Interface & Westec Merge to Offer Enhanced Managed Services


Strategic Rename Showcases Tyco Integrated Security’s Expertise, Focus


UTC Divests Fire  & Security Division


CSC’s Hosted ‘Supper Club’: Eat, Drink — and Learn About IP


Ingram Micro Is Connecting the Dots


Integrators Meet Convergence Solutions at ISC West


SedonaOffice Conference: Focus on Enterprise


HAI Announces 2011 Five Star Dealers


WSC Honors Women of the Year


ONVIF Hosts 5th Interoperability Demo;  Prepares to Release New Access Control Specification


UCC Celebrates 30 Years of Growth


Rapid Response to Expand West with New VP of Operations


Pivot3 Announces $23M Funding


State of the Industry: Change Is Coming


Monitronics Completes $1 Billion Refinancing


Trade Show News


Alarm Capital Alliance Pursues Accelerated Growth Strategies with New Partner


Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution Acquired by Audax Group


DMP Focuses on Dealer Education & Feedback at ISC West


News Briefs


Interface & Westec Merge to Offer Enhanced Managed Services

Interface Security Systems LLC, Earth City, Mo., completed a merger transaction with Westec Intelligent Surveillance Inc. Westec, based in Coppell, Texas, is ranked No. 25 on the SDM 100 and provides full-service video surveillance monitoring, interactive monitored video solutions and virtual business management tools to a diverse national commercial customer base. Interface is the No. 11 security company in the SDM 100, offering cloud-based managed physical and logical services.

According to the companies, the combination of Interface and Westec creates the only nationwide managed service provider of security solutions (alarm, video, access control) along with VoIP and secure broadband in a cloud based architecture.

Both companies have a lot in common as far as customer base. They both have a sweet spot in commercial, industrial, retail and hospitality. “So we have complimentary services that the joining of the companies will permit us to offer quickly to a whole new audience on both sides of the services,” said Jeffrey Frye, vice president of sales and marketing.

The merger aims to concentrate and better serve markets that both companies have ample experience in, rather than break into new ones. “We have our respective customer base with a lot of overlap but also some uniqueness to each other,” Frye said. “Westec has a high penetration in the hospitality vertical and Interface doesn’t do as much business there. By offering them Interface products like network management and IP-based alarm monitoring, those customers will see something new. And because they’re going to be bundling multiple services with the same company, they will also see incredible cost savings.”

Frye explained that synergies between the two companies created an exciting new offering for the security marketplace. “Westec has a great reputation and is widely known in the security industry for being a premier provider of high-end video surveillance solutions,” Frye said. “Getting interactive with the video, being able to use two-way audio and manage an incident or scene or premise — there’s nobody that does it better than Westec.” On the other hand, Interface has “taken a deep dive into convergence,” Frye continued. “So not only do we offer and lead with security systems that are intended to run over a radio or broadband connection. But we also manage those connections to make them highly available and make sure the connection is optimized so you get the best video, the fastest alarm notification and that’s a true differentiator for Interface in the marketplace. And now Westec can add that higher level and quality of service to their products.”

Interface founder and chief executive officer Michael Shaw called the merger a strategic move for both companies that creates a unique and unrivaled product offering. “Our customers now have access to best in class video monitoring services. From searchable point-of-sale and video integration to auditing of customer service with a remote secret shopper to interactive guard tours, these services will now be delivered with improved quality and availability via the Interface Secure Managed Cloud.”

Today, Interface has 120,000 monitored customer sites and Westec has 20,000. Together they will remotely monitor 500,000 remote devices. Those 500,000 devices include routers, IP telephones, IP alarm panels, card readers, smoke detectors, and panic buttons. “One company monitoring that array of devices really shows how varied the range of our services is, from the connection that makes the service possible to everything that’s attached to the connection,” Frye commented.

Westec president and CEO Kelby Hagar said combining video surveillance with a managed network is a huge benefit for business operators. “Until now surveillance applications have been at the mercy of a third party broadband provider to deliver the service,” commented Hagar. “Now the Interface Secure Managed Cloud takes control of the broadband service to ensure remote video access with the best picture quality, to create the most actionable evidence and ultimately creating the highest customer satisfaction.”

Frye emphasized that organic growth is and will continue to be the primary directive for the company going forward. “This is just an exceptional opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. Interface, without being in acquisition mode, has enjoyed better than 20 percent compounded annual growth for the last three years. We’ve done a good job making sense of a bad economy and we expect to show even better results as a result of this acquisition. We want to build on the success we’ve had in the past few years.”

Imperial Capital LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Westec. “This transaction has created the leading independent player in the managed security solutions business,” according to John E. Mack III, managing director and co-head of Investment Banking at Imperial Capital. Both companies are privately held and terms of the transaction were not disclosed. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor


Strategic Rename Showcases Tyco Integrated Security’s Expertise, Focus

ADT North America Commercial Security business unit is changing its name to Tyco Integrated Security, as was announced by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Tyco Int’l.  The new name will be phased into use over the coming months. ADT is the No. 1 ranked systems integration business on SDM’s Top Systems Integrators Report, published in July 2011.

