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by: Paul Ragusa - Monday, June 10, 2019

ESX 2019, one the key security industry conferences, wrapped up last week in Indy, with the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and The Monitoring Association (TMA) organizing another great event. As the premier Media Sponsor for ESX each year, Security Systems News is always proud and honored to support the conference.

As I said in my introduction of the opening keynote, it is inspiring to be in a room filled with so many professionals who are so “passionate” about security. This passion is what differentiates them from others, and makes them so successful at what they do. This passion for security is also what made ESX 2019 stand out.

One of the ways that SSN has tried to bring better and more-timely content from key conferences like this is through live videos and social media. Throughout my wrap-up and SSN Managing Editor Ginger Schlueter’s wrap-up coverage you will find links to live videos (mostly SSN Live Twitter Feeds), as well as footage of the SSN Video Interviews that were done on the Expo floor at the ESX Central Stage.

The conference started with what has become a staple at ESX, the Open Exchange Breakfast, which always seems to deliver a high-level content focused on industry specific topics. This year was no different, as ESX Chairman George De Marco moderated an interactive panel that included Alex Pachikov, Founder, Sunflower Labs, and Nate Williams, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Kleiner Perkins.

Williams, who founded UNION Labs, spends his time these days discovering the next big businesses at the intersection of Connectivity (IoT), DataScience (AI/ML) and Autonomy/Automation as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Kleiner Perkins.

Williams said that “security” is one of those areas that “couldn’t be hotter” as more and more IoT devices are connected and exist on a platform that must be secured. The sensorfication of security, he noted, will continue at an ever-increasing pace, and security is going to need to keep up, even stay one step ahead. And as Silicon Valley continues to innovate in the space, partnerships with these companies can be very advantageous to more traditional players within security.

He also pointed to the potential to mine and use all of the data that is being generated today and in the future — from our phones, our cars, our homes, cities, etc. — pointing out that the “breadth and depth of it is enormous,” noting that the data can help security professionals run their companies smarter and better serve their customers in the process.

When it comes to the truly smart home, Williams pointed out that there is still a “divide between the dream of the connected home and reality.”

Pachikov, who is a founding member and longtime leader of business development at Evernote, has since become a specialist in emerging trends in the mobile and robotics industries. His Sunflower Labs’ company features an autonomous drone-based security solution that he demonstrated for attendees, showing just how far drone technology has come over the past few years. You can tell that he has spent years perfecting the system, overcoming many challenges that first existed for this technology, such as flying in bad weather, which he showed the audience how he was able to overcome.

Pachikov said he believes the “next revolution will come from autonomous drones” because they offer many unique advantages, including:
•    Coverage of large properties (up to 150m radius);
•    Tracking of moving targets;   
•    Proactive deterrence; and
•    Standalone or integrated with existing security systems.

Overall, he said, “The time is right and technology is ready … I am excited to bring this to market.”

As Williams pointed out, ultimately it is about “capturing your customer” and finding out how to address their “pain points” and provide the right solutions for them, whether it is through technology, or services, or both. Pachikov’s drone system is a good example, he said.

Another highlight of ESX this year was the Opening Keynote Luncheon: Making an Impact, which was delivered by the amazingly charismatic Dr. Rick Rigsby (click here for the full keynote), who spoke about how important it is for us to get back to the basic values — kindness, compassion, ethics, morals, decency, to name just a few — that many times get overlooked in today’s “look at me” society we live in.

Dr. Rigsby referred many times his book, “Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout,” which is based on the timeless common-sense wisdom learned from his father, who as a third grade dropout taught himself how to read and write, all while working for his family at an early age, and supporting and guiding the moral compass of a large family as an adult.

Rigsby was quick with inspirational and thought-provoking quotes throughout his gripping presentation, where he asked attendees to pull their heads out from the insanity of the day-to-day and look at the bigger picture that is life itself. My favorite of his witticisms — “Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity.” For more on Rigsby, I highly suggest you give his keynote a listen — just make sure you have a Kleenex handy!

Moving to the Expo hall, I was able to have some great conversations with many of the exhibitors as well as with many leaders within the industry during the SSN Live Interviews that were conducted on the ESX Central Stage. Below is a short recap and link to the interviews that I did on both days of the Expo floor:

Tuesday, June 4

Ivan Spector, President, and Celia Besore, Executive Director, The Monitoring Association.
During our conversation, these two key leaders of this important organization shared their thoughts on what the association is focusing on these days, how monitoring companies and stations are evolving and what is to come moving forward for professional security monitoring.

Gretchen Gordon, President, Braveheart Sales Performance
Be sure to check out my enlightening conversation with sales performance guru Gretchen Gordon, who shared many secrets of successful companies, including how top companies today are finding and retaining good employees.

Stan Martin, SIAC
It was nice to sit down with the head of the Security Industry Alarm Coalition and get an update on what SIAC is doing to combat the Sandy Springs Alarm Ordinance that has sparked such controversy over the past year.

Jeremy Mclerran, Sr. Director of Marketing at Qolsys Inc.
During our interview, Jeremy tells SSN about the company’s latest panel, which took home First Place in the ESX TechVision Challenge, a culmination of the ESX Innovation Awards, which were given out at the show.

Mark Hillenburg, Executive Director of Marketing, DMP
Mark speaks with SSN about DMP, which took home two ESX Innovation Awards this year.

Wednesday, June 5

Dina Abdelrazik, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates
SSN speaks with Dina about where the smart home is today, including the latest Parks research on smart home adoption, the future for smart home automation and what dealers and monitoring companies need to do to stay on top.

Merlin, Guilbeau, Executive Director and CEO, ESA
Check out my conversation with the head of ESA, who shares with SSN some details on the latest initiatives the organization has going, including a workforce development initiative with SIA that couldn’t come at a more critical time, as this is a major concern for everyone in the industry.

