Insider News & Business: November 2012
IN THIS ISSUE:
New Research Indicates Strong Signs of Growth in Residential, Willingness of Dealers to Adapt to Challenges
Court Rules Fire District Must Exit Alarm Business Oct. 4; Why the ADT v. Lisle-Woodridge Battle Isn’t Over Yet
The Security Industry Association (SIA), the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) joined forces to launch the Security Industry Recruiting Center, an online resource for matching qualified job seekers with security industry employers.
“One of the greatest challenges facing the security industry today is the shortage of qualified labor,” SIA stated. “While there may be many young men and women seeking jobs, a great majority of these potential employees are unaware of what the security industry has to offer. For some, security training is a viable alternative to a four-year degree, with some security professionals earning as much as, or more than, some college graduates.”
ESA and CSAA previously worked together on an online recruiting center, available for the past four years. When SIA was tasked with creating an industry employment resource, Don Erickson, the association’s chief executive officer, reached out to the other organizations to consolidate their efforts. The result was the new www.securityindustryrecruitingcenter.com. The website features a new, more intuitive template and design.
“Increased collaboration with ESA and CSAA is a priority for SIA, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with them on this important project,” Erickson said. “We are excited about working with CSAA and ESA to make the Security Industry Recruiting Center the premier job board for security professionals.”
SIA also noted that the overlap in membership between the organizations makes it a natural fit for them to work together on this project — to the point that separate job boards could become counterproductive. The recruiting center will be managed by collaborating staff from each of the associations.
“The security industry is rapidly changing and needs employees who are interested in being a part of this high-tech world. We’re excited to offer an online resource to our member companies and to men and women seeking employment in the security industry. We encourage anyone looking for interesting employment to post their resume on our job board,” said Merlin Guilbeau, ESA executive director.
Designed to be simple and cost-effective, the recruiting center will allow the associations and both member and non-member companies to post available career opportunities, as well as review resumes posted by new industry recruits.
“We’ve wanted a job board for our members, and joining forces with ESA and SIA will allow us to have an even greater impact than we might have had on our own. Together, we’ll have the opportunity to attract a very comprehensive listing of potential employees and employers,” said Stephen Doyle, CSAA executive director.
ADS Security (ADS), Nashville, Tenn., added home automation services to its core home security offering. The new automation components added to ADS Aniware®, the company’s remote security management service, offer a new high-tech home control system service with security at its core. ADS Home Control delivers home security and home automation packaged together and remotely managed from anywhere on a mobile device.
“We have been working hard on developing a comprehensive home control solution that integrates seamlessly with our traditional security services that we can support out of our central station. This launch is the culmination of a launch across our 14 branches,” said ADS’s president and chief operating officer, John Cerasuolo. He added that the company began rolling the new services out this spring — roughly five months ago — but the process of evaluating different technologies and developing the branding began in late 2011. “We were very focused on making sure these new product installations go very smoothly and that we didn’t put our customers through our learning curve… So that when we did launch it, the first customer would have the same experience as the 100th customer.”
ADS’s back-end support is a combination of Honeywell, Alarm.com and DMP products. To varying degrees the company uses all three vendors, depending on the market and application needed, Cerasuolo told SDM. He stressed that from the beginning, the company understood the importance of making it very transparent to the customer that ADS provides an ADS Aniware service and “not somebody else’s system.”
Cerasuolo said launching these services is one step in a company strategy established four years ago to expand deliverable services, which currently include cell communication, video services, managed and hosted access and video, and more. “Through discussion with customers and some research we’ve done, we identified that there was a significant segment of our customer base — the mid- to high-end residential and small- to mid-size commercial and particularly multiple location commercial customers — that really had the interest and the need for additional remote services,” Cerasuolo said. “That’s both to take control of some of their systems in their home or business — be it temperature control, lighting, opening and locking doors — but also video services to allow them to look into their home. In a residential situation, that may be checking on kids coming home from school and looking in on pets. But very importantly with small businesses, especially multi-location business owners, to keep tabs on their business in a very cost-effective and efficient manner.”
The automation services have only been available for four to five months in the branches that first rolled them out, but Cerasuolo estimated that about 15 percent of the customer base in those areas may have added those capabilities. More significantly, he said, in the year that passed since ADS began offering remote security system access through ADS Aniware, roughly 70 percent of its customer base opted to add remote management of their security system (remote arming and disarming, locking and unlocking doors, etc.). He added that the company offers these services as components that can be added or left out of a system. So that if a customer is interested in video but not in lighting controls, for example, they can have exactly the solution they want and need.
The ADS Aniware app is available for download on an iPhone, Android or Blackberry.
