ADT Announces Strategic Shift; Offers Products and Services Beyond the Traditional

ADT announced several new and innovative product features, partnerships, and industry firsts at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that continue to push the company beyond the bounds of traditional alarm systems. One of those industry firsts is ADT’s partnership with Ford Motor Co., which will allow ADT Pulse users to control aspects of their home using voice commands through the Ford SYNC AppLink.

This year, the two apps will become compatible, enabling drivers of an equipped Ford vehicle to have hands-free control using voice commands. Customers that have both SYNC AppLink and the ADT Pulse application will be able to use this functionality without an additional cost on either side. Ford’s SYNC AppLink is available on more than 1.5 million vehicles.

“We’ve been fans of the Ford SYNC platform for some time and it was a natural fit to partner up,” Ryan Petty, vice president of product development and innovation, ADT, told SDM. “We’re all very excited about giving Ford and ADT customers the ability to control their Pulse systems without ever taking their hands off the road.”

Drivers press the SYNC voice button on their steering wheels to launch the ADT Pulse app. From there, using voice commands, users can check their system status, arm and disarm their system, open doors, and adjust heating and lighting settings.

“The ADT Pulse app shows that everything in our lives is becoming increasingly interconnected,” Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink said in a statement. “Now, working with other technology companies, we are able to see what a truly connected world is starting to look like.”

That connected world extends beyond just the Ford/ADT partnership. ADT announced other partnerships, more products and services in its self-named “strategic shift” where the company aims to no longer protect just homes or businesses, but to protect people and their digital assets as well, even outside of the home.

The company announced a partnership with digital security company McAfee, for which it will “develop a cohesive platform where users will be able to easily protect their digital and physical domains from one centralized, easy-to-use portal,” according to a press release.

The initial phase of the partnership will include a service made available to all ADT customers on a subscription basis called McAfee LiveSafe. The software, which will be available for download through in the spring of 2014, allows customers to secure devices in their home from viruses, malware and more.

“The broader vision here is that it integrates with the Pulse platform, so all of a customer’s devices can be protected with a single application,” Petty explained.

End users will be able to track their electronic devices if stolen, and if they can’t be recovered, they can be securely wiped of all personal information, according to Petty. “Personal data is becoming one of the most valuable assets that we have, so we felt it very important to extend ADT protection to that data,” Petty explained.

In addition, ADT introduced a hands-free voice application that allows end users to control their security system and home automation functions, including garage doors and appliances, remotely via the ADT smartphone app. The added capability, which includes voice authentication, will be available for all Pulse users to download free of charge.

Another application announced by ADT at CES was Canopy. This mobile application allows users to identify and locate designated friends and family members. An integrated, subscription-based feature called ADT Chaperone, provides a direct line to ADT monitoring centers in the case of an emergency, or even for peace of mind such as walking through a parking garage at night. ADT plans to make the application available to anyone, not just ADT customers, this spring.

Petty added that introducing an application such as Canopy and its integrated Chaperone feature, allows ADT to make its brand available to anyone with a smart device interested in protecting themselves or their loved ones.

“I use it with my kids. If you have a teenager, you can make sure you know where they are and where they are going,” Petty said. “If you get in a situation where you are uncomfortable, an ADT operator is always available. If you run out of gas or are at the mall late and don’t want to walk alone, we can dispatch the correct response.” In the event of an emergency, the location services automatically let dispatchers know where the end user is located.

Not to be overshadowed by its other announcements and, perhaps the biggest news for ADT channel dealers in terms of cost-savings: ADT also unveiled a wireless platform for the ADT Pulse. The completely wireless control panel allows for installations of ADT’s Pulse system with all its capabilities and no in-wall wiring. The product release will open ADT up to a range of new market possibilities, according to Petty.

“We see this allowing us to serve markets that we haven’t been able to traditionally, such as apartment renters that want a security system but can’t put wires in their walls. There are a lot of opportunities for this,” Petty shared.

