ASIS 2017 was off to a strong start on Tuesday, presenting a new wave of innovation to the U.S. security end user community. Many attendees to the Dallas show are well-placed in their companies to influence or direct the purchase of security products and equipment, and exhibitors sought to impress them with a range of new and enhanced options.

Moving from integration to unification

In general, the ASIS show has a quieter, less frantic feel than the spring ISC West show in Las Vegas. Conversations are more "intimate" than those common at integrator-focused shows. "End users are very honest about the challenges they are facing," observed Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager of Genetec. "The challenges we are hearing are a symptom of similar problems we hear in conversations with other users. It's more than just technology, it's planning out the strategy and showing them how they can slowly inch toward their vision by investing in a platform that is open and unified."

Unification is a buzzword you hear more and more often in the security industry, and unification means something beyond integration. In the case of Genetec, unification summarises a strategy that leverages an identical technology approach underlying every facet of a broad-based solution, including video, access control and other technologies. Arcuri says customers should commit to a unified platform and then use integration to accommodate existing installed products and enable a gradual transition to a systemwide unified system as costs allow.

Among Genetec's current and future offerings highlighted at ASIS 2017 are vertical-focused product lines such as Airport Sense, Retail Sense and Traffic Sense, which offer specific capabilities and are all built on the Genetec unified platform.

Johnson Controls accelerates product development

A year after the headline-making acquisition of Tyco, Johnson Controls kicked off the first day of the ASIS 2017 exhibition with a press event revisiting the big story one year later. Johnson Controls says they are making significant investments in engineering to ensure accelerated introduction of products in the video, access control and intrusion categories – around 100 engineers have been added to the product development team, a 15 percent increase.

Johnson Controls kicked off the first day of the ASIS 2017 exhibition with a press event revisiting its acquisition of Tyco
A press conference by Johnson Controls kicked off the ASIS 2017 exhibition, about a year after their headline-making acquisition of Tyco

"As we have come together, all the positives have been realised," said Brian Young, Johnson Controls Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. The complementary nature of the two businesses -- a prime motivator promoted when the acquisition was announced last year -- has been realised in many ways, including how the technology platforms work together, and even the sales cycles (Johnson Controls typically has a longer sales cycle, while Tyco's business moves faster.)

"We are starting to deliver real value," says David Grinstead, Global Vice President and General Manager of Security Products. Johnson Controls executives estimate the overlap of the two businesses is about 15 percent, which translates into 85 percent of new opportunity for crossover business to enhance both operations.

March Networks transitions to video software

Companies are changing as the market changes. March Networks is transitioning from being a hardware provider to developing software reporting tools that can increase the value of video and data by correlating the two. "Video is becoming more of an operational feature that every institution wants to have. We are more of an information company than ever, focused on software and services," says Peter Strom, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are seeing how video can play a role beyond security."

For example, March Networks' new Searchlight for QSR (quick service restaurants) combines video with various data points, such as those provided by point of sale (POS) systems, to provide a "dashboard" to help a business owner track his business (with data tied into video to enhance the value). Video is stored locally, and data is stored in the cloud; the service is provided for a monthly fee. The company has similar data-driven products in other verticals: Searchlight for Retail and Searchlight for Banking, both providing a "360-degree view" of a business. 

March Networks has historically emphasised the importance of cybersecurity - driven by demands of its financial and retail verticals

Cybersecurity in the video surveillance market

March Networks also has historically emphasised the importance of cybersecurity -- driven by demands of the financial and retail verticals they play in. Their cybersecurity approach predates by a decade or more the current concerns in the market, says Strom.

March Networks is among the companies that see video taking a new, higher profile among customers -- and not just for security applications. Two verticals that March Networks is active in -- financial and retail -- have been especially impacted by the transition to broader use of video in a company.

At ASIS 2017, March Networks is also announcing integration of Patriot One Technologies' covert weapons detection solution with video. The cognitive microwave radar technology detects concealed handguns and other types of weapon, and sends real-time alerts to security. The system is "trained" and continues to "learn" after deployment, getting better and smarter at detecting hidden weapons with each screening.

Arecont Vision emphasises ease of use

Arecont Vision continues on its theme of making it easier for integrators to install products. They have extended "no-touch" remote setup to the MegaDome G3 Series. A vari-focal motorised lens can be set up remotely in any position with pan, tilt, focus and zoom. The remote setup avoids a technician having to stand on a ladder to adjust and fine-tune the image, which takes extra time and can be hazardous.

The MegaVideo 4K 8.3 megapixel camera also has multiple motorised lens options for remote setup. Arecont Vision plans to carry the approach through its entire product line over time, expanding ease of installation to an ever-broadening array of products.

This is just a sampling of what I saw and heard on the first day of ASIS, with plenty more still to come.

Read's Day 2 coverage here

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Larry Anderson Editor, &

An experienced journalist and long-time presence in the US security industry, Larry is's eyes and ears in the fast-changing security marketplace, attending industry and corporate events, interviewing security leaders and contributing original editorial content to the site. He leads's team of dedicated editorial and content professionals, guiding the "editorial roadmap" to ensure the site provides the most relevant content for security professionals.

In case you missed it

Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach
Wire-free, mobile first and data rich? The future of access control is within almost anyone’s reach

The 2020s will be a wireless decade in access control, says Russell Wagstaff from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. He examines the trends data, and looks beyond mobile keys to brand new security roles for the smartphone. The benefits of wire-free electronic access control are well rehearsed. They are also more relevant than ever. A wireless solution gives facility managers deeper, more flexible control over who should have access, where and when, because installing, operating and integrating them is easier and less expensive than wiring more doors. Battery powered locks Many procurement teams are now aware of these cost advantages, but perhaps not their scale. Research for an ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions (AAOS) benchmarking exercise found installation stage to be the largest contributor to cost reduction. Comparing a typical installation of battery-powered Aperio locks versus wired locks at the same scale, the research projected an 80% saving in installers’ labour costs for customers who go cable-free. Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks Operating costs are also lower for wireless: Battery powered locks all consume much less energy than traditional wired locks, which normally work via magnets connected permanently to electricity. Wireless locks only ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential for which they must make an access decision. AAOS estimated a 70% saving in energy use over a comparable lock’s lifetime. Find out more about wireless access control at ASSA ABLOY's upcoming 29th June webinar Deploying wireless locks In short, every time a business chooses a wireless lock rather than a wired door, they benefit from both installation and operating cost savings. A recent report from IFSEC Global, AAOS and Omdia reveals the extent to which the advantages of wireless are cutting through. Responses to a large survey of security professionals — end-users, installers, integrators and consultants serving large corporations and small- to medium-sized organisations in education, healthcare, industrial, commercial, infrastructure, retail, banking and other sectors — suggest almost four locations in ten (38%) have now deployed wireless locks as a part or the whole of their access solution. The corresponding data point from AAOS’s 2014 Report was 23%. Electronic access control Electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling Without doubt, electronic access control is less dependent than ever on cabling: Even after a year when many investments have been deferred or curtailed, the data reveals fast-growing adoption of wireless locks, technologies and systems. Is mobile access control — based on digital credentials or ‘virtual keys’ stored on a smartphone — an ideal security technology for this wire-free future? In fact, the same report finds mobile access is growing fast right now. Among those surveyed, 26% of end-users already offer mobile compatibility; 39% plan to roll out mobile access within two years. Before the mid-2020s, around two-thirds of access systems will employ the smartphone in some way. The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights Driving rapid adoption What is driving such rapid adoption? The convenience benefits for everyday users are obvious — witness the mobile boom in banking and payments, travel or event ticketing, transport, food delivery and countless more areas of modern life. Access control is a natural fit. If you have your phone, you are already carrying your keys: What could be easier? IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022 Less often discussed are the ways mobile management makes life easier for facility and security managers, too. Among those polled for the new Wireless Access Control Report, almost half (47%) agreed that ‘Mobile was more flexible than physical credentials, and 36% believe that mobile credentials make it easier to upgrade employee access rights at any time.’ IBM forecasts that 1.87 billion people globally will be mobile workers by 2022. Workers in every impacted sector require solutions which can get the job done from anywhere: Access management via smartphone offers this. Site management device The smartphone is also convenient for gathering system insights. For example, one new reporting and analytics tool for CLIQ key-based access control systems uses an app to collect, visualise and evaluate access data. Security system data could contribute to business success. The app’s clear, visual layout helps managers to instantly spot relevant trends, anomalies or patterns. It’s simple to export, to share insights across the business. Reinvented for learning — not just as a ‘key’ or site management device — the phone will help businesses make smarter, data-informed decisions. The smartphone will also play a major role in security — and everything else — for an exciting new generation of smart buildings. These buildings will derive their intelligence from interoperability. Over 90% of the report’s survey respondents highlighted the importance of integration across building functions including access control, CCTV, alarm and visitor management systems. Genuinely seamless integration They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term Yet in practice, stumbling blocks remain on the road to deeper, genuinely seamless integration. More than a quarter of those polled felt held back by a lack of solutions developed to open standards. ‘Open standards are key for the momentum behind the shift towards system integration,’ notes the Report. As well as being more flexible, open solutions are better futureproofed. Shared standards ensure investments can be made today with confidence that hardware and firmware may be built on seamlessly in the future. They offer greater peace of mind than proprietary solutions which ‘lock you in’ for the long term. Open solutions and mobile management are critical to achieving the goals which end-users in every vertical are chasing: scalability, flexibility, sustainability, cost-efficiency and convenience.

What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?
What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Perimeter security is the first line of defence against intruders entering a business or premises. Traditionally associated with low-tech options such as fencing, the field of perimeter security has expanded in recent years and now encompasses a range of high-tech options. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the latest trends in perimeter security technology?

Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world
Secure access control is helping to shape the post-pandemic world

With the continued rolling back of COVID restrictions in the UK, there is a palpable sense of relief. A mixture of mass vaccinations, widespread testing, and track and tracing of the infection is helping to enable a healthy bounce back for businesses – with secure access control taking an important role in facilitating this. However, rather than just being a reaction to the wake of the pandemic, there is every sign that the economy, and consequently the security sector as well, are both rebuilding and reshaping for the long-term new normal. Prioritising Safety Already deemed an essential service even during the first wave of the pandemic, the security industry has of course taken a vital role in protecting people and property throughout the crisis. Now that venues in the UK are starting to reopen again, our services are key to occupancy management and ensuring that disease transmission is limited as far as possible. Access control is also key in reassuring people that their safety is a priority. Making the upgrade It’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed with a few “tweaks”  Businesses and organisations have a duty of care to their employees and the safety of visitors – so controlling access, employing lateral flow testing, and deploying suitable Track & Trace mechanisms are all key components. I think those outside our industry are surprised to learn that most of the technology being deployed and used hasn’t just magically developed since COVID appeared – it’s all been about choosing the most suitable components and technology that already existed albeit with a few development “tweaks” or adjustments for the situation at hand. This includes using or installing facial recognition readers rather than using fingerprint or contact tokens, it is swapping to automatic request to exit sensors instead of buttons; it is using powered secure doors rather than having people all grab the same handle. Using mobile credentials is also a key technology choice – why not use the highly secure, easy to manage, cost-effective, and of course contact-free benefits of this approach? Touchless solutions We have seen a clear shift in organisations looking to protect their staff and visitors. For instance, we have a big utility customer in Southeast Asia that has just replaced close to 200 sites using fingerprint readers with an additional facial recognition capability. We have also seen a big rise in demand for touchless request to exit sensors and Bluetooth Low Energy Readers for use with smartphone authentication. Working together Integration of security systems is of course nothing new, but in the post-pandemic or endemic age, it has perhaps never been more important. Installations need to be simple, straightforward, and rapid to help maintain safe distancing but also to ensure systems can be deployed as soon as they are needed. The world is changing and developing rapidly and there is simply no place for systems that don’t work with others or cause the end-user considerable cost and inconvenience to upgrade. This flexible delivery of security solutions perfectly matches the evolving and increasing demands of the market. It’s clear that end-users want systems that work well and can easily integrate with their existing systems – not only security but all the other business components which work in unison with each other over a shared network. Great opportunities ahead The recent work-from-home trend is also clearly changing the way organisations and businesses interact with the built environment. Lots of companies are downsizing, offices are being split up, there is lots of revitalisation and reuse of existing office space – all of which creates considerable opportunities for security providers. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value There are also, in the UK at least, clear signs that the construction industry is rapidly growing again -with a forecast of 8% rebound and growth this year. UK inflation more than doubled in April 2021 with unemployment figures dropping and the Pound rising in value – all positive signs for UK-based security providers. Undoubtedly the highly successful UK vaccination rollout has helped considerably, but there are signs that the Eurozone looks set to improve considerably over the next few months as well. Using integrated access control Undoubtedly the pandemic has made security markets around the world more aware of the benefits of integrated access control in managing the needs of the new normal COVID endemic environment. For example, as a business, we have always had keen interest from the UK healthcare sector, but over the last 12 months, we have seen a big growth in previously modest international markets including Morocco, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Thailand – all of which are very keen to adopt improved access control solutions. Learning the lessons Nobody would deny the last year or so has been unprecedentedly tough on everyone, as a society we have had to make huge changes and sacrifices. Governments, organisations, and businesses all need to be better prepared in the future, to understand the things that went wrong and those that were successful. However, there is a world beyond the immediate pandemic and its effects. Flexible working practices and the changes these will have to the way we live and work will undoubtedly present great opportunities for the security sector in helping the world evolve. The pandemic has been a wake-up call for many organisations with regards to their duty of care to employees – particularly when it comes to mental health and providing a sensible work/life balance. Where we work and the safety of these facilities has received far more scrutiny than before. Flexible security systems Integrated security solutions have a vital role to play in not only protecting the safety of people during the post-lockdown return to work but also in the evolution of the built environment and move towards smart cities - which inevitably will now need to consider greater flexibility in securing home working spaces rather than just traditional places of work. Importantly, powerful access control and integrated security systems need to be flexible to the uncertainties ahead. The COVID pandemic has shown that nothing can be considered certain, except the need for greater flexibility and resilience in the way we operate our professional and personal interactions.