Articles by Dan Rothrock
Every building starts with the entrance. A solid enterprise risk mitigation and security strategy include protecting that entrance. Often, risk mitigation strategies protecting the entrance have included high-resolution video surveillance cameras, video management systems, and access control solutions. But that strategy and set of security solutions only tells part of the story. Imagine a security guard who is protecting a facility after hours, when an individual approaches the entrance and seeks to gain access. The security guard can pull up the video surveillance feed and see the individual and his movements, which appear to be suspicious. But he also needs to hear him in order to decide the next decisions and actions. Does he escalate the situation, calling for backup and for first responders’ response, or does he allow the individual access to the building because he works there and is authorised to enter? Meet high-definition voice What the security guard needs is to be able to hear and to communicate with that individual. All enterprise security systems need three primary components in order to successfully protect the entrance and to mitigate risk – access control, video surveillance, and the ability to hear and communicate. Each component plays an integral role in supporting a unified security system, and without all three, the security system is not complete. Access control can be thought of as the brains of a security system by holding data and permissions. It serves as the arms and hands of the system; it can either keep someone out or What a security guard needs is to be able to hear and to communicate with an individualinvite them in. IP video allows a security team to remotely position a set of eyes anywhere an IP camera can be placed on a network. With a video management system, security teams can see what is happening and decide how to respond. However, with remote viewing, the event may be over by the time security physically responds. Audio adds interactivity That three-component enterprise security system – comprising IP video, access control, and high-definition voice working together mitigates risks and provides value. It also means that security is interactive. Security teams talk and listen to the person that’s seen on a video surveillance system, no matter where the location or how remote. If the person is lost or simply needs assistance, security personnel can talk to them and provide direction and reassurance. Even more, in an emergency, an interactive solution becomes a critical life-saving tool, as it provides data that can be shared between security, police, emergency services, and more. Audio can also detect voices, noises, breaking glass, or other sounds that are not within direct view of a video camera. An interactive security system creates an informed response, by providing real-time situation awareness management. Post-event, it supports forensics and investigations to mitigate future security incidents. Audio and COVID-19 We are living in extraordinary times. As businesses begin to reopen and stay open, they are looking for any tools that can help them overcome the enormous That three-component enterprise security system – comprising IP video, access control, and high-definition voice working together mitigates risks and provides valuechallenges they face. In buildings and facilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new security perimeter, one that demands contactless access with entry and exit, and that has also created a new duty of care for security professionals. Now more than ever is the need to interact and communicate with individuals moving in and out of doors and spaces without physical intervention. Intelligent communications, integrated with contactless access control, can help a business to comply with pandemic safety guidelines and ultimately, reopen for business and stay open. COVID-19 has also increased the need for clean-room isolation and quarantine spaces, sometimes in areas not originally intended for that use, where risk of infection is high, and equipment must be easily disinfected between patients. Here, purpose-built cleanroom intercoms, providing clear touchless communications despite the noisy environment, have emerged as critical tools for enabling patient care while reducing the need to enter the contaminated space. For example, voice communication can enable hospital staff to verify identity and to communicate with patients without entering the isolated and infectious environment, which can save on personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the amount of exposure to the virus. In non-emergency healthcare facilities, such as medical centers, voice can effectively relay information to building occupants and visitors for screening purposes. Visitors can be seen and heard. For example, a patient who seeks access to a medical center for an appointment can hear important instructions from a nurse via the intercom solution. Seeing the person that you talk to is one thing but hearing them conveys a much better sense of closeness, making it possible to maintain a high level of security and customer service. The whole story Today’s security systems should no longer simply involve video surveillance cameras generating feedback and images to a security guard. Instead, a new ecosystem for enterprise security and risk mitigation has emerged, and it’s one that involves video surveillance, access control, and high-definition voice. That ecosystem can ensure well-rounded and responsive information management and security platform, all communicating with each other and offering actionable insight into risks and potential physical breaches. Audio is the new value hub of the connected and intelligent school, campus, building, correctional facility, and more. Simply put, a silent security system cannot be an effective security system. In every situation, it is crucial for all security professionals to mitigate risk, no matter what they are protecting. This emphasizes the need to hear, be heard, and be understood in virtually any environment.
