SIW Exclusive Interview: A Q&A with GVI's New CEO Steve Walin

Walin discusses the company's focus, new product lines, and what his integration background can mean for the company

Steven E. Walin joined GVI Security Solutions in February, bringing extensive experience from GE and Siemens, but also bringing a long-term integration background to one of the industry's top products manufacturers.

Walin made his move over from GE Security Enterprise Solutions, where he has been president since April 2003. Prior to his leadership role in GE's Security Enterprise Solutions group, Walin served as senior vice president with the security systems division of Siemens Building Technologies from 2001 to 2003, overseeing field sales, installation and service operations. He had joined Siemens after his previous company, Security Technologies Group, a large North American security systems integrator where he was president and COO, was acquired by Siemens in 2001. Walin got his start in the industry with electronic security products manufacturer CASI-RUSCO, giving him some 23 years of experience in almost all aspects of the security industry. caught up with Walin yesterday afternoon to talk about his focus for the company, what's on the table for ISC West, and how integrators, dealers and manufacturers can better work together.

Steve, let's start today's interview by bringing us all up to speed on the GVI Security Solutions business, which, as many of our readers are aware, is part of Samsung.

The GVI business is really divided into 3 segments. The core business, what we call the Professional Business, is primarily the distribution of Samsung video products through to large distributors and to industry integrators and dealers. That business is focused on Samsung but there are also other GVI branded products that we provide also at different levels of the scale in the market.

The second piece of the business is our enterprise solutions group, the core of which is in the Washington, D.C., area focusing on homeland security and government customers. Their mission, although it is a fairly new division, is to develop a more end-to-end total solution offering to the channel, while helping the channel create demand at the end user level. For instance, one of our premier installations there is the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) headquarters in Washington, where we provided one of our products called the RAPOR rapid entry turnstile, which is a turnstile device that is actually a door. It's a passive door for applications that need very fast throughput going through a portal. When they are supposed to be denied access, the door actually closes, rather than a typical turnstile which is closed and opens up on a valid access. So that's one of the core products we offer through the enterprise solutions group.

And then the third area that GVI has been focusing on is the retail segment, which has been providing Samsung products to retail stores like Sam's Club. That operation we will actually be discontinuing this year to focus on our primary business and our enterprise solutions group.

We're right around the corner from ISC West. What's happening in the GVI/Samsung product line and what will be showcased at ISC West?

We have our new camera line and new DVRs that have been released from Samsung that we will be highlighting, and we will have all those in our booth. The 32X zoom smart dome camera is one; our high resolutions monitors, our new DVRs that are coming from the Samsung line (the SHR line, including the SHR-2042 and SHR-2040P) -- those will all be highlighted, including the high resolution camera with day/night function. So those are a couple of the key Samsung offerings that we'll have at ISC. In addition we'll be showing our GVI TRAK, which is our video threat detection technology, as well as our SerenityONE product line, which is our security management platform. It is focused around video, but includes data and audio, and is used not only as a security application but as a productivity solution for several vertical markets, particularly in the retail space.

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