Mike Jagger, President, Provident Security
During my talk with a former ESX keynote speaker who runs a highly successful security company, Jagger shared some refreshing views on the industry that may alter the way you look at topics such as false alarms.

Steve Firestone, President, Select Security
During my talk with the head of one of the most successful and fastest growing companies in security today, Steve shares some of the secrets of Select’s success, as well as some of the areas of focus for ESA, which he serves on the Board of Directors for and helps guide strategy.

In addition, sitting in on the many educational sessions, and having the opportunity to moderate one myself, I was reminded of how important a conference like ESX is in helping to define where we are as an industry, and how we can continue to push the industry forward together — as an industry.

In my session, Installation Performance: On Time, On Budget, On Par for Quality, I had the pleasure of leading a great panel that featured Mike Williams, Project Manager, Security Pros; Cindy Ponder, General Manager, Bates Security; and Shuvankar Roy, Vice President, Xfinity Home.

Each of them pointed out in their own way that the customer is still king, and getting the job done right for them is the first and most overriding priority. Ponder, for example, outlined how the company was able to “create efficiencies and best practices within sales and operations” that have lifted the company to that next level, cutting a 16-week backlog for commercial jobs in half, “empowering staff and lifting morale of staff,” which as she pointed out, is the goal for any company today.

It is sessions like this and speakers like Rigsby that make ESX such a memorable experience.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Excited to be here in Indy for ESX 2019, one of the key security industry conferences in the industry, organized by the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and The Monitoring Association (TMA). As the premier Media Sponsor for ESX each year, Security Systems News is proud and honored to support the conference and ESA and TMA, which has put together an amazing educational program, keynote speakers and trade show experience.

In addition moderating two sessions, Sales vs. Operations: 6 Ways to Turn Conflict into Collaboration and Installation Performance: On Time, On Budget, On Par for Quality, SSN Managing Editor Ginger Schlueter are conducting SSN Live Interviews on the ESX Central Stage featuring interviews with key security leaders from ESA, TMA, Parks Associates and SIAC, to name just a few, so be sure to come check them out from 2-3pm on Tuesday and 1-2pm on Wednesday.

Be sure to come by booth 701 and visit the SSN team!

Check back here all this week for updates and a full recap of my time in Indy at ESX 2019.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The smart home continues to grow in awareness among homeowners, with approximately 22 percent of U.S. Internet households reporting owning a smart home device in Q4 2018, up from 17 percent in Q4 2017, according to The NPD Group. Alongside ownership growth, 2018 saw an 18 percent dollar sales growth in home automation devices compared to 2017, and NPD’s latest Future of Tech forecast expects the category to reach $2.5 billion by the end of 2019.

According to the Connected Home Automation Report from NPD’s Connected Intelligence, smart home device awareness has reached 42 percent among non-owners; but growth in awareness is beginning to slow, indicating that the marketplace is maturing. Additionally, the report shows the largest increase in ownership occurred in the 35-54 age bracket, from 16 to 22 percent, a sign that the smart home concept is shifting from early adopter to mainstream consumer.

This is further evidenced by the broader scope of retailers through which purchases are being made. In fact, consumers are increasingly buying smart home devices from cable/telco providers, home improvement stores and pure play online retailers, according to the NPD Group. Out of the more than 5,000 consumers surveyed who own a smart home device, the research firm found that 13 percent indicated making at least one smart home purchase through their cable/telco provider in Q4 2018, up 6 percentage points from year ago.

The home improvement channel also realized sales growth, particularly in the smart entry category, where 27 percent of consumers reported purchasing in this channel in Q4 2018, up from 16 percent a year earlier, NPD Group found. Finally, sales through pure play online retailers saw increases in smart power and smart lighting, with 51 and 38 percent of respondents indicating purchases were made in those categories through this channel in Q4 2018, up from 38 percent and 30 percent year ago.

“As consumers become more familiar with smart home products we are seeing that they are more open to purchasing through a wider variety of channels,” said Weston Henderek, director, industry analyst for NPD Connected Intelligence. “This demonstrates the importance of having strong retail distribution across a wider number of retailer categories for smart home OEMs.”

The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Connected Home Automation Survey is based on consumer panel research that reaches over 5,000 U.S. consumers, aged 18-plus from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds.

Connected Intelligence provides competitive intelligence and insight on the rapidly evolving consumer’s connected environment. The service focuses on the three core components of the connected market: the device, the broadband access that provides the connectivity and the content that drives consumer behavior. These three pillars of the connected ecosystem are analyzed through a comprehensive review of what is available, adopted, and consumed by the customer, as well as reviewing how the market will evolve over time and what the various vendors can do to best position themselves in this evolving market.

For more information click here

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

With ESX 2019 just a few weeks away, SSN caught up with ESX Chairman George De Marco to talk about the upcoming conference and expo in Indianapolis, June 3-6, his views on the industry and what he thinks are the greatest challenges and opportunities within security today.

SSN: As the Premier Media Sponsor for the ESX Conference again this year, Security Systems News is excited to support and participate in the conference and expo. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s ESX Conference?

De Marco: Every year, I look forward to reconnecting with security professionals from across North American to get insights on their business challenges and near-term opportunities. However, the Indy Experience is top of mind for me. I’m very excited to head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a tour and an opportunity to jump in a pace car for a quick trip around the track, especially just after the Indy 500 takes place at the Brickyard.

SSN: What do you think are the some of the key benefits of attending ESX? What do attendees have to look forward to this year?

De Marco: The key benefits for security professionals are education, networking opportunities, and quality conversations with exhibitors. For education, our peer-developed and peer-delivered content represents some of the best in the industry … it’s an opportunity for security professionals to gain knowledge about the trends, opportunities and challenges in the industry, including learning best practices from industry thought leaders. Our networking opportunities allow security professionals to spend time with their peers and colleagues in informal settings to talk shop and allow for deep conversations on how to solve everyday problems with real solutions. In addition, the exhibit hall is where dealers and integrators will have quality conversations on ways to grow revenues and improve profits.

