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Stanley keeps an eye on access control

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stanley Security Solutions believes iris recognition technology is going to be the next big thing in access control.

On Tuesday, it announced a new partnership with iris biometric provider Eyelock (previously Hoyos). Two years ago Stanely CSS announced a partnership with Hoyos. Here's that story.

I spoke to Stanley CSS’s John Nemorofsky who explained the difference between the partnership of two years ago and today’s announcement. Two years ago, the announcement was Stanley CSS becoming the exclusive dealer for Hoyos. Now, Stanley Security Solutions, the manufacturing arm of Stanley, is adding EyeLock to its security solutions. So, Stanley CSS will install the technology, but other integrators may install it as well through Stanley Security Solutions’ new Eyelock Certified Dealer Program.

Stanley has two dedicated teams to sell EyeLock, internally through the Stanely CSS business and worldwide. It is also working to integrate EyeLock with other access control solutions.

Hoyos was based in Puerto Rico. Its corporate office and R&D were moved to New York City when it underwent a management change and became EyeLock, Nemorofsky explained. Its operations and support are still currently in Puerto Rico, but Stanley plans to “run it through our product and manufacturing to take cost out and also to make the product even better and stronger and [more a part of the] product roadmap.”

The benefits of the EyeLock include: easy installation, simple to enroll users, easy to use, and it’s reliable because of the uniqueness of the iris.
Just about “anywhere you can use a card reader, you can use a Nano (the name of a compact EyeLock reader),” Nemorofsky said.

The main hurdle to adoption, Nemorovsky said, is misunderstandings about the technology. People need to understand the “iris reader is a camera, not a retina reader or some type of laser, ” he said.

I also spoke to Blaine Fredericks, Stanley Security Solutions global biometrics solutions leader, about EyeLock.  

Fredericks said that Stanley has installed the technology—which has some new, smaller form factors—in commercial applications where iris biometrics are not typically installed. He said Stanley believes that EyeLock is poised to become the access-control identity authentication solution of choice for the commercial space in the future.

“Typically [iris-based identity authentication] is pigeon-holed as a [solution for] banking or data centers, for very high-security areas,” he said. “We see this being used in a much broader sense [with] the ability to make our day-to-day lives easier.” He says it can be used to track kids getting on and off of school buses, to provide access to office doors and “to enable access to an ATM in the future.”

Unlike a card or other credential, it cannot be lost or shared. Hygiene is not a concern, like it is with fingerprint or hand geometry biometrics. And “next to DNA, it’s the most unique biometric,” he said. “The iris is formed randomly rather than being tied to the genetic code … So your right eye is different from your left, the irises of identical twins are different; and if you were to be cloned the [clone's] irises would be different  [from yours].” Irises also does not change as you age, he said.

Among Stanley's EyeLock installations are a large financial institution in the Southeast where it’s installed on turnstiles in the lobby and provides access control for employees.  I asked Fredericks if the iris readers on the turnstiles could tell the elevators which floors those employees worked on. He said it’s not currently set up to do that but “directed dispatch is a realistic possibility.”

Look for a follow-up story on the Stanely Eyelock deal.

Diane Christie: Security, a career with satisfaction

For the fourth consecutive year, Security Systems News is profiling women who are making their mark in the traditionally male-dominated world of security. Christie, Stanley CSS’ VP of national accounts for the West, is one of six women featured.
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11/19/2012

ASIS 2012, Pro 1 buys again, mobility and the financial vertical

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It’s been a busy two days for Amy Canfield (the new lead editor for our sister publication Security Director News) and I here in Philly at the ASIS show.

Since Sept. 10, the first day of ASIS, was Amy’s fifth day on the job, she accompanied me to most of my appointments that day. She did have a chance to speak to a group of end users at the Honeywell booth. Here’s her update on that  and she was flying solo on Day 2--check out her blog  for highlights of her day, including a tour of the security operation of the Philadelphia Convention Center with integrator Schneider Electric.

Here are some highlights from my conversations on the show floor on Day 1 and Day 2. Check back tomorrow for Day 3.

DIEBOLD
At the Diebold booth I met with Tony Byerly, who’d just completed his first 90 days as head of security at Diebold, along with Diebold IT chief Jeremy Brecher and Felix Gonzalez, who earlier this summer left Stanley to join Byerly’s senior staff as the newly appointed VP for strategic initiatives and business development in electronic.security.

Diebold was the first of several integrators I spoke to who said that one focus for them will be the financial services vertical. It’s not a surprise for Diebold, who's parent company is the largest ATM provider.

