Legrand | AV Residential Solutions announced its participation at TecHomeX East 2019, taking place May 14-16 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. All nine Legrand | AV brands — Chief, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Nuvo, On-Q, QMotion, SANUS, and Vantage — will come together with infrastructure, networking, and AV systems designed to help homebuilders deliver reliable smart homes. Event highlights will include Luxul's Wi-Fi Assurance Program, in addition to dependable networking solutions, and On-Q structured wiring products for the Wi-Fi-ready home. Today's homebuilders are faced with the challenge of delivering Wi-Fi networks that are expected to work quickly and reliably 100% of the time. At TecHomeX East, they will see how Luxul's Wi-Fi Assurance Program eases this responsibility by providing builders with certified wired and wireless network designs that are guaranteed to meet homeowners' reliability and performance requirements relating to Wi-Fi. Showcasing Routers, Switches And Wireless AP At TecHomeX East, Luxul will showcase a selection of reliable routers, switches, and wireless access points (AP)Luxul's advanced support team is available for configuration assistance, and any product experiencing a failure will be promptly replaced. If the wired or wireless network doesn't perform as expected, Luxul will provide any additional equipment to meet customers' expectations at no additional cost. In addition to the Wi-Fi Assurance Program, Legrand | AV supports builders with model home/design center programs and rebate incentives. At TecHomeX East, Luxul will also showcase a selection of reliable routers, switches, and wireless access points (AP). Highlights will include Luxul's Epic series of wired and wireless Gigabit routers with integrated Domotz and Router Limits technologies; Luxul's fastest-ever Apex XAP-1610 wireless AP, featuring advanced 4x4 MU-MIMO technology for data rates up to 3167Mbps; and the XWC-1000 wireless controller with Luxul's exclusive Roam Assist technology. Display Of On-Q Plastic Enclosures Structured wiring solutions on display at TecHomeX East will include the latest On-Q plastic enclosures, which are constructed of Wi-Fi-transparent plastic to support both wired and wireless services in a traditional structured wiring installation. They offer a backbone for the modern connected home, consolidating and distributing foundational wired services for video, voice, and data, while also integrating smart hubs and wireless devices to meet current and future homeowner demands. The enclosures are available in three sizes — 20 inch, 30 inch, and 42 inch. Wiring Solutions For Wi-Fi-Ready Home We look forward to showing builders our rock-solid networking and structured wiring solutions for a Wi-Fi-ready home""Without Wi-Fi and connectivity, homeowners can't take advantage of the comfort, safety, and convenience smart homes provide, so it's quickly becoming the 'fourth utility' that they consider essential when making a purchase," said Joshua Roberson, national builder sales manager, electric wiring systems, at Legrand. "At TecHomeX East, we look forward to showing builders our rock-solid networking and structured wiring solutions for a Wi-Fi-ready home. But attracting a buyer is only the beginning; their high standards for network dependability must continue to be met once they live there. Our Wi-Fi Assurance Program allows homebuilders to meet this need with a certified design by our sales engineers, while offering homeowners the peace of mind of a guaranteed network." TecHomeX unites leading residential design/build and tech integration/contracting companies in the nation to see the future of home technology.
