In a compromise with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, The Monitoring Association (TMA) recently concluded its second virtual annual meeting, held Oct. 12-14. The free event, attended by almost 500 registrants, featured presentations by TMA members, industry thought leaders, and special guests, and provided the opportunity for attendees to take part in virtual education and networking events.
After hosting all of its events virtually in 2020, outgoing TMA President Don Young said that TMA event coordinators had tracked the 2021 COVID situation “day by day” before finally deciding to make the conference virtual once again this year, adding that the group planned to return to a live event by November 2022 in Marco Island, Fla.
Speakers and topics included keynote speaker Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO of UL; a virtual “luau party” to introduce incoming TMA President Morgan Hertel; a panel discussion of the implications of the work-from-home phenomenon on the industry; and a discussion of upcoming industry challenges and opportunities.
In her keynote address, Scanlon discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic spurred UL to introduce dramatic changes to help shareholders, employees, and customers operate through the crisis. The pandemic, which struck four months into Scanlon’s new presidency, forced a reevaluation of UL’s core strengths and accelerated her previously announced organizational refresh strategy.
“We had a choice to make,” she said. “We chose to keep going on this important process. We were determined that this crisis would not be wasted and we’d come out stronger and ready to serve our customers.”
Scanlon and UL worked with the TMA task force to jointly establish emergency work-from-home (WFH) guidelines and introduce new revisions to UL 827, the Standard for Central Station Alarm Services, including emergency standards around WFH — “a reflection of our trusted partner status,” she said.
In response to the industry’s increased use of widely sourced data, UL is also developing an alarm validation scoring initiative to help monitoring businesses provide better intelligence to first responders. Algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are all leading-edge tech tools businesses can leverage to help customers and attract investors and new members to the security industry, Scanlon said.
She added that supply chain and sustainability issues will play an increasingly important role for UL by, “helping our customers address the risks they may face, either through supply chain choices or through choices in how they can reuse and recycle what’s out there — key areas that connect back to our core business on life safety issues.”
The virtual TMA conference gave attendees the opportunity to meet incoming TMA President Morgan Hertel, vice president of technology and innovation for Rapid Response Monitoring Services Inc.
When asked about the major challenges facing the security industry, Hertel placed talent recruitment and retention near the top of the list. “The biggest issue America faces today is staffing,” he said. “It’s hard to hire talent today at any level for any amount of money. If we’re going to continue to grow, we have to figure out how to recruit, grow, and mentor people.” With the cost of labor dramatically increasing to $15 an hour in many metropolitan areas, the monitoring industry will have difficulty competing with McDonald’s over the same wages, Hertel said. Job titles and the level of tech knowledge of workers will change, too, with the IT side of the business growing dramatically, he added.
In a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the new world of work from home, speakers discussed the new UL standards and other topics. Panelists included Pamela Petrow, president and CEO, Vector Security; Nic Barrus, senior manager of operations, AvantGuard; and Steve Schmit, senior staff engineer, UL.
With the world and workplaces beginning to open up post-pandemic, earlier government-mandated emergency workplace guidelines may be obsolete, Schmit said. Last month, UL revised UL 27 to include WFH as an option under any conditions, meaning businesses can choose which standards to comply with for now. UL recommends that businesses still following WFH emergency protocol may want to freshen their documentation. “Some parts of the country are open for business, but there are uncertainties around workplace expectations,” Schmit said. “If you can’t rely on that governmental expectation anymore because of local conditions, you might want to look at new requirements to work from home without preconditions.”
In the TMA event’s final session, speakers addressed the industry’s future risks and opportunities.
Scott Harkins, vice president of sales and marketing for Resideo, noted that while the advent of the smartphone ushered in burglary and fire monitoring to connected homes, these basic services are still the primary services that security dealers offer. Being able to monitor big, expensive things in a home, such as plumbing and HVAC systems, will be the next iteration of whole-home monitoring.
