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ISCWest Day 2, some notes

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Friday, March 30, 2012

So much to write about Day 2 at ISC West 2012, but here are some notes from the day:

Stanley held a luncheon reception to introduce the new combined leadership of Stanley CSS and Niscayah. The combined company serves 460,000 customers from 80 North American locations. The team includes: Marty Guay, VP-national accounts and market solutions; Mike Bishop VP-field operations; Pete Straka, VP-human resources; Steve Walker, VP ProtectionNet customer service centers; Damon Kanzler, VP-opeartions support; Joe Richards, VP-infomation technology, Felix Gonzales, VP-Strategic Initiatives& business development; Jim Kopplin, VP-field sales & integration leader; Tony Byerly, president North America; Ina Staris, senior legal counsel; John Nemorofsky, VP market solutions; Raymond Radis, VP-national accounts.

--I did a number of video interviews including ones with Jamie Haenggi, chief marketing and customer experience officer for Protection 1, where we talked about Protection 1's focus on national accounts.

--Sharon Shaw, PSA Security director of education filled me in on what's new at PSA-TEC this year for integrators.

--Kristen Simmons, founder of LiveSmart Security, and a veteran marketing executive of several Fortune 500 companies. Kristen will be delivering the keynote address at ESX this year and talking about the customer experience as the "next battleground" for security companies.

--Jay Hauhn, CTO for the newly named Tyco Integrated Security,  talked about what Tyco International's priorities once it splits into three separately companies and Tyco International becomes a pure play security and fire group for the first time.

I did several booth visits, but one of the most interesting was speaking to Yohav Stern, CEO of DVTEL. Stern talked about the company's new "TruWitness" product which turns a smartphone into a camera on your surveillance network. Stern also talked about how DVTel has changed in the past year since he assumed leadership. The  R& D team now has some simple but firm guidelines. Products being innovative is not enough, he said, they need to be reliable, scalable,  end-to-end solutions that are also open.

Interface buys Westec and other stuff I learned at ISC West on Day 1

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Big news from yesterday was the acquisition of Westec by Interface Security Systems. The story is on our front page or click here . You can also see my video interview with Jeff Frye of Interface Security Systems about the Westec deal on our front page or by clicking here.

Winning the procrastination award for latest to announce a press conference at ISCWest  2012 is BRS Labs. I got the announcement a little after midnight--8 hours notice!

It's not a strategy I'd recommend, but there was a good crowd in the press room at 9 a.m. today. John Frazzini, president of BRSLabs, showed several examples of how the software "learns" how a certain venue should look day and night and then goes into alert when there’s an anomaly. The first example was subway tunnel. The alert went off when a regular automobile tried to follow the subway into the subway tunnel.

BRS Labs, just received its umbrella patent, and some of its wins are part of the public record, including a $2 million deal with the San Francisco.

Frazzini believes the future is bright for behavioral analytics. He said that IMS predicts that behavioral analytics will be a $2.1  billion addressable market by 2015. On the other hand, traditional video analytics have been a $57 billion market through  2010,  and is expectd to grow to $108 million market by 2015. Frazzini called that growth "immaterial and irrelevant" and said a behavioral analytics is causing a “real disruption in the marketplace.”

INGRAM MICRO

In another unscheduled—at least in my book—press conference, I heard Ingram Micro’s Brian Wiser talking about that company's renewed push into the physical security business.

Wiser said the Ingram Micro physical security business has doubled in the past year.  He said Ingram Micro considers physical security a “strategic high growth focus [area, and said the company intents to]  dedicate disproportionate resources to this business unit.” Integrators should not be afraid of making the leap into IP systems, he said. “Ingram can help them make the leap—to enable them to do it themselves [or if they need help with a particular project] we can connect you with someone who can do that for you in a non-competitive fashion.”

Wiser said that Ingram Micro—which had 20,000 square feet of show floor space, 30 partner vendors and 450 VARS—intends to enter the industry in a big way—to "dive in and dive deeply," he said.

JOHNSON CONTROLS

I had a great meeting with Tammee Thompson who is the new VP and GM global fire and security for Johnson Controls. Her appointment was announced last week, but she’s been in place for about 5 months.  

This is the first time the global fire and security unit has been organized into a global PL. Thompson has spent the past four months traveling around visiting teams in the field, understanding the capabilities the groups have and need to grow the business. The goal, she said, is to the become the integrator of choice.

In North America, JC has 80 branch offices that offer security and fire as well as services and HVAC. “That will help us on a regional basis to offer entire portfolios to customers,” she said.
AT ISC West, Thompson's team is looking at technologies, not devices. JCI has an access control platform that integrates with 17 VMS providers. At this show Thompson's team is  nvestigating complimentary platforms such as PSIM and Identity Management.

WSC

At 12: 45 I moderated a Women’s Security Council meeting with three very cool and accomplished women: Kelly Bond, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Alarm Capital Alliance; Renae Leary, ADT Global Accounts Senior Director; and, Juliette Gustavsson, Milestone Systems Head of Corporate Marketing. Lots of tips, tactics and resources for career advancement. I’ll have a full story on this next week.