The theme behind all of the company’s announcements at CES this year is protection in every way possible, anytime, anywhere. ADT plans to continue seeking innovative partnerships and introducing new products and features that offer protection for every facet of their customers’ lives in the future, including those that leverage its McAfee partnership. “The larger vision behind all of this is that we want to be the company to protect the home, the physical things people care about, as well as the people our customers care about, even on the go,” Petty said. —By Maggie McFadden Shein, SDM Contributing Writer


Avigilon Acquires VideoIQ for $32 Million

Vancouver, Canada-based Avigilon Corp. announced an agreement to acquire VideoIQ of Billerica, Mass. The transaction, which was expected to close in early January, is for $32 million in cash.

Alexander Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of Avigilon, told SDM that acquiring the video analytics company brings a “proven analytics technology” as well as “a strong development team” to Avigilon. In a prepared statement, Avigilon cites VideoIQ’s portfolio of 23 patents granted or pending, intellectual property and its current video analytics products as a complement to Avigilon’s high-definition surveillance solutions.

“Although analytics is not a major part of the overall surveillance market, it is a growing segment and up until now, if analytics were a part of our customer’s requirements, we were not able to supply it. So customers would be relegated to third-party equipment. Now, we can offer the whole package to include video analytics,” Fernandes explained.

He added that Avigilon plans to introduce VideoIQ’s existing products to the Avigilon sales force and technical support in the short term, while working on tighter integration and new products with the Avigilon brand.

“We look forward to the full, seamless integration of VideoIQ products with Avigilon, which will take video analytics to the next level. The acquisition will enable us to leverage the teams from both companies, increasing sales all around and facilitating the global expansion of our combined technologies,” said Mahesh Saptharishi, president, chief technical officer and co-founder of VideoIQ. VideoIQ staff will remain onboard and its Massachusetts development facility will stay open.

“We will look to integrate the core technology in some shape or form into our high-definition surveillance platform. We aim to be the first to bring video analytics to an HD platform in a way that is commercially viable,” Fernandes said. He added that, together, the newly merged team will focus on cost reduction, by eliminating components or hardware that would be necessary in today’s market to incorporate analytics, but may not be when the technology is fully integrated with Avigilon’s offerings.

As for when dealers and integrators can expect to see new products on the market as a result of the acquisition? “Roughly in the next 3-6 months, you can expect a tighter integration with our software and in 12-18 months, an even deeper integration,” Fernandes said.

Avigilon has reported notable growth in the last few years. Its quarterly report released Nov. 19, 2013 recounted sales of $51.2 million during its third quarter—a 100 percent increase over the same period in 2012.  — By Maggie McFadden Shein, SDM Contributing Writer


Fike Corporation Names New President

Fike Corporation, Blue Springs, Mo., named Brad Batz its president effective immediately. In this role, Batz leads all corporate functions, which include manufacturing, quality, supply chain, finance, human resources and information technology.

Fike Corporation was founded in 1945 and currently has more than 1,000 employees worldwide. Fike provides safety solutions that protect people and critical assets from dangers such as fire, explosion and over-pressurization through its complete line of products.


Court Dismisses’s Lawsuit Against Telular

A court has dismissed, with prejudice, a lawsuit filed by against cellular alarm communications Telular Corp., according to Telular, which provides products and security services through its Telguard division. As a result of the dismissal, Telguard can continue to distribute its HomeControl suite of home automation solutions.

“Telguard’s customers have long valued both our internal innovation and strong partnerships, and we are pleased that the dismissal of this lawsuit will not disrupt our customers from benefitting from the broad range of home automation solutions enabled by our HomeControl platform,” Shawn Welsh, Telular’s vice president of marketing and business development, said in a statement. “Telguard’s focus has always been on exceptional customer service, which has fueled the adoption of our Telguard HomeControl platform for both 2GIG and DSC.”

Coincidentally, HomeControl is powered by iControl, which recently settled its own patent infringement lawsuit against (see page 20), and is compatible with 2GIG alarm automation panels. Prior to the Telular offering, was the sole interactive service provider for 2GIG Technologies, which was acquired by Nortek for $135 million in February 2013.

