SIA's Standards Committee gets new leader

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Monday, May 9, 2011

BETHESDA, Md.—The Security Industry Association on April 28 announced that Steve Van Till, president and CEO of software as a service (SaaS) provider Brivo, has been appointed to the position of chair of SIA's Standards Committee.

"Having to support multiple, overlapping, duplicative standards is an expensive proposition for manufacturers, and brings no real value to end users. Today the industry is pursuing three distinct technical approaches," Van Till told Security Systems News. "The opportunity at this point is to identify which functional aspects of the overall standards process are in most demand within the industry and not yet addressed by existing standards or specification. We should then drive to get these functional pieces published first. For example, Identity Management (or Identity Exchange) is likely the single most important interface class in our industry today … that is not already addressed by other bodies."

In a February IP technology white paper, SSN discussed the current state of standards development across the different standards development bodies. At that time, SIA manager of standards Joe Gittens speculated on the role of SIA as a coordinator of standards development cooperation.

"It’s a possibility that the three bodies could work together," Gittens said in February. "A lot of our members are both PSIA and ONVIF members and our ANSI designation might be something these organizations are interested in taking advantage of with us harmonizing. SIA could maybe become A United Nations of standards development."

Van Till, who is also serving his second term as a member of SIA's Board of Directors, said he has a number of goals going forward as chair of the standards committee. Van Till said the committee needs to prioritize standards activities by business need, needs to harmonize SIA standards with other organizations, and needs to demonstrate interoperable systems within the first year.

"I agree with Joe [Gittens] that security industry standards serve the community by decreasing integration costs, improving system performance, and providing greater functionality to customers.  These are the business goals of standards across all domains, and the means by which they achieve it is increased interoperability," Van Till said. "An early demonstrable project—such as the proposed Identity Exchange APIs (application programming interface)—would allow SIA to host a 'plug-fest' to show the benefits of our new approach. This particular work in identity management would also broaden our appeal beyond the security industry and into the IT industry more generally—one of SIA’s stated strategic goals."

Van Till led the committee in its first meeting, which took place at ISC West.