The Great ISC West Roundup 2014
LAS VEGAS—ISC West 2014 was big, and by all accounts, a successful show. Organizers reported that the event attracted more than 26,000 industry professionals and more than “1,000 exhibiting companies and brands.”
New this year was lots of talk about 4K, and like the past couple of years, there was continued talk of mobility, cloud, wireless tech, and home automation/security. During booth visits and social events, it seems everyone wanted to chat a bit about new players. New players come in two forms. For those involved with residential security, the new players are the cablecos and telecoms. For those who do systems integration, the new players are the IT integrators who are keeping a very close eye on physical security.
Below is our a roundup of visits paid and events attended by SSN and SDN editors: Martha Entwistle, Tess Nacelewicz, Leif Kothe and Amy Canfield.
Martha’s round up
On Tuesday, before the show began, I had a couple of planning meetings for the upcoming ESX Show, and I went to two events: one for the members of Security-Net at the Cosmopolitan. Kudos to that group for having an event in a location where you could walk outside onto a veranda. I had a chance to catch up with Matt Ladd of The Protection Bureau and RFI's Brad Wilson. I then trekked back to the Venetian for a reception honoring Diebold's Tony Byerly.
On the first day, I heard from several exhibitors that they saw more people in the first half of today than they normally see in two days. I even heard that from one access control provider who is located in the more far flung reaches of the hall.
I started the day at the Axis Communications breakfast. I don’t really love events before the event, but the Axis breakfast/press conference proves to be worthwhile year after year. The theme this year was 4. Yup, you guessed it, Axis introduced its 4k line, the P14 Series. Fredrik Nilsson Axis GM Americas touted the P14 28E. It’s better, he said, because: it follows the ITU standard (4k res in 30 fps); it’s easy to install; the lens fits the solution ‘perfectly’ (IR corrected 8MP lens0; correct depth of field and image clarity; and , it’s $999 and “ready for outdoors.”
Axis folks talked about other “4s” as well. After asking if people would be running the annual Security 5K race tomorrow, Nilsson said: “some of us will wish it’s a 4k tomorrow.” Axis co-founder Martin Gren gave a brief (and really amusing) history of Axis and the company’s “culture of innovation.” He noted that 2014 is the 30th anniversary of Axis, and mentioned that the original name of the company was G&K Firmware. “Isn’t that a cool name?” he said.
We saw a demo of the P14 28E. Cool, clear picture. And we also saw a demo of Axis’ (4th generation) camera station.
Next up, was the BRS Labs press conference, where Ray Davis spoke about the company’s new Saas solution. This means that BRS Labs is bringing “the same technology that the US military, several cities and some countries” use to commercial customers. The company wants its customers to include not only the “Googles, Amazons and FedExes” but small and medium size businesses. It also has its eye on the residential market. Davis called the offering a “pre-crime systems” that is better than an alert or alarm that only goes off once a criminal is on premises.
BRS Labs will be making a concerted effort to woo integrators, dealers and residential installers and will launch a full channel partner program this summer.
At Pivot3, Ron Nash spoke about VSTAC edge product “a first class solutions for a customer with multiple locations” and how the company’s VDI product line can help make mobile access secure.
Scan Source has a brand new booth, dedicated to its new “security on demand,” an educational and information portal that the distribution company launched today. For all current and (for a time)prospective clients, the portal features short videos with content that’s relevant to resellers, Melissa Andrews told me.
I spoke to Joe Morgan at FLIR was the company’s new low cost thermal bullet camera ($499) which the company expects to “open doors to more vertical markets.”
Most of the afternoon was spent at the SSN Media studio doing video interviews with readers. I spoke to:
Joe Liguori, partner at ACT, an integration company (and Security-Net member) based in New Jersey. Ligouri is planning to grow his company from about a $13m to $20m in revenue over the next few years. He talked about the training-intensive culture at ACT and how that’s necessary to customer service, internal efficiency, and also to the planned rapid growth the company is looking for.
So, one of my favorite activities at ISC West is generally HID’s Denis Hebert’s lunchtime trends talk. He generally draws a great crowd and generates some good discussion. Well, HID had alternate plans this year, but Hebert agreed to come talk to ssnTVnews about trends. The most important, this year, he said, is convergence and secured identity solutions. We talked about HID’s decision to leverage Bluetooth LE (in addition to NFC) with its mobile solutions. Finally he talked about the complexity of solutions for integrators—and what HID is doing to help its integrator partners with sales and education.
Holly Tsourides, CEO of Matrix Systems, talked about the integration arm of Matrix, “Xentry.” She believes the newly named business unit has great potential to increase the services it sells to existing customers and to bring on new customers.
G4S Technology president Sam Belbina talked about providing the “total solution” to customers and how G4S is in a unique position to do just that because its sister companies offer monitoring and guard solutions.
Eric Yunag, CEO of Dakota Security, talked about what he’s seeing on and what he’s not seeing on the show floor. Incremental technology feature improvements he sees a lot of. That can be interesting, he said, but what he wants to see from manufacturers is the showcasing of security outcomes. He also talked about his frustration with standards and how this industry needs to feel a little more urgency about standards. IT companies—“have the potential to exert a technical advantage … and exploit a significant weakness [of security companies], he said, unless this industry gets up to speed on standards.
I talked some more on this topic with Brent Franklin, president of Unlimited Technology. IT companies have their eye on the security space, he said. All integration companies need to understand that, he said. We also talked about Franklin’s plans to grow Unlimited Technology’s revenues 30 percent in 2014. It added 15 staff in 2013 and plans to add 16 this year.
At the Brivo Labs press conference Lee Odess talked about the company’s launch of its SAM API (social access management), which allows developers to create applications that allow people to use their social identities for access control to places and identities. He also demo’ed OKDoor which allows a person to use their social media identity to send a message when they arrive at a destination.
Among the receptions I attended tonight: DVTel, alarm.com, Affiliated Monitoring, Samsung, and my personal favorite Women’s Security Council. The WSC threw another great event to honor the 2014 Women of the Year. Read about that here.
