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ISC West

Uplink, DMP offering 4G alarm communicators

Companies say upgrade means greater longevity for equipment in the field
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04/20/2012

LAS VEGAS—While asserting that 2G technology is still far from its predicted “sunset,” Uplink and DMP are both rolling out 4G cellular communicators to give alarm dealers the option of upgrading to accommodate new features and to extend the time between equipment swaps.

Mapping CO legislation—and business opportunities

A new interactive map by System Sensor tracks CO laws as they’re enacted state by state, helping dealers identify new markets for the devices
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04/17/2012

ST. CHARLES, Ill.—Dealers and installers: It’s now easier than ever to keep up to date on new carbon-monoxide detector legislation that can lead to increased business, thanks to a revised interactive CO map developed by System Sensor.

Monitoring contract provision can stand in way of sale

If your third-party monitoring center has a right of first refusal on your alarm company, that can impede selling it to anyone else
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04/04/2012

LAS VEGAS—Read the fine print on your contract with your third-party monitoring center. You may find there’s a clause buried in it that says the monitoring center has the right to buy your alarm company before you can sell it to somebody else.

Great finale in Vegas; onward to ESX

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Monday, April 2, 2012

ISC West 2012 is in the books.

As expected, Day Three was a bit quieter than the opening two acts, but there was still plenty of action for those who chose to stay for the duration. Here are a few details from my stops on the final day:

— Don Maden, executive VP for COPS Monitoring, said the company is putting the final cosmetic touches on its new central station in Dallas, with an anticipated opening sometime in May. COPS has also rebranded its COP-A-Link online management tool for dealers as MPower and has added "a whole series of technical improvements to make the customer experience more seamless."

— Uplink VP Michael Gregory provided a rundown of new offerings from his company, including the Uplink 5100 universal broadband alarm communicator. The device is the company's "first broadband solution," enabling a dial-up alarm system to transmit signals and two-way voice over an Internet connection.

— Micro Key Solutions President Victoria Ferro detailed the company's new WebTech app, which gives technicians access to accounts in the field with any Web-enabled device. "It gives techs remote access to tickets, Google directions, signature capture and credit card payments," she said. "It's green, reduces the costs of paper, and provides better customer service by putting information at [techs'] fingertips."

— Wayne Alter, chairman of the board for Dynamark Monitoring, was still meeting-and-greeting during the final two hours of ISC West. Alter, who was joined by Tom Piston, VP of sales and marketing, and Michael Hutcher, VP of product services, said it had been "a great show" for the Hagerstown, Md.-based company.

That sentiment seemed to be echoed across the expanse of the Sands Expo, with many exhibitors predicting better days ahead for the industry as the economy continues to rebound. As the show ended and the booths were broken down, thoughts turned to the next big event on the calendar. For the monitoring industry, that means ESX.

See you in Nashville ...

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.

Taking it all in at ISC West

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quite the first day for a first-timer at ISC West, and for a first-timer to Vegas to boot. Now I can understand what all the fuss was about leading up to the show.

Day One started with a “Meet the Editors” session at the SSN booth—No. 27065, stop by if you get a chance—which was followed by a full slate of media gatherings and meet-and-greets. Here were a few:

— I got the lowdown from ASSA ABLOY on what it’s doing to fill the “medium security” gap for access control, or components targeting the void between $200 and $4,000. The company sees a growth market there and is moving to take advantage.

— Bill Hobgood, project director for the Department of Information Technology, Public Safety Team, for the city of Richmond, Va., gave a firsthand account of what ASAP can do for speeding the flow of information between central stations and PSAPs. If you’re still holding on to the phone as the future, Richmond’s experience will change your mind.

— Chris Holbert, CEO of SecuraTrac, told me how the company’s new app, SecuraFone, disables social media sites when in motion—hello, distracted teens—along with immobilizing email and texting. Other features include physical tracking and more importantly, emergency response for seniors. SecuraTrac is teaming with Mace CS to expand along this avenue in the future.

— Bosch acknowledged the hectic pace of the day with a 5 p.m. session that featured a truck giveaway and happy hour refreshments, which turned out to be a real crowd-pleaser. A great way to end a long day on the floor.

My day isn’t done yet—I’m about the step out the door to attend a UCC cocktail party—and Day Two and Day Three await, so I’ll sign off for now. Much more ahead, hopefully with a decent night’s sleep to take it all in. The young and lively door-bangers in the room next door may have something to say about that, though. This is Vegas, after all …    

See you in Vegas!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting ready today (Monday) to leave for ISC West--the three-day show that gets longer every year. I’m arriving Tuesday afternoon and have several meetings and events before the show floor even opens. I’m not complaining—I'm actually looking forward to these events.

