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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Organizers of the Electronic Security Expo put out a call for entries for the newly named "ESX 2015 Innovation Awards." Entries are due April 1, 2015. Winners will be notified on April 15.

ESX will take place June 24-26 in Baltimore this year.

Formerly called the Maximum Impact Awards, the ESX 2015 Innovation Awards will be given in 15 categories, which include several sub-categories. New subcategories include: DIY Security, Secure Wireless Communication Technology, and Activity Sensing/Medicine Management.

"This year, emerging products and services are eligible-as well as those that have been field-tested. Companies are encouraged to enter both products and services," according to an ESX news release.

The goal is to "recognize those innovators who are driving our industry forward and improving both our offerings and our ability to run our companies efficiently and profitably," George De Marco, ESX Chairman, said in a prepared statement.

Look for information on another new ESX event this year: "ESX TechVision Challenge," where top category winners will be invited to present before a panel of judges.

For a list of ESX 2015 Innovation Award categories and submission forms, visit www.esxweb.com/innovationawards or contact Allison Avril at 774.203.6394 or Allison.Avril@ESXweb.com

Category winners will be featured in the June issue of Security Systems News and in a showcase on the ESX 2015 trade show floor.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Siemens announced this morning that it has entered into a "long-term strategic partnership" with Milestone and will be OEMing Milestone's VMS software for its Siveillance VMS.

Siemens said Siveillance includes "software-based security platforms and modules that are used in critical infrastructures and by enterprise customers." It is also working with Milestone on "another application for the video technology ... Desigo CC management platform for building and security technology."

The Siveillance VMS in available in three versions.
    •    VMS 100 supports up to 128 cameras and is suitable for small and medium-sized facilities.
    •    VMS 200 meets the demands of centrally managed systems with the high scalability requirements typical of major industrial facilities.
    •    VMS 300 is used in systems that are distributed over multiple locations. It centrally manages user and system data. VMS 300 has a redundant design and is therefore available during network interruptions. It is suitable for critical infrastructures such as airports.


Long-term strategic partnership with Milestone
Siemens' OEM partner Milestone specializes in open, IP-based video management software. Its flexible technologies have been proven in thousands of installations worldwide.
"We are pleased to have won a leading provider of IP video management software like Milestone as our strategic partner and technology supplier," says René Jungbluth, who heads the solutions business at Siemens Building Technologies. "Siemens is a key player in the security industry, and VMS is a vital module in our Siveillance portfolio. It helps further focus and expand our enterprise security solutions business. Because the video technology can also be integrated into the Desigo CC building management platform, the software is an outstanding addition to our Total Building Solutions portfolio as well."
"The worldwide strategic partnership with Siemens is very important to us. It is not only proof of how important open platforms are, but also represents a benchmark in our long-standing business relationship," says Lars Thinggaard, president and CEO of Milestone.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CSG is adding density near its headquarters with the purchse announced yesterday of Allied Protective Systems, based in Oklahoma City.

The deal adds 6,000 customers to CSG's Guardian Security Systems, an installing security company that CSG owns.

CSG CEO Richard Ginsburg was on a plane today, but Amy will catch up with him later this week and have more to report on the deal next week. Ginsburg has been on the acquisition trail. Amy reported in October that CSG purchased two companies in Texas. Here's that story.

CSG intends to offer its new customers its "full line of interactive security and home automation options," Ginsburg said in the release.

Johnnie Fletcher, who owned Allied for 30 years, sold the company to CSG when he decided to retire after 50 years in the alarm industry, according to the news release.

CSG says it's the 8th largest residential security monitoring company in the United States. It has 200,000 customers, $7 million in RMR,  a dealer program; a monitoring and customer care center in Tulsa; a branch network; and customers in 17 states.

Vertex Capital advised CSG on this deal.
 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Managed and hosted access control systems, or access control as a service "ACaaS" has been on the rise for some time now. IHS's Blake Kozak put out a research note today with some interesting ACaaS projections.

