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Don Erickson

SIA eyes federal budget resolution

Sequestration could be a factor in determining funding for major security grant programs
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09/24/2013

WASHINGTON—The crisis in Syria only further roils what was already expected to be a turbulent few months in Congress leading up to the holidays. Despite the din, the Security Industry Association has developed a plan to advance some of its own objectives, of which there are many.

Dean to receive George R. Lippert Memorial Award

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09/16/2013

SILVER SPRING, Md.—Raymond Dean, a 39-year veteran of the security industry, has been unanimously chosen to receive the 2013 George R. Lippert Memorial Award by the Security Industry Association’s Lippert Award Committee.

SIA’s Don Erickson gets top honors from CEO magazine

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09/11/2013

WASHINGTON—Don Erickson, head of the Security Industry Association, has been named as a top association executive by CEO Update magazine.

Kratos has new SVP

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Don EricksonAt the PSATEC conference earlier this month, SIA CEO Don Erickson was talking about government opportunities for independent integrators large and small. The contracts and jobs are out there, Erickson said.

One of PSA Security’s largest integrators, Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions’ Public Safety & Security division has created a new SVP position to go after the “growing DoD/DHS market.”

James Cotter, who has been with Kratos since 2007, has been promoted to senior vice president of the Government Solutions Sector.

In his new role, he’s charged with working with Kratos leadership “researching, identifying and ultimately captur[ing] those opportunities.”

Ben Goodwin, president of Kratos’ PSS division called Cotter an “idea fit for this position.”

The "haves and have-nots of security integration companies"

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

PSA TEC is in full swing. The action started on Sunday night, but I arrived late on Monday. Yesterday I spent the day (Tuesday) talking to PSA Security integrators and members and attending four different educational sessions.

I attended the State of the Industry panel, moderated by PSA Security CEO Bill Bozeman and featuring a large group of integrators and industry experts; a discussion on Big Data, Business Resiliency and Physical Security moderated by Chris Peckham of Kratos; a session on security finance moderated by Bozeman; and a session on how to adopt managed services, moderated by Sharon Shaw, of Integrators Support.

These folks covered a lot of ground. I’ll be writing more in-depth stories on some of the topics covered, but below are some highlights from the day.

Haves and have-nots

Bozeman started the first session of the day quoting Imperial Capital’s Jeff Kessler, who in a recent report wrote that increasingly the world of systems integration is dominated by the "haves" and the "have-nots." The "have" have an RMR base, are making a good margin on jobs, and are profitable. The have-nots have not moved into managed services and are surviving on installation revenue. Bozeman agreed with Kessler, recommended all read his report, and spent a great deal of time in this session and others talking about how all PSA Security integrators can join the "haves."

Know your verticals
Phil Aronson of Aronson Security Group, Ron Oetjen of Intelligent Access, and Eric Yunag of Dakota Security all said “deep focus” on your vertical markets is key. Yunag, whose Dakota Security is growing rapidly, said that his company made a strategic misstep 7 or 8 years ago when it decided to expand outside of the financial vertical. Banks are something that Dakota had grown to know very very well. The mistake the company made was not the fact that it expanded outside of that vertical, but it did so without the focus and understanding of other verticals.

The message from integrators on the panel was this: Focusing on different verticals is good, but get to know them. And don't delve into too many. How many verticals should an independent integrator focus on? Three, most agreed.

Mad about channel conflict? Look within
Another topic that came up was the problem of channel conflict and manufacturers going direct to end users. Jim Henry of Kratos, said it’s important for systems integrators to remember that manufacturers who go direct to end users fail. However, he noted, “it’s important that and end user sees you as a value, not a middleman making a margin.” Yunag added that if an end user is going direct in your coverage area “that’s your failure as a systems integrator.” You need to know what’s happening in your region, and if this kind of stuff happens take a look at your own organization.

Government Opportunity
Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, was banging the drum about the opportunity for integrators who want to do business with the federal government. Despite sequestration and budget problems, money is in the pipeline for K-12 projects, ports, transportation. “Consider the GSA Schedule program, it’s a very effective contract vehicle for doing business with the federal government.”

How to build an effective business?
During the State of the Industry, Ron Oetjen of Intelligent Access Systems broke it down this way: hire the right people and focus on your strategic plan.  Later, during a finance educational session that got pretty granular about how to make your business attractive to buyers, Kratos’ Jim Henry said that the businesses that he’s attracted to are the ones that are not for sale, the ones with a “clear vision and a mission.”

Boston bombing and video surveillance
In the aftermath of the Newtown gun massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing, Yunag said that now is a “significant watershed for our industry and the services we provide … in the next five to ten years, the way video surveillance is used will change,” he predicted.  The general public has seen, particularly with Boston, how video surveillance can be useful. Jim Henry said that the incident clearly demonstrated how video can be used for “actionable intelligence and business intelligence.” Further, he said, it's important to note that the ability to find the suspect was not because the camera in question was a certain quality or manufacturer,  but because it was a “well positioned camera installed by a professional.” This horrific event showed the world how video can be used, Yunag said, and it's incumbent on integrators now to have those conversations with law enforcement and others about how they can best take advantage of video and other physical security offerings to help prevent and detect situations like these.

There are many more highlights that I’ll report on later, now I need to get to the conference.

Video surveillance holds the key in Boston bomb probe

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marcus Dunn was late for the phone call Tuesday morning, but there was no need to apologize (although he did so anyway). As director of government relations for the Security Industry Association, he had been in a meeting to discuss the bombings in Boston and it ran longer than expected.

Our conversation—we speak every month about legislative issues affecting the industry—quickly turned to Monday’s deadly attack. Less than 24 hours had passed and speculation was rampant about who had done it and why. There were few new facts, but police had started to sift through surveillance video that likely will be key to solving the crime.

That provided a silver lining, however slim, for Dunn.

“When these things happen, despite all the craziness, there’s a little bit of pride in being with an organization that often prevents these types of things or plays a large role in apprehending those responsible,” he said. “There are some critics of the technology and how there are cameras on the streets, but I think we’ve seen time and time again that they’re effective in preventing crime and certainly very effective in capturing perpetrators.”

Dunn said that was the case after bombs killed 52 people aboard three London trains and a city bus on July 7, 2005. The examination of CCTV images helped investigators identify the suicide bombers and arrest others connected to the attacks.

“We’re trying to determine what was deployed in the area in Boston and if a [SIA] member company had equipment deployed there,” Dunn said. “In London, it’s just decked out—there are cameras everywhere. That’s what they used [in 2005]. They were able to go through the surveillance footage very quickly.”

In the aftermath of Monday’s attack, there was also the realization that “soft targets” like the Boston Marathon will always be vulnerable. No matter what security precautions are taken, the risk can never be eliminated—at least not in a free society. With it comes a loss of innocence that deepens the grief.

“The marathon is one of those things that is very open, you can come and go,” Dunn said. “Those days are gone now.”

After SIA’s meeting Tuesday morning, CEO Don Erickson—who is also a marathon runner—echoed the thoughts of many with the following statement:
 
“As someone who has personally experienced the strong community spirit that exists on marathon days, I am incredibly saddened by the horrific events that tragically occurred yesterday in Boston. On behalf of SIA, our thoughts and prayers are extended to those who were injured and to the families of those who lost their lives on what should have been a day of accomplishment and excitement for the city of Boston. We extend our thanks to the first responders who acted so quickly to help the victims of this attack.”

