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Tyco partners with Alarm.com

Tyco Security Products will offer Alarm.com-integrated products in 2014
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12/04/2013

CONCORD, Ontario—Tyco Security Products is adding Alarm.com to its list of technology partners; by the middle of next year, Alarm.com will be available on DSC IMPASSA series and hybrid panels.

SuretyCam customers happy to connect

Ohio Alarm.com dealer had good customer response in Customer Connect beta project
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11/13/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ryan Boder, president of SuretyCam, an Alarm.com dealer based here, believes that keeping in touch with customers keeps attrition in check.

Polk goes PE, Pagnani takes over at Capital One

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There’s news in the finance and investment world today. Bill Polk, who’s been running the security division of Capital One since its inception in August of 2011, is moving into the private equity world.

Polk is joining Egis Capital Partners, an investor in alarm.com. ECKey and, as of last May, CSSN. Here’s a video interview I did with Egis founder Robert Chefitz in June.

Tom Pagnani, who has worked with Polk at Capital One and at CapitalSource before that, is taking over as managing partner at Capital One.

I spoke to all three this morning.

“We continue to see enormous opportunities at all levels of the capital  structure. … From my point of view [there is great] equity opportunity with fast-growing younger companies. [Working together with Robert] is something he and I have talked about for a long time. And I think it's a great opportunity to move forward,” Polk said.

Polk noted that lately the private equity community “has had a sharp focus” on the security sector, but most in PE groups are generalist who lack expertise in the physical security business. Young companies looking for PE partners can benefit from working with a group, like Egis, that has that expertise, he said.
 
Chefitz said that Egis likes to “work closely with management teams and with private equity funds that want to invest in the business.” He said he’s ecstatic that Polk is joining Egis full time, noting that Polk brings experience and relationships with management teams of target investments and relationships as with other PE funds.

Chefitz said Egis is excited to continue working with Capital One.

Founded by Chefitz in 2007, Egis targets companies with enterprise values of $30 million to $200 million “that require a total investment between $10 million and $40 million.”  In addition to its investment in alarm.com, Egis closed in May on an investment in CSSN, a company that does passport and drivers license authentication and identification. “And we did that with the well-regarded Insight Venture Partners,” he said, adding that Insight has a brand new $2.5 billion fund as of this past April. Insight is an investor in Twitter and LinkedIN. “They have a tremendous brand name in technology and it’s interesting that [they’re investing in] security,” Chefitz said.

Egis has also “worked with Joe Grillo [former CEO of HID and Assa Abloy’s global technology division] in his business activities at ACRE,” Chefitz said.  

Tom Pagnani said that this move is a logical transition for Polk and said that it’s an opportunity for himself and John Robuck to “continue to make the Capital One name known in the security alarm industry.”

“Egis is going to be quite active,” Pagnani said. He called Polk is a key addition to the Egis operation. "We’re excited about the prospect of doing deals with Egis,” Pagnani said.

iControl Networks sues Alarm.com, FrontPoint Security

Lawsuit seeks damages, injunction
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07/15/2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Home technology provider iControl Networks on July 10 filed a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Alarm.com and FrontPoint Security, an Alarm.com customer.

Schneider Electric, Alarm.com partner to manage home energy

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06/05/2013

PALATINE, Ill. and Vienna, Va.—Schneider Electric and Alarm.com have teamed up to bring Schneider’s Wise home management system to home builders, utilities and other service providers in the efficient energy space, the companies announced today.

Alarm.com accuses Telular of taking intellectual property

Lawsuit claims Telular’s Telguard Interactive and Telguard HomeControl are based on Alarm.com’s patented products and services
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05/22/2013

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm.com, an interactive services provider based here, filed suit this week against Telular Corp., contending that Telular has been using Alarm.com’s patent-protected products and services without permission as its own.

SW24 adds DIY to tap apartment market

Security provider will sell the systems at new Manhattan store and online
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02/20/2013

NEW YORK—Targeting what it sees as an underserved market—apartments, with more than 2 million in metropolitan New York alone—SecureWatch 24 is getting into do-it-yourself security and is opening a store near Rockefeller Center to sell the systems.

2GIG adds indoor infrared HD camera

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01/28/2013

LIBERTY, Mo.—2GIG Technologies, based here, has added the HD100 indoor high-definition camera to its family of security and home automation products, according to a company statement.

Devcon's past mistakes, future promise at Imperial Capital's SIC

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It was a very full day at the Imperial Capital Security Investor Conference on December 13. Starting before 8 a.m. with John Mack’s “State of Security Finance/M&A Markets” and wrapping up at 5:30 with a very cool panel discussion on BYOD—a great discussion topic, which should be a cause for concern for integrators, manufacturers, and end users alike. We’ll have more on this topic at TechSec in Florida, Feb. 5&6, 2013. Check out this link.  

During the course of the day I heard some cybersecurity experts prognosticating about some frightening stuff and also  listened to presentations from 13 companies (there were 60 presenting throughout the day.) The sessions I saw ranging from systems integrators like Dakota Security to manufacturers like alarm.com and interesting start-ups like Quylar and Applied DNA Sciences.

The format is efficient. Session are 20 minutes and because the presentations are designed for investors, they are refreshingly free of long diatribes about how much more maniacly obsessed XYZ company is with customer service than ABC company.

Early in the day, at the Devcon presentation, Devcon’s chairman of the board, Christopher Munday, spoke frankly about the company’s challenges in the past couple of years—including an ill-fated branch expansion.

He confirmed that the company is actively seeking a buyer and has hired Imperial Capital to "review strategic alternatives." Munday shared several operating and financial metrics to support his assertion that the company is on strong footing.

In 2010 and 2011, Devcon hired many former Brink’s Home Security dealers and quickly opened up 50 branch offices around the country.

That move was a mistake, Munday said. “In 2010 and 2011 we tried to fast-track the company. That did not work,” he said.

Today, Devcon has gone back to its “core business.” Munday said it has spent the past eight months realigning costs and reassessing its regional structure.

Based in Hollywood, Fla., the company now has 11 branches, eight of which are in Florida. It has 136,000 customer sites, 547 employees and $4.3 million in RMR.

While Devcon and Utah-based Pinnacle Security are both owned by Golden Gate Capital, the two are “separate companies with separate debt facilities,” he said.

Devcon’s business mix is 46 percent residential, 35 percent commercial and 19 percent homeowner associations. Its attrition rate varies by division, but is 11 percent across the business.

While Pinnacle does door-to-door sales, Devcon’s residential sales require an average of “1.7 to 2.3 visits—it’s a slower, controlled sale,” Munday said. Those residential accounts typically have a $200 to $225 upfront investment from the customer.

Devcon has two central stations, one in Staten Island, N.Y., and one in Hollywood, Fla. While its branch offices do some commercial work, the bulk of its commercial business comes from two New York City-based businesses: Mutual Central Alarm Services, which does large commercial deals and has many high-end retail customers, and Stat-Land, which services mostly commercial customers in and around Staten Island.

Recent changes have not affected Devcon consumers, Munday said.

The past few years have included investments in “enhanced business intelligence systems.” Those technology investments and software systems could “support tremendous growth nationwide, should [a new owner] choose to do that,” he said.

“After the uncertainty, there is positive momentum at Devcon,” Munday said.

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