Aqua Security announced that its Aqua Container Security Platform (CSP) has been certified by CIS Benchmarks to compare the configuration status of Kubernetes clusters against the consensus-based best practice standards contained in the CIS Kubernetes Benchmark. Organizations that leverage Aqua CSP can now ensure that the configurations of their critical assets align with the CIS Benchmarks consensus-based practice standards. “We are thrilled to have our platform certified by the CIS for...
The Board of Directors of Digital Systems Corporation, the parent company of Galaxy Control Systems, a provider of integrated access control and security solutions, announces the appointment of Rick Caruthers to the position of President at Galaxy Control Systems. Effective immediately, this appointment reflects the company’s long-term planning and succession strategies. “Rick has essentially been working in the capacity as president of Galaxy Control Systems for the past several ye...
Created more than 20 years ago, the French firm COSSILYS21 offers intelligent video-protection solutions. It equips major national banks, numerous regional banks, as well as shops. The COSSILYS21 firm is nowadays a reference in the banking sector. COSSILYS21 and FOXSTREAM have established a strong partnership for several years. When Mister Alain Ghaye, CEO and main shareholder of COSSILYS21, decided to hand over its firm to retire, the idea of bringing closer the two firms naturally made its wa...
Global cybersecurity firm, GRA Quantum announces the launch of its Security Operations Center and Managed Security Services offering. Over the last 24 months, GRA Quantum has successfully partnered with clients in special requests to support managed security services functions. Offering these stand-alone services through an onsite Security Operations Center is new to the organization. 24/7 Cybersecurity Monitoring Earlier this year we built a state-of-the-art Security Operations Center" Accord...
ISC East, in collaboration with premier sponsor, the Security Industry Association (SIA), reported strong growth results at the conclusion of this year’s industry event in New York City. The International Security Conference & Exposition is the Northeast’s largest security trade show, where close to 7,500 security and public safety professionals convened this month to meet experts from over 300 leading security brands, all the while co-locating with the launch of Unmanned Securit...
Eagle Eye Networks, global provider of cloud-based video surveillance solutions, announced that it has enhanced the video analytics offered within the Eagle Eye Cloud VMS. Customers can easily and instantly activate analytics on their cameras without having to install additional hardware or software. No on-site technicians or system upgrades are needed to immediately receive analytic alerts and data. Eagle Eye Cloud VMS Eagle Eye Cloud VMS customers can enable analytics from the dashboard for...
Arecont Vision Costar, global network-based video surveillance solutions provider, announces the addition of Bongiorno and Associates, Inc. as a new Authorized Manufacturer’s Representative. The company will provide additional sales resources to the Arecont Vision Costar team in the North Eastern United States, including the New York City Metro Area. “The Bongiorno team brings expertise in security and related industries with long-standing relationships with key VARs and Architect & Engineering firms,” said Kyle Parker, Vice President, Americas Sales. “I am very excited to add Bongiorno to provide enhanced sales support to our partners across New York and the Northeast region.” Data Communications Expert The new Arecont Vision Costar is a strong fit within our product portfolio" Bongiorno and Associates, Inc., headquartered in Woodbridge, NJ, is well positioned to support and grow sales activity with customers and partners throughout the North Eastern US, and in particular the NY metro region. The company is focused on representing leading vendors in the audio/visual, data communications, and security industries. With a team of 10 sales representatives, Bongiorno will be a force multiplier for the region. “The new Arecont Vision Costar is a strong fit within our product portfolio,” stated Rob Bongiorno, NYC Metro Principal for Bongiorno and Associates, Inc. “Our team is already engaged with new opportunities throughout the region thanks to the complete video solution that the company brings to the professional surveillance market.” Total Video Solutions Provider “I am truly excited to add the team of experienced sales professionals that Bongiorno and Associates offer to the region,” stated John Bujarski, Senior Sales Director, Eastern US and Canada. “The addition of this skilled group will greatly benefit our customers and provide outstanding support to our partners.”
Johnson Controls announces the release of Metasys 10.0, designed to deliver more unified building management. This latest Metasys release provides facility personnel with smarter building automation, faster responses to critical alarms and new integrations with fire detection, security and lighting systems – all with visibility from a single common interface. Metasys 10.0 Integrations Metasys 10.0 introduces a new and improved set of integrations. These include new integrations with C·CURE 9000 Access Control and victor Video Management Systems, and simpler integrations with SIMPLEX Fire Systems and with lighting systems from leading lighting providers. “Metasys has always delivered a strong integrations platform, but we’re really excited about how easy we’re making it for customers to integrate both HVAC and non-HVAC systems into Metasys 10.0,” said Chris Eichmann, vice president and general manager, Global Controls Products, Johnson Controls. “Providing our customers with access to critical system data from a single, intuitively-designed interface makes it faster and easier for them to do their jobs. We’re seeing some great early successes at sites like Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta.” Metasys Application Programming Interface Metasys API enables data to be securely extracted from Metasys 10.0 and integrated with Johnson Controls or third-party data visualization tools for robust data analysis A new Metasys Application Programming Interface (API) enables data to be securely extracted from Metasys 10.0 and integrated with Johnson Controls or third-party data visualization tools for robust data analysis and reporting. Several new hardware devices were also added to Metasys 10.0, including: Two new equipment controllers with removable screw terminal blocks for easy installation, high capacity memory and fast processing A new 4-in-1 network sensor series with the ability to sense temperature, humidity, CO2 and occupancy – all with one sensor A new TEC3000 thermostat controller with color touchscreen Metasys User Interface (UI) Another innovative feature is Ethernet ring topology support for Metasys IP equipment controllers. Delivered as part of Johnson Controls’ collaboration with Cisco, it allows controllers to be configured in a ring network, improving system reliability and resiliency. As part of the new Metasys release, the Metasys User Interface (UI) introduces several new features that reduce operators’ time on task. A key feature is the ability for users to schedule reports to be delivered via email and save and execute report templates on demand, reducing time spent configuring and providing reports. Efficient Building Management And Automation For more than a quarter century, Metasys building automation has delivered consistent results to meet even the most complex building management needs. This new major release keeps today’s buildings on top of change, with all the Metasys benefits one expects, including: Operational savings through extended building management capabilities and enhanced productivity Energy savings through coordinated control, precise data and peak equipment performance IT and platform security through best-practice processes Faster troubleshooting and response through advanced diagnostics Greater occupant comfort, security and satisfaction
Carbon Black, a provider of next-generation endpoint security delivered via the cloud, announces that it delivered zero delayed detections and zero tainted detections in the MITRE Corporation’s Adversarial Tactics, Techniques and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK) assessment. The MITRE assessment tests the ability to quickly detect specific adversary tactics and techniques as captured in the ATT&CK knowledgebase. The evaluations for this initial testing period used a MITRE-developed APT3 emulation plan on behavior detection, telemetry and enrichment, among other elements. In the assessment, CB Response demonstrated it could automatically detect and display adversarial behaviours without humans-in-the-loop across the entire MITRE ATT&CK Matrix, which includes: initial access, execution, privilege escalation, defense evasion, credential access, discovery, lateral movement, collection, exfiltration, and command and control. Real-World Attacks MITRE has set an excellent standard for how testing should be conducted in an open, rigorous, and sophisticated way" “We’re proud to be among the initial vendors evaluated by MITRE and we’re extremely proud of these results. We attribute our very strong showing to our philosophy of building products the right way for the long haul,” said Scott Lundgren, Carbon Black’s Chief Technology Officer. “Objective, transparent and open testing is critical as a means of driving the industry forward, and the MITRE ATT&CK framework offers a critical look at how real-world attacks play out. We believe MITRE has set an excellent standard for how testing should be conducted in an open, rigorous, and sophisticated way. We thank MITRE for its leadership.” “We’re very pleased with the participation in our first round of ATT&CK-based evaluations,” said Frank Duff, MITRE lead engineer for the evaluations program. Endpoint Data Collection “Effective cybersecurity can’t be done alone. We look forward to continued collaboration with the industry to help vendors understand their capabilities against known adversary behaviors and empower customers to more effectively buy and deploy these security solutions.” Carbon Black’s MITRE ATT&CK feeds combine the power of Carbon Black’s unfiltered endpoint data collection and a robust collection of adversary techniques In conjunction with the assessment results, Carbon Black announced it has added MITRE ATT&CK threat intelligence feeds to CB Response and CB ThreatHunter to deliver new behavior-based threat intelligence to customers. Carbon Black’s MITRE ATT&CK feeds combine the power of Carbon Black’s unfiltered endpoint data collection and a robust collection of adversary techniques to simplify threat detection and threat hunting. Unfiltered view The new threat feeds map directly to the various attack tactics outlined by MITRE. “By adding ATT&CK threat intelligence feeds to Cb Response and Cb ThreatHunter, organizations now have an unfiltered view into all endpoint activity viewed through the lens of attack building blocks and behaviours noted by MITRE. We believe this results in more comprehensive and advanced threat hunting capabilities for security professionals,” said Lundgren. “The ATT&CK threat intelligence feeds directly integrate detection of ATT&CK tactics and techniques into the CB Response and CB ThreatHunter products, underscoring Carbon Black’s commitment to ATT&CK and other open standards and frameworks.”