Zenitel, a pioneering supplier of intelligent critical communication solutions, announces it will showcase its intelligent communication solutions, including its IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit, in booth 8038 at the ISC West exhibition in Las Vegas, from July 19-21. ISC West is the largest security event in North America, bringing together thousands of security and safety professionals for networking, education, and discovery of new technologies. The Zenitel IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit addresses the fundamental need for intelligible audio and video, all in one easy-to-install system. With an innovative speaker design and noise cancelling technology, the Video Entry Starter Kit is equipped to handle any dynamic noise environment. The IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit comes pre-programmed out-of-the-box for the stations to call one another and includes pre-recorded audio messages to announce call connection and door release. IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit Best of all, the setup of the IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit can be done in 5 minutes by opening the box, plugging in the cables, and the system will begin connecting. Plus, users can easily expand the IC-EDGE system using a web browser and no server infrastructure. We are excited to safely showcase our intelligent communication solutions to show attendees" From Monday, July 19 at 10:00 am PTD through Wednesday, July 21, at 3:00 pm PTD, Zenitel invites show attendees to its booth 8038 to set up an IC-EDGE Video Entry Starter Kit. The individual who sets up the kit in the fastest amount of time will receive a Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 — Over Ear, Wireless Bluetooth Headphone with Built-In Microphone. “Zenitel is ready to safely meet and resume in-person conversations at ISC West 2021,” says Dan Rothrock, President of Zenitel Americas. “All Zenitel booth staff will be wearing masks and adhering to social distancing requirements as mandated by the event. We are excited to safely showcase our intelligent communication solutions to show attendees.” Intelligent communication solutions Additional Zenitel intelligent communication solutions that will be displayed at Zenitel’s ISC West booth 8038 include: TCIV+ – The TCIV+ (Turbine Compact Intercom Video) Station combines the unrivaled high-quality audio of our Turbine Compact Series with exceptional video and provides users with a communication solution for any situation. It also offers seamless integration with other security solutions. Network Ceiling Loudspeaker – The ELSIR-10C IP ceiling speaker features a 10W Class D amplifier, which allows it to deliver more than 100dB. With IP, the operator can monitor and address each speaker individually. The system is highly scalable, and adding additional speakers is easy to do. Network Horn Speaker – The ELSII-10H horn loudspeaker features a 10W Class D amplifier, a built-in web interface for status information, control, and upgrade. It is easy to install and maintain, and all broadcasts can be logged in detailed reports. IPDM-V2 – The IP Desk Master-V2 intercom station features a large high contrast display with backlight that allows important information about connections to be shown very clearly. The IP station supports open standards and is compatible with ICX-AlphaCom, AlphaCom XE, IC-EDGE, and iPBXs using SIP technology. The solution features superb audio quality that is enabled through active noise filtering, acoustic echo cancellation, wide band audio codec, and high-power audio output features. TCIS-4 IP and SIP Intercom – All IP stations in the Turbine series utilise the latest technology to create unparalleled audio quality. Features include HD voice quality, Open Duplex, Active Noise Cancellation, MEMS microphone, a 10W Class D amplifier and a unique speaker grill design. TFIE6 – The TFIE-6 IP industrial intercom station is designed for harsh environments and meets industrial and offshore requirements. The housing can withstand most chemical and environmental hazards found onshore or offshore. The intercom features a full keypad with four programmable buttons, keys for manual override (PTT) and Cancel, plus a display with a scrolling unit. The intercom station is fully digital and offers crystal clear audio with high output through a 10W internal amplifier and 78 mm speaker, offering up to 100dB SPL. ECPIR-3P – The ECPIR-3P is an access panel and intercom station developed for console mounting and used with either Zenitel SIP, IC-EDGE, ICX-AlphaCom, or Exigo systems. The access panel features three fully programmable buttons and a PTT button that can be used to manually select zones, initiate fire alarms, gas alarms, or other actions. The unit can be used with either a handheld PTT microphone or a gooseneck microphone, allowing an operator to make announcements.
Zenitel, the supplier of intelligent and interoperable communication solutions, announces the release of its Cybersecurity Hardening Guide. The Zenitel Cybersecurity Hardening Guide follows controls outlined by Centre for Internet Security (CIS) SecureSuite, of which Zenitel has been a member for many years. CIS harnesses the power of the global IT community to safeguard private and public organisations against cyber threats. Its CIS Controls Version 7.1 and CIS Benchmarks are the global standard and recognised best practices for securing IT systems and data against the most pervasive attacks. The CIS Controls align with all the major compliance frameworks, such as the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, NIST guidelines, and the ISO 27000 series, as well as regulations including PCI, DSS, HIPAA, NERC CIP, and FISMA. Creating safe cyber-environment “We are proud to provide this updated Guide to help our partners and customers to continue to keep their networks and IP intercom solutions secure,” says Peter McKeag, Product Manager, Safety and Security for Zenitel. “Network access provides many benefits, but it has to be implemented securely. Continuous review and improvement of your cybersecurity measures are key to ensuring a safe, stable, and resilient cyber environment.” The Zenitel Cybersecurity Hardening Guide begins with information about the CIS controls, and then follows with steps that a company should take, including assessing risk and security levels, managing credentials and passwords, and more. A cybersecurity checklist outlines specific tasks and expectations linked to relevant CIS controls that a company follows and implements to ensure that its networked IP intercom devices are cybersecure. Risk management of cybersecurity “At Zenitel, cybersecurity is embedded in all that we do,” adds Dan Rothrock, president of Zenitel Americas. “Cybersecurity controls are essential with all networked devices, and with this Guide, we hope to educate, increase awareness, and provide best practices in order to ensure cyber-secure security solutions.” “As cyberattacks continue to increase in frequency and sophistication, cybersecurity risk management has risen in importance,” says Wim Van Winghe, VP of Sales for EMEA Onshore. “All enterprises need a thoughtful approach to mitigating cybersecurity risk, and this new Guide will assist them in their efforts.”
