Feenics ‘built by a VAR for VARs'

Paul DiPeso heads up new cloud-based access control company
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Friday, July 18, 2014

OTTAWA—Feenics, a new cloud-based access control platform launched earlier this year, has named Paul DiPeso as VP and GM, and is attracting the attention of some integrators who are demoing or getting ready to install Keep, which is Feenics’ first product.

DiPeso is an industry veteran who was with Lenel before starting with Feenics in January.

The name Feenics is derived from the fact that it’s a fee-based (managed) service and “it’s also a play on the [phoenix], a rebirth of access control,” DiPeso explained. The idea is that “you never sell hardware again [for access control] except for on the outside.”

In mid-June, DiPeso held a “Voice of the Customer” roundtable summit here at Feenics’ headquarters. Integrators in attendance included Alpha Corp, GS Security, Contava, TRL Systems, Open Systems and Koorsen Security.
 
Skip Sampson and Shannon Martindale from Koorsen told Security Systems News they believe Keep will be an RMR generator for the company and a product that customers will like.

Sampson installed Keep at the Koorsen office and tested it for six months. “We gave [developers] feedback and they were quick to acknowledge and implement [some changes],” he said.

Sampson has sold two systems and “has quite a few in the pipeline,” he said. Asked about hosted and managed services, Sampson said he’s dabbled in hosted video, but believes that managed access control is "the most viable managed service. You don’t need a huge pipe, huge SAN or attached storage—a DSL works just great,” he said.

And with Keep, which works with standard Mercury panels, “there’s comfort that if the customer for some reason doesn't like it, you can put in something else without replacing the infrastructure. I think Sam was wise in doing that. We play on that point.”

Sam is Sam Shalaby, former owner of FSC, an Ottawa-based integration firm that was acquired by Convergint in December. Shalaby, who developed Keep, is 100 percent owner of Feenics and sits on the board of advisors, but he is not involved in the day-to-day business.

Sampson acknowledged that there are “multiple other products that do similar things, but what’s different with Sam’s is that he didn’t take a product that’s been out there for 10 to 15 years and take the same GUI, and same layout and try to make it work as a hosted product. He started to build it with an integrator’s mindset. It’s not an access control panel-centric product.”

Sampson called it “fresh and new and relevant,” and said it has “kind of a Google look to it.”  

Working with DiPeso are Dave Charles, who does business development; Ralph Shillington, CTO and developer of the original software; and Anthony Shalaby, who is running logistics.

DiPeso said Feenics was “built by a VAR for VARs. We understand where [integrators] are coming from and what’s important for you.”