Insider News & Business: February 2012
California is the most populous state — by far, and it is the third-largest by land area (after Alaska and Texas). That creates a vast territory and an incredible amount of end users for the California Alarm Association (CAA) to cover. Like California, the CAA is huge, but the CAA is also small, built upon camaraderie and close-knit relationships between all its active members.
In December 2011, more than 400 industry leaders including 80 suppliers of products and services attended the 2011 CAA Winter Convention and Western States Security Conference.
The CAA Winter Convention always provides the opportunity to network and hear about the current state of affairs in the industry, western United States and the nation, but it also provides the chance to see familiar faces and continue to connect with the industry on the personal level that makes the CAA, and this industry, so successful.
The event included the presentation of the CAA George A. Weinstock Award to Shane Clary of Bay Alarm at the CAA Tribute Dinner and donations were made by the members of the CAA to the Security Alarm Industry Coalition (SIAC), CAA Youth Scholarship Fund for Children of Police and Fire Service Personnel, CAA PAC Fund and to Stop Child Trafficking Now, a global initiative addressing this important social issue.
The program began with a series of workshops from Tri-Ed/Northern Video Distribution on IP Video, a report on consumer response to integrated home systems from Interlogix and Alarm.com, presentations on interactive products and applications from DSC and Honeywell, and a workshop on developing positive news coverage from SDM and Syncomm Management Group.
The CAA Business Management forum brought together professional service firms in finance, insurance, funding and business management..
Former San Francisco Mayor and California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown provided the welcome address to open the CAA General Session. CAA President John Hopper introduced reports on insurance, legislation from Sacramento advocates Mike Robson and Trent Smith, the ESA report from Mike Miller, and updates on the ISC West program, AIREF research and its annual golf tournament, and the CAA budget and financial report.
Ron Dalton of ADT, a founding member of the WBFAA UATC Board of Trustees who recently retired, was presented a CAA Life Membership from the CAA Board of Directors and members. Dalton was responsible for developing continuing education and state exam prep courses that were taken by more than 2,500 technicians in California.
The CAA Youth Scholarship Program received a boost from Orange County Alarm Association’s donation of $2,500 and the Greater Los Angeles Security Alarm Association’s donation of $11,000 to the reserve scholarship fund.
Bay Alarm Company challenged the industry to support two important initiatives in California, the CAA PAC Fund and SIAC. SIAC’s Executive Director was presented with a check for $30,000, made possible by a matching fund challenge from Bay Alarm Company, and attendees also matched Bay Alarm’s $10,000 challenge for the CAA PAC Fund.
Former Navy SEAL Team 6 member Clark Stuart, author of “From Battlefield to Boardroom,” provided the keynote address. He was joined by Robert Owens, who works with Stuart and the program, Stop Child Trafficking Now. The CAA and Interlogix presented a check for $7,500 to Stuart and Owens to support this important work.
The CAA Executive Symposium moderated by George De Marco featured John Mack of Imperial Capital, John Cannon of Alert Alarm of Hawaii and Doug Fikse of Legrand.
The CAA Tribute Dinner included thanks to the companies who provided extraordinary support to the annual fundraiser, including the $25,000 Diamond Sponsorship from Interlogix. Industry icon Ron Spiller served as emcee for the award ceremony honoring Shane Clary of Bay Alarm with the CAA George A. Weinstock Award.
Every year, the CAA honors a member of the association and the alarm industry at large with the award. Cleary has worked in security since 1974. He has served six terms as president of the California Automatic Fire Alarm Association and on its board of directors. He has also been involved with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and many other associations. More impressive than the lengthy list of associations and organizations he has been involved with is the list of committees and councils and task groups he has served on. The entire industry has benefited, as Cleary has contributed to multiple training programs, code revisions, industry publications and more.
The convention concluded with an open panel, Industry Incorrect, moderated by Lessing Gold and featuring Tony Adler of MSK, CAA President John Hopper and ESA Past President Bart Didden of USA Central Station. — By Heather Klotz-Young, SDM Senior Editor
A series of acquisitions, new branch openings and increase in staffing that ASG, Beltsville, Md., describes as “explosive growth” can be further characterized as an extraordinarily controlled and calculated explosion. In the past year, not only did ASG acquire two companies, grow its RMR base by 16 percent, set a “300 strong” sales force goal and open two new branches; the company managed that growth with a level head, putting its customers first and always keeping the big picture in mind.