“Commercial enterprises have different, more complex needs from homes and small businesses, and this name change — from ADT North America Commercial Security to Tyco Integrated Security — is representative of our continued focus and commitment to the commercial market,” said Brian McDonald, COO, Tyco Fire & Security. “We’re building on more than 100 years of experience in the commercial security industry, and investing in the future to continue to deliver the most efficient and innovative security solutions to businesses,” he said in a prepared statement.

Tyco Integrated Security will continue to invest in solutions and services, leveraging the global resources of the new standalone fire and security company that will result from the separation that is planned to be completed by the end of September, 2012. Tyco Integrated Security will continue to deliver leading-edge technologies, and will focus exclusively on the unique, complex and ever-evolving security needs of businesses in North America, according to the company.

“We are committed to providing leading-edge, customized security solutions and services to our commercial customers in the best ways possible,” said Jay Hauhn, chief technology officer for Tyco Integrated Security.

Hauhn added that stepping away from the highly recognized ADT brand was easier because “Tyco is a very recognizable brand by itself.”  Changing the company name also allows Tyco Integrated Security to focus completely on commercial — and step away from the residential connotations that the strong ADT brand contains.

“Stepping away from the ADT brand and not being connected to the residential business allows the entire team — the marketing team, the telemarketing team, every department of [the newly renamed] Tyco Integrated Security — to always focused on commercial. Being able to focus just on commercial is really positive and exciting and will only add momentum to everything we are doing,” Hauhn explained. “We had a good commercial strategy prior to the separation and a strong vertical market strategy that we will continue.”

The name change included further intentional changes to more completely show the company’s focus and expertise, Hauhn shared.

“There were some specific things we wanted to do when we rebranded. Adding the word ‘integrated’ to our name reflects the heart of what we do — enterprise integrated systems. Interoperability is so important for almost any system you install these days.

“As our business evolves, we intend to continue delivering the quality and reliability our customers have come to expect. This is an exciting time for our organization, employees and customers alike,” Hauhn said. — By Heather Klotz-Young, Senior Editor


UTC Divests Fire  & Security Division

UTC Climate, Controls & Security, Farmington, Conn., a unit of United Technologies Corp., closed on the sale of its fire and security branch operations in the U.S. to Comvest Investment Partners, a private equity fund of the Comvest Group. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

UTC Climate, Controls & Security is a provider of integrated building solutions, including fire and security systems, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration systems, and building controls and automation.

This business, with approximately $250 million in sales, 1,350 employees and 40 locations, was formed as a result of a roll-up of Red Hawk and a dozen other small U.S.-based businesses over the last several years.

“UTC Climate, Controls & Security is strategically reviewing its fire and security portfolio to focus on businesses with industry leadership, large scale and higher returns,” said Geraud Darnis, president and chief executive officer, UTC Climate, Controls & Security. “With this transaction, the U.S. fire and security branch network will be able to strengthen its operations and enhance its growth profile by taking advantage of Comvest’s deep experience in the industry.”


CSC’s Hosted ‘Supper Club’: Eat, Drink — and Learn About IP

Communications Supply Corporation (CSC), Carol Stream, Ill., a subsidiary of WESCO Distribution Inc., opened ISC West for its customers with the exclusive CSC IP Security Supper Club, held at the House of Blues Foundation Room on the 62nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Tower. The event provided a targeted group of customers with the chance to eat, drink — and learn all about the business of Internet protocol (IP). Approximately 100 selected CSC customers, all currently expanding in IP security and determined to benefit from the business-building and IP-focused agenda, received a personal invitation to attend from their CSC security solution regional manager.

“We wanted to create a special event with the supper club theme that would offer attendees a great experience and a great value, through quality face time alongside valuable education from our partners,” explained Chris Mills, CSC’s director of supplier relations and the event’s coordinator. During the evening, attendees rotated tables during the nine courses of the meal, all while listening to nine of CSC’s manufacturing partners present on practical IP business basics.

“This night is all about IP business,” emphasized Dave Harney, vice president of marketing for security solutions, CSC. “At CSC, our business is to build IP security integrators’ businesses. Building connections is a huge driver of our eco-system at CSC. With everyone coming together at ISC West from all over the country, already a highly valuable event for integrators, we wanted to capture the opportunity to bring everyone together for a business-building event that would help our integrators be even stronger, increase productivity, find and create demand, and continue to diversify.”

Reinier Tuinzing, strategic alliances manager, Milestone Systems Inc., said, “The evening was all about education. One of the biggest challenges we have as an industry is education about the extent of what our industry offers. A lot of customers ‘don’t know what they don’t know’ about everything we can do as an industry. We [Milestone] were excited to participate tonight in an event that goes beyond surveillance, beyond video,and beyond security into everything IP can offer, including business optimization,” Tuinzing said.

