The weekend recovery begins, after a long (but productive) ASIS focused week… This year I spent time walking the trade show floor and thinking about larger physical security industry issues and how the ASIS Conference is positioned.
End-User Focused Event
There is no mistaking the ASIS Conference End-User focus. ISC West, the other big trade conference in the industry, is quite different and very much a Distributor / Dealer event. The difference was highlighted for me this year. The trade show floor traffic was light, but it was still a productive event. With less booth traffic, the other activities were amplified. It helped me emphasize End-User meetings, reinforce strategic relationships and focus on their feedback. Even the consultant and dealer meetings were specific to End-User needs. It was a good lesson. As a Biz Dev Manager, broader marketing efforts can be a distraction and cause you to take your eye off the ball…
Observations from the 2015 ASIS Conference
The technology highlights were as expected: 4K & 8K video and broadening the spectrum of IP enabled equipment. The take-away was more about what was missing, than what was showing: Fiber, Fiber, Fiber… where were the PON and POL solutions? Data and power infrastructure technology is changing. Where were the PoE power distribution solutions to the edge? Changing infrastructure technology is making security systems less expensive to deploy for new construction in particular. This is an important developing trend and I was hoping to see it better represented.
Network Infrastructure and Security
In speaking with End-Users, many of the training classes were focused on Cyber Security. The writing is on the wall… technology is forcing the convergence of Physical and Logical Security. I heard more than one Security Director talk about CIO’s requiring all data transmission within security systems (wireless AND hard-wired) be encrypted. Moving into the future, it will be important to understand HID’s SEOS technology and OSDP protocol. I. T. Directors may not be making the actual physical security decisions, but they will be the MAJOR influencer in solution selection. It is imperative (as security professionals) we become comfortable with LAN / WAN (and Cloud) discussions and how to use security solutions leveraging the network for data and power transmission. This skill-set is needed NOW, not in some distant future. Training / Education in the physical security space covering associated data infrastructure and logical security will be a key differentiator for security integrators as we move into the future.
Long Range Wireless
Long-range wireless data has been all about microwave. This is an expensive solution with proprietary data protocols. If your company has applications for this technology, get familiar with directional WiFi. One of the manufacturers (Ubiquiti Networks) was showing at ASIS (in a back corner). Think under $500 for up to 1000′, with the capability of up to one mile (line of sight). Don’t hold me to these numbers, but this is what I was told. Think open IEEE 802.11 data protocol too! This doesn’t resolve the need for hard-wired power distribution, but at least for data, underground conduit to the perimeter at commercial sites can be eliminated. Perhaps this is not the solution for critical infrastructure projects, but how much of the perimeter security market is comprised of these kind of projects?
Integrations and Database Data Exchange
Finally, I know this is my personal impatience… but can’t the industry move a little faster making system inter-operability and database data exchange simpler? This is what end-users want! The mistaken idea that offering this functionality will dilute a captive installed base is ridiculous. These features will only drive more revenue and grow the over-all automated solutions market. There is demand for Intrusion Alarm, Video Surveillance, Card Access, Lighting Controls, Intercom, Visitor Management, Asset Tracking systems (naming a few) to share data and drive intelligence across platforms. We need more strategic corporate partnerships between companies developing related systems technologies.
If there are industry professionals interested in discussing these ideas, please feel free to reach out. The more we discuss these trends, the better chance of speedier adoption. I think the trade organizations (ASIS, Bicsi, ISC2, SIA, etc.) are the obvious choice as forums for the discussion.
This site is maintained by Douglas Levin, PSP, AHC, LEED AP. It is intended to be my personal professional blog. The content reflects my personal opinions and observations regarding the Physical Security Systems industry and Technology Sectors. The opinions expressed herein reflect my personal viewpoint/ideas and do not in any way represent the position of any other person, organization or company.