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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 8, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association (SIA), in partnership with the ASIS Foundation and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, jointly released guidance for practitioners in the security and building management fields. Intelligent Building Management Systems: Guidance for Protecting Organizations provides a framework to help decision makers assign a risk-based criticality or impact to their building and asks relevant security questions to develop appropriate mitigation strategies. It also serves to establish a common language between the many intelligent building stakeholders.

The guidance is based on original research, Building Automation & Control Systems: An Investigation into Vulnerabilities, Current Practice and Security Management Best Practice, by David J. Brooks, Michael Coole and Paul Haskell-Dowland of Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. The research provides an exhaustive overview of identified intelligent building critical vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies.

“The ASIS Foundation is delighted to work with our partners BOMA and SIA to support such critical research in a rapidly developing but insufficiently understood field,” Sandra Cowie, CPP, director, global security and business continuity, principal, and 2018 ASIS Foundation president, said in the joint announcement. “Building automation invokes cutting-edge issues and technology such as the Internet of Things and advanced video analytics, as well as traditional concerns such as physical access control and proper procedures. The integrated whole undoubtedly poses challenges that are still emerging. This research is indispensable to helping our members get a handle on both the challenges and the opportunities of this fast-growing market.”

According to the report, the intelligent building market is growing 31 percent per year and is expected to exceed $59 billion by 2023. These systems are increasingly embedded into the contemporary built environment due to the demand for reduced operating costs, government regulation, and greater monitoring, control and operability. However, this growth comes with a substantial set of security vulnerabilities that many security and facility professionals have not accounted for. Importantly, the research finds a significant disconnect between security and facility professionals’ perceived understanding of intelligent building threats and risks versus actual dangers. In addition, the report revealed that a lack of common terminology and practices can result in misunderstandings and siloed views of associated security risks.

The report findings emphasize the need to:
•    Take a multidisciplinary proactive management approach to intelligent building vulnerability mitigation
•    Fuse multidisciplinary participants into an intelligent building security team

Additional findings include the recognition of intelligent building integrators and cybersecurity experts as partners who can help organizations better understand threats and risks and more effectively achieve intelligent building security.

“The research developed by the ASIS Foundation provides insights that should be leveraged by our members and the industry to better understand and identify vulnerabilities within intelligent building systems," Don Erickson, chief executive officer, SIA, said in a prepared statement. "An essential outcome from this project is the recommended guidance and checklist that will help security practitioners and security technology solutions providers work together to implement strategies to mitigate against potential risks.”
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 1, 2018

ADT announced that former Amazon and Chewy.com executive, Jochen Koedijk, has joined the company as its chief marketing officer.

Reporting directly to ADT president Jim DeVries, Koedijk will be responsible for delivering digital and brand marketing strategies and initiatives that drive profitable business growth.
 
“Customer retention and lead-generation is significantly driven by digital engagement, and Jochen’s leadership experience with world-class organizations such as Amazon, Chewy, and Electronic Arts is an immediate asset to our organization,” DeVries said in the announcement. “Jochen is a marketing innovator, and we’re excited for him to build upon the ADT brand for our next generation of customers.”

Koedijk joins ADT from Chewy.com where he served as the vice president, marketing Previous to Chewy.com, Jochen held roles at Amazon and Electronic Arts. During his time at Amazon, he led worldwide Social Media and New Channel Advertising, overseeing a cross-functional team of more than 70 people and achieving triple digit year-over-year growth. As a member of Electronic Arts’ digital business unit leadership team, Jochen led in-house global performance marketing operations for the company’s Console, PC, and Mobile games business lines.

“Given the tremendous innovation in the home security and automation space, I couldn’t think of a better time to join ADT, North America’s most recognizable security leader,” Koedijk said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues to continue providing world-class customer service and scaling our business through new and disruptive channels.”

Koedijk holds his degrees in business administration and social sciences from the VU University in Amsterdam, NL.

Jamie Haenggi, who has been overseeing the marketing function as part of her responsibilities, will become the company’s chief customer officer. Customer strategy and retention remains the single most important part of the business, and Haenggi’s experience will be central to enhancing customer engagement, ADT said.

