Qualification & Training
Cyber Management Alliance, the global frontrunner in cyber crisis management and training, is delighted to announce that its highly popular course, Cyber Incident Planning & Response (CIPR) has become the first course to be certified by the recently-rebranded NCSC’s certified training scheme, provided by APMG International. The Cyber Management Alliance course was first certified by the Government Scheme in 2016 and is also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Information Security...
Panasonic has launched a free online resource for businesses to help them to continue to learn, change and share in the ‘new normal’ work environment. Panasonic BizTalk Panasonic BizTalk brings together a series of digital talks, webinars, training and Q&A’s with Panasonic experts and partners across its entire range of business technology. Areas of interest covered include mobile computing, security, broadcast, business communication and visual solutions, as well as ind...
3xLOGIC, Inc., a globally renowned provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, has announced extended deadlines to sign up and complete its free infinias and VIGIL certification training courses, as well as sister company, Sonitrol’s CLOUD Access and mySonitrol.net courses. Sign up for zero-cost training now ends on 31 May, 2020 and participants have 30 days to complete the courses, even if they sign up on the last day of registration. eLearning Academy During these challeng...
The Security Industry Association (SIA) is now accepting applications for its new scholarship program, the SIA Women in Security Forum Scholarship program. This initiative, developed by the SIA Women in Security Forum, which offers programs, professional development opportunities and networking events to support the involvement of women in the security industry, will offer multiple scholarships worth at least US$ 3,000 each to further educational opportunities for awardees and help them t...
Paxton announced that the company is introducing a new online access control training program for installers. Easily accessible via the company website, the training program offers installers more options and opportunities to enhance their skills anytime, anywhere. Online access control training Paxton is currently offering a free 30-day license to people who register before June 1, 2020. The online training program consists of bite-sized modules arranged by product covering Paxton’...
Genetec Inc. (“Genetec”), a renowned technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions announced that it is significantly expanding its digital initiatives to make it easier for customers and partners to stay connected and informed over the coming months. Following the success of Connect’DX, the Genetec virtual trade show and conference, the company is planning a similar event in the fall. Genetec is also ramping up its edu...
Mitie Security, one of UK’s renowned technology-led security business, has become one amongst the first business in the sector to successfully pilot virtual accredited training modules. Mitie is working in partnership with the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and Highfield Qualifications, the license awarding body, to provide online access to the training course which is required to become a licensed security guard. Previously candidates were required to attend on-site courses. However, with social distancing measures in place, an innovative training solution was required to meet the growing demand for licensed Security Officers to support the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six Mitie employees took part in the pilot, successfully completing their training and, after passing their assessments, were awarded their SIA licenses. Access and egress control More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks More than 50 Mitie employees are expected to complete their courses in the coming weeks. Designed for people wanting to take their first step into a career in the security industry, the virtual security guarding course consists of 20 hours of virtual training in the form of live tutorials. These are delivered via video conference over a minimum of three days. During this time, participants cover a number of specialist and management modules, such as health and safety, patrolling, searching, access and egress control, and avoiding and defusing conflict. To ensure that the SIA standards are met, the Security Industry Authority and Highfield Qualifications supervisors also make unannounced visits by joining the live tutorials. CCTV Level 2 At the end of the course the participants are required to take three online assessments on invigilated software to test their knowledge and competency. Once submitted, the online test results can be delivered in just 20 minutes, significantly faster than the two to three weeks that it normally takes for on-site exams to be graded. Following the success of the licencing training, Mitie will be rolling out a ‘CCTV Level 2’ online course. With many buildings across the country closed due to lockdown, this will ensure security teams are equipped to carry out roles now encompassing the increased use of CCTV. Retail and healthcare As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training" Jason Towse, Managing Director of Business Services, Mitie, said, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to our sector – one of which has been unprecedented demand for Security Officers in key sectors such as retail and healthcare at a time when people are physically unable to attend training." "As the UK’s leading technology-led security business, we’re proud to be paving the way with this virtual training, offering people the chance to kick-start their career in security and supporting the efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to our Learning & Development team for making this happen and congratulations to all our new colleagues that have successfully completed their accreditation online. We look forward to welcoming many more.” Enhance business practices Ian Todd, CEO, SIA, said, “This is an example of fantastic partnerships in action. With Mitie’s passion and support, along with other providers, we have been able to pilot a new approach to training in quick time. At the SIA we are always keen to see innovation in the way that training is delivered, without losing the integrity of the qualification." "The excellent collaboration between the two organizations shows that despite these uncertain times, we can continue to improve and enhance our business practices. We will now fully evaluate the pilot, including with other providers who have taken part. Thank you to all involved for making this possible.”
Security industry professionals seeking the annual trend and product news updates they’ve always learned at trade shows now have a new option. From May 12 to May 14, 2020 fifteen industry renowned experts in the field of security will present their latest insights and solutions at a new online event called Virtual Security Showcase. Virtual Security Showcase The event is being presented free of charge. Attendees will benefit from the open flow of information on the latest solutions for professional security and business intelligence applications at this virtual event. Participating companies represent a range of disciplines, including access control, surveillance, analytics, edge devices, software solutions, key management, power management, and much more. Each presentation in the Virtual Security Showcase will be a 30-minute online session followed by a live Q&A session. Attendees can register for one, or all, of the sessions for no cost whatsoever.
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) is again arming members, and the industry, through the COVID-19 crisis. This time, with free online sales training and resources. ESA has teamed with its Choice Service Provider, Braveheart Sales Performance, to deliver industry-specific online sales training and resources. A webinar on the topic was offered to the industry at large (an on-demand recording can be found on ESAweb.org). Throughout the session, Gretchen Gordon, Sales Team Development Expert, provided advice on effectively managing a remote sales team and helped security and fire pros navigate selling through the pandemic, answering questions like: what should salespeople be saying to prospects during the crisis? Complimentary access to entire program In addition to the webinar, ESA Member companies will now have complimentary access to an entire program of sales training, developed by Braveheart, for a deeper dive in processes and tactics that drive sales. “We were hearing a need from members,” says CEO Merlin Guilbeau. “We had business owners and C-level executives from companies across the nation hungry for advice on selling throughout the crisis." "In response, ESA quickly teamed with Braveheart to deliver a webinar specific to selling in this new COVID-19 environment we’re all navigating. We felt it important to open this webinar up to the entire industry so all can experience the value ESA brings to member companies.” Life safety integration The association then worked through a deal to subsequentially offer a comprehensive sales development program free-of-charge to its members. Today, throughout the pandemic, we are working harder than ever to deliver on that promise" “It’s embedded in the fiber of who we are as the industry’s largest and longest-standing association for security and life safety integration and monitoring companies to be that essential resource. We are always seeking avenues to boost the businesses of our members,” says Guilbeau. Advice-sharing opportunities “Today, throughout the pandemic, we are working harder than ever to deliver on that promise with legislative efforts, online resources, training, and advice-sharing opportunities.” ESA Members will have two weeks of free access to SecuritySalesPro, an industry-tailored online sales training resource, built to maximize the efficiency of salespeople and teams. Developed a proven process “We have developed a proven process to help individuals in the security and fire industries execute at their highest level, whether they are sales team leaders or salespeople,” says Braveheart President, Gretchen Gordon. “We were happy to share some of this knowledge we’ve developed with the industry during a time when many salespeople are really struggling to figure this all out.” Sales topics covered in the online courses include: Value Propositions that Sell Goal Setting Sales Communication Process Time and Territory Management Prospecting, Referral Gathering and Lead Generation Building Relationships to Earn Trust Level the Sales Playing Field with Covenants Questions and Fact Finding Qualifying and Disqualifying to Save Time Negotiation and Managing Objections The free two-week education subscription for ESA Members and specific instructions for accessing the training were sent to all primary contacts from ESA Member companies.
Digital Watchdog (DW), globally renowned provider of digital recorders, surveillance cameras and related management software, has announced the availability of the DW University Online Learning Portal. DW University Online Portal The new website includes a wealth of product and sales training content presented in learning modules that users can complete at their discretion. Registration is free, as are training classes. Certification courses require an annual subscription. However, through April 30, the certification subscription is half price with the promo code discount50. “DW University takes the product and sales training curriculum that is typically presented in person and makes it available online and on demand,” said Jay Kelly, Field Applications Engineer, DW. “For example, a person who needs certification or re-certification on our DW Spectrum software can now go online and learn the material in multiple sessions rather than participating in an all-day live training.” DW University Online features include: Free registration Learn at comfortable pace: Everyone’s place is saved in the module being studied Free product and sales trainings Web-based product certification courses Annual subscription of US$ 129 covers all certification courses SPECIAL OFFER: 50% off the annual certification course subscription through April 30, 2020. Use the promo code discount50 when purchasing the first certification course to receive the discount. Easy access to certification courses and training classes Registration is accomplished by visiting the DW University website at dwuniversity.digital-watchdog.com and clicking on the SIGNUP link in the upper right corner of the screen. Registered users can see all the certification courses and training classes available and track their progress. An annual subscription of US$ 129 covers all certification courses. When signing up for your first certification course, you will be prompted to pay for the annual certification course subscription with a major credit card. Through April 30, 2020, users get 50% off the annual certification course subscription by inputting the promo code discount50 when purchasing their first certification course.
ACRE brands, Vanderbilt and ComNet have announced the release of an Online Events and Learning page on their website. The launch of this new resource is in response to the current postponement of tradeshow events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlining what visitors to the Online Events and Learning page can expect, Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications, Vanderbilt Industries explains “Our commitment is to make the customer’s security journey the best possible experience and that is what this Online Events and Learning page primarily focuses on. By taking a customer-first approach, we aim to highlight all of our customer-first value adds, such as our free online training services, multilingual customer service support, and free product demonstrations”. Award-winning security solutions He adds, “On top of this, we will also be hosting a series of webinars based on some of our most innovative solutions. These will be delivered by our in-house experts and will be a great opportunity for our customers to engage directly with some of the top minds behind these products in our company.” The Online Events and Learning approach by Vanderbilt and ComNet is built on a foundation of customer-focused core values such as empowerment, collaboration, and high performance. The current fruits of these core values will be on display for visitors to the Online Events and Learning page to see. For instance, detailed and engaging webinars on Vanderbilt’s award-winning products will include cloud-based solutions ACT365 and SPC Connect, plus intrusion system SPC and access control system, ACTpro. ACTpro access control system ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about ACTpro, in particular, embodies the customer-first and high-performance approach being talked about. It is a product that has continued to evolve based on customer requirements from the field, with its latest features including a “best-in-class” rules mapping engine and PoE Ultra controllers, plus Bluetooth readers and Biometric fingerprint readers that were recently added to the portfolio. “Our drive to become all-around solution companies has seen us harness numerous tools to complement a buyer’s journey from start to finish," Wilks said, adding "One prominent aspect of this strategy, which visitors to our Online Events and Learning page can also explore for themselves, is our webshop platform. This value-add has been available to our customers for less than a year, but already it has proved to pack a considerable punch in bringing about customer satisfaction to our base." Centralized Asset Management System The webshop optimizes the goal to serve customers 24/7. Accessed through Vanderbilt’s main website, the webshop presents a simplified, intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. How-to videos assist with any questions that may arise, and an improved product hierarchy and centralized Asset Management System (AMS) ensure all support materials are relevant and up to date. Upcoming webinars include: Vanderbilt CPD Event - Electronic Security (16-04-2020) Port Guardian & Implementation in Solutions (28-04-2020)
The six free CEU courses that the Electronic Security Association (ESA) offered for free through the month of March 2020 will remain available free of charge through April 2020, ESA has announced. The Electronic Security Association took the price tag off these online CEU courses to support electronic security and life safety companies during the on-going coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak. ESA’s free CEU online courses As the situation has progressed and guidelines for social distancing have been extended, Electronic Security Association (ESA) has decided to likewise extend the free course offerings so that industry’s professionals can continue learning online free of cost through the month of April 2020 as well. Learners and professionals have accessed thousands of hours of material across hundreds of courses at ESA’s National Training School during the past two weeks. The free CEU courses available online during this time include: Job Safety Reminders Troubleshooting Panels and Power Supplies Troubleshooting Intrusion Alarm Devices Codes and Standards Refresher Methods to Reduce False Alarms
