Round table contributions
Salesmen may face pressure to “seal the deal,” but might an overemphasis on the ABCs of selling (“always be closing”) actually work to the detriment of an unsuspecting customer coerced into buying too much (or the wrong) technology to meet his or her needs? Not likely, according to our Expert Panel, who this week address the topic of salesmanship in the security market. We asked: Can an end user trust a security salesman’s advice? Our responses are overwhelmingly in the affirmative, and there is also some interesting commentary about how effective sales processes should work to the benefit of all parties involved
Going back to the days when we asked our children to program our VCRs, many of us are challenged by the intricacies of technology. However, a benefit of newer inventions such as smartphones and tablets is that they are easier to use and “intuitive” – whatever that means. Security and video surveillance systems are becoming more complex in lockstep with consumer electronics, so we asked this week’s panellists: How does technology innovation in security systems impact the skillsets needed by security operators and officers? Do more complex systems require that personnel have more technical skills? Do more user-friendly interfaces make it easier for even non-technical people to use newer systems?
If we didn’t have manufacturers, integrators wouldn’t have anything to sell. But what is the role of manufacturing companies when it comes to taking those products to market? Effectively managing the sales channel – helping resellers be successful without somehow undermining their efforts or (heaven forbid!) selling direct to an end user – is an ongoing and delicate challenge for manufacturers. They want to do everything in their power to ensure success of their products in the marketplace, and they want to support their integrator partners, whose success is synonymous with their own. So we asked our panel this week: How can manufacturers add value to the selling process without undermining their installers, integrators and/or distributors? Or, more generally, how should manufacturers engage with end user customers?
There’s a cloud hanging over the security market. Or rather, The Cloud is portending great change for our market (and other markets, too). But with all the talk about cloud-based systems, limitations still linger along the path to optimum implementation in the security market. We asked our panelists to reflect on those limitations and look ahead five years to how the situation is likely to change. From bandwidth and connectivity challenges, to geographic limitations and even a need to change how we do business, their answers highlight a market facing change driven by The Cloud.
Articles by Robert Hile
Time will tell regarding how fast public cloud applications will be fully adopted in the security space Sureview 2014/2015 Review and Forecast: The continued movement to “cloud” or “distributed” applications will further impact how security manufacturers and integrators market and position their solutions and offerings. To the traditional security organisation, this brings an entirely new go-to-market and pricing strategy as well as a completely different set of purchasing guidelines. The winners in 2015 and beyond will be the organisations that embrace the trend, offering a “hosted” or distributed solution to the market at a competitive, simple-to-understand price point. The losers will be those that don’t, hiding behind the fear of cyber-attacks and the potential loss of critical data as the excuse for staying locked in the classic client/server environment. SureView Systems was an early adopter of “cloud” or distributed architecture as we made a strategic move away from traditional client/server based architecture in early 2012. This move was not easy as we had to help our current customers rethink everything from the ground up about how to market and position “cloud” inside their own organisations. SureView is now very well positioned for incredible growth as today’s conservative security market warms up to cloud-based applications, particularly applications that are supported in a private cloud infrastructure. Time will tell regarding how fast public cloud applications will be fully adopted in our space. However, as network security organisations address and adapt their policies to the recent rash of cyber-attacks, access to private data will improve and the movement of physical security applications into the public cloud will happen. 2014 was a great year for SureView Systems Inc. We achieved growth year-over-year of approximately 26 percent, split our business into two distinct business units, hired two industry veterans to run the new business units and gained valuable market share across the board. On the situation management/PSIM side of our business, stable economic conditions aided the continued trend of mergers and acquisitions in several of our focus markets, driving the need for our Immix software, which brings together disparate systems under one easy-to-use Graphical User Interface and streamlines security operations for our customers. It’s always a good time to be in the security market. I may be a little biased after 25 years in this industry, but it is rewarding to do something every day that saves lives and valuable assets. I firmly believe that our market will continue to grow as security becomes more deeply intertwined with the “C” suite because of the shift from basic premise security to what we term internally business security. Looking ahead, we are focused on the continued development of integrations and features that support complete building operations, which will drive additional ROI for our customers. It’s not just about cameras and doors anymore. See the full coverage of 2014/2015 Review and Forecast articles here
Access Technologies will offer SureView Immix CC software in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Southern California and Nevada SureView Systems, a global provider of enterprise command center software, announced recently it has partnered with Access Technologies, a full-service integration firm serving the Southwest United States, to provide the Immix® Command Center (CC) software platform to its current and future customers in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Southern California and Nevada. New partnership Through this new partnership, Access Technologies customers will have the opportunity to utilise SureView’s Immix CC software to complement the company’s technology offerings for the government and utility sectors, while adding key vertical markets in the future. The Immix CC software platform offers flexible deployment options, quick installations and the largest integration library on the market today, all of which translates to continued ROI for end users. “The client base we serve is heavily rooted in the utility and government sector, which is ideal for the Immix product,” said Mark Iske, General Manager, Access Technologies. “Operationally, the Immix CC product helps us develop comprehensive security solutions that help articulate ROI to our customers, and our relationship with SureView has allowed for the collaboration and engagement we’ve been looking for in a partner.” Immix CC technology Access Technologies helps customers assess, design, implement and manage security solutions that meet unique needs in the marketplace, and will provide Immix CC technology to help companies bring their security systems together into a single, scalable and easy-to-manage platform. “Access Technologies provides us with a unique partnership in the Southwest, helping customers build comprehensive security solutions that meet ever-evolving technology needs,” said Rob Hile, Director of Enterprise Command Centers, SureView. “Access Technologies is the ideal fit for our Certified Channel Partnership program, and has offered SureView the chance to work closely with customers in the Southwest who are interested in streamlining security operations through our Immix CC software platform.”