In its original lawsuit, filed in May 2013, contended that Telular used patented technology without permission under three of’s patents. In a fourth claim, stated that Telular also infringed on its patent for monitoring property via mobile device. had sought damages, attorney’s fees and interest, as well as an injunction to prevent Telular from further infringing on its patents. and iControl End Patent Disputes and iControl Networks have settled all patent disputes between the two companies and have come to terms on licensing arrangements.

As part of the agreement, and iControl each retain ownership and rights to their respective patents and have also expanded their respective portfolios of licensed intellectual property via certain cross-licensing agreements. Terms of the settlement are also extended to litigation involving partner Front Point Security and iControl partner Telular Corp. In May 2013, Teluar itself was the target of an patent infringement lawsuit over home automation and mobile security technologies, which was recently dismissed, with prejudice.

According to, the patents included in this cross-licensing agreement represent some of the earliest, seminal intellectual property for today’s connected home technology.

In July 2013, connected home technology provider iControl filed a patent infringement lawsuit against and FrontPoint Security, seeking damages and an injunction to stop the further sale of products the company claimed infringed on its patents.

At the time, iControl asserted that the technology in’s interactive home security system infringed on one or more of six specific patents, including those that defined methods for implementing alarms and notifications, event monitoring and managing premise networking equipment.


ACA Buys Hawk Security Services  From Interface

Alarm Capital Alliance (ACA), Newtown Square, Pa., acquired the residential division of Hawk Security Services from St. Louis, Mo.-based Interface Security Systems, which retained Hawk’s commercial customers. Interface ranks No. 11 and ACA No. 20 on the SDM 100.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hawk Security has been serving customers in Texas for nearly 30 years. With the acquisition, ACA adds more than 27,000 residential customers, bringing the company’s total customer base to 170,000-plus. Interface will continue to own and service Hawk’s 12,000 commercial customers under the Interface name.

To continue delivering the local service Hawk’s customers have come to expect, the company’s staff and regional branches in Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio will remain in place and become part of the ACA family. The company will operate as Hawk Security, a member of My Alarm Center, which is ACA’s direct-to-consumer umbrella name.

Mike Shirley, Hawk’s regional vice president, will continue with the organization as vice president and general manager. ACA will rely on his lengthy security industry experience to ease the transition process and plot the future of Hawk Security.

According to CEO Michael Shaw, selling Hawk’s residential business will allow Interface to focus more on the company’s strength, namely its commercial services.

 In addition to Kothari, Anastasia Bottos, chief business development officer and executive vice president of acquisitions, and Scott Peterson, chief financial officer for ACA, were instrumental in completing the acquisition. Brandon Savage, senior vice president of Customer Experience and Operations, will oversee the transition and integration.

Imperial Capital, LLC served as Interface’s exclusive advisor in the transaction. John E. Mack III, co-head of Investment Banking at Imperial Capital, said this was a sound deal for both companies.



Siemens Introduces Managed Security Service for Industrial Environments

Siemens Industry announced the roll-out of its managed security service in the United States, an offering aimed at providing continuous protection to production environments. The offering includes assessment of security posture, implementation of recommended security measures, and transitions into ongoing defense against rapidly evolving cyber security threats in industrial control system environments. The offering will first be introduced in the United States, followed by Europe and Asia.

“Global cyber threats are rapidly evolving, and it also takes continuous and comprehensive action to protect production environments,” said Jagannath Rao, president of Industry Customer Services at Siemens. “This new managed service will allow customers to stay focused on their core business,” he added.

The specific requirements for security of an Industrial Control System (ICS) environment differ from the enterprise requirements of corporate IT. The impacts of a successful attack can be serious, and include health, safety and ICS environmental impacts along with manipulation of data, IP theft, sabotage of production and plant down time, according to Siemens.

“Companies are understanding that cyber security commands the attention of those at the helm of the enterprise because of its sheer gravity and magnitude,” said Raj Batra, president of Siemens Industry Automation. “With that C-level focus, the rest of the enterprise quickly follows suit, but they need help, and that’s where vendors like Siemens come in,” Batra continued.

With this offering, Siemens aims to help customers move away from point solutions for security to a comprehensive security program delivered through a managed security service.


