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by: SSN Staff - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced a new strategic initiative with Amazon where it will support integration of Amazon’s new Alexa Guard feature with the ADT Pulse security system.

Starting later this year, this partnership helps ADT customers enhance their home’s security capabilities by detecting specific sounds via the customer’s Echo device when they’re away from home, ADT said. Once available, ADT professional installation and monitoring solutions will be offered to customers through the Alexa Guard website and Amazon mobile app.

“In 2018, ADT set out to redefine security with innovative products and services, such as ADT Go and Digital Security. The integration of Amazon’s Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional installation and security monitoring services is an exciting next step on our innovation roadmap and our successful collaboration with Amazon,” Jim DeVries, current president and incoming CEO of ADT, said in the announcement.

He continued, “Amazon’s vision to simplify the smart home experience through voice-enabled action matches perfectly with ADT’s passion for security and customer service, making us natural collaborators to ensure our customer’s smart home is a safe home. Today’s announcement will extend our footprint in the security and automation space, open new eCommerce sales and marketing channels for our products and services, and further expand our leadership in the category. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Amazon to provide innovative security solutions to our customers and broader audiences.”

ADT worked closely with Amazon to seamlessly integrate Alexa Guard with ADT’s Pulse security system and professional monitoring to enhance ADT customers’ security when they’re away from home. When a customer enables Alexa Guard on their Amazon Echo device and says “Alexa, I’m leaving,” Alexa will notify the customer if she detects the sound of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or breaking glass while the customer is away. These notifications, called Smart Alerts, are delivered to a customer’s smartphone to let them know which sound was detected, and provide an audio clip of that event. Customers with an ADT Pulse system using Alexa Guard can choose to forward Smart Alerts to ADT monitoring professionals to help determine if additional action should be taken, including dispatching first responders if needed.

“Customers love using Alexa to help make their daily lives easier, and we continue to build new voice-first experiences to make customers’ homes even smarter,” Daniel Rausch, VP, Amazon Alexa, said in the announcement. “ADT has over 140 years of experience in the professional security installation and monitoring business. We’re so excited to team up with them for the launch of Alexa Guard. Since ADT brought the simplicity of Alexa voice control to their home security systems, we’ve heard from customers that they enjoy the added convenience and peace of mind they have using the ADT Pulse skill. Now, with Alexa Guard we’re making that experience even better for customers. When Alexa Guard is enabled, customers can choose to have their Echo devices detect the sounds of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, or breaking glass when they’re away from home. When the selected sound is detected, customers with ADT Pulse will be able to forward their Smart Alerts to ADT, offering an extra layer of security.”

Later this year, ADT will offer new Echo devices directly to new and existing customers, assisting with product set-up and additional support for those who purchase the device through ADT. Additionally, ADT and Amazon are working together to provide offers and promotions to Amazon customers for ADT services and solutions, creating eCommerce opportunities for ADT while enabling customers to have enhanced home security options nationwide.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An estimated 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889 million in revenues, according to research from Parks Associates entitled Smart Product Market Assessment: Networked Cameras.

“Networked cameras have experienced a positive growth rate over the last year—2018 is expected to witness a roughly 11 percent increase in unit sales from the year prior,” Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates, told Security Systems News. “Overall, the broadband household penetration rate is estimated at 9 percent in 2017 and is expected to nearly triple by 2023. Furthermore, the CAGR rate for all-in-one camera purchases from 2018 to 2023 is about 19 percent.”

Abdelrazik noted that advances in image recognition and ease of self-installation, combined with a strong user experience, “are driving increased adoption, with retail channels (online and in-store) starting to dominate sales,” she said. “IP cameras are key security-related devices and provide peace of mind to consumers. As such, these devices are consistently among the most popular smart home devices.”

While retail channels dominate (approximately two-thirds) in terms of channel purchase locations for consumers, security dealers were the next option, followed closely by “broadband service provider” and “direct from manufacturer.”