Zenitel, a supplier of intelligent critical communication solutions, is proud to announce the launch of the TCIV+ (Turbine Compact Intercom Video) Station. Combining the unrivalled high-quality audio of the company’s Turbine Compact Series with exceptional video, the TCIV+ provides users with a communication solution for any situation and allows for seamless integration with other security systems. With Zenitel’s new Turbine TCIV+ video intercom station, users can mitigate security risks more effectively than ever before, through a unique combination of HD Voice and Video, as well as a new chipset for enhanced function, all of which provide intelligent communication at the edge. Video intercom station “Clear communication that all parties can understand is critical to every security application,” says Dan Rothrock, President of Zenitel Americas. “The new TCIV+ video intercom station achieves this through a wide array of innovative features that extend the limits of audio, video and acoustic technology and remove noise and bandwidth constraints. The result is the ability to hear, be heard and be understood, anywhere and anytime.” Features of Zenitel’s new Turbine TCIV+ video intercom station include: Powerful Audio Technology HD Video Faster Processing Tough and Sophisticated Design Cybersecurity Powerful audio technology The TCIV+ employs powerful audio technology to safeguard people, property, and facilities The TCIV+ employs powerful audio technology to safeguard people, property, and facilities. The 10W speaker, matching 10W class D amplifier, and digital MEMS microphones provide open, duplex, hands-free communication – and with an audio amplification that powerful – the TCIV+ can also be used as a public address speaker. With built-in software capabilities, the station can adjust a voice that is too loud or too soft to an intelligible signal for the call recipient. The speaker volume automatically adjusts to an audible level to overcome ambient noise levels. The new TCIV+ packs crystal-clear, HD voice and video technology within the same form factor as the Turbine Compact (TCIS, TCIV) range. Installation, functionality, and capabilities remain the same as with other Turbine stations, making it easier to upgrade. Greater system capabilities The wide-angle lens delivers excellent performance, day or night. The Field of View feature captures more of the area around the station, and a 30-per-second frame rate provides a natural look of any movement caught on the camera. For performance, the 4x Cortex CPU cores, 4 Gbit RAM, and 1 Gb flash memory ensure that the TCIV+ series is processing data faster, which translates into stability, uptime, and a long product lifetime. The enhanced efficiency in data processing provides the opportunity for integration into various security and business platforms and opens the door for greater system capabilities in the future. Future feature expansion The station is well protected from damage and destruction, thanks to its solid aluminium, die-cast frame “Zenitel is well known for its best-in-class audio quality,” says Erik Hoffman, Head of Product Management, Onshore, Zenitel. “Now with the TCIV+ we have taken our video performance to a new level. To get this done we have built the new stations on a completely new hardware platform that enables top class performance and significant potential for future feature expansion.” The TCIV+ incorporates a sophisticated design. The station is well protected from damage and destruction, thanks to its solid aluminium, die-cast frame. The UV-resistant, anechoic speaker design provides an open flow of audio, and is protected from tampering, with speaker-grill angles that prevent direct access to the speaker, as well as an acoustically transparent poke screen that prevents perforation attempts while maintaining an open audio flow. Mission-critical systems The TCIV+ is cybersecure, meeting stringent IT requirements for mission-critical systems and providing defence from cyber threats and attacks. Cyber defencibility is addressed using integrated IEEE 802.1X network access control. As a Centre for Internet Security (CIS) SecureSuite Member, Zenitel follows and contributes to the global standards and best practices that are continually refined. Users can select from four TCIV+ stations with different features and functionalities Users can select from four TCIV+ stations with different features and functionalities, to meet the needs of a variety of applications. Additionally, a touchless sensor, available as an accessory, solves the challenges of contactless access amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it can activate intercom calls by gesture recognition, for example, with the swipe of a hand. Future of intelligent communication “We certainly believe that audio, just like video, plays a key part in any security solution,” says Lars Paulsson, EVP for Safety and Security at Zenitel. “The need to interact and communicate with individuals moving in and out of spaces is vital, and at Zenitel we strive to keep people safe by enabling everyone to hear, be heard and be understood - every time and everywhere. With the development of the TCIV+, we combine IP video and IP audio and continue to drive the future of intelligent communication – powered and driven by Turbine technology.”
Zenitel, the supplier of intelligent and interoperable communication solutions, is pleased to announce the promotion of Bruce Czerwinski to Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Czerwinski has more than 15 years in the security communications industry, having joined Zenitel in 2018 as Western Regional Sales Leader. In his time with Zenitel, Czerwinski has helped to contribute to unprecedented company sales growth and has established solid relationships with Zenitel customers. Sales-related functions As VP of Sales and Business Development, Czerwinski will be responsible for Zenitel’s North American go-to-market strategy and all sales-related functions, including sales engineering and sales operations. His reputation as a team player, passionate listener and strategist has earned him recognition from his colleagues. Bruce has built a world-class sales territory that is designed to grow into the foreseeable future" “It is my extreme pleasure to share this news,” said Dan Rothrock, President of Zenitel Americas. “Since joining Zenitel, Bruce has built a world-class sales territory that is designed to grow into the foreseeable future. I am thrilled with the progress he has made, and I am confident that his sales leadership will guide Zenitel to even greater success.” Great partner network “This is a great opportunity to continue to strengthen Zenitel’s reputation as the leader in intelligible communications in the marketplace,” said Czerwinski. “We have an excellent team and great partner network in place that we can continue to build new capabilities with, offering our customers world-class audio solutions.” Czerwinski will remain based out of the Seattle, Washington area.