ADS went through a methodical introduction process in which every one of its salespeople and technicians were trained on the new automation offering. The automation piece is now integrated in the company’s marketing approach, which focuses on targeted Internet marketing. Cerasuolo noted that ADS does not take a mass marketing approach as its broad footprint would make it prohibitively expensive to saturate all of those markets with broadcast marketing messages. But that is where national players with very large customer bases such as Comcast and AT&T, new to the automation-plus-security space, are exerting a positive force to make consumers aware of the availability of these services on a very large scale. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor
New Research Indicates Strong Signs of Growth in Residential, Willingness of Dealers to Adapt to Challenges
The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) released key findings from CEDIA’s annual market research report, Size and Scope of the Residential Electronic Systems Market in the US©. The report features data on the characteristics of companies working within the residential electronics systems industry in the United States, revealing the current number of installation companies in the industry, the size of the workforce, trends, forecasts, and the economic impact of the industry.
The key findings from the report revealed:
• Electronic systems contractors (ESCs) expect a 5 percent gross revenue increase and a 17 percent increase in the number of projects in 2012 compared with 2011.
• Revenues for the installation segment of the industry are trending up as a whole, from $13B–$14B in 2010 to an anticipated $13.8B –$14.8B.
• ESCs also report a greater percentage of projects in existing homes (versus new construction) than ever before, while indicating that they are growing, adapting, and expanding into new product and service offerings.
“I think what is important to note here is that, with a housing market that is still unstable and an economy that is very slowly improving, ESCs are learning to adapt and overcome challenges for prosperity in a changed and constantly evolving market,” said Erica Shonkwiler, CEDIA market research manager. “The growth, which is hinged on consumer confidence, may be small, but it is also steady and much more sustainable in the long term.”
The study also helped to pinpoint some trends in technology usage in the residential market. Notably, three product categories stood out as having strong growth potential: mobile device integration within control systems, home networking systems and home theater/audio systems.
The report is a part of CEDIA’s research offerings, which are designed to provide CEDIA members, industry businesses, media, and other key stakeholders with market data that will enable them to make better business decisions. CEDIA members can request top-level findings by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 8, one week after Tyco made its split into three independently-run companies official, the “new Tyco’s” management team came together at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate and ring the closing bell that signals the end of the day’s trading session. NYSE began having special guests ring the closing bell on a regular basis in 1995.
Shortly before doing the honors, Tyco’s chief executive officer, George Oliver, along with Arun Nayar, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the new Tyco, and Mark VanDover, president of the Tyco Security Products business unit, joined SDM for an interview. They discussed trading and analyst response to the new publicly traded Tyco, challenges in integrating parts of ADT into the Fire & Security business, Ed Breen’s legacy and the company’s future.
SDM: It’s been a week since Tyco’s split became official. How does it feel to arrive at the New York Stock Exchange with that accomplishment under your belt?
Oliver: It’s been really exciting here over the last week, really culminating a lot of work that has been done over the last year in being able to successfully separate these companies. We’re going to be obviously remaining Tyco. But even with that we’re going to be a very different company going forward. We’re going to be the industry leader in fire and security with $10.5 billion in revenue. We’re taking a leadership position that we had in commercial security, which was part of the ADT Security segment and combining that with what I had responsibility for, which was Tyco Fire Protection, with which we had a leading division in fire. The combination of the two has come together very nicely in the new company.
On day one, we had over 10,000 of our employees connected with town hall meetings across the globe that were celebrating our first day. So if the excitement and enthusiasm that they had was a sign of what the future holds — it’s very bright. Because everyone is very excited about the new company and the prospects that we have now operating as a pure play company.
VanDover: When we did our day one celebration around the world we had video conferences, Web conferences and an internal [social network] we use called Yammer. The response across the world has just been overwhelming. Everybody’s pumped up about the new company, the new direction, the pure play nature of our business: our ability to really focus in on our fire and security products and services. It’s a great beginning for us.
SDM: What kind of response have you seen in trading since becoming a public company last week?
Nayar: [We’ve seen a] very positive response. In the first week of trading we’re up just over nine percent on some pretty high volumes. Pretty much about twice the level of the average trading volumes this year. So a lot of interest. The first three analyst reports that came out had a good, strong reading. So both from the analyst community and the investor community, the response has been very positive.
Oliver: As the industry leader of the space we’re in, I think it’s an attractive piece of a portfolio to invest in.
VanDover: As you can imagine as we launched the new company, George and his senior leadership team have been out on investor roadshows, a big analyst day, an investor day here in New York and feedback from all of the sessions has been very positive.
SDM: What do you see as the most difficult part of the spinoff process? And is that behind you or is it still to come?
Oliver: The way I would look at this is that we did this back in 2007 and at that time we had market-leading companies in healthcare and in the electronic space and those two companies were successfully spun out with the thought that the remaining part — there was still more work to be done to get them in position. We have market-leading positions with the three companies that separated here recently. So the execution of the separation — we have experience in doing that. For us operationally it was mainly separating the commercial security business, which was part of ADT Security Solutions, from the ADT North America residential security business. So that has been where a lot of our focus has been to successfully separate those business and begin to integrate the commercial security business with what we had within Tyco Fire Protection. Other than that, we’ve been on a timeline. When we started a year ago, our target was to separate by Sep. 28, which ultimately we did. I think all of the businesses are going forward from a position of strength.
