This month we continue our query of new management in the security industry, with participation from Altronix, MOBOTIX and Panasonic. See the May issue for the first installment of "View from the Top."
Q. What changes have you made to the organization?
Alan Forman, President, Altronix Corp.-"Altronix has always been focused on providing value-added solutions for our customers. Technological developments in the marketplace are evolving rapidly and we have ramped up our efforts to stay ahead of the curve. We continue to invest in R&D and expand our engineering and manufacturing capabilities and enhance customer support overall. Altronix is also ISO 9001:2008 certified, which assures we consistently deliver the highest quality products to meet our customers' highest expectations.
Steve Gorski, General Manager for the Americas, MOBOTIX-"MOBOTIX, having penetrated Europe with its unique high resolution IP video security solutions, sees the U.S. market as a prime growth target for 2010 and beyond. Our goal is to drive anticipated growth by expanding the company's sales and distribution channels through selective growth among current and new integrator and reseller partners, introducing new camera functionalities and targeting a broader group of vertical industries such as retail, transportation and small-to-medium-sized businesses.
Currently in the U.S., market share for high-resolution IP cameras is below 30 percent. This is largely due to the inability of existing CCTV, or even new IP networks, to cope with the high-bandwidth loads associated with sending large megapixel images from a camera to a central processing system. MOBOTIX is targeting the U.S. market with its 'decentralized' concept-a patented technology approach to video surveillance that unlocks the power of high-resolution by integrating the hardware, software, computing and storage all on the camera itself.
Bill Taylor, President, Panasonic System Networks Company-We have realigned our business units at Panasonic System Networks Company to offer a broader, unified range of complete solutions. Technology advancement, particularly the networked environment, is working to blur the lines between our product categories. The common use of Internet Protocol enables our telephone systems, point-of-sale systems and video surveillance systems to all speak the same "language" and therefore to interoperate in the context of an IT-based environment. This presents the opportunity for Panasonic to unify our products into complete system solutions for the enterprise. Our end-user customers are also seeing their own operational lines blurring across company departments as the enterprise becomes a singular technological entity. This presents a possible opportunity for end-users to become involved in buying technologies that both interoperate with security and work broadly across multiple corporate functions. It's also a chance for our reseller partners to expand their product portfolios, or to partner with our resellers in other categories.
Q. Have you changed the management structure, the organization and/or focus and is there a reason/vision attached to this?
Alan Forman-Our management and organizational structure has not really changed, but we've expanded all areas of engineering/production and sales and marketing to accommodate new growth and to provide additional support functions. One specific segment focuses on education for both our reseller partners and end-users so they are up to date on our latest solutions and how to deploy them most efficiently.
Steve Gorski-In 2009, MOBOTIX created my position in order to drive an aggressive expansion plan in the U.S. and Latin America. With the new team in place, the company has focused its resources on a core group of strategic business initiatives: strengthening relationships with a select group of new and existing reseller partners; investing in enhanced sales and marketing support to grow market share; and targeting an expanded list of vertical markets, including retail, transportation, education and the military.
Bill Taylor-The Panasonic vision involves serving diverse customer needs using a systems-based approach. The aim of our corporate structure is to enable us to realize that vision. Our core focus on robust, dependable technologies for the security and surveillance systems market has not changed. The Panasonic name continues to represent the best technologies for these markets. So even as we broaden our reach, we are maintaining our core focus and our commitment to our existing reseller partners.
Q. How does your strategy impact/enhance the reseller's growth opportunities?
Alan Forman-There is wonderful opportunity in the market for resellers who capitalize on the latest technologies. We are continually enhancing our line with products that deliver greater functionality, integration and value. By providing cutting-edge products and educating the industry on how to best deploy them, we can help improve overall efficiency and lower total cost of ownership.
Steve Gorski-Our business philosophy is for our partners to grow as we grow-that opportunities to expand MOBOTIX's footprint in the U.S. will directly lead to increased revenue generation opportunities for our resellers by selling highly-differentiated products. With IMS Research predicting worldwide growth rates for IP video security likely to exceed 15 percent in 2010 alone, resellers throughout the U.S. market have incredible opportunities to be part of the largest evolution of our industry in the past 50 years.
