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ADS expands farther into South Carolina

Deal lands over 1,000 accounts

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—ADS Security, the regional electronic security and automation company headquartered here, has made its second acquisition since June with the purchase of more than 1,000 customer accounts from ProTec Plus Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

De Fina: A forward-looking industry veteran

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Like others here at Security Systems News and across the industry, I was saddened to learn of Frank De Fina's death.

Over the past 10 years I got to know Frank and I admired him a lot. He was a great businessman who knew his technology and the security industry inside and out, but one of the reasons I liked talking to him is because he knew as much about music and art as he did about IP video.

And more than just talk about music, he was a musician. If you've been to PSA-TEC, you've probably enjoyed watching Frank play guitar at Bill Bozeman's annual PSA Jam. Here's a link to a 2010 performance.  And here is a photo of Frank playing at the House of Blues in Chicago at ASIS a couple of years ago.

Frank was a security veteran—he spent more than 30 years in security—but he was not one to pine for the good old days of the security industry.

He welcomed a challenge and he was forward-thinking.

Recognizing that the security industry is too gray, too male and too white, he worked to prepare the security industry for a financially healthy and vibrant future in many ways.

He was a mentor to many, he was active in security industry associations, and he was the driver behind a security college degree program at Mercer County Community College, which will launch in September.  De Fina worked with the Security Industry Association, Northland Control's Pierre Trapanese and System Sensor's Dave Lyons on the idea. The two-year program  will combine security-specific training, liberal arts and business classes and will lead to an associate's degree in applied sciences. 

As the industry “aggressively moves into IP, these new [degree-holding] professionals will be well equipped to fill upcoming positions,” De Fina told me in an interview. He was excited that the new degree program will expose young professionals to the security industry, an industry that most college students do not know about. Noting the "tremendous lack of diversity in the security industry," De Fina said one of the reason organizers chose Mercer County Community College for this program is because it “draws a higher-than-normal percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women."

Frank did great things at Panasonic and Samsung and he was poised to do the same at Hikvision, but he leaves a legacy that goes way beyond impressive profits and sales goals achieved. As SIA CEO Don Erickson pointed out "he put forth ideas and proposals that would strengthen the industry rather than any one single company." 

And I think he had fun doing it. Frank De Fina was a multi-talented guy who was one of the most well-liked and respected people in our industry. He will be missed.



Will DIY, MIY impact you?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What’s the future normal for home security? According to an article from Business Insider, it’s DIY and MIY, all from Silicon Valley giants Google and Apple along with telecom big names.

What do you think?

I speak to resi dealers five days a week. They tell me that DIY is often a selling point for them and that it works very well for some of their customers—especially in helping homeowners understand their systems better—but that MIY, on the other hand, is not beneficial. What happens if you’re an MIYer and you’re 1,000 miles away from home on vacation or a business trip?

Traditional home security systems are still the mainstay, but not for long, according to the report from Citi, the primary source in the Business Insider article. Even though traditional systems/companies currently make up 93 percent of the home security market and DIY/yet professionally monitored make up 4.7 percent, Citi says in the article, that’s all going to change.

Google’s Nest and Dropcam and Apple’s HomeKit control 2.3 percent of the market.

That 2.3 percent market share will grow to 34 percent in the next five years, Citi says, with the traditional professional systems dropping to 61.6 percent.

How will this play out? Do you agree with the Citi study? I’m interested in your opinions for future articles in Security Systems News. Please let me know. Comment, email me at or call me at 207-846-0600. Thanks!




Five Questions: Marty Borer


Marty Borer, 36, is the new general manager of Quick Response, a 24/7 monitoring company for security and burglary, fire, PERS and two-way voice monitoring. Before joining the company, based in Cleveland, he worked in operational management and IT, and, also, previously ran a dry cleaning business. Joining a security company fulfilled his desire to widen his skillset, he said. Security Systems News caught up with Borer to ask him five questions.

Five Questions: Dan Krumme


Dan Krumme, a past Security Systems News “20 under 40” winner, was recently promoted to vice president, branch manager, at Cam-Dex Security’s St. Louis office. Cam-Dex focuses on design, testing and maintenance of integrated security systems.

Specifically Speaking with Ed Chandler

President of Security By Design, based in Pacheco, Calif.

Tell me about Security By Design's new innovations with its Architectural Security Standard?

Digging deeper at TechSec

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Exec ed Martha Entwistle and I had an excellent conference call yesterday with SSN’s TechSec Advisory Board. We’re gearing up for the annual conference on new and emerging technology, and our advisors assist us as we determine programming.

One thing I can say at this point is that the educational sessions at the TechSech conference Feb. 2-3 will be different from what you’ve heard over and over again. I attended ISC West and ESX, and the people I met with and the panelists at the sessions I attended were certainly very smart and at the top of their games, reinforcing topics we’ve heard about for months and have written about. But I was left with the questions, “Are there new takes on these persistent topics? What angles haven’t been pursued?” We want to dive deeper at TechSec. And we will.

The conversation Martha and I had with our advisors led to some interesting, topical points. We’ll be announcing the program and panelists soon. You can check out last year’s educational here for a feel of what we’ll be aiming at, bigger and even better in 2016. It will be great, and you can hold me to that!

I especially like how we have some of our past “20 under 40” winners on our advisory board: Ralph Nerette, Sharon Shaw and Jeremy Brecher. (We know how to pick them!) Along with input from longtime industry pros, they provide us with unique perspectives and know what those in the industry want and need to know in today’s fast-changing security environment.

Thanks to each member of our advisory board. Please stay tuned for more info on TechSec, filled with what will be most current and forward-looking hot topics in the industry. 

Specifically Speaking with Mark Bennett

President of MSB Security Consulting, based in Austin, Texas

What differentiates MSB Security Consulting in terms of experience?

‘20 under 40’ end-user nominations: One word. Wow

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Security System News’ team has done a preliminary vetting of the nominations for SSN’s “20 under 40” awards, with a full study to come this week. The deadline for nominations was July 1, and thank you, readers, for coming through!

Although we do have two categories, one for integrators, I am primarily responsible for the end user awards.

I say it every year because it’s true: Each year we get such great nominees, so qualified, extremely professional, smart and deserving of being honored in the industry.

We always have a tough time selecting the final 20. We select some of them to participate on panels at TechSec and honor all of them at a ceremony at that annual premier event. The “20 under 40” panels at TechSec are always among the most appreciated by attendees, according to our surveys, because who in the industry doesn’t want to know what these smart, innovative people need and want to do their jobs successfuly?

In order to select the best of the best, we rely on nominators, often calling upon them, again, to expand upon their reasons. We talk to our TechSec Advisory Board. We mull. We agonize. Then we choose.

This year’s nominees are physical security directors at big-name corporations, major retailers and hospitality groups, healthcare institutions, municipalities and utilities—many, many nominated.

Thank you for nominating your best and brightest. Finalists will be contacted soon by me, and I’ll do a profile of each one for Security Systems News, both online and in the print edition. So stay tuned. You’ll want to hear what these pros have to say.

I think the industry is in good hands.


How I Use My System: Devon Ritch


Devon Ritch is the director of IT for Doyle Security Systems, based in Rochester, N.Y. He started at the company six years ago as IT manager, his first position in the security space. Ritch said he is a “one-man show. Just about anything that’s IT, it’s me.” Among other duties, Ritch uses his home as testing grounds for various systems. In early June, Security Systems News caught up with him on the system he has in place now.