ISC West in Las Vegas kicked off Wednesday with an expanding focus on new technologies and new applications, including some that go beyond any narrow definition of “the security industry.” Qognify QBlock and Cloudscann “Technology is disrupting the market and executives are taking our solutions beyond security,” says Moti Shabtai, CEO and President of Qognify. “They are starting with security and quickly moving to other risk and business continuity issues in the organisations. They want a clear return on investment (ROI), which we can deliver if we move from covering a limited island of ‘security’ issues and give them the value of also managing risk, safety, and operations.” Among Qognify’s products at the show is QBLOCK, a turnkey network attached storage (NAS) video management system that guarantees no loss of video; Qognify is partnering with Dell EMC. Another product is Qognify Cloudscann, a mobile application that enables a mobile phone to be used as a CCTV camera to provide video live. Citizens can live-stream what is happening in real time to the cloud. There is a public version (for citizens) and a private version (for employees). NVIDIA smart cities and safe cities Graphics processor manufacturer NVIDIA is attracting a lot of attention at the show. Its booth is a microcosm of the new hot topics we are hearing about in the market, including deep learning, machine learning, robotics, and video analytics with new levels of accuracy. The processing power of NVIDIA’s GPUs enable higher levels of resolution, faster image processing and compression, larger camera counts and smarter systems with greatly expanded capabilities. Thirteen partner companies are exhibiting products that leverage NVIDIA technology. NVIDIA is focusing on applications that combine smart cities and safe cities. Examples are realtime video analytics and licence plate recognition (ANPR) using cameras mounted in police cars. Qognify Cloudscann is a mobile application that enables a mobile phone to be used as a CCTV camera to provide video live Aqueti, one company exhibiting in the NVIDIA booth, offers the 100-megapixel Mantis Camera, a “super camera” array of 19 cameras that are combined into a single view of a large area. The images are stitched together in real-time, and the user can zoom in and see an impressive level of detail. The system is capable of face recognition over a 70-degree field at 75 metres. Axis Communications press conference Axis Communications kicked off ISC West with its press conference, a tradition on the first day. A magic show was part of the presentation highlighting the continuing transformation of Axis from primarily an IP camera company to a manufacturer of a variety of IP devices to function (often alongside Axis cameras) as part of the Internet of Things (IoT). New devices in their portfolio include all-in-one music and audio speakers, intercom door stations and a new radar detector. They further expand Axis’ entrance into new categories, which began several years ago with the introduction of IP access control devices. “The camera market is still growing, but no longer at a rate of 40 percent,” said Fredrik Nilsson, General Manager of Axis Communications in the U.S. “The conversion to IP cameras is coming to an end, but the value is really in integrating other systems together. The camera is the basis for larger systems.” Axis acquisitions Axis increased its presence in the IP intercom market last year with the acquisition of Czech company 2N. Another recent acquisition, Swedish image analysis company Cognimatics, is boosting the use of Axis video analytics in retail markets. A new introduction at ISC West is a dual-image (“stereoscopic”) sensor that improves analytics accuracy. Using two image views allows 3D depth perception that eliminates the possibility of false alarms caused by shadows (which are two-dimensional but might otherwise trigger a false alert.) The new Axis radar detector provides reliable detection of approaching trespassers in a perimeter security application, even in adverse conditions. The IP-based detector can be coupled with a pan-tilt-zoom camera to direct a video view of the area where motion was detected. Cybersecurity: Politics and education Cybersecurity is an oft-heard topic of discussion at the show: Axis emphasised that cybersecurity is not just a product issue, but also encompasses policies and education. Axis emphasised the cybersecurity benefits of “knowing what’s inside the camera.” In the case of Axis, all the technology is manufactured by Axis. Combining the elements together provides a pre-integrated, easy-to-install system for integrators, and greater dependability for end users Another cybersecurity view came from Pelco. “The business case for cybersecurity will be turned on its head when we start valuing cybersecurity in terms of the potential liability of a cybersecurity failure rather than the cost of developing a cybersecurity solution,” said Sharad Shekhar, Pelco CEO. Fully considering the possibly catastrophic costs of a cybersecurity failure would motivate the market to do even more in the interest of ensuring cybersecure systems, he said. Addressing liability will also likely involve greater use of insurance in the future, he noted. Pelco’s big message at