Round table contributions
Distributors have traditionally played an important role in the physical security market, ensuring ready availability of products that systems integrators need to complete their projects. But a changing industry has had dramatic impact all along the supply chain of which distributors are a critical link. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is the role of distributors changing in the market, and what is the impact?
The U.S. physical security market will be focused on Las Vegas this week and the big ISC West trade show for 2015. But what should attendees expect when they get to Sin City? We asked our panelists for their insights into what will be making “big news” at this year’s show. Fortunately, the suspense is almost over!
“Buyer beware” is always good advice in the security marketplace – or in life for that matter. But the age-old warning is more timely than ever in our age of global commerce and given our fragmented market with thousands of products manufactured all over the world. Complicating the picture: our market is also inching toward commodization and facing downward pricing that shrinks margins for manufacturers. So the question becomes: When is an item merely a good deal or somehow “too good to be true?” Counterfeit products are flooding a wide range of markets, so it seems unlikely the security market would be immune. So we asked our panelists this week: How is counterfeiting of security equipment a problem for the market, and how should it be prevented?
This week brought a big surprise to the security and video surveillance market; specifically, the announcement of Canon’s plans to acquire iconic IP camera manufacturer Axis. But surprises happen all the time, especially in a dynamic, technology-driven market like physical security. Those who have been involved in this market for many years have often been surprised, for better or worse, at the various twists and turns over time. It’s part of what keeps life interesting! This week, we give our panelists an opportunity to reflect on the most surprising development they have seen in the marketplace in the last 12 months.
There’s a cloud hanging over the security market. Or rather, The Cloud is portending great change for our market (and other markets, too). But with all the talk about cloud-based systems, limitations still linger along the path to optimum implementation in the security market. We asked our panelists to reflect on those limitations and look ahead five years to how the situation is likely to change. From bandwidth and connectivity challenges, to geographic limitations and even a need to change how we do business, their answers highlight a market facing change driven by The Cloud.
Articles by Steve Gorski
Winning companies are those that continue to be proactive rather than reactive to the changing security environment Scallop 2014/2015 Review and Forecast: In the last few years, we have seen a number of developments in the security industry – including organizations taking a more proactive approach to security. As a result, the demand for surveillance solutions has continued to grow at a high rate and, in turn, the data being collected has hit record levels. As a result, companies like Scallop Imaging have turned to innovative technology to address the needs of customers by delivering technology that delivers the most useful and valuable information to the end user. I’m not sure if it was unexpected, but one of the biggest trends has been in the growth of network-based technology, which has had a huge impact on the industry – especially for end users. Integration has become paramount to ensuring a cohesive security strategy within organizations – making sure access control platforms work cohesively with networked systems such as HVAC and human resource databases. There are a number of trends driving market growth in this industry – including increased demand for surveillance technology as users look to leverage video for uses beyond just security. I think we’ll also see new ways that companies will leverage video analytics and biometrics to help users sift through the wealth of data that users are collecting on a daily – even hourly – basis. Additionally, I think higher resolution cameras will continue to see a high rate of demand as these needs grow in 2015 and beyond. Many companies continue to develop unique surveillance technologies such as video analytics, thermal imaging technology, edge-based services and distributed imaging, which Scallop pioneered. All of these will continue to change the security industry, as well as change the customer’s expectations of what surveillance can do. The winners have become those companies that continue to be proactive rather than reactive to the changing security environment. Many companies continue to develop unique surveillance technologies such as video analytics, thermal imaging technology, edge-based services and distributed imaging Scallop Imaging is currently in the midst of a re-launch of the business, and for me, this is a very exciting time. In 2014, we launched our channel partner program, a tiered partner program deployed to help resellers and system integrators grow their businesses by leveraging Scallop’s unique and innovative technology. One of our goals as we move into 2015 is to build a long-term, profitable business relationship with our channel partners – and