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NewsPoll: SSN readers debate the utility of CES home automation gadgets

Should toasters text? Fourteen percent call it a good idea
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02/18/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Home automation gadgets coming out of the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show are interesting, but discretion might be needed before some go too far, according to Security Systems News readers responding to our latest NewsPoll.

ADT puts muscle, aka Ving Rhames, into ad campaign

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BOCA RATON, Fla.—He had commanding roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “Mission Impossible” and starred in HBO’s “Don King: Only in America.” Now award-winning actor Ving Rhames is putting his tough-guy persona and deep voice to work for ADT.

Well, wait a sec. According to Rhames, he’s not just working for the huge home security firm; he says in the new commercials that he “is ADT.”

The ad campaign seeks to set ADT apart from the increasing number of smart home products available to consumers. The spots are based on the premise that consumers often mistake convenience “with the added safety of professionally monitored security,” ADT said in a prepared statement.

In the ads, Rhames asks, “What good is a smart home if it’s not a safe home?”

“Our new campaign addresses the desire for connectivity, control and most important of all—security. Self-monitored security solutions do not provide police, fire or emergency medical response in the event of an emergency,” Jerri DeVard, chief marketing officer of ADT, said in the statement.

Rhames says in one of the spots I viewed: “Strong isn’t wrong, I’m ADT, I oughta know. But what makes brawn even better is brains. See, I’m both the big brain at the center of your peace of mind and the big muscle to keep the peace.”

Big brain, big muscle, gotcha. I'm not going to argue with Mr. Ving. Good ad campaign, I think. What do you think?

The Security 5k2k sets new goal for 2015

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02/13/2015

LAS VEGAS—The Security 5K/2K, held here during ISC West on April 16, benefits Mission 500, an organization that provides food, water, education and healthcare to children need around the world.

What is it about Genetec that wins it top-employer awards?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Genetec, a developer of open-platform, hardware and cloud-based services for the physical security and public safety industries, based in Montreal, hosted a Press Summit this week. I was supposed to be there. But no! A snowstorm on Sunday prevented me from making my flight out.

I was disappointed. I was interested in learning and reporting about what Genetec has going on for 2015 in advance of its reveals at ISC West. I also was looking forward to finding out more about the corporate culture of the company, which was founded in 1997.

Corporate culture is worth knowing about. Just ask John Loud of LOUD Security, who spoke about it at Honeywell’s Connect2014 event.

Brian Katz of Google, keynoter at our recent TechSec conference, discussed that progressive company’s culture of security.

Attitudes all add up in making companies more successful.

When I visited Genetec’s HQ last year I was impressed with the atmosphere there, from the popular, low-cost gourmet food in its company cafeteria to its on-site gym. Then there’s the foosball- and X-box-equipped meeting areas. Employees trying to untangle snags in projects are encouraged to work them out over a game or two. (My teenage son has often told me that video games help him think, too, when he’s stuck on a homework project. Now I just might believe him.)

It’s not only about good food and fun and games for Gentec’s 620 employees, though. Those perks, along with generous vacation time and benefits and company-sponsored outings, are designed to promote a work environment that fosters “a strong culture of innovation, which is essential to the growth and future of [the] business,” the company says.

Genetec this year was named one of the top employees in Montreal for the ninth consecutive year by MediaCorp Canada. The contest evaluates employers on criteria that includes physical workspace, work atmosphere and social, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement.

The award isn’t just about good external public relations, the company told me when I inquired. In addition to prompting more visitors to the Genetec website and boosting job applications and greater, favorable awareness about the company overall, it has made current employees proud to work at the company and, Genetec says, employee retention will grow because of it.

I’ll be writing more about Genetec’s corporate culture, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In emergency management, be ready to ‘roll with the punches’

At TechSec, Dana Farber security director discusses impacts of back-to-back active shooter, big blizzard
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02/06/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Working in emergency management means “rolling with the punches” and having successful communication plans in place, says the director of security and emergency management for the renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Google’s Brian Katz advocates diverse staff, bottom-to-top security buy-in

TechSec keynote speaker says every employee can be turned into ‘a member of the security team not with fear but with a feeling of community’
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02/04/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.— Security professionals are working today in an exciting time, a time of a “new paradigm” where security is evolving faster than ever as an integral part of the company culture and not merely a separate program, according to a top manager for Google.

Creating the perfect image

Women in security technology profile: Ellen Cargill, CTO, Scallop Imaging
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01/28/2015

BOSTON—She’s been creating imaging systems for more than 25 years, but Scallop Imaging CTO Ellen Cargill says doing this kind of work in the security field is different.

Weathering the Blizzard of 2015 while preparing for TechSec

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

As what has been forecasted to be an epic blizzard bears down on us here in the Northeast—and from what the howling wind sounds like outside it would seem the forecast will come to fruition—we are making our final preparations for TechSec 2015 in sunny, warm, blizzard-free Florida.

We're thankful the storm is hitting now so as not to delay us from flying down to Delray Beach next weekend for what we expect to be one of the greatest TechSec conferences ever. (Check out the lineup ... )

Meanwhile, though, I have to think of some of our conference participants, those security folks out there in the blizzardy trenches. Just last week, Martha and I were speaking with Ralph Nerette, our second-day opening speaker—and also a recent past “20 under 40” award winner. Ralph is the director of security and emergency management at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston with excellent insights into the ever-growing health care security vertical.

Early during our conference call, Ralph said there had been a shooting next door at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that he was closely monitoring; it was having an impact on security at DFCI, what with all the police officers and police helicopters in the area and nearby roads cordoned off.

A few minutes later, he had to end our call to deal with the fallout at his hospital in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Brigham cardiac surgeon Michael Davidson’s and the suicide of the shooter.

Giving Ralph some time to breathe, I sent an email to him this past Monday to reschedule our discussion in advance of TechSec. He responded quickly that he was in the middle of preparing his hospital for the blizzard, but that he would get back to us as soon as he could. He’s a busy guy, that Ralph.

Ralph is a dedicated professional, one of many whom you will meet at TechSec. His talk, “Five things you may not know about health care security,” will be moderated by the always entertaining Rob Hile, director of strategic accounts for SureView Systems. We are pleased to have both of them participate in our conference, along with all the many other dedicated, insightful security pros who are scheduled to speak and those who will offer ther expertise from the audience.

I look forward to seeing you at TechSec. And stay safe (and warm!) out there everyone!

Firstline expands into Silicon Valley

Integrator opens third office
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01/21/2015

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Spurred by customer demand and the opportunity to expand its local business, systems integration firm Firstline has opened a third location in San Jose, Calif.

Tyco acquires wireless fire alarm/detection developer

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

NEUHAUSEN, Switzerland—Tyco has acquired “substantially all of the assets” of Commercial Wireless Systems International, it announced today in a prepared statement.

CWSI will be integrated into Tyco’s Fire Protection Products business unit, thus broadening Tyco’s offerings and expertise in wireless technology and systems, Tyco said in the statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Florida-based CWSI, in business for 30 years, develops wireless fire alarm and detection products. Its UL-listed products serve industrial, residential, hospitality, education, airports and other sectors.

The CWSI acquisition “allows us to expand our reach through adjacent sales channels and in segments of the market where we have not been present,” Raj Arora, general manager, fire detection, for Tyco Fire Protection Products, said in the statement.

It also advances Tyco’s vision for the “Internet of Things,” he said.

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