Mike Duncan, newly appointed vice president of Sales, Security Solutions, for CSC shared, “This event served a dual purpose: first, it was beneficial to the integrators to open up their eyes to different opportunities and ways to increase their business. Second, the event served as a confirmation of what many of these integrators already do very well — a lot of hybrid IP systems or exclusive IP systems. The event was confirmation that they are headed on the right path hand and expanded their awareness and knowledge.”

Mark McCourt, group publisher, SDM & Security Magazines, gave the event’s opening keynote address, discussing “The ‘-Izing’ of Security.”

“Everything we do in this business has a single goal: Getting the right information to the right person to make the right decision to prevent an event from occurring or respond effectively to an event that has occurred. And you do that by ‘-izing’ security seven ways: digitizing, mobilizing, virtualizing, facilitizing, businessizing, verticalizing, socializing and cybercrime. While the ‘-izing’ of security may seem a threat, it is actually a great opportunity that fits the core competencies of today’s security integrator.”

Topics covered by the manufacturers at the event included leveraging hybrid video solutions (Sony), bridging the security/IT gap to create more business (Comm-scope), the fundamentals for growing a successful network video business (Axis), building your selling IT IQ skills (Milestone), increasing revenues through the ‘connected enterprise’ approach (Belden), how not caring about cabling can cost you (Panduit), building revenues with IP – security beyond security (OnSSI), driving long-term value through RMR and access control (Keyscan), and capturing hidden profits through design accuracy (Iomnis). Closing comments were provided by Sandra Jones, founder of Sandra Jones and Company. Jones addressed building profits through partnerships.

“CSC entered the security business several years ago because the security market was moving from an analog platform to an IP platform — the products it knows. Most of our suppliers are IP, and we have strong knowledge base to share with the industry,” Duncan said.

Visit for more information on everything the value-added distributor can do to accelerate your business growth and profits. — By Heather Klotz-Young, Senior Editor



Ingram Micro Is Connecting the Dots

Since announcing the formation of its Physical Security business unit in late 2009, distributor giant Ingram Micro has taken quiet steps to position itself as a trusted partner for security integrators and IT VARs who are at the crux of convergence.

“We see this as a high-growth, high-profit strategic area for us that not only gets us into a new market, but helps existing partners integrate and converge into a space that they’re not going after today,” said Brian Wiser, senior vice president, Ingram Micro Specialty Solutions Div., North America.

The inaugural Ingram Micro Convergence Pavilion held at ISC West 2012 made a bold statement about the distributor’s big plans in the security marketplace, but underlying that statement are a host of other services that support its efforts to connect with integrators. For example, Ingram Micro offers myriad training and networking opportunities, including SecurityWerx, a hands-on physical security workshop held at AVAD branches (AVAD is a sister company), with 10 classes scheduled in 2012. It also hosts Boot Camps and regional events throughout the year. In addition, the distributor employs a cross-trained tech support team, with functional experts in every product category.

SDM interviewed Wiser and Tom Burns, general manager of Ingram Micro’s North America Physical Security Business Unit, at ISC West, about the distributor’s plans for the security marketplace.

SDM: What can Ingram Micro offer from a buying perspective?

Tom Burns: For the security integrator specifically, we’re launching a program to essentially offer them IP training for free. The purpose for that is to help them make the transition from analog to IP; but the second purpose is to allow them to take advantage of other adjacent solutions that are IP-based, that they can sell to their existing customer base so they can go deeper and wider within their existing customer base.

They can get everything they need from us. We sell the networking, we sell the storage, we sell the services, we sell the security products.


SDM: How do services play into what you do?

Brian Wiser: The IT side of the business has had to get into services to survive and Ingram Micro led that charge with a big investment early on in managed services and cloud. We developed a comprehensive managed services portfolio several years ago, and invested heavily in that, to help the reseller understand…there’s no long-term value to their business if they are simply moving product. They’re truly the trusted advisor to that end client; they just didn’t realize and provide enough value. So the managed services piece really helped them make that leap.

Today we also have a very sophisticated and dedicated cloud marketplace — Ingram Micro Cloud ( — that offers a growing portfolio of cloud-based services that channel partners can purchase together or separately and provide to their end client.


SDM: How successful do you think you’re gong to be in the physical security industry?

Tom Burns: The security industry is a very relationship-based industry, very tight knit. It takes a while for newcomers who come in, which is one reason we’re hiring people who come from that world and believe in our vision and have the same passion for what we’re trying to accomplish. But we do recognize it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. We’re going to have to prove ourselves, and hold ourselves to a higher standard than maybe the incumbents might have to in order to win over the hearts and minds of some of these folks, but I would tell you that we’re prepared to try to do that.