Ping Identity, the provider of Identity Defined Security, announced the public preview of PingOne for Customers. The cloud-based Identity as a Service (IDaaS) offering is built for the developer community and provides API-based identity services for customer-facing applications. It can help large enterprises launch apps faster, replace custom identity services that are difficult to maintain, and facilitate the transition from on-premises deployments to cloud-hosted services. By making it easy to securely authenticate end users, PingOne for Customers frees up developers’ time to focus on delivering business value faster. PingOne for Customers is designed to make it faster and easier to embed registration, login, profile management, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and other cloud-based identity services directly into customer-facing applications. The solution offers developer-friendly APIs, extensive documentation, and a dedicated community to help ensure ease of use as developer teams get up and running. PingOne for Customers includes broad support for identity standards such as OAuth, OpenID Connect, and SAML Support For Identity Standards Organizations are embarking on a broader range of cloud-first digital business initiatives yet struggle with the integration and support of new cloud and SaaS offerings with their existing identity infrastructures. PingOne for Customers addresses these needs and includes broad support for identity standards such as OAuth, OpenID Connect, and SAML. It also offers hybrid IT capabilities, delegated administration, and addresses other enterprise requirements at the onset to provide diverse implementation and deployment options. Integrations across the broader Ping Intelligent Identity Platform will help current enterprise customers maintain a seamless path to the Cloud. Integrating Identity And Access Management Services “The developer community wants to build applications and just leverage a service for securing login and registration, versus creating the capabilities themselves in their app,” said Steve Shoaff, chief product officer, Ping Identity. Speed time to market by leveraging the APIs in PingOne for Customers to embed identity services directly into an application “PingOne for Customers saves time and valuable resources by greatly simplifying how developers integrate identity and access management services into their application development process. By providing easy to integrate identity services, developers can focus on other high-value work and their enterprise customers can rest assured their applications are secure.” Capabilities And Benefits Of PingOne PingOne for Customers provides the following additional capabilities and benefits: Flexible application integration: Speed time to market by leveraging the APIs in PingOne for Customers to embed identity services directly into an application. Tenant-in-tenant architecture: Create multiple development, staging and production environments for apps to support DevOps, agile development and delegated administration. Secure and reliable CIAM platform in the cloud: With support for identity standards (OAuth, OpenID Connect, and SAML), a cloud-based MFA solution, a secure place to store users in the cloud, centralized policies and authentication flows, and much more. IDaaS to on-premises: Connect with existing on-premises infrastructure to provide access management, single sign-on, and data synchronization across hybrid IT environments. According to Forrester Research, "The IDaaS model provides a much faster deployment model by eliminating the need for security and risk pros to purchase and deploy." PingOne for Customers is now available for public preview. Stop by the Ping Identity booth #324 at the Gartner IAM Summit taking place in Las Vegas this week to learn more about the offering.
Maxxess Systems introduces new enterprise software that combines security, communications, business intelligence and data integration into a single, easy-to-use platform called Maxxess InSite. Maxxess InSite, Unified Interface Platform Maxxess InSite sets a new benchmark for security and business intelligence software platforms by every standard of measure" Nothing operates, functions or looks like Maxxess InSite. It combines systems intelligence and human intelligence to detect and respond to unfolding events in real-time – all of which is queued, organized and displayed on a highly-intuitive user interface. In doing so, Maxxess InSite truly enables early action, allowing IT, Operational Technology and Physical Security departments within organizations to correlate data, improve response coordination, and deal with issues when they’re small – before they become large and costly. This new system is uniquely categorized as an Awareness and Response Coordination System. “Maxxess InSite sets a new benchmark for security and business intelligence software platforms by every standard of measure,” said Nancy Islas, President of Maxxess Systems. “It goes beyond basic detection and control. It empowers total awareness and provides users with unprecedented capabilities to help prevent incidents from happening. It also coordinates the activities of first responders and the people they are assisting from the moment a threatening event is detected. And best of all, is the simplicity of Maxxess InSite’s operation.” Security And Business Intelligence Software Maxxess Insite is a single system that harnesses the power of myriad system technologies Maxxess InSite features an open-architecture framework to accommodate virtually any security or business intelligence application with comprehensive functionality – from automated responses with database integration to mobile alert notifications with two-way communications. Hardware and software solutions from more than 50 different leading manufacturers are already integrated into Maxxess InSite, providing more combined capabilities and functionality than any other cross-platform solution available. This allows Maxxess InSite to be configured for virtually all applications, employing any combination of software modules and hardware to deliver each user with a highly customized solution and unparalleled efficiency. Myriad System Technologies Maxxess Insite is a single system that harnesses the power of myriad system technologies, effectively expanding their collective capabilities while also making human interaction more intuitive. It meshes the capabilities of the following systems and technologies, and more: video surveillance, access control, GPS/IPS location technologies, intrusion detection, fire safety systems, perimeter detection/protection, HVAC/building management, smart phones and tablets, ID/credential badging, two-way communications, guard tour, visitor management, time and attendance, license plate recognition, hotkey emergency notification, reporting/forensics, wireless sensors, elevator/escalator control and database integration. Kevin Daly, CEO of Maxxess Systems, added, “The beauty of the product is that even with these diverse integrations and functions, the system is very user friendly. Simplicity of use is truly the system’s ultimate sophistication.”
Exabeam, the next-gen SIEM company, has announced two new features: Exabeam Smart Timelines and a single user interface (UI), as part of its ongoing mission to improve security analyst productivity. The additions to the Exabeam security information and event management (SIEM) platform will offer improved detection, investigation and response to threats. The company also announced the general availability (GA) of its Threat Intelligence Service to its customer base. Smart Timelines Smart Timelines incorporate indicators of compromise (IOCs) from the Exabeam Threat Intelligence Service, including suspicious IP addresses, blacklisted IP addresses, known phishing URLs, and malicious file signatures. By automating the task of timeline creation and automatically stitching together normal and abnormal behaviors for users and devices, Smart Timelines put an end to a common problem for security analysts– known as ‘swivel chair’ incident response– in which workflows require multiple products with different interfaces and credentials. Now, investigators can accurately pinpoint anomalous events and improve their productivity for incident investigation and threat hunting. “Exabeam Smart Timelines allow us to quickly analyze and understand when there is a threat, so my team can spend their time acting on the evidence and outmaneuver our adversaries,” said Ryan Clarque, senior manager, Global Cybersecurity, Levi Strauss & Co. Exabeam Threat Intelligence Service The Threat Intelligence Service behind Smart Timelines is a curated cloud threat intelligence feed that provides context for potential attacks Ian Lee, manager, IT Security and Compliance, Hudbay Minerals, Inc., reiterated Clarque’s point: “Exabeam Smart Timelines stitch together events from various sources, making it easy for us to identify anomalous activity in our environment.” The Threat Intelligence Service behind Smart Timelines is a curated cloud threat intelligence feed that provides context for potential attacks, which SOCs need, by uncovering IOCs and malicious hosts. As part of the service, Exabeam aggregates IOC feeds and applies machine algorithms to remove false positives before downloading the feeds on a daily basis to Exabeam Data Lake and Exabeam Advanced Analytics. Exabeam Security Management Platform The Exabeam Security Management Platform now also has a single, unified UI for detection, investigation and response. Having fewer tools to master means that engineers have a significantly reduced learning curve. Additionally, the ability to easily and efficiently move from investigation to case management to response without needing to manually assemble information from multiple disparate systems reduces the chance for human error. By spending more time on investigation, teams decrease the mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR). “We know that SOC teams are severely time constrained and under intense pressure, due to staffing issues and ubiquitous cyberthreats. Manual tasks like reviewing logs to understand the full scope of an attack can be unnecessarily burdensome,” said Trevor Daughney, vice president of Product Marketing at Exabeam. “Considering how overloaded the SOC team is, we want to end fragmented workflows and combine disparate systems and interfaces, so that critical alerts for distributed attacks aren’t missed.” Other new features include: SAML integration for quick and easy single sign-on (SSO) authentication with popular identity and access management (IAM) vendors like Okta, Ping and Google Granular role-based access control (RBAC) for watch lists to control access of sensitive user information by role and responsibility Eight new out-of-the-box response playbooks and over 20 additional prebuilt integrations connecting Exabeam Incident Responder to popular security tools
There’s only so much a corporation can do to counteract the threat of a major incident. You can ask everyone to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious, but you cannot stop someone intent on deliberately starting a fire, threatening a work colleague with a knife or something much worse. And of course, most businesses recognize that even routine events – such as burst pipes, IT system failures, extreme weather event or power outages – can have significant consequences unless they are quickly brought under control. Training Security Officers Governments and organizations across the world are increasingly encouraging businesses to re-assess risks and to plan for and conduct drills for major emergencies. This is driving different agencies and companies to invest in new skills, resources and systems, and encouraging businesses to routinely re-evaluate their emergency response strategies. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents For example: UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents, as part of the UK government’s Action Counter Terrorism program. And organizations including the Association of University Chief Security Officers (AUCSO) and Higher Education Business Continuity Network (HEBCoN) are developing customized training for their members to improve their own response and business continuity plans. Mass Notifications Systems Whether an organization is facing a terrorist attack or a severe weather event, follow up reports consistently identify that the same types of challenges are common to all crisis situations, with similar errors often occurring again and again. Typically, these are centered on three key areas: poor communications, fractured command and control structures, and delayed deployment of resources. Communications skills and technologies clearly play a pivotal role in how effective an organization is in responding to major incidents, particularly when it comes to assessing the situation and its implications, moving people towards safety and providing updates as an incident unfolds. However, when an organization is considering its technology options, emergency response and mass notification systems (MNS) are often touted as the ideal platform to deliver all the required critical communications and ongoing updates. UK police forces are increasingly training security officers in the public and private sectors on how best to react to potential terrorist incidents Emergency Notification System All the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform But, if an organization does not know exactly where all its staff or students are, and it cannot see the location and availability of its first responders and other emergency coordinators relative to them and the incident, then how useful is it to send a top-down alert to everyone? And what about fast moving or multi-centre incidents, where previously agreed evacuation procedures, recommended actions or mustering points may need to change if an incident takes an unexpected turn? Many organizations may have been lulled into believing that an emergency notification system will allow them to confidently handle all the communications aspects of virtually any crisis. In reality, too many businesses are still unaware that there are now much more sophisticated and proven technologies where all the incident reporting, command and control, and communications functions have been brought together on a single platform. Using Live Map Tracking The benefit of using these advanced and more integrated approaches – often categorized as mobile distributed command and control systems – is that they enable faster and better decision making in a crisis using real-time feedback and two-way dialogue with those closest to the emergency. And they avoid the risks of any potential delays, miscommunications or mistakes that can happen when an organization is under pressure to respond and often switching between multiple systems. Leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response These next generation emergency management platforms have been specifically designed to enable real-time mapping of an organization’s security assets and its users on a single screen and to fully integrate it with a highly targeted geo-fenced notification capability. The mass notification aspect of the system can then be used to advise specific groups on the best actions to take at their location as an incident develops. The use of live map tracking enables real time mapping of an organisation's security assets Segmented Messaging Many leading universities and multi-national corporations are already using these new mobile/web-enabled platforms to plan, manage and improve their incident response, leading to 50% faster reactions and more positive outcomes.During a crisis, users can receive push notifications so the security centre can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly The systems have been widely adopted within the higher-education sector, but they are equally applicable to any large company with multiple international sites or those situated in research or corporate campuses where the bulk of assets and people are based in one or more key locations. Typically, systems provide users with a smartphone app that they can use to call for immediate emergency or first aid support when at work, or to report something suspicious which could prevent an apparently minor incident from escalating into a full-scale emergency. During a crisis, users can receive push notifications, SMS and E-mails asking them to open the app if they are not already logged in, so the security center can immediately see their exact location and advise them accordingly. Supporting Dispersed Mustering Now that communications can be more nimble, responsive and flexible this can support the increasing numbers of planners are recognizing the advantages of dispersed mustering. This is a strategy that has been developed to reduce the risk of secondary attacks on unprotected people complying with instructions to evacuate from premises and gather in what are, effectively, exposed locations. It is now acknowledged that evacuees waiting outside for any length of time are more vulnerable to targeted attacks or to injury, from flying glass for example. With dispersed mustering – a strategy made more effective by these new mobile distributed command and control systems - a building’s occupants can be advised not to go outside, but to move to known safe internal locations. People in each specific area can then be kept regularly updated. Many corporations are now using new mobile/web-enabled platforms to improve their incident response Coordination Between Response Agencies The software platforms can be integrated with an organization’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information First responders are permanently logged in, so the emergency operations center can see their exact locations in real-time and can advise what actions to take in mustering people or in setting up and protecting security cordons. Bringing everything together on one platform, with real-time feedback and in a fully integrated system also removes what is often seen as the weakest communication link in managing any major incident: the need to rely on conventional two-way radio as the sole means of communication between the command and control center and its first responders and other team members on the ground. The software platforms can be integrated with an organization’s fixed security infrastructure to take real-time sharing of information to a new level for improved collaboration, coordination and communications between users, the incident management team and external agencies. Improving Emergency Response Strategies One of the most powerful features of some of these new systems is the ability to record and view all alerts, responses and the detailed conversations between first responders, emergency coordinators and other parties. This allows the systems to be used to simulate major incidents involving inputs from the emergency services and other key agencies and to ensure the organization’s crisis management plans have been fully tested against a range of possible incident scenarios.
Whether you are a veteran in the access control world or have never installed a card reader before, there are always ways to increase profits in the ever-evolving world of access control. The hope is that by considering a few key focal points, you can find ways to increase market share. Whether we are releasing an electronic lock through a simple intercom button or using biometric and multi-authentication based on a database; the tactics for bringing on more revenue is the same. Learning to focus on a few key items can help open up opportunities. Business Access Controls Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access controlIf you are new to access control, it’s important to determine the right product offerings for your business model and experience level of your team. Mistakes in estimating or installing can be costly and complex. Take advantage of manufacturer training both online and in the classroom for both your sales team and installation department. It’s important to understand the fire and building codes in your area to make sure you design the proper solution for your customers. Furthermore, understanding the products, components and proper wiring can save you money in labor and materials. Today we will look at four focus points: Vertical Markets, Cloud-Based Access Control, Technology Upgrades, and Preventative Maintenance and Service Agreements. These four focal points are simple to implement and can be easily added to your current operation. Vertical Markets Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access control. The concept is that understanding a certain vertical and their security needs can increase your sales team’s marketability. If you spend your time focusing on the healthcare industry, for instance, you will see that HIPA requirements open doors for selling access control. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective salesHaving logs of who entered your HR files room or patient records storage is a crucial part of addressing privacy concerns. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective sales. Another example could be apartment communities or other multifamily dwellings. In this competitive marketplace, these complexes are looking for ways to stand out in their market. Knowing this and being able to offer amenities like secured locks with Bluetooth credentials that tenants can open with their smartphones is a selling point for you and for your customer. Building on each customer you contact within a vertical is like free sales and marketing training. The more you learn from each potential client, the more you increase your conversation starters for the next potential client. Cloud-Based Access Control With the growing cloud-based access control market, integrators can find more opportunities in small businesses and vertical markets that typically wouldn’t be on the radar of your sales team. A typical card access system often makes the move from the traditional lock and key systems to electronic card access cost prohibitive. This is due to the large upfront costs for a server, software and annual licensing. With cloud access, integrators can offer less expensive upfront costs with low monthly subscription fees that cover all software updates, database backups, security patches and more. The real benefit for the integrator is the reoccurring revenue. By helping our clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for our companies that increase our profitability. Building reoccurring revenue not only provides cash flow but also keeps your name on the top of the minds of your customer and that leads to additional sales. By helping clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for companies that increase profitability Technology Upgrades Another often overlooked opportunity is technology upgrades. Training your sales staff and even service technicians to watch out for clients with older technology can reap major benefits. When you bring new technology to your clients, you show another value that you bring to the table. Even if your client isn’t ready to make an upgrade, you can easily plant a seed that will get their minds and budgets rolling. An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system. This may have met their needs 10 years ago when it was installed, but the office has grown and perhaps an integrated card access intercom system is a great technology upgrade. Bringing this to the customer will once again show that you are the “subject matter expert” and your customer will be more apt to refer you to their friends and colleagues. Another easy way to find technology upgrades is to dig through your ageing client list and build a list of potential targets that you have not visited lately. If you keep records of what was installed previously, it will make it easier to plan ahead and bring solutions to your next visit, saving your sales staff time and again building confidence with your clients. Preventive Maintenance And Service Agreements One thing that sales teams often miss is the opportunity to add service agreements and preventative maintenance agreements. Even if a customer already has an access control system, they may not have a service provider and may be interested in securing a service agreement. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labor or just labor for an annual feeShowing the value of a service agreement is paramount, adding annual or semi-annual preventative maintenance to your service agreement is one way to add value. Inspecting locking mechanisms, request to exit motions and buttons, door status switches, headend equipment, batteries and power supplies, can save your customer from a costly after-hours service call or the inconvenience of a non-functioning access control system during business hours. Additionally, checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failure. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labor or just labor for an annual fee. It is helpful to come up with a percentage of the install value that makes sense so that your sales team can easily quote a service agreement for your customer. Offering several levels of service also opens the table for negotiations. You can offer an “all parts and labor 24/7” or a “parts and labor M-F 8AM-4PM”, as an example. Offering guaranteed response times can also be a marketing strategy. Critical Area Access Management Checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failureA 24-7 facility that has 200 employees moving in and out of critical areas may be a great potential customer for a high-level service agreement with semi-annual preventative maintenance and a guaranteed 4-hour response time. Where a small office that is only open during standard business hours may be better suited for a labor only M-F with annual preventative maintenance inspection. The point is that a creative, intentional, and focused approach to access control can yield the fruit that brings long-term success to your team. Building a plan and learning from each prospect, sale, and installation will develop a process that brings results. Attending a trade specific expo like ESX will give you the opportunity to meet with manufacturers and other integrators that can help you implement a product offering and strategy for success.