Byerly touted Diebold’s long history, the company’s reputation for steady, high quality service and technology know-how as advantages in the marketplace. He also noted the shifting competitive landscape and said Diebold stands out for a variety of reasons including the fact that “we’re a strategic in the space—we’re not backed by private equity.” He called Diebold the “nation’s only pure-play integrator,” pointing out that “we don’t have an adjacent manufacturing arm.”

Brecher talked about being “in the value position” with service and technology. “We invest time and resources to create solutions instead of packaging solutions,” he said. Diebold works to leverage a customer’s existing infrastructure, and customers have a “single method to connect to Diebold … a single customer portal … the entire web experience is easy to manage.”  
 
PROTECTION 1
Protection 1 had some big news. Click here to see the story about a big acquisition Pro 1 made. It’s a systems integrator with staff that's experienced and certified to work on networks. With the new staff/capabilities, Jamie Haenggi told me, Pro 1 will be taking on jobs it would have walked away from in the past.

STANLEY CSS
Stanley announced that John Nemerofsky is the new VP of Global Solutions, and that there's a new phalanx of vertical market leaders. There’s other news as well. Stanley is bringing together three business units: the CSS team, the Mechanical Solutions team, and the Security and Automatic Door team.

The teams would work together in the past, but it “would happen more through accident,” Nemerovsky told me. Now, there’s a “process where we’ll work together to pull together the best possible solution for the client.”

And there are specific solutions for each vertical market. This infrastructure will be appreciated by global accounts customers who “are looking for consistency in deliverables … the same deliverables, billing, systems they have in Chile [for example], that they have in New York City, Barcelona, Tokyo and Paris.”

Here’s the list of vertical market leaders: Paul Retzbach – Commercial Leader, Government; Chris Hobbs– Commercial Leader, Retail; Tom Benson – Commercial Leader, Banking; Paul Baratta–Commercial Leader, Healthcare; Rebecca Durham–Commercial Leader, K-12 Education; Eric Rittenhouse–Commercial Leader, Higher Education; Jerry Walker–Global Strategic Account and SSS Solutions; Eddie Meltzer–Global Strategic Accounts and SSS Solutions; Bob Stockwell–Technology Leader; Lance Holloway–Technology Leader; Beth Tarnoff–Marketing Leader; Ryan Fritts–Vertical eServices Leader

Look for more on this story next week.

TYCO
I also spoke with Renae Leary, senior director of global accounts for Tyco. Click here to read that story.

JOHNSON CONTROLS
I spoke to Tammee Thompson at Johnson Controls, who told me that ASIS is the show where she and others "take a break from making the quarter" (but only briefly she emphasized) to check out technology. She had an army of employees out scouring the floor “looking for the latest and greatest to pull into our technology stack.” Specifically, JCI is looking for access control solutions, VMS, PSIM and ID management solutions.

RED HAWK
I also had a chance to chat with Mike Snyder of Red Hawk. He said that the company is finishing up “moving the infrastructure [network and IT systems] out of UTC,” and officially began its rebranding as Red Hawk in the past couple of weeks.

Snyder also talked about focusing on the financial vertical market, saying that the next wave of retail banking will not be branch operations, but ATMs. He believes Red Hawk will have a leg up on the competition because his staff has deep experience in the financial sector, some originally coming from Mosler. The company also has a partnership with ATM provider NCR.

AXIS COMMUNICATIONS
At this show, Axis Communications was showing many new products and solutions, many targeted toward the fewer-than-16 channel market. (Look for a story next week about a visit I made to Axis H.Q in Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago.) When I asked Fredrik Nilsson about all the talk I was hearing about the financial vertical, he noted that Axis had an ATM with four cameras in its booth. Nilsson said that banking is a conservative vertical that is finally making the leap from analog to IP. “Education was the first, then retail, and now it’s banking’s turn.”

He agreed with Snyder’s point that the new wave of retail banking is moving from the branch to ATMs. "When was the last time you went into a bank branch?," he asked. "I refinanced my house online."

Coincidentally, Axis is also in the process of hiring a business development specialist for the financial vertical, he said.

AVIGILON
At the Avigilon press conference, the company introduced the new version of its software. Keith Maret said Avigilon took inspiration from Google, Apple and Facebook in the development of this software. The cool thing is that the software can respond to voice commands and body movements. COO Andrew Martz demoed this capability and it was like watching a command center staffer play squash on a Nintendo Wii. The command center screens zoomed and focused in response to voice commands and hand gestures. This feature is in the alpha phase. “We’re gauging the interest in it,” he said.

Maret summarized the features thus: crash-proof enterprise server management, where all servers are grouped together; a “collaborative mode” where more than one person can log into video feed and manipulate the video in real time; and intelligent virtual matrix that “allows you to turn video walls to life.”