Joe Nuccio, president and chief executive officer at ASG, noted that the company has always been consistent in its growth plans. “Every year we’ve always looked to open up to a new market,” he explained. “What was a little bit different in 2011 is we found some really unique properties, in addition to expanding our internal sales force.”
Those unique properties were LV Systems Inc. in Oklahoma City and Texana Security, LLC, Carrollton, Texas. Nuccio explained, “LV, which is just a wonderful 30-year old company has been a great opportunity for us because we primarily only had residential in Oklahoma, and now we’ve added that commercial channel. So now it’ll be the exact same thing as all of our other branches.”
In Texana, ASG found both complementary operations and an outstanding sales platform. “[Texana] is a great opportunity because it had a branch in the valley of Texas, which we have a very large presence in.” ASG already had a large operation in Dallas, and Texana’s Dallas branch was advantageously “rolled into” it, Nuccio added. “But we also had the opportunity to open up a new market, which is the St. Angelo and Abilene area. And also the tertiary markets that fell in between there. This has put us on a trajectory to really go into 2012 on all cylinders.”
In addition, ASG added two new branches in Corpus Christi and Austin, Texas and plans to grow its sales rep headcount in 2012 to more than 300 sales representatives across its territories and nearly 1,000 total employees across the enterprise.
Bob Ryan, senior vice president, sales and marketing, commented “In tough economic times we see enough opportunity to where we’re going to continue to grow.”
That opportunity, for ASG, exists in new geographic markets, but also in migrating to more lucrative offerings.
“I think the industry has really done a great job of moving from alarm monitoring, which doesn’t have the value of today’s enhanced services that include energy management, control of locks, lights, thermostats. Residential video surveillance, which was not even a real category a few years ago, is now a very high demand offering that we have. That’s a game-changer because now there’s an RMR-based service versus years ago just a product sale. That’s all changing the game, our RMR is going up as a result of it and we’re going to continue to focus there,” Ryan said.
ASG’s RMR increase of 16 percent in 2011 is about 60 percent internal growth and 40 percent through acquisition, explained Ralph Masino, chief financial officer. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor.
From new products to new trends, the 2011 First Alert Professional Dealer Convention held in Scottsdale, Ariz., contained plenty of “new,” apt for its theme of “Exploring New Dimensions.” Some 800 alarm dealers, integrators, central station companies, distributors, vendors and speakers from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America attended the event.
The event opened with the Products & Services Showcase, highlighting new technologies like the Tuxedo Touch™, the LYNX ReadyGuard 5100 with WiFi and 3G/4G radio communicator; the recently upgraded TotalConnect 2.0, the MaxPro® Web, a 100 percent Web-enabled hybrid NVR, and new sensors.
While showcasing its new offerings, Honeywell Security and Communications, Melville, N.Y., emphasized that “new” does not mean “hard.” The company has been working overtime to make new technologies more accessible to dealers.
Scott Harkins, now president of Honeywell Security Products, said Honeywell is focused on “bringing simple back,” with an emphasis on systems that are easy to sell, design, install and service, including IP surveillance. Harkins also emphasized the opportunities that are available in the small-to mid-sized markets.
Ron Rothman, president of Honeywell Security Group, continued the event’s emphasis of new opportunities though new technologies.
Rothman compared the technology he was talking about at First Alert conventions a few years ago to “two tin cans and string” compared to today’s technologies.
“The amount of transition and change we’ve seen in the industry is amazing. The technology is here, the tools are here, the products are here. It’s the best time — the sky’s the limit,” Rothman said.
In the middle of all the technologies, there was still an emphasis on relationships, people and support.
Dan Clark, keynote speaker at the event, is a motivational speaker who overcame a paralyzing football injury. He emphasized that even though the show featured technology, the “primary focus was still about people.”
Nothing highlights the industry’s focus on people and saving lives like the Community Service Awards that Honeywell gave out to nearly two dozen FAP dealers. Tad Agoglia, founder of First Response Team of America, was awarded a special Community Service Award. He has been supported by Select Security, Lancaster, Pa., which provides 20,000 square feet of storage space for First Response Team’s equipment. In the spirit of simply “doing what needs to be done,” when Tucson, Arizona fire fighter and Captain Fred Bair was awarded the Life Safety Award, in his acceptance speech he said he was “just doing his job” when he went into a smoke-engulfed and burning home to save a woman and her daughters.