In 1973, a brilliant economist named E.F. Schumacher wrote a seminal book titled ‘Small Is Beautiful:’ taking an opposing stance to the emergence of globalization and “bigger is better” industrialism. He described the advantages of smaller companies and smaller scales of production, highlighting the benefits of building our economies around the needs of communities, not corporations. In almost every industry or market that exists in the world today, you're likely to find a difference in size between companies. Whether it’s a global retail chain versus a small family-owned store, a corporate restaurant chain versus a mom-and-pop diner or a small bed and breakfast versus a large hotel chain — each side of the coin presents unique characteristics and advantages in a number of areas. Disparity In Physical Security Industry Customers are drawn to products and services from large enterprises as the big names typically imply stability This disparity very clearly exists in the physical security industry, and differences in the sizes of product manufacturers and service providers could have important implications for the quality and type of the products and services offered. All too often, customers are drawn to products and services from large enterprises, as the big names typically imply stability, extensive product offerings and global reach. And that's not to say that these considerations are unwarranted; one could argue that larger companies have more resources for product development and likely possess the combined expertise and experience to provide a wide range of products and services. But the value that a company’s products and services can bring isn’t necessarily directly related to or dependent on its size. In an age where the common wisdom is to scale up to be more efficient and profitable, it’s interesting to pause and think about some of the possible advantages of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Typically, “small” companies are defined as those with less than 100 employees and “medium” with less than 500. Providing Social Mobility Schumacher argued that smaller companies are important engines of economic growth. Indeed, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of 36 member countries that promotes policies for economic and social well-being, SMBs account for 60 to 70 percent of jobs in most OECD countries. Importantly, SMBs provide resilience in that there are often large economic and social impacts when big companies fail. Smaller companies are better for regional economies in general, as earnings stay more local compared to big businesses, which in turn generates additional economic activity. SMBs are also better at providing social mobility for disadvantaged groups by giving them opportunities and enabling them to realize their potential. Smaller companies are often more innovative, bringing to the market novel technologies and solutions such as Cloud, analytics, AI, and IoT New Companies Introduce New Technologies There's no denying the role of start-ups when it comes to innovation. In the security industry, many new technologies (e.g. Cloud, analytics, AI, IoT) are first brought to the market by newer companies. In general, smaller companies’ products and services often have to be as good or better than others to be competitive in the marketplace. They are therefore often more innovative, bringing to the market novel technologies and solutions. And these companies are also more willing to try out other new B2B solutions, while larger companies tend to be more risk-averse. Customer Service Aside from the quality of products and services, arguably one of the most important components of a security company’s success is its ability to interact with and provide customers the support that they deserve. Smaller companies are able to excel and stand out to their customers in a number of ways: Customer service. Customers’ perceptions of a product’s quality are influenced by the quality of support, and smaller manufacturers often possess a strong, motivated customer service team that can be relatively more responsive to customers of all sizes, not just the large ones. A superior level of support generally translates into high marks on customer satisfaction, since customers’ issues with products can be resolved promptly. Flexibility. SMBs have a greater capacity to detect and satisfy small market niches. While large companies generally create products and services for large markets, smaller companies deal more directly with their customers, enabling them to meet their needs and offer customized products and services. And this translates to adaptability, as SMBs become responsive to new market trends. By having a pulse on the market, smaller companies have much more flexibility in their supply chain and can adjust much faster in response to changing demand. Decision-making. Smaller companies are much more agile in decision-making, while larger enterprises often suffer from complex, tedious and lengthy decision-making processes. Communication is easier throughout SMBs, as smaller teams enable new ideas to flow and can solve problems faster. Job Satisfaction Employees working for SMBs connect more directly with the company's goals and objectives, which in turn increases motivation and job satisfaction Employees working for SMBs connect more directly with the company's goals and objectives, which in turn increases motivation and job satisfaction. SMBs are also generally more connected to local communities and participation in community activities leads to a greater sense of purpose. Additionally, SMBs have a much smaller impact on the environment, which is increasingly becoming an important consideration for today’s employees and customers. Though Schumacher's book takes a much deeper dive into the large global effects of scale on people and profitability, the general impact of a company’s size on its products and services is clear. It’s important for all players in the security industry to remember that the commitment and dedication to product quality can be found in businesses of all sizes. Ensuring Safety Of People, Property And Assets Large manufacturers may catch your eye, but small business shouldn’t be forgotten, as they can offer end users a robust set of attributes and benefits. While all security companies are aiming to achieve a common goal of providing safety for people, property and assets, smaller businesses can provide extensive value when it comes to driving the economy, innovating in the industry, providing quality employment and offering superior customer service.
ADT Inc.’s acquisition of Red Hawk Fire & Security, Boca Raton, Fla., is the latest move in ADT Commercial’s strategy to buy up security integrator firms around the country and grow their footprint. In addition to the Red Hawk acquisition, announced in mid-October, ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so. Here’s a quick rundown of integrator companies acquired by ADT: Protec, a Pacific Northwest commercial integrator (Aug. 2017); MSE Security, the USA’s 27th largest commercial integrator (Sept 2017); Gaston Security, founded in 1994 as a video surveillance integration company and whose services have since expanded to include intrusion, access control, and perimeter protection (Oct. 2017); Aronson Security Group (ASG), which delivers risk and security program consultants and offers advanced integration services, consulting and design engineers and a National Program Management team (March 2018); Acme Security Systems, among the largest privately held security systems integrators in the Bay Area, focusing on electronic security systems, access control, video networks and more (March 2018); Access Security Integration, a regional systems integrator specializing in design, delivery, installation and servicing of electronic security systems including enterprise-level access control, video and visitor management solutions, perimeter security and security operation command centers (Aug. 2018); In addition to their moves in the commercial integrator space, ADT has also sought to expand their presence in cybersecurity with the following two acquisitions: Datashield, specializing in Managed Detection and Response Services (Nov 2017); Secure Designs, Inc., specializing in design, implementation, monitoring, and managing network defense systems, including firewall services and intrusion prevention, to protect small business networks from a diverse and challenging set of global cyber threats (Aug. 2018). ADT has acquired more than a half-dozen security system integration firms in the last year or so For additional insights into ADT’s game plan and the strategy behind these acquisitions, we presented the following questions to Chris BenVau, ADT’s Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions. Q: ADT has been actively acquiring regional integrators this year – more than a half a dozen to date. Please describe the history of how ADT came to embrace a strategy of acquiring regional integrators as a route to growth? ADT's acquisition of Red Hawk is set to close in December, and brings premiere fire and life/safety solutions BenVau: Our acquisition strategy started at Protection 1 when we embarked on our journey to build out our commercial and national account business and add enhanced integration capabilities to our portfolio. The merger of Protection 1 and ADT brought that foundation to ADT which up to that point was primarily a residentially and SMB-focused company. After the merger, we set out to identify and acquire additional regional integrators that would continue to build on that foundation and deliver enhanced technical solutions, advanced technologies and an expanded service, install and support footprint. Through our acquisitions we now operate two Network Operations Centers and three Centers of Excellence. We are also unique in the industry with the number and variety of certifications, like Cisco and Meraki, our engineers hold which ultimately allows us to offer Managed Security as a Service. They have also enhanced our operational capabilities. Q: What criteria do you use to evaluate whether an integrator is a good “fit” for ADT? BenVau: First and foremost, we look at the culture of the companies. The companies that we target for acquisition must be metrics- and customer service-driven. Secondly, we look at the leadership teams. ADT view their acquisitions more like mergers and take a patient approach to integrating them into their business We have been fortunate in the fact the leadership of the companies we acquired remain with us today in key management and executive positions helping to drive continued growth within their organizations. We also evaluate their current customer base, unique solutions and their ability to complement and enhance our portfolio with the goal of becoming a leading full-service, enterprise commercial provider. Our acquisitions have bolstered our network capabilities, brought enterprise risk management services, and a broader solution set in high-end video and access control solutions. Our most recent acquisition – Red Hawk, set to close in December – brings us premiere fire and life/safety solutions. Q: What changes are typically needed after an integrator is acquired in order to adapt it to the ADT corporate model? BenVau: We view our acquisitions more like mergers and take a patient approach to integrating them into ADT while taking into account their culture. We want to ensure that we find the right positions for their people, embrace the right messaging and put the right processes in place. We acquire these companies because they are the best in their respective businesses and geographies and bring their knowledge and experience in markets or with solutions that we may not have had previous access to. ADT can support clients with their own in-house technicians which helps to ensure a consistent security program Q: How can regional integrators benefit from the ADT brand? Have your newly acquired integrators realised additional growth? BenVau: The companies we have acquired, generally, have exceeded expectations and surpassed initial goals. ADT brings expanded opportunities for these companies as well with our national footprint. Our National Account Sales Team has seen impressive growth over the years and are only limited by our ability to deliver. These integrators help to deliver on that. In the past, the regional players may have had to rely on sub-contractors to service their larger clients. With ADT, we can now support those clients with our own in-house technicians which helps to ensure a consistent security program across multiple locations.Our National Account Sales Team has seen impressive growth over the years and are only limited by our ability to deliver" Q: Are additional integrator acquisitions planned this year and into 2019? How much is enough and when will it end (or slow down significantly)? BenVau: We expect to close on our latest acquisition, Red Hawk, before the end of 2018. Red Hawk brings a national footprint focused on fire/life safety and security to ADT. While ADT already had a robust security offering, Red Hawk will contribute significantly to the fire side of the business. In addition, we will continue to evaluate the companies in the industry to determine if additional acquisitions make sense. Q: Do you expect greater consolidation of the integrator channel in the industry as a whole? Why is this a good time for consolidation? Is it a good M&A market for buyers like ADT? BenVau: We will continue to evaluate companies in the industry to determine if further acquisitions make sense. As for the industry, we can only speak for ourselves. Q: What other trend(s) do you see in the industry that will impact ADT (on the commercial side) in the next year or so, and how?Our focus is on investing in our field organization, in particular our service technicians, engineers and project management teams" BenVau: Networking is a big one. As we continue to drive integration of devices and services, from AI, “the cloud,” machine learning and even analytics, there will be more focus on the network they ride on. A deeper knowledge of network design, bandwidth impact, and system integration will be critical. As part of our acquisition strategy, we focused on talent to add to the team and have been able to add to our bench strength in this area. Q: Any other comments/insights you wish to share about ADT’s strategy, future, and role in the larger physical security marketplace? BenVau: Our focus is on investing in our field organization, in particular our service technicians, engineers and project management teams. The cornerstone of our success lies in our ability to deliver outstanding customer support and service. It starts with sales and the ability to deliver security and life safety technologies, but it ends with a delighted customer who partners with us to help secure the things that matter most to them. Our recent acquisitions have more than doubled our commercial field operations teams and are key to establishing the ADT Commercial brand as a leading full-service provider of enterprise solutions to the marketplace.
