Round table contributions
Our Expert Panel is an opinionated group on a wide variety of topics, and we are dedicated to providing a useful and flexible forum to share those opinions. This week, our panelists address a range of opinions about several self-selected topics, culled from the large number of Expert Panelist responses we have collected in the last year. In this Expert Panel Roundtable article, we will share these varied and insightful responses to ensure they are not lost to posterity!
The end of the year is a great time to take stock of one’s accomplishments during the year, and to reflect on successes and failures, where we are and where we’re going. 2017 brought a lot of change to the physical security market, but were the changes positive or negative? Our Expert Panelists tend to be a thoughtful and reflective group, so we wanted to get their thoughts and insights at year-end about 2017 in the security market. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Was 2017 a good year or bad year for the physical security industry -and why?
Consolidation is a reality in the security and video surveillance market. In the last several years, we have seen a variety of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving scores of companies of all sizes. But what is the impact of M&A activity on the companies involved, on their customers, and on the industry as a whole? We posed this question to our Expert Panel Roundtable: Do mergers and acquisitions have a net positive or net negative impact on the security market (and why)?
Articles by Joe Grillo
In today's world of heightened security threats, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the availability of overwhelming amounts of data, comprehensively securing a single small facility is no easy task. Enterprise organisations tend to face even greater challenges when it comes to safety, as multiple people scattered throughout separate locations aiming to collaboratively respond to situations can easily become complicated. Individual buildings, divisions and branches of a large and/or global enterprise each possess diverse needs when it comes to streamlining operations and overall security. Almost all organisations are facing the same types of risks, such as cybersecurity breaches, workplace violence and natural disasters, requiring the decision-making process to be efficiently unified across the enterprise.Enterprises must ensure regular software updates and enforce best practices for employees at all sites to keep data safe Mitigating cybersecurity threat One of the biggest threats facing enterprise organisations today is cybersecurity. One small mishap or leak can quickly lead to larger complications and even force the entire business to shut down altogether. This is where strategic decision-making proves to be essential. Involving an IT department in security purchases and system implementations is critical for enterprise organisations to ensure the proposed system meets corporate IT data and security policies, as well as the organisation’s required functional capabilities. Enterprises must also ensure regular software updates and enforce best practices for employees at all sites to keep data safe. Integrated security for information exchange Enterprises must similarly address integration. In the past, manufacturers focused on providing products that worked well with other products within their own lines, but the development of open-platform technology has changed the game. Enterprises demand elevated integration across multiple security applications, event management and human resource systems, and open platforms allow integrators to better tailor a solution in accordance with an end user's needs. In the access control market, this requires manufacturers to provide systems that are easy to administer and manage to allow roles to be quickly and efficiently updated.Using a single, intuitive platform that simplifies operations and streamlines workflows helps to maximise investment Throughout the entire process, communication is key. Integrating multiple security systems together, such as access control and video, and enabling them to ‘talk’ to one another in an encrypted manner is necessary for the accurate and timely sharing of relevant information and data. Using a single, intuitive platform that simplifies operations and streamlines workflows helps to maximise investment by allowing enterprises to do more with existing resources, resulting in additional savings. Incorporating cloud-based solutions Today’s enterprise organisations are taking a page from the IT playbook and incorporating cloud-based solutions to address physical security challenges—particularly in access control. Although the cloud is one of the most heavily talked about topics in the industry right now, the concept has existed for many years, decades even. Cloud-based access control technology offers installers and end users simplicity and ease-of-use As leading technology companies throughout the years began to deliver easy-to-use services, the development of mobile Internet devices soon normalised the idea of the cloud to the wider masses. The adoption of smartphones created the opportunity for physical security manufacturers to enter the world of cloud-based solutions. Today, the cloud is safer than ever, and provides unparalleled flexibility. Cloud-based access control technology, more specifically, offers installers and end users simplicity and ease-of-use. The cloud aids simple and quick installations as well as performing maintenance tasks remotely. This deliverance of ultimate control is an important commodity.Business continuity and risk management procedures must be maintained across the enterprise for day-to-day users, employees and visitors. Cloud security training Of course, one of the greatest fears surrounding the deployment of cloud systems for companies today is their vulnerability to hackers. But it is important to put those fears into context. All security manufacturers need to make sure their products are tested and bent to the highest standards to defend against vulnerabilities. While there can never be a 100-percent guarantee that there won’t be an attack, once you test your products to the highest degree and use a solid service provider, the risk to customers is greatly deflated. Additionally, establishing best practices for employees in how the cloud is used and passwords are stored can be instrumental in keeping the data being collected secure from outside threats and influences. Collaborating with both the IT and HR departments to develop rules and best practices, as well as effectively communicate these pieces, becomes imperative. On a regular basis, business continuity and risk management procedures must be maintained across the enterprise for not only day-to-day users of security technology, but also employees and visitors. In the event of a security incident or emergency, businesses must ensure that all members of the organisation are properly trained and prepared to execute a cohesive and up-to-date response plan.
Success in the access control arena is enhanced if the business has a global presence Vanderbilt 2014/2015 Review and Forecast: In 2014, our industry continued to be quite dynamic. While there are several “conglomerates” in the industry, such as UTC and Honeywell, who have been consolidators, there are also other companies (like ours) that are focused solely on security. The industry moves in both directions—some companies consolidating and acquiring, while others are more focused and concentrated. This includes some which are spinning off parts of their business into new entities altogether, such as Allegion from Ingersoll Rand or Siemens divesting their Security Products business to Vanderbilt. For access control system manufacturers (OEMs), the competitive landscape is still quite fragmented. This engenders a very competitive marketplace, but is not always helpful to end users, integrators and security consultants. While many of the small OEMs have changed very little over 10 or 20 years, there are also newer entrants that have impacted the industry, such as Open Options and Brivo. We believe that with the wide variety of smaller OEMs that still exist, there is continued opportunity for consolidation at this level of the value chain. Going forward, success in the access control arena is enhanced if the business has a global presence—major enterprise customers want to standardise on one integrated solution and a vendor that has an extensive network of integrator and technology partners. An experienced and loyal reseller channel is especially important to ensuring that there is less execution risk and that end user customers end up with systems that operate reliably and provide the desired solution. Larger, consolidated manufacturers can afford higher levels of R&D investment. In an industry sector that is sometimes slow to evolve and utilise the latest tools coming out of the IT market, this will be a key point of differentiation and added value as ongoing product enhancements are released at a continual pace. Looking to 2015, we can expect to see a lot of continued M&A activity, especially with a lot of “cheap” money in the hands of investors who realise the security industry will continue to experience steady growth and the need for continual investments and enhancements in the technology incorporated into the products most in demand. See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here
GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorised that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analysed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyse the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE report continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time. ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realised some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system.Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organisation. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customisable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organisation. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.