Executives from Johnson Controls, Microsoft Corp. and the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, Bee’ah, have announced an agreement to enhance Bee’ah’s new headquarters located in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, with a sweeping array of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart building solutions powered by Microsoft. Digital Vault Johnson Controls will work with Microsoft to outfit the new building with intelligent edge systems Using its Digital Vault offering and extended capabilities built on Microsoft Azure, Johnson Controls will work with Microsoft to outfit the new building with intelligent edge systems, devices and software designed to optimize energy efficiency, make the best use of available space and help the building’s occupants be more productive through a virtual AI persona. Evoteq, Bee’ah’s digital venture, will serve as the technical project management partner for this unique project, deploying integrated solutions and enhanced digital capabilities for greater operational output. From digital workspaces to smart back-office integration, and from smart lobby-visitor management to smart security, employees and visitors at Bee’ah’s new headquarters will experience a diverse range of cutting-edge AI features through multiple touchpoints across various functions including HR, customer care, procurement, administration, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. AI-Enabled Smart Building Solutions “Environmental sustainability and digital technologies are mutually inclusive factors in driving an economy of the future,” said HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Bee’ah’s Group CEO. “Our headquarters embodies our vision for this future and exemplifies the most sustainable solutions and advanced technologies, with no compromise on strategic partnerships, innovation or delivery. This will be the first building in the region, and one of the first in the world, to have full integration with AI to support new seamless experiences for optimization of efficiencies, performance and functionality." "Our office of the future will manifest our commitment to the continual advancement of our valued staff body, and AI solutions will provide new avenues of employee development and operational convenience. We look forward to the gradual rollout of AI-powered smart building solutions at other Bee’ah offices and locations across the UAE.” Bee’ah is setting a benchmark in AI capabilities within the region and around the world through smart platforms As one of the Middle East’s first companies dedicated to the pursuit of improving quality of life, Bee’ah is setting a benchmark in AI capabilities within the region and around the world through smart platforms. Bee’ah’s progressive technology achievements have been made possible due to the continual support from the Sharjah government and the UAE’s leadership, which sets the foundations for developing sustainable smart cities. Green Energy Building Designed by the renowned Zaha Hadid Architects, Bee’ah’s futuristic new headquarters will be fully powered by renewable energy and optimized for the sustainable use of resources to have zero net energy consumption and achieve a LEED platinum certification — the highest recognition awarded to green buildings. Under the agreement, Johnson Controls will deploy a technical infrastructure for the building capable of monitoring its entire environment virtually with Microsoft Azure Digital Twins and IoT technologies. The solution will enable Bee’ah to analyze volumes of data to optimize building operations and drive efficiency. AI-Powered Personal Concierge Services As Bee’ah’s exclusive cloud provider, Microsoft will also optimize the experience of the building for people through technology and solutions powered by Microsoft Azure. Intelligent concierge capabilities will engage visitors and employees to help locate available meeting spaces, book appointments, give directions, hail rides and support day-to-day tasks. These AI-powered personal concierge services are believed to be the first in the Middle East designed specifically for building occupants. Digital Vault and our building apps will give Bee’ah the power to make faster, intelligent data-driven decisions" “Digital Vault and our building apps will give Bee’ah the power to make faster, intelligent data-driven decisions to run its headquarters more safely, efficiently and sustainably, and will increase productivity for the people working and visiting Bee’ah’s headquarters,” said Bill Jackson, vice president and president, Global Products, Building Technologies & Solutions, Johnson Controls. “In partnership with Microsoft, Johnson Controls is transforming traditional building systems with services that merge the physical and digital worlds. Through this project, we are showcasing how the cloud and AI can tap into data from physical spaces to drive better engagement with occupants and achieve new levels of efficiency and sustainability.” Azure Digital Twins And IoT Johnson Controls’ Digital Vault offering takes advantage of the capabilities of Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT and Azure Container Registry to provide a complete virtual representation of data from connected devices and systems throughout the building. With this approach, Digital Vault translates the physical world inside the building into a digital representation of the building with rich data that can be visualized, analyzed and acted upon to deliver proactive maintenance, optimize building systems and deliver intelligent support for the people inside. Bee’ah started with a vision to create one of the most sustainable and smartest buildings in the Middle East Bee’ah started with a vision to create one of the most sustainable and smartest buildings in the Middle East. After an exhaustive search, the firm selected Microsoft as its trusted digital advisor because of the company’s deep industry expertise and commitment to empowering smart cities around the world. Microsoft collaborated with Bee’ah to design the new digital experiences and to build an executable strategy using cloud and AI that would not only deliver smart building systems, but also lead to the creation of spaces and services designed to delight its occupants. Bee’ah selected Johnson Controls based on the company’s skills and offerings across smart building systems and the underlying software platforms, as well as its commitment to and close relationship with Microsoft. Microsoft-Johnson Controls-Bee’ah Partnership “Together with Johnson Controls and Bee’ah, we are driving the digitization of smarter, more sustainable buildings and spaces,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI Group, Microsoft. “Bee’ah’s iconic new headquarters will be among the first buildings globally to have end-to-end experiences designed and built on the Azure platform. Azure is the platform that can truly integrate across all the devices, systems and services required for such a large and diverse implementation. Microsoft has been able to reduce energy consumption by 20% on our own campus in Redmond by using machine learning on edge devices and in the cloud, and we can’t wait to see what Bee’ah is able to do by applying this approach to its ultramodern new headquarters in Sharjah.”
