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On to Day 2

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Thursday, April 2, 2009
No running this morning, I was up later than planned last night listening to Sam and Bob argue about PSIM (see Sam's blog for details). Momentarily, I'm off to a Smith & Wesson breakfast, where they'll be talking about their new dealer program. And here's the plan for the rest of the day: Going to the Honeywell Fire Systems and System Sensor press conference; catching up with AMAG; interviewing Potter Electric president Bernie Lears; talking with J.D. Keller who's in charge of the dealer program at ADT; seeing Honeywell vet and industry entrepreneur Lance Dean; visiting Xtralis; Black & Decker; and wrapping up the day with an interview with Scott Hearn, Cooper Notification's new prez. From 12-1 in room 1002, I'll be participating in a Meet the Press event with other industry reporters, notably Rhianna Daniels, editor of our sister newspaper, Security Director News. Stop by and say hi. Oh, and check out the interviews Sam & I did yesterday from the show floor for ssnTVnews. They'll be posted on our home page at some point this morning. One more thing, some mass notification news: This press release was in my inbox this morning. I'm going by the Honeywell booth again tomorrow (was there yesterday, see newswire story)
HONEYWELL AND REACT SYSTEMS PROVIDE UNIFIED SOLUTIONS FOR INTEGRATED SECURITY AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE Mass Notification Allows Organizations to React to Security Events More Quickly and Accurately LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 2, 2009 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) has teamed with Roseville, California-based REACT Systems™, Inc. to provide a unified security solution for mass notification. The offering allows the REACT! Enterprise Critical Response Notification System to interface with Honeywell’s Pro-Watch® security management and WIN-PAK® access control platforms. Bringing Honeywell and REACT security technologies together provides users with the ability to automate the process of initiating a response to critical scenarios, ensuring that information reaches people quickly so they can take appropriate action. “During an emergency situation, every second counts,” said John Lorenty, general manager for access systems, Honeywell. “Many businesses today still rely on outdated procedures and methods to communicate in a crisis. By providing a way to allow security personnel to reach the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time, we’re fulfilling our mission of helping make the world safer and more secure.” The interfacing of Honeywell’s Pro-Watch and WIN-PAK platforms with REACT allows notification of security events to occur quickly and efficiently, wherever responders are, using whatever communication methods are available. While organizations often have plans in place for first responders, the response plans often stop there. Because many security and life safety events can impact a larger set of people, it is critical that organizations have the ability to provide specific instructions to staff and visitors. “We are happy to be working with Honeywell to improve the security and response effectiveness of organizations,” said Maria Ligeti, chairman and CEO of REACT Systems. “Through providing mass notification technology for effective response to events, we can provide our customers with the ability to save lives and reduce the impact of security and life safety events.” The interface to Pro-Watch and WIN-PAK, as well as a standalone offering, is currently available through Honeywell’s Integrated Security channel. Honeywell and REACT are demonstrating the new offering at ISC West, April 1-3 in Las Vegas, NV in booth 14023. For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/security .

The covert surveillance market

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Thursday, April 2, 2009
Was talking with Supercircuits today and they made a big pitch for being tops in the covert surveillance market, and I've got to admit I really don't think much (or hear much, for that matter) about the covert market. The messages I normally get almost always involve deterrence - "We put the cameras in obvious places for a reason"; heck some people actually install fake cameras - but George Farley made a pretty good case for this being an underserved market by the integrators. Everybody's talking about ROI. Well, if you can reduce internal shrink (which is a lot of where shrink comes from) with hidden cameras, there's a good ROI. The law enforcement market's obviously a big one - but I don't hear it talked about often. And lots of places like museums and arts institutions don't necessarily want to broadcast that they're recording people. So, why don't people talk about covert surveillance? Is it because it's kind of icky: "Hey, I can help you spy on your employees." Does it really take the Big Brother thing too far? In most cases, on private property, there really aren't too many legal implications. Just when I think I've heard all the pitches before, somebody makes me think. I like it when that happens.

Bad economy=best thing for ISC West

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Thursday, April 2, 2009
It sounds horrible, but I'm a little bummed about the news the economy might be picking back up. This is by far the most productive ISC West I've ever had and it's because the difficult economic times have forced manufacturers to focus their businesses on helping integrators make sales and run their businesses and the conversations I'm having are the most pointed and interesting I've had. Further, while the traffic might be down here, the universal sentiment is: good riddance to the people that were only coming here to party and pick up trinkets at the booths (or to ogle the scantily clad women employed as dealer attractors in some booths). Everyone's telling me that they're having the same productive conversations with the attendees as they're having with me. The people here are serious about doing business, are committed to the industry and security, and they're aggressive in tough times. Elan Moriah, president at Verint, told me: "The people that came here are people who are looking to make buying decisions, not so much of the visitors who come just for the gifts, which we’ve seen the last couple of years. It's definitely different this year." Everybody's talking about ROI, total cost of ownership, value propositions, making the business case for security, and at the same time talking about providing more training for the dealers, more marketing and sales tools. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that it's not about the newest technology, it's about supporting the technology that exists, innovating to meet needs that actually exist, being smarter about selling into specific verticals and understanding the real-world security problems that exist in each individual business and operation. Two years ago, it was about which party you were going to and all the cool things the widget could do. Hopefully this kind of business focus can be replicated even in the good times.

