In the age of massive data breaches, phishing attacks and password hacks, user credentials are increasingly unsafe. So how can organizations secure accounts without making life more difficult for users? Marc Vanmaele, CEO of TrustBuilder, explains. User credentials give us a sense of security. Users select their password, it's personal and memorable to them, and it's likely that it includes special characters and numbers for added security. Sadly, this sense is most likely false. If it's anythi...
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has appointed Susan Carioti, the vice president of certification, standards and guidelines at ASIS International, to a three-year term as a director-at-large on the ANSI board of directors. Standards And Conformance-Based Solutions As a director-at-large, Carioti will work with members of the board to determine and approve the policies and direction of ANSI’s strategic vision, and in close collaboration with stakeholders from industry and...
Pulse Secure, the provider of secure access solutions to both enterprises and service providers, announced a Technical Alliance Partnership with BNTPRO to jointly sell and support a solution that offers SecTrail, an Identity Control and Management Platform developed by BNTPRO, as part of an integrated solution with Pulse Secure Connect Secure VPN appliances. The agreement will ensure that joint customers benefit from seamless compatibility, enhanced features and simplified support and upgrades....
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...
Thousands of security professionals gathered Nov. 14-15 at the Javits Center in New York City to explore new products, solutions and technologies, network with security luminaries and obtain high-quality industry education. ISC East, sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA), is the Northeast’s largest security industry event; more than 7,000 security professionals attended or exhibited at this year’s conference. Following day 1 of ISC East, SIA gathered industry luminar...
Security-Net, Inc., a global provider of security system services, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, a testament to the strength of the organization that today brings together the best independent security systems integrators to collaborate on enterprise-level projects, technology acumen and business practices. Security Systems Integrators Group Since its founding in 1993, Security-Net has been recognized as the top group of security systems integrators within the industry Since i...
The schedule and speaker line-up for the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) 2019 Leadership Summit – the strategically efficient event for leadership teams within the electronic security and life safety industry – has been announced. The event will be held in Austin, TX from Jan 28-31, and will feature a variety of education and networking opportunities. On the main stage and in classroom sessions, the industry’s leaders will engage with speakers whose expertise comes from sales, marketing, leadership and military backgrounds. This eclectic line-up is intended to expose leaders to insights and best practices from outside the industry bubble and increase their effectiveness in all aspects of their businesses. Learn Best Practises Through Practical Sessions Attendees will experience breakout sessions, where they can take a closer look at key topics“To drive the efforts of an operation, there must be a strong team at the helm — guiding the strategic vision. They must quell complications between employees and departments and motivate and maximize the diverse strengths of individuals. “When we skip out on this time to develop and bond with our leadership team as a unit — not just catching up on production updates, but on our vision, and the impact our interactions have on our people — we make a big mistake,” says ESA CEO, Merlin Guilbeau. “We are keenly focussed on packing the most valuable experience into 3 days to ensure leadership teams are energised, motivated, educated and revamped for the new year. Guests will learn best practices through practical, inspirational sessions including ‘How Great Managers Retain Employees’, ‘Mission Critical: The Leader’s Performance Review’ and ‘Guiding the Customer Journey’. Attendees will also experience breakout sessions, where they can take a closer look at key topics and discuss their questions and ideas in depth. Robust Networking Platform In addition to education, attendees will have ample opportunities to network at meals, scheduled one-on-one meeting times, social events and a speed networking event. These opportunities will allow executives to connect and share best practices, form friendships and find new offerings for their customers. This year the event will introduce a new, robust networking platform to link executives with each other This year the event will introduce a new, robust networking platform to link executives with each other and event sponsors on topics of interest to make for more meaningful and strategic interactions at the Summit. All of this will take place in the unique city of Austin, TX, known for its live music, food trucks and commitment to ‘Keep Austin Weird’. The Diamond Event will be held at Spin, a recently opened ping pong social club, where attendees can get competitive or cheer their friends on in a lively atmosphere with music, drinks and food. Excellent Growth Opportunity “Leadership Summit is an opportunity to share with friends that you’ve had from years past, make new friends, meet new colleagues and share some of the things that you’ve been doing with your business,” says Roger Parks, executive director of business development at Select Security. “If you’re considering attending the Leadership Summit, stop considering. The time you invest in your people and your business will be returned back to you thousand-fold.” All C-suite and upper-management professionals in the electronic security and life safety industry are invited to attend, regardless of ESA membership status. Interlogix is the sponsor of the 2019 Diamond Event and main stage featured content. Main stage presentations and breakout educational sessions are also sponsored by Axis Communications, NAPCO Security Technologies and Telguard.
DICE Corporation has announced that the company is launching a new Tech Security Summit that will combine the annual DICE User Group conference with exclusive training and educational resources for professionals in all sectors of the security industry. 2019 Tech Security Summit The inaugural event takes place April 29 through May 2, 2019 at the Sheraton Grand National Downtown in Nashville, TN. Event highlights include panel discussions with DICE representatives and industry experts, product demos, exhibitor showcases, education and training, roundtable sessions, and networking and group activities. The 2019 Tech Security Summit offers something for anyone interested in the latest products and advancements in security technology. Whether you’re a business leader, central station operator, IT professional, dealer, or systems distributor, the event promises to present useful insight into the ever-changing security technology the industry uses day-to-day. Technology And Education “We are pleased to be able to provide a platform that focuses exclusively on technology and education for the security industry,” said DICE Corporation President and CEO Cliff Dice. “By providing a gathering space for training and certifications, product demos, and many opportunities for one on one discussion with our team and guest speakers, I anticipate the Tech Security Summit will quickly become a must-attend event for anyone interested in learning more about the technology that commands the industry.”