— By Laura Stepanek, Editor



Integrators Meet Convergence Solutions at ISC West

This year at ISC West, Ingram Micro partnered with ISC to provide a dedicated space where systems integrators and IT vendors could come together and discuss one of the biggest trends changing the industry today: convergence solutions. More than 30 vendors exhibited at the 20,000 sq. foot Convergence Pavilion, covering the physical security space as well as networking, storage, mobility, data capture/point-of-sale and more.

Brian Wiser, senior vice president, Ingram Micro Specialty Solutions Division, North America related experiences at a dinner Ingram Micro hosted as part of its IP Boot Camp program during the show for more than 50 partners. “Feedback has been fantastic. and what’s exciting is to hear the discussion and watch the light bulbs go off when a systems integrator and IT reseller get to talking about the challenges and opportunities in this converging space.” Wiser said a number of specialized security integrators will admit they have minimal IT knowledge and are looking for partners to help them “make the leap” to serve this new space where both IT and security are key components. “We can help them make that connection and expand their capabilities, or alternatively find partners who they can team with to grow their business and meet their customers’ needs,” Wiser said.

Justin Scopaz, vice president and general manager, Ingram Micro Data Capture/POS and Physical Security division, added that both traditional systems integrators and IP systems integrators came to the Ingram Micro IP Bootcamp and Convergence Pavilion knowing the opportunities and vendors exist, but wanting to know more about what types of solutions are available and how they can be successfully deployed. Establishing better avenues of communication to answer those questions was a primary goal for Ingram Micro at ISC West.

Scopaz noted that one of Ingram Micro’s great strengths is seamlessly bringing together the technology and vertical market expertise to bridge this gap. “They were aware of the opportunity and know they want to engage, but now have a better appreciation of how they can take advantage of Ingram Micro to seize this growing market opportunity around converged technology,” Scopaz said. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor



SedonaOffice Conference: Focus on Enterprise

Michael Marks, co-founder of Cleveland-based SedonaOffice, said he is seeing a paradigm shift in which there are more enterprise-level security companies operating in the security industry today. This creates a need, Marks said, for a complete business solution as well as more professional tools and resources to help these companies run their businesses more profitably.

“We have more enterprise-level companies in this industry today than I’ve ever seen before,” Marks commented. “They have to run their business professionally. They can’t run like Tom out of the trunk of his car.”

As confirmation, Marks said, when SedonaOffice first began selling software up until about three to five years ago, customers looked at the core application. “Today the difference is people need solutions that are well beyond just the core applications. And they’re becoming more sophisticated buyers when they’re looking at this.”

Marks said SedonaOffice is working very hard to adapt to these buying changes. For example, “our offering today is not just SedonaOffice. Our offering is our core application; it’s a whole host of add-on modules that add benefits; but equally important now, it’s all the business partners and the different services that we surround that with.”

Adapting to this paradigm shift as Marks sees it, was the underpinning of SedonaOffice’s 10th annual Users Conference, held in Marco Island, Fla., in January, featuring partnership announcements as well as software enhancements. The conference was attended by a record 350 people representing approximately 115 unique companies. It was hosted by Marks and SedonaOffice co-founder Don Faybrick.

Two well-known industry speakers delivered keynote presentations at the conference: Michael Barnes from Barnes Associates and Bob Harris from Attrition Busters. Additionally, attendees had an opportunity to go to educational sessions within six different tracks — Job Management, Operations & Accounting, Business Partners, Executive Track, Advanced Users, and WeSuite.

A cornerstone presentation was “State of SedonaOffice,” by Marks and Faybrick, in which they discussed the company’s future strategic plans. Announced this year was a new business partnership with Astute Financial Consulting. “Astute Financial is owned by Jim Lee, who has been working in security industry for over 20 years. Their whole business is nothing but providing consulting, enhanced training, and financial planning and financial reporting services for SedonaOffice customers,” Marks described.

An exciting announcement for attendees was the formal introduction of a new SedonaOffice add-on module: SedonaSync. “It’s an event-management module where a company can define any event that they can conceive of; when that event takes place it automatically creates an email or a text message or can send out a notice to a customer or it can internally notify someone within the company,” Marks explained.  “We have clients who are using this product now; they have hundreds of these events going, managing all aspects of their business. It’s just an incredible product.” 



HAI Announces 2011 Five Star Dealers

HAI, a manufacturer of integrated automation and security products since 1985, announced the winners of its Five-Star Dealer program for 2011 on March 17 at its annual Dealer Appreciation Party.

HAI’s Five-Star Dealer program was initiated in 2001 to recognize and reward its outstanding dealers each year. Winners are selected based on various criteria including the number of years the dealer has been installing HAI products, number of systems installed in the previous year, and unique marketing or programming solutions that involve HAI products.

The winning companies named as 2011 HAI Five-Star Dealers will be designated as such in HAI’s dealer listing database on its website Homeowners can easily search for dealers by entering their zip code.

