The security week that was: 1/25/08

Jan. 25, 2008
A weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession

People making waves

It was a very busy week in our industry, and we scarcely have the space to cover it here. Let's get in and hit some of the highlights, as the people of our security made waves up and down the shores of this industry.

Pelco received a new CEO, with TAC Americas' former president Dean Meyer (who had been COO at Pelco since fall 2007) stepping up. David McDonald, CEO of the company for 20 years, will remain on the board of directors. This is all part of the purchase of Pelco by Schneider Electric (a French firm), which also owns TAC. TAC, as we reported before will be overseeing Pelco, so this positioning of Dean Meyer as CEO to integrate Pelco into Schneider and TAC comes as no surprise.

Interestingly, I was talking to an industrial products analyst this morning, and while many in our industry knew the Pelco name but not the Schneider name when that acquisition originally occurred, this analyst was equally surprised to learn the Pelco name, having already known the Schneider name for years as a leader in the building systems and electrical business. That simple conversation, I suppose, shows the potential value of linking a security/surveillance firm with a provider of building mechanical and automation services.

Vidient, an analytics firm, also changed its CEO position, bringing aboard Frank Pao, who had formerly worked with data mining/enterprise search software firm Verity Inc. as president and COO.

Our next two news bites are from former Cisco physical security unit people.

Bob Beliles is now at Hirsch Electronics. He was one of those people in our industry who seemed to be able to truly understand where this IP trend would take us. Well, apparently that industry vision has taken him to Hirsch, a company he said was noted for their ability to integrate with other systems using XML interfaces and APIs.

Practically at the same time, Mark Kolar, who had been managing Cisco's physical security channel program, headed over to Agent Vi. I spoke with Mark (as well as Agent Vi CEO Buddy Flerl Agent) this week, and we now have an article on the site which discusses their channel strategy. The thing that Agent Vi seems to understand well is that video analytics will not simply remain as a security tool. When this market takes off, it will take off fast and go straight to senior business management needs. Sure, it will never lose its bias towards compliance and security, I suppose, but there is equal value in the ability to use analytics for business metrics. Integrators adept in deploying analytics systems will see this trend help expand their business beyond simply selling security systems.

It's hard to think about Leon Chlimper without thinking of Bosch Security Systems, but that's no longer the case. Chlimper has left Bopsch and immediately resurfaced at Brijot Imaging Systems, which creates people scanning systems and uses passive millimeter wave imaging -- a new, high-tech tool for spotting threats that might be concealed under clothing.

Other people making news: Magal has a new CFO, Lian Goldstein. ... Intransa gets a new addition to its advisory board. ... Cyndi Freschi's integration firm North American Video has been acquired by an investment firm, The Halifax Group. Freschi will remain aboard NAV.

The Security Statistic
How do integrators like a vendor-endorsed GSA schedule bill?

Sixty-two (62) percent of readers surveyed on the homepage have said that if HR 3179 (the Local Preparedness Acquisition Act) becomes law, it will help smaller, local security integrators. The other 38 percent said it could hurt their business.

The bill, which has been heavily championed by SIA, would allow state and federal governments to purchase security equipment at GSA-approved prices, which are often less than standard MSRPs. I'm going to step out on a limb and guess that the GSA would like this bill, because in a similar program with IT products, the government agency gets a financial cut of every product sold. Our new poll will be out next week...stay tuned.

Are you talking to me?
In the forums: Discussing wireless video transmissions

Our Tech Corner forum members hashed out the topic of wireless video transmissions, looking at the 900Mhz and 5.8Ghz systems, also comparing them to the el-cheapo systems where you get what you pay for. If remote, wireless control of PTZ cameras is your bag, register in our forums and join the party.

Finally, we close with a look at our most read stories of the week: