ADT Inc., the smart home security provider serving residential and business customers, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell ADT Security Services Canada, Inc. (“ADT Canada”), to TELUS Corporation (“TELUS”) for approximately CAD $700 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction comprises all of ADT Canada’s operations and assets.
“Opportunities continue to develop for ADT in the areas of smart home integration, the expansion of the home security business into new demographics and ADT’s growth in commercial security,” said Jim DeVries, President and CEO, ADT.
“The sale of our more capital intensive Canadian operations enables us to sharpen our focus on the exciting growth and higher margin opportunities in the U.S., where we can more efficiently invest our time and resources. Importantly, these emerging opportunities are ideal for leveraging the trusted ADT brand as we continue generating strong free cash flow to drive shareholder value over the long term.”
One-time special dividend
The Company also announced that its Board of Directors authorised a one-time special dividend (“Special Dividend”) of up to $550 million and plans to set the dividend at $0.70 per share. The Special Dividend is conditioned upon the closing of the transaction and is subject to subsequent corporate action, and therefore may not be in that amount, or occur at all.ADT plans to continue to execute on its previously disclosed capital allocation framework
Details of the Special Dividend, including the record date for shareholders eligible to receive the Special Dividend and the payment date of the Special Dividend, will be provided in conjunction with the closing of the transaction.
Opportunistic bolt-on M&A opportunities
The Company expects to incur a non-cash charge in the third quarter in connection with the transaction, which may be material to ADT’s earnings. ADT plans to continue to execute on its previously disclosed capital allocation framework, which balances organic investments in the business, opportunistic bolt-on M&A opportunities, returning capital to shareholders and de-levering over time. For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, ADT Canada generated revenue of USD $229 million.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and other business requirements, including approval of the transaction by the Canadian Competition Bureau.
RBC Capital Markets and Barclays are serving as financial advisors to ADT and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, LLP is serving as legal advisor.
Brilliant, manufacturer of Brilliant Smart Home Control system, and Schlage, a brand of Allegion that has been creating stylish and innovative door hardware for almost 100 years, has announced at CEDIA Expo 2019 a new collaboration designed to bring more convenience and simplicity to the smart home and home technology industry.
Complete access control
Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt integration with Brilliant Smart Home Control for seamless access control
Schlage’s innovative smart lock, the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, will integrate with Brilliant’s Smart Home Control to give end users complete access control as well as the ability to conveniently lock and unlock their doors directly from any wall-mounted Brilliant Control or by utilising voice commands through integration with Amazon Alexa. Homeowners will also be able to control locks as part of their home automation scenes.
The integration also makes it easier than ever for custom integrators and trade professionals to create safer, smarter homes for end users. The Schlage Encode deadbolt features built-in WiFi, making additional hubs and gateways unnecessary and allowing it to be added simply to a wider variety of smart home ecosystems. Its ability to seamlessly connect with Brilliant provides even more options during home construction.
Integration with smart home devices
“The Schlage Encode deadbolt was designed to make connected locks simpler for our customers,” said Mark Jenner, Director of Technology Alliances at Allegion. “By integrating with smart home automation platforms such as Brilliant, we provide homeowners greater flexibility, accessibility and simplicity to the smart home experience. That improved experience benefits partners at every stage, from the business decision to include the tech on new homes to installation of the technology.”
At CEDIA Expo 2019, September 10-14, Brilliant and Schlage will demo the integration at the Brilliant booth #3527. This demo is aimed at helping custom integrators understand how to deliver the best smart home control experience to their customers.
Brilliant – Schlage integration
“Brilliant understands that home builders and consumers aren’t smart home experts, yet they want the advanced technology and benefits that come with a smart home,” said Aaron Emigh, CEO and Co-Founder of Brilliant. “Brilliant and Schlage are committed to helping homeowners meet their needs now and in the future by working with custom integrators to create a more harmonious smart home experience.”
Safety: Homeowners are provided with top integrated products that help ensure the safety of their homes and families.
Simplicity: With no hubs or gateways needed to connect the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt to the home network, installation and integration with Brilliant and other smart home technology is easier than ever.
Convenience: The easy-to-use integration of Schlage and Brilliant provides homeowners with an exceptional smart home experience, resulting in positive customer interactions with builders, custom integrators and other trade professionals.
Peace of mind: Brilliant and Schlage’s innovation helps keep homeowners safe through integrated events that allow a door to lock automatically at a set time, see who is at the door and unlock the deadbolt remotely for trusted visitors, and ensure the house is turned on and safe for family members.
Flexibility: Customers have access to the smart home options they expect and can choose integrated products that will work with their lifestyle.
Affordable: Brilliant and Schlage have extensive relationships with builders to help create a program that is accessible and affordable to contractors and builders, alike.
Smart home features
Lock and unlock the door conveniently using Brilliant throughout the home or utilise the mobile app when they’re on the go.
Incorporate the Schlage Encode deadbolt in Brilliant “Scenes” to trigger controls throughout the home. For instance, tap "Goodnight" and Brilliant will lock the doors, turn off lights, turn down the temperature, and mute music.
See and speak to guests at the front door and unlock the door when a Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt and Ring Video Doorbell are connected to the Brilliant Control.
Tell Alexa to lock and unlock the door once the Brilliant Alexa Experience is set up and the Schlage Encode Alexa Skill is enabled.
Professionals from varied spheres in the security, safety and fire protection industry gathered for the second edition of the Intersec Awards during a gala event to celebrate their achievements in the global fire safety and security industry.
The ceremony which was hosted by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organisers of Intersec – was held at Dubai’s Habtoor Palace Ballroom and saw more than 250 guests attend.
Commercial security and fire protection
The awards saw 130 entrants across nine categories, with entries received from companies across the globe, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Germany, Canada and Singapore. The Intersec Security, Safety & Fire Protection Awards celebrate innovation, excellence and teamwork"
Simon Mellor, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said, “The Intersec Security, Safety & Fire Protection Awards are a celebration of innovation, excellence, perseverance, teamwork, and of the dedication by the entire commercial security and fire protection community that continuously keep our societies safe and secure.”
Spread across five security and four fire categories, entries went through a rigorous judging process which took place over two days and required shortlisted nominees to present their projects and products and attend a question and answer interview in front of an independent panel.
The panel of judges including industry leaders and experts from companies such as Khalifa University, the Security Industry Regulatory Agency (SIRA), Dubai Civil Defence and EMAAR.
