THE MAGAZINE

Mid-Tier Companies Get Love, and Other Trends

By Sherry Harowtiz

Last month, I highlighted progress being made in standards and buzz about the potential of software as a service, both of which were hot topics at the annual ASIS seminar and exhibits. This month, I’ll touch on other trends in evidence at the ASIS show that will continue to impact the security sector in 2011.
 
One phenomenon spurred by the economic downturn is the move by vendors to make their products more affordable and available for mid-sized companies. As Dave Tynan of Avigilon put it, “you’ve got budget optimizers at the bottom and security optimizers at the top.” Since the security optimizers are, he estimates, only 15 percent of the market, it pays for companies like his to find ways to meet the needs of mid-tier organizations that have “focused surveillance needs but not enterprise” systems. That’s good news for companies with more limited requirements and budgets.
 
Another trend is what Milestone’s Eric Fullerton calls video enabling—the use of video for nonsecurity purposes to enhance return on investment. “More than 10 percent of the installations we do go to video enabling…from produce to semiconductor manufacturers to shipping logistics and safety,” he says. “We see this proliferating much wider.” It won’t be long, he estimates, “before 50 percent of use is not security.”
 
In another trend, security companies are increasingly recognizing that, to paraphrase the retail slogan, an educated consumer will be a better customer.
 
For example, says Mark Wilson of Infinova, “We are educating our users about [the] lens.” They think a lens is a lens, but they need to understand that “If you put a standard lens on a megapixel camera, it will only operate as a standard camera,” he says. Complicating the issue is that megapixel lens manufacturing lags behind that of the cameras themselves, but glass manufacturers are starting to address the problem.
 
Mark Nazarenus of IQinVision says they, too, emphasize education, offering tools that can help integrators design systems. New online tools include lens selectors and bandwidth calculators. The tools emphasize “the spec-writing side of things” to help integrators get it right.
 
Another development is that security providers increasingly use data they collect from systems to proactively address issues and prevent downtime. ADT foresees a time when the company will send a tech out before the client even knows there’s a problem. “For example, you have a video recorder with a hard drive where the temperature is too high. We could get a notification on that, send a technician out there, transfer the data to a new hard drive, and keep them up and running before anything ever happens,” says ADT’s Bruce Sachetti.
 
Lastly, with 2011 promising as much uncertainty as 2010, travel security will likely gain more attention. Currently, says Travel Guard’s John Rose, many companies still don’t have appropriate policies. To raise awareness, Security Management begins a new travel risk chart this month, courtesy of Travel Guard. Find it on page 34.

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