Matrix Systems to Build Regional Integration Business

Matrix Systems, Miamisburg, Ohio, announced the creation of two strategic channels of business: Frontier and Xentry Systems Integration. Frontier will focus on delivering the Frontier access control platform and also will invest significant R&D into the design of an integrated enterprise video and access solution, which will be known as the Frontier Integrated Platform. The security management platform will be marketed using a channel model involving security integrators, IT resellers and electrical contractors nationwide.

Focusing on integration, Xentry Systems Integration will partner with more than 300 existing Frontier system customers in the Great Lakes and southern Florida regions. Xentry Systems Integration will evolve beyond the existing service business to deliver a broader and more comprehensive range of security integration services to end users.

The two entities will serve their distinct customers and provide the larger Matrix Systems organization with the flexibility to pursue separate yet focused strategies for continued growth. Both businesses will retain the company’s executive team, but each will be driven by its own separate management and sales teams.

In addition, Frontier is actively recruiting strategic partners nationwide with a goal of building a 100 percent channel sales model in North America by the end of 2014.


Select Security Names Steve Firestone President,  Patrick Egan Assumes CEO Role

Select Security promoted Steve Firestone to president in charge of running the daily operations of the company. Firestone joined Select Security in 2012 as the executive vice president of sales and marketing. He has led several initiatives, including the implementation of a company-wide ERP system, a centralized customer care organization, a full-time technical training program, and sales force automation.

Firestone takes over the role of president from Select Security’s Founder Patrick Egan. Egan is now chief executive officer for Select Security and its sister company Security Partners, a wholesale monitoring company.

“I’ve been waiting for the right time to make this move with Steve,” Egan said. “With all of the positive changes he has made since coming on board, it only makes sense that he be the person who takes over this type of leadership role. And now I am able focus full-time on my passion of creating growth for Select Security and Security Partners by seeking out additional acquisitions and other strategic investments and partnerships.”

Prior to joining Select Security, Firestone was instrumental in leading growth and transformation initiatives at several national corporations, as well as providing business and marketing plans through his consultancy, The Firestone Group. He also has served as the chief marketing officer and executive vice president for the Entergy Security Corporation as well as chief operating officer at Commonwealth Security.

Egan has served in the security industry for more than 40 years, starting with the founding of his first company Commonwealth Security, in 1971, which was named SDM’s Dealer of the Year in 1982. Egan was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, the Security Network of America, and a past president of the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (now known as the Electronic Security Association).


Networking and All That Jazz at the 2014 RS2 Dealer Conference

The RS2 Dealer Conference is heading back to New Orleans, because of popular demand. This year’s conference will be headquartered at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel in the New Orleans’ French Quarter from April 22-25, 2014.

The conference was planned around the International Association of Professional Security Consultants (IAPSC), which will be beginning its conference when the RS2 conference ends — giving all attendees an opportunity for networking and discussion with some of the top security experts in the nation. In addition, the last day of the RS2 Dealer Conference coincides with the first day of the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.


Dealers Partner with Insurance Providers to Offer Customer Discounts

ADT and Vivint each recently (and separately) announced partnerships with insurance companies to offer their customers discounts.

SDM 100 No. 1-ranked company ADT, announced it is teaming up with insurance company State Farm. ADT will provide special offers on its ADT Pulse home security and automation solution to State Farm customers, who may also qualify for home insurance discounts. The offer includes a free in-home security consultation, 24/7 professional monitoring by trained ADT security specialists, and custom installation with a six-month money-back guarantee.

“As the leading provider of homeowners insurance in North America, State Farm has a keen interest in helping customers prevent loss,” said Jack Weekes, operations vice president at State Farm. “By teaming up with ADT and other home control and monitoring providers, we are helping customers protect their family and property in today’s high tech world.”

Vivint, ranked No. 4 on the SDM 100, announced a partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance. The insurance company plans to offer Vivint customers savings on auto and home insurance. “Both Vivint and Liberty Mutual have a shared goal of helping customers feel secure, whether that’s with reliable home security or quality insurance,” said Todd Santiago, chief sales officer at Vivint.

