Security Systems News

JUL 2017

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 36

briefs July 2017 SEC u RIT y S y STEMS NEWS suppliers 22 By Paul Ragusa NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.— Security industry veterans recently joined forces to form Obsidian Security, raising $9.5 million in Series A funding led by Greylock Partners and estab- lishing its headquarters here. The Obsidian founding team includes Glenn Chisholm, for- mer EVP product organization and CTO at Cylance and CISO at Telstra; Ben Johnson, former co-founder and CTO at Carbon Black, and computer scientist at the National Security Agency; and Matt Wolff, former chief data scientist at Cylance and computer scientist, also at the NSA. Chisholm said the company will use the funding to grow its product team, working at the intersection of security, artificial Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 supports new Skybell video doorbells MELVILLE, N.Y.—Honeywell Total Connect Remote Services expands support to include the new SkyBell Trim Pro high-definition smart video door- bells, Honeywell announced in late May. SkyBell Trim Pro is designed for instal- lation in narrow spaces where round doorbells may be too wide, which can replace traditional doorbells installed on narrow door trim. SkyBell HD and Trim Pro smart video doorbells offer full color night vision, two-way audio, motion sensor detec- tion with capabilities to alert when visi- tors are present, and live video with its "always on" feature, according to the announcement. New CRM software comes onto the market LEWES, Del.—Initially developed as an in-house offering for an alarm dealer, SableCRM+ is now an independent company coming to market with a new CRM software. "Sable got started because the presi- dent, Craig Metzger, also owns an alarm company," Steven Hayes, SableCRM+'s vice president of sales and develop- ment, told Security Systems News. "He saw a lot of inefficiencies in the way that they were working. So, he started hav- ing an in-house programmer … program a CRM to work with all of the different platforms that [the company] works with. Then he saw a need for this in the actual marketplace." SableCRM+ formally launched on April 1, following its spinout into its own company in December 2016, and the company is now focused on bringing to market a CRM software solution. Prior to joining SableCRM+, Hayes was the president and owner of EGA Home and Business Solutions, which was acquired by Craig Metzger's alarm company, GuardMe Security, announced in December 2016. "I took over SableCRM and made it into the product that you see today," Hayes said. "The beauty of Sable is that because Craig and I know the ins and outs of the entire sales process, [including] the sale, customer service, getting the tech- nicians in there and, most importantly, getting paid by the clients … we were able to develop this software to take you through the full cycle of a sale," said Hayes. SableCRM+ is currently integrated with a variety of companies, including MONI Smart Security,, Zoho, Transunion, RingCentral and Docusign. The company is also seeking other monitoring center integrations. "It takes about a month to integrate a central sta- tion. So, we just have to make sure that we're picking and choosing the right one as the next one to add." Industry veterans unite to form Obsidian Security Unikey receives $5m By Paul Ragusa SILVER SPRING, Md.—The Security Industry Association recently announced its establish- ment of the SIA Public Safety Working Group, which will be chaired by Steve Surfaro, industry liaison, Axis Communications. "This working group has been in the works for quite some time," Surfaro told Security Systems News. "SIA began working on public safety through some work with the Homeland Security Science and Technology group, and it was thought that one of the best ways to really serve the security industry and public safety industry was to come up with a very agile and focused working group." According to SIA CEO Don Erickson, the goal with stand- ing up the SIA Public Safety Working Group is to develop recommendations to improve the safety, security, and sustainability of cities and communities using technology, as well as provide advocacy of public policies in support of the group's mission. "As new and developing tech- nologies undergo trial and testing or enter the field in use by public safety agencies, it is critical that the security industry maintain its voice in the appropriate adop- tion and deployment of these technologies," Erickson said in the announcement. "SIA mem- bers are uniquely qualified to provide council alongside active practitioners in police, fire, emer- gency medical services and other disciplines to maintain the safety and security of our cities and communities." Erickson is excited to have Surfaro as the inaugural chair- person for the SIA Public Safety Working Group. "His connections throughout the security industry are exemplified by his achieve- ments, for