Axis Communications - 'Video Surveillance/Camera System of the Year' winner
Swedish manufacturer Axis Communications won the Video Surveillance / Camera System of the Year, for its AXIS Q6215-LE PTZ Network Camera. Philippe Kubbinga, Regional Director - Middle East & Africa, Axis Communications, said: “We are immensely proud of this recognition. It is a testament of the hard work, vision and excellent engineering of our teams.
“With the AXIS Q6215-LE PTZ Network Camera, we have once again gone beyond the status quo and delivered a product that we believe will bring great value to our focus industry segments which are Critical Infrastructure, Transportation and Smart & Safe Cities. We look forward to continue innovating for a smarter and safer world.”
Ejadah - ‘Security Project of the Year’ winner
Ejadah was the only company to win across two categories on the night, walking away with the ‘Security Project of the Year’ and ‘Innovative Security Product of the Year’ awards. The UAE-based provider of community solutions for real estate assets was awarded for its work on upgrading the CCTVs across Jumeirah Beach Residences and their Security Robotic Service, respectively.
Zainab Al Rahma, Marketing and Communications Manager for EJADAH, said, “Our robots will now offer the security industry and our customers the opportunity to purchase or rent assets that will enhance and improve the standard and quality of security services provided. They are an excellent example of utilising the latest technology that can be easily integrated into any existing security systems. Once integrated these products will certainly compliment any of our customers’ security plans for their developments.”
Engineering firm, WSP added to its two award wins from 2018, taking home the ‘Fire Project of the Year’ award
Engineering firm, WSP added to its two award wins from 2018, taking home the ‘Fire Project of the Year’ award for its work on The Wharf in Bluewaters Island. Alexander Castellanos, a consultant from WSP, said, “This project is a change from the super and mega high rises and posed unique fire and life safety strategy elements which had to be considered.
Life safety solutions
“With the project being focused on delivering a pedestrian experience and its low-rise nature, the fire strategy took advantage of this design element in order to address life safety elements such as fire service access, phased evacuation, and evacuation discharge as an integral part of the design and allowing for efficiencies while maintaining a high standard of safety.”
In addition to returning award categories, the ceremony saw the introduction of new categories such as the ‘Humanitarian Project Award’, won by Sicuro Group for their Mozambique Crisis Response & Operation Strategy.
Maxxess – ‘System Integrator of the Year’ award
Provider of security management systems, Maxxess, took home another of the newly introduced award categories, the ‘System Integrator of the Year’, for its work on Bluewaters Island.
“The eFusion security management platform was chosen by Bluewaters, and it uses versatile, open-technology software without the need for complex or bespoke integration,” said Lee Copland, Managing Director EMEA, Maxxess. “This project benefited from the cost advantage of a modular, building block approach that gives maximum freedom to integrate, customise and adapt security systems to meet both current needs and emerging risks."
Off-the-shelf, plug-and-play integration
Off-the-shelf, plug-and-play integration is much less expensive than a customised solution"
Lee adds, “The reduced costs therefore apply not just to the present implementation, but also to future adaptations which will also be achieved much more easily. Off-the-shelf, plug-and-play integration is much less expensive than a customised solution, and eFusion already integrates with more than 60 leading security technologies, with more being added continuously.”
The 22nd edition of Intersec will take place from 19-21 January 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, featuring more than 1,300 exhibitors from 59 countries, covering the seven key show sections of Commercial Security, Fire & Rescue, Homeland Security & Policing, Physical & Perimeter Security, Safety & Health, Cyber Security, and Smart Home & building Automation.
Intersec 2019 Awards winners
Fire safety categories
Fire project of the Year: WSP, Bluewaters Island - The Wharf
Fire Alarm Detection of the Year: RPMANETWORKS, Hassantuk Smart Fire Solution
Fire Suppression System of the Year: NAFFCO, NAFFCO Inert Gas System (IG01, IG41, IG55, IG100)
Innovative Fire Protection Product of the Year: Waterfall Pumps Manufacturing, WF Fire Pump House (Pre-packaged Fire Systems)
Security Project of the Year: Ejadah, Jumeirah Beach Residences CCTV Upgrade
Access Control Product of the Year: Uhlmann and Zacher, Access solution with Bluetooth
Video Surveillance / Camera System of the Year: Axis Communications, AXIS Q6215-LE PTZ Network Camera
Innovative Security Product of the Year: Ejadah, Security Robotic Service
System Integrator of the Year: Maxxess Systems, A Sustainable and Future-proof Integrated Maxxess Solution at Bluewaters Island
Humanitarian Project Award: Sicuro Group, Mozambique Crisis Response & Operation Continuity Strategy
Patriot One Technologies Inc., developer of the PATSCAN™ Threat Detection Platform, is pleased to be selected as the security technology partner for Bleutech Park Las Vegas, a $7.5b Las Vegas Mini-City project that will be the World's first net-zero, smart, connected and safe city.
The partnership was announced via a press release by Bleutech Park on Monday, September 9, 2019 and via social media on Friday, August 30, 2019. Prior to these announcements, Bleutech Park Las Vegas held an event on Wednesday, August 28, with key technology partners from around the world who shared their technologies and their excitement for being a part of the ‘Smart Mini-City’ project; a first of its kind in the world.
Distinguished guests learned more about the project and got a first-hand look at the advanced technologies that will be integrated at Bleutech Park Las Vegas, scheduled to host its groundbreaking ceremony in December 2019. The event began with the unveiling of state-of-the-art technologies and new renderings of Bleutech Park Las Vegas by the team of architects and engineers.
We are excited because of the foresight to bring Bleutech Park to Las Vegas for its sustainability"
KME Architects Principal, Melvin Green began the program with what was echoed by all partners, "We are excited because of the foresight to bring Bleutech Park to Las Vegas for its sustainability. We all have a vested interest in this project, because we have to leave this earth for our kids and their future generations." Bleutech Park Las Vegas CTIO, Bertrand Dano introduced key technology partners, from all around the world, who are making it possible for Bleutech Park Las Vegas to be powered by the sun, wind and footsteps, thereby creating its own energy ‘off-the-grid.’
Use of AI for security and technologies
Following the renderings and information shared about its supertrees, representatives from Cisco, Pavegen, Knightscope, Onyx Solar, and Patriot One Technologies demonstrated each of their technologies and their impact into this one-of-a-kind project. From footsteps creating energy, to transparent colourful photovoltaic glass for building structures, to fully autonomous robots powered by the use of AI for security and technologies delivering innovative threat detection and counter-terrorism solutions.
