In today’s technology-driven markets, a platform is a business model that connects producers and consumers in an interactive ecosystem. Some examples of platforms are Uber and Airbnb, which have disrupted and transformed traditional markets. Isn’t it time to deploy the platform model in the physical security industry? That’s the goal of the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA), a non-profit organisation.
Interactions and exchange
The book ‘Platform Revolution’ defines a platform as ‘a business based on enabling value-creating interactions between external producers and consumers.’ The description continues: ‘The platform provides an open, participatory infrastructure for these interactions and sets governance conditions for them. The platform’s overarching purpose is to consummate matches among users and facilitate the exchange of goods, services, or social currency, thereby enabling value creation for all participants.’
Platform for security and safety solutions
OSSA’s plan is to build a common standardised platform for security and safety solutions. Founding members are Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, Pelco and VIVOTEK. Anyone can join the alliance, which is growing rapidly and gaining traction as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands.
OSSA’s plan is to build a common standardised platform for security and safety solutions
OSSA members could be found throughout the recent ISC West show in Las Vegas, and a social event after hours at the show brought them together and set the tone for development to come.
A Technology Stack
“We want to create an ecosystem, define a common market approach and open new market opportunities,” says Johan Jubbega, OSSA President. “We want to go from a product business to a platform business. It’s better for us and better for the end-users.”
OSSA seeks to develop a specification for a common Technology Stack to cater to innovation and reduce fragmentation within the security and safety market, according to OSSA. Its mission is complementary to organisations like ONVIF.
Video information and low friction
The video surveillance industry creates vast amounts of information in the form of video, but typically less than 1 percent of that data is used by today’s video surveillance systems – think about that one or two frames of video among thousands that might be used to solve a crime, for example. The rest of the data remains unused, and yet the potential value of the data is huge. OSSA seeks to create a platform to leverage the value of the data. “If we don’t unlock that value in our industry, someone will do it for us,” says Jubbega.
OSSA is developing a vendor-agnostic operating system that simplifies low-level device integration and standardises elements such as cybersecurity and security update patches
Among the important elements in developing the platform are to create a level of trust among all the stakeholders involved, and to lower the ‘friction’ involved in participating in the platform. “We want to make it easy and fun to do business with anyone who joins the platform,” says Jubbega. “By taking away the friction, we will create scalability.”
Development of customisable system-on-chip (SoC) components in today’s video cameras provide the capacity to host a variety of ‘apps’ to expand system functionality and leverage the value of data. OSSA is developing a vendor-agnostic operating system that simplifies low-level device integration and standardises elements such as cybersecurity and security update patches. Building on top of that operating system, vendors can create new levels of differentiation.
“Our purpose is to start from a common business model to spur innovation and add value for users,” according to OSSA.
Cybersecurity and data protection
SAST is creating the operating system and setting up the IoT infrastructure to make apps available
Simply speaking, app developers can use the standard operating system to build new functionalities that can easily be ‘loaded’ on cameras and sold in an ‘app store’ scenario. Security and Safety Things (SAST), a Bosch startup and member of OSSA, is creating the operating system and setting up the IoT infrastructure to make the apps available. Development of these elements is happening concurrently with the evolution of OSSA.
“We offer you an opportunity to come with us on this journey,” Jubbega told attendees at the ISC West social event. “We want to have a common approach to tackling cybersecurity and data protection – to raise the bar in the industry. You can still differentiate, but from a higher base.”
OSSA members who exhibited at ISC West included Anixter Inc., Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, NetApp Inc., Pelco, SAST, Socionext Inc., United Technologies and VIVOTEK Inc.