ACRE, renowned global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire RS2 Technologies in Munster, Indiana. This purchase will enhance ACRE’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its access control business and product portfolio. Following on from the recent acquisition of Open Options in December of 2018, ACRE continues to build its access control strength and reach in the North American market. ACRE’s portfolio now consists of Vanderbilt, Open Options, RS2 and ComNet, providing a robust offering to meet the needs across many verticals and the requirements of simple applications to very complex enterprise systems. RS2 security platform The RS2 platform was designed to easily integrate with other security system components RS2, founded in 1998, has long prided itself on the use of an open architecture platform approach in order to provide a broad product offering whilst working with a multitude of technology partners. RS2 goes the extra mile to address customer concerns and satisfy customer needs. RS2 has stayed in tune with the demands of the industry, listening to VOC from both end users and installers. The RS2 platform was designed to easily integrate with other security system components. ACRE’s CEO, Joseph Grillo, stated that this transaction continues to expand ACRE’s competitive position in a highly fragmented market with great growth potential. “The acquisition of RS2 boosts ACRE’s portfolio in the access control market and provides us one more seat at the table in a highly competitive market with many companies vying for the same work”, commented Grillo. “ACRE will continue to look for strategic opportunities to build the portfolio with complementary, albeit competitive, acquisitions.” Access control portfolio expansion “This is a great opportunity for RS2 to further expand our customer base and leverage the benefits of being a part of a broader ACRE portfolio,” said David W. Barnard, Director of Dealer Development/Partner. “We are excited to be joining the ACRE family and this will help push RS2 to the next level, and more quickly achieve our 2025 growth goals.” Financial details of the transaction were not released. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April 2019.
A rapid string of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions as 2018 passed into 2019 suggests the physical security industry may be on the verge of a busy year of companies buying other companies. Observers have noted a large amount of investment capital currently available to be invested in security M&A, and plenty of entrepreneurial companies are looking to be acquired. Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, previously hinted at upcoming M&A activity for his company by the end of 2018, foreshadowing ACRE’s late-year announcement to acquire access control company Open Options, Addison, Texas.The VaaS cloud-based image capture platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning Just days later, in the midst of the holiday season, Qognify announced its plan to acquire On-Net Surveillance Systems Inc. (OnSSI) and sister company SeeTec GmbH. Then came an even larger announcement: Motorola has acquired VaaS International Holdings Inc., a data and image analytics company for $445 million. The VaaS cloud-based image capture and analysis platform includes fixed and mobile license plate reader cameras driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Most recently, ADT announced yet another acquisition, Advanced Cabling Systems, a technology integration company in the South, thus continuing consolidation on the integration side of the business. There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019 Continuation of the trend In the case of the Qognify and Motorola deals, Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst, Video Surveillance & Security Services, IHS Global Limited, sees them as the next chapter in an M&A trend going back several years. “I think this is a continuation of what we have been seeing in recent years of video surveillance software vendors being acquired,” he says. In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features" “In the face of intense price competition, vendors have found it increasingly difficult to compete based on hardware features and are looking at software to offer unique competitive advantages.” In short, he sees it as a continuation of a trend that previously saw Canon acquiring Milestone Systems and Briefcam, Panasonic acquiring Video Insight and Tyco acquiring Exacq. “There are likely to be further mergers and acquisitions in the video surveillance supply base in 2019,” adds Cropley. “However, a spree of large-scale mergers and acquisitions is not expected.” Memoori, another market research firm, forecasts that the value of acquisitions could actually decline marginally in 2019 in value terms but increase in number. This observation is based on Memoori’s charting of physical security deals over the last 18 years. Jim McHale, Managing Director of Memoori, says there have been four cycles of increase and decline in activity, often exaggerated by billion dollar deals in one year such as the merger of Johnson Controls and Tyco of $165Bn in 2016. Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued Access control to open systems Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead “It may be too early to make judgements on the future based on the last four weeks, but there are some interesting points that can be made when compared with our 2018 analysis,” says McHale. “Access control when combined with identity management is punching well above its weight, and this trend has continued. "Acre has been a major contributor and has completed some 10 acquisitions. In general, the access control business has been slow to move to open systems, and hopefully we can expect this trend toward openness to continue as it will give additional growth to the business.” For more commentary from Memoori, see their report “Major Trends in the Global Access Control Market 2018”. Only time will tell whether the new year pattern of M&A activity is a coincidence or a harbinger of a busy M&A year ahead. While past trends may provide a glimpse of what’s coming, there are always new variables. It’s a sure bet the overall trend toward consolidation will continue but predicting the pace and timing of individual transactions is almost impossible. In any case, it will be interesting to watch how 2019 unfolds on the M&A front, among other factors in a changing industry.
