Joel Rakow and Paul Lucking met as Partners at Fortium Partners, a national firm comprised of 80 senior technology executives who held CIO and CTO positions with nationally prominent organizations. Fortuitously, both Joel and Paul had extensive experience with physcial security systems, access control and value-added resellers (VARs). Together, they decided to solve a perplexing and burdensome problem for security system VARs, as well as those in other market segments. The problem is preparing and maintaining the skills of end users serving as first-level system administrators. For security systems, these are the people who replace lost cards, change door schedules, add holidays and new locations into the access control system, as well as print reports and monitor alarm notifications and other tasks. The old-school approach to providing such training by scheduling engineers to instruct end users. To this day, this approach remains inefficient, ineffective, expensive and is rarely viewed favorably by VARs and their customers. ActivAdmin addresses uses new SaaS technology, installed in the cloud, delivering very short and targeted interactive instructional videos that are available anytime, anywhere on most any device with a browser. All of this enables unlimited support for the end user, no matter the version their software.
Steve was installing CRM software for the company that Joel where Joel was President. Steve went on to become an eLearning software developer. You will likely come to know him as Steve-the-Security-Geek, where he is the developer and voice of many of ActivAdmin’s tutorials. Steve and Joel have enjoyed hundreds of tennis games together, as doubles and singles partners. Steve lives near Las Vegas in the winter and summers down the Coast Highway, from Joel, in Laguna Beach.
ActivAdmin has a virtual organizational structure and an organizational culture for today’s businesses. Upon request, we are happy to share our “Guide to Working in a Virtual Organization”.
Joel Rakow, Ed.D.
Chairman and Co-Founder
Joel Rakow is the co-founder and Chairman of ActivAdmin, a publisher of online, interactive video tutorials for first-level administrators of security systems and other building controls. Rakow is the former President, for 10 years, of Ollivier Corporation, a security system integrator that provides network engineering services along with Lenel OnGuard, Avigilon and Stentofon. Prior to Ollivier, Dr. Rakow was the founder and President of American Training International (ATI) for 17 years. ATI sold its online tutorials in 22 countries in seven languages, through IBM, Hewlett Packard, McGraw-Hill and more than 600 computer stores. ATI won PC World’s Best Product of the Year for three consecutive years and Microsoft Partner of the Year, in 1998. Prior to Ollivier, Rakow was a Partner at Tatum Partners, for 7 years, where he started to Electronic Crimes and Risk Management Practice. At Tatum, he won Microsoft’s Great Plain’s Implementation of the Year, in 2001 and provided services for U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation, SSP Litronic (provide secure communications between the White House and the DoD, Bidz.com, LifeMasters, Planetwide Games and the World Shoe Association, nearly all of which addressed security and risk management solutions. He is on the Advisory Council for Trusted Network Technologies and Adobe Software. Dr. Rakow is a former Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and a National Science Foundation Fellow, Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of California where he was also selected for Phi Beta Kappa.
President and Co-Founder
Paul Lucking was Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at ADT, the $2.5 billion commercial and residential security company. He ran the world-wide customer care organization for 3 years and over the course of more than 50 acquisitions and integrations. Following ADT, Mr. Lucking was Chief Operating Officer for almost 8 years at Security Associates International, a $140 million security monitoring service with 340 employees and hundreds of VAR customers. Paul has over 12 years of additional experience working with 20 manufacturers that sold through VARs. He participated in the development and operation of a learning management software serving early teenage users. Mr. Lucking is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and currently resides near Nashville, Tennessee.
Vice President and Co-Founder
Steve Lewis is responsible for production of the tutorials and development of the ActivAdmin Online Learning Platform. He is also known by many of our end users as Steve the Security Geek the voice of the tutorials for Lenel and AMAG. Steve was the V.P. of Software Development at Front Range Software and Corporate Computing Center prior to that. He was Sales Engineer at Collins Computing and Ashton Tate before that. Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from State University of New York. Steve currently holds the all-time record for tennis matches won by the fifth player on the varsity five-man tennis team.