"Patriot One is honoured to be selected as the security technology partner for Bleutech Park, a $7.5b Las Vegas Mini-City project that will be the World's First Net-Zero, Smart, Connected and Safe City," shared Martin Cronin, CEO & President of Patriot One Technologies.
There’s a lot of hype around the term ‘digital transformation.’ For some, it’s the integration of digital technology into everyday tasks. For others, it’s the incorporation of innovative processes aimed at making business optimisation easier.
In most cases, digital transformation will fundamentally change how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. And within the security realm, the age of digital transformation is most certainly upon us. Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality. No longer are the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities foreign and distant concepts full of intrigue and promise.
Enhancing business operations
We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other
These elements are increasingly incorporated into security solutions with each passing day, allowing enterprises the chance to experience countless benefits when it comes to enhancing both safety and business operations. The term ‘connected world’ is a derivative of the digital transformation, signifying the increasing reliance that we have on connectivity, smart devices and data-driven decision-making. As we become more familiar with the advantages, flaws, expectations and best practices surrounding the connected world, we can predict what issues may arise and where the market is heading.
We’re increasingly seeing devices become smarter and better able to communicate with each other through the IoT to achieve both simple goals and arduous tasks. Within our homes, we’re able to control a myriad of devices with commands (‘Hey Google...’ or ‘Alexa...’), as well as recall data directly from our mobile devices, such as receiving alerts when someone rings our doorbell, there’s movement in our front yard or when a door has been unlocked.
The focus is now shifting to the business impacts of connectivity between physical devices and infrastructures, and digital computing and analytics-driven solutions. Within physical security, connected devices can encompass a variety of sensors gathering massive amounts of data in a given timeframe: video surveillance cameras, access control readers, fire and intrusion alarms, perimeter detection and more.As the data from each of these sensors is collected and analysed through a central platform, the idea of a connected world comes to fruition, bringing situational awareness to a new level and fostering a sense of proactivity to identifying emerging threats. The connected world, however, is not without its challenges, which means that certain considerations must be made in an effort to protect data, enhance structured networking and apply protective protocols to developing technology.
Physical security systems
We can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well
As the use of connected devices and big data continue to grow, we can expect to see the conversations regarding data privacy and security increase as well. Connectivity between devices can open up the risk of cyber vulnerabilities, but designing safeguards as technology advances will lessen these risks. The key goal is to ensure that the data organisations are using for enhancement and improvements is comprehensively protected from unauthorised access.
Manufacturers and integrators must be mindful of their products' capabilities and make it easy for end users to adhere to data sharing and privacy regulations. These regulations, which greatly affect physical security systems and the way they're managed, are being implemented worldwide, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the United States, California, Vermont and South Carolina have followed suit, and it can be expected that more countries and U.S. states develop similar guidelines in the future.
Technology is already a part of our day-to-day lives, with smart devices in our homes and the ability to perform tasks at our fingertips now a reality
Automatic security updates
Mitigating the concerns of the ‘connected world’ extends beyond just data privacy. IoT technology is accelerating at such a pace that it can potentially create detrimental problems for which many organisations may be ill-prepared - or may not even be able to comprehend. The opportunities presented by an influx of data and the IoT, and applying these technologies to markets such as smart cities, can solve security and operational problems, but this requires staying proactive when it comes to threats and practicing the proper protection protocols.
As manufacturers develop devices that will be connected on the network, integrating standard, built-in protections becomes paramount. This can take the form of continuous vulnerability testing and regular, automatic security updates. Protocols are now being developed that are designed to ensure everything is encrypted, all communications are monitored and multiple types of attacks are considered for defensive purposes to provide the best security possible.
Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices
Built-in protection mechanisms send these kinds of systems into protection mode once they are attacked by an outside source. Another way for manufacturers to deliver solutions that are protected from outside threats is through constant and consistent testing of the devices long after they are introduced to the market.
Hackers wishing to do harm will stop at nothing to break into IoT-connected devices, taking every avenue to discover vulnerabilities. But a manufacturer that spends valuable resources to continue testing and retesting products will be able to identify any issues and correct them through regular software updates and fixes. ‘IoT’ has become a common term in our vocabularies and since it’s more widely understood at this point and time, it's exciting to think about the possibilities of this revolutionary concept.
Providing critical insights
The number of active IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025 — a number that is almost incomprehensible. The rise of 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving cars can be seen on the horizon of the IoT. As more of these devices are developed and security protocols are developed at a similar pace, connected devices stand to benefit a variety of industries, such as smart cities.
Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches
Smart cities rely on data communicated via the IoT to enhance processes and create streamlined approaches to ensuring a city is well-run and safe. For example, think of cameras situated at a busy intersection. Cameras at these locations have a variety of uses, such as investigative purposes in the event of an accident or for issuing red-light tickets to motorists. But there are so many other possible purposes for this connected device, including providing critical insights about intersection usage and traffic congestion. These insights can then be used to adjust stoplights during busy travel times or give cities valuable data that can drive infrastructure improvements.
Physical security market
The impact of connected devices on cities doesn’t stop at traffic improvement. The possibilities are endless; by leveraging rich, real-time information, cities can improve efficiencies across services such as transportation, water management and healthcare. However, stringent protections are needed to harden security around the networks transmitting this kind of information in an effort to mitigate the dangers of hacking and allow this technology to continuously be improved.
Whether you believe we’re in the midst of a digital transformation or have already completed it, one thing is certain: businesses must begin thinking in these connectivity-driven terms sooner rather than later so they aren’t left behind. Leveraging smart, connected devices can catapult organisations into a new level of situational awareness, but adopting protections and remaining vigilant continues to be a stalwart of technological innovation within the physical security market and into the connected world.
There’s no question that the popularity of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) security and home automation products is on the rise. The reasons for the growth in DIY sales are numerous, including increased awareness of home automation products, fast set-up, limited (if any) installation costs, and interoperability with other smart security products. In fact, with the parallel rise of smart home hubs like Alexa and Google Home, many people are opting to attempt the set-up of smart home devices without any professional assistance.
According to a 2018 Residential Security Market Report prepared by Parks Associates and Security Sales & Integration magazine, “More than 60% of installing dealers now report that DIY systems are biting into demand for their services.” But the rise in DIY is not entirely bad news for security and home automation installers and dealers. There are a number of ways to view this glass as half-full. Let’s look at a few of them.
