Subscribe to On the Editor's Desk RSS Feed

On the Editor's Desk

by: Paul Ragusa - Monday, April 3, 2017

Day one

On Tuesday, I attended the annual DMP Owners Forum, which is “one the ways we show our gratitude to our dealers,” Jon Adams, DMP dealer development manager, told a room full of DMP’s top 100 dealers.

This year’s speakers included Major Gen. (Ret.) Vincent Boles, who shared the wisdom he has gained throughout his military career, as well as some of his views on what makes a true leader. Boles gave out his book—4-3-2-1 Leadership: What America’s Sons and Daughters Taught Me on the Road from Second Lieutenant to Two-Star General—to all attendees. The other featured speaker was former Southwest Airlines senior level leader, Jason Young, author of the books The Culturetopia Effect and Servicetopia.

Attendees also learned how DMP is giving dealers access to new markets through a variety of new platforms, including DMP’s CompanyStore, which enables dealers to participate in the DIY marketplace; Secura, a new high-volume residential dealer program; OnDemand Monitoring, a new revenue generator for dealers to offer to consumers that don’t want to sign long term contracts; and new avenues in home automation, including integration with AppleTV, Amazon Echo and Google Home.

DMP executive management also featured sessions on new technology that will be available this summer, including previews of the DMP’s Gunshot Detector that goes on Existing DMP XR Series panels and DMP’s new Doorbell Camera, which Mark Hillenburg, DMP’s executive director of marketing, said is “deeply integrated” and will “provide new highly sought after functionality to the existing DMP Virtual Keypad, App and control panel family."

Jeff Britton, DMP’s VP of product design, also walked attendees through DMP’s Tech App Platform, which was “developed to save time on new installs and service calls and really to eliminate some of the service calls you are having to make today. The platform will continue to grow because we feel there are a lot of things that your techs should be able to do right from their phone or their tablet.”

Day Two

On Wednesday, I began my day at Axis Communications’ 10th annual press breakfast. With the theme of “The Magic of IoT,” Fredrik Nilsson, VP Americas, and Martin Gren, founder, who were both dressed as magicians—you gotta love these guys!—talked about how the company plans to bring the same innovation and “magic” that it brought to camera technology to other products, such as its Network Speakers, which make up an integrated audio system that is ideal for retail settings. Axis also teamed up with Cognimatics to develop analytic capabilities for its True View People Counter, which is also ideal for retail environments, providing valuable business intelligence data.

Gren also provided a preview of its newest technology—the AXIS D2050-VE Network Radar Detector, an outdoor motion detector with radar technology that can provide cost-efficient perimeter protection and decrease false alarms. The Company is also previewing at ISC West a selection of products that will be launched later this year, including new high resolution fixed domes in AXIS M30 Series, AXIS P32 Series, and AXIS Q35 Series. Axis also unveiled its AXIS FA Series with modular cameras for highly discreet, cost-efficient video surveillance, and three new additions to AXIS P13 Series that offer 4K resolution in full frame rate and that enable coverage of large areas with high image detail.

Following the breakfast I headed to the show floor, which was abuzz with high traffic and early indicators point to a record year in terms of attendance for this year’s show.

My first booth visit was at Legrand, a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Manny Linhares, director of strategy, IoT, told me about Eliot, a Legrand global IoT program, that “brings the promise of interoperability, providing the building blocks and infrastructure to enable IoT and bring connectivity to where it is needed.”

Moving to the Qolsys showcase room, I was able to test drive the company’s second generation panel, which is sleeker and more powerful with some very cool new capabilities. Kevin Woodworth, director of technical account management, pointed out that the panel is the culmination of “all of the lessons we learned from our first panel, and what we learned from dealer feedback.” The panel has a 7-inch HD touchscreen with built-in 5MP camera and multiple wireless radios, as well as LTE connectivity, advanced encryption, a built-in router, a glass break detector, dual path connectivity and Bluetooth disarming, to name just a few of the upgrades.

Over at the FLIR Systems booth, I was given a demo of the FLIR United VMS 8.0, the latest version of the company’s comprehensive, enterprise-level video management solution for managing video security operations. The company introduced three high-performance security cameras, including the FLIR PT-Series HD thermal and visible camera system, the FLIR Quasar 4K fixed box camera, and the FLIR Ariel 3MP (3-megapixel) corner camera. All three cameras integrate with FLIR United VMS 8.0 and expand the company’s end-to-end line of security solutions. I also got a demo of the company’s Cameleon command and control platform.

At the Interlogix booth, the company was highlighting TruVision Navigator 7, the latest release of its popular video management software. TruVision Navigator 7 now works seamlessly with Interlogix TruPortal access control systems and IFS network switches, allowing end users to manage their entire security system from one single, easy-to-use interface.