“HAI acknowledged a record number of Five Star Dealers in 2011,” stated HAI associate director of marketing, Greg Rhoades. “We thank everyone who applied and appreciate the insight provided during the application process.”



WSC Honors Women of the Year

On March 27, during ISC West in Las Vegas, the Women’s Security Council presented its first annual Women of the Year Awards at a reception held at Pinot Brasserie.

Award winners were recognized in a variety of categories for their contributions to the security industry. Those women who were honored are: Systems Integrator: Erica Wood, CSO, American Fire & Security; Security Service Provider: Patricia Schmitt, president and CEO, Aegis Protective Services; Manufacturer: Carole Dougan, vice president Strategic Accounts, Arecont Vision; Distributor: Debby Maffei, national account manager, ScanSource Security; End User: Michele Freadman, deputy director of aviation Security Operations, Boston Logan International Airport; Dealer: Amy Kothari, president and CEO, Alarm Capital Alliance; In the Trenches: Renee Mallonee, dealer marketing manager, Monitronics International.



ONVIF Hosts 5th Interoperability Demo;  Prepares to Release New Access Control Specification

ONVIF hosted its fifth interoperability demonstration on March 29 during ISC West. ONVIF specifications are built around a central, core specification that enables the organization to efficiently and consistently develop further specifications for specific types of technology.

After releasing its core specification and network video specification, ONVIF announced in 2010 that it would extend its scope to include physical access control. The organization’s first physical access control specification (PACS) and dedicated testing tools are nearly ready and may be released in late 2012, Jonas Andersson, chairman of ONVIF’s Steering Committee, told SDM.

ONVIF established a dedicated PACS working group to complete this task. A first phase service specification for access control systems will focus on monitoring and control. The next steps will address credential management, basic configuration, basic installation, and complete credential/access management.

Andersson explained the new concept of profiles that ONVIF announced late last year. Its first such profile, Profile S, was released earlier this year and describes common functionalities shared by conformant video management systems and devices. The introduction of profiles is designed to enable end users to more easily identify features supported by a profile without determining the compatibility between versions of the ONVIF specification.

Andersson also noted ONVIF is in the process of developing online training and webinars to provide an overview of ONVIF’s standardization work and a deeper understanding in developing and specifying systems with the ONVIF interface.  — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor.



UCC Celebrates 30 Years of Growth

United Central Control (UCC), San Antonio, Texas, celebrates 30 years in business this spring, the company announced at ISC West in Las Vegas. UCC opened its doors in 1982, beginning by taking over an answering service company that provided security monitoring to a handful of alarm companies.

UCC dealers were treated to a Marilyn Monroe performance during the company’s annual dealer appreciation reception held at Treasure Island in Las Vegas, as Marilyn also sang happy birthday to the UCC management team. More than 300 attendees enjoyed excellent food, beverages and a magician’s card tricks.

Mark Matlock, senior vice president of marketing and sales, commented on the reception and what it means for UCC. “The reception is an annual event for us and this was our 9th annual reception,” Matlock said. “It’s an opportunity for us to bring vendors that we work closely with and have them engage our clients in a much more intimate way than the show floor. And it’s also an opportunity for us — in a face-to-face, very informal way — to find out what we can do for them that we’re not doing, what services we could offer and get right to the heart of how we can help them be more successful in their companies. The reception has been a great source of new business for our company over the years as well.”

Cedric Bouligny, with Comfort Security, has been with UCC 12 years, and cited Mark Matlock as a key reason he chose UCC’s services. “The operators are courteous and responsive. UCC has redundant systems set up, and goes beyond industry standards on their equipment. We liked their integrity, and that they would be an extension of our company to offer the services we want to deliver to our customers.”

Bouligny added, “They also give back — like they’re doing tonight with this reception.  Some central stations don’t give any appreciation to their dealers.”

From its humble beginnings, UCC grew into a national wholesale monitoring services company for the security industry, emphasizing dealer education to ensure quality solutions for end user customers. Starting with less than 4,000 accounts, UCC grew to 215,000 accounts, and now monitors customers in all 50 states, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Next, for the company, is building out a new redundant central station. The company expects to pick a location — Matlock says Albuquerque, N.M. is a good contender, among others — and break ground this year. The company is also heavily engaged in finding new sources of recurring revenue for its dealers, Matlock said.



Rapid Response to Expand West with New VP of Operations

Rapid Response Monitoring, Syracuse, N.Y., is in the beginning stages of opening a new central station in the Western United States. This is a move that the company has been planning for some time, but with the addition of Morgan Hertel as vice president of operations, is moving along quickly.

“It was something they wanted to do and hadn’t found the right person to do it,” Hertel said. “They had started some preliminary work on site locations and general design. And when I became available and decided to join the team, it was natural fit.”

