Insider News & Business: April 2012
Gas Pains? Some ‘Treatments’ Tame Pump Trouble
For David Wade, group director for supply chain at ADT Security Services, Boca Raton, Fla., one turning point in managing his 7,000 vehicles and their costs was transforming a transactional relationship with his fleet management company into “a more collaborative, strategic relationship based on a multi-year horizon.”
Then there is Bob Stoffel, who, until he retired, was a logistics “big daddy” over a work fleet of more than 94,000 ground vehicles. He instituted a now iconic strategy at UPS to save gas money: turn right, not left, at intersections, no matter which way you are heading. It turns out, pun intended, that idling motors are the devil’s tool impacting mileage and productivity when left-leaning driver and truck must wait for a light to change or oncoming traffic to pass.
Driving these folks and others in the security industry is, obviously, the rising cost of motor fuel. It’s a challenge facing Americans and the global economy as well as a debating point during this year’s presidential elections.
A Gallup poll last month, for instance, found a vast majority of Americans (85 percent) say President Obama and Congress should take “immediate” action to keep a lid on prices. While that seems highly unrealistic and ineffective for such a complex problem, security firms are taking actions to better manage their energy costs, especially when it comes to company cars and trucks.
Focusing on driver behavior, vehicle choices, maintenance and tracking technologies are really a secondary focus of security businesses, points out Tom Raftery, vice president of Corporate Services and Purchasing for Protection 1, Romeoville, Ill. The primary focus: clients and potential clients and the sale, services and monitoring of security, life safety, automation and integration products, systems and installation.
But alleviating those gas pains can bring more money to the bottom line; efficiencies can increase customer satisfaction; measures can improve safety; and, as a spillover, they can spotlight a certain degree of “greenness” of the business itself.
Wade has seen a relationship with GE Capital Fleet Services, his fleet management service, go beyond, way beyond, financing. It’s evolved into a partnership and knowledge-based collaboration.
Historically and engrained in tradition, ADT’s fleet consisted of full-size service vans. GE Capital of Eden Prairie, Minn., gathered a team of strategic consultants and fleet management experts to help ADT find new savings. The outcome: More than half of the fleet now consists of Ford Transit Connects. On a complementary track, GE Capital also helped ADT conduct a study of its information and communications technologies, which led to a high-tech GPS and telematics vehicle solution.
It is estimated that deployment of the new, more efficient vehicles will help ADT save more than $6 million a year in operating costs. It has also reduced CO2 emissions by 40 percent and telematics should create a further estimated savings of more than $3 million annually.
Optimization is the thing for Scott Taylor, director of field services for Vivint of Provo, Utah, who manages about 720 various vehicles in the fleet. In addition to assistance from Enterprise Fleet Management and its analysis tools, Vivint worked with ClickSoftware Technologies of Burlington, Mass., and deployed by Diabsolut of Quebec, Canada, for a scheduling and mobile solution that was integrated with other customer relationship management or CRM components and could function on mobile devices used by field technicians.
What Raftery, Wade and others are doing, to one degree or another, or considering to do, falls into a number of gas-saving strategies. And security companies no matter their size can embrace them, too. They include:
• Types of vehicles, the ways to purchase, management, maintenance and payload accommodation.
• How, when and where fuel is purchased. One tip: Buy gas on Wednesday or early Thursday. Gas station owners often post price increases Thursday at 10 a.m. or a little later for weekend payoff.
• Driver behavior and its enforcement by management and technology.
• Technology that can range from onboard computing and telematics to sophisticated GPS-based fleet tracking and management solutions.
• And, as a stop gap, fuel surcharges or increased mileage charges on certain types of service calls.
Dan Budinoff, president, Security Specialists in Stamford, Conn., employs “a whole bunch” of efficiency and safety solutions. He currently has, for example, a fuel surcharge of $5 per service call, although it is hopefully a short-term measure.
