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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LAS VEGAS—Security Systems News caught up with ACRE COO Ron Virden, who this week published a great piece titled, “Electronic Access Control & The Future of Security: Is the Lock and Key Obsolete?”

Virden noted in his article that the end of the traditional lock and key may be here as wireless technologies transform “the possibilities for electronic access control.”

With Google and Amazon getting into the residential space, they are “really helping to drive that tipping point and you will see the consumer demand speed this up into the corporate space, especially the SMB market where we are already seeing this happen,” he told SSN. “But for the larger [enterprise] groups, where you still have to have the identification piece that a badge provides, the migration will take longer and I don’t know if it will ever be a 100 percent migration to mobile.”

And while wireless locks have been in existence for a long time, “next-generation products equipped with near-field communication and Bluetooth represent a quantum leap forward,” he noted in his article. “With established players such as ASSA ABLOY, Allegion and Dormakaba bringing their high-tech products to the market, wireless will rapidly become the standard means of managing access.”

He continued, “This is game-changing because it extends monitoring and control capabilities to a far wider range of access points. Today, most organizations limit digital locks and access credentials to the first line of defense—external doors. With nextgen wireless, any internal or external door can be added to the network so that traffic can be monitored and controlled throughout the building or complex. Not only does this improve the level of security and visibility, it also has the potential to provide valuable usage data that can help to reduce energy consumption, enhance safety and comfort and even provide predictive analytics that can guide space allocation or development.”

But before the industry can realize this new generation of wireless and mobile technologies, Virden said there are some challenges to overcome.

“The market is fragmented and territorial with lock manufacturers and mobile access firms focused on developing proprietary credentialing systems that protect their market share,” he explained in his piece. “However, that doesn’t serve the needs of the consumer or business market, both of which are resistant to being ‘locked’ into a specific brand of hardware or software.”

This is why, Virden told SSN, "open platform" is so important. “If you look at the intrusion business, you can go in and take over a panel and you can change who your provider is, so we have to have some way in the future for companies to not just be wed to one platform, and if you want to change who your credential provider is, you are able to do that,” he said.

Companies that focus on open platform and working well with others will benefit the most moving forward. “Focusing on hardware-agnostic software or credential-agnostic hardware will generate a bigger, more sustainable market,” he noted in his article. “Players that adopt a collaborative approach, aim for the mid-market, and look for ways to add value—whether through enhanced safety, convenience or data-driven insight—will see big opportunities in the coming years.”

For the full version of Virden’s article, click here.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES—Arecont Vision announced this week that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware, and agreed to have substantially all of the company’s assets acquired by an affiliate of Turnspire Capital Partners, LLC, an equity firm that is known as a turnaround specialist. In the Arecont press release, the company stated that the proposed transaction will enable Arecont “to pursue accelerated development of new, industry-leading video surveillance products and better meet the needs of its customers today and beyond.”

Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision’s chief operating officer and general manager, said in the announcement, “Through this transaction, Arecont Vision will shed its debt and make bolder decisions to invest in our future versus maintain the status quo. We are excited to have found a partner in Turnspire who shares our vision and will ensure an exciting future for the Company to the benefit our customers, employees, and partners,”

He continued, “Manufacturing, customer service, and sales activities will continue uninterrupted. Our employees will receive their wages and benefits as before, and our own vendors and suppliers will be paid in the ordinary course of business going forward.”

Arecont said that current management will continue to lead the company, and business “will continue uninterrupted, and operations will be supported by debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing provided by Arecont Vision’s current secured lenders.”

The Turnspire bid will be subject to an auction at which it will be subject to higher and better offers, and require Court approval. The Company anticipates the transaction will move swiftly and close within 60-75 days.

“Arecont Vision implemented key strategic initiatives beginning in mid-2017 that continue in the current year, all aimed at enhancing customer engagement, increasing revenue, and optimizing business processes. The goal is to better address the needs of the market and maintain and expand our industry technology leadership,” said Calderon. “While these efforts bore fruit immediately, we can now accelerate that progress unburdened by excess debt. Ultimately it was determined that using the chapter 11 process to facilitate a reorganization and sale was the swiftest and most efficient way to reduce debt while accelerating sales growth and product development.”