“Jamie is one of our most versatile executives,” DeVries said. “Her passion for the customer, strategic approach and vision for customer experience is instrumental to improving customer retention, maintaining best-in-class customer service and designing a roadmap for further customer engagement and growth.”

“We have made tremendous strides in our customer experience over the past two years,” Haenggi said in the press release. “I’m excited to lead the company’s efforts to further design and execute the customer strategy to deliver greater value, retention and an experience that continues to differentiate ADT in the marketplace.”

ADT, a provider of security and automation solutions in the United States and Canada for homes and businesses based in Boca Raton, Fla., employs approximately 17,500 people throughout North America.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Security Industry Association (SIA) recently provided an update and info on the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)’s announcement of a process to obtain product exclusions from Section 301 tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods imported to the United States. In effect as of Friday, July 6, an additional 25 percent tariff applies to 56 tariff subheadings identified by SIA as impacting security-related products.

USTR is now considering exclusion requests “to address situations that warrant excluding a particular product within a subheading, but not the tariff subheading as a whole.”

Since exclusions will be made on a product and not a company basis, exclusions will apply to all imports of the product regardless of whether the importer filed a request.

The exclusion process has the following important dates and features:

•    The public will have 90 days to file a request for a product exclusion; the request period will end on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
•    Following public posting of the filed request on regulations.gov, the public will have 14 days to file responses to the request for product exclusion. After the close of the 14-day response period, interested persons will have an additional 7 days to reply to any responses received in support of or opposition to the request.
•    Exclusions will be effective for one year upon the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register and will apply retroactively to July 6.

In evaluating requests, USTR will consider whether:

•    A product is available from a source outside of China
•    The additional duties would cause severe economic harm to the requestor or other U.S. interests
•    The particular product is strategically important or related to Chinese industrial programs including “Made in China 2025”

SIA wants to ensure affected members review the official notice and are aware of the opportunity for an exclusion via regulations.gov. Additionally, SIA asks members to share any specific products covered within these categories “that they believe may qualify for exclusion and are important to the U.S. security industry, in order to assist us in analyzing this issue.”

Security Systems News is also looking at this topic in our News Poll this month, so please weigh in by voting and commenting.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

VIZpin, a designer and manufacturer of the VIZpin smartphone-based, Bluetooth enabled access entry system, has announced the appointment of Wendi Grinnell to the newly created position of vice president, effective immediately.

Grinnell, of Elizabethtown, is a graduate of Rutgers University and has 20 years of marketing and sales leadership experience. She joined VIZpin in January 2017 in the role of marketing director.

According to VIZpin president and CEO Paul Bodell, the role of VP was added to the company’s organization to support VIZpin’s rapid growth and market expansion.

“Wendi’s extensive industry experience in customer-focused technology solutions and technical marketing make her a natural fit for the important role of Vice President,” Bodell said in the announcement. “Her contributions as marketing director have been invaluable, and we are eager for her to apply her innovative thinking and vision in her new, expanded role to continue enhancing VIZpin’s strategic direction and driving additional growth and profitability.”

As vice president, Grinnell will work closely with Bodell to determine VIZpin’s overall business strategy. She will have an integral role in the development and execution of the company’s growth strategy to achieve strategic business objectives, including leading sales and marketing efforts and team members to secure new business and expand existing business.

 “Since joining VIZpin, it has been exciting to see such a dramatic shift in the industry with the adoption of smartphone access control,” Grinnell said. “There are many new opportunities to explore, and as Vice President, I am looking forward to helping to create and execute new strategies to continue to expand our brand and grow the business.”
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Growth in the global professional video surveillance equipment market accelerated in 2017, and is forecasted to continue growing in 2018, according the latest IHS Markit research.

The world market for professional video surveillance equipment grew by 9.3 percent in 2017, IHS found, a much higher rate of growth than in 2016 (3.9 percent) and 2015 (1.9 percent).

“Increased government spending on equipment to fight crime and terrorism was a major factor in this growth, as was private sector spending on replacing equipment in retail and commercial installations,” Jon Cropley, senior principal analyst, video surveillance, IHS Markit, said in a summary of the study.