S2

I stopped by S2 and spoke to John Moss about what’s new there. He’s particularly excited about forensic capabilities of his new products enabled because of the tight integration between the access control and video.  More on this and other show floor stuff later.

I'm late getting to the show floor. The Security 5K was great this morning. Lots of people, great weather. Come to the reception on the show floor at 4:30 this afternoon.

Did you see the story about ADT commercial changing it's name that I posted on Tuesday? Gonna get some more info on that today from Jay Hauhn. Much more to report from Day 1 and Day 2 later today. Stay tuned.

 

Women in security and your business

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I hope you’ll make room on your ISC West calendars to attend the second annual Women’s Security Council educational session focusing on networking and career advancement for women in the security industry, which will be moderated by yours truly.

The session will take place on the first day of the show, Wednesday, March 28, 2012, from 12:45pm-1:45pm in rooms 206-207.

What can your business do to hire and retain highly qualified women?

This is one of the topics the panelists will address. And we've got three awesome security industry executives on the panel: Kelly Bonds, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Alarm Capital Alliance, Media, Pa.; Renae Leary, Senior Director, ADT Global Accounts, Boca Raton, Fla.; and Juliette Gustavsson, Head of Corporate Marketing at Milestone Systems in Copenhagen.

Kelly is responsible for increasing sales through acquisitions and driving the overall marketing and business-to-business development strategy. Renae has more than 15 years of managerial experience in strategic sales and marketing, with eight years of global responsibility. Juliette oversees brand and marketing initiatives, and is responsible for the Milestone Systems website, video, graphics and collateral teams.

Panelists will share tips, tactics, and resources with the audience and participate in a question and answer session.

And speaking of the WSC, make sure to stop by the WSC cocktail reception at the Pinot Brasserie at the Venetian on Tuesday night, March 27, between 6 and 9. Winners of the first annual WSC Women of the Year awards will be announced.

Questions about the WSC? Email Rhianna Daniels at rdaniels@compasspublicrelations.com

Former Siemens & GE execs found Securadyne, acquire SecureNet as platform for growth

Carey Boethel and Ken Francis go into business; financial partner, Pamlico Capital, ready to fund additional acquisitions
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03/01/2012

DALLAS—Carey Boethel and Ken Francis, two well-known industry veterans, announced this morning that they’ve founded a new systems integration firm called Securadyne Systems, and acquired SecureNet,  a Dallas-based security integr

Talk at Barnes Buchanan: Cable companies' motivation for entering security

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am just back this week from our TechSec new technology conference.

Unable to make it? There’s lots of coverage of on the site about the various the educational sessions--Mobile Apps; Ensuring your cloud provider is secure; the keynote; Video analytics; and, Emerging technology. 

TechSec took place in Delray Beach, Fla. on Feb. 7 & 8, after which I headed up Route 1A to The Breakers in Palm Beach for the Barnes Buchanan Security Alarm conference which took place Feb. 9 and 10.

You may wonder how a hardy New Englander such as myself can stand so much warm weather. It’s not easy, but I’ve toughed out these back-to-back conferences for a few years running.

It’s at Barnes Buchanan that I get an overview of the capital and debt markets, hear from lenders, and attend panel discussions (often remarkably candid) featuring leaders of some of the industry’s  major alarm companies.

The focus of the conference tends to be more residential and small business, but as more and more integrators get into the RMR business, there’s more information about these companies at  Barnes Buchanan. According to Barnes, overall monitoring and service revenue was up 5 percent in 2011 to $18 billion from $17.2 billion in 2010 and $16.3 billion in 2009. There’s been a notable increase in the number of integrators who have an RMR component (not just maintenance contracts) in the past three years.  That sounds like good news to me.

That last tidbit is from Michael Barnes’ annual Industry and Market Overview--which features a feast of numbers on monitoring revenue, M&A activity sliced and diced and served up in a lively presentation.

Mike’s two-hour overview always includes a lot of back and forth with the audience and this year. This year,  there was a lot of talk about new entrants.

Many, many questions started out this way: “If Comcast acquires ADT ...” Barnes himself said he expects cable companies to do some acquiring soon and “ADT’s likely the first one to get picked off.”

The cable company that picks off ADT would instantly get 28 percent of the resi market share. Tied for No. 2, with 2 percent apiece are Monitronics, Vivint, Pro1 and Stanley.

But Barnes asked an interesting question: Will big cable companies really be motivated by the economics of the security industry? The security industry, he said, is just not that big in comparison to the giant telco and cable industry.

He talked about visiting Comcast--a major enterprise—and noted that a cable company that decides to go into security has a lot of barriers to overcome.

But, say for argument’s sake, a cable company does a truly bang-up job and starts creating a large number of accounts. Say that cable company grows like Vivint, Barnes posited.