The Company is advised by the law firm of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones LLP, Armory Strategic Partners as the Company’s chief restructuring officer and financial advisor, and Imperial Capital as the Company’s investment banker.

Court filings as well as other information related to the restructuring are available here.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Canon today announced the acquisition of BriefCam, a provider of Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions. Closing of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions.

“The acquisition will create even greater synergies between the BriefCam Video Content Analytics platform and Canon’s Network Video Solutions portfolio,” Trevor Matz, president & CEO of BriefCam, told Security Systems News. “BriefCam will continue to innovate and deliver best-of-breed video content analytics enabling law enforcement,  public safety agencies and major enterprises transform their video surveillance footage into actionable intelligence and dramatically shorten the time-to-target for security threats while increasing safety and optimizing operations.”

Masanori Yamada, Canon Inc. managing executive officer and group executive, Network Visual Solution Business Promotion Headquarters, said in the announcement, “We are very excited to work with such an innovative organization and we welcome BriefCam into the Canon Group. With BriefCam, we can deliver an even broader range of leading-edge technology and solutions in the fields of network cameras, video management software and video content analysis software to customers and partners across the globe.”

BriefCam will continue to operate under the leadership of its current management structure, remain an open platform, and continue to provide its software to the market through its own sales channels.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with a global leader in digital imaging,” said Matz. “The acquisition will allow BriefCam to continue to deliver industry leading video content analytics solutions, while remaining a standalone company within the Canon Group. The opportunity is a testament to the innovative technology we have built, the outstanding team we have assembled, and the rapidly growing business we have created.”
 
The acquisition will also enable BriefCam to enter new markets, deliver stronger vertical solutions, and serve global customers even more effectively, he said.

Founded in 2007, BriefCam’s Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions are used for rapid video review and search, smart alerting and quantitative video insights.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Amazon announced last week that it is jumping into the home security business—with both feet I might add—with the unveiling of five security packages for both homeowners and renters. What is most interesting about this announcement, though, is Amazon’s go-to-market strategy, which involves no monthly fees, just an upfront cost for the equipment package. Plus, all five equipment packages include free installation and visits from Amazon smart home experts to go over what is the best fit prior to choosing an option.

For those who have been following the success of Amazon’s Alexa, this move really shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially considering all of the inroads Amazon has been making in the smart home space, from its acquisition of Ring, the smart doorbell company, to its new in-home delivery service, Amazon Key, that features its Cloud Cam and partnerships with smart lock providers. 

It will be interesting to see how this will shake up the current home security market, which traditionally has existed on a RMR model that includes spreading some of equipment cost out over several months or years. It will also be interesting to see how this move succeeds overall for Amazon, as the security packages get a bit costly on the higher end.

So, let’s take a look at what packages they are offering, many of which work in tandem with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. Amazon is offering two outdoor security packages and three indoor packages. The first outdoor package, for $240, includes “expert smart lighting that will make it look like you’re home,” the website reads, while the Outdoor Plus package adds in a smart doorbell. For indoor security, the base package for $320, which is “perfect for renters” the website says, includes motion, door and window sensors, an indoor camera, smart siren and smart home hub. Homeowners can choose from Smart for $575 or Smartest for $840, each of which adds devices to the base package.

As consumer buying seems to be moving more toward a subscription-based model, this seems like a bit of risk to ask homeowners to pay that much up front, but it may be a risk that pays off for Amazon. For one, consumers who may not have taken the leap into the smart home or home security will see this as a way to get both—the Alexa voice assistant and home security—all from one provider in a very seamless way.

SSN would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), an organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud-computing environment, recently released its State of Cloud Security 2018.

The report, authored by the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board, examines such areas as the adoption of cloud and related technologies, what both enterprise and cloud providers are doing to ensure security requirements are met, how to best work with regulators, the evolving threat landscape, and the industry skills gap.