From the report: "IHS estimates that newly installed hosted and managed access control doors represented about 3 percent of the total new readers and electronic locks installed in the Americas in 2013. A total of about 80,000 doors of ACaaS were added in the region in 2013. IHS has forecast there will be about 1.8 million total doors of ACaaS in the Americas by 2018."  

ACaaS is good for end users and integrators alike, the report points out.

For integrators, it's a source of RMR and it also increases "stickiness" of accounts. For end users, outsourcing access control provisioning and permissions to an integrator removes a major hassle internally. Very important also, is that the fact that ACaas is sold as a service, so the funds come from the operating budget rather than the capital expenditure budget, making it easier for end users to "sell" internally.

However, Kozak notes that it's not always possible to fully fund ACaaS through the OpEx budget. "For example, a system with 100 doors and 400 card users would likely not use a 100% opex model. The integrator/installer will need to obtain some amount of revenue upfront."
    
Kozak also says that "Web-based panels are continuing to experience growth, potentially impacting the adoption of ACaaS."
    
IHS predicts that we'll see more hybrid systems "a mix of onsite management, monitoring and hosted infrastructure."
    
Finally, the note brings up another important topic: Big Data. A buzzword for sure, but if they can figure out how to capture and collate the data efficiently, access control data, like video data, should be in important source for advanced business intelligence in the future.

by: Martha Entwistle - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Protection 1 CEO Tim Whall has always been big on data and measurable metrics. It appears Protection 1 is further fine-tuning its data-driven strategy with the announcement today that the full-service business and home security company is launching a new Field Services Organization.

The new group will be led by Paul Straten in the newly created role of VP, field services. Straten, who has been with Protection 1 for 14 years, will report to Don Young, chief information and operating officer.

Protection one say the new organization "will focus on the service delivery platform to support its rapidly growing commercial and national accounts business." Straten's group will "provide actionable data through the use of technical tools to help the field organization continue to improve upon their delivery capabilities."

The goal, according to a prepared statement from Young is to provide "the most sophisticated service delivery platform in the industry.”

Working with Straten will be Marcel Van Someren who has been promoted to the position of director, field technology and Helton De Oliveira who will serve as director, field services.
Van Someren will  "standardize training on the wide variety of products and services that Protection 1 offers and create educational channels that make it straightforward and impactful for technicians to access and learn."  De Oliveira is charged with "the production and distribution for all reporting related to field production, efficiency measurement, and related operational reporting data. The strategy behind this position is to streamline much of the available reporting and create a universal channel of access by field teams so they have the most accurate and current data available."

Protection 1 has 2 million business and home security customers, 3,500 employees,  70 office locations and five UL Certified monitoring centers across the country. It also has a Network Operations Center with a Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Express Partner Certification.
 

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Video surveillance provider Samsung Techwin has a new majority owner, Hanwha Group, a $34 billion conglomerate based in South Korea.

The deal, announced Dec. 5  is "a stock transaction, not an acquisition," Samsung's senior marketing group manager Tom Cook said during a Dec. 8 conference call.

Samsung Electronics announced Dec. 5 that it had entered into an agreement to sell its shares, which amount to a 32 percent stake in Samsung Techwin to Hanwha, which has expressed an interest in increasing its position in the security and defense industry. Samsung's second-largest shareholder is South Korea's government pension plan, according to Cook, the rest of the shareholder hold much smaller stakes.

How will the deal affect the Samsung Techwin's North American operation, which is based in Ridgefield, N.J.? There won't be any immediate changes, Cook said.

Contrary to some earlier published reports, Samsung Techwin will retain the rights to the Samsung name. For how long? Cook said that was "still a negotiating point" but he said it would retain the rights for "many years" and noted that there is precedent for Samsung allowing its brand to be used for extended periods of time. Renault has used the Samsung brand for more than 20 years, he said.

Soon Hong Ann, Samsung Techwin CEO and all management will stay in place, Cook said. All R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing operations will remain unchanged, he said. Hanwha does not have manufacturing facilities and it does not own any other businesses that manufacture or do R&D of security devices. It does have a systems integration business "which can benefit by selling SamsungTechwin products in the Asian market, but in North America, I do not see any of that occuring," Cook said.