Bosch has expanded its professional services for integrators with the Boost Onsite Support offering available in North America. Designed to assist with the commissioning of large and complex installations, integrators selecting this service receive in-shop and/or on-site support from a Bosch technical expert as well as access to this specialist via email and phone throughout the duration of the project. Bosch Security, Safety And Communications Systems With this level of onsite support, installations are more efficient, and the integrator gains valuable experience that can be applied to future projects" The Bosch technical expert will provide review and guidance on the programming of Bosch security, safety and communications systems to ensure they are configured to meet the end user’s expectations and specifications. The expert will also advise the integrator on the best way to test the system, the functionality of the network, and any interfaces to products and systems from other manufacturers, as well as assist with end user training when needed. “With this level of onsite support, installations are more efficient, and the integrator gains valuable experience that can be applied to future projects,” said Eric Cechak, Vice President of After Sales Service in North America for Bosch. “Integrators that participated in our initial pilot program of the service have seen the requirement for additional phone-based technical support greatly reduced on projects where Boost Onsite Support was used. Their feedback verifies that having a Bosch expert provide guidance ensures up-front configuration is done correctly and any required adjustments are made efficiently. Overall, this service speeds installation time, reduces troubleshooting and call-back costs for the integrator, and improves end user satisfaction.” Boost Onsite Support Boost Onsite Support rounds out Bosch’s technical support offerings, which include a variety of solutions. In addition to support via phone, email and live chat, Bosch offers an online knowledgebase with technical solutions articles as well as YouTube channels featuring a wide range of video tutorials.
The second day of Global Security Exchange (GSX), the security industry’s flagship event, was jam-packed with security professionals eager to get first-hand exposure to exhibitors and vendors offering innovative solutions that solve traditional everyday security issues as well as deliver emerging technologies to solve problems of the future, such as AI, blockchain and AR/VR. Security Education And Insights GSX provides an outstanding opportunity for our members to gain education and insights about current security trends and threats" “GSX provides an outstanding opportunity for our members to gain education and insights about current security trends and threats, and also to see all the greatest and newest technologies out there on the expo floor,” said Kimberly Pratt, executive director of InfraGard National. “We hope ASIS members will come check out our booth and learn more about what InfraGard has to offer." “Today’s show exceeded our expectations based on the quality prospects who provided good conversations about our solutions,” said Paul Baratta, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications, Inc.; and ASIS Boston Chapter Treasurer; and member of the ASIS Healthcare Advisory Council. “It was overall a very successful day and I personally fully enjoyed the new X Stages as they provided more insight into the industry and the impact technologies are making today as well as how they will shape future engagements with our customers. We’re looking forward to the remainder of GSX!” Counter-UAV Defense Systems In the morning keynote, delivered by Scott Klososky, Founder and Principal of TriCorps Technologies, he addressed how the industry can leverage technology to solve challenges. Attendees were then released onto the GSX show floor featuring three new stages, including the X Stage, where they heard about revolutionary technologies poised to disrupt the industry first-hand. There was a standing-room only, live streamed school security panel as well as on-the-show floor demos showcasing the use of drones, droids and counter-UAV defense systems. Fortem Technologies, an innovative provider of AI-enabled airspace security and safety, conducted three drone shoot downs throughout the day, which has never happened on a security show floor to date. Prior to the doors opening, we saw a lot excitement about what new and exciting initiatives ASIS was bringing this year" “It has been an important show for us to be at over the years, and this year is no different. We’re seeing more convergence and integration of technology as well as partnerships, which aligns with our mission at the show,” said Eric Widlitz, Vice President of North America Sales, Vanderbilt Industries. “Prior to the doors opening, we saw a lot excitement about what new and exciting initiatives ASIS was bringing this year.” Career Guide For Security Professionals This afternoon ASIS and the Security Industry Association (SIA) unveiled the rollout of the Career Pathways Guide in the GSX Career HQ. This new career guide provides a first of its kind review of core competencies that are needed at every stage of a security professional’s career. “Now that the first day of the Expo Hall has closed, it is evident from the standing-room only theaters and shoulder-to-shoulder packed aisles, that the industry has fully embraced the new show format and features,” said Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, President of ASIS International.
