LIVE from IFSEC 2007 in Birmingham, England

It was a cold and wet day in late May as I took off from JFK airport in New York to make my way to Birmingham, England. This was to be my third crossing of the pond to see what our European counterparts had to offer the security industry, and my anticipation of hitting the IFSEC show floor was mounting.

The plane wheels touched down Sunday, May 20 and I was off to the show Monday. A short walk from the Britannia Hotel down New Street's cobblestone walks to New Street Station and then a short train ride to the massive NEC complex and the games would begin! [Check out photos from IFSEC Day One.]

First stop was to see our friends at Rainbow CCTV. Rico Martinez, director of sales and marketing and David Craig, manager of technical services had traveled from sunny California to promote some of their new machine vision lens products. With their core business in the military markets and traffic management, specifically in London, they were excited to see what the show would offer.

Not far down the aisle was Paxton Access, which will soon have a larger U.S. presence as Anthony Searle, senior account manager heads to Seattle, Wash., to head up the North American office. "I'm heading to the US to increase sales efforts as well as our commitment to the American market," Searle said. Joining Searle at the Paxton Access booth was Trish Bamburg, marketing manager. According to Bamburg, Paxton is announcing a new integration partner: OnSSI.

Paul Bodell from megapixel surveillance firm IQinVision was excited to be exhibiting IQ's new Sentinel All Weather Megapixel Network Camera Enclosure that is entirely power over Ethernet. The unit, said Bodell, was created as a response to numerous customer requests, and was also designed from the point of view of the installing technician. It offers three mounting options: wall, ceiling or parapet.

A U.S.-to-U.K. trip to IFSEC would not be complete without seeing David Gottlieb of Honeywell Security & Custom Electronics, a familiar face at U.S security tradeshows. According to Gottleib, a big focus for Honeywell was to showcase their new Active Eye Video Analytics system. This is a product from their recent acquisition and has garnered much attention from attendees here at IFSEC.

The show floor seemed steady and turnout was good. Peter Timmons, technical sales specialist for Zandar Technologies, said that as a vendor looking to meet end-users and resellers, he was pleased with the day one traffic.

Zandar, which out of Dublin, Ireland, was demonstrating their new more integrated solution software. One of the stand-outs of the system is that it is designed around the needs of a security administrator managing a large wall of video. The Zandar solution is made to provide a higher level of group control over the entire video wall. There are pre-designed viewing scenarios for the administrator to automatically click and choose.

"This was a logical step in the progression of our technology," said Timmons. "Our primary market is broadcast where the quality of processing has to be real time and very high quality. For example, the Olympics are in Beijing in 2008, and this is a market for HD viewing. We are now bringing this to the security industry with a solution that is a more robust system that's micro-controller hardware-based."

From the tradeshow management side, the good folks at CMP say they are expecting another banner year for IFSEC. Sarah Tanner, the show's PR and communications manager, shared with us that they have added the Police and Public Safety Hall to the show floor. Last years Security Guarding Hall was a hit and they've added Support Services to help round out the category. In fact, Baroness Ruth Henig of Lancaster and chairperson for SIA (the Security Industry Authority, the UK governmental arm with manages the private security industry) opened the Security Guarding Hall with a special keynote speech.

CMP has re-branded the IP & Networked Solutions Hall and has made a real effort to target the IT security manager to encourage them to attend. In fact another U.S.-face, Bob Beliles, senior manager of the physical security market for Cisco, will be a featured speaker during the day two education tracks.

I finished off day one at IFSEC by spending time with Michael Sherman, president of AES Corporation (and a Brooklyn native to boot), as well as Mark Brandstein, COO. According to Sherman, Western Europe has been bombarded with new technology.

"With the new 7705i AES Multinet we are introducing the concept of multiple area monitoring from a single location," said Sherman. "Costs are drastically reduced and the need to have a central station in every country is eliminated."

"The 7705i is a dual redundant design that is UL listed and NFPA 72 compliant," added Brandstein. "Radio networks and the technology to power and transmit are now cross boarder. There is now one radio authority accepted by Eastern and Western Europe."

That's a wrap for day one; please stay tuned to for day two!

---Photos from Day One of IFSEC 2007