Day two started with the fifth annual Security 5K, a benefit race for the wonderful organization, Mission 500. More than 700 people registered for the race and we raised $90,000 to help save lives, others raised an extra $20,000, for a grand total of $110,000 this year! Terrific event. The course, which in past years has passed strip clubs and traversed construction sites (adding to the adventure--I'm not complaining), this year was a beautiful path that wound through desert shrubs at Sunset Park. We saw the sun coming up over the distant mountains before the race. We did have to take a bus to start, but that gave me a chance to catch up with Schneider Electric's Dean Meyers, who has done a LOT of marathons. Tech Systems' Sharon Shaw, who is about to crush her first marathon (at altitude in Colorado no less) in a couple weeks, kindly waited for me and cheered me on at the finish line. I also congratulated Aronson Security Group's Mike Kobelin on his race and fundraising feat. Apparently, there was some friendly fundraising competition among PSA Security members. Kobelin was very happy to have received a last-minute donation that allowed him to edge out Securadyne's Ron Oetjen by $15 at the last minute.
We had a very special guest at the Security 5K events this year, someone who knows well the good work of Mission 500. Before the race, and also at the Security 5K race reception we heard from Dr. Diego Alejandro Garcia, a pediatrician who was sponsored at the age of 3 through World Vision/Mission 500. Today he is Director of the Colombian Ministry of Health Vaccination Program. He spoke about his experience with Mission 500 and about the very real and positive impact MIssion 500 has on children.
I don’t think I was the only one in the crowd who found Diego’s remarks—and presence at the event this year—very moving.
The Security 5k was founded by United Publications, publishers of Security Systems News and Security Director News, and we’re the organizing sponsor of the event. Other sponsors are Reed Exhibitions, proprietors of ISC Expos; and Mission 500. Core sponsors of the 2014 Mission 500 5K/2K are Alarm.com, Altronix Corporation, Axis Communications, Ditek, HID Global, Honeywell, LRG Marketing Communications, Pelco by Schneider Electric, and Safety Technology International. Additional sponsors include Cops Monitoring, Digital Monitoring Products (DMP), Samsung, Brivo, Freeman, Monitronics, Qolsys, Bolide Technology Group, Security Industry Association, and PSA Security Network.
Find out more about this wonderful organization here.
After the race I had 30 minutes to race to get ready and run back to the show floor where I got to participate (with Mission 500’s George Fletcher, Diego Garcia, Charlene Foglio) in the opening ceremony for ISC West Day 2. Festive and fun.
I met with Jay Hauhn of TycoIS and we talked about the hosted video cloud service that TycoIS is planning to launch in June. TycoIS is working with Next Level Security Systems on project. I asked Jay how he feels about ADT getting into larger commercial security projects (greater than 7,500 square feet after its non-compete with TycoIS expires in September.) “Just another competitor,” Hauhn said.
John Romanowich of Sightlogix filled me in on the company’s newest camera—it’s faster, more accurate and the price has come way down. He said it “brings accurate outdoor security to the mass market.” And because the power requirements are so low, it can be wireless and run on solar. He noted that it's the trenching for wiring that costs money and necessitates design work. They've also announced a partnership with Sureview Systems, which while not a huge booth, had a very nice placement on the show floor. I went by to speak to Scott Haugland a few times, but he was busy with customers each time.
Steve Gorski of MOBOTIX said he’s talking to lots of integrators about the company’s new VMS software, which he called “user-friendly, icon-driven, Apple-ish.”
At Speco Technologies, Laura Mastroberti and Jim Pascale showed me the new IP version of Speco’s mini-cams. New in their booth this year was a small-scale re-creation of the H2H (handshakes to hugs) training center that they have in their New York headquarters. Speco was conduting mini training sessions there all three days.
I spoke to Pierre Racz at Genetec. They’re showing Bosch’s 4K camera and he called Genetec’s collaboration with Bosch on the 4k cameras proof that "the best of breed is the way to go.”
Had an interesting chat with Bryan Schmode at Avigilon. We were talking about how much work the company does with IT resellers. He said it’s the end user that drives which reseller Avigilon uses, and said the company is definitely seeing more end users working with IT resellers.
Off the show floor I caught up with Marty Guay and Paul Barratta at the Stanley Security suite. We talked about the new version of Stanley’s eSuite customer portal and about what Barratta is doing as leader of Stanley's health care vertical market.
I missed the AMAG A&E event this year, so when I spoke to AMAG's Matt Barnette, we caught up on goings-on at that event. He also reported that activity picking up with Symmetry SR.
Paul Muto demo'ed ICRealtime 's new IC 720 camera and software. It was mounted on a Ferrari which I did not wow me. (At all, I'm totally serious), but the ability to use an iPad to "be the camera" and view in any direction was very cool.
The last day of ISC West 2014 was the only day I did not run into Mark Sandler of SPP Advisors several times on the show floor and at receptions. He was everywhere. Wonder if there are some PERS deals in the works?
Tess’ Round up
My first morning at ISC West 2014 featured mind reading, that “dirty little word: cable,” and tips on hiring employees who are not just skilled but have the right attitude a company needs to succeed.
I began my Tuesday at the DMP Owners Forum. The Springfield, Mo.-based manufacturer event is an annual one—it’s now in its third year—and this year’s event in Las Vegas included talk of how the new cable and telecom players are impacting the industry and employee hiring. And mind reader Eric Dittelman helped kick off the forum.
As he took the stage, Dittelman reminded attendees that DMP also gets into the minds of the consumer with its focus on customer-driven products.
“DMP mind reads with the help of technology,” he told the audience.
Among his feats was correctly identifying which one of five people had a dollar hidden in his closed fist instead of a penny, which the other four had, even though he hadn’t seen the person put a dollar in his hand.
Bob Harris, owner and president of Attrition Busters, was up next. He warned the crowd he was going to “speak about that dirty little word: cable.”
