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Scott Harkins

Connecting—with costumes and without—at Honeywell's Connect 2012

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Imagine Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, lumbering about in an inflatable sumo wrestler suit. Envision Stan Martin, executive director of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition, stalking around in a long cape as Count Dracula, looking for blood as well as donations to SIAC. And then picture Patrick Egan, president of Select Security, scarily attractive in drag as a red-lipsticked brunette in an elegant gown.

Those attending the Honeywell First Alert Professional Convention here in Hollywood, Fla. didn't need to conjure up those images—they were all there for everyone to see tonight as security dealer attendees let their hair down (quite literally in Egan’s case) at a belated Halloween costume party.

They got into the fun with inventive costumes, which included a nun and monk, wizards with tall hats, a beekeeper, a gladiator, a Wizard of Oz scarecrow, Popeye, cave men and cave women in leopard skin clothing and one brave dealer in a Scottish plaid kilt and matching tam–o'–shanter.

It may sound silly, but it turned out to be a good way to break the ice at a networking event—and it was just another way to connect at Connect 2012.

Earlier today, Harkins, in his more familiar attire of a suit and tie, explained why the event was given that name this year.

Speaking on the first full day of activities of the annual event, which launched yesterday and runs into this weekend, Harkins said, “Why the name ‘Connect’? … We wanted to rebrand the entire experience.”

Networking was one reason, he said—“connecting companies and individuals.”

But he said the word also shows how home automation services are transforming the security industry. “It’s not just a security space anymore,” he said. “It’s a connected home space.” And, he added, “we think interactive home services will continue to expand under our brand Total Connect.”

Harkins’ talk this morning also included a sober moment that contrasted with the lighthearted event that ended the day.

He asked everyone in the audience to pause a minute to think about fellow FAP members who couldn’t make the event because of Hurricane Sandy.

He said this year’s event was slated to have had pretty much the largest attendance ever, with 165 companies represented and 740 people total. But he said about 50 of those companies were “in the eye of the storm,” which early this week battered the East Coast, especially New Jersey, where Honeywell is located, so some people couldn’t attend.

However, Harkins said he was impressed with the numbers of people who did turn up despite problems like delayed flights and power outages in their homes. “There has to be about 400 to 500 people here,” he said. And some attendees were still arriving Friday evening.

Harkins already has set his sights on 2013, which will be the 24th year for the dealer program, which Honeywell bills as the “longest running” in the industry. “Our goal is 250 companies and 1,000 people next year,” Harkins said.

And what will the name be in 2013? Expect something similar. Harkins said that “Connect” also will be “a brand going forward.”

ASIS 2012, Pro 1 buys again, mobility and the financial vertical

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It’s been a busy two days for Amy Canfield (the new lead editor for our sister publication Security Director News) and I here in Philly at the ASIS show.

Since Sept. 10, the first day of ASIS, was Amy’s fifth day on the job, she accompanied me to most of my appointments that day. She did have a chance to speak to a group of end users at the Honeywell booth. Here’s her update on that  and she was flying solo on Day 2--check out her blog  for highlights of her day, including a tour of the security operation of the Philadelphia Convention Center with integrator Schneider Electric.

Here are some highlights from my conversations on the show floor on Day 1 and Day 2. Check back tomorrow for Day 3.

DIEBOLD
At the Diebold booth I met with Tony Byerly, who’d just completed his first 90 days as head of security at Diebold, along with Diebold IT chief Jeremy Brecher and Felix Gonzalez, who earlier this summer left Stanley to join Byerly’s senior staff as the newly appointed VP for strategic initiatives and business development in electronic.security.

Diebold was the first of several integrators I spoke to who said that one focus for them will be the financial services vertical. It’s not a surprise for Diebold, who's parent company is the largest ATM provider.

Byerly touted Diebold’s long history, the company’s reputation for steady, high quality service and technology know-how as advantages in the marketplace. He also noted the shifting competitive landscape and said Diebold stands out for a variety of reasons including the fact that “we’re a strategic in the space—we’re not backed by private equity.” He called Diebold the “nation’s only pure-play integrator,” pointing out that “we don’t have an adjacent manufacturing arm.”

Brecher talked about being “in the value position” with service and technology. “We invest time and resources to create solutions instead of packaging solutions,” he said. Diebold works to leverage a customer’s existing infrastructure, and customers have a “single method to connect to Diebold … a single customer portal … the entire web experience is easy to manage.”  
 
PROTECTION 1
Protection 1 had some big news. Click here to see the story about a big acquisition Pro 1 made. It’s a systems integrator with staff that's experienced and certified to work on networks. With the new staff/capabilities, Jamie Haenggi told me, Pro 1 will be taking on jobs it would have walked away from in the past.

