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Fire sprinkler expo to make history

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07/27/2012

PATTERSON, N.Y.—The National Fire Sprinkler Association, the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association and the new Mexican Fire Sprinkler Association plan to make history next year by partnering to host what is being billed as “the first-ever North American Fire Sprinkler Expo.”

Interactive services provider gets $136m

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

First, Alarm.com recently announced a milestone—that it has more than 1 million subscribers. Now the 12-year-old Vienna, Va.-based provider of interactive security services has announced that it has $136 million in new funding, made by a leading provider of capital to growth-stage technology companies.

The company says the investment from Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) will enable Alarm.com to continue to develop new products.

Here’s more from the news release Alarm.com issued today:
 

The investment will allow Alarm.com to continue to focus on developing and delivering the most innovative products in the market. TCV General Partner Tim McAdam will join Alarm.com’s Board of Directors along with the existing investor ABS Capital Partners.

“Alarm.com is pleased to welcome TCV as a new partner in the business and we are thrilled to have Tim joining our Board of Directors”, said Steve Trundle, CEO of Alarm.com. “TCV’s well established track record of growth investments in software and technology companies will be a strategic asset for us. We look forward to continued focus on developing new and innovative products and growing our business.”
“Alarm.com’s best of breed software services and device management platform has established the company as the premier solution provider of interactive security services,” said TCV General Partner Tim McAdam. “We are excited to work with Alarm.com to continue its growth and build on its track record of innovation.”

Alarm.com, founded in 2000, is the industry leading technology provider of interactive security, automation and energy management solutions. Through its proven technology platform and advanced wireless, mobile and web-based solutions, Alarm.com helps protect and empower over a million residential and commercial customers throughout North America. Alarm.com delivers interactive security, video monitoring, home automation and energy management to users exclusively through a network of thousands of licensed and authorized Dealer Partners. For more information, visit the company's website at www.alarm.com.

I've reached out to the company to learn more about what this new capital will mean for Alarm.com and its dealer partners. Stay tuned to our site.

San Fran PE firm buys big biometrics company

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cross Match Technologies, one of the largest providers of biometrics, has been acquired by PE firm Francisco Partners.

I spoke to David Buckley, when he was named CEO of Cross Match in March 2011.

At that time, he said his goal with the company was to “continue the evolution of the company from being just a technology player into providing a full set of solutions for the customer.”

Buckley is traveling until mid-August, but I’m hoping to speak to John Hinmon, who’s in charge of marketing and some M&A activity at the company.
I’ve left a couple of messages for Tom Ludwig COO at Francisco Partners, but haven’t heard back yet. The company web site says the group provides "transformational capital for technology companies."  

It has 55 portfolio companies I didn’t notice any other physical security companies when I glanced at their list of investments.  The FP statement notes the Cross Match has “secured significant contracts with the most discerning government clients.”  

Cross Match, which makes fingerprint, palm and full hand scanners, facial recognition, iris scanning, document readers and biometric software, has contracts with DoD and DHS among others. In the private sector side,  Cross Match works in hospitality, gaming and financial services. It has 400 employees, 5,000 customers worldwide and over 250,000 products deployed in over 80 countries

Founded in1996 and based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Cross Match also has offices in Washington D.C., Quebec and in Jena, Germany. It does cross-engineering with its office in Germany and has several partners it works with in Asia.

Terms of the deal were not released.

 

LG: We’re back in the USA security market

Electronics giant makes video surveillance products available in the United States, again
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07/25/2012

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.—LG Electronics announced on Monday that it is bringing its security products to the United States and is launching a new line of cameras and DVRs.

Netwatch develops software to streamline video alarms

Company says new filtering technology will cut false dispatches, speed response times
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07/25/2012

MEDFORD, Mass.—Netwatch, a global video monitoring company now operating in the United States, has developed proprietary software that the company says will enable its 25,000 cameras to filter duplicative alarms and, in turn, reduce false dispatches and response times for its customers.

PSAP problems in Illinois raise safety concerns

Industry group: Municipal monitoring not ‘inherently safer’ than central stations
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07/25/2012

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—A PSAP that controls emergency communications for numerous municipalities around Chicago is reportedly having such problems with delayed response times that dispatchers recently voted “no confidence” in the agency’s management.

Going mobile

The changing PERS market presents opportunities, challenges for central stations
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07/25/2012

America’s elderly population is increasing and is becoming increasingly mobile, with health care technology advancing in lock step. That fact hasn’t been lost on the monitoring world, which is gearing up for new revenue opportunities that will accompany the growth of personal emergency response systems (PERS) and mobile PERS devices.

Rapid’s expansion plans reach east and west

Company moving ahead with headquarters project, new central station
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07/25/2012

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Double-digit growth at Rapid Response is fueling a two-pronged expansion strategy, with plans proceeding for a new central station in the western United States and $11.3 million of new construction proposed at the company’s headquarters here.

Lights out for 2G? 'Sunset' debate heats up

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Still looking for clarity about the “2G sunset” and whether you’ll be left holding the bag if you don’t upgrade your cellular alarm communicators to 3G (or even 4G) right now?   