In another palpable moment at the general session, following a report from the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) Stan Martin about current non-response projects across the country and the non-profit’s lack of funds, Mike Miller, vice president of Moon Security Systems and past president of the Electronic Security Association, stood up and pledged $1,000 to the organization. Other companies including Loud Security Systems, Matson Alarm, Act Now Alarm, and Electronic Systems pledged money as well. [To send your own donation, visit http://www.siacinc.org.]
During the convention’s closing awards banquet, First Alert Professional also honored dealers for their hard work throughout the year. Jim Callahan, chief operating officer, Ackerman Security Systems, Atlanta, accepted the highest award of the night, the Medal of Honor award for commitment to the advancement of security technology and promotion of the First Alert/Honeywell® dealer network. Visit www.sdmmag.com for a complete list of all the winners in every category.
In addition to all the awards, the First Alert convention included multiple educational sessions for attendees to benefit from and explored the opportunities provided by the Dealer Development Group (DDG).
Using the DDG and all the education and support an event like the First Alert Convention provides was emphasized throughout the event.
“You know your business. You know your customers. You know how to represent the First Alert Program. Use all the program offers you,” Honeywell encouraged attendees. “Find one new dimension to take home to your business and satisfy customers and grow your business.” — By Heather Klotz-Young, Senior Editor
ADI, Melville, N.Y., was named the United States 2011 Distributor of the Year by Axis Communications, Chelmsford, Mass., at the annual Axis Channel Convergence Conference (ACCC) in Boston this past fall. ACCC is an annual gathering of Axis’ top distributors, systems integrators, development partners, and strategic infrastructure partners in North America. ADI was recognized for its commitment to the IP surveillance market and its growth throughout the year, Axis said.
ADI is a distributor in Axis’ Channel Partner Program, which is designed to help channel partners capitalize on Axis’ market leadership in the fast-growing network video industry. ADI offers the full line of Axis IP surveillance products at its branch locations across the country including network cameras, video encoders, video management software, accessories and more. ADI and Axis offer joint training opportunities across the country to help dealers become educated on the latest IP technology.
After spending more than 35 years holding various positions at the lighting control manufacturer Lutron, Coopersburg, Pa., Michael Pessina was named president.
Among his many roles with Lutron, Pessina has held the positions of senior vice president (2000), executive vice president and chief operating officer (2002), president of the office of product development (2009), and currently serves on the executive board and advisory council of Lutron.
Supercircuits, Austin, Texas, announced several enhancements to the SC Authorized Dealer Program — including increased dealer discounts, an extensive lead generation program and co-marketing opportunities to generate more business for its dealer / integrator partners.
The SC Authorized Dealer Program now features a four-tiered dealer structure, incenting partners based on their level of commitment to Supercircuits, while providing them with account management and field sales resources, marketing tools and pre- and post-sales engineering support.
Dynamark Monitoring Inc., Hagerstown, Md., announced that a new, UL listed, third-party central station is now open and monitoring accounts. A sister company to First Action Security Team, which supplies security products, training, marketing assistance and other support services to its customers, Dynamark Monitoring is the lynchpin for the Dynamark Dealer Program. Both firms are Dynamark Security Centers Affiliated Companies, owned by Dynamark founder, Wayne Alter.
Alter, who grew Dynamark Security Centers into the nation’s fifth largest security company through the 1970s, 80s and 90s, purchased First Action Security Team upon his return to the security industry in 2009, re-acquired the Dynamark brand, and unveiled the new Dynamark Dealer Program.
ISC West, being held March 27-30 at the Sands Expo Convention Center, opened registration on its website. ISC West 2012 will feature new technologies and products from more than 800 domestic and international companies; business-building opportunities for every security professional, an education program and networking and industry support by event sponsor, Security Industry Association (SIA).
The annual SIA New Product Showcase returns with new categories including Green Solutions. Each year, new products and technologies are presented and reviewed by industry judges and vie for the overall Best in Award show. Last year, FST21 Americas took home the Best New Product Award for its SafeRise introduction.
The Newark Police Department and SecureWatch 24, New York, with a Network Operations Center located in Moonachie, N.J., partnered to combat local crime by allowing the police access to SW24 customer video recordings. According to the company it may be the first collaboration of its kind in the state of New Jersey.
