RISCO launches new North American operation

Headed by Bosch/Honeywell vet Len Friedman
Thursday, June 18, 2009

MELVILLE, N.Y.—RISCO Group, an Israel-based manufacturer of intrusion, access, and DVR products, has eliminated its Miami-based Rokonet operation and created here RISCO Group USA, headed by Len Friedman, president and CEO. Friedman most recently served as vice president of marketing/Americas for Bosch Security Systems, and previously worked at Honeywell as part of the First Alert program.

This experience has him focused on the independent integrator—an underserved community, he feels—as he attempts to roll out a new integrated solution message for the RISCO product line, which is based on the SynopSYS software platform.

“I’m in the process of creating a certified dealer program,” Friedman said. “It will be the RISCO Certified Integrator program, but initially we’re going out with agreements to integrators satisfying their primary interests: That there’s a product that’s not only robust, but that has some exclusivity—maybe not 100 percent exclusivity, but they don’t want to be saturated with dealers in their marketplaces, and that’s priority one.”

Further, RISCO has a major project already in the pipeline that it will need integrators to complete. “Over the course of the next 18 months,” he said, “there will be more than 4,000 installations of the SynopSYS platform ... That gives us a platform to have our products tried, tested, and proven. And once we get permission to share that in a white paper, I believe people will see we’ve written a new way to protect and offer a solution for a specific type of scenario.”

Currently, RISCO offers enterprise-level intrusion, access control, embedded DVRs, and a partnership with Milestone “that allows us to pretty much accept any video that’s out there,” Friedman said. Going forward, “we are truly open architecture,” he said. “We’ll write drivers and we wrote an SDK for SynopSYS in case there are manufacturers out there who don’t want to provide SDKs. We’ll allow them to write the drivers themselves.”

Currently, the office here has roughly a dozen employees. And while new attention is paid to integrated systems that will be sold directly to integrators, Friedman emphasized that the legacy Rokonet products—detectors and other commodity items sold through distributors—will still be supported and augmented.