Panasonic opens up partner program with Cisco

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nev.--Panasonic Security Systems used the ISC West show floor to announce a move away from its traditionally proprietary and conservative reputation. The company will beginning opening its technology up to partner companies and has begun that effort with the Panasonic Solution Developer Network. Cisco has been announced as the program's founding partner.
Speaking at the Panasonic booth, Panasonic's group marketing manager, Julianna Benedick, noted that the company has traditionally been very tight-lipped about its technology, but that the changing and evolving business atmosphere, driven by the introduction of the IP standard into the security industry, has required Panasonic to be more open-minded.
In the case of Cisco, Panasonic has pulled back the curtain on its i-Pro series of IP video surveillance products so they can be integrated as part of Cisco's newly announced Intelligent Converged Environment for networked systems. Cisco, for instance, offers stream manager software that allows integrators and end users to monitor the system health of all of the pieces of an IP surveillance network, including, now, Panasonic IP surveillance products like network video recorders and video servers in addition to a suite of cameras.
The Converged Environment should be interesting to integrators, said Steve Collen, director of product management for Cisco's converged secure infrastructure business unit. "We support Quality of Service," he noted, "the idea of taking video streams and prioritizing them, so a high-priority stream gets treated preferentially as it goes across the network." This helps ensure that a security director won't have video interrupted because an office worker is downloading a movie from iTunes.
Going forward, members of Panasonic's partner program will be offered development tools, technical information and protocols to better integrate Panasonic's products into solutions.
Panasonic has not been totally averse to partnerships in the past. In 2006, for example, Panasonic teamed with AirVisual to incorporate AirVisual's IntelliViewer remote monitoring and control software into its DVRs.