SDM: You mentioned the previous spinoff that happened in 2007. In your role as the new CEO, how do you view Ed Breen’s legacy? And do you feel that you are continuing on in his footsteps or taking the company on an entirely new direction?
Oliver: I’ve worked with Ed for the last six years and he and I are very much aligned with the strategy of the company, where the companies come from and ultimately where we need to go. Ed is going to continue on as our chairman. So even though he’s retired as the chief executive officer, he is going to be our non-executive chairman of the board. So I will continue to work with Ed very closely on the board. When you think about Ed’s legacy … the first phase was the “save it” and that’s when the company was in crisis from a debt standpoint. Then “fix it” and then ultimately “grow it.” His belief in the previous separation but even with this separation was that you have strong, market-leading companies that have the ability to be able to utilize their own capital and be able to accelerate growth. And the way that these companies have been set up is ultimately to continue to accelerate that performance. And so, the focus going forward is we’re going from somewhat of a holding company structure with different businesses to now what I’d call an operating pure play company. And it has every opportunity now with similar fundamentals in place across our businesses to better leverage our capabilities focusing on the customer and growing while we’re continuing to find ways to leverage the infrastructure to free up resources to be able to invest in that growth. So Ed and I would be very much aligned with what the next chapter of the company is going forward.
SDM: To most it seems that the split will make each unit more attractive to potential buyers. Could you address some of the speculation about the intention behind the split?
Oliver: Each of these businesses are market-leading companies that are separating from a position of strength. And when we look at the combination of businesses that are coming together to make the new Tyco, we have tremendous opportunity going forward as a pure play within the fire and security industry. We see significant opportunity to deliver a lot of shareholder value operating these businesses. We put in a world-class management team with strong operating business leaders as well as world-class functional leaders and our sole focus is executing on this growth strategy. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor
SDM polled www.SDMmag.com visitors about a possible buyer for ADT now that the company was spun off by parent Tyco.
The recent Tyco split is making ADT a more and more attractive potential acquisition. Who’s your pick for most-likely buyer of ADT?
Verizon, AT&T or Comcast [45 votes] (42%)
Another telco or cable company that has not yet released a security service [2 votes] (2%)
A private equity firm [14 votes] (13%)
Stanley Black & Decker [10 votes] (9%)
Schneider Electric [7 votes] (7%)
No one: I don’t think it will be sold. [29 votes] (27%)
HID Global, Irvine, Calif., announced the initiation of a comprehensive, multi-year project to establish a new North American center of operations. The new Genuine HID Operations Center will be located in Austin, Texas. The project will commence with breaking ground on construction of a new 200,000-square-foot facility in December of this year. Once the building is completed, existing manufacturing operations, warehousing, distribution and customer service activities across North America will be consolidated into the Austin facility.
According to HID Global, the new center represents a significant investment in the company’s ongoing advancements in delivery performance, product quality and facility security while minimizing its environmental impact and maximizing the process efficiency of its global operations.
“The robust business climate and positive economic conditions in Austin were strong considerations in our final site selection,” said Denis Hébert, president and chief executive officer of HID Global. “Of equal importance was that the innovative, vibrant culture in the community aligns so well with our company culture and values. The bottom line is that Austin is a great place for us to invest in the future growth of our business.”
Protection 1, Romeoville, Ill., recorded its second straight year of triple digit national account growth, in part because of the customer-centric offerings provided to national account customers. One such offering — customized billing — is unique to the industry and has generated resoundingly positive feedback from customers.
“When we completed our Voice of the Customer interviews last year, some of the most common complaints we heard from national security buyers were around invoicing,” said Protection 1’s chief executive officer, Timothy Whall. “Large national buyers have unique invoicing needs, and the industry has been challenged to provide a good experience in this area. We committed to leveraging technology and our strong IT team, led by our CIO Don Young, to create an approach that allows clients to literally customize their bill.”
The customized billing process allows national accounts to choose the billing templates that best fit their processes. For example, a company with thousands of locations may want a total invoice sent to their corporate team on a monthly basis, with a spreadsheet-like list of site locations, service types and costs for each included. They may also want installations invoices sent to a different office or location, with service calls billed to each individual site. Once a customer’s options are chosen, they can also print any or all invoices on demand from eSuite, Protection 1’s customer Web portal.
Guardian Alarm Company, Southfield, Mich., acquired Alert Alarm, Royal Oak, Mich., and Allstate Alarm Systems Inc., Detroit. The acquisitions brought more than $70,000 in RMR to Guardian.