Added Rob Maloney, senior vice president at Liberty Mutual, “We are proud to align with Vivint and serve as the exclusive personal insurance provider for their customers.”


Securadyne Adds Intelligent Access Systems to Its Fold

Carrollton, Texas-based Securadyne Systems has completed its acquisition of North Carolina-based Intelligent Access Systems (IAS) — its fourth acquisition since it was founded in February 2012. The company previously acquired Wilmington, Mass.-based Surveillance Specialties, Dallas-based SecureNet, and Florida-based Advanced Control Concepts. Securadyne Systems is ranked No. 18 and Intelligent Access Systems is ranked No. 35 on SDM’s Top Systems Integrators Report.

Founded in 2004 by security industry veteran Ron Oetjen, IAS operates in eight cities, including Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Pittsburgh; Canton, Ohio; Atlanta; and three Florida locations: Tampa, Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale. Oetjen will remain and join Securadyne’s leadership team.

Carey Boethel, Securadyne’s president and CEO, told SDM that the IAS acquisition will open Intelligent Access Systems up to service their existing customers on a broader basis and in new markets. “Securadyne has branches throughout the South, Southeast and New England. While Intelligent Access has a strong presence in the southeast, Securadyne’s Texas, Oklahoma and New England markets will offer immediate growth opportunities. Likewise, Intelligent Access’ presence in the Mid-Atlantic region creates similar opportunities for Securadyne,” said Boethel, who declined to share the purchase price of the company or financial entities that helped with the deal.

“Intelligent Access and Securadyne go to market very similarly, our visions are complementary and our cultures are almost identical — and Intelligent Access’ management team is second to none,” Boethel told SDM. “All of this creates tremendous synergy and these attributes are precisely what we look for in a partner.”

Oetjen, who will join Securadyne’s management team, agreed that the complementary nature of the companies’ strategies played a key role in the acquisition. “We are obviously excited about the growth potential that comes with this combination. Securadyne’s strategy is complementary to our own and focuses on next generation enterprise-class solutions, including cloud architectures, which we feel positions us extremely well for long-term success,” he said. “Additionally, Securadyne’s branch network will allow us to service our existing customers on a broader basis in markets where we do not currently have a presence.”

With this latest acquisition, Securadyne now has 300 employees in 16 locations with annual revenues of $79 million. The company also plans to enter at least two more markets this year. In 2013, the company experienced year-over-year growth of 106 percent.

“We experienced strong double-digit organic growth in 2013 and expect that trend to continue. We see tremendous potential in energy, education, data centers and healthcare, and we are investing heavily in those vertical markets. We also continue to invest heavily in our national accounts portfolio,” Boethel said.

Following the Surveillance Specialties acquisition, Boethel told SDM that Securadyne would continue to look at potential acquisition targets that met specific criteria.

“What’s most important to us is a leadership team with a track record of success and investing back in the business,” he said. “Of course there are other criteria as well, like profitability and market position, but these are secondary to leadership’s track record. The kind of sustainable success we look for typically comes from longstanding customer relationships where the target company has achieved ‘trusted advisor’ status with their top customers. Lastly, we look for a company culture that embraces change and progressive thinking. A group of smart people who have a track record of success and reinventing themselves is likely to be a terrific fit with Securadyne.”


Alarm Detection Systems Acquires Apex Alarm

Alarm Detection Systems Inc. (ADS), Aurora, Ill., acquired Apex Alarm Systems Inc., a privately-owned security business located in Kenosha, Wisc. The acquisition will open up new business opportunities in southeastern Wisconsin for ADS. The Apex sales office and management team, including Jim Pascucci, Apex founder and president, will continue to operate under the ADS brand name.

“We’ve known Jim for a lot of years and we’ve got accounts in the area already. He’s a first class individual so this [partnership] was just ideal,” explained Terry Olah, chief financial officer of ADS.

Olah told SDM that the company has picked up a few hundred accounts through the acquisition with an RMR value of about $1,500.

