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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Honeywell began notifying customers this week about the launch of a new DIY home security system.

“We are actively working with our professional security dealer and installer customers to grow their businesses as this industry evolves," Brian Casey, vice president and general manager, Residential & Intrusion Solutions, Honeywell Security & Fire, told Security Systems News. “We believe the rapidly growing self-installed security space represents an opportunity for professional security dealers to expand their existing business models. The new Honeywell Smart Home Security solution gives our dealers an opportunity to sell to a different type of customer, and compete against the new players expanding into this space.”

Honeywell said through email that the new solution—called the Honeywell Smart Home Security System—is “targeting tech savvy consumers. The new solution will be an all-in-one, self-monitored and self-installed system that is attractive to the estimated 60 percent of U.S. households who aren’t interested in traditional security services and contracts. Honeywell Smart Home Security System will be available for professional dealers early next year to help them reach this market.”

This is a very interesting announcement, especially coming on the heels of all the recent developments in the DIY space, including announcements from Samsung/ADT, Ring and Nest.

In addition, SSN’s News Poll is focused on the topic this month.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Alarm.com announced today the launch of its PowerUp Conference, an intensive multi-day training program exclusively for Alarm.com's service provider partners. At the training conference, scheduled for Nov. 14-16, 2017 in Dallas, Texas, participants will learn technical and operational skills, and sales expertise in the smart home and business security fields. Created by the Alarm.com Academy training program, PowerUp offers a customizable schedule of specialized, hands-on training and industry insights.

"PowerUp is a comprehensive, immersive learning environment designed to ensure that our service provider partners come out of the conference with actionable skills and knowledge to improve their business," Katie Refano, Alarm.com's director of training, said in the announcement. "With more than 25 sessions to choose from, as well as presentations from Alarm.com executives and product updates from hardware partners, attendees will be able to tailor a learning experience to their exact company role and business needs."

PowerUp is the latest addition to the Alarm.com Academy, Alarm.com's program of in-person and online training for service providers. Continually refreshed and expanded to keep service providers ahead of the latest innovations and market trends, the program offers end-to-end training across all areas of a service provider's business, helping Alarm.com's partners to become experts in selling, installing and supporting Alarm.com products and services.

In terms of overall growth for the Academy, Matthew Zartman, director of marketing for Alarm.com, told Security Systems News that from 2015 to 2016 “we’ve seen a 57% increase in in-person training participation. From 2015 to 2016 we’ve seen more than 170% increase in participation in our online training program."

PowerUp offers a broad array of focused training sessions for different roles within service providers' businesses, including:

•    Installation: Technicians can learn how to get every installation right the first time and avoid future truck rolls with Alarm.com's mobile tools, while earning Continuing Education Units that keep their qualifications up-to-date.
•    Operations: Managers can learn how to get hands-on with system integrations, business intelligence reporting and account set-up tools.
•    Sales & Marketing: Sales personnel will learn to use Alarm.com's end-to-end suite of resources to increase close rates, grow RMR, and maximize lifetime customer value.
•    Customer Support: Join advanced workshops in remote troubleshooting led by Alarm.com's C.O.R.E. support experts.

Alarm.com service providers can register to attend PowerUp by clicking here, or by emailing: academy@alarm.com.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Excited to be in Dallas for ASIS 2017. My first two days of the show were packed with excitement, including intellectually stimulating keynotes, meetings and sessions as well as conversations with more than 30 companies, from manufacturers to integrators. I racked up about 15,000 steps on day one, but was rewarded with an invite to the Securitas’ event at AT&T stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys and the most famous cheerleaders in the world.

As I tweeted out, Securitas pretty much had a ‘drop the mic’ moment, creating a memorable experience for everyone in attendance, whether you were taking pictures with those aforementioned cheerleaders, catching passes in the back of the end zone (yes, that was me!), or just taking in the warm sound of country rising star Jennifer Nettles. This event will be hard to top next year. Big thanks to Securitas Electronic Security President Tony Byerly!

