Welcome to the melting pot

The 'muni' market sizzles with diverse initiatives and partnerships


Total cost of ownership, value-added services and life cycle costs discussions will increasingly be part of the discussion for any end-user, but especially cities and municipalities.
According to Steve Russo, director of Physical Security Technology, IBM Security Services, one of the measurements of value by law enforcement for surveillance is how many investigations the video can bring in during a period of time.

"Also, the whole idea of video and sensor analysis is growing-as you start to see the increase in our processing power and the optimizing of these algorithms it's where we can be more cost effective and add value."

In the case of the Rochester, N.Y., installation, the deployment of virtual servers reduced acquisition and operating costs by as much as 40 percent. Storage alone, according to Pivot3, can account for 50 percent of the cost of a surveillance system.

Alex Bratton, chief executive officer of Lextech Labs, Naperville, Ill., said integrators have to communicate the value of the system in terms the end-user can relate to and understand. For example, police and first responders can have inter-agency communication with mobile video, such as iRa C3 video surveillance software from Lextech.

"We as an industry have to talk about the value of the solution, the value proposition. Mobile video can be used for more than security-event management, people flow, traffic-the value proposition gets broader and broader," Bratton said.

According to Benjamin Butchko CPP, president and CEO of Butchko Security Solutions in Cypress, Texas, life cycle costs are also important to the end-user and must consider the cost to make the system work on a continuous basis. "It includes total cost of ownership-the cost to acquire, busy and support the equipment and also the cost to operate and train personnel on the system, including retraining. It also includes the plan to phase out the security equipment long term in a way in which the end-user can manage it." Butchko was a speaker at the ASIS Physical Security Council Professional Development Workshop in Chicago recently.

Networks: GPS Satellite Beefs Up

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have become a management tool that's proactive. For law enforcement and public safety offices, it's another tool they are increasingly adding to their arsenal. Its price has dropped and it is easier to deploy and install.

GPS is not only a navigational tool for vehicles and mobile phones but it's also used in commercial and industry applications. For example, it allows ATMs and financial institutions to time-stamp transactions.
According to PhysOrg.com GPS is getting an upgrade of about $8 billion, designed to increase the system's accuracy, improve its reliability and make the technology even more widespread. It's reported that the new satellites that will replace older ones will eventually triple the signals available for commercial use. GPS was originally developed by the Pentagon over 30 years ago.

Downtown Dallas Inc. and the Dallas Police Department is looking at deploying a new Motorola Turbo Radio System called MOTOTRBO in 2011. The digital radio system combines handheld radios and GPS tracking in one. The idea is to replace analog radios that are voice function only, said BearCom Chairman John Watson, which will handle the changeover. Watson said this new digital generation will mimic many of the functions currently available on smartphones, one of which will be an integrated GPS module. Web-based tracking will also be available.

MOTOTRBO is Motorola's first digital two-way licensed spectrum radio system specifically designed to meet the requirements of organizations that need a customizable, business-critical communication solution.