August 30th, 2017

Consumers have been diving into the internet of things (IoT) via connected devices for quite some time. Most of us sport a fitness device of some sort that collects our health data – activities, heart rate, sleep patterns and more – and records and reports it out over time. We check our smart devices to see what the temp is in our homes, and make adjustments if necessary. We log into our computers to check our security cameras and see if a package has arrived, or whether or not the dog has jumped up on the sofa (again!)

Many businesses have taken advantage of the IoT wave, too. Connected systems that control HVAC, video and security are increasingly common.

Even getting a drink in a restaurant is an IoT experience. Coke Freestyle machines don’t just allow customers to mix their own special drink, they track pump performance and automatically replenish syrup. Data is collected from each machine worldwide so Coca Cola can track trends.

While the IoT is certainly far from tapped out in the consumer sector, applications are gaining steam in the industrial sector, too. Connected devices, equipment and systems are helping manufacturers gain efficiencies in resource allocation, production processes, materials handling and the workforce.

Why does the IoT matter to your business or organization?

Data. From HVAC monitoring to tracking customer patters to keeping tabs on staff, the IoT enables organizations of any size to readily access data for smart decision-making.

Security. Organizations will need to be more cognizant than ever of what devices are connected and how they are connected. Risks extend beyond exposing customer data or some other immediate breach. Last year, hackers used unsecured video cameras to launch a DDoS attack that nearly brought down some of the Internet’s most popular sites, including Twitter and Spotify. Such attacks may open up the possibility of liability for companies that fail to secure devices.

Consumer expectations. The more consumers come to rely on the IoT, the more it will shape their expectations of the services they receive from business, government and other organizations.

Need to know more about how to connect and automate your building systems? Call (502) 632-4322 to talk to a member of our team.

May 9th, 2017

Summer break is just weeks away, and teachers and students are both looking forward to an extended break.

Not so for building maintenance personnel. Summer is the time to catch up on cleaning and maintenance projects that had to be put off during the school year. Their hard work will pay off; studies indicate that well-maintained facilities have a positive impact on student achievement.

On the agenda for many schools:

Floor maintenance. Floors take a beating during the school year, and now is the time to clean and protect them in preparation for next year. Furniture can be moved out of the way and products can be applied with proper drying time.

Window maintenance. Windows do more than let the sunshine in. They also aid in scientific exploration, showcase art, and serve as the starting line for day dreams. All of those activities lead to everything from smudges to cracks and defects. Windows can be thoroughly cleaned and replaced during summer months.

Deep cleaning surfaces. Tabletops, counters and bathroom surfaces get wiped down during the year, but summer is the time to do the job more thoroughly.

But summer is also a good time to address larger system needs, too. School maintenance personnel should take the opportunity to inspect, clean and review:

HVAC systems. Filters and ducts should be inspected, updated and cleaned. Systems should be evaluated to ensure they are operating at peak efficiency.

Fire safety and emergency alert systems. Equipment and systems should be inspected and tested.

Security systems. Worn or outdated equipment should be replaced. Camera placement should be evaluated and adjusted, if necessary.

School staff should also take the opportunity to revisit emergency plans, too, particularly if the facility is has made significant changes, such as room reconfigurations, additions or other building projects. Summer is also a good time to investigate adding new systems and processes.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.

We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (502) 632-4322 to discuss your needs.

March 30th, 2017

Maintaining school facilities is a challenge in nearly every school district. Most districts don’t have the funds to adequately resource regular capital improvements, and maintenance is sometimes deferred and systems and equipment are repaired long after they should have been replaced.


It’s no different for Jefferson County Public Schools, which has 155 school buildings, shifting population and a $1.3 billion list of maintenance and new construction projects.
Addressing the maintenance and construction issues is a complex challenge, but the payoffs are considerable, including improved energy efficiency and better utilization of resources, among other things.
But the most important payback of all might be improved student performance. How?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, schools without a major maintenance backlog have a higher average daily attendance of 4 to 5 students per 1,000 and a lower annual dropout rate by 10 to 13 students per 1,000 compared to schools with backlogs.
Check out these other benefits and impacts the EPA cites:

  • Studies that measure school conditions consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve.
  • Controlled studies show that children perform school work with greater speed as air ventilation rates increase, and performance of teachers and staff also improves.
  • Higher ventilation rates have been shown to reduce the transmission of infectious agents in the building, which leads to a drop in sickness and absenteeism.
  • Moderate changes in room temperature affect children’s abilities to perform mental tasks requiring concentration, such as addition, multiplication and sentence comprehension. Poor temperature and humidity regulation can lead to problems with focus.