This year’s ASSA ABLOY Press Event focused on “Security in the IoT Age,” and Martin Huddart, president, looked at how IoT will affect security. He aptly pointed out, “We are producing data, not products today,” noting that the key as we move forward as an industry is “bringing all these devices together.”

Next, I caught up with Denis Hebert, president, Feenics, a provider of cloud-based access control solutions. The company launched its enterprise Keep by Feenics platform that delivers scalability, flexibility and advanced security. The new cloud-based access control as service (ACaaS) platform integrates native visitor management, and incorporates RESTful API that dramatically simplifies integrating complementary systems plus connecting Keep to applications outside of the organization. Built specifically for the cloud and hosted by Amazon Web Services, Keep significantly minimizes costs through simple, maintenance-free upgrades and patches. 

At the LifeSafety Power booth, Joe Holland, vice president of engineering, gave me a glimpse into how the company continues to “innovate the category of power,” with new predictive analytics and critical reporting capabilities. The company announced a breakthrough in connecting intelligent power management analytics to leading software manufacturers directly through Authentic Mercury Security hardware.  “This truly enhances and expands the potential for systems integrators to offer remote power management to customers who will benefit from predictive analysis and detailed reporting on the health and well-being of their solutions,” said Holland.

I also met with Glen L. Smith, director, dealer operations, ADT, who told me about the great strides the ADT Dealer Program has made in the past year alone. In the area of support for dealers, the company went from a net promoter score of -9 to 76 in just 18 months. How did they do this? “We asked our dealers what was broken,” said Smith, who noted that response time was a big issue for dealers. In response to this concern, Smith said they went from a two-hour hold time to a zero hold time in just one year.

At the Bosch Security Systems booth, the company featured a completely new portfolio of IP cameras and video analytics that extend surveillance beyond security, services that create recurring monthly revenue opportunities for dealers, and an all-in-one wireless multi-sensor that can be configured as a door/window contact, water or tilt sensor. Bosch also introduced In-Store Analytics, a solution to provide retailers with valuable insights on store traffic for improving operations, customer engagement and sales.

At the Alarm.com booth, Brian Lohse, director, commercial sales, talked about the company’s strategy to take what it has been doing on the residential side and bring that to the SMB space. On the residential side, the company’s open platform continues to expand integrations with a broad range of devices to help its dealer partners extend their footprint in the smart home. Alarm.com has also extended 4G LTE communications capabilities.  In addition, Alarm.com highlighted its Business Intelligence service that helps its dealer partners lower attrition by analyzing data points.

Next, I caught up with Jeff Whitney, VP of marketing for Arecont Vision, who went over some of the big announcements for the company at the show, including Arecont Vision SNAPstream bandwidth reduction technology that supports multiple new and existing megapixel cameras; SurroundVideo Omni G3 Omnidirectional multi-sensor cameras with remote setup; Arecont Vision Compact MicroBullet indoor/outdoor, day/night megapixel camera; and Arecont Vision MicroDome G2 with Integrated IR indoor/outdoor day/night ultra-low profile megapixel camera.

At the Pelco by Schneider Electric booth, Sharad Shekhar, CEO, Pelco SVP, video line of business, and Diane Feliciano, VP, global marketing, spoke about how the company has spent the last 12-18 months “transforming and repositioning the company” for the future. “We have been making changes across the entire organization for the last couple of years, from technology developments to new sales, support and operations programming,” said Feliciano. Pelco also showcased several new and enhanced products and systems, including its VideoXpert Video Management System (VMS); Sarix Enhanced IP Cameras with preloaded analytics on every model; ExSite Enhanced Explosion-Proof Cameras; and Optera Panoramic Multi-Sensor Cameras.

I finished my day with a visit to the Altronix booth, where Kirby Han, art director, took me through the company’s latest upgrades and new products, including its new NetWay Spectrum Fiber Solutions, its eBridge 800E EoC Receiver with Integral PoE Switch and its expanded NetWay Line with new managed midspans and endspans.

Day Three

I started day three at the Allegion Trends Talk breakfast, where I was able to speak with Rob Martens, futurist and VP, strategy & partnerships, about how the company is leveraging the latest technologies to provide the best solutions for customers. “I am the tip of the spear when it comes to new technology,” he said. “I create the chaos that the company has to deliver on.” Product wise, the company’s Engage platform is expanding to include many more products, “so that level of connectivity is now getting rolled out and becoming a reality.”

At the Genetec booth, I spoke with Andrew Elvish, VP, marketing and product management, about the success of the company’s Mission Control system, which he said is “a game changer,” as the decision support system provides organizations with heightened levels of situational intelligence, visualization, and complete incident management capabilities. He also pointed to how the company’s Retail Intelligence application provides business intelligence and operational efficiencies. The company also highlighted the latest capabilities of its Synergis access control system, part of its Security Center unified offering.