Increasing demand for security cameras is expected in 2018, he said, but a slightly lower of level of price erosion is also forecast. The combination of these factors will lead to 10.2 percent growth in the video surveillance equipment market, which will reach $18.5 billion in 2018, IHS noted.

Global demand for security cameras grew rapidly in 2017, but average prices continued to fall. “Nevertheless, revenue grew in most countries,” said Cropley. “Two of the fastest-growing country markets were Brazil and India. A major factor behind the growth in both countries was increased spending by private retail and commercial organizations on HD CCTV systems used to prevent crime.”

Accounting for 44 percent of all global revenue, the Chinese professional video surveillance equipment market grew by 14.7 percent, while the world market excluding China grew just 5.5 percent. “One major reason for the higher growth in China was the government’s Xue Liang program driving investment in both city surveillance projects and extending city surveillance systems into surrounding rural areas,” Cropley noted.

Other key findings include:
•    Although it remains highly fragmented compared to many other markets, the supply base for professional video surveillance equipment is gradually becoming more concentrated. The top 15 vendors accounted for 62 percent of global revenue in 2017.

•    Overall, 62 percent of all security cameras shipped in 2017 were network cameras.

•    Deep-learning-enabled recorders and servers, a new category this year, are an important element in powering what many expect to be the next generation of video analytics using artificial intelligence. They accounted for just 1 percent of global market revenues in 2017.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, July 3, 2018

SIA recently released its July 2018 Security Market Index (SMI), which showed industry confidence rebounding after a slight drop in confidence in May.

“After a rocky spring, confidence within the security industry seems to be recovering slightly,” according to the report. “Improvement in a variety of areas, including product production, new product introductions and new orders, led to a July 2018 Security Market Index (SMI) of 65. Any index above 50 indicates that conditions within the industry are largely positive and that security industry professionals are largely confident in their business prospects. The May 2018 SMI was 55, and the March 2018 SMI was 72.”

Special focuses of the July 2018 edition of SMI include:
•    Confidence in the surveillance segment climbing, cautiously
•    Slowing growth for integrators
•    Access control professionals broadly positive moving into summer
•    Consultants holding steady, but with little improvement
•    A bonus feature on government spending and security

According to SIA, the majority of security professionals surveyed for the July 2018 SIA Security Market Index “are at least cautiously optimistic about the prospect of increased security spending this year as a result of the recently enacted Omnibus Appropriations Act. Nearly a quarter of SMI survey respondents were ‘very optimistic about increased spending.’”

Many SIA members cited the poor timing or late release of the FY18 federal budget as the cause for “less than ideal current business conditions” in May.

“After the Omnibus Appropriations Act was enacted, however, more projects and new orders started trickling down, said one video surveillance professional,” the report noted. “One security systems integrator noted, however, that ‘if we start a trade war, (mess) up the immigrant inflow and keep proposing up coal, we’ll not continue the economic growth.’”

Overall, most security professionals surveyed for the July 2018 SIA Security Market Index (surveyed between June 1 and June 15, 2018) consider current business conditions to be either “excellent” (45 percent) or “good” (35 percent).

The majority of security industry professionals surveyed for the July 2018 Security Market Index cited increases in the number of employees or hours worked, marketing spending, product production, new product introductions, product or service sales and new orders.

For capital equipment spending, most (52 percent) said rates were remaining the same, but 48% said spending was increasing, which is improvement compared with May 2018, when only 34 percent were seeing increased capital equipment spending and 12 percent cited decreases.

For security systems integrators only 29 percent consider current business conditions to be “excellent,” compared with 45 percent of the SMI overall. A further 43 percent consider current conditions “good,” but 28 percent believe current conditions are either “average” or “fair.”

Overall, the integrator-specific Index for July 2018 is 59, down three points from its May 2018 level of 62.
   
Over the next three months, most integrators believe business conditions will be either “much better” (29 percent) or “a little better” (57 percent). This is a little more optimistic than the outlook from June 2017, when only 14 percent of integrators expected conditions over the next quarter to be “much better,” with 71 percent expecting “a little better” conditions.