STANLEY CSS
Stanley announced that John Nemerofsky is the new VP of Global Solutions, and that there's a new phalanx of vertical market leaders. There’s other news as well. Stanley is bringing together three business units: the CSS team, the Mechanical Solutions team, and the Security and Automatic Door team.

The teams would work together in the past, but it “would happen more through accident,” Nemerovsky told me. Now, there’s a “process where we’ll work together to pull together the best possible solution for the client.”

And there are specific solutions for each vertical market. This infrastructure will be appreciated by global accounts customers who “are looking for consistency in deliverables … the same deliverables, billing, systems they have in Chile [for example], that they have in New York City, Barcelona, Tokyo and Paris.”

Here’s the list of vertical market leaders: Paul Retzbach – Commercial Leader, Government; Chris Hobbs– Commercial Leader, Retail; Tom Benson – Commercial Leader, Banking; Paul Baratta–Commercial Leader, Healthcare; Rebecca Durham–Commercial Leader, K-12 Education; Eric Rittenhouse–Commercial Leader, Higher Education; Jerry Walker–Global Strategic Account and SSS Solutions; Eddie Meltzer–Global Strategic Accounts and SSS Solutions; Bob Stockwell–Technology Leader; Lance Holloway–Technology Leader; Beth Tarnoff–Marketing Leader; Ryan Fritts–Vertical eServices Leader

Look for more on this story next week.

TYCO
I also spoke with Renae Leary, senior director of global accounts for Tyco. Click here to read that story.

JOHNSON CONTROLS
I spoke to Tammee Thompson at Johnson Controls, who told me that ASIS is the show where she and others "take a break from making the quarter" (but only briefly she emphasized) to check out technology. She had an army of employees out scouring the floor “looking for the latest and greatest to pull into our technology stack.” Specifically, JCI is looking for access control solutions, VMS, PSIM and ID management solutions.

RED HAWK
I also had a chance to chat with Mike Snyder of Red Hawk. He said that the company is finishing up “moving the infrastructure [network and IT systems] out of UTC,” and officially began its rebranding as Red Hawk in the past couple of weeks.

Snyder also talked about focusing on the financial vertical market, saying that the next wave of retail banking will not be branch operations, but ATMs. He believes Red Hawk will have a leg up on the competition because his staff has deep experience in the financial sector, some originally coming from Mosler. The company also has a partnership with ATM provider NCR.

AXIS COMMUNICATIONS
At this show, Axis Communications was showing many new products and solutions, many targeted toward the fewer-than-16 channel market. (Look for a story next week about a visit I made to Axis H.Q in Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago.) When I asked Fredrik Nilsson about all the talk I was hearing about the financial vertical, he noted that Axis had an ATM with four cameras in its booth. Nilsson said that banking is a conservative vertical that is finally making the leap from analog to IP. “Education was the first, then retail, and now it’s banking’s turn.”

He agreed with Snyder’s point that the new wave of retail banking is moving from the branch to ATMs. "When was the last time you went into a bank branch?," he asked. "I refinanced my house online."

Coincidentally, Axis is also in the process of hiring a business development specialist for the financial vertical, he said.

AVIGILON
At the Avigilon press conference, the company introduced the new version of its software. Keith Maret said Avigilon took inspiration from Google, Apple and Facebook in the development of this software. The cool thing is that the software can respond to voice commands and body movements. COO Andrew Martz demoed this capability and it was like watching a command center staffer play squash on a Nintendo Wii. The command center screens zoomed and focused in response to voice commands and hand gestures. This feature is in the alpha phase. “We’re gauging the interest in it,” he said.

Maret summarized the features thus: crash-proof enterprise server management, where all servers are grouped together; a “collaborative mode” where more than one person can log into video feed and manipulate the video in real time; and intelligent virtual matrix that “allows you to turn video walls to life.”

HONEYWELL

At Honeywell, in addition to talking to the end user committee, I spoke with Scott Harkins about Honeywell’s emphasis on the “connected business," where the access, video and intrusion systems are tied into other systems such as: HR systems, radars [in super high-end port applications] POS for example. The emphasis of course, as we heard from nearly every manufacturer at the show, is on mobility. Honeywell’s newest ProWatch 4.0 access control has a new mobile offering that enables remote access from iPads,  phones and other devices. It’s also integrated with wireless locks, something Harkins is very excited about, because it’s so much cheaper to install, maintain and manage.

FOOTBALL

The traffic on Day 1 was the lightest I’ve seen in a while at an ASIS show. It picked up considerably on Day 2, but it was still moderate traffic to my eye.

