LIVE From IFSEC 2006: Day 4 Report

The show is beginning to wind down as we are half way through day four of what has turned out to be another banner year for IFSEC and the CMP group.

The friendly faces continue to appear from the U.S. including Kevin Wine of LENEL Systems, Robert Gailing of Cogent Systems and Gene Pecora of Honeywell Power Products.

First on my list of stops today was at the Arecont Vision booth. Arecont was exhibiting their newest product the SurroundVideo AV8380 Network Camera (see story about this new camera). According to Dr. Vladimir Berezin, president of Arecont Vision, the new high-resolution, 4-way camera was seeing great interest at the show.

"The AV8360 camera is based on SurroundVideo technology," said Berezin, "and it offers panoramic views and cinema compatible high frame rates to allow real time high definition digital video surveillance with 24 times the resolution of the best analog surveillance cameras.”

The AV8360 delivers full motion progressive scan 1600 X 1200 video at 22 fps per channel featuring massively-parallel MegaVideo image processing architecture capable of sustaining over 6 billion operations per second. The AV8360 also has onboard real-time motion detection with size and sensitivity controls for up to 64 separate motion detection zones per channel.

Also on this fourth day, I was able to spend sometime with Chris Best, of G1 Ltd, a large systems integration firm with over 28 years in the security industry. Best attends IFSEC with a total of six employees; and it's a model for how integrators can "work" a show. The engineers are tasked with discovering and learning about the latest technology and newest products that are on display. Best, on the other hand, spends his time maintaining and building new relationships with industry associates.

G1 Ltd. focuses only on the industrial and commercial market, with 80 percent of that being CCTV installations. His largest customers are shopping centers, and Best says the majority of the products being installed are Pelco dome cameras and JVC monitors, as well as other manufacturers based on the spec of the job. To grow his business, Best is looking at other vertical markets like business parks and their need for security surveillance and risk management.

And even though he's doing high-end installs, Best says that the majority of his installs still use analog camera systems.

"IP cameras absolutely have their place and the benefit to the end user still remains to be how you move the data and who collects it," said Best. "The IP hype is a little more talk than reality at the present time. Installers and integrators must keep up with technology whether they are in the states or here in the UK. Twenty years ago the buzz words were multiplexers and VCRs and 5 years ago it was DVRs. Today it’s NVRs and IP addressable systems.

"The business of today definitely includes the IT department and their specific skill sets," continued G1's Chris Best. "Where the installer and integrator can and must show true value is in their expertise as it relates to security. Knowing where to place the cameras, what areas are most vulnerable to intrusion or vandalism, knowing what products are most cost-effective based on the client's budget. These core requirements will not change."

Best described his company as an “engineering based firm with very high standards of integrity." He says that despite the technology focus of the company, business is still business. "This is a relationship business and your word means everything," said Best. "Cameras, readers and PIRs are just the products we install.”

A recent installation that G1 is extremely proud of was a full video surveillance system that was installed at Covent Garden outside of London. The facility is one of the most popular tourist attractions with its historic architecture, cafés and boutique shopping. Covent Garden is known as a Grade 1 listed building with the English Heritage Association. Best said the project required them to not only work very closely with the client, but also with an architectural review board which sought to ensure that the camera installations would not damage the building's façade. Months of planning and preparation went into making this installation seamless and one for all to emulate.

After catching up with Best on what's happening with G1, I made my way to Lenel, where I was able to meet with Lenel's Heather Russell, international marketing and communications manager, and Kenneth Sundstrom, sales engineer. As the show began to wrap up, both Russell and Sundstrom said that that the show had been excellent for the company, and said they had seen a good contingent of attendees from Scandinavia and the Baltic regions who had shown interest in becoming dealers or VARs for LENEL. And Russell said that the end-users visiting the booth had been keenly interested and were providing feedback in the form of requests for more features to their current product line.

According to Sundstrom, “the attendee that travels to IFSEC has done a good deal of preplanning. We’ve seen people come to our booth that have marked off on the show floor map those companies that they must visit."

Live from IFSEC 2006, until next year, that’s the latest from across the pond!

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