Subscribe to On the Editor's Desk RSS Feed

On the Editor's Desk

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As marajuana, medical and otherwise, becomes legalized in states, pot appears to be growing vertical market.

DirectView Holdings, on Oct. 6 announced it landed a $150,000 contract to complete a "comprehensive security and surveillance installation" at a Colorado marajuana facility, which includes a large grow house, two dispensaries and management offices. The announcement said the installation will be complete by the end of the year. Here's some background on DirectView.

The installation will include  "DirectView IP megapixel security cameras, DirectView's NVR video and audio storage server as well as a access controls and a comprehensive intrusion alarm system."

DirectView will also provide alarm monitoring of the facility. The announcement did not say whether DirectView is providing the monitoring itself or if it is using a third-party monitoring provider. 

In a prepared statement, Roger Ralston, CEO and chairman of DirectView, said  this is "another cannabis installation [won as the result of its] exclusive security partnership with [a design and build firm for marajuana facilities] Cannamor. We continue to solidify our position as a trusted source for the security needs of the cannabis industry enabling us to win larger installation contracts like this one.  We are also beginning to gain traction in ongoing alarm monitoring services which can provide and important source of future recurring revenue. The cannabis industry continues to grow and we intend to work diligently to build on our momentum in Colorado and other geographic regions in the country."



by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, September 28, 2015

Wednesday, Sept. 30, Day 3 at ASIS 2015

The show is done!

A very quick wrap-up of Day 3 follows. I'll be expanding on some of this next week.

I stopped by to talk to Perry Levine at cloud access control provider BluB0X and also got to catch up with Dakota Security's Eric Yunag.  

Spoke to Wayne Arvidson at Quantum, a 35-year-old storage technology company that specializes in handling unstructured data like video. Quantum's presence in the physical security space is growing, he said.

I saw a demo of Honeywell's MAXPRO Cloud by Michael Coniff. MAXPRO Cloud is another products that's aimed directly at the SMB market.

At Verint, I spoke to Kevin DeWine about enhancements to Verint's Situational Awareness Platform: Dispatch Manager, Mobile Reporter and Mobile Responder. There is big interest from end users who like that the mobile enhancements are app-based, DeWine said.

At MicroPower Technologies I spoke to Dave Tynan about the new SOLVEIL camera. Tynan said there's growing acceptance of the company's solar, wireless cameras.    

My last #ASIS15 visit gets my vote for coolest product: Iscon Imaging is an IR scanner for people. It uses thermal technology to scan a person (like at the airport). The cool thing is that it has benefits that other scanners don't have and it doesn't have the problems that other scanners have. It can't see through clothing, but it can detect objects made of any material, not just metal. And, it doesn't emit millimeter waves or radiation. "The only thing that comes out of the camera is warm air," said Iscon CEO Bill Gately. The warm air makes objects visible in the IR image. This scanner does not provoke privacy and health concerns and it's better at detecting objects of all kinds, Gately said. The product is available in two forms: as a walk-through scanner and there's also a hand-held version. The product has a time-and-date stamp, it can take screenshots, and it has a USB port so images can be downloaded easily. And, it's ripe for integration with other security system components, Gately said. This was the first security trade show for Iscon.   

Tuesday, Sept. 29, Day 2 at ASIS 2015

I began Day 2 at the Oncam breakfast, which was off of the showfloor at the Hilton.  Jumbi Edulbehram, who joined Oncam as head of the Americas in March, gave an overview and demo of Oncam's 360-degree technology. At the show, Oncam is showing off its Evolution-12 cameras (12-megapixel $K Exmor R sensor to deliver 9.6 MP high-resolution image). Joining Edulbehram were Eddy Collier, director of surveillance technology and corporate surveillance at MGM Resorts, Ted Whiting, director of surveillance MGM Resorts International, and Darryl Daniel, Sr. Consultant, Houston Airport Systems. The end users discussed of how 360-degree cameras are used in the airport and gaming industry to watch what's going on at the tables and slot machines and how the cameras are used for customer service. "360" is a verb at MGM, Whiting said. "We 360 you, [to return lost property, for example]," Whiting said.

