Insider News & Business : February 2013
AT&T announced plans to commercially launch AT&T Digital Life in eight markets this March. The company began testing out its all-digital, wireless-based home security and automation service in Atlanta and Dallas during the summer of 2012 and is now getting ready to roll it out nationwide. This initial eight-city launch includes Dallas and Atlanta, but the remaining six cities will be announced in March, explained Glen Lurie, president of Emerging Enterprises and Partnerships at AT&T during a Google+ chat on Jan. 8. Customers in participating markets will be able to purchase Digital Life in AT&T retail stores, online or by phone. The company said it will share pricing details closer to the launch date. “Our plan is to continue launching it in new cities every month and to get to or around 50 cities by the end of ,” Lurie added.
AT&T Digital Life brings together home automation and security solutions that customers can control from a smartphone, tablet or PC — regardless of whether AT&T is their wireless/broadband provider or not.
“This is all about getting into the security business and competing with security companies,” Lurie said. “But it’s [also] about bringing something to the marketplace that will leapfrog everything that is happening in that industry; do it through pure and simple technology — the fact that it’s all IP gives us many advantages — and delivers home automation like people have never seen before to the masses.”
AT&T retail stores around the country will allow customers to experience the services before making a purchase. End users can also order through a dedicated call center representative, visit att.com/digitallife, or schedule an appointment with an in-home sales consultant. Though the solution hasn’t been made available in Illinois yet, the AT&T flagship store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has been set up to give customers a sneak peak at Digital Life since September of 2012. The setup included demonstrations of thermostat and lock controls as well as several iPads explaining system capabilities and highlighting its benefits. This is all within a kitchen-type setting designed to help customers visualize how the system would work in their own homes, explained store manager, Christina Cheng. This live interaction with the system is particularly useful in building the right system, AT&T said, as the Digital Life solution is customizable — users can choose to add or remove individual services and products.
The AT&T Digital Life solution features a lineup of wirelessly enabled devices, including cameras, window/door sensors, smoke, carbon monoxide, motion and glass break sensors, door locks, thermostats, moisture detection and water shut-off, and appliance and lighting controls.
The Digital Life control panel, built by Cisco, is UL listed and will run AT&T’s all-digital, all-wireless home security and automation platform.
Digital Life customers can select from basic home security with the Simple Security package to total home automation with the Smart Security package. Those who select the smart security package can add the following home automation packages.
• Video Package: View live video from inside and outside of the home
• Energy Package: Control appliances, lighting and HVAC
• Door Package: Invite a pet sitter or repairman in remotely with automated door locks, or check to see whether your garage door is open or closed
• Water Packages: Detect water leaks before damage occurs, or, shut off water at the main water source if a leak is detected
AT&T will respond to alarms through a dedicated monitoring center staffed 24/7. The company previously said that it will use dedicated installers to set up and service the systems. Lurie emphasized that AT&T will manage all aspects of the Digital Life solution internally, including monitoring and installation, which he expects will give the company an advantage over others in the industry.
For information, visit www.att.com/digitallife. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor
Protection 1, Chicago, acquired Vintage Security, Washington, D.C. It is the largest acquisition in Protection 1’s history.
Vintage Security serves the Washington D.C., Maryland and northern Virginia areas with more than 15,000 customers. They are the leading provider in the area for residential and commercial security and networking industries, Protection 1 said. Vintage also serves the custom home builder market with high-end home security and entertainment systems.
“Vintage Security aligns well with Protection 1,” explained Protection 1 executive vice president and chief financial officer, Dan Bresingham. “In addition to their pristine focus on the customer experience, they have proven themselves as a growing company with a solid customer and employee base.”
Vintage Security is led by Rick Brokaw, an industry veteran who has worked with members of Protection 1’s executive team before and who, along with his 100 employees, will be joining the Protection 1 team.
Closing on December 20, Vintage Security was the eighth acquisition for Protection 1 in 2012 and followed the acquisition of Fort Worth, Texas-based Suntera Security in October.
HID Global, Irvine, Calif., acquired physical security identity management provider Codebench, bringing together the two companies’ complementary offerings in validation software and solutions for government credentials.
By bringing in Codebench’s strength in the government sector, HID Global will now be able to offer complete, field-tested solutions that speed and simplify deployment for its federal agency and contractor customers, as well as to serve emerging government and commercial markets.