With more sophisticated devices coming online, the industry will see an increased need for security of these devices, including process and data management challenges, said Daniel Kerzner, chief product officer at Alarm.com. This trend means monitoring businesses are all “data custodians” — not looking to monetize, but improve the customer experience, he explained. Because there are more opportunities for data to drift out of security or automation applications, the industry needs to clarify to the consumer where their data is going and how it’s being used. —Laura Mazzuca Toops, SDM Managing Editor //
The Security Industry Association (SIA) has named the awardees of its George R. Lippert Memorial Award, Progress Award and Insightful Practitioner Award, which will be presented on Nov. 17 during the 2021 SIA Honors cocktail reception in New York City.
Lynn de Séve — founder and president of GSA Schedules Inc. — is the 2021 recipient of the George R. Lippert Memorial Award, an honor presented annually to a distinguished individual for long-term, selfless service to the security industry and to SIA.
In addition to her SIA membership, de Séve is a member of the National Contract Management Association and ASIS International. As a member of SIA, she served on SIA’s board of directors for four years and on the SIA Executive Committee for two years as secretary. de Séve chairs the SIA Procurement Policy Working Group, serves on the steering committee for the SIA Women in Security Forum, and is a past member of SIA’s Member Engagement and Experience Committee. In 2006, she received the SIA Industry Advocate Award for her leadership related to public policy challenges impacting the electronic physical security industry, and she was presented with the SIA Chair’s Award in 2016 for her efforts in procurement policy and support for the industry and again in 2019 alongside the rest of the SIA Women in Security Forum steering committee.
Elaine Palome — director of human resources at Axis Communications and a member of Axis’ Americas Management team — is the 2021 recipient of the SIA Progress Award, an honor presented by SIA’s Women in Security Forum (WISF) celebrating individuals who pave the way to success for women in the security industry.
Palome has more than two decades of experience in all aspects of human resources, including talent acquisition and development, performance management, diversity and inclusion, and strategic planning. In her role at Axis Communications, Palome oversees all human capital management activities for the United States, Canada and Latin America. She is a frequent panelist, presenter, and author of articles involving issues surrounding business and the changing workforce.
Bonnie Michelman is the 2021 recipient of the SIA Insightful Practitioner Award, an honor recognizing excellence in promoting the implementation of innovative security solutions.
Michelman is the executive director of police, security and outside services at Massachusetts General Hospital (Mass General) and for Mass General Brigham Corporation. She has more than 30 years of corporate security leadership experience, and in addition to her roles with Mass General and Mass General Brigham Corporation, she serves as president of the board of International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS) Foundation and is past president of the International Security Management Association, ASIS International and IAHSS. She is on the regional board of directors for the Anti-Defamation League. She also serves on the advisory council for Hostage US. Michelman was appointed in 2010 by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, holding that position until 2015, and chaired the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-Based Security Advisory Committee.
Corbett Technology Solutions Inc. (CTSI), a portfolio company of Wind Point Partners and ranked No. 26 on the 2021 SDM Top Systems Integrators Report, has acquired The Protection Bureau, a provider of systems integration, service, and central station monitoring of enterprise burglar alarm, fire alarm, video surveillance and access control systems.
Established in 1975, The Protection Bureau (ranked No. 34 on the SDM TSI Report) is headquartered in Exton, Pa., with offices across the Mid-Atlantic. The Protection Bureau’s central station is TMA Five Diamond Certified and is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Headquartered in Chantilly, Va., CTSI designs, engineers, installs, and maintains nurse call, audiovisual, conferencing, collaboration, sound, fire, security, and communication systems. CTSI serves thousands of private, public, and institutional clients across the United States.
“We are extremely excited to have The Protection Bureau join the CTSI family,” said Joe Oliveri, president and CEO of CTSI. “The Protection Bureau team has established a fantastic business serving customers across various industry verticals including healthcare, finance, retail, commercial real estate, government, and education. We look forward to further supporting the company’s best-in-class integration capabilities using our increased scale to provide opportunities for both employees and customers.”
The Protection Bureau represents the fifth acquisition for CTSI since partnering with Wind Point in June 2020.
