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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Growth in the global professional video surveillance equipment market accelerated in 2017, and is forecasted to continue growing in 2018, according the latest IHS Markit research.

The world market for professional video surveillance equipment grew by 9.3 percent in 2017, IHS found, a much higher rate of growth than in 2016 (3.9 percent) and 2015 (1.9 percent).

“Increased government spending on equipment to fight crime and terrorism was a major factor in this growth, as was private sector spending on replacing equipment in retail and commercial installations,” Jon Cropley, senior principal analyst, video surveillance, IHS Markit, said in a summary of the study.

Increasing demand for security cameras is expected in 2018, he said, but a slightly lower of level of price erosion is also forecast. The combination of these factors will lead to 10.2 percent growth in the video surveillance equipment market, which will reach $18.5 billion in 2018, IHS noted.

Global demand for security cameras grew rapidly in 2017, but average prices continued to fall. “Nevertheless, revenue grew in most countries,” said Cropley. “Two of the fastest-growing country markets were Brazil and India. A major factor behind the growth in both countries was increased spending by private retail and commercial organizations on HD CCTV systems used to prevent crime.”

Accounting for 44 percent of all global revenue, the Chinese professional video surveillance equipment market grew by 14.7 percent, while the world market excluding China grew just 5.5 percent. “One major reason for the higher growth in China was the government’s Xue Liang program driving investment in both city surveillance projects and extending city surveillance systems into surrounding rural areas,” Cropley noted.

Other key findings include:
•    Although it remains highly fragmented compared to many other markets, the supply base for professional video surveillance equipment is gradually becoming more concentrated. The top 15 vendors accounted for 62 percent of global revenue in 2017.

•    Overall, 62 percent of all security cameras shipped in 2017 were network cameras.

•    Deep-learning-enabled recorders and servers, a new category this year, are an important element in powering what many expect to be the next generation of video analytics using artificial intelligence. They accounted for just 1 percent of global market revenues in 2017.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, July 3, 2018

SIA recently released its July 2018 Security Market Index (SMI), which showed industry confidence rebounding after a slight drop in confidence in May.

“After a rocky spring, confidence within the security industry seems to be recovering slightly,” according to the report. “Improvement in a variety of areas, including product production, new product introductions and new orders, led to a July 2018 Security Market Index (SMI) of 65. Any index above 50 indicates that conditions within the industry are largely positive and that security industry professionals are largely confident in their business prospects. The May 2018 SMI was 55, and the March 2018 SMI was 72.”

Special focuses of the July 2018 edition of SMI include:
•    Confidence in the surveillance segment climbing, cautiously
•    Slowing growth for integrators
•    Access control professionals broadly positive moving into summer
•    Consultants holding steady, but with little improvement
•    A bonus feature on government spending and security

According to SIA, the majority of security professionals surveyed for the July 2018 SIA Security Market Index “are at least cautiously optimistic about the prospect of increased security spending this year as a result of the recently enacted Omnibus Appropriations Act. Nearly a quarter of SMI survey respondents were ‘very optimistic about increased spending.’”

Many SIA members cited the poor timing or late release of the FY18 federal budget as the cause for “less than ideal current business conditions” in May.

“After the Omnibus Appropriations Act was enacted, however, more projects and new orders started trickling down, said one video surveillance professional,” the report noted. “One security systems integrator noted, however, that ‘if we start a trade war, (mess) up the immigrant inflow and keep proposing up coal, we’ll not continue the economic growth.’”

Overall, most security professionals surveyed for the July 2018 SIA Security Market Index (surveyed between June 1 and June 15, 2018) consider current business conditions to be either “excellent” (45 percent) or “good” (35 percent).

The majority of security industry professionals surveyed for the July 2018 Security Market Index cited increases in the number of employees or hours worked, marketing spending, product production, new product introductions, product or service sales and new orders.

For capital equipment spending, most (52 percent) said rates were remaining the same, but 48% said spending was increasing, which is improvement compared with May 2018, when only 34 percent were seeing increased capital equipment spending and 12 percent cited decreases.

For security systems integrators only 29 percent consider current business conditions to be “excellent,” compared with 45 percent of the SMI overall. A further 43 percent consider current conditions “good,” but 28 percent believe current conditions are either “average” or “fair.”

