Security Watch

Monitoring bill update
Licensing Bill Stands Despite Opposition

By Deborah L. O'Mara

Despite opposition by industry leading alarm installing and central station companies, the New York Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NYBFAA) continues its quest for a new statewide licensing law for monitoring firms.

Some of the top revenue-generating companies who monitor customer accounts in the state, including ADT, Rapid Response Monitoring Services, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions, Protection 1 Security Solutions, Vivint, Sonitrol, MACE CSSS, Doyle Security Systems, Direct Alarm, Legacy Security Systems, Security Solutions, C.O.P.S. Monitoring-have unequivocally stated their opposition to the proposed legislation. The legislation, Article 6E

"Business of Alarm Monitoring," seeks separate licensing of central station monitoring companies. Currently, only alarm companies selling, installing and servicing alarms are licensed (Article 6D, 1992). According to SD&I sources, the number of monitored accounts in the state could amount to some seven figures.

"We are categorically opposed to the legislation," said Jeffrey Atkins, president of Rapid Response Monitoring Services. In a letter submitted to the NYBFAA on behalf of Rapid Response, Russell MacDonnell, chief executive officer stated: "We strongly urge you not to support proposed Article 6E. The Article should be dropped and the state of New York should focus on more serious issues at hand."

Ina Staris, legal counsel for Stanley Convergent Security Solutions also wrote: "Stanley CSS strongly opposes the proposed Article 6E and believes it should be abandoned. It is not the time to further burden monitoring companies with more costs and bureaucracy in managing their business."

While the NYBFAA contends their open discussions on the issue began in 2008, John Lombardi reiterated to SD&I magazine that no one in the industry responded or provided little or no comment with regards to the draft, until early 2011. He also stated that while he is a member of the committee that drafted the legislation, the issue is currently in the hands of the board of NYBFAA and "whether or not it goes through will be up to them, but I believe it will." Lombardi is president of Commercial Instruments & Alarm Systems in Fishkill, N.Y.

"Just because it's more licensing doesn't mean it's bad," Lombardi said. "I maintain that this may be the foundation for national reciprocity." He added that the NYBFAA is a benevolent group focused on the well being of the industry.

Time for national licensing?

The Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) also "opposes the proposed New York Licensing bill," it wrote in a statement distributed to media. "CSAA's official position on this matter represents the will not only of its board and members but also numerous non-members in the central station industry who have communicated their concerns to CSAA about the proposed New York State licensing legislation." In an interview with Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems of Illinois and president of CSAA, he said: "CSAA is actively looking at proposing a national licensing bill and will move forward quickly in that direction."

However NYBFAA has different interpretations of the numerous letters submitted and believes they are inconclusive. It stated that the Board of Directors will "review the comment letters submitted by those unable to attend the February 10 meeting." The directors are adding an agenda item for their next scheduled meeting to review additional comments. According to Joseph Hayes, president of the association and owner of All County Security in Putnam Valley, N.Y., in a letter issued on his behalf by Dale Eller, executive director of the NYBAA, the organization will at this time "stop all actions seeking prospective legislative sponsors."

The process will take time, with the NYBFAA board to meet in May 2011, at which time it will assess letters and other comments and make a determination whether or not to proceed. For more information, check out the SD&I February issue archives at www.securityinfowatch.com and the Integrator Insights blog on the site.

Exclusive Coverage
AMAG Symposium Solidifies Integration Package

AMAG Technology Inc., Torrance, Calif., continues to solidify its efforts as a full integration solutions provider and hosted some 60 design and engineering professionals and manufacturing partners at its 10th Annual Security Engineering Symposium in Dana Point, Calif.

The mood was upbeat and positive, as Robert Sawyer, president and chief executive officer of AMAG Technology spoke of the company's accomplishments and profitability throughout the recession. "We want to say a special thanks to our partners, who help us provide a fully integrated system," he said. (Partners include: DAP Technologies; Hawkeye Technologies; HID Corp.; Intransa; Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies; NEC Corp.; Salto; Stentofon; and Winsted.) AMAG also received its Partner of the Year award from NEC Corp. of America, Santa Clara, Calif., (see photo).

"We have been in business 40 years," Sawyer told the audience at the opening session. "AMAG is part of G4S, one of the largest security solutions providers in the U.S and the U.K.," he continued. "Our business strategy is to provide best in breed solutions by forming strong partnerships. First quarter 2011 profits were up 70 percent compared to last year and up some 200 percent through 2010 to February year to date." He also commented that the company's strong vertical market focus, on government, education, healthcare, critical infrastructures and data centers, continues to bolster the company's profitability.

In addition to presentations by AMAG partners, who discussed new developments and implementations and included a keynote speech by Roger Roehr of Roehr Consulting, Reston, Va., on HSPD-12; SP800-116 and FICAM credentialing, the symposium included networking and social events and a technology dinner wrapping up the conference.