SSN: You have some exciting keynote speakers this year. Can you talk a bit about each one and what they bring to a show like ESX?

De Marco: Every Main Stage session brings something special to ESX, whether its inspirational, business-focused, or addressing the changing competitive landscape. The OpenXchange begins the Main Stage journey with a drone company founder who has a unique perspective on security as well as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence from Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm that specializes in investing in incubation, early stage and growth companies.

The Opening Keynote, Dr. Rick Rigsby, will highlight a profound message about rediscovering what is really important and meaningful for organizations to consider. The General Session centers on a compelling message from Kevin Brown, called the Hero Effect, giving us insights on what it takes to reach beyond what is required and do something remarkable — personally and professionally. And our Closing Keynote focuses on taking security to the next level. A Secret Security agent and a Director of Safety from the motorsports racing company will illustrate a process to change our perspective on how we approach security, especially in the workplace and in schools. In addition, during the Closing Keynote, we will recognize recipients of ESA’s Scholarship and TMA’s Public Safety Award, including SIAC’s PDQ and Moody awards.

SSN What do you think are the top trends — technology and otherwise — impacting, shaping and affecting the industry today?

De Marco: I think the future of interaction with security systems and connected devices is beginning to take effect, from voice-recognition and voice-enabled technologies. As the interaction of voice evolves into a more natural experience for humans with their computer counterparts, the adoption of smart home devices and security-related products will grow within the home, at work, and on the road.

The definition of monitoring is being redefined beyond just dispatching police or fire services. As next-gen monitoring evolves, new services are being developed that provide consumers and businesses with personalized monitoring capabilities for their specific needs, like self-directed and on demand monitoring options and concierge-type services.

SSN: What are some of the most notable challenges — disruptive factors — for security pros today and how will ESX address these and help them to overcome them?

De Marco: I believe false alarms continue to impact the industry, highlighting the need to use technology to find a better method that significantly reduces false dispatches. With the help of video using AI and machine learning capabilities, metadata that brings context to data received from connected sensors and mobile devices and next-gen monitoring processing, the combined methodologies will greatly reduce false dispatches over time.

Labor shortage is causing some companies to tap down their growth initiatives. As dealers and integrators struggle to find a qualified workforce in traditional channels, I think progressive companies are looking outside these channels to attract new employees and are reevaluating their organization’s culture, purpose and training to be more aligned to attract next-gen workforce.

Industry disruptors are beginning to evolve their offerings to be more mainstream which is changing consumer buying behaviors for security and safety products and services for homes and apartment communities. This trend is having traditional dealers and integrators reassess the residential channel and consider pivoting to the commercial marketplace.

Lastly, the 3g sunset is looming on the horizon and is a major concern for industry professionals. The cost to upgrade communications protocols and rolling a truck are expensive. It also negatively affects customer retention as consumers seek alternative solutions for their security needs, causing attrition rates to spike.

Our educational tracks deliver ideas and real-world solutions that help mitigate the effects of disruptive technology, offer innovative go-to-market strategies, and survive the current challenging workforce environment.

SSN: What do you think is the overall state of the industry and the forecast moving forward?

De Marco: I believe the industry has some interesting challenges ahead, especially as the competitive landscape unfolds. Disruptive companies, like Amazon and SimpliSafe, as well as the 3g sunset, margin compression, creation multiples, and the cost of customer retention programs play a major factor into lenders and buyers’ valuation methodology, which are all beginning to contribute to downward pressure for acquiring RMR contracts. In recent years, there seems to be a pivot towards commercial security and fire systems by traditional dealers and alarm companies.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Each year, the ESX Innovation Awards program recognizes outstanding products and services that drive the electronic security and life safety industry forward. This year’s winners will receive their awards on the expo floor at ESX on June 4 and be featured in the Innovation Awards Showcase during expo hours, June 4-5 at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

To determine the best from each category, judges select winners from a pool of applications from manufacturers and service providers, serving the industry with innovative end-user offerings and tools that help dealers, integrators and monitoring professionals become more efficient and profitable.

“The nominees for ESX Innovation Awards were extremely impressive this year and nicely represent the electronic security and life safety industry,” George De Marco, ESX Chairman said in the announcement. “Solving everyday problems is the key to growth opportunities for dealers, integrators and monitoring companies to better compete in the marketplace.”

The winners selected are recognized as next-gen products and services that offer significant opportunities for growth. Judges from across the country are invited to provide their expert opinions. This year’s judges are: Rodger Reiswig, Johnson Controls (Florida); Grady Medcalf, Spectrum (Colorado); Michele Monheim, Amherst Alarm (Upstate New York); Steven E. Paley, Rapid Security Solutions (Florida) and Adam Thompson, Wired-Up Systems (Arizona).

Entrants to the Innovation Awards program are judged on: Features and functions, innovation, end-user experience, ability to solve a problem, revenue growth potential, impact on company efficiencies and compliance with regulations. These metrics provide a rubric that determines the most innovative and exceptional products and services in the industry.

Winners of the Innovation Awards will be featured in the ESX Innovation Awards Showcase in Booth 615 during live expo hours, June 4-5.

To determine the best in show, the ten most innovative category-winners will enter the TechVision Challenge – a “Shark Tank” style competition before a panel of judges at ESX. The winner of the TechVision Challenge will be announced live from the expo floor at ESX Central on June 4.

Registration is still open for ESX. For more information and to register, visit ESXweb.com.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will host its annual Conference & Expo at the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, June 17-20. This comprehensive event brings together thousands of the industry’s leading professionals who will attend more than 120 educational sessions and special events addressing the latest issues, challenges and trends in the world of fire, electrical, and life safety.

This year’s expo, featuring more than 325 exhibitors, brings to life the products and services needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities of every kind. The expo floor will also feature an emerging technologies and electrical pavilion, offering product displays with hands- on learning and an immersive virtual reality experience for contractors and electricians, inspectors and building officials, among others.

