Security Systems News

APR 2017

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briefs April 2017 SECU ri TY SYSTEMS NEWS suppliers 34 By Spencer Ives PHILADELPHIA—Comcast finalized its acquisition of busi- ness units within Icontrol, specifically the Converge plat- form. The company will bring Icontrol's Austin-based facility and wholesale customer base into the fold while looking ahead at other opportunities. "We got a chance to own the software stack that pow- ered one of our most critical, fastest growing products with Comcast, we got a chance to create a kernel of an engineer- ing hub in Austin, Texas, … and we saw a large opportunity to enter the wholesale security market, servicing some existing customers … as well as explor- ing new customers, possibly even entering the dealer space," Hikvision USA and Eagle Eye Networks announce technology partnership CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., and AUSTIN, Texas—Hikvision USA and Eagle Eye Networks announced a technol- ogy partnership in mid-March to deliver customers a seamless and cybersecure cloud video surveillance solution. Hikvision and Eagle Eye are expand- ing an established business relation- ship with their new technology part- nership, Hikvision said in its March 15 announcement, which will enable a deeper bi-directional integration between Hikvision's products and Eagle Eye's cloud platform. Integrators can now have easier installations and even more extensive technical support, Hikvision said. "We are pleased to be working with a partner so clearly focused on cyber- security and ease of use for our inte- grator partners," Jeffrey He, president of Hikvision USA, said in the announce- ment. "Eagle Eye's Cloud Security Camera VMS provides businesses with a true cloud solution that is cyber- secured with multiple levels of encryp- tion and advanced security features." Eagle Eye Network's CEO Dean Drako, in a prepared statement, said, "Hikvision's leadership team has been exemplary to work with for making a great customer solution. They really understand the benefits of solving installation and cyber problems in a way that makes it easier for the customer. Hikvision's global presence aligns with Eagle Eye's global data center invest- ment." Bosch Security Systems partners with Sony GRASBRUNN, Germany—After the official approval of the antitrust authori- ties, the partnership between Bosch Security Systems and Sony, originally announced November 2016, became effective by Feb. 1, 2017—except for in China where the partnership will start on April 1, 2017. The partnership entails both a sales and marketing cooperation as well as a technical collaboration, Bosch announced in mid-march. As part of the sales and marketing partnership, Sony's video security sales and marketing asso- ciates joined a newly formed dedicated team within the Bosch Security System organization. Sony's video security cus- tomers, in all markets except Japan, will be served and supported by this sales and marketing team. The first jointly developed products are expected to be launched in 2018. "We are looking forward to delivering best-in-class video security solutions to our customers for both existing and new market segments," Gert van Iperen, president of Bosch Security Systems, said in a prepared statement. Comcast buys Icontrol Converge platform Allegion futurist makes predictions By Paul Ragusa DUBLIN—Security Systems News caught up with Allegion futurist and VP of strategy and partner- ships Rob Martens to get his take on the top emerging technology trends in the industry, from big data and analytics to AI and robot- ics, as well as the company's plans for ISC West. On a personal level, Martens is doing a presentation on April 6 at ISC West on what he calls "enhanced design." "This is a huge topic and an unbelievable opportunity for our industry," Martens told SSN. "This is one of those where you truly need to embrace the change, and if you do, you can be insanely rewarded but if you don't you could be punished." He pointed out that enhanced design is the idea of incorporat- ing new technology into the aesthetic and functional design of a project—creating opportuni- ties to make a home or a building safer, more efficient and more convenient. "The real concept of enhanced design is—especially for integra- tors and security professionals— how do we help these architects, who are already pretty burdened, integrate in this new technology at the beginning of the design process, because it will funda- mentally change the way that an architect designs the interior and development initiatives." Piper, based in Ottawa, Canada, designs, produces and sells an all-in-one video and home automation hub. Connect, based in Redwood City, Calif., provides an inter- active security and home automation platform that powers several service pro- viders' solutions including ADT Pulse. ADT uses the Connect platform under the Pulse brand, and ADT will continue to go to mar- ket under the Pulse brand, according to Kerzner. "We've been lucky to have so many great partners in the security dealer channel on the side, and now by adding ADT, we get greater scale of leverage so we can invest more in R&D, innovate faster and invest in things like our Insights Engine—making the soft- ware more predictive, the technology more useful to consumers and service pro- viders," said Kerzner. In addition to having development offices in Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida and Colorado, "We are adding an office in Silicon Valley as well, so it really broadens our R&D invest- ment footprint," he added. Kerzner pointed out that the Connect and Piper busi- ness units will add new technology infrastructure, talent, key relationships and hardware devices that are expected to help accelerate's development of intelligent, data-driven services. With increased scale and breadth of service, the platform enables service providers to address a broad range of consumer needs with reliable and inno- vative connected home and business solutions. "We see the IoT and the connected home as part of large secular trend that is taking place and these tech- nologies are really starting to mature, and customers' expectations are that they are going to want more and better versions of these things," said Kerzner. "So our goal is to take the com- bined resources of the two teams and make sure that our customers, the professional service providers, can really continue to have best-in-class technology that they can use to bring these solutions to market." SSN potentially even the exterior of a building," he explained. "But in order to do that, we've got to be more than wire pullers or mechanical security guys." From an Allegion standpoint overall, Martens said the company will be very focused on "electro- mechanical convergence—how devices that have historically been mechanical in nature, effectively integrate electronics, software, and play well within more com- plex ecosystems," he said. "The big announcement for us it that the Engage platform is expanding hugely, to include many more products, so that level of con- nectivity is now getting rolled out and becoming a reality." Looking beyond ISC West, Martens said that the way the industry responsibly leverages all of the data that is available today continues to be a hot topic. "The data in the more tech- driven opportunities that you are starting to see people embrace, not only are they inevitable but they are crucial to the growth and the health of our industry," he asserted. "And with more people concerned about their data being sold, crowdsourcing data to create better experiences—while keeping individual user data private—will only become more important in 2017." One of the mega trends that Dan Herscovici, Comcast's senior vice president and gen- eral manager for Xfinity Home, told Security Systems News. "The primary reason for purchasing the business was to control our own destiny," he said. "We would be able to invest heavily in accelerating innovation, software develop- ment, etc., and bring features to market for consumers faster." "Now, with this acquisition, we're going to establish an IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, tapping into the tech talent here in the Austin area, which we think is going to be a great asset to the organization." The company has engineers focused on its Xfinity Home offering based out of Philadelphia and Sunnyvale, Calif. Comcast added on between 80 and 90 employees from Icontrol. "I would say a major- ity of them—80 percent or so—are engineering talent, the rest are product managers and product leaders, and then a small sales support staff," Herscovici said. The company intends to grow the team in its Austin Center of Excellence. "Icontrol had other whole- sale customers, particularly Cox and Time Warner Cable and Brighthouse—which was recently acquired by Charter [Communications]—Rogers in Canada, Telstra in Australia, i T S C O M i n J a p a n , " s a i d Herscovici. "So, we're excited to essentially stand up a new business line in the wholesale platform business, and take on those customers and grow those customers." The company could expand this wholesale business to serve "other constituents like dealers and traditional security providers," he said. Herscovici couldn't say when the com- pany would start servicing new customers in the security space, "but, it's on our strategic roadmap." H e r s c o v i c i n o t e d t h a t Comcast Ventures was an early investor in Icontrol. "We were introduced to Icontrol through Ventures; we were looking at the home security market [around 2010]." The company launched its Xfinity Home offering in 2012. "[Now,] come full circle, Comcast ends up acquiring the business." SSN finalizes Icontrol purchase Continued from page 1 Continued on next page

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