At the AMAG Technology booth, I met company president Kurt Takahashi, and spoke with Kim Rahfaldt, public relations manager. The company unveiled Symmetry CONNECT, its new policy-based identity management system that delivers an easy to use, automated software platform to manage employee, contractor and visitor identities, satisfy regulatory audit and compliance requirements and reduce the administrative costs of the security team. When used with Symmetry Access Control, organizations have a robust identity management system that utilizes data to secure people, property and assets, and automates business processes for better operational efficiency.

At the HID Global booth, I spoke with Anthony Petrucci, director of global public relations and corporate communications, about the company’s new indoor Location Services for workforce optimization, which won the SIA New Product Showcase award. The Location Services provide organizations with visibility into the location of their workforce in a facility, making it possible to analyze room usage for better building management and increased operational efficiency. He also spoke about how the company is leveraging Bluetooth low energy (BLE) for new and emerging applications in the connected environment, as well as the role of mobile access, advanced smart card technology and biometrics in the company’s overall strategy.

At the Milestone booth, I spoke with Courtney Dillon Pederson, communications manager, about the company’s strategic alliance with Lenel, which will begin selling Milestone Systems Video Management Software (VMS) solutions directly through the Lenel Value Added Reseller (VAR) channel in North America. “We are really excited about this partnership and believe this is a great combination,” she said, noting that this alliance will reduce the total cost of ownership for users.

I next visited the Eagle Eye Systems/Brivo booth, and sat down with Dean Drako, president and CEO for Eagle Eye, who shared his views on the “continued adoption of cloud.” He also talked about the technology partnership with Hikvision to deliver customers a seamless and cybersecure cloud video surveillance solution. Eagle Eye also highlighted that is has added Camera Cyber Lockdown to all its products, which blocks cameras from communicating with the Internet, stops them from being attacked and compromised. Drako also spoke about the company’s implementation of two-factor authentication, which “will be the standard for the industry moving forward.”

At the IDIS booth, I was able to sit down with company president and COO Albert Ryu, who shared his views on how the company is poised to leverage technology to provide the customized solutions for customers. He also spoke about how the company, which is celebrating 20 years, is “bringing AI to security.” On the product side, the company featured H.265 IPC/NVR products, including the new IDIS 12MP Super Fisheye Camera. Also featured were new low light and long distance solutions, and end-user focused enhancements to the company’s award-winning PTZ tracking controls, IDIS Smart UX Controls v2.0 and retail analytics/business intelligence suite IDIS VA in the Box. The company also highlighted its powerful 64-channel IDIS DR-8364 NVR, which delivers enterprise-level performance at an NVR price.
 
Moving over to the Hanwha Techwin booth, Miguel Lazatin, director of product and channel marketing, North America, walked me through all of the new features and capabilities of the Wisenet 5 chip, which was unveiled recently. The new chip powers the Wisenet X series, a new product line that features 27 models split up between 2MP and 5MP camera lines. Features include 150dB WDR performance and clear images in extreme low light conditions, convenient USB port is also available for easy setup and installation, as well as license-free audio and video analytics, dual SD card slot for increased onboard storage and image stabilization using gyro sensors. The company also announced that it is investing $100 million to create a security-only manufacturing facility in Vietnam.

Next, Dahua product marketing manager Jennifer Hackenburg, gave me a tour of the booth, showing me how the company is embracing “deep learning,” pointing out that the company is “ahead of the curve” in leveraging all of the enhanced capabilities that deep learning can provide. The company announced that it is working with NVIDIA to bring artificial intelligence (AI) functionality to its next-generation deep learning products. Equipped with NVIDIA GPUs, the Dahua DeepSense advanced high-capacity video analytics server provides deep learning capabilities. The technology delivers a powerful, scalable method of extracting rich metadata and processing structural data to deliver fast and accurate analytics. Dahua also announced that Movidius’ Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) technology will power select Dahua video surveillance cameras with advanced intelligence functions that train the devices to gather, analyze, and retain information much like the human brain.

I next visited with Jim Hoffpauir, president, Zenitel, at the Vingtor Stentofon booth. He showed me how the company’s Turbine Intercom Station can provide a multitude of solutions, in any setting, from schools to airports to military and government applications. He also talked about his dedication to educating customers on how to pick the right system, and he created a scorecard to follow. He noted that it is important to have three key features—intelligibility, interoperability and the “ilities,” which relates to “high availability, scalability, defensibility and maintainability.”

At the Tyco-Johnson Controls booth, I spoke with Roger Barlow, senior director, product management, TycoSP about a number of new products across its intrusion, access control and video divisions, and how the company is benefitting from the “synergies between Tyco and Johnson Controls,” he said. He also showed the DSC iotega, the company’s new innovative security and lifestyle management platform. A full-featured security technology, iotega facilitates home automation enhancements and add-ons via software apps. The company also announced its SG System 5 now supports PSTN line cards on the SG-System 5 receiver to give central stations the flexibility to monitor both IP and PSTN alarm signals, and how its EntraPass Go Support for Apple Watch is the “industry’s first Apple Watch mobile credential that allows card holders to use the watch as a mobile access control credential."

