Security Watch

30+ Years Strong
PSA-TEC 2011: Ready to Educate and Entertain!

By Deborah L. O'Mara

PSA-TEC, scheduled for May 16 through 20, will head to its home turf this year in Westminster, Colo., where PSA Security Network has commissioned the Westin Westminster as the base hotel for its exhibits, educational sessions and various networking events. and SD&I magazine, part of the Cygnus Security Media Group, will be an integrated partner to the event, streaming live audio and video from the show, including the kick-off Welcome and Keynote Speech Reception, scheduled for Monday, May 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. This session will be broadcast live to SIW and other content, sessions and interviews will be part of the interactive coverage from the show floor as SIW and SD&I take an active role in promoting PSA-TEC.

The educational portion of the program is some of the best in the business, providing forward-thinking technology topics that integrators need to secure their success in the rapidly changing industry. PSA's President and CEO Bill Bozeman produced countless videos and other promotional materials to draw crowds to the event-and by all accounts it looks like those efforts will pay off big.

New sessions on managed services

One of the new educational tracks will focus on managed services, according to Lisa Cole, director of Marketing. "It's an important topic for the show," she added. Some of the managed services sessions include: The Dos and Don'ts of Service and Maintenance Contracts; Integrator Support Reseller Certification Program; The Importance of Fire Door Inspections for Life Safety and the Opportunity for New Revenue Generation; and Leveraging Flexible Payment Solutions to Generate RMR. In addition to the Managed Services Track, other sessions will focus on Business Optimization; IT; Physical Security and also include a Technology Showcase of targeted topics on both May 17 and 19. For a complete listing of other sessions, visit

In additional to the educational events, exhibits will give attendees time to speak to vendors about new products, or challenges they have in the field that might be solved with new or emerging technologies, as well as established products. Exhibit time is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 from 10:30 to 5 p.m. and lunch will be provided for all exhibit attendees and exhibitors that day.

The entertainment part

In addition, one of the informal but sought-after events is the music 'jam' where attendees get their musical instruments out after the day's end on May 17 to hear music from their peers and PSA Security Network members.

Remember that the entire electronic security community is welcome and PSA-TEC is an event open to non-PSA integrators, consultants, end-users, members of your staff or manufacturer's representatives.

MIPS 2011 Brings Out the Best In Integrators and Solutions

Milestone Systems, known for its open platform IP video management software, held its sixth annual Milestone Integration Partner Symposium (MIPS) early last month in San Antonio. Over 200 people attended from the Milestone ecosystem of distributors, systems integrators, consultants, Manufacturer Alliance Partners and Milestone Solution Partners.

Hardware appliance to come to market

The top breaking news at the conference was that Milestone would bring to market later this year a hardware appliance called the Milestone XProtect Essential NVR, a recording solution offering eight or 16 channels of recording. The historically software-only company said it is aiming the appliance at the small business market.

The first day of the gathering was devoted to training courses in sales and technical know-how for the high-end XProtect Video Management Software (VMS) offerings, and for the Milestone Integration Platform SDK (Software Development Kit), used for integrating third-party systems and devices. The remaining days included high-level management reports and guest speakers from a variety of vertical markets. Exhibitors introduced their latest offerings to the Milestone channel partners in the Technology Showcase: Allied Telesis, Arecont Vision, Axis, Basler, BriefCam, Canon, Firetide, FLIR, Gish Technology, Honeywell, HP, IBM, Intransa, Iomnis, IQinVision, Mobotix, Open Options, Panasonic, Pivot3, Rimage, SONY, SureView Systems, Vivotek and WYNIT.

Keynoter Thinggaard on Milestone success

In his keynote speech kicking off the event, Lars Thinggaard, president and CEO of Milestone Systems said the company and its ecosystem were looking at exciting times, "where all the pieces are beginning to come together. Innovation is what drives us," he continued. "We have some 75,000 customer installations around the globe and some 25,000 software downloads over the last six months alone. Our compound annual growth rate from 1998 to 2010 has been 41 percent. We are the global number one provider of video management systems, according to recent findings from IMS Research," he added.