Increase in revenue for dealers
With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have broken down barriers for additional purchaseThere are reasons for dealers and installers to be cheerful about the rise of DIY. For one thing, according to that same Residential Security Market Report from Parks Associates, residential security dealers are doing quite well. The report states, “In 2017, revenues were up an average 7.72% for security dealers.” What about installations? The report goes on to say, “For 2017, the average number of installs per dealer was 22 per month, compared to 17 per month in 2016.”
So, revenues are up for security dealers, and at least part of the reason can be attributed to the fact that DIY products can raise overall awareness of and spur interest in other home automation and security products. With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for the additional purchase, and installation, of complete, professionally installed systems.
Wireless, connected smart locks
For example, the sale of wireless, connected smart locks (viewed by some consumers as DIY) can lead to opportunities for further home automation product sales and professional installations. Connected smart locks can actually act as an extension of a smart hub or controller. They can be used to wirelessly communicate with and control all the devices that make up a home automation system, including lighting, entertainment, thermostats, air, alarms, shades and more.
With their lower cost and perceived ease of installation, DIY products have actually broken down barriers for new security installations
And they can do all this from a prime, convenient location – the front door, as well as other points of entry like the side or back doors. Plus, smart lock conversion kits like Kwikset Convert let homeowners easily bring home automation capabilities to their door without altering the aesthetics of the entry.
Connected smart locks can allow homeowners to set up their home with custom scenarios, right before they step inside. For example, residents can program their lock so that every time they unlock the door, a foyer light goes on, temperatures begin to rise to a set level – even connected coffee makers can begin to make a cup.
Portfolio of home automation products
One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatileSmart locks are just one example of the potential of DIY products to spark a homeowner’s interest in a wide range of other home automation devices, many of which would benefit from professional installation. One of the best ways to mitigate the ‘threat’ of DIY sales is for dealers and installers to become more versatile and offer a complete portfolio of home automation products. The larger the home automation offering, the more devices there are to sell and install, the larger the installation required, the greater the need for professional installation.
Many homeowners who feel like they have a certain level of handiness will start by trying to do it themselves with a DIY product. But things don’t always go as planned, especially if they are attempting to set up a robust home automation system.
First off, just because a product is DIY doesn’t mean that the old products that are being replaced are going to easily make way for the new. A DIY thermostat or smart lock might require that the old equipment (and possibly wires) get tugged out of the wall. Messy holes might need to be filled.
Advantages of professional installation
Even after the old system has been removed, homeowners planning on setting up a connected system may soon realise they don’t have the electrical skills or technological know-how to install and connect all devices, get a system programmed correctly, and get everything up and running smoothly. Professional installers have learned from experience; there’s very little that they haven’t seen before.
With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home and how to create a custom smart home experience
Do-it-yourselfers might be able to solve problems by searching the internet and finding videos. But, then again, they might not. After going the DIY route once, many full-home automation system enthusiasts are beginning to realise that the best way to get things done right the first time is to leave the installation and set-up to a professional.
Professional installers can and should bring an extra level of experience and guidance to the process. Their services should go beyond tech installation and also include interface design. With their years of experience, installers know the best way to automate a home – how to create a custom smart home experience that doesn’t make the user feel less than smart.
Selling additional home automation products
If a problem arises due to installation error, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakesResidential security dealers who offer professional installation should be willing to embrace the DIYer who has attempted to do a self-install but has not been able to complete the process successfully. With an open mind to this scenario, they can save the day for the DIYer, as well as create an opportunity to sell additional home automation equipment that the DIYer may not have known to be available.
The disparity between DIY and professional installation also brings to light the fact that there are no ‘satisfaction guarantees’ and no ‘installation/labour warranty’ available when a home automation system is installed by a DIYer. If a problem arises with either the equipment connectivity due to installation error, or if a piece of equipment is installed incorrectly, the DIYer does not have any recourse to correct these mistakes.
This may not be as critical if a DIYer installs a minor piece of equipment, but with something as critical as securing and protecting their home with a home automation and security system, most people want full peace of mind that everything has been installed correctly.
Reduces connection instability
According to a 2017 study by the analyst firm, IHS Markit, “The quality of the equipment is usually higher in professionally installed systems, and professional configuration and setup greatly reduces the potential for connection instability…” This is an issue that DIYers may come to realise over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognise right away, especially if they are attempting to connect multiple devices, is that the connectivity may be inconsistent.
Professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity
IHS Markit explains that, “DIY systems rely on open protocols and Wi-Fi connectivity that can sometimes be unreliable, creating connection issues. Some of the sensors can become unrecognisable to the system, requiring intervention from the user. In contrast, professional wireless systems rely on UL- or EN-certified equipment to operate on the basis of proprietary frequency, enabling them to work with the control panel much more seamlessly.”
In other words, professionally installed devices operating on a wireless protocol, even an open-source protocol like Z-Wave, might deliver better, consistent, longer-range connectivity, and fewer headaches.
Not everyone is a DIY customer
There are customers who want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain themThere’s no doubt that there’s a segment of the security and home automation market that loves to spend their free time doing their own home improvement. They are watching videos, reading how-to books and manuals, and enjoying every minute. There’s also a segment of the market whose top goal is to save money up front. For these customers, there’s no getting around the joy of saving money with the lower cost of many DIY products.
But there are also a great number of prospective customers out there for whom DIY is of absolutely no interest. These consumers do not want to be their own IT department. They want expert help: they want someone to install the devices correctly and help them learn how to use and maintain them.
The IHS Markit study points out what many home automation dealers already know: that the elder and aging-in-place markets are an ideal destination for the security and convenience of home automation products. The study says, “Many senior citizens are not tech savvy enough to install a DIY system by themselves, so they tend to rely on professionally installed systems that are usually maintained by a family member.”
Along with the senior citizens market, there are many other market segments out there that still desire worry-free professional installation.
Installers should offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products
Producing complete and custom solutions
Perhaps the best way for dealers and installers to stave off that feeling of doom that they might have about DIY is to tackle the problem head on and be creative. Offer a range of products that includes some DIY products, and some leave-it-to-a-pro products – consider the DIY product a great entry point for a more comprehensive system.
Play up the peace of mind that comes with professional installations and support that pitch with flexible monitoring contracts and service plans. Share what you do and why; relay your passion for producing complete and custom solutions and communicate how you add value to any and every sale.