Guardian Alarm has offices in Michigan, Ohio, Florida and Ontario, Canada. The company, which owns a UL-Listed monitoring center, offers CCTV, fire/life-safety solutions, intrusion alarms, video badge/identification and biometrics for high-level access control to a 60 percent commercial, 40 percent residential client base.
The newly expanding Dallas-based security company Thrive Intelligence recently launched its most comprehensive system yet, Thrive 360, and it certainly has some heads turning. While the company is young on paper, its executive team boasts a collective resume that spans, “more than 30 years of security industry experience, more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, and more than 15 years of engineering experience,” said Rick Cook, executive vice president of sales.
The success of the new Thrive 360 system stems from its concise company vision. The basis for this system is born out of a two-part philosophy. According to Cook, this philosophy is actualized “through implementation of state-of-the-art analytics, the convenience of the use, staffing and response can be streamlined” and “providing quality systems that increase the real value of a customer’s company, not just the perceived value.”
For the former, Thrive 360 offers a slew of technologies intertwined with its “edge-based analytics” such as, “event-based video monitoring, audio intervention, GPS tracking, 24/7 real time monitoring by security intervention specialists and a centralized command center,” Cook described. The combination of these assets in a system not only overcomes human error in surveillance but, “proactively intervenes and acts.” This offers the consumer a new level of protection for a fraction of the man power.
Through this reduced manpower and proactive approach to security, Thrive offers a greatly increased real value to its customers. Thrive 360 combines 24/7 monitored security specialists and is supervised by law enforcement professionals, with a fully redundant disaster recovery. This transcends typical response-oriented security services and moves Thrive into a new field of proactive security that addresses possible threats before they are an issue, Cook related.
This model of security conceptualization, one which combines analytics technology and a commitment to the real value of a customer’s system has allowed Thrive and its new Thrive 360 system to stand out in the incredibly competitive security market.
A report from IMS Research, Wellingborough, U.K., predicted that the security systems market in the Americas will grow at an average rate of 7 percent per year to more than $30 billion by 2016.
The largest portion of these revenues will continue to come from the United States, according to the report, “Security Systems Integration – World – 2012 Edition.” The fastest growth, however, will be seen in Latin American countries such as Brazil, which will host the 2016 summer Olympic games.
“The Latin America market is a really exciting place right now for systems integration. A lot of technology providers are trying to establish themselves in this marketplace, including the large international systems integrators. In the United States it’s a different picture entirely and I believe we’re seeing the start of consolidation,” said Paul Bremner, IMS Research market analyst who authored the report.
Additionally, the report also forecast there will be no lessening of competition in the Americas’ security systems integration market, in which the largest five integrators account for less than 20 percent of market share, according to the research company. Rather, competition should only increase as traditional IT integrators enter the market and further erode market share. Meanwhile, in some Latin American countries, fragmentation remains the name of the game.
“The security systems integration competitive environment is really interesting because the range of companies in the market is huge. At one end there are the enterprise integrators, like Johnson Controls and Siemens. At the other end, are five-man companies serving a product or geographic market niche,” Bremner said.
This is best illustrated by SDM’s 2012 Top Systems Integrators Report, which ranks the No. 1 integrator, ADT, with $1.8 billion (2011 North American systems integration revenue) and the No. 100 company, Sonitrol New England, with $3.1 million (2011 North American systems integration revenue). Total systems integration revenue from the top 100 companies was $6.88 billion in 2011, down 3.6 percent from 2010.
Standards initiative ONVIF recently surpassed the 2,000 mark for the number of products that conform to its IP-based physical security products interoperability standards.
In addition to being a milestone for the ONVIF standard, the 2,000 products represent a two-fold increase in conformant products over the last 12 months. Overall ONVIF membership has also grown to include more than 400 individual companies from a cross-section of manufacturers and other security technology companies of varying sizes and scopes from around the world.
ONVIF also launched an online training webinar to help end users, systems integrators and consultants learn more about ONVIF, including the recent launch of Profile S, which addresses common functionalities between devices within an IP video surveillance system. The free webinar provides a basic overview of current security industry standards, details about the mission and objectives of ONVIF, and the core specification and conformance process.
“The myriad of networking products available in the marketplace today presents our industry with a real paradox,” said Paul Tennent, director of the webinar’s developer, Tavcom Training. “The enormous choices we are now offered have never been more exciting but without effective global standards to ensure smooth and easy interoperability, that same benefit can quickly become a nightmare.”
Additionally, Profile S and a test tool have been added to the ONVIF conformance process to further simplify ONVIF implementation. Profile S describes common functionalities shared by ONVIF conformant video management systems and IP cameras, encoders and other devices that send, configure, request or control the streaming of video over a network. The test tool is available in the Documents section of ONVIF’s website, along with guidelines on Profile S and the ONVIF Profile Policy.
For information, visit www.onvif.org.
