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Rob Hile

PSIM—Just another four-letter word

Manufacturers define PSIM differently, what’s important for integrators to understand here?
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06/15/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Jim Henry of systems integrator Kratos PSS described "physical security information management"—PSIM—as a term that has confounded and bamboozled the security industry for 10 years.

In emergency management, be ready to ‘roll with the punches’

At TechSec, Dana Farber security director discusses impacts of back-to-back active shooter, big blizzard
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02/06/2015

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Working in emergency management means “rolling with the punches” and having successful communication plans in place, says the director of security and emergency management for the renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

Weathering the Blizzard of 2015 while preparing for TechSec

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

As what has been forecasted to be an epic blizzard bears down on us here in the Northeast—and from what the howling wind sounds like outside it would seem the forecast will come to fruition—we are making our final preparations for TechSec 2015 in sunny, warm, blizzard-free Florida.

We're thankful the storm is hitting now so as not to delay us from flying down to Delray Beach next weekend for what we expect to be one of the greatest TechSec conferences ever. (Check out the lineup ... )

Meanwhile, though, I have to think of some of our conference participants, those security folks out there in the blizzardy trenches. Just last week, Martha and I were speaking with Ralph Nerette, our second-day opening speaker—and also a recent past “20 under 40” award winner. Ralph is the director of security and emergency management at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston with excellent insights into the ever-growing health care security vertical.

Early during our conference call, Ralph said there had been a shooting next door at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that he was closely monitoring; it was having an impact on security at DFCI, what with all the police officers and police helicopters in the area and nearby roads cordoned off.

A few minutes later, he had to end our call to deal with the fallout at his hospital in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Brigham cardiac surgeon Michael Davidson’s and the suicide of the shooter.

Giving Ralph some time to breathe, I sent an email to him this past Monday to reschedule our discussion in advance of TechSec. He responded quickly that he was in the middle of preparing his hospital for the blizzard, but that he would get back to us as soon as he could. He’s a busy guy, that Ralph.

Ralph is a dedicated professional, one of many whom you will meet at TechSec. His talk, “Five things you may not know about health care security,” will be moderated by the always entertaining Rob Hile, director of strategic accounts for SureView Systems. We are pleased to have both of them participate in our conference, along with all the many other dedicated, insightful security pros who are scheduled to speak and those who will offer ther expertise from the audience.

I look forward to seeing you at TechSec. And stay safe (and warm!) out there everyone!

Critical infrastructure security leaders: 'bridging the gap' with integrators

Panelists reflect on how to forge sound and lasting partnerships with integrators and manufacturers
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02/07/2014

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.—Securing critical infrastructure is always a tall order, but add in the constraints of a tight budget and it becomes an even more daunting challenge.

A different approach to PSIM

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So, I was getting an update from Rob Hile, who is the new director of strategic accounts for SureView Systems, about his plans to drive business for the software provider. His plan is an interesting new take on the sometimes touchy topic of PSIM.

SureView, which has been around for 14 years, is fairly well known for its Immix software platform in the central station world, but Hile's goal is to expand Immix's horizons way beyond the central station world.

In the past two or three years the company "made a few tweaks" and the result is a "mid-market, situational awareness/PSIM solution ... that's cost effective, lighter, faster and cheaper [than other PSIM solutions]," he said. "It's cloud-based and it's dot.net, so it's super easy to install and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to operate it."

While high-end PSIM solutions allow an operator to "fly through buildings using a joy stick ... do you really want your guards in your SOC who are making $8 to $9 an hour flying through your building looking at graphics?" he asked. "No," he told me, answering his own question. What you want is a system that will allow the operator to handle an emergency quickly and efficiently and with the software, backed up by standard operating procedures, he said.

Well, in some applications, ports for example, you might want a joy stick-enabled PSIM and other bells and whistles, but Hile is betting that the majority of applications that could use this solution fall into the middle-market category.  Those include "cities and municipalities, higher education, Fortune 500 companies with multiple locations across the country that are doing acquisitions, pharmaceutical companies, retail, banking."

"The central station software has integrations built to 450 devices and about 65 manufacturers. We've got those done and the list is growing. ... and the licensing model is that you buy it and you can put in on as many servers and workstations as you want and we're not going to gouge you for that."

As he develops SureView's channel strategy, Hile will be working with large and mid-sized integrators--several of whom he's worked with or competed with previously. As an example, he'll be working with one large integrator's sales force (which numbers in the hundreds) educating them about SureView and helping them close deals when the time comes.

That sales force will be a "force multiplier" for SureView, Hile said. "If you're looking for a joy stick to fly through buildings, this is not the solution, but if you really want a user-friendly, cost effective solution to solve your challenge. I've got it. ... This is going to change the way PSIM makers go to market," he said.

Time will tell of course, but companies like SureView, that seek to change the PSIM model certainly bear watching.

 

 

 

 

IFSS services revenue soars after business restructure

CEO Rob Hile says construction margins are in the mid-20s, services margins are between 40 and 70 percent
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06/06/2013

FORT MYERS, Fla.—After restructuring Integrated Fire and Security Systems to “go after services business,” CEO Rob Hile said the company increased its services “by $155,000 or a total of 16 percent of our revenue, just by really focusing on it.”

Day 3 and done ISCWest 2013

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Monday, April 15, 2013

On Friday, April 12, Day 3 of ISC West, many were already heading to McCarren, but I was heading back to the show floor. And this year, though the crowd had thinned considerably, so were a lot of other folks.

Very decent crowd for Friday of ISC West.

While I had early rallies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I didn’t have any official appointments until 10 a.m. on Friday. My first was with IMS/IHS’s Niall Jenkins. We caught up on a few things including plans for TechSec 2014. Yes, plans are underway, and Amy and I have some great ideas—you’ll hear all about them in September.

Next was a meeting with Matt Barnette of AMAG. I was supposed to go to the AMAG A&E and integrators’ event in March. Unfortunately, lengthy flight delays derailed that plan—so I spent some time catching up on some news announced at that event. AMAG is all excited about their new Symmetry SR series retrofit controllers, which can be used to convert competitor’s legacy systems to AMAG’s Symmetry solution. “Our engineers used our existing hardware platform and changed the form factor so it’s a direct pin for pin [upgrade] solution for traditional Casi Rusco solution,” Barnette said.

A couple of years ago, UTC (parent company of Casi Rusco) announced that it would end-of-life its Secure Perfect and Picture Perfect solutions and would transition those customers to a product called Facility Commander. AMAG considers this change in UTC’s roadmap as an opportunity to get those UTC (Casi Rusco) customers to instead transition to AMAG.

Back at the video studio, I did two more ssnTVnews interviews, one with Rob Hile, CEO of IFSS, an independent integrator in Florida and one with Levy Acs of American Integrated Security Group.

Hile and I talked about IFSS’s successful migration to a services-based model, and Acs and I did a follow-up interview on this story I wrote last month about his ambitious growth plans.

The rest of Friday was spent walking the show floor and hanging around the ssnTVnews studio chatting with folks who stopped by.

What was the theme of ISCWest 2013? There was continued talk about mobility and cloud. More manufacturers are figuring out how to offer the two and integrators are starting to see possibilities for making money offering the same. The big theme it seems to me, however, was optimism. There was a vibe at this show I haven’t sensed in many years and, frankly, it’s not what I was expecting after the not-so-crowded ASIS show last fall.

I heard the same from nearly everyone I spoke to. Good to see; nice to be a part of.

Reorg at Siemens

Bob Suermann, Rob Hile, Thomas Beare will head up new combined business unit
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09/22/2011

ORLANDO, Fla.—In an effort to provide more integrated and intelligent solutions to its customers, Siemens has merged its fire and security businesses to form Siemens’ Fire Safety and Security business unit.