Dortronics, global manufacturer of electric locking hardware and controls for the security industry, announces the expansion of its lunch and learn course offerings by adding Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) Continuing Education Credits. BICSI is a professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) community. ICT covers the spectrum of voice, data, electronic safety & security, project management, and audio and video technologies. These informative sessions provide designers, specifiers, and resellers the opportunity to explore and compare the various types of door hardware, interlocking systems and their applications. Topics include mantraps, sally ports and cleanroom/laboratory air locks, and their applications. Courses On Door And Access Control Solutions Dortronics continues to offer AIA and BICSI courses in a small and relaxed environmentThe lunch and learn sessions are accredited by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as well as recognized by BICSI. Upon successful completion of each course, participants will receive one BICSI CEC and/or one AIA Learning Unit. These informative sessions provide users with detailed information on how door control solutions are designed, manufactured and implemented, and address both off-the-shelf and custom options available. Dortronics continues to offer AIA and BICSI courses in a small and relaxed environment. Two one-hour courses are currently available: Door Interlocks: Applications and system design reviews the various types of door interlocks, mantraps, sally ports and their applications as well as discusses the different types of interlock controls and the accessories required for a fully functional system. Electronic Locking Devices for access control systems reviews electrified door locking hardware and related components which interface with electronic access controllers to provide a complete security solution.
Brivo, global innovator and designer of cloud-based physical security solutions for commercial buildings, announced its expansion into Europe with the opening of its Amsterdam office and the creation of a new subsidiary, Brivo Systems BV. The move highlights the increasing adoption of cloud-based physical security systems and the company’s growing partner and customer base in Europe. With sales, technical, and logistics operations located in Amsterdam, Brivo will now provide a full range of support services to its European customers. Brivo Systems BV We’re seeing growing demand for cloud-based access control solutions in Europe and felt this was a great time to expand our reach" “We’re seeing growing demand for cloud-based access control solutions in Europe and felt this was a great time to expand our reach,” explained Brivo’s President and CEO, Steve Van Till. “We’re really excited about the opportunities and our ability to provide local support resources for our European customers.” As part of this expansion program, Brivo has recently conducted commercial and technical training sessions in Amsterdam and London, with more planned for the future. “We have a great group of end-users and partners already established in Europe,” said Van Till. “It's a pleasure to see their enthusiasm for our solutions and passion for bringing our products to the European market.” Brivo Onair Cloud-Based Security Platform The Brivo Onair cloud-based security platform will offer all the same features in Europe as it does in the U.S, including integrated cloud video from Eagle Eye Networks. With customers in over 55 countries worldwide, Brivo has long had a solid customer base in Europe. The expansion of staff and offices will further drive Brivo’s ability to provide solutions for its customers around the world.
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.
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.
Schools today are charged to provide an environment that is both safe and conducive to learning, which can be difficult considering the range of security incidents and challenges they face, including bullying, fights, graffiti, theft and more. In addition to working within often tight budgetary constraints, a main challenge is to provide the highest level of security in an aesthetically pleasing way that doesn’t make students feel as if they are in prison. While these two needs may seem mutually exclusive to some degree, that doesn’t have to be the case. School security can be achieved without building 20-foot walls or putting barbed wire around the perimeter. The key to balancing the security and learning environment can be found in the four pillars of a good school security strategy, namely people, practices, technology and physical environment. A mobile app or text notification system could be used to alert students and staff of potential problems Situational Awareness One of the most effective measures to take is to educate staff and even students to learn to be aware about their surroundings and adopt the 'If you see something, say something' mentality. In an emergency, time is of the essence, so the speed of response becomes critical. Educating staff and students to recognize potential problems and report them is a good first step. Augmenting this with mobile apps and/or texting capabilities, for example, that allow someone to send a photo to school security or law enforcement for quick assessment and evaluation, can speed response even more. A mobile app or text notification system could also be used to alert students and staff of potential problems and provide instructions on what steps to take in order to remain safe. By providing real-time situational awareness about potential responses, these types of technologies can reduce the number of armed guards or resource officers needed to patrol a school or campus, which also makes students more comfortable and able to learn in a non-prison-like environment. Security Best Practices Every school should establish a set of security policies and procedures and ensure that staff and students understand what to do if they suspect a problem or if an incident should unfold at the school. However, too often, schools may not know where to start when seeking out best practices. And once these policies are in place, there may be confusion about how to audit them to ensure people are properly educated. The NFPA has begun work on a school security standard that would address a range of issues schools face on a daily basis A number of organizations are available to aid with this process, such as the Partner Alliance for School Safety a group founded in cooperation with SIA (Security Industry Association), which provides resources and tools to help schools and security professionals evaluate and establish the best security protection for their buildings. These guidelines and best practices are designed to help schools spend their often limited funds on the right security solutions. Safe and Sound Schools provides downloadable school security toolkits, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has recently released the NFPA 3000 Active shooter response guidelines and has begun work on a school security standard that would address a range of issues schools face on a daily basis. The key takeaway is that the information is out there, and the organisations mentioned above are excellent resources for helping schools create safe, secure and learning-conducive environments. Technology In School Security The second thing that needs to be considered is how technology can be brought to bear to contribute to school security. Video surveillance with video analytics can be deployed to monitor areas at certain times of day. For example, once school starts, there shouldn’t be a lot of activity in the parking lot or in particular areas around the school. For these situations, intelligent cameras with video analytics can be used to detect activity in those areas of