But although he said the cablecos and telecoms should not be discounted, he said professional security companies still have plenty of opportunity to successfully compete with them.
“Some people believe that there’s a monitoring bubble about to burst,” Harris said. “…I'm here to tell you that’s not true. … This may be the best time to be in the alarm business and grow your company.”
But he said security companies can’t sit back and do such things as “walk past recurring monthly profit.” He asked, “On every single service call, how often do we stir the pot so our service techs bring intel back?”
Also, Harris said, employee training is vital. “Every single employee in our company is in the sales department and I’m talking about the company operator,” he said. All employees frequent restaurants and local business and have friends and family who call can be potential customers.
Harris also warned against “devaluing professionalism by competing on ‘price’ as the significant differentiator.”
He said security companies have to stress to customers they stand out from cablecos and telecoms in that they’re the local providers who are members of the community.
Professional security compannies also should bundle more services, like the big players do, Harris said. “We need to educate our teams with new levels of possibilities that empower them to lose the fear of selling value bundles,” he said.
Also, he said, adding fire services is a way to distinguish a company. “I don’t see a cable company going out to do a fire systems anytime soon,” Harris said.
He continued, “There’s a litany of things we can do to make a sticky customer, just by default.” When it comes to cable and telecom competitors, Harris said, “proactive or reactive? It’s up to you.”
Rick Britton, DMP CEO and president, also urged the dealers to take steps to compete with the big players, such as offering a single bill for bundled services. And adding interactive services is a way for dealers to double and triple RMR, he said.
“I think that’s a real opportunity for us,” Britton said.
He said of the cablecos and telecoms, “I think we can beat them all day long, any place, any time” because professional security providers are known, trusted providers. “We are providing something completely different,” Britton said.
Also on the agenda was Mark Murphy, CEO of Leadership IQ and author of The New York Times best-seller, “Hiring for Attitude.”
He said, “Hiring for attitude is important because [the wrong attitude] is why employees tend to fail and drive you nuts.”
But how to hire for attitude? Murphy told a story of how Southwest Airlines asked pilots coming in for interviews, who were dressed in suit and ties, to change out of their dress pants and put on some brown shorts. He said only a few pilots agreed to make the change and look silly—and those were the ones Southwest chose to continue with the interview process. That’s because the company wants employees with a sense of fun, Murphy said.
He urged security companies to figure out what the “brown shorts” values are in their companies and then devise some open-ended interview questions to find out if applicants share those values and will fit in with the company’s culture.
Murphy said that companies that are able to “find your brown shorts,” draw up relevant interview questions and build a key to interpret the answers will make a “pretty significant dent” in hiring more high performers in about a month’s time.
Tuesday evening found me at an Altronix event. The company, which manufactures low voltage power supplies and transmission solutions for the electronic security industry, held a press conference touting a number of new products here at the show, such as its introduction of the latest edition of eBridge Plus. The company said in a press release that “eBridge100RMT Ethernet over Coax/CAT5e Adapter Kits transmit full duplex data at 100mbps and pass PoE compliant power over coax 304m (1000 ft), or CAT5e cable up to 500m (1640 ft) without repeaters.”
“This is kind of a game changer when it comes to the Ethernet,” Ronnie Pennington, Altronix National Accounts manager, said at the conference.
Alan Forman, Altronix president, explained it this way in a prepared statement: “The ability to accommodate IP cameras and edge devices over coax cabling has proven to be an extremely pragmatic solution and a cost-effective way to upgrade analog systems to a networked platform. And the ability to transmit data and deliver power extended distances over Ethernet cabling without repeaters provides added savings.”
The company also said it was continuing to expand its NetWay product line with NetWay1D and NetWay1DWP. “These single port midspan injectors provide Hi-PoE up to 60W in addition to being PoE/PoE+ compliant.” In a statement, Forman said, “These new midspan injectors provide solutions for the ever increasing power demands of IP cameras, PTZs and edge devices.”
Pennington said the Netway line “saves a lot of labor and time and wire.”
The company also announced it was introducing Pace UTP/CAT5e Long Range Ethernet Adapter Kits.
“The latest addition to Altronix’s expanding line of adaptive transmission solutions, Pace1PRMT makes it possible for users to upgrade surveillance and security systems with new IP cameras and edge devices using existing or legacy infrastructure at distances greater than 100m (328 ft) without repeaters,” the company said.
Pace1PRMT is PoE/PoE+ compliant and transmits data at 100mbps full duplex over CAT5e or higher cable up to 500m (1640 ft), and up to 150m (500 ft) over single twisted pair (UTP).
Forman said at the press conference that Altronix products allow integrators “to enhance a current system or expand it [without running more cable].”
My second day at the show was Wednesday, which was the first day the show floor opened. I got to hear a lot about new initiatives and new products that day.
I started the day out doing some video interviews for SSN TV News. Look on our site in the near future for my interviews with Steve Firestone, the new president of Lancaster, Pa.-based Select Security; Patrick Egan, owner and CEO of Select Security and also Security Partners; John Bergher, EVP of marketing and customer care for Sacramento, Calif.-based GHS Interactive Security; and Jim Vogel, the new VP of ADT’s dealer program. In the meantime, though, I’ll share a few highlights of what we talked about.
Firestone, who became president of Select Security Jan. 1 after holding the position of that company’s EVP of sales and marketing since 2012, talked about the company’s Utah call center’s new director, Tony Roberts. “We’re delighted that Tony is part of the organization,” because of his more than 20 years of experience in management and call center development, Firestone said.
He said one part of the call center will support Select Security’s residential direct sales program, which he said aims to add about 2,500 new residential customers this summer. In another part of the call center, Firestone said, “we are about to start an inside sales outbound telemarketing organization” and the company is in the process of recruiting employees for that.
I then talked to Egan, Select Security’s CEO. Egan said Select Security has plans for growth through acquisition this year and promised to make some announcements soon. One buy is going to expand the super-regional's reach into another state, he said.