Zenitel, the supplier of intelligent and interoperable communication solutions, announced the hiring of a director of marketing in their North American Operations. Diane Ritchey has been Editor-in-Chief for Security magazine since 2009. She has an experienced background in publishing, public relations, content creation and management, in addition to internal and external communications. Evolution of intelligent communications Within her role at Security, Ritchey organised and executed the annual Security 500 conference, authored the annual Security 500 report, researched and wrote exclusive cover features, managed social media, and authored the magazine’s monthly Security Talk column with exclusive stories about enterprise security executives. “Diane has had a front row seat in the evolution of security technology”, said Dan Rothrock, President of Zenitel Americas. ”She has become intimate with the nuances of the ecosystem, including the top consultants, integrators, and technology vendors. Who better to represent the voice of the market in a company that believes voice will drive the next evolution of intelligent communications?” "Zenitel is a proven leader in critical communication systems”, said Ritchey. “I'm thrilled to be joining a company that is poised for even more growth and success with a team of truly committed, professional, and passionate people. I look forward to sustaining my relationships throughout the industry as we, together, create intelligent security programs through intelligent communications.”
The transition from analogue to IP technologies has had a large impact on the ways intercoms are used in the security industry. The analogue-to-IP transition has generated a lot of attention in the camera market, and the transition is also taking place for intercoms. Twenty years ago, Axis Communications (2N’s parent company) led the industry in converting from analogue cameras and video to IP. Integrated IP system The conversion took 15 years to achieve, but the same conversion in intercoms is happening today. This conversion will take place over the next five years as integrators, end users, IT departments and building systems are now ready for networked IP devices, according to 2N. “The benefits of an IP system are too great to ignore,” says Craig Szmania, CEO, 2N USA. Programmability, interoperability, mobile needs, video and audio quality, costs and system wide security concerns are all driving the conversion. Users want—and in fact, expect—the benefits of an integrated IP system, he says. “The past limitations on IP-based solutions really have been swept away as most dealer/integrators in the security space have embraced networked IP devices and solutions and most now lead with such solutions,” says Szmania. “IP really is the new standard in the space. Integrators have embraced the technology it has produced, new customers, new revenue streams in service and support, and new recurring monthly revenue (RMR) opportunities.” Centralised dispatch location Likewise, Internet protocol (IP) phones are the present and the future of emergency communications. They provide flexible capabilities to future-proof installations, according to Code Blue Corp. As locations continue to expand and adapt security solutions to changing conditions, IP phones will be able to grow with you. They offer unlimited scalability, more integration opportunities, and a strong user interface that allows remote accessibility and makes a wide range of features—speed, clarity, range, versatility—more dynamic. A centralised dispatch location eliminates the need to manually test each device. "Make sure that IP systems sound as good as an analogue system even while going through difficult network issues" Digital technology units are the fastest growing of Aiphone’s product lines – selling at twice the rate of just a year ago, according to Aiphone. “As the security industry continues to move to digital networks, we can provide many more capabilities, such as long-distance communication and control, mobile apps, and network paging,” says Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp. “The digital revolution is making for smarter, more integrated systems, and intercoms play a vital role.” Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America, sees IP decentralised audio processing as a big development. “Powerful edge processing can now deliver high intelligibility without the need of a centralised server,” he says. “Users now see intelligible audio as essential to their operations and easily achievable with advanced audio edge technology.” Seamless integration with intercom stations “The IP world changes everything when it comes to networking and pulling people and locations together,” says Dan Rothrock, SVP of Global Strategic Alliances, Zenitel North America. “One small appliance can get you into the cloud and link multiple locations with hundreds of intercom stations working together seamlessly.” Zenitel’s advice is to leverage IP technology to its full extent, and to use native IP devices. It is easy to take legacy technology and add an encoder and decoder to that same old hardware, but that limits the benefits of leading edge technology advancements and even simplicity. “Make sure that IP systems sound as good as an analogue system even while going through difficult network issues,” says Hoffpauir. “This is the secret sauce clients are asking for: a networked intelligible audio platform that interoperates with their other mission-critical systems like access, video and unified communications.”
Part 3 of our Intercoms in Security Series: Zenitel’s Call Access Panel manages intelligible critical communications through a security operations centre or control room Greater connectivity, security software enhancements, more customisation, and better sound quality are some of the enhancements driving the intercom market.An advantage now offered on Code Blue’s emergency speakerphones include self-diagnosing software that monitors the status of the phones and their components — microphones, buttons and speakers — and delivers instant notifications if there is ever an issue. Code Blue phones also come with full duplex capabilities with echo cancelling, sometimes known as open duplex, which allows the caller and first responder to communicate simultaneously and eliminates buzzing and static. IP-based networking systems Code Blue also builds its phones to open standards like Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which allows calls to be easily processed with a wide variety of systems and software solutions, says David Fleming, Chief Design Officer for Code Blue Corp.Networking has impacted the intercom market, with the advent of IP-based systems. The corporate network now makes it possible to share information and to control units from a few yards to thousands of miles away, according to Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp. For example, central command centre guards can monitor and allow entrance to any networked satellite or unmanned facility 24/7. Multi-site communications Networks have also spawned mobile apps that allow roaming guards to use smartphones and devices to maintain total control of an intercom system while away from the master station and on the Wi-Fi. And network paging is another recently added communications tool, valuable for routine announcements or emergency instructions. "Voice is becoming the killer app for serving the safety and security needs of employees and customers" “We’re now able to offer large-scale multi-site communications using intercom systems,” says Czerwinski. “That’s not just connecting a few buildings on opposite sides of a campus quad, but all those separated by state lines, even across the country.”As markets and customers served by intercom products continue to evolve with new needs requiring new solutions, intercom companies continually poll the market and develop new and interesting solutions for these needs.All-in-one physical access control solutionBecause intercom manufacturer 2N’s products are often used as part of a physical access control system, convenience and security are key attributes. Bluetooth technology will be employed heavily. 