ESX 2014 Roundup

Quite a bit of news came out of this week’s ESX show in Nashville, where a few thousand security dealers met to learn more about the state of alarms and monitoring, as well as new developments in the residential market and beyond.

Here’s a roundup of the news and product releases straight from the show floor:

Product Awards

ESX’s annual Maximum Impact Awards honored 20 new and recently introduced products and services that are making a difference for the dealer/integrators and monitoring companies that use them. The awards were delivered by John Cerasuolo, CEO of ADS Security.

Honeywell won four different awards at the show, including its LYNX 7000, which was awarded Best Overall Winner by the judges. LYNX 7000 is a self-contained security and automation system, allowing integrators to expand offerings based on homeowner needs. It allows homeowners to view up to four cameras on the touchscreen, and works with Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services, allowing homeowners to control the system remotely via mobile devices.

Here’s a list of the rest of the winners:

  • Access Control System: Honeywell, NetAXS-123 5.0 EVL
  • Gate/Door Operator: Linear, GD00Z Garage Door Controller
  • Dealer Company Software: ConnectWise
  • Installation Tools/Testers: iControl Networks, System Installation Wizard
  • Mobile Applications: iControl Networks, Home View 3D
  • Alarm Signal Transmission Equipment: Digital Monitoring Products, CellCom SLZ
  • Annunciators, Bells, Sirens, Strobes: Videofied, Videofied Wi-Fi Panel
  • Fire Detection System: Xtralis, VESDA Laser Quantum (VLQ)
  • Fire/Smoke/Gas Detectors: Xtralis, VESDA-E Series Aspirating Smoke Detectors
  • Wireless Alarm Systems: Honeywell, LYNX 7000
  • Intrusion Alarm Control Panels: Bosch Security Systems, Inc., B Series Control Panel with IP Video Integration
  • Intrusion Sensors/Detectors: Xtralis, ADPRO ProE
  • Automation/Networking and Audio/Video: Bold Technologies, OpenVoice Version 2
  • Home Automation Systems: Honeywell, VISTA Automation Module (VAM)
  • Central Station Software: Bold Technologies, PBXEnterprise
  • Alarm Monitoring: DICE Corporation, Matrix iPBX
  • Dealer Marketing Services: eDist Security, eDist Partner Program
  • GPS/Mobile Tracking: American Two-Way, TotalTrack
  • PERS/Telehealth Monitoring: LogicMark, CaretakerSentry
  • Security as a Service (SaaS): I-View Now, I-View Cloud VSaaS
  • Digital Recording Systems: Hikvision, DS-7716NI-SP/16 Plug n’ Play NVR
  • Video Analytics: I-View Now, I-View Cloud Analytic
  • Video Surveillance System: Smartvue, Smartvue S9M

 

Getting Tough on Deceptive Sales Practices

ADT held an important press conference at the show outlining its campaign to stop deceptive sales practices — particularly those common among door-to-door alarm dealers. Speakers at the conference included: Larry Harrington, Chief Policy Deputy, The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office; Tom Davis of the North Murfreesboro Alliance; Vector Security’s Pam Petrow, Vice President, Central Station Alarm Association; John Knox, President, Electronic Security Association; and David Bleisch, Chief Legal Officer, ADT.

All of the speakers outlined the problem of deceptive sales practices in door-to-door settings, including an eye-opening undercover video of a portion of a sales training program. “Only a small fraction of consumers who are taken advantage of will ever file a complaint,” Harrington said. “They either don’t know it, or they feel helpless and don’t know what they can do about it. Lying to a consumer to get them to sign a contract violates the law, and the Tennessee Attorney General is working to increase understanding and get people to report these scams.”

Tennessee has been hit hard — in particular in the town of Murfreesboro, where Davis explained that AMP Security has duped more than 4,000 homeowners in the area. “They are targeting yards with alarm company signs, saying they represent Honeywell, ADT and Guardian,” he explained. “They focus on using intense pressure sales tactics and they don’t go away until they get an answer they like.”

AMP Security is a Utah-based company whose Better Business Bureau rating is “F.” According to the BBB, factors that lowered AMP Security, LLC's rating include: 99 complaints filed against the business; failure to respond to 6 complaints filed against business; and that the business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints. In fact, a BBB alert has been issued, warning consumers to beware.

