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Alarm.com announces milestone

 - 
Friday, June 29, 2012

In its early years, Alarm.com had so few customers that it used to ring a bell in the office every time one signed up, in order to get employees motivated, Steve Trundle, company president and CEO, said this week at the ESX show in Nashville.

But now the 12-year-old Vienna, Va.-based provider of interactive security services has far too many active subscribers to announce each one individually. So the company held a party at the show so Trundle could announce just how many: more than 1 million as of this past April.

He said at the show that the figure is a milestone not just because it’s so large, but because it shows mainstream consumer adoption of interactive services.

Here’s more from a news release the company sent out yesterday about the subscriber milestone:
 

This represents over 1 million properties and millions of individual users protected and empowered by Alarm.com and its Partners. The Alarm.com Partner community has grown its user base significantly year-over-year through a dedication to innovative technology that improves the security and overall user experience for its customers.

This milestone signifies the mass market adoption of interactive services. The consumer expectation of a security system has evolved and Alarm.com and its Partners have led the way with industry leading technology and services that meet the new customer demands.

Alarm.com has helped to revolutionize the way people interact with their homes and businesses by enabling interactive security, energy management, video monitoring and home automation. The vast majority of Alarm.com subscribers are on Interactive Services accounts and are deeply engaged with their security solution. With such large scale adoption, interactive services have expanded the purpose of what was traditionally only an intrusion security solution and become an everyday part of users' lives.

"Our recent report projects that US revenues for smart home systems and services will hit $7.6 billion this year, driven in part by consumers' desire for enhanced security and control systems with mobile apps, self-controlled lights, thermostats, locks and cameras such as those offered by Alarm.com," said Bill Ablondi, Director of Smart Home Strategies at research firm Strategy Analytics. "Alarm.com has shown a consistent ability over the past several years to anticipate market trends -- and then develop products and services enabling dealers to meet the evolving needs of their customers."

Over twelve years ago the company created the first completely wireless web-enabled interactive security services and has continued to drive innovation and deliver industry firsts year after year. The company's one-millionth subscriber comes on the tail of recent key announcements including its launch of image sensor services, location-based services, a partnership with Verizon Wireless, and the release of its native iPad app and native Windows mobile app to expand its full suite of mobile integration.

The best of ESX: And the winners are ...

 - 
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just off the show floor after a very busy Wednesday at ESX, starting with the CSAA Excellence Awards Breakfast. There were a number of great seminars throughout the day and the floor was abuzz with networking. I assume everyone saved a little energy for the ESX Crawl …

I’m about to get out there myself to sample a little of that Nashville hospitality, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the award winners who highlighted the day. For those who might have missed it:

CSAA Central Station of the Year: Vivint
Honorable mention: United Central Control

CSAA Central Station Manager of the Year: Amy Becht, Vivint
Honorable mention: John Williams, Alarmco

CSAA Central Station Operator of the Year: Gale Gordon, The Protection Bureau
Honorable mention: Jorge Rodriguez, Monitronics

CSAA Central Station Support Person of the Year: David Palacios, UCC
Honorable mention: Kate Brickner, Vivint

ESX also announced its Maximum Impact Award winners for 2012. Hats off to the following:

Overall winner: 2GIG Technologies Go! 2.0

Best Access Control/ID Systems—Access Control System: Interlogix TruPortal

Best Access Control/ID Systems—Biometrics: 3M Cogent MiY-Card

Best Access Control/ID Systems—Telephone Entry Control/Intercom Systems: Optex iVision Plus

Best Accessories & Aids—Dealer Company Software: DICE Matrix Tech Service

Best Accessories & Aids—Mobile Applications: SedonaOffice, SedonaFSU Web Edition

Best Accessories & Aids—Installation Tool/Tester: Salient Systems, Salient University eLearning

Best Alarm Equipment—Alarm Signal Transmission Equipment: Telguard Cellular Communications for 3G/4G Networks

Best Alarm Equipment—Annunciators, Bells, Sirens, Strobes: Metis Secure Solutions, Metis Secure ENS

