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Five questions: Andre Greco

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10/08/2014

Andre Greco is the new VP of sales and marketing for Columbus, Ohio-based systems integrator Xentry Systems Integration. He’ll focus on driving strategic sales and marketing programs that enhance brand awareness and market share.

Iris scanning enters mainstream market

‘Access cards can be forged, irises can’t’
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07/24/2013

ROCK HILL, S.C.— Iris scanning technology is typically used by the government, the military and in hospitals. However, as prices have started to come down, the market for the technology is expanding to also include mainstream users, ranging from universities to your local gym.

Tyco Security Products secures hospital

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04/26/2013

WESTFORD, Mass.—Tyco Security Products announced this week that Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH), based in New Haven, Conn., has chosen an integrated security solution from the company’s Software House and American Dynamics brands, according to a Tyco statement.

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.
 

'20 under 40' 2012 - Bijal Thakkar

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05/22/2012

Bijal Thakkar, 38
Director, global product management
Johnson Controls
Milwaukee, Wis.

How did you get into the security industry?

Vance in Vegas; Five Diamonds for Johnson Controls

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The last time SSN caught up with Mary Jo Vance, in April 2011, she was contemplating taking the summer off to “ride cross-country on my Harley” after leaving CenterPoint Technologies. Vance, better known in the industry as MJ, recently let CSAA members know she is “alive and very well in Vegas” after landing a new gig: manager of 1 Time Inc.’s new central station in Henderson, Nev.

MJ says she’ll have more details soon about her latest endeavor, but the company is still building its website and sorting through “new ideas and new adventures. … Right now we can’t give you the full picture.”

MJ served as vice president of operations and business development for CenterPoint for three years before what she described as an amicable departure last spring. A well-known and respected leader in the industry, she received the CSAA’s Manager of the Year award in 2007 and the Presidential Award from the Fire Marshals’ Association of Missouri in 2010.

Five Diamonds for Johnson: Congratulations to Johnson Controls’ central station in Milwaukee, which recently joined an elite group by earning Five Diamond certification from the CSAA. The station is among 132 of roughly 2,700 centrals nationwide to have received the distinction, according to the CSAA’s website.

To qualify, all of Johnson Controls’ central operators had to pass a CSAA online training course, proving their proficiency in alarm verification, PSAP communications, knowledge of electronic communications equipment and the standards of Underwriters Laboratories, Factory Mutual, the National Fire Protection Association and other organizations.

“This prestigious certification reflects the dedication and determination our central station operators bring to the job to help protect the many corporate customers we monitor every day in the U.S.,” Paul Pisarski, manager of field support and remote operations for the company’s Building Efficiency unit, said in a prepared statement.

Calling all duffers: Looking to get into the swing at ISC West before everyone hits the show floor? Then this one’s for you: the ninth annual Alarm Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) golf tournament, scheduled for Tuesday, March 27 at the Revere Golf Club in Las Vegas.

The Electronic Security Association created the nonprofit AIREF in 1977 as a way to help raise money for industry research. Funding for the foundation is derived almost solely from the golf tournament, which promises players “a casual golf outing” with other industry professionals while supporting AIREF in the process.

To register for the tournament, visit www.airef.org. For more information, call 203-762-2444 or email Pat Remes at premes@airef.org.

ASIS 2011: News and notes from the show floor

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09/22/2011

ORLANDO, Fla.—There was plenty of news being made at ASIS 2011, which took place at the Orange County Convention Center Sept. 19-21. Below are some editor round-ups from ventured out onto the show floor to collect news and other goings-on.

Is a Securitas/Niscayah reunion imminent?

Mack says reunited companies better positioned to compete with the likes of G4S
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05/19/2011

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Is it strange that guarding giant Securitas, which divested itself of its systems integration business (Securitas Systems, now Niscayah) five years ago, this week made a bid to buy that very same business back?