GHS’ Bergher had some exciting news to share about a new partnership that GHS has formed with Solar Universe, which the companies say is the first instance of an alarm company and solar company teaming up to provide a comprehensive solution that involves security, home automation and solar. It will be interesting to see where the new venture takes these companies.
ADT’s Jim Vogel just started his new job March 17. He comes from outside the industry—he most recently was a VP for Allstate Insurance—so this is his first ISC West show.
He spoke about how impressed he was with the enthusiasm of the crowds at the show and about some of the opportunities the ADT dealer program offers dealers.
I also heard about some exciting new life safety developments from Beth Welch, public relations manager for Honeywell Fire Systems and also from David George, director of marketing communications for System Sensor.
Welch told me, “It’s a very busy show. It seems like there’s more interest from security integrators to do fire.”
She said there’s increasing interest in Silent Knight by Honeywell’s combined smoke and carbon monoxide detector, the SK-FIRE-CO Detector. “It’s one of the few, if not the only one, sold over the counter, so it’s non-proprietary,” Welch told me. The device also saves money and is easier to install because it’s one device and not two, she said.
Welch said demand is being driven by such things as AHJs increasingly enforcing new CO laws and requiring that CO detectors be connected to a fire alarm to ensure they’re supervised at all times.
Silent Knight also just launched a new website on Monday with a lot of new resources, she said.
Among other developments at the show, Welch also spoke about Fire-Lite by Honeywell’s new Emergency Command Center, a mass notification system the company introduced at last year’s ISC West. She said MNS is often thought of as only for applications like protecting big college campuses. However, the ECC is “like having mass notification for the down market” because dealers can promote it for a variety of smaller applications, ranging from churches to office buildings.
Also, she said, the system now has a new interactive module, called the Remote Telephone Zone Module (RTZM), that is designed to provide authorized users remote access to send out emergency notifications through a building’s ECC via any phone. She explained that it would, for example, allow a school principal to call in and issue an emergency warning from a remote location, such as five miles down the road from school, if the principal spots a tornado approaching.
At the System Sensor booth, George talked about how many people don’t know that in states or regions that have adopted the 2010 or 2013 edition of NFPA 72, all new commercial sleeping places must have a an audible device that produces a low frequency tone centered around 520 Hz. The requirement became effective Jan. 1.
George said System Sensor has launched an education campaign to get the word out, and also to let those in the affected region know that the company has some new low frequency notification appliances, just launched last summer, that meet that requirement. “It’s an issue with codes changing and compliance taking months, if not years, to kick in,” George told me.
He also said System Sensor has a “brand new website” on which dealers will find it easy to download documents and data and access training webinars.
I then went to talk to Jay Kenny, VP of marketing at Alarm.com, who had many exciting developments to talk about.
The highlights included an announcement that Alarm.com’s cellular-based interactive technology will soon be available with Verizon’s 4th Generation, Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) network. “It’s really the beginning of the 4G life cycle,” Kenny said. He said it “opens up new opportunities to deliver things over the cellular connection” in a managed network way.
Another announcement was that Alarm.com and LiftMaster announced the integration of the MyQ Universal Garage Door Controller, so that now all major garage door brands now integrate with Alarm.com’s connected home platform.
Kenny said, “It’s essentially compatible with anything built after 1992.”
Among other highlights, Kenny said Alarm.com was “enhancing our video solutions.”
For example, the company said in a news release, “it enhanced its video monitoring service with the addition of a high performance, continuous video recording solution. The new solution captures a 24x7 stream of what’s happening at a property and provides cloud-based streaming and video clip access from anywhere. Alarm.com’s Video Monitoring service now includes continuous high definition recording, anytime live streaming, smart clip capture with secure cloud storage, and instant video alerts.”
At the Interlogix booth, I sat down with Warren Hill, product marketing manager, to talk about some new technology Interlogix has acquired in its recent buy of Ultra High Speed (UHS) from Australian company Hills Limited. The acquisition will “broaden [Interlogix’s] global portfolio of intrusion product offerings and services,” according to Interlogix, which is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
Hill said the new technology resulting from the deal was creating a lot of buzz at the show. “Lots of dealers are coming to see the new products we have,” he said.
Among them, according to a company news release, were “a self-contained panel that includes native Wi-Fi and Z-Wave to interface with popular lifestyle management devices such as lights, locks and thermostats; new accessories for the NX platform … including a touch-screen module that adds a graphical interface to the control panels; and a modular, hybrid panel that allows features to be added through a unique, DIN-rail mounting system, providing the utmost installation flexibility for system components in both residential and small-to-medium enterprise applications.” The company said interactive services will use native IP and “embedded Web servers to provide remote programming and mobile applications across product platforms.”
Next, I headed to the LILIN booth to find out news about Control4. Control 4 partners with camera manufacturer LILIN. At the show, Control4 was showcasing enhanced integration for surveillance cameras and NVRs for residential and commercial systems.
Paul Williams, Control4 VP of security and communications products spoke to me about Control4’s Simple Device Discovery Protocol (SDDP) technology, which he described as being able to “automatically identify and load drivers for supported IP-connected devices.”
Williams said SDDP increasingly supports many surveillance cameras and NVRs, helping provide Control4 dealers with more security monitoring options in residential and commercial applications.
On Wednesday evening, I chatted with Russell Cersosimo, CEO of Guardian Protection Services, at a Guardian event. We talked about Guardian’s dealer program and how a top California dealer recently joined the program, drawn by the innovative new financing plan the program offers.
Among the exciting news I learned about on Thursday, my third day at the show, was that Honeywell’s new wireless LYNX 7000 won Best Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solution Wireless in this year’s ISC West New Product Showcase event, according to Ralph Maniscalco, Honeywell’s director of marketing communications.
The company describes the LYNX 7000 as “an all new version of Honeywell’s self-contained wireless touchscreen security and home automation system. The product is the first of its kind to control up to four cameras and two-way voice over Wi-Fi.”