Open Options, based in Addison, Texas, provides a truly open access control architecture that will strengthen the ACRE portfolio and increase the breadth of solutions offered by the global provider of security systems. The acquisition of Open Options is also an opportunity for ACRE to focus on growth opportunities in North America and “balance the scales a bit,” says Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, which significantly grew its reach in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the acquisition of Siemens Security Products in 2015. “Open Options is also a company that's growing, is profitable and fits seamlessly into our vision for the access control space in which we operate,” says Grillo. Independent operations The strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States The Open Options brand will continue to operate independently under the ACRE umbrella. Open Options CEO and Founder Steve Fisher will continue in his role as leader of the company, says Grillo. “There is a strong and competent management team in place that will continue to provide leadership going forward.” Open Options’ open-architecture access control solutions will add value to the solutions ACRE already offers under the Vanderbilt brand. In a market that has traditionally been proprietary, the open-platform solution offered by Open Options helps deliver more opportunity to offer customers a full-scale solution based on their needs, says Grillo. In addition, due to its origin as a Texas-based company, the strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States. Technical and financial resources On the other hand, ACRE provides a greater level of technical and financial resources that Open Options can utilise to help them grow even faster. These resources were not as available to the company if it remained independent, Grillo notes. ACRE’s divestiture of Mercury Security in 2017 facilitated this investment. As discussions began earlier this year, ACRE realised the potential of adding to its access control portfolio in the North American market, says Grillo. Open Options and Mercury have been "partners" for 20 years; Mercury provides hardware panels for Open Options systems. Each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently “The Mercury brand continues to be a strong one, so we're interested in continuing to nurture that relationship, and in fact we have become a larger and stronger partner to Mercury as ACRE,” says Grillo. “After owning Mercury for a number of years, we had the understanding of the company, the product portfolio and the partner relationships that defined it, so we were confident that the deal would be a positive one for the ACRE brand.” Meeting customer needs “Open Options and Vanderbilt share some customers already and we can leverage that by gaining more share of their business while providing them with a portfolio that will meet a broader set of customer needs,” says Grillo. “Where possible, we can look for synergies in channel partners that are not currently shared to provide access to both brands. This will be a benefit to Open Options, Vanderbilt and our customer base. However, importantly, each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently.” Are there more acquisitions on the horizon for ACRE? “We're always looking for opportunities that fit into the nature of our business,” says Grillo. “Companies that have growth potential and share similar go-to-market strategies and visions for the future are of particular interest to ACRE. "We're still operating in a highly fragmented market, so we're going to see continued consolidation in both access control and beyond, which means ACRE will be looking for the right opportunities to follow along that path.”
ACRE, global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Open Options based in Addison, Texas. Strategic acquisition of ComNet and ACT This purchase will enhance ACRE’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its access control business and product portfolio. This is the latest M&A activity since ACRE completed the acquisitions of ComNet (Danbury, Conn.) and Access Control Technologies “ACT” (Dublin, Ireland) businesses in 2016. Open Options will significantly increase ACRE’s position in the access control market, with emphasis on North America. Open Options, access control solutions firm For 20 years, Open Options has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. Open Options has been a Mercury Security partner since 1997 and is dedicated to delivering the most advanced open-platform access control solution available on the market. The acquisition of Open Options boosts Vanderbilt’s reach in the access control market" ACRE’s CEO, Joseph Grillo, stated that this transaction will continue to expand ACRE’s competitive position in a highly fragmented market with great growth potential. “The acquisition of Open Options boosts Vanderbilt’s reach in the access control market and enhances our product portfolio with the addition of an open architecture access control solution,” commented Grillo. “With the international portfolio fully integrated, it was time to turn our focus to North America.” Open architecture access control “We are pleased to join the ACRE or with its strong global reach which will open new opportunities for the Open Options product range,” said Steve Fisher, Open Options Founder and CEO. Financial details of the transaction were not released. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialised repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditisation). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
The Global Security Exchange (GSX) seems smaller this year, which is not surprising given the absence on the show floor of several big companies such as Hikvision and ASSA ABLOY (although their subsidiary HID Global has a big booth). A trend affecting the number of companies exhibiting at GSX 2018, and other trade shows, is industry consolidation, which is impacting the show even beyond the fewer exhibitors this year in Las Vegas. GSX is the new branding for the trade show formerly known as ASIS. There was an impressive crowd of visitors waiting for the show floor to open Tuesday morning; the conference part of the program began on Monday. After the attendees filed through the doors, the foot traffic seemed brisk throughout the morning, and was somewhat steady until the end of the first day. Exhibitors as a whole seemed pleased with the first day and cautiously optimistic about the rest of the show. Acquisitions and consolidation HID Global announced on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch - emphasising the impact of consolidation Emphasising the impact of consolidation on the industry as a whole, and on this show, was an announcement from HID Global on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch, a biometric identify management and secure authentication solutions provider. It’s a comparatively large acquisition for the company specialising in trusted identity solutions. Just days earlier, another acquisition also seemed to confirm the trend when UTC Climate, Controls and Security — the owner of Lenel — announced an agreement to acquire S2 Security. The fruits of another recent acquisition was on display at the GSX 2018 hall, where Isonas took its place near the front entrance as part of the Allegion booth, just three months after the global security provider acquired the ‘pure IP access control company.’ Isonas is well positioned in two of the three fastest growing segments of the access control market — IP hardware, which is growing 41 percent per year globally, and access control as a service, or ‘cloud’ technology, which is also outpacing the overall access control market. Allegion also has the third fast-growing segment, wireless locks, covered with its Schlage brand. "New avenues of growth" The early days of new ownership is opening fresh opportunities for both organisations as Allegion seeks to leverage Isonas’ intellectual property and the smaller company finds new avenues of growth in the larger organisation, says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. Motorola joined Avigilon in a higher profile role at their booth, emphasizing consolidation in the industry Lydic sees a likelihood of additional acquisitions in the near future in the security space, given the large amount of capital currently available to be deployed, and the large number of entrepreneurial companies looking to make the leap, as Isonas did, from a small booth at the back of the hall to front-and-center as part of a big industry player. Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth. In addition to signage, ownership by Motorola is also impacting the Avigilon product offerings. For example, the Motorola Ally security incident management and communications system has been integrated with Avigilon’s analytics-based event detection, and is being positioned to serve the enterprise market. The system simplifies security operations with a single platform that allows access to critical data, including video and access control systems, directly from any web-enabled device. Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth Avigilon is displaying Motorola Solutions’ CommandCenter Aware integrated with Avigilon’s systems for use with public safety applications to provide dispatchers and intelligence analysts with video feeds, incident details, alerts, data mapping and responder location. Avigilon has also integrated its AI-driven Appearance Search technology with its Access Control Manager system, so video searches can be performed based on a badge credential. The system can automatically pull up any information, whether video or events in the access control system, based on the badge information. It can also be used to search for lost badges, or to view where a person is located in the building. Avigilon introduced an AI appliance that allows existing cameras to be integrated with Appearance Search The company introduced an AI appliance that allows existing (non-Avigilon) cameras (up to 20 two-megapixel cameras) to be integrated with Appearance Search. Also, the next generation of analytics allows detection of more things, such objects a person may be holding, or detection based on what they are wearing. The growth of the cannabis market Although attendees at GSX are generally understood to be more end users than integrators, Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, the parent company of Vanderbilt Industries and ComNet, says he sees little difference in attendees at GSX compared to the ISC West show in the spring. “We see all our resellers here,” he says. Grillo noticed that Day One booth traffic was “not consistently busy, but steady.” Grillo says ACRE expects to be active again soon in the mergers and acquisitions market. The company has grown through six acquisitions since its founding, and has had one divestiture (when it sold Mercury Security to HID last fall). Since selling Mercury, ACRE has been ‘back in the buying mode,’ just looking for the right opportunity, says Grillo. New markets are a theme at GSX, and one of the biggest new opportunities is the cannabis industry. Marijuana has been legalised in dozens of U.S. states, and Canada is on the verge of legalising the drug. March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics March Networks is among the companies targeting the cannabis industry in a big way. Already across the U.S., March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics. The business intelligence solutions also aid compliance in the highly-regulated industry. March Networks provides radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to track plants throughout the channel, and tracking is integrated with video systems to provide correlated video views. A couple of exhibitors mentioned to me the need for commercial companies to deploy a comparable level of automation as their employees are accustomed to in the smart home environment. That suggests a need for things such as smartphone integration and voice commands. One exhibitor putting its toe in the water is Hanwha Techwin, which showed an Amazon Echo device used to control a video management system (VMS) with voice commands. Could the simple integration be a preview of the future of control rooms, where security officers merely talk to their equipment rather than operating controls? We’ll be talking to more companies (and maybe a few machines) on Day Two of the show, and will be reporting what we hear.
