The great ISC West Round-up

A compilation of odds and ends, with 44 folks mentioned
Friday, April 9, 2010

LAS VEGAS—With 916 booths, slightly more than last year, and crowded aisles, ISC West is preliminarily being labeled a strong show this year by attendees and exhibitors. “It’s back up there, getting toward 1,000 booths again,” said Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Americas, at Axis Communications.

“There’s a lot of people here,” said Rich Montalvo, president of Security 101. “The turnout is much better than ASIS and Anaheim. I’m not sure if that’s the location or just people feeling better about the economy.”

While audited attendance numbers won’t be released for a couple months, anecdotal indications were that attendance was strong. The state of the industry keynote address was filled to 600-seat capacity, with people standing along the walls; product introduction events put on by the likes of HID, Bosch, and DMP were standing room only; there were lines for the bathroom in the lunch-time hour.

Even the nascent Security 5k, put on by Security Systems News, Security Director News, and Reed Exhibitions, and to benefit Mission 500, exceeded expectations. With 250 bibs printed for runners, registrations for the event eclipsed 300 runners, with 249 eventually running. The event raised $30,000 in total, enough to sponsor 90 kids through the World Vision charity.

Recurring themes were familiar for those who’ve been attending recent industry events. Commercial integrators were encouraged to focus more on services and build RMR; IP video continues to be embraced (Pelco debuted a new HD-only booth where every camera and monitor was 1080p); wireless options continue to grow (DMP released an all-wireless intrusion platform called the XTL; Bosch expanded its support for cellular communication); ease of installation continues to be emphasized by certain vendors (Axis had executives installing cameras on unicycle and blind-folded).

Further, the debate over whether integrators want end-to-end solutions from one vendor, or best-of-breed solutions from many vendors, continued to rage. While vendors like DVTel insist that the best performance can only be realized by VMS that’s designed to go hand-in-glove with the cameras connected to it, integrators like Eric Yunag, president of Dakota Security, and Sean Woods, director of IT at Valley Ag Software, said their end users are asking for flexible systems that can accommodate a number of different vendors, and they want the flexibility to supply best-of-breed solutions and not be pigeon-holed. Yunag, for one, was confident that the efforts of specification-creating bodies like ONVIF and PSIA will change the way integrators can deploy video surveillance.

“Maybe I’m one of the few of that opinion,” he joked, “but, yeah, I come from the IT world, and I’ve seen standards be developed and best-of-breed options be a reality.”

As for the vendors announcements at the show, they were plentiful, as usual. A perusal of the blogs will unveil any number of product releases and recaps of booth visits, but here are some highlights from the show:

Honeywell was very active in Las Vegas, hosting 200 or more commercial dealers as part of its CSS program and announcing that the program has grown so popular that Joe Sausa will focus on the First Alert program and access control head John Lorenty will be asked to run the CSS program so that each can focus on his specific constituency. The company also hosted a media tour of the Aria hotel and casino’s video surveillance operations, installed by North American Video. NAV CEO Jason Oakley was in attendance, and the tour was led by director of surveillance Ted Whiting. Whiting was enthusiastic, specifically, about newly released Honeywell HD cameras, which he had just installed and only required 3 mps of bandwidth each.

At the booth, Honeywell Security started early on the first day with a 7:45 press conference. Ron Rothman, president of the Honeywell Security Group, and Scott Harkins, general manager for Honeywell Security’s CCTV and access control business, spoke to reporters about trends and opportunities for 2010 and beyond. Reporters were the first outsiders to a look at two brand new videos that will be shown to Honeywell dealers across the country during a 20-city “road show” that Honeywell executives were embarking on immediately after the close of ISC West.

The two movie-trailer-style videos were short and intentionally campy, humorously driving home the point that if you don’t keep up with today’s technology, you’ll fall behind and suffer “fatal attrition.” Conversely, if you do adopt today’s technology, you can expect to be successful and admired by all of your peers. Like the guy in the second video, you might even take home a trophy home from an event.

Axis went a step beyond HD and released its first line of megapixel cameras. It’s 5-megapixel offering shows the company is now satisfied with the lens offerings available in the market, and its proprietary P-iris technology allows the company to maintain the image quality it’s been known for, said Fredrik Nilsson, GM Americas at Axis.

DSC was noticeably sporting new branding, and was more closely integrated with its Tyco brethren Kantech and Software House. Tyco will be focusing much more on the integration of the intrusion, access, and video lines this year, said Denise Bruley, marketing manager at DSC.

Pelco’s all-HD booth emphasized openness, even to the point of its no-walls layout, said Herve Fages, director of global marketing. Is he concerned that legacy analog dealers would think the company is leaving them behind? No, he said, outlining the strategy this way: “We hunt with IP, but we farm with analog.”

In an interview for ssnTVnews, John Mack, EVP and co-head of investment banking at Imperial Capital said: “We expect a material pick up in material M&A activity in 2010 broadly across all industries in the U.S. and particularly in the security industry.” That activity is being propelled by “pent-up interest from both buyers and sellers.”