Well-maintained systems are key to building maintenance, and important for the development, health and safety of students and staff.
We’re always happy to discuss how our solutions can help. Connect with us at the Kentucky School Plant Management Association conference and workshops Oct. 18-19 at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 1801 Newtown Pike in Lexington or call us at (502) 632-4322 to discuss your needs.

January 27th, 2017

HID Global’s Personal Identity Verification (PID) platform was recently recognized as the “Best Identity Management Platform” in the 2016 Homeland Security Awards.

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The Homeland Security Awards are sponsored by Government Security News, a leading trade publication.
HID is one of ECT Service’s trusted partners. HID offerings include physical access control; IT security, including strong authentication/credential management; card personalization; visitor management; government ID; and identification technologies for a range of applications.
“Identity management is the backbone of ensuring sensitive operational capabilities across a myriad of systems and environments,” says Chuck Brooks, a security expert and lead judge of the awards, according to a press release. “HID PIV is a solution providing an innovative technological edge and HID’s authentication technology is already well appreciated by a variety of government users.”
The HID PIV platform, which includes HID PIV Express™, HID PIV Enterprise™ and HID PIV IDMS™ (Identity Management,) is the industry’s first end-to-end identity access management solution, according to the release. HID PIV is suitable for contexts which require higher security to use a single credential for accessing doors, IT systems, networks and data.
HID PIV provides complete identity lifecycle management, including identity proofing, secure credential issuance and use and deprovisioning. The platform unifies physical and IT security systems, and applies trusted credentials and other advanced security capabilities.
Judging was based on the increase in the client organization’s security, technological innovation or improvement, filling a recognized government IT security need, and the flexibility of solution to meet current and future organizational needs.
“HID Global partners with several government agencies, helping to secure the identities of millions of government employees and contractors, so it is gratifying to receive this Homeland Security Award for a new innovation that we are excited to bring to customers,” said Brad Jarvis, Vice President and Managing Director of the IAM Solutions business with HID Global, in the release. “HID PIV provides trusted identities for accessing both IT and physical domains in a more efficient and effective way than was previously available.”
Shooter Detection Systems, another ECT Services partner, was also recognized in the 2016 Homeland Security Awards. SDS Guardian system earned the inaugural “Best Active Shooter Gunshot Detection Solution” award.

October 11th, 2016

A week ago, the airwaves were filled with dire predictions of widespread destruction, as Hurricane Matthew churned across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean. Matthew struck Haiti with incredible intensity, then moved up the coast, dumping water up the East Coast as far north as Virginia.9845935_s

This week, people across the region are making their way back home and beginning the long process of recovery.

But for many business owners, there will be no recovery. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as many as 40 percent of small businesses never reopen following a disaster.

How can you beat the odds and keep your doors open if disaster strikes? Here are starting points:

Have a strong disaster recovery plan in place. At its most basic, a disaster recovery plan leads you to consider the types of man-made and natural disasters that might present a risk in your community, and identify ways you can remediate that risk. The Small Business Administration has a number of helpful planning tools available for businesses and organizations of every size here.

Partner with your insurance carrier before, during and after a disaster.  Regularly review your coverage with your insurance agent. Your insurance carrier also likely has a number of risk mitigation and planning tools available, too, that will help you in creating a disaster recovery plan. If your business is impacted by a disaster, call your insurance company right away for guidance.

Keep safety in mind when cleaning up. Cleaning up following a disaster presents its own unique set of challenges.   From downed power lines to displaced wildlife to mold, post-disaster cleanup must be handled with care. Get some tips for cleaning up here.

September 22nd, 2016

GenetecLogo-resizedShooter Detection Systems (SDS) recently announced a new strategic alliance with open-architecture IP security solution Genetec.
When integrated with SDS’s Guardian automated gunshot detection system, Genetec Security Center instantly creates alarms, cues cameras to the shooter’s location, and streams live video and recorded playback of the gunshot detection incident. The integration enables emergency personnel to follow the active shooter event in real time through the live video feed and floor mapping interface, and also allows the activation of door locking mechanisms and access control to building locations.
An independent live-fire study in a two million square foot facility revealed a significant time reduction from the start of a shooting event to its completion. Without the integrated system in place, response time was 13.5 to 18 minutes before the security measures and protocols were initiated and first responders were dispatched to the scene.
With the integrated system in place, the process was reduced to five seconds, and included cueing cameras to the shooter location, locking the shooter out of building areas and dispatching first responders.
“As this independent customer study proved, the Guardian alarms the second a shot is fired and the ability to cue cameras and initiate active shooter response protocols is the key to saving lives,” says SDS CEO Christian Connors.
The partnership is the latest strategic alliance for SDS, which earlier this year announced plans to team up with Desktop Alerts. That integration enables users to instantly issue alerts via social media, speaker systems, computer monitors, telephones, mobile devices and fire alarms when shots are detected.
ECT Services is pleased to offer the Guardian gunshot detection system developed by Shooter Detection Systems, which works by using acoustic and infrared sensors to instantly identify gunshots. This video demonstrates the basics of the system.
Interested in learning more? Register for our Live Fire event.