to stay dedicated to ensuring only the most qualified, committed and loyal partners become part of the Scallop Imaging community. Additionally, 2014 saw changes and growth for our executive management team as well as significant investments in product development. In fact, while I can’t say much about it, we plan to introduce some very exciting products in the coming year – but we’re confident they’re going to be significant additions to the unique product line for which we are known. The security market has seen this overall shift from a reactive approach to security solutions to more proactivity – and the opportunity of this is endless. We’ll continue to see an increased demand for surveillance technology as users look toward using video for more than just security purposes. Looking ahead, there’s a lot of potential for the transportation market to continue to show a strong demand for surveillance, especially as more and more security cameras are required on buses and trains to monitor activity inside a vehicle. These applications require cameras with a wide field of view to limit camera count and fit in easily with the vehicle’s environment and streamline installation – all of which Scallop Imaging has already addressed with our distributed imaging technology. See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here
A perceived benefit of buying direct is to save money as opposed to paying a middleman Security companies have multiple options to purchase security products today – online, manufacturer direct, or from the vast array of security products and electrical supply networks dotting the landscape. Because there are numerous options, and costs may not vary drastically, the final decision on where to purchase ultimately boils down to service and additional support these channels offer. Security integrators look for certain value-adds from the places they buy equipment. Many require specification and design assistance or simply want to be sure their equipment arrives on time and is ready to go, especially for a fast-track project. Each security company’s requirements are different, depending on the nature of the company, the vertical markets they serve, and whether customers are small-to-medium businesses, large national accounts, or enterprise clients. Security distributors have to be able to meet these needs, or systems integrators will likely go elsewhere. The key for suppliers is providing the type of support that differentiates them and keeps security companies returning as customers. SourceSecurity.com interviewed Steven Gorski, Vice President Security Solutions, WESCO Distribution, Pittsburgh, to get his thoughts on what sets a distributor apart. SourceSecurity.com: What’s the value proposition for a security distributor today? What do you have to do to differentiate yourself in the competitive security marketplace? Gorski: Historically, when a distributor has been in the position of justifying its value, it has often been in reaction to the question: “Why buy through a distributor when you can buy direct?” That question is based on the assumption that buying direct is more advantageous. A perceived benefit of buying direct is to save money as opposed to paying a middleman, the distributor. The buying power of distributors, however, brings down costs, and these breaks are passed down to integrator customers. Other advantages of buying from a distributor have included: access to products from manufacturers that sell only through distribution and one-stop shopping for sourcing, logistics, and more. We sometimes refer to the latter as “one throat to choke” if anything goes wrong. As a distributor, we have to continue to prove and improve the value of being that single source while evolving to meet changing demands. WESCO sells online, for instance, because that’s how some of our customers buy. But we can’t just be another e-commerce site; our overall value is derived from all the services and expertise we offer. Regional security managers can walk through specifications with an integrator or even meet onsite SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the ways in which you assist systems integrators with their specifications? Gorski: WESCO has many security-focused specialists who help integrators every step of the way. These resources include our regional security managers who walk through specifications with an integrator or even meet onsite with the integrator and their customers, plus our telesales professionals who talk customers through technical issues. SourceSecurity.com: What do you think is the role of the security distributor today beyond providing products? Gorski: Numerous sources can simply provide product. It’s what the distributor offers around that product that not only justifies their contribution to the market, but sets them apart from other channels. For WESCO, those extras include a variety of value-added services for our integrator partners, such as conducting proactive business development for these customers. We also perform IP camera addressing to circumvent potential problems on the job site and reduce on site labor costs for the installer. It’s hard to put a price on those types of services, but integrators do recognize how these value-adds build their business and save them time and money. See our Round Table discussion: How is the role of distributors changing in the security market?