interest to alert school security that something may need their attention. This might be a vehicle entering a lot or driving against the normal traffic flow, which may simply be a parent arriving to pick their child up early, or it could be something worth following up on. Radar detection is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area In any case, this is something that should be brought to the attention of someone who can quickly assess the situation and determine what, if any, response is needed. Because the goal in a potentially dangerous situation is speed response times. The faster you’re able to detect something using technology, the faster you’re able to respond. Therefore, being able to identify something happening in a parking lot and alert school resource officers could provide 30 seconds or a minute head start for response, which can get the school into a lockdown situation and get first responders on site more quickly.Facial recognition systems and providing access through smartphones could help create a more welcoming and secure environment for students, staff and parents After-Hour Monitoring Solutions Monitoring buildings and facilities after hours presents a different set of challenges. For sporting events, the National Center for Spectator Sports and Security (NCS4) at the University of Southern Mississippi provides best practice guidance for sporting facilities and events not only just for universities but even including those at high schools. It’s been shown that using lighting at night can deter crime. However, it can be expensive to keep a building and grounds illuminated all night, every night. To mitigate these concerns and potential costs, there are video cameras available with extreme low-light capability that allows them to see in near-dark or in some cases complete darkness. This allows a school to save money by turning lights off while achieving a level of surveillance performance similar to daytime deployments. Radar Detection Another technology for effective school security, both during and after school hours, is radar detection. This is ideal for perimeters, where a device can be set up unobtrusively to alert when someone enters a particular area. Radar can be deployed with a single PTZ camera, which can track whatever has been detected to provide real-time situational awareness for a school resource officer or law enforcement to investigate to determine the potential threat, if any, related to the perimeter breach.Following the four pillars of school security can ease the process while improving the effectiveness and efficiency of securing educational facilities More often than not, schools are faced with issues that are not necessarily the worst-case scenario everyone fears, such as how to identify parents and others who are authorized to pick a child up from school early. In this instance, facial recognition systems and providing access through smartphones could help create a more welcoming and secure environment for students, staff and parents. Lighting And Landscaping In addition to technology, one of the things that can contribute to a safer school environment is environmental design. CPTED provides four basic principles, one of which is natural surveillance, which follows a 'see and be seen' philosophy. In other words, when people know they can be seen, they are less likely to commit a crime. The main points in this general principle are lighting and landscaping. For example, a school doesn’t want to block potentially vulnerable areas with landscaping, so the height and thickness of any potential landscaping elements should be carefully considered. In general, openness and visibility should be the guiding factors. Securing Physical Environment Another aspect of the physical environment is maintenance. If a window gets broken but isn’t fixed right away, that tends to invite vandalism. These are just two of the guidelines CPTED offers for creating a more secure environment that doesn’t feel like a prison. In general, finding the right mix between maintaining security and providing a welcoming, aesthetically pleasing and learning-conducive environment can seem like a difficult – if not impossible – task. Following the four pillars of school security can ease the process while improving the effectiveness and efficiency of securing educational facilities.
Security trade fairs can be daunting for attendees. At big shows like ISC West and Global Security Exchange (GSX), there can be hundreds of physical security manufacturers and dealers vying for your attention. Booths are sometimes spread out across multiple halls, often accompanied by a confusing floor plan. As the scope of physical security expands from video surveillance and access control to include smart building integrations, cyber security and the Internet of Things (IoT), there is an increasing amount of information to take in from education sessions and panels. Here, SecurityInformed.com presents eight hints and tips for visitors to make the most out of trade shows: 1. Outline your objectives. As the famous saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail!” Before you plan anything else, ensure you know what you need to achieve at the show. By clearly noting your objectives, you will be able to divide your time at the show appropriately, and carefully choose who you speak to. If there is a particular project your organization is working on, search out the products and solutions that address your security challenges. If you are a security professional aiming to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, then networking sessions and seminars may be more appropriate. 2. Bring a standard list of questions Prepare a list of specific questions that will tell you if a product, solution or potential partner will help you meet your objectives. By asking the same questions to each exhibitor you speak to, you will be able to take notes and compare their offerings side by side at the end of the day. This also means you won’t get bogged down in details that are irrelevant to your goals. Most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category 3. Do your homework Once you know your objectives, you can start to research who is exhibiting and decide who you want to talk to. Lists of exhibitors can be daunting, and don’t always show you which manufacturers meet your needs. Luckily, most trade fair websites provide the option to filter exhibitors by their product category. Many exhibitions also offer a downloadable floor plan, grouping exhibitors by product category or by relevant vertical market. It may be easier to download the floor plan to your phone/tablet or even print it out, if you don’t want to carry around a weighty map or show-guide. 4. Make a schedule Once you have shortlisted the companies you need to see, you can make a schedule that reflects your priorities. Even if you are not booking fixed meetings, a schedule will allow you to effectively manage your time, ensuring you make time for the exhibitors you can’t afford to miss. If the trade show spans several days, aim to have your most important conversations early on day one. By the time the last afternoon of the show comes around, many companies are already packing up their booth and preparing to head home. When scheduling fixed meetings, keep the floor plan at hand to avoid booking consecutive meetings at opposite ends of the venue. This will ensure you can walk calmly between stands and don’t arrive at an important meeting feeling flustered! Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth 5. Make time for learning If you’re on a mission to expand your knowledge in a given area, check the event guide beforehand to note any education sessions you may want to attend. Look for panels and seminars which address the specific needs of your project, or which will contribute to your professional growth. This is one of the best opportunities you will have to learn from industry leaders in the field. Be sure to plan your attendance in advance so you can schedule the rest of your day accordingly. 