Scott Schafer was formerly Arecont Vision's Executive Vice President, and serves as the Chairman-elect on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Security Industry Association. Scott started out in the IT industry with NCR, where his teams introduced many breakthrough technologies including the first commercial notepad computer. After joining Pelco in 2004, Scott moved on to Arecont Vision.

How did you come to work in the security industry?

I was recruited by David McDonald, the CEO of Pelco, to join the company. Pelco was just starting its move from analogue security products and was ready to release its first IP/Networking based products. I joined to help the company prepare for and execute the changes needed to be a strong player in this new technology platform.

What is the best professional advice you have received?

My father was in the major appliance industry and showed by example the importance of outworking your competitor.  He also made sure to return all calls as soon as possible and no later than the end of each day.

Quick Facts
Biggest hero Orville and Wilbur Wright
Last thing you cooked Paella
First job Financial planning at an appliance factory
Dogs or cats?
Dogs
Morning or evening? Afternoon!

What's something few people know about you?

That most of my career was in the IT industry, not the security industry. 

What's the most rewarding thing about what you do for a living?

The most rewarding part of my job is coaching people in my organisation. I really enjoy helping them understand how to successfully plan and deliver results that prepare them for their future. I keep in touch with many of my former direct reports and peers and it is terrific to see what they have accomplished.

A very close second is the great opportunity I have experienced in delivering outstanding solutions and business opportunities to my customers. It is very rewarding to see the clients we serve get the advantages from the products and services that we deliver each day. Stepping back and realising how these systems helped customers protect their organisation, their employees and their clients is really gratifying.

Scott Schafer, Arecont Vision EVP, enjoys vacations in Greece
Scott Schafer admires the Wright brothers, generally credited with inventing the first successful aeroplane

What are your interests, hobbies and passions outside security?

Family, friends, and sports! Nancy and I are lucky to have come from big families and we have a large family of four children. We take every chance we can to spend time with them out here in California, Ohio and other parts of the USA. Our kids are all leading exciting lives, making exciting contributions, and are all off the payroll!

I also enjoy playing golf. I have not played much business/customer golf in the past 10 years so I need to figure out a better schedule!  

Where was your last vacation? Would you recommend it to others and why?

Our last vacation, or holiday as you would say in Europe, was to Greece. We visited Athens, Santorini, and Crete as one of my sons is a doctor in the United States Navy and was stationed in Chania. I would recommend this trip as you get a chance to see where a lot of where history was made, enjoy great food, and terrific weather and scenery. 

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In case you missed it

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.

What is the value of remote monitoring systems’ health and operation?
What is the value of remote monitoring systems’ health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?

What is the changing role of training in the security industry?
What is the changing role of training in the security industry?

Even the most advanced and sophisticated security systems are limited in their effectiveness by a factor that is common to all systems – the human factor. How effectively integrators install systems and how productively users interface with their systems both depend largely on how well individual people are trained. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the changing role of training in the security and video surveillance market?