Cisco Systems Networks Into Electronic Security Market

SAN JOSE, Calif. — One of the biggest players in the IT field is making an entry into the video security industry. Cisco Systems Inc. has bought video surveillance software-maker SyPixx Networks for $51 million and is using it to form the basis of a new physical (meaning electronic in this context) security unit.

SyPixx of Waterbury, Conn., manufactures software and hardware designed to enable existing analog CCTV systems to operate as part of an IP (Internet protocol) network.

Steve Collen, marketing director for Cisco’s new Converged Secure Infrastructure Business Unit (CSIBU) that will oversee the development of physical security products, told SSI that Cisco officials have spent the past three years researching the physical security industry, including attending several International Security Conference (ISC) and ASIS Int’l shows.

“Physical security is a key growth area for us. It’s an emerging technology. It means the ability to grow in a particular market, but also to drive Cisco’s convergence business as well,” says Collen.

Cisco has a two-phase plan for its entry into the industry, using SyPixx as its base, according to Collen. Initially, the goal will be to solidify SyPixx’s existing customers and dealers, then integrate that into Cisco’s Advance Technology Partner program. This will form the basis of future workings with security dealers and integrators.

From there, Cisco will give a broader exposure to its CSIBU unit, including the possibility of further acquisitions.

“There are many more things in physical security than video security,” Collen says. “Access control would be an area we’re very interested in. We do network-based access control right now, and an extension of that is a tantalizing possibility.”


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