Resideo Technologies, Inc. announces details of its Resideo Premier Security Dealer Program for top professional security and smart home dealers. The new loyalty program will help dealers expand their offerings in the security and smart home markets, while driving value for homeowners. Building on its commitment to the professional channel and drawing from nearly 30 years of successful loyalty programs, the Resideo Premier Security Dealer Program will provide sales and marketing support, training and financial incentives, along with the essential tools and enhanced products that dealers need to differentiate in today’s competitive market. The new program is led by industry veteran Quentin Gunther, who spent more than 20 years as a security dealer, and was designed with input from top security dealers. The program will help Resideo Premier Security Dealers deliver an exceptional smart home experience for homeowners. The program will help Resideo Premier Security Dealers deliver an exceptional smart home experience Navigating Smart Home Technology “We continue to focus on the pro channel and believe security dealers in our program will be best positioned to help homeowners navigate smart home technology, especially as consumers are increasingly looking for professionals to ease the installation process,” said Alice DeBiasio, vice president and general manager, Residential Pro Security, Resideo. “We’ve carefully designed a program that combines some of the features from our previous program that dealers have asked for, along with new tools and resources to help them expand their businesses, while providing greater value to consumers who rely on their expertise to help keep their families safe and secure.” Remote System Control “Preventia is a high growth organization and we’re always looking for the best solutions for our customers to fuel that growth. What attracted us to the Resideo Premier Security Dealer Program was the focus around the growth opportunity across the security and smart home market. With the Resideo brand, it’s even more clear that the focus is on providing customers with a phenomenal experience,” said Aaron Whitaker, founder of Preventia Security in Columbia, Tennessee. Our core customer is the busy mom or dad that needs control of their system from anywhere, anytime" “Our core customer is the busy mom or dad that needs control of their system from anywhere, anytime and becoming a Resideo Premier Security Dealer increases our ability to deliver these solutions. We’re excited about the marketing support from Resideo to establish our brand in the market. We look forward to growing together with Resideo.” Dealer Resource Zone At the centre of the new program is a dedicated portal for dealers – Dealer Resource Zone – that will serve as a one-stop-shop for program details and allows dealers to stay informed on their account status, program participation and progress towards sales goals. Participating dealers will have access to a dedicated phone line for both technical and program support. Key financial rewards include a cooperative advertising program, rebate rewards and product discounts. Key Drivers Of The Program Include: Lead Generation – The program delivers key tools to help drive new sales opportunities, including social media content for customer engagement, an ecommerce application for online sales, co-op funding for developing marketing campaigns, and an automated system with streamlined co-op claim process. Sales/Dealer Engagement – The Dealer Development Group (DDG) provides support with business planning, sales growth strategies and sales skills. The technical team will host dedicated training sessions, and program marketing will assist with promotional materials. Networking – The program offers networking opportunities for dealers to exchange ideas and share knowledge and best practices. In addition to the annual CONNECT event, Resideo will host regional events and webinars for participating dealers. Connected Solutions – Dedicated technical and sales training provides members with tools and knowledge to successfully deliver the smart home experience. Since its initial launch, the Resideo Premier Dealer Program has welcomed more than 75 industry dealers to the program. Dealers are selected by Resideo to join the program, and they are required to complete certification and training courses.