the show is “we have it all covered,” a reference to the company’s broad product portfolio and emphasis on customer service, a tradition for Pelco. The company has narrowed its focus to fewer vertical markets and geographic areas, but it has not narrowed its product scope. Pelco’s VideoXpert software offers unlimited scalability and provides an innovative user interface that enables intuitive navigation of even complex systems. FLIR thermal cameras FLIR is typical of companies that have transformed from a product-focused strategy to an end-to-end systems approach. You’re seeing it more often in the market. FLIR’s acquisition of DVTEL in 2015, including video management systems and cameras with edge analytics, provided the missing piece of a total system. The DVTEL capabilities have since been combined seamlessly with FLIR’s historic strength in thermal cameras, also previously expanded to include visible cameras. Combining the elements together provides a pre-integrated, easy-to-install system for integrators, and greater dependability for end users. “For integrators, time is money, and there is a premium on making sure everything can interoperate easily,” says John Distelzweig, General Manager of FLIR Security. “Now we control all the elements, from the sensors to the back-end software.” (Even so, FLIR products are open architecture and can be integrated individually into other systems as needed.)
No doubt about it, the ASIS International show is smaller than in years past. And there is (the usual) grumbling about slow attendee traffic (and the also predictable counter-arguments about “the quality of the leads.”) Some of the security and safety technology being featured was introduced earlier at ISC West, but there is still plenty to see in the exhibit hall. Growth of mobile credentials Mobile credentials are a hot topic again, and Lenel has joined the growing number of companies supplying a mobile credentialing system to the market. Lenel’s Blue Diamond mobile credentials are based on technology developed by United Technologies sister company Supra. The use of a cell phone (by Supra) to open a real estate key box has already been adapted to the hospitality industry (with a deployment at Hilton Hotels), and now as an access control credential, part of Lenel’s OnGuard Version 7.3 release for the commercial and industrial security market. The components of the system are a Bluetooth reader, a virtual credential provided through a smart phone app, a cloud-based credentialing portal, and integration with the latest version of OnGuard. Offering a full solution is simpler to implement, and Lenel even has an “in-line” Bluetooth reader that can be used to add Bluetooth capabilities to existing systems. It’s just one aspect of the OnGuard 7.3 release that also is “reinventing the OnGuard experience,” according to Ross McKay, Lenel Systems International’s Director of Project Management. Future adoption Mobile credentials are big talk at ASIS, but how long before they will be widely used? Estimates are all over the map, but research firm IMS has projected the percentage adoption of mobile credentialing at 19 percent by 2020 (according to McKay of Lenel). "Our industry is slow to adopt, but if you show mobile credentialing to end users, they get it immediately, anything you can give them on a phone, they will use" But Steve Van Till, president and CEO of Brivo, which launched its mobile credentialing system at last year’s ASIS, sees a range of possibilities in terms of adoption. Witnessing the fast adoption of smart phones as alternatives to perform a large number of daily tasks, some say mass adoption could only be a couple of years away. On the other hand, in our market, a lot of people are still using proximity cards (despite introductions of superior alternatives over the years). That legacy argues for slow adoption indeed. “Our industry is slow to adopt, but if you show mobile credentialing to end users, they get it immediately,” says Van Till. “Anything you can give them on a phone, they will use.” Because ASIS is an end user show, exhibitors tend to reflect on the changing dynamic of selling to end users. Changing purchasing dynamics How end users buy products may be changing -- obviously the IT department is having a greater influence than ever before. But what hasn’t changed is the importance of creating a system that will keep end users satisfied as they use it day-to-day for years after the installation is complete. IT may be yielding more influence, but at the end of the day, it’s the security customers -- the attendees at ASIS -- who must be satisfied. “While the IT infrastructure and personnel are involved in how decisions are made, security personnel are still heavily involved,” says Sharad Shekhar, CEO of Pelco by Schneider Electric. “On a day-to-day operations level, it’s the security user who either truly benefits or gets truly hurt by the product. We face IT challenges up front, but the day-to-day utility of our products in the market is judged by the security people, not the IT people.” Shekhar says feedback from those day-to-day end users is one factor that makes a show like ASIS so important. “We need to get continuous feedback to guide our future product development,” says Shekhar. “The type