2N has just introduced its Bluetooth access control reader for both standalone access control and integrated into 2N’s VERSO door station.The technology is based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which offers long-range detection (up to 10 metres), low energy consumption and ‘banking’ level security. It can be combined with other technologies — near field communication (NFC) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) — for an all-in-one solution.Mobile video app for door intercoms 2N has also launched a mobile video app/service. It enables a consumer’s smart device to be used as an interface to the door intercom, allowing video calls from anywhere in the world, door access control, and as an ‘always on’ video and audio surveillance system. Notifications can be launched automatically; for example, if someone approaches the homeowner’s door, porch, or surrounding area. A low-cost all-in-one door station — Base — has been released for the residential and small business space, including HD video, audio, and door control but in a simpler-to-install and lower-cost format. Zenitel’s Customer Intercom Station Kit enables customers to build their own stations In the spring, 2N is releasing a Z-wave networked door control solution that’s easy to install and extends the reach of an access control system.Off-the-shelf communication devicesJim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America, says the intercom company offers a choice of either off-the-shelf communication devices or components to enable customised stations to be built based on a customer’s aesthetics or form and/or function needs. Users also must be heard and be understood, says Hoffpauir. “We spend millions of dollars in research and development on the intellectual property that defines and sets the standard for intelligible voice audio in the communications industry,” he says. “And we focus on embedding that capability with strategic alliances in access control, video and unified communications.”“Voice is becoming the killer app for serving the safety and security needs of employees and customers,” says Hoffpauir. “We want to create new interoperable solutions such as our networked HD Video Door station that acts as a communication device as well as an access control station.” It has two-way communication for 24/7 video identification and support for IP phone or unified communications through SIP. Intelligible critical communications solutions Zenitel’s Call Access Panel manages intelligible critical communications through a security operations centre or control room. The panel has a small footprint with pre-programmable buttons for instantaneous emergency or mass notifications to all intercom stations or IP public address, alarms, or horns. And it is SIP-compatible for unified communications. Changes in hardware and software are transforming the intercom market, as are changes in how systems are combined and configured. There is also a trend toward more discernment in terms of audio quality and system performance. Including an evaluation ‘scorecard’ in a request for proposal (RFP), for example, can ensure there is a clear way to evaluate systems being considered. “We are teaching the market there can be a legitimate scorecard on intelligibility,” says Dan Rothrock, SVP of Global Strategic Alliances, Zenitel North America. “You may not know you have bad audio until something bad happens, and it’s too late.” Read part 4 in our Security Intercoms series here
Part 2 of our Intercoms in Security Series The 2N Helios IP family intercoms present a comprehensive portfolio of security offerings for businesses and individuals Some integrators and end users may think of intercoms as older technology that isn’t required as part of a robust security system. Not true. Intercoms include innovative technologies that have developed rapidly, keeping pace with other categories. Just as cameras and access control systems have made technology improvements in leaps and bounds, so has voice audio – and intercoms offer features and benefits no other product can provide. Aiphone entry security “When it comes to communications, entry control and emergency assistance, intercoms lead the way,” says Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp. “Intercoms are almost ubiquitous on K-12 campuses. They are common in virtually every other security vertical market. And they are providing communications without interfering with a business’s lifeline – the telephone.” Aiphone’s technology includes a variety of intercom and entry security products to meet the needs of the education, healthcare, commercial, government and residential markets. Aiphone’s audio and video intercoms include both analogue two-wire connections and TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) units to protect exterior entries and to secure vital interior spaces. With nearly 40 standard systems, Aiphone can create a system for virtually any intercom application. Are emergency intercoms still needed in the age of cell phones? The preponderance of cell phone use, not surprisingly, is contributing to the rapid growth of mobile safety apps that put callers in contact with assistance right from their smartphones. These technological advances have left some wondering if security systems like emergency speakerphones are still necessary; but simply trading out speakerphones for cell phones is ill-advised, says David Fleming, Chief Design Officer for Code Blue Corp. Code Blue VoIP/analogue speakerphones Emergency speakerphonesand intercoms act as integrated security stations that providea wide array of emergency communication solutions Emergency speakerphones and intercoms act as integrated security stations that provide a wide array of emergency communication solutions, Fleming says. They serve as the hub for all security devices at a location, from cameras to card readers to lights and speakers. “Removing them could be a potentially dangerous and hasty decision for locations looking for a complete security solution,” says Fleming. Code Blue offers both voice over IP (VoIP) and analogue