At the Sureview Sytems booth, Simon Morgan, chief technology officer, gave me a demo SureView PSIM Solutions, which he pointed out, “improve security, optimize operations and reduce costs. He showed me how the Immix CC Platform delivers more integrations, easy deployment and simple operation. He said SureView Immix CC Simplifies PSIM deployment and operation, featuring “intuitive UI, more integrations and unique architecture, which deliver unprecedented ease of operation and versatility.”

Next, I visited Ditek, a surge protection company that works closely with the security industry to protect vital systems and equipment from being damaged by power surges, saving money in the process. Jorge Andino, field sales engineer, pointed out that the company does this by providing a site survey for each project, giving that customer the right surge protection equipment to meet their needs. “Our surge protection equipment acts as the sacrificial lamb, preventing costly damage to the equipment.”

I finished my day speaking with Rick Caruthers, executive VP, Galaxy Control Systems, who told me about the company’s new announcement that is “committing resources and manpower to providing cloud solutions to our customers,” he said. The Galaxy Cloud Concierge solution is a complete turnkey, cloud-based, fully hosted and managed access control and monitoring solution that includes professional 24/7 management and supports industry standard access technologies.

Day Four

On Friday I started the day at the Morse Watchmans booth speaking with George Lawson, account executive, and Joseph Granitto, COO, about the company’s key control and access management security systems, which are getting smarter and safer with a lot more functionality. “We take feedback from customers to add new features and make our products easier to use,” said Lawson. In addition to an improved motherboard powering its systems, the company is unveiling a new enterprise-based software system. And its Asset Watcher, which the company tested exhaustively over the past year, is set to come out soon as well.

At the Pivot3 booth, I spoke with Brandon Reich, surveillance business leader, about the company’s strategic original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationship with Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), an innovator in the development of advanced video management and video analytics software. Under the agreement, ISS will license the Pivot3 hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform and integrate it with ISS video management software (VMS) to supply more robust security intelligence and video storage options to customers. “We are really excited about that partnership,” said Reich. “We can provide a great solution set together.”

At the Eizo booth, I spoke with Keisuke Akiba, product and marketing manager, and Brian Cote, about the company’s security and surveillance monitoring solutions. The IP decoding monitors come equipped with visibility enhancement technology for improving the clarity of video footage in real time. Akiba demonstrated the multi-monitor flexibility and showed me the 4k IPS 31.5-inch monitor with 3840 x 2160 native resolution.

Over at the Boon Edam booth, Tracie Thomas, marketing manager, gave me an overview of the company’s many entry solutions, as well as news on the company’s expanding sales and customer service staff to support record sales growth. The company also announced the expansion of its product-training schedule, with more programs and locations. And, soon, Boon Edam will offer its revolving door specifications on the ARCOM MasterSpec platform, which is widely used by architect and design firms in North America for commercial buildings.

At the 3xLOGIC booth, Suzi Abell, tradeshow and events manager, shared show news, including the company’s new integrated, hosted video and access control solution for the SMB market and the company’s partnership with Bold Technologies to offer an advanced video solution. The companies recently completed integration of Bold’s ManitouNEO with the 3xLOGIC VIGIL video platform, which supports cloud-managed video. The company also announced the release of a new multi-sensor camera and updated VIGIL software.

At the Panasonic booth, Charlie Hare, national category manger, security and evidence management solutions, walked me through some of the company’s big announcements at the show, including the company’s expanded portfolio of i-PRO Extreme Surveillance Technology and its new i-PRO Extreme PTZ Camera with Advanced Analytics, as well as its latest video surveillance solutions. The i-PRO features a new chip set that produces “amazing picture quality,” said Hare.

Over at the ReconaSense booth, Clayton Brown, product manager, described the company’s next-generation situational awareness platform, which provides “the tools to perform real-time critical analysis,” he said. John Carter, the CTO of ReconaSense, is a former NASA engineer. The software leverages the IoT and big data with access control and video analytics to drive “proactive response” across diverse systems. By connecting the dots and alerting operators of suspicious events, the technology facilitates better decision-making and optimal resource allocation.

My final booth visit was over at NVIDIA, which was showcasing some of its latest IVA-related, AI technology for smart and safe cities, featuring many partners such as IBM, Hikvision and Dahua. Deepu Talla, VP/GM, autonomous machines, showed me how the company’s GPU computing is not only powering its many partners but “driving the latest applications for safety and security in AI cities,” he said, including public safety, traffic management, behavior analysis, video analytics, anomaly detection, facial recognition, fast forensics, parking management and robotics.