More good news for exhibitors on the second day of the Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Las Vegas. Brisk attendance continued early in the day, and then slowed somewhat in the afternoon, but most comments from exhibitors were positive. Exhibitors such as Lenel were “thrilled” with the show, and noticed the steady, good traffic and lots of sales leads. Lenel’s position at the front of the hall probably helped. New developments in mobile credentialing are a big trend at GSX, and Lenel’s BlueDiamond mobile credentials are traveling on a new path, so to speak. The access control company is introducing the idea of “Pathways” as a way of automatically signaling intent to a Bluetooth-enabled smart phone to open a door. A recognizable “pathway” is programmed into the phone, based on signals from nearby readers and locks and also geolocation signals. The system recognizes when a user travels along the pathway and automatically signals the correct door(s) to be opened along the way without the user having to touch his smart phone.A recognizable “pathway” is programmed into the phone, based on signals from nearby readers, locks and also geolocation signals Providing A Lightweight Alternative “When you trigger a pathway, it’s signaling intent to open the door,” says Greg Berry, Vice President Mobile Credentialing, Global Security Products, for United Technologies, parent company of Lenel. “Pathways are customized to a user’s needs and are the common places you are going all the time.” A user who walks the same path daily to the door of an office will find that door opens automatically. Previously using mobile credentials has been “slightly more work than using a badge,” says David Weinbach, Manager of Identity and Product Innovation for Lenel. “Now with Pathways, it’s less work than using a badge.” Specifically, a user no longer has to take out his phone and push a button to signal intent. “Rather than trying to emulate the badge, you create an experience that is better than the badge,” adds Berry. “We want to change the paradigm and turn the market on its ear.”New browser-based clients are being released with each new version of OnGuard software Other news from Lenel includes the release of more mobile and browser-based clients for OnGuard to be used for greater convenience alongside the Window-based clients. Providing a “lightweight” alternative enables some of the functionality of the Windows client in a format that is easy to access on the go. New browser-based clients are being released with each new version of OnGuard software. Cloud-hosted systems using Microsoft Azure are also among the plans for OnGuard, which ultimately will offer on-premises and cloud options. There’s not much comment from the Lenel folks about their parent company United Technologies’ plan to acquire S2 Security, which was announced days before the show. They would only say that the acquisition is waiting for regulatory approval, and that the expectation is that the two companies’ products will be complementary, given S2’s focus on the SMB (small and medium-sized business) market and Lenel’s strength at the enterprise level. The acquisition strategy is to grow both businesses. More details to come about the new combined company. Modern Network Infrastructure NVT Phybridge, a PoE connections company located near the back of the hall, also reported steady booth traffic on Day 2. “There are lots of customers and partners here,” said Steven Fair, Executive Vice President. “We are pleased with the quality of people, but not overwhelmed with the quantity.” FacePRO AI facial recognition is used for real-time searches of terror suspects or criminals throughout a location NVT Phybridge, which provides IP networking products for the telephony industry as well as security, is focused on networking concepts at GSX, in particular the changing requirements for network infrastructure in the age of IoT. We are pleased with the quality of people, but not overwhelmed with the quantity.” Fair uses the term “Modern LAN” to describe the new, changing requirements and in consideration of the specific networking needs of each edge device, whether cameras, sensors, or door access control devices. “Start with the edge device — what does it need from the network? What are its needs and have there been any innovations to enable you to connect to the network more economically?” asks Fair. There is also a green aspect to designing network infrastructure. Can existing equipment, such as coaxial or single twisted-pair cabling, be used, and thus save on disposal costs of the used cabling as well as lowering installation costs? Among NVT Phybridge’s offerings that can serve the changing networking needs in the IoT era is Smart Path PoE, which offers smart power, smart network access and secure connections. The CLEER family of products provides ethernet over existing coaxial cabling to enable easy transition from analog to IP cameras. The PoLRE products supply ethernet and power to travel over a single unshielded twisted pair cable with reach over 400 meters. The products have been used recently to transition a series of cruise ships from analog to IP video without having to replace cabling and spending only two days in dry dock for the installs. A New Focus Away From AI Panasonic is looking to apply AI-based capabilities to vehicle recognition in the near future, with the ability to identify vehicle characteristics Deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be taking a lower profile at this show, perhaps signaling the end of the hype. Companies that mention AI point to specific products that use the technology and are currently available. For example, Panasonic is featuring its FacePRO AI-based facial recognition system. The system uses face images captured from video — grabbing up to 30 to 35 faces a second as video is recorded. The system saves the best of those face images, eliminating extensive duplication, as thumbnails, which are linked to the video footage where the faces appear. To find video in which a face appears, the operator merely drags-and-drops the thumbnail image and commands the system to “go fetch” video that contains that face. The system then produces a timeline showing where the face appears in the feed from each video camera on the premises, so an operator can track the movements of a suspect throughout a facility. The tool helps to simplify and shorten the workflow of locating a suspect in real-time and is affordable for a wider range of uses beyond the traditional airports or high-end applications. The FacePRO software is offered on any Panasonic camera, and works with a separate FacePRO server that is integrated with the video recorder. The system can be added easily to existing systems and is useful for such applications as real-time searches for terror suspects or other criminals throughout a location. Panasonic is also looking to apply AI-based capabilities to vehicle recognition, too, in the near future, with the ability to identify vehicle characteristics such as color, type of vehicle and direction of travel. On the VMS side, Panasonic is transitioning its Video Insight software to a modular approach, tailoring solutions for a growing range of vertical markets, such as transportation and retail, all using “plug-ins” that enhance operation of Video Insight software. No additional license fees are involved That’s just a sampling of what I saw on Day 2 of the show. I have more to share in a final show report, including what I see tomorrow on the final (shortened) day.