You’re not alone. The buzz continued last month at ESX, with manufacturers jockeying to try to sway alarm dealers. Telguard, the company sounding the loudest warning about the sunset, went one step further by announcing a program that gives dealers up to $25 for every 2G cell communicator they replace with a Telguard 3G/4G product. The company does not sell 2G.

“We estimate the industry has 3 million 2G radios that will have to be replaced in the next five years,” said Shawn Welsh, vice president of marketing and business development for Telguard.

Unlike AMPS, the date for the 2G sunset will not be determined by the FCC; it will determined by cellular carriers based on capacity constraints and customer demand for 3G. Carriers have already begun reallocating frequency spectrum to accommodate 3G, Welsh said, cutting into the effectiveness of 2G equipment.

But not everyone believes the sky is falling when it comes to 2G, at least not in the next few years. Among those taking a different approach is Mike Boyle, general manager of Uplink. The company is continuing to offer 2G lines while rolling out 4G at the same time.

“People are still buying a lot of 2G products,” he said. “We think we may continue to sell 2G beyond the third quarter of this year. Everything we see in the network says it will be around.”

Uplink backs its business plan with the following assertions on its website:

—2G is a proven technology with falling price points as manufacturing costs decrease.
—No carrier has announced a sunset date for its 2G network.
—Uplink’s communicators operate with multiple carriers and will continue to provide nationwide coverage late into the decade or longer.

The company also offers a lifetime guarantee to replace its 2G products with 4G if the 2G units fail to operate due to a carrier technology change. Boyle said the approach covers all bases by recognizing the realities of the marketplace.

“Requests for 4G are minimal,” he said. “When a guy asks for 4G, we ship 4G. But our business is still 98 percent 2G.”

An industry source who spoke to Security Systems News on condition of anonymity said a sunset announcement from AT&T would be made “in the next few months,” which could knock a lot of people off the fence if they’ve been considering a move to 3G/4G. But longevity is key for alarm dealers, and if they can hang onto their 2G gear for another year or two (or four), many probably will.

It’s the nature of the beast.

Prevent CO poisoning: Alarm companies should help Californians help themselves

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s now more than a year since California’s new law mandating carbon monoxide detectors in all single-family homes with an attached garage or fossil fuel source. However, a new survey shows many residents remain unprotected.

Seems to me there’s a marketing opportunity here that alarm companies would do well to take advantage of—to not only help themselves but also California residents.

It’s true that the new law, which took effect July 1, 2011, doesn’t require Californians to opt for monitored alarms instead of ones they can buy at the hardware store. But in a story I wrote last summer, John Hopper, president of the California Alarm Association, said he believes many residents will chose the monitored option as the safest.

“The state law has positioned us to perhaps increase revenues for the industry, from sales of the devices and associated monitoring,” he told me then.

A year later, perhaps this new survey will provide added impetus for residents and alarm companies.

Below is more from a recent news release on the survey, which was done on behalf of Kidde, a manufacturer of residential fire safety products, and the California Safe Homes Coalition. Kidde is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
 

While more than half of Californians are aware of a law requiring residential carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, many residents remain unprotected, according to a survey from independent research group, Qualtrics. Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents do not have a CO alarm in their home despite the overwhelming presence of both fuel-burning appliances (84 percent) and attached garages (75 percent) – the state-determined criteria for installation and primary risk factors for accidental CO poisoning.
 
The results come on the eve of the law’s one-year anniversary on July 1. Nearly half of respondents without a CO alarm stated they know they need one, but haven’t found the time to install the life-saving device. Another one-third of respondents believe that they do not need an alarm even though it is the only safe way to detect CO, an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas.

“We are encouraged that many California residents have heard our message, understand the dangers of CO poisoning and have installed an alarm,” explained Kevin Nida, president, California State Firefighters’ Association (CSFA), a supporter of the California Safe Homes Coalition and co-sponsor of State Bill 183. “However, we urge those who have not yet acted to do so now. Carbon monoxide is perceived as an issue that only impacts cold-weather states, and that’s not a safe assumption. We’ve experienced the tragedy of CO poisonings here in California all too often.”
 
Called the ‘silent killer’ because many people do not realize they’re being poisoned until it’s too late, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It claims 400 lives and injures another 20,000 each year nationwide. California officials estimate CO poisoning causes 700 avoidable injuries and hospitalizations annually.
 
“I miss my sister every day. Unfortunately, no one in my family knew about CO poisoning until it was too late,” said Walnut, Calif. resident Ta Juan Campbell.  His sister, Tyra Lynn, died of accidental CO poisoning in her Beverly Hills apartment in 1998. Campbell founded the Tyra Lynn Foundation to raise awareness of CO poisoning.  “If you’ve put off installing a CO alarm, don’t wait. It could save your family.”
 
California’s law aims to protect families, while reducing the number of associated casualties.  A final phase requiring CO alarms in existing multi-family residential dwellings goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

 

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