The security week that was: 12/17/10 (post-CAA report)

Back from Cali - the CAA Winter Convention report

I attended the California Alarm Association Winter Convention last week in San Francisco, Calif. Now typically association conventions are mostly about board meetings, membership business and networking, but the CAA convention is a little different. This year's convention was by far the largest yet for this association, and they co-located it with an event from the Electronic Security Association. Held just before the CAA Winter Convention, the Young Security Professionals event was designed for "youths" under 45 in our industry looking for mentorship and business training as they grow into the roles that the grey hairs are currently holding. Often these (very motivated) YSPs are the children of family-owned alarm businesses. In talking to some of the YSP attendees, it seems the content was great and on target with their needs. One of the people I spoke with has actually been in the industry for 10 years and still felt like the training there was immensely helpful.

On the CAA side, the convention was highlighted with the presentation of the George A. Weinstock award to former CAA president and ADT industry liaison Jon Sargent (read the story and profile of Sargent). But besides the awards presentation, the event held some very good content for electronic security companies doing business in California. In California, things are a little different from how they are down here in the south. One of the brief presentations made was by legal guru Les Gold on the legality of firing a worker who has a medical prescription for cannabis. But there was plenty of information of general value for those of you not facing such a curious HR issue; check out the coverage of the licensing bureau update and a quick look at alternative alarm signal carrier technologies.

Samsung and GVI part ways ... amicably
GVI Security to no longer be master distributor for Samsung

Samsung Techwin America's security business announced this morning that they are dissolving the distribution relationship the firm has had with GVI Security, which had served as the master distributor for the company's products to distribution houses. According to Frank De Fina, the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Samsung, the move "brings us closer to our customers on a daily basis." Distribution and systems integrator channel relationships will be handled in-house once the change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

Access readers to close?
Diagnosing a door access control problem in the field

In our forums, "spyda_man" is challenged with solving his facility's door access problem that came up after more access readers and an additional access control panel were installed. Is it a problem with the read range because the readers are too close together? Is he getting reads and transactions recorded? Could it simply be a mechanical issue with the door lock hardware? Share your thoughts on this problem (or just post your own problem to our tech corner discussions).

Door-to-door isn't evil
But apparently there is some debate among dealers

An article I published last week about door-to-door alarm sales has been stirring impassioned discussion in the comments section. Clearly there are some who believe that door-to-door inherently means bad sales, while others see this as an effective sales approach which has to be managed like any other sales program -- and by that they mean you toss out the bad apples as soon as you find them. Share your thoughts on door-to-door sales of alarm programs and your own best practices.

In other news
Bellagio robbery, Per Mar buys another dealer, AXIS studies IP costs

Per Mar Security Services (Iowa) has acquired Digital Alarm Systems (Indiana). It is the second recent acquisition for Per Mar in the state of Indiana. ... A robber, arriving on a motorcycle and wearing full motorcycle gear, brandished a gun and robbed a table at the Bellagio Casino of its chips. The robber was estimated to have escaped with $1.5 million worth of chips, and is believed to have robbed another Vegas casino using the same method quite recently. Read the Bellagio story - Watch the video - Examine the surveillance stills. ... IP video market leader Axis Communications released a cost-of-ownership video surveillance study this week (conducted by Lusax, a group at Lund University in Sweden). The research sought to compare a DVR-based system to an entirely IP system for a mid-sized retail environment.