“This acquisition further strengthens the Genuine HID value proposition while expanding our award-winning solutions for creating, using and managing identity,” said Denis Hebert, HID Global’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). “The Codebench acquisition brings key integration capabilities while reinforcing and enhancing our mutual relationships with customers and OEM partners. Additionally, this acquisition positions us for a number of new market opportunities, including extending federal identity technology into the commercial sector, and moving our PKI strong authentication offering beyond the desktop to the door.”
As the newest addition to HID Global’s federal identity portfolio, the Codebench offering allows HID Global to provide customers with everything necessary to upgrade their physical access control systems (PACS) to meet the personal identity verification (PIV) guidelines set forth in Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 201 (FIPS-201). Codebench’s portfolio also enhances HID Global’s capability to offer Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) solutions and more complete PACS integration capabilities. HID Global will also be able to extend these capabilities into HID’s Card Management System appliance.
Thanks to the acquisition, HID Global said it is well-equipped to apply PIV technologies to serve the emerging commercial identity verification (CIV) market, including broader applications in healthcare, local and state government, first responder groups and a range of other organizations.
“We are very pleased to join the HID Global organization,” said Codebench CEO Geri Castaldo. “Our two companies’ combined offering is unparalleled in its breadth and comprehensiveness for federal and government users as well as commercial applications that require the highest levels of security.”
Codebench will remain located in Coconut Creek, Fla., and its products, executives and staff will become part of HID Global’s Identity Access Management business.
B Safe Inc., Wilmington, Del., a 30-year-old regional provider of security and fire alarms to Del., N.J., and Pa. continued its rapid growth program with the acquisition of five local companies in 2012. With the purchase of Kwick Alarm Company, Precision Alarm Systems, Roseland Security Systems, Accredited Security Systems, and B Com Security, the company expanded in southern and northern N.J., south-central Pa., and Bucks County, Pa.
“The purchase of these companies gives depth to B Safe,” said Philip Gardner, B Safe president. “Each one was thoroughly researched and chosen based on its location in regards to our current territory, giving us additional strength where we already have offices, as well as new opportunities by bringing us into new markets.”
SDM is pleased to announce that it will be the exclusive media partner for the 2013 Southeast Electronic Security Conference — an all-new event put on by the Alarm Association of Florida (AAF).
At this time, the AAF has more than 50 vendors, many of which it describes as “not the typical security expo participants. Some of these exhibitors include General Motors, Costco, several banks and credit card processing companies, and Dell Computers — as well as many of the industry giants and some smaller but formidable companies.”
AAF President John Toscano said, “We believe that the AAF can and should do more for our members, and therefore we have positioned this show to be a true business event. We’re all used to the typical trade show with multiple vendors selling the same product. This show is different. It is quite diverse, and this show is all about business.”
Because of its strong ties to police, sheriff, and fire officials and their departments, it was a perfect fit to co-locate this event with The False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), AAF stated. FARA will be hosting events from April 22 to 26. All alarm companies are invited to participate in seminars, panel discussions, and roundtables, at no charge during the “Alarm Company Day” to be held on Tues., April 23.
The evening hospitality suite is where members can get together and socialize, network with peers and vendors, play some cards, and enjoy a refreshing and relaxing evening, AAF described. This year the hospitality suite will be open Tues., April 23 and Wed., April 24. The opening speaker for the event is Ron Davis of Long Grove, Ill.-based Davis Group. The annual banquet will be held on Thursday evening, April 25, and includes a keynote address by the director of the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office Chief Julius Halas.
The 2013 Southeast Electronic Security Conference will be held from April 23 through 26 at the Doubletree Hotel at Universal in Orlando Florida. The AAF has established a group rate with the hotel for attendees at the show that includes a waived resort fee and free parking. Attending the show is free (if you pre-register), as are many of the other amenities. The discounted hotel rate is also good for three days prior to and after the show.
For hotel reservations, contact the Doubletree at 800-327-2110, group code AAF or ALA.To register for the show visit www.fla-alarms.org or contact the AAF office at 954-748-7779.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) confirmed three new members to the SIA board of directors. The new board members were elected unanimously during SIA’s annual membership meeting that was held December 2012 at SIA’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.
Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci, an executive vice president for ICS, joined the board. Prior to ICS he served as the U.S. Federal Government’s first-ever chief commercialization officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in both the Bush and Obama administrations. Dr. Cellucci earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1984), an MBA from Rutgers University (1991) and a BS in Chemistry from Fordham University (1980).
Pierre Trapanese, owner, Northland Control Systems Inc. also joined the SIA board. Trapanese has 20 years of international project and financial management experience in the construction industry. He has been the sole owner of Northland since 2005, and the company now has offices in the Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., London, Singapore and Shanghai.He has authored several project and financial management manuals for the security industry. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Herve Fages, senior vice president, Global Product Marketing, for the Schneider Electric Buildings Business is the final new member of SIA’s board. He previously served as vice president, Global Product Marketing, Buildings Business, and was Pelco’s chief marketing officer. Felges has spent 18 years in the security industry in both sales and marketing positions.
The Electronic Security Association (ESA), Irving, Texas, announced that Vivint has stepped up as the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 ESA Youth Scholarship Program through its contribution of $10,000.
The ESA Youth Scholarship Program was created in 1996 and since then the association and its affiliated Chartered Chapters have donated more than $300,000 in scholarship funds to children of law enforcement officers, firefighters and other active duty public safety officials.
The extra sponsorship dollars will allow ESA to award a $10,000 scholarship to the first-place winner, $5,000 for second place, $3,500 for third and $1,500 for fourth. Previously, scholarships had been awarded to first- and second-place entries only. In addition to sponsoring the national scholarship program, Vivint will be contributing additional funding and resources to support enhanced scholarship initiatives in select markets.
Vivint’s sponsorship of the ESA Youth Scholarship Program is an extension of its Vivint Gives Back program, created to alleviate hardship and restore hope for families in need. Since its inception in 2008, Vivint Gives Back has participated in activities from cleanup after Hurricane Sandy to building homes for Habitat For Humanity, to adopting local elementary schools where children are living below national poverty levels.
For information, visit www.ESAweb.org/scholarship.
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has released the first edition of its Fiscal Year Informer (FYI), which will be published twice a year to provide insights into federal appropriations and government relations.
The 16-page debut FYI includes exclusive articles written by experts from Washington-based government relations firms and SIA staff on a range of topics including security-related grants, homeland security, the potential impact of the sequestration “fiscal cliff,” and the legal issues involved in selling security products abroad.
“The FYI was created to share resources for unlocking government grant funding, and to assist with following the federal appropriations process and other federal factors that affect government spending,” SIA CEO Don Erickson wrote in the publication’s introduction. “The government makes grant funding available to the security community which, in turn, ensures that we are up-to-date on the latest threats and competing technology across the globe. The FYI will strive to be the foremost authority in making this information available to you.”
FYI is available at no charge to SIA members at www.siaonline.org/store. Non-members may purchase it for $50.
Morgan Hertel, vice president of operations of Rapid Response Monitoring Services, was named chair of the new CSAA Video Committee.
The standing Video Committee provides oversights to two newly formed subcommittees — the Managed Services Subcommittee and the Enhanced Video Verification Subcommittee. It also provides direction and coordination between the Electronic Security Association, the Security Industry Association, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition and CSAA’s Standards and PSLC committees.
The Enhanced Video Verification Subcommittee will be co-chaired by Don Young, with Protection 1, and Jim Mooney, with Tyco Integrated Security. The goal of this subcommittee is to coordinate efforts to reach out to the law enforcement community with regard to promoting enhanced video verification as a new technology that can provide enhanced information to AHJs with regard to burglaries and intrusions and help to reduce false dispatches.
The Video Managed Services Subcommittee, which will make recommendations about the use of new video technologies in the alarm industry, is co-chaired by Steve Surfaro, with Axis Communications, and Rob Baxter, with Vancouver Fire. This subcommittee will provide a comprehensive “mapping” of available products and services that touch or use video content, including who delivers, consumes or regulates the video service, the parameters of the actual service, and how it is delivered.
For information, contact Becky Lane, CSAA, at email@example.com.
William (Bill) Cooper IV died at home on Dec. 4, 2012. Per the Central Station Alarm Association, Cooper passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones.