When we popped the champagne to celebrate the start of a new year in January, not many could predict that less than three months later, we’d be facing a global pandemic and the economic challenges that a worldwide lockdown would bring. In conversations over the last several weeks, reports from integrators have vacillated between being flush with work or fearful that projects were drying up — without a whole lot in the middle. But in these conversations, a central theme has emerged: diversification. My background was heavily rooted in security integration but in the last 10 years shifted to risk — both management and mitigation practices — and this emerged long before I began my career in security. It isn’t a new phenomenon for companies to be looking at the risk management strategies they had in place and rethinking their direction. This global pandemic, and the effects it has had on the workforce, has significantly altered what many organizations deem “normal” day-to-day operations, meaning that many organizations are asking one key question: “Can my business withstand this?” The challenge exists in ensuring asset security For many end users, the challenge exists in ensuring asset security in locations that are experiencing low occupancy as a result of work-from-home policies or in vacant facilities altogether. For integrators, there is a balance between continuing to install projects while keeping the health and well-being of technicians and employees top-of-mind. Considering these factors, business resiliency in times of crisis can be built by integrators implementing the following strategies: Diversify the portfolio As an industry, it’s safe to say that the winds of change are beginning to shift away from solely “per project” to more recurring monthly revenue (RMR) business models — and today’s crisis may be the catalyst for more of this change. Integrators that embraced this model in the early days, despite the hurdles that a transition like this brings, are seeing the benefits of this move. In economic downturns, RMR allows an organization to map out incoming revenue streams and ensures money will continue to come in despite restrictions on new products and investments from customers. Offer more service-based products Part of diversifying a portfolio involves engaging in a more service-based approach to business. Establishing a monitoring services department, integrating a cloud-based video and/or access control service into the mix, or bringing more system monitoring services in play can go a long way in offering more than hardware-driven sales. We’ve talked a lot in the last several years about so many organizations transitioning from large capital expenditures (CAPEX) to more operational expenditures (OPEX) and the opportunities this presents to integrators; now is the time for providers to harness this trend for the health of their business. Emphasize the management Through managed services, the value for the customer is that integrators take on the diagnostics, testing, remote monitoring and more — all via the cloud or hosted models, which means fewer “truck rolls” and costs associated. In the current environment, saving a visit to a site can help protect technicians. For new customers, the external management of a system can mean all the difference as there are a number of end users that don’t need a headache that legacy systems create as it relates to maintenance, updates and manpower oversight. Securing an integrator’s business can mean being able to serve customers by diagnosing and triaging issues quickly and highlighting the value provided in day-to-day management. Look at new vertical markets From a resilience perspective, critical infrastructure and government-related markets, such as water and energy, and local and municipal customers rarely see a reduction in spending amidst a downturn, which can make these markets a solid investment for integrators. While some of the regulatory requirements in place, such as adherence to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and GSA contract guidelines, may be daunting, the ability for firms to weather the storm by serving these markets can help integrators see continued success. Understand your books One of the first things that integrators must do before a crisis hits is to understand their balance sheet. So many integrator firms are built on the premise of being really exceptional at highly technical and complicated installations, which is why they are good at what they do. But the real challenge is the balance of this ability with the skills needed to grasp business continuity from a bookkeeping and planning perspective. Act as a consultant One of the biggest challenges for customers during a crisis is making quick decisions that can impact the rest of the organization both in the short- and long-term. In the security environment and the status of where the world is currently, the needs customers had a month ago are far different than now, so acting as a consultant and working with them to address their concerns through existing technology — or recommending new solutions — can mean all the difference in building a relationship with existing customers or in working with new ones. Offer services that leverage existing investments So many customers out there today have invested heavily in video surveillance equipment and hardware that they want to ensure will be around for the long haul. Investing in new equipment can be a real hindrance in normal circumstances, much less those we’re currently facing, so it’s critical that more open solutions are offered to customers. For example, cloud-based video offerings that leverage existing cameras and allow end users to configure them with the touch of a button are a value-added benefit that can favor integrators in the long run. Continue training your staff Right now, while many integrators see a slow down taking place, it’s critical that those with the means to do so offer more value to end users by incorporating continued education and training for technicians. This can go a long way in making the services offered more appealing to customers. Integrators who set aside resources to train staff and encourage certifications are building a foundation for success. There’s no way that integrators can address the demands placed on them without investing in the people within their organization. Integrators and security leaders are tasked now with the added complexity of navigating a worldwide crisis. While so many see the challenges ahead, there is opportunity within these challenges to take forward-thinking business practices and implement them on a broader scale. Doing so can have the potential to change the face of the industry as we know it.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research program to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 program and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the program, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative Review Team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the program by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Center Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating For The Security Industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organized paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavor to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the program. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the center’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilizing the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes In The GSA Program Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical Access Control Products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labor SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates To Guidance For Procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA program for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorized by the manufacturer. GSA Pricing Tool Since the GSA utilizes a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming Challenges For The Security Community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) program that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorized under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 Leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward The GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernization is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable Tools For Vendor Training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod program have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
What a year it’s been! 2017 has been a monumental period of product innovation and growth for Pivot3. The company experienced a more-than-50-percent increase in bookings from Q2 to Q3 this year, including a record number of million-dollar orders. We also saw deals supporting multiple use cases more than double, and experienced continued growth in the video surveillance market, driven by new product enhancements and contracts worth more than $1 million. We have also invested in building an influential group of surveillance-focused experts internally, and increased our focus on building strong partnerships with major VMS players, key systems integrators and other aligned-technology providers, such as Iron Mountain and Lenovo. A More Robust Industry It wasn’t only Pivot3 that had a healthy year; the industry, as a whole, is robust. Investment in technology is growing in markets ranging from public sector organizations, municipalities, gaming and transit agencies — all seeking technology solutions that drive value, increase intelligence and reduce risk. It is the drive for data that propels the video surveillance industry forward. A respected industry thought leader said recently that “data is the modern currency,” and video is the most prominent Big Data application in the world (by far). Those vendors and installers that understand how to help organizations capture, analyze and leverage data will be the ones who secure their future in the marketplace. A respected industry thought leader said recently that “data is the modern currency" Honest Predictions Last year, I predicted that cybersecurity would become of greater importance to our market and that prediction was on point. Data security has become the number one concern in the industry, widely because users are moving back to more-trusted brands that focus on implementing cybersecurity protocols into network devices. In the coming year, cybersecurity will continue to be a primary focus — and it must be — for all product vendors, integrators and end-users. The adoption of standards and guidelines around data security for physical security technology will be imperative to ensuring data integrity. An Era Of Evolution Over the past year, deep learning and artificial intelligence have become some of the most quoted buzzwords. Organizations see the value in leveraging these trends to analyze data more efficiently, and because of recent market innovations, we see a real impact an analytics effectiveness. Additionally, we have seen more and more large organizations migrate more of their security function to the cloud. Today, private-cloud architecture is no longer novelty; it is expected, and despite some well-publicised breaches, the public cloud is now considered more secure than some traditional on-site solutions. Cloud-based systems will be deployed much more frequently across some market segments, from SMEs to larger enterprises The Year To Come As 2018 approaches, I expect to see many of these same trends accelerate even further. Cloud-based systems will be deployed much more frequently across some market segments, from SMEs to larger enterprises. AI will become more mainstream, and analytics solutions will become more advanced. Overall, we at Pivot3 look forward to another strong growth period and seeing the continued evolution of the market as we swing into another year.