ADS Security, Nashville, Tenn., announced it acquired the accounts and related assets of Golden Triangle Security Alliance in Columbus, Miss. This acquisition marks ADS’s entry into the state of Mississippi, the seventh state ADS now services in the southeast. In the near term, Golden Triangle Security Alliance will be operated as a division of ADS. ADS did not disclose the details of the purchase.
“ADS continues to expand into new markets across the southeast by looking for companies with a tradition of outstanding service to their customers,” said ADS’s president and chief operating officer, John Cerasuolo. “Golden Triangle has built a strong business through superior customer service and we are excited to have the opportunity to establish our first office in Mississippi with a company of this quality.”
Golden Triangle customers now have access to ADS’s customer service, suite of security technologies, CSAA Five Diamond monitoring facility and the ADS Security website including a customer portal with online bill pay.
For the past several years, Bold Technologies, Colorado Springs, Colo., focused on building its annual users event to provide more practical knowledge and valuable networking to its customers. This year, more than 200 attendees — up from 130 at least year’s event — convened at the Brown Palace hotel in Denver from Aug. 6 to 9 to participate in the event.
According to Rod Coles, Bold’s president and chief executive officer, the secret to the event’s growth is that it has gained a reputation as a good education event as well as an exciting social event. In the spirit of combining education and fun, the Bold team spiced up its program by adding some competition into the mix. Attendees were sorted into “houses,” or teams, and were able to win points for their house every time they attended a class or vendor presentation. Coles joked, “It’s a bit like the Harry Potter thing.” Instead of a boarding school for magic, Bold created an immersive week-long school for Manitou, its central station automation software. “We had a bit of fun through the whole conference with all the teams collecting points,” Coles said.
“Bold has improved the conference each year, and has now found the perfect format,” said Brett Springall, IT director at Security Central. Springall has been a Bold customer for more than 30 years.
Education sessions were split up into six tracks: IT, IT/operations, operations, trainer, product demonstrations and President’s Club. Part of the benefit of the event’s growth is that the Bold team is able to offer more specialized sessions “on the fringe,” such as a programming course on the company’s MediaGateway. “There were only about 20 people in it but we can now offer that because we have a very nice variety of people,” Coles said.
“I was impressed with how much Bold has grown and their ability to continue to staff quality personnel,” commented Ty Davis, vice president of monitoring services at Life Alert Emergency Response. Life Alert has a relationship with Bold spanning 20 years, Davis noted. “Classes were well thought out and had a variety that would accommodate a novice or expert user. I brought an employee from my IT department that had only been with the company for three months. He was able to get as much from the conference as I did although on two different levels,” he added.
The big buzz this year was around some of Bold’s new products: Bold SOS and the UniversalConnector. Bold SOS is a mobile safety device. Users can raise personal alarms, in case of an attack for example. But the device also connects into their car’s diagnostics. If an accident occurs, an alarm goes out to the central station. “What the [UniversalConnector] does is allow any device to be able to connect in and deliver a signal,” Coles explained. “So you might deliver it through an SMS message or an email, or you might drop a video onto an FTP site, or TCP. It’s a way to take any kind of signal and deliver it to Manitou.” The product won the ESX Mirror award this year.
Bold also presented an address verification product that allows customers to verify their addresses against central U.S. postal service database and launched its BoldNet app for technicians.
Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems, Aurora, Ill., and immediate past president of CSAA, was there to present an update on the ASAP to PSAP project. Alarm Detection Systems completed testing of Bold’s compatibility with the program and approved the company on that mechanism.
Attendees enjoyed a Taste of Denver bar and restaurant crawl and a comedy dinner show during that week.
Court Rules Fire District Must Exit Alarm Business Oct. 4; Why the ADT v. Lisle-Woodridge Battle Isn’t Over Yet
After a federal court ruled in favor of ADT and other alarm companies against a fire protection district in Illinois attempting to create a fire alarm monitoring monopoly, that fire district was issued a deadline of Oct. 4 to exit the alarm monitoring business. The fire protection district sent out letters to monitoring customers in the area letting them know they should seek to contract alarm monitoring through one of the private security companies operating in the area. This permanent injunction against Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District notwithstanding, the case is not yet “closed.” And the progress made by alarm companies in preventing fire protection districts from forming monitoring monopolies could be reversed by “the stroke of a pen,” said Ed Williams, Illinois Electronic Security Association’s general counsel, at a recent meeting.
Williams has more than 20 years of experience focusing almost exclusively on litigation. He was the guest speaker at an IESA meeting held on Sept. 13 to discuss this lawsuit and its implications. One thing to note, Williams said, is the sheer volume of “transactions” or documents filed with the court in this lawsuit. The number of transactions is currently just over 400 and will continue to grow. “This case has already gone to the Circuit Court of Appeals [four times],” Williams said. “In law school, it’s common when you talk about a case to talk about ABC technology 1 or ABC technology 2, because it went to the Appellate Court twice. We’re already up to ADT 4 and there will probably be an ADT 5, which makes this case extraordinary.”
