Helping customers with high-tech infrastructure, Cyber Technologies, Inc. offers smart solutions
Whether for secure, dynamic corporate connectivity or for home safety and lifestyle, Hudson Valley-based Cyber Technologies, Inc. helps customers create strong, integrated high-tech systems that foster business productivity and enhance quality of life, says Cyber Technologies President Kevin Hourihan.
“We design, install, unify and service digital technologies as diverse as security and fire alarm systems, business network connectivity, door access protections, video monitoring and even cost-saving energy management systems,” he says.
Cyber Technologies doesn’t invent technologies like fire alarm systems, video security technology or “smart” thermostats. But as its technicians install them, they work to bridge all the different systems into integrated, user-friendly infrastructures suited to each customer’s requirements—all manageable from a single control.
“We aim to give clients consolidated systems they can easily operate with their smartphones or any other device they want,” Kevin says. “And, if they want, they can program those systems to work automatically on whatever schedules and patterns they choose. Each customer’s needs are different and each job is individualized.”
Home and Business Venues
The work leads in many directions. It can mean working directly with individual homeowners to refit their houses for fire and security systems, automated climate controls and even home theater setups.
But for ground-up residential projects like The Gardens at Rhinebeck, a high-end multifamily development in the Village of Rhinebeck, New York, it can mean working with architects and general contractors to embed the underlying infrastructure for these technologies from the beginning, aiding project owners by reducing costs and enhancing appeal.
For restaurants like the McKinney and Doyle Fine Foods Cafe in Pawling, New York, it can mean going beyond fire and security basics to enhance efficiency and quality of service. The restaurant’s interior video system lets the owners know whether patrons are being served in a timely manner, the kitchen is operated efficiently or the pantry needs resupply.
For a Greenwich, Connecticut-based investment firm overseeing multiple businesses worldwide, it can mean upgrading its high-tech connectivity to ensure smooth international videoconferences and downloads of extremely large engineering documents.
For institutional customers like the private Manitou School in Cold Spring, New York, it can entail a straightforward fire alarm and security system with video cameras throughout the 150-year-old building and grounds.
And, for the new Won Dharma Center, a 28,000-square-foot Buddhist spiritual and recreational retreat completed this year on 500 acres in Claverack, New York, it can mean working closely with the architects during planning and construction to install comprehensive fire and security systems and advanced networking infrastructure throughout the complex’s five buildings.
‘The Possibilities of Digital Technology’
Before he established Cyber Technologies in 2000, Kevin worked for 17 years as an engineer involved in power plant operations. “As the facilities I worked at became more automated, I became more and more familiar with the power of automation and integration,” he says.
“Finally, in the late ’90s, I felt I had reached my career max as a plant operating engineer. But the work had given me a firsthand look at the possibilities of digital technology. I was intrigued. I had the skills, and I decided to put them to use in my own business.”
Kevin started the company in 2000 with a focus on fire, security and entertainment systems in homes and businesses. He soon recognized that integrating multiple technological applications into unified infrastructure represented an important opportunity, fulfilling a growing business need.
Often, these systems tended to be separate, each requiring their own controls. “I saw that they all could be unified and managed with one friendly app on one device, making it much more useful and convenient for the customer,” he says.
Based in the Stormville area of East Fishkill, New York, the six-member Cyber Technologies team serves customers throughout the Greater Hudson Valley, although they have clients as far away as the Hamptons and Schenectady.
Residential and commercial installations often involve similar concerns—particularly fire and security alarms. The difference is that business installations generally need to be certified as meeting industry standards. Kevin is state-licensed in New York and Connecticut and certified to work on fire alarm technology by NICET, the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies.
Lights! Cameras! Alarms!
The most frequent applications Cyber Technologies deals with are fire and security systems. Basic fire alarm systems are pretty standard—smoke detectors backed up by 24/7 monitoring. But depending on the customer’s choices, they can be supplemented to detect heat, carbon monoxide buildups and gas leaks.
In terms of security systems, customers face a wider range of options—indoor and outdoor security cams, door access cameras, door and window intrusion detection, and fingerprint access at doors. Whatever they need, Kevin and his team can set them up to all be manageable from smartphones, iPads, computers or, if the client wants, custom-programmed remote devices. The system can be managed on more than one of the devices, if the customer wants.
Cyber Technologies installs and programs the alarm systems but relies on Rapid Response Monitoring Services Inc., a large national security monitoring company, for full-time monitoring backup. Based in Syracuse, New York, Rapid Response supplies round-the-clock security system tracking for customers of security system dealers throughout the United States.
When an alarm goes off, it automatically signals Rapid Response, where a technician immediately calls the customer to verify whether the alarm is real or false. If it is real or if there is no response from the customer, they’ll quickly notify the appropriate fire or police agency for emergency response.
Design, Installation— and Follow-Up
The Cyber Technologies team begins all projects by meeting with the customers to ascertain their needs and preferences. They review the options with them, not just whether they want alarms and video connections but other possible systems like climate control and automated window shades.
“Then, in consultation with them, we work to design a system, advising them on the best equipment for their budget,” Kevin says. “We develop the technical programming at our shop and spend days or weeks installing the hardware and guiding them on the system’s uses.
“I feel the most important part of any job is follow-up. We’re always available to customers to make certain they’re getting the uses they need and to address any upgrade or performance issues.”
A lot of installations can be done in a day or two. Some projects—such as big estates—can take months. But Kevin has been on one that’s lasted two years—The Gardens at Rhinebeck, a residential development. It’s being done in phases.
In that development of 76 homes, Cyber Technologies was hired by the builder to set up fire alarm systems in each home. Each unit was constructed with the base embedded for future smart home technologies like keyless entry, lighting control and media rooms. Subsequently, individual homeowners have been contracting with Cyber Technologies to implement one or more of these applications.
Kevin’s preference is to work with architects in the design phase of a project so they can incorporate his systems into their plans. It simplifies the technology needed and lowers the costs of implementation, he says. But he notes that a lot of the technology can be wireless, so retrofitting an older building is perfectly feasible.
Automated Lights and Daylight Harvesting
Fire and security systems are essentials in any structure. Some customers want more, with options like the ability to control thermostats and to manage lights throughout from a single control, or to be able to automate on and off times and patterns.
A step further would be the ability to program shades and blinds to reduce the natural light entering a room. Even further: “daylight harvesting,” using photosensors to automatically dim interior lights depending on how much natural light is available.
“Light harvesting is viewed as more than simply a convenience,” Kevin says. “It’s a technology that allows companies to reduce energy costs. It underscores how digital technology can make life safer, easier and more efficient. In the things we do, we help protect our customers’ businesses, property and lives, and we feel proud that we help make their lives better.”