According to Parks’ findings, DIY cameras represent the majority of sales as these products are improving consumer experiences for installation, setup and usage. The good news for security dealers is that consumers still value recommendations and setup assistance, as 7 out of 10 consumers planning to buy a networked/IP camera would consider recommendations from an insurance or security company to be “important or very important,” according to Parks.

“Standalone IP cameras, video doorbells, and all-in-one cameras all provide an added layer of security for the home alongside security systems,” said Abdelrazik. “Security dealers have an opportunity to offer these products during their sales or installation processes to educate the consumer on the value of the device, as well as enhance the overall utility of the security system.”

She continued, “The attachment rate of video cameras and home control products to new security systems continues to climb, as does the incremental RMR from video services. Video provides unique value to consumers. Once consumers have the ability to check in to see a live view of their home from anywhere in the world, it is hard to give up that experience.”

Parks’ market assessment notes that voice integration and the development of AI as it relates to image and sound recognition will drive the next generation of networked cameras. For example, more than 80 percent of consumers who own or plan to buy a networked camera consider image or sound recognition abilities to identify safety and security events (like glass breaking or a person falling) to be appealing or very appealing, Parks found.

Looking forward, Abdelrazik said AI and the integration of voice control “will help drive further engagement with consumers, which will continue to drive positive consumer experiences. While consumer privacy concerns do exist with networked/IP cameras, we project double-digit growth for the IP camera market, as consumer familiarity rises, price points continue to drop, and millennials buy homes, acquire pets, and begin having families.”

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

This week Security Systems News reported on the sixth acquisition this year for both Convergint Technologies and ADS Security, two companies that have been very active this year on the M&A front, representing a continuing trend in this “year of the acquisition.”

It turns out that the M&A landscape overall is very strong and will continue to offer opportunities for companies looking to acquire and for companies looking to be acquired, according to Imperial Capital.

During his keynote presentation, Finance and the Future for Cloud and Security, at the Cloud+ conference (more coverage on this to come), Sept. 5-6, 2018, in Delray Beach, Fla., Rick Juarez, managing director, Imperial Capital, provided a rosy M&A picture for the industry today and moving forward.

He noted in his presentation that the security M&A market remains steady across all three major subsectors—physical security, identity solutions and information security—with strong activity seen in 2017 and YTD 2018.

“In terms of the overall health of the M&A market, if you are a young company looking to get acquired, or if you are a more mature company, the good news is that there is still a demand out there,” he explained, pointing to a slide showing 2018 ahead of the past five years in terms of M&A activity. “Going into the second quarter of this year, it is one of the strongest years for M&A, so I think that if you have a good solution, it is a good time to really explore an out, as it is not always going to remain like this.”

As is the case with companies like ADS and Convergint, acquisitions have helped the companies bring on more talent, increase capabilities and expand service capabilities and reach, while helping to grow the overall bottom line.

Convergint, for example, has strategically grown its service footprint across the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia Pacific through strong organic growth and the completion of 20 acquisitions since early 2016.

In terms of overall growth, Convergint's CEO Ken Lochiatto told SSN that Convergint will finish the year with strong organic growth in the mid-teens percentage-wise. “And if you take that along with the acquisition activity, we should be north of a billion dollars by year’s end, which is very exciting when you consider that we finished last year at $840 million.”
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT announced today that Jim DeVries, currently president of ADT, will be promoted to chief executive officer to succeed Tim Whall, who will be retiring on Nov. 30, 2018 after a decades-long career in the security industry.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this talented team as we continue to drive operational excellence with the customer as our true north,” Jim DeVries said in the announcement. “Together, we will execute our strategies to innovate the customer experience, enhance our service capabilities, and deliver value for all stakeholders. ADT, including our dealer partners, has an exciting future ahead and I am energized by the opportunity to further establish the Company as an innovative leader. I look forward to working closely with Tim to ensure a seamless transition.”