The initial complaint was filed by ADT along with Alarm Detection Systems, D.M.C. Security, Illinois Alarm Services, and SMG Security in July 2010. “The court gave its first injunction in November of 2010,” Williams related. “When you go up in front of a court, either state or federal doesn’t make a difference, and present a motion for injunction you’re asking the court to tell them stop what they’re doing because if they don’t stop what they’re doing, irreparable harm is going to occur.”
That initial (and temporary) injunction was appealed last August. The appellate court sent it back to the trial court with some instructions, primarily centered on the need for all alarm boards to follow NFPA 72.
At the start of this litigation, Lisle-Woodridge made repeated claims that its entrance and need to control fire alarm monitoring was a matter of public safety, quoting out-of-context guidelines from NFPA 72 to show that private central stations take up to 15 and even 20 minutes to respond to alarms. “[That’s] outrageous,” Williams said. “Everybody knows that isn’t the case. And the plaintiffs went in and did their homework and overwhelmed the judge with a number of facts to counter this.”
Among the plaintiffs’ findings were that the district’s remote supervising station consisted of a transmitting station without any personnel. NFPA 72 requires two people to be on duty at all times at these supervising stations. “Ed Bonifas did a study on all of the data that came out,” Williams continued. “And he came up with some incredible numbers, not the least of which is the trouble signals were being ignored for weeks and in some cases months. As I understand it, this doesn’t automatically mean the alarm is out of service. But it could mean the alarm is out of service. It could mean these people have no fire protection when they think they do.” In addition, the district did not have a license to transmit on the frequencies. “They were using Keltron’s licenses and I believe it was the same frequency range that cab drivers and some other non-emergency service use,” Williams said. “So this doesn’t jive very well with public safety.”
In the end, Judge Shadur found that the Lisle-Woodridge monitoring station was not NFPA-compliant. This is in addition to determining that fire protection districts were not granted authority to mandate how or by whom alarm monitoring is done. The fire protection district is now compelled by the court to do several things: “They have to allow the industry to populate DuPage County’s CAD system,” Williams said. “What that means in effect is Lisle-Woodridge was claiming a slight 30-second advantage on signal timing because they didn’t have to re-enter at a keyboard. Yet Du-Comm would not let the industry populate its CAD to get on the same level playing field. The judge said everybody’s got to be fair and get the same right to get immediate transmission without human intervention, which eliminates the human error rate.
“By October 4, the judge ordered the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District to refund all monies that it collected for the last two years: over $2 million,” Williams continued.” Now, that’s an extraordinary event and it does send a lot of message. However, the Appellate Court will ultimately weigh in on that and it remains to be seen whether that’s going to happen.”
Williams noted that there are approximately 25 or 26 municipalities in the Chicago area that in some fashion — whether they’re a fire protection district, a village, a city or a town — have gone into the fire alarm monitoring business. Some, such as the city of Naperville, allow for open competition. Others aim to position the district, town, municipality, etc. as the sole legal provider of fire alarm monitoring. Williams emphasized that the rulings in the ADT v. Lisle-Woodridge case may not serve as precedent in the case of municipalities, as the authority of fire protection districts is limited by the Illinois Fire Protection District Act, while municipalities under the Illinois Municipal Code may not have the same restrictions.
But even in the case of the limitations within the Illinois Fire Protection Act, a significant factor in Judge Shadur’s ruling for a permanent injunction, Williams warned those laws can be amended. That’s the challenge that IESA faces ahead. Williams pointed out that himself along with IESA executive director Kevin Lehan monitor bill activity that may seek to expand authority for fire protection districts. One such bill was introduced in February 2011, though not picked up during that session. — By Sabrina Gasulla, Associate Editor
Sony Electronics, San Diego, Calif., closed an acquisition agreement with Pixim Inc., Mountain View, Calif., a manufacturer of chipsets for security cameras.
According to Sony, the company will use Pixim’s “Image Sensor technologies and engineering design expertise to further strengthen [Sony’s] global design and support functions. Upon the conclusion of the acquisition, Pixim Inc. will play an important role for our image sensor semiconductor business as a subsidiary of Sony Electronics.”
Pixim said it is excited about the merger as it will benefit Pixim employees, investors, and customers.
Geoffrey Craighead, CPP, will serve as president of ASIS International (ASIS) in 2013. Craighead will be the 58th president of ASIS, succeeding Eduard J. Emde, CPP, CISSP, who will become ASIS chairman of the board.
In their leadership positions, both Craighead and Emde will also serve on the Board Management Committee of the board of directors. The Board Management Committee directs the activities of ASIS between meetings of the full board. These volunteer leaders maintain the strategic continuity of the programs, products and services ASIS provides. The full 2013 ASIS Board Management Committee is comprised of five people:
• Geoffrey Craighead, CPP, president; vice president, Universal Protection Service, Santa Ana, Calif.
