ASIS 2011: News and notes from the show floor

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla.—There was plenty of news being made at ASIS 2011, which took place at the Orange County Convention Center Sept. 19-21. Below are some editor round-ups from ventured out onto the show floor to collect news and other goings-on.

Here’s Martha’s round-up:

The ASIS news started rolling in well before the show floor opened with the news released around 7 a.m. yesterday that Tyco International plans to split into three independent, publicly traded companies.

Over at the BRS Labs booth, John Frazzini, president of BRS Labs, during a morning press conference pronounced: “2011 is the year that video analytics died.” He cited the disappearance or winding down of several well-known video analytics companies and the paucity of video analytics companies on the show floor. Video analytics were “the past,” he said. The future is with behavioral analytics, which BRS Labs provides, he continued. This system “observes what happens in the scene, learns the behavioral patterns that occur over time, and alerts on abnormal activities.” Frazzini noted that behavioral analytics, specifically, are beginning to be spec’ed in some of the largest transit and airport projects.

On the show floor, surveillance system provider VideoIQ begged to differ with Frazzini. New CEO Ed Bednarcik and VP of marketing Mark Gally talked about the company’s partnership with thermal camera company FLIR. “Video analytics are ready for the mainstream,” Gally said. “They’re accurate, they’re easy to install and today they go way beyond alarm generation to power a whole system.” Gally explained that it’s the analytics that allow the surveillance system to “intelligently stream video and optimize storage.”

At March Networks, CEO Peter Strom and CMO Net Payne talked about how their new product introductions (an enterprise DVR, a 5 megapixel and a 3 megapixel camera, as well as new SearchLight applications such as skimming-detection features) are optimized for March’s focus verticals: banking and retail.

Strom noted that March Networks has grown from a $6 million to a $100 million company over the course of eight years ...  and counts the top 50 banks in the world among its global customers with many banking and retail customers standardizing on March Networks globally. Payne said the company is becoming more “channel centric” and said the new products announced at the show are easier to use, install and are reliable, “so you don’t have to roll a truck regularly.”

At the giant Stanley Security booth, CEO Tony Byerly was eager to show off the company’s new eVideo Cloud storage solution, which is based on the Axis/Iomega AVHS systems that was announced at ISC West this year. Byerly called the product a game changer for the installer. “It’s 25 percent cheaper than a DVR,” he said. “The cost, the fact that it’s simple and fast to install and the online capabilities—we think this will transform video solutions.”

Byerly was also eager to show off new mapping features of the company’s well-known e-services. “This basically brings all the web services together on Google Maps. There’s a map view and a list view,” he said, which makes it much easier for a security director to get a handle on what’s happening at remote locations. Similarly, Stanley’s “einform” service now allows Stanley to send its customers real time updates when a serviced call is scheduled to arrive. It shows the GPS location of the truck, arrival time and a photo of the technician and details of the service request.” Byerly said the company will extend this service beyond installation to sales and repair calls as well.

Two years after the acquisition of GE Security was announced by UTC Fire & Security consolidation and integration efforts continue. Luis Orbegoso, president of Lenel, announced that the company will be offering a migration path for its large installed base of Picture Perfect customers to FacilityCommander and OnGuard. He emphasized that the decision to migrate is designed to protect the investments made by its large installed base of Picture Perfect customers. “The easy way would have been to tell customers they have to rip and replace, but this is a true migration,” Orbegoso said. Consolidating the platform will allow Lenel to combine the best of each offering and allow Lenel to “spend our time and effort on new innovations,” he said.

Expect to see more collaboration between Lenel and OnGuard, said Bob Hoskins VP and GM of Interlogix. He noted that the Sept. 30 episode of the television show “Designing Spaces” will feature a UTC Fire & Security-designed intelligent home—his. In the future, Orbegoso said he expects Lenel to “be the brain and the central nervous systems behind the intelligent building.”