In addition to bringing in Transit Connects for service techs, Budinoff equipped sales staffers with Honda Fits, a unique-looking vehicle but, according to Budinoff, the Fits fit in, thanks to their 30-mile-per-gallon-or-so attraction. Another one is his WrightExpress (South Portland, Maine) fleet charge and fuel cards. Unlike oil company-specific cards, WrightExpress cards, according to Budinoff, are honored by most gas stations, “including the off brands,” and make it easier for drivers to more quickly shop around for a best buy.
Active maintenance programs also pay dividends. Changing the oil at appropriate intervals and accurate tire pressure are just two elements, but important ones. “Proper tire pressure can save 90 to 100 gallons per vehicle per year,” Raftery said.
Among most security firms, there continues to be a downsizing of vehicles, although preferences vary.
“In the past, about 40 percent of our fleet was full vans. We are now down to 10 percent,” adds Bradford Caron, president, Signet Electronic Systems of Norwell, Mass. “We are also getting rid of vehicles earlier. Older vehicles need servicing and maintenance more often and get lower miles per gallon as compared to newer vehicles.”
For more tips and strategies, read the full article at www.sdmmag.com. — By Bill Zalud, Contributing Writer
ESA’s Dayon Capitol Hill
Mark your calendars for the annual Electronic Security Association Day on Capitol Hill, April 17 and 18, in Washington, D.C. Members from across the country will gather to meet with their congressional representatives and staffs to discuss issues that are critical to the security industry and public safety.
ESA’s Director of Government Relations, John Chwat and his staff at Chwat & Co., will make all congressional appointments in advance and will obtain security clearances for all attendees.
For registration, visit www.esaweb.org.
Verizon Joins the Z-Wave Alliance
The Z-Wave Alliance, Milpitas, Calif., an open consortium of leading global companies dedicated to promoting Z-Wave as the standard in wireless home control, with close to 600 interoperable products worldwide, announced the addition of Verizon as its newest Alliance member. Verizon joins other industry leaders in the Z-Wave Alliance, including: 2Gig Technologies, Danfoss, Evolve Guest Controls, Fakro, Sigma Designs, Ingersoll Rand and Jasco Products.
“The Z-Wave Alliance is eager to welcome Verizon as a member,” said Mark Walters, chairman of the Z-Wave Alliance. “This membership is an extension of our partnership that was formed with the debut of Verizon’s connected home products last year. We look forward to continuing this partnership as Verizon extends its home control offerings.”
In October 2011, Verizon launched its connected home solution, Verizon Home Monitoring and Control, which uses Z-Wave. With this offering, Verizon provides a variety of home monitoring and energy management capabilities enabled by Z-Wave technology, which provides a cohesive experience across platforms. With the Verizon connected home solution, consumers can monitor their home’s energy usage and control appliances and electronics remotely.
Steve Hafen Takes the Helm of Devcon Security, Just Weeks After Ginsburg Was Named
Less than three weeks after an announcement issued by Golden Gate Capital that Richard Ginsburg had been named CEO of Hollywood, Fla.-based Devcon Security, Golden Gate Capital made another announcement on March 19, that Steve Hafen will lead Devcon Security as CEO. Devcon Security Services attracted San Francisco-based Golden Gate Capital as a private equity partner in 2009. Devcon ranks as No. 18 on the SDM 100, a report of the largest security companies in the United States. It services a customer base of nearly 300,000 and had $3.5 million in RMR on Dec. 10, 2010.
What Ginsburg’s role at Devcon will be, if any, has not yet been confirmed. A call to the agency that issued the news on behalf of Golden Gate Capital, was not returned by press time.
Hafen is a long-time operations expert, working within the security industry for the last several years driving growth and profitability for his associated companies, the press release stated. Most recently, Hafen served as chief operating officer for Devcon Holdings LLC, with prior industry experience including serving as chief operating officer of a major security company, the release noted.
Devcon has recently completed a period of accelerated growth, creating a national footprint by opening offices in several markets across the United States over the past 18 months.
“Steve has been a great asset to the company already and we have every confidence that he will lead Devcon with the acuity and expertise we have come to expect from him,” said Christopher B. Munday, operating partner for Golden Gate Capital.
Dynamark Monitoring Opens as Nation’s Newest Third-Party Central Station
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.
