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12% RISE in New Installation Projects Positive Trends Found Amid Study’s Mixed Results


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April 2012 Vol. 34, No. 4

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April 2012


Vol. 34, No. 4


As the shift to IP-based surveillance accelerates, the complexity of new systems provides an opportunity to move beyond traditional service and maintenance contracts... — SEE PAGE 48




The security systems integration business is rattling and humming, with operators continuing to extricate themselves from economic quicksand. SSI’s eighth annual Systems Integrator Study highlights the fits and starts of recovering profitability, as well as numerous positive trends for companies to zero in on. by SCOTT GOLDFINE



Your best solution could be right under your nose.


RMR is not real unless it is on a contract.

20 CONVERGENCE CHANNEL WITH PAUL BOUCHERLE What’s driving the uptake in remotely viewed surveillance video?


Margin pressures, economic conditions and customer expectations are compelling systems integrators to alter their traditional business model in order to create new streams of RMR. Learn the keys to launching a managed services platform and how to navigate common hurdles on the way to success. by PATRICK LUCE


Interconnecting security systems with other building and facility controls is being enabled by interoperable platforms as well as various other drivers. The entry to market can be steep, yet integrators of all sizes with the right stuff can carve out a niche of their own in this emerging discipline. by LISA ROY


A local systems integrator is called in to overhaul a video surveillance system at an upscale shopping center in New Jersey. Electing to utilize the facility’s legacy equipment, the integrator provided networking appliances to build a dedicated gigabit copper/fiber network infrastructure for the interior and exterior of the facility. by THE EDITORS OF SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION


Technological advances have propelled video surveillance far beyond the purview of end users’ security departments. The opportunities are vast for integrators that can vet out the many additional ways video data can improve clients’ operational efficiencies. by GADI PIRAN


A1 THERMAL IMAGING FOR D.U.M.I.E.S., PART 4 OF 4 Thermal’s Past, Present & Future by BOB WIMMER



Entries into the access control market abound.


What you need to know about mass notification system codes.


How basic central station tools can help you greatly enhance customer service.


Why cloud-based computing will create new RMR streams for access control and video surveillance.


What the ‘most important person in the world’ can mean to you.


Bullet points that can help determine if the risk of dealing with a seller justifies the purchase price.

DEPARTMENTS 4 13 64 70 72 75



Jared Christensen and Ken Beck of Vector Resources Cover photo by YUDA CHEN • APRIL 2012

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Security Exchange Web Watch


O off seven targeted One t t d chanh nels, this section focuses on how to efficiently and effectively run and operate a successful security systems

installation and/or monitoring business. It includes industry and business news, features on trends, opportunities and challenges, case studies and profiles, management tips and best practices, sales and marketing techniques, expert columns and blogs. Whether mapping out a strategy to add products/services; capitalizing on upsell prospects; keeping up with research;

learning from peers; finding out how new standards, legislation and requirements affect your business; gaining insight on ways to grow revenues and reduce costs; getting guidance on recruiting, training and other personnel matters; etc. — you’ll have all the info you need at the click of a mouse. So make the Business Management Channel a primary online destination.

5 most-viewed news stories during February

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Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine: (704) 663-7125 114 Chatworth Lane Mooresville, NC 28117 Fax: (704) 663-7145 Managing Editor Rodney Bosch: (310) 533-2426 Associate Editor Ashley Willis: (310) 533-2419 Contributing Writers Paul Boucherle, Shane Clary, Ron Davis, Bob Dolph, Peter Giacalone, Jay Hauhn, Ken Kirschenbaum, Bob Wimmer, Jeffrey Zwirn Art Director Ajay Peckham Sr. Production Manager Sarah Paredes: (310) 533-2497 Administrative Assistant Abril Calderon: (310) 533-2413 Audience Marketing Manager Katie Fillingame Staff E-mail addresses are firstname.lastname@ (e.g. Contributors‘ E-mail addresses are


Utah Alarm Companies Atop BBB’s Most Complained About Businesses

Publisher Peggy Onstad: (310) 533-2477

Platinum Protection Lays Off Majority of Workers SSI Reveals 17th Annual SAMMY Award Finalists

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Moon Security’s New Program to Help Dealers Grow RMR by $25K AT&T Unveils Global Plans for Home Automation, Security Business

HOW TO CONTACT ADVERTISING & MARKETING WEST EAST Dynise Plaisance Peggy Onstad 3520 Challenger St. 3520 Challenger St. Torrance, CA 90503 Torrance, CA 90503 (760) 519-5541 (310) 533-2477 Fax: (310) 533-2502 Fax: (310) 533-2502 ADVERTISING SALES TERRITORIES


In which of the following areas do you believe your company could most stand to most improve?


Closing more sales

24% Selling more to current customers

22% Internal communications



Customer service

Reducing tech call backs

2% Recruiting and hiring practices

They say sales is a high pressure, high reward game and those peddling security systems and services must be feeling the heat according to the results of February’s Security Scanner Web poll. More than half selected either closing more sales or selling more to current customers as the areas their companies could most stand to improve. There also appears to be a communications gap in some firms as internal communications also ranked high with more than one in five choosing that answer. Log onto to view SSI’s Security Scanner archives as well as cast your vote for the April poll: If I am being completely honest, our company’s marketing … BLOGS y g

Some of the things we’re talking about … • Passing the Pricing Smell Test • Estate and Succession Planning for Alarm Company Owners • Have Your Alarm Systems Helped Apprehend Intruders? • MIPS Event Targets Optimizing Open Platform IP Video Opportunities • What Can Alarm Companies Do to Prevent Lawsuits? Engage in the conversation! 4 • APRIL 2012

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FREE INFO Get free info about companies and products featured in this issue of Security Sales & Integration. eCONTROL PANEL

For the latest news as it happens, sign up for SSI’s eControl Panel at

Classified-MarketPlace Ads Peggy Onstad: (310) 533-2477 EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Ed Bonifas Alarm Detection Systems, Aurora, Ill. Bill Bozeman PSA Security Network, Westminster, Colo. Shandon Harbour SDA Security, San Diego Jim Henry Henry Bros. Electronics, Fair Lawn, N.J. Michael Jagger Provident Security, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada John Jennings Safeguard Security and Communications, Scottsdale, Ariz. Sandy Jones Sandra Jones and Co., Chardon, Ohio J. Matthew Ladd The Protection Bureau, Exton, Pa. Mike Miller Moon Security Service, Pasco, Wash. Joe Nuccio ASG Security, Beltsville, Md. Alan L. Pepper Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, Los Angeles Eric Yunag Dakota Security Systems, Sioux Falls, S.D. HOW TO GET YOUR NEWS TO US E-mail: Mail: 3520 Challenger St., Torrance, CA 90503 Fax: (310) 533-2502 FOR SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES (888) 239-2455 BOBIT BUSINESS MEDIA Edward J. Bobit, Chairman Ty F. Bobit, President & CEO

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Security Exchange Sounding Off Better Business Bureau Unfit to Cast Stones? My office manager and I had a great laugh after reading your article (“Utah Alarm Companies Atop BBB’s Most Complained About Businesses� news item, utahbbb_02162012) and the Utah

Alarm Association’s (UAA) response. What is even worse is the ratings the Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives companies. About a year ago in the New York Times, The Haggler columnist wrote an incriminating article on how the BBB gave companies high ratings as long as

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they were BBB members. What made us laugh is a guy moved to Sandy, Ore., into a house where we had installed an alarm. Quite an obnoxious individual, he bragged about how his alarm company in Utah gave him such great service and free devices. I looked up the company and they had more than 900 complaints with a BBB rating of B+. (We declined to monitor & service his system.) If you were to Google ‘�BBB ratings scandal� you would probably agree with our claim the BBB is a fraud. And if you were to take a good look at some Utah alarm companies you might agree that both should not be in business. BARNEY O’DONNELL, Owner HIS Security Systems

The Big Idea

Bang Your Bu to Brand and siness’ Drum Expand IDEA

Portland, Ore.

of the Mon th

Muddled Marketing g Messages

If you had just one really great idea you could alarm industry, share with the what would it be? This month’s great idea comes from Scott in-chief of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRAT Goldfine, editorION.

Goldfine’s great You may be runninidea: g a great compa but ny, prospective custom unless you let your custom ers and ers know that marketing and through activel branding your done half the business, you’ve y job. only

By Ron Davis rdavis@graybeard

Toot Your Own


I just read Ron Davis’’ “Big Idea� article in the February 2012 issue (“Bang Your Business’ Drum to Brand and Expand�; securitysales. com/bigidea022012) and couldn’t agree more with the many points made. Also, Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine’s recommendations are dead-on. We speak with dealers and integrators daily. During the consultative process they share their unique selling point (USP), great things done locally in the community, recognizable local customers serviced, etc. The challenge is their marketing materials don’t clearly communicate this. Worse yet, collateral, Web site and what is communicated by representatives isn’t consistent. I could go on but just wanted to reach out and say thanks for sharing this info. Our mission is to educate the industry on 2012 marketing practices that produce results. Using the 80/20 rule, the bottom 95% of dealers and integrators need to be educated by a trusted resource as to how to maximize their marketing budget and time. and mergers

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Where do you start, and where you end? Let’s face it, the majoritydo owners and of operators of companies our industry in come from law enforcement, technica l and a wide range of other backgrou nds. For these folks, even those well versed in business management, marketing can his month’s Big Idea conbe a relatively foreign tributor might pursuit. If it course not. is outside What Goldfine seem a litZPVSDPNGPSU[POF wants dealtle unconve ers and integrato BOEFYQFSUJTF IJS ntional. After BOFYQFSUPSPVUTP it’s not every rs to be deeply F all, of is there are day a chief editor VSDFJU aware ways of telling There are many tured in his is feaown publicati your story. There are firms that proon, let alone vide marketin cost-effective in a column methods to g services for by the inform your the inclientele about dustry, includin selected to publish very columnist he your firm’s g: Art Romero unique qualities each month. JOJTU JNBHJOJTUD Imagthat separate know this: If But from the rest anyone has PN &DMJQTF.FE you been a more Group (eclipsem of the pack. diligent observer JB; Consider what of the electroni Brigham Scully rity industry, this industry c secu(brighamscully. stalling security I don’t know ’s top incom); Daum who it is. contractors Although Goldfine Weigle (daumw all share in common has never owned : eigle. com); LRG or operated Marketing an installing t 1SPGFTTJPO CommunicaBMMPPLJOH8FCTJU alarm comtions (lrgmark pany, he has; been responsi FT NBOZ of them with Syncomm Management ble for interactive features shaping much Group (snnonli t $POTUBOUE of the thinking CompassPR; JTTFNJOBUJPOPGQ alarm industry. in the (compasspublicr SFTTSFleases, touting From SSI’s DPN BOE&DMJQTF elations. industryleading original accomplishments t "VOJRVFB .BSLFUJOH FDMJQ research to OENFNPSBCMFHS the industry’s only sales TFBQIJD image utilized and marketin Now let’s circle g awards program (SAMMY on all commun back to Goldfine tions, marketin icagreat idea. Put try Hall of Fame, s), to SSI’s indusg collateral, ’s another way, t $PNQBOZ etc. to the Police you can WFIJDMFTUIBUTFSW have the best patch Quality Dismousetrap FBTSPMM(PDQ) award, ing advertise in the world, but if the world ments, emphasi each these endeavo doesn’t know zing the rs have all occurred of quality of the you’re not going about it, business and der Goldfine unbrand ’s leadership. t 4BMFTQFPQ to sell many MF TFSWJDFQFPQMF mousetraps. The great Who better to have a really BOEUFDInews is you nicians all dressed big idea? don’t to have a huge Unquestionably, in identifiab marketing budget have tire that is easily le atGoldfine’s great successful. to be idea is spot recognizable With the Web on. The more t $MJFOUIPU and social MJOFTUIBUBSFBOT media there I considered it the more are more avenues XFSFE immediately; convinced I ever to get your than staffers who became that it is truly are emmessage and insightful. If powered to branding out there, many make quick all we do is sit in a car decisions times at little t $&0PSP — and know OFPGUIFUPQUIS cost. All it takes to no how everything works, is some focus, FFFYFDbut never drive utives is also ity and action. creativanywhere the — can we call ourselves drivers? er, giving speechehead cheerleadRon Davis is Of ■a SSI 72 TFDVSJUZTB cepting awards s, seminars, acof Davis Mergers Hall of Fame inductee MFTDPNtFEBRUARY and President and Acquisitions and recognit known as The 2012 Group Inc. Also ion Graybeards, quisitions the company is active in acexclusively in the alarm business.

DAVID MORGAN, V.P., Sales Security Dealer Marketing Covina, Calif. • APRIL 2012

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Between Us Pros

Thinking Inside the Box


any of us, particularly those with managerial responsibilities, tend to overthink things. When faced with unique problems or challenges — be them business or personal related — our typical response is racking our brains for an answer. We tend to analyze all angles and leave no stone unturned. Yet just as often as not, the best

By Scott Goldfine scott.goldfine@

but before he left he said something that made me feel like solution is something relatively simple and, in hindsight, I had a rock in the pit of my stomach and rocks for brains: likely obvious. And in this high-tech age, it’s also commonly “Why don’t you go over to the little hill around the block, something fairly low-tech and inexpensive. back your truck up to it and then just drive the mower right An experience of mine illustrates this conundrum. In 2006 on? That’s what I always do.” I would say he taught this cityI made a major lifestyle change by leaving the only place slicker a lesson but he was also a transplant … from CleveI had ever called home, Los Angeles, to set down north of land no less. Charlotte, N.C., with my wife and then-infant son. Going The moral of the story (besides Goldfine doesn’t have from being an apartment-dwelling L.A. urbanite to a southmuch going on upstairs) circles back to my points at the outern suburbanite introduced me to many new experiences, set. How often do company owners overspend when there including riding lawnmowers. The growth of humidity-aidare more cost-effective and strategic alternatives? How ofed vegetation is no joke! ten do managers fail to I found out that, unthe capabilities and less you are very enterprisThe best solutions are often easily see talents of their reports? ing or a skilled mechanattainable and simple. Today’s How often do installers ic, these mowers need to imperatives of doing more with less deploy overly complicatbe routinely taken in for and working smarter rather than ed devices for a given apmaintenance and repair. harder frequently entail thinking inside plication? How often do To transport the machine, rather than outside the proverbial box. technicians waste time by among other reasons, I overlooking basics when had traded in my commuttroubleshooting? Far too often, and the bottom line is effier car for a more utilitarian pickup truck. The problem was ciency is just as critical as effectiveness. figuring out how to get the extremely heavy mower onto the I threw this quandary out to a few SSI columnists and Edtruck bed. So I set about researching a solution. itorial Board members. They touched on three key points for I looked into small trailers, but they were too costly and solving challenges and avoiding problems. storage was an issue. I then explored ramps. Meeting my criConsultant Sandy Jones recommends seeking input from teria of being inexpensive, light enough to handle myself but peers. “Once you learn what many others have done you can strong enough to support 800 pounds, safe and easy to use, tailor your own program,” she says. ASG CEO Joe Nuccio with a decent warranty proved daunting. I also considered advises being familiar with all aspects of a story. “Take the constructing a suitable ramp myself but realized the time/ time to listen to both sides of the situation, then the decision effort/cost/result did not pose enough advantages over puris easy, stress-free and efficient,” he says. Bob Dolph (“Tech chasing one. So I finally settled on a two-piece ramp set for Talk”) advocates preparing ahead of time, and grouping and $150 from Sears. sequencing tasks. “This is what techs need to practice to beUnfortunately, while workable, my solution was far from come better and more efficient,” he says. ideal. Not only did the ramps have to be assembled but they The reality is the best solutions are often easily attainable were not as sturdy as I had hoped and, in fact, had to be and simple (“keep it simple, stupid”). Today’s imperatives to straightened out after arriving bent in the box. Plus, they redo more with less and work smarter not harder can entail quired me to drill holes into the truck’s tailgate for linchpins thinking inside rather than outside the proverbial box. Now, to hold the ramps in place. After all that, I discovered I still anyone interested in a set of barely used mower ramps? needed assistance to push the darn mower up the ramps. So, I flagged down one of my helpful neighbors to proEditor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine has spent more than 13 years with SECURITY SALES & vide the extra muscle. He was more than happy to oblige, INTEGRATION. He can be reached at (704) 663-7125 or 8 • APRIL 2012

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Tech Talk Board Forum Advisory

Making RMR a Recurring Theme By Michael A. Miller

M You would be surprised how many RMR opportunities you have. Write them down as we did and guess what? You can build a sales and service program that will grow your RMR. Michael A. Miller is President of Moon Security Services, and Past President of ESA

y benchmark for success is RMR (recurring monthly revenue) growth. I suspect it is for most of you, too. Read on to learn why I am so driven to grow RMR for our company. My RMR perspective has been shaped by many people but none more so than Ron Davis of Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Ron, who also pens this publication’s “The Big Idea” column, is a friend, mentor and icon. You may not have met him but you have surely benefitted from his force for change in our industry. His impact and message was a simple question, “What business are you in?” The real answer Ron would lead us to conclude was RMR. Your vehicle is your security company with the products and services that generate recurring revenue. RMR makes our company more valuable. Estate planning, exit strategy and bank loans are all tied to the size and multiple of RMR. However, RMR is not real unless it is on a contract. These contracts allow me to have the line of credit with my current banker. Believe me, in a bank audit you will find out real quick if your contracts are not in order, and how quickly you will get them in order to stay in compliance. RMR is also your pathway to profit sustainability. Cash-flow management is made easier when you have RMR to get you through tough times. I know employees, vendors, taxes and, most importantly, the stockholders who get paid are appreciative of RMR’s effects. In my case, making family members happy makes me happy! What is your “trigger” or “motivator” for growing RMR? Mine is pain or fear, which I be-

lieve if molded properly can be a superior driving force for positive growth in our company. While on trips to New York for ISC, I made it a habit to meet with my banker. One of the observations by his senior management was: “Mike, your company is not growing its RMR like the other companies we provide our banking services to.” That really put me on notice, and on the flight back to Washington (with my tail between my legs) I devised a plan to grow my RMR by 35%. This was a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) if ever there was one for our company. How was I ever going to get buy-in from my core team? I knew this would rock everyone with my question: “How can we grow our RMR by $50,000 in one year?” The reactions included: “What drugs are you on?”; “What is the best we have ever done before?”; “What did we do last year or the past three years?” We would need to work together to grow our RMR like never before. We identified all of our RMR opportunities with existing clients and new potential clients. You would be surprised how many RMR opportunities you have. Write them down as we did and guess what? You can build a sales and service program that will grow your RMR. If you do not have at least 10 RMR opportunities on your list, I challenge you to go back to the drawing board and get honest with your list. Our list helped us decide what resources to use, which people would be pointed toward the highest return and growth of RMR. I will tell you we did not grow our RMR by $50,000, BUT we grew it by $36,000! That was still record growth for RMR in our company. ■

