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ISC West is a Wrap

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Monday, April 2, 2012

ISC West is the Security Industry Association's annual conference. As such, its purpose is to give manufacturers the opportunity to show off their latest and greatest security technology to integrators, specifiers and potential manufacturing partners.

As you can imagine, it's a bit overwhelming and the majority of attendants were not end users. However, during my three days on the show floor in Las Vegas I was able to meet and interview several security professionals who were attending the show. In my previous blog post that recapped my first day, I mentioned interviews with Peter Miller, CSO of Florida’s Orange County Government; Linda Florence, dean of the doctorate program in strategic security at Henley-Putnam University and a long-time member of ASIS International’s volunteer leadership; Bryan Warren, senior security manager at Carolinas Healthcare System and newly minted president of the International Association of Healthcare Security & Safety; and Pablo Antonio Sanchez Urbina, security director for 10 prisons and the state police department in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

But before I get to the details about my second and third days at the show, I must mention the event that took place the morning of the second day: the Security 5K. The three-mile road race (there was also a 2K walk) attracted more than 350 runners to raise money for Mission 500, a non-profit that works with World Vision to feed needy children around the globe. The event ultimately raised $85,000, which will be used to sponsor nearly 300 children. (Security Director News and Security Systems News are sponsors of the race.) It's been a while since I ran a road race, but I was pleased with my performance. I placed 45th overall with a time of 23:22.

During my second and third days at the show, I was able to catch up with a few additional end users in our media studio. On Thursday, I spoke with Mike Howard, CSO of Microsoft, about how security managers should demonstrate their value to the C-Suite and use social media to spread that message. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeHowardMSGS. I also spoke with Lauris Freidenfelds, director of security and emergency management for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, about a newly completed construction project and the importance of including security in the early design discussions.

I also had a chance to visit several companies' booths. I heard the latest about CheckVideo's Ruggedized Outdoor Mobile Sentry (dubbed the CMS4000), which is a self-contained, cloud-based, wireless video surveillance solution that only requires power be added to provide remote video monitoring capabilities, from company CEO John Estrada. Estrada told me CheckVideo is experiencing as much as 25 percent increases in sales month over month.

Mark Jarman, president of Inovonics, told me about Radius, the company's enterprise mobile duress system. The product, which was originally introduced at the ASIS show in October 2010, has applications across markets, but Inovonics for now is targeting the healthcare industry. Jarman also stressed his company's commitment to supporting the open standards trumpeted by the Physical Security Interoperability Alliance. Though the company's not ready to make any announcements or offer any details, he told me that Inovonics has developed a product in complete accordance with PSIA open standards. "We're walking the walk," he said.

I heard the from Verint about the facial recognition software it's beta testing and its new, all-weather 5-megapixel cameras. I also saw new cameras from Pelco and JVC. The latter is introducing 18 new cameras this year, including several analog cameras, which John Grabowski, JVC's national sales and marketing specialist, was not shy about admitting are still the company's "bread and butter."

I saw a demonstration of IDV Solutions' Visual Command Center. The demo was actually given by a shift manager of Microsoft's GSOC in Redmond, Wash., which uses the platform to monitor its facilities across the globe.

Over at the VidSys booth, I was able to get a demo of the PSIM provider's new collaboration with Bridgeborn to integrate 3D modeling into its software. Another big partnership VidSys recently announced was with BRS Labs to integrate its behavioral analytics software into its PSIM software.

For more updates from ISC West, check out the blogs from Security Systems News' team, who were blogging throughout the event: Martha Entwistle's On the Editor's Desk; Rich Miller's Monitor This!; and Tess Nacelewicz's This Blogs on Fire.

ISC West housekeeping: The fun doesn't stop after Vegas

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There's been so much news since the end of ISC West, it's been hard to keep up. First of all, I know everyone wants to get attention during the show, but it's one of those things that companies would actually get more coverage if they announced such things at a less crazy time. I equate it to going out to dinner on Valentine's Day: If you go out the night before or the night after Valentine's Day, you would get much better food and service - I promise.

Anyway, here's some of the most recent news:
The biggest story, which we ran on our Newswire and you definitely shouldn't miss, is that Schneider Electric is working with bankers to assess a bid for Tyco International, according to Bloomberg. Should the deal come to fruition, Schneider would be the world’s biggest manufacturer of security systems and this deal would rank as the biggest industrial takeover on record by a European company, according to Bloomberg. Funnily enough, Schneider says it’s not in discussions with Tyco, according to a press release received by Martha Entwistle, the editor over at Security Systems News. Here's the statement she got from Schneider:

“In response to market rumors, Schneider Electric announced today that it is not currently in discussion with Tyco International regarding a potential strategic transaction between the two companies. Schneider Electric stated that it would make no further comment regarding this matter.”

Huh? I'm sure both Bloomberg and Reuters are both wrong on this one.

Anyway, in other news, ObjectVideo has filed a complaint against Bosch Security Systems, Samsung and Sony. The complaint seeks damages for patent infringement:

"With the strong increase of video analytics offerings over the past few years, we've seen a similar increase in the number of companies using ObjectVideo's patented technologies without paying for them," said Bill Marino, chief intellectual property officer for ObjectVideo, in the release. "We need to ensure our existing IP and software partners are not unfairly disadvantaged in the marketplace by competitors whose products use the same or similar functionality to innovations that are ours."

Also involved in a lawsuit are two 360-degree camera manufacturers, who had previously worked together. Grandeye Ltd. filed a complaint on against Sentry 360 Security, Inc. alleging patent infringement, the misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract.

Agilence purchased the assets of video analytics company, Vidient. Vidient went out of business in 2010, by the way, so I'm guessing Agilence (who I wrote about recently) probably got a good deal, but, of course, nothing about purchase price was disclosed.

Now that's a lot of news.

Also, the Security 5K was a huge success. There were more than 400 runners out there bright and early on the second day of the show in Vegas (which always impresses me since Vegas doesn't exactly promote early, sober nights). Overall, the event raised $92,000 for Mission 500, enough money to food, clothe and house for 240 kids for a year. Not too shabby, eh? Haven't had a chance to see the results yet? Here's the link.

ISC West is just around the corner and ASIS announces keynote speakers

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I took a nice long weekend to recover from my travels to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for i3 International's annual event followed by a very successful TechSec Solutions in Delray Beach, Fla. (I know, both tough places to be in February, especially when you call Maine home). But no time to relax, we're jumping right into the next round of security conferences.

ISC West Security Conference and Exposition at the Sands in Las Vegas is right around the corner on April 5-7. If you're an end user who's planning to attend the show, I'd like to meet with you. These conferences are a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with folks and I'm always interested to hear about the challenges and successes security practitioners are experiencing out there in the real world. Likewise, if you're a manufacturer or integrator and have some customers who will be attending the show, also feel free to contact me to set up an appointment: LStelter(at)securitydirectornews.com.

Also, don't forget to sign up for the Security 5K. Last year we had more than 300 people from the security industry running the streets of Vegas at 7:30 a.m. It created a ton of buzz at the show so this year we're expecting even more people to participate. All proceeds generated by the race will be contributed to Mission 500, an organization determined to get the security industry to sponsor 500 (or more) children through the World Vision humanitarian organization. The 2011 goal is to raise $100,000, which will feed, educate, clothe and tend to the health needs of more than 300 needy children around the world. Not a runner? Not a problem. It's a fun run, people, do it for the children.

In other conference news, ASIS International announced two big name keynote speakers for their conference in Orlando, Fla. on Sept. 19-22. This year Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, will give the opening address on Tues., Sept. 20. And on Wedn., Sept. 21, Vicente Fox, President of Mexico, 2000-2006, will discuss the economic and social challenges facing Latin America. Frankly, I'm very excited to hear what Fox has to say about the political landscape and security challenges in Mexico right now. Mark your calendars.

Out of shape: A security epidemic?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One of the most common responses to my blog entry about an officer Tasering a misbehaving fan at the Philly stadium was that the officer should've been in better shape so he wouldn’t have had to resort to using a Taser (check out the comment section).

While I think someone like myself, who leads a fairly active lifestyle, would still have had a hard time catching that spry-looking 17-year-old kid, there's no doubt that security officers should be in better-than-average shape. After all, their jobs often depend on strength, agility and stamina.

Nonetheless, I was still surprised to hear this response to my blog, especially from those in the security industry, until I read this article in USA Today. Apparently, an increasing number of police and fire recruits are flunking fitness tests around the nation.

When the Jackson Police Department tried to recruit new officers this spring, more than a third of the applicants were not able to pass the initial physical fitness test.

Well, that must be because the fitness exams are tough, right? Not exactly. The academy requires push-ups, a 1½ mile run, an obstacle course and a flexibility test. And apparently it's the running that causes most of the recruits to fail. That's bad, but it only gets worse:

Last year, the Cambridge Health Alliance and researchers from Harvard University and Boston University found that 77 percent of fire and emergency medical technician trainees in Massachusetts were either overweight or obese.

And there's even more: One of the authors of the report said they "consistently find that among police and firefighters, generally three-quarters are overweight and that includes one-third that are obese."

Yeah, obese.

Those measurements are determined by one's body mass index, which compares weight and height. When a person's BMI is between 25 kg/m2 and 30 kg/m2 they are overweight and obese when it is greater than 30 kg/m2.

(Here's the formula, in case any of you are also curious: BMI = weight x 703 / height in inches, squared)

And, it gets even worse. Instead of agencies maintaining high levels of physical fitness requirements to whip these folks into shape, some departments have lowered physical strength standards to avoid discrimination lawsuits.!!

"In combination with a less fit pool," said the author, "that will end up allowing more obese recruits to successfully join these services."

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt any of us to start training for the Security 5K now: