Security Watch

Two Great Shows: PSA-TEC & ESX
Summer brings travel to best in class shows!

By Deborah L. O'Mara

PSA-TEC recently held its show and conferences at the Westin in Westminster, Colo., with more than 800 in attendance. The conference included dozens of educational sessions and training and two days of exhibits. PSA-TEC decided to go to its home grounds in Westminster in 2011 and will also stake grounds for the 2012 show (May 14 to 18) at the same venue.

"Hosting PSA-TEC 2011 in Denver was so well received we've decided to keep a good thing going," said Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network.

SD&I magazine and SecurityInfoWatch.com were key media sponsors of the event, with SIW streaming live the "State of the Industry Report," kicking off the first day of educational sessions. The report was the ultimate precursor to many other sessions which focused on the future of the industry, how integrators have to evolve the business into a services model and how business management is just as important as technical prowess in the evolving market.

Moderated by Security Consultant Sandra Jones of Sandra Jones and Company, the panel included: Tony Whaley, chairman of Credentialing, BICSI; Bill Bozeman, CEO and president of PSA Security Network; Dave Carter, managing director of Security Network of America; Paul Cronin, CEO of 1nService; J. Matthew Ladd, president of The Protection Bureau; and Chuck Wilson, executive director of the National Systems Contractors Association.

Panelists gave insights into the integration market, the recession and business practices critical to future profitability. There was an overriding message that not only do systems integrators need to focus on a services model and IT-eccentricities, but need to be able to manage their businesses more effectively and learn how to approach lenders about the idiosyncrasies of the marketplace.

How to survive in a commodity world

"One of the most significant challenges facing integrators today is the financial side of the business," said Bozeman. "Smaller integrators have cash flow issues; and each job has to be profitable," he said. "Banks are unfriendly to the business," he added. "So the issues are not necessarily technical. It's a new business model; this is a technical meeting but business management is important."

Dave Carter of Security Network of America added that protecting and growing the revenue stream in a changing marketplace can be difficult. "Comcast is entering the business with the XFINITY product, clearly coming into our space. Verizon is offering home automation; and AT&T bought Xanboo. Xanboo is cancelling all dealers in July because they want to go direct to market," he said.

Cronin commented that attracting, developing and retaining talent is one of the key challenges he sees in the industry. "Finding the right skill-sets and leadership in sales as well is critical. We are the sum of our people," he said.

J. Matthew Ladd concurred with the panelists that projects are coming in at lower profit margins and customers are continually bidding. "Project management is extremely important. So is the need to have multiple product lines."

Whaley, coming from an architectural and engineering firm, said he sees the market from a different perspective. "It's important to work with a design element to save money and time. Building information modeling (BIM) is becoming extremely important and allows you to visualize everything in a project design. AutoCad is going away to this 3D BIM modeling," he said.

Wilson concurred that the growing use of BIM is something that might blindside integrators who aren't aware of the software. "But the biggest challenge continues to be attaining profitability on every job. Margins are being constantly challenged."

ESA and CSAA Race to Charlotte for ESX Show

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) raced to the Charlotte Convention Center in early June for the ESX show and the results were positive all around.
Systems integrators, dealers, manufacturers and distributors gathered for days of educational topics, exhibits and lots of fun networking events-including a pub crawl that included bull riding and karaoke.

Leading industry accolades

One of the well-known events is the presentation of the Morris F. Weinstock Person of the Year Award, which went to Michael A. Miller of Moon Security Services and the Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award, presented to LJ Lynes of Stanley Security Solutions.

The Weinstock Person of the Year Award was initiated by the family of Morris F. Weinstock to honor the lifetime work of the ESA co-founder and past president. Miller was lauded for his tireless efforts to the organization and was equally surprised when his mother and two sisters came on stage during the announcement of the awards at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Miller has been involved in the security industry since the late 1970s. He served ESA of Washington as president three times. In 2005, Miller was honored with the Sarah E. Jackson Memorial Award for his outstanding leadership as a committee chair. (The Weinstock award was sponsored by Interlogix).

"I think I can make a difference, I said to my wife, when I asked permission to take on the role of president," Miller told the audience. "I owe a lot to my wife and my family so I could go out and take on the important role of president. My mentor, George Gunning, said to remember all my stakeholders and that's what I did."