emergency speakerphones that are available with multiple options and configurations to create a customised user experience. When they are combined with Code Blue’s durable steel enclosures and sophisticated systems management software, Code Blue speakerphones can be utilised as a comprehensive end-to-end security system. Intercoms also suffer from a reputation of providing unintelligible sound. “This myth has prevented security executives from optimising and innovating their people, process and technology around intelligible voice,” says Dan Rothrock, SVP of Global Strategic Alliances, Zenitel North America. “And because of this assumption, there is no evaluation criteria around judging quality intercom systems. Bad audio is not okay. It threatens the viability of the risk mitigation efforts of our security programs.” “With today’s advancements, you can hear, be heard and be understood in virtually any environment,” says Rothrock. Emergency speakerphones and intercoms serve as the hub for all security devices at a location, from cameras to card readers to lights and speakers Vingtor-Stentofon solutions Vingtor-Stentofon by Zenitel Group is a world-leading provider of critical communication solutions on the land and at sea. Building on more than 70 years of innovation, today’s technology uses secure and exceptionally intelligible SIP end-devices to provide solutions in IP intercom, video intercom, emergency communications and public address. (SIP is Session Initiation Protocol, the communications protocol used in Internet telephony.) Zenitel seeks to provide a path to intelligibility: To hear, to be heard, and to be understood in every situation. Zenitel emphasises critical communications and solutions that can be integrated in an organisation by providing seamless interoperability with access control, video surveillance management, and telephone switching and voice-over-IP systems around the world. Finally, Zenitel’s emphasis on innovation and quality ensures the solutions meet stringent requirements of IT departments by delivering high availability, scalability, reliability and defensibility that are required for mission-critical applications. 2N IP intercom models 2N says its products are much more than “just intercoms.” “They are a SIP end point, which, while serving as an intercom, can also perform much more in the end users’ system than placing a call,” says Craig Szmania, CEO, 2N USA. “Our ‘intercoms’ are highly programmable, allowing for functionality not normally attributed to a door station.” 2N’s products can add significantly to an end user’s site security system with video and audio inputs and outputs, have the ability to control actions, are integratable into most building systems and yes, of course, provide communication from one point to another or globally. “Our intercoms are definitely much more than the old-fashioned perception of an intercom,” says Szmania. Zenitel seeks to providea path to intelligibility: To hear, to be heard, and to be understood in every situation 2N USA is a manufacturer of seven IP intercom models that share a common software platform based on 2N’s own operating system. The models include basic audio only, highly ruggedised emergency call box models, and top-of-the-line sophisticated commercial models suitable to any Fortune 50 corporate headquarters. Most models can be equipped with HD/IR ONVIF-compliant cameras, high-end audio, and all are “pure SIP.” 2N intercoms are built based on the company’s own hardware designed in-house at 2N’s research and development (R&D) department in Prague, Czech Republic. Roughly a third of all 2N employees are in engineering, highlighting the company’s focus on new product development to provide a technological edge. 2N supplies solutions to schools, governments, commercial enterprises, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), residential, industrial and transportation. “At 2N we have started to call our intercoms ‘SIP end points’ as they have capabilities far beyond a point-to-point audio communicator and are used in many varying applications; including control of production lines in an industrial setting, access control for office buildings and as a first line of security for schools,” says Szmania. Read part 3 of our Security Intercoms series here
Software House approved the compatibility of the Zenitel AlphaCom solution through their Connected Partner Program Vingtor-Stentofon by Zenitel Group, a provider of critical communication solutions for the security industry, announced its newest integration with Software House C•CURE 9000 from Tyco Security Products, part of Johnson Controls. C•CURE 9000 Security and Event Management platform The enterprise communication server, AlphaCom, integrates with the C•CURE 9000 Security and Event Management platform providing the customer’s security team an integrated platform for access control and critical communications. With both ears and a voice, security teams can optimise their processes and their actionable response to incidents as well as explore unmanned entry points such as the HD Video IP Intercom. Operators of the C•CURE 9000 system can easily place and answer calls, view status, and both command and control intercom stations through their C•CURE 9000 user interface. Call events of the AlphaCom system are recorded in C•CURE 9000’s database and visually shown in their Event Monitoring Station. This functionality allows for security teams to integrate all their systems and quickly associate both access control, audio, and video events for all their security reporting needs. “Our commitment to be the leader in implementing the scorecard for critical communications is reinforced through our relationship with one of the leaders in physical access control,” said Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel USA. “Software House solutions are installed in over 5,500 facilities world-wide and over 170 Fortune 500 companies. Integration with one of the best solutions in IP Audio solutions helps to reinforce their leadership position.”Zenitel AlphaCom solution “Software House solutions are installed in over 5,500 facilities world-wide and over 170 Fortune 500 companies" Software House approved the compatibility of the Zenitel AlphaCom solution through their Connected Partner Program and the integration driver can now be delivered by Zenitel through their certified dealer program.“We consider Software House a strategic integration partner of Zenitel,” said Dan Rothrock, VP of Strategic Alliances. “We will be providing support through our Regional Sales Leaders to their channel to ensure the scorecard for critical communications is understood and validated by their clients.”“We have the best value proposition in the industry because we, alone, can meet the standard of performance needed by risk, resilience and security professionals,” said Peter Sandin, VP of Sales for Zenitel. “The scorecard of intelligibility, interoperability and the key ‘ilities’ needed by any mission critical IT solution; availability, reliability, scalability, maintainability and defensibility will create competitive advantage for both Software House and Zenitel.”