At Johnson Controls, Andre Greco talked about the company’s BEST (Build Effective Sales Training) program that it’s currently running for recent college grads. It has been six years since the Fire and Security business graduated a BEST class. JC interviewed 1,000 (mostly engineering) students from across the nation and chose 16 to participate in the program, which runs from June to November. The intensive training program will result in 16 new “branch security solutions sales people for JC.”

“We’re going to transform our go-to-market strategy as it relates to security, from a transaction and product-based sale to a consultative sale,” Greco said. The BEST graduates “will be agents of change for Fire and Security,” he said.

Ed Melzer, Niscayah director of cloud hosting programs, stopped by the Security Systems News booth to record a video interview about new features of Niscayah’s hosted video solution, which like Stanley, is based on the Axis/Omega AVHS service announced at ISC West.

In a final booth visit of the day, identity management provider Quantum Secure’s Laurie Aaron, Ajay Jain, and Dan Yetso talked about the company’s focus in the next year on four key verticals; government, aviation, energy and health care. With regulatory compliance issue a concern for many of these end users, (CFATS and NERC-CIP to name two) “it makes us a very good value proposition,” Aaron said.  The company, which received only one round of VC funding and has been doubling in size annually currently has 100 employees and is profitable, Jain said.

Meltzer spoke at a press conference about Niscayah’s hosted video offering. Later in the day, he also spoke to ssnTVnews about the service, which has some new features and which the company is starting a dealer program with. Here’s a link to the video.

Mega-megapixel camera (and HDVMS) company Avigilon introduced a new 29-megapixel camera at the show, which it will begin shipping the last week of October. Why 29? Avigilon’s new director of marketing and communications Keith Maret said they went for 29, because 20 was too close—performance-wise—to 16. And why mega-megapixel systems? ” High quality images give the best evidence ... and [Avigilon’s] high definitions stream management minimizes storage requirements.” The Canadian company has also filed a preliminary prospectus for an IPO, something the company won’t officially talk about, but which company president Alexander Fernandes mentioned later that night at a customer event at the Icebar, according to attendees.

A brief stop by at Brivo included a meeting with Maria Buenavista. The folks at Brivo were talking about a lot of different projects including one where Brivo’s cloud-based access control was installed at the Iowa Cubs ballpark in Des Moines. The system manages the comings and goings of more than 100 employees, which includes 12 groups who have access to different parts of the park during different days and times. It also includes alerts and reporting functions. But we were talking about Brivo CEO Steve Van Till’s presentation that he’ll be making at TechSec2012.

At lunch, I attended a media briefing with ADT Commercial’s John Kenning and ADT’s chief technology officer Jay Hauhn. Of course I wanted to talk about Tyco’s plan to split into three independent, publicly traded companies. Kenning talked a little bit about the deal. He noted that ADT split its resi and commercial business in May of 2010. "The difference between residential security today and what we [at ADT Commerical] do are vastly different in terms of sales, implementation [and service]. This is taking it one step further and separating into different companies," he said.

ADT residential will continue to be headed by John Koch. Tyco Fire and Security will be headed by George Oliver, who has been with Tyco since 2002. Kenning's commerical business, Sensormatic and Tyco Security Products will report to Oliver. The residential business will keep the ADT brand, but the commercial fire and security business will lose that brand.

What Kenning and Hauhn really wanted to talk about is their new hosted video solution for enterprise and small business customers. Like the Stanley/Niscayah solution, it’s based on the AVHS systems announcedby Axis Communications at ISC West this year. Kenning and Hauhn laud the service as convenient, not requiring IT support, cost effective, can help with compliance and liability issues, and can be easily scaled.

They also wanted to talk about ADT’s new Pulse for commercial products. This interactive service product, announced for the resi marketin the fall of 2010 is currently being tested and Kenning expects to roll the service out in Q1 2012. “It’s a tool that will help your run your business rather than just secure your business,” Kenning said.

Later, Imperial Capital's Jeff Kessler met me at the Security Systems News booth for a quick interview. I asked him about the Tyco split and he said that the separation wlll give the "commercial and industrial business a chance to have a closer and more symbiotic relationship with SimplexGrinnell (its fire business)." Better integrating fire, security and building control systems can "provide tremendous data, that can be understood and used by the client," he said. "That can result in much stickier large enterprise client, and hence, better margins."

Like Avigilon, Arecont Vision cameras go way past 11. At ASIS, Raul Calderon, Arecont SVP of marketing, discussed the company’s new 20-megapixel/180-degree H.264 cameras. Arecont says the camera is most cost-effective in applications where PTZ cameras or other multiple cameras might be used to cover a large are, and makes the claim that it can replace lots and lots of cameras. (It says up to 65.)

At the Samsung booth, Janet Fenner, Samsung group marketing manager said the company is emphasizing how nicely it’s playing with others, such as Exacq, OnSSI, Genetec, Milestone and Verint. “We’re very aggressive with partnerships when there’s a company that’s looking for a solution.” Samsung is also changing the way it’s going to market, partnering with “the big four [distributors] ADI, Anixter, Scan Source and Tri-Ed Northern,” Fenner said.

Back at the SSN/SDN booth, I had a chance to meet Steve Russell, founder of 3VR. Russell’s most recent venture is called Prism Skylabs. Security Systems News will have a video interview onsite within a week, but SDN’s Whit Richardson wrote up a story about Russell’s new company.

Next I met with new managing director of CapitalSource Will Schmidt, and we talked, among other things, about a recent deal $42.5 million deal CapitalSource did with a very interesting company, Electric Guard Dog.

Martha’s Day 3 report: The first meeting of the day was with BreifCam CEO Dror Irani, where he talked about “liberating the video” so that it’s really useful customers’ security department, marketing department and more. This was a demo to follow up on a story Whit and I both worked on.

Next I went to AlertEnterprise, where I met with Ruby Deol, SVP strategy and business development. AlertEnterprise is a provider of logical and physical security software that announced a partnership with Proximex at the show. It also just got $19 in new funding and HP non-executive chairman of the board, Ray Lane, joined its board. They’re doing some interesting thingsat airports in particular that I’ll be reporting more on.

Kevin McCAughey of Schnieder was next. We talked about converged building management systems and their Continuum product. I also got a look at their new Sarix SureVision camera that self-adjusts in different lighting and weather conditions.

After a walk around the show floor, I met with Geri Castaldo, CEO of Codebench, a provider of middleware for access control systems. We talked about the PIV-I card moving beyond the government and into the commercial market. “It has the potential to be much bigger than the government market,” she said. There are problems with that happening, she said, because “not all PACS can accommodate PIV-I cards, and they need a workaround. She said Codebench has been contacted by companies in the financial sector (but not other sectors yet) about helping their systems accommodate a PIV-I card.

My last meeting of the show was with Siemen’s Rob Hile, new senior director of and Enterprise Solutions and Services, one of two segment heads who will oversee Seimen’s new converged fire and security business unit.

Here’s Dan’s round up:

It seemed like everyone was talking about the age of managed services. Integrators are no longer simply accepting them, but are beginning to expect them as well. According to some of the companies that SSN and SDN met with, the advent, proliferation and advancement of wireless technology has pushed the industry to a tipping point.

Video alarm verification provider, OzVision’s global director marketing Matthew Riccoboni said smart phones have trained end users to expect more.

"Smartphones have changed the way we interact with data. It's no longer sufficient to say, 'I'll look it up later.' Smartphones have created an immediate need, an immediate thirst for data. So what we're doing is making services like video available that way," Riccoboni said. "And it can be for a lot of different things: an audit trail, for liability issues in the healthcare vertical … The channel partners, the integrators are really thinking of where this can be effective … For example, with quick-serve restaurants, integrators can offer access to video that shows a manager if people are consistently leaving because of long wait times. That's business intelligence that tells the manager they might want to bring on more staff to better serve their customers."

It's all about choice and not getting stuck in the past, according to Telular vice president of marketing and business development Shawn Welsh.

"Our focus has been on raising RMR. Cellular is now a trusted pathway, so now how do you leverage it to make more money?" Welsh asked. "One way is through offering interactive services, which we developed with the TG-1 express that works with older panels as well as new panels. You can offer an iPhone app to a panel from the '80s."

Diebold director of security solutions Jacky Grimm pointed out that managed services allowed integrators a way to offer a lower price point and a lower learning curve for getting in on the value managed services can offer.

"Technology is changing so fast. It's difficult for end users to have the money there to update. What we're doing is packaging it in to leverage payment over time," to include things like training, oversight and hardware and software updates. "So you pay a flat fee up front, but the technology keeps pace with the world,” Grimm said.

Whit’s round-up:

I began the morning by sitting down with Lorrie Navarro, senior security manager at SAS Institute and co-chair of ASIS' Women in Security Group. She told me about some of the new initiatives the Women in Security Group, launched in 2009, has recently undertaken, such as its mentoring program that links young, up-and-coming security professionals with seasoned vets.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with Todd Milne, senior manager of security operations for University Health Network in Toronto, and David Pollard, superintendent of operations for Tallahassee Regional Airport, to talk about recent security system deployments undertaken at their respective organizations. Look for the video interviews to be posted on the website.

Throughout the day, I paid attention to the news releases arriving in my inbox. PlaSec, which offers a cloud-based physical access control solution, announced yesterday that it has rebranded itself as RedCloud Security.

Johnson Controls announced a deal worth $29 million to design and install integrated security systems at 12 major soccer stadiums in Brazil, including two that will host main matches for the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup. The deployment will include access control, as well as the installation of 1,700 surveillance cameras, video servers and vide analytics software.

At a press conference at Assa Abloy’s tent, Martin Huddart, Assa Abloy’s VP of electronic access control, talked about some of the 50 new products Assa Abloy and its 40 brands were releasing at the show.

Later, at an event put on by HID Global, a subsidiary of Assa Abloy, Denis Hebert discussed the future of electronic access control and an HID near field communcation pilot at Arizona State University that enabled student’s smartphones to carry their identity credentials and gain access to residential dorms on campus. Laura Ploughe, director of business applications and fiscal control at ASU, called the technology and pilot “a dream come true.”

At SightLogix’s booth, John Romanowich, the company’s president and CEO, introduced the company’s new Clear24 cameras and released the news that the company had landed the contract to provide its thermal imaging cameras to the World Trade Center site’s perimeter security. Considering Romanowich launched the company a few years after doing a security survey of Ground Zero, he says the new contract completes the circle.

Day 2 at ASIS 2011: I began the day with a bang, interviewing Lou Barani, security director for the World Trade Center. We discussed what his day was like on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. With all eyes on the site and the president's visit, not to mention the memories, was the day stressful? "It was anticlimactic," Barani said, adding that he was confident they had done everything they could to prepare. We agreed that in the security industry, anticlimactic is a good result.

I then swung by the Honeywell pavilion to learn about its upgrades to its Pro-Watch security management system, including its integration with the Honeywell Software Development Kit, which enables increased interoperability between Honeywell technologies and products from third-party manufacturers.

Then it was back to the Security Director News booth to interview Darin Crofts, loss prevention manager for special projects for Woolworths, the largest retailer in Australia with $53 billion in sales and around 3,000 retail locations. He told me about the unique challenges of operating a loss prevention program across such a wide-open country, and the decade-long project to upgrade its legacy video surveillance system with new IP-based cameras.

At the Axis Communications pavilion, I had the pleasure of meeting Martin Gren, the inventor of the IP camera and the company's founder, as well as Fredrik Nilsson, Axis' general manager for the Americas. Being new to the industry, I was interested to learn that only 25 percent of new camera deployments are IP cameras and that 98 percent of the millions of surveillance cameras out there are still analog. Gren said that when he released the first IP camera in 1996, people laughed. However, today's IP cameras are 600 times more powerful than that first camera and it is now accepted that network-based cameras are the future.

Continuing the video theme, I then visited Zvika Ashani, CTO of AgentVI, the Israeli-based video analytics company. Ashani walked me through the company's video analytics program, highlighting its three main applications: real-time event detection, forensic video search, and business intelligence. The day before, John Frazzini, the president of BRS Labs, declared "2011 is the year that video analytics died," a declaration Ashani scoffed at. "The past couple years, we've seen 100 percent growth year over year," Ashani said.