Hertel was most recently vice president and general manager at Mace CS. He related, “My reason for leaving Mace had nothing to do with the actual operation itself. It was more a decision for me that work in the public sector was just not a place I wanted to be in anymore. The company continues to do good work.  I started to look for manufacturers, central stations, and organizations that were really committed to doing something different in the alarm business. When I got to Rapid, I found a real commitment to doing what they say they’re going to do and several parts and pieces to build out a West coast facility.”

In the next several months, Rapid plans to choose a location for the new central station and begin building. “We’re going through looking at real estate opportunities in California and Arizona,” Hertel said. 

In his new position, Hertel is responsible for all operations, both east and west. That entails monitoring, dealer support, training, and IT. He is also in charge of a dedicated software development group.

“We’ve got half a dozen really high-level, industry-changing projects that we’re working on right now that have nothing to do with the West Coast facility and are just ways of doing things so very differently than they have been done in this business,” Hertel commented. “So the next year is going to be very exciting. We have a great software developing team and some very good automation partners we work with.” — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor



Pivot3 Announces $23M Funding

Pivot3® Inc., Austin, Texas, a provider of unified storage and compute appliances, closed a $23 million round of new equity financing led by Samsung Ventures, which will principally be used to fund expansion of its product development, sales and marketing activities. Pivot3 was recognized for innovation in converged scale-out IT infrastructure since its founding in 2003, and deployed solutions for more than 500 customers worldwide.

Richard Bravman, Pivot3 chief executive officer, commented that the company will invest in “the further build-out of our innovation and go-to-market growth engines. Combined with recent moves to strengthen our team, it puts us in a great position to better serve our existing customers, penetrate new markets, deepen our partnerships and expand operations in both our rapidly growing core video surveillance and emerging IT businesses. We will accelerate the global roll-out of our innovative VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure initiative and introduce new solid state solutions and partner programs to the video surveillance market.”

The round was led by Samsung Ventures, and participated in by all existing Pivot3 investors: Focus Ventures, InterWest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mesirow Financial, Northleaf Capital Partners and Silver Creek Ventures.

In a related development, Pivot3 set the foundation for executing a commercial partnership with Samsung Techwin, a global technology manufacturer and systems integrator.

Brian Kang, managing director of Samsung Ventures America added, “We chose to invest in Pivot3 because we see them as a leading player in a large and rapidly growing space of strategic importance to our business.”



State of the Industry: Change Is Coming

During the hour-long State of the Industry session at ISC West, panelists provided insights on four pressing topics within the industry: “as a service,” consumerization, the emergence of security functions, and standards and interoperability.

Setting the stage for the first topic, Mike Faddis of Microsoft Global Security, used water, electricity and phone as examples of real-life “as a service” offerings — you pay a monthly fee for the ability to turn them on when you need them, off when you don’t.

Gary Wong of IMS Research told the audience that annual recurring monthly revenue (RMR) for video storage as a service (VSaaS) — which he calls the most mature as-a-service offering — is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2016. This growth (at a year-on-year rate of 28.6 percent) is directly tied to growth in popularity of networked cameras, which IMS says will surpass analog cameras in sales by year’s end and continue to grab greater market share at least until 2016.

Bill Taylor, vice chairman of the Security Industry Association board of directors, said those projections are both exciting and scary, bringing opportunities and challenges for the industry.

It’s no secret that increasingly tech-savvy consumers are impacting the security industry, especially in the area of mobility, Faddis commented. “The ability to gather data, social networks, tweeting — these cause a lot of problems in the security industry,” he said. “How do we allow for that convenience and protect that, and how are these devices going to work and still protect IT?”

Compounding the issue, said HID Global’s Jason Bohrer, is the fact that people expect to be able to use those devices both at home and at work.

Emerging security functions, the day’s third topic, centered around the notion of “bucketizing” various security functions in the cloud and delivering them on an as-needed basis. The “bucket” that’s seen the most traction, Wong said, is video analytics, which is increasingly being used as a business intelligence tool.

Standards and interoperability are major issues. “Standards are a double-edged sword. Without compatibility between equipment, it’s very difficult to install systems across multiple locations,” Taylor said. “They also don’t allow you to take advantage of the outstanding features built into cameras, which aren’t covered by standards.”

The security industry should aspire to what the computer industry has accomplished, Taylor said. “Nobody’s done it like the IT world. The 802.11 standard is ubiquitous.” — By Derek Rice, Contributing Writer



Monitronics Completes $1 Billion Refinancing

Ascent Capital Group Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Monitronics International Inc., closed its previously announced offering of $410 million of 9.125 percent senior notes due 2020.

Concurrent with the closing of the notes offering, Monitronics entered into a floating rate senior secured credit facility providing for term loans of $550 million and a revolving credit facility of up to $150 million. 

“We are pleased with the outcome of this refinancing,” said Mike Haislip, president and chief executive officer of Monitronics. “The result underscores the confidence that the financial markets have in our business model and provides greater operational flexibility. We are well positioned to build on the profitable growth the company has experienced since its inception...” 