10 • APRIL 2012

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Industry Pulse Event News

PSA-TEC 2012 to Emphasize Leadership Skills, New RMR Services the end of the session. WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Also part of the Leadership PSA Security Network will reInstitute line-up, “Best Practices turn to the Westin resort hoin Recruiting and Selecting tel in Westminster, Colo., to Top Performers.” The course present PSA-TEC 2012, May will be presented by human re14-18. sources specialist HRGroup and Highly regarded for its inwill address the recruiting and dustry-leading education deselection processes using specifsigned specifically for systems ic examples of what techniques integrators, each year PSAare most successful for integraTEC attracts a broad range of tion firms. attendees, including vendors, Each year many attendees consultants and end users. Each year PSA-TEC presents a comprehensive offering of educational coursework specifically tailored for systems integrators. earn continuing education credAmong the event’s highlights its for ASIS Int’l and BICSI proare specialized coursework in Also featured is an exhibition where attendees can view and demonstrate the latest products and services from more than fessional development activities. managed services, video sur100 leading suppliers. Weeklong certification courses veillance, access control, busiinclude Cisco CENT, AMAG Symmeworking and other IP-based inness enhancement, plus an array of try Essentials, Pelco Endura Certificastruction geared specifically for the networking opportunities. tion and Facility Commander Wnx Inphysical security professional. PSA-TEC’s exhibit hall and traintermediate Certification. ing sessions will once again be open Among numerous panel sessions, Physical security — PSA-TEC’s core to all electronic security professionSSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine will competency training is geared toward als, not just members of the more moderate “The New Video Surveilsales professionals, systems designthan 200-strong integrator cooperalance Business: How to Generate Profers, technicians and project managers. tive. Hundreds of course hours will be it on Servers, Storage & Video ManFeatured coursework covers the latest held during the conference for which agement.” Authorities in this realm in security technology, vertical marSECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION will delve into market-entry barriers ket strategies, vendor certifications serves as the official Elite Media Sponas well as what it takes to thrive in the and more. sor. (SSI will also host exhibit booth changing video surveillance market. D9 on the show floor.) The Westin hotel is located beManaged services — The track is deThe extensive curriculum agenda tween Boulder, Colo., and downsigned to assist systems integrators will be sectioned into four categories town Denver with nearby shops, reswith developing their managed serand instructed by subject experts from taurants and the nation’s largest ice vices offerings and covers a variety of all segments of the electronic security arena. The venue offers more than RMR-generating opportunities. industry. The specific tracks are: 30,000 square feet of meeting space with the Rocky Mountains providing This year’s event will feature sevBusiness optimization — Speciala postcard backdrop. eral new courses structured around ly designed high-level topics focus on All PSA-TEC educational sessions the PSA Leadership Institute, which helping business owners and senior and activites will be held at the resort, PSA Security launched late last year managers run their organizations. In including a music jam session, jazz to help installing security contractors addition to instructor-led training, lounge and bowling tournament. enhance their leadership skills and exvarious related subject matter will be pand their influence. Among the ofcovered in roundtable formats. WHAT: PSA-TEC 2012 ferings, PSA President and CEO Bill WHERE: The Westin Westminster, Bozeman will present 10 lessons from Information technology — The track Westminster, Colo. Peter Drucker’s book, “The Effective is intended to educate a variety of WHEN: May 14-18 Executive.” Attendees will receive a PSA-TEC attendees — from techniINFO:; (800) 525-9422 complimentary copy of the book at cians to business owners — on • APRIL 2012 13

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Industry Pulse Top News

After SecureNet Buy, New Firm Focuses on the Cloud DALLAS — A new systems integration firm started by two industry vets has acquired security systems integrator SecureNet as it moves to leverage IP and cloud technologies to differentiate itself in the marketplace. In partnership with Pamlico Capital, a middle market private equity group, Carey Boethel and Ken Francis started Securadyne Systems in February. The new company will offer a broad portfolio of enterprise-class security technology solutions and value-added managed services. As part of the deal, SecureNet, which provides security systems and data solutions for commercial clients in Texas and Oklahoma, will retain its brand name. Company CEO Brian Bergstrom will join the Securadyne team as general manager for the company’s Texas and Oklahoma operations.

Securadyne’s management team is comprised of two industry veterans. Boethel, who serves as president and CEO of the new company, was previously vice president and business unit head for the U.S. and Canada for Siemens Security Solutions. Ken Francis, Securadyne’s COO, has more than 20 years’ experience in the security industry. Formerly UTC Security Products Group vice president of sales and marketing, Francis also worked for ADT, AMAG and GE Security. “We believe there is a significant opportunity to build a unique solutions provider with a focus on leveraging emerging IP and cloud-based technologies,” he says. “We are looking to partner with a select group of progressive market leaders that want to be part of pursuing that vision.”

Pinnacle to Refund Seniors’ Money in Deceptive Sales Settlement PALM BEACH, FLA. — Pinnacle Security settled a claim with the Florida Attorney General’s Office after consumers complained about deceptive door-to-door sales practices. State officials reviewed about 335 complaints, primarily made by senior citizens against Pinnacle’s high-pressure sales practices. Consumers stated that Pinnacle falsely told them that the company represented other security operations or claimed that those companies were being taken over by Pinnacle. The firm was also accused of overcharging clients when they attempted to cancel their contracts, and failing to replace or repair broken equipment. Among the settlement terms, Pinnacle will compensate clients it misled or overcharged. Pinnacle has also agreed to remodel its business practices, including giving customers aged 70 or older 30 days to cancel their contracts instead of three days.

ESA to Launch Chartered Chapter in Florida ORLANDO, Fla. — To engage electronic security contractors in the Sunshine State, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) will launch a new chartered chapter, ESA of Florida. The chapter will host a lineup of media relations, online promotions and face-toface networking events. It will also provide technical and business education via the National Training School (NTS). NTS currently has a list of courses approved by Florida state regulators for initial licensure and renewal. Additionally, the chapter will launch an annual ESA of Florida Convention, which will be co-located with the ESA Leadership Summit in Orlando, Fla., for 2013-15. ESA Treasurer David Koenig will serve as chair of the ESA of Florida Development Task Force to guide the chapter launch. The task force plans to reach out to existing and prospective members to confirm and refine plans for the chapter’s initial activities and to identify leadership. As the fourth most populous state, Florida has hundreds of electronic security integration and monitoring companies. Additionally, the state is home to more than 60 ESA member companies, according to ESA President Dom D’Ascoli. “We look forward to dynamic and sustained growth through the programs and initiatives of our newest chapter, the ESA of Florida,” he says.

Ginsburg Out, Hafen in as CEO of Devcon Security

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — In a swift and surprising series of developments, Richard Ginsburg was unseated as CEO of Devcon Security, based here, and replaced by Steve Hafen after serving only three weeks in the position. Ginsburg, a SSI Hall of Fame member, formerly served as president and CEO Protection 1, where he led the firm for nine years. Golden Gate Capital, which owns Devcon Security, announced in late February that Ginsburg was appointed CEO of the residential and commercial security provider. He then resigned from Devcon on March 13 after “working under a consulting agreement,” according to a statement posted on his Web site. “As you would expect, I cannot elaborate on the reasons. I, as well as my executive team, continue to look at a Hafen number of opportunities in the security industry. I will be also be active with my speaking engagements and consulting as I have been,” Ginsburg said. Hafen joined Devcon Security in January as the company’s COO, according to Devcon’s Web site. He previously served as COO of Pinnacle Security. Devcon and Pinnacle, which is also owned by Golden Gate Capital, began a shared services partnership earlier this year. At press time, Devcon and Golden Gate Capital did not provide any details about Ginsburg’s departure.

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Not All H.264 Is Created Equal.

Industry’s Lowest Bandwidth Consumption IP Cameras.

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Industry Pulse

HOT SEAT: Validating the Prospects of Video Verification our industry is really quite awesome in the way that it handles signals. We all understand that. The only problem has been how do we get this transactional database to do video well when video is like hand grenades to hamburgers. That is where we see our job, to associate video clips with those alarm events.

These days Larry Folsom is juggling two professional hats. He’s the owner of American Video and Security, a Las Vegas-based installing security contractor, and president of I-View Now. The latter is an upstart provider of cloud-based video verification services. Leveraging video to verify alarms has been a particular interest of Folsom’s going back several years when he was a copartner in A-1 Security, which was acquired by Stanley CSS in 2008. He joins us to discuss the topic. Aside from business opportunity, what motivates you about video verification? I’ve been so enamored with this vision that verification isn’t really going to be an option. I live in Las Vegas and we’ve had non-response for 12 years. To me what happened in San Jose, Calif. [unannounced adoption of non-response policy in December 2011], looks like the tip of the iceberg. Our property values in our country continue to go down. The municipalities have less and less money in their coffers. So I think the burden for verification is going to be pushed back onto us. My end users are also becoming more and more technically sophisticated, so the idea of a blind burglar alarm just does not make sense. What mainly has stunted the growth of video verification previously? Up until now it required an investment where you bought

Larry Folsom President I-View Now

software. You bought hardware. You had to pay some smart people who would manage the ecosystem, and you had to buy the bandwidth. There have been a lot of reasons why video verification hasn’t caught on. One reason is the equipment has been difficult and expensive. Another issue has been the central station. Having had a central station myself, it’s sort of like imaginary barbed wire and they push that perimeter of that patrol base out because they don’t want additional distractions in the central station. Where we changed the paradigm is we charge a small monthly fee per account and the central station does not buy software from us. We are not a database in the central station. We associate video events with alarm events. The central station software in

What excites you about the industry and what troubles you? I would say that I have a half full, half empty view. I see [the marketplace presenting] nothing but opportunity. I don’t think there has ever been more opportunity than there is now because of the way technology is changing. Our ability to protect clients today is so exciting. Our job is to make sure we are designing these [systems] in ways that match the client, how the client values what it is that we are offering. As far as a sore spot, I don’t look five years from now and see a wild recovery coming. I think we will continue wrestling with the economy. Certainly in Nevada there were a lot more companies five years ago. It was a false economy and there were a lot of people who probably should not have been in the business. This economy is putting people out of business who are not capable of adapting. This truly is the ‘new normal.’ It is a very complex environment. FIND IT ON THE WEB F For much more from our conversation, visit F the Hot Seat archives at www.securitysales. th com/hotseat.

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Industry Pulse Company News ◗PEOPLE Vector Security appoints Ray Masavage as senior network sales engineer in its national accounts division. Masavage will work with the firm’s Masavage national account managers to help customers capitalize on their security investment by determining best value IP alarming, networked video and physical security information management (PSIM) solutions. Automatic Systems, a provider of pedestrian security entrance control and vehicle gates and barriers, appoints Mike McGovern as regional McGovern sales manager for the southern United States. Previously McGovern has held key sales and management positions with companies such as Gunnebo, Delta Turnstiles, Deister Electronics and IEE Sensing. AMAG Technology appoints Greg Love as its central north regional sales manager, supporting Symmetry Authorized Resellers. Love Love previously held positions with Lenel Systems Int’l and DVTel, where his served as vice president of sales, Americas. Avigilon promotes Bryan Schmode to executive vice president of global sales. He has been instrumental in building Avigilon’s Schmode record-setting sales growth in 2011, according to the company. Schmode has led the expansion of the firm’s global sales team into more than 80 countries.


For updates on new hires, promotions and more, sign up for SSI’s Security People News enewsletter at

P1 Acquires Camtronic; Bolsters National Accounts Business Protection 1 has acquired Wilmington, N.C.-based security systems integrator Camtronic Security Integration, which provides video surveillance and access control solutions primarily to the national account retail sector. The firm’s roster of clients includes Chanel, Kay Jewelers, Louis Vuitton, among others. “P1 clearly has a differentiated and personal way to serve the national account customer, and we believe this will only enhance the service our customers have come to know,” Camtronic President and Founder Jay Linton tells SSI.

20 Banks Help Vivint Expand Bank Financing to $762M Vivint has closed a new $762 million senior bank debt financing involving 20 banks. Led by Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, the amount represents $72 million more than the company’s previous financing. As many as nine new lenders have been added to Vivint’s bank group. “The additional financing will help support what we expect to be another strong year of growth and innovation across our North American platform,” Vivint CEO Todd Pederson says. “Our lending partners have been an integral part of our success and we look forward to working with them going forward as we continue to grow our business.”

ZK Technology Breaks Into Access Control Market Security and time management solutions provider ZK Technology has launched an access control solution division called ZK Access. The new division will offer the company’s inBio and C3 Series of IP-based biometric and RFID control panels that incorporate fingerprint matching technology. The Piscataway, N.J.-based firm will also offer a line of waterproof fingerprint and RFID card readers. “Our access product line will allow dealers and integrators to further differentiate themselves in this very crowded market and make more profit margins,” ZK Technology CEO Jaimin Shah says.

Security Brands Adds Access Control Division With Acquisition Security Brands Inc. of Centennial, Colo., has purchased American Access Systems (AAS). Denver-based AAS provides access control keypads, card readers and telephone entry systems. Security Brands consists of three divisions that all relate to the perimeter access control industry, including AAS, Summit Access Control and Kodiak Black. Kevin Downing, formerly general manager for AAS, has been appointed president of Security Brands. “Our objective is to continue to grow AAS while setting new standards for the care and service for our customers and the industry overall,” he says.

Axis Communications Network Cameras Achieve UL Listing Axis Communications says its Axis P13 and Axis Q16 Series products are the company’s first network cameras to be UL Listed under the 60950 standard for IT equipment. All other IP cameras in the Axis portfolio will be UL Listed throughout 2012. “While LPS [Limited Power Source] devices like IP cameras typically do not require a UL listing, there were times when our integrator partners’ projects were delayed because local jurisdiction required non-UL Listed product inspection,” says Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications. “To eliminate the cost and complexity of these inspections for our partners, we’ll continue to work very closely with UL’s fire and safety organization to ensure all our video products are UL Listed.”

18 • APRIL 2012

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Convergence Channel

Watch Your Customer’s Back With Remote Video Leaps in technology and affordability associated with video, networking and mobile devices have greatly expanded the feasibility, demand and opportunities of remotely viewed surveillance video. Learn the steps to bring your clients the solutions they need to more effectively manage safety and operations.


that do video content analysis (VCA) are fun but require several more levels of technological and business application knowledge to apply effectively. So let’s leave them be for this article and focus on the basics of what remote viewing represents for you, the installing security integrator, and your clients.

© Gagne

emote viewing isn’t new. It has been around since the 1970s when the government funded the $20 million “StarGate” project to research paranormal powers for viewing objects that could not be seen with “normal” technology.

How can you help your customers defy the laws of physics and be in two places at once? With simple remote video solutions. These video surveillance applications can make your customers’ business operations more efficient and perhaps streamline maintenance responses.

Fast-forward 25 years and paranormal becomes normal when companies like IQinVision and Axis Communications make IP video appliances a reality and pioneer commercially viable products. Add LAN and WLAN connectivity and the only limitations were your engineering capabilities and the imagination of your sales team. Welcome to the world of “many-to-many” video applications. Today, the interesting technologies

Help Clients Cover More Ground Simple remote video applications can make your customer’s business operations more efficient and perhaps streamline maintenance responses. These are two good reasons to think about remote video viewing solutions. The trends that support this assertion are: 1. Video technology, appliances and applications have improved dramatically the past eight years. 2. Communication technology, reli-

By Paul Boucherle

ability, lower data costs have driven adoption rates. 3. Mobile video and communication technologies delivered on smartphones is driving accessibility of video data in new and more flexible ways. Understanding a few basic principles will clarify how these three factors have converged to make remote viewing of video practical and mainstream for businesses. The first step is to define why your customer would want to remotely view video. Here are a few reasons: • How much “unproductive” time does your customer spend a day away from their business? • Is customer service a concern when the owner is not on the premises? • How is training provided for employees and how is it audited for compliance? • Compliance to safety regulations and training should be periodically monitored. So how can you help your customers defy the laws of physics and be in two places at once? With simple remote video solutions. This is perfectly legitimate if their normal routine of business includes lots of driving around to check on remote facilities, stores, people or processes. Gas isn’t cheap and neither is their time. The logical answer to pragmatic travel routines is using remote video to confirm you must travel due to an event or exception. It will also help to plan the right response or bring the right tools and people with you.

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© pixhook

If ‘Push’ Comes to Shove, Try the ‘Pull’ Approach Remote video viewing can be delivered in two basic ways. The first solution is the more expensive option. Video “push” is when an intelligent video platform — either camera, video recorder or network appliance (the operative word being network, not analog) —automatically sends or “pushes” video to different assigned IP addresses based on a set of predetermined rules that you establish during the customer configuration phase. An example might be, “send me a picture and site address if the light level drops below a certain threshold around an outside ATM.” This could be very handy in California where noncompliance carries fines, and lawsuits carry bigger material losses. Who would be on the “push” list? Start with your maintenance response team or perhaps a third-party service team. Then include a supervisor to audit compliance and costs that would result from a service call. The bottom line is you are addressing a business operational situation and mitigating exposure to liability in new, more cost-effective ways. The second option is the least expensive approach and a great way to “introduce” customers to the value of remote video viewing. The video “pull” is certainly more common with the obvious example being that we all visit for information and entertainment purposes. In a video “pull” environment we can demand and view video streams based on our computer or smartphone processing power, bandwidth and communication speeds. As a very general rule, “pull” video takes more time, is simpler, cheaper and less sophisticated than “push” video. Extending your customer’s security and business management reach with remote view video solutions can be a smart move. The vast majority of cur-

A remote video solution begins by asking, “How will this help my customer’s business?” Next, use “remote viewing” to introduce clients to the benefits of video technology.

rent video installations are “darkroom” systems that are not actively being monitored in real-time. That requires dedicated personnel that most medium to lower risk facilities simply cannot afford. The systems are used to investigate details of an event after the fact. Being able to “pull” video from these systems remotely in real-time can save time and significantly improve decision making, training and safety compliance.

4 Primary Ways to View Remotely The next step is gaining a basic understanding of the four different methods commonly used for remote video monitoring. Granted there are many other approaches, just not within the scope of this article. Let’s look at them in more detail: 1. The view only method is virtually real-time, but does not involve any recording. The IP video camera was born to deliver on this task, allowing you to leverage an Internet connection to view one or multiple cameras from just about anywhere. This is truly a “many-to-many” video application where you can view multiple video images from myriad places without hardware or software limitations. Typically this is browser-based and very intuitive to use requiring virtually no training, and also cost effective and not technically very demanding on set-up and installation. 2. The view and record on the camera method allows you to do everything above, plus record a limited amount of video based on the size of the storage card bought for the camera (typically $75-$150). Based on the camera capabilities, processing power, resolution and frame rate settings,

this method typically provides a limited amount of video data but can still be cost effective and just a little more technically challenging to install. This solution limits bandwidth consumption while preserving high quality video for short periods of time. The higher end this solution can also incorporate video analytics that are matched to specific camera performance parameters. In general, this can improve the validity of using video analytics. 3. The view and record on a network appliance with storage method uses either an onsite appliance (managed) or offsite (hosted) provided by a systems integrator or third-party service. Where the recording will actually take place will impact the cost, options and system commitment; just like buying a computer. The hosted model starts to offer end users the freedom from hardware purchase, software, maintenance and up-front investment costs, and delivers video without some of the headaches. The real question is where/who manages the hardware and storage. 4. View and record video using a turnkey hosting service, commonly referred to as video surveillance as a service (VSaaS), is based on the software as a service (SaaS) business model with a couple of twists. As a competent systems integrator make sure your team is trained on how remote site video equipment is installed, configured and tested between the camera and hosting service. Remember, any remote video solution begins with asking yourself, “How will this help my customer’s business?” Secondly, consider using “remote viewing” as a way to introduce your customers to the benefits of video technology. ■ Paul Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is principal of Canfield, Ohio-based Matterhorn Consulting (www. He has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience and can be contacted at • APRIL 2012 21

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Tech Talk

Open More Revenue Doors With Access Control The need to determine who goes where when continues to make access control one of the security industry’s most in-demand offerings. Pick up some soup-to-nuts pointers on how to improve your success from initial sale to deploying advanced capabilities.


his month, we explore some key areas of electronic access control. We will take a look at some of the basics often missed in the beginning of selling an access control solution, design and implementation considerations, new technologies and free resources you can add to your library.

Simple Steps to Engage End Users When it comes to sales, technically proficient salespeople tend to initially provide too much technical detail. This can literally scare off your prospect as their primary concern is typically a simple, cost-effective and efficient access control solution. However, these end users often fail to grasp the extent of the benefits access control can provide. So it’s critical to strike the proper balance.