• Richard Widup, Jr., CPP, president-elect; senior director, Corporate Security, Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, Conn.
• Dave Tyson, CPP, treasurer; vice president, Tyson Security Risk Advisory, San Jose, Calif.
• David Davis, CPP, secretary; senior manager, Northrop Grumman, San Bernardino, Calif.
• Eduard Emde, CPP, chairman of the board; Security Management Coach, BMKISS Europe, Wassenaar, Netherlands.
The office of the secretary was filled through an election by the 2013 board of directors on Sept. 10 at the ASIS International 58th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, held in Philadelphia, Sept. 10-13.
Two new members were elected in August to serve on the board of directors for the 2013-2015 term. They are:
• Richard Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, chief security officer, General Atomics, San Diego, Calif.
• Thomas Langer, vice president security, BAE Systems Inc., Arlington, Va.
One member was re-elected in August to a second term on the board of directors, and will continue to serve during the 2013-2015 term. He is:
• Joseph H. McDonald, CPP, PSP, chief security officer, Switch Communications Group, Las Vegas.
The following members continue to serve on the ASIS board of directors:
• Brian J. Allen, CPP, chief of security, Time Warner Cable, New York
• Deborah L. Allen, CPP, director, Product Stewardship and Security, Potash Corporation, Northbrook, Ill.
• Darryl R. Branham, CPP, senior director, Security Systems, Travelers Insurance Company, St. Paul, Minn.
• Chad Callaghan, CPP, principal, Premises Liability Experts, Atlanta.
• Stephen Scharf, senior vice president and Global Chief Information Security Officer, Experian, Costa Mesa, Calif.
• John E. Turey, CPP, senior director, Enterprise Risk Management & Global Security, TE Connectivity, Berwyn, Pa.
ASIS Board members serve a three-year term. The newly elected board and officers will assume their positions on Jan.1, 2013.
Ackerman Security Systems was ranked the eighth best place to work in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in its annual Best Places To Work report.
Each year, Atlanta Business Chronicle, in partnership with Quantum Workplace, surveys the metro area’s employers to find those that have discovered how to become one of Atlanta’s best places to work. The Chronicle asked readers to nominate workplaces in metro Atlanta. This year, more than 650 companies and organizations were nominated, comprising more than 27,000 employee-completed surveys.
“We are particularly gratified to be so highly ranked, as the results are based solely on the voices of the employees and on the data collected,” said Jim Callahan, president of Ackerman.
The announcement of this year’s winners took place in September at the Georgia Aquarium with more than 800 business leaders in attendance.
Two recently introduced bills — Senate Bills 1291 and 1292 — would create a separate set of licensing requirements in Michigan for IP-enabled security systems, and also circumvent existing statutes that are currently followed by BFAAM members and other providers, stated two industry associations.
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) joined forces to oppose this legislation. According to the associations, the bills would potentially benefit the entry of telephone companies into the state’s electronic security and life safety sector while creating an undue burden on existing providers.
The bills, ESA said, propose new licensing requirements that would conflict with existing rules requiring companies in the life safety and electronic security industry to adhere to minimum qualifications in licensure, certification, training and background checks. Rather than working within the existing statute, the groups say, the new legislation also would:
• Create a new licensing structure with a definition of a security system as “IP-enabled,” primarily because it sends signals via the internet. In fact, nearly all security systems in use today are IP-enabled, and no new classification is necessary, ESA noted.
• Require many current providers to obtain two licenses — one under the existing statute and a second one under the new classifications — and follow a redundant and often contradictory new set of regulations.
• Allow new entrants into the industry to circumvent existing requirements for criminal background checks.
The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Mich.) and backed by companies such as AT&T and Comcast, which recently entered the home security space.
Dean Belisle, president of BFAAM, sent a call to action to members of the association and called an emergency meeting for Oct. 19. Belisle explained, “AT&T and Comcast are pushing legislation to eliminate our industry license and allow them to enter our industry with no regulatory oversight and no criminal background checks.”
Belisle said that supporters of this bill “are throwing their weight and a lot of money behind this. When they are finished, Michigan will be set back forty years and we will be left with no license or regulation of the security industry and no protection for the consumer against criminal acts.” He later added, “Fighting AT&T and Comcast has not and will not be easy — we are David and they are Goliath.”
According to the minutes from the Senate Economic Development Committee held on Sept. 20, 2012, one day after being introduced by Sen. Hildenbrand, Senate Bills 1291 & 1292 were presented for recommendation to the Senate. During that meeting, Jim Kirsch & Mark Ortlieb, representing AT&T, offered support for the bills. Liz Smalley & Al Schefke, representing the Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs, opposed the bills as introduced. And Judy Allen and Bill Anderson, representing the Michigan Townships Association, expressed concern. All were available to answer questions during the meeting. The motion to recommend the bills passed unanimously with no objections.
