Information sharing portal clicks with security professionals

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Monday, August 1, 2005

DELRAY BEACH, Fla.--A web site for end users and systems integrators to share industry information popped up in July.
SecurityUserForums.org, developed by Middleware Associates, a consulting firm focused on the integration of security systems and management systems, offers resources on products, services, technologies and techniques for the security industry, as well as areas for discussion.
The site hosts forums where users can discuss new security technologies such as IP video solutions and biometrics that are starting to replace traditional security equipment, as well as organizational issues, access control, and support on how to efficiently manage security operations.
The push to create the site came from Middleware's customers asking questions about interfacing access control systems to time and attendance applications, said Patrick Conners, chief officer of Middleware Associates.
The company, which was launched by industry veterans last year to assist security companies with running open system software applications, wanted to provide a venue for the industry to offer education and industry overview.
Industry members who participate in the site have an opportunity to cross-pollinate communication between the sectors. For example, through the interactive site, a security director in a utility environment can talk to a director in the banking industry to discuss techniques and information, said Gary Sheldt, director of sales and marketing.
However, the site is not exclusively geared to end users, said Sheldt.
"Industry technicians and manufacturers are encouraged to participate on the discussion boards," he said.
What makes this different from other online forums out there, noted Sheldt, is that the portal was designed with a two-prong approach--an opportunity for end users to share insight and tips pertaining to that particular sector and also provides an outlet to exchange resources on products and services for integrators.