There are many challenges currently facing the security marketplace, and I asked several industry players recently to reflect on those challenges. Their comments highlight familiar subjects to us all: The need for education. The challenge to meet customer expectations. The dilemma of combining old technologies with new ones. Security education and training Education is a big issue, especially as it relates to the transition to IP systems. “I think there are a number of integrators who are raising themselves up by more education, more certification and training, looking at the world more from an IT perspective than a security perspective, and understanding that the two worlds have to come together,” says Dan Rothrock, Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances, Vingtor-Stentofon. “If people are trained, educated and certified on the products they are working with, things are better,” Rothrock notes. “Installations are cleaner. For a lot of products on the market today, if they are installed and commissioned correctly, you can go a long, long time without any problems.” A challenge for customers is to compare products in the market, says Rothrock. What’s needed is a legitimate scorecard to enable products to be compared fairly based on specific criteria, he adds. In the case of audio products, for example, the scorecard might include factors such as intelligibility, simplicity, scalability, durability and reliability. Meeting customer expectations A central and ongoing challenge in the market is delivering on the customer’s expectations, says Tom Chamard, Executive Vice President of Sales, Salient Systems. “We know the customer’s expectations,” he says. “The integrator has to deliver on those expectations, and the manufacturer has to create the functional elements that will make the integrator look good and meet customer needs. We have a very educated customer, and I don’t think they present unrealistic expectations. The challenge is to ensure we are all on the same page relative to those expectations.” Once a solution is deployed, the customer expects the manufacturer and integrator to work in partnership to manage and maintain the deployment after the sale, he adds. “Credibility is a big piece of the puzzle,” says Chamard. Combining old and new security technologies Another challenge is continuing to manage all the various technologies – the old and the new – in the changing security market. For example, after 25 years, wired Wiegand cards are still being used, even in our age of newer card technologies and even mobile credentials. “It’s a process of transitioning among generations of products,” says Dean Forchas, HID’s Consultant Relations Manager for North America. “We can facilitate that. It’s also very common that a company isn’t looking to do a technology upgrade, but they are buying and selling buildings, and some of them may have an older card technology. They don’t necessarily want to tear all that out.” HID’s transition path includes multiCLASS readers that handle a range of card technologies. “We have to show them a transition path, rather than a rip-and-replace,” says Forchas. “Technology is moving quickly, but there are still people out there selling 125khz solutions that are 25 years old,” adds Forchas. “And then there are the early adopters, although getting people comfortable with newer technologies is a challenge.” Clearly, challenges abound. What are some other ongoing or intractable challenges for the security marketplace?
ISC West is on the immediate horizon, and I asked several industry players what they expect new and different at the industry’s big show. The answers included buzz-worthy topics from Big Data to the Internet of Things, but also mention of a perennial industry theme – integration. Video embracing social media? Tom Chamard, Executive Vice President of Sales, Salient Systems, expects social media to emerge as a larger topic of interest at ISC West, especially considering how social media might impact video systems. “When you couple social media data with video, you can become more proactive than reactive,” Chamard says. Analysing social media activity can provide a useful new data stream to the command centre environment. GPS functionality on smart phones enables social media posts to be isolated geographically; for example, tweets or Facebook postings can be compiled from the immediate area of a big event. “Analysing social media and tying it together with video is a powerful combination of information flow in a command centre environment,” says Chamard. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see something like that at ISC West.” Cybersecurity trend to continue The big show will likely also see more discussion than ever of the fast-growing arena of cybersecurity, says Kurt Takahashi, Senior Vice President of Sales, AMAG Technology. “I would like to see a closer tie between the cyber threat and the physical threat, and melding the two pieces of data to define more proactive activity, and understand human behaviour,” he says. “When you talk about Big Data, all the experts are focused only on the cyber piece. They’re not combining it with what’s happening on the physical side.” Takahashi also expects discussion at ISC West to centre around biometrics and mobile credentialing. Desire for better IoT innovations “I would hope to see more players in mobile access, more innovation in mobile devices,” agrees Dean Forchas, HID’s Consultant Relations Manager for North America. He notes that an ongoing transition to use of mobile devices instead of cards for authentication is the biggest change in the industry in the last year. The growth of integration and partnerships among manufacturers will be reflected at ISC with larger companies sharing their booth space with smaller companies with whom they integrate “I would also like to see what people are doing with the Internet of Things – it’s a big buzz, but so far it’s in its infancy,” says Forchas. “I haven’t seen a total home solution using IoT. I think it has potential, but I just can’t get my arms around it yet. I’m hoping people are making strides in that direction.” Has the age of true integration finally arrived? “We are really now getting to true integration,” says Dan Rothrock, Senior Vice President, Global Strategic Alliances, Vingtor-Stentofon. “More parts are standardised, and we are working with more standards. Integration has finally accelerated to the point that we have worn out the term, and so we have moved to a new term – unification.” The growth of integration and partnerships among manufacturers will be reflected at ISC with larger companies more often sharing their booth space with smaller companies with whom they integrate. “You will see more and more people (at ISC West) with names of other companies inside their booth, saying, if you have this installed, if you’re using this and are happy with it, I can integrate with it,” says Rothrock. “And I can give you a path to integration. When other people thought they were locked into a proprietary system, you will see more people saying, no, you’re not. I have a solution.” “Nobody wants to do a forklift replacement,” says Rothrock. “If people are providing a bridge where you can go from one system to another, and do it smoothly and update the technology, what a great way to go.” ISC West, held from April 5-7 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, includes more than 28,000 security professionals viewing more than 1,000 exhibitors and brands.
