Las Vegas is a city that bombards you with choices: dozens of glitzy hotels and casinos, a plethora of restaurants and eateries to satisfy any craving and an endless variety of entertainment guaranteed to delight and amuse. With so many options, it’s hard to decide where to spend your time.

The same goes for ISC West. Like the city in which it’s being hosted, ISC West 2019 is going to bombard you with more options than ever before. Dozens of new technologies and vendors as well as old familiar faces will be vying for your attention.

With only three days, it’s nearly impossible to explore every booth and every vendor. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus your limited time on companies whose partnership can lead to your organisation’s long-term success. In that context, I’d like to suggest a few things to think about as you wend your way through this year’s tradeshow.

The next wave in IP technology

 The fact that the whole world is going IP is nothing new. The network-based connectivity trend has been ongoing for more than 25 years. What’s changed is the nomenclature. Today it’s all about the Internet of Things (IoT).  What was once exclusively an analogue-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP

For the security industry, the concept of IoT really began with connecting DVRs through a network. Then in 1996, IP cameras – the first true IoT devices – hit the market. Since then, what was once exclusively an analog-based video surveillance market has shifted predominantly over to IP, providing exceptional growth opportunity for any company wanting to be on the leading edge.

Today, however, that market is relatively saturated and growing at a much slower rate. In response, consolidation of the market has started to accelerate. Many vendors are disappearing while a select few are becoming stronger.

Though the IP video revolution is now a fait accompli, there are still a few ancillary security technologies that are just beginning to jump on the IP convergence bandwagon. I’m referring to two in particular: IP audio systems and IP intercom solutions. 

Like their IP video cousins, these relatively new IP systems are built on open platform standards and provide the same benefits for convergence as happened in the camera space: better scalability and ROI, more functionality, and easy integration with third party systems. The technology is a great complement to a customer’s existing IP surveillance system or an ideal replacement for an antiquated analogue audio system.

So I’d recommend spending time at booths showcasing this technology. Listen to the crystal clear sound quality. Learn from the various vendors how easy IP audio systems are to custom configure, remotely manage and scale. And discover the different ways the IP technology can be used, from paging, public address and broadcasting background music to augmenting security systems and perimeter protection solutions.

The potential markets that can benefit from this latest IP technology are wide and varied, everything from hotels, hospitals and transportation hubs to educational institutions and retail chains. So it’s well worth your time to take a look at this growing opportunity.

artificial intelligence the new trend at ISC West
AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics. But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board

Artificial intelligence: hype vs. reality

Video intelligence or video analytics was the big trend a decade ago. But it quickly fizzled out when hype crashed into reality. In the ensuing years algorithms have greatly improved, leading to more reliable analytic performance. Now it’s commonplace for video surveillance solutions to include a wide range of analytics from motion detection and people counting to dwell time analysis, object left behind and license plate recognition.    The latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI)

With analytics gradually becoming mainstream, the latest hype to capture the imagination is self-learning systems, often referred to as Deep Learning and Artificial intelligence (AI). These self-learning applications parse event data and use what they’ve learned from the experience to make determinations or predictions that can increase the accuracy of future alerts.

Before you get swept up in all the big promises that have yet to prove deliverable, take time at ISC West to educate yourself about the current state of the technology. AI works well in some areas.  For instance, AI has proven to dramatically improving the accuracy of Traffic Incident Detection analytics.

But it’s too early in the game to assume that AI can be applied across the board. Talk to some of the AI vendors at ISC West to learn when and if AI might be right for your organisation’s analytic applications. See who has actual, field-proven solutions and who is just offering ideas that might take many years to prove useful in real applications.

Connecting with the right partner

Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Choosing the right partner is as important in business as it is life. Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet. Look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners. You’re sure to find a number of new companies entering the field this year.

Also be sure to notice which companies are absent. Have they left the surveillance industry? Are they struggling financially and can no longer afford to show up? If you partnered with them in the past, where does that leave your business today? 

As you explore potential vendor relationships, make sure you not only look at the arc of their technology development, but also their long-term financial stability and the kind of support services they offer. Cybersecurity should be front and center on your radar, along with timely updates, product integration with your existing technology and ongoing training to gain the most benefit from your investment.

ethical factors to consider with vendor selection
Look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimise waste and lower their carbon footprint

Think of ISC West as the ultimate meet-and-greet - look around the tradeshow floor and see who might by likely partners Another important thing to find out is whether their business ethics align with yours. Is sustainability important to your company? How about corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion? Ultimately you want to do business with healthy, innovative companies that share your core values.  

If being green is a fundamental principal of your company, look into how eco-friendly the vendor’s products are, what they’re doing to recycle, minimise waste and lower their carbon footprint. If striving for better global citizenship is your corporate mantra, you need to know how the vendor is assuring their operation complies with environmental laws and regulations.

In terms of maintaining social and ethical standards, it’s important to know where the vendor stands on issues such as human rights violations, compulsory child labour, fair wages and sourcing minerals from countries in armed conflict. 

Go in with a plan

There’s so much to discover at ISC West this year that four days isn’t nearly enough time to see it all. So you’ll have to strategically pick and choose which booths and vendors to visit. I’d advise that you plan out your days in advance so that you can get the most value from the choices you make.

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Author profile

Fredrik Nilsson Vice President of the Americas, Axis Communications

Fredrik Nilsson is the general manager for Axis Communications with responsibility for the company’s operations in North America since 2003. During this time, he has helped the company increase its revenue more than tenfold and has been instrumental in leading the industry shift from analogue closed circuit television to network video.

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