No one, not even the most tech-savvy consumer, wants to install their own products if the end result is that the product doesn’t work the way it should. That’s where the pros can, should and will always come into play.
Johnson Controls recently unveiled the findings of its 2018 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) survey that examined the current and planned investments and key drivers to improve energy efficiency and building systems integration in facilities.
Systems integration was identified as one of the top technologies expected to have the biggest impact on the implementation in smart buildings over the next five years, with respondents planning to invest in security, fire and life-safety integrations more so than any other systems integration in the next year.
As advanced, connected technologies drive the evolution of smart buildings, security and safety technologies are at the center of more intelligent strategies as they attribute to overall building operations and efficiencies.
SourceSecurity.com spoke with Johnson Controls, Building Solutions, North America, VP of Marketing, Hank Monaco, and Senior National Director of Municipal Infrastructure and Smart Cities, Lisa Brown, about the results of the study, smart technology investments and the benefits of a holistic building strategy that integrates security and fire and life-safety systems with core building systems.
Q: What is the most striking result from the survey, and what does it mean in the context of a building’s safety and security systems?
The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems
Hank Monaco: Investment in building system integration increased 23 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, the largest increase of any measure in the survey. When respondents were asked more specifically what systems they we planning to invest in over the next year, fire and life safety integration (61%) and security system integration (58%) were the top two priorities for organisations.
The results show an increased understanding about the value of integrating safety and security systems with other building systems to improve overall operations and bolster capabilities beyond the intended function of an individual system.
Q: The survey covers integration of fire, life safety and security systems as part of "smart building" systems. How do smarter buildings increase the effectiveness of security and life safety systems?
Hank Monaco: A true “smart building” integrates all building systems – security, fire and life-safety, HVAC, lighting etc. – to create a connected, digital infrastructure that enables individual technologies to be more intelligent and perform more advanced functions beyond what they can do on their own.
For example, when sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems, if abnormal activity is detected on the building premise, key stakeholders can be automatically alerted to increase emergency response time. With integrated video surveillance, they also gain the ability to access surveillance footage remotely to assess the situation.
When sensors and video surveillance are integrated with lighting systems abnormal activity on the premise can automatically be detected
Q: How can integrated security and life safety systems contribute to greater energy efficiency in a smart building environment?
Hank Monaco: Security, fire and life-safety systems can help to inform other building systems about how a facility is used, high-trafficked areas and the flow of occupants within a building. Integrated building solutions produce a myriad of data that can be leveraged to increase operational efficiencies.
From an energy efficiency standpoint, actionable insights are particularly useful for areas that are not frequently occupied or off-peak hours as you wouldn’t want to heat or cool an entire building for just one person coming in on the weekend.
When video surveillance is integrated with HVAC and lighting systems, it can monitor occupancy in a room or hallway. The video analytics can then control the dimming of lights and the temperature depending on occupant levels in a specific vicinity.
Similarly, when access control systems are integrated with these same systems, once a card is presented to the reader, it can signal the lights or HVAC system to turn on. In this example, systems integration can ultimately help enable energy savings in the long run.
Security and life safety systems contribute to help enable greater energy efficiency and energy savings in the long run
Q: What other benefits of integration are there (beyond the core security and life safety functions)?
Hank Monaco: Beyond increased security, fire and life-safety functions, the benefits of systems integration include:
Increased data and analytics to garner a holistic, streamlined understanding of how systems function and how to improve productivity
Ability to track usage to increase efficiency and reduce operational costs
Enhanced occupant experience and comfort
Increased productivity and workflow to support business objectives
Smart-ready, connected environment that can support future technology advancements
Q: What lesson or action point should a building owner/operator take from the survey? How can the owner of an existing building leverage the benefits of the smart building environment incrementally and absent a complete overhaul?
Lisa Brown: Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator found that 77% of organisations plan to make investments in energy efficiency and smarter building technology this year. This percentage demonstrates an increased understanding of the benefits of smart buildings and highlights the proactive efforts building owners are taking to adopt advanced technologies.
There is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected
As smart buildings continue to evolve, more facilities are beginning to explore opportunities to advance their own spaces. A complete overhaul of legacy systems is not necessary as small investments today can help position a facility to more easily adopt technologies at scale in the future.
As a first step, it’s important for building owners to conduct an assessment and establish a strategy that defines a comprehensive set of requirements and prioritises use-cases and implementations. From there, incremental investments and updates can be made over a realistic timeline.
Q: What is the ROI of smart buildings?
Lisa Brown: As demonstrated by our survey, there is an increased understanding that buildings operate more effectively when different building systems are connected. The advanced analytics and more streamlined data that is gathered through systems integration can provide the building-performance metrics to help better understand the return on investment (ROI) of the building systems.
This data is used to better understand the environment and make assessments and improvements overtime to increase efficiencies. Moreover, analytics and data provide valuable insights into where action is needed and what type of return can be expected from key investments.
For the security market, the ‘fine ranging’ capabilities of ultra-wideband (UWB) technology opens up a range of new uses based on the ability to determine the relative position and distance of two UWB-equipped devices with pinpoint accuracy – within centimetres.
UWB is more accurate and secure, even in challenging environments full of interference, compared to narrow band wireless technologies. UWB technology transmits a large amount of data over short distances using a small amount of energy. It will be used in seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device services across industries including smart homes, cities, retail services, and healthcare.
Increasing the accuracy of ranging measurements
UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location of a connected deviceUltra-wideband is a mature radio technology that transmits information spread over a large bandwidth, as described by the IEEE 802.154 standard. A new, enhanced amendment to the standard – IEEE 802.15.4z – focusses on improvements to existing modulations to increase the integrity and accuracy of ranging measurements.
Moving forward, UWB technology will support any application that benefits from knowing the precise location or presence of a connected device or object. This reflects a move from data communication to secure sensing.
New capabilities of UWB are largely unfamiliar to the market, but a new Consortium – the FiRa Consortium – has a mission to educate the market, provide use cases, and promote UWB technology.
Delivering interoperability across devices
“With a consortium, we can better deliver interoperability across devices, software, and chipsets,” says Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, Director and Treasurer of the FiRa Consortium, and SVP & CTO of HID Global. “This creates a frictionless experience for the user, which is vitally important with a new technology. People are more likely to adopt emerging technology when it runs smoothly without interruptions or errors.”
The FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive"
An industry consortium can create a UWB ecosystem of interoperable technologies instead of individual companies launching products that consumers struggle to make work together, says Songukrishnasamy. “Simply, the FiRa consortium is ensuring new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive.”