The three-day IFSEC International Conference and Expo was a sight to see as more than 27,000 attendees from around the globe descended on London's ExCeL to attend the event. Central to the show was the exhibit hall, where manufacturers across the industry demonstrated the products, services, and solutions designed to keep people safe and add more intelligence to comprehensive security plans. In a time where threats are becoming more diverse and complex, caused in part by rapidly developing technology, the tools, and knowledge required to combat attacks are becoming equally diverse. As a result, IFSEC itself is transforming into an integrated security event, bridging the gap between physical and cyber with innovative new products, education central to this mission, and the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge with fellow attendees. ACT Enterprise access control solution Vanderbilt showcased the ability of its upcoming release of ACT Enterprise access control solution during the show As part of this new vision for IFSEC International, Vanderbilt showcased its wealth of knowledge and product innovation that encompasses the integrated approach to security alongside its sister company ComNet, demonstrating the power of connectivity and advanced security tools to meet the needs of today's enterprise organisations. Vanderbilt showcased the ability of its upcoming release of ACT Enterprise access control solution during the show, emphasising the need for advanced wireless integrations and smartphone app functionality. The system gives users the power to access the network, receive notifications, and administer access rights - all from the palm of their hand. Vanderbilt's Executive Vice President - Global Sales David Sullivan sat down with IFSEC Global to discuss the company's developments, including the incorporation of video into access control and the ability of intrusion alarms to send push notifications directly to mobile applications on a user's smartphone. SourceSecurity met with Vanderbilt leaders to discuss the company's focus on integrations during the show, noting the critical integration between the SPC intrusion detection system and software from Milestone. Additionally, Vanderbilt's ACT Enterprise now integrates with ASSA ABLOY's Aperio wireless locking solution. 2018 IFSEC Global Security and Fire Influencer Vanderbilt's parent company, ACRE, was also on site to offer support for its brands during the show. ACRE CEO Joe Grillo was recognised during this year's event as a 2018 IFSEC Global Security and Fire Influencer in the Security Tech Leaders category for his ability to drive technological innovation and elevate the industry globally. While IFSEC is over, Vanderbilt continues to embody its mantra to be Ready for Any Challenge as customers look to the company to solve some of their most challenging security problems, building integrated, robust and scalable solutions that will serve them well for years to come. Till next year, IFSEC.
ACRE, global integrated technology solutions and services provider announced that CEO Joe Grillo has been named as a 2018 IFSEC Global Security & Fire Influencer in the Security Tech Leaders category for his ability to drive technological innovation and elevate the industry globally. 2018 IFSEC Global Security & Fire Influencer The list of influencers, which is selected by a panel of highly respected judges, seeks to recognise fire and security professionals who are influential in improving regulation, standards/guidance or best practice; driving the success of the organisation they lead or are employed by; or being a prominent, persuasive voice in the media. Grillo has been a regular on the list over the last several years for his efforts to elevate ACRE and its brands within the industry and beyond. For more than 30 years, Grillo has been actively involved in the electronic security and identification industries, where he's been successful in growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses. He is well known for being a founder of HID, as well as its Vice President of Sales and Marketing, COO and President, where he led the company’s growth for its sale to Assa Abloy, where he eventually ran the $700M Global Technologies Division. Grillo founded ACRE in 2012 and has steered the company through several acquisitions in the electronic security industry with a primary focus on access control. This past year, ACRE sold Mercury Security to HID Global, further solidifying his role in the consolidation of the market. Electronic security and identification expert “Throughout my career, I've had the privilege of working alongside executives who share the same vision for sales growth fueled by innovation and the goal to expand the security industry into the mainstream,” Grillo said. “The IFSEC Global influencer recognition is an honor that I share with these individuals.” ACRE's brands Vanderbilt and ComNet will participate in IFSEC International June 19-21, at ExCeL London, at Stands F305 and E420, respectively.
ISC West 2018 concluded as its largest and most successful show to-date, bringing more than 1,000 exhibitors and brands, 30,000 industry professionals, more than 85 educational sessions and more than 25 special events together in Las Vegas. That's why ACRE, the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet, chose this event to debut its brands in a co-located position on the show floor, allowing visitors to peruse both booths during their visits and chat with a more integrated team. Earlier this month, ACRE announced the promotion of ComNet's Andrew Acquarulo to President of ACRE Americas, and the addition of the role of President of ACRE International to ACRE COO Ronald Virden. The two attended ISC West in their new roles, delving into conversations around the biggest trends dominating the show, including issues of privacy, how the cloud is emerging as a major player in the security industry, cybersecurity and the need for manufacturers to play a significant role in future-proofing their solutions. Recipient of the SSI 2018 MVP award Vanderbilt was named as a recipient of the Security Sales & Integration 2018 MVP Award for its ACT365 solution in the access control category At ASIS 2017, Vanderbilt previewed the ACT365 cloud-based access control and video management solution, which was just beginning to hit the market in the Americas in the last quarter of 2017. During this year's show, however, ACT365 was officially ready and available to end users, and it was well received as a great option for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to increase their security footprint without having to make significant IT infrastructure investments. In the April issue of SDM Magzine, ACT365 is featured prominently in the case study section, outlining its use by IT firm Spectrum Virtual to protect critical data and assets from breaches. In fact, Vanderbilt was named as a recipient of the Security Sales & Integration 2018 MVP Award for its ACT365 solution in the access control category, recognising the product for making a substantial impact on integrators. The awards are judged on innovation, functionality, competitive advantages, benefits to the installer or monitoring provider and benefits to the end user. Hall Of Fame Recognition ACRE CEO Joe Grillo was also recognised during ISC West as he was inducted into the Security Sales & Integration Industry Hall of Fame Class of 2018 for his 30-year career growing, acquiring and restructuring businesses. Founded in 2004 to represent the highest commendation for going above and beyond in professionalism, conduct and achievement, the Hall of Fame recognised Grillo for his career in electronic access control and his track record as a leader within the industry. The entire ACRE family thanks all the visitors and partners who joined Vanderbilt and ComNet during the three-day expo and welcomes the opportunity to continue the conversation at another one of our upcoming events around the globe.