SIAC State Report Reveals New Ordinance Activity
SDM recently reported on a new police non-response policy in San Jose, Calif. (March issue, pg. 19). With approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, 2,300 active alarm ordinances and differing alarm policies in each community, the Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC) is offering the industry the use of a secure database on its website with constantly updated information on alarm ordinance/policy activity.
The state activity report on the Security Industry Alarm Coalition’s (SIAC) website is updated regularly and provides timely information — even documents associated with each of the cities listed. The site, which can be accessed from the home page of SIAC’s website at www.siacinc.org, is free of charge. However, you must fill out a short online application to receive an assigned password to access this unique database. It lists cities across North America, and includes critical information for alarm companies to ensure compliance with the latest local laws and requests for information or policy changes from local law enforcement.
“The State Activity Report is one more example of your SIAC dollars hard at work. We encourage industry members to not only go to our site to make sure they are in compliance, but share this information with their state and local associations,” said Stan Martin, SIAC executive director.
The site is updated regularly, and is the only repository where companies can find key contacts, upload permit application forms, and read explanations of recently enacted ordinances and policies. Once security companies go to SIAC’s home page, scroll down to the lower right hand corner to “State Activity Report” and register, they can then view these timely documents.
A new permit form for the city of Houston has just been added to the site, along with an explanation of the verified response policy in San Jose. Additionally, recent postings for Richmond, Ky. and Fair Lawn, N.J., explain important changes to their ordinances.
Additionally, SIAC encourages users to report ordinance/policy changes directly to SIAC so that the information may be posted and made available to everyone. “Dealers across the country are our eyes and ears, and provide us with invaluable information on local activity,” Martin added.
SecureNet Acquired by New Integration Company
Securadyne Systems LLC and Pamlico Capital announced the acquisition of SecureNet Inc., a Dallas-based security systems integrator. The SecureNet acquisition is the first for Securadyne, a newly formed systems integration company founded by security industry veterans Carey Boethel and Ken Francis.
According to Securadyne, the company was founded in February 2012 in partnership with Pamlico to create an innovative security systems integrator capable of offering a broad portfolio of enterprise-class security technology solutions and value-added managed services. Pamlico is a middle market private equity group with experience in the security space.
Carey Boethel, president and chief executive officer of Securadyne, is a 19-year veteran of the security industry. Ken Francis, chief operating officer of Securadyne, has more than 20 years’ experience in the security industry.
Boethel stated, “We believe there is a significant opportunity to build a unique solutions provider with a focus on leveraging emerging IP and cloud-based technologies, and we are looking to partner with a select group of progressive market leaders like SecureNet that want to be part of pursuing that vision.”
The SecureNet organization retains its brand name for the foreseeable future and continues to be led by its management team, Securadyne stated. Brian Bergstrom, CEO of SecureNet, joins the Securadyne management team as general manager of the company’s Texas and Oklahoma operations.
BV Investment Partners Recapitalizes DTT Surveillance, Plans for Expanded Growth in Managed Solutions
BV Investment Partners, a middle-market private equity firm investing in the information and business services and communications sectors, announced the recapitalization of DTT, a provider of managed surveillance and business intelligence services to the restaurant and hospitality industries. The investment in DTT is made in partnership with the company’s founder, Sam Naficy. BV stated it will have a controlling interest in the company, which was ranked as No. 49 on SDM’s Top Systems Integrators Report.
Henry Edmonds, president and founder of The Edmonds Group, which acted as the exclusive M&A and financial advisor to BV in connection with the transaction, said, “BV is a firm with deep experience and great track record of partnering with entrepreneurial management teams. DTT has an outstanding business model and a track record of exceptional growth. The combination will be a powerful force in taking the company to the next level.”
DTT was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Los Angeles. Since first launched, DTT has equipped, serviced, and supported more than 27,000 customer locations, including some of the world’s most popular and respected restaurant brands such as McDonald’s, Subway, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Dunkin Brands, and YUM Brands, according to a press announcement.
Louis V. Bertocci, a partner at BV, said, “DTT provides a valuable and compelling managed service offering that offers actionable intelligence to a broad and growing customer base. We believe the company’s growth outlook is very favorable.”
Marco J. Ferrari, a principal at BV, commented, “The combination of DTT’s video and POS integration provide customers unique management tools and information services that improve store operations and profitability. The service represents a compelling ROI proposition.”
Naficy continues as president and CEO of DTT, and remains a significant shareholder in the company. Commensurate with the closing of the transaction, Louis Bertocci, Marco Ferrari and Vik Raina have joined DTT’s board of directors.
Monitronics Wins Stevie Award for Sales & Customer Service
Monitronics International was presented with a Gold Stevie® Award in the Inbound Marketing Program of the Year category in the sixth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.
Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the trophies were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Feb. 27 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. More than 350 nominated customer service and sales executives from the United States and several other countries attended. The presentations were broadcast live by the Business TalkRadio Network.
More than 1,000 entries from organizations of all sizes and myriad industries were submitted to this year’s competition, an increase of almost 30 percent over 2011. Finalists were determined by the average scores of 93 professionals worldwide, acting as preliminary judges. Entries were considered in 27 categories for customer service professionals, 38 categories for sales professionals, and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.
More than 100 members of seven specialized judging committees determined Stevie Award placements from among the finalists during final judging this year.
“Monitronics’ Join Forces program was a creative approach to capture premium dealer leads for the Monitronics Dealer Program. We’re honored to receive such an award,” stated Bruce Mungiguerra, vice president of sales and dealer development at Monitronics.
For information, visit www.stevieawards.com/sales.
Micro Key Conference Makes ‘Today’s Vision Tomorrow’s Reality’
Things are changing at Kissimee, Fla.-based Micro Key Solutions. And yet the company’s mission to support its clients’ businesses through focused and continuous development hasn’t wavered. The provider of central station and back-end management software held its 19th annual Users Conference at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida, February 7 to 10, 2012.
This was the first conference with new president Victoria Ferro at the helm. And no time was wasted in letting attendees know about a renewed focus on communication and partnership that Ferro’s leadership is centered on. “One of the things I was most excited about going into this conference was really demonstrating to our customers our new invigorated team and to really impress upon them how important their partnership is to Micro Key and vice versa,” Ferro told SDM.
Among many new enhancements, Micro Key added widgets to both the central station and managerial sides of its Millenium platform. The widgets are customizable and allow managers to see a quick snapshot of performance.
Other enhancements discussed throughout the conference included adding electronic signature capabilities to Micro Key’s WebTech mobile tool, improved integration with Google Maps, a financial reports feature specifically requested by customers, and several practical features.
Two of the most popular sessions were the Action Plans discussions, really digging into a new guided dialogue feature for dispatchers that Micro Key announced at last year’s conference.
Ferro emphasized that Micro Key provides education and training to its clients year-round through webinars and its Micro Key University program.
Ferro added that she is making a big push for education this year to ensure users are always gaining the most efficiency and productivity out of using Millennium. “The enhancement features that we demonstrate are the result of years’ worth of development,” she said. “It’s really important for users to participate either at the conference or at our post-conference webinars in order to see how the software has evolved. That’s going to help them grow their business without having to add additional staff. That’s really what the bottom line of our software is about.”
Six sponsoring partners of Micro Key presented complementary solutions during the conference. Among them was U.S. Fleet Tracking, with whom Micro Key is working on integration of GPS services for installer and maintenance fleets.
On Thursday, the dueling piano bar, Howl at the Moon, became the conference stage. Customers and Micro Key staff represented their companies with pride, dancing, singing and exchanging playful barbs on an announcement board. And a newly written anthem to a Beatles’ tune, “Come Together, Micro Key,” expressed what everyone present had already witnessed: users and developers working together.