Among its features is a “water valve,” Maniscalco told me, which can turn off the water if necessary to prevent flooding. Also, he said, LYNX 7000 customers “get weather free.”
Honeywell also is developing a new app to help dealers in selling the LYNX 7000. Marketing communications specialist Natasha Ramjit told me that previously sales reps have had to lug around a “big demo kit,” but with the app, which can be used on an iPad or Android device, all the features of the system can easily be demonstrated to the homeowner. “It just puts everything at anyone’s fingertips,” explained Ramjit.
Speaking of awards, there was great excitement at the Eaton Cooper Notification booth because Cooper’s new ALERiTY line of IP network-based mass notification solutions won the Best Emergency Communication System award in the ISC West New Product Showcase.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Marla Moran, Cooper’s global commercialization leader, told me.
The company describes ALERiTY, released late in 2013, as “a one-click solution to launch critical messages across its three layers of MNS—in building, wide area and distributed recipient. The advanced IP technology provides seamless interoperability with life safety and communication systems such as fire alarm control panels, sensors, paging and LED digital display signs.”
“You can program it all in one button if you choose,” Moran told me.
How does it function in the real world? Dan Moceri, CEO of Convergint Technologies, dropped by the Eaton Cooper Notification booth to explain that to me.
He said that as a systems integrator, Convergint aims to provide a total solution for customers. It had strong security and fire solutions to offer them, but until now with ALERiTY it “didn’t have a robust solution on the communications side” to complete the package, Moceri said.
He added that Convergint also demands that its partners be of high quality and Eaton Cooper Notification fits that bill, offering “best in the industry” service and support.
Moceri cited large community college campuses in Portland, Ore. and Texas as places where Convergint has used ALERiTY as a solution.
Ted Milburn, Cooper’s VP of marketing, added that ALERiTY is “a scalable product” allowing each end user “to do the piece you want.” For example, an end user might need only the in building and wide area applications, but can add the distributed recipient component, such as text messages and emails, in the future as needed.
Also on Thursday, I talked to John LaFond, VP of integrated systems, strategic business unit, for Linear, which provides access control, health and wellness and security solutions.
LaFond talked to me about the e3 OneBox. The company describes OneBox as combining “Linear’s embedded browser IP-based access control platform with Digital Watchdog’s full-featured DW-VMAX digital video recording capability within one enclosure to create a fully integrated access and video solution.”
LaFond noted that access control is about 8-10 percent of the market and video is about 12-14 percent. However, he said, combine they comprise about 20 percent of the market. “Integrated systems is a much larger proposition,” he said.
In OneBox, is Digital Watchdog leading video technology meshes with Linear’s top access control products, LaFond said. “We’re combining our product knowledge, combining that technology at the right price point,” LaFond said.
He said that “creates a market opening for a dealer base.”
Nicholas Brown, of Caster Communications, which represents Linear, talked to me about the advantage of Linear and 2GIG being under the Nortek umbrella. Nortek companies are “compatible with each other and have a shared vision.”
He said the companies all work together to provide home automation/security solutions that help dealers look at “the big picture of what they can be to the homeowner and not just a security installer.”
Linear at the show also was touting Linear Enterprise, which it described as “a browser-based, embedded network appliance and access control system available through select Linear dealers and equipped for large-scale installations. Enterprise offers remote management, low total cost of ownership (TCO), an easy path to VMS integration, and a unique license key system that makes integration and expansion easier than ever.”
I also attended a very interesting press conference on Thursday, put on by Mircom, a Toronto-based manufacturer and distributor of intelligent building and life safety solutions.
You’re familiar with the connected home—well, Mircom is focused on the connected condo, taking home automation features into the condos and apartments of multifamily units.
It introduced its TX3 InSuite and its TX3 Community at the show. Those are the latest additions to its TX3 Platform, which the company says “provides a total management, communication and security solution.”
Jason Falbo, VP of engineering, explained that “the previous generation of the products were focused at the lobby of the building,” providing such services as access control. But InSuite, Falbo said, “allows to get a footprint inside the tenant suites of the building as well, for a total management solution.”
He continued: “It’s a revolutionary home automation platform. Most of our competitors are focused on the single family home market but we’ve leveraged our experience and skill set in the multifamily sector and developed this home automation controller to provide the best in functionality from standard home automation equipment and, in addition to that, we interface with what were previously stand alone building solutions.”
At the Kwikset booth, that residential security door look manufacturer had on display its touchscreen version of the company's SmartCode 914 deadbolt lock. “The SmartCode Touch provides all of the features of SmartCode—including keyless entry—combined with the added convenience and enhanced aesthetics of a capacitive touchscreen,” the company said in a news release.
Larry Goldman, Kwikset’s North American sales and business development manager, told me lock “is very robust” because while it has a sleek-looking appearance appealing to a homeowner’s aesthetic, its lock cylinder is the only residential lock cylinder that meets commercial grade standards.
It’s also “the only Z-Wave lock you can put on a fire door” because it’s fire-rated to not melt or become dysfunctional during a fire, Goldman said.
An added benefit, he said, is that the LED lights on its touchscreen are designed so they can be seen in all types of lighting conditions and won’t be obscured by glare.
Goldman said dealers are saying, “Finally, a beautiful residential lock with an incredible touchscreen.”
I also talked with Dirk Wyckoff, VP of sales and marketing for UniKey, an access control technology provider. Wyckoff told me about updates to the firmware in the Kevo lock, which is powered by UniKey. The company bills the lock as “the only keyless Bluetooth residential door lock on the market.” Wyckcoff also noted that it’s a “mass market solution.”
Among features Wyckoff highlighted is UniKey’s Inside vs. Outside Intelligence technology, which enables the lock to determine if the homeowner is inside or outside the home, preventing accidental unlocks if a person is just passing by the door.
At the Tyco Security Products booth, Tim Myers, product line director, intrusion, talked to me about the large number of products that DSC, part of the security products business unit of Tyco, was touting at the show. “In all, we’re releasing in excess of 30 new products. … This is the biggest product launch we have ever done,” Myers said.
