripp had interesting info about intelligent elevators. In a high-rise apartment building, for example, a resident would swipe his access card, which would then identify which floor he needs to go to. The display would tell him which elevator car to take to make his ride up more efficient. That’s a win-win for both the user and for the building owner, who can cut costs by decreasing the time elevators are running up and down haphazardly. The user’s swipe also could alert his home automation system that the lights need to be turned on, thermostat needs to go up, etc.

I’d written about Icontrol’s new Icontrol One, designed for independent dealers, before, but I got to see it in action on Wednesday. Greg Roberts, VP of marketing, pointed out the usefulness of Icontrol One’s web portal, which allows the user to set up and revise the system, see alerts and easily find and watch video clips. “It’s a one-step stop for security for the entire home. The end user uses the web portal to do all,” he said. The portal, which is automatically updated so therefore doesn’t need to be refreshed, also offers the user a “home view” feature using the layout of his own home that shows the location of all the devices in the house and let’s the user monitor them from there. That feature also is available in 3-D. “Visual” people like that feature, he said. The system is intuitive, easy to install and, yes, its devices are especially designed to be aesthetically pleasing.

Mike Hackett, SVP sales and marketing for Qolsys, also emphasized the intuitiveness, ease of installation and good design looks of his Internet of the Home. Users—and installers— immediately understand and appreciate the value of the plug-in devices, he said. One feature that stood out for me was the easy way to change both the setting labels and voice instructions from English to French or Spanish. With two touches on the control panel all the information is translated. Dealers no longer have to figure out how many French or Spanish models they need to buy, Hackett said. It’s all in one.

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PRE-SHOW

Before the official kickoff of ISC West 2015, I spent Tuesday afternoon at the DMP Owners Forum and then attended the Women in Security Council reception and awards ceremony.

At the DMP forum, keynoter Patrick Thean spoke on "Rockefeller Habits: How to Differentiate, Execute and Win!" An international speaker and author, Thean is a serial entrepreneur who founded, among other companies, Metasys. He most recently co-founded and is CEO of Gazelles Systems and is the creator of Rhythm Software, designed to assist companies in setting and executing strategic plans for growth. There are three ways for companies to improve, he said: eliminate mistakes, shorten cycle times and improve business models. He also emphasized the importance of articulating core values and purpose and making sure the right people are in the right jobs. A strategy and execution plan should fit on one page, and that goes for companies that are startups all the way up to multimillion firms, he said. He provided attendees with a worksheet to help formulate those goals, create a leading indicator to drive results and a format to track progress. 

Next up was Deputy Chief Paul Calvaruso of the Akron, Ohio, Police Department, who talked about his recent experience instituting verified alarm response in his city. The department was facing layoffs due to budget constraints, and he knew it had to better manage its calls for service. Alarm response was "the low-hanging fruit," he said; he was looking at a 98.5 percent false alarm rate. For advice, he visited the Las Vegas P.D., which already was making use of verified response. He was told to include local alarm companies in his "campaign." He did so, and their advice was valuable, he said. Six months after Calvaruso got the program in place, 22 percent of the burglary and robbery alarms were verified and manpower hours were saved. He stressed that his department is "very supportive" of monitoring stations, which have a key role to play. Even if homeowners can get alarm alerts and video verification via smartphones, most don't have their phones available to them 24/7. Video verification is where the industry is headed, he said, and "I'm very glad we did it. I hope to continue to have good relationships with alarm companies. It's been a heck of a ride."

I then sat down with three dealers for an informal round-table discussion on their challenges and opportunities and how they differentiate themselves from their competitors, both big and small. Michael Hackett, president and CEO of Hackett Security in St. Louis, Mo.; John Bazyk, director of sales and marketing for Command Corporation in E. Granby, Conn.; and Dustin Reeves, sales manager for Blue Ridge Security Solutions in Anderson, S.C., had many good insights, which you can read about here. Teaser: Video verification will change the industry.

Early in the evening, there was a great and enthusiastic turnout for the Women in Security event. WSC director Rhianna Daniels Hile introduced the Women of the Year Award winners and encouraged attendees to spread the word about the good work that WSC is doing. She's always looking for sponsors for WSC, she added, so get in touch with her about that. 

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I'll be updating this post daily from ISC West, so please check back to find out who I met with, what cool technology I saw and how much money I lost on the slots. (OK, just kidding about the last one; I learned my lesson last year!)