By Bob Dolph

If a customer or prospect has a lock on their door, they understand fundamental access control. What you need to do is first listen. Then offer a suggested solution that will take their operation to the next level of access control. I have seen many elaborate access control system proposals through the years, but early on in the process it is important to cover a few basics to get your customer engaged. They are: WHO are the people, or groups of people, you want to provide electronic access to? WHAT are the assigned levels of access? This is important to clearly define early on. WHERE can the people go? Define the areas that the personnel can access. WHEN are they allowed to access

RFID Airport Application

Here is an example of how long-range RFID readers can be used with RFID tag devices and biometric readers to identify both pilot and plane as they move throughout an airport.

this area? This is defined per system schedules. WHY should they have access to this area? Further operational clarification and explanation helps and confirms previous security decisions. HOW do they have access to certain areas? This can be certain technologies that match customers’ security level needs. Different levels of security may require certain combined technology such as a card swipe, PIN, mantrap, and/or biometrics.

Be Attuned to Radio Frequency ID Some of you may remember the classic movie “The Graduate” in which Dustin Hoffman’s character receives a single word of advice for his future: “plastics.” Shift the scene to a dealer or integrator being advised about the future of access control and the likely and equally concise answer would be RFID. I recently ran across an interesting RFID (radio frequency identification) application. Pete Martin, president of 1st Choice Security Solutions in Peachtree City, Ga., has a special application for airport security called the “Smart Airport.” The system’s purpose is to detect and notify in the event of aircraft theft and/or misuse. As we all know, since 9/11, there has been a demand for keeping track of access to aircraft and airport runways. Martin has combined longrange RFID readers to work in conjunction with bio/RFID devices in the airplanes. Authorized pilots are identified by a built-in fingerprint reader

22 • APRIL 2012

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Major U.S. cellular carriers have made their stance clear:

The 2G Sunset has started. If you install a GSM or GPRS based product you will be forced to replace it with a modern 3G one within a few years. For the average security dealer, this will amount to thousands of dollars of revenue spent on truck rolls and replacement equipment. To avoid the sudden impact of the next sunset, switch to 3G products today.

Learn more at

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Tech Talk

TECH TALK Tool Tip This month’s pick is the Aperio product line from ASSA ABLOY. It is based on smart technology that enables mechanical locks to be wirelessly linked to an existing access control system. According to the manufacturer, only 5% of all doors today are connected to access control systems. Therefore, for every wired door there is an opportunity to equip seven more with this solution. Since Aperio’s technology is compatible with most common radio frequency identification (RFID), integration is easy to accomplish. The nonproprietary, open architecture of Aperio provides a convenient way of connecting with any standardized interface. and RFID transponder in the planes that communicates with the longrange airport runway RFID readers for authorized takeoff (see diagram). The system is encrypted and has a small tamper-resistant enclosure that can attach to metal or glass. For more on RFID, a good free resource for your “Tech Talk” library is the 384-page reference book, “Designing and Deploying RFID Applications” ( While not pretending to be comprehensive, it does offer RFID insights, solutions and ideas. Its wide coverage is appropriate for novices, engineers, researchers, industry personnel, and just about anyone interested in the RFID domain.

Market Leader Promotes Wireless Wireless was also high on the radar when I recently discussed access control products with industry veteran Peter Boriskin, currently ASSA ABLOY Americas director of product management, electronic access control. Here’s what he had to say … What’s exciting or unique about some of your new products and applications? Peter Boriskin: The Aperio wireless cabinet lock [see “Tool Top” box] is unique in that it can be configured for drawers and lockers without changing the base lock. It also fits the growing need in health care and other markets for increasing the oversight and audit ability of controlled substances and supplies out at the patient’s or customer’s location.

Y LO AB SA AS y s urte Co

Aperio, as a family, is a little unique in that you have both a broad family of products that meet different installation requirements. These would include cabinets, drawers, lockers and doors. And then there are also a number of different ways to take advantage of the wireless products and integrate them into both retrofit and new ‘greenfield’ opportunities. These would include Wiegand, RS485 and open architected access control panels. Do you have some tips for applying and installing these products? Boriskin: One nice thing about the deployment of Aperio is we have designed the system for a much simpler pre-site check than other wireless systems. Our requirements are that you are within 45 feet of the hub and not going through more than two standard construction walls. That’s it. No need for complex and expensive wireless site surveys.

Biometrics, Databases and Automation Let’s wrap up our access control exploration with some further tips and advice. Make sure that biometric reader devices fit the physical specifications of users. For example, certain fingerprint readers have trouble reading the topography of worn and dirty fingertips of laborers. Look for a reader that can define below the surface of the finger, or better yet possibly look for something like a hand geometry device.

Aperio is a new technology that enables mechanical locks to be wirelessly linked to an existing access control system. Built on an open standard, it works with existing RFID technologies and is expandable.

Another suggestion is ensuring you have addressed who will be responsible for entering the profile and configuration data for new system enrollees. This is a good example of how you want to define all project responsibilities in your proposal and contract. I have often noticed, on even very large access control systems, that the customer assumed the integrator was doing the data entry and vice versa. The data entry time was never planned in the contract. Finally, don’t forget using some basic alarm services you already have in place for access control. One of the simplest upgrades is providing your clients open & closing services from their existing alarm systems. Many panels today have programmable access capability. If you have a customer with older alarm equipment that is not programmable, your central station may be capable of providing access control services via automation software such as Alarm Center from Security Information Systems ( Such programs can configure at the central station access control rights and schedules based on alarm panel arming/disarming codes. Systems can even be partitioned for area access within an account. Remember, these types of services can add recurring monthly revenue (RMR). ■ Bob Dolph has served in various technical management and advisory positions in the security industry for 30+ years. To share tips and installation questions, E-mail Bob at Check out his Tech Shack blog at

24 • APRIL 2012

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Telguard is evolving to 3G. To protect our customers from the negative impact of the 2G Sunset, Telguard’s existing product lines are completely transitioning to 3G. Every time you install a Telguard 3G cellular alarm communicator for residential, commercial or PERS, you’ll know that’s one less customer you have to worry about when the upcoming 2G Sunset arrives.

Switch to 3G for the price of 2G. Learn more at

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Fire Side Chat

Notification Methods You Need to Know Mass notification and emergency communications systems have received a lot of attention in recent years and represent a growing market for installing life-safety system contractors. Picking up where the previous column left off, find out where and how code plays a part, as well as the many different types of systems and applications.


© Torrens

ast month served as an overview and introduction to mass notification systems (MNS) and emergency communications systems (ECS). As promised, we will now expand upon that material and discuss the various types of systems that fall under these headings. The requirements for these systems are found within Chapter 24 of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. As these systems may and do provide warning of more than a fire within a premises, the word “signaling” was recently added to the title of NFPA 72. First, we’ll examine system requirements and expectations, and then move on to define several specific types of systems.

In-building mass notification systems alert occupants within a building of emergency events other than a fire, such as for security, weather, hazardous release, etc.

Required or Not, Code Plays Role A system may be either required or nonrequired, depending on its use and if it is required by a building or fire code or a governmental agency. At this time, there are no requirements for an ECS or MNS found within any of the model building or fire codes used within the United States. However, there is one in the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for Emergency Employee Alarm Systems, as found within Section 1910.165(a)(1) Part 1910 of Title 29, Labor, Code of Federal Regulations. These systems are intended to warn employees within a premise of an emergency other than a fire. The requirements have been in place for a number of years, prior to the U.S. Air Force requesting that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) promulgate a standard for MNS. As with automatic fire alarm systems, a voluntary system still must be installed in accordance with Chapter 24. When a voluntary system is installed, the designer or installer must understand the needs and objectives of the building owner. The system must be able to meet their intended purpose. The wiring that is installed must also meet the requirements of NFPA 72 as well as NFPA 70, National Electrical Code. A voluntary system should not be installed in a nonapproved manner simply because the system itself it is not required.

By Shane Clary

Depending on the type of system to be installed, pathway survivability requirements found within Section 23.3.5 must be followed. Pathway survivability will ensure that the circuits for the system remain in operation for up to two hours. The levels of pathway survivability are found within Chapter 12 of NFPA 72, Circuits and Pathways. This is primarily to prevent the heat from a fire from taking out a circuit prior to alerting all of the occupants within a premise. As ECS and MNS will be used to provide instructions to the occupants over a period of time, or to provide communications for emergency personnel, it is vital these circuits stay in operation as long as possible. For the first time within NFPA 72, a signal other than one from a fire detection device is now allowed to have priority over a fire alarm signal. This is outlined in Section 10.6, Signal Priority, found within Chapter 10, Fundamentals. For this to occur, a risk analysis shall be conducted in accordance with Section, Voice Message Priority. This should only be performed by someone competent in what is required for a risk analysis, such as a fire protection engineer. Note that the reference to paragraph found in some printings of the 2010 edition of NFPA 72 is incorrect.

8 Different Types of Systems There are two basic types of systems, one-way and two-way. Within

26 • APRIL 2012

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© 2012 Tyco International Ltd. and its Respective Companies. All Rights Reserved.

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Fire Side Chat the one-way classification, the following types are found: In-Building Fire Emergency Voice/ Alarm Communications Systems (EVACS) — This is the traditional voice alarm system that has been within NFPA 72 for a number of cycles. It allows for a prerecorded message to be broadcast over speakers, providing different messages, depending on where the event is, and the location of those within the building. It also allows for an “all call” or selected zone live paging from emergency responders. These systems are found in Section 24.4.1. In-Building Mass Notification Systems — These systems are intended to alert occupants within a building of emergency events other than a fire, such as for security, weather, hazardous releases and so forth. They may also alert occupants of a fire. The coverage of these systems may be within an individual building, areas surrounding the building or other designated outdoor areas. While in some respects these systems may be similar to a 24.4.1 system, they do allow other means of alerting building occupants. The messages may be textual, such as found in signage. These systems may also be tied into wide-area notification systems, which are discussed next. These systems are found in Section 24.4.2 Wide-Area Mass Notification Systems — These systems are intended to provide real-time notification over a wide outdoor area. This may be seen as the older civil defense air raid sirens. These systems provide more than just a siren, however, as they now include voice messages. Within the U.S. military, these systems have been referred to as giant voice systems. They include high power speaker arrays (HPSA). These systems are found in Section 24.4.3. Distributed Recipient Mass Notification Systems (DRMNS) — These are enterprise-class systems that may re-

ceive their trigger from an offsite location. They include the message system you might find on a local highway for road conditions. Messages on these systems may include: • Presidential alerts • Homeland security levels • Terrorism threats • Evacuation routes • Amber alerts

◗ Prospects for Mass

Notification Systems

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Military bases University and college campuses Secondary and grade schools State, county, parish and city properties Governmental and private office buildings Amusement parks Airports Marine terminals Railway and mass transit stations Manufacturing and industrial plants Shopping malls Hotels

These may also be reverse-911 systems where a local jurisdiction would notify local businesses and residents about emergency information such as chemical spills, tornado warnings and so forth. These systems are found in Section 24.4.4. Within the two-way classification, the following types are found: Two-Way, in-Building Wired Emergency Communications Systems — These are the traditional firefighter phone systems found in high-rise and other large buildings. They are described in Section 24.5.1. Two-Way Radio Communications Enhancement Systems — Within new high-rise structures, and when required for existing buildings by ordinance, these systems are being used by fire departments so they are no longer restricted to the location of the phone jack to speak to the fire control room. These systems “enhance” the radio signal used by

the fire ground radios used within a building. A number of departments have found their radios do not work inside a building without boosting the radio signals within the premise. NFPA 1, Fire Code now requires these systems be installed if the fire department’s radios are found not to be able to function within a building. These systems are described within Section 24.5.2. Area of Refuge (Area of Rescue Assistance) Emergency Communications Systems — Relatively new to the model codes, this is an area that a person(s) with mobility or other impairments can gather within a building or floor of a building until emergency responders can reach them. This system allows for communications between the fire command room and the area of refuge. These systems are typically hands-free, and are described in Section 24.5.3. Elevator Emergency Communications Systems — These are similar to a 24.5.3 system, but for the inside of an elevator cab. They are installed in accordance with ANSI/ASME A17.1a, Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators. They are described in Section 24.5.4.

Be Prepared as Market Grows While the “classic” MNS systems are still being installed primarily on military bases, the many types discussed in this article are found throughout the built environment, and in everyday life. These systems will, in time, have more widespread use throughout the civilian population. Systems integrators should become familiar with them now, prior to the first request for a bid. See the box on this page for a list of current and possible future venues these systems may be required or requested to be installed. ■ Shane Clary, Ph.D., has more than 37 years of security and fire alarm industry experience. He serves on a number of NFPA technical committees, and is Vice President of Codes and Standards Compliance for Pacheco, Calif.-headquartered Bay Alarm Co.

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Thermal’s Past, Present & Future

© 2012 Video Security Consultants

Continuing Education Sponsored by FLIR Part 4 of 4 Brought to You by

Presented by • April 2012 A1

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Part 4 of 4

Completing the

THERMAL IMAGING PICTURE You’ve learned about thermal imaging’s history, technology and applications … now what? It’s time to put it all together to gain a firmer grasp of this exciting and growing surveillance sector. So step up to finish earning your diploma!

Illustration by Jerry King



elcome to Part IV of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION’s acclaimed “D.U.M.I.E.S.” series: “Thermal Imaging for D.U.M.I.E.S.” Brought to you by FLIR, this four-part series has been designed to educate readers about recent advances in technology and systems that are likely to shape this decade’s progression of the video surveillance indus-

try. “D.U.M.I.E.S.” stands for dealers, users, managers, installers, engineers and salespeople. This particular series delves into thermal imaging as it pertains to capturing video surveillance in lowand no-light applications. You may recall the first installment (July 2011) established a working foundation by explaining what thermal imaging is in basic terms and revealing its history.

Part II (November 2011) addressed more specifics about the technology and how it applies to camera performance. Part III (January 2012) discussed application examples and solutions, and incorporating thermal into system design. That is a lot to digest. So to wrap it all up as neatly and succinctly as possible, this final chapter touches on each of those important aspects of

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thermal imaging to make the picture complete and place everything in the proper perspective. If you missed any of the previous parts of the series, this concluding entry will hopefully whet your appetite to go back and dig in deeper through either the original printed pieces or electronically online. Let’s dive in to thermal’s past, present and future!

Long and Winding Road to Thermal Thermal has been around for centuries. Current imagers are based on technology that was originally developed for the military. Thermal imaging technology provides the ability to see through the dark of night or through a smoke-covered area. The properties that have made infrared (IR) detection valuable to military services around the world also make it valuable to fire services and law enforcement as well as security applications. Although present-day thermal imagers are based on technology originally developed for the military, thermography is not as new as most would believe. On Feb. 11, 1800, a s t r o n o m e r F r e d e r i c k Wi l l i a m Herschel, generally known as Sir William Herschel, was searching for optical filter material to reduce the brightness of the sun’s image in telescopes during solar observations. While testing different samples of colored glass that gave similar reductions in brightness, he became aware that some of the filter samples passed very little of the sun’s heat. Others passed so much heat that the risk of eye damage was possible after

In the 1800s, astronomer Frederick William Herschel (above), a.k.a. Sir William Herschel, and his son, Sir John, discovered and advanced the concepts of thermal images.

only a few seconds of observation. When using a red filter, Herschel found there was a lot of heat produced. He discovered IR radiation in sunlight by passing it through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. This thermometer was meant to be a control to measure the ambient air temperature in the room. He was shocked when it showed a higher temperature than the visible spectrum. Further experimentation led to Herschel’s conclusion that there must be an invisible form of light beyond the visible spectrum. The first so-called heat-picture became possible in 1840. Based upon the differential evaporation of a thin film of oil when exposed to a heat pattern focused upon it, the thermal image could be seen by reflected light where the interference effects of the oil film made the image visible to the eye. Sir John (son of Sir WilREFERENCED SOURCES liam Hershel) also managed to • obtain a primitive record of the • • image on paper, which infrared-thermography.html he called a thermograph. • The improvement of IR detec• “Thermal imaging cameras: characteristics tor sensitivity progressed slowly. and performance” (T.L. Williams) However, in 1880 a major break-

through, made by American astronomer Samuel Pierpont Langley, was the invention of the bolometer. This instrument is used to measure IR, or heat, radiation. The bolometer is essentially a very sensitive thermometer and it is still a very active component in today’s thermal imaging surveillance cameras. In 1929, the first IR-sensitive electronic television camera was invented for defense in Britain. The first conventional IR camera, the Evaporograph, was declassified around 1956. However, it was not until 20 to 30 years later that real progress was made in the thermal imaging world. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Texas Instruments, Hughes Aircraft and Honeywell developed single element detectors that scanned scenes and produced line images. These basic detectors led to the development of modern thermal imaging. An IR-sensitive optoelectronic component used for detecting electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range from 2μm to 14μm was developed by Philips and EEV in the 1970s. It became the core of a new product for firefighting, first used by the Royal Navy for shipboard firefighting. In 1978, Raytheon R&D group, then part of Texas Instruments, patented ferroelectric infrared detectors, using barium strontium titanate (BST). Furthermore, in 1978, FLIR was founded as a provider of IR imaging systems installed on vehicles for use in conducting energy audits. The company would later expand to other applications and markets for thermal imaging technology, including stabilized thermal imaging cameras for law enforcement, aircraft and ground-based security systems. In 1992, the U.S. government declassified the technology. After declassification, Honeywell licensed its technology to several manufacturers. In 1994, Honeywell was awarded a patent for a microbolometer detector array. Since • APRIL 2012 A3

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Basic Thermal Camera Block Diagram

refraction of any commonly used IR transmitting materials. It is a very popular material for systems operating in the 3-5 or 8-12μm spectral regions. Germanium blocks ultraviolet (UV) and visible light up to about 2μm. It is the best material for transmitting 8μ to 15μ IR wavelengths allowing up to 95% of the energy to flow through the lens. However, germanium has the property of thermal runaway, meaning that the transmission factor decreases as temperature increases. Because of this feature, thermal cameras incorporating germanium lens material should be used in areas at temperatures below 158° F (70°C).

tant part in both increased cost and also the overall performance of the unit. The f/number determines the lens’ light-gathering power and, therefore, affects the overall sensitivity of the camera system, especially in uncooled versions of thermal cameras. The f/ number of an optical system is the ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the front lens element. An f/2 lens with a 500mm focal length must therefore have a 250mm diameter front lens element. As the focal length of a lens increases, the diameter of the front lens element must be increased to keep the system f/ number constant. An uncooled camera typically requires a low f/number lens (usually f/1.0-f/2.0) to have sensitivity comparable to a cooled camera. Higher f/numbers reduce uncooled camera sensitivity. The large lenses required by long focal lengths for uncooled cameras get expensive. Therefore, short- to extreme medium-range imaging can usually be done more cost effectively with uncooled thermal security cameras. Their cooled counterparts are often the best solutions for longrange imaging performance.

F-Stop in the Name of Thermal

The Long and Mid Waveband of It

Not only does the type of glass add to the complexity and cost of a thermal lens, f-stop ratings also play an impor-

Thermal cameras are sensitive to energy in the midwave IR (MWIR) waveband (3-5μm), or the long-wave

Thermal cameras include: a lens made of special material to focus thermal energy onto a detector; a detector sensitive to IR energy; electronics and signal processing to convert the IR energy into a video signal.

1998, thermal imaging has expanded for nonmilitary applications such as: firefighting, law enforcement, industrial applications, security, transportation and many other industries.