Notable presentations include:

Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response and NFPA 3000TM(PS) Program: Lessons Learned and a New Standard
June 18, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
With an increase in gun-related incidents around the nation, a panel of experts will explain recent events that led to the creation of the NFPA 3000TM(PS), Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program. The session will include lessons learned from the specific events in which active shooters were involved, followed by a discussion that includes an overview of the content of the standard and the roles and responsibilities of those working to prevent future incidents.

Is it time to P.A.N.I.C.? Shifting Community Risk Reduction from Concept to Reality
June 17, 8 - 9 a.m.

Find out what the P.A.N.I.C. is all about! Community risk reduction (CRR) is a process that identifies and prioritizes local risks to ensure integrated and strategic resource investment to reduce the occurrence and impact of dangerous risks. While CRR is discussed in many fire departments, a full implementation is often hindered by challenges. During this interactive discussion, presenters will break down five strategic actions—modeled in the acronym P.A.N.I.C.—to drive successful CRR implementation and overcome common barriers. Attendees will find out why successful CRR programs include input from officers, operations, and the overall community, learn real-world examples of the process in action, and have the chance to generate additional solutions.

Making Hot Work Safety an Everyday Practice
June 17, 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
In its 2016 fire incident report, “Structure Fires Started by Hot Work,” NFPA presents data showing a U.S. annual average of over 4,000 fires caused by hot work—and that doesn’t account for those in industrial occupancies, including oil and gas sector worksites. US Chemical Safety Board, OSHA, and industry-specific reports confirm that hot work incidents are becoming increasingly common. Participants will receive practical guidance regarding flammable liquids or gases, including the essentials for monitoring concentration buildup of vapors that cannot be seen or detected without special monitoring devices.

When Uber Meets Octane: Fire Code Requirements for On-Demand Fueling
June 18, 5 - 6 p.m.
NFPA 30A and the 2018 International Fire Code have new provisions for on-demand fueling where gasoline or diesel fuel can be delivered directly to a consumer's vehicle using a smartphone. This presents a variety of regulatory and emergency response issues to the fire service. This presentation reviews key technical requirements in NFPA 30A, 2018 IFC, US DOT regulations and the potential risks to emergency responders.

A New Standard for Energy Storage Systems: NFPA 855
June 12, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
As the energy storage industry continues to grow, NFPA is engaged in a number of initiatives aimed at promoting the safe and sustainable expansion of this renewable technology. One of NFPA's most substantial contributions is the creation of NFPA 855, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems. Get the most up-to-date and in-depth information on the contents of the new NFPA 855, which should be published or may have notices of intent to make a motion (NITMAMs) at the 2019 NFPA Technical Meeting.

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mission 500, a 501c3 charitable organization born from the professional security industry to serve children and families in need across the U.S., raised over $145,000 at its 10th annual Security 5K/2K Run/Walk at this year’s ISC West show, April 9-12 in Las Vegas.

Mission 500 Founder George Fletcher told Security Systems News during a video interview at ISC West that the organization was able to surpass this year’s goal thanks to “sponsor support, signed up runners and individual fundraisers — our three primary sources of revenue — and our volunteers.”

Fletcher pointed out that Mission 500 relies heavily on volunteers, and had around 20 who showed up at five in the morning to help set up the race. “They come out every year and are passionate about what they are doing to help children and families,” he said.

Tom Nolan, director, strategic partnerships for Mission 500, added, “We had amazing volunteers — I think that was the best part of it for me.”

Some of the proceeds from this year’s 5K/2K event have already been put to great use during ISC West 2019 with volunteer and monetary donations made to Habitat for Humanity in Las Vegas to help provide a family in need with a new home, and a Mission 500 Care Pack drive during the event sponsored by HID Global, Freeman and the ISC West Security Events team.

 “We are extremely thrilled at how the security industry continues to band together to and raise money for children and families in need,” Mission 500 Chairman of the Board Tim Purpura said. “The 10th anniversary of the Mission 5K/2K event was our most successful single event to date, and we are extremely grateful to all of the participants, volunteers and sponsors that made this wonderful event possible.”

The Mission 500 Club, which recognizes volunteers who raise $500 or more, had 12 members at this year’s 5K/2K that raised a combined $21,000. Ronnie Pennington of Altronix was the top fundraiser with $4,425 in pledged donations, followed by Nick Arthur of Brinks Home Security™ with $1,130, which was matched by his employer for a total of $2,825. The top fundraising team was Brink’s Home Security, which raised a total of $15,331.

This year’s fastest female was Karen Salerno of ISC Events with a time of 21:07. The fastest male and overall winner was Mitchell Vanderhagen of Everbridge, who completed the 5K course in 18:23. Complete race times can be found at https://elementalracetiming.com/the-security-5k-2019/.

At the Mission 500 5K/2K awards ceremony, this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award was presented to Brinks Home Security for their outstanding philanthropic work through the year. Dave Foglio, Founder of First Response Security, received the Mission 500 Humanitarian Award for his outstanding charitable work.

Hikvision’s General Manager Eric Chen, and the Hikvision team, also increased their corporate social responsibility efforts at ISC West 2019 by donating an additional $860 to Mission 500 on behalf of all industry partners in attendance at their partner celebration at Tao.

The Security 5K/2K is a joint collaboration organized by United Publications, the publisher of Security Systems News, ISC Events and Mission 500. Confirmed charter sponsors include Alarm.com, Altronix Corporation, Avigilon, Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems, Brinks Home Security, CMAC, COPS Monitoring, Dahua Technology, DITEK Corporation, DMP, Freeman, Galaxy Control Systems, HID Global, LENSEC, Hikvision, Intelligent Security Systems (ISS), LRG Marketing Communications, Milestone Systems, Napco Starlink Fire, PSA Security Network, Safety Technology International, Inc., and ZKTecko USA. The event is managed by Las Vegas Running Company, a race management company that stages approximately 25 road races each year across Southern Nevada.