Nortek Security & Control LLC, a provider of wireless security, home automation, access control and health and wellness technology, introduced the 2GIG eSeries, the next generation of the 2GIG security and control ecosystem that includes two all-new GC2e and GC3e panels and a new line of encrypted sensors. The introduction was made at ISC West 2019 in Nortek Security & Control Booth #20015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to Nortek Security & Control Vice President of Products Quinto Petrucci, the 2GIG eSeries offers both end-users and dealers an enhanced security and control ecosystem that builds on the reliability and peace-of-mind that are synonymous with the 2GIG name. New Encrypted Sensors This is a major update to the line, designed to benefit both dealers and their homeowner customers" “This is a major update to the line, designed to benefit both dealers and their homeowner customers,” Petrucci said. “For homeowners, the new encrypted sensors enhance peace of mind, knowing their system is even more secure and resistant to hacks and breaches.” “The new panels deliver an upgraded user experience, including a contemporary new design that will look at home in any setting. For dealers, the encrypted sensors will only communicate with an eSeries panel, which prevents a competitor from taking over an eSeries installation by only installing a new panel.” Glass Break Sensor Compatible encrypted 2GIG sensors include the Standard Door/Window Sensor, Motion Sensor, Glass Break Sensor, Key Fob Sensor, and Recessed D/W Sensor – with more to come in the near future. And the two new panels support all traditional 2GIG sensors and other legacy 345 sensors for easy system upgrades. “For dealers, this is a best-of-both,” said Petrucci. The new GC2e panel includes a larger, brighter 5” capacitive touch screen, while the GC3e features a 7” touchscreen. Both panels have best-in-class 2-way audio and front-firing speakers for exceptional audio performance. Additionally, the new GC3e panel exclusively includes the 2GIG Smart Areas feature, enabling security partitioning that makes it easier than ever to set up independently protected areas in homes. Simplifying Installation Smart Areas delivers greater personalisation and functionality for the end user" Smart Areas delivers greater personalization and functionality for the end user, while simplifying installation for the dealer. “Think of it as four systems for the price of one,” said Petrucci. "The GC3e panel also includes on-board demo and promo videos that keep users in-the-know and a screen saver mode with slideshows that displays homeowners’ favorite images when alerts and alarms are cleared.” “We have taken our proven GC2 and GC3 panels and added essential features and upgrades to enhance peace-of-mind for the homeowner,” Petrucci concluded, “and we are giving dealers an exceptional new product line to help them win and retain more business.”
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 realize 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 realize 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/labor 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 realize over time. On the other hand, one issue DIYers may recognize 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 unrecognizable 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. SecurityInformed.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 organizations. 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 organizations 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 prioritizes 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.
It’s not surprising that people are nervous about the security of newer technologies, many of which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While they offer greater efficiency and connectivity, some people still hesitate. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of news stories about multinational corporations being breached or hackers taking control of smart home devices. Both of these scenarios can feel personal. No one likes the idea of their data falling into criminal hands. And we especially don’t like the thought that someone can, even virtually, come into our private spaces. The reality, though, is that, when you choose the right technology and undertake the proper procedures, IoT devices are incredibly secure. That said, one of the spaces where we see continued confusion is around access control systems (ACS) that are deployed over networks, particularly in relation to mobile access, smartcards, and electronic locks. These technologies are often perceived as being less secure and therefore more vulnerable to attacks than older ACS systems or devices. In the interest of clearing up any confusion, it is important to provide good, reliable information. With this in mind, there are some myths out there about the security of ACS that need to be debunked. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter Myth #1: Mobile Credentials Are Not Secure The first myth we have to look at exists around mobile credentials. Mobile credentials allow cardholders to access secured doors and areas with their mobile devices. The fact that these devices communicate with an ACS via Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) leads to one of the main myths we encounter about the security of credentialed information. There is a persistent belief that Bluetooth is not secure. In particular, people seem to be concerned that using mobile credentials makes your organization more vulnerable to skimming attacks. While focusing on the medium of communication is an important consideration when an organization deploys a mobile credentialing system, the concerns about Bluetooth miss the mark. Bluetooth and NFC are simply channels over which information is transmitted. Believing that Bluetooth is not secure would be the same as suggesting that the internet is not secure. In both cases, the security of your communication depends on the technology, protocols, and safeguards we all have in place. So, instead of wondering about Bluetooth or NFC, users should be focused on the security of the devices themselves. Before deploying mobile credentials, ask your vendor (1) how the credential is generated, stored, and secured on the device, (2) how the device communicates with the reader, and (3) how the reader securely accesses the credential information. When you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS Myth #2: All Smartcards Are Equally Secure The question “how secure are my smartcards?” is a serious one. And the answer can depend on the generation of the cards themselves. For example, while older smartcards like MiFARE CLASSIC and HID iCLASS Classic offer better encryption than proxy cards and magstripe credentials, they have been compromised. Using these older technologies can make your organization vulnerable. As a result, when you deploy smartcard technology as part of your ACS, you should choose the latest generation, such as MiFARE DesFIRE EV1 or EV2 and HID iCLASS SEOS. In this way, you will be protecting your system as well as your buildings or facilities. Some traditional readers and controllers can also pose a serious risk to your organization if they use the Wiegand protocol, which offers no security. While you can upgrade to a more secure protocol like OSDP version 2, electronic locks are a very secure alternative worth considering. It is also important to understand that not all smartcard readers are compatible with all smartcard types. When they are not compatible, the built-in security designed to keep your system safe will not match up and you will essentially forego security as your smartcard-reader will not read the credentials at all. Instead, it will simply read the non-secure portion—the Card Serial Number (CSN) —of the smartcard that is accessible to everyone. While some manufacturers suggest that this is an advantage because their readers can work with any smartcard, the truth is that they are not reading from the secure part of the card, which can put your system and premises at risk. Using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication Myth #3: Electronic Locks Are More Vulnerable These days, there are still many who believe that electronic locks, especially wireless locks, are more vulnerable to cybercriminal activity as compared to traditional readers and controllers. The concern here is that electronic locks can allow cybercriminals to both access your network to get data and intercept commands from the gateway or nodes over the air that would allow them access to your buildings or facilities. The reality is that using electronic locks can help protect facilities and networks through various security protocols, including encryption and authentication. Additionally, because many of these locks remain operational regardless of network status, they provide real-time door monitoring. This means that many electronic locks not only prevent unauthorized access but also keep operators informed about their status at all times, even if a network goes down. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks When it comes to deploying electronic locks, it is important to remember that, like any device on your network, they must have built-in security features that will allow you to keep your information, people, and facilities safe. Be Prepared To Unlock Future Benefits Ultimately, the information in your IP-based ACS is at no greater risk than any other information being transmitted over the network. We just have to be smart about how we connect, transmit, and store our data. In the end, maintaining the status quo and refusing to move away from old technology is not a viable option. Outdated technology and old analogue systems are more vulnerable to attacks. The reason it is so important to debunk myths around ACS and, at the same time, get people thinking about network security in the right way is that network-based systems can offer an ever-increasing number of benefits. When we deploy new technology using industry best practices and purchase devices from trusted vendors, we put ourselves and our networks in the best possible position to take full advantage of all that our increasingly connected world has to offer.