example, as chair of the Security Applied Sciences Council for ASIS International," he said. The working group will involve a number of different key entities within the security and public safety spaces, including prac- titioners, solution providers, systems integrators and specialty manufacturers. "The most important thing to realize is the PSWG is going to have equal representation across all interested parties, by both practitioners and solution pro- viders, especially SIA members," said Surfaro. "The mission is to provide guidance through educa- tion and publications, including special education sessions and events at ISC West and ISC East, for example, as well as a central- ized repository of subject matter experts who have already had intelligence and hybrid-cloud technology. "We feel that there is tremen- dous thrill in building product— it is an enjoyable challenge," Chisholm told Security Systems News. "Ben and I had specifically spent the last five years talking to a lot of different customers in the end point space and we saw many areas where custom- ers were having problems that we could provide solutions for, and felt that together this was a great opportunity to get back to building a company." He noted that the Series A financing and partnership with Greylock "allows us to start building a world-class engi- neering and data science team, focused on user security for hybrid environments, so recruit- ing is a big priority for us." Asheem Chandna and Sarah Guo from Greylock Partners will join Obsidian Security CEO Chisholm and CTO Johnson on the company's board of directors. "Glenn, Ben and Matt are accomplished product inno- vators and executives, with strong industry backgrounds in security," Chandna said in the announcement. "We are excited to closely partner with them on their mission, and help build an important new company." As the Obsidian Security team starts to develop products, two important areas of focus are the cloud and artificial intel- ligence—or AI. "We think that there are very specific areas where AI can help humans in their work and make a difference in the way in which people perform tasks and the accuracy with which they perform tasks as well as the ability of corporations to enable their teams," said Chisholm. "AI and machine learning … is something that we believe, when applied in a very focused and creative way, is incredibly effective. And, of course, the inverse applies: When you apply off-the-shelf tools, you get less- than-desirable outcomes. So this is very much about providing this capability in a security sense to customers." In regard to providing cloud- based products, Chisholm said the company is looking to work with customers with a strong security focus who are adopting modern hybrid architectures. "It is probably not that anyone is going to be all in the cloud or Axis' Steve Surfaro to chair new SIA group Ob S idia N see page 23 By Spencer Ives W I N T E R PA R K , F l a . — UniKey, a company focused on keyless entry, in May added $5 million in fund- ing, an extension on exist- ing funding from various partners. "Our investors decided to put a little bit of addition- al capital in. We brought in some money from two new strategic investors … they're private equity firms in the space," Phil Dumas, UniKey's founder and CEO, told Security Systems News. The company's investors include Samsung, Asset Management Ventures and FF Venture Capital. U n i K e y p ro v i d e s t h e mobile access technology behind smart locks such as Kevo by Kwikset, which can be unlocked by a smart- phone. UniKey's goal is to replace the entire keychain by enabling more mobile access. "We've raised several equity and debt rounds over the years. Our seed series was in July 2012 and was just over $1.1 million, we raised a Series A in April of 2015 for approximately $13 million (with converting debt) and added another $3 million in venture debt," Dumas said. "Along with this most recent round, we've raised over $20 mil- lion in capital to-date." Previous funding helped the company to enter the c o m m e rc i a l s p a c e . " We signed our first two com- mercial partners last year. We'll launch at least two commercial products this year with our partners," Dumas said. T h i s l a t e s t f u n d i n g increase will help the com- pany to "expand on the momentum in the com- m e rc i a l a n d b re a k i n t o some newer markets like automotive," Dumas said. The company also looks to expand its presence in the residential space. Unikey currently has 15 partnerships and nearly 100 potential partnerships the company is in talks with. "We've seen a massive influx in new partnerships and business development in our space—the mobile key space," Dumas noted. Dumas said that the com- pany is looking to expand. The company currently has about 50 employees and is looking to add at least five more software developers or engineers, he said. SSN S ia see page 27

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Security Systems News - JUL 2017