Whiting used the example of money falling out of someone's pocket at a slot machine. The surveillance staff may notice that, retrieve the money, use Oncam equipment "to 360" the customer who lost the money and return the money to that customer. Much of the time, the security staff returns items before the customer even knows they've lost something. Collier said a PTZ camera in a casino "may be used three times a month, but a 360-degree camera is used for situational awareness 100 percent of the time."

On the showfloor, I caught up with Keith Jentoft of Videofied. You did not need to locate a booth to see Videofied's newest outdoor battery-powered camera, Jentoft was walking the aisles, camera in hand, doing demos on-the-go. 

Caught up with Jonathan Healey and Kristin Papa at Brivo. They're talking about Brivo's new Mobile Pass at the booth. Here's a story I wrote last week on that. Healey is going to be moderating an educational session at Cloud+. Plans are almost complete for Cloud+. Here's the current program.

At the Diebold booth, I spoke to Jeremy Brecher about Cloud+ and about TechSec 2016. Diebold announced its ASIS news a couple weeks ago, they've introduced Site Sentry, "video management technology which enables customers to view, assess and respond to security events in real time." It is integrated into Diebold's online software-as-a-service platform, SecureStat.

I met with George DeMarco, ESX chairman, to talk about technology trends and ESX 2016, which will take place in Dallas June 8-10.

At Assa Abloy, Peter Boroskin said all of the company's main locks lines for commercial and institutional applications now support mobile devices. Assa Abloy's first mobile device-enabled lock was in 2011. Sustainability is an ongoing theme for Assa Abloy, which is developing energy-efficient locks. Its Eco-Flex technology, works "like a hybrid car" he said, it uses a battery for 23 hours a day and then for one hour it's connected to a power source to charge the battery. "It's 98 percent more efficient [than a wired connection]," Boroskin said. He also said the POE is growing faster in the company's portfolio than Wi-Fi. "Why? Because it's easier to route," he said. Assa Abloy is also showing new solutions for multi-family buildings.

I ran into Benjamin Butchco who is doing an educational session today called "The Great PSIM debate." Don't miss it! It's at 1:45 p.m. today (Wednesday, Sept. 30) in room 202B. The genesis of this session was TechSec2015. It was a dynamic debate that day, and I'm sure it will be a great discussion today as well.

I had a chance to meet with the folks at IDIS, a newcomer but not a newcomer. IDIS made its debut at ISC West this year, but it's actually been in business for along time OEMing products to many other companies. I met with Keith Drummond, Andrew Myung, Benjamin Bryant and Peter Kim. Bryant told me that IDIS's goals for the show are "awareness of the brand, awareness that we have a 20-year history in the industry, and awareness of our commitment to innovation."

I had a chance to interview Jim Cannon, president of Stanley Security. Cannon talked about his vision for the security division in its current post-acquisition chapter. It's focusing on its vertical market strategy, having made good progress in the healthcare and retail verticals in particular, he said. Cannon talked about "Stanley Insights," Stanley's efforts on harnessing data, "the raw material of our time" to turn it into information for Stanley customers. He also talked about "Stanley Standards," an initiative to ensure that installation technicians, service technicians and monitoring staff all of Stanley's 61 branches are highly trained. Finally, we talked about Stanley's goal to hire more veterans. "I want one-third of our future recruits to come from the military," he said. Look for a longer story on this interview next week.

I left the show floor at 4 p.m. to board a bus to Irvine for the grand opening of the new Irvine Axis Experience Center. In 2014, Axis announced plans to expand its presence in North America with more local resources and brick-and-mortar presence. I've been to the Experience Centers in Lund, Sweden and Chelmsford, Mass. While they're nice facilities, this new one in Irvine stands out for its creative but practical design. It's sited in an office park, but it doesn't feel like an office park. The center has floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a reflecting pool that surrounds the building. Beyond the pool is green space and palm trees.

The office has a large training room, where Axis can do hands-on training at 28 desk stations. It can be used as a meeting room for many more people. Fredrik Nilsson, Axis GM Americas, said the center is open to the industry to be used by associations and also by Axis customers. The center features a product display wall that is designed to be able to swap out products. The center also features vertical market-themed displays, which are cleverly fitted into a small area. There's a Gaming Area with a BlackJack table and a slot machine (Bill Wendlandt, West Business Area Manager for Axis, had to find a slot machine that was more than 20 years old, for legal reasons.) The slot machine works, but with Axis "chips." A Transaction Area, recreates a bank teller-type scenario. A short wall on near the transaction area houses an Axis Access Control solution. Wendlant wanted the access control devices to be visible, so the entire wall is glass. Why is there a plastic water bottle at the bottom of the wall? It's a tribute to the contractors who left a trail of water bottles in their wake, Wendlandt said. There's also a Retail Area, an Airport waiting area which looks out in the direction of John Wayne Airport, so you can see planes taking off and landing. (Talk about thoughtful design.) There's an Educational Vertical area that also serves as a kitchen/pantry for the office. It can also double as a restaurant or bar, and that's how it was set up at the grand opening. We saw the server room and engineering lab/testing lab. I've seen lots of testing labs, but I don't think I've ever seen one with windows. This seems like a pretty nice place to test products. There's a large conference room and a large the sales office. One side with cubicles has a giant glass wall; the other side has a giant photo of Fenway Park, to recognize the home office in Massachusetts. Axis plans to open an Experience Centers in Canada and Mexico and two more in the U.S. in the near future.        

Monday, Sept. 28, Day 1 at ASIS 2015

After traveling all day Sunday from Maine to Anaheim, Calif., my ASIS show experience began at 3 in the afternoon with more transportation: a one-hour van ride to Paramount Picture Studios to check out the new GSOC and SureView System' Immix platform. SureView's Scott Haugland, Rob Hile  and Tom Bradley gave an overview and a large contingent from the Paramount security team was on hand to lead the tour and answer questions including Louis Lam, executive director of security services, Roy Condon SVP Environmental Health, Safety and Security, and Jeff Reider senior analytis business resiliency. Rob Hile started the presentation saying, "You're about to see a PSIM that works." Hile has spoken about PSIM a lot at industry events including at TechSec this year.  SureView was able to deploy this system within three months of talking to Paramount, and Lam said that total ROI will be achieved in three years.  SureView's Graham Johnson spoke to me about the importance of rapid deployment at ISC West this year. SureView continues to work with the security team at Paramount to refine and improve features of the system. Hile emphasized that it's "not customized, but it's specialized." He said that integrations SureView has added to the Paramount PSIM—with graphics specifically—are benefitting all SureView customers. Asked how the security department works with its IT department, Lam said all IP products—security and otherwise—run on one network. So the IT department owns everything. "They buy it, they own it. We tell them what [security systems] to buy and we house all the data in our data center."  I'll have more on this later, but it was a great tour and very interesting to attend the event with some specifiers including Bill Jacobs, who asked some pointed questions.  Here's an interview with Bill that I did this summer.

Monday on the showfloor I visited Protection 1 and the first person I saw was Bob Ryan, formerly with ASG who is now leading residential and commercial sales for Protection 1. He's also going to speak at Cloud+ in December. Check out the educational program here. He reports to Jamie Haenggi, who also has a new role at Protection 1.

Last year at ASIS, Protection 1 talked about its recent Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Express Partner Certification. This year, Haenggi talked about how the company's managed services is evolving to enhance the user experience. For example, managed services features can give a retailer or coffee shop information that enables them to enhance the experience for their customers. Now managed services can provide  "ease of use" for the end users' customers, Haenggi said. Protection 1 announced "a milestone it the design, implementation and monitoring of security-only networsk. ... it now has "more than 1,000 network devices under management across 750 networks, representing 18 customer logos." 

I also got a look at Protection 1's newest eSuite 2.0 which has new features for mobile devices.

Some big news today from Lenel and AlertEnterprise. I spoke to Lenel's Ron Virden and AlertEnterprise's Jasvir Gill. They've signed a strategic alliance deal, finalized on Monday infact, so Lenel dealers can resell AlertEnterprise’s Physical Identity and Access Management (PIAM) software to support an advanced PIAM and compliance solution. Look for a full story in our newswire this week. The integration enables some cool stuff for the two companies' Fortune 100 company customers, and they're viewing this as a big opportunity for their integrator partners as well.

Stopped by the Genetec booth and spoke to Kevin G. Clark, Andrew Elvish, Jimmy Palatsoukas and Francis LaChance about Genetec's focus on the "security of security" which involves encryption and privacy in its Security Center 5.4. I also met with Genetec technology partner Evgenia Ostrovskaya of KiwiSecurity and saw how their software will pixilate a video (streaming or otherwise) so that only authorized viewers can see non-pixilated video. Its a privacy technology that's commonplace in Europe and becoming more in demand in North America, Elvish said, as privacy concerns are raised in certain video surveillance applications such as city surveillance. 

I spoke briefly with Courtney Mamuscia about expanded focus for fraud, risk and compliance Solutions and for security intelligence for the education vertical. Verint is also organizing its very first customer conference, which will take place in late June in Chicago.

I stopped by SRI and spoke to Mark Clifton about two ASIS accolade award winning products, an iris biometric embedded terminal for access control. It's ideal for access control in a warehouse, he said. I also saw their iris biometric door lock for residential applications. It's battery operated, but you hit a button to turn the batter on whenever you want to open a door. 

At the Milestone booth, I met with Jeff Simpson and Cheryl Bartley of Lentix, a Milestone partner showing camera-agnostic light correction. The cameras do not need to be high end, and the product became commercially available as of Monday.

Moti Shabtai at the Qognify booth showed me their new video analytic tool Object Origin, which  won an ASIS accolade award. Here's an interview I did with Shabtai last week.

I also stopped by BriefCam to talk to Rachel Nieman. She showed me some work that BriefCam is doing on the visual presentation of data. The company can filter video by color, size, speed of object, etc and it's working on ways to present that data, for security and non-security information. Cool stuff. 

I met Jeffrey He and Alex Asnovich of Hikvision for the first time at a reception Monday afternoon.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ASIS is next week. I'll be heading to Anaheim, Calif. this weekend because, of course, the show begins before the show begins.

Among my first events is a Sunday afternoon tour of Paramount Studios to check out their Sureview System.

I'll be at the show all three days, Sept. 28-Sept. 30 and I am looking forward to getting some exercise on the floor running from one meeting to another.

I do have a couple of open times--like 30 minutes each day on Monday, Tues. and Wednesday. I reserved them for compelling last-minute invites. If you've got something really cool that you think my readers--the integrators--will really care about, let me know what it is and why my readers need to know too via email by EOD Thursday. Thank you!

I'll be checking out the ASIS Accolade award winners. Here's a link to the award-winning products and booth numbers.

by: Martha Entwistle - Monday, September 21, 2015

BOSTON— Battery Ventures today closed the NICE physical security business unit deal and announced that the new independent business will be called Qognify. 

Battery Ventures announced its intention to acquire the business for "up to $100 million" in August. Here's a story on that announcement.  Today's announcement did not include details on the final price.

In August, I spoke to Battery Ventures' Jesse Feldman about the deal. I have a call into Feldman to talk more and I'm hoping to catch up with Moti Shabtai, former GM of NICE's PSBU, who was named president of Qognify, at ASIS. Sept. 22, 2015 Update: Here's an interview with Quognify's Moti Shabtai.

Feldman said that Battery plans to continue to invest in the PSBU and expand into other market segments. In addition to possibly adding access control capabilities, Feldman said that Battery would consider acquiring analytics capabilities, video and otherwise. NICE's customers include banks, utility companies, airports, seaports, city centers and transportation systems and sports venues.

Here's the company's new web site.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell is making changes. Yesterday, the company made an internal announcement that it’s combining its security and fire businesses into one new business, Honeywell Security and Fire (HSF).

David Paja, who took over as president of Honeywell Security Group in January, has been named president of HSF.

HSF will be a business unit within Honeywell Automation & Control Solutions (ACS) division. 

Paja will report to Alex Ismail, president and CEO of ACS. Before being named president of Honeywell Security Group in January, Paja was VP and GM for Honeywell Transportation Systems in China and India.

Gary Lederer, president of the legacy Honeywell Fire Safety business, will lead the integration of the businesses until 2016, when he will retire. Lederer has been with Honeywell for 16 years and in the life safety business for 27 years.

The Honeywell sales teams in the legacy HSG and HFS businesses will remain in place.

A Honeywell internal announcement said: “The company remains committed to supporting its customers with the same level of reliable and quality products, service and delivery throughout this process, with a focus on transparency and open communication.”

It also said that “the combination of the two businesses offers a broader and more robust portfolio of best-in-class products and end-to-end connected solutions for Homes and Buildings.”

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Researching cybersecurity is eye-opening, PSA Security Network CEO Bill Bozeman told me during a recent call about PSA's cybersecurity program, which is moving into its second year.

Bozeman said that "when and if" a cybersecurity breach occurs in a physical security system, integrators will be "in the line of fire" in terms of liabillty.

With the objective of "educating our partners about cybersecurity so they can mitigate the risk," PSA has formed partnerships with cybersecurity service providers and manufacturers who have "proven expertise" in cyber security.

Among the partners is a law firm that specializes soley in cybersecurity law for physical security companies. In my opinion, that alone should make integrators think twice about ignoring cybersecurity education.

Bozeman emphasized that PSA is not in the business of certifying or testing any products or services. Rather, Bozeman has been working with a group of cybersecurity experts and some integrators to "vet" partners for integrators.

PSA is launching a webinar series to introduce cybersecurity partners to integrators and "set up potential parnterships." The series launches this month and will go through April.

PSA has also come up with a checklist of "Six things integrators can do now" to protect their businesses. Here's the list. More details are available here.

1. Conduct a cybersecurity assessment

2. Educate your team

3. Purchase cybersecurity insurance

4. Update your contracts

5. Choose cyber-hardened products

6. Educate your customers


by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Avigilon, a video surveillance and end-to-end security solution provider, today announced two resignations and a management reorganization.

Bryan Schmode has resigned from his role as COO, and Collis Heath, SVP of Global Operations, has also left the company.

There have been a number of changes in Avigilon’s management ranks over the past few months. In August, Pedro Simoes, SVP of global sales, resigned and was replaced by James Hendershot. In May, Danny Cam, VP of Engineering left and was replaced by CTO and SVP Mahesh Saptharishi.

There have been several management changes in the past few years as well. The company announced today plans to streamline its senior management reporting structure “to increase operational efficiency.”

Avigilon's seven major departments—product development, sales, marketing, operations, finance, legal, and human resources—will now report directly to Alexander Fernandes, Avigilon's founder, president, CEO, and Chairman of the Board.

“This refreshed structure brings Mr. Fernandes closer to Avigilon's day-to-day operations while empowering department leaders with greater authority,” the company said in the announcement.

Avigilon has been one of the fastest growing security companies. Its stock, which trades on the Toronto Exchange, closed at $12.37 on Sept. 2. Its 52-week high is $25.62. Its low is $12.34.

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Will UTC buy Nortek?

The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, says it's in talks to do so for around $1.2 billion. I talked to some folks in the past few days who say the purchase, which may not make sense on the surface may indeed make sense. Other financial reports, such as the Motley Fool, concur.

Nortek is the parent company of well known access control, security and automation brands Linear, 2GIG and Go!Control. Those brands fall under the Nortek Security and Control division. It's  a global diversified company with a current market cap of $1.3 billion and an enterprise value of $2.7 billion, and the bulk of Nortek’s business falls outside security, it also does HVAC, air management and AV.