Thermal Imaging Camera Basics All thermal cameras consist of the same basic elements: • A lens made of special material that focuses thermal energy onto a detector. • A detector that is sensitive to IR energy. • Electronics and signal processing elements that translate the energy gathered by the detector and convert it into a video signal that can be displayed on a monitor. IR energy barely passes through conventional lens glass, so thermal cameras have to use lenses made out of different materials that are expensive and exotic compared to standard glass. Two of the most commonly used lens materials are germanium and zinc selenide. Both of these materials are highly transmissive of IR radiation, meaning that thermal energy passes through them with great efficiency. The most popular material found in is germanium crystals. Germanium (Ge) is a crystal compound that is grown in a laboratory environment. It is one of the few compounds that allow IR wavelength transmission. Germanium has the highest index of

Part 4 of 4

IR Spectrum Chart Thermal cameras are sensitive to energy in the midwave IR (MWIR) waveband (35μm), or the long-wave IR (LWIR) wave-band (8-14μm) within the electromagnetic spectrum. A thermal camera uses a special detector sensitive to this energy.

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IR (LWIR) waveband (8-14μm) within the electromagnetic spectrum. A thermal camera uses a special detector sensitive to this energy. The cameras you’ll typically encounter in the security and surveillance field will either be cooled or uncooled, referring to whether the IR detector needs to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures in order to create a usable image. Which type of imager is better depends largely on the needs of the specific application. Cooled detectors are considered extraordinarily sensitive to IR radiation. The cryogenic cooler substantially reduces thermal noise (IR radiation from sources other than the objects being observed) down to very low levels. The drawbacks of cooled IR cameras are that they are expensive both to produce and to run. Cooling is powerhungry and time-consuming. The camera needs several minutes to cool down before it can begin working. Although the cooling apparatus is comparatively bulky and expensive, cooled IR cameras provide superior image quality compared to uncooled ones. Additionally, the greater sensitivity of cooled cameras allow the use of higher f/number lenses, making high performance, long focal length lenses both smaller and less expensive for cooled detectors. Because the unit is a mechanical device with moving parts, cooled detectors usually require maintenance every 8,000 to 10,000 hours of operation. Uncooled thermal cameras are, in fact, the most popular within the surveillance industry. Their popularity is mainly due to the cost and availability of these units. An uncooled thermal camera is one in which the imaging sensor does not require cryogenic cooling. These devices use a sensor operating at ambient temperature or one stabilized close to ambient using small temperature control elements. Most uncooled detection sensors react to changes in resistance,

Courtesy FLIR

Thermal cameras may be cooled or uncooled, referring to whether the IR detector needs to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures in order to create a usable image.

voltage or current when heated by IR radiation. These changes are then measured and compared to the values at the operating temperature of the sensor. Uncooled IR sensors can be stabilized to reduce image noise, but they are not kept at temperatures as low as that of cooled cameras. They are typically sensitive to LWIR energy, manufactured in fewer steps than those used in cooled sensors, use less-expensive vacuum packaging, and don’t require costly cryocoolers. Almost all commercial security applications opt for uncooled thermal cameras as they cost less and perform similarly to their cooled counterparts over operating ranges up to a mile or so. Uncooled cameras also have fewer moving parts. So they tend to have much longer service lives than cooled cameras under similar operating conditions, making them well-suited to security applications that often require continuous camera operation.

Thermal Sensitive About Sensors Most uncooled thermal security cameras use detectors called microbolometers. These detectors use materials that change their electrical resistance substantially when their temperature changes even a little. When LWIR (8-14μm) energy hits the individual detector elements, it is ab-

sorbed causing the element’s temperature to change and, in turn, alters its electrical resistance. This change in resistance is measured, digitized and processed into a normal video signal. The most common microbolometer detector material used in the security market is called vanadium oxide (VOx), but another detector material called amorphous silicon (њ-Si) is also being used. Microbolometers using VOx and ! -Si operate on similar principles, but cameras with VOx detectors can be more sensitive than their њ-Si counterparts. The cooled IR detectors usually found in security applications operate on a different principle than uncooled detectors. Typically sensitive to MWIR (3-8μm) energy, most cooled sensors are either made of materials called indium antimonide (InSb), or mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe). Regardless of which detector material is involved, cooled detectors use an array of photodiodes that convert MWIR photons into an electrical current, which is then translated into a video signal. The thermal sensitivity for an IR camera is measured in milliKelvins (mK). The scale is more sensitive at the lower end, meaning that 38mK is nearly three times as sensitive as 100mK. Thermal sensitivity can be an extremely important factor when deciding which camera to buy. The lower the sensitivity, the more accurate the camera can be as well as producing more detailed images. Highly sensitive thermal imaging cameras will show more color/temperature differences. The sensitivity has a direct correlation with the accuracy of the thermal camera as well. The term noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) describes thermal sensitivity as a measure of the sensitivity of a detector of radiation in the IR spectrum. The lower the NETD, the better the cameras can detect smaller temperature changes in the viewed scene. • APRIL 2012 A5

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Like many areas in the surveillance market, there are no set standards when measuring the sensitivity of CCTV cameras, including thermal models. At what temperature was the unit tested? What was the f-stop rating of the test lens? These are just some of the parameters that can affect the outcome of a camera’s measurement and, consequently, performance under assorted circumstances.






Making the Pixel Pitch

Apply Thermal Imaging Here …

During the past five years, detector arrays have seen a steady reduction in pixel pitch from 45μm to 17μm. The next generation of thermal arrays is projected to have 12μm pixel pitch. This smaller pixel geometry will aid in the reduction of the size of detectors and optics as well as the overall size of cameras. This reduction of pixel pitch will also result in higher-resolution cameras. The detector’s resolution refers to the number of individual detector elements found on that chip, usually measured in the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Many microbolometer array sizes are available, from resolutions of 160 X 120, 320 X 240 to 640 X 480. Recently, a few manufacturers have introduced 1,024 X 768 arrays into the thermal industry. This advancement makes megapixel thermal cameras almost a reality. The more detector elements a detector has, the higher its resolution and the greater the detail you’ll be able to see in the image. The signal output from a thermal camera is no different than that of a normal analog output or IP camera. Therefore, no special interface will be required when adding this technology into existing surveillance systems. All of these features and improvements make the incorporation of thermal cameras very simple and cost effective when seeing in the dark is a critical parameter in your surveillance system.

The most obvious (for this article) application for thermal is in surveillance. However, there are many other lateral avenues that can benefit using thermal imagery. Surveillance — All objects emit a certain amount of black-body radiation as a function of their temperatures. Generally speaking, the higher an object’s temperature is, the more IR radiation known as black-body radiation it emits. Because of the high thermal contrast between humans and other objects, uncooled detectors are an ideal choice for surveillance application. These include many night vision, security and basic surveillance. Because of technological advances and lower costs, thermal cameras are finding their way into many more commercial night-vision applications. Such deployments with the addition of system analytics have taken automated perimeter security to a whole new level with unparalleled accuracy. Thermal video analytic cameras now operate among environmental factors such as rain, humidity, fog and bright sun, which in the past yielded poor images, nuisance alerts and confusion. These new generations of thermal cameras uses a higher degree of onboard image processing to exaggerate small differences between the temperature of an intruder and the background, presenting an image in a way that is optimized for the eye to see even in less than ideal conditions. The

Part 4 of 4

same image processing also provides more detailed information for making more accurate video content analysis. Energy Conservation — According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home or business accounts for in excess of 50% of the energy consumed each year. Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste. In an effort to make homes and businesses more energy efficient, energy audits are becoming more commonplace. Thermal cameras provide an easyto-use tool for conducting energy audits. Energy audits primarily focus on evaluating the effectiveness of insulation and seals around exterior doors and windows in addition to looking for gaps or cracks that are leaking energy. Thermal cameras can detect these losses without the need to destroy walls saving time and money. Industrial Inspections — Certain IR cameras can be calibrated so that they provide for the noncontact measurement of object temperature. These find many applications in industrial inspections. One of the most common uses of these radiometric IR cameras is in industrial environments having high power usage. Inspectors use IR cameras for thermal analysis of electrical and mechanical components for problem prevention and detection. In these systems, excess heat can be a sign of a potential problem. IR cameras are used to scan for many different issues, including loose or dirty connections, overloaded circuits and plugged cooling lines in transformers. Automotive Night Vision — Accident statistics show that driving at night represents a significant potential danFIND IT ON THE WEB Visit the Educational Tools section at to access nine years’ of “D.U.M.I.E.S.” archives.

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Courtesy FLIR

PathFindIR is a powerful thermal nightvision camera that lets drivers see clearly in total darkness. It works night and day, in good weather and bad, without being blinded by oncoming headlights.

ger. Although 75% of all driving is done during the day, 55% of fatal accidents occur at night. This means the risk while driving at night is twice as high as during the day. The benefit of car night-vision systems are they enable drivers to see people or animals more clearly on dark, unlit roads as well as in bad weather. There are two types of systems, either passive or active. Active systems use an IR light source built into the car to illuminate the road ahead with light invisible to humans. Passive systems do not use a light source; instead they capture thermal radiation already emitted by the objects. Passive systems (thermal cameras) offer a greater range, about 300 meters or 1,000 feet, and higher contrast for living objects. Thermal cameras are now becoming a standard in automobiles as automotive night-vision systems. Passenger cars are not the only automotive application for thermal cameras. Emergency vehicles need to get to the scene of the accident as fast as possible without delays or causing further accidents. The vision of fire truck and ambulance drivers can be obstructed by smoke when they are called to an accident where a fire is involved. Thermal cameras allow drivers the ability to see through the smoke and ensure their vehicles can reach the accident as quickly and safely as possible. Firefighting — Firefighting is a tough and demanding profession. Firefighters are often thrust into situations where visible light cannot be used due to smoky conditions. In low visibility conditions, finding victims or downed firefighters can be near impossible. Thermal imaging cameras have allowed firefighters to see through the

smoke and locate trapped victims or other firefighters. Thermal cameras also allow for the detection of hot spots after a fire is extinguished, as well as to find the source of active fires. Medical Monitoring — Thermal recognition cameras have become quite popular at airports and other transit locations for noncontact “fever screening” where public health officials can swiftly scan and measure the skin temperature of people as they pass. Individuals showing an elevated temperature can be evaluated in more detail to help prevent the spread of disease. Thermal Lie Detectors — In late 2011, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) demonstrated its vision for the airport security checkpoints of the future. The checkpoints will consist of a series of tunnels, each equipped with an array of eye-scanners, x-ray machines and thermal cameras. Feeling guilty? Got something to hide? A team of U.K.-based researchers claim to have developed a thermal lie-detection camera that can automatically spot a burning conscience. The system could be used during custom’s interviews and at passport control to check whether people entering the country are giving a true account of themselves. The thermal-imaging camera captures variations in facial temperature in response to questions. “When someone is making something up on the spot, brain activity usually changes, and you can detect this through the thermal camera,” said Professor Hassan Ugail, who leads the research. Although still in its early stages, IATA hopes to have these checkpoints installed in airports within the next five to seven years.

Thermal to See More in Future The thermal snowball is continuing to gain momentum. According to a 2010 technologies & markets report from French research and strategy con-

Thermal Growth Projections Through 2015

The growth of thermal in the security industry is only in its infancy stage. With the need to improve video surveillance and the ever-increasing application for system analytics, thermal is here to stay.

sulting company Yole Development, titled “Uncooled IR Cameras & Detectors for Thermography and Vision,” thermal camera prices have been significantly reduced in the security marketplace. This has facilitated an expanded use of the technology and devices. A great example of the increasing acceptance and utilization of thermal in the security field was well documented at last year’s ISC West expo in Las Vegas. There was a noticeable increase of manufacturers offering the surveillance industry a complete line of thermal cameras. There was a great emphasis placed on the advantages of thermal imagery in regard to low light surveillance and thermal use for video analytics. The growth of thermal in the security industry is only in its infancy stage. With the need and desire to improve video surveillance and the ever-increasing application for system analytics, thermal is here to stay. Congratulations, you are now a graduate of the “D.U.M.I.E.S.” school of thermal imaging! Robert (Bob) Wimmer is president of Video Security Consultants (www. and has more than 38 years of experience in CCTV. His consulting firm provides technical training, system design, technical support and system troubleshooting. Originator of the D.U.M.I.E.S. series (, Wimmer was inducted into SSI’s Industry Hall of Fame in 2006. • APRIL 2012 A7

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Monitoring Matters

The Central Station as a Resource, Not a Crutch


useful addition of notebook computers, tablets and smartphones as the platform for remote communications, there are no excuses to keep any dealer of any size from expanding into these service offerings. It is easiest to understand the value, and what I would consider the necessity, for utilizing these services to better support clients by getting back to the basics. Everything we do in this business begins and ends with providing a world-class, streamlined cusWhen a client phones their tomer experience — security company the person from the look, feel handling the call should be and operation of empowered to immediately an alarm system, to complete the client’s request central station serwithout the need for a return call. vices and dedicated customer care. Significantly, it is essential when a The subject matter I addressed in client phones their security compathe blog is worth expanding upon. So ny that the person handling the call be I will outline how, with the adoption empowered to immediately complete of some basic central station tools, sethe client’s request without the need curity dealers can gain greater control for a return call. This includes data while providing better customer serchanges, communication of alarm hisvice. I’ll also detail how utilizing autotory, testing, etc. While it may be easimation and central station tools will er for companies with full-time office help any dealer be recognized by their staff to handle customer calls in such clients as an attentive, more profesa manner, smaller shops that are willsional security provider. ing to make the effort can provide the same simplified customer service. How to Rise Above Competitors Portability of communications, Most wholesale central stations ofsuch as with the aforementioned fer a variety of automated services smartphone and other mobile devicand tools for their dealers and end es, has allowed for these enhanced users to manage and audit their acservices to be available to dealers of counts. These include Web access to all sizes. Consider how much you can add or change data, telephony access differentiate from the competition by for account testing, plus automatproviding immediate client satisfaced reporting and communications of tion. No more, “We’ll call you back” these reports and/or events. With the n a recent blog post I discussed the value of utilizing a wholesale central station as a cloud (read “Gaining Appreciation for CloudBased Monitoring” at securitysales. com/CentralStationCorner). Full-scale adoption of Web-based applications and services may be more than the average alarm dealer is seeking to take on, but it doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from this type of structure in a selected, scaled-down manner.

By Peter Giacalone

or “Please hold on while I call the central station.” The goal is to deliver immediate results by ensuring a quality customer experience. This can engender a deep and meaningful customer sentiment that you are a dedicated service provider. Dealers worry so much about maintaining their autonomy, and yet many actions taken in front of their clients demonstrate reliability on outside parties. Most dealers believe, or should believe, that no one can service their clients better than they themselves. You are diligent in selecting the best outsource providers, just as you aim to provide superior personal service to your clients. With this in mind it is essential alarm dealers handle as many calls and requests as possible. In short, it should be every alarm dealer’s goal that the central station only respond to signals and the communication of these events. Many may lament, and I’ve heard it firsthand, “Why should I take this on? I’m paying the central station; let them do it.” Or, similarly, “Why should I make the central station’s job easier?” Well, this is really not the right attitude. It’s not about taking on new tasks and responsibilities. It’s about providing the best customer experience and building your brand and reputation as a world-class service provider. ■ Peter Giacalone is President of Giacalone Associates, an independent security consulting firm.

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STUDY PINPOINTS INTEGRATOR HOTSPOTS The security systems integration business is rattling as much as humming, with operators continuing to extricate themselves from economic quicksand. SSI’s eighth annual Systems Integrator Study highlights the fits and starts of recovering profitability, as well as numerous positive trends for companies to zero in on.


By Scott Goldfine

f you were to plot out the current fortunes of security systems integrators as a chart you would find yourself staring at a bell-shaped line graph. The apex or midpoint would reflect the fact that the highest percentage of those businesses leaned toward breaking even revenue wise during 2011, with approximately equal numbers falling on either side of doing better or worse than that. It’s certainly not the ascending pattern of widespread growth most of us would prefer to see, but nor is it the descending course of extreme market hardships. SSI’s eighth annual Systems Integration Study shows the most common response when asked to compare 2011’s revenues and gross profit margin to 2010 was “About even (flat, 1% up or down).” Both marked rises from the previous survey and there were fewer integrators reporting revenues or margin improvements. Similarly, fewer companies reported gross sales revenues in excess of $5 million. It’s no wonder more than half the integrators say the recession continues to have a major impact, staffing and salaries remain closely watched, and outlooks are more pessimistic. Yet there are many rays of light piercing through the data. New systems installations are up 12 percentage points from a year ago, possibly signifying the recession’s end-user spending slowdown is finally subsiding. The residential market is exhibiting gains in both access control and video surveillance business, indicating the housing/construction collapse may be waning and a market that may be coming of age for those types of advanced technologies. Also up is the fire/life-safety segment. Furthermore, managed access control, IP video cameras, new systems, video management (VMS) and physical security information management (PSIM) solutions, analytics and, especially, megapixel cameras are riding upward trajectories. That’s just a snapshot of the wealth of information presented within the 2012 Systems Integration Study. Initiated in February by Bobit Business Media’s Research Department with support from PSA Security Network, the survey was

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distributed to thousands of security integrators nationwide. Of the 399 completed surveys submitted, 177 met the systems integrator criteria as installing primarily integrated video surveillance and/or access control systems, and the majority of accounts not being monitored burglary/fire alarm systems. Looking at the overall thrust of this year’s study, if the bell mentioned at the outset was real, its ring would resonate the need for integrators to continue implementing efficiencies and pursuing opportunities with the same take-noprisoners fervor they did at the peak of the recession. The greatest success will come to those with both the smarts and stomach it takes to persevere these challenging times. The fortitude of the latter is up to the individual, the intelligence of the former is greatly enhanced with the research that follows.


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8% 4%



59 5-9

1-10 years

27% 11-20


40-59 40 59 4

10-19 0 9

20 20-39 39

1 4 1-4


100 10060 99 499 60-99


More than half the responding integrator companies employ fewer than 20 full-time people. The most common sizes, though, are staffs of 1-4 and 20-39. Meanwhile, only 20% have five or more part-time workers.


23% 31-40

15% 41+

10% More than half the responding security integrators (52 percent) have been in business 20 years or less. This makes sense since that is around the time when CCTV and access control really began to get a foothold in the electronic security industry. More than six in 10 (64%) companies have just one branch location.

Not only do more 30% than three in four (77%) integrators 25% now employ at least 20% one IT specialist to 15% work in the field, nearly half (48%) 10% have multiple such 5% experts on staff. Those not having any among their personnel fell 4 percentage points from a year ago, and a total of 22 points dating back to 2009.


23% None

29% 1

20% 2

9% 3

6% 4



$100,000-$499,999 $500,000-$999,999


11% 25%


AVERAGE: $68,889 MEDIAN: $67,000






AVERAGE: $65,591 MEDIAN: $64,500

More than six in 10 responding integrators (61%) pulled in less than $5 million in gross revenues during 2011, with the most prevalent range being $1 million to 4.9 million (25%). Those earning less than $100,000 rose 3 percentage points from 2010, suggesting either more startups or tougher economics.



21% 28%

Down significantly (greater than 5%)




9% 10+

2011 VS. 2010 REVENUES



4% 5-9


19% 21% Down significantly (greater than 5%): 19% Down slightly (5% or less): 21% About even (flat, 1% up or down): 28% Up Slightly (2% to 5%): 21% Up significantly (greater than 5%): 11% Nearly one-third (32%) report their gross margins were up in 2011 compared to the prior year. Unfortunately, that is a decline of 3 percentage points from the prior study. Still, the shift was mostly to the flat as opposed to down range.


Up significantly (greater than 5%)


Down slightly (5% or less)

24% Up slightly (2% to 5%)


About even (flat, 1% up or down)

ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL AVERAGE: $42,888 MEDIAN: $42,000 Looking at the averages, service techs and administrative/back-office personnel show the largest bumps, at around $3,000 apiece. General managers took the biggest hit (down more than $6,000) but remain the highest paid overall. However, the GM median was unchanged.