Overall, the integrator-specific Index for July 2018 is 59, down three points from its May 2018 level of 62.
   
Over the next three months, most integrators believe business conditions will be either “much better” (29 percent) or “a little better” (57 percent). This is a little more optimistic than the outlook from June 2017, when only 14 percent of integrators expected conditions over the next quarter to be “much better,” with 71 percent expecting “a little better” conditions.

Click here for the full report, including details on increasing confidence in the surveillance and access control segments, as well as info on security consultants, 75 percent of whom consider current business conditions as “excellent.”
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Friday, June 22

Started the last day of ESX sitting in on an excellent session, “Smart Home Market Becoming a Brilliant Opportunity?” featuring Dina Abdelrazik, research analyst, Parks Associates; Bruce Mungiguerra, senior vice president of sales & business development, Nortek Security & Control; Thomas Nakatani, IT VP - customer monitoring technology & product, ADT Security; and Shuvankar Roy, vice president, Xfinity Home Comcast.

Abdelrazik started the session by giving an overview of some recent Parks research on the smart home. Looking at the use cases that consumers are interested in for the smart home, she noted, “Security and safety rose to the top and are the key value propositions that consumers understood, followed by access control and energy monitoring and management.”

In terms of smart home device ownership, she noted that 56 percent are security systems owners, with 37 percent saying the main purchase driver was to “keep your home safe.” Safety and security were also the main drivers for purchasing a security system, she said.

Overall, Parks forecasts shows “the market is shifting away from the traditional offering, and more and more consumers are adopting interactive services and home control systems,” said Abdelrazik. “So the competitive landscape is changing and if the dealer isn’t offering home security with interactive services and smart home products, they are really going to fall behind.”

She then looked at the type of security system desired by those who do not currently own one. Based on 2017 data, Parks found that 52 percent would choose “a system that could be monitored or controlled from my phone” while 36 percent would choose “a system that works with other smart devices that are not part of the security system," followed by at 36 percent, “a low cost, no frills solution.”

The top device added after installation included “cameras” at 30 percent, followed closely by motion sensors, door/window sensors and door locks, Abdelrazik noted.

She also shared Parks research on the average upfront price consumers paid for a security system that included smart home devices, which was $1,405, around double what they paid for a basic security system that included a control panel, system sensors and a keypad.

When dealers were asked why they offer smart home services, Parks found the top answer at 76 percent was “based on customer requests,” while the other top responses included “RMR oportunities” and “because our competitors offer it.”

And when dealers were asked what their biggest business challenge is, the No. 1 answer was inability to find qualified personnel. All on the panel agreed that with technology advancing so quickly, especially in the smart home space, hiring will continue to be a challenge. They also see great opportunities for dealers that are embracing this smart home movement and offering smart home options as part of their overall selling approach. Having a “good, better and best” option for customers will help simplify the process for homeowners, they said.

Each of the panelists pointed out that smart home services are driving greater interaction with their systems, which increases the perceived value of a system that prior to the smart home was not there. Customers who are more engaged with their systems spend more money and are easier to retain, the panelists all agreed.

Later that morning I had the pleasure of moderating the last session of the day, “Proven Customer Care Programs: Tips For Getting Started” featuring an excellent panel of John Bazyk, vice president of sales, Command Corporation, and Philip Pearson, president, Smart Home Consulting Group, who each provided great insight into how to engage with and know your customers, including best ways to collect and use data to lower attrition.

Bazyk has been perfecting his company’s customer retention program for several years and shared some of the key tenets of his program, which has helped his company achieve a 99 percent customer satisfaction rate, he pointed out.

The two also looked at best ways for dealers to communicate with their customers, including the importance of having a dedicated mobile app, as well as the potential for creating an e-commerce website and offering DIY products and services.

Next, I attended the Closing Keynote Luncheon, entitled Stronger Security, Safer Schools, which featured a panel that included H "Butch" Browning, state fire marshal, Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal; Guy Grace, director of security and emergency planning, Littleton Public Schools (LPS); and Ryan Petty, senior vice president, business solutions, Cable & Wireless Communications Inc.

