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Unipower and DigitalPersona Biometrics Improve Operation Efficiency for UK Pubs

Unipower and DigitalPersona Biometrics Improve Operation Efficiency for UK Pubs

Editor / Provider: Unipower Solutions | Updated: 12/16/2010 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Unipower Solutions, a provider of hospitality PoS software, announced Giant Macaskills has deployed Unipower Bar PoS software solution with integrated fingerprint biometrics. The Unipower Bar PoS solution leverages DigitalPersona fingerprint readers to reduce cash register shrinkage and improve the operational efficiency at the Giant Macaskills three Hertfordshire pubs.

Giant Macaskills is a multiple licensee, with a chain of three 15th-century coaching Inns, which have been designed with an eclectic mix of old and new furnishings, to create a boutique pub offering. Like many licensees the turnover of staff can be high and transient. Employees are often students, part-time workers and short-term contractors. Petty theft from the till is a common problem in the pub trade.

“Pubs are a cash-based business so it’s easy to lift from the till by ringing in voids and cancelling transactions. Traditional, security methods such as swipe cards and dongles can be switched, used by different staff members and lost so they are not reliable for staff cash flow accountability,” said Pete MacGaskill, MD of Giant Macaskills.

The DigitalPersona biometric fingerprint solution has solved this security issue. “The combined DigitalPersona and Unipower PoS solution has provided us with peace of mind that our cash flow will not be threatened by theft from current or former employees. Nobody forgets to bring their finger to work, whereas employees have lost, or have forgotten swipe cards and dongles in the past,” MacGaskill said.

“Whether it is for increasing security, maximizing operational efficiency or improving customer loyalty, our customers expect a solution that meets their requirements,” said John Camp, MD for Unipower Solutions.

BIO-key Biometric Streamlines Identity Management for US Hospitals

BIO-key Biometric Streamlines Identity Management for US Hospitals

Editor / Provider: BIO-key | Updated: 12/10/2010 | Article type: Commercial Markets

BIO-key International, a provider of finger-based biometric identification solutions announced Genesis HealthCare System, based in Zanesville Ohio, has deployed BIO-key biometric identification for staff to establish their identity when ordering, verifying or administering medications as required by Ohio law.

"Our fingerprint identification software is approved by the Ohio Pharmacy Board for two-factor authentication and complies with the DEA e-prescription two-factor rules for dispensing controlled substances," said Mike DePasquale, CEO of BIO-key International.

In the initial rollout, 2,000 clinicians and staff use fingerprint biometrics to establish their identity in Genesis software to order, verify or administer medications. In the next phase of this project Genesis is implementing fingerprint biometric user logon with a single sign-on solution from Sentillion, a Microsoft company. With these solutions in place, Genesis staff members can establish their identity with the simple touch of a finger, giving them faster access to the systems they are authorized to use.

"BIO-key's ability to operate with every major fingerprint reader manufacturer allowed us to evaluate various readers to determine which would work best in our environment,” said Ed Romito, VP and CIO of Genesis Healthcare System. “As a result of our testing, we determined that Lumidigm sensor provided us with the best performance. We have integrated BIO-key identification solution into our operation to comply with the Ohio Pharmacy Board for two-factor authentication."

ICE Deploys Biometrics to Identify and Remove Aliens

ICE Deploys Biometrics to Identify and Remove Aliens

Editor / Provider: ICE | Updated: 12/10/2010 | Article type: Government & Public Services

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began using a federal information sharing capability in Caddo and St. Tammany parishes that helps federal immigration officials use biometrics to identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the U.S., who are booked into local law enforcement's custody for a crime. This capability is part of Secure Communities-ICE's strategy to improve and modernize the identification and removal of aliens convicted of a crime from the U.S.

Previously, biometrics-fingerprints-taken of individuals charged with a crime and booked into custody were checked for criminal history information against the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). Now, through enhanced information sharing between DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), biometrics submitted through the state to the FBI will be automatically checked against both the FBI criminal history records in IAFIS and the biometrics-based immigration records in DHS's Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT).

If fingerprints match those of someone in DHS' biometric system, the automated process notifies ICE. ICE evaluates each case to determine the individual's immigration status and takes appropriate enforcement action. This includes aliens who are in lawful status and those who are present without lawful authority. Once identified through fingerprint matching, ICE will respond with a priority placed on aliens convicted of the most serious crimes first such as those with convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape and kidnapping.