Based in Hartford, Conn., United Technologies Corporation is a global $81 billion company that makes building systems and aerospace industry products. Its segments include:  Otis elevators; Pratt & Whitney;  UTC Aerospace Systems and UTC Climate, Controls & Security, which in addition to security does HVAC and refrigeration. UTC owns access control provider Lenel (as one person I spoke to called it--the darling of the UTC security portfolio) and intrusion and smart home provider Interlogix.

UTC bought GE Security in 2010. Here's a Q&A we did at the time.  Two years later, UTC sold its fire and security integration business (Red Hawk) to a private equity group.

UTC recently sold its Sikorsky helicopter division for $9 billion, so they've got money to invest.

Neither Nortek nor UTC are commenting, but plenty of folks outside of the businesses are talking about it.

People I spoke to said that UTC went looking for Nortek—Nortek was not actively looking for a buyer. They don’t believe that it is the security part of the business that is necessarily driving the deal—but rather, the fact that Nortek’s lines of businesses line up with UTC’s Climate Controls and Security division, though there would definitely be some overlap with 2GIG and Interlogix.

As The Motley Fool explains it, what's driving the deal is that the numbers make sense.

From the report: “…Nortek could be a pretty nice bargain. Bought for today's $1.4 billion valuation, Nortek would cost UTC less than 0.6 times Nortek's annual sales. UTC stock, in contrast, costs more than twice as much, at 1.3 times sales.
Meanwhile, although it earns no net profits, Nortek does earn operating profits (i.e., it would have been profitable but for the cost of interest, taxes, and various one-time items). In fact, at its current operating profit margin, Nortek earned about $123 million in operating profit on its revenues last year. If, after buying Nortek, UTC is able to improve the latter's operations so as to extract something like the 16.5% margin that UTC's own Climate, Controls, and Security business achieves, then this would work out to $413 million in annual profits from UTC's new subsidiary -- $290 million better than Nortek made on its own.”

Will the deal happen? I have no idea. But I guess I need to be prepared for another ISC West booth visit where I have to learn, again, how the UTC security business has been realigned.


by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Systems integrator The Protection Bureau has opened a new branch office in Richmond, Va.

I talked to Matthew Ladd, CEO of The Protection Bureau, about the new office today. “We had an opportunity that came to us with people in Richmond who wanted to work for the Protection Bureau,” he said. The integrator has 152 clients in the area and has had “an ongoing service need in region,” he said.

“It was the perfect fit and opportunity. It made sense to open a branch office and we were able to do that with two technicians, a branch manager and a part-time office person,” Ladd said.

“It all came together in two weeks,” he said. The new staff members visited The Protection Bureau headquarters in Philadelphia last week and this week the office manager is in Richmond “teaching them about our systems and procedure so they can blend into The Protection Bureau way of doing business.

The Richmond office will service current and future Protection Bureau customers and Security-Net customers as well. The branch manager will handle sales initially, but Ladd plans to add more sales personnel. “We’ll look to expand and grow the office and make it another success for The Protection Bureau,” he said.

The Protection Bureau does about $15 million in sales annually and has 97 employees. In addition to its headquarters in Philly, it has a satellite office in Plainfield, N.J. That office has three technicians, but Ladd said it's not a branch office. “It’s a service point for our clients in North Jersey through New York and into New England.”

Ladd said that business in 2015 has been good and he’s hearing the same thing from other integrators. “The overall economy is getting stronger.”

by: Martha Entwistle - Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ESX will take place west of the Mississippi for the first time in its history next year when it moves to Ft. Worth, Texas.

The tradeshow organizers announced that the show will take place June 8-10, 2016. Organizers said Fort Worth was chosen because of ease of access from most cities, hotel selection, state-of-the-art convention center, and a "walkable and safe urban environment."

ESX will announce the schedule of events and the educational program in January.