Browning started by telling attendees, “You are part of the solution, giving us the equipment and services to help keep everyone safe,” noting that “the security technology piece” should be an integral part of every school’s strategy.

Petty, who lost his daughter Alaina in the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day 2018, said that it is vitally important that parents understand their school district’s security strategy and procedures, most important of which is having a “dedicated person overseeing security,” including overseeing emergency preparedness planning, preparation and training.

Grace agreed, noting that a school must unify and integrate the different systems—fire, access control, video, mass communication, etc.—so the key information—such as red flags that are often raised prior to these tragic events occurring—are received by the right people in the school, as well as law enforcement, so they can possibly prevent these incidents from happening.

Grace pointed to his school’s anonymous messaging system that allows students to share info about other students without fear of being labeled a snitch, which many times prevents students from coming forward with vital info that could have prevented a violent act from occurring.

Thursday, June 21

A key theme for the second full day of ESX was meaningful and interactive education, as the morning and late afternoon educational sessions had something for everyone.

I had the good fortune to start my day moderating a session—“Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market”—featuring a stellar panel of Steve Butkovich, chief technology officer, CPI Security and Rodger Reiswig, VP, Industry Relations, Johnson Controls Inc., who really played well off each other, presenting their perspective and expertise on each of the five disruptive technologies we decided were most impactful today.

The Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market that we collectively decided on are:

1.    Cloud-based Solutions
2.    Cybersecurity (IoT, Adaptive Risk, etc.)
3.    Mobile/5G Connectivity
4.    AI/Machine Learning
5.    Biometric Identity Solutions
 
As a group we came up with a definition for what disruptive technology is: "Technology that displaces, replaces or improves on an existing technology or business process and protocol in the marketplace, producing something new and more efficient."

Reiswig and Butkovich looked at how each of these technologies are changing and disrupting what is currently in place, the benefits and potential for each within security, as well as some excellent use cases and examples to illustrate their points.

I also sat in on highly informative session, “Industry Outlook - What You Need to Know,” featuring Jeff Kessler, managing director, Institutional Research, Imperial Capital and Blake Kozak, principal analyst, Smart Home and Security Technology, IHS Markit.

Kozak presented first looking at IHS research on the total equipment market (by technology type) for 2017, pointing out that IHS estimated the total security market in 2017 is worth about $31 billion. By 2021, Kozak said the market is estimated to reach $42 billion globally. Not surprisingly, video surveillance equipment was the leading technology at more than $18 billion.

What was surprising is how much video surveillance dwarfed others on the list, including access control as the next closest at $4 billion, followed by entrance control, intruder alarms, enterprise storage, consumer video surveillance and mobile video and body worn cameras. The two fastest growing areas over the next five years will be enterprise storage and consumer video, like Nest, Kosak said.

Kozak also presented a global forecast for the electronic access control equipment market that showed a CAGR of 6.2 percent from 2016-2021. The global market was worth $4 billion in 2017 and will grow to over $5 billion by 2021. Of this amount the U.S. represents about $1.2 billion or about 33-35 percent. The U.S. market will not decline.

Kozak also got into cybersecurity, noting that recent data suggests that more than 420 million companies were hacked, including data breaches, in 2011, which increased to 4 billion breaches in 2016, “more than a 200 percent increase in a short time,” he pointed out. 

Kessler looked at monitoring trends and how they are affecting the residential and commercial markets and the convergence of physical and logical security.

Kessler presented some interesting findings from a recent survey that Imperial did with 400 police agencies looking at “who gets the first response from a verified call” when given a choice between a professionally monitored security system versus a self monitored DIY system. Interestingly, 331 out of 400 agencies said they give priority to professionally monitored systems over a DIY system, which Kessler astutely pointed out is good news for monitoring companies as it shows the value of professional monitoring today.

Wednesday, June 20

Great to be here in Nashville for ESX 2018, which is off to a great start, from the opening celebration on Tuesday, June 19, at the Country Music Hall of Fame, to a packed first full day on June 20 that featured a stellar—and hilariously funny—keynote presentationfrom from Scott Stratten, president, Unmarketing, entitled “The Age of Disruption: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different.” at the Opening Keynote Luncheon (more on this later).