For more information on Mission 500, contact Tom Nolan at tnolan@mission500.com or call 516-903-7291.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 24, 2019

I know I am aging myself here, but after reading about the JetBlue passenger who was none-too-happy to find out that her face would be used as ID for boarding, I thought back to the TV show of my youth called Candid Camera. Now if you are younger than 50 (yes, I am less than a month away from a half century old), you probably won’t remember this show that featured a hidden camera with lovable host Allen Funt (and later with son Peter), who at the end of each skit would tell the person they are on a hidden camera show. Laughter would ensue and everyone would agree that it was all good fun. 

The difference between then and now, though, is this whole concept of consent to being on video, not to mention current comfort levels within society today of having your identity out there in a database. I mean, let’s be honest, the idea of DHS/Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) collecting and protecting millions of biometric profiles is a bit frightening, but that is exactly what the agency plans to do in the next four years, with the ultimate goal of making access as frictionless, and hopefully, as safe as possible.

In fact, according to its fiscal report for 2018, DHS/CBP built a facial biometric matching service using biographic Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) manifest data and existing photographs of travelers boarding international flights. The biometric matching service is a robust cloud-based service that leverages existing advance passenger information to create a pre-positioned “gallery” of face images from U.S. Government holdings. The galleries are smaller, more manageable data sets that can be segregated based on APIS data for specific flights. The photographs can come from passport applications, visa applications, or interactions with CBP at a prior border encounter where CBP typically takes a photograph. The biometric matching service then compares a live photo of the traveler to the gallery of face images for that flight to identify the traveler and enable CBP to confirm the traveler’s crossing. 

On exit, the matching service identifies the traveler, creates an exit record, and enables CBP to biometrically confirm the departure of in-scope, non-U.S. citizens. CBP is working towards full implementation of biometric exit in the air environment within the next four years to account for over 97 percent of departing commercial air travelers from the United States. In order to realize full implementation, CBP partnered with airports and airlines to deploy solutions to use biometric exit data-utilizing cameras (supplied by airports or airlines) that are integrated with the biometric solution.  

As a result of the demonstrations and partnerships described above, CBP determined that facial recognition technology at the airline departure gate is a scalable solution for biometric exit in the air environment. At the end of FY 2018, biometric exit solutions were operational at 15 locations, and CBP has received many commitment letters from airport authorities and/or air carriers supporting biometric exit operations. Since its inception, over two million passengers on over 15,000 flights have used the technology on exit, with an average biometric match rate of 98 percent. As of December 2018, over 7,000 Out-Of-Country Overstays have been biometrically confirmed. Furthermore, similar successes have occurred when using the biometric technology in the air entry environment; CBP has to date used this data to identify six travelers attempting entry presenting travel documents not belonging to them, or presenting altered travel documents.

In FY 2018, CBP expanded the use of the Biometric Exit Mobile (BE-Mobile) program at land borders nationwide. CBP deployed mobile technology to the land border POEs, which allowed CBP officers working outbound pulse and surge operations to process exiting travelers using the BE-Mobile application. The BE-Mobile application creates a biometrically confirmed exit record for a departing traveler. This capability is another means by which CBP can close out entry/exit records biometrically, thus, helping to resolve some potential overstay records. From December 2017 through November 2018, CBP officers created a biometric exit record on over 23,000 travelers at the land border.

The agency is also working on both the southern and northern border using biometric technology, with plans to expand the application to identify people in cars.

What is your thought on the safety and security of protecting airports and borders with biometric solutions?

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ISC West 2019 wrapped up on April 12 in Las Vegas after another record-breaking year in terms of attendance, according to Mary Beth Shaughnessy, Event Director - ISC Events and Unmanned Security Expo at Reed Exhibitions, who spoke to Security Systems News on the SSN Media Stage during the event.

“The show is bigger this year and we are looking at being up about 4 percent in attendance overall this year,” she said. “We’ve got a number of new areas that are growing. Our emerging technologies zone has grown over 40 percent from last year to this year. New companies are up year over year and our connected security area is up this year as well. Just overall participation with the security industry, in general, with all of the new technologies coming out — everyone is just anxious and excited to get their products in the marketplace.”

Shaughnessy confirmed what many of us were hearing on the showfloor, as exhibitors noted that their booths were jam packed with quality people each day. In addition, the education sessions were very popular again this year, with overall attendance up.

“The education this year is great, and it is all programmed by SIA,” she pointed out, noting that she is excited to continue the relationship with SIA moving forward. “We’ve had great attendance, up from last year, at many of the sessions … Some of the top sessions looked at the convergence of physical and cybersecurity.”

The following is a look at my time at ISC West:

Day One: Tuesday, April 9

Excited to be here in Vegas for ISC West 2019, the security industry’s biggest conference and trade show of the year.

Started day one on Tuesday with The Advance, The Security Industry Association’s annual membership meeting where SIA gave an update to a packed house on the state of the association, while also giving out several membership awards and voting in new members to the board of directors.

Scott Schafer, chairman of the SIA Board of Directors, hosted the event, which he called “the fastest hour at ISC West” and he was not joking, as a lot was covered in just a little over an hour’s time.

Schafer pointed out that in addition to the security industry’s continued solid growth, SIA is also in very good shape financially and in terms of growth on the membership side, which Schafer was confident will surpass 1,000 members any day now.

On the financial side, the association saw $7 million in revenue, with $6.4 million in expenses, leaving approximately a half million in surplus. Investments showed a 57 percent increase for 2018.

Schafer also pointed out that SIA signed a 10-year agreement with ISC Events with a 5-year clause, which he said is a “very exciting announcement” as the two have many events planned for the future with this continuing partnership.