The agreement allows the Newark Police to access local SW24 customer video records upon request in order to aid criminal investigations. Local SW24 customers will agree in advance to allow such access. There are currently several dozen SW24 customers in the Newark area with more than 300 cameras in various locations. SW24 is already obtaining permissions from its customers as part of this effort. SW24 maintains a video management network of more than 22,000 cameras throughout New York City and New Jersey.
SW24 said it worked closely with Peter Lutz, MIS/I.T. director at the Newark Police Department on the collaboration. In the future, a video terminal may be installed by SW24 in the city’s Rapid Transit Operations Center so trained personnel can do real-time video surveillance — but only with prior customer permission. The agreement comes at a time when a controversial ordinance requiring video cameras in certain types of Newark bars and restaurants recently took effect.
“We understand the needs of the police in putting together solid evidence against a suspect. We’re not Big Brother, but we are ‘One Cop to Another,’” Smyth said.
The Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC), Vienna, VA., has a major concern that the NG 9-1-1 section of H.R. 3630, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011, as currently drafted could result in overwhelming the Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) with calls that do not require emergency services.
The problem could well result in 911 operators being flooded with automatic sensor generated calls, from security devices, as well as personnel emergency response system (PERS) calls. The alarm industry, which currently screens these calls before they are forwarded to 911 centers, knows from experience that the vast majority of these calls from burglar and fire alarm systems as well as from PERS systems do not require dispatch.
While there is support for allowing human-generated texting as an adjunct or replacement for voice, as drafted the bill would allow for sensors to be installed that would result in emergency signals being sent directly to the 911 center without verification. It is also a concern that PERS could be set up to send messages directly to the 911 center.
The AICC is concerned that the FCC would use the authority in the bill to move forward with its desire to allow sensor-driven calls to 911 centers unless Congress changes the existing language in the bill.
Generation3 Capital, LLC (Gen3), Chicago, announced the acquisition of LogicMark, LLC a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative personal emergency response systems (PERS) with two-way voice communication directly through the pendant. Gen3 teamed with Promus Equity Partners, LLC to complete the transaction in late December.
“We are excited about Promus and Gen3 making an investment in our business and believe this will help expand our market coverage and enable us to focus on introducing new products” said Mark Gottlieb, who founded the company in 2006 and will be staying on as chief creative officer. Joining the LogicMark team will be Ben Cornett and Kevin O’Connor, chief executive officer and president, respectively. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Since Rob Douglas founded the company in January 2010, Entertech Systems has been a force to be reckoned with in the biometric security market. While the Oakville, Ontario-based company may seem young on paper, Douglas totes an impressive resume dating back to the early days of biometrics. This has given the company a “hit-the-ground-running” approach that has allowed them to make leaps and bounds in the biometrics field in a brief amount of time, a change he feels is imperative. “25 years ago, we had rotary phones. Today we have smart phones! 25 years ago, we had keys, and today we still have that same technology,” Douglas stated.
Through its innovations in the biometric field and its expanding partnerships, Entertech Systems managed to grow exponentially in the past two years. Its biometric finger scans were highlighted as one of the nine biggest trends of 2010 by Canadian House and Home. Entertech’s alignment with Professional Security Alliance (PSA) allowed the company to expand rapidly into the growing North American market.
Successes such as these, championed by a customer centric culture are what make this company stand out. “Entertech is a company that is solely focused on end market adoption,” Douglas said. This focus is evident in its work, as its systems are featured in myriad environments, such as homes, schools, hospitals, small business, and even multi-city corporations whose offices are “cloud” connected.
Incorporating new technologies while always keeping the end user in mind has kept this company’s customer service top of the line, whether it be cloud hosting data from numerous businesses around North America, utilizing multiple Internet-enabled devices for its “Go-Live” feature, or the Dealer Identity Management System (DIMS) for auto dealers, a system of Douglas’ devising which allows auto dealers to manage both employee performance and accessibility to secure areas and cloud hosting this information so it is available for a multiple site business. Entertech Systems plans to organize programs such as DIMS for other markets as well. — By Grant Gosizk, Editorial Intern.
Security Door Controls (SDC), Camarillo, Calif., welcomed Samantha Westby to the customer service department. As a customer service representative, Samantha provides phone support to customers and is responsible for processing orders received by email, fax or phone.
Tyco Security Products, Princeton, N.J., announced Warren Brown was appointed as vice president of product management. Warren joined Tyco Security Products as a part of the company’s 2008 acquisition of Intellivid. In this new role, Warren is driving the overall direction and strategy for new product introductions for all of Tyco Security Products’ brands.