Security Systems News

FEB 2018

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Head briefs Guardian Protection names new president By Paul Ragusa FALLS CHURCH, Va.—Kastle Systems International, an inte- gration company that special- izes in managed security solu- tions and services, recently announced the acquisition of Urban Alarm, a local D.C.- based security provider. "We are thrilled to bring Urban Alarm into the Kastle family and to expand our busi- ness into several new areas including the single-family residential market," Mark Ein, chairman of Kastle Systems, said in the announcement. "Our customer bases, product offer- ings and geographic coverage are extremely complementary, which will provide significant growth opportunities going forward. Above all and most importantly, Kastle and Urban Alarm share a culture, passion and reputation for providing the highest levels of service for cli- ents with sophisticated security needs." Brian Eckert, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, told Security Systems News that Kastle now has an opportunity to take its inno- vations in technology and ser- vice, which was developed for commercial and multifamily real estate owners, into D.C.'s single-family residential home- owner market, providing a uni- fied, seamless security experi- ence for customers. "We are excited to open the door to a seamless and unified experience for our customers via a single electronic credential for both the home and office," Eckert told SSN. "We will look to incorporate additional inno- vations that benefit our custom- ers, as well as leverage the col- lective team for new ideas that can extend and enhance our respective service offerings." Founded in 2003, Urban Alarm's clients include a mix of high-end, single-family resi- dential homeowners, as well as commercial, institutional, and property management organi- zations throughout the metro D.C. area. Urban Alarm is the security provider and patrol service to several of the area's most prestigious single-family residential neighborhoods, such as Woodland Normanstone, and is responsible for many spe- cialized security environments including embassies and ambas- sador residences. The company has also completed security projects for several large devel- opers and properties including, in partnership with Kastle, The Wharf 's 3 million square-foot mixed-use development. Urban Alarm has earned a reputation for exemplary security service providing access control, video surveillance, guard patrol ser- vices, remote video monitoring and NICET certified fire and life Kastle Systems acquires Urban Alarm Vivint to pay ADT $10m in deceptive sales lawsuit settlement BOCA RATON, Fla.—ADT recently announced that Vivint would pay the company $10 million to settle a decep- tive sales lawsuit filed in April 2017, ADT's largest deceptive sales settlement to date. "ADT filed its lawsuit against Vivint on April 4, 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after receiving complaints from nearly a thou- sand ADT customers who stated Vivint made false or misleading statements to switch their security service from ADT to Vivint," the announcement read. "ADT is a brand trusted five times more than any other security company. When others misuse that trust to prey on innocent consumers, it is despicable. We hope these lawsuits and ensuing settle- ments send a strong and clear message that deceptive sales practices must end," P. Gray Finney, ADT's chief legal officer, said in a prepared statement. "Not only does it harm our customers, it also harms the value of having a trained security pro- fessional in the home, which is how most reputable security companies operate their businesses." This development comes after ADT reached settlements totaling $5.5 million dollars stemming from deceptive sales lawsuits, announced in July 2017, against Utah-based Alder, Alder's owner Adam Schanz, and two Monitronics dealers— Alliance Security and Capital Connect. "ADT will continue to protect its cus- tomers and will pursue legal action against companies that choose to misrepresent themselves to deceive those customers," Finney said in the announcement. ADT in 2017 participated in a press con- ference—along with ESA, TMA and the Better Business Bureau—that addressed deceptive sales practices and how it harms customers as well as the industry. Parks looks at adoption rate of smart thermostats DALLAS—Smart energy research by international research firm Parks Associates reveals only 30 percent of U.S. broadband households believe that smart thermostats are affordable and only 18 percent of consumers would purchase one of these devices for $250, the histor- ic price point for products such as Nest, ecobee, and Honeywell Lyric. "Utilities are actively working with device manufacturers to drive adoption of energy-saving solutions," Tom Kerber, director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates, said in a prepared statement. "Smart thermostats have demonstrated signifi- cant energy savings, and financial incen- tives have a dramatic impact on the value judgement made by consumers. Offering a $100 rebate on a smart thermostat more than doubles the percentage of homes that intend to purchase the product." By SSN Staff WARRENDALE, Pa.