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Honeywell and UTC?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Honeywell is reportedly shopping its Building Solutions Group, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal. The Honeywell Building Solutions business, which the WSJ says is worth between $3 billion and $4 billion, provides security systems integration and other services to commercial buildings globally.  

It is a separate business unit from Honeywell Security and Fire (HSF), but they are both part of the Automation and Control Solutions unit. Alex Ismail is the president and CEO of the $14 billion Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions division.

The Wall Street Journal says Honeywell has hired Goldman Sachs Group to work on the sale, which has been ongoing for about three months.

Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Honeywell was in talks to merge with UTC. While those reports were followed by comments from UTC that they deal would run into trouble with anti-trust regulations, the Wall Street Journal today said “Honeywell has signaled that it isn’t ready to give up yet on a merger with United Technologies, which would be one of the biggest deals at a time when such activity is booming.”

Would Honeywell sell the building solutions business if it does merge with UTC? The Wall Street Journal report asked that question to itself and answered “I don’t know.” It also added this editorial caveat: “In any event, as always, there may be no deal at all.” 

According the WSJ report, Honeywell is working with Centerview Partners and Lazard on the UTC deal, while UTC is working with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

Honeywell buys smoke detection business

Deal will incorporate Xtralis into Honeywell’s Security and Fire division

MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell announced on Feb. 4 it will acquire Xtralis, a smoke detection, security and video analytics company, for $480 million.

Icontrol expands its developer program

Company credits cloud integration capability for the six added companies

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Icontrol added Honeywell, LG Electronics and other big names as integration partners in early January.

Honeywell survey: Two-thirds feel unsafe at home

Security is key driver for at-home connectivity, company says

MINNEAPOLIS—An email survey from Honeywell found that of 1,031 U.S. adults, two-thirds felt unsafe in their own homes.

Microsoft's Michael Korgan to keynote Cloud+

Korgan to discuss how physical security integrators, end users and manufacturers can profit from cloud

FOSTER CITY, Calif.—Michael Korgan, Microsoft National Security Officer, will be the keynote speaker at Cloud+, the first ever physical security conference dedicated to cloud-based security technology, conference organizers announced today. Cloud+ will take place here in Silicon Valley, Dec. 7-8.

Home automation should be smart, but simple


YARMOUTH, Maine—Home automation experts have heard the message loud and clear: simplify, simplify, simplify.

IoT ripe for monitoring

It’s not a threat but an opportunity, ESX panelists say

BALTIMORE—Consumers with home automation systems most trust security companies to monitor them, according to “Monetizing the IoT” panelists at ESX 2015. That’s a fact that the industry needs to embrace for future success, they said.

Honeywell fired up about latest tech

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The other day I sat in on Honeywell’s virtual press conference on its latest industry trends in commercial life safety systems. The company had a nice lineup of their pros on hand to discuss their work and what they'll be highlighting at next week's NFPA World Safety Conference and Expo. 

Brian Carlson, manager of strategic marketing, Gamewell-FCI, said the S3 Series fire alarm system for small- and medium-sized buildings allays users’ fears about “pressing the wrong button” and thus eases stress and confusion during an emergency.

As the industry’s only small, addressable panel with a color touch-screen, “everything that needs to be pressed is highlighted. It gives people confidence,” Carlson said. Building owners especially like the custom function and shortcut function keys, he added.

Susan Adam, NOTIFIER’s marketing director, talked about how SWIFT—Smart Wireless Integrated Fire Technology—is helping dealers win jobs at construction sites and renovation projects because of its easy installation and removability when the job is finished. Sites and even separate building areas under construction or renovation still need to be protected, she emphasized, “and SWIFT can differentiate dealers.” SWIFT recently was installed at two large temporary buildings at the World Ski Championships in Vail, Colo., and at a 100-year-old mansion in Massachusetts that was being renovated.

On the Fire-Lite Alarms, Silent Knight, side of things, marketing director Richard Conner discussed the company’s growth with low-frequency alarms, especially for children, young adults and the hearing-impaired. I spoke with Conner about this at ISC West, but learned a little more this time around about the alarms’ use in college dormitories, motels, hotels, assisted living facilities and the like. Studies have shown that the low-frequency signal is most effective in waking up children and young adults, he said during the press conference, and are more effective than bed- and pillow-shakers.

Christa Poss, senior manager of product marketing, System Sensor, said the latest addition to the FAAST smoke detector product portfolio, FAAST XS, targets smaller areas, up to 5,000 square feet. Those areas include elevator shafts, cable ducts and boiler rooms. FAAST XS offers “extension communication and connectivity options all without the need for new hardware,” Poss said. FAAST is now available in three varieties to protect from 5,000 square feet to up to 28,800 square feet.

Charles Simek, industrial, product and technology specialist, Honeywell Industrial Safety, gave an overview of Honeywell’s optical flame detection analytics’ success, and Gene Pecora, business leader, industrial fire, Honeywell Fire Safety, discussed areas where Honeywell is getting into new areas or expanding its capabilities.

“Incidents occur in the petrochem industry all the time,” Pecora said, to the tune of $20b a year. It’s not uncommon in process locations to have small incidents that don’t make the news as the big events do, but those incidents need accurate and reliable equipment just the same, he said.

He said Honeywell’s new HS-81 is a unique, “all-in-one-solution” for smoke, flame, gas and extinguishing that meets global certifications.

ESX honors I-View Now integration

Larry Folsom discusses the integration, TechVision Challenge

HENDERSON, Nev.—I-View Now’s recent integration with Honeywell Total Connect, recently announced as an ESX 2015 Innovation Award winner, will be the monitoring contender in the first TechVision Challenge at this year’s show.

Got design in mind?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You’ve heard the old real estate sales mantra: “Location, location, location.” For many in the residential security industry today, the new mantra is “Design, design, design.” 

At ISC West this year I met with a long list of security pros, from manufacturers to dealers to providers, most of whom proclaimed that on top of tech advancements their equipment was made “to look good.” 

They’re right. Their designs are looking good.

Panels, switches, sensors and more are sleek with a European-design feel. They will be less than obtrusive when mounted on a wall. No more huge black or brown boxes in the front foyer—these blend in. 

The equipment, mostly white and thin, reminded me of the first, very early, iBook I owned. So pretty and neat, small and clean. That was a number of years ago, and my iBook eventually met its demise, but I still remember it fondly, mostly for how it looked in comparison to other bulky laptops of the day. 

“This is the year of industrial design,” Avi Rosenthal, board member of the Z-Wave Alliance and VP of security and control for Nortek, told me early on at the Las Vegas show.  His comments resonated as I visited other booths after that. 

For homeowners, form is equally as important as function for all products, he and others said.

“It’s the ‘wife-acceptance’ factor. She’s the one who decorates, so the devices must look cool on the wall,” Rosenthal said.

Who wants something big, dark and ugly hitched to the wall just inside their front door? Not me. Neither did former ADT exec Christopher Carney when deciding on the look of his new Abode home resi system.

The pursuit of aesthecially pleasing design extended into the ISC West booths themselves this year. Honeywell, for example, had all of its products—from fire to resi—on interactive display in one big, nicely appointed space—think of an Apple store. 

Nortek had a new, interactive booth, too, with each of its sister companies representing myriad slick-looking products. 

How big a deal is this whole aesthetics thing to you and your companies? Are you feeling the need to adapt to the latest trends in home décor? Are you hearing this from your customers? 

If your products are less than pretty, you might want to consider how good design might add to your bottom line.