WESCO was selected based on its commitment to the ISONAS brand and overall partnership with the company to help its annual growth in 2015 ISONAS Inc., a pure IP access control system manufacturer, announced that the company honored WESCO International, Inc. with its 2015 Distributor of The Year Award at the 2016 WESCO Sales Meeting in April. ISONAS continues to expand their open platform access control solution by providing customers with state-of-the-art access control systems, and building strategic partnerships which has been key to ISONAS’s success. After thoughtful consideration in determining which of their partners deserved this award, WESCO was selected based on its commitment to the ISONAS brand and overall partnership with the company to help its annual growth in 2015. ISONAS Attended The Annual WESCO Sales Meeting ISONAS attended the annual WESCO sales meeting last month, where Robert Lydic, ISONAS’s Global VP of Sales spoke to the benefits of the Pure IP solution with the WESCO security team. Lydic also presented the 2015 Distributor of The Year Award to Steve Gorski, WESCO’s Director of Security Sales, who accepted the award on behalf of WESCO. “We appreciate our business relationship with ISONAS and thank them for recognizing WESCO with this award,” said David Bemoras, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing. “The value proposition that ISONAS brings to the access control market is a natural match with how WESCO conducts business as a value-added distributor. We look forward to even bigger and better results from our work together.” WESCO distributes a wide range of data communications and security solutions from the industry’s leading manufacturers. The company maintains relationships with over 25,000 suppliers, and serves over 80,000 active customers worldwide. Pure IP solution Enables Full Customization Of A Security Solution The simple topology of a Pure IP solution - an ISONAS reader-controller and a CAT 5 for power and data - allow flexibility and scalability that panel or IP-enabled panel systems cannot. The open platform enables customers to fully customize a security solution with access control software integrations or even video management systems. Pure IP access control enables customers to do things they never thought possible. "ISONAS is proud to partner with a world-class company such as WESCO and continue to provide our customers with state-of-the-art access control solutions. ISONAS is committed to the distribution channel as well as our certified integrators and is realizing the true benefit of scaling globally through this channel. WESCO recognized the impact that Pure IP access control is having on the market and wanted to provide these benefits to their customers." states Robert Lydic, Global Vice President of Sales at ISONAS.
Scallop Imaging, the pioneer in distributed imaging technology platforms, introduces the company’s latest IP video surveillance cameras, the D14-180 day/night camera and the D4-120 corner camera. Combining extreme low-light capability with selectable full-color and monochrome high-resolution panoramic definition, the D14-180 is a 7-megapixel, day/night camera that provides a 180-degree field of view without fisheye distortion. At night, it delivers extreme low-light capability for recording and viewing in conditions as low as 0.02 lux without auxiliary lighting. The D14-180 processes more than 100 megapixels per second, providing a 180-degree full situational awareness image with up to four zoom windows. The D14 can simultaneously deliver the 720p high-definition video stream at up to 15 fps, and the full resolution (5120x1280) video stream at 1 fps. Designed to fit in a corner, the D4-120 high-resolution camera contains a 120-degree horizontal field of view and one 4-megapixel image sensor. Its unique design delivers a versatile solution for monitoring a variety of indoor environments, including offices, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, classrooms, correctional facilities and elevators, among others. Scallop Imaging’s unique technology approach combines images from the D4’s three sensors and stitches the views together to produce a single, high-resolution image that is available as two simultaneous video streams: high definition (15 fps) and full resolution (1 fps). “The D14 and the D4 were designed to deliver high-image quality to meet the most stringent security and business requirements,” said Steve Gorski, Chief Sales Officer, Scallop Imaging. “The new innovations to our robust technology platform are a testament to the investments we’ve made in continued innovation to fit a variety of surveillance needs for organizations across the globe.” Made in the United States, Scallop Imaging solutions offer easy setup using a standard Web-browser, are compatible with today’s leading video management systems, offer a simple licensing structure and require little maintenance because the cameras contain no moving parts. Both cameras can be customized to meet specific aesthetic requirements, such as those found in the luxury retail, hospitality and covert surveillance markets. The entire Scallop Imaging portfolio is available through the company’s robust network of channel partners. Scallop Imaging bases its technologies on distributed imaging technology, where a panoramic field of view is covered using a number of miniature camera modules. Each camera module has less than 1-percent optical distortion. The output of all of the sensors is combined in the camera to produce a continuous 180-degree horizontal field of view image. The result is that the camera output does not need to be de-warped and captures details without sacrificing sharpness or image quality. If you're interested in learning more about the new technologies from Scallop, join us for a Webinar on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 1 p.m. EST