“Both companies have always shared a focus on providing customers with the latest alarm technology and life-safety solutions, so from a customer perspective the service transition should be seamless,” said Bob Bonifas, founder and CEO of Alarm Detection Systems Inc., in a statement.


Tri-Ed Opens Pittsburgh Office

Independent security distributor Tri-Ed opened a branch in Pittsburgh. Tri-Ed Pittsburgh is managed by Tammy Kleinerman, who has worked in multiple facets of the security industry for more than 20 years. Kleinerman’s experience spans central station, security dealer and distribution channels.

“Tri-Ed has steadily expanded its branch locations across the country,” said Pat Comunale, president and CEO. “Our product lines and U.S. footprint have grown tremendously over the past several years to better serve our ever increasing customer base. We’re very excited to serve our new customers in the Pittsburgh area and are also very pleased to welcome Tammy to the team.”




Nest Snapped up By Google

Google Inc., Mountain View, Calif., announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash.

Nest’s mission is to reinvent unloved but important devices in the home such as thermostats and smoke alarms. Since its launch in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat has been a consistent best seller — and the recently launched Protect (Smoke + Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm) has had rave reviews, Google commented in a press release.

Larry Page, chief executive officer (CEO) of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now — thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe.”

Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, said, “We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of Tony Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the United States.


News Briefs


VTI Security, Minneapolis, promoted Bryan Viau to chief operating officer. He has been with VTI since 1996. VTI Security is a member of Security-Net and ranked No. 20 on the SDM 2013 Top Systems Integrators report.

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SDI, (No. 37 on the SDM 2013 Top Systems Integrator report) announced Bob Carter as director of sales out of its newly opened Atlanta office. Carter is responsible for directing sales in the southeast United States market under SDI’s portfolio company X7, to include city-wide surveillance and license plate recognition programs within the transportation, critical infrastructure and education industries.

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The Protection Bureau added Ryan Mellow as a senior security consultant. Mellow has more than 10 years of sales experience with system integration and a strong focus on the pharmaceutical and healthcare markets.

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Sentry Security (No. 96 on the SDM 100) purchased the assets of Mastercraft Electronics Inc. of Deerfield, Ill. David Balestrery, owner of Chicago-area company Sentry, stated that, “the addition of Mastercraft accounts helps to grow Sentry’s penetration in north suburban Chicago.” Assisting the seller was Steve Rubin of Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group.

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Milestone Systems announced several positions at the IP video management software company. Thomas Lausten is vice president sales, EMEA, and is also a new member of the Extended Leadership Team (ELT) at the company. Keven Marier is director of large accounts business development. Marier works with projects in the high-end of the market, taking a strategic role for the corporate business unit, supporting the complex projects, ensuring consistent tie-ins between the product group and the field organization.

Chris Wyller was named national sales manager Americas East, which includes the Great Lakes, Northeast, NYC/NJ, Gulf, Mid-Atlantic, North Central and Southeast territories. Jens Ole Steen (Joss) Svendsen is PR and communications manager for EMEA in the Milestone corporate communications team.

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ScanSource Inc. named Yvette McKenzie as president of ScanSource Latin America and Mexico. McKenzie guides the strategic growth and direction of the company’s operations in Latin America and Mexico, overseeing the operations, sales and merchandising functions of the ScanSource POS and Barcode, ScanSource Communications and ScanSource Security sales units in these geographies.

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Arecont Vision appointed Matthew McCoy as director of strategic accounts. McCoy is responsible for driving sales at Arecont Vision’s select national systems integrators.

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Behavioral Recognition Systems Inc. (BRS Labs) hired Keith Drummond as executive vice president of sales. Drummond is a 20-year veteran of the technology industry. Before joining BRS Labs, Drummond served as chief executive officer CEO at Iron Sky, a provider of video surveillance software solutions for law enforcement.

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 Vicon Industries Inc. appointed Rick Weiss as regional sales manager throughout New England and Upstate New York, and Doug Stadler as regional sales manager for New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Weiss is board certified by ASIS as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), and holds a State of CT L5 electrical license. Stadler has more than 25 years experience within the security industry.