Back on the trade show floor, I saw a continuation of some of the themes that were discussed at ISC West, from cybersecurity, video analytics and big data, to cloud-based solutions, AI/machine learning, robotics and IoT.

It is also great to see the industry and manufacturers continuing to move away from proprietary systems, as partnerships and playing nice with others is helping these companies provide more comprehensive solutions. The vibe on the show floor, and within the industry is one of open architectures, seamless integration of complimentary products and companies providing open APIs that their partners can write to easily and securely, opening up so many opportunities for both integrators and end users.

And getting back to some of the emerging technologies in the industry today, it finally feels like we are starting to fulfill the promise of some of them, especially in the area of video and data analytics. As many pointed out to me, there is so much more being done with data and meta-data today, as we can now take the data from all of these disparate systems—access control, video surveillance, fire and life safety, for example—and bring them into one platform where that data can be turned into actionable info, providing greater opportunities for integrators to move into the managed services and recurring revenue model, while giving end users the power to leverage their data for not only better and more predictive security, but also operational efficiencies, business intelligence and business continuity.

I also see greater adoption of cloud-based solutions among not only manufacturers but integrators as well. And on the cyberssecurity front, I am impressed with the way the industry has mobilized to address this issue, hardening their products, providing education and resources to integrators so they can speak more intelligently on the topic.

I also see the industry continuing to embrace mobile solutions, whether it is mobile credentialing or having the power to remotely interact and manage your systems. As many pointed out, the same kind of evolution that we have seen on the residential side is moving to the commercial side. People want that same convenience and ease of use and control they have at home in their work and professional lives as well, and the opportunities that can be had with smart buildings and smart cities is really exciting; I am already seeing companies—both suppliers and integrators—making an impact on crime, and mitigating risk using these new advanced IP and cloud-based solutions.

And I would be remiss to not mention all of the M&A activity going on the industry right now. In addition to talk about ACRE selling Mercury Security to HID Global and the recent merger of ipDatatel and Resolution Products, attendees got to see the new JCI, post Tyco merger. Also, there was plenty of speculation and gossip around the convention center about who will be in the next M&A breaking news headline.

This really is any exciting time to be in the industry!
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Survey results from Unisys show a trend away from traditional on-premises data centers toward cloud-based hosting. Survey respondents indicated that use of on-premises data centers will decrease from 43 percent now to 29 percent in 2019, while private cloud use will increase from 20 percent now, up to 28 percent in two years. Over the same period, public cloud use will rise from 18 percent to 21 percent, hybrid cloud from 11 percent to 13 percent, and use of community cloud (a private cloud shared by multiple organizations with a common mission) will hold steady at 9 percent.

"The results of this survey show that government decision makers understand the importance of embracing the cloud to help achieve their modernization goals," Venkatapathi "PV" Puvvada, president of Unisys Federal, said in the survey report. "But it also showed that nearly two-thirds are encountering unanticipated difficulties as they move to the cloud. Fortunately, those respondents who are actively working with industry partners to facilitate their cloud transitions reported a much easier road to cloud adoption by a two-to-one margin."

The respondents show widespread agreement on the benefits enterprises expect from the cloud. At least 94 percent cite improved disaster recovery/business continuity, agility and flexibility, more efficient storage, reduced capital costs and standardization of IT as being at least somewhat important. Improving agility—the capability to deploy IT resources nimbly in response to quickly changing business conditions and the factor most closely aligned to gaining competitive advantage—is the top driver overall, with 78 percent of respondents saying it is critical or very important.

In addition, many respondents report encountering unexpected roadblocks, with 60 percent saying those impediments slowed their cloud migrations and 17 saying that the roadblocks brought their migrations to a standstill.