Founding members of the FiRa consortium
ASSA ABLOY and HID Global, pioneers in secure access and identity solutions, are founding members of the consortium. Their technology manages access to physical and digital places, things, and identities. Another founding consortium member, NXP Semiconductors, is a pioneer in secure connectivity solutions for embedded applications.
Other founding members are Samsung, which creates top-of-the-line TVs, smartphones, wearables, and other connected devices; and the Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services that is at the forefront of IoT innovations. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc., LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) are the first companies to join the newly formed organisation.
Immune to radio frequency interference
UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settingsUWB introduces higher levels of accuracy in positioning capabilities and increased security for ranging data exchange compared to existing technologies. Fine ranging with UWB technology can localise devices and objects to 10 centimetres of accuracy with or without line of sight. UWB is also immune to radio frequency interference, so it functions in high traffic settings. These capabilities will enable a variety of use cases like secure, hands-free access control in hospitals, location-based services for ride sharing, and targeted marketing for retailers. FiRa will demonstrate UWB technology at upcoming trade shows.
The FiRa Consortium aims to build on IEEE’s work with an interoperable high rate physical layer (HRP) standard, including defining an application layer that discovers UWB devices and services and configures them in an interoperable manner. The consortium also plans to develop service-specific protocols for multiple verticals and define necessary parameters for applications including physical access control, location-based services and device-to-device services.
Promoting the adoption of UWB solutions
As a consortium, FiRa is not just setting standards but actively championing use cases for UWB technology. Creating the consortium addresses the need to develop interoperability and implementation standards; brings key players together to create a rich UWB ecosystem; allows for the sharing of intellectual property; and promotes the adoption of UWB solutions.
The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases"
“Since UWB is a mature technology with new potential uses, there is a general lack of awareness of potential applications that take advantage of the technology,” says Songukrishnasamy. “The FiRa Consortium is committed to educating and promoting new use cases.” The FiRa name comes from Fine Ranging to highlight UWB technology’s use cases and distinction from older UWB technologies and solutions.
Enhanced security in challenging environments
Fine ranging powered by UWB can outperform other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in wireless connectivity, and security, especially in challenging, high density environments. UWB previously served as a technology for high data rate communication and as such was in direct competition with Wi-Fi. Since then, UWB has undergone several transformations:
UWB has evolved from an OFDM-based data communication to an impulse radio technology specified in IEEE 802.15.4a (2ns pulses with Time of Flight); and
A security extension being specified in IEEE 802.15.4z (at PHY/MAC level) makes it a unique secure fine ranging technology.
Moving from data communication to secure ranging allows ‘spatial context capability’ to be utilised by a variety of applications: seamless access control, location-based services, and device-to-device (peer-to-peer) services. Information is available at firaconsortium.org.
A video analytics system that provides ‘behavioural understanding’ can yield more meaningful and actionable data for a range of applications. In public safety and security, such a system can alert on violent or suspicious behaviours, such as people fighting, vandalism, people with weapons, etc.
In advanced traffic surveillance and monitoring, it can provide alerts to vehicle collisions (accidents), traffic hazards or vehicle that aren’t using the road properly, such as a car that stops in the middle of the junction. For enterprise and campus security, it can provide advanced anti-tailgating and detect unauthorised activity.
Video surveillance infrastructure
viisights was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses
These uses are among the benefits of viisights’ video analytics technology based on behavioural understanding of video content. “It means we can extract more meaningful data from the huge amount of video content that is captured, and we can transform that data to actionable insights that eventually justify the massive investment in video surveillance infrastructure,” says Asaf Birenzvieg, CEO of viisights.
Their behavioural understanding systems for real-time video intelligence leverage artificial intelligence technology. viisights was founded by a group of serial entrepreneurs with track records in developing technology businesses. The Israeli company’s founders recognised a growing global need for intelligence to make physical and virtual public areas safer – and realised the role that smart video understanding technology can play.
Developing artificial intelligence technologies
viisights is committed to developing artificial intelligence technologies that facilitate human-like video understanding, which in turn serves as the basis for fully autonomous video intelligence systems powered by pattern prediction technology. “Behavioural recognition is the future of video analytics and the next generation of the object classification analytics systems that hold the majority of the market today,” says Birenzvieg.
viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing
“To date most video analytics systems still base their product features on static analysis of objects from images using image recognition, even the ones that use ‘AI analytics.’ Products built using such object classification technology are extremely limited.” For example, object classification analytics cannot recognise behavioural events in a video such as people fighting or a car collision because such behaviours can’t accurately be concluded in large scale from analysing a single static image/frame.
Video understanding technology
viisights has developed a video understanding technology for real-time video processing. The technology can process live video feeds. In addition to recognising a particular object (e.g., person) and its attributes (e.g., red shirt), the system can understand an object’s actions, interactions with other objects (events), the scene being viewed (i.e., crowd is gathering, riots) and the context (a car is driving on the road or on the sidewalk).
The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security
“Basically, we are able to extract more meaningful data from a live video feed and therefore create actionable insights and greater ROI,” says Birenzvieg. The company focuses mostly on security and safety use-cases. The main verticals are smart cities, enterprises and campuses, banks and ATM security, security guard companies and transportation hubs. The company is working on a new product for in-vehicle monitoring mostly for security, safety, vehicle protection and proper vehicle use; it monitors passengers’ behaviour inside a bus, train, or taxi. The product will come to market next year.
Video management system
viisights’ video analytics offering is currently optimised for server-side deployment, and the integration architecture is similar to most video analytics systems. From one side it is integrated with the video management system (VMS).
They are a Milestone verified partner and soon will be part of Milestone's marketplace. From the other end, it is connected to a command-and-control system for processing the data and presenting the alerts to the end-user. The analytics company makes most sales through system integrators. They have partnerships with big system integrators like Motorola Solutions and NEC and are also working with smaller ones. They are looking to expand their system integrator network, mostly in the USA and Europe.
Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse
Cloud video surveillance
“We will continue to invest in performance and accuracy, meaning higher recall and lower false positive rate,” says Birenzvieg. “Since our major value proposition is in behaviour recognition, behaviour events many times are not clearly defined, which is very different from object classification. Behaviours can have many variations and they can be very diverse.”