Products he highlighted included the PowerSeries Neo line. The company describes that as “a new scalable commercial and residential line of products, which combines the flexibility of a modular, hardwired system with the simplicity of a wide range of compatible wireless devices.”
Myers said Neo is cost effective for dealers and offers a variety of control panels. It also leverages PowerG, which the company calls “the industry’s leading-edge wireless intrusion technology,” in wireless devices that are easy to install.
The company also was introducing a number of devices, such as keys, detectors and sirens, which are powered by PowerG and compatible with Neo.
In all, Myers said, the new products “will position DSC very strongly in the wireless world” for both residential and commercial applications.
At the Potter Electric Signal Co. booth, national sales manager Craig Summers told me how well the company’s new fire alarm panel designed specifically for sprinkler monitoring has been selling.
The PFC-6006 Sprinkler Monitoring Panel was just released last summer and touted as an industry first. “We’ve sold hundreds and hundreds of units,” Summers said.
The affordable panel comes with a dual-line dialer built into the panel and also has the ability to be monitored via IP. That’s important because the 2013 version of NFPA 72 requires backing up phone lines that send signals to a central station with an alternate technology.
If dealers are in a jurisdiction that has adopted the 2013 version of the code, “this panel is very attractive,” Summers said.
He also said Potter’s facility management software now can be downloaded off the company’s website and is free for a limited period of time.
Also on Thursday, I attended an Alarm Capital Alliance reception, where I chatted with President and CEO Amy Kothari and also with Jason Grelle, VP of sales and dealer program development.
Leif’s Round up
Though access control resides a little outside my coverage domain, my first ISC West stop was at Assa Abloy’s booth for a morning press conference. It was an impressive showing from the company, whose president of access and egress hardware group, Martin Huddart, delivered a presentation outlining the company’s past, present and future.
Huddart keyed in specifically on the company’s transition to a new line of “2.0” solutions. The presentation touched on several on several of the company’s newer and more sophisticated solutions: Access credential technology that sends keys “over the air” through smart phones, “futureproof” maglocks that support several different credential strategies (NFC and Bluetooth among them), and the company’s EcoFlex locks.
The latter, according to David Sylvester, president, door security solutions at Assa Abloy, was a major point of attraction for the sustainability officer at Amazon, which plans to use the locks at its new headquarters.
I spoke with Michael Schubert and Woodie Andrawos, president and executive vice president, respectively, of National Monitoring Center, which is fresh off announcing the opening of a new 25,000-square-foot facility in Lake Forest, Calif. Both characterized the facility as a substantial technological upgrade that amply accommodates for future growth. NMC now has two central stations (the other is in Texas), and Schubert said, down the road, the company may explore the possibility of getting another, ideally in a new time zone.
I had the chance to meet early in the day with Gary Shottes, president of AES Corporation, and Candyce Plante, senior director of marketing at AES. We spoke at length about the company’s patented wireless mesh technology, some new developments at AES on the product front (stay tuned for that), and the ramifications of the 2G sunset—an industry inevitability from which a company like AES is well-positioned to prosper. Already seeing gains from clients keen on “futureproofing,” the company could thrive even more when the 3G sunset occurs, according to Shottes.
The 2G sunset proved to be a theme that found its way into some of my afternoon discussions as well, particularly in my conversations with some folks at Uplink, whose software solutions are geared to mitigate some of the adverse effects of network obsolescence.
I also spoke with Telguard’s Shawn Welsh (VP of business development) and Pam Benke (director of marketing) about their launch, today, of their OneRate service plan for their HomeControl platform, which replaces the company’s previous multi-tier pricing structure with a single flat price.
The plan, according to Welsh, goes along way in terms of “demystifying” the sales process for customers, and he believes the simpler, pared down approach will give sales personnel a considerable advantage when trying to sell home automation in conjunction with security products. The service plan also includes a reseller price that allows central station partners to “make margins bundling the service,” Welsh said.
A recent report from ABI Research shed light on the notion that the industry is still in the laboratory phase as far as figuring out the best way to bring home automation to market. There’s still a fair amount of tinkering and experimentation going on, the report noted, and this simplified (and innovative) service plan from Telguard seems indicative of that.
The second day of ISC West had the same frenetic energy and pace as the first—which is maybe fitting for a day that for many began with the Security 5K run. My opening meeting of the day was with I-View Now, who hosted a forum for several attendees. I-View’s Steve Patterson, chief information officer, and Matt Fleming, chief technology officer, highlighted some of the company’s new initiatives, which include the a newly launched cloud analytic, and discussed the company’s push to form additional partnerships with some big name manufacturers. The two also touched on sales strategies for video verification, which can contribute an additional $35-50 in RMR for monitored accounts, according to Patterson.
Patterson noted that demos are a critical component of the sales process for video verification. I-View Now has developed a demo portal that can act as management tool, demonstrating the correlation between video verification demos and successful sales.
I returned to the show floor for my second demo of the day, this one led by Aaron Salma, account manager at Union, N.J.-based Affiliated Monitoring. Salma showcased the e-contract functionality on the company’s new dealer app, which allows technicians to efficiently manage their accounts. Salma said the app can be enormously beneficial for businesses employing a summer sales/door-knocking model.
In the afternoon I made my way up the Venetian Tower where I joined Kevin O’Connor, president of LogicMark, and Troy Bruce, director of sales, to discuss the company’s newly released mobile PERS offering, the SentryPal, as well as its new traditional unit, the Caretaker Sentry. Both emphasized the need for PERS products (and the security industry at large) to remain grounded from a practical standpoint despite rapid technological advancements.
O’Connor believes even a less tested market like mPERS holds considerable promise. That market, he said, may evolve much like the security industry in general, continually adding new functions that central stations and dealers can translate into more RMR.