While nearly two-thirds of respondents (62 percent) rated cybersecurity as the top priority for agency modernization projects over the next year, nearly the same percentage (59 percent) reported that they think their agency's IT modernization efforts have resulted in an increase in the IT security challenges they face. And when asked to grade their agencies' modernization efforts, 43 percent graded those efforts at "satisfactory" or lower when it comes to improving cybersecurity.

"The results of this survey tell us that many federal agencies may not have adequate staff and resources to manage security challenges in today's more complex and modernized IT environments, which in our view explains the feedback about modernization efforts exacerbating security challenges," said Puvvada. "To achieve successful digital transformation, agencies must make security a priority and embark on projects that enhance security at the core, as well as boost operational efficiency to meet mission-critical goals."

Here at Security Systems News, we feel also feel that cloud will continue to play an increasingly influential and disruptive role in security, transforming how we look at physical security in today’s digital world. For others who share this view, or are just curious about the role of cloud in security today and in the future, SSN invites you to attend our Cloud+ conference, which is Nov. 28-29, 2017, in Austin, Texas. Click here for more on the education program and to register.
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Honeywell announced today that it has appointed Richard (Rich) Lattanzi as the president of Honeywell’s global security business and Dino Koutrouki as the president of Honeywell’s global fire business.

In their new leadership roles, Lattanzi and Koutrouki will drive greater customer focus, the press release read, and both will continue to report to Michael Flink, president of Honeywell Security and Fire.

“Serving our customers and growing our business are at the core of everything we do in our security and fire businesses,” Flink said in the announcement. “Having two independent teams focused on their business will bring us closer to our customers, maximizing our core strengths and enabling increased efficiencies. I am confident that Rich and Dino will drive performance in their respective businesses to better serve our customers.”

As the new president of security, Lattanzi will be responsible for all operations, business strategy and growth for the global security business. He previously served as the vice president and general manager for Honeywell Security and Fire Americas, and prior to that held the position of global vice president and general manager for buildings within Honeywell’s Environmental & Energy Solutions (E&ES). Lattanzi joined Honeywell through the acquisition of Elster, where he was president of the global thermal solutions business.

As the new president of fire, Koutrouki will be responsible for all operations, business strategy and growth for the global fire business. He previously served as the vice president and general manager for Honeywell Security and Fire EMEA, and prior to that held the position of vice president and general manager for the Honeywell Scanning and Mobility APAC organization. Koutrouki joined Honeywell as part of the EMS Technologies acquisition, and held a variety of leadership roles across the company.

Honeywell Security and Fire is part of the Home and Building Technologies strategic business group.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Red Hawk Fire & Security, a provider of fire, life safety and security services based here, is providing resources and integrated systems expertise as a charter donor for the command and control center at the new National Sport Security Laboratory (NSSL) at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4) on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

The lab officially opened on Sept. 1, bringing to life NCS4’s vision to be the world’s foremost academic research institution to address sport safety and security risks and threats. Since its inception in 2006, the NCS4 has worked to address the evolving security challenges of the growing $60-billion U.S. sports industry through quality training, research, technology assessments, certifications and professional development.

The new lab is designed to test, evaluate and showcase vendor neutral safety and security solutions as well as to assist the training, research and development needs of venue operators and security professionals at sports settings globally.

“Red Hawk is well-equipped to bring our practical, hands-on experience integrating systems at several prominent stadiums and arenas to enhance the efforts of NCS4 as they do the important work of responding to this significant community safety concern,” Rick Tampier, Red Hawk’s senior director of sales and product strategy, said in the announcement.

Daniel Ward, the director of the National Laboratory and Training Center, describes the new facility as a living laboratory that gives students, academia, industry and government a place to research and learn.

“The center incorporates cutting-edge technology which provides the university with capabilities to gather, process, analyze, display and disseminate planning and operations data for research and training,” said Ward.

The NSSL’s new center now connects to the numerous sport facilities on the University of Southern Mississippi’s Hattiesburg campus allowing researchers and solutions providers to immerse themselves in a real-life sports safety and security environment.