of people who do security -- they like stability. They like certainty because it’s the nature of the business. They want to apply solutions that have been vetted, that are proven. Customers can’t afford to make a mistake.” "The type of people who do security - they like stability. They like certainty because it’s the nature of the business" At ASIS, Pelco is showing its VideoXpert open video management system (VMS) platform, integrated with the Optera multi-sensor panoramic camera. The ability of the VMS to display a seamless multi-sensor image is getting good feedback from customers. Pelco’s core strategy is to focus on four major verticals -- gaming, city surveillance, oil and gas, and ports. They devote a range of resources to each of the major verticals, including multi-functional teams including research and development, engineering, product support and marketing personnel. A fifth core vertical in the United States is corrections, and Pelco also sells in secondary verticals such as education, healthcare, etc., although they are focusing more on the core verticals. Education and training Education is an important aspect of the ASIS show, there are rooms and rooms of educational sessions on a range of topics going on concurrently with the trade show. But education is also happening on the show floor, often in the form of presentations from vendors in theatre-like areas of their booths. Promise Technology, a manufacturer of storage systems, is a first-time ASIS exhibitor that is providing educational sessions in their presentation theatre in cooperation with VMS partners. “There is a lot of information in education and training,” says John van den Elzen, Managing Director, Worldwide Surveillance Business Unit, Promise Technology. “End users like to know how a solution is working. They don’t want to hassle with it if it doesn’t work. We qualify all the VMS vendors before the product comes to market. We know it works. We have a good relationship with the VMS vendors and work together if there is a problem -- no finger-pointing.” Promise provides RAID storage systems that are specifically targeted to the security market, and promote the products using security terms rather than IT terms. And they listen to feedback, whether at a trade show or at the many education events they have held globally to growing numbers of attendees. “This is very successful,” says van den Elzen. “People have a lack of knowledge and we look to fill in that gap.” There’s more knowledge to be had, and more exhibitors to visit in the second day of ASIS.
At ASIS 2016, Pelco will discuss its focus on delivering technologies based on open standards and their integration Pelco by Schneider Electric, a provider of intelligent video surveillance and security management platforms, will highlight its full suite of advanced solutions designed to solve the safety and business challenges of today’s enterprise organisations during next month’s ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits, being held on September 12-15, in Orlando, Florida, at Booth #2300.Trusted by a wide variety of airports, seaports, critical infrastructure sites, casinos, and cities across the globe, Pelco technologies assist users in achieving more robust security levels through multi-departmental and agency cooperation. The company’s Sarix Enhanced Next Generation Camera delivers the best possible image in difficult lighting conditions such as a combination of bright areas, shaded areas, and intense light, while the new ExSite Explosion-Proof Camera enables the capture of high-quality video in a variety of challenging and volatile environments, such as oil and gas production sites, marine applications, and hazardous materials plants, to allow more informed, efficient incident response. These powerful video cameras can also be a powerful tool to monitor operational issues in remote locations.VideoXpert security management platformAdvanced security management platforms, such as VideoXpert, help users identify the most relevant security data to elevate the effectiveness of video monitoring and reporting. When combined, Pelco solutions streamline usability and let operators focus on the most critical incoming information to efficiently and proactively address a wide variety of security situations. "Our team is focused onhelping end customersmitigate risk, ensure robustsecurity and safety levelsare maximised" “As a growing airport, we constantly examine the solutions we have in place and look at ways to improve how we conduct investigations, provide operators with a greater amount of situational awareness, and streamline business operations,” said Joe Maskovich, City of Fresno Airports Chief of Public Safety. “Our systems are a work in progress, and we’re glad to have a partner like Pelco that will help us be successful.” Open standards and integrated technologiesAt ASIS, Pelco will also discuss its focus on delivering technologies based on open standards and to easily integrate with other surveillance devices, analytics, and various third-party tools that contribute to a cohesive security posture. Open platforms are critical to today’s modern organisations and have the ability to support other systems outside of security (i.e. radar systems, IT network access and building management), which ensures technology investments will continue to be highly valuable in the future.