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SDI secures investments from LLR Partners, Monument Capital Group

CEO Gupta says SDI gets dry powder for acquisitions and a brain trust out of the deal
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06/13/2012

CHICAGO--When David Gupta, CEO of systems integrator SDI, began discussions with private equity firms, he was looking for capital of course, but he was also looking for a firm with specific expertise.

Platinum sued again, but two other cases dismissed

Ohio AG accuses Platinum of deceptive sales practices, but Monitronics and CPI withdraw their lawsuits against the company
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06/13/2012

AMERICAN FORK, Utah--Financially beleaguered Platinum Protection, a summer-model company here that laid off most of its employees in February, is facing another lawsuit, this one filed by the Ohio attorney general, charging that Platinum engaged in "false and misleading"

Mason Monitoring faces challenge over use of symbol, name

State Masonic lodge seeks 'appropriate remedy' against N.Y. company
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06/13/2012

KINGS PARK, N.Y.--Mason Monitoring Inc., a Long Island-based company that has drawn attention for offering $2 burglar and fire alarm accounts, is being challenged over the use of a Masonic symbol and the word "Mason" in its marketing.

IAS branching out in Charlotte

CEO Oetjen says he's got 'the right person, the right opportunity and the right city'
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06/13/2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Intelligent Access Systems, a PSA Security integrator, is opening its sixth office here this month.
 

F.E. Moran expands into Kansas and Indiana with acquisitions

Super-regional boosts national accounts, will build new central station
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06/13/2012

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.—F.E. Moran has completed two acquisitions that expand its footprint into Kansas and Indiana, boost its national accounts business, and bring in key personnel that CEO Brett Bean predicted will help the company pass a major milestone in the next 18 months.

First day at NFPA: SimplexGrinnell and Tyco split; Siemens guarantees no false alarms; and social media ROI

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How the Tyco International split this fall will benefit SimplexGrinnell; Siemens’ no-false-alarm guarantee; and how to maximize your ROI using social media are among things I learned about at my first day here at the annual NFPA Conference & Expo, being held in Las Vegas this week.

I started Tuesday morning at a pre-show reception where SimplexGrinnell president Bob Chauvin talked about Tyco International’s pending split into three publicly traded companies Oct. 1. The new companies will be ADT North America residential security business, Tyco Fire and Security, and Flow Control.

SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco International company, will be part of Tyco Fire and Security, “a global, mostly commercially-focused fire and security company,” Chauvin said.

“I think for us and for the life safety industry it means some very positive things,” Chauvin said. “What one is that we’ll be the only pure-play company that is singularly focused on the commercial fire and security business globally. Many play there, but I like to call it the privilege-of-focus opportunity: We have the opportunity to uniquely focus just in the life safety and security business.”

Secondly, he said, “SimplexGrinnell will be a significant part of this new company,” which he said is expected to do about $10 billion in sales, have almost 70,000 employees in about 1,200 locations and serve about 100 countries.”

Chauvin said he was excited and predicted that “our business will thrive with the change.”

SimplexGrinnell also was touting its eservices platform at the show, which it described as an “advanced suite of integrated web-based technologies can provide more value to customers through improved efficiency, added productivity, and lower life-cycle costs.”

Over at the Siemens booth, that company was promoting its long history of innovative technologies and its no-false-alarm guarantee.

Ron Ouimette, a Siemens product manager, said Siemens believes it is “the only company in the industry that offers a no-false-alarm guarantee. If trucks are rolling and there’s no fire, we pay.”

Company officials said the company has had that policy since 1997 because Siemens is so confident in the quality of its products.

Among the products the company is promoting at the show is its new ASAtechnology. ASA stands for Advanced Signal Analysis and its fire and fire and carbon monoxide detectors use “state-of-the-art forward/backward light scattering technology,” the company said.

The detectors also have two thermal and two optical sensors. All those features, combined with a built-in algorithm that allows for detection profiles that can be easily tailored for spaces as diverse as an office and an industrial warehouse give them very fast, reliable detection capabilities, the company said.

I also attended an educational seminar titled “Taking Your Social Media Presence to the Next Level.” It featured Lauren Backstrom, NFPA social media manager, and Michael Hazell, division manager, Web, for NFPA.