“Connecting our athletic facilities as part of our laboratory provides amazing opportunities for our students,” Dr. Lou Marciani, NCS4 director, said in the announcement. “They will be able to work with professional, intercollegiate, interscholastic and marathon sports organizations and facilities to test theories, translate lessons learned and best practices into real-world solutions while also building the sports safety and security profession for the future.”

NCS4 recently earned accreditation for its Certified Sport Security Professional (CSSP) certification program from the American National Standards Institute Personal Certification Accreditation Program (ANSI). CSSP is the nation’s first professional security credential designed for those responsible for the planning and overall security operations of sports venues and events.

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Demand for security cameras in the U.S. is projected to increase 7.2 percent annually through 2021 to $2.8 billion, according to a new report entitled Video Surveillance Equipment Market in the U.S. from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based research firm.

The company found that gains will result from a variety of factors that support replacement demand and sales of higher value, upgraded versions, including:
•    Ongoing product advancements in camera technology.
•    Increasing affordability of cameras with expanded features, such as internal recording capabilities.
•    Continued shift toward upgrading existing legacy analog systems to either IP or HD analog systems in order to utilize more feature-rich cameras and systems.
•    Rising interest in higher value, more niche camera types—such as thermal or explosion resistant—as their prices continue to come down, which will work to expand the base of installed cameras.

In 2016, dome cameras accounted for the largest share of video surveillance camera demand with 42 percent, the report found. “Sales of these products have benefited from developments over the past decade, such as increased durability and higher resolutions,” the press release read. “This has allowed for broader use of dome cameras in both indoor and outdoor applications. Dome camera sales have also gained from the rising use of cameras indoors, where these constructions are still highly popular due to their discreet appearance.”

Through 2021, sales of all video surveillance products are projected to increase 5.6 percent annually to $4.9 billion, according to the Freedonia Group, which noted that growth “will be driven by the increasing affordability of feature-rich systems that incorporate enhanced capabilities, which will work to expand the base of end users that choose to install video surveillance systems and spur replacement and upgrade demand among existing users.”

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I am very excited to announce Security Systems News’ Cloud+ 2017 conference education program, which can be found here. The show is Nov. 28-29, and back at the beautiful and relaxing Lost Pines Resort in the tech-savvy city of Austin, Texas.

This year’s education program is expanded, as we strive to be the education destination for those who are pioneering within the cloud community, which is revolutionizing security today.

As you look through this year’s program it will quickly become apparent that “Selling the Cloud” is an underlying theme for the conference, as sessions will look at how integrators, specifiers, dealers, suppliers—anyone looking to increase revenue and profits while providing cost-effective solutions with a high ROI—are leveraging cloud technology and computing with great success. Some of the leading integrators in the industry will uncover how they are transitioning from the traditional sales model to a more managed services model that increases RMR and lowers creation cost. 

And subject matter experts from the leading cloud solution and services providers in the industry will not only be there on panels to share best practices and the latest advances and research, but also many will be exhibiting, so you can dive in deeper and get face to face with the top cloud companies working in security today.

There are also cloud-centered sessions looking at the rise of smarter, safer cities and the potential there for the security industry; cybersecurity in the cloud; how to hire IT-savvy employees who can talk cloud; and much more!

Click here to view the program and to register.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The global smart home market is forecast to exceed $14 billion in 2017, with 10 percent of homes globally being smart by 2025, according to an IHS Markit report published this week.

“The smart home market has seen significant growth since 2010, when fewer than 0.5 percent of homes in the Americas region had connected devices such as thermostats, lighting, security and entertainment,” Blake Kozak, principal analyst, IHS Technology, said in a summary of the report. “By the end of 2017, nearly 7 percent of households in the region will have a connected home, averaging six devices per home.”

According to IHS, The global market for smart homes is currently worth $14.7 billion, with the Americas region representing 48 percent of global revenues, and by 2021, the EMEA region will represent the largest portion of device revenue with a 42 percent global share.