While the sheer numbers of America’s aging Baby Boomer demographic bode well for anyone in the PERS space, security companies still need to develop a sound strategy for bringing the product to market, managing the expectations of customers and efficiently redeploying their units, they noted. Interestingly enough, both agreed that security companies, if the resources are there, do themselves a favor by creating a separate division for bringing PERS to market.
My afternoon concluded with back-to-back PPVAR panel sessions, the first of which distilled several outside-the-industry perspectives on video verified response. The session, moderated by Steve Walker, VP of Stanley Convergent, president of PPVAR, featured representatives from law enforcement and private insurance.
The next session, moderated by Don Young, CIO of Protection 1, VP Stanley Convergent representatives from the manufacturing side (Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell) and the central station space (Chuck Moeling, executive VP of sales at Interface, and Tony Wilson, president of CMS), together with representatives from the private investment and legal arenas.
An interesting topic raised by the panel dealt with the potential of video verification in the residential security space. Moeling pointed out that there are considerably more barriers to establishing a foothold in the residential market (as opposed to commercial) in North America. One of those barriers, he said, is the “basic nature of American independence” and customers being leery of having “big brother watching.”
Though Harkins believes there is potential for video verification in the residential space, he added the caveat that, from Honeywell’s perspective, bringing the technology to a mainstream market has to be done in a way that keeps such systems affordable to a mass market
I also managed to make my on-camera debut at ISC West 2014, interviewing several folks from the central station side who provided some lively perspectives about the show and the direction of their respective businesses.
First up was Jim McMullen, president and COO of COPS Monitoring, who said the company had around 800 dealers at its annual Dealer Appreciation Bonanza, an event I also happened to attend with several SSN colleagues. He wasn’t lying; Gilley’s was thronged, and there was no shortage of attendees eager to duke it out in the mechanical bull riding competition, a contest for which the event has become well known. The Bonanza has become a marquee event for CO, McMullen said, and has proven to be another way the company goes about forging strong relationships its dealer base.
In my next interview, Josh Garner, CEO of AvantGuard Monitoring, discussed the company’s new monitoring center in the rural community of Rexburg, Idaho. Garner characterized the new facility as a human capital investment, as the company aims to leverage the community’s young and well-educated workforce (Brigham Young University has a campus in the town). We also talked about AvantGuard’s success in the mobile PERS market and the company’s PERS Summit Network, which has an educational component that takes a “granular” approach to equipping dealers with the knowledge they need to run a successful PERS operation.
My final on-camera interview of the day was with Hank Groff, SVP of sales at Dynamark, and Tom Piston, VP of business development. The duo explained the philosophy behind Dynamark’s recently launched partner program and discussed the company’s highly focused, customized approach for ISC West.
I also met briefly this morning, off camera, with Barry Epstein, president of Dallas-based investment firm Vertex Capital. We discussed the late 2013 Security Partners acquisition of Mace Central Station (a deal in which Epstein represented Mace) as well as the PERS valuation market, which remains intriguing (and well worth keeping an eye on) but relatively inactive.
And that just about does it for ISC West 2014. Keep an eye out for our show roundup, which we’ll include on the newswire next week.
Amy’s Round up
I met with some very nice NICE folks first thing in the morning. Bob Grado of the Denver Regional Transportation District discussed his experience moving to NICE’s mobile video recording solution for its new bus fleet. The solution will significantly enhance RTD’s investigative efficiency when complaints are filed, he said. RTD approached NICE and a few other companies about its needs, but it was NICE that came through in the end, Grado said. William Lafave, NICE regional VP, major accounts, security group, said it was a win-win for the end-user and NICE. The solution was custom-built for RTD, but can easily be adapted to other end users.
Honeywell Fire Systems product manager William Brosig and public relations manager Beth Welch demonstrated how the mass communication RTZM Module is a good fit for smaller end users, such as churches, office buildings, warehouses and even schools. Tying into any brand of fire alarm system, it can send out emergency notifications through a facility’s emergency command center system via any phone. It is easy to use, with simple options and pre-programmed recordings and can be transmitted only to affected zones.
At the 3VR booth, Don Wright, director/physical security for the Carolinas Health Care System, discussed his long history with the company and the fact that when he wanted better use of his network assets it was 3VR that came through. “We have a sweet, symbiotic relationship,” he said. With 3,000 or so cameras for his many facilities, that was too many for real-time viewing. The new search features make his forensic investigations easier, and the on-board notifications of problems with specific cameras make his life easier, he said.
Sentry View System’s president and COO Justin Thompson said his power hybrid charge controller can handle up to three inputs, such as solar, wind power and generator, for example. The system, designed for power and surveillance needs at remote sites, has been successful for U.S.-Mexico border patrols, during the pope’s visit to Brazil, and for Nigerians who wanted to be able to worship as they wished despite terrorist attacks against them. It also is beneficial to critical infrastructure facilities, such as water utilities, which have a lot at stake, often in very far-flung locations.
March Networks’ Dan Cremins, director of product management, with a background of 21 years in the security industry, said that talking to end users “is the best way to learn.” He cited a number of examples, including janitors at a school who were dealing with graffiti. Those janitors turned out to be his end users, he said. He wouldn’t have known that without good communication with his customers. March Network’s goal is to reduce the time people in the field have to go out and check out what’s going on.
At SRI International, “Iris on the Move” has not only stopped time-and-attendance fraud at construction sites, it has helped at worldwide airports, at sporting events, U.S. financial institutions and at data centers, said Mark Clifton, VP, Products & Services Division and general manager. The system can work in all lighting environments and is more effective than fingerprint systems, he said.
Solink’s CEO Michael Matta is all about making better sense of videos and the big data they produce. “There’s lots of data coming in from multiple points,” he says. Proactive surveillance can “create a story of events,” to benefit the end user. He’s looking to take actionable decision-making to banking and retail customers with multiple locations with “smaller footprint spaces.”
I also had the delightful opportunity to meet up with three of Security Director News’ previous “20 under 40” winners. Patrick Wood of John Deere, Mike Wiley of Switch and Ralph Nerette of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute all stopped by our “Meet the Editors” event to check in and say hello. It’s always great to see these young pros again and find out what they’re up to. Such smart people!