26% The good news is fewer companies reported revenues being down in comparing 2011 to 2010. The bad news is those identifying a significant drop-off of more than 5% rose by 3 percentage points. Plus, those in the flat range grew by 11 points to become the leading bracket.

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PRODUCT REVENUE SOURCE RATINGS scale = 1-7, 7 being most popular

New system installations





Access Control


Intrusion Detection


Fire/Life Safety Intercom/Telephone Systems


Outdoor Perimeter Detection Video continued its firm hold of the top slot, followed by access control and integrated systems. However, fire/life safety made a nice move, climbing from the 7th to 5th ranking.


Equipment sales/distribution


System design Consultation



Not only does the leading range for responding integrators continue to be fewer than 50 customer accounts, but that bracket gained 5 percentage points from the prior study. Yet the range that changed the most was 501-1,000 with an 8-point rise.



Systems service/maintenance

Fewer than 50.......... 27% 51-100 .......................10% 101-250 .................... 15% 251-500 .................... 13% 501-1,000 ................. 14% 1,001-2,000 ................ 8% 2,000+ ..................... 13%


Integrated Systems


System upgrades


In possible indicator of rattling the recessionary cage, the new systems installations revenue source jumped 12 percentage points from a year ago. As a bonus, upgrades and service held steady. The declines were all seen in the lower half of the list.

economy IMPACT OF RECESSION ON BUSINESS 1 2 Skeptical 25%

Worried 9%

Optimistic 60%


Dismal 1%

Integrators are a little more cautious and dubious right now than they seemed to be a year ago. Those identifying with optimistic or outstanding fell from 71% to 65%, and those selecting skeptical or worried climbed from 25% to 34%.








More than half (51%) the respondents rate the recession’s impact as continuing to be substantial with an assessment of 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale. Yet those rating it lowest (1 or 2) grew by 2 percentage points. Overall, 4 matches the prior study as the leading choice.


Very satisfied



3 4

Outstanding 5%


6% 2%


In excess of six in 10 (66%) integrators are pretty darn happy with their lot in the security industry, rating their satisfaction level at a 4 or 5 on a 1-5 scale. Only 2% seem to seriously dislike their job or career choice.


60% 50%


40% 30%


20% 10%

Minimal raises

Salary freezes

Layoffs of non-full-time employees

Layoffs of part-time employees

Shift reductions

Closing of offices/ branches

Sales or failure of company

As this comparison with the study’s findings of two years ago shows, most of the unpleasant cutback measures companies had to take due to the recession have subsided. The only noteworthy increase is in the laying off of part-time employees. Still, more than half the respondents are remaining quite tight where compensation is concerned. • APRIL 2012 43

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Hospitals / Schools / Universities


Office buildings 2012



Government facilities


As the year-over-year comparison indicates, integrators have experienced a steady decline in access control margins. Commoditization and the economy have contributed to a dip of almost 5 percentage points the past five years.


2011 39% 33% 19% 9%



Hospitals, schools and universities overtook office buildings as the top source of access control business. But the biggest news is the way residential exploded form dead last to make its way into the No. 5 slot. Warehousing/trucking/ transportation suffered a three-place slide to land at No. 8.


Financial institutions

NUMBER OF DOORS/OPENINGS PER ACCESS INSTALLATION # Doors 2012 1-5 .......................... 43% 6-10 ........................ 26% 11-25 ...................... 27% More than 25 .......... 4%


Industrial manufacturing Residential



Warehousing / Trucking / Transportation


Retail / Entertainment 4%

2010 24% 32% 38% 6%

Gaming / Hotels / Resorts / Arenas 3% Mass public transportation facilities

There is growth of smaller systems in the 1-5 range, and a dip in larger 25+ projects. Three years ago, 11-25 was most common. That range now trails the smallest systems by 16 percentage points. The overall openings average is nine, down from 10 a year ago.




1%-24% of time

24%-49% of time



0%-9% .............49% 10%-19% ..........22% 20%-29% ...........9% 30%-39% ...........7%

50%-74% of time

75%-99% of time

40%-49% ...........9%









Despite being proponed as a way for integrators to increase total access sales, fewer are including ID card printers/ software in proposals. Those citing 24% or less of the time grew from 47% to 57% from 2011-12. At the same time, one-fourth had been offering these products at least 75% of the time and currently it has dipped to 20%.






20%-29% 30%-39%


40%-49% 6% 50% or more


As these figures show, access controlling exterior entry points is a significant component of many integrator projects. Only 12% of respondents work exclusively indoors, while one in five access jobs involve outdoor applications at least 40% of the time.

50% or more ......2%

For those 44% of integrators offering managed access control services, more than a quarter of them (27%) are realizing at least 20% growth in that part of their portfolios. However, almost half (49%) are seeing modest growth as this market continues to establish itself.



44% 56%




61% NO



8% 3% Less than $500




21% 15%




As this comparison illustrates, more integration companies are offering managed (a.k.a. remote or hosted) access control services. This bodes well for the future of so-called cloud-based services, although more than half the integrators still have yet to jump on board.












More than $2,500

Nearly half (46%) of the openings being access controlled by integrators bring an average at least $2,100, up from 38% in 2011. The most prevalent bracket in the lower ranges is $1,100-$1,299, rising from the $900-$1,099 spread of a year ago. However, the less than $500 range grew by almost 3 percentage points.

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video videosurveillance surveillance VIDEO SURVEILLANCE GROSS PROFIT MARGIN





2011 31%




Some encouraging findings here as the recessionrelated 7-percentage-point drop in video surveillance margins seen a few years ago has not only leveled off but even rebounded slightly. The margins here also top those reported for access control sales.

Hospitals / Schools / Universities


Financial institutions


Government facilities




Office buildings


Warehousing / Trucking / Transportation


Industrial manufacturing


Gaming / Hotels / Resorts / Arenas


Mass public transportation facilities




Retail / Entertainment


Similar to access control, one of the top gainers here was residential, zipping from the No. 9 to No. 5 spot on the list. Hospitals, schools and universities remained No. 1, but government facilities supplanted office buildings as the first runner-up.



No growth / negligible ..................14% ............10% 1%-9% ...........................17% .............9% 10%-19% ...........................13% ............15%



20% 15%






10% 4%

20%-29% ............................12% ............13% 30%-39% ............................11% .............8%

40%-49% .............................9% ..............6%

Less than $5,000






$30,001- More than $50,000 $50,000

The most notable increases seen here are at the farthest ends of the spectrum. Systems less than $5,000 rose a whopping 18 percentage points, while those worth more than $50,000 ascended 6 points. Although lower in percentage from a year ago, the most popular range remains $5,000 to $10,000 per video system.

50%-59% ..........................10% ............13%

PERCENTAGE OF NEW VIDEO SYSTEM SALES THAT ARE IP-BASED 60%-99% ........................6% ..............9%


None 1%-9%




8% 6%

25% or more ........3% ..............7%

While not as explosive in growth as it once was, the demand for IP cameras remains healthy. Those seeing at least 10% growth increased from 19% in 2010 to 31% in the latest survey. However, those reporting growth of at least 50% has decreased by 15 percentage points the past two years.




6% 13%






100%-124% ................5% .............10% 10%-19%


90%-99% 100%

6% 11%

In a possible signal of analog video’s continued footing in the marketplace, those who say 80 percent or higher of their new video system sales are IP-based dipped from 36% to 30%. However, those who selected 9% or lower fell by 6 percentage points to 18%. • APRIL 2012 45

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video accesssurveillance control PERCENTAGE OF IP CAMERA SALES THAT ARE MEGAPIXEL 2012















































40% 2012







21% 2012

High definition video continues to experience high sales gains. Responding integrators’ average IP camera sales that are megapixel models shows positive growth almost across the board. Particularly impressive is that the 90% or more ranges more than doubled from a year ago.


41% 2011




35% 30% 25% 20%










2% 2011

10% 5%

30%-99% 0%9%













Similar to video analytics, progress is evident in the frequency of video management or physical security information management solutions being used to more effectively integrate and process video data. Those who say 20% or more of their installations include these technologies rose by 3 percentage points to 60%. Not so positive is the 7 percentage points upswing in the 9% or fewer category.


11% 2011


2% 2012

5% 2011



7% 8%

2012 2011 2010

14% 21-30

12% 11%

While the fastest-growing video surveillance trend for some time has been IP-based systems, they were much more prevalent on the larger projects. Now, we are seeing them trickle down to smaller installation and thusly those involving fewer than 10 cameras has more than doubled the past two years (15% to 39%). Meanwhile the 21+ areas have held fairly firm as compared to 2011.

20% 42% 11-20

53% 51% 39% 28% 15% 10%






Slowly but surely, deploying software that analyzes digital video is gaining traction. Those deploying the technology in at least 10% of new video systems sales rose by 13 percentage points. Somewhat troubling though is four in 10 excluding analytics entirely.

For more industry research and statistics, visit securitystats.

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he recent economic climate has encouraged many security systems integrators to focus on sustainable income, emphasizing growth in recurring monthly revenue (RMR) to provide financial stability and deepen customer relationships. As the shift to IP-based surveillance accelerates, the complexity of new systems provides an opportunity to move beyond traditional service and maintenance contracts as the sole source of RMR into the more lucrative world of managed services. Ideal customers in this realm are typically organizations with sufficient security or liability concerns to merit paying careful attention to systems management, but may not be large enough to maintain an internal security and/ or IT department. Examples include small retailers of high-value items, industrial environments where there is a high probability of accidents or theft, or organizations that require security equipment in harsh climates or hazardous areas.

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The transition to a managed services model typically requires patience, as both customers and sales representatives may need time to understand the value and delivery of managed services. However, over time successful adopters of managed services typically find it to be the highest-margin offering in their portfolio. A well-executed managed services practice can deliver 20% to 35% margin for their initial few customers, and growing between 50% to 60% margins in two to three years. Let’s take a close-up look at how integration firms can realistically make the transition to managed services. We’ll also highlight challenges that firms making the leap are likely to confront and how best to successfully overcome them.

Managed Services Model Explained Many systems integrators still depend upon new system implementations as their primary source of revenue. This business model works, providing customers have the capital for new

Margin pressures, economic conditions and customer expectations are compelling systems integrators to alter their traditional business model in order to create new streams of RMR. Learn the keys to launching a managed services platform and how to navigate common hurdles on the way to success. Photography by Yuda Chen

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security projects to provide your com- formance of the system. Typical compo- Expect to Encounter Difficulties pany with the necessary revenues to re- nents of a managed service include: Security integrators can face multitain staff and keep pace with technolople challenges when making the move gy changes. However, the flaws in this • Remote monitoring services that to a managed services model. Service model during lean times are painfully monitor all aspects of the client’s secu- providers and customers alike are ofobvious to integrators that have weath- rity systems, from security application ten accustomed to the aforementioned ered the recent recession, char“break/fix” model of mainteacterized by reduced technology nance services, which can lead to budgets and significantly extendboth operational challenges and ed sales cycles. sales challenges. Consequently, security providIntegrators are frequently only ers have concentrated on service organized to react when a cusand maintenance contracts to tomer calls for service or a schedgenerate RMR. This typically inuled appointment is due, as opcludes annual hardware and softposed to proactively working ware warranty contracts passed with customers on an ongoing through the manufacturer, and a basis. Also, the client representaservice component that is based tive tasked with working with the upon a monthly fee. The annusecurity provider may view manal value of a typical maintenance Developing robust managed services begins with a aged services as a threat to “their contract ranges from 10% to 15% consultative approach to gain a deeper understanding of job,” as systems management is how customers interact with their security systems as well as of the cost of system implementa- their operational and management challenges. Customized often an internal role. tion, depending upon the needs services can then be tailored to each client’s business needs. Moving to a managed servicof the customer and the complexes model can also present capity of the system. ital and resource challenges. Service errors to storage utilization to camera While the resulting RMR from ser- status providers must invest in and deploy vice and maintenance contracts is help• Ongoing review of key system the infrastructure to monitor multiple ful, it has limitations for the integra- events such as backup logs, server customers’ surveillance systems simultor. Hardware and software warranties events, etc. taneously, including every component passed through the integrator from the in the security path. This includes typ• Automated alarms for critical commanufacturer are frequently sold at a ical security components such as camponent outages, with automatic dislower margin than the original equip- patch of service personnel (rather than eras and storage, but can also consist of ment. Also, the services that integrators routers, switches, servers and applicaresponding upon customer request) typically provide in addition to war• Periodic performance reporting, tions, and Internet circuits. ranties can be viewed as a commodity Successful service providers also have analysis and capacity planning by the client, which can create margin a trouble ticketing system that enables pressure for professional services protechnicians to track incidents as well as Managed services enable integrators vided by the integrator. to provide value-added RMR services contract performance, particularly conThe commoditization of maintethat are business-oriented rather than formance to Service Level Agreements nance services can be overcome by system-oriented. Again, these servic- (SLAs). More advanced systems can adopting successful strategies of IT val- es provide the opportunity to demonalso interact with the monitoring sysue-added resellers (VARs), which are strate understanding and commitment tem to automatically open and close serprogressively moving to a managed ser- to the client’s business needs, deepening vice tickets or adjust them based upon vices model to increase the value and the relationship and their dependency changes in system performance. margins of RMR. In a managed service upon the provider’s expertise. Also, they In fact, one of the most crucial aspects the integrator adopts the responsibility enable the provider to bundle higher to a successful managed services practo assure the entire system is continumargin professional services to general tice is the development of a SLA that exously managed in order to meet the cusplains the services that will be provided system maintenance. tomer’s business needs, rather than to to the client and the level of response Managed services have residual benprovide periodic services on a set sched- efits to the service provider as well. By that will be assured for each area of serule or upon customer request. vice. SLAs also typically have a method understanding the customer’s ongoing A managed services approach pro- business direction, service provider exfor tracking service performance, and vides multiple benefits and allows the perts are able to anticipate future needs include procedures for problem manservice provider to continuously assist and recommend new solutions as they agement and resolution of disputes. A the customer in assuring the overall per- emerge. well-written SLA is the cornerstone of 50 • APRIL 2012

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setting clear expectations for both the service provider and the client. Developing a high-performing response system can be the most difficult part of the managed services transition. Many security integrators have well-established installation and maintenance practices, yet lack a robust help desk structure that assures the availability of qualified technicians to address customer questions and technical support issues during business hours or afterhours. Still another challenge for security integrators is revising commission strategies for managed services. Realistically, a managed service contract can add on 10% to 20% of the value of a new system implementation in RMR. While the value of a high-margin recurring service is of strong interest to the company, that focus frequently does not translate to a new quota or revenue model for the sales representative. The rep may find selling managed services a lower priority than seeking new project opportunities. Salespeople who are effective at promoting managed services, however, can expect in two to three years the proportion of their RMR can grow to the point where on Jan. 1 of each year they have 10% to 20% of their annual quota signed, sealed and delivered. In addition, managed services provide the sales reps with scheduled opportunities to review the usage of current systems, and enhance the value of the integrator’s brand with additional products and services.

Tools, Resources to Get Started The development of a robust managed services practice should begin with gaining a deeper understanding of how current customers interact with the security systems they use, and their operational and management challenges. Based upon the security expertise of the systems integrator, customized management services can be tailored to each client’s business needs. Once management needs are identified, there are many resources available to help even very small security integrators get started in packaging managed services solutions. As more and more IT VARs have shifted to managed service models

during the past few years, a number of companies have developed subscriptionbased tools to provide the means to get started with very little capital outlay. While some tools tend to be IT-centric, many can be easily adopted to support security managed services providers. Examples of subscription-based tools that can be adopted for relatively low cost include:

Explore Managed Services Resources Online A wide range of informative material, tools and services surrounding managed services is only a click away on the Internet. (The following resources are for reference only; the author does not represent or endorse any of the products or agencies listed.)

Professional services automation (PSA) software — Typically designed to track service functions, including ticket management, service labor, invoicing and SLA conformance.

Hosted professional services automation (PSA): • • •

Remote monitoring software — Typically provides monitoring via Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Microsoft Windows Management Interface (WMI) or other common management protocols.

Remote monitoring services for multicustomer use: • • • •

Automated notification services — Remote notification services can interact with monitoring software to notify technicians via phone, E-mail or text when security systems require attention. Some services also support escalation and on-call scheduling.

Notification services: • •

Call center services — Some outsourced call answering services now include tier-1 technical staff who can identify themselves as representing the service provider, help determine the client’s need and assign your company’s resources based on escalation rules and skill sets. Service providers typically pay for this capability by the call or by the minute. In addition to subscription-based tools, there are a wide variety of online resources available to help security integrators understand the finer points of managed services, from sales challenges to service delivery to financial management (see sidebar above). Security integrators new to managed services should consider implementing initial services with a trusted, long-term customer who is willing to act as a partner, and/or should consider developing

Managed services guidance: • • •

the services for internal systems. This approach will allow managers to test the robustness of each service capability and fine tune operational details before public launch of services. Systems integrators affected by the economy in recent years must strive to develop creative approaches to adding recurring revenue models to foster fiscal stability and offer consistent, quality services. The managed services approach, while requiring significant changes to an integrator’s operational model, offers an excellent method to migrate from a boom-and-bust business environment to one characterized by a more steady flow of revenue and a significant improvement in margins. ■ Patrick Luce is Director of Consultative Services for Torrance, Calif.-based Vector Resources Inc., a systems designer of voice, video surveillance and data networks. He can be contacted at • APRIL 2012 51

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Integrating Automation Into Your Portfolio Interconnecting security systems with other building and facility controls is being enabled by interoperable platforms as well as various other market drivers. The entry to market can be steep, yet integrators of all sizes with the right stuff can carve out a niche of their own in this emerging discipline.


By Lisa Roy

magine: A major corporate executive arriving at her office building to catch up on work early one Saturday morning. She drives to the underground parking garage at her company’s high-rise corporate headquarters, swipes her access card and is allowed in to park. The elevator bank serving the garage and her 26th-story office activates and the lights in her office and the hallway from the elevator are turned on. As she arrives in her office on this cold early spring morning, the room is already filling with warm air as the heating system in her floor quadrant was activated when she swiped her card in the garage. As she leaves four hours later, motion sensors in her office detect her absence and the lights and heat are turned off. In the meantime, video surveillance cameras follow her until she is safely back in her car and driving out of the garage. This scenario makes for a very compelling work environment and an excellent example of how security is rapidly converging with building systems. The importance of security and safety systems is well understood by the security systems integrator, but the overall value of the building environment shouldn’t be overlooked. Both employees and building visitors expect and enjoy a controlled environment, where temperature, humidity and lighting levels are all carefully regulated.

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Let’s take a look at some of the factors driving the convergence of mechanical and electrical systems into one building control system, as well as the market opportunities and barriers to entry.

Security, Building Controls Merge Today’s facility managers are under tremendous pressure to not only protect the people and assets in their buildings, but also to create a comfortable and conducive working environment — all while maintaining or reducing

energy costs. Implementing a single point of control to manage all building systems is fast becoming an essential requirement for these managers. One factor facilitating the convergence of all building systems is the impressive range of monitoring and control capabilities a modern building automation system (BAS) can provide (see sidebar on page TK). A BAS can warn of an access control breach or energy system failure, allowing facility operators to provide rapid response ©

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and corrective action. Integrated building systems can also combine and control multiple systems to handle specific problems. For example, a BAS system may be set to automatically close fresh air dampers and power exhaust fans in a portion of the building where a fire alarm has been received. BASs can also help pinpoint operational problems by capturing and logging data from the various systems, and producing reports and graphs to indicate performance history and trends. The ability to successfully converge these two major building functions — security and building automation — represents both a challenge and an opportunity for the visionary security integrator. Unfortunately for the majority of security systems integrators, this holistic approach to building management is still much more of a theory, rather than a practice. To date, only a small handful of service providers have the required knowledge, staff and experience to successfully integrate these security and building control functions.