Bill Taylor-Our resellers can benefit greatly from an expanded product offering - it's all about new opportunities, both by selling a wider line and by reaching new markets. Resellers can also continue to benefit from the advantages of partnering with a technology and industry leader. Integrators have been leveraging the Panasonic name and benefiting from our reputation and longevity in the marketplace for decades. None of that will change. We are committed to supporting our traditional security integrators, whether or not they decide to branch out into other product categories. Meanwhile, our improved internal efficiencies will help us provide better value for customers.
Anixter Has Critical Infrastructure Pointers
By Natalia Kosk
"Protecting the critical infrastructure is not just about things that would bring down a power grid, but also about things that would harm us in other ways," explained Chris Jensen, national sales director for Public Safety Technologies, Anixter, during the Critical Infrastructure Security seminar presented by Anixter in Chicago last month. "There's got to be a plan in place for contingencies," Jensen continued. And there's no other present example that exemplifies this than the Gulf Coast oil disaster, he added. Using the disaster as a current example, Jensen discussed the need for identifying critical infrastructure, proper assessments and where funding comes into play and from what entities. The seminar also examined the latest technologies for protecting the nation's critical infrastructure.
"Critical infrastructure doesn't just come down to an oil tanker exploding, but how the surrounding area is affected," confirmed Jensen. "It's about dealing with the entire realm if there is an attack or natural disaster and having contingency plans in place."
As far as funding for general projects in critical infrastructure, he said: "I think you're going to start seeing more grant opportunities this year," adding that applicants also need to understand and follow the correct process in applying for some of these grants.
"Two of the main things that folks don't put into their grant applications is an extended warranty and software upgrades. Make sure that the system that you are spending money on is going to work months down the road. The number one reason agencies fail to get a grant is because they don't understand the requirements of the grant."
At-risk facilities need IP
And when it comes to securing our critical infrastructure, it's about having the latest technology available and deploying it for immediate results. For those companies not fully ready to make the jump to IP, there are solutions.
"Baluns and the UTP infrastructure will allow you to utilize the IP infrastructure down the road if you are not completely ready to make that transition now," explained Matt Powers, regional security manager, Anixter. "The whole idea is to go from reactive to proactive," Powers explained.
As far as emerging trends in technology, "what we're starting to see is server-based video analytics and analytics embedded on the camera itself," or at the edge, Powers explained, "as well as PSIM and video 'fusion' technology, which stitches images together."
The Industry is P-One's Oyster
By Deborah L. O'Mara
It's evident that Protection One Inc.'s President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Whall is a mover and shaker who wants to continue to drive the nationwide RMR giant up the ladder and further into the space as one of the largest security installing and monitoring firms in the industry.
Whall talked about growth initiatives within the organization and top-level management appointments in a recent exclusive interview with SD&I magazine, following the announcement that private equity firm GTCR completed the acquisition of Protection One by an affiliate of GTCR (Protection Acquisition Sub Inc.) for about $850 million. Industry experts reported that the multiple of RMR was around 33.
"We are so well-positioned," said Whall. "Our team is in place and we have brought in the best top management. We have big plans for the future and a national footprint and we're going to get bigger. We will have new ways to bring new feature-sets and value to new and existing customers." He added that Protection One has a strong IP component to the business, which also positions it for growth.
Also on the interview with SD&I were Jamie Rosand Haenggi, new Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer and Bob Dale, Senior Vice President of Commercial and Residential Sales; both former ADT executives. "Consumers always want a choice and Protection One will continue to give them an opportunity to have that," Haenggi said. Protection One also recently announced the appointment of Don Young as Chief Information Officer and Dan Bresingham, Chief Financial Officer.
GTCR's purchase of P-One marks its third collaboration with Whall, who previously partnered with GTCR on its successful investments in Cambridge Protection Industries and HSM Electronic Protection Services, Inc. Cambridge, operating through its SecurityLink brand, provided electronic security services to more than one million customers. Cambridge was sold to ADT for approximately $1 billion in cash in 2001. HSM was a leading provider of security services to the commercial market. HSM was sold to Stanley for $545 million in cash in 2007. Whall was previously the CEO of HSM and COO of Cambridge. Protection One has been recognized as one of "America's Most Trustworthy Companies" by Forbes.com. Network Multifamily, Protection One's wholly-owned subsidiary, is the largest security provider to the multifamily housing market. The company also owns wholesale monitoring services combined operations of CMS and Criticom International.