I capped off the night with the Women’s Security Council reception to honor this year’s award winners. I had a great conversation with Silvia Fraser, manager of corporate security for the City of Toronto, about the challenges she faces each and every day. The WSC also had some exciting news to relay at the event: a new, sponsored scholarship for women in the security realm. Stay tuned for more about that.
After an early start to the day to see the runners off at the Security 5K, which raised $90,000 for Mission 500's disadvantaged children (yay!), it was back to the Sands where I conducted four on-camera interviews with four end users who had lots of good info to share. The videos will be posted soon on SDN, but for now here are a few takeaways from them.
Marilyn Hollier, director of security services for the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers—and president of IAHSS—talked about “tapping into the talent of your team.” Security directors working under tight budgets certainly can’t do it all, she said, so she encourages all of her employees to get bachelor’s degrees and even master’s and as many professional certifications as they can. Employees are her resources, she says, and by showing you value their professional growth those resources become even more valuable. And when—or if—she retires? She'll know she has a good succession plan in place.
Phil Lisk, IT and security director for the Bergen County, N.J., Sheriff’s Dept., said the convergence of IT and physical security is not a new phenomenon for him. It’s necessary and makes his job easier. He also discussed LPR and how with the right privacy controls in place—and New Jersey’s are strict, he said—it can beneficially serve law enforcement.
Fifth Third Bank’s Mike Neugebauer, VP and senior manager for safety and security, said changes in the brick-and-mortar banking industry have led to numerous challenges and opportunities for security. With more and more customers opting for automated services, branches are shrinking in size and have fewer employees. Where before two people might have opened a branch in the morning, now just one does. Protecting one employee can sometimes be more difficult than protecting two. Teller lines get smaller, so cameras may have to be repositioned. Neugebauer and I also discussed the recent rash of ATM thefts, the kind where thieves rip them out of the ground, and the use of sensors and GPS to combat that crime.
Ralph Nerette, manager of security for Dana Farber Cancer Institute, had interesting insights on the “green” movement in security equipment. He said he’s noticed more manufacturers promoting the energy-efficiency of their products and whether they were made with some recycled products, for example. He likes that. Taking that kind of information to the c-suite shows you’re part of the team, he said. Nerette is currently busy with numerous upgrades to his visitor management system and more.
Back on the floor, I met with Brivo’s Lee Odess, VP marketing, about Randivoo Mobile, Brivo’s new visitor management system. Security has been all about secure vs. secure, he said, “but now it’s about convenience.” Social access management through mobile devices is the wave of the future, he said. At a Starbucks and need to use the restroom? Randivoo can help you with that. Waiting in line for the key is no longer needed. If you arrive for a meeting at an office building, Randivoo can be pre-programmed to allow you acccess to the building and your specific meeting room, only. Very cutting-edge stuff.
Peter Ribinski, EVP of Bosch, discussed the company’s work with end users to ensure they get what the need. In this world of IP, he said, users have many choices, many of them complex. Sometimes, too many parameters are just that, too many. One product had more than 600 parameters and end-user testing showed those could be easily cut to less than 100 to benefit the customer’s ease of use, he said. I was impressed with that and heard a number of times at the show how companies are working with end-users to accommodate their needs.
Michael Irvin, director of marketing, 3XLogic, talked me through a demo of Vigil Trends, a customizable single dashboard system for business intelligence. Unlike other business intelligence providers, Vigil Trends incorporates video data into the equation, delivering the data necessary for users to make informed, effective and timely decisions about their business, their assets and their employees, he said. Drilldowns allow users to focus in on suspect transactions at POS and on other LP needs as well as operations and marketing information.
After the awards ceremony for the race—complete with a performance by the most talented, cutest little boy group I have ever seen—I visited with Genetec at a reception at Tao. Nice to catch up with the folks I met there a few months ago at the company’s press summit in Montreal.
This year’s show could be the “breakout” point for video enabling that provides security along with diverse business intelligence, said Milestone System’s Karl Erik Traberg, head of corporate communications and business development. “We’ll look back and say, ‘That’s when it took off.’ “Why? The mindset is changing, and security pros are seeing the benefits of business intelligence. Security directors have been dealing with tight budgets for years, but now they can be the leaders in having conversations about business value. Last year's show was all about thermal imaging cameras and the new lower prices, he said—and biometrics, I might add—but this year's ISC West had a big focus on business intelligence.
In fact, video combined with access control was, indeed, one of the recurring themes I heard at the show, along with, importantly, manufacturers listening more to end users’ needs and working with them to develop those win-win solutions. And that’s a good thing.
Security directors should start working on their video enabling strategies, Daniel O’Connell, managing director for Definition Branding and Marketing, added at my meet-up with Milestone. With video enabling being the wave of the future, planning now will allow them to define their own professional futures.
Biometric technology is now an option for the little guy, according to Kirsten Pflomm, VP of marketing for Zwipe. The fingerprint-reading access control card can allow small businesses, or larger ones for that matter, to go to biometrics overnight. No new readers are needed. Maybe only five people at a small hospital need access to highly secure areas. Zwipe insures the person with the card is the person assigned to the card.
At MOOG, Chris Lindenau, global director of sales and marketing for sensor and surveillance systems, showed me the company’s new explosion-proof, high-def cameras. The cameras are designed for environments where explosion hazards arise from dangerous gases or vapors, such as petroleum plants, oil and gas rigs, mining companies and fertilizer plants. A pressure-regulating system protects the camera from gas and vapors, which could ignite an explosion. I’ve never had occasion to think of that kind of situation before, and Lindenau’s explanation to me was intriguing. I hope to follow up.
Assa Abloy’s Mark Duato, senior director for integration solutions, walked me through some “future-proof” lock/access control solutions suitable for campuses, the banking/financial sector and health care facilities and others. Great stuff.
And what a great, busy show!