End-users shared their security experiences using the Milestone platform: Terry Haukom from the Minnesota Department of Transportation described how the exemplary system he designed is scaling out to assist the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area, across all first responder agencies. Sergeant Richard "Red" Buckland from Louisiana State University regaled the audience with anecdotes of student pranks and vandalism that have been resolved and reduced with the video surveillance, as well as how they manage crowded sport stadium weekends, protect valuable laboratories and more.

Robert Bentley described his consultancy and project architect work with both video and access control system implementation designs, most notably with various police organizations in Canada. Charles R. Pierce of Leapfrog Training & Consulting gave a rousing presentation on how to work with architects and engineers. Other speakers included Fredrik Nilsson, general manager, Axis Communications Inc. who spoke about cloud computing; Kurt Gish, president of Gish Technology; retail specialist King Rogers CEO of KRG Analytics; and Keven Marier, CEO and founder of ConneX International Inc.

Awards for outstanding performance and collaboration with Milestone Systems were also announced:

Manufacturer Alliance Partner of the Year was Axis Communications for their breadth of product line allowing the channel to pair XProtect VMS with many different user environments and deployments, increasing the use of HD technologies.

Milestone Solution Partner of the Year was BriefCam for their video synopsis technology that is tightly integrated with XProtect, and for their strategic alignments in the field that produced great results.

Distributor of the Year was Communications Supply Corp., CSC, which has embraced the video-enabling concept of the Milestone open platform and steadily increased sales year after year.

National Partner of the Year was Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), a national reseller of Milestone VMS, who have proven to be a leading revenue partner in North America, demonstrating ongoing commitment from corporate to local branches.

Regional Partner of the Year was Convergint Houston, who achieved the highest single branch revenue in the country for Milestone Systems.

Installation of the Year went to Stone Security for their comprehensive work with a global religious organization, leveraging Milestone's integration with Lenel OnGuard access control.

Software Puts Surveillance in Real Terms For Users

Want to avoid that glazed-over look when trying to explain pixels per foot on target to potential customers? A new software application offers hope.

End-users need to know exactly what they will be getting, aka, what the specification will 'look' like, with their camera installation but explaining it can be a challenge. A new visual acuity software application from Gish Technology Inc., Indianapolis, a video surveillance consulting and software company, has been about 12 months in the making and now just released.

According to Kurt Gish, president of Gish Technology and recent speaker at the Milestone Integration Platform Symposium 2011, the Video Surveillance Calculator, called vsCalc(tm) is available for $9.95 at the Apple App Store, listed under reference utilities.

Gish wrote the application, compatible with the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and with Android and Windows functionality under way and set for release this Spring. The appropriately named Gish Index is a visual acuity reference for video surveillance that identifies usable and unusable picture quality, focusing on three parameters: detection, recognition and identification.

Application indicates field of view, angle of view, focal length

"Rather than try to explain to potential end-users or customers terms such as pixels per foot on target, the application is capable of showing exactly what the visual acuity will be, based on certain parameters," Gish said.

The intuitive calculator involves four on-screen steps:

1. Select the object of interest-face, license plate, car or truck;
2. Select the visual acuity index value-0.43, 0.53, 0.63 or 0.73 where 0 is an unusable image and 1 is a perfect image;
3. Enter the target distance from the camera to the object of interest;
4. Select the model and make of camera from a drop down database. Once those parameters are selected, the field of view, angle of view and focal length are displayed.

"With this application, you don't' have to talk about pixels per foot on target anymore," Gish said. "You can easily show the users what they will get." With a free download of color-coded AutoCAD blocks and Visio stencils, Visual Acuity Index Modeling is now possible for everyone. For more information visit or

The Death of House Bill 1301

The alarm industry rejoices after Springfield victory but IESA continues to keep a watchful eye on other possible and similar bills

By Natalia Kosk

March 16, 2011 marked a victorious day for the private alarm monitoring business. The Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA), with 95 attendees in tow, made their mark in Springfield, Ill., in opposition of House Bill 1301, legislation which fire districts were working to pass that would allow them to operate their own central monitoring stations and which in turn, would potentially put numbers of central monitoring stations and other alarm professionals out of business.