6. Keep a record Armed with your objectives and list of questions, you will want to make a note of exhibitors’ responses to help you come to an informed decision. If you’re relying on an electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet to take notes, you may like to consider bringing a back-up notepad and pen, so you can continue to take notes if your battery fails. Your record does not have to be confined to written bullet points. Photos and videos are great tools remind you what you saw at the show, and they may pick up details that you weren’t able to describe in your notes. Most mobile devices can take photos – and images don’t need to be high quality if they’re just to refresh your memory. 7. Network – but don’t let small talk rule the day It may be tempting to take advantage of this time away from the office to talk about anything but business! While small talk can be helpful for building strong professional relationships, remember to keep your list of questions at hand so you can always bring conversations back to your key objectives. Keeping these goals in mind will also help you avoid being swayed by any unhelpful marketing-speak. It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to exchange business cards with everyone you speak to, or even take the opportunity to connect via LinkedIn. Even if something doesn’t seem relevant now, these contacts may be useful in future. Have a dedicated section in your bag or briefcase for business cards to avoid rummaging around. With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely 8. Schedule time for wandering With your most important conversations planned carefully, there should be time left to explore the show more freely. Allowing dedicated time to wander will give you a welcome break from more pressing conversations, and may throw up a welcome surprise in the form of a smaller company or new technology you weren’t aware of. Security Trade Fair Checklist: Photo Identification: As well as your event pass, some events require photo identification for entry. Notebook and pen: By writing as you go, you will be able to compare notes at the end of the day. Mobile device: Photos and videos are great tools to remind you what you saw at the show, and may pick up details you missed in your notes. Paper schedule & floor plan: In case batteries or network service fail. Business cards: Have a dedicated pouch or pocket for these to avoid rummaging at the bottom of a bag. Comfortable shoes: If you’re spending a whole day at an event, and plan on visiting multiple booths, comfortable shoes are a must!
GSX 2018 is both a new event for the security industry and the continuation of a 63-year tradition. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual seminar and exhibits, which have been held since 1955. In recent years, the ASIS event has joined forces with other organizations to expand its scope and to appeal to a broader audience. Partners include ISSA (Information Systems Security Association) and Infragard, a public-private partnership between U.S. businesses and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The expansion is continuing this year with the addition of 30 supporting organizations representing industry verticals and reflecting ASIS’s intent to unite the full spectrum of security. Improving The State Of Cyber Security The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most Held September 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors. Other elements will further expand the 2018 event’s scope. The Cyber Security Summit will co-locate with GSX, offering cyber security programming at a time when it is needed the most. Top government, industry and academic thought leaders will engage in a dialog to improve the state of cyber security. The 2018 Security Cares Program will address school violence prevention and response in a free education program. Topics will include pre-violence indicators, target hardening, and best practices to involve the entire community of school administrators, law enforcement, security professionals and mental health providers. Experts To Deliver Keynote Speeches Keynote speakers including CNN host Fareed Zakaria will bestow celebrity appeal. Air Force Major General Bradley D. Spacy will share details about the new AFWERX innovation and tech hub in Las Vegas and how the U.S. Air Force is collaborating with the private sector to bring new security product ideas to market. Spacy’s keynote on Sept. 26 will kick off Military and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. Also, K.T. McFarland, former Trump Administration Deputy National Security Advisor, will share an insider’s perspective on critical foreign policy and defense industries. Attendees to ASIS International’s annual gathering typically list networking and education as big benefits of the event. Historically, the trade show aspect has existed separately from the educational program, and foot traffic to the exhibits has sometimes suffered from the competition. Beginning last year, and continuing in 2018, ASIS International has pursued innovative approaches to integrate the trade show more closely into the overall attendee experience. “The integration of programming and exhibits is truly seamless,” says one observer of the new approach. Held Sept. 23-27 at the Las Vegas convention Center, GSX 2018 seeks to attract more than 20,000 operational and cyber security professionals and 550 exhibitors X Learning Theatres GSX has sought to transform the exhibit hall into a ‘learning lab environment’ that features thousands of security products, technologies and service solutions (provided by the exhibitors), in addition to ‘immersive learning opportunities to connect the current and emerging threat landscape with solutions available in the marketplace’. There are several ‘X Learning Theatres’, including one (‘X-Stage’) focused on leading-edge technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI, drones, and robotics. There is also an ‘Xcelerated Exchange Stage’ to facilitate discussions among security practitioners and solution providers. The ‘Xperience Stage’ showcases case studies and best practices. Also attracting more attendees to the Exhibit Hall will be ‘Career HQ’, a free career fair and enhanced career center. ‘D3 Xperience’ (Drones, Droids Defense) will focus on unmanned systems with education and demos. The ‘Innovative Product Awards (IPAs) Showcase’ will highlight winners of an awards program. Focusing On Security Practices GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets ASIS International (now GSX 2018) is often compared to ISC West, the U.S. industry’s largest show held in Las Vegas in the spring. GSX 2018 this year may face even more scrutiny based on the changes, rebranding, and location (also in Las Vegas). However, GSX is a completely different show than ISC West, which focuses on the business of security. In contrast, GSX is much more about the practice of security than business. The international network of ASIS International members attend the yearly conference to make new connections, to learn and to benefit from the experiences of other security professionals around the world. The successful trade show exhibitors are the ones that approach the show with that understanding. GSX is not as much about sales leads as about making connections and contributing to a larger conversation about how to protect people, facilities and assets. ASIS International deserves credit for their efforts to integrate the trade show element into the larger goal of the event. Hopefully their new approach will enhance the overall experience for both attendees and exhibitors – and help to make the world a safer place as a consequence.