Why? Well, there’s the economy of course. Things may be looking up, but one manufacturer told me that people who’ve got money in the bank are keeping it there. They’re still cutting corners on travel—making this a one- or two-day show, rather than three.

I also heard that having the show in Philly meant that tri-staters could take the train in for Day 2 and 3.

And, I understand there may have been some football-related reasons that folks weren’t here on Monday.

Football.

I can think of about 80 things I’d rather do [including laundry] than watch football on a gorgeous fall day, but if football will help roll back the expectation that people should travel to work events on Sundays, count me in.

Go Pats. Woo.
 

ADS Security tour a hit at ESX

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Very impressive.”

That comment, made by a tour-goer gazing at the hardware at ADS Security’s central station in Nashville, pretty much summed up the sentiment of the rest of the group that visited the facility Tuesday afternoon as part of ESX 2012.

And it wasn’t just the equipment and monitoring capabilities detailed by the tour guides. It was more of what ADS President John Cerasuolo described as “a culture of recognition” at the company that has motivated its employees and translated into better service for its customers.

Cerasuolo greeted the tour group and gave a brief history of ADS, which was established in 1990 and now monitors about 70,000 accounts at its two-story headquarters. Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, followed Cerasuolo with a few remarks about ADS and its success, with both men praising the partnership between the companies.

The tour group was then divided to allow for a more efficient look at the site. Stops along the way included a session with SSN “20 under 40” honoree Patrick Ritter, company VP and controller, who detailed improvements like the SedonaOffice daily dashboard that has helped the company keep better track of its accounts and make any necessary adjustments. ADS also provides laptops for all of its technicians, improving service and efficiency in the field, and it has established a Web portal to speed the payment process for customers.

There was also a lot of talk about technology that I won’t detail here, and well-deserved trumpeting of employee training—all 28 full-time operators are certified CSAA Level I and Level II at the Five Diamond central, the tour group was told.

The kudos reflected the culture of recognition that Cerasuolo spoke of, which has translated into a low turnover rate among operators—the average tenure is 7.6 years—and a long list of rewards for performance companywide.

 “I’ve been here four years and I absolutely love it,” one tour guide told me.

What company owner doesn’t want to hear that?

Day 2 at ESX: Looking ahead, on technology, leaders, and sales

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Forward thinking.” That the term that Hank Groff, national director of Pittsburgh-based Guardian Protection, used today when I asked him about his impression of the second day of the ESX show, being held here in Nashville.

Groff told me that’s a theme he’s noticing at the show, and said it dovetails nicely with Guardian’s approach to the latest technology.

“We’re really driving our dealers to sell everything cellular and mobile app technology,” he said.

He also said a Texas dealer is the first among Guardian’s dealers to go completely paperless. Every one of the dealer’s approximately 40-50 sales reps has an iPad, which they use to do everything from the presentation in the home to the contract, he said.

His comments got me thinking about other aspects of the show that also were about the industry adapting to the future.

Take this morning, for example. I attended the ESA Eye Opener Breakfast, which honored a group of Security Systems News20 under 40 Class of 2012 professionals.

A panel discussion—led by SSN editor Martha Entwistle and featuring class member Laurie Jackson, VP gaming sales, North American Video; Mike Jagger, CEO and founder of Provident Security and an alumnus of the SSN 20 under 40 Class of 2008; and also Mel Mahler, CEO of ADS Security and a mentor for the class of 2012—talked about such topics as what companies can do to encourage their employees to become future leaders of the industry. You can’t get much more forward-looking than that.

Afterwards, I chatted with Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products, who attended the breakfast and said he found the panel discussion enlightening.

Harkins said Honeywell was not introducing any new products at this show. Of course, the company just announced earlier this month the release of some very forward-looking technology:  the LYNX Touch 5100, the latest version of the company’s popular self-contained wireless touch-screen security system; and the Wi-Fi version of Tuxedo Touch, a touchscreen security and automation controller with Z-Wave functionality.

Among other activities on Tuesday, I also attended a seminar titled “Achieving RMR from Home & Building Automation,” which focused on how market leaders are creating new RMR models around home automation. The panelists were Patrick Egan, president and founder of the Pennsylvania-based super-regional Select Security, and Greg McLochlin, head of the Honeywell Security Dealer Development Group.

During the discussion, McLochlin expressed a forward-thinking idea about the entrance of telecoms and cablecos into the security market.

“Are they a threat to RMR or an opportunity for RMR?” he asked. “Are they turning over rocks we never thought about turning over anymore?”

He suggested the latter. “They have a different view of the market,” McLochlin said. “They see it as a lifestyle sale as opposed to a life safety sale. We as independent dealers can learn from them."

IMS on whole-building trend, benefits of being 'super-integrator'

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Monday, June 18, 2012

IMS released a report this morning about the whole-building trend.

The research group says that 25 percent of installed building automation systems in the Americas and EMEA were integrated with lighting control systems in 2011, and predicts that number will increase to 35 percent by 2016.

It's an opportunity for security systems integrators, but only if your company has a "robust understanding of multiple system types and strong IT networking knowledge," according to a prepared statement from IMS's Will Rhodes. IMS says what it's dubbed "super-integrators" have that capability, while "traditional integrators "often have a good understanding of one buidling system, but may lack wider IT knowledge."

Rhodes is quoted as saying that observers believe "traditional integrators are starting to lose business to 'super integrators' when a building owner or managment cmopany wants to integrate across building systems."

The overlap between security integration and building automation is a trend that Honeywell Security Products president Scott Harkins talked about at the HIS Forum (HIS dealers are Honeywell's high-end integrator partners) which took place in May in Chicago. "We hear every day about building management companies that want to get into this space," he warned about 80 integrators who attended the event.

I emailed Rhodes this morning to get a sense of how IMS is defining super integrators. "We would classify a ‘super integrator’ as a company that can integrate across multiple building systems. They can integrate building automation and physical security or security and lighting or multiples of the above," he told me in an email.

So, major integrators like JCI and Siemens clearly have the scale to do this kind of work. What about mid-sized or smaller companies? Rhodes pointed to Advantech as a good example of a super integrator. He also said that Tridium’s integrators of many sizes fall into the same category. They use Tridium's Niagara framework to integrate across many building system types.

Firsts on the first day of ISC West

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today was the first day of ISC West 2012 and I started my day off at a Honeywell breakfast where Scott Harkins, the new president of Honeywell Security Products, talked about a series of “firsts” the company was announcing at the show.

“We’re very excited that this show, the ISC show, is where we’re launching the great technology revolution in the intrusion space,” Harkins said.

He cited a series of products and technologies that he said are “firsts for us and first for our industry” include 2G/3G/4G radio, “one module that can do all three,” switching to whichever has the strongest signal. “We’re the only manufacturer in the industry with that,” Harkins said.

Among other innovations, Harkins said Honeywell’s Wi-Fi enabled system is “clearly a first,” and also said the company is the first to have an IP video system “that’s literally three clicks to get up and running.”

Honeywell wasn’t the only company talking about “firsts” today.

I stopped by the Cooper Notification booth, where Ted Milburn, vice president, marketing, and Jacquiline Townshend, marketing channel leader told me about that company was having a soft launch at the show of its Exceder LED, which Milburn described as “the first to replace the traditional strobe with an LED.”

They said the device is energy efficient, having a lower current draw than a traditional notification device, and is easier and less costly to install and has a smaller profile.

The device, which Townshend said would be available in May, is priced the same as a traditional one. “We think if the function is the same, the price should be the same,” Milburn said.

Over at the Fire-Lite by Honeywell booth, customers were acting like a product that the company introduced about four years ago was brand new this year.

While I was there a steady stream of people were showing up to learn more about Fire-Lite’s IPGSM-DP Commercial Fire Communicator, which is used to upgrade a fire system from reporting to the central station by phone lines to one that uses an IP or GSM cellular path.

The product saves end users money by letting them get rid of their telephone lines, and dealers can use that fact as a selling point to generate more business for themselves, the company says.

Beth Welch, public relations manager for Honeywell Fire Systems, told me interest in the IPGSM has suddenly taken off. “We’re just now seeing the real, true adoption of this. It’s a landslide,” she said. “Dealers are using this to get their foot in the door with new accounts.”

She said there are a variety of reasons why the product has taken off now, but believes one is just that AHJ’s are seeing how well it works and so are endorsing it.

I also talked today to Alex Dunn, COO of Provo, Utah-based home security/home automation giant Vivint. Vivint has to be the first security company to start a new company to sell solar panels to residential customers. Vivint Solar was created almost a year ago.

Although the two companies are separate, I asked Dunn if there was any sales crossover. He said there was and will continue to be.

“I think you’ll see in the future more integration from a sales perspective, even from a technology perspective, when the control panel integrates with the solar panels, Dunn said.

Among other people I met on the show floor today was Don Moore, president of Redondo Beach, Calif.-based Moore Protection, who stopped by the Security Systems News’ booth for our “meet the editors” event. Moore’s security company is the first to create its own “Security Oscar”: At the time of the Academy Awards each year it gives out the Morpheus Award to a film that best depicts the use of security. This year “Tower Heist” was the winner.

