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Jeff Kessler

Industry divided on Google’s effect on security industry

News Poll: Few believe Google will seek professional monitoring
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05/19/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Google, in March of this year, acquired patents relating to residential security. Twelve months earlier, Google acquired the smart home thermostat Nest. Is Google planning a big move into the security space? Should the industry be nervous? Security Systems News readers were evenly divided among those who are worried, those who are not worried, and those who plan to worry about Google if and when it gets seriously involved in the industry.

PE firm wants to combine Protection 1 and ASG

Deal reportedly $2b, multiple would be higher than 50x
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05/12/2015

NEW YORK—Apollo Global Management, a $163 billion private equity group, is in talks to acquire Protection 1 and ASG, with the goal of combining the two companies, a source close to the deal told Security Systems News.

Canon-Axis deal done despite hedge-fund holdout

Canon now owns 84 percent of shares, Elliott Management increases stake
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04/29/2015

TOKYO—In a bid that industry analysts told Security Systems News is intended to get Canon to increase its $2.8 billion offer for Axis Communications, Elliott Management, a New York hedge fund, increased its stake in Axis to 10.91 percent and has not yet sold those shares to Canon.

HID acquires Quantum Secure

Kessler: Acquisition is 'last step' to fill out identity portfolio
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04/06/2015

AUSTIN, Texas—Secure identity provider HID Global has acquired Quantum Secure, a provider of identity management software. Denis Hebert, HID Global CEO, told Security Systems News that the deal brings an important new capability to HID.

Who’s afraid of Google?

Smart resi providers should take Google’s move into home security seriously, but could wind up benefitting from it
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04/01/2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Google’s venture into home security and automation may turn out to be a very good thing for traditional resi companies, according to providers interviewed by Security Systems News.

Monitronics acquires LiveWatch Security for $67m

DIY provider LiveWatch diversifies Montronics' offerings
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03/03/2015

DALLAS—Monitronics has acquired LiveWatch Security, a provider of professionally monitored DIY home security systems, for $67 million.

Canon to buy Axis for $2.8 billion

Kessler: Price is ’50 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price’
 - 
02/10/2015

TOKYO—One year after buying the leading VMS provider, camera manufacturer Canon has made an offer to buy Axis Communications, the leading network camera provider, for $2.8 billion cash.

Avigilon buys BRS patents, others for $13m

One month after spending $80 on ObjectVideo’s patents, Avigilon ‘tries to lock in IP in a whole range of analytical algorithms’
 - 
01/21/2015

VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Avigilon today announced it spent $13.3 million acquiring video analytics patents that extend into behavioral recognition, video segmentation and meta-data and more. This deal comes one month after the video surveillance provider spent $80 million to acquire patents from ObjectVideo.

Google’s Nest buying Dropcam

The $555 million deal brings Google into the home security market with a DIY product, but what about the privacy of customers’ connected home data?
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06/23/2014

PALO ALTO, Calif.—First, Google got into home automation early this year with the $3.2 billion buy of smart thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs. Now, Nest is buying startup Dropcam, which makes video cameras that stream video to a user’s computer or cellphone. The deal gives Google an entrée into home security.

Google’s Dropcam security push and Apple’s smart home “big play”—should security companies be worried?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recent news reports say that Google may buy startup Dropcam, which makes video cameras that stream video to a user’s computer or cellphone, as a way to get into home security. And The Financial Times has reported that Apple is soon expected to make a “big play” into the smart home, launching a new software platform that will allow users to control security systems and home features such as lights directly from their iPhones.

Should security companies be worried? Not really, according to a report today from Imperial Capital, a New York-based full-service investment bank.

If the Dropcam report turns out to be true, it would mean Google is adding a security component on the heels of its entrance into home automation with its recent $3.2 billion purchase of Nest Labs, maker of smart thermostats and smoke alarms.

But the report, authored by Jeff Kessler, Imperial Capital’s managing director of institutional research, said it doesn’t believe the Dropcam purchase would have a negative impact on security companies or other pure play home automation companies, like Control4.

The reason, it says, is that “security companies generally are not participants in the do-it-yourself (DIY) market and do not target particular groups that may be interested in such products (e.g., college students, young professionals living in high rises).” Also, the report said, although “Dropcam could be a good entry product for those that do not understand or are not familiar with security products, it does not replace the security, home automation, and customer service capabilities which the likes of ADT or Control4 provide, and nor do we believe that it wants to.”

What about the potential Apple smart home/security play?

The report says: “We wonder if Apple will open up its “big play” to allow a broad base of installers, service, and responders to interact with it, or will it be another closed end system, in which the homeowner, or more likely the apartment owner, can check on what is going on at home on an Apple iPhone, and then have the responsibility of “making the call” to police or health responders based on what they have just seen on the iPhone. Another uncertainty is if the police would trust this system, or would law enforcement be more likely to respond to a more familiar source that has verified the same incident.”

The report summarized by saying that while the new developments are exciting and will be particularly attractive to those who don’t own homes, the lack of professional monitoring is a drawback.

“Remember, these monitoring stations (to be accredited) have to show that their average time to make a decision to dispatch or not to dispatch is less that 30-35 seconds, have tremendous redundancy, and can typically be trusted. We simply do not believe that Apple users will get that service.”

In fact, the report says that these DIY products could indirectly help professional security companies by introducing a younger generation to the idea of home security/home automation, which could lead those customers to “potentially switch to a larger, more powerful, and more comprehensive platform in the out years.”

Alarm.com, a leading provider of interactive security services, also weighed in to me on the new developments involving Google and Apple.

That Vienna, Va.-based company stressed that security is the backbone of the smart home and noted that professional monitoring is a key differentiator, but said security companies need to make sure homeowners know that.

"The key purchase driver for home automation is security.  We see this in both consumer surveys and purchasing trends," Alarm.com said, in a statement.

Also, Alarm.com said, the announcements "validate the popularity of a growing range of connected devices and services. Security dealers should tap into this underlying consumer demand by aggressively marketing and selling a complete range of connected home technologies with professionally monitored security at its core."

 

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