When an active assailant strikes, it’s over fast, and most of the damage happens before help arrives. Responding appropriately can save lives, and it takes training and practice to know what to do as a tragedy unfolds: Where can I hide? Can I get out? Where do I run? If you hear shots or see someone with a knife, your training empowers the best response, and thorough and repetitive training avoids being paralyzed by panic. Standards On Workplace Violence ASIS International is a member of ANSI and an accredited standards developer ASIS International has been working for more than a year on a document to enable security professionals to develop an effective approach for prevention, intervention, response and recovery to an active assailant, whether he or she is acting alone or as part of a group. The Active Assailant Supplement is an annex to the ANSI Standard on Workplace Violence and Intervention; it is being developed as part of the current revision to the standard. ASIS International is a member of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and an accredited standards developer. Security practitioners use the ANSI standard to develop their own processes, procedures and documentation related to workplace violence. The ANSI standard on workplace violence was created 10 years ago and already has been revised once. In that time, the standard has been quoted extensively and adopted and utilized by many corporations and security practitioners. Leading creation of the Active Assailant Supplement is Michael Crane, Security Consultant and Attorney at Securisks, and chair of the ASIS International Active Assailant Working Group. There are 17 individuals on the drafting committee on active assailants, each with their own specific areas of expertise, from big corporations, to psychologists, to the government. The committee will create a draft, which will be submitted to the technical committee (150 or so people) for review and comment. The ANSI standard on workplace violence has been quoted extensively and adopted and utilised by many corporations and security practitioners Active Assailant Supplement Elements Prevention - A key to preventing active assailant incidents is awareness, such as identifying behaviors that suggest a potential for violence. In addition to recognizing troubled behaviors, companies should have policies and procedures in place to report concerns to supervisors, and then policies to follow up. Intervention - Training equips companies to react effectively in the case of an active assailant attack. Repetition and practice ensure an appropriate reaction, and inform decisions about where to hide, the nearest exits, etc. Employees might hide in a washroom or a conference room that locks, or they might use furniture to block the door. Response - It also takes training for employees to understand what happens when first responders arrive. Private security and employees have specific roles when first responders show up. Recovery - After the incident, other issues include cleanup, providing a gathering place for employees and family members, and counseling. Addressing School Violence The workplace violence prevention plans in the Federal government are right in sync with private industry"Crane was an assistant state’s attorney in Chicago before going into private practice. He has also served as general counsel and vice president for security companies and combines law and security expertise to protect companies from liability. Crane has written and provided training on the topic of workplace violence prevention for many years for ASIS International and was among the first members of the Standards and Guidelines Commission in 2000. Although school violence is not addressed specifically in the Active Assailant Supplement, the protocols covered in the document apply to schools as well as other sites such as governments. “The workplace violence prevention plans in the Federal government are right in sync with private industry,” says Crane. “They are almost identical.” Workplace Violence At GSX 2018 Workplace violence, including active assailants, will be among the issues addressed at the upcoming GSX 2018 in Las Vegas. Global Security Exchange (GSX) is the new branding for ASIS International’s annual conference and trade show, attended by more than 22,000 security professionals from 100-plus countries. There will be sessions addressing workplace violence and interest group discussions on a range of topics.
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.
IDF Aluminium has installed transom closers and latch locks from Alpro Architectural Hardware at a building that provides premium co-working and flexible office space in central London near Victoria Station Thomas House in Eccleston Square is a seven-story structure with a facade in Regency style and a distinctive timber-clad reception that leads to two wings. It has collaborative drop-in work areas, meeting rooms and facilities to suit present-day practices. The building has been refurbished for The Office Group who pioneered shared workspaces in Britain and now offers these services across multiple London locations as well as Bristol and Leeds. Hydraulic Door Controls The Alpro transom closers are a means of hydraulically controlling the opening and closing of aluminum doors The Alpro transom closers are a means of hydraulically controlling the opening and closing of aluminum doors. They allow precise adjustment of the latching and closing force generated by the valve according to the weight and height of individual doors as well as type of usage. Aesthetics are a major consideration for The Office Group who briefed Soda Studio, an architectural practice known for its clean simple interiors, to create a design in keeping with the neighbouring Georgian squares. In addition to the working facilities, Thomas House has a library, music room, roof terrace and gymnasium. It is named after the early nineteenth-century architect Thomas Cubitt who created much of the surrounding area and also designed the eastern front of Buckingham Palace. Preserving Interior Geometry Fabricator IDF devised a solution featuring tailored SBD aluminum profiles from Jack Aluminium Systems, bespoke glazing, internal screens and the Alpro door management. The Alpro products include Europrofile cylinder deadlatches which can be combined with electric strikes to provide the added option of remote access control. All of The Office Group premises are design-led, and we have now supplied equipment to five of their sites including Henry Wood House" Peter Keen, sales director at Alpro, said: “Installing transom closers on internal doors is unusual but the concealed nature of these closers, within the transom header bar, means they are unobtrusive and meet the architect’s goal of preserving interior geometry.” He continued: “All of The Office Group premises are design-led, and we have now supplied equipment to five of their sites including Henry Wood House, a former BBC building in the West End. Our transom closers are durable and have been tested independently at 250,000 double-action cycles.” Commercial Door Market IDF specializes in the design, manufacture and installation of aluminum doors. The door projects are often in commercial and public sector environments where usage may be high but maintenance costs must be minimized. IDF has 30 years’ experience in the shop front and commercial door market. The company ensures a quality service by designing and fabricating all of its doors and shop fronts in-house with no use of sub-contractors. The client portfolio covers transport, local government, healthcare and education from schools through to universities.