The Global Security Exchange (GSX) seems smaller this year, which is not surprising given the absence on the show floor of several big companies such as Hikvision and Assa Abloy (although their subsidiary HID Global has a big booth). A trend affecting the number of companies exhibiting at GSX 2018, and other trade shows, is industry consolidation, which is impacting the show even beyond the fewer exhibitors this year in Las Vegas. GSX is the new branding for the trade show formerly known as ASIS. There was an impressive crowd of visitors waiting for the show floor to open Tuesday morning; the conference part of the program began on Monday. After the attendees filed through the doors, the foot traffic seemed brisk throughout the morning, and was somewhat steady until the end of the first day. Exhibitors as a whole seemed pleased with the first day and cautiously optimistic about the rest of the show. Acquisitions And Consolidation HID Global announced on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch - emphasizing the impact of consolidationEmphasising the impact of consolidation on the industry as a whole, and on this show, was an announcement from HID Global on the first day that they will acquire Crossmatch, a biometric identify management and secure authentication solutions provider. It’s a comparatively large acquisition for the company specializing in trusted identity solutions. Just days earlier, another acquisition also seemed to confirm the trend when UTC Climate, Controls and Security — the owner of Lenel — announced an agreement to acquire S2 Security. The fruits of another recent acquisition was on display at the GSX 2018 hall, where Isonas took its place near the front entrance as part of the Allegion booth, just three months after the global security provider acquired the ‘pure IP access control company.’ Isonas is well positioned in two of the three fastest growing segments of the access control market — IP hardware, which is growing 41 percent per year globally, and access control as a service, or ‘cloud’ technology, which is also outpacing the overall access control market. Allegion also has the third fast-growing segment, wireless locks, covered with its Schlage brand. "New Avenues Of Growth" The early days of new ownership is opening fresh opportunities for both organizations as Allegion seeks to leverage Isonas’ intellectual property and the smaller company finds new avenues of growth in the larger organization, says Rob Lydic, Isonas Global Vice President of Sales. Motorola joined Avigilon in a higher profile role at their booth, emphasizing consolidation in the industry Lydic sees a likelihood of additional acquisitions in the near future in the security space, given the large amount of capital currently available to be deployed, and the large number of entrepreneurial companies looking to make the leap, as Isonas did, from a small booth at the back of the hall to front-and-center as part of a big industry player. Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth. In addition to signage, ownership by Motorola is also impacting the Avigilon product offerings. For example, the Motorola Ally security incident management and communications system has been integrated with Avigilon’s analytics-based event detection, and is being positioned to serve the enterprise market. The system simplifies security operations with a single platform that allows access to critical data, including video and access control systems, directly from any web-enabled device. Another reflection of consolidation: Motorola Solutions is taking a much higher-profile role in the Avigilon booth Avigilon is displaying Motorola Solutions’ CommandCenter Aware integrated with Avigilon’s systems for use with public safety applications to provide dispatchers and intelligence analysts with video feeds, incident details, alerts, data mapping and responder location. Avigilon has also integrated its AI-driven Appearance Search technology with its Access Control Manager system, so video searches can be performed based on a badge credential. The system can automatically pull up any information, whether video or events in the access control system, based on the badge information. It can also be used to search for lost badges, or to view where a person is located in the building. Avigilon introduced an AI appliance that allows existing cameras to be integrated with Appearance SearchThe company introduced an AI appliance that allows existing (non-Avigilon) cameras (up to 20 two-megapixel cameras) to be integrated with Appearance Search. Also, the next generation of analytics allows detection of more things, such objects a person may be holding, or detection based on what they are wearing. The Growth Of The Cannabis Market Although attendees at GSX are generally understood to be more end users than integrators, Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, the parent company of Vanderbilt Industries and ComNet, says he sees little difference in attendees at GSX compared to the ISC West show in the spring. “We see all our resellers here,” he says. Grillo noticed that Day One booth traffic was “not consistently busy, but steady.” Grillo says ACRE expects to be active again soon in the mergers and acquisitions market. The company has grown through six acquisitions since its founding, and has had one divestiture (when it sold Mercury Security to HID last fall). Since selling Mercury, ACRE has been ‘back in the buying mode,’ just looking for the right opportunity, says Grillo. New markets are a theme at GSX, and one of the biggest new opportunities is the cannabis industry. Marijuana has been legalized in dozens of U.S. states, and Canada is on the verge of legalizing the drug. March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics March Networks is among the companies targeting the cannabis industry in a big way. Already across the U.S., March Networks works with multiple cannabis operators to provide video solutions, point-of-sale transaction data, and customer analytics. The business intelligence solutions also aid compliance in the highly-regulated industry. March Networks provides radio frequency identification (RFID) tag to track plants throughout the channel, and tracking is integrated with video systems to provide correlated video views. A couple of exhibitors mentioned to me the need for commercial companies to deploy a comparable level of automation as their employees are accustomed to in the smart home environment. That suggests a need for things such as smartphone integration and voice commands. One exhibitor putting its toe in the water is Hanwha Techwin, which showed an Amazon Echo device used to control a video management system (VMS) with voice commands. Could the simple integration be a preview of the future of control rooms, where security officers merely talk to their equipment rather than operating controls? We’ll be talking to more companies (and maybe a few machines) on Day Two of the show, and will be reporting what we hear.
Wilson James has appointed SmartTask as preferred technology partner and awarded it a deal for the supply of a mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution for a new security contract with National Museums. Under the agreement, the company will now roll out the SmartTask workforce management software to 10 sites including the Natural History Museum, V&A and Science & Industry Museum. This follows a successful trial that achieved significant time savings by removing paperwork and streamlining operational processes. The new partnership between Wilson James and SmartTask will replace an incumbent supplier agreement that no longer met the business and operational requirements of the security, construction logistics and business services provider. Identify Potential Benefits In particular, the retender process for the security contract with Natural Museums required a single provider of a highly-configurable mobile patrol and electronic smart form solution. An initial trial at the Natural History Museum focused on use of electronic forms via SmartTask-enabled smartphones to reduce administration and increase productivity of operational staff. The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms It was designed to identify potential benefits based on the precise requirements of the customer as well as create a suite of seven SmartForms and reports that could deliver standardized data capture and analysis. This included confiscated items and vehicle check SmartForms, scenario testing and incident reporting. The trial highlighted the clear benefits of using the SmartForms, most notably around confiscated items and vehicle forms. Required Monthly Reports Confiscated items, following bag searches carried out at point of entry, historically required between 10-15 minutes to complete and during that time the security officer was away from the floor resulting in lost productivity. Following the adoption of SmartTask, reports can now be created automatically using highly-accurate data, while paper usage and printing requirements have been dramatically reduced. The time savings achieved at the National History Museum by the Wilson James team have led to higher productivity, greater capacity to carry out bag searches and increased visibility of security staff. Management time saving have also been realised in production of required monthly reports, as well as administration savings of 12-hours per week for the Security Duty Managers. Ease Of Deployment Don McCann, Technology Systems Consultant at Wilson James commented: “SmartTask provided significant support throughout the contract bid and contributed to the successful re-signing for a further five years.” SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system" “The solution is now fully operational at five locations – Natural History Museum, National Science & Media Museum, National Railway Museum, Science & Industry Museum and a Wandsworth storage site – with the Science Museum and V&A to follow shortly. SmartTask has also handled a separate project for Bradford Science Festival, which further demonstrated the flexibility of the system, ease of deployment and its suitability for the security sector.” Enhance Customer Satisfaction Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask said: “This latest agreement demonstrates our ability to work closely with our customers to develop advanced workforce management solutions that support business development, customer retention and quality service delivery. We are now partner of choice for a growing number of security organizations based on our proven track record helping to tackle some of the most common and difficult operational challenges they face.” SmartTask is an advanced and simple-to-use employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that enables security companies to better plan and manage their workers, so they are at the right place, at the right time. The cloud-based software solution combines intelligent rostering, live monitoring and integrated proof of attendance across both static and mobile teams, making it the ideal tool to improve operational control, enhance customer satisfaction, and support duty of care to staff.
Ping Identity, the pioneer in Identity Defined Security, announced that its Ping Intelligent Identity Platform powers the engine behind HP Identity (HP ID), an enterprise-wide unified identity management ecosystem. The HP ID initiative is designed to up level customer and partner experiences by providing them with a single identity across all of their HP applications, whether in the cloud or on-premises. With a focus on driving customer experiences, HP selected the Ping Identity platform deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS). This achieved its goal of instituting a single and highly secure identity and access management (IAM) platform across its entire global customer and partner-facing platform. Single Sign-on For 150 Million Customers Ping’s customer IAM platform provides performance and scalability that can keep pace with HP’s continued innovation and growth"The HP ID platform is used by more than 100 business applications and enables single sign-on for over 150 million customer and partner identities across the world, plus thousands more being added each day. Before HP ID, the company was managing more than a dozen separate legacy IAM and authentication systems. User identities were previously housed across disparate data silos, creating a disjointed customer experience. Reinventing Customer Experiences HP Product Manager Jared Meier sums up the success of HP ID, “Ping’s customer IAM platform provides performance and scalability that can keep pace with HP’s continued innovation and growth. Now, customers have a seamless experience when they authenticate across our digital properties.” “Ping and HP share a common vision of innovation, great customer experiences and technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere,” added Andre Durand, CEO, Ping Identity. “We’re proud to support HP in reinventing customer experiences through identity.”