Market Entry Barriers to Consider Many of the required building systems have their own proprietary hardware making it difficult to unite and gain visibility into equipment from a variety of vendors. Uniting the various mechanical and electrical systems into one building control system requires a broad knowledge base covering a number of disciplines. Some security suppliers have attempted to work around this hurdle by partnering with heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) specialists, mechanical engineers and other building systems experts to create a virtual integrator for larger, more complex jobs. That may be a temporary fix for some projects, but most end users want a permanent solution: a single contact for all questions and problems that arise during an installation. The security integrator wanting to “go it alone” will need to make

significant investments in personnel and training budgets. And with that initial investment comes the need for additional office and warehouse space, equipment, tools and vehicles, and many other expenses. It is not an investment to be made lightly. Nor is it to be made by an integrator unwilling

to go “all in.” All things considered, subcontracting may be a viable option for smaller integrators with less resources. An integrator involved in building systems convergence must be ready with a trained staff on-call 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays,

Cancer Patients Benefit From Integrated Building Systems The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center in Burbank, Calif., features integrated security and building automation systems (BAS) designed to enhance the patient experience and ensure efficient facility operations. Opened in February 2010, the 55,000-squarefoot center offers diagnosis, treatment, professional counseling, support groups, pharmacy and educational resources. Upon their first visit to the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center, patients are For the patient, the center provides an experience rarely seen in enrolled in the security system database and asked to select personal preferences health care. By leveraging the cafor treatment rooms, including lighting, pabilities of the security manage- temperature, music and video imagery. ment system and integrating radio frequency identification (RFID) and various clinical systems, the building “interacts” with the patient. When a patient first visits the center, he or she is enrolled in the security system database and is asked to select personal preferences for treatment rooms, including lighting, temperature, music and video imagery. Then through the use of RFID badges issued to patients, the building and staff can stay two steps ahead of patients upon their return. For example, when checking in for treatments, receptionists greet patients by name. Billing information and a full patient care record is immediately provided to health-care personnel — reducing wait time. And since the security management system is integrated with the building management system, the treatment room is automatically set to the climate control settings, lighting and other preset patient preferences to help reduce stress. At a time when patients often feel a tremendous lack of control, this building integration helps return some sense of normalcy. The Disney Family Cancer Center worked with Johnson Controls Inc. to assess the facility’s technology needs and design one IT backbone. Without the need for multiple networks, this design can be used by all the building automation, security, clinical and administrative systems to help reduce unnecessary duplication and infrastructure costs. Nearly 20 different systems were integrated including access control, automation and RFID. Other integrated systems include HVAC, lighting control, nurse call, voice and data, digital video surveillance, video recording, and fire alarms.

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Security is rapidly converging with building systems, including HVAC and lighting. For example, swiping an access control card at a building entrance can simultaneously launch surveillance recording and air conditioning on designated floors and office areas.

to immediately respond and make repairs in minutes — not hours. Some larger corporate end users even demand that an integrator keep staff onsite for faster response in the event of a breakdown. An end user may be able to survive for a few hours, maybe even a day, with a faulty video system. The loss of an air conditioning system can be tolerated for a short time. But a customer’s patience will quickly disappear if the BAS controlling all systems fails simultaneously. In addition to maintenance, enduser training often becomes an issue. The integrator will need to have trainers on staff to help current and future end-user employees learn how to use the newly converged building systems.

Opportunities Begin to Blossom Despite these costly barriers to market entry, some mid-to-large-size (and even smaller) security integrators may be considering taking the plunge into the building control business, and advances in technology are largely helping to drive that decision. Today’s modern BASs are moving away from proprietary standards and protocols toward open architecture platforms that are both backward- and forward-compatible. This makes it easier for the integrator entering this side of the business to work with the technology. It also helps to protect the investment that end users are making in legacy systems. While the security industry has not moved as quickly toward open architecture, many manu-


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facturers are beginning to support one of the two standards-setting organizations, ONVIF and PSIA. And, as is the case with security systems, building controls have largely made the transition to wireless and wired computer networks. BASs using wireless technology can cost effectively provide mobility for facility staff as well as integration with different networks. For example, BACnet and LONWorks — two traditional BAS protocols — can now be transmitted over a corporate data network, allowing for real-time, remote interface with building systems and controls. That arrangement also allows any workstation with access to the network to provide authorized users with BAS monitoring and control capabilities. Of course, the use of the corporate network automatically means the integrator needs the involvement and cooperation of the end user’s IT department. For many security systems integrators, this should not be a deal breaker. With the advent of IP-based cameras and other technologies, most major integrators have experience partnering with IT staff and that trend is expected to continue.

Engaging Multiple Stakeholders There is one more important point in designing and implementing a successful total building systems integration: Multiple stakeholders, both internal and external, should be involved from concept to completion. Waiting to bring in not only IT, but also external vendors to the table too late or delaying consultation with

facility administrators, employees and other user groups could lead to higher project costs and unexpected obstacles. The significance of security and building automation is becoming increasingly clear. Employees not only enjoy, but also are more productive in an environment where they feel safe. Productivity also increases where interior environments are carefully controlled. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy the integration of all major building systems when it results in having the elevator waiting, their office lit and the heater already pumping warm air the moment they swipe their access card in the parking garage? End users are demanding reliable systems that are convenient, easy to use and capable of delivering costeffective solutions from a single control point. The days of separate, standalone security and building control systems are numbered. System convergence has arrived and will only gain momentum in the immediate future. The ability to bring together both the security and building automation functions offers a tremendous opportunity for the security integrator. But going down that road is not a business decision to be made lightly. To emphasize once again, the cost of staff, training, equipment and other related issues can become overwhelming for many security integrators. The best advice is to create a detailed business plan and then move, with a calculated business model, into this emerging market. ■ Lisa Roy is Vice President and General Manager, North America Security & Fire, Building Efficiency, for Johnson Controls Inc. She can be contacted at • APRIL 2012 55

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Mall Adores Style of

HYBRID SURVEILLANCE A local systems integrator is called in to overhaul a video surveillance system at an upscale shopping center in New Jersey. Electing to utilize the facility’s legacy equipment, the integrator provided networking appliances to build a dedicated gigabit copper/fiber network infrastructure for the interior and exterior of the facility.



t stands to reason a shopping center that is home to the likes of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and Chanel would invest in security that matches the prestige of its swanky tenants. Welcome to The Mall at Short Hills, located in Short Hills, N.J. To better protect its patrons, retailers, employees and infrastructure, mall operators sought to improve upon a legacy video surveillance system during a two-year upgrade project. From the outset in 2009, the overall necessity was to implement a state-of-the-art networked video surveillance solution that would provide maximum coverage of critical areas. This included video cameras in the parking lots that would be required to provide clear images across long distances, even in low-light conditions. Various other system features and capabilities were needed, including a command console area, remote access to video, digital zoom for forensic review, license plate identification for parking lot egress points and the ability to incorporate intelligent video analytics. Budget parameters were also a key factor, as was scalability in terms of cameras, camera locations, storage and system performance. Notably, the mall’s parent firm, Taubman Co., desired to use the system as an architectural pilot that could serve as a blueprint for other locations. Based on its familiarity with designing and installing solutions for shopping centers, the chosen

systems integrator for the project was MTS Intelligent Surveillance Solutions of Howell, N.J.

Integrator Selects Hybrid System With more than 1.3 million square feet of leasable space, Short Hills Mall includes 160 specialty stores and restaurants anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. The physical layout of the shopping center, located about 25 miles west of Manhattan, presented a weighty challenge for MTS, which was founded by Rob Merchant more than six years ago. To execute the ongoing project — system design began in 2009 with installation ➞

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Our bad boy is stronger than these bad boys. A Detex exclusive, the 230X multi-point locking device raises the bar on back-door security. When the bad guys try to muscle in, the super-tough 230X keeps them out. Designed with extreme-duty, three-bolt construction, this device is built with a larger side bolt that goes deeper into the frame, plus solid steel connecting rods rather than less-reliable hollow rod/cable construction. How tough is it? The bottom bolt goes 5/8-inch deep into the floor, preventing peeling up the bottom of the door. The largest side deadbolt in the category resists crowbarring. And at the top corner, the solid steel deadbolt provides needed stability. Testing proves that a 230X secured door withstands 10,000 pounds of pull force. Life safety and code compliant, the 230X is both panic hardware and a maximum-strength locking device. Ask us how this powerful new hardware can take the hit for your business, or go to

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MTS Intelligent Surveillance Solutions of Howell, N.J., specializes in vendor-agnostic IP-based video surveillance and access control systems (far left). The mall’s hybrid system is capable of supporting analog and IP cameras and remote operator workstations. The command center personnel view multiple cameras on 40-inch monitors as well as smaller screens (immediate left).

completed in 2011 — Merchant would leverage his previous experience with designing and developing digital media management solutions for security and intelligence organizations. Extending video coverage across the large geographical area of the enclosed, multilevel facility raised questions about system layout and design. Should the system design be centralized or distributed? And should it be analog, purely IP-based or a combination of the two? Ultimately, although insufficient for current needs, the mall’s previous DVR-based system was still seen to have value for the end user. Therefore, MTS elected to integrate a portion of the legacy system into the project by configuring a hybrid solution. MTS designed the mall’s network and provided project management and technology oversight of the electricians implementing the network cable. Concurrently, MTS began building the head-end servers and performing discovery of the existing implementation. Once the cabling was in place, MTS installed the networking appliances to build a dedicated gigabit copper/fiber network infrastructure throughout the facility. Installation included a major renovation and removal of the wiring to the command center and the retermination and extension of the existing system to the newly located head-end.

160 Cameras Highlight Specs The networked video surveillance solution at Short Hills Mall is based on an expandable, technology-agnostic architecture. Currently, the system comprises the following components: Servers — Seven Hewlett Packard servers are in service at the mall. HP Z800 workstations with dual Intel Xeon pro-

cessors and TVISS8 240 frames per second (fps) encoder boards are used for the analog (NTSC) cameras. For the IP-based cameras, MTS selected the HP ProLiant DL160 servers with 3TB of storage. Currently, there are two Z800 and four DL160 servers for video management. In addition, there is one DL160 server running Windows Server 2003 and functioning solely as an archive server. Video management software (VMS) — Intelligent Security System’s SecurOS 6.2 VMS is the back-end application for the surveillance system. It is a hybrid system capable of supporting analog and IP cameras and remote operator workstations. The system includes an archiving function and is capable of having a license plate recognition module, a face capture module and a face recognition module, as well as other intelligent feature modules. The command center utilizes 40-inch Samsung monitors. Storage — A total of 82TB of secondary storage includes Pivot3 RAID6 network attached storage. Pivot3’s RAIGE storage subsystem, configured as a network attached storage (NAS) array, is used for secondary storage. RAIGE Director is hosted on the archiving platform. Power management — The entire system is powered via uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) and generator power, including cameras, network and head-end. Additionally, IP-addressable power modules enable MTS to remotely turn power on and off to selected components. System management — All computing and networking components are man-

aged by an agent and agentless systems management architecture that monitors the health of the hardware and software associated with the solution. This includes active polling of the system and agents that report (push) information back to the management head-end. Archiving — The system is designed with a two-tiered archive. Short-term archive occurs as the video is captured on each server’s local hard drive. This typically holds about two to four weeks, depending on activity. Each day from midnight to 9 a.m., each server runs an archiver routine and sends the video to the Pivot3 RAIGE storage system, which is currently configured as RAID6. To extend the storage, the frame rate of the second tiered archive is lowered to 5 fps. Outdoor p/t/z cameras connect using video over unshielded twisted pair (VUTP plus power) to an intermediate data frame (IDF). The exterior cameras can withstand the sometimes harsh New Jersey weather conditions, which can include extreme temperatures from minus 20° degrees to more than 100°, as well as high humidity and 45mph winds. At the IDF, the video is encoded by Axis H.264 encoders. Each IDF also has

Wiring topology design called for interior cameras to be IP-based, including the use of megapixel models. There are approximately 160 cameras in all covering the Short Hills Mall and its surroundings.

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High resolution 600TV line analog p/t/z dome cameras are connected to the mall’s new IP-based system using video encoders in a hybrid configuration. The dome cameras with wide dynamic range (WDR) combine 37x optical zoom with 12x digital zoom, and are used to monitor the parking lot structure and the perimeter.

Cisco and/or DLINK managed switches. There are eight IDFs connected to central head-end switches via singlemode fiber. The entire network is gigabit Ethernet. IP-addressable cameras use Cat-5e connections only to the IDF switches, taking advantage of Power over Ethernet (PoE). Megapixel IP cameras are used on the interior of the facility. There are approximately 160 cameras in all covering the mall and its surroundings. Wiring topology design called for interior cameras to be IP-based. With only eight fiber runs to strategically located IDFs, MTS was able to reduce overall cabling by more than 70%. Given that all components are IP addressable, MTS is able to manage and monitor the system remotely. The mall’s security team accesses video locally and centrally.

New Jersey, including Maplewood, Cape May and Sea Isle.) To provide clear images of the parking lot at Short Hills Mall, Merchant selected the vendor’s high resolution 600TVL analog p/t/z cameras, which are connected to the new IP-based system using video encoders in a hybrid configuration. “I was very impressed with the zoom capability and the image quality at night,” Merchant says. The p/t/z dome cameras provide perimeter surveillance and are controlled by a 24/7 security command center facility. Encoders allow signals from the analog cameras to be transmitted along the IP network infrastructure, and also enable p/t/z control across the network without any lag. The dome cameras combine 37x optical zoom with 12x digital zoom. Wide dynamic range (WDR) and digital image stabilization are provided by Samsung’s SV-IV DSP chip. The cameras use a 1/4-inch vertical double-density color CCD imager. Other features include auto-tracking, advanced noise reduction and advanced low-light performance. “We needed a good WDR camera

Clarity to Capture License Plates MTS designed a solution that expands the mall’s previous system, which was based on two 16-channel DVRs and a matrix switch to manage images from 32 p/t/z and fixed dome cameras. Since the new architecture became operational, legacy cameras that failed have been replaced with Samsung p/t/z models. Due to proven performance and value realized at other MTS locations, Samsung p/t/z cameras were an easy choice for the project. (Among the projects MTS has spec’d Samsung cameras are “Safe Community” systems for several local law enforcement departments in

The video surveillance system is designed with a two-tiered archive. Short-term archive occurs as the video is captured on each server’s local hard drive. Each night multiple servers run an archiver routine and send the video to a Pivot3 RAIGE storage system.

with maximum optical zoom to cover these large parking lots,” says Merchant. “The wide dynamic range of the Samsung camera keeps images clear in harsh, high-contrast lighting. The video shows clearly what is happening in both the dark and light areas of a single image. The camera also performs well under modest street lighting.” The 37x optical zoom allows building-mounted cameras to view the far corners of the parking lots with enough clarity to allow operators to read vehicle license plates. Using a different camera to view the outlying areas of the parking lot would have required more expensive pole mounting and trenching to reduce the distance. In addition to reading license numbers, the clarity enables operators to identify a person or vehicle and to see incidents clearly. Archived video is clear enough to be used in court for forensic purposes.

CCTV Forensic Value and Beyond During busy times, mall security provides evidentiary video every few weeks to local police. The video might show the type of vehicle an alleged shoplifter drove after exiting the building, or capture a car break-in or other parking lot incident. In fact, within the past two months, video was used to help build a case against the perpetrator of a burglarized car. Video from outdoor cameras at the mall aided police in the apprehension and has been forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office. In addition to security, networked video feeds also provide operational benefits for the mall. For instance, if a vehicle breaks down, cameras assist security staff with the implementation of proper safety measures. In the winter, cameras can also show where snow plows need to be deployed. “Our client is extremely happy with the [new video surveillance system] compared to what they previously had,” Merchant says. ■

FIND IT ON THE WEB F The online version of this story includes T a list of equipment used in the project. Visit • APRIL 2012 59

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Venturing Into the Video Void


Technological advances have propelled video surveillance far beyond the purview of end users’ security departments. The opportunities are vast for integrators that can vet out the many additional ways video data can improve clients’ operational efficiencies. 60 • APRIL 2012

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By Gadi Piran

f you think of video surveillance as an instrument of the security department, you are missing the bigger picture. It’s true that video systems perform well in security applications, but by continuing to se focus exclusively on security, you risk overfo looking the broader benefits of video. The lo fact is — due to several major technological fa advancements during the past few years — ad video is much more than a security tool. It’s vid become a business intelligence tool. be Today’s video can help with process control, personnel management, inventory tr tracking, quality control, customer service, tra merchandising and a range of other uses. m Video can determine the most efficient Vi scheduling of personnel or the most effecsc tive sales display. It can streamline manutiv facturing processes by providing an alert fa if there is a malfunction. Integrated with an HVAC system, video can even save energy costs by, for example, turning up the er air conditioner only when room occupancy ai reaches a certain number. re

As a consultative installing systems integrator, it is essential to become intimately familiar with how your clients’ organizations operate. You must be able to determine how a surveillance system can fulfill their must-have requirements, as well as what they consider to be nice-to-have capabilities. It will then be incumbent upon you to render a solution that effectively and efficiently meets those parameters in a way that maximizes what can be achieved given their budget. A big part of that is a thorough understanding of existing applications for video data as described above, in addition to creating new ones as your customer’s problem solver.

VMS, Open Platforms Enable Change In the world of IP-based systems, video is data and its value is unprecedented. Video data can travel along the company’s IT backbone and be analyzed at any point for content. This analysis can determine ©

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customer movements, the best use of employees, or quality control. Users can view manufacturing processes, monitor remote facilities, or even follow the migration of fish for scientific research. Video surveillance software allows users to monitor any location from anywhere — even remotely or from a mobile device. Video management systems (VMS) deliver video data in user-friendly formats that enable immediate response. This type of data has never existed before and is extremely beneficial, empowering owners and managers to run their businesses more effectively. Video surveillance solutions can work alone to deliver this intelligence or integrate with other business systems and optimize operations for access control, point of sale (POS), teleconferencing, process control systems or anything on the enterprise network. Much of the expansion in video management capabilities is driven by the benefits of open architecture. Collaboration with third-party vendors helps to extend the core benefits and functionality of VMS to include cutting-edge technologies, such as video analytics, and to expand networks using wireless mesh and broadband networks. VMS are also becoming easier to use, and even large systems can now be managed effectively and efficiently. Customers need real-time business intelligence to be presented in a usable format. More and more video cameras

Video surveillance software allows users to monitor any camera location from anywhere — even remotely or from a mobile device. Video management systems (VMS) deliver video data in user-friendly formats that enable immediate response.

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and larger and larger systems are creating the real possibility of “information overload” for operators. To enable users to cope, video systems can tie the various information strands together, with video data at the center of it all as the “eyes” of the operation. More importantly, systems can provide information to users in a prioritized and selective manner. The user gets only the information he or she needs — and gets it when, where and how it is needed. Better information enables better decision making and faster reactions. User interfaces are less complicated and include only information that is pertinent. Operating such a system is so intuitive as to become second-nature.