Ferro commented that the interaction with customers during this short week every year really helps guide the company’s steps. “We get responses from the enhancements we created,” she said. “We get some feedback on how they’ve implemented it in their business and how it’s increased their efficiency and productivity. And we also get a sense of direction of where the security alarm industry is going and where our customers’ needs are technologically.” — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor
Linear Re-Structures Sales Force
Linear LLC, Carlsbad, Calif., a supplier of electronic products for a host of residential and commercial applications, reorganized its outside sales representatives into the new System Sales Group.
Customers now have a single point of contact for all of Linear’s products and brands. Linear made the move to further dedicate resources to customer growth. “The single-representative model will allow us to work even more closely with customers, understanding and supporting their market’s needs,” said Larry Foisie, vice president of the System Sales Group. Foisie, a 20-year veteran at Linear, was formerly the vice president of Linear Entry Systems.
Todd Hokunson, formerly Linear’s vice president of Electronic Systems, was concurrently named vice president of the Business Development Group, which includes Linear’s international sales, and custom OEM/ODM manufacturing services.
“This team has the critical task of developing strategic relationships with large customers who can add significant growth to our business. These will be customers that have unique requirements that we can address through customized or private label solutions, whether it be products, services, or any range of other capabilities,” said Mike O’Neal, president of Linear.
With responsibilities for the expanded product line, Linear’s sales staff has been undergoing intensive training during the last several months, and is fully equipped to guide customers in all areas, the company stated.
ScanSource Names New Presidents for Two Businesses
ScanSource Inc., Greenville, S.C., announced promotions in two of its North America businesses. Paul Constantine was named president of ScanSource POS/Barcoding North America, and Tony Sorrentino was named president of ScanSource Security North America. Both executives joined ScanSource in 1999.
Constantine most recently served as vice president of merchandising for ScanSource Security and has more than 17 years of technology distribution experience, including six years in the POS/Barcoding business unit. Prior to joining the Security business unit, Constantine served as vice president of solutions and services at ScanSource, where he managed the evolution of the company’s value-added services offerings for resellers.
Sorrentino most recently served as vice president of sales for ScanSource Security and has been with the security business since its inception in 2004. Sorrentino previously served as vice president of merchandising for ScanSource Security and director of merchandising for ScanSource POS/Barcoding.
“Both Paul and Tony have significant executive experience in a variety of leadership positions at ScanSource and have performed at a very high level in effectively leading our Security business to outstanding results,” said Scott Benbenek, president of worldwide operations, ScanSource. “We have great confidence in them and are excited about the prospects for our businesses under their leadership.”
For information, visit www.scansourceinc.com.
RedCloud to Manage Rapid Growth With New CEO
RedCloud, Reston, Va., formerly known as PlaSec, announced the next step in the company’s expansion with the addition of David Basil as chief executive officer. Basil is responsible for RedCloud’s strategic direction and overall operations to drive revenue growth and support rapidly growing demand for its physical access control solution, the company said..
Basil is a seasoned business and technology executive with more than 20 years of experience in software and network security, developing enterprise software solutions, managing cutting-edge software organizations and deploying secure, mission-critical technologies around the world for customers and end users in over 30 countries.
Agreement Between Comcast & EcoFactor Creates Cloud-Based Energy Management Solution
Philadelphia-based Comcast announced that it entered into an agreement with EcoFactor, Redwood City, Calif., a provider of energy management solutions, to create a new service that optimizes the heating and cooling patterns of a home and integrates with the Xfinity Home platform. By collaborating with EcoFactor, Comcast said it is further enhancing its Xfinity Home service and developing a new solution that, when available, can help customers potentially reduce their energy use and save money on their utility bills year round. EcoFactor’s proprietary, cloud-based software incorporates real-time weather data and consumer interaction to give customers continuously evolving, personal “smart home” energy plans.
“Through our Xfinity Home service, we’ve created a broadband and cloud-based platform for security, remote home control and energy management and we’re always looking to collaborate with innovative companies like EcoFactor,” said Mitch Bowling, senior vice president and general manager of new businesses for Comcast Cable.
EcoFactor provides a “smart home” solution that learns the unique heating and cooling patterns of a home and makes automatic and incremental adjustments to the thermostat based on real-time weather data, the thermal characteristics of the house, and the temperature preferences of the occupants, the companies stated. The homeowner maintains full control over the thermostat. Over time, the system adapts to user inputs to help reduce energy while keeping the home comfortable.