NOTE: In addition to daily reports, look for ssnTVnews video interviews from the show floor, including my video interviews with Bill Bozeman, president and CEO, PSA Security Network; Dan Moceri, executive chairman and founder, and Ken Lochiatto, president and CEO, Convergint Technologies; Maureen Lally, VP of marketing, TycoIS; Richard Tampier, senior director, sales and product strategy, Red Hawk Fire & Security; Craig Layers, senior VP. sales and marketing, ADS Security; and Jon Cropley, principal analyst, video vurveillance, IHS Markit.

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It is only March, but I think it is safe to call 2017 the “year of cybesecurity” as the industry has doubled down on its focus to secure everything IP.

This cyber mania, so to speak, is not unfounded, as the security industry is learning firsthand—from recent highly publicized DDoS attacks and increased ransom-ware attacks to more and more stories of compromised cameras and security systems—that the convergence of physical security and IT is creating a new set of challenges and security risks.

As I prepare for ISC West, I am not surprised to see that this year’s keynotes will be focusing on cybersecurtiy. I am very interested to hear what Philip Celestini, section chief, FBI Cyber Division, has to say in his keynote, “The FBI View of Cybersecurity: Threats, Trends and Protective Strategies,” on April 5 at 8:45 a.m.

I am particularly interested to hear how far the FBI has come in the past year in its war on cybercrime, as Celestini spoke on this topic at ESX 2016, providing some eye-opening statistics on the high cost of cyber attacks.

For example, at ESX last year Celesini pointed out that ransom-ware attacks went from causing $25 million in losses to $200 million in just one year in the U.S., as well as an astonishing $2 trillion in cyber crime losses worldwide. I wonder where those numbers are this year?

The next morning at 8:45, a panel discussion, “DDoS Threat Landscape & Defensive Countermeasures,” will look at how October 2016’s attack on Dyn’s DNS infrastructure was a gloomy wake-up call to the online community at-large. The panel will look at the role that IoT devices played in the attack against Dyn, as well as the attack against Krebs prior to it, as well as defensive countermeasures with a strong emphasis on preparedness ahead of these attacks.

And later in the day at 1:45 p.m., Matthew Rosenquist, cyber security strategist for the Intel Corporation, will present his keynote, “How Cyber-Attacks are Changing the Expectations of Security, Privacy, and Safety,” looking at the growing types of incidents and challenges in the industry that are driving shifts in expectations for security, privacy and safety, presenting a glimpse of the future where both risks and opportunities abound.

See you in Vegas!

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Companies across industries are increasingly leveraging the cloud for security applications, with 42 percent of respondents in a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric indicating they currently run security applications in the cloud and almost half (45 percent) stating they are likely or extremely likely to transition security operations to the cloud in the future.

The survey, conducted by Morar Consulting, included input from more than 300 U.S. CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, security/facilities managers and operations personnel across industries including construction and trade, education, financial services, healthcare, IT/technology, manufacturing and industrial and professional and business services.

“Leveraging the cloud for security applications is becoming increasingly accepted—and required—as we move into a 24/7 digital world,” Steven Turney, security program manager, Schneider Electric, said in the announcement. “Especially for companies where security management improvements are imminent, it makes sense to consider innovation at every level of their organization to meet their security needs. As businesses are required to be more agile, the cloud helps to unify and simplify security measures so an organization’s data, people and assets are constantly protected.”

According to the findings, organizations utilize the cloud for existing applications including data storage, human resources, email and security, and are eager to continue adopting it for security operations, with 57 percent of respondents believing the cloud is secure, including IT and technology professionals having the most confidence (78 percent), followed by education (70 percent), construction (68 percent) and financial services (52 percent). However, some skeptics remain, with 18 percent of respondents indicating they do not trust the cloud.

“Nearly three-fourths of respondents said network security is an important feature for security systems in their organizations,” the study’s authors found. “While the state of security continues to advance, respondents indicate security systems aren’t where they should be in order to adopt emerging technologies (54 percent), and despite business leaders being supportive of emerging technology (95 percent), many barriers to adoption exist.

Organizational/administrative barriers such as procedures, lack of perceived value and ROI were the top barriers identified that are inhibiting organizations from achieving their security goals, according to the study.

“While integration remains an obstacle to achieving security goals, almost 80 percent feel it is important to integrate security systems with other buildings and IT systems as part of an organization’s cloud strategy,” the study found. “Currently, photo ID badging, active directory, intrusion and CCTV are the top four systems organizations integrate into their security systems. The two top non-security systems organizations currently integrate with their security systems are automation and lighting.”

To learn more about the study, you can review the full results here.

Note: SSN continues to report on this story, including an upcoming interview with Steven Turney, security program manager for Schneider Electric.

