When technology matters

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Everyone I met on the ISC West show floor asked me the same question: "Seen anything new?" As the security industry has become increasingly technical, there's an obsession with technology for technology's sake, especially among manufacturers having trouble keeping up with all the new entrants to the market.
Can IBM's meta-data-based video analytics really do anything special? Or is it basically the same thing 3VR and Eptascape are pushing? Are there really 75 companies, as one analytics-maker stated, marketing video analytics now? Did you hear Avigilon is selling a 16-megapixel camera? How do they store all of that and manage the bandwidth?
Even integrators get caught up in finding out if the claims are true and someone might have actually invented the magic bullet that makes profits soar and workload dive.
What did I see that was new? Well, I guess my answer has more to do with what I'm looking for than what I found. Lanyards and ID holders might not seem sexy, but Brady People ID's web application that allows integrators to provide customers with a branded web portal for designing their own lanyards (there's 17 choices you have to make, you know) is a new way for integrators to get some added sales. Fargo's card printers do have some nice technology, but it's the new modular way you can buy them that's going to help integrators manage inventory and make more visits to customers for the purposes of upselling. Fargo even has a package now where you can sell end users the printer, the camera, the drop-screen and everything else they might need for photo ID badging.
Who knew integrators could make money off of drop screens?
If I saw anything new this year at ISC West it was a renewed commitment by manufacturers to help integrators take this new technology that has pushed into the industry over the last five years and actually make a few bucks off of it. Bosch has committed to a new way of providing customer service that should allow integrators to keep their customers happier. Sielox is taking its training programs on the road and allowing integrators to bring their end users to the sessions. Bioscrypt has facial recognition access control devices that actually look cool.
Imagine that: Companies keeping aesthetics in mind as they bring technology to market. Isn't it a lot easier to sell end users good-looking equipment? My money says they'll give up a few seconds in through-put (not that they'd have to) to buy devices that look sharp at the turnstile.