“The state of cloud security is a work in progress with an ever-increasing variety of challenges and potential solutions,” Vinay Patel, chair of the CSA Global Enterprise Advisory Board and managing director at Citigroup, said in the announcement of the report. “It is incumbent upon the cloud user community, therefore, to collaborate and speak with an amplified voice to ensure that their key security issues are heard and addressed. We hope this document will serve as a roadmap to developing best practices in the establishment of baseline security requirements needed to protect organizational data.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

•    Exploration of case studies and potential use cases for blockchain, application containers, microservices and other technologies will be important to keep pace with market adoption and the creation of secure industry best practices.
•    With the rapid introduction of new features, safe default configurations and ensuring the proper use of features by enterprises should be a goal for providers.
•    As adversaries collaborate quickly, the information security community needs to respond to attacks swiftly with collaborative threat intelligence exchanges that include both providers and enterprise end users.
•    A staged approach on migrating sensitive data and critical applications to the cloud is recommended.
•    When meeting regulatory compliance, it is important for enterprises to practice strong security fundamentals to demonstrate compliance rather than use compliance to drive security requirements.

Noting that “innovators and early adopters” have been using cloud for years for quicker deployment, greater scalability, and cost saving of services, the report noted that the growth of cloud computing “continues to accelerate offering more solutions with added features and benefits, including security. In the age of information digitalization and innovation, enterprise users must keep pace with consumer demand and new technology solutions ensuring they can meet both baseline capabilities and security requirements.”

Interestingly, the report pointed out that increased adoption in cloud services has followed consumer confidence with the security of cloud providers, who continue to invest in the security of their platforms. CSA referred to a McAfee survey, Navigating a Cloudy Sky, which found that complete trust in public cloud offerings increased 76 percent in 2017.

As CSA noted in this report last year, technology is outpacing the skills sets within companies and businesses to adopt them, according to CSA’s report. “As organizations react to this demand to stay competitive, secure adoption of these technologies becomes an even greater challenge. With cloud and new IT technologies, the supply chain ecosystem needs to collaborate so that large enterprises and regulators can understand how to securely adopt new technologies and new features on existing provider technologies. Each party must play a role in securing customer data and sharing best practices for secure operations.”

Ultimately, education and awareness still needs to improve around provider services and new technologies for the enterprise. “Small-scale adoption projects need to be shared so that security challenges and patterns can be adopted to scale with the business and across industry verticals. This skills gap, particularly around cloud and newer IT technologies, needs to be met by the industry through partnership and collaboration between all parties of the cyber ecosystem.”

For the full report, click here.

 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 18, 2018

We here at Security Systems News are excited to announce the dates and location for Cloud+ 2018, which will be held in beautiful Delray Beach, Fla., on September 5-6. The conference will take place at the Delray Beach Marriott—an intimate, Mediterranean-style hotel located on the Gold Coast at the corner of A1A - Ocean Boulevard and famed Atlantic Avenue, located directly across the street from the beach. This is also the same location where we host our TechSec Solutions conference each year.

Last year’s Cloud+ education program received high marks from attendees, and we are hard at work putting together another top-notch program that makes Cloud+ the education destination for those who are pioneering within the cloud community.

Click here for more info on the conference, the location and to see last year’s program and speakers, who are the “who’s who” of the industry. And stay tuned for more on the show, including announcements of the keynote speaker and full education program.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Friday, April 6, 2018

ISC West 2018, held in Las Vegas, April 10-13, continued to build on the momentum it has built up over the past few years. From the educational sessions, many of which were standing-room-only, to a crowded and buzzing trade show floor, this year’s ISC West did not disappoint. Will Wise and Sherida Sessa from ISC Security Events confirmed my initial impressions of the show during our video interview for ssnTV on the ISC West Main Stage, noting that although they didn’t have final numbers yet, “key metrics” indicate that attendance is up again this year, in addition to an increase in the total number of exhibitors and new companies exhibiting.

In addition to the many video interviews I was able to do for ssnTV on the ISC West Main Stage, I was able to visit a number of booths throughout the week, as well as attend many key events and meetings led by industry leaders. The following is a recap of my time at ISC West.

Tuesday and Wednesday

Arriving on Monday proved wise, as I was able to attend some interesting educational sessions led by both SIA and PSA, which hosted a full day of educational sessions on Tuesday, many focused on leadership and helping integrators build and grow their businesses. For example, Chris Peterson, co-founder and principal, Vector Firm, presented a session, “Building Managed Service into your Business - Benefits to you and the Customer,” and Paul Boucherle, principal/founder, Matterhorn Consulting LLC, presented, “The Key to Executing Business Strategy.”