The Assa Abloy breakfast is SRO

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Thursday, April 2, 2009
I'm not going to do a full live blog on this because I came in a little late (no comments, please), but a bunch of integrators sure woke up on time to hit the Assa Abloy systems integrator breakfast. Right now they're talking about electronic access control OEM sales. Basically, EAC software drives 750,000 openings in the USA a year and the OEMs are investing a bunch of cash in improving functionality. This is the preferred go to market model for Assa. They're pushing the Sargent WiFi locks this way, and pretty soon come the PoE locks. Partners include AMAG, S2, PCSC, Sielox, DMP, Reach, GE Security, and a couple others I can't read. The new toy? The battery operated WiFi lock that communicates back over 802.11b infrastructure. We wrote about this at ASIS, I think. I'd link back but I'm getting really crappy wireless card reception here in the Titian ballroom. A couple guys from Red Hawk have just come up to talk about how they're making a bunch of sales with the WiFi solution, especially in K-12 applications. "We were able to leverage their existing infrastructure; allows the school district to install literally thousands of these without wiring. The ability to use third-party software, allow the SDKs to be written by other manufacturers, allows them a lot more flexibility. When you're talking about a WiFi lock such as this, you're not up running in the ceiling, you're eliminating that. It's easier to quote, because you don't have to estimate wire runs. It's easier for them to budget, just locks time price, so they can figure out how many locks to buy each quarter or what you."

What's PSIM (and why are we calling it that)?

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Thursday, April 2, 2009
As with any show, sometimes the best part is in the bar at 10 p.m. or so (early enough for good conversation, not so late that people are bombed and talking stupid (though that can also be entertaining)). Last night, I was arguing (in the good sense of the word - I like to argue and so should you. It's an art form) with Bob Beliles, VP at Hirsch and general good person to argue with. Basically, Bob mucked up the PSIM (physical security information management) panel at ISC West yesterday saying that basically PSIM is just the same thing that good access control software has been doing for years (a couple of years, anyway). Well, yeah. But if you go tell an integrator or an end user that you've got awesome access control software, what's going to make them think that you can do video? That you can handle alarm events? That you can put automated instructions in so that when an alarm happens the software tells the operator what to actually do? That a GPS-coordinated map will be called up to show where in your environment the alarm event is happening? That you can integrate with analytics software? Etc. If you want to call yourself access control software, go ahead. But don't get pissed at other people because you're underselling yourself and that people don't understand that you've got all these other crazy capabilities. Sometimes a new name has to be created for something when the old name doesn't suffice anymore. I've heard of these things with wheels that move forward (and sometimes backward), that you sit in with other people to go places. Stop calling them cars. They're what good horseless carriages have been doing for years. Stop with all that useless marketing speak, will ya? Is PSIM a term invented by Steve Hunt? I think so (Steve, or the guy who invented it, will correct me if I'm wrong). Could another term serve just as well? Obviously. We've got a lot of words in the English language. I was on the phone with a guy who sold video management as a service the other day and he says, "hey, I see you guys are calling it VaaS nowadays. Is that what you're going to call it?" I'm like, "um, I guess so. That's what I'm hearing other people call it." He says, "alright, that's what I'm going to call it, too." And this guy makes a good bit of money selling VaaS. But sometimes nomenclature matters when a new market is forming. It helps people figure out what the heck you're trying to sell them. And that new nomenclature has to start somewhere. So PSIM's not a bad way to describe the software capabilities that have developed relatively recently whereby you can use one GUI (another term that really, really sucks, but everyone uses it - took me six months in the industry before I knew what the hell it stood for) to look at information generated by your alarm system, your video system, your access control system, your fire system, your HVAC system, your lighting system, and all the other systems in your facility that matter for keeping people safe and happy. Well, safe anyway. If you want to gather up a bunch of people in the industry and get them all to call it something else, and they all agree to it, and then everyone starts calling it that, good for you. I'll call it that, too. I don't really care. But for now a lot of people are using PSIM and that's fine with me.