AMAG's seminar provided networking and engagement with experts about technology trends and end user expectations AMAG Technology hosted its 15th Annual Security Engineering Symposium (SES) in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Shingle Creek February 19-21, 2016. Attendees experienced a weekend of educational seminars, networking and engagement with experts about technology trends and end user expectations. AMAG Technology is the worldwide leader of end-to-end security management solutions for access control, video management and identity management. AMAG products educational sessions AMAG conducted educational sessions about their newest products: Symmetry™ GUEST Visitor Management, policy-based software Symmetry CONNECT™ and Symmetry™ v8.1 scheduled for release in Q2. President, Matt Barnette held a session about Product Vision and the future, and Senior Vice President of Sales, Kurt Takahashi presented on Unified Security Technology. Break-out sessions offered attendees opportunities to learn about several technologies that integrate with Symmetry Access Control and Symmetry CompleteView Video Management. Special sessions included: “How to do Business with Consultants,” “How to Design a Symmetry system,” and “Why Yale University chose Symmetry for their Security Management Platform.” “Our 15th Annual SES attracted the best of the best again this year, including many new faces in the consultant, customer and reseller communities,” said AMAG Technology, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Jody Ross. “The action-packed agenda provided insight into AMAG Technology and the direction the company is heading with new solutions for our customers. The educational sessions and networking opportunities proved valuable to all who attended.” “I’ve attended this event several times because of the incredible value I receive,” said Ross & Baruzzini, Senior Systems Project Manager, Ted Wheaton. “I like to learn about AMAG, as well as learn about their technology partners and where they are heading in the future with their product development. Not only do I learn about technology trends, but there is a lot of time for networking with consultants, manufacturers, integrators and end users.” Strategic technology partners The strategic technology partners who sponsored the event valued the interaction with the consultants, integrators, end users, AMAG staff and other partners. Technology partners included: ASSA ABLOY, HID Global, Hikvision, NEC, Salient Systems, Winsted and Zenitel/Vingtor-Stentofon, FST Biometrics and Risk 360. AMAG’s Security EngineeringSymposium is an original eventthat’s been often copied, but it’snever been duplicated “The SES is set up in a way that affords ASSA ABLOY many opportunities to be in front of the customer,” said Donna Chapman, Security Consultant Relations Manager, ASSA ABLOY. “Between the small group break-out sessions, networking and social time, I believe we had several opportunities to do a deep dive on our products and partnership with AMAG. This was one of the best events I’ve attended.” Dan Rothrock, Senior Vice President Global Strategic Alliances, Zenitel USA, Inc. said, “It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 15 years. AMAG’s Security Engineering Symposium is an original event that’s been often copied, but it’s never been duplicated. We are looking for relationships. We are looking for return on investment, and we are looking for ideas for the future. All those things come out of this event every year that we attend. It’s been the best event for a return on our investment from a dollar AND relationship standpoint, and from what it helps us develop for the security industry. We are looking forward to coming back for our 16th year next year.” “The AMAG Security Engineering Symposium is unique for Salient because the forum enables us to collaborate and strengthen our engagements on several different levels,” said Tom Chamard, Executive Vice President, Salient Systems. “On one front, we’re collaborating with various AMAG resources with regards to our OEM strategy and integration enhancements of our joint platform. In addition, we view this event as the opportunity to reinforce our value propositions to integrators, end users and consultants alike. Not only do we get to extend and refine our OEM strategy with our partner, we have the opportunity to continue to support these channels and hopefully renew and fortify our position within the VMS space. The combination of these factors makes the SES conference an uncommon value for Salient.” Randy Smith, President, Winsted said, “This is the best event we do all year long. AMAG’s SES allows us to get in front of important decision makers in the security industry. It’s a key marketing event for Winsted and we make it a priority to sponsor and participate every year.” “I think this event was great,” said Yaron Zussman, CEO, FST Biometrics America. “It’s rare that you get an opportunity to see so many consultants, VAR's, and end users over a period of a weekend. For a new technology like IMID Access that is a fusion of facial recognition and behavioural biometrics, this has been great exposure to let people experience and understand our product. AMAG’s SES has generated much excitement for our product and how it integrates with AMAG’s Symmetry Access Control System.”
Zenitel will become a preferred technology hardware supplier to Genetec end-users Zenitel, a global leader and supplier of the STENTOFON® and VINGTOR® brands of communication systems, recently announced a strategic technology partnership with Genetec™, a leading provider of unified IP security solutions. In this relationship, Zenitel will become a preferred technology hardware supplier to Genetec end-users with its globally deployed intercom system, leveraging session initiation protocol (SIP) for superior voice and video over internet protocol (VoIP) communications. With full integration into Genetec Security Center, a unified security platform that seamlessly blends IP security surveillance systems within a single intuitive interface, the STENTOFON SIP intercom and AlphaCom XE server systems will allow Genetec end-users to install VoIP and analogue intercom along with video connectivity within any facility. The STENTOFON line of intercom servers and hardware that will be compatible with Genetec Security Center include the new, powerful Turbine IP intercom series with active noise reduction, 10 watt power amplifier, 105db output and auto ambient volume adjustment. All STENTOFON IP stations can be used in an AlphaCom, Pulse or SIP station mode. By combining systems via integration with Genetec Security Center, end users will be able to set up a cohesive and powerful IP based system that meets today’s demanding market requirements. The STENTOFON line includes IP master stations and substations, with or without video, for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. “Genetec offers one of the most robust, unified, open-platform IP video surveillance, access control and LPR platforms in the world, and we are excited to help extend those security features and options with our industry-leading communications hardware including our Turbine VOIP intercom systems,” said Dan Rothrock, Senior Vice President Global OEM at STENTOFON/Zenitel Group.