HONEYWELL

At Honeywell, in addition to talking to the end user committee, I spoke with Scott Harkins about Honeywell’s emphasis on the “connected business," where the access, video and intrusion systems are tied into other systems such as: HR systems, radars [in super high-end port applications] POS for example. The emphasis of course, as we heard from nearly every manufacturer at the show, is on mobility. Honeywell’s newest ProWatch 4.0 access control has a new mobile offering that enables remote access from iPads,  phones and other devices. It’s also integrated with wireless locks, something Harkins is very excited about, because it’s so much cheaper to install, maintain and manage.

FOOTBALL

The traffic on Day 1 was the lightest I’ve seen in a while at an ASIS show. It picked up considerably on Day 2, but it was still moderate traffic to my eye.

Why? Well, there’s the economy of course. Things may be looking up, but one manufacturer told me that people who’ve got money in the bank are keeping it there. They’re still cutting corners on travel—making this a one- or two-day show, rather than three.

I also heard that having the show in Philly meant that tri-staters could take the train in for Day 2 and 3.

And, I understand there may have been some football-related reasons that folks weren’t here on Monday.

Football.

I can think of about 80 things I’d rather do [including laundry] than watch football on a gorgeous fall day, but if football will help roll back the expectation that people should travel to work events on Sundays, count me in.

Go Pats. Woo.
 

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.

 

Byerly to lead Diebold security division

Former Stanley CSS president Tony Byerly says Diebold will look at acquisitions, increasing RMR-based services, national accounts
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06/25/2012

NORTH CANTON, Ohio—Six weeks after leaving Stanley CSS, Tony Byerly on June 25 was named EVP, electronic security for Diebold. Byerly takes over for Bradley Stephenson, who retired from this role last November.

Stanley CSS names new executive

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stanley CSS on Dec. 13 named  Robert Branchaud, to lead its Eastern Canada district, which will encompass Stanley’s operations in Canada as well as the former Microtec Security Systems (AlarmCap.) Branchuad was a founder of a security company that he sold to Microtec in 2000.

Stanley acquired Microtec, the fourth largest alarm company in Canada in August. Here’s my report on that deal.  The deal also also included ULC approved and bi-lingual monitoring capabilities.

“The implementation of local, ULC and French speaking monitoring services, solidifies Stanley CSS as a major player in the Canadian security industry,” Branchaud is quoted as saying in a release. “Our advanced technology detects what region a customer is calling from before connecting him or her with an operator.  We are then able to identify the caller’s language and match the caller with an operator who can communicate most efficiently with the customer.  Stanley CSS’ commitment to doing business at a local level and focusing on outstanding service in the five customer touchpoints highlights their understanding and appreciation for the importance of individual service.”

Here’s some more information on Branchaud from the release.

“[He] is well known and highly regarded in the Canadian security industry. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, he founded three security companies, the most recent of which he sold the majority of interest to Microtec Enterprises, Inc. in 2000. Active in the Canadian security industry, Branchaud previously served as President of the Canadian Security Association (CANASA) for the Quebec division, received President’s Awards in 2005 and 2011 for his achievements with CANASA, and was the 2011 recipient of the R.A. Henderson Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership, years of dedication and significant contributions to the Canadian security industry.”

Stanley to close Niscayah deal tomorrow

Byerly: ‘Expect to see visible steps soon.’
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09/08/2011

STOCKHOLM—Stanley Black & Decker executives are here today preparing for the Sept. 9 closing of its $1.2 billion cash offer purchase of Niscayah.

Stanley to buy resi company for $61m

Purchase expected to close in September
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08/04/2011

EDMONTON, Alberta—In a deal that will give Stanley CSS a major residential security footprint in Canada, Stanley Canada Corporation, a subsidiary of Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Microtec Security Systems, headquartered here, for $61.6 million ($59.7 million Canadian).
The deal includes close to 80,000 accounts, two UL-Canada listed central stations, five offices, 200 employees and many dealers, said Fred Fong, CEO and president of First National AlarmCap Income Fund, owner of Microtec.

Stanley makes $1.2 billion cash bid for Niscayah

Securitas/Niscayah reunion not looking so imminent
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06/27/2011

NEW BRITAIN, Conn.—Stanley Black & Decker, parent company of Stanley CSS, announced today that it made a $1.2 billion all-cash bid for commercial security integrator and monitoring company Niscayah. The bid is supported by the Niscayah board of directors, which announced today that it unanimously recommends that shareholders accept the public offer.

Stanley buys from Verifier again

Acquires book of mostly Sonitrol accounts
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05/26/2011

NAPERVILLE, Ill.—In its second deal with Verifier Capital in a few months, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions this week announced that it bought a book of accounts from Verifier.

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