Independent of this deal, Samsung Techwin America is looking into establishing an additional "assembly and manufacturing facility in the U.S. that would allow us to fall under the branding of 'Made in America'," Cook said. Cook said that Samsung Techwin is interested in doing this to increase its business with the U.S. government, which gives preference to domestically produced products.

Cook said Samsung Techwin's North American operation has grown rapidly in recent years. "In 2013 we were up 40 percent over the previous year, and 2014 we will end up 70 percent over 2013."

The company has had several big wins including General Mills and Qualcomm [where Samsung is working with Milestone Systems] and General Motors [where it is working with Genetec].

Asked about additional funds for R&D and other investments, Cook said "Hanwha acquired this stock because they're interested in growing in the security and defense market" and added that Samsung Techwin Americas "has never been held up because of resources in the past."

Cook said that Samsung Techwin will be introducing 5 megapixel and 4K cameras, "an all-in-one IP kit that we believe the market is ready for."

Cook said Samsung Techwin will have a 100-foot by 60-foot booth at ISC West and it will be situated next to the market leader. [Axis Communications] "We are neighbors aond purpose and we're going to take them head-on," Cook said. It will also hold a dealer meeting and an A&E meeting at ISC West.

Samsung Techwin is currently the fourth largest video surveillance provider in North America. Cook believes "by the end of 2015 we will be in the position of second."

"To be number one, that is our goal," Cook said.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I normally fly when I travel from Maine to New York City. But, for ISC East a couple weeks ago, I was late making a reservation and the airfares went throught the roof, so I took the train.

It was actually a bus from Portland to Boston and then a train from Boston to Penn Station. It took a little longer than a flight and transport from the airport into Manhattan would have taken, but not that much longer and overall it was a very comfortable and hassle-free travel experience. You can't help but notice, however, the lack of security on buses and trains—especially when you compare it to air travel.

It's not that I want to have to remove my shoes at Penn Station, but it's noticeable and it's something that we have talked about here in the office.

In this week's newswire, three stories touch on transportation security. First, we have integration firm Minuteman Security getting into product development. Minuteman has developed a new mobile video surveillance and health check monitoring system. It test drove the system at the fifth largest tranportation authority in the country and others are showing interest in the system. Here's a link to the story.

Our monthly "Stats" story delves into a report from TechNavio that projects that the market for mass transit security will reach $5 billion in North America by 2018. Here's a link to that story. 

And finally, our monthly Legislative Update, takes a look at SIA's work with FRA, the Federal Railroad Administration, to set requirements for video and audio security technology on passenger and freight trains. Read that story here.

 

by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, November 24, 2014

This week is the first week in 37 years that Jay Hauhn is not reporting to work at Tyco (or former sister company ADT). Hauhn's last day was on Friday. I had a chance to catch up with Jay last week at ISC East.

Jay said he's looking forward to taking the next 6 to 12 months to "decompress" from the day-to-day corporate world. But he'll stay connected to the security industry in a volunteer capacity: Hauhn serves as president of the Central Station Alarm Association, and he's also looking forward to "re-engaging with SIA [in some volunteer capacity.]"

Jay began his career with a temporary job at ADT as a "key runner," where he literally carried a metal keybox to businesses when there was an alarm. After six months, he moved to an engineering position where he worked on the "very beginnings of computerization of central stations." He later worked in the World Trade Center in New York where did further work with ADT central stations (There were 165 at the time; today there are fewer than five.)

In the course of his career, Hauhn has worked on the systems integration side of the business, has been responsible for products, and has worked as CTO.

Asked about the most important technological change he witnessed in his career? The digital dialer, he said. "The digital dailer created the residential businesses' ability to cost effectively protect homes. That was a paradigm shift," he said. Many security companies are about 70 percent residential, he noted. "[The digital dailer] led to the growth in this industry."

More recently, an important technological advancement has been managed services and in particular hosted access. Where previously a security company that did card access and video "was lucky to get a maintenance contract," hosted access changed that.