“Pelco solutions enable more intelligent and informed decisions for enterprises across the globe,” said Sharad Shekhar, CEO, Pelco. “Our team is focused on helping end customers mitigate risk, ensure robust security and safety levels are maximised and propel collaboration that drives new value across organisations.”New technology offeringsPelco technical leaders will provide interactive demonstrations of its full suite of solutions, including VideoXpert Video Management System (VMS), the Sarix Enhanced Next Generation Camera Range, Optera Panoramic Cameras, and a preview of the ExSite Explosion-Proof Camera Line.VideoXpert continues to offer end users the power to gather and analyse critical security, video, and operational data for quick decision-making in the event of an emergency. The open platform offers users the flexibility to integrate with third-party systems, or seamlessly add Pelco technology, such as the Optera Panoramic cameras to achieve new levels of situational awareness or the Sarix Enhanced Next Generation Camera Range to experience high-quality images in low-light conditions.Available in early 2017, the ExSite Explosion-Proof Camera Line will be previewed to allow end users in the petrochemical, marine, port, and hazardous materials environments the ability to view its advanced IR illumination, high-quality images and see for themselves its tough form factor in person. Save Save
Joining Pelco in late 2015, Sharad Shekhar is responsible for the entire global video business and is leading the charge to reinvigorate the Pelco brand with system integrators Back in the day, you literally couldn’t speak with a security company about a video surveillance project without the Pelco name coming up. It had a loyal following and an extremely large installation base. Over the years, that changed and the fervour with which integrators referred to the brand seemed to wane. Sharad Shekhar, Chief Executive Officer of Pelco, wants to change that, as he explains in this exclusive interview. Shekhar joined Pelco, a fully owned subsidiary of Schneider Electric, in October 2015. Based at Pelco headquarters in Clovis, California, Shekhar is responsible for the entire global video business. He has more than a decade of global business and technical knowledge, as well as a proven track record of increasing revenue growth and adaptability in highly competitive markets. Extending pre- and post-sales support to systems integrators SourceSecurity.com: Tell me about how Pelco plans to reinvigorate this iconic brand with systems integrators? Shekhar: Pelco by Schneider Electric is well regarded for its world-class service and support network, and our partners thrive with the backing of our strategic business and marketing services. Pelco will continue to enable the success of systems integrators through the delivery of our innovative product lines that ensure customer satisfaction and open doors to new business opportunities. The team at Pelco is strong,and I fully intend to leveragethe knowledge and expertisethat we have in ourorganisation to deliver on ourgrowth aspirations Recently, Pelco has undergone significant transformation to streamline the development of these innovations, but we haven't forgotten that at the core, our products help enable integrators to support existing clients while helping new customers realise the full potential of the Pelco product line for their security needs. We have made significant organisational changes and process efficiency improvements that will help enable us to deliver world-class, pre- and post-sales support to our integrators and customers. SourceSecurity.com: What is your background and how/why do you feel you are a good fit for this endeavour? Shekhar: I joined Pelco from Cummins, another very technology-focused company, and more specifically, brought the experience of having worked in both the North American and Asia Pacific markets. I understand and possess the skills required in negotiations and to establish new efforts and develop technology, to oversee operations and to increase sales. I have significant experience in strategy, business development, alliances and joint ventures, sales, finance and operations management. I have also successfully led businesses through similar challenges as Pelco faces in the coming years in terms of bringing the right technology to market, building a strong product and alliance portfolio, and growing revenues and profits in an increasingly competitive landscape. Because of this, I can bring the same principles that were employed in other technology sectors to security and Pelco by Schneider Electric, because I understand the importance of producing reliable, flexible and cutting-edge solutions that keep the customer top-of-mind and meet the expectations they set forth. But it would be remiss for me not to mention that this is a team sport, and the team at Pelco is strong, and I fully intend to leverage the knowledge and expertise that we have in our organisation to deliver on our growth aspirations. For video surveillance, integrators look for a high value for end users through areduction in upfront hardware and camera costs, with