The Security Week That Was: Sept. 7, 2007

A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


Diversifying the Basket

Security integrating firms and security products manufacturers shouldn't count on a single government program as their lifeblood. That was the advice that Steve Oyer, interim CEO of Saflink Corporation, mentioned at one point yesterday during an investor call. The firm, which has developed biometric solutions, is merging with IdentiPHI, another leading biometric solutions firm. It's apparently a welcome move for investors, judging by comments made during the Q&A session.

In making that point about diversified business lines, Oyer was speaking chiefly about the financial significance that the company had placed on a TWIC contract that never materialized (due largely, it seems, to the TWIC program's inability to get any momentum behind it), and also was thinking of the weight placed on the Registered Traveler program (RTP) that Saflink subsidiary FLO Corporation counted on. Both programs have been somewhat slow to start (though, the RTP seems to be gathering real momentum now), with TWIC still in a state of apparent limbo and without clear technology standards.

Saflink, at least, seems to have made it through that lesson and has ended up with a technological partner in IdentiPHI (Saflink will be known as IdentiPHI after this merger), but as you plan the big projects for your integration companies, remember to diversify your bids and to count on projects where the technology is trusted and ready to work.

More Vendor/Manufacturer News
Linear gets into CCTV; Guardian MMS becomes Contigo; more

While I'm on the topic of vendor news, I should turn quickly to Linear Corporation, a division of Nortek, which has purchased Aigis Mechtronics. Linear's purchase of Aigis is pretty exciting news in that it indicates Nortek's intentions to truly expand and diversify the Linear technology lines. Already owning companies that gave Linear core strengths in residential systems and luxury audio/visual systems that could be used for homes or businesses, the Linear purchase of Aigis expands the division more into the commercial sector and into the world of video surveillance, where Linear had previously had no real footprint.

Also this week, Guardian Mobile Monitoring Systems announced that it has re-branded the company as Contigo. Guardian/Contigo has specialized in GPS and location-based tracking systems, and is on the cutting edge of this space with solutions for everything from fleet management (dealers and other "white van companies", take note!), asset management and even executive protection.

Additionally, Securitas Systems (the integration services side of the house) expanded with an acquisition in Germany that strengthened its position in the banking security market in that country. Video and security systems company Panasonic has announced that AMAG is joining its technology development partnership.

Follow the Copper
Continued surge in copper thefts can mean business for alarm dealers

This is the time to turn copper into gold. Copper thefts are striking not only the utilities (thieves have even tried to cut out sections of live, high-voltage power lines), but also air conditioning units and other sources of copper at commercial facilities and even homes. The traditional response has been a chain link fence, but that's not a protection guarantee. Some savvy businesses (especially those hit multiple times) are turning to alarm sensors for units and even to surveillance cameras. As this story about copper thefts illustrates, it's a good time to approach your customers to see if this is the kind of protection they need.

Is Access Control Moving Beyond Panels?
Webinar on Sept. 18 looks at new technology in this space

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