At the OpenXchange breakfast on Wednesday, ESX chairman George De Marco led a diverse panel that included Michael Simmons, CEO, Driveway, Mike Soucie, senior product marketing manager, Google, and Jeremy Warren, chief technology officer, Vivint Smart Home. The group looked at how disruptive technologies are changing the security landscape.

The panel also looked at how the world we live in is becoming more connected and more automated, from our home to our car to our place of work. The group discussed the relevance of integration services, how to adopt IoT offerings and how to provide more value to customers by taking the complexity out of making a wide variety of devices work together for a truly intelligent home. They also tackled topics such as data privacy and the role of the integrator and dealer in an ever-increasing DIY industry.

Looking at the future of the smart home, Warren said it is “not about the devices, but about the platform that ties it all together.” As the home becomes more of a “thoughtful home,” Warren asked, “What services will homeowners be willing to pay for in the future?”

Soucie added, “Devices should fade into the background,” noting that there are opportunities to “monetize solution bundles.”

The group also got into a good discussion on privacy. With the increase in video and data being produced today, homeowners are becoming more comfortable “trading privacy for convenience,” De Marco pointed out.

De Marco also moderated the counterpoint session of the day, “How will MAGA affect You and the Industry?” featuring Robert Few, managing partner, The Connection Xchange and Kirk MacDowell, president, MacGuard Security Advisors Inc., who looked at how MAGA—MSO’s, Apple, Google and Amazon—is impacting and reshaping the security industry and challenging security dealers today.

Both panelists agreed that MAGA is good for the industry, as they are raising greater awareness for a residential market that has been stuck around the 20 percent penetration rate for as long as anyone can remember. Few said that he believes that these entrants are already helping to drive this penetration rate up into the high 20s.

“I am excited they are here,” Few said. “They make our businesses better.”

Few also pointed out dealers really need to focus on connecting with their customers. “Engagement is key,” he said. “The more, the better.”

This counterpoint session provided some valuable opportunities for the audience to participate and guide the discussion. There was some good discourse around questions about competing with MAGA on pricing and creation costs, as well as installation, support and maintenance, which are key areas where dealers and integrators can differentiate themselves, the panelists pointed out.

Moving to the opening keynote luncheon, Stratton started out looking at the importance of brand, but from a slightly different perspective. He gave a great example of the great extent Ritz-Carlton’s employees went to get a lost teddy bear, Joshie, back to a family that had stayed at the hotel. Hotel staff went above and beyond, overnighting Joshie back to the family, along with sending pictures of Joshie enjoying his extended stay at the pool, Joshie working at the hotel, etc., as well as a Joshie employee badge—the ultimate customer service response that started with the laundry room staff member who found the bear all the way to the front desk person who made sure this issue was resolved.

“We all want word of mouth,” said Stratton, noting that many times companies aren’t doing things that are worthy of it. His example also illustrates the need for great leadership that is willing to empower and trust their employees to do the right thing. For example, the Ritz-Carlton, he said, allows an employee $2,000 to make things right with a guest who has any issue or needs special attention.

“The frontline changes the bottom line,” said Stratton, for better and for worse, depending on the tone and direction from leadership, which is something that is often mistaken for management. “From 30,000 feet up you can’t see the cracks on the ground,” said Stratton, noting that leadership requires that you listen to your employees.

What made this presentation so great was the way Stratton weaved in funny stories and witticisms that resonated with everyone in attendance, from millennials to Gen Xers to baby boomers. 

Following the keynote, and the expo hall ribbon cutting, the winner of the ESX 2018 TECHVISION Challenge Best-of-Show competition was announced. DMP's Virtual Keypad and Dealer Admin took home the top prize.

In addition to the Innovation Awards, attendees honored the recipient of ESA's 2017 Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award, Tom Donaldson, during the Opening Celebration. “I’m honored that anyone would take a moment to think that I could stand with these gentlemen,” said Donaldson as he received the award.

The Monitoring Association's 2018 Excellence Awards were also announced and congratulated, including: Patricia Fody, Vector Security, Operator of the Year; Carmelo Mosca, Affiliated Monitoring, Manager of the Year; and Beth Bailey, ADT LLC, Support Person of the Year. Affiliated Monitoring took home the association's coveted Monitoring Center of the Year award.