—Guard- ian Protection Ser vices, a national provider of com- mercial and home security systems and technologies, announce that Bryan Cipo- letti will assume the role of president, effective immedi- ately. Cipoletti was chief financial officer at Armstrong, parent company of Guard- ian Protection Ser- vices, and had been serving in a dual role as acting president at Guardian since May. Cipoletti has been with Armstrong for over 30 years and h a s h e l d v a r i o u s executive and board positions with its affiliated companies. "I'm excited to join this already great company in a m o re d i re c t l e a d e r s h i p role," Cipoletti said in the announcement. "I'm looking forward to further engaging with the extremely talented management team already in place and to further leverage the synergies between Guard- ian and the other Armstrong companies. Having been a member of senior leadership at Armstrong, I am aware of the family's strong commit- ment to the ownership and growth objectives of Guard- ian. Leaving my position as CFO to take on this exciting new role is further evidence of my belief in that commit- ment." Cipoletti added, "In the last eight months, I have had the opportunity to see great potential within Guardian and have already begun to work with the team to put ini- tiatives in place that I believe will make us even better. I am excited about our vision for Guardian." C i p o l e t t i i s a g r a d u a t e o f We s t Virginia University, with a B.S./B.A. in finance. He received a n M B A f ro m t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f P i t t s b u rg h . Prior to joining Armstrong in 1987, Cipoletti was a CPA with Deloitte Haskins + Sells in the Pittsburgh office. He currently serves on the board of the American Cable Association and in 2013 was named Independent Finan- cial Executive of the Year by Cablefax. Active in his com- munity and church, Cipo- letti is also on the board of the Lighthouse Foundation, a non-profit organization in Butler, Pa., which provides food, transitional housing and emergency shelter to those in need. SSN By SSN Staff PHILADELPHIA—Comcast recently announced that it will expand its smart home capabilities to the company's Xfinity platforms, including xFi, Xfinity Home, Xfinity Mobile and X1—its TV and voice remote. This will make home automation available to more than 15 million Xfinity customers at no additional cost, according to the com- pany's announcement. "Xfinity will be the home operating system that inte- grates every IoT device and transforms a connected home into an intelligent home," Chris Satchell, EVP and chief product officer, said in a pre- pared statement. "Our engi- neers are working to enable our customers to easily con- trol their connected devices, making full use of our Xfin- ity platforms, such as Voice Control, X1, xFi and Xfinity Home. We also will add value to that experience by giving customers contextual sugges- tions for automation that will help them take full advantage of their digital home." In the announcement, Comcast highlighted key smart home developments for the company. In Septem- ber 2017, Comcast acquired Stringify, which provides a cloud-powered automation service for more than 500 IoT products and digital services. "Stringify's technology will soon be integrated into Xfin- ity's products and services, significantly expanding the capabilities of Xfinity auto- mation," the announcement read. Additionally, Comcast's 'Works with Xfinity' pro- gram facilitates the integra- tion of smart home devices into its Xfinity platform. "The company plans to expand its partner ecosystem to include new product categories such as: wearables, automotive, voice assistants, email, social media platforms, and more," according to the announce- ment. "New partners will help improve an Xfinity cus- tomer's lifestyle, whether for convenience, entertainment, peace of mind, or to help run their home more efficiently." In May 2017, the com- pany launched xFi, a digital dashboard for customers to set up and control aspects of their home Wi-Fi network, including seeing what devic- es are connected and setting parental contrls. The company also recently added enhanced features to Xfinity Home Security Cam- eras. SSN Comcast brings home automation to more Deal expands company's reach into the high-end residential market KASTLE see page 23 Bryan Cipoletti www.securitysystemsnews.com february 2018 S e C ur IT y S y ST e MS N e WS Residential s ystems 20 residential s ystems

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