SureView Systems, a global provider of commercial central station and enterprise command center software, announced recently that it has received Lenel factory certification for the latest version of OnGuard access control software, version 7.0, through the Lenel OpenAccess Alliance Program (OAAP). SureView’s Immix® central station and command center software platforms interface with the OnGuard system to help end users gain a high level of situational awareness to enhance security. Ability to conduct event management with OnGuard SureView Systems has been a member of the Lenel OAAP since October 2006, and this latest evolution helps build on SureView’s offerings to OnGuard system users. This new interface gives SureView the ability to conduct event management with the OnGuard system, as well as bring together customers’ disparate security systems to be managed on a single, cloud-based platform. “SureView Systems has completed required factory testing at Lenel to validate the functionality of its interface to the latest version of OnGuard, offering additional value to enterprise-class end users,” said Gidon Lissai, Director of Strategic Alliances, Lenel. “We look forward to their continued involvement in the Lenel OpenAccess Alliance Program.” More flexibility “The updated interface to Lenel’s OnGuard system provides more flexibility to incorporate access control into the Immix platform,” said Rob Hile, Director of Enterprise Command Centers, SureView Systems. “Lenel is a leader in the access control space, and we’re excited about this new interface creating new opportunities with our existing and prospective customers.” Built on a cloud-based platform, open architecture, Immix delivers a platform to process and manage security events generated from any system or device, and is quickly becoming one of the most popular central management software platforms available. Its Web-based interface and minimal bandwidth requirements allow users to benefit from ease of deployment and management while experiencing immediate and long-term return-on-investment. Furthermore, Immix supports the largest integration library in the industry, and is built upon proven, secure, scalable technology.
SureView wins award for its Immix enterprise command center and central station software solution SureView Systems, a global provider of commercial central station and enterprise command center software, announced recently that it has been honoured with the Platinum-level Government Security Award for its Immix® enterprise command center and central station software solution. The award program, presented by leading industry trade publication Security Products, recognises outstanding products that address security and operational challenges in the government market. Platinum-level winner in the PSIM category A panel of expert judges selected SureView Systems based on the Immix platform’s unique features, innovation, interoperability, quality, design, market opportunity and overall impact on the security industry. Immix was selected as the Platinum-level winner in the PSIM category. “The Immix platform is a critical tool for cities, counties and other government entities that are using a large number of disparate systems to monitor the security of their enterprise organisations,” said Rob Hile, Director of Enterprise Command Centers, SureView Systems. “This award provides further assurance that SureView delivers a complete and unified software solution to government entities so they can achieve real-time situational awareness of any security event while enabling on-demand sharing of important data across the entire network of first responders.” UASI grant program The Immix platform is listed as an authorised purchase under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant Program, and SureView Systems has developed comprehensive UASI pricing packages available to support this effort. The program provides support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organisations that are at high risk of terrorist attack and located within one of the specific UASI-designated eligible urban areas. The program is also designed to promote coordination and collaboration in emergency preparedness activities among public and private community representatives, as well as state and local government agencies. The SureView Immix platform is a Web-based, networked software platform solution designed for enterprise businesses and central stations to protect critical assets. Its flexible architecture and large integration library also supports a rapid deployment model and strong return on investment.
