Here's the ISC West rundown

Partnerships outstrip products at annual industry gathering place
Thursday, May 1, 2008

LAS VEGAS—The industry has gathered once again here in Sin City at ISC West, and the event continues to be a major landmark on the industry calendar. A slew of new products have seen the light of day here for the first time, and a number of companies have taken the opportunity to introduce themselves to the marketplace, but if there was a theme to the show, it was one of partnership.
As just one example, DSC, a comforting sea of red in the right corner of the show floor once again, made news by signing, on the show floor, a contract with Exceptional Innovation's Life|Ware to finalize a partnership that was first announced at last year's ISC West. "Now we're actually doing it,” joked Marilee Harris, DSC director of marketing. The initial partnership to bring home automation software to DSC's security channel was based on an HP platform that HP soon after stopped producing, which threw a wrench into plans. "We had to configure everything so that it's the right platform for us,” Harris said. Plus, "this is not a traditional box sale, so we had to ensure we had the training right, had the customer support right. This is the evolution of the partnership.”
DSC also had a hands-on demonstration called "Experience the Speed of the Install,” where attendees were invited to see how fast they could install and program DSC's new PowerSeries 9047 panel. The fastest time, clocked by a DSC engineer was 1 minute 5 seconds; the fastest installer completed the task in 1 minute 35 seconds. A reporter for Security Systems News installed the panel and programmed a wireless key and two zones in 6 minutes and 10 seconds, with some help from a product manager.
UTC Fire & Security is looking to drive opportunity by consolidating its vision and focus for its four manufacturing brands in the physical security space, Lenel, Onity, Verex and Guardall. Duncan Gillis, president of UTC's Global Security Products Group, said UTC has a new focus on interoperability, both within its own product lines and with other products in the market. "We're going to harness our expertise,” he said, "and our technical knowledge to build the most hassle-free security solutions in the market.”
Axis Communications executives gathered at an early morning April 2 press conference to announces the launch of a new generation of network cameras with multiple H.264 streams, which is appropriate for "indoor video surveillance systems with demanding and efficient requirements.” Fredrik Nilsson, general manager of Axis, said the new technology "enables excellent image quality at significantly reduced bandwidth.” By using H.264 in all its new generation network cameras, video encoders and video management systems, Axis estimates it saves up to 50 percent of storage and network bandwidth compared to MPEG-4 Part 2 and up to 80 percent compared to Motion JPEG.
Over at the Honeywell Fire section was Jeff Hendrickson, with Silent Knight's newer UL-approved products. System Sensor's David George demonstrated several new products including the Exit Point, a directional sound system, which gives people audio clues to get out of a smoke-filled environment. Fire-Lite's Nick Martello had steady traffic with people interested in the new UL 864-approved IPDACT, which converts analog signals at the panel to digital IP signals. The new approval allows the product to use the Internet or an end user's private Intranet without the need for a redundant phone line.
Meanwhile Gene Pecora over at Honeywell Power Products was showing off the new product that powers up the IPDACT.
AMAG Technology was using a brand-new booth to show off additions to its Symmetry product line that continue to embrace IP technology. Chief technology officer David Ella took time to demonstrate the Symmetry Edge Network Controller, which provides IP distributed intelligence at the door, utilizing Power over Ethernet and supporting 50,000 credentials and 10,500 off-line credentials. "And it's not just powering itself,” Ella noted. "It can power the lock as well, with up to 750 milliamps,” which, he admitted, might not be good for some mag locks.
With not only a brand-new booth, but a first appearance at ISC West, Paxton Access has crossed the pond from its home base in the UK to address the U.S. market. With an elegant GUI and a dedication to design and aesthetics as a company, Paxton will be emphasizing customer service, with all customer feedback posted on its Web site. Trish Bambury, Paxton's marketing manager, noted Paxton had just landed a distribution agreement with Trans Tech.