Best Alarm Equipment—Enhanced Video Alarm: Videofied-RSI Video Tech, IP Upgrade Kit with Videofied Free

Best Alarm Equipment—Intrusion Alarm Control Panels: Interlogix Simon XTi

Best Alarm Equipment—Intrusion Sensors/Detectors: Honeywell Security Group 5816OD

Best Alarm Equipment—PERS Hardware: SilverFox Link Watch/Pendant PERS System

Best Alarm Equipment—Wireless Alarm Systems: 2GIG Technologies Go! 2.0

Best Central Station Equipment—Central Station Software: DICE Matrix Fire Inspection

Best Central Station Equipment—Remote Video Monitoring Equipment/Software: SureView Systems Immix Cloud

Best Services—Alarm Monitoring: Bold Technologies UniversalConnector

Best Services—Dealer Marketing Services: BlueStar Security Solutions FUSION

Best Services—Security as a Service (SaaS): Honeywell Security Group MAXPRO Cloud

Best Services—Video Monitoring Services: I-View Now

Best Video Security—Cameras: Altronix eBridge IP over Coax Adapters

Best Video Security—Video Analytics: CheckVideo, CheckVideo HD Megapixel IP Bullet Camera (CV135)

Best Video Security—Video Surveillance System: Axis Communications, AXIS Camera Companion

That’s it for now. The weather prognosticators are calling for a summer stew over the next couple of days in Nashville, so the ESX show floor will be the place to be. See you out there …

ADS Security tour a hit at ESX

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Very impressive.”

That comment, made by a tour-goer gazing at the hardware at ADS Security’s central station in Nashville, pretty much summed up the sentiment of the rest of the group that visited the facility Tuesday afternoon as part of ESX 2012.

And it wasn’t just the equipment and monitoring capabilities detailed by the tour guides. It was more of what ADS President John Cerasuolo described as “a culture of recognition” at the company that has motivated its employees and translated into better service for its customers.

Cerasuolo greeted the tour group and gave a brief history of ADS, which was established in 1990 and now monitors about 70,000 accounts at its two-story headquarters. Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, followed Cerasuolo with a few remarks about ADS and its success, with both men praising the partnership between the companies.

The tour group was then divided to allow for a more efficient look at the site. Stops along the way included a session with SSN “20 under 40” honoree Patrick Ritter, company VP and controller, who detailed improvements like the SedonaOffice daily dashboard that has helped the company keep better track of its accounts and make any necessary adjustments. ADS also provides laptops for all of its technicians, improving service and efficiency in the field, and it has established a Web portal to speed the payment process for customers.

There was also a lot of talk about technology that I won’t detail here, and well-deserved trumpeting of employee training—all 28 full-time operators are certified CSAA Level I and Level II at the Five Diamond central, the tour group was told.

The kudos reflected the culture of recognition that Cerasuolo spoke of, which has translated into a low turnover rate among operators—the average tenure is 7.6 years—and a long list of rewards for performance companywide.

 “I’ve been here four years and I absolutely love it,” one tour guide told me.

What company owner doesn’t want to hear that?

Day 2 at ESX: Looking ahead, on technology, leaders, and sales

 - 
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Forward thinking.” That the term that Hank Groff, national director of Pittsburgh-based Guardian Protection, used today when I asked him about his impression of the second day of the ESX show, being held here in Nashville.

Groff told me that’s a theme he’s noticing at the show, and said it dovetails nicely with Guardian’s approach to the latest technology.

“We’re really driving our dealers to sell everything cellular and mobile app technology,” he said.

He also said a Texas dealer is the first among Guardian’s dealers to go completely paperless. Every one of the dealer’s approximately 40-50 sales reps has an iPad, which they use to do everything from the presentation in the home to the contract, he said.

His comments got me thinking about other aspects of the show that also were about the industry adapting to the future.

Take this morning, for example. I attended the ESA Eye Opener Breakfast, which honored a group of Security Systems News20 under 40 Class of 2012 professionals.

