Large Vendors Unveil Repositioning at Busy ISC West

While ISC West oftentimes serves as a grand stage for big announcements, such as a landmark acquisition or the introduction of a game-changing technology, this past week’s 2010 installment may be most notable for a handful of big name vendors that repositioned themselves in a unified approach.

For instance, whereas the family of Tyco Int’l brands once occupied disparate, siloed footprints in the marketplace, the conglomerate is making a concerted effort to market its companies as an integrated whole. So, the likes of American Dynamics, Software House and DSC were all tidily positioned together at ISC West for attendees to easily peruse video, access control, life-safety and intrusion products and services.

Samsung Techwin America presented a new, consolidated presence as well that emphasized the recent joining of the Samsung Electronics and Samsung Techwin product lines. The company introduced several new products at this year’s show, including new DSP and IP cameras, as well as access control solutions.

Panasonic System Networks Co. of America arrived at ISC West with a diverse product portfolio and fresh market strategy, all of which spawned from incorporating business units that once operated independently. Among Panasonic’s offerings, an IP PBX communication system, color touchscreen IP phone, HD visual communications system and point-of-sale (POS) workstation, as well as its latest video surveillance solutions.

If there was any question what immediate plans UTC Fire & Security has for its recently acquired GE Security product lines, the essentially co-located entities offered some suggestions. The “Two world-class companies. One team.”-themed booth slogan let it be known the GE brand will continue to be leveraged in the near term for some product lines, longer for others.

ISC West also served to exemplify the major trend for interoperability and video, specifically IP cameras, analog-to-IP conversion systems/solutions, video management systems, storage solutions, analytics, megapixel cameras and HDcctv devices.

Speaking to the latter, one of the best attended and most hotly contested of many educational sessions was “High Definition Surveillance: A Clearer Picture.” Moderated by SSI Editor-in-Chief Scott Goldfine and featuring a panel of Scott Schafer (Arecont Vision), Sara Scroggins (Pelco), Steve Surfaro (Axis Communications) and Todd Rockoff (HDcctv Alliance), the hourlong discussion of the pros and cons of both megapixel and HDcctv video drew a standing-room-only crowd. There was much debate about which technology might be the best choice, as well as an examination of the benefits of high definition video and how to best sell and implement it.

“What stood out at this year’s show was the greater proliferation of IP-based solutions particularly with video, but also on the access side,” Eric Mardian, business development manager, Siemens Building Technologies, tells SSI. “As a seminar attendee I noted that remote service management offerings like remote video management and remote access management are coming to the fore in a big way. Businesses clearly want to focus on their business, reduce headcount and expenditure, and let the security experts manage their security.”

SSI editors also observed the continued push toward universal smart cards and managed access services. With both video and access, there are products and services being offered to expand into residential settings. Some of those are being facilitated by more robust intrusion systems that now incorporate elements of access and video. Sensors with enhanced false alarm immunity were seen, as well as addressable fire alarm systems for smaller installations. Also on the fire/life-safety side, IP communications and mass notification remain hot.

An overall cautious optimism about the industry was palpable throughout the show as many vendor representatives SSI editors spoke with pointed to busy foot traffic and a preponderance of quality leads.

“The show was noticeably busier than last year based on my own observations during the few times I was able to escape our booth and walk the show floor,” says Roger Shuman, marketing manager, Exacq Technologies Inc. “At Exacq, our booth was crowded during all three days of the show. Our lead generation was up 200 percent compared to last year.”

Indeed, electronic security remains viewed as a growth industry, despite lingering economic hardship and a bleak outlook for job creation in North America. These and other industry trends were discussed during the “State of the Industry”  keynote panel presentation.

For further insight into how security dealers and systems integrators have reacted to the down economy and which technologies and services are being leveraged for growth opportunity, check out SSI Managing Editor Rodney Bosch’s series of “Integrator Insights” podcasts here.

Among the newsier stories to make waves, Reed Exhibitions announced it will rebrand its ISC East trade show in the fall as ISC Solutions. The intent is to focus more closely on the emerging verticals of health care, retail, education campuses and government. Integrator educational sessions at ISC Solutions will be developed jointly with several partners, including SSI sister publication Campus Safety Magazine. “It will offer a targeted opportunity for manufacturers to present solutions and applications to their end-user customers in those sectors while continuing to build relationships with dealers and installers who are a vital part of the security channel continuum,” says Ed Nichols, Reed’s industry vice president, ISC Events.

Other newsy tidbits emanating from the show floor, The RISCO Group announced it acquired a controlling interest in Electronics Line, a provider of security solutions for the residential and small commercial market; and Electronic Security Association (ESA) held a press conference to proclaim the adoption of a stricter code of ethics for its members that will place certain expectations on companies that conduct door-to-door alarm system sales. Also, you can check out the list of companies awarded in the annual New Product Showcase (NPS)  here..

Of course, SSI hosts its SAMMY Awards program and Hall of Fame induction ceremony each year on the eve of ISC West. Once again, an impressive assemblage of industry professionals from across North America attended the 2010 affairs. You can view a list of SAMMY winners here, and learn about the Hall of Fame inductees here.

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