The SIA educational sessions I was able attend were spot on, including one of the most popular sessions on Tuesday, “The Future of Physical Security: The Decade Ahead,” presented by Terry Gold, principal analyst, D6 Research, who looked at how physical security will significantly change over the next decade, mostly defined by end users looking for value and comprehensive solutions that address both the physical and IT challenges faced today.

As has become a tradition at ISC West, I began Wednesday bright and early with the great folks at Axis Communications, which hosted its 11th annual press breakfast. Celebrating 30 years as a company here in the U.S., Fredrik Nilsson, VP Americas, and Martin Gren, founder, led us through a fun game of security-themed Jeopardy, with questions and answers that highlighted the many video and other product accomplishments the company has made over its storied history. In addition to “being an innovator” in the video space, Gren noted that IP audio provides a “huge opportunity for us to grow,” as the company continues to add new products within this category.

At the Feenics press event, the company made a couple of big announcements, including the steps it has taken in the area of cybersecurity, as well as its new pricing structure. Company president Denis Hebert pointed out that Keep by Feenics’ API service has achieved VerAfied certification by Veracode. He also outlined the company’s new pricing approach, Transaction-based Pricing, for large-scale enterprise installations or VAR’s running managed service operations. As Hebert noted, “The client only pays for what they use.”

At the Robotic Assistance Devices press event, company president and founder, Steve Reinharz, unveiled RAD’s newest artificially intelligent guarding solution—the Security Control and Observation Tower or SCOT—a standalone, remote, portable, self-sufficient intelligence observation tower designed to expand an organization's security reach instantly. SCOT, combined with the company’s robots, are part of what Reinharz calls a “paradigm shift for the industry,” which is beginning to leverage AI and robotics as a force multiplier within many verticals.

Moving to the ACRE booth, I was able to chat with Kim Loy and Joe Grillo about both the Vanderbilt and COMNET brands, and how the two “complement” each other nicely. They also gave me an update on Vanderbilt’s ACT365, a Cloud-based access control and video management solution that is now launched here in the U.S. after success globally. The company will be making “a big push” this year with ACT365 both here in the U.S. and globally, they said.

At the ASSA ABLOY booth, I attended the company’s press event, which was led by Mark Duato, executive vice president, aftermarket, ASSA ABLOY who provided an overview of the company’s strategy to stay at the forefront of innovation within access control. The company made several announcements during the show, including a new Intelligent Keys certification program developed to connect systems integrators with more business opportunities as well as a recurring revenue model for integration businesses. The company also announced new partnerships with Averics, BluB0X, Dot Origin, Identiv and Viscount.

Alarm.com made a big splash this year with the announcement of its “Alarm.com for Business,” a solution for the SMB market that the company unveiled just before the show. Matthew Zartman, director of communications, walked me through the new solution, which combines intelligent intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control and energy management into a single solution that is controlled through Alarm.com’s app. Zartman noted the focus is on “making it easy for dealers” to get more business, specifically on the commercial side.

At the Eagle Eye Systems booth, I chatted with company founder Dean Drako about the company’s “continued growth,” as well as many new announcements at the show, including the company’s new HD video over coax solution; a globalization project to meet the needs of multi-national customers; enhanced video analytics offered within the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera VMS; and a partnership with Hikvision USA to extend the Eagle Eye Cloud Security Camera Video Management System to include body worn cameras.

Over at the Genetec booth, I had a great conversation with Genetec VP of marketing Andrew Elvish, who spoke about the company’s commitment and focus on the cybersecurity of its products and partners, as well as how the company is working closely with end users and integrators to meet their needs. The company highlighted its new range of market-specific solutions developed to address the needs of airports, cities, educational institutions, retailers, and transportation customers. Elvish also spoke about how Genetec is helping its North American security directors to get ready for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Visiting the Hanwha Techwin booth, Miguel Lazatin, director of product and channel marketing, North America, updated me on the company’s continued evolution and growth over the past year. Lazatin said the company continues to “make huge investments in people and products.” The company announced five new IP-based Wisenet thermal cameras as well as a new line of mobile cameras, both of which are new categories for the company, Lazatin noted. The company also unveiled new multi-sensor camera options.