It was great to meet Don in person and while chatting, he told me another interesting fact about his company. It turns out that the graphics for the company’s lawn sign were designed some years ago by George Lois, an advertising wizard who is known as “The Original Mad Man,” a real-life version of Don Draper on the AMC television series.

Now, that’s got to be a first!

 

Honeywell to name new FAP/CSS/HIS dealer group leaders, integrate business units

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02/22/2012

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell Security Products is integrating its two business units—access control/video and intrusion—into one P&L, and is planning to name new leaders for its three dealer programs before ISC West, Scott Harkins, who was named president of Honeywell Security Products in December, told Security Systems News.

Honeywell appoints Harkins to replace Sohovich

In expanded role, Harkins will be responsible for all of Honeywell’s products businesses in the Americas
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12/08/2011

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell today announced that Scott Harkins will replace JoAnna Sohovich, who resigned from her role as president, Honeywell Security and Communications on Dec. 2.

'Exploring new dimensions' at FAP convention

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Veterans Day, the floods in Thailand and the "cookie ladies" were all part of the conversation at the opening session Friday at Honeywell's First Alert Professional Convention 2011 that I attended in Scottsdale, Ariz. Nov. 10-12.

Friday was Veterans Day and JoAnna Sohovich, Honeywell Security & Communications president, started the general session off by thanking those who have served this country in the armed services. Later in the program, Sohovich, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. who served as a naval officer, also was personally recognized for her service.

Sohovich, who also is president of the First Alert Professional program, referred back to her speech of last year, in which she talked about how to access "the Nevers," a whole segment of consumers who may not be interested in burglar alarms but do want other home automation features for their homes. "They value lifestyle more than safety and security," she said of those potential customers.

And Sohovich also spoke of one of Honeywell’s latest products: the new 6280i Tuxedo Touch touchscreen, which the company describes as "a device that allows homeowners to manage safety as well as energy costs by controlling window shades, locks, lighting, thermostats and security." Sohovich said the Tuxedo Touch, which has easy-to-use features such as large icons, would be launched very soon.

The theme of this year's convention was "Exploring New Dimensions," but Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Systems Group, said that while introducing the latest technology, Honeywell is focused on "bringing simple back."

He said, "I like to talk about big sexy systems, but the small systems are really what drives our industry." Honeywell’s goal, he said, is to "create solutions that are easy to sell, design, install and service."

He also warned about the consequences for the industry of the floods in Thailand, where the world’s hard drives are manufactured. He said the disaster there would lead to a shortage and increased prices. But he assured dealers that Honeywell is monitoring the situation and "we’re looking for other solutions and looking for hard drives everywhere."

Harkins also mentioned the "cookie ladies" at the Products & Services Showcase on Thursday night—attractive young women who were literally walking dessert trays. They stood in the middle of round, wheeled dessert carts heaped with cookies, which rolled as they walked.

Harkins joked that the ladies proved so popular that Honeywell sales staff from now on would be required to make their pitches in the middle of such carts.

The "cookie ladies" also won a mention from Dan Clark, keynote speaker at the event. Clark, an internationally recognized motivational speaker who overcame a paralyzing football injury, joked that when he walked into the hall where the technology showcase was held, "my first impression was of a walking table."

But he said that he was impressed that even though the show featured technology, the primary "focus was still about people."

And of course the First Alert convention always includes lots of educational sessions.

On Friday, I attended one called "Good to Great! Prepare for Company Growth!" The speaker was John Jennings, president of Safeguard Security of Arizona, who talked about taking his company though economic hard times.

Among highlights of the packed double session was Jennings challenging business owners to "confront the brutal fact"” about their companies' weaknesses and to address them, even if meant firing employees who were had been there a long time but were impeding company growth. Jennings joked that his seminar is dubbed "the widow maker" because it can inspire attendees to go back and clean house.

But Jennings also urged business leaders to listen to and empower the staff they value down to the lowest-paid member. "Good decisions require the infusion of an honest confrontation of the brutal facts," he said. "Create a culture where people have an opportunity to be heard and the truth to be heard."

On the last day of the convention, Saturday, I attended a session on how dealers can get the most out of the First Alert's Dealer Development Group. There was testimony from company owners throughout the conference about how much the DDG had helped their businesses.

One key assist is networking. At the seminar, for example, one company owner asked for help integrating his billing with accounting software. Several company owners raised their hands to tell him they had successfully done that at their companies and Patrick Egan, president of Lancaster, Pa.-based Select Security, promised to sit down with the owner after the session and share information.

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