There’s more talk than ever in the security industry about cloud-based systems – where they are, where they’re going, the risks, the rewards. New opportunities for integrator companies, especially related to recurring monthly revenue (RMR), are among the benefits of new cloud-based systems. For insights into those opportunities, we spoke with Robert Hile, currently director of strategic accounts for SureView Systems and a strong proponent of cloud-based systems, whose background includes experience as an integrator as well as a manufacturer. He currently focuses on enterprise-class market opportunities for SureView systems, and on building relationships with key integration firms, consultants and A&E firms. SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the challenges that early adopters of cloud-based systems had to overcome to be successful today? Many cloud-based manufacturers are taking proactive measures to ensure that their remote log-in and data protection policies are up-to-date and offer assurances that a customer’s private data is safe and secure Rob Hile: By far, the biggest challenge for early adopters of cloud-based systems has been finding manufacturers who are truly dedicated to the cloud, not just standard technology that can be accessed via the Internet. The true power of cloud-based technologies for the end user is the transition away from old server/client architecture and the licensing structure that has gone along with it. Another secondary challenge was scalability — users need to have the option to start small and scale out as needs change; that is, the ability to add to the number of devices and locations by increasing computing power in a virtual environment. This approach aligns with many enterprise customer’s long-range strategic business plans and migration strategies. SourceSecurity.com: What objections have you heard from dealers/integrators/end users in relation to cloud-based systems? How are these being addressed? Hile: Security data concerns are the biggest objection to cloud-based systems today. With the recent increase in data theft, many end users that were leaning toward cloud-based systems are taking a harder look at data protection and remote log-in procedures to minimise the loss of private company data and personal information. The good news is that many cloud-based manufacturers are taking proactive measures to ensure that their remote log-in and data protection policies are up-to-date and offer assurances that a customer’s private data is safe and secure. Additionally, many of the top cloud-based manufacturers have gone the extra mile and now offer cyber liability insurance, providing their customers with an extra layer of protection. SourceSecurity.com: What are some of the advantages for integrators/RMR? Hile: The biggest advantage for dealers and systems integrators that embrace cloud-based systems is the value-added services that often go hand-in-hand with these platforms. Software and technology tune-ups are standard practice for most cloud-based systems and security patches need to be kept current to ensure system integrity. Some of the more creative providers offer ongoing system audits of the IT and usage policies that govern access to these cloud-based systems, proactively looking for potential weaknesses that could be exploited in the event of a cyber-attack. SourceSecurity.com: How are the issues of privacy and critical data protection in the cloud addressed in today’s security marketplace? As data security and the IT policies that govern the use of cloud-based solutions gets stronger and more robust, more customers will seek pure cloud-based applications Hile: The general opinion in regards to cloud-based systems today is that the critical data associated with these systems is only as secure as the customer’s network and the IT policies that govern the access to those systems. In my opinion, it's a mistake for manufacturers who currently have or are planning to develop cloud-based offerings to leave the job of securing this private and confidential data solely in the hands of the end user. By working together with the customer to map out new IT policies and procedures that support cloud-based solutions, you can isolate critical data away from the user interface and securely position this data, often referred to as the data tier, well behind the customer’s demilitarised zone (DMZ). This approach offers maximum protection from attacks that come directly from the cloud-based application being used. SourceSecurity.com: What can we expect the future of these cloud-based systems to look? Where will the technology go in the future? Hile: End users want lower costs and lower risk when moving to cloud-based systems, not higher costs and higher risk. As data security and the IT policies that govern the use of cloud-based solutions gets stronger and more robust, more customers will seek pure cloud-based applications that will, in turn, drive the market to move quickly from "hybrid" solutions overall to internal hosted virtual machine (VM) applications or pure cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions. As this shift takes place, the pricing for these applications will move from the traditional capital allocation model to operational RMR or subscription models. I don’t expect the overall performance and features of security systems to change drastically but I do expect major changes in architecture design, deployment options and how customers pay for these solutions.
SureView Systems, a leading provider of commercial central station and enterprise command center software for the security industry, announced recently a new integration for its Immix® platform with Symmetry™ access control software from AMAG Technology. The integration expands the capabilities of both platforms, allowing customers to benefit from the close integration of Immix Central Station (CS) and Command Center (CC) with AMAG’s Symmetry access control to gain a high level of situational awareness and correlated data points to enhance security, ensure compliance and streamline investigations. The integration supports relays and door control, alarms, GetConfig and site syncing specifically. “Both SureView and AMAG offer opportunities to expand platform functionality and provide more value to security integrators and enterprise-class end users,” said Dave Ella, Vice President – Product Marketing, AMAG Technology. “SureView’s participation in AMAG’s Symmetry Extended Business Solutions program ensures partners and end users can build a sophisticated solution that is cost-effective and able to expand easily as user needs grow.” Built on a cloud-based, open architecture, Immix delivers a platform to process and manage security events generated from any system or device, and is quickly becoming one of the most popular central management software platforms on the market. Its Web-based interface and minimal bandwidth requirements allow users to benefit from ease of deployment and management while experiencing immediate and long-term return-on-investment. Furthermore, Immix supports the largest integration library in the industry, and is built upon proven, secure, scalable technology. “SureView’s integration with AMAG provides greater value to SureView customers and end users,” said Rob Hile, Director of Strategic Accounts, SureView Systems. “The integration of AMAG’s Symmetry system provides more flexibility to incorporate access control and intrusion detection into the Immix platform, which allows a comprehensive view of security and business operations from a single, Web-based interface.”