At the ADT booth, JD Keller, VP ADT dealer program, talked about the interactive services that ADT will be rolling out in the next few months. ADT announced its collaboration with iControl and ZWave previously, and the ADT product is in place in its “test market in Southern Florida.” Are dealers wary of the interactive services? Quite the opposite. “Anyone who’s seen it wants it. The number one question I get from dealers is, ‘When can I get that?'” Keller said.

The Honeywell Fire Group held a press conference, where they announced a number of new products from Fire-Lite, Honeywell Power Products and Systems Sensor. Gene Pecora predicted that the new IP &GSM commercial fire communications products “will take off like a rocket.” System Sensor’s David George talked about an interesting software product called EASE. It’s not new, but newly of interest to fire dealers, for helping to predict the intelligibility of a voice system.

AMAG’s Kim Rafaldt had news that AMAG, well known for its access control systems, is getting into intrusion—a new line of business for the security management systems provider.

L-1 Identity Solutions had myriad biometric systems at its booth, but the one Shriaz Kapadia, COO of L1’s enterprise access solutions wanted to highlight was L-1’s new finger vein biometric reader.

Kristen Simmons, founder of Livesmart Networks, a new security company based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., spoke to ssnTVnews about her decision to move into security from corporate marketing—she launched the well-known Mazda “zoom-zoom” campaign. In many ways, launching a security company is a natural fit for Simmons. “As a new mom, I spend a lot of time thinking about the safety of my family and my home,” she said. A major component of running a residential security company is “talking to other moms [about these topics] and the result is I become a better mom and a better professional at the same time.”

After a year’s absence from the show, Steve Hill, who formerly did communications for GE security, was back in Vegas in 2010. He’s now with Morpho Detection, part of the Safran group’s security business. At the show, Hill was talking about Morpho Detection’s newly announced the CTX 5800, its next-generation explosives detection system. The system can improve operational costs and increase ROI for security screening infrastructure. It’s designed for small- and mid-sized airports to take advantage of computed tomography technology, and it helps airports maximize checked bag screening operations and plan for evolving threats and future expansion.

Last year they were in a suite in the Venetian, this year 2GIG Technologies moved a little closer to the show floor to a Galileo suite room. A steady stream of people were observed filing through the room to confer with 2GIG’s Lance Dean, Scott Simon and Todd Santiago. Will they move to the show floor next year? Maybe, said Santiago. 

Also off the show floor was Alison Slavin,’s VP product management, and an army of employees who were busy talking to dealers in their Galileo suite. One of the most interesting things in the room was a side-by-side display showing the 2GIG Technologies' GO!Control security system and the GE Security’s new Simon XT system with interactive touch screen. Some similarities for sure.

Back on the floor, UTC Fire and Security’s Kirk MacDowell, residential business leader, and Dave Nark, product marketing manager, were happy to point out to a reporter the crowd around the new Simon XT system at their booth. It had been like that for two days, they said.

UTC Fire and Security’s Bob Haskins, VP and general manager for UTC Security Systems told SSN in a video interview that not only will the GE Security Pro Dealer Program continue, it will keep the same name. Further, UTC is looking to enhance the program with new marketing efforts. Haskins was preparing, at that time, for the first post-merger meeting of Security Pro and commercial dealers, which was scheduled for Las Vegas on April 21.

GE veteran Ted Milburn is now with Cooper Notification, where he is vice president or marketing. SSN has interviewed Milburn many times about mass notification, and he spent some time at the show talking about the benefits of CooperNotifications' integrated mass notification system and how the system is well positioned as mass notification goes beyond military applications to the commercial world.

Visonic President Bill Lyons was very happy about Visonic’s Executive Summit on Innovation, held the first day of the show featuring Rowan Gibson, who shared his insights on the future of the security industry. The event drew 60 people. Familiar faces among them were: Dave Carter SNA; George DeMarco, ESX; Steve Champeau, TransAlarm; Jeff Atkins, Rapid Response; Rich Perry, Security Networks; Peter Flynn, Security Performance Partners (now SPP Advisors), and Tony Wilson CMS.

Wayne Wahrsager of Smith & Wesson Security Systems was equally pleased with his two-day dealer seminar, which drew 128 attendees, among them current Broadview and ADT dealers, he said. 

Genetec, well known for its new unified security platform, had a brand new booth, which Patrice Belmonte, director of marketing communications, gave an extensive tour of.

Nearby, Milestone’s space on the show floor was like many booths within a booth; it’s evidence, Milestone marketing head Courtney Dillon Peterson noted to SSN of Milestone’s ever expanding number of manufacturing partners. One partner, Tom Hulsey, of CyberGroup, talked about how they have used the PSIA specifications to manage all integration with third-party software, including Milestone.

Select Security CEO Patrick Egan told ssnTVnews that his year-long acquisition spree in Pennsylvania is not about to stop anytime soon.

Mike Jagger, president of Provident Security, told ssnTVnews about how security is “just a way in the door” for his company, which offers a number of other services to its customers.

It was the first time to ISC West for Andre Sedlin’s company, Ocenture. In a small booth at the front of the floor, Ocenture wants to provide a package of (mainly Internet-based) services for residential security dealers to sell to their customers. The services—Internet password protection, for one—are designed to up RMR and decrease attrition. Lots of news pending from this company in the months ahead.