Click here for the full report, including details on increasing confidence in the surveillance and access control segments, as well as info on security consultants, 75 percent of whom consider current business conditions as “excellent.”
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Friday, June 22

Started the last day of ESX sitting in on an excellent session, “Smart Home Market Becoming a Brilliant Opportunity?” featuring Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates; Bruce Mungiguerra, senior vice president of sales & business development, Nortek Security & Control; Thomas Nakatani, IT VP - customer monitoring technology & product, ADT Security; and Shuvankar Roy, vice president, Xfinity Home Comcast.

Abdelrazik started the session by giving an overview of some recent Parks research on the smart home. Looking at the use cases that consumers are interested in for the smart home, she noted, “Security and safety rose to the top and are the key value propositions that consumers understood, followed by access control and energy monitoring and management.”

In terms of smart home device ownership, she noted that 56 percent are security systems owners, with 37 percent saying the main purchase driver was to “keep your home safe.” Safety and security were also the main drivers for purchasing a security system, she said.

Overall, Parks forecasts shows “the market is shifting away from the traditional offering, and more and more consumers are adopting interactive services and home control systems,” said Abdelrazik. “So the competitive landscape is changing and if the dealer isn’t offering home security with interactive services and smart home products, they are really going to fall behind.”

She then looked at the type of security system desired by those who do not currently own one. Based on 2017 data, Parks found that 52 percent would choose “a system that could be monitored or controlled from my phone” while 36 percent would choose “a system that works with other smart devices that are not part of the security system," followed by at 36 percent, “a low cost, no frills solution.”

The top device added after installation included “cameras” at 30 percent, followed closely by motion sensors, door/window sensors and door locks, Abdelrazik noted.

She also shared Parks research on the average upfront price consumers paid for a security system that included smart home devices, which was $1,405, around double what they paid for a basic security system that included a control panel, system sensors and a keypad.

When dealers were asked why they offer smart home services, Parks found the top answer at 76 percent was “based on customer requests,” while the other top responses included “RMR oportunities” and “because our competitors offer it.”

And when dealers were asked what their biggest business challenge is, the No. 1 answer was inability to find qualified personnel. All on the panel agreed that with technology advancing so quickly, especially in the smart home space, hiring will continue to be a challenge. They also see great opportunities for dealers that are embracing this smart home movement and offering smart home options as part of their overall selling approach. Having a “good, better and best” option for customers will help simplify the process for homeowners, they said.

Each of the panelists pointed out that smart home services are driving greater interaction with their systems, which increases the perceived value of a system that prior to the smart home was not there. Customers who are more engaged with their systems spend more money and are easier to retain, the panelists all agreed.

Later that morning I had the pleasure of moderating the last session of the day, “Proven Customer Care Programs: Tips For Getting Started” featuring an excellent panel of John Bazyk, vice president of sales, Command Corporation, and Philip Pearson, president, Smart Home Consulting Group, who each provided great insight into how to engage with and know your customers, including best ways to collect and use data to lower attrition.

Bazyk has been perfecting his company’s customer retention program for several years and shared some of the key tenets of his program, which has helped his company achieve a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate, he pointed out.

The two also looked at best ways for dealers to communicate with their customers, including the importance of having a dedicated mobile app, as well as the potential for creating an e-commerce website and offering DIY products and services.

Next, I attended the Closing Keynote Luncheon, entitled Stronger Security, Safer Schools, which featured a panel that included H "Butch" Browning, state fire marshal, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal; Guy Grace, director of security and emergency planning, Littleton Public Schools (LPS); and Ryan Petty, senior vice president, business solutions, Cable & Wireless Communications Inc.

Browning started by telling attendees, “You are part of the solution, giving us the equipment and services to help keep everyone safe,” noting that “the security technology piece” should be an integral part of every school’s strategy.

Petty, who lost his daughter Alaina in the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day 2018, said that it is vitally important that parents understand their school district’s security strategy and procedures, most important of which is having a “dedicated person overseeing security,” including overseeing emergency preparedness planning, preparation and training.

Grace agreed, noting that a school must unify and integrate the different systems—fire, access control, video, mass communication, etc.—so the key information—such as red flags that are often raised prior to these tragic events occurring—are received by the right people in the school, as well as law enforcement, so they can possibly prevent these incidents from happening.