Trade Show News

The Electronic Security Expo (ESX) will return to the location of its birth in 2012, as the education and networking event for security integration and monitoring companies heads back to the Nashville Convention Center. Its schedule includes association meetings running June 25 to 29, with ESX conference sessions June 26 to 28 and the ESX show floor open June 27 and 28.

Registration for ESX is now open. Members of the industry can register for the event at

Kix Brooks of the country duo Brooks and Dunn will be the keynote speaker at ESX on June 27 at 11:45 a.m. at the Nashville Convention Center.

The 7th Annual SDM 100 Gala is the social event of the year honoring the security industry’s leading executives from the SDM 100 report. The Gala will be held in conjunction with ESX on June 28, 2012.

ESX will launch the NexTech Zone at ESX 2012, an exhibit area within the event dedicated to automation, networking and A/V products for residential and light commercial applications.The NexTech Zone will host 25 exhibiting companies.

“The industry is experiencing a dramatic shift, with home automation, networking and A/V becoming increasingly important for security integration companies,” said Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of ESA. “With the new NexTech Zone, ESX will provide information and education about these new opportunities.”

The 2012 ESX conference program is now available at, featuring more than 50 educational sessions across seven tracks.

Marianna Perry, M.S., CPP, a Safety and Security Consultant/Trainer and former Director of the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville, will be the featured speaker of the Industry IceBreaker Luncheon to be held on June 26 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

Perry plans to speak about some of the successful public/private partnerships on the national level and building partnerships on the local level, as well as federal public safety agencies (DHS, FEMA, etc.), and the relationships between local law enforcement and businesses and private security.

Kristen Simmons, managing partner at Lightswitch, will be the featured speaker during the ESA Industry Luncheon and Annual Meeting held during ESX. The Luncheon and Annual Meeting, sponsored by Interlogix, A UTC Fire and Security Company, will be held on Thursday, June 28 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

The presentation will describe how consumers make purchase decisions, share information, and even control companies’ reputation. Simmons will explain concrete, actionable steps businesses can take to make their customer experience a competitive advantage that drives enduring and profitable growth. 



Alarm Capital Alliance Pursues Accelerated  Growth Strategies with New Partner

Alarm Capital Alliance (ACA), a nationwide security company ranked No. 20 in the SDM 100, partnered with Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a global investment firm with $3.7 billion in capital under management. ACA provides capital return and operational resources to alarm companies via its dealer and portfolio acquisition programs as well as residential security services and home automation technologies to households across the United States.

Amy Kothari, chief executive officer of ACA, told SDM, “We’ve partnered with NVP with a desire to grow Alarm Capital more aggressively than we’ve been growing it over the years. We’ve grown this business ten-fold since I became CEO. We’ve had phenomenal growth over the years and want to capitalize on that and take it to another level.”

Kothari explained that the partnership with NVP, which is also partnered with a number of other growth companies outside of the security industry, will give ACA resources and the ability to leverage best practices from the equity firm’s other success stories. Kothari added that NVP provides valuable expertise and relationships in addition to the capital to support acquisitions, which is the primary source of new accounts for ACA. “It really puts us in a good position to capture a significant amount of market share going forward,” Kothari continued.

There are three avenues of growth that NVP will help ACA pursue, Kothari explained. The first, bulk acquisitions, has been ACA’s “bread and butter” for the past 12 years. “Those opportunities are changing for us because we’re now in a position, given our infrastructure and our new partner, to be able to do larger transactions,” Kothari commented.

The second avenue of growth is ACA’s dealer program, which Kothari explained as originally being in place to support dealers whom the company did bulk acquisitions with and then wanted to sell to ACA on an on-going basis. The broader program was launched in March, 2011, still has a very regional focus, but is open to all qualified dealers. With NVP, ACA aims to continue to develop this program.

The third avenue is organic growth, which Kothari observed is happening naturally in several of the markets the company is in. Here, the company will focus on increasing already significant brand awareness for its business-to-consumer name, My Alarm Center. “What’s happening in many of the markets that we’re in is we are becoming an installer. We’re creating our own organic growth and trying to capitalize on that sort-of grassroots effort.”

The security alarm industry is a $44 billion dollar market, according to SDM’s 2012 Industry Forecast. NVP stated it was drawn to ACA because of the significant market opportunity, an exceptionally strong leadership team and the company’s unique, multi-channel approach, including offerings to a traditionally underserved segment of the security alarm market (small-to-medium-sized independent security alarm companies), direct sales to consumers as well as a dealer program.

Sonya Brown and Rob Arditi of NVP will join ACA’s board of directors.