In other notable news, Chris Mosley, president of Complete Security Systems in New Jersey, was sworn in as ESA president, taking the reins from Angela White, who will now serve as Immediate Past President for the next two years.

Don Childers, chief operating officer of Security Central in North Carolina will serve as the one-year term Vice President.

Two open positions for two-year term vice president were filled by Tim Creenan of Amherst Alarm in New York and Jamie Vos of Security Solutions NW of Washington. Steve Firestone of Select Security in Pennsylvania was installed for another two-year term as Secretary. Steve Paley and Dee Ann Harn will continue to serve in their positions as treasurer and vice president respectively.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, June 13, 2018

I am excited to be heading to Nashville next week for ESX 2018, especially with Security Systems News as the premier media sponsor once again this year. As always, we love supporting this key industry conference each year.

If you don’t find me at the SSN booth, roaming the trade show floor, or at one of the many keynote events lined up this year, come and check out one or both of the two interesting sessions that I will be moderating this year.

The first one, “Top 5 Disruptive Technologies Impacting The Commercial Market,” is on Thursday, June 21, from 8:00-9:15AM in room 101 D, and features two great speakers—Steve Butkovich, chief technology officer, CPI Security and Rodger Reiswig, VP, Industry Relations, Johnson Controls Inc. I don’t want to reveal what those “Top 5” technologies are just yet, but one will be cloud. You will have to come to the session to find out the other four!

The second session that I am moderating, “Proven Customer Care Programs: Tips For Getting Started” is on Friday, June 22, from 11:00AM-12:00PM in room 101 A, and features two excellent speakers—John Bazyk, vice president of sales, Command Corporation, and Philip Pearson, president, Smart Home Consulting Group. Each of these speakers has a unique perspective on the topic and brings a wealth of information, resources and guidance on how to engage with your customers, lower attrition and improve retention and profitability long term.

Looking forward to a great week of education, networking and fun—Pub Crawl anyone?

See you in Nashville!

 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Convergint Technologies made its second acquisition outside the U.S. this month, with the acquisition of Integrators Australia, a systems integrator based in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

One of the world’s largest systems integrators, Convergint continues to grow its global footprint via organic growth and acquisition. Integrators Australia is Convergint’s second international acquisition in 2018, and it provides Convergint with a physical location and a group of experienced colleagues to expand its service in the local market.

“Acquiring Integrators Australia is another major step in building out our global service platform,” Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint, said in the announcement. “The addition of Integrators Australia greatly expands our presence in the Australian market and strengthens our ability to meet the service needs of our global customers in Australia. We welcome Dean Monaghan and his entire team to the Convergint organization.”

Founded in 2005 by Dean Monaghan, Integrators Australia is one of the largest independent integrators in Australia, servicing key clients across both Australia and New Zealand. Convergint chose to join forces with Integrators Australia because of its dedication to excellent customer service, a key component of Convergint’s own culture.

“We are very excited to become a part of Convergint Technologies, in which we have found a like-minded culture of service-first delivery,” Monaghan, managing director of Integrators Australia, said in a prepared statement.  “It has taken 13 years of dedication from our entire group to reach the strong level of capability and expertise that we offer today, and joining Convergint marks the next step in our evolution.”

Dan Moceri, Convergint’s co-founder and CEO told SSN after the acquisition of Paris-based systems integrator Astrec Security in early May that he sees many more opportunities to grow the company’s global presence.
 

by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 24 passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which includes an amendment prohibiting the federal government from purchasing video surveillance equipment from several China-based manufacturers, including Hikvision and Dahua. The bill still needs to make it through the Senate before being signed into law by the president.

In response to this legislative action, Jeffrey He, president, Hikvision USA Inc. and Hikvision Canada Inc., told Hikvision channel partners in an emailed letter, “We are actively working to assure our North American stakeholders that Hikvision strictly abides by the laws and regulations of each country in which it operates. We also reaffirm the fact that we hold our products to the industry’s global cybersecurity standards, including North America.”

He continued, “As we continue to monitor and further deploy the necessary resources to address this matter over the coming weeks and months, please know that we will vigorously defend Hikvision from dangerous and unproven accusations about the cybersecurity of our products and solutions.”