Grace pointed to his school’s anonymous messaging system that allows students to share info about other students without fear of being labeled a snitch, which many times prevents students from coming forward with vital info that could have prevented a violent act from occurring.

Thursday, June 21

A key theme for the second full day of ESX was meaningful and interactive education, as the morning and late afternoon educational sessions had something for everyone.

I had the good fortune to start my day moderating a session—“Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market”—featuring a stellar panel of Steve Butkovich, chief technology officer, CPI Security and Rodger Reiswig, VP, Industry Relations, Johnson Controls Inc., who really played well off each other, presenting their perspective and expertise on each of the five disruptive technologies we decided were most impactful today.

The Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market that we collectively decided on are:

1.    Cloud-based Solutions
2.    Cybersecurity (IoT, Adaptive Risk, etc.)
3.    Mobile/5G Connectivity
4.    AI/Machine Learning
5.    Biometric Identity Solutions
 
As a group we came up with a definition for what disruptive technology is: "Technology that displaces, replaces or improves on an existing technology or business process and protocol in the marketplace, producing something new and more efficient."

Reiswig and Butkovich looked at how each of these technologies are changing and disrupting what is currently in place, the benefits and potential for each within security, as well as some excellent use cases and examples to illustrate their points.

I also sat in on highly informative session, “Industry Outlook - What You Need to Know,” featuring Jeff Kessler, managing director, Institutional Research, Imperial Capital and Blake Kozak, principal analyst, Smart Home and Security Technology, IHS Markit.

Kozak presented first looking at IHS research on the total equipment market (by technology type) for 2017, pointing out that IHS estimated the total security market in 2017 is worth about $31 billion. By 2021, Kozak said the market is estimated to reach $42 billion globally. Not surprisingly, video surveillance equipment was the leading technology at more than $18 billion.

What was surprising is how much video surveillance dwarfed others on the list, including access control as the next closest at $4 billion, followed by entrance control, intruder alarms, enterprise storage, consumer video surveillance and mobile video and body worn cameras. The two fastest growing areas over the next five years will be enterprise storage and consumer video, like Nest, Kosak said.

Kozak also presented a global forecast for the electronic access control equipment market that showed a CAGR of 6.2 percent from 2016-2021. The global market was worth $4 billion in 2017 and will grow to over $5 billion by 2021. Of this amount the U.S. represents about $1.2 billion or about 33-35 percent. The U.S. market will not decline.

Kozak also got into cybersecurity, noting that recent data suggests that more than 420 million companies were hacked, including data breaches, in 2011, which increased to 4 billion breaches in 2016, “more than a 200 percent increase in a short time,” he pointed out. 

Kessler looked at monitoring trends and how they are affecting the residential and commercial markets and the convergence of physical and logical security.

Kessler presented some interesting findings from a recent survey that Imperial did with 400 police agencies looking at “who gets the first response from a verified call” when given a choice between a professionally monitored security system versus a self monitored DIY system. Interestingly, 331 out of 400 agencies said they give priority to professionally monitored systems over a DIY system, which Kessler astutely pointed out is good news for monitoring companies as it shows the value of professional monitoring today.

Wednesday, June 20

Great to be here in Nashville for ESX 2018, which is off to a great start, from the opening celebration on Tuesday, June 19, at the Country Music Hall of Fame, to a packed first full day on June 20 that featured a stellar—and hilariously funny—keynote presentationfrom from Scott Stratten, president, Unmarketing, entitled “The Age of Disruption: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different.” at the Opening Keynote Luncheon (more on this later).

At the OpenXchange breakfast on Wednesday, ESX chairman George De Marco led a diverse panel that included Michael Simmons, CEO, Driveway, Mike Soucie, senior product marketing manager, Google, and Jeremy Warren, chief technology officer, Vivint Smart Home. The group looked at how disruptive technologies are changing the security landscape.