DeVries will be appointed to the company’s board of directors following the transition, and Whall will remain on the company’s board and serve as an advisor to the Company.

“The Company has strengthened its core operations and is successfully executing on its strategy, and both the Board and I believe that now is the right time to initiate this transition of leadership responsibilities,” Whall said in the announcement. “Jim DeVries has led many of the Company’s recent operational and strategic improvements as Chief Operating Officer and President, making him well-positioned to succeed me as Chief Executive Officer. Today the fundamentals of our business are strong and I am confident that under the leadership of Jim and the current management team, ADT will continue to perform and deliver on its long-term growth plans.”

“As President, Jim has demonstrated his deep understanding of the dynamics of our business and what it takes to win in the marketplace,” Marc Becker, chairman of the ADT board of directors stated in a prepared statement. “Leveraging his strengths, including developing strategic partnerships, Jim is well suited to lead the Company’s efforts to drive innovation, expand market share and create shareholder value. The Board expects the transition to be seamless and efficient, and with a world-class leadership team in place we will continue to build on our efforts to grow the business in a disciplined manner.”

He continued, “On behalf of the Board and the Company, I want to thank Tim for his many contributions to ADT. Tim is a thirty-year pioneer in the security alarm sector, and over the past two years, has led the effective transformation of ADT operationally and allowed the Company to deliver an enhanced customer experience through faster service delivery and higher quality customer care, while reducing costs and customer attrition. Through this laser focus on customer service and retention, as well as a more disciplined and robust customer acquisition strategy, Tim and the ADT team have positioned the business for continued strength and value creation.”

DeVries, who joined ADT as chief operating officer in May 2016, has served as President since September 2017. Prior to joining ADT, he held senior leadership roles at leading companies in the insurance, financial services and telecommunications industries, including most recently as executive vice president for Allstate Brand Operations.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 29, 2018

SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced the keynote speakers for its annual executive conference, Securing New Ground (SNG), where more than 250 senior-level industry leaders and financial partners will gather at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, Oct. 25-26.

Jerome Pickett, senior vice president and chief security officer at the National Basketball Association (NBA), and Valerie Thomas, executive information security consultant for Securicon, will give remarks at the event, which brings together industry leaders and key players for two days of information sharing, networking and business analysis.

Thomas, also an ethical hacker and author, will speak at 11:15 a.m. on day 1 of the conference about securing the future of physical security, and Pickett’s remarks at 4:00 p.m. that afternoon will share global lessons from the NBA’s security program, how he’s handling disruptive technologies and using intelligent security solutions to prepare for threats and more.

“Each year, SNG attendees get to dive deep into the security trends that matter to them, and this conference helps them clarify business strategies and drive their business forward,” Don Erickson, SIA’s CEO, said in the announcement. “We are excited to welcome Jerome Pickett and Valerie Thomas to SNG 2018, where attendees will gain top insights from these distinguished security leaders.”

In addition to the keynote addresses, SNG 2018 will feature many engaging discussions and events, including:

•    The View from the Top: Challenges for Today’s Security Industry Leaders
•    Harnessing Cyber-Physical Security Technologies
•    Securing the Future Generation of Security
•    The Smart City of the Future Will Be Conscious
•    Investment Insights: Perspectives from Wall Street and Private Equity

Click here for more.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Yale Locks & Hardware announced that smart locks from its Assure Lock line can now be connected to Comcast’s Xfinity Home service, its home security and home automation solution, when purchased with a Yale Zigbee Network Module.

“We’re delighted to partner with Xfinity Home and have our Assure Lock line play a critical role securing front doors across the country,” Jason Williams, president, ASSA ABLOY U.S. Residential Group, which includes Yale Residential, said in the announcement. “Xfinity Home customers can now connect an Assure Lock that’s right for them and control access and secure their homes from the Xfinity Home mobile app.”

