December's about looking forward and backward

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Ah, December, the month of anticipation and reflection.

Every year, I pledge that I will not find myself shopping for holiday gifts at the very last minute, when the pickings are slim and the hostility level high. And one must not forget New Year’s Eve, always billed to be a better night of celebrating than the last.

If history tends to repeat itself, then in a few weeks from now I’ll be battling the crowds at the mall and falling asleep before midnight.

Since joining the industry in May, I’ve learned a lot about the history of the sector: the names of the people and companies that play a leading role. And it has been a great experience.

I don’t think many other sectors of the U.S. economy would be so accommodating. I feel comfortable enough to say that I could pick up the phone and dial any one company and have my queries answered rather than shunned.

Being at the ISC East show, access to individuals throughout the industry proved this point to be true. Although I have talked with a great amount of people since my tenure started here, I’ve had fewer opportunities to do so in person than over the phone.

The conversations I had at ISC East were dramatically different than the ones at the September ASIS conference, where people were busy trying to find their way through a maze of vendors.

Although smaller in comparison, the stress level at ISC East was much tamer.

It was at ISC that I started realizing how some of the traditional security companies within the industry have been extending their toes into the technology waters.

Take for example SilverSeal Corp. and Emergency 24. Building off a 16 year history of providing private investigation services, SilverSeal two years ago been developing applications using emerging technology to complement its offerings. Now, it provides computer forensic services as well as a visitor management product.

Third-party monitoring firm Emergency 24, as we reported in an earlier issue of Security Systems News, has designed an e-commerce application, branded, that helps develop trust between retailers on the web and consumers.

I know there are many more companies to mention that are doing just this. Simply walk around the aisles of any trade show, including ISC and ASIS.

But that’s my point.

It’s just not the corporate behemoths that are redefining this marketplace; it is the smaller companies that are willing to take the plunge into the digital divide and do.

The topic of technology is what interests us here, and we’ll be following the trends as they develop. If we happen to miss one, or two, let us know about it.

Enjoy the holidays and have a great new year!