The panel also looked at how the world we live in is becoming more connected and more automated, from our home to our car to our place of work. The group discussed the relevance of integration services, how to adopt IoT offerings and how to provide more value to customers by taking the complexity out of making a wide variety of devices work together for a truly intelligent home. They also tackled topics such as data privacy and the role of the integrator and dealer in an ever-increasing DIY industry.

Looking at the future of the smart home, Warren said it is “not about the devices, but about the platform that ties it all together.” As the home becomes more of a “thoughtful home,” Warren asked, “What services will homeowners be willing to pay for in the future?”

Soucie added, “Devices should fade into the background,” noting that there are opportunities to “monetize solution bundles.”

The group also got into a good discussion on privacy. With the increase in video and data being produced today, homeowners are becoming more comfortable “trading privacy for convenience,” De Marco pointed out.

De Marco also moderated the counterpoint session of the day, “How will MAGA affect You and the Industry?” featuring Robert Few, managing partner, The Connection Xchange and Kirk MacDowell, president, MacGuard Security Advisors Inc., who looked at how MAGA—MSO’s, Apple, Google and Amazon—is impacting and reshaping the security industry and challenging security dealers today.

Both panelists agreed that MAGA is good for the industry, as they are raising greater awareness for a residential market that has been stuck around the 20 percent penetration rate for as long as anyone can remember. Few said that he believes that these entrants are already helping to drive this penetration rate up into the high 20s.

“I am excited they are here,” Few said. “They make our businesses better.”

Few also pointed out dealers really need to focus on connecting with their customers. “Engagement is key,” he said. “The more, the better.”

This counterpoint session provided some valuable opportunities for the audience to participate and guide the discussion. There was some good discourse around questions about competing with MAGA on pricing and creation costs, as well as installation, support and maintenance, which are key areas where dealers and integrators can differentiate themselves, the panelists pointed out.

Moving to the opening keynote luncheon, Stratton started out looking at the importance of brand, but from a slightly different perspective. He gave a great example of the great extent Ritz-Carlton’s employees went to get a lost teddy bear, Joshie, back to a family that had stayed at the hotel. Hotel staff went above and beyond, overnighting Joshie back to the family, along with sending pictures of Joshie enjoying his extended stay at the pool, Joshie working at the hotel, etc., as well as a Joshie employee badge—the ultimate customer service response that started with the laundry room staff member who found the bear all the way to the front desk person who made sure this issue was resolved.

“We all want word of mouth,” said Stratton, noting that many times companies aren’t doing things that are worthy of it. His example also illustrates the need for great leadership that is willing to empower and trust their employees to do the right thing. For example, the Ritz-Carlton, he said, allows an employee $2,000 to make things right with a guest who has any issue or needs special attention.

“The frontline changes the bottom line,” said Stratton, for better and for worse, depending on the tone and direction from leadership, which is something that is often mistaken for management. “From 30,000 feet up you can’t see the cracks on the ground,” said Stratton, noting that leadership requires that you listen to your employees.

What made this presentation so great was the way Stratton weaved in funny stories and witticisms that resonated with everyone in attendance, from millennials to Gen Xers to baby boomers. 

Following the keynote, and the expo hall ribbon cutting, the winner of the ESX 2018 TECHVISION Challenge Best-of-Show competition was announced. DMP's Virtual Keypad and Dealer Admin took home the top prize.

In addition to the Innovation Awards, attendees honored the recipient of ESA's 2017 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award, Tom Donaldson, during the Opening Celebration. “I’m honored that anyone would take a moment to think that I could stand with these gentlemen,” said Donaldson as he received the award.

The Monitoring Association's 2018 Excellence Awards were also announced and congratulated, including: Patricia Fody, Vector Security, Operator of the Year; Carmelo Mosca, Affiliated Monitoring, Manager of the Year; and Beth Bailey, ADT LLC, Support Person of the Year. Affiliated Monitoring took home the association's coveted Monitoring Center of the Year award.

In other notable news, Chris Mosley, president of Complete Security Systems in New Jersey, was sworn in as ESA president, taking the reins from Angela White, who will now serve as Immediate Past President for the next two years.

Don Childers, chief operating officer of Security Central in North Carolina will serve as the one-year term Vice President.