Cooper enjoyed his work in the electronic security industry, and worked until his death for Tyco Integrated Security — where he spent nearly 30 years. He was a dedicated contributor to the industry. In addition to his position as industry liaison, he served on the CSAA Standards, Bylaws and Insurance committees as well as several state associations, SIAC and the ESA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to cancer research at the Brown Cancer Center, 529 S. Jackson St., Louisville KY 40202, or to the Student Aid Fund at St. Xavier High School, 1609 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40217.
NCS4 and SDM magazine announced a new sports venue security design program called The Safety and Security Design and Construction Innovations program, which will include both an educational track and award, to debut at the NCS4 Annual Conference in July 2013.
The program will highlight excellence in system integration, architecture, engineering or construction (A/E/C) specifically related to the safety and security of spectators, property and infrastructure of spectator event facilities. The outcome will be a new educational track and award at the conference.
“A critical aspect of sports venue design is the forethought of the safety and security of all stakeholders including employees, fans and guests. The application of best practices and technology is a core element of successful security programs in our market. The Innovations program is a logical and exciting extension of our educational and recognition programs,” said Dr. Lou Marciani, executive director, NCS4.
From this outreach and submission program, all accepted submissions will be published and distributed at the Annual NCS4 Conference and on www.SDMmag.com. The conference will be held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. on July 16-18, 2013. Those chosen will become the new program track’s content at the NSC4 Conference by having those case studies presented. One submission will be selected as the best and named the first Golden Eagle Award recipient. Case Study submissions are due March 20, 2013.
The National Sports Safety and Security “Golden Eagle Award” recognizes excellence in system integration, architecture, engineering and/or construction (A/E/C) specifically related to the safety and security of spectators, property and infrastructure of spectator event facilities. The Golden Eagle Award will consider the critical design and functionality elements that enable and promote the safety and security of all stakeholders in an efficient and effective manner. The award will be selected by a panel of subject matter experts from case study submissions and presented annually at the National Sports Safety and Security Conference & Exhibition. Online and printable applications are available on the NCS4 website. at www.ncs4.com/conference/awards.
Vicky Rutherford, owner and chief executive officer of Rutherford Controls Intl. Corp., a privately held, family-owned business for almost 90 years, announced that she agreed to sell RCI to The Dorma Group.
RCI is a globally connected organization providing the security, locksmith and architectural hardware markets with innovative electric locking and access control solutions. The sale offers an opportunity for both companies to achieve significant growth in their primary market channels, the Dorma Group said. This partnership also allows the two companies to leverage their strengths and product offering to provide a total solution to the architectural hardware market.
RCI benefits from Dorma’s global market position, premium brand recognition, product portfolio and customer synergies — and strong alignment of culture and values.
Dorma benefits from RCI’s premium position in the North American security and locksmith distribution channels and its solid ties to the security and locksmith dealer base. Dorma intends to keep the RCI brand and maintain RCI “business as usual” including all customers, employees, sales representatives, suppliers and locations.
Security Networks, West Palm Beach, Fla., is getting ready for its first show floor appearance at ISC West this year. The company will host Larry Thomas, also known as “the Soup Nazi” on the TV show “Seinfeld.” The Soup Nazi was known for a puzzling approach to customer service, which the Security Networks folks, 2012’s SDM’s Dealer of the Year Honoree, may be trying to reform. Together, they will be serving free bowls of soup on Wed., April 10 and Thurs., April 11 from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at the Security Networks booth, No. 26099. First come, first served; arrive early or risk hearing, “No soup for you!” Thomas will be available for photos. Security Networks will also be raffling off limited edition Seinfeld memorabilia each hour during the show.
DMP named David Gaskill as dealer development manager for the northeast region, which includes Del., Md., southern N.J., and Eastern Pa. He is responsible for developing new sales and providing on-going service to DMP authorized dealers throughout the region.
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Viscount Systems Inc., Burnaby, B.C., added Dennis Raefield as its chief operating officer. Raefield has a long and distinguished career in the access control and security industry.
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RISCO Group, Melville, N.Y., a provider of integrated security solutions, opened a new office in Sydney, Australia enabling it to offer its full product range to the Australian market.
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Samsung Techwin America, Ridgefield Park, N.J., appointed Brian Beird, Jason Boyd and Benjamin Kallas as regional sales managers. Beird covers the Florida region. Boyd, who has 10 years of industry experience, handles the south central U.S. region for Samsung. Kallas covers the central Plains region of the United States.