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

With drone technology gaining traction within the security space, it only makes sense that the discussion includes anti-drone technology, as the issues of privacy and rules and regulations regarding flight restrictions must come into play.

At this year’s ISC West in April, for example, the show’s inaugural Unmanned Security Expo—which has its own section of the show floor with a “flying cage” featuring ground-based robots and aerial drones in action—will also include an education portion addressing topics such as anti-drone technologies and drone use in law enforcement.

Many security companies have already developed or are developing anti-drone technology, ranging from machine-gun looking devices that can block communications and knock a drone from the sky, to technology that intercepts the drone’s signal, assuming control, so to speak.

The government is getting involved, of course; the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, Program Executive Office Unmanned Aerial Systems (PEO UAS), recently sent out a “request for information for participation” or RFIP, which “seeks technology solutions that are capable of detecting, identifying, and tracking, and identifying small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) that are perceived as threats to people or critical infrastructure to participate in the DHS S&T 2017 Technical Assessment of Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-UAS) Technologies in Cities (herein called TACTIC).”

DHS S&T established the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aerial Systems (PEO UAS) to lead DHS efforts in guiding, advising and enabling technology solutions in this area, and as part of this RFIP invites industry, academia, and other government organizations to submit applications addressing innovative technology solutions for assessment during TACTIC.

This is certainly an interesting time as we enter into the robotics as a service (RaaS) era within security. In our recent news poll, many respondents commented that they see great potential for drone and other robotic technology within security; many agreed that it is just a matter of how quickly these technologies are adopted.

 

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Although a ton of research has been coming out recently looking at the high ceiling for smart or connected home growth over the next few years—Parks Associates says that half of homes will have a connected product by 2020—a recent study by research firm Gartner Inc. finds that only about 10 percent of households currently have connected home solutions.

Gartner found that adoption of “newer connected home solutions is still at the early adopter phase,” a conclusion based on responses from nearly 10,000 people in U.S., the U.K. and Australia during the second half of 2016. According to the study, “connected home solutions” consist of a set of devices and services that are connected to each other and to the Internet and can automatically respond to preset rules, be remotely accessed and managed by mobile apps or a browser, and send alerts or messages to the user (s).

"Although households in the developed world are beginning to embrace connected home solutions, providers must push beyond early adopter use," Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner said in the announcement. "If they are to successfully widen the appeal of the connected home, providers will need to identify what really motivates current users to inspire additional purchases."

The survey found that home security alarm systems, the more established of connected home solutions, have nearly double the adoption rates (18 percent) of newer connected home solutions such as home monitoring (11 percent), home automation or energy management (9 percent), and health and wellness management (11 percent). Overall adoption rates were five- to six percent greater in the U.S., where they were first marketed.

However, excluding home security alarm services for which a monthly fee is generally paid, solution providers may find monetizing connected services challenging as the survey revealed that less than half of households currently pay for subscription-based home monitoring and automation/energy management solutions.

“In the U.S., where the home monitoring industry is more developed, 59 percent of households with a home monitoring solution indicate they do pay a monthly fee, thus proving they see value for these solutions,” according to Gartner. “However, charging for subscriptions for home automation/energy management and health and wellness solutions is more of a challenge since more than half of current households are already using these services free of charge.”

Using a scale of 0 to 100, respondents were asked about their feelings and preferences toward the value of devices, appliances and applications in the connected home ecosystem. Three-quarters of respondents indicated they are happy to manually set temperature and lighting controls versus only one-quarter who expressed an interest in having devices anticipate needs in the home. Furthermore, 58 percent of respondents showed a preference for separate, independent, stand-alone devices.

The study found that respondents are starting to see the value of one app for integrating their connected home devices, appliances and services as well as the importance of brand certification for their connected home devices and services. More than half of the respondents (55 percent) rated 51 or more toward the preference of one app integrating connected home devices and services, while 58 percent rated 51 or more toward the importance of hardware and services being certified by a specific brand.

"Messaging needs to be focused on the real value proposition that the complete connected home ecosystem provides, encompassing devices, service and experience," Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, said in the announcement. "The emphasis needs to be on how the connected home can helps solve daily tasks rather than just being a novelty collection of devices and apps."

Ekholm will provide further analysis on consumers’ use of technology at the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference 2017 taking place June 19-21 in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Although a ton of research has been coming out recently looking at the high ceiling for smart or connected home growth over the next few years—Parks Associates says that half of homes will have a connected product by 2020—a recent study by research firm Gartner Inc. finds that only about 10 percent of households currently have connected home solutions.

Gartner found that adoption of “newer connected home solutions is still at the early adopter phase,” a conclusion based on responses from nearly 10,000 people in U.S., the U.K. and Australia during the second half of 2016. According to the study, “connected home solutions” consist of a set of devices and services that are connected to each other and to the Internet and can automatically respond to preset rules, be remotely accessed and managed by mobile apps or a browser, and send alerts or messages to the user (s).