Morgan Keegan & Company served as financial advisor to ACA in this transaction. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor



Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution Acquired by Audax Group

Audax Group, an investor in lower-middle market companies, completed the acquisition Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution. Headquartered in Woodbury, N.Y., Tri-Ed / Northern Video is an independent distributor of low-voltage electronic security products including video, intrusion, access/fire, and other ancillary products. Tri-Ed / Northern Video Distribution has 47 locations across the United States and Canada and serves both commercial and residential markets through its branch and technical sales business units. With offices in Boston and New York, Audax has raised in excess of $5.0 billion of equity, mezzanine debt, and senior loan capital.

“It’s great to have a partner in Audax who has been very successful in building distribution businesses with a buy-and-build strategy, which has been the key to our growth. We’ve made three subsequent acquisitions including the merger with Northern Video,” said Pat Comunale, president and chief executive officer of Tri-Ed / Northern Video. “With Audax as a partner, there’s plenty of capital available for both greenfield acquisitions and also plenty to acquire companies.”

Geoffrey S. Rehnert, co-chief executive officer of Audax Group, said “Tri-Northern is a leading distributor of electronic security products with a best-in-class distribution model and an industry-leading management team. We look forward to working with Steve Roth, Pat Comunale and their team to build the company through add-on acquisitions, greenfield expansion, and building out the organization.”

Comunale commented on the plans for this next phase in the company’s growth. “We’ll be much more aggressive in the acquisition strategy than we have been in the past. We’re going to look to build out our footprint even faster than we have over the past four or five years. Having a partner like Audax that is very well-capitalized just dovetails right in with our existing strategy.”

On where this growth will take the company, Comunale said, “If you look at our current footprint, we have some locations in the Midwest that we’d like to fill out and even in the Southeast.”

The acquisition of Tri-Ed / Northern Video has been in the works for the past year. “Over the summer, we had two unsolicited offers for the business,” Comunale explained. “Once we received those offers we decided to go to Brazos to see what the value of the business was. And we decided to partner with Audax. Brazos had no intention of selling this business. But we had created such value between the merger of Tri-Ed and Northern Video that it just made sense.”

Comunale added that the Tri-Ed / Northern Video management team is staying intact and there is no change to the operation of the business as far as customers, employees or vendor partners.

Harris Williams & Co. advised Tri-Northern. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as counsel to Audax Group. Bank of America provided senior debt financing and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. provided junior debt financing to support the transaction. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor


DMP Focuses on Dealer Education & Feedback at ISC West

Digital Monitoring Products (DMP), Springfield, Mo., held a full-day “Owner’s Forum” conference on March 27 at the Wynn Las Vegas during ISC West. Attending security dealers heard and participated in presentations on “Alarm Technology & Liability” and “Recruiting, Managing & Motivating a Productive Sales Force,” and took time to network and share best practices with other executives. In addition, DMP presented a Product Road Map Gallery, where its dealer partners had a chance to prioritize and comment on which new products, services and enhancements they would like to see from DMP in the coming year.



News Briefs

C.E.D. Inc., Northbrook, Ill., welcomed Jan H. Boldt as director of security solutions. Boldt will lead all of the security sales efforts for C.E.D. and is responsible for evaluating new security products and technologies to bring in as offerings for customers. C.E.D. also added Andy Sharp as account manager (Bensenville, Ill.). Working out of the new Bensenville location, Andy will work to grow customer sales and satisfaction by streamlining customer will call sales and service, and building a product mix to make C.E.D. a one-stop shopping destination. Dick Donovan was also added to the team as an account manager for C.E.D. Dick is a long time veteran in the consumer electronics industry involved in both retail and custom installation.


Matrix Systems, Miamisburg, Ohio, appointed security industry veteran Ron Kandcer as its vice president-sales. Kandcer brings to the position more than 22 years of security experience. Kandcer’s responsibilities include market strategies and business development throughout North America for Matrix Systems’ access control products, Frontier™ Standard, Frontier™ Universe and Frontier™ Web Essentials PRO.


Alarm Capital Alliance (ACA), Media, Pa., welcomed Patty Hartman as regional director in the western United States. Hartman, a former two-term CAA president is responsible for driving growth through ACA’s portfolio acquisitions and independent dealer program in Calif., Wash., Ore., and Ariz.


Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, Wisc., hired Tammee Thompson as vice president and general manager, global security and fire. Thompson brings nearly 20 years of management experience to Johnson Controls. She will be responsible for driving the profitable growth of this global business including strategic planning, global sales and channel development, product marketing and management, product development and sourcing strategies including strengthening strategic partnerships and acquisition activity and continued capability-building in each global region.


Digital Monitoring Products (DMP), Springfield, Mo., named Derek Bonner as its dealer development manager for the Florida region. He will be responsible for developing new sales and providing on-going service to DMP authorized dealers throughout the region.


Supercircuits, Austin, hired industry veteran Mike Intag as director of product technology. Intag will lead the development of Supercircuits’ wireless product and services portfolio and continue to evolve Supercircuits’ mobile portfolio.