What’s the Buzz for 2009?

Critical sectors carve out convergence

The IT and the physical security groups are two distinct entities, which also has resulted in slower adoption of some technologies. “The IT side of the industry has been quite aware of the concept of convergence, especially in logical and physical access,” Frazzini continued. “From an operational standpoint, compared to the technology sector and the sophistication of cyber crimes, physical security was viewed as very primitive. Its information was not seen as credible. Now, it’s understood physical security can be tied to logical data systems,” he said.

Monitoring Response & the Central Station
The days of monitoring openings and closings only are over. Thanks to technology there are many ways for central stations to generate recurring revenue from alarm breaches, supervisory and other signals, moving these firms into the role of critical data and building intelligence centers.

Central stations are becoming more of an information hub, driven by technology and other ways of connecting with subscribers electronically, according to Morgan Hertel, vice president, The Command Center Inc., Corona, Calif. The UL-listed Command Center was created in 1990 by several independent alarm companies who remain as dealers today.
“During one month we sent over 40,000 e-mail and text messages, while three years ago we were not sending any,” said Hertel. “Today we monitor the health of over 400 computers, network switches, phone systems and other IP-based devices and services connected to our automation systems. None of this was happening two to three years ago,” he said.

Central stations continue to evolve into critical response centers, offering personal emergency monitoring devices, according to Troy Iverson, vice president of Sales and Marketing, AvantGuard Monitoring Centers, Ogden, Utah.

“Often times, lives literally hang in the balance of our operators, so it has become increasingly important to have state-of-the-art systems on the technological and operations side,” Iverson said.  “Technology has also enabled us to increase the efficiency in which we verify alarms.  From feedback we know that as technology has increased, false dispatches have decreased,” he said.  

The Command Center’s Hertel said central stations that choose to embrace technology will find “a lot of green fields” out there. “For those centrals that are not interested, I think the gentleman from Cisco said it best at  ISC West  two years ago--’lead, follow or get out of the way, because they are coming right at this market,’” Hertel said.

Future Shock: Your Distributor 2038
Where will we be 30 years from now in product distribution?
Here’s what two national companies had to say:

ADI’s vice president of Marketing Randy Teague confirmed that network bandwidth, processing power and digital storage will increase enormously in capability.
“In addition, mobile video applications will become common due to advances in wireless and cost – not only in applications like law enforcement or mass transit but in some automobile applications. Communications will expand to all mobile devices including cell phones, PDA’s, media players and more,” Teague said. “Biometrics will be widely used as the industry settles on one or two techniques that will become highly reliable, near zero false negatives and positives, and balance any privacy concerns,” he said.

Tony Sorrentino, vice president of Sales, ScanSource Security, Greenville, S.C., said the next 30 years in distribution will be significant. “Manufacturers will rely more heavily upon the efficiencies of distribution to service a larger percentage of their dealer base,” Sorrentino said. “Value-added distributors will play a key role by providing education, training, technical support, financing and logistics. As security products move to the network and new products are introduced at a faster pace, staying current on the latest product information will be even more important to the integrator,” he said.