Managed services the talk of TechSec

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DALLAS--The buzz at the TechSec Solutions conference this year was, of course, all about convergence. It has for five years been the place where people have talked about the merging of IT and physical security, both through culture and technology, and the event held Feb. 24 and 25 was no different. However, many panelists in the show’s educational sessions also talked about the advent of managed services (security as a service or SaaS as it has become known, for example), and assured those in attendance that it was the future of the security industry, as it is the present of the IT industry.

Axis Communications general manager Americas, Fredrik Nilsson; Brivo president Steve VanTill; and Secure-i, Inc. IT director Andres Armeda comprised the panel for a day one session entitled “Security as a Service: The Next Wave of Integrated IP-based Monitoring,” during which the three offered reasons for moving into IP, converging your technologies and people, and offering a wider variety of managed services to end users.

Nilsson noted when TechSec started out five years ago, the “as a service” model was just beginning with software-as-a-service applications like Hotmail and Gmail. “Security as a service, in a similar way is, very much in its beginning here this year, and we’re going to see great development over the next couple years.”

VanTill said one of the most important aspects of offering managed services was the cost angle. “The first [reason], which is, again, particularly relevant right now, given the way the global economy is, is that it transforms a capital expense to an operational expense,” VanTill said.

Armeda talked about different drivers for the growth of SaaS. “A large increase in bandwidth, plus a drop in pricing is pushing growth,” Armeda said.

Rob Hagens, CTO of Envysion, re-emphasized these points in day two’s “Technology Lightning Round.” He agreed that things would and should move more and more toward managed services, as the decreased total cost of ownership benefits the customer and the increase recurring revenue benefits the integrator and installer. “Everything becomes very easy when things become software-centric.”