“The Protection Bureau is really excited to join forces with CTSI,” said J. Matthew Ladd, president of The Protection Bureau. “I’ve personally enjoyed leading the company for the last 21 of its 46 years, and genuinely believe we have strong cultural alignment and business vision. Combining The Protection Bureau with CTSI will deliver an even greater customer experience, sustain and expand our growth, and enable career opportunities for the employees that have worked so hard to bring our company to the market leading position it enjoys today.” //
Convergint, ranked No. 1 on the 2021 SDM Top Systems Integrators Report, announced the acquisition of Keyotel, a security integrator across Germany. As a result of this acquisition, Convergint will double its footprint across Germany and establish an office in Frankfurt.
Founded in 2009, Keyotel provides a wide range of services from design to installation and service of electronic security across Germany. With experience across several vertical markets, Keyotel helps provide customers with electronic locking systems, video surveillance technology, safes, and energy management products. Keyotel’s leadership brings over 30 years of industry expertise and fosters a positive and inclusive workplace culture. The company’s day-to-day operations remain centered around a customer-first strategy, enabling colleagues at Keyotel to provide exceptional service and support for their customers’ installation and servicing needs.
“Convergint has had the opportunity to work with Keyotel leadership and colleagues on many projects,” said Ken Lochiatto, CEO of Convergint. “They’ve provided us with great support from both a project and service perspective across all of Germany. Our team collaboration, strong cultural alignment, and commitment to providing unparalleled customer service will continue to help us thrive as we embark on this journey together.”
Jens Hoffmeister, managing partner of Keyotel, added, “This integration of our business into Convergint’s German activities is a very natural move, providing us with a business platform to take our engagement in Germany to the next level. We have had an extensive working relationship with Convergint, and their outstanding commitment to customer service, culture, and their values and beliefs made joining them a very easy decision for us.” //
North American Intelligent Building Automation Market, by Application, 2021-2026 (USD Billion)
Nice, a manufacturer of smart home, security, and home and building automation solutions, has acquired Nortek Control from Melrose Industries. Nortek Control is a developer of technology for security, home automation, control, power, AV and entertainment, access control, health, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems for residential and commercial markets.
The transaction, valued at $285 million, is the largest investment to date by Nice.
With this acquisition and addition of brands including 2GIG, ELAN, Linear, MightyMule, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Gefen, Xantech, Panamax, Furman, numera and IntelliVision, Nice expands its portfolio to provide a suite of integrated solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and government customers, from consumer DIY to custom and professionally-installed specialized products and high-security applications.
The move strengthens Nice’s presence in the North American market and doubles its R&D capacity.
“This acquisition reinforces our strong commitment to North America and significantly expands our global footprint,” said Lauro Buoro, chairman and founder of Nice. “Nice now employs over 3,000 people across five continents, encompassing the most diverse backgrounds and cultures with 16 R&D centers and manufacturing facilities servicing partners and customers in over 100 countries.”
Founded in the 1960s as Linear Corporation, Nortek Control has a large portfolio of products, over 200 patents, and 12 brands across security, access control, AV, power management, smart home, AI and personal health.
“We are very excited to join Nice,” said Christopher Larocca, president and CEO of Nortek Control. “Nortek Control has built a reputation for delivering innovative and industry leading platforms to the market. With the addition of the Nice product lines our consolidated organization will now offer one of the broadest and deepest portfolio of disruptive products to the market.”
In North America, the portfolio of brands under Nice include Abode, Nice, and HySecurity in addition to gate, door, sunshade, and smart security offerings. The acquisition increases reach and scales growth through existing Nice distribution channels and with those of Nortek Control.
Business will be conducted as usual throughout 2022. The North American organization will immediately begin collaborating with the Nortek Control team on blending portfolios and operations to be fully integrated in 2023. //
During its virtual annual meeting, The Monitoring Association (TMA) gave some of its highest honors to its members.
TMA’s Immediate Past President Don Young presented the Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award to TMA Past President Robert R. Bean, formerly of Alert Alarm of Hawaii.
The Stanley C. Lott Memorial Award, established in 1991 to honor its namesake, a dedicated leader and past president, recognizes exceptional leadership and support.