Two open positions for two-year term vice president were filled by Tim Creenan of Amherst Alarm in New York and Jamie Vos of Security Solutions NW of Washington. Steve Firestone of Select Security in Pennsylvania was installed for another two-year term as Secretary. Steve Paley and Dee Ann Harn will continue to serve in their positions as treasurer and vice president respectively.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I am excited to be heading to Nashville next week for ESX 2018, especially with Security Systems News as the premier media sponsor once again this year. As always, we love supporting this key industry conference each year.

If you don’t find me at the SSN booth, roaming the trade show floor, or at one of the many keynote events lined up this year, come and check out one or both of the two interesting sessions that I will be moderating this year.

The first one, “Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market,” is on Thursday, June 21, from 8:00-9:15AM in room 101 D, and features two great speakers—Steve Butkovich, chief technology officer, CPI Security and Rodger Reiswig, VP, Industry Relations, Johnson Controls Inc. I don’t want to reveal what those “Top 5” technologies are just yet, but one will be cloud. You will have to come to the session to find out the other four!

The second session that I am moderating, “Proven Customer Care Programs: Tips For Getting Started” is on Friday, June 22, from 11:00AM-12:00PM in room 101 A, and features two excellent speakers—John Bazyk, vice president of sales, Command Corporation, and Philip Pearson, president, Smart Home Consulting Group. Each of these speakers has a unique perspective on the topic and brings a wealth of information, resources and guidance on how to engage with your customers, lower attrition and improve retention and profitability long term.

Looking forward to a great week of education, networking and fun—Pub Crawl anyone?

See you in Nashville!

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Convergint Technologies made its second acquisition outside the U.S. this month, with the acquisition of Integrators Australia, a systems integrator based in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

One of the world’s largest systems integrators, Convergint continues to grow its global footprint via organic growth and acquisition. Integrators Australia is Convergint’s second international acquisition in 2018, and it provides Convergint with a physical location and a group of experienced colleagues to expand its service in the local market.

“Acquiring Integrators Australia is another major step in building out our global service platform,” Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint, said in the announcement. “The addition of Integrators Australia greatly expands our presence in the Australian market and strengthens our ability to meet the service needs of our global customers in Australia. We welcome Dean Monaghan and his entire team to the Convergint organization.”

Founded in 2005 by Dean Monaghan, Integrators Australia is one of the largest independent integrators in Australia, servicing key clients across both Australia and New Zealand. Convergint chose to join forces with Integrators Australia because of its dedication to excellent customer service, a key component of Convergint’s own culture.

“We are very excited to become a part of Convergint Technologies, in which we have found a like-minded culture of service-first delivery,” Monaghan, managing director of Integrators Australia, said in a prepared statement.  “It has taken 13 years of dedication from our entire group to reach the strong level of capability and expertise that we offer today, and joining Convergint marks the next step in our evolution.”

Dan Moceri, Convergint’s co-founder and CEO told SSN after the acquisition of Paris-based systems integrator Astrec Security in early May that he sees many more opportunities to grow the company’s global presence.
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 24 passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes an amendment prohibiting the federal government from purchasing video surveillance equipment from several China-based manufacturers, including Hikvision and Dahua. The bill still needs to make it through the Senate before being signed into law by the president.

In response to this legislative action, Jeffrey He, president, Hikvision USA Inc. and Hikvision Canada Inc., told Hikvision channel partners in an emailed letter, “We are actively working to assure our North American stakeholders that Hikvision strictly abides by the laws and regulations of each country in which it operates. We also reaffirm the fact that we hold our products to the industry’s global cybersecurity standards, including North America.”

He continued, “As we continue to monitor and further deploy the necessary resources to address this matter over the coming weeks and months, please know that we will vigorously defend Hikvision from dangerous and unproven accusations about the cybersecurity of our products and solutions.”

Dahua issued an official response to the proposed legislation, saying, “Dahua Technology is a commercial enterprise with high level of business integrity. As an international company, Dahua Technology complies with all related laws and regulations in the countries where it does business.”

As this bill heads to the Senate for any revisions and ultimately to the president for signature, it will be interesting to see if specific references to Hikvision and Dahua will be included in the final bill.

SSN continues to report on this story.
 

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