ISC West Day 1

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I think I'm actually ready for ISC West meeting frenzy after a morning run on the strip with Gene Szatkowsky from Secure i and SSN associate editor, my comrade, Dan Gelinas. I arrived in Vegas yesterday and last night I went to the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation (AIREF) Reception at the Rock House. (Very nice event, but the Rock House had the special ambience found in a frat house.) In attendance were members of the AIREF board of directors, the NBFAA Executive Committee and players and sponsors of the 6th Annual AIREF Golf Classic at ISC West. John Jennings, (SafeGuard Security CEO)—and, I learned last night, chairman of AIREF—announced that the golf event raised $1,000 which will be used for industry training efforts. Saw lots of people there including ASG CEO Joe Nuccio, who I'll be interviewing for ssnTVnews later today; SDA Security president Shandon Harbour; Dave Simon (Brink's) and Dave Koenig (Capital Fire & Security) who played golf together, but didn't win like they sometimes do. Dave Merrick of Vector; George Gunning, Merlin Guilbeau, Pat Egan, the one and only Bart Didden, GE's Kirk McDowell, and many, many others. Gotta run now. Meeting frenzy starts in less than an hour at the Honeywell Booth, where I'll catch up with Ralph Maniscalco and David Gottlieb, meet Honeywell's new GM for their cable and CE business, Brian Casey, and hopefully get a chance to talk to Ron Rothman for a few minutes. Throughout the day I'll see Ray King, president of VES (used to be Viking); Stanley's Tony Byerly; attend a Pelco press conference, and live, from Booth 1129, on ssnTVnews, I'll be interviewing Bill Polk from Capital Source, Dean Seaver president of GE Security; Alex Dunn, COO of Apx Alarm; Joe Nuccio, as I mentioned, and Chester Donati of DMC Security.

TimeSight wins the big video award

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
People are buzzing about TimeSight, a video management software company that drastically reduces an end user's storage needs by taking video and reducing its quality over time, so that you've got high-res stuff for the first few days, then lower res, then lower res out as far as you want to go. This way, if somebody needs to store something for 30 days, you don't have to keep it at high quality the whole time, and thus require 50 TB or storage, and you don't have to degrade the video from the open just to make sure you only use up 5 TB because that's all the end user has to spend. How cool are they? They won that SIA new product showcase thing for video products. They had a shiny little trophy at their booth and everything. Here's Scott Carter talking about the secret sauce.

Mace is going to buy that central

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Remember how I was telling you Mace was going to buy a central? Here we go:
Mace Security International Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire a Wholesale Security Monitoring Company HORSHAM, Pa. -- April 01, 2009 Mace Security International, Inc. ("Mace" or the ³Company²) (Nasdaq Global:MACE) today announced that it signed a letter of intent to acquire a wholesale security monitoring company. Mace anticipates that it will sign a definitive purchase agreement within 30 days, and plans to consummate the transaction within 30 days after signing the definitive purchase agreement. The wholesale monitoring company has a UL-listed monitoring center that maintains over 30,000 accounts. Mace will not disclose the name of the company until the definitive purchase agreement is signed. "We are very excited about this future acquisition," said Dennis Raefield, Chief Executive Officer and President of Mace Security International, Inc. "As Mace previously announced, we are focused on revenue growth in our Security Segment. I announced a strategy in December 2008 that included Mace's goal to purchase a wholesale security monitoring company to complement our surveillance product line. This allows Mace¹s sales force to offer a new product to its Professional Dealers, and allows the Company to generate recurring monthly revenue from the monitoring service. We believe that offering a traditional third party monitoring service, plus advanced future remote-managed services, will increase our dealer loyalty and strengthen our position in the marketplace." The letter of intent is subject to customary closing conditions. Although there can be no assurance that this acquisition will ultimately close, the Company is optimistic that the conditions will be satisfied.

Brivo adds video hosting

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Had a great conversation with Brivo's Steven Van Till just now. Here at the show they're unveiling a hosted video offering whereby you just plug in an Axis camera that knows how to "phone home," and it automatically finds the Brivo access panel and integrates with it. You can store up to seven days of video and export your own video clips. It's targeted toward the small business/retail market, and it's not meant to replace a full-blown video system. Really, it's only for four cameras per Internet connection (so you don't blow out your bandwidth) and if you go over that Brivo recommends you integrate with one of their DVR partners. Here's the full release. Notice the fancy new web site, too. Pretty sharp. Also learned Steve was a philosophy major. Somehow, that doesn't surprise me. Brivo's a pretty thoughtful company. According to Steve's research, there are currently seven companies offering hosted video, and he says he's the only one that pairs it with hosted access. Seems to me, access is an easier way to get in the door. Then you add the video, without having to add an pricey DVR. Just a $200 camera (I'm guessing - maybe it's more than that) really, and you could give that away for free and just charge a monthly fee.

DSC the Great

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009
So now I know what Product X is. DSC held their press conference just now and unveiled a new two-way wireless panel they're calling Alexor - Alexander the Great plus Protector=Alexor. It's not a bad little story, actually. They got these crazy gladiators to battle in a film with a deep-voiced narrator and everything. Plus, to go along with the chariot theme (that's how Alexander the Great rolled), they got Orange County Choppers to build an Alexor bike that's pretty sweet looking. To finish the loop, they'll do the same speed-of-install contest as last year, but this year the overall show winner gets to actually install an Alexor panel at the Orange County Chopper offices (or garage, or whatever). Pretty neat.

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