The tip of the iceberg

Sunday, June 1, 2003

Editor, Security Systems News

For the past couple of
months we’ve been talking quite heavily about the convergence of IT with physical security. This month we have a story that hits the nail on the head, with four companies, Computer Associates, Tyco’s Software House, HID Corp. and Gemplus, coming together to create what’s known as the Open Security Exchange.

Perhaps Tracy Brusca at systems integration firm Antar-Com summed it up the best when she told me how excited she was about the creation of this group. Perhaps soon what we can now only imagine – the ability for a logical security system to send up a red flag if someone logged onto a computer but was not shown as being physically located in the building – will become reality.

Brusca, and others, such as myself, expect this new group to serve as a driver for making true convergence happen in the security world. The concept of creating best practices and promoting vendor neutral specifications so that security and IT systems can be integrated and managed together is long overdue.

This industry is changing rapidly. What was once considered a trunk slammer’s industry by some has evolved into a high tech market. Now only the players with the technology know-how will be left standing in the end.

The Open Security Exchange is only the tip of the iceberg. If you go a little further, you’ll soon realize that OSE is going to open doors for this industry.

On another note, by the time many of you receive this issue of Security Systems News, the Northeast Security Systems Expo will have just wrapped up and we will have marked our return from a day trip filled with networking with security dealers and manufacturers alike.

A regional event, NEACC, as it’s called locally, draws security dealers from across New England, while attracting a variety of manufacturers in the security industry. Ademco, Bosch Security, GE Interlogix and Samsung are all slated to exhibit at this year’s show.

Perhaps by now you are bemoaning the thought of yet another editorial on trade shows. But unlike the national trade shows, regional shows like NEACC offer some of the smaller security companies that perhaps do not have deep pockets the opportunity to attend a show in their own back yard. And, it may even provide a taste of what’s to come should they attend a national show like ISC, ASIS or the National Summit on Security.

With only a few minutes drive for some, and a couple of hours for others, dealers have the opportunity to meet with their sales representative face to face, and touch the latest and greatest products on the market today.

Across the country there are a number of other regional trade shows that receive high marks from security dealers. The Mid Atlantic Security Expo, which also serves as the Pennsylvania Burglar & Fire Alarm Association’s annual membership meeting, is another one.

But besides featuring a trade show, the Mid Atlantic Security Expo also has seminars on how to increase your recurring monthly revenue, project management and managing false alarms. And like NEACC, at the Mid Atlantic Security Expo there is no charge to attend the exhibit hall.

If you don’t already know, take a look at what regional shows are offered in your backyard. Maybe it will even be free.