ACRE, a global supplier in providing security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, announced the promotion of Andrew Acquarulo Jr. as President of ACRE Americas. Ronald Virden, who was recently named ACRE COO, will also assume the role of President of ACRE International. The evolution of the company's leadership roles will allow ACRE to refocus its efforts based on geographic regions, allowing greater alignment between its Vanderbilt and ComNet brands in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. All of the management of Vanderbilt's international operations, as well as ComNet's UK-based operations, will fall under Virden's purview Presiding over Vanderbilt and ComNet Virden, who will assume his expanded role effective June 1, 2018, will be based in Dublin, Ireland, and take over the Vanderbilt CEO role from Joe Grillo, who will continue to serve as ACRE CEO. All of the management of Vanderbilt's international operations, as well as ComNet's UK-based operations, will fall under Virden's purview. Virden will also remain COO of ACRE. As President of ACRE Americas, Acquarulo will be responsible for the strategic vision, operations and sales initiatives for both of the company's ComNet and Vanderbilt brands in the Americas under the ACRE moniker, effective April 1, 2018. Security industry veteran Virden is a seasoned global executive with extensive experience with Fortune 50 organisations. He most recently served as President and Managing Director for Global Security Products, Americas/Global Access Solutions at UTC, encompassing UTC’s Interlogix and GE Security brands, as well as Supra, Onity and Lenel. Prior to that, Virden was President and Managing Director of GE Industrial Systems, GE Security/Supra, where he more than doubled international revenue and drove the strategic development of products to address specific market needs globally. “Joe has had the foresight to create a successful independent security company, and as I contribute to adding to that legacy, it's critical to ensure ACRE continues upon its growth trajectory,” Virden said. “I'm eager to take on the additional responsibility as President of ACRE International, focusing on growing and streamlining operations across its global markets.” Acquarulo has served as President and CEO for ComNet since 2010, leading the company's strategic vision across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and APAC Developing network-based solutions Acquarulo has served as President and CEO for ComNet since 2010, leading the company's strategic vision across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and APAC. He played an instrumental role in positioning ComNet into developing more networked-based solutions and guiding it to offer a combination of fibre optic, electrical and wireless solutions to increase options for its global customer base. Acquarulo also helped transition the brand into the ACRE group in 2016, ensuring the strength and proven technologies it delivered were well-positioned under the organisation. “As the market continues to transition into one driven by emerging technologies, such as cloud services and intelligent platforms, ACRE is poised to continue its leadership role in these segments,” said Acquarulo. “This evolution marks a tremendous opportunity for ACRE to extend its leadership position in the industry, and I look forward to being a part of it.” Intelligent transportation security systems Acquarulo will oversee sales and revenue growth, and prepare the brands for new expansion opportunities. He will report directly to Grillo and Virden. “Andy had the foresight to help shift ComNet toward the emerging trends across the security and intelligent transportation systems market long before many of the company's competitors, and Ron brings a significant amount of global executive experience to our team,” said Grillo. “ACRE continues to look for ways to streamline operations and make continued investments in its leadership team, which will help propel our brand forward and solidify our strength in the marketplace. We are also interested in positioning the ACRE brand for future expansion that will allow additional revenue streams and the addition of key markets across the globe.”
ACRE, a global provider of security products and solutions for the access control, intrusion, smart traffic and video surveillance markets, has announced the appointment of Ronald Virden as Chief Operating Officer, effective April 1, 2018. With extensive experience in senior leadership roles with global entities, Virden will help to elevate ACRE’s position in the electronic security marketplace, seek new opportunities for growth, and strengthen the momentum following recent strategic deals. “Following the divestiture of our Mercury Security business last year, ACRE fully expects to focus again on growth, both organically and through new acquisitions,” said Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE. “In order to do so, we were looking to expand our already strong management team. Adding someone with Ron’s experience represents a great opportunity for ACRE. His experience and track record are impressive.”Virden is a seasoned global executive with extensive experience with Fortune 50 organisations Business expertise “ACRE has built a significant business by combining the powers of multiple brands that deliver disruptive technologies and services addressing a wide variety of organisational requirements,” said Virden. “Having led companies through rapid growth periods to significant scale and business success, I saw that my experience could help propel ACRE to even greater success and I am pleased to have the opportunity to join the company as it continues to evolve.” Virden is a seasoned global executive with extensive experience with Fortune 50 organisations. He most recently served as President and Managing Director for Global Security Products, Americas/Global Access Solutions at UTC, encompassing UTC's Interlogix and GE Security brands, as well as Supra, Onity and Lenel. Prior to that, Virden was President and Managing Director of GE Industrial Systems, GE Security/Supra, where he more than doubled international revenue and drove the strategic development of products to address specific market needs globally. He holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