An example is a simple behaviour like a person falling on the floor. A person can fall on the floor in many ways, but the challenge is to ignore similar behaviours that are not a person falling and that confuse the system, such as a person bending over to tie his shoelaces. With cloud video surveillance becoming a trend, viisights is also looking into offering some of their advanced functionalities in a video-analytics-as-a-service-model.
After a period of rapid international expansion, the next step for Ajax Systems is to set deeper roots in each market and become more sustainable. The manufacturer of wireless security equipment will continue to extend the range of Ajax products and capabilities by responding to local requests. Smart home management options and automation scenarios will be a significant focus for the next year.
Wireless security equipment
The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air
Established in 2011 in Kyiv, Ukraine, Ajax Systems produces wireless security equipment for end users and small-medium-sized businesses. Ajax is a complete eco-system. The devices are ready to work out of the box. There are 24 devices for protecting residential and commercial properties from intrusion, fire, and floods as well as a set of automation modules. Users treat them as gadgets that make their homes smarter.
Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers as well as for security companies, according to Ajax. The systems are resistant to false alarms, regularly update over the air, and can be easily expanded to cover premises of any size.
IoT-based security systems
“Our IoT-product approach to security systems, gadget-like industrial design, and user-friendly interfaces disrupted the market in 2016,” says Valentine Hrytsenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajax Systems. “After receiving global recognition in the security market, the company grew 80-fold.”
Today, Ajax IoT-based security systems protect more than 200,000 people in 80 countries around the world from break-ins, fires, leaks and other threats. “Our mission is to reshape security and make it a common attribute of every household,” says Hrytsenko.
Ajax wireless systems are easier to maintain, configure, and monitor for installers
Ajax smart technology
Ajax smart technology features a combination of reliable hardware and intelligent software. A proprietary Jeweller two-way radio protocol allows placing devices at a distance of up to 2000 meters from the hub in an open space. The system is encrypted, resistant to jamming and code grabbing. Ajax detectors feature false alarm-preventing algorithms: Haze Flow, ZOE, LISA, SmartDetect.
The hubs run on a real-time operating system, Malevich OS that processes the commands and sends the alarms. Ajax Cloud service helps to control the system from anywhere in the world using native apps.
Easy and seamless installation
Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights"Easy installation facilitates Ajax on-boarding. The company says 67% of Ajax users purchase additional security devices within the first six months. And an average system configuration consists of nine items. “We focus primarily on the residential, small and medium-sized businesses,” says Hrytsenko.
“In the residential segment, Ajax covers the needs to detect break-ins, prevent fires and floods. Ajax devices are visually appealing to fit any home and business interior seamlessly. For the small and medium-sized business, Ajax features system scalability, flexible management of administrative rights, informative notifications, professional maintenance software, as well as integration of the security camera streams for centralised monitoring.”
Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold. First, they develop strategic partnerships with the local professional security equipment distributors in each country. From the distributors, Ajax equipment goes to the installers, system integrators, security companies, etc. In addition, Ajax seeks to build brand recognition and actualise the concept of security by weaving it into the daily routine of a general audience. “We form a good understanding of their security needs,” says Hrytsenko.
As with any new technology, there is an adoption curve for both B2B and B2C clients. Thus, the educational challenge is persistent for Ajax from country to country.
Ajax Systems’ route-to-market approach is two-fold
Wireless security systems
“On a professional market, new products are often met with understandable suspicion,” says Hrytsenko. However, a huge misconception is that user-friendly equipment is either hard to customise or unreliable. Not true, he says.
After testing in five accredited laboratories, Ajax devices successfully earned Grade 2 certification for compliance with the requirements of the international standard EN50131-1:2006. Grade 2 is the highest reliability grade a wireless security system can get.
Comelit has ensured future residents at Kebbell Homes’ new luxury Aubury Place development can experience smart door entry with the installation of its latest Mini Handsfree monitors.
Set in Chiswick, London, Aubury Place is a new gated community of nine four, five and six bedroom homes. Every element of the design is focussed on creating an exceptional first impression, right from the bespoke touch screen entrance panel. Comelit’s Specification team, together with chosen installers Wheeler Electrical, was involved with Kebbell from the initial design process, through the works programme to project completion.
Door entry requests
Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors
Whilst originally, Comelit’s stylish Icona monitors were considered, Kebbell was instantly impressed with the capability of newly launched Mini Handsfree Wi-Fi Monitors. The new Comelit system would enable new residents to respond to door entry requests from any compatible mobile and benefit from video memory, to record missed calls.
Says Andrea Fawell Sales and Marketing Director at Kebbell Homes: “The aim with Aubury Place, as with all our developments, was to offer families spacious home options in prime locations. The ideals of luxury, convenience, comfort and understated elegance were all of paramount importance, and seeing everything from our resident’s point of view, to ensure our homes allow natural flows in tune with daily living.”
Mobile connected lifestyle
“Every small detail has been carefully considered and this is where Comelit latest options for door entry fitted our requirements. It means our residents can benefit from the latest technology, seamlessly installed, enabling them to instantly respond to door entry requests, with video, from wherever they are. And we can achieve this without compromising on the style, look and feel of this beautiful collection of homes.”
Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality"
Ed Wheeler, Director from Wheeler Electrical added: “Kebbell Homes is well-known for meticulously planning and creating homes of exceptional quality. When it came to door entry at Aubury Place, Comelit was the specification of choice and the new Mini Handsfree Monitors exceeded expectation, even over an initially approved specification. It has proven itself more cost effective and a better fit for today’s increasingly mobile connected lifestyle choice.”
Powerful security solution
Each home at Aubury Place has been fitted with a Mini Handsfree monitor complete with integrated WiFi, operating through Comelit’s innovative VIP system. At the striking gates to the development is Comelit’s premium stainless steel flush mounted 316 Touch entrance Panel, branded to Kebbell Homes. The system enables new residents to grant access through the vehicle gates or adjacent pedestrian gate using the 4.3” internal monitor or a dedicated mobile app. And up to fifteen smart devices can be connected to each and every property’s individual WiFi monitor.
Daniel Wood, Southern Sales Manager at Comelit UK concluded: “Comelit worked closely with Kebbell Homes to ensure the door entry system installed, achieved the desired balance between timeless style and latest technology. The combined solution, completed using our very latest app enabled monitors, provides aspiring residents with a powerful security solution and the convenience of audio and visual communication, together with ease of use in everyday life.”
e-shelter security has installed over 2,000 smart Sony network cameras to monitor high-security buildings and critical infrastructure at data center locations in Europe.