Dahua issued an official response to the proposed legislation, saying, “Dahua Technology is a commercial enterprise with high level of business integrity. As an international company, Dahua Technology complies with all related laws and regulations in the countries where it does business.”

As this bill heads to the Senate for any revisions and ultimately to the president for signature, it will be interesting to see if specific references to Hikvision and Dahua will be included in the final bill.

SSN continues to report on this story.
 

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 23, 2018

LAS VEGAS—Security Systems News caught up with ACRE COO Ron Virden, who this week published a great piece titled, “Electronic Access Control & The Future of Security: Is the Lock and Key Obsolete?”

Virden noted in his article that the end of the traditional lock and key may be here as wireless technologies transform “the possibilities for electronic access control.”

With Google and Amazon getting into the residential space, they are “really helping to drive that tipping point and you will see the consumer demand speed this up into the corporate space, especially the SMB market where we are already seeing this happen,” he told SSN. “But for the larger [enterprise] groups, where you still have to have the identification piece that a badge provides, the migration will take longer and I don’t know if it will ever be a 100 percent migration to mobile.”

And while wireless locks have been in existence for a long time, “next-generation products equipped with near-field communication and Bluetooth represent a quantum leap forward,” he noted in his article. “With established players such as ASSA ABLOY, Allegion and Dormakaba bringing their high-tech products to the market, wireless will rapidly become the standard means of managing access.”

He continued, “This is game-changing because it extends monitoring and control capabilities to a far wider range of access points. Today, most organizations limit digital locks and access credentials to the first line of defense—external doors. With nextgen wireless, any internal or external door can be added to the network so that traffic can be monitored and controlled throughout the building or complex. Not only does this improve the level of security and visibility, it also has the potential to provide valuable usage data that can help to reduce energy consumption, enhance safety and comfort and even provide predictive analytics that can guide space allocation or development.”

But before the industry can realize this new generation of wireless and mobile technologies, Virden said there are some challenges to overcome.

“The market is fragmented and territorial with lock manufacturers and mobile access firms focused on developing proprietary credentialing systems that protect their market share,” he explained in his piece. “However, that doesn’t serve the needs of the consumer or business market, both of which are resistant to being ‘locked’ into a specific brand of hardware or software.”

This is why, Virden told SSN, "open platform" is so important. “If you look at the intrusion business, you can go in and take over a panel and you can change who your provider is, so we have to have some way in the future for companies to not just be wed to one platform, and if you want to change who your credential provider is, you are able to do that,” he said.

Companies that focus on open platform and working well with others will benefit the most moving forward. “Focusing on hardware-agnostic software or credential-agnostic hardware will generate a bigger, more sustainable market,” he noted in his article. “Players that adopt a collaborative approach, aim for the mid-market, and look for ways to add value—whether through enhanced safety, convenience or data-driven insight—will see big opportunities in the coming years.”

For the full version of Virden’s article, click here.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LOS ANGELES—Arecont Vision announced this week that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the District of Delaware, and agreed to have substantially all of the company’s assets acquired by an affiliate of Turnspire Capital Partners, LLC, an equity firm that is known as a turnaround specialist. In the Arecont press release, the company stated that the proposed transaction will enable Arecont “to pursue accelerated development of new, industry-leading video surveillance products and better meet the needs of its customers today and beyond.”

Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision’s chief operating officer and general manager, said in the announcement, “Through this transaction, Arecont Vision will shed its debt and make bolder decisions to invest in our future versus maintain the status quo. We are excited to have found a partner in Turnspire who shares our vision and will ensure an exciting future for the Company to the benefit our customers, employees, and partners,”

He continued, “Manufacturing, customer service, and sales activities will continue uninterrupted. Our employees will receive their wages and benefits as before, and our own vendors and suppliers will be paid in the ordinary course of business going forward.”

Arecont said that current management will continue to lead the company, and business “will continue uninterrupted, and operations will be supported by debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing provided by Arecont Vision’s current secured lenders.”

The Turnspire bid will be subject to an auction at which it will be subject to higher and better offers, and require Court approval. The Company anticipates the transaction will move swiftly and close within 60-75 days.