The drive for learning doesn’t diminish, even in times of a global pandemic. To accommodate the demands of social distancing, more training today happens online. “We have seen unprecedented international demand for our portfolio of online training courses ranging from small installation companies to the largest organizations, across a wide range of sectors,” says Jerry Alfandari, Group Marketing Manager of Linx International Group, a U.K. training firm. “More than ever, businesses are looking to ensure they have the skills in-house to coordinate their response to the changing situation. Individuals are also taking this time to upskill themselves for when we return to ‘normal’ by bringing something with them they didn’t have before. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people are still seeking to better themselves for what will be, eventually, a competitive market.” Expert security training Topics such as CCTV, Access Control, Intruder and Fire Tavcom Training, part of the Linx International Group, provides technical security training delivered by expert tutors on topics such as CCTV, Access Control, Intruder and Fire and also CCTV Control Room and Security Management. Given the practical nature of the courses, the majority have historically been delivered in a state-of-the-art training centre through interactive workshops. However, in order to best protect their staff and learners, and following government guidelines, Tavcom have closed their training centre for the time being. Learners are still able to book into classroom courses for later in the year with a choice of two learning centres now being offered: Hampshire or the recently established training centre in Shipley. For those who prefer to learn online, Tavcom delivers accredited online security training. “Given the situation we are all in at the moment, our online courses have seen an 86% increase in demand over the last several months,” says Alfandari. All online courses offer the same level of support as the classroom courses, with many accredited to BTEC level 3 and 5, catering to professionals of varying skill levels and experience. Improve your professional development “Our online courses remain as accessible as ever, with huge numbers of security systems engineers and professionals seeking to use this [quarantine] time to improve their professional development,” Alfandari says. “We encourage all people to consider the benefits of eLearning and, if they need any advice, to reach out to the Tavcom training team.” It’s more important now than ever before that learners are able to access Tavcom’s online learning programmes and continue in their professional development, he says. To help facilitate learning, the company has discounted 25% off the portfolio of eLearning courses, many of which are BTEC accredited and come with expert tutor support. We are also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses" “We are also introducing new interactive ways of teaching traditionally classroom-based courses with the aid of Zoom virtual classroom courses, led by our tutors,” says Alfandari. “From the learner’s own home, they will be able to undertake their chosen training course and return to the training centre later in the year to complete the practical assessment.” Skillsets remain in demand Even the most well-prepared organizations with extensive contingency plans have been stunned by the scale and speed of the current situation. Alfandari says: “We are finding especially our Intruder Alarms courses for repair and maintenance engineers have been exceptionally popular; those skill sets remain as in demand as ever in these troubled times.” A sister company, PerpetuityARC Training, offers Security Management BTEC Level 4 and Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management BTEC Level 4 courses that are purposely designed to help businesses and those responsible for security learn how to identify threats, risks and vulnerabilities, and create a comprehensive plan that will enable practical measures to be applied to mitigate the impact. Both courses run via two media: classroom or online and are tutor-supported so learners have a choice according to what best suits their needs and requirements. An online Essential Security Practices course is comprised of 12 modules designed to introduce the essentials of corporate security. Modules can be bought individually or as a whole course and will establish fundamental knowledge of best security practice. “It’s a great starting place if you’re new to security or want to brush up on your expertise,” says Alfandari. Maintaining a security presence is a challenge during a global pandemic. “With people following guidelines by staying at home, we’ve been working hard to drive the message that learning doesn’t stop just because you can’t go out,” says Alfandari. “People may think that because they can’t get to the training centre then they can’t train, but that’s just not the case.” Learning in these unprecedented times Our training centres may be closed for now, but our courses are still very much running" Between Tavcom Training and PerpetuityARC Training, there are more than 20 distance learning courses including ASIS International and The Security Institute, all of which can be accessed at home, at a learner’s own pace. “It’s important that people understand that we’re still here, still available and that we haven’t ‘gone away’,” says Alfandari. “Our training centres may be closed for now, but our courses are still very much running. “ “These are, without doubt, extremely difficult times,” he adds. “We are here for our learners. Our team are working hard behind the scenes to facilitate the best possible learning experience during this time, and we encourage all potential learners to really use this and make the most of it. Whether you want a refresher in security basics or finally to start on that qualification you’ve been putting off, we are here to help you in your professional development.” Rhiannon Limbert, Marketing Coordinator for Linx International Group, contributed to this content.