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'.
Opengear, a provider of solutions that deliver secure, resilient network access and automation to critical IT infrastructure, today announced CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd, a Finnish center of expertise in Information and Communications Technology, has deployed Opengear Smart out-of-band appliances to streamline a major upgrade project and improve day-to-day remote management. CSC, a non-profit organization with 70% ownership by the state of Finland and 30% controlled by Finnish higher education institutions provides services for research, education, culture, public administration and enterprises, to help them thrive and benefit society at large. CSC's primary customers are the Ministry of Education and Culture and organizations within its field of operations, higher education and research institutes and public administration sector. Planned Network Upgrade As Antti Ristimaki, Senior Network Specialist for CSC explains, "Getting from our data centers to some of the sites we look after might take many hours and so having remote out-of-band access is vital for us." CSC has used a legacy out-of-band (OOB) console server solution for several years, but with a major network upgrade planned for 2018-2020 it was decided that more flexibility was needed to help the small networking team support clients at around 40 sites spread across the country. "What we liked most about Opengear was its small footprint and high-quality software along with the 4G mobile connectivity option which provides us with the option to deploy the OOB console server at site before we have any working in-band access," says Ristimaki. Setting up the devices took very little time and we are now remotely managing the process" Remotely Configure Networking Equipment CSC has already deployed Opengear ACM7004-5-LMR - Resilience Gateway appliances at around 10 locations across the country, which were initially used to help remotely configure networking equipment at sites connecting to its newly upgraded backbone network. Having a remote access server at distant locations makes it easier to reliably commission and configure new network equipment from its main offices at Espoo and Kajaani. At the final stage, there will be around 40 Opengear Resilience Gateway appliances across the country. "Setting up the devices took very little time and we are now remotely managing the process - which has proved surprisingly simple using 4G LTE and even 3G connections," Ristimaki adds. Built-In CLI Tools The built-in CLI tools provided by the Opengear software have proven to be useful especially when commissioning the console server itself. Through this accessibility, CSC has integrated the management of its Opengear Smart OOB devices into its own internally developed network management and orchestration platform based on Ansible. CSC is also using Opengear to help record, and in the event of any problems, rollback critical firmware upgrades and configuration changes for core networking elements at remote sites.
Siemens Rail Automation is a supplier of signaling systems to the rail industry worldwide. The signaling system is fundamental to the safety of a rail network as it maintains safe separation and prevents collisions. Signalers rely on the safety critical signaling features to ensure safe operation in both normal and degraded conditions. Thorough initial training and regular refresher courses in a realistic environment is essential to maintaining the signalers’ competency and knowledge of operating procedures. Siemens collaborated with Matrox to implement a unique, IP-based simulation environment for their European-rail-network client with an innovative use of streaming and recording of multiple video feeds. Simulator For Signal Monitoring A simulator allows a trainer to vary scenarios—by changing the weather, introducing obstacles on the line, incidents in stations, broken-down trains, or other things that affect the scheduling of movement of rolling stock. Additional screens from other collaborative applications, such as timetabling, are displayed for the trainee The trainer needs to monitor a trainee’s reaction(s) to a particular scenario, as it transpires. To be able to view the entire session later, for analyzing, and pinpointing areas of improvement, each individual trainee’s performance needs to be recorded as well. The trainee operator’s signaling desk contains multiple monitors for the signaling application that shows, amongst other things, the state of the signals, dynamic speed limits, state of points on the track, and train positions. Additional screens from other collaborative applications, such as timetabling, are also displayed for the trainee. Trainers too have multiple screens where they define and manage the training scenario. Networked Training Ecosystem Siemens Rail Automation met their client’s need by leveraging Matrox’s video wall and enterprise encoding portfolio as building blocks to create an end-to-end, IP-based simulation system—all on the client’s 1 Gigabit Ethernet network. At the individual trainee stations, ‘operator’ workstations host a Matrox multi-display graphics card to power an eight-monitor, 4x2 desktop configuration. In the same PC system are two Matrox Maevex 6100 quad 4K enterprise encoder cards. Capable of simultaneously capturing, streaming, and recording up to four 4K inputs, Maevex 6100 in this case captures quad Full HD inputs, composites them as a single 4K signal, and streams them to a collaborative video wall. Doing so ensures that the time correlation between the individual screens is not lost—a cursor moving across a desktop from screen to screen is seen as it happens. One of the training objectives is to support the team working between the signallers and planners Monitoring Trainee Cursor Movement This is important for the trainer to get a realistic picture. A jerky or delayed cursor movement could be construed by the trainer as indecision or hesitation on the part of the trainee. If the cursor movement by the trainee—including between screens—is smooth, it is imperative for it to be seen live and recorded as being smooth. In addition to the above are three dual-monitor timetabling workstations and a quad-monitor trainer workstation, each with a Matrox graphics card and Maevex 