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Mission 500 launches #ShowOrange initiative

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01/19/2015

MIAMI—Mission 500, a security industry-based non-profit organization, on Jan. 15 launched the Mission 500 #ShowOrange initiative aimed to provide aid to U.S. children in need.

U.S. Cellular launches DIY security system

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

U.S. Cellular’s OnLook Digital System, a self-installed security and home automation system, is now available in Iowa and in the Tulsa, Okla., market in U.S. Cellular retail stores, online and over the phone.  The system can be managed over a smartphone, tablet or computer, according to the company.

The OnLook Digital System is powered by Alarm.com's cloud-based software platform. It has three DIY package options available starting at $99.99 with a two-year contract. The options include Essential Security, Advanced Security and Advanced Security + Energy.

U.S. Cellular says that every package includes 24/7 professional monitoring and standard components such as a control panel, two door/window sensors, one motion sensor, one key fob, security signs and decals and 24/7 monitoring.

Customers will receive real-time notifications via their mobile phones if something is happening, the company says. Customers are also offered several security and automation accessories and add-on packages that allow customers to customize the solution to best fit their specific needs.

Industry analyst Jeff Kagan of Wireless told a number of news sources that “U.S. Cellular has not seen the kind of growth in wireless that larger competitors have seen in the last several years. So moving into this new market segment sounds like a good idea if it can help U.S. Cellular show solid growth again.”

U.S. Cellular is not alone seeing this as a growth opportunity in home automation and security services. Other companies, such as AT&T Mobility and Comcast Xfinity, see the same opportunity, Kagan said.

I have scheduled an interview to speak with U.S. Cellular to follow up on what this means for its future. So stayed tuned.

Viscount gets entertainment center contract

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01/11/2015

VANCOUVER, British Columbia —Viscount Systems, a provider of IT-based security software and services, announced in December that it has been awarded contracts to provide an integrated telephone entry and access control solution to a large sports and entertainment center in British Columbia.

ADT and Google-Nest? No big 'surprise'

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

ADT CEO Naren Gursahaney announced during an interview with Forbes magazine last month that ADT is “working feverishly to develop” a partnership with Google-Nest.

Despite that pronouncement in the national magazine, ADT since has been mum on the potential partnership. It told Security Systems News and other publications that basically, at any given time, it is in regular conversations with a number of tech companies about potential partnerships.

There is nothing to report at this time, an ADT spokeswoman said via email in response to an inquiries from SSN after the Fortune article appeared and then again on Jan. 6.

But Imperial Capital, in a report released Dec. 30, said an ADT-Nest partnership is “not a surprise … especially since Nest has been running its ‘work with Nest’ developer program for connecting its products with other smart-products with some of the same companies as ADT."

“Mercedes Benz, Jawbone, Whirlpool, Logitech and IFTTT are among the growing list of companies with which Nest is integrating. ADT is now working with many ‘new-age,’ cloud based technology companies—several of them overlapping with Nest. ADT needs to show investors that it has the full range of technology and services capabilities ranging from experts in installing the plain old telephone line (POTS) systems, to installers and servicers who have the ‘IT-IQ’ to make ADT into a technology leader in the residential alarm monitoring industry.”

A partnership between ADT and Nest “could open up a significant opportunity for ADT to provide professional monitoring for [Nest’s] Dropcam users (and potentially other DIY products in the coming quarters,” Imperial said in the report.

 

 

Maine provider keeps on growing

Cunningham Security Systems to acquire
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01/07/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Residential and commercial provider Cunningham Security Systems anticipates acquiring 2,000 monitored accounts by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

Thank you and happy holidays

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For those of you who have been following my blog, you may know that I haven’t been in the industry very long. But, in the past couple months, I’ve been trying my best to learn as much as I can about the industry.

As such, I’ve picked up things here and there that make a lot of sense to me. A poignant summation of the purpose behind it all came from Chris Newhook, central station manager for American Alarm and Communications when I visited recently; that monitoring is about comfort, making sure people feel—and are—safe at all times.

So this blog post goes out as a recognition to the people in the central stations this holiday, making sure that others are safe, and providing that same level of care and comfort as any other day.

Especially to those individuals, but to everyone else in the industry as well: Thank you and happy holidays.

Five Questions: Chad Swain

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12/23/2014

Chad Swain is the new general manager of Protection 1’s Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, markets. His experience elsewhere ranges from commercial sales and installation manager to executive sales trainer, senior vice president of sales and regional general manager. Swain also owned and operated his own company as a manufacturer and distributor of security products including video, IP and HD cameras and DVRs. In November, Security Systems News caught up with Chad and asked him five questions.

American Alarm and Communications’ unique approach

Unique in central station composition to employee outlook
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12/17/2014

ARLINGTON, Mass.—For American Alarm, it’s not just about the growth of the company, but an invested growth in the individual—which, itself, facilitates company growth. The company on Dec. 15 hosted a visit for a new Security Systems News editor.

Touring and learning about an industry

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

American Alarm and Communications, a full-service security company with a central station based in Arlington, Mass., was kind enough to host me Dec. 15 to help me learn about the industry I recently signed on to cover.

Maria Moretti, command center manager, Chris Newhook, central station manager, and Keith Hunt, technical manager, led my visit. Starting with a tour of the administrative offices, then into the “Command Center.” Ending with a session of observing central station operators.

Being new to the industry, there was a lot of value for me in witnessing first-hand the everyday workings of a central station, learning the exact process by which alarms come in and are handled by the operators.

In an industry that is changing, faster almost every year, especially as newer technologies are introduced and updated, there are more openings to pursue, explained Newhook, expanding opportunities for security company employees.  

American Alarm encourages its employees to follow whichever growth path they are more geared towards. This approach, from my perspective, makes the industry seem more dynamic in a positive way—one of supported exploration.

“If you've been in it long enough, you won't just have one job, you wear many hats,” said Hunt.

One thing I can say is that I find the industry to be one thing in particular—easy to learn about. It is full of good people, such as those at American Alarm and Communications; people pushing themselves to help others learn and adapt.

Speco launches factory outlet

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New York-based Speco Technologies, which provides residential and commercial video surveillance, electronics accessories and audio products, has opened an online factory outlet store.

That’s right, a factory outlet store.

Security Systems News, being just down the road a piece from Freeport, Maine, one of the nation’s outlet meccas, knows a thing or two about factory outlet stores. A lot. But an outlet security store? Hmmm. That’s interesting. Is this a new trend?

Speco’s online outlet store will offer limited-inventory closeout and refurbished items at “bargain prices,” according to a statement from the company.

A perusal of the e-store site found a variety of indoor and outdoor cameras, monitors, NVRs and power supplies and switchers, among other products.  

Specostore.com is a full e-commerce site with SSL encryption, which allows users to browse and purchase products and track and follow up on orders, all through a secure login, the company says. All products sold through Specostore.com will have a 90-day warranty.

A call into Speco wasn’t answered by press time, but we’ll certainly update if we can.

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