Vivint Focus: Rebrand, New Products

Vivint, Provo, Utah, one of the largest security companies in the industry and the renamed APX Security, continues to focus on its rebranding with new products, signage and marketing efforts focused on home automation and energy management solutions. New products and services include automatic door locks, video surveillance and lighting and small appliance control. The additions are designed to provide increased safety, energy efficiency and convenience for residential customers.

The company's new home automation products are designed to integrate with the company's existing security and energy management systems and are centered around the Vivint Go! Control panel, a touchscreen unit that communicates between each home automation product, giving customers access to their entire line via the touch of a button or remote control from a smartphone or Internet browser.

"Vivint is a result of our company's evolution. We have a corporate culture of continual innovation and our new name and identity are a reflection of that innovation," said Todd Pedersen, chief executive officer. "Until now, home automation has been considered a luxury for the elite rather than smarter living available to everyone. We are excited to bring our focus, direction and unique business model into the home automation industry." With this move, the company has transitioned from a residential security firm to a provider of simple, affordable home automation services. The products were slated for March 1 availability.
According to IMS Research, the number of smart homes-households that can control their appliances as well as manage their energy consumption via home networking and smart metering technology-is expected to reach 14 million worldwide by 2014.

Partnership Promotes Converged Access

Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Carmel, Ind., announced a new partnership with Gemalto, Arlington, Va., a company that specializes in digital security, to provide new advanced identification solutions to Schlage access control readers.

The agreement will allow Schlage to deliver a secure, converged badge that will let users take advantage of contactless access control technology and advanced, secure contact technology from Gemalto for logical security.

"Our customers now have access to converged access solutions that will provide them with open, secure physical and logical applications," said John Menzel, director of Business Development, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.
Thomas Flynn, director of Sales and Marketing, Gemalto, said the agreement provides Schlage multi-technology readers with a robust credential that seamlessly transitions away from legacy, proprietary technologies to higher security, open solutions including aptiQ(TM) smart cards from Schlage using MIFARE DESFire EV1(tm) technology. "Both proximity and smart card credentials will be available with the Gemalto technology," Flynn said. "The partnership will allow Schlage to provide combined logical and physical solutions. Multi-factor authentication and the ability to consolidate credentials will provide more capability across the enterprise," Flynn said.

Newsmakers

DORMA Americas, Mississauga, Ontario, appointed Dan Neilson director of Business Development...HID Global, Irvine, Calif., appointed Jean-Miguel Robadey global director of its Identification Solutions (IDS) RFID animal tagging business...Honeywell Systems, Austin, appointed Franco P.L. van Heijningen general manager for its Vindicator Technologies business; and promoted Tony Foglia to director of Global Accounts, Honeywell Systems, Marlton, N.J....Inovonics, Louisville, Colo., promoted David Foth to senior product manager...Pivot3, Palo Alto, Calif., appointed Deborah MacCallum vice president of Engineering...Sightlogix, Princeton, N.J., appointed Tim Fagin director of Support Services.

BICSI Conference:Infrastructure 'Centric'

BICSI held its Winter Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., and the emphasis was on the infrastructure, and systems and services that continue to run off and converge on the network.

BICSI, which is a standards making body, is a professional association supporting the information technology systems industry, serving more than 23,000 ITS professionals, including designers, installers and technicians. The conference sessions allow attendees to fulfill their RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer); RITP (Registered Information Technology Professional and newest credential); ESS Designer (Electronic Safety and Security); NTS Designer (Network Technology Systems); OSP Designer (Outside Plant); Wireless Designer; and ITS (Installer/Technician) continuing education credits.

In addition to educational sessions and keynote speeches by author Tom Koulopoulos and silicon valley icon and philanthropist Steve Wozniak of Apple fame, the BICSI conference included exhibits and the cabling skills challenge where installers competed on the show floor for awards and prizes. Sponsors of the winter conference included Metz Connect; Tyco Electronics (formerly ADC); MaxCell; OFS; Sticklers; Berk-Tek; Transition Networks; and Semtron Inc.

Other highlights of the show included the Chatsworth Products Inc. reception at a local dueling piano bar where Chatsworth's own employee band provided entertainment for the night (see photo). The gala was part of the company's launch of its new line of computer and network storage products called the GlobalFrame Cabinet System.

Outstanding member accolades

In addition, Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS, of Berk-Tek, A Nexans Company, received the David Blythe-University of Kentucky Distinguished Service Award. Oliver has been the marketing analyst with Berk-Tek for five years. The Outstanding Member of the Year Award spotlighted her efforts in promoting BICSI's educational programs and her commitment to professional development.

Other awards included: Committee Member of the Year Award, to Igor G. Smirnov, RCDD; the Harry J. Pfister Award for Excellence in the Telecommunications Industry, awarded to Herb Congdon ll, PE, and Julie Roy, RCDD, ESS, NTS; the Presidential Eagle Award, presented to Kazuo Kato, manager for BICSI Japan; and the Ray Gendron/BICSI Cares Scholarship, awarded to students Thomas Tang, Mohamed Luqman Suhaib and Thomas Elliot.
 

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