At OnSSI, I got a look at the Ocularis software, which the company had just announced was deployed at the Orange County Convention Center, the site of the ASIS 2011 show.

I then rushed back to SDN's both for the third video interview of the day, this one with Peter Miller, CSO for Orange County, which has hundreds of public buildings—courthouses, public safety buildings, etc.—with close to 3,000 video cameras and 2,000 access controlled doors. Miller, who came from the IT-side of the business, has a staff of 20. His department acts as its own integrator, saving the county government thousands of dollars.

 

At Genetec, I learned got a chance to see the “world's smallest HD license-plate recognition camera,” designed to attach to the top of a police car or other vehicle. These cameras have an accuracy rate above 95 percent at 200 miles-per-hour, according to Michel Chalouhi, Genetec's director of product management.

I then visited the largest security company in the world, G4S, which employs 700,000 worldwide. In the United States, it is the second largest private employer behind WalMart. When Lew Pincus, G4S' senior director of marketing, joined the company two-and-one-half years ago, he said no one would think to hire a company known for security guards, which G4S was, to handle high-tech security needs. Those times are gone, Pincus said, explaining that, through a series of acquisitions, G4S now "provides pretty much everything but cybersecurity."

Over at Diebold, Martha Entwistle and I heard from Kevin Engelhardt, its VP and general manager of enterprise security solutions, about the company's move to a more service-based model that would help the customer control costs and help Diebold develop some RMR.

That evening, I was invited by Siemens to Epcot, where the company has sponsored the Spaceship Earth ride inside the iconic Epcot sphere since 2005. At the event, Siemens announced it was merging its fire and security businesses.

Day 3 at ASIS 2011: Several informational meetings started off the final day of ASIS: Ingersoll Rand, where I got a demo of the near field communication access control technology that it plans to began piloting soon; IQinVision; and VidSys, which released its mobile application for its PSIM system at the show.

At BRS Labs, I sat down with Ray Davis, its founder and CEO, to discuss the company's approach to video analytics. Traditionally, analytics software has been rules-based, but BRS Labs took a different approach, developing software that was reason-based, Davis told me. "Rules are bad," Davis said. "Every rule you add exponentially increases the number of alarms." What BRS' software does is translate a camera's images into a language that an artificial neural network can read, allowing the computer to "learn" behavior, according to Davis. He told me the company, which sold its first products in November 2010, will reach $10 million in sales its first year and he expects to reach roughly $70 million by the end of 2012.

After listening to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano give a keynote address at a luncheon, I left before the food was actually served to meet a few of the men behind Security-Net, a group of 19 independent integrators that team together to bring strength in numbers.

At Lumidigm, I met with Bill Spence, its VP of transaction services. The biometric technology company has some big clients, including a major national theme park that uses the company's fingerprint biometric readers to scan 38 million fingertips a year, Spence said.

A few demos wrapped up my first ASIS trip. At BriefCam, I got a demo of its video synopsis software, which condenses hours of video footage into a minutes-long clip that overlays all the action and events the camera picked up in that time. I then got a demo of Brivo's cloud-based access control solution, which also has integrated web-hosted video, before heading to the airport for a flight back to Maine.

Highlights from a press conference from Dan:

Wireless lock and access control suppliers Salto and Sielox announced a technology partnership the two companies say will allow integrators to offer more affordable access control across an enterprise, regardless of whether doors are traditional, hardwired doors/locks or newer wireless locks. At a joint press conference Sept. 20, Salto SVP Mike Mahon and Sielox president and CEO Karen Evans presented the partnership which pairs Salto's electronic locks with Sielox's Pinnacle access control system and 1700 controller.

"With this integration, we have wireless locks that you can deploy anywhere," Mahon said at the press conference. "Now you can extend access control anywhere in your facility, from a padlock all the way up to a full locking system."

 Evans said the partnership's most powerful element was its ability to lower the price of extending access control enterprise-wide.