March 16th, 2016

After a three-year, $60 million renovation and expansion project, the Speed Art Museum reopened last week.

Check out time-lapse video of the project posted by the Courier-Journal:

The 30-hour opening celebration included music, dance and more, with partner organizations from across the community joining in.

The museum’s new glass façade buildings, which wrap around the original structure, are designed to maximize natural light and showcase the museum’s collection. Too much, light, however, could be damaging to the collection, so the glass walls are embedded with metallic rectangles that filter the light and deflect the harsher rays of the sun. The metallic rectangles are more dense at the top of the building, and graduate as they cascade down the wall.

Most of the interior lighting has also been switched to more energy-efficient, less harsh LED lighting, too.

The interior of the entire museum must be maintained at a constant temperature of 72 degrees to protect the collection, which includes paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles and other objects, some of which are thousands of years old.

Glass walls, integrated old and new construction and other factors could make temperature control a challenge in such a facility. The Speed is overcoming that challenge with an integrated control system designed by ECTServices.

The Speed is also pursuing LEED building certification.

For more information about the Speed, visit their website.

July 10th, 2015

We’re halfway through 2015 now, if you can believe it, and we’re looking back on the great things that have happened this year. Among the many, we were proud to partner with a global company new to Louisville, Computershare.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 8.54.27 PMComputershare opened new, expanded offices in May in downtown’s Meidinger Tower. This global financial services firm employs over 15,000 people and serves 16,000+ clients in 20 different countries, so we were pretty honored to help make their new space livable with state-of-the-art temperature control, secure access control, and video surveillance. While Computershare is currently occupying two floors in Meidinger Tower, we have begun work on floor #9, and the company plans to expand to five full floors in the next two years. When they do, we’ll be there to help them keep their business running smoothly and securely.

In light of recent developments in the healthcare industry that have cast an ominous air of uncertainty over the downtown Louisville area, the community believes now more than ever in the importance of expanding Louisville’s businesses.  “I felt there’s a real energy in the city,” said Computershare CEO Stuart Irving of the decision to move downtown after evaluating more than 300 cities as potential headquarters for the firm. As the energy, strategic location, and favorable tax rates continue to draw new and booming industries to Louisville, we stand ready to help those businesses run efficiently and safely with cutting-edge security, temperature, and fire detection systems.

March 30th, 2014

Many different skills are required when working in the service industry. A Service Company’s first priority should be ensuring they understand what the customer wants and then providing them with an exceptional service experience.

The company’s service team members need to be good listeners. They should identify what the customer needs by asking good questions and making sure they understand, clarifying as necessary and setting the expectations for the next steps. The team member should be courteous and a person whom enjoys helping others. These team members will be happier and the customer will know that they are proud to help in any way they can. These team members will more naturally build relationships with the customer because they genuinely care. These relationships take time but are critical to developing trust and open communications between the two companies. Communication is the most important factor in a company’s ability to deliver an exceptional service experience.

At ECT Services it is our Goal is to be your technology partner for life. Delivering an exceptional service experience is just one more way we hope to achieve this goal. We have begun to survey our customers in an effort to help us better understand how we are doing towards this goal. We would appreciate your time in completing the very short survey should you receive one.

Of course you can always call me if you should have anything you would like to discuss regarding your service experience.

Tom Barrett,

Service Manager,

502.636.2402 ext107

March 24th, 2014

 

What defines your day?  Are you “task” oriented?  Most people are.  Perhaps you have a list for the day… or from the previous day… how will you handle the co-worker, customer, call (or email) from nowhere asking for something that isn’t a planned part of your day… nor on your list?

While interruptions are a part of life… it is critical to have (and maintain) a list to manage your day or your projects.  Having a list is how you keep track of what needs to be done, and how (as a manager) you can rally your team to achieve success by getting things done.

Whether you want to admit it or not, regardless of your role at your company, it is probably expected that you be a task oriented person.  You and your company will be evaluated on how effectively you handle and accomplish your assigned tasks.

So how do you keep track of these tasks you are expected to accomplish?  By making lists!  Daily “to-do” lists, “honey-do” lists, punch lists, priority lists, grocery lists, you get the idea. A good list will make sure you have a purpose for your efforts.  A good list will ensure you know (and can communicate to others) what is to be done, when it is to be done, who is to do it, and possibly where it is to be done.

And best of all, a good list will give you good piece of mind (and help us avoid those darn “Senior Moments” we all have when we go completely blank).