The spirit of collaboration was alive and well at AMAG Technology’s Security Engineering Symposium 2015 in Carlsbad, Calif. Targeting consultants, architects and engineers (A&E), and integrators, the weekend conference was built around AMAG’s Symmetry access control products, especially their role in a unified system that incorporates a variety of other technologies, too.
Also participating in the event (and emphasizing the value of long-term partnering) were several other technology companies, including Arecont Vision, HID, Assa Abloy, Vingtor Stentofon, Windy City Wire, Oncam Grandeye, Entertech Systems, and Winsted.
The symposium included talk about AMAG’s new products, such as the SymmetryCONNECT cloud system that combines large amounts of security data about people, buildings and assets into a centralized system that can analyze trends, mitigate risk, streamline operations, and reduce costs.
AMAG product development roadmap
Looking ahead at AMAG’s development roadmap, the consultants and integrators in attendance were quick to speak up and provide feedback and direction. AMAG is increasing its emphasis on services, not just product sales, to ensure effective execution at the system level. The focus was on business, too, with AMAG President Matt Barnette challenging attendees to “turn innovation into invoices.”
“I really like the AMAG culture, they’re a very friendly organization from the top executives to every employee who is very helpful,” said Jasvir Gill
A relatively new AMAG partner – Alert Enterprise – seeks to unify security “silos” into a more holistic approach. “We have previously been thinking of security in silos,” said Jasvir Gill, CEO. “Most of the incidents you see are bad guys taking advantage of the silos, so our message is about security convergence. You should think about security with a holistic approach to prevent potential theft or sabotage.”
Gill commented that the AMAG event was well-organized. “I really like the AMAG culture, they’re a very friendly organization from the top executives to every employee who is very helpful,” he said.
Gill echoed one of the recurring themes of the symposium, which is the need to combine multiple technologies – from different manufacturers – into a unified whole. “No matter how good one company is, there’s no way you can meet all the needs of the customer,” he said.
Burton Crosby, senior sales engineer of NEC, agreed: “None of us operates in a vacuum.”
Crosby offered insight into how a “partnering” relationship can work, in this case between AMAG and NEC, a longtime partner that provides high-availability, fault-tolerant servers for public sector and disaster recovery environments: “Because we have been partners for 10-plus years, we have run into many scenarios where a challenge arises with an end user, they call their integrator, and the integrator calls AMAG.”
Crosby added: “What we have done is to fine-tune the response in a post-sales inquiry, so we understand what questions need to be asked and what information needs to be gathered to eliminate AMAG as the source of the issue. You need a very well-thought-out and well-organized hand-off procedure from one manufacturer to another. Then there are ongoing reviews of that process multiple times in a year, looking at what calls are coming in and what scenarios we may not have known to ask about, so we can fine-tune the process. At any point along the way, we make the end user the focus and the path to resolution the objective.”
Andy Farmer, director, international sales and strategic partners, Salient Systems, says “partnering” is a strong term, but a good description of a growing necessity in the market. “When you look at the true sense of what we do for a living (in the security market), we are truly partnering,” Farmer said. “We allow a consumer to have best-of-breed of each product and also allow the manufacturer to maintain their entrepreneurial spirit. True business partners, with each partner a subject matter expert, can wrap it in a single wrapper -- that’s what partnering means to me.”
But might an emerging market trend toward end-to-end solutions provided by one manufacturer undermine the best-of-breed approach over time?
“I believe the market will answer that question better than one individual,” says Farmer. “One thing we know is that history repeats itself. Where manufacturers are going to separate themselves is how easy they are to work with.”