Open Security Exchange Expands Membership

PISCATAWAY, N.J.

A cross-industry forum designed to provide standards and guidelines for the integration of physical security, as well as cyber security, is changing its membership structure to allow for more participating companies. The Open Security Exchange (OSE) has reduced its yearly general membership for companies to $5,000 from $15,000 and expanded the number of seats available on its board.

“We really want to get people involved,” OSE Board Member Debra Spitler told Security Sales & Integration. “As we move forward to meeting users’ needs, we need to have other members form other walks of life come together. We’re looking for members from all walks of life, including integrators, OEMs.”

The OSE, created in April 2003, has been defining best practices and promoting vendor-neutral specifications for security components and also serves as a body where those in the physical and IT security worlds can come together to serve their customers. Among its participating companies are physical security companies HID Corp., Siemens Building Technologies and Software House as well as IT firms Computer Associates, Gemplus and CoreStreet.

Spitler, who also serves as president of smart card manufacturer OMNIKEY and also represents HID on the board, says the OSE’s knowledge base helps integrators serve all of the needs of their customers. “I used to be field sales person for 18 years selling integrated systems. Each year, you had to be more and more technical,” she says. “If you are an employee trying to offer solutions to customers, you better have a way to build a knowledge base or you’ll be left behind.”
The OSE helped the Security Industry Association (SIA) launch a standards committee for data modeling and has been actively involved in trying to set standards and guidelines for the physical and IT security industries. Recently, the OSE issued technical specifications for the convergence of physical and IT security called PHYSBITS, which are available for download at www.opensecurityexchange.org

“I don’t think that long term, the end user is going to accept things that are not standard,” Spitler says. “Companies that are out promoting things proprietary are going to have a difficult time in the marketplace.”

For more information on how to join the OSE, access www.opensecurityexchange.org

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