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One last thing about ASIS

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Sorry, I wasn't going to post on ASIS again, but a friend sent me this photo and I just couldn't help myself. Seriously, who was the drone that a: thought L. would be the name by which I'd like to be addressed, and b: mis-spelled "Samual"? Really, Samual? I mean, the name is only about 2,500 years old. You'd think people might be acquainted with it. But that's neither here nor there - people make typos. The big, giant, overarching question is this: Were they retyping the information submitted electronically via the web site? Have they not heard of cut and paste, or, say, a SQL server? Isn't this supposed to be a high-tech industry? Still, I shouldn't complain. It was quite the conversation starter: "So, L., are you having a good show?"

Getting home

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Sunday, September 30, 2007
Normally, I'm a big fan of Jet Blue. I mean, who doesn't like to be able to watch football games in-flight on DirectTV? But getting home from ASIS on Thursday was an adventure. First, the plane was delayed out of Vegas. Rumors are that Dick Cheney was coming into town, and that disrupts everything. Then, when we get to JFK, the Blue tells 14 of us that we've missed the last flight up to Portland, so tough noogies. Sweet. Luckily, the regional rep for DSX not only was down with the plan to fly to Boston instead and drive up, but his fiancee actually drove down from Portland to pick us up. Completely cool. The result? I walked in the door at 4 a.m. I'm sure everybody coming back east had similar experiences. What a kick in the teeth. Anyway, I've got to say that ASIS really seemed to be hopping this year. Partnerships were being announced every minute. Analytics companies were slandering each other like there was no tomorrow. I'd love to hear which company you think has the best analytic bang for the buck. I sure had my head spinning listening to all the claims, most of which seemed to be backed up with little red and yellow boxes dancing across screens. Gotta say, Cernium did a nice job on that front, but ObjectVideo was in every booth, it seemed. How much business was done in Vegas? It's hard to say, obviously, but the aisles seemed busy and the front of the hall at times was very crowded. Those guys back in row 100? They might have been less than pleased with the flow. All in all, I think the show was worth my time and that those companies I did have a chance to speak with all took the opportunity seriously and had good stories to tell. There was very little smoke being blown, and that's as good a sign as any of a healthy industry. Now, back to work.

Fun with cool technology

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Great morning for seeing innovators in the industry. 1. If you haven't seen Optellios before, and you're doing a lot of large perimeter work, you might want to check them out. Basically, they run fiber-optic cable along a fence line, either woven into the fence or buried underground, and then use the fiber as a sensor that can detect any vibration and tell you where it came from within about 10-20 feet. Plus, they've got the software that makes it so as soon as the alarm comes in, the PTZ points right at it. 2. Orsus now eschews the use of "command and control" and is going with "situation management," and they do seem to have some differentiators. First, they've got a cool feature where you can track the guard tours and make sure they check in where and when they're supposed to. Then, in real time, you get an alert when they're not where they're supposed to be. Second, they've got a function where you can run a class-room style debriefing that incorporates the video, notes, alerts, etc., that happened during an incident and break down how the response was handled and how it could have been handled better. That seems like something end users would want to do on a regular basis. 3. Everybody wants to work with Arecont right now. They don't have a lot of glitzy marketing, but people like their imaging and their price. 4. Tyco's Kantech brand has a new option for central stations who want to get into access control as a service. Developed for sister company ADT, they're now rolling it out for other centrals. It seems like a good way to drive that service revenue that everybody's looking for.

Party, party

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Okay, so I experienced a little of the Las Vegas nightlife last night, but look how early I'm up blogging. It's like 7:45. I'm rather impressed with myself, especially since I'm normally such a tea-totaler (the web seems ambivalent on whether there's one or two ls in that). Anyway, thanks to Cisco for a very nice dinner at Mix, the restaurant high atop THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. The shop talk was even keeled and the view and food were top notch. Congratulations to Security Technology and Design managing editor Paul Rothman, by the way, who's got his first child due in about three months. I'll kill the suspense: It's a boy. Later, I hit up the ADT party held on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York, New York. Talk about in-demand. While the event never got oppressively crowded, ADT staffers were kept very busy by those who didn't have coveted entry chips (like, say, me, who left his chip in the hotel, because that's what generally happens to me). However, while the band did do a great "Hips Don't Lie" cover, they really couldn't compete with the roller coaster. I was glad I hit it before the party and not after. Things finished up at they Wynn, about which I will only say: Their bartenders make great old fashioneds. Meetings today include Tyco, Johnson Controls, Cernium, Orsus and a number of others, so maybe I'll have some real news later.