A panel discussion—led by SSN editor Martha Entwistle and featuring class member Laurie Jackson, VP gaming sales, North American Video; Mike Jagger, CEO and founder of Provident Security and an alumnus of the SSN 20 under 40 Class of 2008; and also Mel Mahler, CEO of ADS Security and a mentor for the class of 2012—talked about such topics as what companies can do to encourage their employees to become future leaders of the industry. You can’t get much more forward-looking than that.

Afterwards, I chatted with Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, who attended the breakfast and said he found the panel discussion enlightening.

Harkins said Honeywell was not introducing any new products at this show. Of course, the company just announced earlier this month the release of some very forward-looking technology:  the LYNX Touch 5100, the latest version of the company’s popular self-contained wireless touch-screen security system; and the Wi-Fi version of Tuxedo Touch, a touchscreen security and automation controller with Z-Wave functionality.

Among other activities on Tuesday, I also attended a seminar titled “Achieving RMR from Home & Building Automation,” which focused on how market leaders are creating new RMR models around home automation. The panelists were Patrick Egan, president and founder of the Pennsylvania-based super-regional Select Security, and Greg McLochlin, head of the Honeywell Security Dealer Development Group.

During the discussion, McLochlin expressed a forward-thinking idea about the entrance of telecoms and cablecos into the security market.

“Are they a threat to RMR or an opportunity for RMR?” he asked. “Are they turning over rocks we never thought about turning over anymore?”

He suggested the latter. “They have a different view of the market,” McLochlin said. “They see it as a lifestyle sale as opposed to a life safety sale. We as independent dealers can learn from them."

Meet me at MAMU

 - 
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What the heck is MAMU?

MAMU is a friendly little mobile app competition and meet up at the ESX show.

The Mobile App Meet-Up will take place Wednesday, June 27 from 3:45 - 5:00 PM in Booth 729 on the show floor.

What will happen? Exhibitors will do three-minute demos their mobile and tablet applications and then attendees will vote on which app they think their customers would value and would make them money.

Fun idea, don’t you think?

These are the companies participating: Axis Communications; DMP - Digital Monitoring Products; Lutron; Micro Key Solutions; Milestone Systems; Napco Security Technologies; Optex; Paxton Access; and, SedonaOffice.

Telcos & Cablecos: Their strategies revealed

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Monday, June 25, 2012

I’m here in Nashville for the fifth annual ESX show and I’m currently prepping for three, count ‘em—three, panel discussions that I’ll be moderating tomorrow. I will show no moderation in moderating on Tuesday.

The panel discussions center on three different topics—careers in security, new technology impacting your business, and the new entrants into the security industry. However, when I did conference calls with the three different groups of panelists, the conversation inevitably touched on how to effectively compete against the AT&Ts and Comcasts of the world.  

The new entrants will, no doubt, be a recurring theme in many of the educational sessions, discussions in the hallways and probably in the watering holes on Broadway in the evenings.

Another theme in my panels and others is the importance of IT know-how in security companies. It’s something security systems integrators have been talking about for many years, but it’s now becoming a crucial skill for the average security company that does residential, small business and light commercial as well.

On a related note, we’ll also be discussing security company’s back office operations and processes during a couple of my panels. Is your office IT infrastructure up to snuff?

Here’s what I’m up to on Tuesday:

9-10:30 a.m. YSP Eye Opener Breakfast in the Renaissance Ballroom: We’ll be honoring the members of Security Systems News’ “20 under 40” Class of 2012 and the Security Industry Mentors. After that, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion about careers in security with Mel Mahler, CEO of ADS, and one of the five Security Industry Mentors; Mike Jagger, CEO of Provident Security, SSN “20 under 40” Class of 2008; Laurie Jackson, VP, gaming sales for NAV.