Our newswire will go out as usual on Thursday morning, but Tess, Rich, Whit (managing editor of our sister pub Security Director News) and I will be tweeting from the show and updating our blogs daily, so go to the SSN and SDN homepages throughout the show to catch up on what we’re seeing at at the show

Today and tomorrow are the classic days for industry announcements, though folks, believe me, they are the worst days for company announcements. (I am complaining now.) I’m generally at the Portland airport when I see that something newsworthy has broken. It's a bad time to announce news. Everyone is traveling, so the news gets missed—by reporters and readers alike. Or it gets buried in news that was released and written in advance.

Of course, sometimes there’s news that you’re obliged to put out for one reason or another, but you really don’t want it reported. If that’s your situation, put that press release out Wednesday morning about 10 a.m. as the ISC West show floor is opening. It’ll get stomped on—at least for a little while.

So this is what the beginning of my show looks like: On Tuesday, after an on-time landing, I’ll be meeting with some folks about the ESX show (Nashville in June), heading to a SecuritySpecifiers.com event, checking out an Altronix press conference, swinging by the Women’s Security Council reception at Pinot Brasserie, and then going to another industry reception/dinner. See you in the hallways running from event to event.

For me, Wednesday morning will begin with the Axis Breakfast. I’m no fan of breakfasts before the show, but I make an exception for this annual early rally. Axis generally does a good job of keeping it short, informative and lively, and making execs available—plus they’ve made some interesting announcements in recent days which I’m eager to learn more about.

When the showfloor opens at 10 on Wednesday, Tess, Rich, Whit and I will be at our booth (27065) for an hour of "Meet the Editors". Please stop by and say hi.

I’ve got a couple booth visits and a press conference, after which time I’ll be moderating the WSC educational session “Sell yourself, but don’t sell yourself short.” Going to be an interesting discussion, plan to stop by.

Between booth visits, I’ll be interviewing Tammee Thompson—who on March 21 was named vice president and general manager, global security and fire for Johnson Controls on March 21; Niall Jenkins from IMS (which was acquired last week by IHS); Carey Boethel and Ken Francis, who a couple of weeks ago launched Securadyne, and PSA Security's Sharon Shaw.

There's much more, but you'll have to check back here for details.

One more thing, there’s still time to sign up for the Security 5k. Run for fun and make a difference in a needy child’s life.

Check back here for more from ISC West 2012.
 

Hertel named VP of operations at Rapid Response

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Morgan Hertel has been named vice president of operations at Rapid Response Monitoring.

That information, courtesy of a new posting on his LinkedIn profile, greeted me today as I packed up my laptop and headed out the door to ISC West. It marks a quick turnaround for Hertel, who just two weeks ago stepped down as vice president and general manager for Mace CS.

In a March 12 news release from Mace Security International, the company said Hertel’s departure was “for personal reasons” and that he would be “working closely with Mace CS in a consulting role over the next several months.” Hertel took over as director of operations at the company’s wholesale central station in Anaheim, Calif., shortly after the CSSS acquisition in 2009.

As for what lies ahead at Rapid, the 30-year industry veteran states on LinkedIn that he’s working on “several high-level projects and initiatives. … At Rapid Response I have many resources, some of which include a complete software development team, a huge IT and technical staff and one of the most educated and talented operations and finance groups consisting of almost 400 staff members.”

Hertel will be a panelist at ISC West at an educational session titled “NFPA 72: Are You Ready for the Changes?” If I can’t catch up with him before I get on the plane, hopefully I’ll get a chance to do so at the show. It will be interesting to see how his expertise comes into play at Rapid.  

Are you really my friend? Meet me at ISC West!

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

It’s a rainy, chilly March Sunday in Maine, and a perfect way to escape the gray weather is enjoying the beautiful artwork at the Portland Museum of Art. One exhibit currently on display there got me thinking about my trip this week to sunny, warm Las Vegas for the ISC West show … and how the show is such a good opportunity to connect with people.

The exhibit is by Maine photographer Tanja Alexia Hollander, titled: “Are You Really My Friend?” Hollander set out to reach beyond cyberspace by traveling around the world to meet her Facebook friends—she has more than 600 of them. She created photographic portraits of her cyber-friends that are now on display in the museum.

The exhibit got me thinking about how many of you in the industry I feel I know because we talk on the phone and email and tweet to one another. But in many cases, we’ve never met.

So, I'm looking forward to meeting many of my cyber-friends in the security industry in person while I’m at ISC West. I’ve scheduled the three days I’ll be at the show full of booth visits, interviews, lunches and dinners.

And I’m also excited about meeting even more cyber-friends at our “Meet the Editors” hour that we at Security Systems News and Security Director News (our sister publication) have scheduled for Wed., March 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. We've been urging everyone to start their  ISC West show by stopping by the ISC West Media Studio (booth # 27065).

And please also swing by our booth at other times to grab a copy of Security Systems News and catch up on the latest industry happenings, and to say hello to our staff. Break through the bonds of cyberspace and meet me and my colleagues!

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