“Arecont Vision implemented key strategic initiatives beginning in mid-2017 that continue in the current year, all aimed at enhancing customer engagement, increasing revenue, and optimizing business processes. The goal is to better address the needs of the market and maintain and expand our industry technology leadership,” said Calderon. “While these efforts bore fruit immediately, we can now accelerate that progress unburdened by excess debt. Ultimately it was determined that using the chapter 11 process to facilitate a reorganization and sale was the swiftest and most efficient way to reduce debt while accelerating sales growth and product development.”

The Company is advised by the law firm of Pachulski, Stang, Ziehl & Jones LLP, Armory Strategic Partners as the Company’s chief restructuring officer and financial advisor, and Imperial Capital as the Company’s investment banker.

Court filings as well as other information related to the restructuring are available here.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Canon today announced the acquisition of BriefCam, a provider of Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions. Closing of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions.

“The acquisition will create even greater synergies between the BriefCam Video Content Analytics platform and Canon’s Network Video Solutions portfolio,” Trevor Matz, president & CEO of BriefCam, told Security Systems News. “BriefCam will continue to innovate and deliver best-of-breed video content analytics enabling law enforcement,  public safety agencies and major enterprises transform their video surveillance footage into actionable intelligence and dramatically shorten the time-to-target for security threats while increasing safety and optimizing operations.”

Masanori Yamada, Canon Inc. managing executive officer and group executive, Network Visual Solution Business Promotion Headquarters, said in the announcement, “We are very excited to work with such an innovative organization and we welcome BriefCam into the Canon Group. With BriefCam, we can deliver an even broader range of leading-edge technology and solutions in the fields of network cameras, video management software and video content analysis software to customers and partners across the globe.”

BriefCam will continue to operate under the leadership of its current management structure, remain an open platform, and continue to provide its software to the market through its own sales channels.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with a global leader in digital imaging,” said Matz. “The acquisition will allow BriefCam to continue to deliver industry leading video content analytics solutions, while remaining a standalone company within the Canon Group. The opportunity is a testament to the innovative technology we have built, the outstanding team we have assembled, and the rapidly growing business we have created.”
 
The acquisition will also enable BriefCam to enter new markets, deliver stronger vertical solutions, and serve global customers even more effectively, he said.

Founded in 2007, BriefCam’s Video Synopsis and Deep Learning solutions are used for rapid video review and search, smart alerting and quantitative video insights.

Note: SSN continues to report on thsi story.

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by: Paul Ragusa - Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Amazon announced last week that it is jumping into the home security business—with both feet I might add—with the unveiling of five security packages for both homeowners and renters. What is most interesting about this announcement, though, is Amazon’s go-to-market strategy, which involves no monthly fees, just an upfront cost for the equipment package. Plus, all five equipment packages include free installation and visits from Amazon smart home experts to go over what is the best fit prior to choosing an option.

For those who have been following the success of Amazon’s Alexa, this move really shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially considering all of the inroads Amazon has been making in the smart home space, from its acquisition of Ring, the smart doorbell company, to its new in-home delivery service, Amazon Key, that features its Cloud Cam and partnerships with smart lock providers. 

It will be interesting to see how this will shake up the current home security market, which traditionally has existed on a RMR model that includes spreading some of equipment cost out over several months or years. It will also be interesting to see how this move succeeds overall for Amazon, as the security packages get a bit costly on the higher end.

So, let’s take a look at what packages they are offering, many of which work in tandem with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. Amazon is offering two outdoor security packages and three indoor packages. The first outdoor package, for $240, includes “expert smart lighting that will make it look like you’re home,” the website reads, while the Outdoor Plus package adds in a smart doorbell. For indoor security, the base package for $320, which is “perfect for renters” the website says, includes motion, door and window sensors, an indoor camera, smart siren and smart home hub. Homeowners can choose from Smart for $575 or Smartest for $840, each of which adds devices to the base package.

As consumer buying seems to be moving more toward a subscription-based model, this seems like a bit of risk to ask homeowners to pay that much up front, but it may be a risk that pays off for Amazon. For one, consumers who may not have taken the leap into the smart home or home security will see this as a way to get both—the Alexa voice assistant and home security—all from one provider in a very seamless way.

SSN would love to hear your thoughts on this, so feel free to comment below.

 

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