Maxxess, the innovative security management and communications solutions, partnered with the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) to deploy a powerful new security and operations solution that leverages the power of smart mobile devices to maintain comprehensive communications and emergency management operations. Maxxess Ambit, which provides private, two-way, managed messaging and intel on a more personal and intuitive level, received its first wide-scale test during the SAUSD’s annual earthquake preparedness drill called the Great Southern California ShakeOut. SAUSD used Maxxess Ambit as their primary communications solution during the Great Southern California ShakeOut drill “The 2018 Great Shakeout drill was more realistic than in years past,” said Camille Boden, Executive Director or Risk Management for the Santa Ana Unified School District. She further added, “With Maxxess Ambit, our Emergency Operation Center (EOC) was able to receive simulated eyewitness accounts and requests for assistance from multiple staff members at schools across the District. The information with GPS locations provided by Maxxess Ambit came into the EOC rapidly, providing first responders with the specific details they would need if we really had experienced a disaster. The drill tempo was accelerated and provided real-world insight as to what the District could possibly experience in the event of a massive earthquake.” Maxxess Ambit’s “see it, say it” SAUSD used Maxxess Ambit as their primary communications solution during the Great Southern California ShakeOut drill. Maxxess Ambit’s “see it, say it” application kept SAUSD’s EOC fully informed of missing people, dangerous situations, property damage and more during the emergency simulation. This allowed the EOC’s staff to instantly generate various reports and assign the appropriate personnel to respond. One report that came in during the drill was from a school needing to be evacuated, which was immediately assigned to SAUSD’s logistics personnel. Logistics then called the school transportation service and directed them to the correct pick-up spots. The EOC at SAUSD not only took action on reports that came in but was able to anticipate issues resulting from the information collected with Maxxess Ambit. All EOC’s actions were captured for reporting and future audits within Maxxess Ambit. Mass Notification During an earthquake scenario, Maxxess Ambit can broadcast a mass notification that will be sent to all users of the organization During an earthquake scenario, Maxxess Ambit can broadcast a mass notification that will be sent to all users of the organization, by site, by department or even by selected user groups. This allows emergency personnel to quickly monitor staff status, communicate with staff members using an organized interface, and help first responders act efficiently. As end users respond to the mass alert broadcast, a geo-tag is placed on a map to correspond with each mobile user’s location. Unlike systems that handle only one aspect of communications like a mass texting tool, Maxxess Ambit also addresses longstanding security challenges by transforming the way organizations operate on a daily basis. In a school environment, for example, a staff member can activate a duress report via Maxxess Ambit in the event a meeting is becoming emotional or tense. Real-time Chat Session The report would appear on the mobile devices of the school’s security team, enabling a real-time chat session while continuously tracking the staff member’s location. This unique combination of features empowers total awareness by making administrators, teachers, staff and students an integral part of the security solution. Maxxess Ambit is a cloud-based solution that does not require a capital investment in any hardware or servers and is deployed like a mobile app with all information logged into the system for compliance and audit purposes.
With a mission to provide and maintain good quality homes for Blackpool Council’s tenants and leaseholders, BCH has won a number of awards and accreditations for housing, repairs, customer services and community projects. The safety and security of residents is a high priority for BCH, which is why it has used products from STANLEY Products & Solutions for many years. During this time the primary system was made up of a GDX5 door entry system, along with an Indigo 1000 access control system, which were fully integrated. “We have a policy of continual improvement in the service we provide,” explains Anthony Walker, Mechanical & Electrical Officer at BCH. “Although the previous configuration performed well, I was convinced that the business and operational benefits of remote monitoring and the cloud could be utilised by upgrading the Indigo 1000 with a PAC 512 access control system.” Innovative Remote Monitoring Platform The PAC 512 devices control all aspects of two secure doors, with up to two card readers installed as entry and exit readers on each doorAn upgraded system was specified for a BCH site comprising 80 blocks. It utilizes the existing GDX5 front panels, which have been integrated with the PAC 512 controllers to create a highly innovative remote monitoring platform that can be accessed via a PC, tablet or smartphone. This is achieved using a general packet radio service (GPRS) platform, which is a faster and cost-effective means of connecting remote sites via a mobile network. It provides an enhanced service over traditional mobile/landline telephone connections and makes administration of the system more flexible. The PAC 512 devices control all aspects of two secure doors, with up to two card readers installed as entry and exit readers on each door. Each door also has a programmable auxiliary input that may be used for alarm system integration, and an auxiliary output that enables a buzzer or strobe to activate when security is breached or a door is left open. Email Alerts During Equipment Failure In the event of communication loss, the PAC 512 allows all local functionality to continue until the server connection is restored, while the system features an auto-dial or email alert program that, in the event of an equipment failure at one of the locations, sends a notification so that the issue can be quickly rectified. In the event of communication loss, the PAC 512 allows all local functionality to continue until the server connection is restored Explaining the benefits of using PAC 512, Andrew Burton, area sales manager at STANLEY Products & Solutions, says, “The cloud revolution has had a dramatic effect on the physical security equipment industry. Its development into access control technology means that not only can a system be managed remotely, specific personnel can even be granted or denied access to certain areas at different times, making it not only good for security but also for health and safety. “Furthermore, in the event of a theft or antisocial behavior, it is possible to pinpoint exactly who was where and initiate appropriate action, using the live events and reporting.” Remote Diagnostics And Servicing BCH can also access information via the PAC Residential Cloud – helping to further enhance its remote monitoring operation. Remote diagnostics, technical issues and servicing can be carried out, and it’s also possible to remotely view status, set and unset a system and access an event log. For instance, if someone loses a key fob, BCH can access their information, carry out an authorization check, let them into their abode and, if necessary, deactivate the missing device. It also allows the incumbent installer to remotely access the system’s software to physically input any special information such as extended door release times for specific residents. Programming Key Fobs Remotely BCH worked with STANLEY to generate reports which show when a key fob hasn't been used for a specific period of timeWith a number of vulnerable residents, BCH worked with STANLEY Products & Solutions to generate reports which show when a key fob hasn't been used for a specific period of time. Anthony Walker comments, “If the report indicates non-use of a fob, we can take measures to deactivate it, and/or can send someone over to check on the person concerned and, if necessary, notify next of kin or the relevant authorities. “In extreme circumstances, we can also remotely open doors to allow access to the emergency services. Having the ability to immediately and remotely program fobs has been particularly beneficial to our customers who previously would have had to travel to our offices for this to be completed - saving both time and money and making best use of our resources.” Seamless Migration To Cloud With a large number of residents, each with their own key fobs, Anthony Walker was keen to avoid any disruption during the upgrade and wanted to ensure that the process was achieved as seamlessly as possible. Configuring the physical hardware was helped by the installation team’s existing knowledge of STANLEY Products & Solutions’ technology. On-site training was also provided by experts from STANLEY Products & Solutions and, on the very rare occasion when there was a problem, a full support and advice package was available. The use of the PAC Residential Cloud meant that the migration of tenant fob information into new system was straightforwardInstalling a new access control system can often result in replacing existing key fobs with new ones – not only is this costly and inconvenient but there is also an administrative burden associated with transferring all the information to the new devices. However, all these issues were circumvented, as the use of the PAC Residential Cloud meant that the migration of tenant fob information into new system was straightforward – so much so that tenants didn't even realize any change had taken place. In addition, having access control data in the cloud means that it is always backed up. Enhanced Safety And Security BCH’s Anthony Walker considers the installation a total success and concludes, “I initiated this upgrade project because I firmly believed that it would improve tenant satisfaction and make our overall operation more efficient.” He further added, “I’m delighted that both of these objectives have been achieved and that STANLEY Products & Solutions’ access control technology has improved security, safety and protection across our estate.”