"Although households in the developed world are beginning to embrace connected home solutions, providers must push beyond early adopter use," Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner said in the announcement. "If they are to successfully widen the appeal of the connected home, providers will need to identify what really motivates current users to inspire additional purchases."

The survey found that home security alarm systems, the more established of connected home solutions, have nearly double the adoption rates (18 percent) of newer connected home solutions such as home monitoring (11 percent), home automation or energy management (9 percent), and health and wellness management (11 percent). Overall adoption rates were five- to six percent greater in the U.S., where they were first marketed.

However, excluding home security alarm services for which a monthly fee is generally paid, solution providers may find monetizing connected services challenging as the survey revealed that less than half of households currently pay for subscription-based home monitoring and automation/energy management solutions.

“In the U.S., where the home monitoring industry is more developed, 59 percent of households with a home monitoring solution indicate they do pay a monthly fee, thus proving they see value for these solutions,” according to Gartner. “However, charging for subscriptions for home automation/energy management and health and wellness solutions is more of a challenge since more than half of current households are already using these services free of charge.”

Using a scale of 0 to 100, respondents were asked about their feelings and preferences toward the value of devices, appliances and applications in the connected home ecosystem. Three-quarters of respondents indicated they are happy to manually set temperature and lighting controls versus only one-quarter who expressed an interest in having devices anticipate needs in the home. Furthermore, 58 percent of respondents showed a preference for separate, independent, stand-alone devices.

The study found that respondents are starting to see the value of one app for integrating their connected home devices, appliances and services as well as the importance of brand certification for their connected home devices and services. More than half of the respondents (55 percent) rated 51 or more toward the preference of one app integrating connected home devices and services, while 58 percent rated 51 or more toward the importance of hardware and services being certified by a specific brand.

"Messaging needs to be focused on the real value proposition that the complete connected home ecosystem provides, encompassing devices, service and experience," Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, said in the announcement. "The emphasis needs to be on how the connected home can helps solve daily tasks rather than just being a novelty collection of devices and apps."

Ekholm will provide further analysis on consumers’ use of technology at the Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference 2017 taking place June 19-21 in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, March 1, 2017

As I sit here in Florida, at the beautiful Delray Beach Marriott, basking in the 80-plus degree temps and relaxing ambiance, I reflect on Security Systems News’ highly successful two-day conference that wrapped up here yesterday.

From the opening keynote, “Cheaper, Faster, Better” by Jack Wu, co-founder and CEO of Nightingale Security—who looked at the current capabilities and future potential of robotics in security (including flying a drone in California from his iPad)—and eight thought-provoking education sessions to the “20 under 40” award reception and invaluable networking, TechSec took on many of the hottest topics in the industry while looking at how integrators can best leverage today’s emerging technologies.

Over the next few weeks, you will see extensive coverage and articles from SSN staff on each session, as well as pictures of the many great panel discussions and of our “20 under 40” integrator and end-user award winners—they represent this next generation of tech-savvy security professionals who will lead the industry into the future. 

As we begin to enter the trade show season here in the industry, with ISC West, ESX and ASIS, to name just a few, we are excited to delve even deeper into the topics and trends that are driving the industry today. 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

CORK, Ireland—Johnson Controls released a “call to action” whitepaper on cybersecurity this week in an effort to help the industry to better protect all of the data that is being produced throughout smart buildings today.

“As data becomes more and more prevalent throughout the buildings where we live and work, so does the need to protect that data; it is no longer enough for a building to be smart—it must now be cybersmart,” according to the new whitepaper, “Cybersmart Buildings - Securing Your Investment in Connectivity and Automation” published jointly by Johnson Controls and Booz Allen Hamilton, a management and technology consulting and engineering firm. This whitepaper provides a roadmap for building managers, building owners, contractors and others to act to protect their information.

“Research clearly demonstrates that cybersecurity is a critical need at a critical hour for buildings around the world,” Bill Jackson, president, Johnson Controls Global Products, said in the announcement. “As building technology and data converge, we must be increasingly vigilant.”

This collaboration between two companies, with more than 200 years of combined expertise in their industries, illustrates the progress being made in raising awareness of the need for cybersecure smart buildings, coined “cybersmart buildings” in the white paper.

“Securing smart buildings and building systems more generally, is a shared responsibility requiring focus and commitment from the manufacturer, integrator, and customer,” Jason Rosselot, director of Johnson Controls’ global product security, said in the release. “Just as two industry leading companies were able to collaborate to create this whitepaper, so too can smart building stakeholders partner to follow these recommendations and create cybersmart buildings.”

Jackson added, “Defending against cyber threats today and tomorrow requires the secure design, development and deployment of building automation systems and controls.”

