I arrived home on the heels of the highly successful Electronic Security Expo (ESX) in Baltimore, just celebrating its second year, to find my 100-year-old Boxelder tree in the backyard gone. The majestic elder took a dive when my hometown of Park Ridge, Ill., located 15 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, experienced a microburst or some such matter while I was away at the show.
The cab driver on the way home from the airport on my return trip filled me in on what was the latest in a series of storms to hit our area and recounted how in a matter of minutes the skies turned black and the wind whipped in such a manner that it had the area’s trees bending at a 45-degree angle. All things considered we were lucky. The tree snapped at its thick trunk about 10 feet from the ground and damaged my neighbor’s garage slightly but missed the power lines.
Most striking about the event was how the landscape had changed dramatically, just from my Boxelder’s demise. The squirrels that scurried about were gone, displaced to another deciduous domicile. The yard looked vacant and distraught. The sun streamed into the house as it never had before in the decade-plus I’ve lived here, causing me to rig methods to provide shade from the now blazing summer sun.
The landscape had changed, in a matter of minutes, causing me to have a new point of reference with regards to the way things looked and the way it affected my home and even my psyche. But this also got my creative juices flowing. I could see similarities in the ways in which the landscape of the security industry is changing as well. How the landscape has become one of IT, IP, Web- and browser-based products and services and wireless with an increasing emphasis on Software as a Service (SaaS). The good thing about this change is that you still have time.
Inside this issue, we’ve got the information to get you thinking about your business landscape and how it’s evolving. We’ve presented some groundbreaking statistics, thanks to our friends at the prestigious Lund University in Sweden, who have assembled global data on the integration community and the shift to IP. See this story beginning on page 68. Check out our cover focus on page 76 on Norris Inc., run by Harty Norris, who is installing wireless WANS, LANS and more for schools and other locations in Maine and is finding much promise in this type of networking; and there’s a ‘social’ twist to the story. Also see Tech Update, page 83 and how ADS in Nashville is stepping up to the plate with a new SaaS managed access product called SecureDoor.
The landscape of the security industry is changing but you still have time to act. “The danger of waiting is that the value-added resellers (VARs) will steal your business if you don’t step up your competence levels,” said Thomas Kalling, PhD and director of the LUSAX Security Informatics Research Project at Lund University in Sweden. Be our partner and we won’t let that happen.
Deborah O’Mara, editor
SECURITY Dealer & Integrator magazine