Recent technology advances – from the cloud to artificial intelligence, from mobile credentials to robotics – will have a high profile at the upcoming ISC West exhibition hall. Several of these technologies were recently designated by the Security Industry Association as the Top 8 Security Technologies for Security and Public Safety. Some of them will also be a focus at the ISC West conference program, SIA Education@ISC, April 9-11 at the Sands Expo Center. This article will highlight some of those conference sessions. Topic: Cloud Systems And Video Surveillance As A Service (VSaaS) Managed Video Services are saving TD Bank $500K annually, April 9, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. Why TD Bank decided to roll out a managed services solution, what it took to deploy and how the bank is saving an astounding $500,000 annually. IT 4.0 and Video Surveillance: A Guide to the New Terminology and What It Means to You and Your Customers, April 11, 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. How IT 4.0 can enhance or change video surveillance, and consequently deliver additional value to customers, including explanations of terms such as cloud data centers, personal clouds, the edge, IoT sensors and data analytics. One of the sessions to cover how IT 4.0 can enhance or change video surveillance, and consequently deliver additional value to customers Topic: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Video And Other Systems The Challenges and Opportunities of AI in Physical Security, April 10, 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. Looking toward what the future may hold for AI in physical security; the challenges and opportunities the technology has created; and how participants can leverage AI and machine learning with existing customers to grow their business. Deep Learning Demystified: Next-Generation AI Applied to Video, April 11, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Dispelling the myths of the terms “deep learning” and “artificial intelligence,” and what the technologies can do in practical terms. Modern cameras find and identify faces and vehicles, analyse behavior and organize and control assets Neural Processing and Smart Cameras, April 9, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Deep learning-capable hardware is evolving at a frantic pace, and GPU and NPU (neural processing unit) co-processors are commonly embedded in cameras and video management systems. Modern cameras find and identify faces and vehicles, analyse behavior and organize and control assets. Analytics in the Video Central Station: Proper Deployment, Programming and Configuration to optimize operational and cost efficiencies, April 11, 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. How analytics plays a critical role in reducing alarm traffic in a central station environment, allowing them to save money and realize other operational and performance efficiencies. Topic: Robotics And Autonomous Devices Robotic Aerial Security – Growth Trends and Best Practices, April 10, 11 a.m. to noon The lion’s share of growth in the robotic aerial security sector will come from autonomous systems and changing FAA regulations will soon allow companies to monitor and secure remote facilities with no human guards present. Racing drones are difficult to detect as they do not use GPS or radio frequency signals to identify the location of other devices How to Adapt to Address Drone Security, April 11, 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. Drone industry professionals and a physical security design engineer will cover the realistic applications of drone systems and counter-drone solutions that can protect organizations and facilities. Next Generation Threat: Racing Drones, April 11, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Racing drones are difficult to detect as they do not use GPS or radio frequency signals to identify the location of other devices. This session will identify the potential risks these drones can pose to facilities, special events, and critical infrastructure. Establishing a Corporate Drone Program, April 10, 9:45 to 10:45 p.m. Is a corporate drone program an appropriate addition to an existing security program? How to understand and navigate the regulatory challenges and processes associated with starting up a commercial-use drone program. The Rise of Intelligence in Physical Security, April 11, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. “Intelligence” incorporates a variety of subdomains from artificial intelligence to machine learning and contextual analysis. It is rapidly becoming a focus in the realm of IT security – and increasingly in the realm of physical security, too. Changing FAA regulations will soon allow companies to monitor and secure remote facilities with no human guards present Topic: Mobile Credentials Finding Their Place In Access Control How Biometrics Are Enabling the Convergence of Physical and Information Security, April 10, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. At the center of convergence is one crucial building block: strong irrefutable identity powered by biometrics. Driving the Future: How Interoperability Standards in Access Control Can Enable Smart Building Success, April 9, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Growing user demand is driving new open platform approaches and the adoption of interoperability standards Growing user demand for unfettered and unlimited third-party integrations is now driving new open platform approaches and the adoption of interoperability standards. They are changing the dynamic of access control and its role within the smart building environment. Topic: Facial Biometrics In Professional Solutions How Biometrics Are Enabling the Convergence of Physical and Information Security, April 10, 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Securing workstations, virtual desktops, turnstiles, front doors, mobile devices and more, biometric authentication is helping enterprises and governments worldwide to realize a more secure future. Topic: Voice Control In The Smart Home Environment Delivering the Smart Home of the Future, April 11, 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. With the proliferation of connected smart devices, including voice control devices, consumers have a growing array of options for defining what their Smart Home experience could be.