According to the 2016 State of Industrial Control System (ICS) Security Survey by SANS, 67 percent of participants perceived severe or high levels of threat to control systems, up from 43 percent in 2015.

“Smart buildings are now at the forefront of this battle—with tremendous complexity and integration of systems, they represent an increasingly valuable target,” according to the whitepaper. “Connectivity and automation create entry points for cyber attacks with potential safety, continuity, quality and privacy impact. But we can’t let this risk cripple innovation.”

According to the whitepaper authors, cybersecurity can be “a business enabler for smart buildings. When done well, cybersecurity is about insuring your investment and assuring your ability to reap the transformative benefits that connectivity offers,” including working “with the right partners to secure your investments when assessing and deploying smart building systems or retrofits.”

The whitepaper, which can be found here, summarizes key insights to help set an agenda for cybersmart buildings.

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Smart-home product U.S. dollar sales grew 57 percent in 2016 compared with the prior year, according to recent findings from market research firm The NPD Group.

According to the study, security and monitoring products led the category, making up more than 60 percent of dollar share, with smart entry devices, such as smart doorbells, growing 171 percent in dollar sales and 206 percent in unit sales compared with 2015.

The market research firm said awareness levels of smart home devices have fluctuated, but cited the smart doorbell as a category that witnessed growth in both awareness and ownership; ownership of smart doorbells inched up 2 percent while awareness grew 4 percent.

According to IHS Markit, the global market size for video doorbells, which was at $78 million in 2015, is expected to experience a 28 percent CAGR over the next five years, with North America leading the way.

Video doorbells, many times, are a homeowner’s first foray into video surveillance in and around the home.

“Video doorbells are only just beginning to gain traction among residential consumers,” Anna Sliwon, analyst, residential security, IHS Markit, said in the study. “As the market continues its rapid ascension, partnering with video doorbell providers could prove lucrative for home alarm manufacturers and service providers.”

In the NPD study, networked video cameras led as the most commonly found product in smart homes. Nearly one-third of smart homes owned a networked video camera, and demand for multipacks of IP cameras grew 129 percent in dollar sales for the year.

“Network cameras have long been considered the entry point into the smart home, but growing demand for items sold in sets shows that the market is maturing,” Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group, said in a prepared statement. “We fully expect the next two years will see a broadening appeal of smart-home devices and estimate that the category will nearly double in that time.”

Voice command is also becoming more commonplace in smart homes, with nearly half of these homes using voice commands in some manner, and one-quarter using them to control a home-automation device, with Siri being the most commonly used digital assistant, according to NPD.

John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst, NPD Connected Intelligence, said one in five Amazon Echo owners use the device to control another device in their home.

Topic:
by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Allied Universal, a national facility services company and security force with more than 150,000 employees, has acquired the security services portion of Yale Enforcement Services, Inc., a Belleville, Ill.-based company that offers a full range of solutions, including uniformed security professionals, mobile patrol, physical security and life safety. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“What we really liked about Yale is that they do very strong business in the healthcare vertical, and that business is spread throughout multiple regions,” Allied Universal CEO Steve Jones told Security Systems News. “And we feel we have a variety of really good service offerings to offer in that vertical.”

Yale was also looking to provide ancillary services such as electronic security systems and security technology, an area “that we are highly committed to, so we feel those customers will fit very nicely into our organization,” said Jones. “Also, our service offerings that we have will not only enhance the relationship but also be something that the customers are excited about and embrace.”

Yale Enforcement's 1,800-plus employees serve a range of vertical markets including healthcare, manufacturing, industrial, warehouse/distribution, commercial real estate and retail throughout the Central, Midwestern and Southern states.

"Allied Universal sets the industry standard for professionalism and we know our security services clients will be well taken care of," Barbara Yale, president and CEO, Yale Enforcement said in a prepared statement.

On the acquisition front, the company “will continue to be inquisitive in 2017,” said Jones. “We plan on making at least one but hopefully two, sizable acquisitions in the security systems space by the end of the year as well.”

With the mega-merger in August between Allied Barton and Universal Services of America, 2016 was a very busy and successful year for the combined companies.

“We are now fully integrated, so we are completely rebranded and integrated,” said Jones. “We achieved the goal of doing that is six months and also made three other acquisitions and got some good mid-single digit organic growth, so we are pretty excited about all of that. In 2017, we project that we will end the year in 2017 somewhere between $5.2 - $5.3 billion in revenues and that is without any additional acquisitions.”

Allied Universal also announced a partnership with the Clery Center, a national, non-profit training and policy organization dedicated to creating safer campus communities, to develop video-based training tools for line campus public safety personnel. The roll-call training program for campus public safety and security professionals is scheduled to be released during National Campus Safety Awareness Month in September.

As a leading security services provider to the Higher Education sector, Allied Universal services nearly 200 colleges and universities at over 500 campus locations nationwide.

Pages