SIA also gave out several membership awards at the Advance, including:
•    Member of the Year Award: Axis Communications
•    Chairman's Award: SIA Women in Security Forum
•    Sandy Jones Volunteer of the Year Award: Mark McCourt, Cobalt Robotics
•    Committee Chair of the Year Award: Chris Grniet, Guidepost Solutions

In addition to award presentations, Sal Mani, security systems manager for Google, spoke on the workforce imperative of developing cross-functional skill sets to stay competitive in the security industry.

New SIA Board members voted in at meeting include:
•    Greg Hill, Director, Intrusion Architecture, Johnson Controls
•    Kim Loy, Chief Marketing Officer, ACRE
•    Jody Ross, VP, Sales, AMAG Technology
•    James Rothstein, SVP, Global Security Solutions, Anixter
•    Brian Wiser, Regional President, Bosch Security Systems

Day Two: Wed., April 10

Started the first day of the trade show at the Hikvision Media Event, where Hikvision North America's Director of Global Public Affairs Michael Gutierrez, President Jeffrey He, Director of Cybersecurity Chuck Davis, and new General Manager for Hikvision USA and Hikvision Canada, Eric Chen, gave invited press an update on the current state of the company. Jeffrey He addressed some of the challenges that Hikvision faces, with growing anti-China sentiment, trade tensions, tariffs and government bans topping the list, noting that these “will likely impact us on the global front.”

Chen looked at how the company continues to grow and prosper in the face of these growing challenges, noting that in North America Hikvision business showed $7.4 billion in revenue and 18.8 percent in year-over-year growth in 2018, as well as 40 percent compound growth from 2010 to 2018. The company worldwide has approximately 34,000 employees, with 6,000 engineers, he noted.

Chen said the company is “still going to invest in North America,” focusing on SMB and the midmarket and “shifting from product selling to solution selling,” with retail and education two of the company’s biggest verticals.

While Hikvision continues to introduce new cameras, like the new 32MP multi-directional camera it unveiled this year, Chen pointed out that this year’s theme for ISC is “Focused on Your Success,” highlighting the company’s customer-focused programs.

Davis, who teaches ethical hacking and serves on the SIA cybersecurity committee, outlined the company’s cybersecurity strategy and milestones over the past few years, including the use of pen testing and ethical hacking for all cameras with a third party; the establishment of a cyber hotline in 2017; cybersecurity education roadshows (22 in the U.S. and Canada); joining FIRST.org, a global incident response organization and consortium; and creating a whitepaper that covers the testing and process of the lifecycle of a product before it reaches a consumer.

“This [white paper] is an important document for us to be transparent, and show that we are holding ourselves to a high standard,” said Davis, noting that Hikvision is the only company to have a code transparency center where “anyone can come and do an audit.”

Noting the importance of the network as the “first line of defense,” Davis said Hikvision’s SSL encryption process is held to the highest NIST standards, including the FIPS 140-2 standard.

Next, I headed over to the Genetec booth, where I spoke with Andrew Elvish, VP of marketing and product management and Derek Arcuri, product marketing manager, who outlined some of the company’s cool new features in the new version of Security Center, the company’s open-architecture platform that unifies video surveillance, access control, automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), communications and analytics. Some of the cool new features include customizable live dashboards, enhanced privacy protection features, a brand-new map-driven mobile app, and new functionalities that help users actively monitor the health of their system and ensure compliance with cybersecurity best practices. What makes Genetec stand out from the crowd, Elvish noted, is its “unified enterprise platform that gives a unique view into the data, allowing you to make informed decisions.”

Over at the FLIR booth, I met with Fredrik Wallberg, director of marketing – Security & ITS, and Haley Coveny, public relations coordinator, who explained that the company is looking to be more of a “solution provider” rather than just a provider of products. In addition to its wide range of thermal camera solution, FLIR highlighted its new solutions for Smart Cities and perimeter protection applications. The company’s new TruWITNESS wearable sensor platform is designed to expand true, real-time situational awareness for public safety operations. Combining video, audio, location data and IoT capabilities, TruWITNESS enables sensors to send alerts and stream data back to a central command center running FLIR United VMS for improved incident analysis and intervention.

Moving to the G4S/AMAG Technology booth, I spoke John Kenning, regional CEO for G4S Americas, who spoke about the company’s continued commitment to using technology to help security professionals be more efficient and accurate, whether they are out in the field or back in the command center. The company is also taking a more “risk-based” approach as a “trusted advisor” who is there to evaluate and consult based on operational and compliance needs. “We are a top 5 integration business and a top 3 man-guarding business, which is a great combo.”

Next, I visited with Benjamin Bryant, global public relations consultant for IDIS, which celebrated five years at ISC West with a comprehensive showcase of the South Korean manufacturer's IDIS Total Surveillance Solution. Highlights of the company's fifth anniversary with ISC West included areas of special emphasis on cybersecurity, deep learning analytics and facial recognition, and solutions for the retail and banking sectors. On the product side, the company released its new Compact IR Fisheye, featuring its dual-side dewarping in a smaller, more versatile approach. The company also unveiled its new 12MP Panamorph Fisheye and the full IDIS Compact Solution.

At the Allegion press event, Robert Lydic, Allegion’s VP of PACS OEM Business, discussed how Allegion brings strength to the security industry with a legacy of knowledge and quality behind them and how that strength will be leveraged into forward-thinking solutions with the right balance of security, convenience and efficiency. Allegion is “a five year old company with brands that have been around for 100 years,” he said, noting that these are brands that people trust, such as Von Duprin, the producer of the first "panic bar" style door mechanism, and Schlage, one of the oldest and “most tested and trusted” lock manufacturers. Lydic also noted that Allegion’s mobile ecosystem is founded on the belief that providing physical access control should have an open, secured architecture offering customer-centered solutions.

