Rumors, over-heards and leftovers from ASIS 2011

This industry loves gossip as much as any other industry, and being part of the media, it's only natural that we receive a ton of such info in our conversations. Let's run through a few things from the show that aren't really public proclamations, but...


This industry loves gossip as much as any other industry, and being part of the media, it's only natural that we receive a ton of such info in our conversations. Let's run through a few things from the show that aren't really public proclamations, but which might be true...

Rumor: UTC Fire & Security is said to planning the end-of-life for the former GE Security product known as PicturePerfect. This tidbit came from a very trusted source who has made a good living selling that access control and security management system. I think it's a highly plausible rumor; the UTC Fire & Security team acknowledged that it had acquired such a variety of product lines that were no longer sustainable and that they would have to thin the herd and focus on products that can be delivered globally with a modular sales model that allows customers to only pick the feature sets they need. I'll give this a rumor credibility rating of at least 80%. UTC will, however, likely support the transfer over into a modern management system.

Rumor: Timesight Systems, which has a VMS/recording technology best known for its ability to re-encode video to drop quality to save storage space for long-term archived video is said to have almost 1,000 installations by now. The source seemed solid, so let's give this a rumor credibility rating of 75% since it's hard to tell how you measure installations (separate customers vs. number of server installs vs. separate facility locations). Frankly, measuring companies by installation numbers is something many analysts like to do, but I think it's a hazy measurement at best.

Leftover: A major fire systems integrator says the fire business is brutal and has become wholly commoditized. How do you provide value when every part of the business is ruled by codes? I think this integrator has a great point. Why does anyone go into fire detection as a new business channel these days?

Overheard: Zigbee, a wireless communications protocol, is dominating the communications business for in-home communications. Not much surprise here, but the second part of the "overheard" is actually a rumor…

Rumor: Zigbee may be dominating in-home wireless now, but the cellular providers are rumored to be planning a major play to connect in-home and business devices like alarm systems, their sub-components, automation components, and more. Rumor credibility level: 75%. Why so high for a rumor? It just feels right. I kept hearing that cellular providers are developing special rate plans for M2M (machine to machine) communications, so it just seems a matter of time before the all-pervasive cellular business becomes the wireless methodology of choice for many, many more machines and control systems.

Rumor: A major license plate recognition company is struggling to keep its huge contract with the U.S. Border Patrol. Rumor credibility rating: 20%. Whispered from a competitor so I'd say it's dubious at best.

Leftover: Proximex will stay separate from Tyco Security Products and will stay in the ADT fold. It was a tough decision, said ADT's John Kenning, but the deciding factor was that Proximex needed to be entirely neutral in its relationships with industry vendors, so the decision was made to keep it separate from American Dynamics, Software House and the other products in Tyco.

Rumor: Aronson Security Group is announcing a jump into IT and security cloud solutions within a week or two. Rumor credibility rating: 95% because it came from ASG itself. Look for more coverage of this soon...

Rumor: Sentry360 to roll out a 14 megapixel immersive imaging product within next month. Rumor credibility rating: 50%. Rating is only at 50% because, while some persons have said to have seen the prototype (was it available at Tom's booth?), the one month timeline seems a bit aggressive for a post-ASIS product launch.

Leftover: Panasonic's split between IP and analog video sales is now 50/50. This is not a rumor or an overheard. Panasonic's Bill Taylor said this during a media gathering at the show, and said the company is now #1 globally in IP video sales – but not yet #1 in the U.S. market.

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