The next chapter of the Pelco saga began in May when Pelco Inc. was acquired by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm, from Schneider Electric. Since the acquisition, Transom Capital has been working with Pelco’s management and employees to define and direct that next chapter. “The more time we spend with the company, the more excited we are about the opportunity,” says Brendan Hart, Vice President, Operations, Transom Capital Group. In addition to his position with Transom, Hart has taken on an interim line role at Pelco as Vice President of Product and Strategy. After helping to oversee Pelco’s rebuilding phase, he expects to step away from daily involvement over time. “We have gained an appreciation for nuance [since the acquisition closed],” he said. “The channels, the relations, how people buy in this industry are very nuanced. Who’s gone where and who’s done what? The interplay of hardware and software. We have gained appreciation for the nuance. And we need to be surrounding ourselves with people who know the industry, who know the multi-dimensional areas.” Transition from analog to IP systems We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs” It’s a “transformative moment in the industry,” says Hart, given industry changes such as price erosion and the transition from analog to IP systems. “We are about to go into the world of added intelligence. It’s an interesting time to buy a security company.” Hart says the Pelco brand still has value: “The market is rooting for us.” There is also a strong portfolio of people and products to build from. Pelco maintains its headquarters in Fresno, Calif., and has a presence in Fort Collins, Colo., near Denver, and a sales office in the New York area, not to mention many global employees who work remotely. A new CEO is being recruited; otherwise, “we have a great executive team” in place, including Brian McClain, COO and President, says Hart. “In defining the new company, we have to decide first and foremost what we want to be,” says Hart. “What can we provide customers? We have to focus on who our customers are specifically and understand their needs and use cases.” Part of defining the new company is to become more aligned with a specific set of verticals that fit with Pelco’s capabilities (although they are not saying which verticals those are yet). However, “we can’t ignore what we are today as we make the transition,” says Hart. Innovation in products We want customers to see innovation in products to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco’" “We have to let the products and experience speak for themselves. We’re focused on getting our ducks in a row and going in a new direction, but actions speak louder than words,” he says. The changes will be “more organic;” don’t expect to see a big announcement. “We want customers to see innovation in products and customer support and get those things to a point when people will say ‘this is Pelco,’” says Hart. Although not exhibiting at GSX, I found Pelco occupying a meeting room near the show floor. The room gave the company a chance to respond to integrators and consultants at GSX who had questions about what was going on with the acquisition. “Everybody is rooting for us, and we wanted the ability to get out and say ‘we’re here, we’re doing things, and we’re excited about the future,’” said Stuart Rawling, Pelco’s Vice President, Market Strategy. “This is a time for people to come and see us who maybe haven’t seen us in a while.” By ISC West in the spring, Pelco expects to have a clear message of who they are and where they’re going, he says. Aligning needs of end user “We are excited about the work we are seeing internally,” which includes “aligning resources in the right way,” says Rawling. “The fruits of the labor are being seen internally now. We will be launching new products in the next eight months, although there will not be a defined moment in time when we say ‘this is it.’ It will just be happening. Next year will be an exciting time industry-wide, and product-wise, and Pelco will have a strong voice. Brendan and team have kept us extremely busy,” says Rawling, who also was part of Pelco in the “glory days” before the acquisition by Schneider Electric. We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market” “The work product has been so transformative mindset-wise for the employees. Everybody has had the opportunity to talk to the [new] owners about what type of company we are. We can set our own vision and get reenergized and get back to the core belief of what Pelco was and what it should be. We are the master of our own destiny, aligning needs of end user with the products we can deliver. We are putting the right processes in place that work for this market. It is an exciting prospect.” In the new era, Rawling expects to target marketing more toward end-users, because they have more influence on product selection than ever before, he says. End users often learn about new products online, so Pelco will be looking to target its marketing toward educating various vertical markets about available technologies and their use cases. “We’re so optimistic, when you combine the people and the brand and what’s happening the market,” says Hart. “We have to do the work. We’re excited about what we are seeing internally.”
Ethics is a particularly important subject in an industry such as fire and security because the result of unethical actions might make the difference in life and death. For example, if an employee acts unethically when servicing a fire extinguisher, the result could be to burn down the building. Although ethics is not a common topic of discussion in the fire and security industry, perhaps it should be. Chubb Fire and Security is a company that provides an example of how an emphasis on ethics can benefit a company, their employees, their customers and the whole world. Fire safety and security risks “The fire and security industry is different than others because lives and people’s safety are on the line,” says Harv Dulay, Director of Ethics and Compliance at Chubb Fire and Security. “Our purpose is to protect clients from fire safety and security risks. This is a business where no one should take short cuts. It is important to do the right thing all the time, every time, and it’s about protecting lives and property.” At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start" “At Chubb, we have a code of ethics, our ‘bible,’ that is issued to employees when they start,” says Dulay. “Within the bible are core fundamental rules about what’s acceptable and not acceptable. We lay it out for employees very specifically. They understand and embrace the code of ethics, which is based on trust, integrity, respect, innovation and excellence.” “If you get those right, the business moves in the right direction. A key piece of our ethics policy is based on trust. We relate to others with openness, transparency, and empathy. It makes Chubb a better place to work and enables us to provide better service to customers.” Fire audit For Chubb, ethics is not just theoretical, but ethical concepts play out every day in practical ways. An example might be an engineer who goes to a customer’s site and is asked to do a task that is outside his or her duties and/or not allowed under the ethics policy. The pressure might be even greater if the employee is struggling to meet a sales figure. The code of ethics addresses specific situations and outlines the behavior that is expected. In another example, a customer asked a Chubb technician to forge a certificate saying the customer had previously passed a fire audit in order to validate his previous year’s insurance. Showing ethical integrity, the technician was able to cite the company’s Code of Ethics and refuse to do it. The technician also reported the situation to his Ethics and Compliance Officer. Customers benefit, too. Delivering ethics excellence It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company" One of Chubb’s sales associates immediately reporting a situation in which all the tenders and competitors’ prices were visible as they prepared a tender for upload to a customer portal. Not only did the sales associate deliver ethics excellence by reporting the issue, he also helped a grateful customer who thereby avoided anti-trust issues, says Dulay. “Ethics is not just a current issue,” says Dulay. “It’s embedded in our values and has been since the beginning. Ethics is making sure people do the right things.” Ethics is integrated into the Chubb business model, and everyone knows what is expected of them. “It’s a message heard from the top down, from everyone in the company.” On-Line training modules Ethics discussions begin for employees at Chubb when they join the company; clear instructions about ethics are included as part of employee induction. There are nine modules of ethics training during employee orientation, and a discussion with an Ethics and Compliance Officer is part of the onboarding process. The training program includes information about ethics, company expectations around ethics, where to go for questions about ethical issues, and details of the anonymous ombudsman program. Additionally, field staff are trained by their supervisors via regular face-to-face ethics toolbox talks. Office staff complete a series of on-line ethics training modules regularly. A series of supervisor-led trainings encourage managers to deliver face-to-face ethics training to their team, citing real-life examples. Healthy discussions are encouraged to deal with any ‘gray areas.’ Worldwide implementation of data security Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue Dulay estimates that ethics and compliance officers spend about half their time answering questions and clarifying for employees what’s expected in the code of ethics. Some 14,000 employees globally have multiple options when it comes to reporting an issue, and there are full-time Ethics and Compliances Officers in every country where Chubb does business. A reflection of Chubb’s global approach to compliance is their worldwide implementation of data security requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the company saw the benefits of the program for any jurisdiction. Training and education are part of Chubb’s investment in ethics. For example, a recent module on ‘respect in the workplace’ covered the need to create a company culture in which everyone feels respected. “Training and continuous communication are embedded in the organization,” says Dulay. Managing potential conflicts proactively “We invest in the process,” says Dulay. “We have had employees who left the company and then come back. They realized the importance of ethics and rejoined us. We start with the foundation that we would rather lose business than give up our ethical standards,” says Dulay. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values" “We won’t abandon our policies even if there is money at stake. Some business is not worth getting if you don’t adhere to your values. We manage potential conflicts proactively by creating and instituting methods in which employees have access to tools they can use to be successful and adaptable in times of change,” says Dulay. “Also, we will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports wrongdoing – regardless of the outcome of the investigation.” Forming good ethics behavior And while there is no specific monetary value assigned to good ethical practices, success can be measured. “We measure it by people’s conduct, the number of cases we have, and awareness,” says Dulay. “It’s good for employee morale, and it’s good for customers and our business. It’s not measurable, but it is fundamental for business and customers.” “The work we do as a company can impact people’s lives so it is important that everyone has an understanding of the importance of their role,” says Dulay. A common misconception about ethics is: “If no one is watching, it must be ok.” However, Dulay says it is the things employees do when no one is watching or checking in on them that form good ethics behavior. During training, Chubb emphasizes that ethics is about doing the right thing, all the time even if no one is watching.