Vivint has gone from no accounts in 2006 to 600,000 accounts today. Most would agree it’s had remarkable growth and success in a short length of time in this industry. But, Barnes said, however impressive that is, will 600,000 accounts in five years really wow the board of a cable company that has 24 million subscribers?

One reason the Bell companies that got involved in security in the last decade left, he said, is “they can’t make [the security piece] big enough.”

We're putting final touches on the March printed issue of SSN today, but I'll have more on the Barnes Buchanan conference later this week and next.

 

 

Mobile apps proliferate

What does it mean for your business?
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02/08/2012

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Speaking about the future of mobile apps at the TechSec conference on Feb. 7, Fredrik Nilsson GM of Axis Communications recalled a keynote address that he delivered at the first TechSec conference in 2005.

ADT expands focus on global integration

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02/07/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—ADT is opening Global Centers of Excellence in England, Germany and Shanghai to strengthen its aim to be the premier enterprise-level security integrator for customers with a global footprint.

Better strategic alternatives for MMI hedgefunders?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Remember MMI Investments? I haven’t written about this NYC-based hedge fund in a while, but it appears that its principals have found some new, more attractive strategic alternatives to this NYC-based hedge fund.

Rueters reported this past weekend that MMI Investment principals Jerome Lande and Clay Lifflander were divesting stock and moving on.  I called Jerome Lande today to confirm and find out where he and Lifflander are headed and what they think about investing in the security industry--but he has not returned my call.

Lande and Lifflander, who had this profile written about them by Forbes a few years back, teamed up with Thomas “surrender the booty” Hudson of Pirate Capital to get Brink’s to split into two companies. (Well maybe it wasn’t an official team-up, but all of these hedgefunders were working for the same thing—“enhancing shareholder value” by getting Brink’s to separate the cash handling business from the home security business.)

In this case, Lande and Lifflander were successful. Both Pirate and MMI were Brink’s stockholders—and eventually board members who successfully agitated for the “review of strategic alternatives” back in 2008, which led, eventually to Brink’s splitting into the cash-handling business and Brink’s Home Security. The rest is history: BHS then renamed itself Broadview Security  and seven months later was purchased by ADT

Pirate’s ship sunk pretty quickly after the Brink’s deal, though there was word last year that Hudson may be getting back into the hedge fund business.

According to this report and others, MMI had some other investments in the security industry: notably Checkpoint Systems and Kratos Defense and Security.   Those investments didn’t work out so well.

From Rueters: “The activist fund had a mixed track record in its investments last year -- which typically involved taking a minority stake in companies and urging them to consider a sale.
Last summer, MMI amassed a near 10 percent stake in Kratos Defense & Security Solutions (KTOS.O), spurring a strategic review by the company that did not result in any deal.
MMI also failed to convince the board of Checkpoint Systems Inc (CKP.N) to explore strategic alternatives.”

I haven’t had a chance to scour SEC documents, but Bloomberg in August 2011 did report this about Kratos doing a casual exploration of a sale.

 “Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. is seeking potential buyers with the help of a boutique investment bank, two industry sources told deal Reporter. It is not clear whether Kratos has officially hired a financial advisor. Kratos Chief Executive Officer Eric DeMarco said: "Our policy is not to comment or discuss strategy or strategic alternatives." MMI Investments, L.P., holding 8.6% stake, said that Kratos' competitive advantages and growth prospects are greatly undervalued by its share price. "This undervaluation is unlikely to improve on a sustainable basis while [Kratos] remains an independent public company. Therefore, the reporting persons may engage in discussions with members of management and the board of directors of the issuer regarding strategic alternatives to maximize value," said MMI.”

And here’s part of an August 2011 Bloomberg report on MMI’s attempt to get Checkpoint to review its strategic alternatives.
“MMI Investments, L.P., a shareholders of Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (CKP) has asked the Board of Directors of CKP to conduct a comprehensive review and decide strategic alternatives to maximize value for all shareholders, including a sale of CKP as it is significantly undervalued given its strong products, technology, market positions and customer relationships. MMI Investments has also asked CKP to hire a banker for the purpose and explore strategic alternatives.”

iControl/Time Warner Cable sell home security/home automation together

iControl: Telecoms good partners because they are ‘very, very focused’ on the space
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01/10/2012

PALO ALTO, Calif.—Software provider iControl Networks this week announced a new partnership with Time Warner Cable, in which Time Warner’s IntelligentHome security and home automation solution is being powered by iControl software.

When background checks aren't enough

Door-to-door security sales rep charged with rape and attempted murder, but company who hired him says it had no information showing he was threat
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01/04/2012

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—SecureWatch, an ADT authorized dealer based here, takes steps to make sure job applicants don’t have criminal backgrounds—such as paying a top-notch company to do background checks on them and searching the Internet for information about them, said company COO Paul Victor.
So the company was stunned to learn that a brand-new door-to-door sales rep it had hired—who Victor said had checked out clean—now stands charged with rape and attempted murder while on the job in Tampa, Fla.

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