ISC West features new partnerships and acquisitions

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

LAS VEGAS—What was new on Day 1 of ISC West 2011? As usual, there were a number of partnership announcements and a couple of acquisitions; new this year was lots of talk about physical security information management systems. PSIM announcements abounded on the show floor.

IPVideo Corporation announced its first endeavor into the PSIM space with the release of C3 Fusion. Steve Sleicher, chief operating officer with IP Video said that the company, which has a video management software platform, Sentry, started offering PSIM software after hearing from its customers that they want to bring together video and other devices from disparate sites into a common operating picture to help them better resolve incidents.

Similarly, OnSSI announced it has added PSIM functionality to its video management software product, Ocularis. Gadi Piran, president and chief technology officer of OnSSI said the company hopes to target small- to medium-size customers with this additional functionality and improved workflow processes.

The acquisition of Proximex by ADT Security Services (announced April 4) was also a highly discussed topic during the show. The acquisition of Rontal Engineering Applications by Verint Systems (announced at the show April 6) was also a big part of the PSIM buzz on the show floor. On the show floor Verint was showing off it Nextiva PSIM platform. David Shneerson, founder of Rontal, and now the director of PSIM solutions with Verint, said that this acquisition “definitely validates the need out there,” he said. “Two years ago the term PSIM wasn’t even known and today you hear it everywhere. This acquisition means that the industry is looking for something to fuse data from disparate systems and provide a coherent situational awareness platform.”

“These acquisitions justify our investments,” said Pat Kiernan, director of marketing with Nice Systems, which last year acquired PSIM maker Orsus.

On the partnership front, Stanley CSS announced a partnership with iris-scanning biometrics manufacturer Hoyos. In a meeting room off the show floor, Stanley and Hoyos executives were demonstrating the technology for reporters.

Tony Byerly, head of Stanley CSS Americas and UK, said Stanley’s excited to have a technology that can come in and easily compete with the traditional card reader, and that will integrate with existing systems like Casi, Lenel, and and ProWatch. The ability to be able to integrate it with a customer’s existing access control platform is key,” he said.

 “From an identity management standpoint, this is where the industry is going and the reliability of this [biometric] technology as opposed to other is second to none,” said Byerly. “The fact that it is commercially ready and technically viable is key to Stanley,” he said. The Hoyos technology is currently installed in close to 1,000 locations in North America, said Hector Hoyos, executive chief officer of Hoyos.

The 2011 recipient of the George Weinstock Award was announced Wednesday morning at the CAA Industry Leadership Breakfast. Bay Alarm Company’s VP Code Compliance Shane Clary won this year’s award.

Speco Technologies had a press conference during which they talked about their new iPad app, the Configurator.

“This isn’t just another app. Apps are for kids,” said Speco VP marketing and sales TJ Dickson, who noted an android app was forthcoming. “This is a huge tool, not only for configuring a camera set up, but a sales tool, as well.” Dickson said the free download allowed integrators, video security installers and sales personnel in the security industry to configure DVRs and IP cameras without a truck roll and save and edit the settings remotely at any time.

At a breakfast meeting, Honeywell introduced the newest addition to its LYNX self-contained alarm systems line. The new LYNX Touch “features a full-color, seven-inch touchscreen and supports Z-Wave thermostats and lighting controls to give homeowners greater control over their security and other home management systems,” the company said.

It was just one of an extensive portfolio of “connected home” solutions and technologies that Honeywell was exhibiting at the show.

JoAnna Sohovich, president of Honeywell Security & Communications, said that the products all show how Honeywell is “focusing beyond the core security and safety offerings … and expanding into lifestyle and peace of mind.”

Sohovich said all the systems are user-friendly and “are focused on helping our customers increase their close rates and reduce their installation times, as well as making the end user more satisfied with their systems to improve retention.”

For example, Honeywell said, the large touchscreen of the LYNX Touch “features large, clear, easy-to-read icons and menu-driven prompts that walk both homeowners and installers through operation and configuration.”

2GIG Technologies used the show to highlight a series of announcements. Among them was the release of new secondary wireless LCD color touchscreen keypad. Up to four remote keypads can be programmed to work its Go! Control home management system panel, the company said.

The company also announced it had opened two new offices, one in Carlsbad, Calif., and one in Lehi, Utah. 2GIG president Todd Santiago said the company also just hired 20 more engineers and a new CTO, Jeremy Warren, who most recently was CTO of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Santiago told SSN it’s all part of the rapid growth of the company, founded in 2007. “We were in 200,000 homes in 2010, we expect to be in well over a half a million by the end of 2011,” he said.

In more home automation and energy management news, Alarm.com announced at the show “a new enhancement to the emPower solution built on … the Alarm.com interactive services platform.” The solution offers services that include remote control of lights, appliances, door locks and thermostats. Now, according to the company, “with enhanced triggers via new Rules features…emPower customers can define even more custom settings, intelligently connecting their security system to their locks, lights and other automation devices.”

Alarm.com’s Alison Slavin told SSN that such features make the system easier to sell and increase its “stickiness,” so that customers are more likely to stay.

C.O.P.S. EVP Don Maden talked about the company’s ongoing construction of their fourth monitoring center, based in Nashville.

“We’re moving over a manager and some operators from New Jersey. We’re hiring the rest of the staff and will be monitoring accounts in June,” Maden said, hinting there was no plan to stop at four actively load-sharing monitoring centers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we announced number five sometime before the end of the year. We’re very much committed to the regional model … We like the idea of trying to service people regionally and then expand out. It’s active load sharing and regional support. It’s our competitive advantage.”

Aruba Networks talked about the release of their new MSR4000—quad-radio outdoor 802.11n mesh router.

“This will come to market through the distribution channel. The customers will be large enterprises—campuses, rail yards, etcetera,” said Aruba Networks vice president Greg Murphy. “Another market will be municipalities. Most cities today have camera networks, but they’re really not much more than CCTV. They’re evidentiary. With our intelligent mesh network, imagine you’re a cop in the field in your cruiser. Imagine being able to get live video of an event your responding to right on your portable device as you approach the scene.”

As expected, this year had a bigger show floor and more companies than last year.

“We had more 900 companies, tens of thousands of new products, 300 global companies in our global expo and over 150 new companies on the show floor,” said Beth Blake, PR director for Reed Exhibitions. Preliminary estimates were for about 15,000 attendees, she said.