HID Global®, a subsidiary of ASSA ABLOY specialising in trusted identity solutions, has signed an agreement to acquire Mercury Security, an OEM supplier of controllers for physical access control. Mercury Security has over three million controllers installed at tens of thousands of sites worldwide, including at more than 90 of the Fortune 100 companies. Mercury’s intelligent controllers, interface boards and software complement HID’s readers, smart cards and mobile IDs for opening doors. Advancing HID global leadership “The acquisition of Mercury Security will advance HID‘s global leadership in the physical access control industry, adding Mercury Security’s high-quality controllers to HID’s product portfolio while extending HID’s installed base of millions of users beyond the readers and smart cards that we are already well known for,” said Stefan Widing, President and CEO of HID Global. “Customers of both HID and Mercury Security will benefit from tighter and more seamless integration of controllers with readers and credentials, as well as from our shared vision for an open, flexible approach to access control.” Selling Mercury Security Products to HID Global is Access Control Related Enterprises, LLC (ACRE), owner of Vanderbilt, a manufacturer of access control, intrusion and video solutions, and ComNet, a manufacturer of video and data transmission equipment. ACRE CEO Joseph Grillo stated, “Divesting Mercury after many years of success since ACRE purchased the business in 2013 is a strategic move that allows ACRE to focus on its core Access Control, Video and Intrusion businesses under the Vanderbilt and ComNet brands. HID is the perfect home to provide for the continued growth and success of Mercury, which will remain a valued technology supplier to Vanderbilt.” Mercury has relationships with nearly all the significant OEM partners and has been working together with HID as a partner for over a decade Closing the acquisition HID’s acquisition of Mercury Security is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. The closing of the deal is expected to happen by Q4 2017. Financial terms of the agreement are not being publicly disclosed. Houlihan Lokey Capital, Inc. and Raymond James & Associates, Inc., acted as financial advisors to ACRE and Mercury. Based in Long Beach, California, Mercury has relationships with nearly all the significant OEM partners and has been working together with HID as a partner for over a decade. Pending the close, the Mercury Security team will report into HID’s Physical Access Control Solutions (PACS) business, which is led by Harm Radstaak, Vice President and Managing Director. The remaining ACRE portfolio consists of global brands and provides over 2,000 products across access control, intrusion, video and cloud-based access and video systems in 95 countries. ComNet offers a broad line of fibre optic, copper, and wireless video and data transmission equipment designed for security and surveillance applications in intelligent transportation systems, utility and industrial markets. ACRE security industry acquisitions ACRE was formed in 2012 by security industry veteran Joseph Grillo as a platform to consolidate acquisitions in the electronic security industry. ACRE acquired the Schlage SMS business from Ingersoll Rand in 2012, followed by the 2013 acquisition of Mercury, the 2015 purchase of the Security Products Division of Siemens AG, and the 2016 acquisitions of Access Control Technology (ACT) and ComNet. Millions of people around the world use HID products and services to navigate their everyday lives, and over 2 billion things are connected through HID technology. HID works with governments, educational institutions, hospitals, financial institutions, industrial businesses and some of the most innovative companies on the planet. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, HID Global has over 3,200 employees worldwide and operates in more than 100 countries. HID Global® is an ASSA ABLOY Group brand.
Vanderbilt, a provider state-of-the-art security systems, announces the addition of SPC Connect to its SPC product portfolio, a hosted cloud-based solution designed specifically for installers to monitor, manage and maintain SPC panels remotely from any location. Cost effective design and installation The Vanderbilt SPC series of hybrid intrusion detection systems offer a cost-effective design and installation concept, with both wired and wireless capabilities for intrusion coverage. SPC can be tailored to small businesses, with applicability through large multinational enterprise organisations. With the addition of SPC Connect to existing SPC systems, end users have the ability to update SPC panels remotely, saving time and money on dedicated site trips, or hardware and software upgrades. SPC Connect users can manage SPC panels, and perform operations and status checks across groups of systems, instantly and remotely, as well as access event logs or view cameras. The system also has the ability to configure direct messaging by email in the event of an alarm. SPC Connect only requires a Web-based browser connected to the Internet. Significant cost reduction The SPC Connect solution allows customers the option of paying for only what they need, significantly reducing the costs associated with the upfront purchase and installation of traditional software solutions, as well as the ongoing costs associated with maintenance and upgrades. As an installer's business grows and more users need to be added, the monthly SPC Connect subscription can be adjusted. “SPC Connect brings intrusion detection to an entirely new level, leveraging connectivity with scalability and flexibility - all of which are critical to today's end users,” said Joe Grillo, Vanderbilt CEO. “Mobile capability is at a premium in our society, and many businesses require the ability to control their security on the go. SPC Connect allows this in an easy-to-use application for complete control over the intrusion detection systems already in place, and offers a cost-effective solution for end users, dealers and installers.” End users can download the SPC Connect app for free from the Apple Store or on Google Play, providing an interface that contributes clearer arming and status information as needed. All the user's interactions through SPC Connect are secured with financial-grade SSL security, offering peace-of-mind and powerful control.
ACRE continues to rapidly expand presence in the global security industry ACRE, LLC, the holding company that owns Vanderbilt Industries, Mercury Security, and recently acquired ACT in Ireland, announced the acquisition of Communication Networks LLC (dba ComNet), a manufacturer of video and data transmission equipment. Wireless video and data transmission The acquisition of ComNet builds on the ACRE family of companies, providing complimentary communication technologies utilised across its access control, intrusion, video, and cloud-based product ranges. ComNet offers a broad line of fibre optic, copper, and wireless video and data transmission equipment that is designed to meet the needs of security and surveillance in the intelligent transportation systems, utility, and industrial markets. ACRE CEO Joe Grillo stated, “In line with our mission, the ComNet acquisition, with their extensive offerings in the communication and data transmission technologies, continues to round out the product portfolio provided by the ACRE family of companies.” Acquisition benefits Commenting on the acquisition, Andrew Acquarulo Jr, ComNet CEO and President, declared, “ComNet is excited to join the ACRE group and recognises the strength it will bring to the brand and the synergies that are immediately apparent with the other ACRE companies.” The ACRE portfolio consists of global brands that feature proven technologies and long-acclaimed reputations for innovation and a high level of customer service and support. Mercury Security provides innovative OEM hardware for facility security and access control systems. Vanderbilt provides over 2,000 products across traditional access control, intrusion, video and cloud-based access and video systems in 95 countries.