1:45-3 p.m. Technology Trends Impacting your Business in Room 204.  We’ll be talking about mobile apps, managed services and what you need to do internally to ensure that your business is ready to offer these services. On the panel: Wells Sampson, CEO of American Alarm; David Carter, managing director of Security Networks of America; Lou Fiore, chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee

4:45-6 p.m. The New Competitive Landscape: Telcos, Cable Companies and Beyond in Room 204. We’ll talk about the new entrants’ strategies and timelines to scale their business. What do you need to know to compete? On the panel: Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG; John Loud, president of LOUD Security; and, Tom Kerber of Parks Associates.

ESX 2012: Maximize your ROI—by talking to the likes of me!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Want a tip? One of you best ways to market your company may just well be contacting me.

No, I don’t have an inflated ego. What I’m talking about is good old-fashioned publicity about your company that I and other members of the media can provide—it’s still one of the best content market strategies there is. And you can learn about how to get the most out of media relations by attending a seminar I’m moderating this week at the ESX show in Nashville.

The seminar is called “Maximize Your Media Relations ROI,” and will take place Wed., June 27, from 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in room 208. You’ll get lots of tips from our panel of public relations experts: Joseph Mitton, marketing coordinator, Select Security; Beth Welch, public relations manager, Honeywell Fire Systems; and Jay Stuck, chief marketing officer and VP, residential sales, Securewatch24.

We’ll answer such questions as “How do I figure out what is newsworthy about my company?” and “How do I build a media contact list?” Also, you’ll learn the difference between working with broadcast, print and online media.

I hope you’ll attend this session and let us share with you the best ways to publicize your company’s information and expertise. See you in Nashville!

Byerly to lead Diebold security division

Former Stanley CSS president Tony Byerly says Diebold will look at acquisitions, increasing RMR-based services, national accounts
 - 
06/25/2012

NORTH CANTON, Ohio—Six weeks after leaving Stanley CSS, Tony Byerly on June 25 was named EVP, electronic security for Diebold. Byerly takes over for Bradley Stephenson, who retired from this role last November.

Tuning up, tuning in for ESX Nashville

 - 
Monday, June 25, 2012

Off and running shortly in Nashville for ESX, which promises to be the biggest and most informative edition in the event's five-year history. The show returns to its roots this year after stops in Pittsburgh and Charlotte, and people are already talking about the ESX Crawl. There will be a lot of business before the pleasure, though, and here are a few highlights:

—The ESA Eye-Opener Breakfast on Tuesday will shine the spotlight on Security System News' "20 under 40" Class of 2012, young professionals who are already making their mark on the industry and likely will continue to do so for many years to come. They'll share stories of how they've gotten to this point in their careers and talk about the people who have helped them get there.

—Later in the day, show attendees who want a backstage look at a CSAA Five Diamond central station will get their chance when ADS Security opens its doors for a tour of its monitoring facility in Nashville. The session is sponsored by Honeywell Security Group.

—Who will head home with the CSAA's Excellence Awards for 2012? Find out at the group's annual breakfast Wednesday morning, with awards for Central Station of the Year, Manager of the Year, Operator of the Year, and Support Person of the Year.

—Learn the latest on the evolution of ASAP to PSAP at a Wednesday morning session featuring Ed Bonifas of the CSAA and Alarm Detection Systems. Vector Security, UCC and Monitronics have taken the reins during the pilot phase of the program, but the CSAA had 75 other companies waiting to adopt ASAP at the beginning of 2012. It's an exciting time for exciting technology that is advancing every day.

That's just a taste of what ESX is serving up this year. There is a long list of seminars at www.esxweb.com, and there will be four days of networking on the show floor. And the Crawl, of course. I'll be doing my best to make the most of it. See you there ...

SimplexGrinnell: ‘Our business will thrive’ with Tyco split

Reorganization will allow SimplexGrinnell to focus on life safety
 - 
06/22/2012

LAS VEGAS—At the National Fire Protection Association’s annual Conference & Expo, held here in June, SimplexGrinnell President Bob Chauvin said Tyco International’s pending split into three publicly traded companies on Oct. 1 will benefit SimplexGrinnell.

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