"The Secure Communities strategy provides ICE with a tool to identify criminal aliens in local custody," said David Venturella, Assistant Director, Secure Communities. "Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE's mission. Our goal is to use biometric information sharing to remove criminal aliens, preventing them from being released back into the community, with little or no additional burden on our law-enforcement partners."

With the expansion of the biometric information sharing capability to Caddo and St. Tammany Parishes, ICE is using this capability in seven Louisiana jurisdictions. Across the country, ICE is using this capability in 792 jurisdictions in 34 states. By 2013, ICE plans to be able to respond nationwide to all fingerprint matches generated through IDENT/IAFIS interoperability.

"The Caddo Sheriff's Office is honored to be the first law enforcement agency selected in our area to participate in this initiative and take advantage of the ICE database. This is another example of local and federal agencies working together to keep our communities safe," said Steve Prator, Caddo Sheriff.

Since ICE began using this enhanced information sharing capability in October 2008, immigration officers have removed from the U.S. more than 50,600 aliens convicted of a crime. ICE does not regard aliens charged with, but not yet convicted of crimes, as "criminal aliens." Instead, a "criminal alien" is an alien convicted of a crime. In accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, ICE continues to take action on aliens subject to removal as resources permit.

"Under this plan, ICE will be utilizing FBI system enhancements that allow improved information sharing at the state and local law enforcement level based on positive identification of incarcerated criminal aliens," said Daniel Roberts, Assistant Director of the FBI's CJIS Division. "Additionally, ICE and the FBI are working together to take advantage of the relationships forged between the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in achieving its goals."

Biometrics ≠ Pricey Deployments

Biometrics ≠ Pricey Deployments

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Bayometric, FULCR UM AND GEMA LTO | Updated: 12/15/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

Biometrics has long been associated with generously budgeted projects and securing highly sensitive areas. However, the advantages of biometrics in authorizing and tracking large client data bases has shifted this technology from upscale to low-end applications.

Speeding Up Vishvas Foundation's Registration Process
Bayometric's biometric technology has helped Vishvas Foundation, a nonprofit organization, improve its registration process leading to cost savings and better customer service. Vishvas Foundation is an international umbrella organization with more than 36 schools and colleges and manages free schools, orphan homes, women's workforce development centers, computer centers, medical foundations, eye foundations and hospitals in India.

The foundation conducts seminars in deep rural areas of the country. However, with thousands attending the course daily, it became increasingly difficult to keep tab on the visitors using manual forms. This often led to duplication of data causing delays and wastage of time and money.

Bayometric's fingerprint-based visitor registration solution, which runs on VB6 and SQL server, has helped improve the registration process by providing quicker identification of the attendees. All data is centralized on a secure server, and automated handheld devices with identification modules are used. All data is updated in real time.

According to the foundation, Bayometric's technology is compatible with most scanners available on the market, thus making it a cost-effective solution. The foundation has high hopes for the visitor attendance application since savings on resources can already be seen since incorporating the biometric visitor registration solution.

Management Solution for New Jers ey Department of Hum an Serv ices
A biometrically enabled homeless services management system was built for New Jersey Bergen County's brand new Housing, Health and Human Services Center to provide more accurate identification of homeless individuals who are seeking and receiving services from the county and feed more detailed data to the larger New Jersey state database, a repository of homeless population information that helps serve the community through food, clothing and housing programs.

By providing more accurate identification and eliminating duplicate records, the county is able to better support funding requests and grant applications, further enhancing services provided to the homeless community.

The county required a solution that would take advantage of the existing New Jersey Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) while providing more accurate reporting about the true number of individuals for whom the county was providing services. Using finger image scanners from Futronic Technology and a fingerprint matching algorithm from Neurotechnology, Fulcrum used the framework to develop a Web-based application which communicates via Fulcrum's proprietary services interface to start tagging biometrics collected from the various DHS service sites.

All the data is then merged into singular records that resolve back to individual identities inside the HMIS. The end result of the solution is an unduplicated count of persons served by the various programs — data that is difficult to obtain without a unique identification, yet which is invaluable for counties in requesting grants and funding from various state and federal agencies.

Although the new biometric system for Bergen County is currently based on finger scans, it has the option to become multifactor through the flexibility inherent in the Fulcrum framework. A series of Web-based controls and services allow the framework to expand and adapt as system requirements change and to provide secure, rapid deployment of Web-enabled solutions.