The ACT brand will remain through the well-known products being added to the Vanderbilt portfolio Vanderbilt, a provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announced the completion of its purchase of Access Control Technology (ACT) Ltd. The integration of ACT’s product line into Vanderbilt’s core offering brings significant depth to the company’s access control and video surveillance while also bringing a new cloud-based solution to the portfolio. ACT365 video management software The ACT brand will remain through the well-known products being added to the Vanderbilt portfolio, such as ACTpro, ACTenterprise and ACT365. Vanderbilt will capitalise on ACT’s market share in Ireland and the UK in addition to introducing the products to North American customers and partners. ACT’s ACT365, is an integrated, cloud-based access control and video management software solution that brings additional depth to Vanderbilt’s product line. The software-as-a-service model brings a recurring revenue model to Vanderbilt and its channel partners. ACT365 provides stakeholders with the ability to manage system administration and management from anywhere, at any time and on any device. Integrated access control “The ACT business is a strategic fit with the Vanderbilt brand, capitalising on its strong, profitable business in the UK and Ireland,” said Joe Grillo, CEO, Vanderbilt. “The addition of an integrated access control and video platform is a logical step in the direction of growing our business on an international scale in the areas of access control, video and intrusion. Hosted, cloud-based systems are gaining in popularity in the security arena, becoming the logical way forward in future-proofing a facility’s security posture.” Vanderbilt’s integration of its July 2015 acquisition of the Siemens Security Products line of business considerably expanded the company’s presence in the highly fragmented security and access control market. Save Save
Vanderbilt’s acquisition of ACT will expand their reach with cloud-based access control system and VMS Vanderbilt, a global provider of state-of-the-art security systems, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Access Control Technology Ltd (ACT), based in Dublin, Ireland. This purchase will enhance Vanderbilt’s strategic expansion plans for strengthening its access control business and product portfolio. This is the latest M&A activity since Vanderbilt completed the acquisition of the Siemens Security Products business in 2015. ACT will significantly increase Vanderbilt’s market position in the access control market, with emphasis in Ireland and the UK. ACT was formed in 1995 and specialises in the design and manufacture of electronic access control, video management, and door entry systems. ACT is headquartered in Dublin, has an office in Manchester, UK, and an active distribution network that includes Europe, Asia, the Middle East, with plans to enter the North American market. Enhanced cloud-based access control system and VMS Vanderbilt’s CEO, Joseph Grillo, stated that this transaction will continue to expand Vanderbilt’s competitive position in a highly fragmented market with great growth potential. “The acquisition of ACT boosts Vanderbilt’s reach in the access control market and enhances our product portfolio with the addition of a cloud-based access control system and a tightly integrated VMS,” commented Grillo. “With the integration of the Siemens business complete, it was time to look at new opportunities.” “We are pleased to have the opportunity to be part of a larger and strong international organisation which will open exciting new market opportunities for the ACT product range,” said David Tymlin, ACT Managing Director. “In the course of just a few years, Vanderbilt has established itself as a fast-growing market leader and we recognised a wonderful opportunity to become part of their future success.” Financial details of the transaction were not released. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016. Save
Since its acquisition of Security Products from Siemens, Vanderbilt has caused a buzz in the security industry Vanderbilt will attend Security Essen for the first time this year, and will be exhibiting the latest developments across all three of its product ranges – Access Control, Intruder Detection and Video surveillance. Recent activity Since its acquisition of Security Products from Siemens 15 months ago, Vanderbilt has caused quite a buzz in the security industry. A combination of its global reach, independent structure and technical expertise is without parallel in the industry, and helps to explain its prolific growth over that time. Indeed, the last 15 months have been a period of considerable activity for Vanderbilt. A rationalised supply chain management and logistics infrastructure has been initiated, which is already improving product availability to customers. This is being complemented with a programme of activities that will integrate Vanderbilt’s global operation across 95 countries worldwide, making over 2,000 products available to all customers on increasingly short lead times. Vanderbilt has also made a number of key appointments to strengthen the senior management team at the company. Aliro 2 access control On centre stage at Security Essen Vanderbilt will feature Aliro 2 - the latest generation of Vanderbilt’s industry leading access control solution. Building on the success of its predecessor and created alongside external developers, Aliro 2 is suitable for small to medium sized commercial applications, boasting easy to use Internet based software and intuitive mobile features. Utilising the advanced Mercury firmware platform, which provides unrivalled control, monitoring and data manipulation, it supports, as standard, 64 doors and 5,000 users and, with additional software licenses the system can be increased up to 1,024 wired doors, 1,024 wireless doors and 25,000 users. Visitors will also be able to see how it works with MiFare card readers featuring an integral LED based screen that facilitates cardholder interaction by displaying messages. Integration with Aperio is one of the highlights in the new feature set of Aliro 2 but there is much more to come as this new system paves the way for Vanderbilt’s future migration strategy. SPC intrusion panel One of the strongest intrusion product ranges available on the market, SPC has obtained more approvals than any other, both European and further afield Vanderbilt’s highly successful SPC intrusion panel will also be featured on the stand. One of the strongest intrusion product ranges available on the market, SPC has obtained more approvals than any other, both European and further afield. Vanderbilt continues to develop even more attractive features for this range including its SPC Connect – which will also be demonstrated at Security Essen. This cloud-based innovation provides customers with remote access to control panels, safe in the knowledge that the process is highly secure, thanks to the implementation of financial grade SSL security. Another exciting new aspect of SPC Connect is that installers can customise how they view data by setting up a feature which allows them to manage and control access rights to individual panels and groups of panels. Magic motion detector range Also being shown, the highly successful Magic motion detector range, which offers reliable detection of intruders and high false alarm immunity. This will appear alongside the new colour range of SPC Compact Keypads – slim, elegant, feature packed user interfaces which bring the power and sophistication of the SPC system right to a user’s fingertips. Eventys video range New to the video portfolio is the Eventys range, a cost effective range of cameras and recorders that are aimed at the simple set up and plug and play approach. With an intuitive interface offering outstanding functionality and flexibility, Eventys is perfect for small to medium sized installations that require up to 20 cameras. Future expansion Joe Grillo, CEO of Vanderbilt, commented, "It has been a tremendously exciting time for Vanderbilt and we are looking forward to sharing the results of our activities. In 2016 we will attend all the major trade shows in Europe. I want our customers to see our business as one that delivers on its commitments to be close to our market and our partners. "Security Essen attracts many German and international visitors and therefore provides an excellent platform to further highlight our credentials as a uniquely independent organisation that is pursuing an aggressive expansion programme."