Integrated security solutions expert
The Frankfurt-based system integrator builds and operates integrated security solutions for mission-critical environments
The Frankfurt-based system integrator builds and operates integrated security solutions for mission-critical environments, where customer applications must be available around the clock. As well as offering necessary hardware and infrastructure redundancy, the centers must also be protected against virtual and physical attackers.
To prevent unauthorised access to servers and other infrastructure without creating unnecessary barriers, e-shelter security is making increasing use of intelligent, self-learning security systems. Physical security is supported by Sony SNC-EB632R infrared and SNC-WR632C dome cameras that are used for perimeter surveillance at the data center locations, together with SNC-EM600 minidome cameras that are used for indoor surveillance.
Sony Video Security dome cameras
Key criteria for the choice of cameras were very high image quality - even in challenging environmental conditions - and extreme reliability.
“Another decisive factor for us was our long-standing cooperation with the Sony Video Security team” says Kai Friedrich, Head of Application Engineering and IT at e-shelter security. “Their expertise helps us to think in terms of not just products but about entire solutions. Equally, they have provided us with very sound technical advice and support throughout the entire project.”
Cayuga video management system
The Sony cameras are controlled and managed using SeeTec’s Cayuga video management system
The Sony cameras are controlled and managed using SeeTec’s Cayuga video management system. All cameras are connected to e-shelter security’s certified emergency call and service centers, allowing appropriate intervention to be initiated in the event of an incident. As well as ensuring the physical security of the data centers, the cameras also provide protection against cyber-attacks on customers’ assets. High levels of integral security prevent hackers from using the Sony cameras as an entry point into the customer’s own network.
Due to the positive experience gained during more than three years of cooperation on data center projects, e-shelter security is also using Sony cameras in logistics centers, consulting/finance industry office buildings and smart building projects where the company combines innovative security technology with new digital technologies.
Kwikset brand of Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware & Home Improvement Division, announces that its SmartCode 888 Deadbolt Lock was chosen to become part of the new Home is Connected smart home system from D.R. Horton, Inc.
The inclusion of Kwikset’s SmartCode 888 in the system was based on its value (great functionality at an entry-level price), reliability, and high degree of security. Incorporating the latest Z-Wave 500 chipset, the SmartCode 888 offers keyless entry through a convenient, easy-to-use touchpad. Kwikset’s patented Home Connect technology enables the lock to wirelessly communicate with other devices in the home through a third-party smart home controller, as well as to remotely check the door lock status, lock or unlock the door and receive notifications.
D.R. Horton’s Home Is Connected system is included in the base price of each new home from the company’s family of brands
D.R. Horton’s 'Home Is Connected' system is included in the base price of each new home from the company’s family of brands. The system includes a robust central hub by Qolsys that controls the smart home features, including a home alarm and automation platform by Alarm.com, Honeywell Home thermostat from Resideo, smart switches by Eaton Corporation, video doorbell by SkyBell and hands-free, voice-first experiences with Amazon Alexa.
“We are pleased to be part of such an innovative program created by the nation’s largest volume homebuilder,” said Dave Seeman, Director of National Builder Accounts, Kwikset and Baldwin, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware & Home Improvement Division.
Convenience of keyless entry
“We are confident that buyers of D.R. Horton homes will not only appreciate the security and convenience of keyless entry that our SmartCode 888 provides, but also the endless benefits of whole home automation. To be a part of a system that includes such well-known, reputable brands indicates to us the high level of trust D.R. Horton puts in our products.”
Brad Conlon, Vice President of National Accounts for D.R. Horton, said, “We are pleased to work with Kwikset to provide this essential component to D.R. Horton’s new Home is Connected smart home system. We know our customers will appreciate the peace of mind that comes from Kwikset’s SmartCode 888 lock and the Home is Connected system overall.”
Wilson James has appointed SmartTask as preferred technology partner and awarded it a deal for the supply of a mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution for a new security contract with National Museums. Under the agreement, the company will now roll out the SmartTask workforce management software to 10 sites including the Natural History Museum, V&A and Science & Industry Museum. This follows a successful trial that achieved significant time savings by removing paperwork and streamlining operational processes.
The new partnership between Wilson James and SmartTask will replace an incumbent supplier agreement that no longer met the business and operational requirements of the security, construction logistics and business services provider.
Identify potential benefits
In particular, the retender process for the security contract with National Museums required a single provider of a highly-configurable mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution. An initial trial at the Natural History Museum focused on use of electronic forms via SmartTask-enabled smartphones to reduce administration and increase productivity of operational staff.
The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms
It was designed to identify potential benefits based on the precise requirements of the customer as well as create a suite of seven SmartForms and reports that could deliver standardised data capture and analysis. This included confiscated items and vehicle check SmartForms, scenario testing and incident reporting. The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms.
Required monthly reports
Confiscated items, following bag searches carried out at point of entry, historically required between 10-15 minutes to complete and during that time the security officer was away from the floor resulting in lost productivity. Following the adoption of SmartTask, reports can now be created automatically using highly-accurate data, while paper usage and printing requirements have been dramatically reduced.
The time savings achieved at the Natural History Museum by the Wilson James team have led to higher productivity, greater capacity to carry out bag searches and increased visibility of security staff. Management time saving have also been realised in production of required monthly reports, as well as administration savings of 12-hours per week for the Security Duty Managers.
Ease of deployment
Don McCann, Technology Systems Consultant at Wilson James commented: “SmartTask provided significant support throughout the contract bid and contributed to the successful re-signing for a further five years.”
SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system"
“The solution is now fully operational at five locations – Natural History Museum, National Science & Media Museum, National Railway Museum, Science & Industry Museum and a Wandsworth storage site – with the Science Museum and V&A to follow shortly. SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system, ease of deployment and its suitability for the security sector.”
Enhance customer satisfaction
Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask said: “This latest agreement demonstrates our ability to work closely with our customers to develop advanced workforce management solutions that support business development, customer retention and quality service delivery. We are now partner of choice for a growing number of security organisations based on our proven track record helping to tackle some of the most common and difficult operational challenges they face.”
SmartTask is an advanced and simple-to-use employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that enables security companies to better plan and manage their workers, so they are at the right place, at the right time. The cloud-based software solution combines intelligent rostering, live monitoring and integrated proof of attendance across both static and mobile teams, making it the ideal tool to improve operational control, enhance customer satisfaction, and support duty of care to staff.