Microbanking Deployment In India
Gemalto introduced smart-card technology with biometric authentication for Financial Information Network & Operations (FINO) in India. The Gemalto solution securely stores transaction records inside the smart card to enable microbanking and simplifies access to financial services for the rural population of India. Currently, an estimated 500 million people in the rural areas are either not served or are underserved by the finance sector (according to the paper “A blueprint for the delivery of comprehensive financial service to the poor in India”).

Each FINO card developed by Gemalto can hold up to 15 different types of secure applications that facilitate financial services such as deposit remittances, savings, loans, insurance and e-purses.

In addition, the card acts as an electronic statement to log all transactions with the ability to store the last 150 transactions, with up to 10 transactions per service. Transactions are validated using biometric authentication, which provides one of the highest degrees of digital security available today. Transactions are approved after fingerprint information is read using low-cost readers and then verified by the card microcomputer at business correspondents' facilities and at selected retail outlets and partner premises.

“One of the biggest challenges in the microbanking industry is the huge amount of paperwork and human effort traditionally involved in supporting microtransactions and credit-scoring potential customers,” said Manish Khera, CEO of FINO. “High costs coupled with low returns did not make microfinance viable beyond a certain threshold, thus hampering growth.”

Digital security is usually associated with developed markets, added Dr. Martin McCourt, President of South Asia for Gemalto. “This FINO deployment is an example of how smart-card technology can be used to bring banking services to the world's unbanked, helping them to help themselves.”

2010 Industry Review: Value Holds the Key to Future Technology

2010 Industry Review: Value Holds the Key to Future Technology

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 12/10/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

As recovery looms on the horizon, the forecasts for physical and electronic security are still hazy. A&S talks to vendors, integrators and distributors to hear what they had to say about the past year.

Innovation seemed stagnant in 2010, as truly brand new products were scarce, while sales of existing products slowed. Budget freezes or cuts hampered technology development, with most product launches emphasizing entry-level features. However, a number of disruptive technologies cropped up, holding tantalizing promise.

A flurry of vendor partnerships signaled greater interoperability. Former competitors chose to bury the hatchet and pool their R&D resources instead, seen in DVTel's cooperation with Nice Systems and Software House. This boosted DVTel's VMS offering, fast-tracking its development with Nice's PSIM and Software House's know-how. Similar partnerships included Milestone Systems adding BriefCam's video synopsis solution into its VMS, making it easier to do advanced searches and sparing operators from switching between interfaces.

Other partnerships crossed product segments. Gallagher Security Management Systems integrated its access control software (ACS) with Pelco's NVRs, enabling ACS alerts to activate the NVR to review related footage. The NVR can also send alerts to the ACS, increasing the value of both systems.

Some partnerships boosted a company's weak area. Bosch Security Systems selected Legic Identsystems, incorporating its solutions for all of Bosch's access control, time and attendance and biometric applications. This move greatly expanded the range of Bosch's capabilities, while keeping costs to a minimum.

Product Trends
The cloud concept for electronic and physical security emerged this year in more commercial offerings. “We are seeing more and more Web-based, scalable solutions in video surveillance and access control, as in software or security as a service (SaaS),” said Paul Everett, Research Director of Access Control and Fire and Security, IMS Research. “In access control, we are also seeing more vertical-specific solutions, especially in education and health care.”

While cloud computing and SaaS are in their early stages, it is being picked up in North America. “The one major product development I've seen over the last 12 months is cloud technology,” said Peter Brissette, owner of “That is where network cameras can connect to networks and then all the magic happens inside the cloud, which means the data is accessed and stored through virtual servers.”

Convergence came to the fore, with more solutions delivering situational awareness. “PSIM is emerging as a strong technology in the high end of the market,” said Matia Grossi, Research Manager for Physical Security EMEA, Frost & Sullivan. “The maturity of the technology and increasing user acceptance position it as a key technology for the future.”

Software is the heart and soul of integration. “We decided 1.5 years ago to be an IT player in the security market,” said Frank Pedersen, CEO of Security Solutions, Siemens Switzerland. “This is where the future is.”