“Comcast wants to bring its customers a solution that reduces energy use, but doesn’t ask them to compromise comfort or change behavior. That has always been EcoFactor’s mission and it’s great to see a major service provider validate our approach,” said Roy Johnson, CEO, EcoFactor.
EcoFactor also is working with Comcast to integrate its complete back-office solution, including training. Comcast will announce details and pricing for the EcoFactor-enabled service later this year.
ESA Announces Plan to Develop Florida Chapter
The Electronic Security Association announced plans to launch a new chartered chapter, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) of Florida. The national association said that ESA of Florida will focus on the top challenge of the electronic life safety and security industry in Florida — stimulating demand in the commercial, institutional, industrial, residential and governmental markets. A sustained program of media relations, online promotions and face-to-face networking events will generate inquiries for members and inform and educate prospective customers.
ESA said ESA of Florida will also provide high-quality technical and business education via the National Training School (NTS). NTS training will cover the full range of security technologies including video surveillance, access control, integrated systems and interactive services in addition to intrusion and fire alarm training. NTS currently has a list of courses approved by Florida state regulators for initial licensure and renewal, according to ESA.
An important aid to the development of the association will be the production of an annual ESA of Florida Convention, stated ESA. This event will co-locate with the ESA Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida for 2013 to 2015.
To guide the chapter launch, ESA has formed the ESA of Florida Development Task Force, appointing ESA Treasurer David Koenig as chair. The Task Force is reaching out to existing and prospective members to confirm and refine plans for ESA of Florida’s initial activities and to identify leadership.
“Florida is the fourth most populous state in America and home to hundreds of high-quality electronic security integration and monitoring companies, including more than 60 ESA member companies,” said ESA President, Dom D’Ascoli. “We look forward to dynamic and sustained growth through the programs and initiatives of ESA’s newest chapter, the Electronic Security Association of Florida.”
For more information on ESA membership and ESA of Florida leadership opportunities, contact Amy Kirk, ESA vice president of Membership and Chapter Relations, at 888-447-1689 x-6815 or Amy.Kirk@ESAweb.org.
Vector Security, Pittsburgh, Pa., hired Ray Masavage as senior network sales engineer in its National Accounts Division. In his new capacity, Masavage works with the company’s National Account Managers to help customers capitalize on their security investment by determining best value IP alarming, networked video and Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) solutions. Masavage worked for more than 20 years in the systems engineering field, primarily in the data communications industry.
SightLogix Inc., Princeton, N.J., appointed Jim Augustine as its new sales support manager for the Western United States and Canada. Augustine comes to SightLogix with extensive experience in networked systems, security project management, systems integration and sales.
ScanSource Inc., Greenville, N.C., named Rich Long as its new vice president of marketing. In this position, Long leads the North America Marketing team across all four ScanSource Inc. business units, helping to create and execute ScanSource’s channel marketing and communication strategies. Long brings more than 15 years of IT channel experience to this position.
David Wade, group director for supply chain at ADT Security Services, has seen a relationship with GE Capital Fleet Services, his fleet management service, go beyond financing. Photo Courtesy of ADT Security Services
52% - The percentage of Americans employed outside their homes who have witnessed, heard about or have experienced a violent event or an event that can lead to violence at their workplace. Source: AlliedBarton Security Services.
The “Violence in the American Workplace” research survey conducted by AlliedBarton Security Services, in concert with a national polling company is featured in the new book, “Potential: Workplace Violence Prevention and Your Organizational Success,” by Bill Whitmore, chairman, president and CEO of AlliedBarton Services. The book is available in hard copy and ebook formats at www.potentialthebook.com.
Linear LLC, Carlsbad, Calif., named Duane Paulson senior vice president, Product & Market Development. Paulson has responsibility for technical services, marketing, and product and business development, and reports directly to Linear President Mike O’Neal. In his 20-year security manufacturing career, Paulson has served in executive product management, business development and marketing roles.