Virtually No Vertical Market Limits There are virtually limitless vertical markets where video offers value beyond the security department. A partial list would include the following: Education — Network video cameras can be located throughout a campus to view anything from stairwells where students congregate to entrances of residence halls, from parking lots to alleys between buildings. In addition to keeping students safe, cameras can help administrators manage discipline problems or view facility usage. Video can help to manage the flow of K-12 students during recess, analyze bottlenecks that form between classes

or view traffic flow as parents drop students off in the morning. In case of a maintenance problem, video can allow the central office to identify and observe the problem remotely before sending staff. Video can track facility occupancy, especially during the weekend or off-hours. The video system can provide instant access to real-time and archived video campus-wide, and utilizing an existing IP network infrastructure keeps system costs low. Transportation — Expansive geography and large camera counts make VMS especially useful in the transportation sector. Video can provide real-time views of tollbooths, for example, to facilitate personnel management and improve customer service. Incorporating video and license-plate recognition functionality with toll payment systems can supply data tied to each transaction. Cameras installed along highways can provide real-time traffic information, with a single software interface providing access to various camera views. A single interface can also provide views of various transportation facilities, offering additional benefits related to facility maintenance and personnel. Transportation applications also extend to ports and airports. Although security drives these markets, video also provides opportunities to improve operations and efficiencies at ports and airports. Public Safety — Video is valuable for crime prevention, but it also can play a positive and proactive community relations role. In the public safety vertical, video cameras provide an unflappable witness with a perfect memory that can supply immediate feedback and insights to law enforcement personnel. The presence of video cameras can help convert crime-prone neighborhoods into centers of commerce; it can transform abandoned city parks into places where families and children are safe to linger. Cameras located inside businesses,


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users. When any remote element of a utility’s operation has a problem, camera views of the situation can guide operators to a timely and appropriate response. Operational benefits make video cameras even more valuable in an environment where protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure is paramount.

Sell Clients Video’s Value Proposition

There are virtually limitless vertical markets where video offers value beyond the security department. Some of the many applications include retailers, school and university campuses, transportation and public safety, and health care and hospitals.

schools or other institutions can be networked into public safety systems to enable police, law enforcement or homeland security personnel to monitor emergency situations and the public safety response. Tying together video feeds provides realtime situational awareness to first responders. Video can also assist with crowd control during special events to determine, for example, where more police officers are needed. Health care — Video is available from cameras anywhere in a health-care setting via a campus-wide network or the Internet. Any computer can access video, so hospital management and department heads can immediately see what is happening in real-time. Mobile access to video even allows remote monitoring of activity across the hospital or health-care setting, providing a range of potential benefits related to monitoring efficiencies and productivity.

Retail — Video is a powerful tool that extends beyond security and loss prevention for today’s retailers. Wide availability of video empowers a range of business intelligence functions, including quality control, customer service and merchandising. Video can help determine the most effective scheduling of personnel or the most effective point-of-purchase (POP) display by viewing when the busiest times are in stores or at a particular counter or display. By analyzing video, retailers can determine customer spending habits and the best use of personnel. Overall, analyzing video provides data that can direct retailers to the best use of people and resources. Utilities — Whether viewing the premises of a large water reservoir and treatment plant or a transmission substation anywhere on the electrical grid, video of the geographically distant elements of a utility business can provide a useful resource for end

There is an opportunity gap between the immense capabilities of video systems and how they are currently being used in the customer base. One element in the gap is the need to educate a broader range of end users about the value of video beyond the security department core customer who has historically been at the center of a video system purchase. Video systems can provide a new and effective management device useful throughout today’s companies. Realtime video coupled with the reach of corporate networking creates a powerful combination for today’s companies, and customers are beginning to understand and embrace these expanded benefits. This exciting, untapped potential also relates to another challenge in the current economic environment, which is the need to show a return on investment (ROI) for any technology purchase. The value proposition for video as a security and surveillance tool may be well understood in our industry, but economics make it imperative that the bottom-line benefit also be communicated effectively to the customer. The added value of uncovering additional benefits and uses of video makes the ROI case even stronger. Security and business intelligence both have the same objective, which is to improve the bottom line. To that end, using a video system to provide data that transcends physical protection to boost operations and business efficiency makes perfect sense. ■ Gadi Piran is President of Pearl River, N.Y.-based On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI). Visit for more info. • APRIL 2012 63

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The Essentials Secura Key SK-NET Integrated Badge Printing Software

Kaba E-Plex Electronic Server Cabinet Lock

Kaba Access Control of Winston-Salem, N.C., releases the E-Plex electronic server cabinet lock that secures and monitors access to individual server cabinet doors. With the ability to integrate with a building’s access control system, the locks are compatible with Lenel access control systems, E-Plex enterprise software and FIPS-201 software. The server cabinet locks can also be scheduled to require card only, PIN only, or PIN + card. Credential support includes a variety of RFID smart cards, including CAC, PIV, TWIC, FIPS-201, MIFARE, iCLASS and 125kHz PROX.

Secura Key of Chatsworth, Calif., has added badge-printing capability to its SK-NET access control software. It is template-based to help users without graphic design skills to begin printing ID badges right away. Features include landscape and portrait templates with text and barcode options on the reverse side. Users can choose from 40 background colors, and select fonts, sizes and colors for up to five user database text fields. Additionally, users can insert photos, logos, and stock or customdesigned card backgrounds.

American Dynamics ADTVR Series DVR

American Dynamics of Westford, Mass., part of Tyco Security Products, releases the ADTVRVS2 and ADTVR-LT DVRs. Suitable for small businesses, the ADTVR-VS2 features a four-channel, compact chassis and offers an intuitive interface providing easy navigation, instant playback, remote client software, advanced dual streaming technology and more, according to the company. The ADVTR-LT comes in eight- and 16-channel versions, providing many of the same features as the ADTVR-VS2, such as mapping and simultaneous playback. Both recorders integrate with Kantech access control systems.

Comtrol RocketLinx ES7110-VB PoE Switch

The IEEE 802.3af compliant RocketLinx ES7110-VB power over Ethernet (PoE) switch by Comtrol of New Brighton, Minn., is designed for connecting a wide range of industrial PoE equipment such as IP surveillance cameras, utilizing 12/24V vehicle power sources or 24V standard industrial power. With an IP30 rigid aluminum housing, the product comes with eight 10/100BASETX PoE injector switch ports and two 10/100/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit) Ethernet uplink ports for transferring data to the network. Additionally, each Ethernet port has a port link alarm, which can be configured to automatically trigger.

Alarm Lock Networx Prox ID, PIN Code Keypads and Net Panel

Alarm Lock Systems of Amityville, N.Y., a NAPCO Security Group company, presents the Networx prox ID, PIN code keypads and the NetPanel, a two-door access controller. The system provides a networked wireless keypad solution for use with magnetic locks, strikes and electrified exit devices, according to the company. The new system broadens the company’s Trilogy line and Networx networked access locks, and shares the same programming, database and functionality.

For the latest products, sign up for SSI’s Security Equipment E-lert at

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Standard camera

Sarix TI – Clear images in any lighting condition

The evolution of thermal imaging Sarix TI sets a new standard for value and performance. Enhanced image quality, easy network integration, advanced built-in analytics, and unprecedented value. That’s what you get when combining the latest thermal imaging technology with the industry-leading Sarix™ platform. Sarix TI puts thermal imaging in reach for any application. As a hybrid, with analog/IP cameras available in both fixed and pan/tilt models, Sarix TI is flexible enough to fit into any new or existing system. Sarix TI opens a new world of possibilities. It was created to give security professionals the information they need, when they need it, in any lighting conditions.


1. Go to 2. Enter key code m893v 3. Click on the Analog Comparison Guide link

Complete promotion terms and conditions online. ©2012 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. • 998-6178_US

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The Essentials David-Link DL-A Biometric Door Access Control System

David-Link Fingerprint USA from City of Industry, Calif., releases the DL-A biometric door access control system, designed for small to medium business applications. With its color LCD display, the IP-based DL-A terminal can store up to 3,000 fingerprint templates and 60,000 log records. The software included with the system communicates with the terminal via TCP/IP connection within the network or USB download/upload. The software also allows management of personnel data, assignment of terminals to different doors, entry record report generation, and remote door lock release when connected with the terminal within the network.

Fike Remote Power Supply

Fike of Blue Springs, Mo., announces the addition of a new remote power supply (RPS) to complement its existing line of fire alarm and detection and control solutions. The UL-Listed, 10A power supply can extend the signaling capacity of Fike’s fire alarm and suppression control systems, including the intelligent CyberCat fire alarm panel, and the Cheetah Xi fire suppression control system. The RPS can be activated by a notification appliance circuit (NAC) from a fire panel, optional control modules, or can be used in standalone applications to supply power to auxiliary devices.

Basler HD IP Dome Cameras

Basler Vision Technologies of Exton, Pa., has upgraded the BIP2-D1920c-dn (outdoor) and BIP2-D1920c-dn (indoor) IP dome cameras to feature auto focus functionality and deliver real-time video frame rates up to 30 frames per second (fps) at full highdefinition (HD) resolutions (1,080p). The cameras have a built-in microSDHC card slot for local storage of up to 32GB of data, which makes it possible to store live streams or single camera images in configurable time intervals on the memory card, according to the company.

VideoIQ Rialto Analytic Bridge Line

VideoIQ of Bedford, Mass., releases the Rialto Analytic Bridge product line, featuring continuously self-calibrating analytics and solidstate storage, according to the company. The product delivers real-time threat detection and offers either 40GB or 160GB of storage. It also features four channels of live and recorded video, enabling operators to perform video verification. Users can also retrieve recorded video for forensic evidence from any location and over low bandwidth connections, according to the company. Two-way audio allows users to interact directly with individuals at any remote site.

Winsted Console Side Panels With Custom Graphics

To help organizations created a one-of-a-kind control room, Winsted Corp. of Minneapolis offers console side panels with custom graphics, such as corporate logos that highlight companies’ unique identities. Printed on durable, premium-grade large format digital film with a UV protectant laminate, the custom graphics are printed with the highest quality inks to produce vibrant colors, according to the company.

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a better way to power video and security outdoors.

Talk-A-Phone Radius Emergency Tower

Talk-A-Phone of Niles, Ill., releases an emergency tower designed to accommodate two video surveillance cameras on a T-shaped camera arm. Using two cameras on the same tower widens the operator’s view of the surroundings, according to the company. Users can also use a 360° awareness camera paired with a pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) camera. Both cameras installed on the tower can communicate with Talk-A-Phone’s analog or VoIP emergency phone via the unit’s auxiliary contacts. A p/t/z camera can be moved to a preset location on events such as “assistance summoned.”

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Theia SL940P P-Iris Telephoto Lens

Theia Technologies of Wilsonville, Ore., releases the SL940 precise iris (P-iris) megapixel telephoto lens, which provides more precise iris control for greater depth of field, heightened contrast and improved image sharpness and clarity, according to the company. Offering 5-megapixel resolution and infrared (IR) correction, the lens, which is 50mm, features a focal range of 9 to 40mm providing 36° to 7° horizontal field of view with 4.5x optical zoom and 16x digital zoom capability. • APRIL 2012 67

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The Essentials

Toshiba IK-WR14A 2MP Dome Camera

The ONVIF-compliant IK-WR14A 2-megapixel network dome camera by Toshiba Surveillance & IP Video of Irvine, Calif., reduces upfront installation time with its incorporation of remote optical zoom, one-touch remote focus, and a cable management system based power over Ethernet (PoE), according to the company. The camera captures 1,080p full HD resolution video at 30 frames per second (fps) and employs a CMOS sensor into its imaging system. Single reflection LED (SRLED) technology provides edge-to-edge lighting for night-vision down to 0 lux. Two-way audio and H.264 space-saving compression round out the camera feature set.

CheckVideo Ruggedized Outdoor Mobile Sentry

The ruggedized outdoor mobile sentry (CMS4000) by CheckVideo of Reston, Va., is a self-contained, cloud-based, wireless intelligent video surveillance solution. The solution sends critical, real-time alerts so users can notify authorities of an incident, helping to shorten response times and stop crimes in progress. In addition to detecting motion, the system also detects people and vehicles. Video alerts can be sent to a central monitoring service, E-mail and Web-enabled devices. Live, recorded, and event video from any camera in the system can be viewed remotely anytime and anywhere from the CheckVideo portal.

Pelco C20 Series CCTV Box Cameras

Pelco by Schneider Electric of Clovis, Calif., releases the C20 Series box cameras. The cameras offer high-resolution color, wide dynamic range (WDR) and day/night capabilities. Additionally, the C20 Series include digital signal processing, backlight compensation, digital noise reduction, privacy zones, motion detection and adaptive tone reproduction to compensate for gradation of subjects. Backed by Pelco’s three-year warranty, the box cameras can fit in small domes, enclosures and corner mounts.

HID Global Fargo DTC1000M Monochrome Printer/Encoder

The Fargo DTC1000M monochrome printer/encoder by HID Global of Irvine, Calif., prints a single-color, edge-to-edge image on one side of a standard CR-80 or CR-79 identification card. A resin thermal transfer process ensures clear reproduction of photo images, barcodes and alphanumeric data. Additionally, an eco-friendly erase-and-rewrite printing option is designed for visitor badges and temporary worker IDs. The DTC1000M connects quickly via USB or optional Ethernet port and the embedded Swift ID application enables users to start printing cards immediately with no software licensing cost, according to the company.

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Samsung SNO-7080R Bullet Camera

Samsung Techwin America of Ridgefield, N.J., introduces an outdoor 3-megapixel network camera with infrared (IR) range of 30 meters in total darkness. Equipped with a 2.8x varifocal motorized zoom lens, the camera can capture 16:9 full high definition (HD) images at 1,920 X 1,080p using wide dynamic range (WDR). Featuring the company’s WiseNet2 digital signal processing (DSP) chipset, the SNO-7080R also offers dual H.264 and MPEG codec. y

STI UL-Listed Electric Digital Timer

The UL 294-tested latching/time module (LT-1UL) by Waterford, Mich.-based Safety Technology Int’l (STI) allows any UL-Listed access momentary button to be used in a latching mode that can be reset with a contact closure. Compact in size, the module has 12-24AC/DC, 18mA input and a Form “C” contact rating 3A @ 30VDC. Featuring auto reset, when installed with a normally open contact on the door, the unit will automatically reset without waiting for the timer to expire. The digital timing circuit offers 15, 30 or 45 seconds, according to the company.

PowerG Technology for life

PowerMaster system delivers more range, more reliability and more RMR in commercial and residential installations.

Contact Visonic USA for further information Tel. 800-223-0020 © 2012 Tyco International Ltd. and its Respective Companies. All Rights Reserved. • APRIL 2012 69

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Building Your Business

Get the Skills for Clients to Pay RMR Bills A traditional sales approach will not cut it when trying to market a recurring revenue portfolio. Learn key steps to introduce and implement a successful services model.


By John Szczygiel

ow can your competitors be signing service agreements with hundreds of customers a month? How are they generating good margins and building long-term customer relationships by offering services? Customers don’t buy service agreements, right? Isn’t that what they’re telling you? If that’s what you’re hearing, then you should take a close look at the services you’re offering along with your sales approach. Do any of the following pitches sound familiar? “With a support agreement you’re paying for our availability, in case you need it.” “If your system fails it could cost a bundle to fix and heaven knows when it will be repaired.” “This system is pretty involved; you really need us to run it for you.” Customers are reluctant to contract for services sold using Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt — call it, FUD. It’s also difficult to correlate these sales pitches to identifiable business benefits. Organizational needs compete for resources based on the benefits provided. Needs that can be correlated with the highest benefit typically get funded first. So, banish the FUD and let’s figure out how

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to correlate our services to tangible business benefits.

Building Blocks to Thrive Upon The cornerstone to building a successful service base begins with determining what your customers really need. In doing so, you can design your service programs to fit those needs. Sounds simple, but FUD selling has taught us to assume customers can be scared into buying what we want to sell. Not likely! Their business priorities drive their needs, not fear. To get to the root of their business priorities, ask simple questions like, “What are your most pressing business issues right now?” Or, “In what ways does your physical security system impact your business operations?” We are looking for positive and negative impacts. Your customers may say: “We have this audit coming up and we’re concerned about getting the reports we need.” “We’re in a major expansion mode, so we don’t have time for anything else.” “The IT department says the security server has to be replaced, but we don’t have the budget for a system upgrade.” These answers present an opportunity to provide your expert services. The audit issue is an open

invitation to generate the specific reports for this customer’s audit on an ongoing basis. Perhaps you can find ways to combine information from various systems to create a stronger audit package. This has direct impact on your client’s ability to meet the audit requirements and also makes them look good. The expansion answer is equally promising. What workloads could the customer shift to you to allow them to focus on the expansion? Are there tasks such as report generation, data entry or ongoing system management you can handle for them? Does the expansion include acquisitions or expansions into new geographies that create an opportunity for you to provide security assessments, design and implementation services? The server upgrade is a constant hassle and presents an opportunity to offer a server-less cloud solution and perhaps a rental model for the hardware. The secret to each of these “offers” is solving your customers’ pain points with a combination of valueadded services, technology and intellectual capital. The only limits are your financial constraints, your skill set and access to the right partners.

Selecting the Right Partners Once you have abandoned the FUD tactics and are armed with a list of top ©

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Successful service companies recognize that selling an RMR option requires a different approach from traditional methods. Organizations must undergo a paradigm shift to drive RMR, focusing their sites on this goal from the executive suite on down throughout the company.

customer needs, it’s time to take a look at the tools needed to provide solutions. Building a business with high recurring monthly revenue (RMR) is more about philosophy and execution than technology. If you focus on “selling RMR” rather than delivering a bundle of value-added services, the road ahead will be difficult. Consider the following four facts: 1. Just selecting an “RMR product” to sell is not enough to generate success. 2. End users buy value added-services, not RMR. 3. Building service revenue streams requires organizational commitment. 4. Commitment is measured in years, not months. At this point, most integrators understand that product and installation revenues alone cannot support a healthy organization in the long term. As a result, many integrators are searching for avenues to build their service base. Naturally, many vendors are lined up to offer a variety of solutions that promise to drive RMR. A great many partners offer solutions to build your RMR. The verb build is essential here because that’s what it takes. RMR must be built. However, it’s important to recognize that any technology solution on its own won’t build a service base unless your organization has taken some basic steps to ensure success. Many successful service companies start with a separate sales team, built from the ground up. Oftentimes, the existing salespeople are driving large revenue projects which generate big commissions. They have also garnered large salaries to match their experience and results. It’s going to be tough and probably cost prohibitive to shift these staff to the smaller projects that typically generate RMR. One successful tactic is to hire

some less experienced salespeople who will require training to sell your services portfolio. If you pick the right partners, the service portfolio will be less complicated to sell than your traditional products, so your rookies should have a shorter timeframe to performance. The really successful companies don’t just tack an RMR option onto their existing offerings. They understand that selling services requires a different approach. To really drive RMR you must undergo a paradigm shift and focus your organization on this goal from the executive suite on down. Remember: The pot of gold is at the END of the rainbow, and it takes skill and perseverance to get there.

Pointers to Sell RMR Effectively In moving your business from a transactional model to a recurring model, consider the following key success factors: A realistic self-assessment — Look in the mirror, determine what your company is really about. What types of services do your customers want from you? What will it take to offer those services? What investments are required in infrastructure, organization, and financial assets? Do you have the right people to sell services and solutions vs. technology? Are you willing to make the initial investments? Are you willing to stick with the strategy? A five-year RMR business plan — Once you have thoroughly evaluated your current situation, you are ready to create a business plan. Look at this program over a five-year horizon. In year one you will be making investments and climbing the learning curve for selling and delivering services. In years two and three you will be perfecting your training, market focus and service levels. In years four and five you are driving real revenue and preparing to evaluate what growth strategies to pursue in your next five-year horizon.