Body Worn Cameras (BWCs) are transforming policing and security around the globe, helping to create new connected officers who can stream video, access information and collaborate in real-time enabling them to operate safely and more efficiently in the field. Richie McBride, Managing Director of BWC experts Edesix, says "BWCs are now built for a connected world and are being used by officers on the front line to help prevent both criminal and anti-social behavior when out on patrol.” Importance of body worn cameras in policing Innovative solutions driving creation of connected officers who can stream and access information in real-time He adds, "Technology has transformed policing and security in recent years. New innovative solutions have driven the creation of new connected officers who can stream, access information and collaborate in real-time. BWC captured footage not only provides greater transparency of interactions with the public, but also significantly increases early guilty pleas and saves officers valuable time as they often do not need to attend court”. Richie further said, "Police officers have always been connected, either to the public and communities they serve, or with their colleagues on the street and in the control room. They have shared information and generated insights to help address common problems and protect those with common vulnerabilities. However, digital technology has now enhanced these connections, enabling officers to feel more empowered, supported and secure." VideoBadges enhance police personnel VideoBadges have been utilized by police forces across the UK for some time now. Police forces, such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), have utilized our BWCs since 2016 to enhance the security of both officers and the general public, and to improve training and best practice. There are now 2,500 cameras being used by over 7,000 officers covering approximately 173,000 incidents each year in Northern Ireland. The BWCs are being utilized by Local Policing Teams, Neighborhood Policing Teams, Tactical Support Groups, Roads Policing Units, Dog Section, District Support Teams and Armed Response Units. Importance of good video evidence Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers" PSNI Superintendent David Moore adds, "Video evidence puts the victims of crime first. The pilot of this technology in Foyle district demonstrated how Body Worn Video has the potential to improve the quality of evidence provided by police officers and thereby increase the number of offenders brought to justice. Video evidence provides a compelling account of events and enables the raw emotion and action from a scene to be replayed in the courts in a manner that could never be captured in a witness statement.” He adds, "It also supports accountability and transparency, both of which are key elements in increasing public confidence in policing. The introduction of this new technology is the latest example of our commitment to these principles as we continue to work together with the community to keep people safe." Head-mounted cameras Armed response and firearms teams are also being equipped with head-mounted cameras due to the fact that chest-mounted cameras could potentially obstruct an officer's view during firearms use. The Metropolitan Police recently began rolling-out 1000 head-mounted cameras, with West Yorkshire Police and North Wales Police following suit.
H-Farm has a strong track record supporting innovation and creativity in European start-ups. The company focuses on skills development, new approaches to education and digital transformation. Its most recent transformation project involved an access control system — for its own offices. H-Farm needed a solution to streamline access management for lots of people at a growing portfolio of sites and buildings. H-Farm experiences rapid turnover of users, both because new businesses join regularly and because they organize up to 300 events every year. Battery-powered locks Any new locks would need to extend an existing Axis system, but without adding complexity for day-to-day administration. To meet their needs, H-Farm selected a combination of Aperio® handles, security locks and escutcheons, each easy to retrofit, so day-to-day work at their busy offices would not be disrupted by intrusive installation. So far, 40 Aperio® Online H100 wireless door handles, 6 Aperio® Online L100 wireless locks and 4 Aperio® Online E100 wireless escutcheons have been fitted across multiple H-Farm locations in northern Italy. All Aperio® battery-powered locks are wireless, so no ugly cabling runs to H-Farm’s doors. Because Aperio® offers wide range of battery-powered devices, H-Farm can choose the precise wireless lock for every application: the L100 lock protects doors with high security demands; robust H100 handles suit interior doors with high traffic. Wireless access control Aperio® H100 enables customers to add doors to their access control solution because cost per door is lower H-Farm interior doors are mostly secured with the new Aperio® H100 wireless handle — Intersec’s Access Control Product of the Year in 2018. The Aperio® H100 packs the flexibility and affordability of Aperio® wireless access control into a slim, cleverly designed door handle. Its standard battery slots inside the handle, ensuring a minimal footprint. ASSA ABLOY’s device design team incorporated electronics into the handle lever on the outside of the door, without jeopardizing security. Design has become a major feature of the H100’s appeal. H-Farm wanted devices to blend with the contemporary architecture of their new €101m H-Campus development. “Aperio® wireless access control hardware is solid, nice looking and perfectly fits our environment — solving our access problem,” says Alberto Aldrigo at H-Farm. The H100 and other Aperio® devices are easy to install; for the H100, basically two screws complete the job. Going forward, this will enable H-Farm to quickly bring new buildings into the same access system as they expand to fresh locations. The H100 fits around 90% of target doors with two main models: one for left-handled doors, the other right-handed. “The Aperio® H100 also enables customers to add more doors to their access control solution because the cost per door is lower,” says Tania Amico, Aperio® Sales Manager at ASSA ABLOY Italy. Seamless integration H-Farm managers want to control access to site doors, or bring entirely new premises into their access system The open architecture underpinning Aperio® devices enabled easy online integration with their existing Axis system via PRYSM AppControl. Remote operation from a single, central software interface is seamless, which makes administering the system easy. “The PRYSM AppControl software utilizes the integration Axis completed with Aperio®,” says Piergianni Marana, Key Account Manager at Axis. “And the AXIS A1001 Door Controller is based on open hardware, which makes installing and configuring an Aperio® wireless lock easy and seamless.” An Aperio® RS-485 Hub coordinates up to 8 Aperio® locks within a typical range of 15 to 25 meters, communicating with the admin system via the powerful AXIS A1001 IP Network Controller. One AXIS A1001 Door Controller can manage one wired door and one Aperio® hub, up to 9 doors per hub. AES 128-bit encryption ensures communication between lock and system is secure. Online Aperio® integration gives facility managers real-time status information about their premises. Aperio® locks are wireless, so there was no expensive or time-consuming cabling. The AXIS A1001 uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), which eliminates the need for power cables to the controllers, too. If needs change at a facility — perhaps H-Farm managers want to control access to more site doors, or bring entirely new premises into their access system — it’s quick, efficient and easy for an installer to fit Aperio® locks and integrate the doors with the AXIS Entry Manager control panel. To discover whether your existing security system is ready for wireless Aperio® locks, download a free, fast Compatibility Checker at https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/aperio-upgrade