Among the surprising things I learned is that baby boomers aren’t as social media averse as we’re often made out to be. Backstrom said that while 89 percent of the members of Gen Y use social networking, and 79 percent of Gen X use social networking, baby boomers aren’t too far behind at 72 percent.

In fact, Backstrom said that boomers are “the fastest growing adopters of social media at this point.”

That’s something to think about when figuring out what customer bases you want to reach through social media.

American Security stoked about fire business

New contracts, strategic hiring and a parts-and-smarts approach help the NYC company grow its fire division
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06/12/2012

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.—American Security Systems recently announced new developments for its fast-growing fire division, including winning a New York City Housing Authority contract to service 231 community and day care centers and other buildings in the city’s five boro

ITC to take up OV vs. Samsung Bosch next month

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I had a quick conversation last week with Object Video CEO Raul Fernandez, about the company's recent announcement that it has signed another licensing agreement, this time with Vivotek. 

Earlier this year, OV announced that it had signed similar agreements with Sony and Tyco’s American Dynamics.

Fernandez said the fact that Vivotek decided to do a portfolio-wide agreement speaks to the fact that more and more products will be built with video analytics already onboard or will be video-analytic enabled.

OV is suing Samsung and Bosch through one legal process with the International Trade Commission and it announced last month that it had filed suit against Pelco in the U.S. District Court in Virginia.

The discussion between Vivotek and OV was prompted, Fernandez said, by OV’s Amnesty offer, which it announced just before ISC West.

The five-day ITC trial with Samsung and Bosch will start on July 18, Fernandez said. A judgment will not be announced until November, however.
Fernandez is optimistic that OV will prevail in this trial. “[We’re saying that their products] made outside the U.S. have features [for which we] have patents … they’re attacking the patents [and saying they’re not valid],” Fernandez said. “But only one [claim] has to survive. One claim does it all… it leads to an injunction of the product. It’s a highly risky proposition,” he added.

Fernandez said OV will be announcing another agreement in the near future.

Samsung, Bosch and Pelco have previously declined to comment on the OV lawsuits saying that they do not comment on ongoing litigation

Axis and Salient partner with HP for VSaas

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In an effort to bring VSaas to the masses and IP to everyone, IP video provider Axis Communications, VMS provider Salient Systems and storage and server company Hewlett Packard today announced a Video Surveillance as a Service solution.

I spoke to Scott Dunn, Axis’ director of business development for North America, this afternoon about the deal. Salient adapted and integrated its enterprise VMS solution for Axis’ “one click camera connection” to stream video from IP cameras and encoders to remotely housed hosted servers from HP.  

Dunn said Salient’s VMS “has dynamic resolution scalling to serve up video and live feed in a thumbnail [view], which allows you to see a lot of feeds very efficiently .. and with efficient bandwidth usage.”

“Ultimately, we want to deliver solutions to the integrator that will drive RMR for them, so … working with world-class partners [such as Salient and HP], we can deliver a total solution to integrators … that’s cost effective and can be easily installed,” Dunn said. “And they can sell it as a service solution very much like the alarm industry [has been doing with monitoring services] for years,” he added.

So what’s the difference between this marketing agreement and the deal announced at ISC West 2011 between Axis and EMC?   They’re both aimed at making hosted video a reality for applications small and big, but there are some other differences.

For one, Salient adapted its VMS for this solution. However, “the main difference is that EMC is hosting the video in its own data center,” Axis’ Domenic Locapo said. “HP is bringing [the solution] to its biggest hosting partners to do the actual hosting,” he added.

How do integrators choose? Axis is providing best-of-breed options. It's a matter of what works best for a particular integrator and application, Dunn said.   

Dunn said Axis’ central theme this year is: “IP for everyone … affordable, quality, IP solutions for every class of user.” He said a “cloud deployment allows everyone cost-effectively [to have] benefits of IP including HD, mobility, scalability.”
 
The announcement was made today at an HP partner event in Las Vegas (called HP Discover 2012). Dunn said that in contrast to fears several years ago that IT companies would take business away from physical security integrators, this deal shows that IT and physical security collaborations mean more business for both professions.

ADT enhances Pulse with new Home View application

New software allows Pulse customers to remotely interact with home devices via personalized floor plan
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06/06/2012

BOCA RATON, Fla.—A new free feature for ADT Pulse enables customers to create a virtual floor plan of their home to control smart-home devices through a mobile device or on the Web.

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