"We really like that they're a tight little company,” Bambury said. "With the five-year guarantee that we give, obviously we're very focused on customer service, which is very important to Trans Tech as well.”
GE Security president and CEO Dean Seavers, vice president and general manager Global Security, product management Jerry Rose, and Mark Barry, newly installed president, Americas, took a few minutes to explain GE's strategy. They discussed GE's vertical market focus, where they're creating partnerships with experts in different verticals. The idea, which they first pushed at ASIS last fall, is to reach out to the end user and then bring the integrator into the picture.
Seavers emphasized that GE "has no interest in getting into the integration business,” rather, the new model will "create demand and that's good for the integrators.”
Tony Sorrentino at ScanSource, in a tropical-island-themed booth, said they'd just signed GE Security, "which will bring us into new areas.” He also talked about Scan Source's expanded training, including its IP Training Workshops, which cover network basics, network video training, and in some cases, a third day of wireless training. He also discussed some internal convergence—increased cooperation and cross over from ScanSource's non-security business units (POS bar code, telecommunications, and video conferencing) into its four-year-old security business.
There were small things all over the show floor that seemed pretty important, too. In the Panasonic booth, it was interesting to see a corner labeled "analog,” since that had always been the default before. In the Pelco booth, during an interview with an enthused new president and CEO Dean Meyer, it was almost disconcerting to see an emphasis on access control, with squeeze toys being given away in the shape of their PoE controller.
At the Vumii booth, it seemed like the company's ability to read a boat's name from two kilometers away in pitch black conditions was too good to be true, but that spotlight of invisible laser beam really works.
Strikingly, at this ISC West, it was more common to hear someone extolling the number of partners a company had than to hear about products. Maybe ObjectVideo was the best example of this. It was difficult to tell whose booth it was upon initial inspection, as there were dozens of brands being displayed, all partners either in OV's OnBoard program, where OV analytics are embedded on network devices, or its OV Ready program, where software companies are lining up to accept OV's standard for video analytics output.
"It's no longer about whether analytics has value,” posited OV director of marketing Ed Troha. "The next hurdle is usability, operability, ease of integration.”
"Now, with the PSIM and VMS relationships,” said OV vice president David McGuinness, "the analytics are instantly pluggable. It really knocks down a barrier of adoption.”
Analytics continued to be a buzz-worthy topic in general. Steve Russell, of facial recognition biometric company 3VR, discussed how his customers are "mining data in new and interesting ways,” such as combining license plate recognition with facial recognition to more efficiently analyze video data. For example, a customer may know what car a suspect was in, and want to see photos of all of the people who entered a building after a certain car arrived.
Intellivid's CEO, Patrick Sobalvarro, discussed how video software is being used for much more than retail loss prevention, for merchandising, safety and in-store marketing as well.
Joe Costa president of middleware provider VideoNext, discussed how "three large high-profile companies” have signed onto his reseller program. He also talked about how he's working to create demand among end users and putting his government background to good use "working with the architects and engineers who spec the systems.”
Perhaps one of the biggest stirs of the day was caused by OnSSI, which has released here its new Ocularis platform, a software piece that provides top management for all of the software maker's other products. It has three main selling points, said Gadi Piran, president and chief technical officer at OnSSI. It first introduces an elegant new way of working with video that Piran called "a completely different user experience ... In my opinion you'll see people running to mimic this concept.” Secondly, it introduces GPS and GIS mapping, so that all of the video can be experienced in a geographic setting. Finally, it offers "integration on the fly,” whereby fire panels, access control software, any number of components, can be integrated into the OnSSI software in a way "that actually doesn't require, in many cases, any software development,” Piran said. "We move the integration to the configuration level.”
This will allow integrators to do the product integration without having to bring a new product back to OnSSI to deal with. These developments, Piran said, are why OnSSI experienced more than 1,000 visitors in a single day at ISC West for the first time.
And it's developments like these that keep people coming to ISC West in the first place.