World Wide debuts mPERS product for hotel vertical

A recent union mandate requires hotels to equip employees with mobile PERS units, and World Wide Security Group has launched an offering that answers the call
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

GARDEN CITY, N.Y.—Having recently expanded its presence in the hotel vertical, World Wide Security Group, a full-service security company here, has become an authorized dealer of a PERS device tailored specifically to the hospitality industry.

“We happen to have a number of hotels under our belt already as clients,” Kenneth Mara, president and CEO, told Security Systems News. “They had a need for a product and we already had them as clients, so it’s a likely alliance.”

In July 2013, World Wide acquired CCTV Security, a purchase that reinforced the company’s standing in the hospitality vertical, while opening up new avenues of RMR. “We probably picked up 20-plus hotels with that acquisition, so they knew who we were, and we had a lot of great contacts,” Mara said. “Some of the hotels had been doing business with CCTV Security for over 30 years.”

Joseph Cestra, director of technical services for World Wide, noted another factor behind the initiative: A mandate by the hotel workers' union that requires hotels to provide all employees with panic buttons that can signal duress. The mandate was precipitated in part by a 2011 incident at the Sofitel New York Hotel in which a maid alleged she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

The unit, developed by Brookfield, Wis.-based RF Technologies, is called the Help Alert Wireless Staff Duress Solution, a Wi-Fi-based panic system connected to a pendant. When an employee pushes the button the unit, a silent alarm alerts security teams.

While the Help Alert offering is a targeted, vertical-specific approach to PERS, World Wide has long been a provider of basic PERS units as well. In addition, the company has focused more on developing its presence in the mobile PERS space with GPS-and Wi-Fi-enabled offerings. 

After conducting extensive research on an array of pinpoint products, World Wide determined that RF Technologies’ experience in the vertical, coupled with the product’s ease of use, made it the optimal solution.

“In the vetting process we were more impressed with their technology than the others,” Cestra said. “All the products were based on the premise of Wi-Fi, but [RF Technologies] stood apart for its user interface and usability, and their support is fantastic.”