ASIS International, the world’s largest association for security management professionals, has announced that Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, will serve as its 2018 president. Chase will be the Society’s 63rd president, succeeding Thomas J. Langer, CPP, who will serve as 2018 chairman of the board.

In addition, at the society’s annual conference, Sept. 25-28 in Dallas, TX, the results of the recent board election were announced. Members re-elected incumbents Jaime P. Owens, CPP, and John A. Petruzzi, CPP, and elected Ann Trinca, CPP, PCI, PSP and Darren Nielsen, CPP, PCI, PSP to the 17-member board.

“These individuals bring a deep commitment to the Society, as well as diverse professional expertise to their leadership roles” said Peter J. O’Neil, CAE, chief executive officer, ASIS International. “Their varied perspectives will ensure ASIS is well-positioned to meet the needs of our global membership.”

The 2018 ASIS International Board of Directors

  • President: Richard E. Chase, CPP, PCI, PSP, Vice President Security, General Atomics, San Diego, California
  • President-Elect: Christina Duffey, CPP, Senior Vice President-Regional Director, Midwest Operations, SOS Security, LLC, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Treasurer: Godfried Hendriks, CPP, Managing Consultant, GOING Consultancy B.V., Alkmaar, Netherlands
  • Secretary: John A. Petruzzi, Jr., CPP, Vice President, Integrated Security Solutions, G4S North America and Technology, New York, New York
  • Chairman of the Board: Thomas J. Langer, CPP, Vice President Security, BAE Systems, Arlington, Virginia
  • Charles E. “Chuck” Andrews, CPP, Chairman of the Board, Friends of Chuck, Houston, Texas
  • Howard J. Belfor, CPP, President, Belfor & Associates, Black Mountain, NC
  • Michael R. Bouchard, CPP, Chief Security Officer, Janus Global Operations, Inc., Vienna, Virginia
  • Gail M. Essen, CPP, PSP, President, Professional Security Advisors, Andover, Minnesota
  • Radek Havlis, CPP, Central and Eastern Europe Regional Security Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Jeffrey J. Lee, CPP, Principal Consultant, Industrial Security Operations, Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
  • Richard F. “Rik” Lisko, CPP, Security Manager, North America & Latin America, Willis Watson Towers, Dallas, Texas
  • Timothy McCreight, CPP, Director, Strategic Alliances, Hitachi Systems Security, Calgary, Canada
  • Darren T. Nielsen, CPP, PCI, PSP, Manager, Physical & Cyber Security Audits & Investigations, Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Jaime P. Owens, CPP, Security Branch Manager, Panama Canal, Panama City, Panama
  • Malcolm C. Smith, CPP, Head of Risk Management, Qatar Museums Authority, Doha, Qatar
  • Ann Trinca, CPP, PCI, PSP, Senior Vice President, SecTek, Reston, Virginia

The office of the Secretary was filled through an election by the Board of Directors on September 25 at the ASIS International 63rd Annual Seminar and Exhibits in Dallas.

The newly elected Board will assume their positions on January 1, 2018.

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Has consolidation shifted to the security integrator/installer market?
Has consolidation shifted to the security integrator/installer market?

Consolidation – a decrease in the number of companies in a market achieved through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – has been an important trend among manufacturers in the physical security market for many years. More recently, the trend has also appeared to extend to the integrator market. Larger integrators have been buying up other large integrators; in some cases, they have also been buying up smaller, regional integrators to expand their geographic coverage area. We wondered if this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable has noticed the trend. We asked: Has consolidation among security companies shifted to the integrator/installer market? What is the impact?

Ambarella: Neural network approach to revolutionise video surveillance analytics
Ambarella: Neural network approach to revolutionise video surveillance analytics