SIA, N.J. college to launch security degree program

Goal is to develop work-ready college grads, expand program nationwide
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01/21/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In an effort to increase the number of well-qualified job candidates for security integrators and manufacturers, the Security Industry Association is working with Mercer County Community College to launch a new security systems and technology degree progr

Fire alarm + ECS = Award-winning combo

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Friday, April 6, 2012

I wrote recently about a new “all-in-one” fire alarm and emergency communications system just introduced by Silent Knight by Honeywell. Now the new Farenhyt Emergency Communications System has been honored by the Security Industry Association with an award.

The company says the combo fire alarm/emergency communications systems is an easy and cost-effective way to respond to a growing demand by such customers as schools, hospitals and government and military facilities for more than just a fire alarm system so they can also address emergencies such as severe weather or an armed intruder. And SIA categorized the Farenhyt ECS as one of the “leading edge” products helping to drive the industry forward.

Here’s more from a Honeywell news release today:
 

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell announces its new Farenhyt Emergency Communications System has been recognized by SIA (Security Industry Association) as the top Mass Notification solution in the 2012 NPS (New Products Showcase) competition. In its 33rd year, this annual SIA contest received 70 entries, all vying for the top seed in one of 21 categories.

"Once again, the companies competing in the NPS presented the kinds of leading edge entries that are the hallmark of the program," states SIA CEO Don Erickson. "These new technologies and solutions are the drivers that are moving the security industry forward."

Silent Knight's Farenhyt ECS (Emergency Communications System) provides both cutting-edge fire protection and a system for broadcasting real-time communications within a facility, big or small. By integrating mass notification capabilities with its proven fire alarm technology, Silent Knight aims to offer an all-in-one system that is easy-to-use, cost-effective and benefits from the stringent requirements placed on fire alarm systems …

The Farenhyt ECS line delivers real-time, intelligible communications over a completely supervised system that meets the latest NFPA 72, UL 2572 and Department of Defense (DoD) standards. Farenhyt ECS control panels include customizable switches for as many as 15 pre-recorded messages and a microphone for live paging - all simple-to-use technology which enables users to direct general or emergency communications to all or select areas of a facility.

As many as seven Farenhyt ECS-RCUs (Remote Command Units) can tie into a facility's Farenhyt ECS and be conveniently placed throughout a facility to provide a quick means for live paging. Complete operation of fire alarm and ECS functions can also be performed through an ECS-RCU, which is UL-listed and meets the DoD mass notification system requirements of an LOC (Local Operator Console).

The Farenhyt ECS runs on most wire-types, making it a cost-effective retrofit option when existing fire alarm wire is used. Fire alarm speaker intelligibility requirements combined with regular system testing code mandates ensure this integrated fire alarm and ECS communicates clearly and is well maintained.”

For more information go to www.farenhyt.com.

 

What you need to know about PIV

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If you don't do work with the federal government, should you care about what's going on with PIV (Personal Identity Verification) credentials? Isn't it just a credential that government agencies are required to use for access control?

PIV may not be moving into the private sector as rapidly as some proponents predicted years ago, but there is movement in that direction. Rob Zivney of Identive Group, David Belchick of Citibank, and Don Erickson, CEO of SIA, did a great educational session at TechSec this year about how PIV, the PIV-I (PIV-Interoperable) and CIV (Commercial Identity Verification) are moving into the private sector and how integrators can and should take advantage of this opportunity. (I’m working on a story for next week about that discussion).
 
But there was more information released today by the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council and Access Control Council, which I’ll be taking a look at and maybe you’d like to check out as well.

The groups released a white paper about PIV-I deployments at Booz Allen Hamilton; SAIC; XTec Incorporated; and the Commonwealth of Virginia. They also released a brief with general information and comparisons of the credentials. Both can be downloaded at the Smart Card Alliance website.

If you’re attending ISC West, you can learn more at a workshop "Standards-Based Secure Identity Credentials: Leveraging the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Specifications for Commercial Credentialing Programs," on March 27th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Sands Room 104. Registration is available on the workshop webpage at http://www.smartcardalliance.org/secureid.

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