Strong partners — Once you know what services you want to sell and have a general plan for implementation, it’s time to look for partners. Like any vendor evaluation, look for those with successful track records. Also, look for companies that derive most of their revenue from RMR. Successfully driving RMR means building long-term relationships with your customers. You can’t base longterm customer relationships on shortterm supplier relationships. Discipline of focus — Wanting to be in the RMR business will not lead to overnight success. It takes continuous effort, focus and discipline. There will be times when transactional opportunities distract you. Keep your eye on the five-year plan. There is a reason RMR companies are valued at high multiples. Selling services and attaining ongoing respect from your customers is hard work. Sales approach — If you fall back on FUD selling, then you either have the wrong service portfolio or you need better sales training. If your customer’s perceived value of your services does not exceed their cost, they won’t buy. Start by evaluating your own services as if you were the customer. Do they pass the value test? If not, you must reconfigure the services or the pricing until the value exceeds the cost. Once you have proven the value to yourself, you are ready to prove to your customer how the services provide value to them. There are no shortcuts to building value-based relationships with your customers. Relying on FUD won’t work, or will only work for a short time. Join your industry colleagues who are focused on providing value-added services to their clients and soon you’ll be building a great service base. ■ John Szczygiel is Executive Vice President of Bethesda, Md.-based Brivo Systems, a provider of Software as a Service (SaaS) applications for security management. He can be contacted at or (240) 479-2283. • APRIL 2012 71

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Ad Index

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AES Corporation ........................................................................... 11


Middle Atlantic Products ............................................................. 49


Affiliated Central, Inc. ...................................................................C2


National Monitoring Center (NMC) ............................................ 17


All American Monitoring .............................................................. 53


Next Level Security Systems ........................................................ 41


Altronix .......................................................................................... 67


NVT .................................................................................................. 3


Axis Communications................................................................... 12


Pelco by Schneider Electric.......................................................... 65


Bolide Technology Group ............................................................... 7


PSA Security Network .................................................................. 61


ComNet............................................................................................ 6


PSA Security Network .................................................................. 66


DETEX .......................................................................................... 57


Speco Technologies........................................................ CoverSnipe


DSX Access Systems, Inc................................................................ 9


Speco Technologies......................................................................... 1


EasyLobby, Inc. ............................................................................. 19


SSI -Free Info ................................................................................ 73


EMERgency ..................................................................................C3


SSI -Social Media.......................................................................... 37


Fike Alarm Systems ...................................................................... 39


SSI -Website ............................................................................. 72,79


FLIR Commercial Systems, Inc. ........................................... A8(36)


Talk-A-Phone ................................................................................. 47


HID Global ...................................................................................... 5


Telular Corporation ...................................................................... 23


HIKVISION ................................................................................... 15


Telular Corporation ...................................................................... 25


Honeywell Security .......................................................................C4


Tyco Security Products (DSC) ...................................................... 27


Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum, PC .............................................. 72


Visonic, Inc. ................................................................................... 69


Company listings are provided as a courtesy — publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions.



Sales.......................................Residential/Commercial............................................$200.00 Monitoring .............................Residential/Commercial............................................$200.00 Service....................................Residential/Commercial............................................$200.00 Lease.......................................................................................................................$200.00 Commercial: includes supplemental rider for add ons and to increase limitation of liability All-in-One (Not available in all states)......................................................................$600.00 Sales, Monitoring , Service Contracts (one contract) Residential/Commercial Disclaimer Notice....................................................................................................$175.00 (Additional Equipment Systems & Service, VOIP Disclaimer Notice) Access Control Administration & Service Contract................................................ $375.00 Audio/Video ............................................................................................................ $375.00 Fire Alarm Sale & Installation - Commercial ........................................................$375.00 Fire Alarm Monitoring Commercial fire alarm monitoring.....................................$375.00 Fire Inspection Service .......................................................................................... $375.00 Contract For Fire Equipment/Extinguisher/Smoke Detector/Sprinkler & CO Inspection Fire Alarm All-in-One Combines Sales, Installation, Monitoring, Service & Inspection ...............................................................................................$850.00 Fire Alarm Lease - Commercial .............................................................................$375.00 Includes supplemental rider for add ons & to increase limitation liability Standard Fire Alarm Sales /Fire Suppression .......................................................$375.00 Sprinkler Equipment Contract CCTV Sale Sale, Service and Monitoring/Data storage & Monitoring…...................$375.00 ....... .................$$375 375.00 .00 CCTV Lease Supervisory Equipment Lease..............................................................$375.00 st ................... ......... ...... . ...$37 $3 5.000 NAPCO I See Video® Sales & Installation Contract................................................$375.00 ito tori r Contract..................................................... ................. ...... ......... .. ... .. ........ . ... .. ........ $375.00 $375 3 .00 Remote Video Monitoring Monitoring ugh cen centra trall stat sstation) tation ion)) (through internet access - not throu through central sponse nse Le Lease ase/Sa /Sale le - Con Consum sumer er Use Use.. ............................ .........$20 $200.00 Personal Emergency Respo Response Lease/Sale Consumer Use.................................$200.00 e Ins Instal tallat latio ion, serv r ice,, monitoring.................................................$200.00 monitor moni toring ing.............................. ...... ...................... ....$2 $200. 0 00 Residential Lease Installation, service, ntractor or Agr Agreem eement For su subb or or gene ggeneral n ral contr t act actor or..................... r ........................$20 $2 0.00 Sub-Contractor Agreement contractor.......................................$200.00 letio tionn Cert C ertifi ificat cate e........................... ...................... . ................. .......................................$ ..$40.00 Completion Certifi cate...............................................................................................$40.00 mmer mercia ciall & ResidentialRe Residenttial ial-- use use after afte installation instal talla tal lation & every lat ev ry service eve servicce call se Commercial ploy oymen mentt Agre A greeme em ntt Wit W h Rest estric r tivve Coven C nantt............................................. .. ..... $200.00 $2200.00 Employment Agreement With Restrictive Covenant.............................................. C-1 For Form FFinancial in nci ina ncial a Statement Statemennt .............................................................................. .............................................................................. ........ $50.00 $50.0 $50.0 0 0 UCC-1 ntra ral Sta ation ion Co Contr raccts ........................................................................................ ..................................................................................... .. ...... ...... .. . $375.00 $3375. 5.00 00 Central Station Contracts wayy con ntra ract bet be weenn c/o wee /o ins stalleer & sub bscrib ber, separate separaate form form where wheere wher 3-way contract between installer subscriber, /o is ssue UL ce ert rtificcate forr inst tallerr c/o issue certificate installer nstal ta lerr Co C ntrrac act............... ...... ................ . ............ . ...... . .......... .. .............................. . ..............$ $375 375.00 00 Installer Contract.....................................................................................................$375.00 Sta atio t nar aryy Guard Guar ua d “Rent-A-Cop”..............................................................................$375.00 “Re ent-A -A-Co -Cop”...... ................................................. . ...................... ...... .. ... ...... .......$37 375.000 Stationary Tel eleph ephone on Sa Sale les.…..................Comm mmeerciaal or Residential R sideential Re al ...................................... ......................... .. .......... ........... ...... ... $200.00 $200.0 $20 0.000 Telephone Sales.…................Commercial Tel e eph ephone one Se Servic ce ..................Commercial ....... ...........Com Commer me cia ial or or Residential Reside dentia iall ...................................... ............................................ $200.00 $ 00. $2 00 000 Telephone Service

Order Industry Approved Alarm Contracts On Our Website at: Organized by seven “channels” (Business Management; Video Surveillance; Access Control; Fire/Life Safety; Intrusion; Systems Integration; Vertical Markets), navigation is easy and logical. Multimedia and social media components include blogs, video, webinars, podcasts and photo galleries. Plus there’s ongoing coverage and deep archives of news, events, trends and opportunities, original research, technology and applications, installation case studies, and troubleshooting tips. It’s the industry’s most comprehensive online destination!

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In the Know

Forecast Calls for Cloud-Based Revenues


lot of people have their head in the cloud these days. Accusing someone of that three years ago might have started a fight. Today, if you have your head in the clouds it’s not that you are an “airhead.” Quite the contrary, it is more likely you are a forward-thinker.

By Jay Hauhn

holder database changes. True cloud-based card access sysThree years ago, few people outside the IT community tems appeared about five years ago and have realized signifihad heard of cloud computing. For most of us, cloud was cant year-over-year growth. The success of cloud-based card the term used to describe offsite telecommunications inaccess has caused video manufacturers and integrators to frastructure initially, meaning Ma Bell’s telephony nettry to figure out how to be the cloud services leader in the evwork and eventually the generic term for the public Interer-expanding video market. net. Today, cloud is a broad Success in the video world catchall for offsite computer, Financial advantages of cloud will be a little more diffiinfrastructure and software computing are not end users’ cult, however. That is simply resources. alone as they provide integrators because of network bandFor us old-timers, a block with a contracted revenue stream width concerns. As all intediagram of a present-day for two product categories, access grators know, IP-based video cloud architecture looks reand video, that did not always installed on a customer netmarkably like a drawing of generate recurring revenue. work requires careful plana 1970s corporate computning so the primary business ing environment. The mainuse of the network is not impacted. When the video is to be frame computers used back then have now been replaced transmitted offsite, bandwidth concerns require even greatby racks of blade servers, and desktop PCs, laptops, neter scrutiny. Bandwidth constraints will initially hamper the books and tablets have replaced those “boat anchor” monogrowth of cloud-based network storage as a full function chrome text terminals. While it is a fitting analogy, the simsubstitute for local DVRs. However, this will drive the creilarities end there. ation of innovative applications that leverage camera-based Financial advantages are at the front of the cloud comstorage and analytics to efficiently manage local versus offputing revolution. As cloud initiatives’ financial implicasite video storage. tions begin with a reduction in the capital expense norCamera-based algorithms will determine what video is mally required at the front end of a project, but the cost useless, what is worth keeping and what should be sent to savings go well beyond hardware. For example, for entera cloud for further processing or archiving. For example, prise IT solutions eliminating onsite computer systems video deemed to be useless may be stored at a lower resomeans less space is required, which leads to lower real eslution and decreased frame rate than video determined to tate costs. Computer systems need round-the-clock powbe of interest. Only the video of interest may be transported er so moving them offsite results in lower electric bills. to the cloud. Once the selected video makes it to the cloud, Cloud-based services also lower software licensing and innovative firms will offer managed services that leverage support costs, not to mention that software upgrade headthat video data. aches become someone else’s. Financial advantages of cloud computing are not end usIn our industry, “cloud-like” card access offerings have in ers’ alone as they provide integrators with a contracted revfact been around for more than 20 years with only a handful enue stream for two product categories, access and video, of firms offering the service, mostly in multitenant buildings. that did not always generate recurring revenue. They are a Those systems are better identified as hosted versus cloud, win-win for the integrator and the customer. but from an end-user’s non-IT perspective the differences are ■ negligible. Those are more properly categorized as managed Jay Hauhn, Chief Technology Officer at ADT Security Services, has more than 30 systems since the integrator also had responsibility for cardyears’ industry experience and is a member of SSI’s Hall of Fame. 74 • APRIL 2012

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The Big Idea

Serve Up a Smile to Everyone You Meet IDEA of the Month If you had just one really great idea you could share with the alarm industry, what would it be? This month’s great idea comes from Lou Resweber, president and CEO of Baton Rouge, La.-based Pelican Security Network.

Resweber’s great idea: Our lives revolve around the people we work with, the customers we serve and the first responders who are the foundation of the industry to which we belong. Never lose sight of their worth to you.


ou Resweber is founder, president and COO of Pelican Security Network, a multistate, rapidly growing organization with corporate offices in Baton Rouge, La. Resweber also serves on the Louisiana Life Safety & Security Association (LLSSA) board of directors, and he was responsible for me serving as a speaker at a recent LLSSA meeting. Anyone who knows Resweber knows he is a man of many words and is knowledgeable in many subjects. So when the time arrived to solicit a great idea from him, he struggled a bit to condense his notion into only a few words. You can review his abridged idea above, but essentially what he is emphasizing is “we truly are in the people business.” Of course, like many of the forward-thinking executives I have interviewed in the past, Resweber lives the thoughts he expresses. During the program in which I served as keynote speaker, other guests included a state fire marshal, representatives from local and regional fire departments and law enforcement agencies. Resweber

also brought what seemed like his entire staff to the meeting.

Golden Rule Defined By focusing on people we tend to talk to them and communicate with them more as partners, rather than employees or customers or suppliers. And that means that we follow the old adage of, “Treat every person you meet as though he or she were the most important person in the world, and almost assuredly you will receive that treatment in return.” Building that level of rapport makes for a productive environment in the workplace — the benefits of which show up frequently in the sales process. Importantly, excellent customer service becomes a byproduct of this philosophy. Converting this philosophy into the language of business means you can achieve more referrals, fewer cancellations and more favorable comments from customers than any of your competitors would ever dream of. This is exactly what Pelican Security Network has done so successfully. They have converted the concept of “being

By Ron Davis

in the people business” to a profitmaking reality. Here’s a little test you can try to prove the point of how motivated people can make a difference in your workplace and your life. For the next two days, make it an absolute priority that everyone you come in contact with will be treated as the most important person in the world. This will entail you look each person in the eye, smile, inquire about something personal with them, and make the contact a pleasurable experience for each of you. What will come back to you is a positive response that is so amazing you will wonder why you haven’t been doing this your whole life. Incidentally, Resweber and I practice this approach; in fact, it comes naturally to both of us. Considering the growth of Pelican Security Network, it’s hard to imagine that they would have experienced the growth they did without the attitude they display day in and day out. As I look around our industry and think about its more successful players, I can’t help but to be less than surprised by the fact that the real winners tend to treat everybody they meet as the most important person in the world. When you think about it that’s really the definition of the Golden Rule. It works, try it. See why it works so well for Resweber. ■ Ron Davis is a SSI Hall of Fame inductee and President of Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group Inc. Also known as The Graybeards, the company is active in acquisitions and mergers exclusively in the alarm business.

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WELCOME to Your New Home Page… ’s new Web site offers all the information and resources any security professional could ever need. Organized by seven primary “channels”: • Business Management • IP / Video Surveillance • Access Control • Fire/Life Safety • Intrusion • Systems Integration • Vertical Markets The site has been designed for intuitive and logical navigation. Fun multimedia and social media components updated daily, including: • Blogs • Video • Webinars

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Your Alarm Accounts Shopper’s List


• If seller has any debts, claims or ypically, buyers of subscribBy Ken Kirschenbaum lawsuits threatened or pending er alarm contracts can be • If seller is under any impediment to placed in one of two categosell business assets or the subscribries, those who are always on er accounts the prowl to buy (predator or scaven• Seller’s customary attrition rate ger) and those who are presented with The opportunity buyer should, but • Where the seller’s accounts are an opportunity that comes their way. most likely won’t, check all of the above. monitored The “professional” buyers have inBut even this buyer should consider: • If seller has its own lines house teams looking for deals, engage • If the seller’s subscribers will be • If seller utilizes equipment that recapable and knowledgeable brokers to a good fit for the buyer; if the acquires special training, authorization find deals, and even advertise and procounts are in a similar territory and or certification from a manufacturer mote in the form of dealer programs otherwise similar to the buyer’s cur• The seller’s receivables and average or simply as buyers of accounts. rent accounts subscriber payment history The second category is those who • If there are proper legal contracts; • How many employees and what catmight be working for someone who if not, if seller will get them signed egory of employees the seller has is interested in retiring and wants to on new, properly drafted contracts give a loyal employee the ability • If all systems are operating; to continue the business. Or it’s a if there are outstanding serBuyers of alarm contracts can vice calls or unfinished installabuddy who would like to sell and be placed in two categories: tions and who is going to be rebelieves it’s easier to just offer the those always on the prowl to sponsible for completion; and accounts to his/her friend who buy (predator or scavenger), what’s owed for that work and runs a local competing business. and those who are presented who’s going to get paid for it Or it’s someone who really isn’t in with an opportunity that • If seller will take back a note, the market to buy but an opporcomes their way. tunity presents itself that makes permitting the buyer to pay off good business sense. the purchase price over time • How much the seller is asking, how The professional buyer is geared up • If buyer has all necessary licenses flexible the seller is and how the for due diligence, which means checkto operate the continued business; seller wants to be paid ing out the seller to determine the risk if not, if will seller stay on as the li• If the seller looking to stay in the and if it justifies the purchase price. cense holder alarm business or retire Issues include: • If seller will stay on to help transi• If there are key employees available • Location of accounts tion the accounts if necessary to continue working • Type of accounts (residential, com• Percentage of accounts that are • If key employees have started commercial, institutional, government) family related or personal friends peting and if they are under or will • Types of services (sales, monitoring, of seller and not used to paying for sign noncompete agreements service, inspection) services ■ • Verification of finances, which may • Types of systems (intrusion, fire, include checking bank statements, CCTV, access control) audits, tax returns, financial re• Contracts, if they are in proper legal Ken Kirschenbaum has been a recognized counsel to the alarm industry for 35 years and is principal of ports to lenders, internal ledgers form and have all subscribers signed Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum, P.C. (www.kirschenand records • Average age of contracts, if the His team of attorneys, which includes daughter Jennifer, specialize in transactional, defense • Interviewing employees er complied with all laws regarding litigation, regulatory compliance and collection matters. • Checking insurance coverage, initial execution of contracts and reThe opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of SSI, and not intended as legal advice. claims history and claims reports newal notices

SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION (ISSN 1539-0071) (USPS 511-590) is published monthly by Bobit Business Media, 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. Periodicals postage paid at Torrance, California 90503-9998 and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Security Sales, P.O. Box 1068 Skokie, IL 60076-8068. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for address changes to take effect. Subscription Prices - United States $96 per year; Canada $96 per year; Foreign $140 per year. Single copy price - $8; Fact Book - $35. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks to receive your first issue. Please address Editorial and Advertising correspondence to the Executive Offices at 3520 Challenger Street, Torrance, California 90503-1640. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without consent of Bobit Business Media. All statements made, although based on information believed to be reliable and accurate, cannot be guaranteed and no fault or liability can be accepted for error or omission.

Legal Briefing

80 • APRIL 2012

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Fire & Burg

Video Monitoring


EM24 monitors are trained for commercial and residential systems so every communication is accomplished in the utmost efficient and courteous manner.

EM24 was the first company to synchronize the signal with the video at the central station and we continue to lead in this category with many service offerings.

EM24 offers a PERS service that can be marketed to existing customers as well as other security-minded people across the United States.

EMERgency24 continually invests in its nationwide network of central stations to remain ahead of the technological curve so alarm dealers have more flexibility to satisfy the needs of their customers.

Along with the widest range of alarm monitoring services, receivers and supported formats, EMERgency24 allows independent alarm dealers

Call us today at 1-800-800-3624

to learn more about how we can help you deliver the best service to your customers.

to choose from several options to connect their customers to our monitoring center, including POTS, cellular, radio and IP communication.

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touch of brilliance

Bring more homes to life with Honeywell’s Tuxedo Touch™ Automation Controller Bold. Brilliant. Beautiful. When it comes to home control for everyone, Honeywell’s exciting new Tuxedo Touch is anything but basic. Ideal for both new homes and retrofits, it’s simply the easiest, most affordable way to tie all of the technology in your customers’ homes together—helping you win new business and create recurring monthly revenue. Security, cameras and Z-Wave® enabled lights, shades, locks and thermostats—all linked and controlled from one stunning, highresolution 7" touchscreen that’s also a digital picture frame and video viewer. And, its web server with built-in Ethernet turns every smartphone and tablet into a mobile controller. Look for Wi-Fi versions (TUXWIFIS and TUXWIFIW) this spring. For a fraction of the price of other solutions, Honeywell’s Tuxedo Touch lets you make their homes more enjoyable and your business more profitable than ever before. What could be more brilliant than that?

Available at

For more information, please call 1-800-467-5875 or visit Tuxedo Touch is available in white (TUXWIFIW) or silver (TUXWIFIS) and is compatible with Honeywellʼs VISTA® systems or as a standalone automation controller. Call 1-800-233-6261. © 2012 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.

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SSI April 2012  

April 2012 - Magazine for the professional security systems integrator

SSI April 2012  

April 2012 - Magazine for the professional security systems integrator