ASIS, day 2

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09/16/2008
Finished off by the very good Stanley party at STATS, where you could pour your own beers from taps in the tables and smoke cigars on the top floor, I've got to say today was pretty productive. I learned more than a few things, and though today just didn't seem to have the verve yesterday did in my meetings, there were clearly more people walking the floor today and exhibitors weren't quite so cranky. Alas, I missed our booth wine and cheese party, but I'll get to that. Anyway, things started very well, with our TechSec Advisory Board breakfast, always a highlight of the ASIS show. We got great turnout and great feedback (hell, everything's great tonight!) about our 2009 educational program. We're working now on a keynote speaker to fill the bill. If you've got any suggestions, lay them on me. After that, a meeting with Dean Seavers at GE Security went very well, with continued talk about focusing on solutions rather than products. It's clearly the way to go, but there are still a number of people who slander GE just about any chance they get. I'm not sure if they have unrealistic expectations of what is still a relatively new security operation or if they just know something I don't from having worked with them. All indications to me are that Seavers and company have really revamped the security operation and they're easy to work with. Who knows. Did I mention that SimplexGrinnell went with an Irish pub theme for their booth? Oh yeah, there ware plenty of darts being thrown. I have to ask, though: Do Irish pub employees really wear berets? Maybe they do. I've only seen the Dublin airport. No berets there, though. It all somehow supports SimplexGrinnell's message for the show, "Powering an Evolution in Emergency Communications underscores the reliability, survivability and vision of using voice-enabled Simplex fire alarm systems to drive emergency communications solutions." They had some other announcement about Microsoft certification, too, that you'll probably see Martha write about. Other than Stanley's sports bar, there weren't many other themed booths. I'm not sure whether to lament or celebrate that. Other notable things from the show: 1. Pivot3's serverless computing stuff is real-deal interesting. If you're doing more than 4 terabytes of storage on a job, why wouldn't you work with a company that can make your server investment - money and power - quite simply go away? If this doesn't take the industry by storm, the industry isn't paying enough attention. 2. I also really like Smartvue's stuff. I know they've kind of come and gone and come again in this industry, but their wireless installation and NVR options really look nice and make sense for a progressive integrator with good ideas. 3. Xtralis is more than fire. The Australian company has launched new access and video lines. Now it's up to you to hop on board that train. 4. If you want a good product lesson, check out Sielox. They've made some major changes to their controller, and you're going to like most all of them: SD storage on the board, with the ability to leave service notes and access manuals; much faster, with a native Ethernet connection, taking database downloads from potential hours to minutes; a new system architecture that's going to allow them to future-proof in a big way. 5. Did I mention Johnson Controls isn't messing around? I met with them more formally today and they talked my ear off about partnering and acquiring. Now's a good time to cash out, no doubt. 6. The Apple/videoNext event was a major let down. The speakers were solid, and there was a good conversation, but not only did Apple not speak on the panel at all (so it's hard to see how they co-hosted), they wouldn't even talk to me after the event. They were apparently scared I would use some quote against their will, when all I was really trying to do was make small talk. What's Apple going to do in this market? I guess just sell a lot of servers. They didn't make any other plans clear, but there were a number of the 100 people in the audience who were just there to show off their iPhone apps. Many were cool, like the one that allows touch-screen PTZ control on the iPhone from Lextech Labs. This makes me kind of salty because the event was very much "what video can do now" and not so much the intent, "The Future of Video Surveillance." I don't think you should still be feeling the need to promote IP over analog, but that may be a skewed view on my part because I've seen so many presentations about IPs benefits at TechSec for the past four years and I get so many new product demonstrations and haven't seen anything analog in two years. Also, I went to this instead of our own booth party, which was just your basic wine and cheese thing, but had a lot of interesting end users in attendance and some old industry contacts. Plus, it took forever to get to the videoNext thing and back because of the crappy convention center layout, whereby meeting rooms are literally more than a mile away. That sounds wine-y, I'm sure, but everybody else was complaining about it, so I will, too. 7. If you're looking for a fully integrated banking solution, you could do worse than calling Pacom. More news coming tomorrow.