KMA will leverage its team of video surveillance sales experts to drive new opportunity Scallop Imaging, the pioneer in distributed imaging technology, recently announced the addition of two new manufacturer’s representative firms – Ken Massrey Associates and TMG Sales Agents. Based in Irvine, Calif., and founded in 1989, Ken Massrey Associates (KMA) has a high-level of expertise in the security industry. KMA will leverage its team of video surveillance sales experts to drive new opportunity and expand the reach of Scallop’s video surveillance products in the Western region. With four locations in Florida, TMG Sales Agents (TMGSA) specializes in security, life safety, communication and other low voltage industry products. TMGSA will introduce Scallop Imaging technologies to its comprehensive distributor and dealer networks in the Southeast region, and provide training and application services to ensure continued success with the product line. “We are excited to further expand our sales network and have the opportunity to work with these experienced sales teams,” said Steve Gorski, Chief Sales Officer, Scallop Imaging. “Both firms have a wealth of industry expertise and knowledgeable personnel, and therefore, are well positioned to cultivate new revenue opportunities for Scallop Imaging.”
Scallop Imaging also announces the addition of key sales personnel and new distribution relationships Scallop Imaging, a video imaging solutions provider that introduced the revolutionary distributed imaging technology, recently announced the addition of key sales personnel and new distribution relationships that are designed to propel the company toward continued growth and the development of new technology. Scallop has expanded its line of distributed imaging technology with the new horizontal D7-180XR, a 7 megapixel surveillance camera that records in full-color, high resolution throughout its 180-degree field of view. The technological advancement has broad implications for the transportation market — the camera is ideal for mounting on buses, trains and emergency or military vehicles — as well as other markets where a horizontal form factor is required. The new camera may also be deployed in traditional stationary settings. While all of Scallop’s vision systems capture video up to 15 fps, Scallop has increased their full resolution (5180 x 1280 pixel) stream from 1 fps to 3 fps for all of the company’s surveillance products, providing an even clearer picture for managers, security personnel and investigators. To conserve bandwidth, the displayed video stream may be adjusted to a 15 fps high-definition (1280 x 720 pixels) stream, with up to four zoom windows “extracted” from the full resolution video stream. This unique combination provides the highest zoom capabilities (up to 4x) and lower bandwidth usage. This advancement includes changes to the price of the D7-180 and M6-200 cameras. The company added Account Executive Mike Guarino to the team, bringing years of sales, business development and data analysis experience to the company. Previously, Guarino worked as an Inside Sales Channel Account Executive and Sales Development Representative with Axis Communications. He also has worked as a Data Analyst for Craneware Insight. Guarino has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing from Roger Williams University. Scallop also has partnered with several new manufacturer’s rep firms to aid in market growth and to offer expertise in expanding Scallop’s market reach, including FM Valenti, Intermountain Marketing, AE Sales Midwest and Charles & Associates Marketing. Additionally, Scallop has added two new distributors: GA, which will serve the Caribbean and Latin America, and Communications Supply Corporation (CSC). “Scallop Imaging continues to develop cutting-edge, scalable and cost effective technology solutions to aid in problem solving in our targeted vertical markets,” said Steve Gorski, Chief Sales Officer, Scallop Imaging. “Our focus has remained on continually innovating our product line to drive sustained growth, while delivering solutions that solve real-world problems to support the next evolution of the company.” Scallop Imaging will showcase the horizontal D7-180XR at the 2014 ASIS International Seminar, Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, in Atlanta, along with the company’s other distributed imaging technology innovations. Conference attendees can meet with Gorski and other members of the Scallop team at booth #2250.