Allied Universal®, a security and facility services company in North America, with headquarters in Santa Ana, California and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, announces the acquisition of Midstate Security – a fully integrated electronic security and monitoring systems company based in Wyoming, Michigan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The addition of Midstate is the first of many steps we are taking to build-out our technology services business following our platform acquisition of Securadyne Systems earlier this year,” said Steve Jones, CEO of Allied Universal. “This acquisition is an important part of our broader strategy to leverage technology across our entire business footprint.” Innovative security solutions Allied Universal aligns perfectly with Midstate’s mission and overall customer service philosophy" Midstate Security, with revenues exceeding $20 million and 89 employees, is known for providing innovative security solutions and world-class customer service throughout Michigan and the Midwest. Founded in 1980, the company designs, installs, services and maintains security systems for a wide variety of customers. It also provides an array of remote services from its UL listed central station in Wyoming, Michigan. “Allied Universal aligns perfectly with Midstate’s mission and overall customer service philosophy,” said David Nemmers, CEO of Midstate Security. “I am extremely proud of our employees and what we have built, and I am excited about the future growth potential offered by Allied Universal for them and our customers.” Electronic access control Midstate Security will expand the company’s Allied Universal® Technology Services division, which provides electronic access control, video surveillance, fire/life safety, alarm monitoring, emergency communications, hosted /managed services and a variety of Global Security Operating Center (GSOC-as-a-Service) offerings. “Midstate’s ability to expand our geographic reach into the Midwest, as well as their enterprise-class delivery capabilities are both strategically important additions to our business,” said Carey Boethel, president of Dallas-based Allied Universal® Technology Services. “We are excited to be partnering with such a great team as we continue to grow and expand across the US.” Midstate Security was represented by Barry Epstein of Vertex Capital Corp. and the law firm Rhoades McKee PC in the transaction.
Focus areas include cybersecurity, marketing, leadership, RMR, project management, and technical topics PSA Security Network, an electronic security cooperative, announced it will host an ISC West 2017 education track with sessions and a workshop during ISC West in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 4-5, 2017. Various PSA Committee members, staff, and other industry experts will lead the eight sessions that are included in the PSA Track. Focus areas include cybersecurity, marketing, leadership, RMR, project management, and technical topics including robotics. The sessions being offered will include: Cybersecurity and Security Installations: Hardening IP Connected Physical Security Equipment April 4, 2017, 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Unlike previous security methods, a properly designed physical security platform unleashes the value of the Internet of Things by aggregating information from people process, data and things. This unleashing brings a cascade of data from IP-enabled devices, machines and business systems connected via unmodified Ethernet. This panel team will discuss commonly used tools to perform network enumeration, how to uncover potential weaknesses in your system, and best practices to better secure your devices. Presenters: Ray Coulombe, Security Specifiers; Andrew Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Chris Peckham, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions, Inc.; Wayne Smith, Tech Systems, Inc. Recurring monthly revenue structure is at the forefront of news in the security industry RMR Model in the Security Industry: How It Works and Why We Need It April 4, 2017, 10:10 AM – 11:15 AM Recurring monthly revenue structure is at the forefront of news in the security industry. Not only does it provide a critical infrastructure to increase business and company value, but it also allows customers an affordable way to implement a physical security system and to stay up to date with technology. The panel will discuss ways to implement an RMR model, and why it is the future of the security industry. Presenters: Bill Bozeman, PSA Security Network; Kim Tran, Northland Controls; Rob Simopoulos, Advance Technology; Patrick Berry, BluBØX. Cementing Customer Loyalty in Competitive Times April 4, 2017, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Do your customers really love you? Or, are you certain or are you guessing? Loyalty comes from building, developing, and maintaining a strong relationship with your customers. Determining both the right attitude and the right behaviours to keep the relationship solid is key in today’s tough market. In this panel discussion, learn to engage with clients and build an atmosphere of trust that will keep your business solid in the heavily competitive environment. Presenters: Paul Cronin, Atrion; Tim Brooks, PSA Security Network; Christine Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies; Sharon Shaw, Tech Systems, Inc.; Mark Krause, Target Corporation. Robotics: Upcoming Legislation and Government Regulations You Need to Know Now April 4, 2017, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Robotics are quickly evolving and adapting to many industries and new developments are occurring daily which will affect many industry verticals. While businesses and industries are becoming more aware of the potential impact of robotics technologies on society, they also have the unique ethical and legal challenges which emerge when intelligent machines and humans occupy the same environments. What efforts are being made to address current regulation and legislation? This panel discussion will address what impact these regulations will have on the security industry in the future. Presenters: Bill Bozeman, PSA Security Network; Michael Kobelin, Sharp Robotics Business Development; General William J. Marshall III, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Jack Wu, Nightingale Security. Industry leaders need to manage the risk associated with planned and unplanned departures in key positions Operational Workshop: Project Management in the Physical Security Space April 4, 2017, 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM This session will provide attendees with an understanding of the most efficient processes and procedures to effectively allocate resources to implement physical security programs. Additionally, content will provide security project managers with the application of management best practices to support budget-conscious allocation of physical security resources across an organisation’s portfolio of facilities. Reviewing project life cycle best practices in a collaborative environment will provide best practices to take home and implement immediately. Presenter: Sharon Shaw, Tech Systems, Inc. Leading Through Industry Change: Succession Planning and Leadership in a Merger and Acquisition Market April 4, 2017, 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM Today’s business environment is characterised by near-constant change. It’s an environment where acquisitions and investments are picking up the pace and are modifying the configuration of existing organisations. Industry leaders need to manage the risk associated with planned and unplanned departures in key positions, as well as the prevention of loss of knowledge and relationships that reside with key employees. Managing the impact of demographic shifts in the workplace is a business imperative that executives can no longer afford to ignore. This session will discuss the impact of mergers and acquisitions on a business, as well as creating the right approach to helping their organisations sustain the necessary leadership to support business growth and a smooth succession plan. Presenters: Berry Epstein, Vertex Capital; Eric Yuang, Convergent Technologies; Brent Franklin, Unlimited Technologies; Jim Henry, Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions, Inc. To protect your organisation, you must take a proactive and comprehensive approach to this quickly increasing risk Increasing Your Brand Recognition Through Social MediaApril 4, 2017; 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Tapping the vast audience of the social web is a low-cost way to catapult a business brand. This presentation will uncover how to effectively build a company’s brand using social media, which allows organisations to develop new relationships and strengthen existing relationships. This will help drive brand awareness, loyalty, and word-of-mouth marketing. Discover networks which support a company’s brand image, identify valuable content, and outline effective social media strategies. Presenter: David Morgan, Security Dealer Marketing. The 7 Questions they Cyber Criminals Don’t Want You to Ask! April 4, 2017; 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM/ April 5, 2017; 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM All leadership in business has a fiduciary responsibility to protect their company, its shareholders, employees, and customers. Part of this responsibility includes detecting cyber risks and mitigating those risks. To protect your organisation, you must take a proactive and comprehensive approach to this quickly increasing risk. This panel discussion led by PSA’s Cybersecurity Committee will address the top seven questions end users and system integrators make sure they have addressed to reduce the risk of cyberattacks. Presenters: Paul Boucherle, Matterhorn Consulting LLC; Darnell Washington, SecureXperts; Sal D’Agostino, IDmachines; Andrew Lanning, Integrated Security Technologies.
The systems integration industry is abuzz. Access control is super-hot, and the product category continues to grow. IP video surveillance specifications are moving along at break-neck speed. New technology categories in the security market – energy management, home automation and interactive services – are helping savvy dealers and systems integrators grow their businesses. But do these companies really know how to take full advantage of all the possibilities for continued revenue growth? Do they have all the right moves to ensure they increase the value and equity of their businesses? Barry Epstein, president of Vertex Capital Corp. in Dallas, concurs that 2015 is shaping up to be a strong year for dealers and integrators – if they carefully examine their company’s profitability. Epstein has more than 20 years of industry experience, representing buyers and sellers in the life safety sector. He has completed numerous acquisitions in areas that include monitoring, integration, fire, guard and medical alert. Smart companies will benefit “With interest rates remaining low and safety fears increasing, the demand for new integration projects and updating current systems will fare well for smart companies,” Epstein says. “The risk, however, of a good year from a revenue perspective is that of taking one’s eyes off the ball regarding margins, expenses and recurring contracts. Focusing on these three items will pay dividends both this year and well into the future.” One of the metrics that requires constant attention from integrators is the completed job margins, he says. “When I ask dealers at what margin they bid out the job, they always have a response. It may range from 20 to 50 percent and usually settles around 30 to 35 percent depending on the competition and whether it is a negotiated or bid opportunity. It is common knowledge jobs rarely go as planned [in order to yield] the exact gross margin with which you won the job. In fact, many projects bid at 30 percent gross margins end up losing the integrator money.” One of the metrics that requires constant attention from integrators is the completed job margins Epstein says a smart strategy is for integrators to look at each completed project and analyse the actual margins versus what the project was bid at. “Examining the variance will lead to conclusions that will impact the profitability of future projects, and the bottom line, in a positive way,” he says. The second area he says needs focus is obtaining and pricing recurring revenue contracts. “Alarm companies are extremely focused on recurring revenue contracts, while integration companies focus more on the installation revenue and sometimes pay little attention to recurring revenue. The service, monitoring or maintenance contract is usually there for the asking. Make sure your sales force is incentivised to ask for the contract. Also, make sure they aim high on the monthly recurring revenue. Pricing varies greatly but is often in the neighbourhood of 10 percent of the installation charge on an annual recurring basis. I have seen many companies happy to get half of what they could have received in new monthly recurring revenue and unaware of how much money they left on the table,” he comments. A final area requiring focus is what Epstein refers to as “profitability by sector”. He says many companies look at the bottom line, assume they had a decent year, and move on. They never delve deeper by analysing profitability by sector. “I have spoken to dealers who haven’t made a penny of profit in five years in the audio/video side yet keep spinning their wheels because profitability is ‘just around the corner.’ Epstein says he worked with one integrator who did an analysis of a specific sector and found he was breaking even year after year. He woke up, discontinued that area of concentration and moved his people to another vertical market where the “math” was much more favourable. “The integration market, while strong, is still very competitive,” he advises. “Taking a deep look at one’s results will make any operator more profitable in a short amount of time. If you aren’t making money in some areas or aren’t asking for recurring revenue contracts, you are running your business sub-optimally and your competitors couldn’t be happier,” Epstein concludes.
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