At the ISONAS booth, Melissa Stenger, VP of product management and marketing, and Rob Lydic, Global VP of Sales, talked with me about the evolution of the company’s IP access control solution and its hyper focus on cybersecurity and network protection, including ongoing PEN testing and third party testing of its products and systems. The company launched its IP-Bridge 2.0, a more powerful tool to help migrate old legacy systems into the IP era, including more processing power and additional functionality local to the device. The company also announced a new integration with Genetec software.

Thursday and Friday

Sat down with Kami Dukes, director of business development for AMAG Technology, who walked me through the company’s latest addition to their portfolio, RISK360, a global incident and case management system that investigates and analyzes incidents to help organizations operate more efficiently, save money, enforce compliance and mitigate risk. Dukes pointed out that the key is that RISK360 integrates seamlessly with AMAG’s Symmetry Access Control software, so events in RISK360 are communicated to Symmetry Access Control, and alarms in Symmetry generate events in RISK360.

At the Boon Edam booth, Tracie Thomas, VP of marketing, explained how the company’s “increased brand awareness” has led to “double-digit growth in the U.S.” The company has been growing its enterprise team as it expands on its full range of products that go way beyond the “turnstile” products to a full suite of access control solutions from the exterior of a facility to the most important spaces inside as well. Thomas talked about how the company is allowing security providers to be more proactive and predictive using its solutions to mitigate risk and avoid liability.

I spoke with Galaxy Control Systems’ president Robert Loughlin at their booth about new enhancements and integrations for the company’s flagship System Galaxy on-site access control software, and its cloud-based Cloud Concierge SaaS offering, which has gained tremendous traction with resellers since its introduction last year. Additional news includes the launch of a new A&E Program, and an OEM agreement with an international company based in Singapore to design, develop, manufacture and deliver OEM access control hardware and software that will be white labeled for sale exclusively in the EMEA region.

At the Altronix booth, Kirby Han, art director, gave me an overview of the company’s newest additions and updates to its growing product line, including its Trove series, which has added kits “to help dealers,” Han noted. The Trove Access and Power Integration Solutions simplify board layout and wire management, while providing extreme flexibility and scalability when designing and deploying access systems. Also new are the Altronix Dual Voltage Access Power Controller, which reduces costs and saves valuable enclosure space, and the NetWay Spectrum 2-Port Media Converter/Injector, which converts one fiber cable into two Ethernet ports.

Over at the IrisID booth, I spoke with Mohanned Murad, VP, global sales & business development, who showed me the company’s iCAM M300 Biometric Multimode Android Phone, a SIA New Product Showcase winner in the Mobile Apps category. Murad noted that the goal is to create the most “non-frictional biometric” as possible, providing a reliable and cyber-secure mobile app that is cloud-based and offers an easy path to a mobile credential solution for all levels of security, including critical infrastructure.

At the Lenel booth, Ross McKay, director of products, spoke about how the company continues to focus on leveraging the cloud, providing more browser-based products and developing reliable and safe mobile credentials. Key Lenel products showcased include
OnGuard version 7.4, which supports several browser-based clients, eliminating the need for onsite server hardware; the LNL-4420 intelligent controller, which has been added to the GSA’s approved product list for use by agencies implementing programs to meet Federal Identity, Credential and Access Management (FICAM) requirements; and a new version of the BlueDiamond app that can anticipate users’ door and reader selections to reduce authentication time.

I sat down at the Pivot3 booth with Bruce Milne, VP & chief marketing officer, and John D’Avolio, analyst relations director, who both spoke about how the company continues to partner with other companies to provide “end to end” solutions for their customers. Milne listed companies like Lenovo, Hytrust and Iron Mountain as key partnerships toward that goal. For example, he pointed to how the partnership with Iron Mountain led to the introduction of Iron Cloud, which delivers a secure and scalable cloud-based solution for managing video content.

At the OnSSI booth, I spoke with Ken Lamarca, VP, sales and marketing, who noted that “business is strong” as the company showcased its latest Ocularis 5.5 Video Management Software (VMS) platform, which includes new integrations and automation functions that increase overall performance and cost-efficiency. Lamarca said the platform uses the “highest encryption” standards available as well as proven hardening protocols. The company also highlighted several partnerships, including with ConvergenceTP (C2P), CyberExtruder, Jemez Technology and NetApp.