"House Bill 1301 is not going to pass-that bill is dead," confirmed Kevin Lehan, executive director, IESA and manager of Public Relations, EMERgency24. According to Lehan, the bill was not called for an Executive Committee hearing and was re-referred tothe Rules Committee.

Yet while alarm industry professionals can breathe a little bit easier and celebrate in this win, they still need to become involved in their community's government and watch for local ordinances in their areas of operation that will have the same impact as the formerly proposed HB1301. The language used in HB1301 could still be added as an amendment to other bills that are moving forward, Lehan added.

Some of these other bills will be presented to the 97th General Assembly before May 31st when the spring session closes. A number of the bills moving forward to watch for include HB1300; HB1359; HB1360; HB1362; and HB1363.

"One of the biggest problems that we had with House Bill 1301 is that it is specifying a technology," Lehan explained. "The technology is certainly viable but it is 10 years old. Once the dollars start rolling in, there is no incentive for fire districts to offer more services or even better services, like the private alarm industry does. The customer loses in the process, the service level will go down and the costs will go up. There are other ways for fire districts to balance their budgets besides taking over an industry-our alarm industry. What we need to do better as an industry is work more closely with emergency responders. We need to explain that there are better ways for them to meet their budgets, such as alarm registration or user fees. That way, fire protection districts can maintain their current staffing and the private alarm industry will continue to filter out signals that are not true emergencies," Lehan confirmed.

Scores of monitoring representatives made the trip to Springfield to voice their opposition. Attendees that traveled to Springfield to stop the passing of the bill included: ABS Business Solutions Inc., Hoffman Estates, Ill.; Acadian Monitoring Services, Lafayette, La.; ADI, Melville, N.Y.; ADT, Boca Raton, Fla.; Alarm Detection Systems (ADS), Aurora, Ill.; Comtech Security & Loss Prevention, Chicago; COPS Inc. Security Solutions, Peoria, Ill.; D&I Electronics, Plainfield, Ill.; DMC Security Services, Midlothian, Ill.; Early Warning Alarms Inc., Chicago; EMERgency24, Des Plaines, Ill.; EverSafe Security Systems, Keyport, N.J.; FE Moran Alarm & Monitoring, Champaign, Ill.; George Alarm Co., Springfield, Ill.; Interlogix, Bradenton, Fla.; Keyth Technologies, Highland Park, Ill.; Knight Security Alarms Inc., New Lenox, Ill.; LaMarCo Systems, Northbrook, Ill.; M&S Security Services, Bloomington, Ill.; Midwest Central Dispatch, Manito, Ill.; Monarch Alarm, Niles, Ill.; Nitech Fire and Security, Bloomingdale, Ill.; Norcomm Public Safety Communications, Bellevue, Wash.; Oberlander Alarm Systems, Peoria, Ill.; Paladin Communications, Chicago; Protection Plus Security Systems, Inc., Fremont, Calif.; Quality Alarm Systems, Inc., Alsip, Ill.; Quality Integrated Solutions (QIS) Inc., Chicago; Romeo Security, Shelby Township, Mich.; Security Alarm Corp., Port Charlotte, Fla.; Sentry Alarms One, Inc., Northbrook, Ill.; Service Security Technologies Inc., Machesney Park, Ill.; SMG Security Systems, Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Stand Guard, Crystal Lake, Ill.; The Alarm Guyz Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Thomas Alarm Inc., Yorkville, Ill.; United Systems, Quincy, Ill.; Young's Security Systems, Springfield, Ill.; and Zoepaz Inc., Lombard, Ill.

To become involved in the fight or to gain more information about the IESA and what you can do to help, contact Kevin Lehan at (630) 305-8800.