IDV Solutions, LLC and SureView Systems, LLC recently announced that the companies have formed a technical partnership and completed an integration of SureView’s Immix® CC video-centric event management platform with IDV Solutions’ Visual Command Center® enterprise risk visualisation (ERV) platform. Using the combination of the two technologies, security operations teams can receive and process real time events from Visual Command Center in Immix CC and view live video from Immix CC within Visual Command Center. This integration enables users to make more efficient use of video, by identifying and accessing cameras near those locations where Visual Command Center has identified a potential threat and automatically associating these threats with dynamic workflows and enforceable Standard Operating Procedures within the Immix CC event management interface. Visual Command Center provides security operations teams with a single, comprehensive view of their assets—such as buildings, employee locations, corporate events and supply routes—along with events that may threaten those assets, including acts of terrorism, severe weather, civil unrest, and hazardous materials releases. It consolidates information from multiple sources, including Web feeds and an organisation’s internal systems, on an interactive map and timeline. When Visual Command Center detects a potential threat near an asset or employee location, it automatically alerts operators, who can use powerful visualisation, filtering, and query tools to assess the threat, and then act to mitigate risk. SureView Systems’ Immix CC is a video-based alarm monitoring platform for command centers. The software platform consolidates activities from any data source including video surveillance, access control intrusion, two way audio and GPS alarms. Immix enables organisations to centralise their security monitoring, including video surveillance, and lower ongoing costs. Integration of the two software products lets users access their security cameras from maps and floor plans in Visual Command Center. When security operators receive an alert from Visual Command Center, they can use query and filtering tools to locate cameras near the alert location and then view those live video streams. “Visual Command Center provides a ‘big picture’ view of global, regional, and local risk factors,” said Mark Morrison, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, IDV Solutions. “While Immix CC provides ‘up close’ situational awareness through video monitoring. This integration will increase security operators’ ability to use video to protect facilities and employees.” “Our strategic partnership with IDV Solutions delivers expanded situational awareness, enforceable workflows and world-class visualisation of assets to our rapidly expanding customer base,” said Rob Hile, Director of Strategic Accounts, SureView Systems. “By combining our core strengths into one technology offering, we can truly deliver an ‘out of the box’ solution to our customers without custom development efforts that are expensive to build and maintain over time.”
DVTEL, INC., the IP video surveillance solutions provider, recently announced that it has completed the integration of DVTEL’s ioimage analytics with the SureView Systems Immix software platform. The integration of the two advanced technologies allows joint customers to tap into new opportunities to monitor perimeters and outdoor areas with increased reliability. Functionalities include the ability to display live or recorded video, send ioimage auto PTZ commands and set preset positions for cameras in real-time. Sureview’s Immix platform consolidates a wide range of security products into one simple operator interface to increase usability and situational awareness. Designed for command centres and central stations, Immix enables customers and partners to gain a complete view over a facility’s security infrastructure while enhancing protection of people and assets. “This strategic partnership provides more open systems options and feature sets to best serve DVTEL and SureView customers across the globe,” said Rob Hile, Director of Strategic Accounts, SureView Systems. “By integrating with DVTEL’s ioimage product line, we provide customers with a layered security software package that delivers enhanced usability and greater situational awareness to better manage perimeter security risks.” DVTEL’s ioimage cameras and encoders deliver intelligent video detection solutions to increase the probability of detection and lower false alarm rates. DVTEL also offers visual and thermal cameras for customers requiring detection and video analytics in low-light or zero-light environments. The smart cameras work independently or as a complement to perimeter intrusion detection sensors and other technologies. DVTEL’s ioimage video analytics line, targeted at the remote monitoring, critical infrastructure and perimeter security markets, is a fast growing segment of the total video surveillance solution offered by DVTEL. “Close partnerships with technology partners like SureView Systems expand user flexibility by offering our customers more choices to expand their security infrastructure,” said Maor Mishkin, Director and Product Champion of Video Analytics, DVTEL. “DVTEL offers a wide variety of technologies to deliver a customised video analytics solution within a seamless, integrated system.”