"Steve Van Till [Brivo CEO] did this," Hauhn said. "He showed this industry how to sell card access and get RMR out of every sale."

The industry is not there yet with hosted video, he said.

Hauhn said he's a huge believer that workable video analytics will be the key to hosted video.

"That's where managed video is going to finally get traction," he said. Then, only important snippets of video will be sent to the cloud.

Then that video data will be mined. "It will be more about business operation improvement as opposed to security. That's where the ROI [for end users] would be—in improved business metrics."

I asked him about the most fun stuff he's done working in the security industry.

Hauhn spent some time in the late 80s and early 90s working for ADT's federal group. "I got to design security systems for some places that don't exist," he said. "I'm still not allowed to talk about those, but to go to those federal DoD locations and know the importance of those places, and I got to design the security systems to protect them. That was neat," he said.

Hauhn also really liked some work he did with the Navy SEALS. He declined to elaborate beyond: "I got to play with some of their toys—boats and vehicles. That was fun."

Hauhn said he may do some consulting after a year or so, but he also may decide not to.

"Tyco and ADT have been very good to me," he said. "I know it sounds corny, but I've really met some fantastic people in this industry," he said. "There's a lot of cameraderie and people care about what they do—protecting assets and property."

 

 

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ISC East kicks off this morning here on a beautifully sunny morning in New York City.

Conference sponsor SIA said it expects to “see increased attendance at this year’s event.”

SIA introduced a mobile app (sponsored by Genetec) for this year’s event that’s free to download at www.isceastmobile.com The app has a list of exhibitors and their locations, the educational schedule and other planning features.

In addition to the show floor exhibits and educational sessions, the annual SIA Honors Night will take place tonight at Chelsea Piers. Honeywell’s Gordon Hope will receive the George R. Lippert Memorial Award at that event.  

Check back here for reports about this year’s show.

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by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Razberi Technologies, which was reinvented three years ago by Tom Galvin, today announced that it received a $3m investment from a new investor, LiveOak Venture Partners of Austin, Texas.

I had a chance to speak to Galvin about the deal. “We launched the company exactly three years ago, in November 2011. We’ve been growing nicely through word of mouth but we got to the point where, to sustain growth, we needed outside capital,” he said.

The funds will be used “to invest in sales, marketing and branding awareness to fully leverage what we’ve built here in our product line and to invest in R&D. We want to continue to evolve and to develop the product line,” Galvin said.

Razberi’s flagship product is its ServerSwitch, which combines “the functions of a network video recorder and ethernet smark switch into a single compact appliance.”  These appliances, “go where IT doesn’t go because of cost or form factor,” Galvin said. Currently in development are a “ruggedized line for outdoor applications. There’s a growing energy business in the U.S., with oil and natural gas and windmills and they all need video surveillance,” he said.  

Galvin also announced that Ken Boyda has joined Razberi as non-executive chairman of its board of directors.

Boyda built Interlogi company, which he sold to GE Security and was subsequently sold to UTC. Galvin and Boyda worked together at GE before Boyda retired. Boyda has stayed active in the industry, Galvin said, serving on the board of VideoIQ before its acquisition by Avigilon. He also currently serves on the board of PSIM provider VidSys.

Boyda introduced Galvin to LiveOak Ventures.

“Razberi [which is based in Carrollton, Texas] is LiveOak’s first investment in North Texas. There’s a start-up market here that’s underserved by financial [backers], and LiveOak saw us a real opportunity,” Galvin said.

Jiri Modry, whom Galvin called “one of the pioneers,” has also joined Razberi’s board. “He developed the first DVR for security and sold it to Interlogix [which was sold to GE.] … The GE DVR line at the time was based on Yiri’s technology. It’s great to have his expertise on the board as well,” Galvin said.

Ben Scott and Krishna Srivivasan, both of LiveOak Venture Partners, also joined the board.

Razberi also hired Rich Anderson as its CTO. “He’s a key hire for us. He served in different executive capacities at GE and Casi Rusco back in the day,” Galvin said.

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