The Eventys range offers variants of up to H.264+ IP compression efficiency and optimised codec technology, alongside two NVRs Vanderbilt, a global leader in providing state-of-the-art security systems has announced the latest addition to its innovative CCTV portfolio. Designed to meet the need for a cost effective solution that doesn't compromise on functionality and ease of use, Eventys offers more than you need for less than you think. Building services sector With the growing acknowledgment of the importance of security in buildings of all sizes, Eventys represents Vanderbilt’s ability to respond quickly to installer requirements and market pressures. It also means that those new to the security industry, such as electrical contractors, now have a product set that enables them to make the most of this burgeoning building services sector. Eventys camera technology The Eventys range offers variants of up to H.264+ IP compression efficiency and optimised codec technology, alongside two network video recorders (NVRs). With a simple set up procedure, these products offer outstanding functionality and flexibility, and are perfect for small to medium sized installations. Powering and connecting the cameras is a simple and straightforward exercise thanks to the use of Power over Ethernet The Eventys IP cameras feature 1.3MP to 2MP resolution with both fixed and varifocal lens options. Powering and connecting the cameras is a simple and straightforward exercise thanks to the use of Power over Ethernet (PoE), which allows energy to be supplied via the IT network infrastructure. This is coupled with automatic IP address allocation, along with auto-device detection and connection, making Eventys truly plug and play. Robust, reliable and suitable for a wide variety of applications, the cameras are built into an IP66 rated weatherproof enclosure, while advanced CMOS progressive scanning allows the camera to obtain values from each pixel in the sensor and scans to produce a complete picture. NVR features The two NVRs are equipped with features commonly found on more expensive devices. A built in PoE switcher is standard on both four or eight channel variants that support live view, storage, and playback with up to 6MP resolution. One-touch record triggering, multiple recording types and instant playback for assigned channel during multi-channel display mode combine to offer reliable recording and review. Widening Vanderbilt's appeal Eventys is the first significant CCTV product launch that Vanderbilt has made in Europe since it acquired Security Products from Siemens just over one year ago. This exciting new launch is part of the company’s commitment to extend its range to appeal to the widest possible market, as well as offering unrivalled performance and operating protocols. "We are tremendously excited about Eventys, which represents a refreshing range of seamless, reliable and great value IP CCTV solutions," commented Vanderbilt’s CEO, Joe Grillo, "We pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly to market demands and design solutions that are based around our EASY IP approach – easy to install, easy to connect, easy to store recordings, and easy to view."
IFSEC International 2016 by all measures was a successful show. Two of the three days clearly met (or exceeded) exhibitors’ expectations. The third day was slower, but is it any wonder? Heavy rains and resulting commuter train complications would have discouraged all but the most determined. And there was another distraction, too: It was the day of the Brexit vote, when the United Kingdom made history. Results of that momentous vote underlined the sense of uncertainty I felt on the first day of IFSEC, and also ensured the gamut of ramifications – political and economic – that will impact the security marketplace for years to come. So the last day of IFSEC was definitely historic! And just days after the close of IFSEC comes word of another terrorist bombing, this one at the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, again reiterating to the security industry the importance of what we do. Clearly, multiple factors suggest continued instability in the European region, and internationally, pointing to the use of more technologies like those displayed at IFSEC 2016. Canon's complementary camera lines Axis is expanding its product line beyond cameras into other devices operating on the Internet of Things I had an interesting discussion on the last day of IFSEC with Julian Rutland, Canon’s European Network Visual Solutions Marketing Director. Industry observers (including me) have wondered about the thinking behind a large corporate parent (i.e., Canon) operating two camera lines – Axis and Canon – seemingly in direct competition. For its part, Axis has repeatedly emphasised its independence from Canon, and is also expanding its product line beyond cameras into other devices operating on the Internet of Things. Canon is taking a very different path, says Rutland (who was careful not to comment on “strategy.”) Canon is seeking to complement what Axis is doing, rather than competing head-on. Specifically, Rutland says Canon is looking to leverage their "general business" presence and their "global accounts team" (i.e., the ones that sell Canon copiers, scanners and other office equipment). Canon will sell their general business customers on video "solutions" – in many cases leveraging that other familiar Canon sister company, Milestone Systems. This approach (outside the traditional security channel, where Axis is strong), allows Canon cameras a route to success that doesn’t require them to compete head-to-head with Axis. And by leveraging Milestone's open "community," they are maximising the corporate synergies there, too. New Canon products at the show included cameras that have an “IR band pass filter” that takes out the glare from halogen headlights for vehicle license plate recognition (ANPR) applications; the stand highlighted an integration with Intelico. Other solutions announced in the Canon stand included integration with Digital Barriers for real-time streaming on cellular networks. The system, for safe cities applications, adjusts image quality and frame rates automatically according to available bandwidth. There was also an integration with Ipsotek (video analytics, accredited by the UK Home Office) for high-end critical infrastructure applications. Successful year for Vanderbilt I also caught up with Vanderbilt CEO Joe Grillo on the last day. It’s been exactly a year since Vanderbilt’s acquisition of Siemens Security Products business, and it’s been a busy transition. They have been at almost every trade show in Europe during the last year to build the Vanderbilt brand. Vanderbilt has also consolidated its access control platforms into the Aliro 2 solution, which uses firmware by sister company Mercury. At IFSEC, Vanderbilt also demonstrated the SPC intrusion line, including the SPC Connect cloud-based system. Also, the Eventys CCTV range provides plug-and-play installation and intuitive interface for small- to medium-sized installations that require up to 20 cameras. Significant security trends from Nedap “In the last months, you have started to see awareness that, in the physical security world, there is a cyber-threat that affects everything" Daryn Flynn, Nedap’s UK security management manager, confirmed trends I had heard several times at the show. One was the growing awareness of wireless locks (whether online or offline). Wireless locks expand the ability to protect a variety of doors in an organisation – no one size fits all. A mixed topology of online and offline locks provides plenty of options, says Flynn. Another familiar topic I heard at Nedap is cybersecurity, and there is a new acknowledgement in the market of its importance. “In the last months, you have started to see awareness that, in the physical security world, there is a cyber-threat that affects everything,” says Flynn. “It’s becoming much more mainstream.” Flynn says Nedap’s goal with its AEOS security management platform was to create a product that does not have an end of life. The flexibility of the system is an advantage for users, who can adapt to changes – different people, different risks, different buildings – because everything is based on reprogrammable software. “In security that represents value,” he says. “When people invest in a technology, they want a long life.” At Heathrow Airport traveling home from IFSEC, the passenger screening lines moved fast, and my carry-on bag was scanned, thoroughly searched, swabbed for explosives residue, and scanned again — as it should be.