HID Global, Irvine, Calif., promoted Harm Radstaak to managing director, Identity & Access Management, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA)...Premier Mounts, Anaheim, Calif., made Rich Pierro director of Manufacturing...Stanley Convergent Security Solutions Inc. (Stanley CSS), Naperville, Ill., appointed Jason Martin chief financial officer for North America and United Kingdom Direct; Jim Kopplin chief operating officer for North America and United Kingdom Direct; and Mike Bishop senior vice president, Field Operations for the U.S.
Visonic Americas, Bloomfield, Conn., made Mark Ingram president and Bill Lyon to head new strategic initiatives globally, including educating the organization on the growing PERS market.
Integrators Learn Dos and Don'ts of Working with IT
By Natalia Kosk
Panelists, Jerry Cowser, Vector Security; Tim Warnock, Guardian Protection; and Tom Lassandro, HikVision USA, presented a panel discussion on working with IT during installations.
Tom Lassandro, HikVision USA, discusses the pros and cons versus analog and IP cameras and the total cost of ownership. Photos courtesy Natalia Kosk
It's a wrap on this year's ESX (Electronic Security Expo), in Pittsburgh, Pa. Attendees walked away with tons of good strategies to put to use at their companies. SD&I and SIW editors made tracks on the show floor throughout the three-day show, which hosted networking and social events but fine-focused on peer-to-peer educational sessions-many of which were standing-room-only crowds.
Integrators got some much needed information from the session: "How To Work With IT Departments to Manage a Successful IP Installation," presented by Jerry Cowser, network administrator, Vector Security; Tim Warnock, information technology specialist, Guardian Protection; and Tom Lassandro, technical trainer, Hikvision USA. From video to monitoring to access control, attendees learned what it takes to successfully work with IT departments, prevalent concerns of IT and overcoming the communication barriers between IT and integrators. Here are some dos and don'ts from the session:
- DO offer to build and utilize a separate network
- DO offer an IP-based video option to every prospect
- DO educate yourself on networking technology; find out what the IT department's policies are as far as where to deploy products and appropriate switches, ports and other nuances of the network
- DON'T expect to have a successful installation without getting the customer's IT department involved early
- DON'T attempt an IP install without proper networking planning
- DON'T assume that an IP-based system is harder or more expensive than a traditional system.
Check out www.securityinfowatch.com for all the post show coverage as well as videos from the sessions and lots of highlights from the show and exclusives from the editors of SD&I and SIW.
100-degree weather didn't stop attendees from flying in to Las Vegas to attend the NFPA Conference & Expo, held last month at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and it sure wasn't going to stop Assistant Editor Natalia Kosk, SD&I, and Senior Writer Susan Nicol, Firehouse.com, from covering the 'hot' topics of this fire & life safety show. Check out some of these brief reports from the show floor and be sure to read the full coverage at http://www.securityinfowatch.com/archives/1000749:
- Cooper Notification announced their new In-Building Mass Notification Systems, SPMNS, compliant with NFPA 72 2010 and UL 2572 for MNS;
- Simplex Grinnell announced their Simplex 4100ES fire detection and alarm platform which provides Ethernet connectivity, forward/backward compatible technology and supports remote fire alarm panel diagnostics;
- XTralis demoed two of their new solutions at their booth: the IAS Duct Detection which moves towards an environment solution providing monitoring for smoke and gases, as well as humidity and temperature; and the Vesda ECO combines ASD with gas detection and environmental monitoring;
- The partnership between Potter Electric Signal Co., St. Louis, Mo., and Nohmi Bosai, Tokyo, Japan, becomes public at NFPA;
- The Honeywell Fire Systems Group presented a briefing which debuted several new product solutions (i.e. System Sensor's FAAST and Notifier's E3Point, Sensepoint XCD and FD Series) from the complete Honeywell brand of fire & life safety and also discussed pressing issues regarding the move away from conventional panels towards IP- and GSM-based fire solutions that eliminate the need for POTS lines, a continued discussion in this industry;
- The Jeanne Clery Act goes into effect July of this year, requiring all campuses to have mass notification in place. Stay tuned for our August issue which will feature some follow-up coverage and how this affects fire technology providers in the market.