Ambarella is a big player in the video surveillance market, but not a familiar name to many buyers of security cameras. They don’t make cameras, but they make the computer chips inside. Founded in 2004, Ambarella began in the broadcast infrastructure encoders market and entered the market for professional security cameras in 2008. More recently, the company has also entered the market for automotive OEM solutions. Between 2005 and 2015, the company has produced a progression of advanced camera system on chips (SoCs) designed, developed and mass-produced for the consumer electronics, broadcast and IP camera markets. An SoC includes an image processor as well as capabilities to run software and provide computer vision (analytics). Development has been happening fast at Ambarella. In January, they introduced the CV22 camera SoC, combining image processing, 4K and 60fps video encoding and computer vision (video analytics) processing in a single, low-power-design chip. 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But if you are a camera maker, you know who we are. Typically, it takes nine months to develop a camera, longer with an intelligent camera because you are importing so much software Q: What are you hearing from your camera customers in terms of what they need, and how are they directing where you go with R&D? Day: We have become a major supplier to those companies based on years of developing image processing – wide dynamic range, low light, and similar features – as well as AVC (advanced) and HEVC (high-efficiency) video encoding. That’s the heritage of our company and why we do business with all these companies. The next treadmill is computer vision – adding the intelligence into the camera. The goal is still being best-in-class in imaging and encoding, but now being best-in-class in adding the intelligence and being able to do all those things with very low power, within the “thermal budget” of the camera. That’s the next big wave. Q: How far away is that in terms of the end-customer? How soon will he or she be able to reap the benefits? Day: By the end of 2018, or maybe next year. We’re just beginning to sample the CV22, for instance, which is the first SoC directed to security cameras. Typically, it takes nine months to develop a camera, maybe longer with an intelligent camera because you are importing so much software. So, we’re talking about the end of this year or next year. Q: Tell me about your current products and the next generation. Day: The CV22 is sampling this quarter. CV2 we announced [in late March], which is a high-performance chip. The idea is that we provide our customers with different price/performance points, so they can produce a family of cameras with different capabilities. They have the same basic software model, so someone can invest in software once and then have different performance points without completely rewriting the software. That’s key. 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Even for us developing these chips: In CV1 we had a certain level of deep neural network performance. We produced CV22 in the same year with four times the performance, and then CV2 has 20 times the performance in the space of one year. That’s just at the chip level. But the neural network approach to analytics and computer vision is game changing if you look at the things you can do with it compared to traditional analytics approaches. If you look at what it’s doing in automotive and security, you will see significant development. I totally appreciate the scepticism, but I think it is completely game-changing at this point, based on the technology in the chips and based on what’s happening with neural networks. Q: What do you think the next big thing is? Day: I think the next big thing is the neural networks; it’s the intelligence in the camera. People have been pushing toward higher resolution, we’ve done 4K, we have incredible imaging even in really dark scenes. 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The road forward for Arecont Vision after bankruptcy and acquisition
The road forward for Arecont Vision after bankruptcy and acquisition

Arecont Vision is a company in transition to say the least. With its balance sheet burdened with debt, the company is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and simultaneously being acquired by a private equity firm. The ‘new’ Arecont Vision that will emerge after several months when the process is complete will have a new owner, a clean balance sheet, and be poised to succeed in the competitive world of video surveillance, says Raul Calderon, Arecont Vision CEO and General Manager.Good companies go through restructuring, and the company will be better off after doing it. We will be able to lead” Ensuring business continuity An asset purchase agreement announced this week with an affiliate of Turnspire Capital Partners LLC involves the private equity firm acquiring Arecont Vision’s assets. 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Turnspire, as the ‘stalking-horse bidder’, sets the low-end bidding bar and guarantees the company will have new ownership at the conclusion of the process “Good companies go through restructuring, and the company will be better off after doing it,” Calderon adds. “We will be able to lead and innovate, to be stronger, better and faster once we finish.” For perspective, it is interesting to note that, in the broader business world, some well-known companies have emerged from Chapter 11 even stronger, such as Delta and American Airlines and General Motors. Investment in product development Previously Arecont Vision has been burdened by the costs of $80 million in debt the owners took on in 2014. The burden of that debt has limited the company’s flexibility to react to the more competitive industry landscape, and to implement strategies to reverse softening sales numbers in the last couple of years. “We couldn’t use the money in the company because we were servicing the debt,” says Calderon. “In order to be compliant with the enormous debt service, we made decisions to reduce head count and expenses.” “[The bankruptcy] will free up that money to invest in the organisation,” he adds. “We will be able to make decisions for our future rather than the past, including investments in product development.” Focus and investment will be on key functions such as engineering, product development and sales Although there is an asset purchase agreement in place with Turnspire, there will also be an auction that could result in a higher bidder. Turnspire, as the ‘stalking-horse bidder’, sets the low-end bidding bar and guarantees the company will have new ownership at the conclusion of the process, either Turnspire or a company that outbids their offer. Calderon says Turnspire “shares our vision and will ensure an exciting future for the company.” The transaction is expected to move fast and close within a couple of months.Arecont Vision expects to continue to compete based on technology differentiation in the market, rather than on price Maintaining technology differentiation-based competition Turnspire Capital Partners is a private equity investor that is a ‘turnaround specialist’. Their website describes their role as targeting “high-quality businesses that have reached strategic, operational or financial inflection points and stand to benefit from [a] hands-on, operationally focused approach.” Calderon says Arecont Vision’s investment banker, Imperial Capital, was instrumental in bringing Turnspire to the table. 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He did reiterate Arecont Vision’s past successes and expected continuing role in the market. “We are looking to provide the leadership and the type of solution we are known for providing,” he says. “We have come out with some innovative things historically, from megapixel cameras to the first H.264 cameras to the first omni-directional cameras. We have not stopped our innovation, and our intent is to lead the market again with innovative solutions. Another key is to do right by our customers today and in the future, improving customer service, providing better offerings to our customers – that’s what we will be looking to do.” “I’ve had a lot of conversations with customers and partners in the last couple of days,” Calderon says. “I can say the conversations have been encouraging. They see it as a positive step, and they understand that getting rid of the debt burden can only be positive. Customers and partners have offered help, and we’re still closing deals. 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