Door to desktop, Bioscrypt and Lenel

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Bioscrypt and Lenel partnering up isn't new news, but they've added a new functionality whereby, regardless of the authentication token, they can actually prevent you from logging on to your office computer if you haven't walked through the front door. Even if you haven't walked through the front door and arrived at your desk in the appropriate amount of time. In fact, Bioscrypt's software is now embedded in OnGuard, so when you buy the Lenel product, you have the Bioscrypt product already installed, and all you have to do is buy licenses. It's very similar to the Imprivata solution, but you don't have to buy another box. When they tried to show it to me in the Bioscrypt booth, the software malfunctioned, but I saw it work for someone else...

New GE head introduced

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Dean Seavers met the industry for the first time this morning and looked remarkably comfortable for someone on the job only three weeks. He let the VPs do most of the talking during an hour-long press conference, but led off with a nice quote from Colin Powell about not being afraid to let people under you show their own leadership capabilities. Very apropos, I thought. Also, he addressed the Smiths fall out, if briefly, saying, "we couldn't agree on combined strategic vision." I'll have more with Dean for the newswire, after a meeting later today.

UTC consolidates all systems integration into Red Hawk

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Monday, September 24, 2007
Breaking news from the ASIS floor: UTC Fire & Security is celebrating the one year anniversary of its buy of integrator Red Hawk by consolidating all of its U.S. systems integration business under the Red Hawk name. Chubb and Initial, notably, will cease to exist as U.S. brands. On the other hand, all Canadian integration business will consolidate under the Chubb name. UTC's monitoring operation, Counterforce, will continue throughout North America. I interviewed Antonio Cintra, the president of security services America for UTC, this morning and I'll have a full report of what he had to say on the newswire Thursday morning. Suffice it to say, though, that UTC is investing a lot of money in the Red Hawk brand and intend to be a force in more than just the financial vertical that Red Hawk currently specializes in.

ASIS opens with a wake

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Monday, September 24, 2007
As visitors crowded into the Las Vegas Convention center here for the opening of this year's ASIS International conference, they were greeted with the sounds of bagpipes as IP access control manufacturer Viscount held a "wake" for the control panel, which featured a procession through the red-carpeted aisles. There was even a coffin. And arm-bands with blinking Viscount lights. And booze. It was pretty funny, actually.

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ASIS opens with a wake

 - 
Monday, September 24, 2007
As visitors crowded into the Las Vegas Convention center here for the opening of this year's ASIS International conference, they were greeted with the sounds of bagpipes as IP access control manufacturer Viscount held a "wake" for the control panel, which featured a procession through the red-carpeted aisles. There was even a coffin. And arm-bands with blinking Viscount lights. And booze. It was pretty funny, actually.

Help for small Canadians

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Or, maybe, small Canadian businesses would be more accurate. Joe Cosentino and a group of four small independent distributors have founded the Canadian Association of Independent Security Distributors, which will operate something like a co-op, offering members collective buying power. I'll have an interview with Cosentino in our November issue, but he basically just says this is a way of leveling the playing field for independent distributors who are competing with the likes of ADT and Tri-Ed, who obviously have a little bit of buying power of their own. The CAISD is hoping for a total of about 40 paying members, but there will also be an opportunity for dealers to join as free memebers, and receive discounts on products and even services in the way that monitoring centers can often offer deals on telecom services and the like. It's based in Toronto, but there's nothing in the group's by-laws that says you have to be a Maple Leafs fan.

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