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Thursday, February 1, 2007

You'll excuse me for just a month. There is just one issue a year where I use this space in a completely self-serving manner. I hope that it is also of service to the readers, but that's really up to you to decide.
This month, Feb. 26-28, we here at Security Systems News, along with our sister papers Security Director News and Security Systems News Europe, will host our third annual TechSec Solutions, a conference centered around the growing use of IP technology in the security industry. After a meet-and-greet on day one, the following two days feature 12 presentations and panel discussions by some of the industry's leading voices and companies, along with a focused show floor featuring manufacturers committed to new ideas and, in large part, the open exchange of ideas and architecture.
I'll be honest, though. Last year, I was mostly just doing my job in helping to program the conference. I was new to the industry, and all this IP stuff seemed pretty obvious to me. Seriously, I'd just gotten off my Skype connection talking to my sister in Uganda--was it really supposed to be surprising that people might want to transmit security video over the Internet?
This year, though, I truly believe in the need for TechSec as a focal point for discussion of the migration to IP technology, for the same reasons I believe in my paper. At all levels of the industry, I have heard time and again how there has been a dearth of good information. People, smart people who know what they're doing, feel like they're on an island:
Is every end user asking for IP cameras? Does every IT department get to make the buying decisions now? Why isn't a DVR good enough for them? Should it be good enough for me?
Just look at this month's Market Trends story. Distributors and manufacturers are ramping up their training programs like never before. Anixter has distributed 30,000 of its IP surveillance and installation guides. Thirty thousand.
In all seriousness, I can't have a single conversation with an integrator without the subject of IP installations coming up. Some wonder what the big deal is. Some haven't bothered with networking at all yet. Some are dabbling, but intimidated by IT resellers.
What everyone needs is a good place to get some education, see some products in action, and talk about where things are headed (maybe over a drink or two?). Sounds like TechSec to me.