One year, 39 partners

Formerly staid Panasonic has used IP to change its image
Saturday, December 1, 2007

SECAUCUS, N.J.--One year into its Panasonic Solution Developer Network, announced at ASIS 2006, a company once known for its closely guarded proprietary systems has shared technology with 39 partners, the latest of which was AMAG Technology, which has integrated its Symmetry Video Management System with Panasonic's i-Pro Series of IP video products.
"End users, architects, engineers, everyone is asking for open-type solutions," said Michael Maddox, system sales engineer and PSDN program manager. "They want to be able to pick the best in class, whether it's cameras, or access control, or what have you. This is our commitment to open our products up to a wide variety of partners in the industry."
Maddox said the new IP environment in the security industry is largely behind Panasonic's new world-view. A product "needs to work in a standard networking environment," he said. "That's the biggest reason, and part of that, of course, is that increasingly IT-type professionals are having an increasingly large amount of influence in physical security solutions. My experience is that they typically come from a more interoperable background and they expect things to work together."
There's a more simple business case, too. "The reality is," Maddox said, "is that we want to penetrate some of our partners' existing customer bases ... and they can potentially get access to Panasonic's install base and customers as well."
So, how does one become a partner? Maddox said roughly 60 percent of the partners approached Panasonic, while Panasonic reached out to the other 40 percent, and that either way the partnerships are largely end-user and integrator driven.
"The integrators are really instrumental in helping us determine and prioritize which manufacturers we need to be working with," Maddox said. "They tell us which products they prefer and lead with; we want to interoperate with those."