LJ Lynes, a national training instructor for Stanley Works, received the 2011 Sara E. Jackson Memorial Award for his dedication and leadership as chairman of the ESA Education Committee. He was commended for his efforts to raise the standard of education across the country. He serves as national liaison director for the Tennessee Electronic Security Association. (The Sara E. Jackson Memorial award was sponsored by Honeywell Security Group.)

ESA Launches Consumer Site

Have you seen it? Redesigned with the consumer in mind, www.alarm.org provides helpful safety tips for consumers as well as offers potential customers an easy way to search for companies in their area. Launched by the Electronic Security Association, you can find an ESA member by zip code. There's also a section on alarm system Frequently Asked Questions, a police and fire chief's corner, news and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube links.

Where the Heck is SD&I?

You can find Security Dealer & Integrator magazine on the award-winning Web site, www.securityinfowatch.com. From the home page, simply click on the magazine name/logo at the top of the page. You will also find blogs from the editors of SD&I on the home page or on the SD&I landing page. For SD&I's article archives, go to our landing page: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/magazine/sdi/. To see our digital online edition, use this url: http://sdi.epubxpress.com.

Communities in McHenry County Engaged in Municipal Monitoring
IESA's Call to Action gets community officials involved

By Natalia Kosk

The city of McHenry, Woodstock, Crystal Lake and Algonquin are now engaged in municipal monitoring within McHenry County, Ill. The recent development means business taken away from the private alarm monitoring companies-EMERgency24, Stand Guard and Alarm Detection Systems, to name a few-and increased monitoring costs for business owners within those areas. And many of those business owners are "quite irate" according to Kevin Lehan, executive director of the Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA), Arlington Heights, Ill.

A majority of real estate owners understand the impact this has on their multi-tenant locations and "are pretty upset about this," Lehan referenced. Real estate owners with multi-tenant facilities are potentially faced with an annual increased amount of an estimated "$10,000 additional cost that they would be responsible for to cover the alarm monitoring mandated by the ordinance," Lehan explained.

(Note: For the additional example referenced prior, costs were calculated for a 12-store strip mall that can be monitored for about $110 per month, equaling $1,320. If a strip mall owner were required to put in a system in each of the 12 storefronts at $90 per month for each, the yearly cost would total $12,960).

IESA's call to action

As a result, IESA wrote and sent letters to Mayor Low of McHenry, city councils and fire district protection boards in those areas, explaining the impact of their decisions, requesting their response to further discuss their actions. In another letter sent to 300 precinct committeemen in the county of McHenry, the IESA questioned where and when the decision to enable municipal monitoring took place and the methods taken to allow this to occur. To read the full story, visit http://www.securityinfowatch.com/Dealers/1321317?pageNum=1.

The Next-Generation Broadband Home
iControl Networks continues to pave the way for the changing face of home security

By Natalia Kosk

A number of home security providers are changing the game and suffice to say, it's not only those that reside as providers in the electronic security industry. Comcast, who first offered their XFINITY Home Security service to Houston residents mid 2010 is now rolling out the service to six additional U.S. market areas, in parts of Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., Jacksonville, Fla., Sarasota/Naples, Fla., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn. (Additional markets will be introduced on a rolling basis). Now, the nationwide provider most known for their Internet and home entertainment services has the backing of broadband home management software-provider iControl Networks, Palo Alto, Calif., whose OpenHome software platform now powers Comcast's XFINITY Home Security package.

"Home security is going to be the basis for the broadband home," explained Jim Johnson, co-chief executive officer of iControl Networks. "It is about to change. We get a lot of inquiries about applications not only related to energy management but home healthcare. There are many home monitoring and elderly home healthcare device manufacturers that are approaching us to enter our partner program and become authorized manufacturers. And this resonates with consumers. They are the ones who should start looking for those types of capabilities in a home security platform."

A number of partnerships among home security providers drive this market right now. Johnson confirmed the company will continue to expand its iControl program to other hardware and application partners, with several being announced in near-future months. For the full story, visit http://www.securityinfowatch.com/Dealers/broadband-service-providers-changing-home-security-landscape.
 

 

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