The move toward convergence is being driven by the customer or end user. These accelerated demands of the end user are requiring dealers and integrators get up to speed quickly on the latest technology has to offer. The final part of this Roundtable explores the consequences of convergence.GOMPERS:
Vice President, Marketing
PELCO: The move toward convergence is being powered most significantly by the availability and subsequent affordability of IP communication systems and bandwidth. Because of this, we are going to see the entrance of big-name players such as the IBMs, Ciscos and others. Their core competencies in this market space make a move into video security, logical if not expected.
PANASONIC SYSTEM SOLUTIONS COMPANY: Convergence is being driven from two different directions: systems manufacturers looking to further expand the utility of their products to increase sales, and end users looking to consolidate and simplify systems operations.
Manufacturers of systems products are in a very competitive arena since the need and demand for more sophisticated security systems has increased. There are numerous reasons behind the growth in demand that have also been the catalyst for increased competition: established companies in the security industry, new companies looking to capitalize on the industry climate and companies with established roots in previously unrelated industries such as Information Technology and communications.
The same end users that have generated an increased demand for more advanced video and security systems are also driving the demand for higher levels of convergence and integration. The reason is two-fold. Higher levels of integration allow previously unrelated systems to automatically “talk” to each other on the enterprise level. For example, access-control systems can be tied into human resources for employee tracking, and video surveillance systems can be automatically tied into any device (such as a POS station) or area (such as a cash room or warehouse door). And, integrated systems can be operated synergistically on a single software-based platform for centralized control.
Vice President of the Security Division (North America)
CONVERGINT TECHNOLOGIES: The general downward cost of IP cameras and other devices is making it more affordable for end use customers who are also leveraging existing IT network infrastructure investments. Unique compression techniques allow video—once thought of as bandwidth hog—to be run on an existing network.
President and CEO
IPIX CORPORATION: The move toward convergence is being driven by the customer. The massive amounts of data being generated by today’s electronic security systems requires that companies have a strategy for managing and evaluating such data in order to realize the full value of their technology investment. Integrated solutions not only provide a higher level of safety and security, but create more efficient business operations. As the industry moves forward, it will be those companies, new and old, capable of delivering systems that integrate with and enhance the overall solution that will thrive.
GOMPERS: What training or resources do dealers and integrators need to be more effective in managing and implementing the emerging technologies today?
Chief Operating Officer
DVTEL: Products are more sophisticated and installation is more rigorous and complex, even though the systems are becoming simpler to use. The evolution of IT-based security is no different from office automation—going from the typewriter to computers on a network created whole new ways of doing business and whole new departments to support the ways we do business. Video surveillance by entering the “information age” requires resources that are educated and trained to support this transformation.