PerpetuityARC Training, part of the Linx International Group recently delivers a risk and crisis management workshop for Lafarge Egypt (part of the LafargeHolcim Group) in Cairo. The training provided senior managers from across the organization with the knowledge and skills needed to manage resources during a crisis and operate within the organization’s crisis management and compliance framework. The intensive program was built collaboratively between PerpetuityARC Training and Lafarge Egypt and specifically tailored to its operating environment in the construction materials industry. Achieve successful resolution It was great to see them solving problems in a pressured, but safe environment"In a series of practical and theoretical exercises, Linx International Group Director, Angus Darroch-Warren, assessed and enhanced the ability and confidence of participants to apply their new skills to manage complex and evolving crisis scenarios, each requiring close collaboration between team members, in order to achieve a successful resolution. Security Director at Lafarge, Magdy Khorshid, stated: “The course was amazing, very practical and interesting to all and I received much positive feedback from all learners.” Angus commented: “The Lafarge teams engaged fully with the workshop scenarios. It was great to see them solving problems in a pressured, but safe environment, that allowed them to think through issues and respond using identified resources and procedures.” The workshop is the latest collaboration in a five year relationship between Lafarge Egypt and PerpetuityARC Training. During this time PerpetuityARC Training has delivered its security and risk related courses to employees and stakeholders in Egpyt and the UK.
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'.
The potential for catastrophic injury in the petrochemical industry makes safety training and credentialing of employees imperative. Coordinating this process for a variety of industries, including many in the petrochemical fields of southern Alabama, is Training Solutions for Construction and Industry (TSCI). The mission of TSCI is to promote and facilitate workforce development ‘by providing industry-recognized training with portable credentials to create a diverse, trained and sustainable workforce’. TSCI provides computer-based and instructor-led training developed by the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils (ARSC) and based on requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Within one day, a person can gain all of his or her required training for a year, and it will be accredited. ID Cards With Encoded Results Workers who successfully complete a TSCI safety orientation receive a tamper-proof ID card, encoded with the results of his or her training. “ID cards give students a record of their training and eventual access to a plant,” said Jack Fecas, Operations Manager, TSCI. The card is valid for one year. If other safety or specialized training is completed during that year, the card is encoded with the additional credentials. All member plants of TSCI and ARSC member organizations recognize and accept the ID card. Workers look to TSCI for training in such areas as fire safety, process safety management, confined space entry, respiratory protection, hazardous energy, basic first aid and CPR, scissor lift, scaffolding, excavation and trenching, elevated work surfaces, electrical safety and disaster site safety. The Office of Homeland Security also can set criteria for credentialing, such as asking for drug screen results. Site-Specific And Fire Safety Training TSCI provides site-specific training, which might include a focus on fires or explosions at a refinery or dust-particle respiratory safety at a mill In addition to its basic orientation training programs, TSCI provides site-specific training, which might include a focus on fires or explosions at a refinery or dust-particle respiratory safety at a mill. “Some companies using dangerous materials have wind socks to indicate which direction the wind is blowing, telling employees which exit route is safe for use at that time,” said Fecas. “This kind of training needs to be site-specific.” Other site-specific training might include basic alarm system safety, teaching employees what to do when they hear a constant alarm versus what they might do if they hear several short bursts of an alarm. About 1,500 workers take the basic orientation program from TSCI every year, and the numbers are growing. With only one printer, clearly more capacity was needed. Fargo’s DTC550 Printer/Encoder Fecas knew that his organization needed more capacity in order to handle the increasing volume, so he began looking for an additional printer – one that was fast, yet reliable. He needed barcode technology and a printer that could encode new data as workers took additional classes. TSCI found all of the requirements it was seeking in Fargo’s DTC550 Direct-to-Card printer/encoder from ID Wholesaler. Not surprisingly, the security offered by the DTC550 was a primary selling point for Fecas. In addition to being recommended by other ARSC Safety Councils, it just made good business sense. TSCI chose a standard holographic overlaminate available with the DTC550, which improves the card’s durability and reduces the risk of counterfeiting. More than 80 percent of training occurs at the TSCI offices, according to Fecas, but it also can take place at a plant site. With the new DTC550 able to handle the increasing demand at TSCI, the old printer will be used for remote training, thus increasing TSCI’s ability to meet the needs of its customers. Workspace Security The common curriculum of our safety training levels the playing field, so when workers leave TSCI they can recognize the hazards in the worksite and protect themselves and their co-workers" “The common curriculum of our safety training levels the playing field, so when workers leave TSCI they can recognize the hazards in the worksite and protect themselves and their co-workers,” Fecas added. “They still have information to learn at the plant, but they are ready to go to work.” “We have had ID cards since we began in 1995,” he said, “but with the early cards, there was much more hand-work. Our operator had to add a photo by hand and then wait for the laminating machine to heat up before the card could be laminated. The evolution has been very interesting. In addition, we have been very pleased with the service provided by the Fargo printer and by ID Wholesaler. I can pick up the phone or send an e-mail, and a representative is available for assistance.” Most Secure System “We recommended the DTC550 printer because it is very reliable and has more than one holographic laminate choice,” said Jeff Gunhus, ID Wholesaler Sales Team Leader. “TSCI originally bought just the printer and had to wait until its next budget cycle to purchase the lamination unit. They liked the fact that the Fargo printer had an upgrade path. It is important to listen to our clients’ wants, needs and concerns,” Gunhus added. “Then we simply do our best to help them out.” “If a company is going to do business nowadays, it needs to be secure,” adds Fecas. “Our business relies on plants and regulatory agencies trusting what we do. We need to be on the cutting edge when it comes to information technology. The best system is the most secure system. We made a decision to go with what has been tried and true and working in industry now.”
Government regulations continue to step up security demands at federal agencies, requiring identity cards to support multiple identity assurance factors and be validated at entries into a building or location. Because of the cost and infrastructure that goes along with many security upgrades, federal agencies must wait months or, in many cases, years to implement changes. The Federal Aviation Administration—an operating mode of the U.S. Department of Transportation—is no different. The FAA is tasked with the colossal mission of regulating and overseeing all aspects of civil aviation in the United States. With offices around the world, including its headquarters in Washington, D.C., the FAA has a large number of employees and buildings to oversee. With so many people coming into and out of the buildings each day, it is particularly important that security personnel have reliable tools to validate employee credentials Need Of Tools For Validating Employee Credentials As part of its security requirements, the FAA must validate Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards at checkpoints within its facilities. With so many people coming into and out of the buildings each day, it is particularly important that security personnel have reliable tools to validate employee credentials. As recently as a year ago, FAA security personnel were conducting visual inspection of PIV cards at the gates into facilities that did not have PIV card readers. They had no way of telling if the card was authentic, revoked, or if the employee had access rights to a checkpoint at a particular time. At the FAA headquarters, which employs just under 6,000 permanent employees, and another FAA facility, the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center, which is the organization’s 11th busiest airport traffic control tower, visual verification just wasn’t enough. Automating The Verification Process In order to comply with HSPD-12 and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum 11-11, the FAA needed a process beyond visual verification that allowed security personnel to quickly check the authenticity and revocation status of a card, as well as access rights to a particular area of the facility. With as many as 5,000 people coming into the FAA headquarters facility daily, the organization’s primary goal was to automate the verification process. “The project needed to provide guards the ability to validate PIV cards at FAA facilities where the gates did not have PIV card readers,” said Craig Auguston, HSPD-12 Program Manager at the Federal Aviation Administration. “We also wanted a mobile solution for backup and for roaming guards to be able to validate secure areas, such as parking garages.” Codebench’s OMNICheck Plus Software OMNICheck Plus was ultimately decided upon because it is integrated with many physical access control systems including the P2000 The FAA began looking at products that could not only meet its requirements for mobile validation, but also integrate seamlessly with its P2000 security management database from Johnson Controls (JCI), according to Auguston. “This upgrade was important to meet the FAA’s requirement to validate PIV cards at all check points,” Auguston said. The FAA’s former process of visual verification was not allowing security guards to check the status of a PIV card, such as revocation status and specific access rights, both of which the organization needed to meet its security goals. After testing a couple of mobile software validation programs, the organization chose OMNICheck Plus software from Codebench, a HID Global Company. OMNICheck Plus was ultimately decided upon because it is integrated with many physical access control systems including the P2000, and it is listed on the GSA’s FIPS 201 Approved Products List as a CAK authentication system when running on an ARM-based mobile device such as the DAP CE3240B, which both FAA facilities use. Giving Mobile Access To The Security Guards “They really needed something that was going to allow their security guards to be mobile in certain parts of a facility,” said Botio Mandov of Johnson Controls. Johnson Controls, the integrator for the project, helped the FAA implement a larger security upgrade, which included the security management database and mobile validation software. Together, the FAA’s mobile DAP devices and OMNICheck Plus software enabled roaming security guards to use the mobile handheld devices in FAA parking garages and other entry points that needed to be secured, but do not have stationary PIV card readers. One of the most important aspects of authentication software for the FAA was the ability to check an employee’s access rights directly on the mobile card readers Checking Access Rights On Mobile Card Readers In addition to mobility, one of the most important aspects of authentication software for the FAA was the ability to check an employee’s access rights directly on the mobile card readers—something only their organization’s P2000 physical access control system could do previously. With an OMNICheck module called Data Import, certain cardholder information housed in the FAA’s P2000 database, such as access rights, was pushed down into the DAP mobile devices used by security personnel. “Access rights allow FAA security guards to make sure employees’ cards are not only valid, but that they are allowed to be in a certain area at a certain time,” Mandov said. In addition, FAA security administrators can run audit reports that show which cards were checked and when. The implementation took about five months, including testing the interface with the access control system and coming up with a training guide for the security guards, according to Auguston. The FAA is currently using 31 DAP CE3240B mobile readers with OMNICheck Plus. Saving Money By Eliminating Physical Parking Passes Prior to the OMNICheck Plus installation, FAA security personnel had an unreliable way of authenticating PIV cards and access rights. Now, security personnel are able to verify digital certificates, revocation status and access rights, all while having an audit trail of the cards checked in the system. An additional, unexpected benefit for the FAA has been the cost savings of eliminating physical parking passes at its two facilities. “We are able to positively identify cardholders’ status when they try to enter the facility. We were able to save money by eliminating the physical parking pass by using OMNICheck to validate cardholder’s status for parking in FAA-controlled facilities,” Auguston explained.
Round table discussion
The new year is several weeks old, so it is safe to say that many of our New Year resolutions have fallen by the wayside. Despite the limited success of our personal resolutions, the new year is a great time to take stock, look ahead, and plan to make 2020 the best year yet. Thinking about our industry as a whole, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What should be the security industry’s “New Year’s resolution?”
What is a business, or an industry, but a collection of people and the results of their work? People make all the difference in the destiny of a business or industry. And the people involved in a business reflect the impact of demographic changes – and the passage of time. The security industry has been largely built by Baby Boomers, who are getting older and increasingly stepping aside to make way for younger folks. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: Is there a “new generation” of employees and managers entering the physical security marketplace, and what will be the impact?
Even the most advanced and sophisticated security systems are limited in their effectiveness by a factor that is common to all systems – the human factor. How effectively integrators install systems and how productively users interface with their systems both depend largely on how well individual people are trained. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the changing role of training in the security and video surveillance market?
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