Day Three: Thursday, April 11

Started the day bright and early at 5:30 a.m. volunteering with Mission 500, which hosted its 10th annual Security 5k/2k, bringing the entire industry together for a great cause. As Mission 500 Founder George Fletcher and Board Chairman Tim Purpura pointed out at the award ceremony on Thursday, this year’s race was a huge success with more than $145,000 raised to help Mission 500 children and families in need. It felt good to get out there with SSN Regional Sales Manager Brad Durost, and walk — yes walk, sorry! —along with others to help this amazing organization.

Started the morning with Alarm.com, with Matthew Zartman, director of communications, who gave me a tour of the latest and greatest on both the residential and commercial side of the business, where the company has been growing its presence, especially in the SMB space, Zartman noted. For example, Alarm.com is making it possible to manage access control and video across multiple business locations. Just as Alarm.com informs the homeowner using data in Insights Engine, it can use data on the business side to provide business intelligence on top of access control and video surveillance management.

I next visited with Robin Regina Baker, CTO, SilverShield, which was showcasing its cloud-based safety and information system at ISC West, demonstrating the capabilities of their visitor management and communication software. Originally developed for school campus applications, the software incorporates a fully integrated suite of modules including visitor management, lockdown initiation and more. Designed to expedite emergency security procedures, the SilverShield Visitor Management System enables manned or unmanned visitor screening at all types of facilities. In addition to offering an incident and event management system, the company’s in-app SilverShield HR & Safety Resource Center connects schools and businesses with local, highly trained security professionals to develop a security assessment, plan and documentation.

Visited next with Alcatraz AI, winners of the Judges’ Choice Award in the SIA New Product showcase. I spoke with CEO and Founder Vince Gaydarzhiev about the company, which specializes in secure facial authentication for physical access control, replacing badging in the workplace with AI-based enrollment and anti-tailgating alerts. The three-year-old startup, which was founded by a team coming from Apple, NVIDIA and Lily Robotics — with venture-backing from JCI Ventures — is currently doing pilots with mid-size and large corporations in Silicon Valley. The company is using AI and machine learning, he pointed out, to simplify the enrollment process and make it as seamless and painless as possible.

I next met with UmboCV, which was featuring its new product, AiCamera, one of the first cameras in the industry with “AI processing on the edge,” said CEO and Co-Founder Shawn Guan, who explained that the company always believed that the best video security experience comes from a perfectly integrated solution of intelligent Internet devices and the cloud, powered by machine learning. He showed me how the company’s new AiBullet camera increases event detection distance while reducing baseline bandwidth usage to a fraction of a typical Internet camera. Guan also showed me how the camera provides 150 feet of daytime and nighttime event detection.

At the ISS booth, Shawn Mather, director of sales, gave me a tour of the booth, demonstrating why the company is one of the leaders in the VMS business, demonstrating how the company’s native, or in-house, analytics help differentiate the company from other VMS providers. On the product side, the company recently introduced its SecurOS v.10 VMS featuring an updated, highly-intuitive GUI designed to accommodate multiple clients and the ability to easily manage large systems with infinite scalability. And while the company creates its own analytics in-house, he pointed out that it also fully integrates with top companies in the industry today, such as Axis, Hanwha, and Bosch.

I next spoke with Tracie Thomas, vice president of marketing for Boon Edam, which demonstrated its integrated entry solutions that mitigate tailgating at ISC West 2019. Integrated with access control and biometric technologies, the company’s security entrances demonstrate “real world” capability to “stop piggybacking and tailgating,” she explained. The company also continues to show how it integrates with other companies to provide a comprehensive solution and experience from the perimeter all the way into the building and key areas within the facility. The company’s focus this year at ISC is to “show end users what the total experience is when you have key partners,” said Thomas. She pointed to key integrations with Stonelock, IrisID and HID Global, as examples of Boon succeeding by partnering.

At the Sielox booth, I met with Karen Evan, president and CEO, who was excited to be celebrating the company’s 40th year and a newly designed website. The Sielox portfolio of layered security systems address the complexity of providing the right combination of features and configurations to best accommodate specific applications and needs. Featured solutions include: the new release of Pinnacle v.10.4 Access Control Solution; Sielox CLASS Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System; AnyWare Browser-Based Access Control Platform; and the company’s highly-touted 1700 Intelligent Controllers.

Off the show floor, I met with Stehapnie Mayes, VP, business development and Greg Alcorn, divisional director – transport and infrastructure, for Synectics, a global leader in the design, integration, control and management of advanced surveillance technology and networked security systems, for environments where security is operationally critical. With over 30 years’ experience, Mayes pointed out that the company has gained an intimate understanding protecting critical infrastructure and assets, including oil and gas, gaming, transport and infrastructure, and high security in public spaces. By integrating systems and bringing relevant data into one platform, or “one pane of glass” as Mayes noted, the company’s technology allows operators to be more efficient and accurate, preventing incidents, as opposed to reacting to them.

Day Four, Friday, April 12

Started the final day with a keynote from Juliette Kayyem, a national leader in America’s homeland security efforts, as part of the SIA Women in Security Forum breakfast event highlighting the group’s efforts since forming last year. SIA’s Women in Security Forum is a group for both women and men that offers programs, professional development opportunities and networking events with the goal of supporting the involvement of women in the security industry.

Kayyem, who is the faculty director of the Homeland Security Project, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, gave a truly inspiring talk on the major events that have shaped her life and career, including raising a family while trying to create a Homeland Defense program after 9/11. 