more high-resolution imagery Opportunities for systems integrators SourceSecurity.com: What do you currently know about what systems integrators are looking for in the field as far as video surveillance solutions? What's important to them and their end-user customers? Shekhar: Today's systems integrators are asked to push the envelope in regards to meeting customer needs for superior products while keeping ROI and scalability top-of-mind. For video surveillance, integrators look for a high value for end users through a reduction in upfront hardware and camera costs, with more high-resolution imagery. On the VMS side, they're looking for open architecture that allows integration with other major systems and an intuitive design that helps streamline deployment and administration. Customer feedback and demand helps Pelco address specific needs while designing security platforms that are scalable and flexible, as well as able to drive new levels of awareness for security and business intelligence. Our new technical support and customer engineering organisation will work more closely with our integrators and provide them the backing they need to be more responsive and “creative” in terms of how we respond to varying customer requirements and tailor our products quickly to their needs. Implementing strategic security management policies SourceSecurity.com: What else might we see in the near future? Shekhar: Pelco has made significant investments in key vertical markets, including oil and gas, gaming and casinos, Safe Cities, and airports and seaports, and we will see significant focus on product and business development in these markets. We will look to further engage customers in these spaces by focusing not just on products, but on solutions that will solve security and operational challenges. Our new Advanced Technology and Engineering organisation will focus on conceptualising and incubating technologies that will provide differentiation and value to our integrators and end users in these critical verticals. We will also engage in significant corporate development activities for strategic partnerships on the technology and channel side to reach our objectives. Video surveillance is only one part of a comprehensive security strategy, and moving forward, Pelco will help its partners think bigger by implementing strategic security policies and processes, and effective security personnel training and staffing. When these processes are combined with video surveillance and security management technologies, customers can develop a more holistic, proactive approach to security and emergency response. And that's what we hope to do more of in the future. Overall you will see Pelco as a much more open and engaging organisation as it relates to our relationships with our industry, suppliers, technology and channel partners.
Prior to this role, Shekhar held a variety of responsibilities across different functions, including Strategy Pelco by Schneider Electric, a fully owned subsidiary of Schneider Electric, announced the appointment of Sharad Shekhar as Chief Executive Officer. Based at Pelco Headquarters in Clovis, California, Shekhar is responsible for the entire global video business. Extensive general management experience “Sharad brings more than a decade of global business and technical knowledge to the organisation,” explains Laurent Bataille, Executive Vice President, EcoBuilding Division – Schneider Electric. “He has a proven track record of increasing revenue growth and an absolute adaptability to thrive in highly competitive markets. He will lead our Pelco video business at a time where we are bringing to market very exciting products, including our Optera multi-sensor cameras and VideoXpert, our brand-new video management platform.” Having had extensive general management experience with his prior positions at Cummins, where he spent 15 years, Shekhar most recently was in charge of the $1.7B North American Exhaust Aftertreatment Business. Prior to this, Shekhar was the General Manager for Cummins’ Global Light Commercial Vehicle Business based in China that he helped start and grow to $650M/year in five years. As part of this effort he played a leadership role in the negotiation and establishment of one of Asia’s largest Joint Venture Engine plants in Beijing and was involved in establishing export operations out of China to serve the sale of products to over 21 OEMs in 35 countries. Background Prior to this role, Shekhar held a variety of responsibilities across different functions, including Strategy, Business Development, Sales, Finance and Operations. Shekhar worked for Tata Steel at an earlier stage of his career. Sharad Shekhar holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Manipal Institute of Technology in Manipal, India, and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana, USA. “I am extremely delighted and honoured to be a part of Pelco and Schneider Electric,” Shekhar says. “In the coming year at Pelco, we will focus on delivering our new product initiatives flawlessly and rolling out a more focused/innovative product and market strategy for future growth. With Pelco’s brand and capabilities, and with Schneider’s backing, we are very well positioned to execute on these fronts.”