The Yale Assure Lock line is an extensive series of smart locks that offers homeowners the choice of key-free or keyed locks in both touchscreen and pushbutton versions, all in a choice of three finishes. Four compatible Assure Locks with a Zigbee Network Module (available for purchase separately or with the lock) can be added to the Xfinity Home mobile app. Xfinity Home customers who already own a compatible Assure Lock can purchase a Yale Zigbee Network Module separately and easily add the device onto the Xfinity platform.

When Yale’s smart lock is integrated into an Xfinity Home system, the door locks can be controlled and monitored from anywhere using the Xfinity Home mobile app (iOS or Android). Users can remotely lock and unlock doors, check lock status, and create rules such as receive a notification if the door is unlocked after 8:30 p.m. Additionally, Xfinity Home customers with the X1 voice remote can say, “Lock the front door” to lock their compatible Yale Assure Lock.

“Smart door locks can be a meaningful home security addition, especially when combined with other IoT devices like cameras,” Patti Loyack, vice president, IP services, and home automation, for Comcast Cable, said in a prepared statement. “Xfinity’s platform gives consumers the ability to manage and control all of their smart devices in one unified experience and we’re excited to give our customers even more choice by integrating the Assure Lock line from Yale.”

Yale Assure Lock line with Zigbee is now available to Xfinity Home’s more than 1.2 million subscribers through the Works with Xfinity program.

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Access-control-as-a-service (ACaaS) market revenues will increase to $950 million by 2022, and global mobile credential downloads are forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeding 100 percent from 2017 to 2022, according to recent findings from IHS Markit.

The London-based research firm found that small and medium-sized businesses are the leading adopters of ACaaS solutions, accounting for 21 percent of market revenues in 2017, with around 20 percent of the current installed base of access control readers will be mobile capable by 2022.

“Demand for ACaaS has grown rapidly over the past five years, and this growth is expected to continue,” Jim Dearing, senior analyst, security and building technology, IHS Markit, said in the announcement of the findings. “While there have been relatively few attempts to combine ACaaS solutions with mobile access, despite their apparent synergies, this type of integration will become more common over the next five years.”

Dearing pointed to following key benefits of integrating ACaaS and mobile access:

•    A significant segment of ACaaS end users opt for fully managed solutions. Providers of managed solutions would benefit from the ability to issue and decommission credentials remotely, allowing them to lower management costs.

•    Both mobile access and ACaaS are typically sold via subscription, or using recurring fee-based pricing models. Adding mobile credentials to an ACaaS contract would not be an issue for an integrator, and as mobile access becomes more popular in the traditional access control market, end users and installers are likely to become more familiar with the recurring-fee pricing model, which should generate additional interest in ACaaS.

•    Like ACaaS solutions, the majority of access control solutions are cloud-based. As both become more popular, end users are likely to become more comfortable deploying cloud-based security solutions.

•    ACaaS is increasing the penetration of access control systems in buildings, and many end users are owners of small and medium-sized businesses who have never owned an access control system before. This situation poses an excellent opportunity for mobile access, as providers can ensure that mobile-capable readers are installed from the outset.

In terms of overall adoption, Dearing said that, so far, early adopters of each solution are based in different industries. “Mobile access has seen its strongest adoption in the education and hospitality sectors, while ACaaS is gaining traction with small and medium-sized businesses and the property management segment,” he explained. “Due to the large number of smaller projects, a significant portion of ACaaS end users value affordability over advanced feature sets and functionality. ACaaS providers may struggle to convince end users to install readers that are mobile-capable but also more expensive.”

Despite both solutions typically being billed on a monthly or annual basis, the pricing models vary slightly, Dearing said. “ACaaS solutions are priced according to the number of doors, while mobile access is priced according to the number of credentials or users,” he noted. “Creating an intuitive but optimal pricing model for the combined solution could prove tricky for suppliers. If both original metrics are kept, suppliers are likely to encounter difficulty as end users scale their solutions.”
 

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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