In addition to booth visits and covering events, I was able to do many video interviews on all three days of the trade show on the SSN Media Stage on the trade show, which can be found at www.securitysystemsnews.com/videos in the weeks following the show. The following is the list of video interviews I conducted at ISC West:

•    ACRE: Joe Grillo, CEO
•    Arcules: Andreas Pettersson, CEO
•    AvantGuard: Justin Bailey, President
•    Briefcam: Stephanie Weagle, Chief Marketing Officer
•    DICE Corp.: Cliff Dice, CEO and President
•    Dynamark: Hank Groff, Senior VP, Sales and Business Development
•    ESIConvergent: Pierre Bourgeix, President
•    IDIS: Keith Drummond, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing
•    JCI: Eli Gorovici, General Manager, Tyco Access Control and Video Solutions
•    Milestone: Tim Palmquist, VP Americas
•    Mission 500: George Fletcher, founder, and Tom Nolan, director, strategic partnerships
•    Morse Watchmans: Tim Purpura, International Sales Manager, George Lawson, Account Executive
•    National Monitoring Center (NMC): Woodie Andrawos, President
•    OnCam: Scott Brothers, Chief Operating Officer
•    ONVIF: Per Bjorkdahl, Steering Committee chairman and Stuart Rawling, Steering Committee member
•    Pivot3: Brandon Reich, Vice President, Security and IoT
•    Qognify: Marc Whalen, Vice President of Sales
•    Rasilient Systems, Sean Chang, Co-founder, CEO and President
•    SAST: Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management
•    USI Insurance Services: Robert Tockarshewsky, Vice President, Property & Casualty
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mission 500, a charitable non-profit organization engaging security professionals to raise money for children in need across the U.S., has announced the winners of its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Humanitarian awards, The award presentation will be on April 11, 2019 at ISC West in Las Vegas at 5:00 p.m. on the Security Systems News stage on the show floor. All are welcome to attend.

We here at SSN are honored and excited to partner with and support Mission 500 and congratulate this year’s well-deserving winners — Dave Foglio, Founder of First Response Security, is this year’s Humanitarian Award winner and Brinks Home Security is this year’s CSR Award winner. [Brinks Home Security was featured in Security Systems News’ article on companies working with Mission 500]

The following is a closer look at each of this year’s award winners:

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award

Brinks Home Security is being acknowledged with the 2019 Mission 500 CSR award, which honors companies in the security industry that dedicate significant volunteer time and resources to help those in need.

The Brinks Home Security Corporate Social Responsibility Program’s goal is to enrich the lives of at-risk and needy children and families. The company partners with local and national organizations, including Mission 500, MetroCrest Services, Notre Dame School, Agape Resource and Assistance Center and Carrollton/Farmers Branch Independent School District (ISD).

Brinks Home Security believes that their employees are their greatest asset. Its team has proven their commitment to the community in a variety of ways, including a 2018 food drive that collected 51,164 items for MetroCrest Services, more than 4,000 items for Hillside Food Pantry in Evanston IL, and 8,000 items for Harvesters Community Food Network, serving neighbors in Manhattan and St. Mary’s, KS.

Other examples include: nearly 300 Brinks Home Security runners participated in an annual Brinks Home Security 5K, which raised $52,000 for children in need; employees have donated nearly 100 hours of their time to mentor students in the Carrollton and Farmers Branch school system; and several of Brinks Home Security employees traveled to Notre Dame School in Dallas for an annual holiday celebration.

Brinks Home Security also continues to provide free alarm monitoring for homes run by the Agape Resource and Assistance Center. The homes provide shelter for former homeless women and children.

In addition to Brinks Home Security, nominees for the CSR award for 2018 included, Circle K, Power Home Technologies and Security 101, who all deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts.

Past winners of the CSR Award include: Altronix, NorthStar Home, Alliance Security, Fluent Home, Protection 1, Pelco by Schneider Electric, Vivint and Convergint Technologies.

Humanitarian Award

Dave Foglio, Founder of First Response Security is being honored with the 2018 Mission 500 Humanitarian Award, which acknowledges individuals in the security industry who make important contributions to those in need.

For the past six years, Foglio has traveled around the country with Samaritan’s Purse, helping homeowners in need following hurricanes, floods, fires and more. Last year, he traveled to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, where he helped homeowners with their water-damaged homes. Foglio has also been to South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, California and Colorado since he started working with Samaritan’s Purse, helping clean up homes and debris following natural disasters.

Foglio’s desire to help also carries over to his local community, where on a monthly basis he is splitting wood and personally delivering it as a form of heat to those who cannot afford it, or serving meals at the Portland Rescue Mission, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing food and shelter to those affected by homelessness in downtown Portland. Foglio’s generosity has also carried over into his working life. He founded First Response Security in 1989 and instilled a solid foundation of stewardship in the company, which as of today, has a motto of “A commitment to charitable donations and philanthropy”. First Response gives back 10 percent or more of its company profit each year to charities, both local and overseas.

First Response Security has been named #10 on Portland Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Awards in 2018 (its fifth year in a row ranking on the list). In addition, they provide installation, service and monitoring to local non-profit organizations at a significant discount to keep overhead as low as possible while still providing superior protection. “If we’re going to be working here and providing services, we want to make sure that we’re also giving back,” Foglio has said.

“I can definitely say that Dave Foglio and the Brinks Home Security Team are an example of life-changing work to help communities and people who are in need,” said Tom Nolan, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mission 500. “They are driven by purpose, which is a constructive force and to drive positive changes in communities across the U.S. I am honored to honor these individuals.”

Other nominees of the 2018 Humanitarian Award included Ben Brookhart, CEO of Power Home Technologies; Beth Hahn, President of Berkshire Systems Group; Jeff Gardner, CEO of Brinks Home Security; and Jenna Wardle, Global Customer Insights at HID Global.

Past winners of the Humanitarian Award include The Hurricane Harvey Heroes (Curtis Kindred, Harley Schild, Todd Fitch), Jay Gotra, Sean Sportun, Anne Glickstein, Charles “Dom” D’Ascoli, Alan Forman, Mary Jensby, Barb Holliday and Michael Keegan.

Mission 500 will hold the annual Security 5k/2k Race on April 11 at Sunset Park at 7:30 AM in Las Vegas. To register to run the Security 5k/2k Race visit www.security5k.com/.

For more information on Security 5K/Mission 500 Race, contact Tom Nolan at tnolan@mission500.org, or call 516-903-7291.

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