Alan J. Reigler
As my trip to London for IFSEC International ends, I can look back on three days jam-packed with new approaches, new technologies, and the best the global security market has to offer. I met people from all over the world who share an interest in physical security technology -- and how it can be used to make the world a safer place. I heard several exhibitors mention that business was slow in Europe in the early part of 2015. However, the show highlighted that R&D investment has continued throughout the slowdown, and companies are now poised with a new wave of products just when an economic resurgence will increase demand. Almost every exhibitor in the hall saw greater success on the horizon. Was it optimism or an industry on the verge of really taking off? "Investment is pushing us forward and contributing to the growth" "Investment is pushing us forward and contributing to the growth," says Alan J. Reigler, Tyco Security Products'sales director, UK and Ireland. Tyco is one of the IFSEC exhibitors whose booth was crowded for much of the show. He says Tyco relies on the "voice of the customer" to guide its R&D teams to create the products end users need the most. Responsiveness to customer needs was another oft-heard pledge by IFSEC exhibitors. A company that is adding products at a fast clip is Canon, which has now expanded its line to 24 cameras. A year ago they had 13, and they launched nine in March alone. "We are coming as the last big brand to the market, so each product has to provide a higher level of quality, differentiating features, or something new," says Julian Rutland, Canon's European NVS marketing director. "Our prices are the same as Sony, Panasonic, and the others, so what's the reason for buying from Canon? Hard-nosed integrators want us to show them something different." Sometimes the differences are subtle -- but they matter. Canon's low-light capabilities are a strong suit. Positioning and focus of their fixed dome cameras can be adjusted remotely to simplify installation and/or to change a camera's position if an application need evolves. Theirs are the widest angle views in the market if you consider their minimised distortion, says Rutland. Just one of many examples of companies using IFSEC to highlight their responsiveness to the market. Sourcesecurity.com was out in full force throughout IFSEC, with 10 or so people walking the aisles, meeting with exhibitors, interviewing sources and shooting video. Some of this content has already been posted on the site -- and there's a lot more to come. Sourcesecurity.com was out in full force throughout IFSEC, with 10 or so people walkingthe aisles, meeting with exhibitors, interviewing sources and shooting video We have already reported on a trend toward providing solutions (rather than technologies or products). A recurring theme I heard was about the importance of a local approach to individual markets, even in an increasingly global environment. Ron Alalouff, Contributing Editor, found several examples of technologies offering applications beyond security. Ron also heard a lot of talk about the importance of integration. Finally, our consultant friend Simon Lambert has sized up the show from the viewpoint of a long-time industry watcher. Check out our IFSEC in photos feature, and keep watching for our extensive video at the show. Thanks to all who participated and provided content we can share with our visitors. What we heard at IFSEC will also help guide our editorial coverage for months to come.