If you’re heading to ISC West in Las Vegas this year, it’s helpful to acknowledge immediately that there’s no way you can experience all aspects of the show. Just not enough time and too many options. Once you give up on seeing everything, you can immediately lower stress. But you also raise the stakes in terms of picking and choosing exactly what you have time for – or want to make time for. Hoping to help out as we all set our ISC West priorities, here are some ways to make the most of ISC West. Get There Early If you think the show starts on Wednesday (April 10), you have already missed the boat. Wednesday is the first day of the ISC West Exhibition, but there is a whole day of conference programming the day before – on Tuesday, the 9th. So plan to arrive early for conference sessions such as the End User Physical Security and Strategic Management tracks, a whole day of presentations by the PSA Security Network, and many other conference sessions. Learn From The Best You can also learn about Body-Worn Cameras for Government Personnel, School Safety and Private SecurityWant to hear about Taming the Surveillance Data Monster? There’s a session on Thursday. Want to learn about Establishing a Corporate Drone Program? That session is on Wednesday the 10th. They’re among the wealth of information-sharing sessions at ISC West. You can also learn about Body-Worn Cameras for Government Personnel, School Safety and Private Security; 3D Virtualization for Physical Security; and Using Enterprise Security Risk Management to Define Security's Value. Plan For The Future So much at ISC West is geared toward the future – new opportunities, tomorrow’s hot new product, and the start of business ventures that will be profitable for years to come. Some of the conference sessions are especially forward-looking, too, including a session on Thursday about the Stadium of the Future. A session called Getting Smarter and Safer: The Campuses of Tomorrow is on Wednesday, April 10. Another Wednesday session is Meet the Jetsons: Understanding the Promise and Challenges of Smart Cities. The Vision of the Future of the ISOC (Intelligent Security Operations Center) is on Thursday, as is the Smart Home of the Future session. All in all, ISC West can help you focus on the future in a big way. Meet Someone New Programs like SIA’s New Product Showcase can help, by recognizing innovation in a variety of product categoriesISC West sometimes emits the vibe of a yearly reunion of friends (who happen to be in business together). It’s great to see old friends again, but we shouldn’t miss the chance to meet new people, too. There is a multitude of networking events related to the industry’s big spring gathering, so the opportunities to expand one’s network and meet new people are abundant. Making the most of them takes effort, and some level of strategy. And there are also other, not-so-obvious moments to make new friends and acquaintances – whether it’s sharing a taxi or waiting for the next session to start. Bring a lot of business cards Find Something New The chance to view industry innovation is a huge draw of ISC West, but it can take discipline to separate the wheat from the chaff. The latest-and-greatest could literally be anywhere on that big trade show floor. Programs like SIA’s New Product Showcase can help, by recognizing innovation in a variety of product categories. The announcements of winners will be made on April 10, and, historically, these awards have gone to some of the newest and most innovative products at ISC West. A What’s New at ISC West session on Wednesday can provide additional guidance. Do Good In Addition To Doing Well A 10-year tradition at ISC West is the Security 5K/2k Run/Walk, a charity event benefiting Mission 500’s fundraising efforts to assist children in crisisISC West is all about business, but there’s also a specific opportunity to help make the world a better place. A 10-year tradition at ISC West is the Security 5K/2k Run/Walk, a charity event benefiting Mission 500’s fundraising efforts to assist children in crisis around the world. Why not avoid a late night on April 10th and rise early on the 11th to be a part of a remarkable event that has united the security industry to provide aid for children in need? Say Thank You Showing gratitude is an under-emphasized opportunity at ISC West, where the promise of new fortunes can eclipse our successes of the past. We will all see colleagues and friends we have been doing business with for years, so what better time to express a simple ‘thank you’, buy them a drink, propose a toast, celebrate? Helping to set a tone of gratitude is the ‘Official ISC West Customer Appreciation Party’ on Thursday. Parties are one way to say thanks, and a heartfelt verbal expression is another. ISC West will provide plenty of both – and they’re not to be missed.