BFAAM warned that this legislation is moving fast thanks to aggressive lobbying from its supporters. Seven days passed from the introduction of the bills on Sept. 19, to approval by the Senate on Sep. 27. The associations’ goal is to arrive at a compromise that will still regulate the security industry and protect the citizens of Michigan.
In a letter to several influential state legislators, ESA President John Knox stated than rather than pushing the legislature to “carve out” a special class of licensing provisions, telephone companies such as AT&T who wish to become active in the industry should adhere to existing licensing statutes, along with the 400 businesses that currently comply with those provisions as members of BFAAM.
In that letter, Knox suggested that proponents of the legislations should instead “update the definitions of a security alarm company or system contained in the present statutes, rather than creating a new and burdensome licensing scheme.”
At the time of writing, the bills passed the State Senate and were being sent to the State House of Representatives for a vote. The next stop would be the Governor’s Office for approval.
Ayal Vogel, a 20-year-plus security industry veteran, announced the launch of AMID Strategies. The newly formed company represents leading industry manufacturers and is dedicated to serving the specific technology needs of A&Es and security consultants. Focusing his efforts specifically on this sector will fill a void that currently exists in the security industry, Vogel contended.
AMID Strategies helps bridge the gap between the manufacturers and consultants and helps the manufacturers focus on the tools that the consultants need to make their jobs easier. These tools include specifications in the proper format, building information modeling (BIM) tools, and a Web portal that is password driven to prevent everyone from accessing strategic product roadmap information.
This approach represents a value proposition never before available to A&Es and security consultants, Vogel added. By working in conjunction with select manufacturers, Vogel is building a dedicated program tailored to the specific needs of A&Es and security consultants.
For information, visit www.amidstrategies.com.
Middle Atlantic Products, Fairfield, N.J., appointed David Bromberg as regional sales manager for the Western region, including southern California and southern Nevada for all market segments and Arizona for residential, security and DataCommchannels.
Galaxy Control Systems, Walkersville, Md., appointed David Owen as its national sales director. Owen is responsible for the national sales force. Owen previously worked for the last 13 years in various sales-related roles. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the security industry.
Digital Monitoring Products (DMP), Springfield, Mo., named Robert Putica as its dealer development manager in the company’s Los Angeles Basin sales region. He is responsible for developing new sales and providing on-going service to DMP-authorized dealers throughout the region, helping them to grow their businesses.
Honeywell Security Products Americas, Melville, N.Y., promoted Marek Robinson to president, Authorized Dealer Groups. In his new role, Robinson focuses on the First Alert Professional and Commercial Security Systems dealer programs and further building on the business and marketing support offered by both programs. Marek has been with Honeywell since 1995.
Code Blue Corporation, Holland, Mich., added Roberto Zanotta as its international sales manager. Zanotta oversees key relationships with national dealers as well as expands Code Blue’s emerging presence overseas. The company also hired John Plooster as regional sales manager for central North America. In his new role, Plooster oversees relationships with rep firms and dealers across a territory that stretches from Texas north into Canada. Additionally, Code Blue announced the hiring of Becky Zobl as manager of sales administration.
Securadyne Systems, Dallas, named Chris Young chief financial officer. Carey Boethel, president and CEO of Securadyne Systems, stated, “Chris’ leadership skills and experience in the security industry make him ideally suited to lead our finance and accounting team, and help position the company for future growth and expansion.”
DMP, Springfield, Miss., named Dennis Calvey as dealer development manager for the Midwest region, responsible for developing new sales and providing on-going service to DMP authorized dealers.
Sales Technician Colton Kuddes is the newest addition to the Denver-based Security Brands Inc. sales team. Kuddes has a background in sales and the customer service industry. Kuddes is supporting sales coast-to-coast in the United States, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
BCDVideo, Northbrook, Ill., an IP video storage and intelligent building solutions provider, was recognized as one of CRN’s 2012 Fast Growth 50 Up-and-Coming companies. Compiled by UBM Channel as an extension of the Fast Growth 100 list, the Fast Growth 50 highlights emerging IT channel companies that have most successfully driven revenues over the last two years.
Optellios Inc., Newtwon, Pa., announced that Kevin Bradley joined the company as senior vice president, sales and marketing. Bradley develops and deploys sales and marketing initiatives that will drive Optellios’ revenues. The company also appointed Greg Williams as director, finance and accounting. Williams brings more than 15 years of experience to Optellios, having served in various finance and accounting positions at organizations nationwide.
Sargent and Greenleaf Inc., Nicholasville, Ky., a subsidiary of Stanley Security Solutions, appointed Ned Urschel vice president and managing director – global sales. Uschel joined S&G in 1986, and has served in a variety of leadership roles —
Smarter Security, Austin, Texas, hired Simon Sheehan as federal and Mid-Atlantic region sales manager. He is responsible for selling Fastlane® optical turnstiles, Door Detective™, and outdoor security solutions.