IronForge teams for Gulf, marine solution

IP-oriented integrator partners with videoNEXT, Homeland Security Group International
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Saturday, March 1, 2008

HOUSTON--IronForge is a small shop, just three partners and two technicians, and only a year old, so when it evaluates potential manufacturing partners, "we look to see who's supporting their projects," said Ruan Lance, IronForge managing partner. "You are what you install, so we concentrate on companies that are lead horses and are going to support their product. We try to be product neutral, but we've tried to align ourselves with industry leaders who have the open architecture that we're looking for."
Through consultants Homeland Security Group International, headed by Jeffrey Powers, IronForge found videoNEXT, and the three have now teamed to announce a wireless IP video and video analytics solution aimed at the military and Gulf industries. VideoNEXT will supply the IP video management and analytics, IronForge will handle the integration and installation, and Powers will use his background as a colonel in the Marines to create business contacts.
VideoNext began in the video conferencing space, working with storage leader EMC, and "sort of got pushed into security," said Jim Hawver, western regional sales manager. Thus, Hawver liked that, "IronForge is IP-minded, they're security minded, and they've deployed systems of this nature. We have our market space out there, but we're looking at the IT market, where the infrastructure already lies."
As for HSGI, "We're more like brokers," Powers said, "directing technology providers toward first responders, the military. We kind of open doors for a lot of companies."
In one solution the three companies teamed on, vessels in the Gulf were having trouble with situational awareness. Or, more explicitly, "they couldn't see the edges of their ship," Lance said, "so cameras were the obvious choice. Now we have a video management platform on the bridge that allows them to see their generators, engine rooms; they can literally call it up on their dashboard while they're driving the ship and see how they stand." Some of the return on investment comes from monitoring contracted labor, Lance said: "They have the ability to review the video and see what's going on, and they can see something that's unsafe and stop the operation."
Hawver said videoNEXT and HSGI are looking for other IT-savvy partner integrators in other geographies to repeat the partnership and similarly target military and industrial applications.