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Icontrol’s new CMO aims for ‘frustration-free’ customer experience

Consumers now seek simplicity, integration, she says
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05/06/2015

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Icontrol’s new chief marketing officer wants to ensure that consumers and dealers have an all-around “frustration-free” experience when interacting with the company.

Survey: Dealers cite cost as barrier to adding home automation

That’s a misperception, says Icontrol’s Greg Roberts
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04/08/2015

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—A majority of residential security dealers thinks adding home automation services to their traditional offerings is cost prohibitive. That’s a big misperception, according to Greg Roberts, VP of marketing for Icontrol, and one that could put providers at a significant disadvantage in today’s marketplace.

Daily dispatches from ISC West

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

On Monday I’m headed out to ISC West. I’ll have my boots—well, actually, my sandals because it is Vegas, after all—on the ground Tuesday through Friday.

I’ll be adding to this blog post each day, keeping you updated with the news I find and the people I talk to on the show floor. So check back here often. You may just read something you’ll want to check out on your own while you’re there.

One of the best things about ISC West is the opportunity it gives me to meet with our readers. It’s helpful to know why they read Security Systems News, learn more about their work and what they’re seeing as industry trends on the frontlines. Please stop by our Meet the Editors event from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday and say hello. It’s informal, just a chance for the editorial staff to say hello and in many cases put faces to the names we’ve interviewed and talked to so often on the phone. The event will be held at the SSN Media Stage, right near the main entrance to the show floor.

My schedule is pretty full, but if you can’t make it to Meet the Editors and would like the chance to say hello in person, shoot an email to acanfield@securitysystemsnews.com and I’ll work hard to make it happen.

Tuesday I’ll be attending the DMP Owners Forum and then, that evening, the Women in Security Council’s 2015 Women of the Year Awards and Networking Reception.

Wednesday, after the aforementioned meet-and-greet, I’ll be hitting the show floor, interviewing and visiting with, among others, Honeywell, 2Gig, Qolsys, Interlogix and Icontrol. 

Bright and very early Thursday I’ll be participating in the Mission 500 5K/2K with SSN’s Security Sys-tahs team. I’ll be doing the 2K walk. (Maybe the 5K race next year?) Then it’s back to the media stage where from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I’ll be conducting interviews on camera with four key players in the industry. Want to know who? You'll have to come and watch live! The videos will be posted later on the SSN website, but we do have comfy audience chairs if you need an informative break. After that, it'll be back to the show floor for meetings that include those with Alarm.com, Guardian Protection and Genetec, before returning to the SSN stage for the Mission 500 5K/2K awards ceremony.

I have a few other appointments set up for Friday and hope to spend some time meandering through the exhibits and booths on my own.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the week, and you should, too! You could win a prestigious plaque from Security Systems News for being the Top Twitterer on our Twitter Wall. Use #ISCW15. Read more about our Twitter Wall and contest here.

My colleagues, Martha Entwistle and Spencer Ives will be providing their daily news from ISC West as well. Be sure to check out their blogs, too.

Meanwhile, have a great show and I hope to see you there!

Icontrol targets independent dealer

New connected home platform designed to give big-company technology to smaller dealers
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03/25/2015

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Independent dealers for the first time now can take advantage of Icontrol Networks’ connected home platform.

Piper a 'lead-in technology' for security companies

Software platform provider iControl acquires Piper, DIY 'home awareness and automation device'
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04/16/2014

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.—Software platform provider iControl is one step closer to providing “smart home solutions for every household in the world,” with the April 9 acquisition of Blacksumac, iControl marketing director Greg Roberts told Security Systems News.

Who will buy AlarmForce?

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

AlarmForce, a super-regional security company based in Toronto, announced that its board of directors is taking a look at selling the company. The company has hired Imperial Capital to help it with a possible sale.

The company's market cap value today is listed as $135m and its enterprise value is $119m.

I asked Richard Ginsburg, former CEO of Protection One who is now managing partner at G3 Capital Partners, what he thought about the sale of AlarmForce. He said he thought the company is well run and that CEO Joel Matlin "has done a fabulous job of identifying a segment of the market open to value-oriented products (like their new video offering) at prices that are at or lower in comparison to traditional systems with basic offerings."

Ginsburg also said he believes "a company like AlarmForce is in a great position to compete with the likes of industry leader ADT and the emerging cable and telecom companies because of [AlarmForce's] single-minded focus on enhanced services like two-way voice and now video services." He added that he believes "some of the traditional companies are in a weaker position to compete in comparison."

Ginsburg predicted the company will get "good interest"  and said Imperial Capital has "formed a great niche in the M&A sector so they are a good choice [to help out with a sale.]"

The last time I spoke to CEO Joel Matlin was back in the winter of 2010 when he was opening a fourth office in Minneapolis/St. Paul.It has offices in North Carolina (opened in 2005), Ohio (opened in January 2006)  and it opened an office in Georgia in 2007.

AlarmForce does security alarm monitoring, personal emergency response monitoring, video surveillance for resi and commercial customers. Something that’s unique about AlarmForce is that it manufactures and installs its own two-way voice home alarm systems. When I did that interview, AlarmForce had 103,000 accounts in Canada and the U.S., which Matlin told me was up from 56,700 accounts in 2006. Today the number of accounts is closer to 125,000.

“Canada is a tough country to do business in. It’s got a population the same as the state of the California, but it’s spread out over a country that’s much larger than the U.S.,” Matlin said. In addition to dense population centers that are easier to penetrate, “the perception of crime is stronger in the U.S. than it is in Canada.”

Wonder who some potential buyers might be? One possiblitiy, in my opinion would be Stanley, which expanded its resi business in Canada last summer with the purchase of Microtec Security Systems. It got 80,000 accounts and additional bi-lingual monitoring capability out of the deal.

Or I suppose AlarmForce could be a bolt-on for a telecom that’s getting into the security business. Rogers Communications maybe? Here’s a video from the summer of 2011 where we talk about Rogers Communications working (in secret!) with iControl to get into the security industry.  And here’s a story about the deal.

AlarmForce board of directors has formed a committee of independent directors to supervise the strategic review.

 

New security/telco partnership up North

After five years of working together ‘secretly’ IControl & Rogers Communications announce partnership
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09/14/2011

RED WOOD CITY, Calif. and TORONTO—The home security penetration rate hovers around 18 percent in Canada, but players in a new partnership say they’re going to change that. Home automation and control technology provider iControl and Rogers Communications, Canada's largest communications provider, on Aug. 30 announced a new converged home security, automation and control offering, which they say will raise that rate.  

iControl gets $50m

Funds will speed up availability of platform, energy management apps
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06/23/2011

PALO ALTO, Calif.—IControl co-CEOs Jim Johnson and Paul Dawes said they were originally looking for a $30 million investment, but there was so much interest that they got $50 million. They even turned away some investors whose interests didn’t align with iControl’s strategy, they said.

Tyco looks to acquire Visonic

Visonic products align with ADT's interactive service Pulse
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06/21/2011

BOCA RATON, Fla.—Tyco International, parent company of ADT, is in talks to acquire security product manufacturer Visonic, which is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
“I can confirm that we’re in discussion with Visonic and that may or may not lead to definitive transaction,” Tyco spokesman Paul FitzHenry told Security Systems News on June 21.

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