At the Oncam booth, I chatted with Jumbi Edulbehram, regional VP, Americas, about the company’s growth and increased demand for 180- and 360-degree video solutions that deliver “higher levels of situational awareness” than traditional fixed cameras. He also highlighted the introduction of the Evolution Stainless Steel form factor in both the 5MP and 12MP versions to meet the needs of customers operating in extreme environments where resilience and compliance to stringent regulations are critical. The company also launched its revamped Technology Integration Partner Program, which is built to ease integration with Oncam technologies and provide extensive support to aligned technology partners.

Over at the Manything… booth, Laura O’Sullivan, head of marketing, and James West, CEO & Co-Founder, talked about how the company is responding to the needs of integrators, developing a “much cheaper pricing” model that “integrators love,” West noted. Manything, which began as an app allowing users to turn spare smartphones and tablets into home security cameras, has now grown to empower professional security dealers and integrators to offer remote viewing and offsite cloud surveillance recording, creating a new source of RMR, he noted. The company also unveiled its Manything Pro, a cloud SaaS solution that allows users to access their video through an Apple or Android mobile app.

NOTE: In addition to daily reports, look for ssnTV video interviews from the show floor under the Video tab on this website, including top execs from Brivo, Northland Controls, ONVIF, ISC Security Events, IHS Markit, Bates Security, and many more.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ACRE, a global leader in providing security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, announced today the promotion of Andrew Acquarulo Jr. to president of ACRE Americas. Ronald Virden, who was recently named ACRE COO, will also assume the role of president of ACRE International. The evolution of the company's leadership roles will allow ACRE to refocus its efforts based on geographic regions, providing greater alignment between its Vanderbilt and ComNet brands in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. 

Virden, who will assume his expanded role effective June 1, 2018, will be based in Dublin, Ireland, and take over the Vanderbilt CEO role from Joe Grillo, who will continue to serve as ACRE CEO. All of the management of Vanderbilt's international operations, as well as ComNet's UK-based operations, will fall under Virden's purview. Virden will also remain COO of ACRE.

“Joe [Grillo] has had the foresight to create a successful independent security company, and as I contribute to adding to that legacy, it's critical to ensure ACRE continues upon its growth trajectory,” Virden said in the announcement. “I'm eager to take on the additional responsibility as President of ACRE International, focusing on growing and streamlining operations across its global markets.”

As president of ACRE Americas, Acquarulo will be responsible for the strategic vision, operations and sales initiatives for both of the company's ComNet and Vanderbilt brands in the Americas under the ACRE moniker, effective April 1, 2018. Acquarulo has served as president and CEO for ComNet since 2010, leading the company's strategic vision across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. He played an instrumental role in positioning ComNet into developing more networked-based solutions and guiding it to offer a combination of fiber optic, electrical and wireless solutions to increase options for its global customer base. Acquarulo also helped transition the brand into the ACRE group in 2016.

“As the market continues to transition into one driven by emerging technologies, such as cloud services and intelligent platforms, ACRE is poised to continue its leadership role in these segments,” Acquarulo said in a prepared statement. “This evolution marks a tremendous opportunity for ACRE to extend its leadership position in the industry, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Acquarulo will oversee sales and revenue growth, and prepare the brands for new expansion opportunities. He will report directly to Grillo and Virden.

“Andy had the foresight to help shift ComNet toward the emerging trends across the security and intelligent transportation systems market long before many of the company's competitors, and Ron brings a significant amount of global executive experience to our team,” said Grillo in the announcement. “ACRE continues to look for ways to streamline operations and make continued investments in its leadership team, which will help propel our brand forward and solidify our strength in the marketplace. We are also interested in positioning the ACRE brand for future expansion that will allow additional revenue streams and the addition of key markets across the globe.”

Founded in 2012, ACRE’s Vanderbilt and ComNet brands deliver advanced solutions to thousands of customers around the world. Today, ACRE employs more than 325 employees in more than 15 countries.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

School safety grants administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—a major policy priority for the Security Industry Association (SIA) since 2008—will provide $25 million immediately, and $33 million annually, as provisioned in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, which was officially signed into law by the president earlier this week.

The new law provides $25 million immediately for school security technology and equipment in addition to emergency communications systems and other coordination with law enforcement to enhance response capabilities. Administered through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), $33 million is authorized annually for the program beginning next year. Overall, the STOP School Violence Act included in the spending measure authorizes a total of nearly $1 billion in funding for DOJ school safety grant programs through 2028.