Premier League football club Everton FC has deployed SureCloud’s GDPR suite to manage and monitor its data and GDPR compliance, enabling the club to work towards GDPR compliance, optimize internal processes and position it strategically for the future. The solution replaced Everton FC’s manual data mapping and processing methods. Manual Data Mapping And Processing Everton FC’s databases are extensive, containing details on over 32,000 season ticket holders and over 600,000 registered fans, with details on around 360 employees, players, agents, suppliers, and individuals associated with the club’s community charity and partner school. Much of this information is sensitive. This data and all of the processes associated with it were being manually managed and tracked in a series of Excel spreadsheets. With multiple requests and queries to respond to every day, the club’s Data Protection Officer was struggling to record and manage smaller ad hoc queries, incidents, and tasks. With GDPR due to place much tighter restrictions on how the club processed, managed and shared its data – as well as on the reporting of any incidents that did occur – the club needed a more comprehensive and reliable tool in place before 25th May 2018. SureCloud Platform The club approached its long-standing IT support provider NCC to find a solution. NCC recommended the SureCloud GDPR Suite, delivered on the SureCloud platform. After SureCloud had successfully demonstrated the ability to provide full visibility for management and automation of GDPR processes across the organization, Everton FC selected its cloud-based suite of solutions. Two dashboards were created according to Everton FC’s specific needs Two dashboards were created according to Everton FC’s specific needs: one to show all data mapping and transfers, including where data is being held and who it is being shared with; and one showing incidents and requests, including a subject request register and incident tracker path. This gives an immediate overview of which requests are still outstanding, such as a request for an individual’s personal information to be erased from the database. SureCloud GDPR Suite The five applications Everton FC chose to deploy from the SureCloud GDPR Suite were: GDPR Program Tracker - to enable the club to map all its disparate data and workflows using intelligent risk-based questions GDPR Management – to provide all mandatory GDPR business-as-usual processes Information Asset Management - to record and maintain the club’s entire data inventory Compliance Management for GDPR - to help Everton FC speed up their process of attaining compliance and on-going real-time risk remediation Incident Management for GDPR – to meet the GDPR requirement to log, track and notify the ICO of any data breaches, should an incident arise Ian Garratt, Data Protection Officer at Everton FC said: “The penalties for not achieving GDPR compliance are severe – up to 4% of our revenues, or €20 million. It was imperative that we got a solution in place that could not only help us achieve GDPR compliance but would also make it quick and easy for us to demonstrate that compliance at any point, on request. SureCloud’s GDPR Suite fit the bill.” Centralized Data Management Now, all of Everton FC’s disparate data are mapped, risk-assessed and tracked in a single centralized system “We are now tracking and recording every single data request in a centralized way. With NCC’s support, SureCloud’s solution has brought a comprehensive clarity to our data processing that was impossible to achieve with manual spreadsheets. The system is so intuitive; it has helped us streamline multiple processes and undertake impact assessments that we couldn’t handle before.” Now, all of Everton FC’s disparate data are mapped, risk-assessed and tracked in a single centralized system. All changes and requests are automatically tracked so that activity records and data audits can be produced at the click of a button. Should an incident like a suspected data breach occur, it is identified and reported immediately and automatically. The club’s data protection team can select which asset has been affected and immediately determine the severity of the incident and whether it needs to be reported to the ICO. Should it need to be escalated, the report is available instantly. Data Processing, Documentation And Risk Management Ian Garratt added: “The SureCloud GDPR Suite isn’t just a compliance tool; it’s a comprehensive management tool. We now have a continuous, real-time status of where we are and what we need to be doing in terms of data processing, documentation and risk management. It would have simply been impossible to achieve this manually. SureCloud has not only helped us to work towards GDPR compliance they have optimized our internal processes and positioned us strategically for the future.” In addition to deploying five applications within the GDPR suite, SureCloud is currently adapting its Incident Assessment tool to meet Everton FC’s specific requirements.
To succeed in business, one must be brilliant at one thing. In many cases it’s a skill, such as art, coding, engineering or design. Or that one brilliant attribute can also be a personality trait or a business process. No business will be successful unless it is at least adequate, and preferably superb, in product development, sales, and customer engagement - not to mention finance, planning, marketing and recruiting. Too many VMS producers are trying to do all these things themselves when they should be doubling up on what they are best at and leveraging the rest. It is a new mindset. Instead of obsessing about which ‘me-too’ product to supply, software producers could make their first priority finding complementary and compatible partners. Developing A Partnership Ecosystem One partner might see the opportunity to sell a solution. Another partner might know a better way to distribute a product. A third partner might provide the vertical expertise to get the customer a perfectly tailored solution. By leveraging partners and developing a partner ecosystem, a company will tend to have more unique offerings and the ability to execute faster in an ever-changing world. All this additional partner horsepower is still no guarantee a company will succeed but partnerships will also give a company a feedback channel. Many stand-alone companies plod along, never quite failing, but never getting better either. Partners are less likely to tolerate business limbo. They will be quick to utilize great products, and less wedded to the concept if it doesn’t prove out. Because the partners are in close contact with the market, they are the first responders to changing or developing needs. This is why a company should listen very closely to their partners: They are the feet on the street and the ears to the beat! Open Platform Matters Producing software takes time, and producing great software takes even longer All of this is not possible, however, if a company produces closed platform software. This is software whose functions can only be changed by the original developers. Producing software takes time, and producing great software takes even longer. This means low agility. The partners might identify great opportunities, but before the closed platform software producer can react, the opportunities might be gone - or worse, be grabbed by competitors. The slow reaction capabilities of closed platform providers will frustrate partners and may lead to the worst of all complications in a partnership: distrust. Add-On Modules and Intrinsic Scripting When the products are based on an open platform, however, they are adaptable. Then the partners have the ability to change the solution through the open software architecture. Not by changing the basic code (that would be open source) but by add-on modules and intrinsic scripting abilities. Total Integrated Solution Open platform means that the partner can easily extend and enhance the software into a total integrated solution Open platform means that the partner can easily extend and enhance the software into a total integrated solution to fulfill the customer’s needs with the minimum of effort. This gives agility, and agility means fast go-to-market abilities. Just what is needed in this fast-moving world. There are some important things to note here. The ways to extend and enhance the software have to be easy and well documented. The partners must have access to training and knowledge sharing. (It does not help to have a system for extending the capabilities of the software if the partners have to guess at the process and the documentation is rudimentary.) Open Access Is Key It is important that the business philosophy is based on openness, giving the partners full access to all relevant information. And openness is a two-way street: By being open for your partners, you also have to be open about their business. A partner might be able to develop a highly sophisticated solution but be unable to market the solution. By building a catalog of partner solutions easily accessible to customers, openness extends to ensure open access to the partners. Openness is not something a business can just tack on to their approach. It has to be in the DNA of the business from the start. In a Harvard Business Review article entitled ‘Predators and Prey: A new ecology of competition,’ JF Moore says: “A business ecosystem, like its biological counterpart, gradually moves from a random collection of elements to a more structured community.” Structured Business Ecosystem Milestone has seen this progression within the company's ecosystem Milestone has seen this progression within the company's ecosystem. They introduced training and certification requirements as part of the partnership success structure, ensuring knowledge is shared and also used in a way that is most mutually beneficial for all involved. Moore also writes: “Every business ecosystem develops in four distinct stages: birth, expansion, leadership and self-renewal.” At present, Milestone and its partners are entering into the ‘leadership’ stage, where video enabling is creating opportunities beyond those offered by a traditional video surveillance system, and into areas that provide additional business benefits to our customers. Video Enabling “A leader must emerge in the ecosystem,” Moore says, “to initiate a process of rapid, ongoing improvement that draws the entire community toward a grander future.” This is the role Milestone has played in leading the industry towards the video enabling phase and redefining the industry’s expectations of what a surveillance system is capable of. In the article, Moore underlines that “executives whose horizons are bounded by the traditional industry perspectives will find themselves missing the real challenges and opportunities that face their companies.” Getting Connected Connectors are those people with a wide range of contacts across different social circles In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell describes what he calls ‘The Law of the Few,’ which says: "The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts." This is based on the 80/20 principal, “which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the 'work' will be done by 20 percent of the participants." He goes on to identify three types of people with these gifts: Salesmen, who are skilled in persuasion and negotiation; Mavens, who collect and disseminate useful information; and Connectors. Connectors are those people with a wide range of contacts across different social circles who can make introductions and create links between otherwise disparate individuals. Milestone, Key Connector In Physical Security Industry In the wider scheme of things, Milestone effectively acts as a ‘Connector’ in the business ecosystem and in the overall physical security industry. Milestone brings together companies who are brilliant in their respective fields and make it easy for them to work together to create a valuable solution for the customer. The company provides the environment for that to occur and work closely with them to ensure that the end result is useful and effective. At Milestone, partners realized that significant investments in education and training was required to create the demand for the company's products and solutions that the conservative physical security industry required. The value of partnership was learnt and the ‘open’ approach adopted, which was a central part of the thinking behind our software. Adopting The Scandinavian Management Model Milestone effectively acts as a ‘Connector’ in the business ecosystem and in the overall physical security industry Milestone extended this approach to the entire business model, creating the ecosystem that has been the driving force for success. And while the company embraced the best of the Scandinavian management model, its inclusiveness and encouragement of creativity, they still needed to have the courage to make changes to the business, changes which would ensure the best possible position to take on whatever challenges the future might hold. Milestone Partner Ecosystem Milestone have always worked in a partner-driven business mode. The company from the start was designed to be open and partner oriented. The Milestone partner ecosystem is a fundamental part of its mindset and daily operations. It is one of the major reasons for getting the company to the position where it is today. To be in a company without the partner component would be like cutting the internet and phone cables while reverting to telex and written paper letters! The company would be developing products in the dark, not knowing the demand. Open Business World Today, Milestone's partners are delivering optimal solutions to mutual customers, building a better and open business world with video as a business enhancer. All thanks to the company's open platform and community approach. To have a flourishing partner ecosystem, one must think not as a corporation but in human terms. Because companies don’t think, humans do. In all senses of the word, there is one thing that will contribute more to the success of a partnership than anything else; 'Give before hoping to receive'.