How’s this for a simple access control scenario? You walk up to a door, wave your hand in front of a button, the button lights up, and the door opens. That’s the simplified user experience that startup Openpath is promoting as it enters the crowded and mature market for physical access control. Openpath says a simple user experience provides the extra boost needed for mobile credentialing to gain momentum. In this case, it’s even simpler than using a card credential (no searching in a bag or purse for the card). And there’s no personal identification number (PIN) code to remember; no “intrusive” biometric element that can concern some users. James Segil, President and Co-Founder of Openpath, says the simplified process “uses fewer thought cycles.” Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology “We wanted to make mobile access control that people want to use and can use safely and with ease,” he says. “We wanted to make using a smart phone for access control easier and more reliable than using a keycard.” Simplified User Operation In the simplified scenario, the mobile credential resides on a smart phone that can remain tucked away in the user’s purse or pocket. The credential remains active without the user needing to open an app. The wave of the hand signals intent, which causes the button to light up, activate and the door is ready to open. Segil says the simplicity of operation has contributed to the system seeing an unheard-of 94% adoption rate among users. Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology. The smart phone credential is delivered using Bluetooth, WiFi or LTE (cellular) – whichever signal reaches the reader first enables the door to be opened. So even if a company’s WiFi is down or Bluetooth proves unreliable, there is still a third option. Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems Seamless Cloud Integration Segil is a serial entrepreneur who has had experiences as a frustrated user, dealing with many different offices, people and access control deployments over the years – subletting office space, changing PIN codes, dealing with 10 different offices using 10 different cards. Based on that experience, Openpath’s founders saw a need for a more user-centric approach to access control, and a chance to improve the office experience to be more aligned with employees’ experiences in their smart homes. Segil says he also saw “significant lethargy” among incumbent players in the access control space, and a market in which mobile and cloud technologies had still not taken hold. In addition to a simplified user experience built around mobile credentialing, Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems. The “elegant” readers, including a flush-mounted version, fit in well with high-end office environments. The company launched in May 2018. Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. Openpath is focused on the commercial real estate market, where they have already seen significant adoptions, especially among mid-sized companies. Larger deployments as part of new construction are in the pipeline. National System Integration In the past six months since its launch, Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. and now has a nationwide footprint and is able to service customers all over the U.S. They are not yet disclosing any specifics about the number of partners they have signed up and who they are. “I can share that we have a number of large national system integration and security brands on board as channel partners and many more regional and local system integrators,” says Segil. They are looking for additional integrator partners. “There is a cohort of folks out there who say ‘I get it,’ and I want to offer it to my customers,” says Segil. The cloud element of the system can provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Openpath’s system offers flexibility in terms of meeting each customer’s security needs. In addition to the “super convenient” scenario described above, the system can also be configured to be “super secure,” using two-factor authentication and other measures, says Segil. There are multiple “flavors” between the two extremes. It can also be integrated with elevators to enable the buttons on allowed floors. Integration With Existing Systems Cloud software simplifies operation for both tenants and landlords. The system is backwards-compatible to existing systems and can be used to retrofit and mobile-enable a legacy system, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites. The software can interface with enterprise applications such as Active Directory, and an application programming interface (API) facilitates integration with other systems and building components. It operates with marketing automation platforms such as Flack and visitor management systems such as Envoy. The system is backwards-compatible, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites Open standards make the system easy to install in new or existing buildings using RS485, or Cat 5 or Cat 6 wiring, whatever is in place. Retrofit installations can use existing panels, servers, software, etc., or they can be replaced. The Openpath panel is installed right next to an existing panel in a retrofit and preserves all legacy integrations of the previous system. Access Credentials Compatibility In its simplest configuration, the Openpath system consists of single or four-door panels wired using standard ports, Wiegand ports and REX ports, each connected to software in the cloud. Each panel works offline if the internet connection is down. Various key fobs, cards and other credentials are available in addition to mobile credentials. Openpath was one of the new exhibitors at last fall’s GSX show in Las Vegas, occupying a large-sized booth for a startup company. The “beautiful” hardware drew a lot of attention, says Segil. “The channel loves us, and we signed a lot of people,” he adds. “We were excited by the response.”
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 program 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 unauthorized 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. Innovative Program 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 Natural 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 standardized 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 National 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 organizations 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.