“When excluding large ticket items, such as major appliances, the global market size for smart home devices is forecast to be worth $3.3 billion by the end of 2017, reaching $9.4 billion in 2021,” Kozak noted. “Although the EMEA and Americas regions are expected to represent more than 70 percent of revenues for smart devices over the next five years, Asia is expected to dominate in terms of unit shipments. In 2021, the Asia region is expected to represent about 46 percent of unit shipments. Leading the unit shipments in Asia in 2021 will include light bulbs, air quality sensors and video cameras.”

The report also found that the top five players account for 36 percent of revenue in the space, including Nest, Amazon, Honeywell, Xiaomi and Netgear, who rounded out the top five for smart home revenue accounting for 36 percent in 2016 when excluding appliances. The top five players for unit shipments in 2016 accounted for 34 percent of global unit shipments and included Xiaomi, Amazon, Honeywell, Nest and Koninklijke Philips N.V.

“Globally, 19 manufacturers had more than 500,000 annual smart home device shipments in 2016,” said Kosak, while “46 manufacturers had more than $10 million in revenue in 2016, when excluding appliances.”

The top smart home devices to watch in terms of unit shipment growth include radiator valves, air quality sensors, smart speakers and appliances.

“Home audio (smart speakers) will continue to be one of the most disruptive trends in smart home through 2021,” Kosak pointed out. “The primary reason voice assistants in the smart home will gain significant traction across all three regions is the ability for these devices to aggregate disparate systems. So instead of using five different mobile applications in order to control the smart home features, voice can be used to aggregate all control, reducing the need to interact with a mobile device once the product is setup.”

Although appliances were the fourth largest device type in terms of unit shipments in 2016, they will be the most shipped device type in 2021, according to IHS, which noted that many appliances are already embedded with Wi-Fi capabilities that only need to be turned on by the manufacturer.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The $600 million Interface Security Systems deal has sent—as The Beach Boys once sang—“good vibrations” throughout the security industry, as it provides not only a vote of confidence for what Interface is doing as a modern systems integration company, but also a vote of confidence in the security industry, in general, as companies like Interface represent a new breed of integrator that is staying at the forefront of new technology and innovation.

John E. Mack III, executive vice president, co-head of investment banking and mergers & acquisitions at Imperial Capital, which acted as financial advisor to Interface on the deal, astutely pointed out that this deal goes beyond validation of what Interface is doing in the space.

“This is a very cool story for the sophisticated new-age security provider, which is what Interface is—the 2.0 version of what the right kind of security player should be,” he told Security Systems News. “We spend so much time in this industry talking about the residential side of the business, which is interesting, but there is a massive opportunity on the commercial side of the business that Interface is tapping into that I think is a compelling theme.”

He continued, “There is a lot of validation for a very successful business model here that Prudential is putting up $180 million of new capital, and SunTx is putting up additional capital into the deal. And that you’ve got a very attractive set of debt investors, and just the fundamental backing for the business, is a meaningful part of a positive message for the industry.”

Jeff Frye, SVP for Interface, told SSN that the support from equity partners is not only a stamp of approval for what the company is doing, but the “capital gives us more fuel to build on our current, better than 15 percent compounded annual growth rate, so we know that we can do more with a little more gas in the tank and we are anxious to prove it.”

Frye noted that the equity will allow the company to expand its products and services around providing business intelligence, as security is becoming so much more than just, well, security.

“As a network provider, and a managed services provider of network services and cybersecurity services, we touch a lot of aspects of our customers’ businesses,” Frye explained. “And as a leading purveyor of Internet of Things services, we are able to aggregate intelligence from all of those sensors and data sources to bring actionable insights to a customer’s business. There are some new verticals that we would like to focus on more, including financial services and banking, so this makes that horizon much brighter and much more approachable.”

And it also makes the security industry’s horizon a little brighter.

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