“As the Congressional Safety Caucus founder and co-chair, I am proud this year’s spending bill included over $2 billion in funding for school safety measures, including the STOP School Violence Act, to provide our nation’s schools with tools and technology needed to keep students and faculty safe so they can learn in a safe environment. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to provide our children and families the peace of mind they deserve,” noted Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks, R-Ind.

As SIA pointed out in its announcement lauding the grant money, federal grant assistance specifically for facility security measures had been unavailable since fiscal 2011. SIA, along with stakeholders representing the law enforcement and education communities including The School Superintendents Association (AASA), the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) and other like-minded organizations, worked to support the reviving of this grant assistance, particularly in the aftermath of the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.

“SIA commends the leadership of Senator Hatch, R-Utah, and Congressman John Rutherford, R-Fla., in authoring the STOP School Violence Act, and recognizes the unwavering support provided by the Congressional School Safety Caucus led by Congresswoman Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and Congressman Rick Larsen, D-Wash. who authored reauthorization legislation, the School Safety Act, and has led supporting efforts in the House since 2015,” Jake Parker, SIA director of government relations, said in a prepared statement. “As school systems consider investments to improve security, it is critical that finite resources support effective, affordable and appropriate, solutions.”

SIA is a cofounder of the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS), a consortium of school security experts that developed threat- and income-based guidelines for schools housing grades K-12 to implement appropriate, layered security measures. Those guidelines are available to help guide school investments.

In addition, please participate in SSN’s News Poll this month, which looks at security companies’ role in emergency preparedness and response for schools.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

With April right around the corner and ISC West almost here, we at Security Systems News thought it was the ideal time to highlight the tremendous education program Security Industry Association (SIA) has developed for ISC West 2018. When the industry needs education and guidance now more than ever—to make sense of all of the new technology and trends—ISC West, sponsored by SIA, has stepped up to the plate and delivered.

In preparation for this year’s conference, SIA strove to create an education program that addresses this year’s most significant emerging threats and business opportunities. And following SIA’s research to develop the Security Megatrends—an annual research project that reports on the top trends reshaping the security industry—SIA and ISC West worked together to make sure those themes would be addressed at the 2018 event, particularly as part of the “SIA Education@ISC” lineup.

“A top priority is making education one of the most valuable, robust parts of ISC West,” Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, said in the Megatrends announcement. “We identified these top 10 trends—what we call the Security Megatrends—and reviewed how they would pose significant impacts on 2018’s converged security landscape. We then used these insights to lay the groundwork for the 85+ educational sessions we’re offering at the ISC West show, making it possible for attendees to leave feeling confident and equipped to tackle the emerging security threats, as well as the business challenges and opportunities that inevitably come their way.”

SIA’s 2018 Security Megatrends include:
1.    Booming growth of the IoT
2.    Cyber meets physical security
3.    Accessing and analyzing smart and big data
4.    Evolution of risk management
5.    Transformation of the channel
6.    Shakeup of the status quo: entrance of entrepreneurial buyers and outsiders
7.    Mobile everything
8.    Control through cloud: driving greater efficiencies and promoting managed services
9.    Integrating with social media
10.  Emerging connected services: consumers want convenience at their fingertips.

Click here for more detail from SIA's research on each of the 10 Megatrends.

“We’re laser-focused on providing attendees with all-inclusive education at ISC West, which is why we’re thrilled to have SIA as our trusted partner,” Will Wise, group vice president of ISC Security Events, said in the announcement. “These top 10 trends really hit on what’s to come at the show. These themes impact nearly every type of attendee in some way, from government/enterprise security decision-makers and end-users, to integrators, installers and dealers. This year’s show is designed to be the most educational and information-packed yet, and we’re looking forward to seeing the peer-to-peer mindshare that takes place.”

And speaking of education at ISC West, on Wednesday, from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., yours truly will be moderating a session, “Seeing is Believing - Drones, Robotics and the Integration of Video Applications,” with a very talented panel that includes Steve Reinharz, president of Robotic Assistance Devices, Jack Wu, co-founder & CEO, Nightingale Security, and Jumbi Edulbehram, regional president, Americas, Oncam. I hope to see you there, or on the trade show floor, or at the great Mission 500 Security 5K/2K charity event on Thursday morning.
 

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