In accepting his award via Zoom, Bean, full of emotion, remarked, “I am humbled. This is the highest honor that TMA can bestow on any member. Putting me in the category along with the other previous honorees is definitely humbling. I thank TMA very much for this great award.”
The Mel Mahler Award was awarded to TMA Standards Committee Chair Glenn Schroder, NetOne. Formerly known as the President’s Award, the Mel Mahler Award is presented at the discretion of the TMA president in recognition of outstanding contributions within their tenure.
“I am stunned, honored, and especially humbled to be recognized,” Schroeder said when presented with the award. “It’s been an absolute privilege to work alongside the many talented people focused on important industry projects that I believe in and have a passion for.”
TMA’s 2021 Public Sector Award was given to David Holl, director of public safety, Lower Allen Township in Camp Hill, Pa. This honor, established in 2015, is presented by TMA to a public safety professional whose contributions have supported the monitoring industry’s mission to protect and save life and property.
“This year, our recipient has demonstrated a selfless commitment to the development of TMA’s latest standard, the Alarm Validation Scoring Standard (TMA AVS-01-2020),” said TMA Past President Don Young in presenting the award.
In accepting the award, Holl praised TMA and expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate on the groundbreaking standard, saying, “I am humbled, honored, and privileged. From my days as a volunteer firefighter to serving as an EMS and lastly as a police officer, I’ve worked for more than 40 years in public safety. I’ve responded to thousands of alarms when no one was on the premises. This standard gives me the opportunity to improve responses.” //
Delta Electronics Inc., a provider of power and thermal management solutions, announced its board of directors has approved the purchase of video surveillance and business intelligence provider March Networks from Infinova International Ltd. for $114 million through its subsidiary Delta International Holding Limited B.V. The deal is expected to strengthen Delta’s presence in the growing video surveillance market and complement its building automation solutions.
“Security being an integral element of smart cities is boosting the global demand for video surveillance technologies,” said Ping Cheng, Delta’s chief executive officer. “March Networks is a proven leader in providing end-to-end solutions to some of the world’s leading financial institutions, retailers, transit agencies, and commercial customers. We are confident that the collaboration between March Networks and Delta will expand our overall market opportunity and increase Delta’s exposure to the growing video market beyond our surveillance subsidiary VIVOTEK. March Networks’ cloud-based video solutions and business intelligence technologies set it apart and are also a perfect fit with our commitment to develop smart green solutions for a sustainable future.”
March Networks President and CEO Peter Strom said that March Networks’ customers and partners should expect no change to products and services.
“Delta’s financial strength and scale — with around $10 billion in annual revenues, over 80,000 employees, and deep M&A capability — will serve as an ideal platform for March Networks to accelerate its strategic plan of offering cloud-based video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) and video-based business intelligence solutions to enterprises worldwide,” Strom said.
Following the closing of the transaction, March Networks will continue to operate from its Canadian headquarters and the March Networks executive management team will continue to lead the organization. //
Nortek Control announced that Dan Emmons has joined the company as regional sales manager for the 2GIG, ELAN, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Panamax and Numera brands in its central U.S. region. Emmons will expand and manage sales opportunities in the North Texas area.
DMP has hired Mark Taylor to the East sales team as dealer development manager for the Southeast region, and hired Adam Fisher to the West sales team as dealer development manager for Southern California. Before accepting the position at DMP, Taylor worked for 15 years in the alarm industry. His first industry job was with a local dealer in Georgia. Fisher contributes nearly 10 years of industry experience. Throughout that time, he worked with national companies and specialized in high-end residential and commercial customers, as well as local government and complex system designs.
ADT announced DeLu Jackson has joined the company as chief marketing officer to lead customer acquisition, marketing and advertising. Jackson will lead marketing for ADT and activating partnerships, such as ADT and Google, focusing on subscriber growth.
Aiphone announced the creation of a national account team. Michelle Chiles, who oversees the West Coast, and Robert DiRico, who oversees the East Coast, recently assumed the positions of national account managers for their respective regions.