“In 2010 we saw a need to update our code of ethics,” Knox said. “In the life safety business, it’s more than just right and wrong – when you do something wrong in our business, it could be life or death. We would like to have an industry with zero tolerance, and we intend to address that with our members.”

Knox added that in order to enforce these types of ethical sales practices, they will need more district attorneys and Attorneys General like Harrington to take up the cause. “That’s where the teeth is,” he said.

“There are a lot of bad actors out there,” Bleish said. “But keep in mind there are thousands of companies in security that act with the high integrity you would expect. Integrity is an issue to the entire industry, and that’s why we are fighting this. They are not only after our customers – it’s everyone.”

ADT recently announced a reward of up to $25K for evidence of deceptive sales practices like the one depicted in the whistleblower video.

 

New Product Releases

  • Telguard announced the availability of its TG-1 Express CDMA cellular alarm communicator on the Verizon Wireless network. The TG-1 Express CDMA is an ideal primary residential solution for areas where cellular coverage may be challenging. Based on the same proven, flexible features and functionality of the TG-1 Express for 3G/4G networks, the CDMA version helps reduce cost and installation time in every cell-only, no-landline, and VoIP home. 
     
  • Qolsys announced that its IQ Panel will feature an updated Graphical User Interface (GUI) and additional support for Z-Wave Devices from leading manufacturers via a summer software update.  
     
  • ihiji introduced its network management solution to the commercial market, which includes ConnectNinja, Auto-Discovery and Speed Test features. Together, these features help integrators remotely monitor, service, and maintain all aspects of a client’s network and connected devices.
     
  • Interlogix debuted its TruVision TVN 10 plug-and-play network video recorder (NVR) for SMBs.

 

PPVAR Unveils Best Practices

The PPVAR (Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response) video verification committee released a new best practices document. Created in partnership with several major state and city law enforcement associations, the key take-away from the best practices document is the identification of different threat levels for PSAPs to evaluate incoming video: Threat Level 3 - probable crime in progress; Threat Level 2 - person present and something happening but cannot confirm it is actual crime; and Threat Level 1 – The video shows nothing and the alarm is not handled as a video alarm.

The PPVAR education committee is also preparing Central Station Operator training materials, including a complete curriculum for central stations; or, an outline with the support files and videos for those central stations that develop their own in-house training.

 

Marinace Named New ESA President

The Electronic Security Association (ESA) named Marshall Marinace as the 2014-2016 ESA president and four new executive committee members at their annual membership meeting held during ESX. Marinace is the owner of Yorktown Heights, N.Y.-based Marshall Alarm Systems, which was founded in 1976. In his 38 years in the security industry, Marinace has served in many capacities as an ESA volunteer including multiple terms as vice president, chairperson of the Membership Committee, board member of Security America Risk Retention Group (SARRG) and liaison to the Standards and Fire Life Safety Committee. Marinace is also a past president of the New York State Electronic Security Association (NYSESA) and the Westchester (N.Y.) Alarm Association. 

Marinace said he is looking forward to his term as president, and is pleased with the direction of the association. During his presidency, he hopes to continue on the path of success established by his predecessors. 

"Having been involved with association boards and committees for the past 30 years and counting, my personal goal is to continue the legacy and ongoing development of strong leadership that has made ESA the foremost industry association,” said Marinace. "I am therefore honored and humbled to have been given the opportunity to fill the role as ESA president for the next term.”

The four newly elected officers are:

  • Dee Ann Harn - elected to one-year term as vice president.
  • Chris Mosley – elected to two-year term as vice president.
  • Angela White – elected to two-year term as vice president.
  • Jon Sargent – elected to two-year term as secretary.

Harn is CEO and owner of RFI Enterprises of San Jose, Calif.; Mosley is president of Complete Security Systems, Inc. in Marlboro, N.J.; White is executive vice president of Central 1 Security in Brookfield, Wis.; and Jon Sargent is industry relations/government affairs for Tyco Integrated Security in Hayward, Calif. Additionally, Ken Nelson was re-elected for a two-year term as an associate member representative. Nelson is regional vice president of sales for Interlogix in Williamsburg, Va. 

The new terms began on July 1. The current ESA president, John Knox, will continue to serve on the Executive Committee for two years as immediate past president.

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