6100 encoder card to stream desktop content to the collaborative display wall. The timetabling workstations are used by trainee timetable planners to make on-the-day changes. One of the training objectives is to support the team working between the signalers and planners. Reviewing Training Sessions On the video wall are 12 monitors in several arrangements that enable the trainer to control the simulation environment and monitor trainee signalers and planners. The video wall can also be used collaboratively to replay and review the training session. This is all from a single, low-footprint Blue Chip Ultima 2M system that hosts a combination of Matrox Mura IPX decoder cards and Matrox Mura MPX input/output video wall cards, which work together to seamlessly decode and display the various incoming streams. The rail network uses Matrox MuraControl for Windows video wall software to manage the incoming IP sources, presenting the information on the wall in a way that looks like the original setup at the trainee’s desk. Matrox provided product and configuration training for Siemens personnel, onsite at Siemens Rail Automation’s headquarters Product And Configuration Training These ‘video wall copies’ allow trainers and other decision makers to remotely, and instantaneously, see the trainee’s reaction to a given situation. Desktop views are easily switched between trainees. Additionally, Maevex 6100 allows training sessions to be simultaneously recorded to network storage from where the simulations are played back on demand to the individual trainee, or to other interested parties. To complete the offering, Matrox provided product and configuration training for Siemens personnel, onsite at Siemens Rail Automation’s headquarters. Successful Implementation Siemens Rail Automation has deployed the IP-based signaling simulator as part of a major project in a leading European-rail-network organization where it is performing in line with the rail industry’s stringent standards. Similar deployments for other clients are being planned. Using Matrox’s video wall and recording technologies has been instrumental to the successful implementation of this IP-based signaling simulator" Using the standard network to stream the various elements of the simulator in real time has offered many benefits to the client. The video wall displays copies of the trainer’s own screens, as well as a selected trainee’s screens. This IP-based implementation is easily scalable and allows multiple trainees to be participating in the same training session—with the trainer able to select which trainee to be overseeing at a given time. Andy Powell of Siemens Rail Automation says, “Using Matrox’s video wall and streaming and recording technologies has been instrumental to the successful implementation of this pioneering IP-based signaling simulator in our client’s organization. Without Matrox, this clearly wouldn’t have been achievable.”
The Wisenet hybrid recording solution has been installed at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton by electronic security specialists, JKE Security. “The medium term objective is to provide the hospital with a complete end-to-end Wisenet solution incorporating the very latest video surveillance technology,” said Dan Mather, director of Derby based JKE Security. “However, New Cross Hospital is not alone in having to carefully manage its budgets and with this in mind, the priority has been to install a hybrid recording solution which comprises a combination of HD+ and NVRs. This has enabled the images from all existing analog and IP cameras installed throughout the hospital to be recorded at the highest possible resolution.” New Cross Hospital, which is run by the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust was originally built circa 1900 as a workhouse. It now provides 700 beds, employs almost 9500 staff and is the largest teaching hospital in the Black Country. In 2004 the United Kingdom's first purpose built specialist heart center was opened on its site.AHD technology enables the Wisenet HD+ DVRs to record high-definition images Large Storage Capacity A total of 17 recording devices have been installed. These include 4 x Wisenet 32 channel XRN -2010 NVRs which each have 21 Terabytes of on-board storage and 13 x Wisenet HD+ 16 channel SRD-1694 DVRs, each with 5 Terabytes of storage. Using AHD technology, the Wisenet HD+ DVRs are able to record high-definition images transmitted over the hospital’s existing coax cabling. “An important aspect of this project is that the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust wanted a recording solution which would be totally compliant with the new GDPR data protection regulations,” said Dan Mather. “Having taken advice from Midwich, the distribution company which we source our video surveillance products from, and having attended a 3 day training course conducted by Hanwha Techwin, we had the confidence to recommend the Wisenet hybrid recording solution to the Trust both in terms of its compliance with GDPR and the user-friendliness of the recording devices.”For the first time in years we are now able to view our entire system on one platform, which is functional and easy to operate" Effective Healthcare Security “Having successfully completed the first phase of the upgrade, we are looking forward to installing over 200 x Wisenet cameras throughout the hospital in the near future in order to provide security personnel and the hospital’s managers with a powerful tool to maintain a safe and secure environments for doctors, nurses, administration staff and patients.” Paul Smith, Trust Security Manager and Local Security Management Specialist said “We looked long and hard for a suitable solution of integrating our older systems with newer IP systems on the site. For us the best option came in the form of the Wisenet software and recording units and for the first time in years we are now able to view our entire system on one platform, and a platform that is functional and easy to operate." "All of our pre-existing cameras have been synced with the new software with the assistance of JKE Security Ltd. I look forward now to the next stage which will be to replace end of life cameras for the much more technologically advanced kit, which will enable us to use the smarter functions of the Wisenet software.”