Management software was a staple in 2010. Milestone Systems created waves in August, releasing a free eightchannel version of its VMS. IMS Research issued a press release just to discuss how Milestone's freeware could open up the low-end market. While Asian manufacturers have long bundled software with DVRs or NVRs, Milestone's free release is a first among pure software providers. This reflects the present times, as large installations are scarce. Vendors are keen on penetrating smaller projects, such as SMBs or homes.

Other software providers are now rolling out hardware, such as Genetec's NVR embedded with its VMS. “This initiative will considerably reduce setup time for our system integrators and will allow us to better serve locations with less than 16 cameras,” said Alain C?té, Executive VP of Genetec.

Scalability was an emphasis for management software. “We will be seeing larger scalable systems utilizing analytics for automated alerts and adjustments,” said Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Milestone Systems.

New imaging techniques enhance the user experience. “Like HDTV and 3-D in the consumer space, security is starting to see more of these technologies,” said Kim Robbins, Director of Marketing Communications for DVTel. “In a busy scene, 3-D representation actually helps identify objects and people better, as they are no longer just on a single, flat plane. 3-D also helps with analytics, especially in outdoor perimeter installations.”

“I would say integrated platforms, HD and video analytics are key trends for security development,” said Sean Wong, Business Director for Security Systems in Asia, Anixter.

Video content analysis is an imperfect tool, but is improving reliability. “Video analysis is the best partner for operators to help them to identify alarms,” Wong said.

The migration to IP depends on what users want. “For us, analog product development and sales are still going strong,” said Jake Kim, MD of Europe, Samsung Techwin. “However, IP networking is naturally the biggest area of growth and opportunity for us as the adoption rate continues to pick up pace.”

Megapixel counts are increasing, with more 2- and 5-megapixel cameras. “However, the lens technology still needs to catch up,” said Vincent Chen, Assistant VP of Product Marketing at GeoVision. “Mobile and remote surveillance will be the next killer applications.”

Several network video providers like Arecont Vision managed to flourish. It doubled its sales team in 2009, seeing good results this year. “We led the H.264 charge and drove the change in mindset for megapixel cameras,” said Raúl Caldéron, VP of Marketing for Arecont Vision.

“The biggest lesson is never reduce R&D spending and remain aggressive.”

Hybrid solutions offer a midway point between analog and IP. Users can maximize their existing investments, while adding network solutions in phases. “There will always be room for coexistence between analog and IP, as processing, bandwidth and storage constraints will always be there,” said Mark Wilson, VP of Marketing at Infinova.

Reliability is essential, as downtime does not serve customer needs. “What's more expensive — a good product working reliably without any failure, or a product that has a lower price but has problems?” said Georg Martin, Marketing Director for Dallmeier electronic. “A casino can't afford to have a system that doesn't work properly.”

Customizable solutions offer added flexibility. “We are quite open and we support practically any compression format or hardware,” said Katharina Geutebruck, MD of Geutebruck. “We offer whatever the customer needs.”

However, some integrators cautioned against an over reliance on video. “Due to the explosive growth of video surveillance, some less-informed end users may perceive it as the ‘magic bullet' to all their security challenges,” said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing, Ademco Far East. “We are seeing some users spending 70 to 80 percent of their budget on video alone and neglecting the other basics of security.”

One example was a large transportation user, who asked Ademco to increase video coverage by 300 percent. Lim instead recommended a good fence intrusion detection system and increasing surveillance by 100 percent. This offered better protection, as well as being more cost-effective.

Interoperability made strides this year, with increased membership in vendor alliances such as ONVIF and PSIA. “It's creating conditions to have open platforms in which applications and software can be developed by virtually anybody,” Grossi said. “This can only benefit end users and, therefore, the market as a whole.”

Standards make good business sense. “Open standards deliver better security and ROI, because users have the flexibility to upgrade on their own terms at lower prices,” said Rajesh Venkat, VP of Marketing for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies.

ONVIF's founding members — Axis Communications, Bosch Security Systems and Sony Corporation — continue to roll out compliant products. “All of our network cameras are ONVIF-conformant, ensuring compatibility with other ONVIF surveillance products, regardless of the manufacturer,” said Daniel Gundlach, VP of Marketing for the Americas, Bosch Security Systems. “This helps end users save on future upgrade or migration costs and provides seamless integration for installers.”

An increasing number of plug fests attest to the boom in standardized solutions. “Samsung is a full member of the ONVIF, and many of our new networking products are fully compatible with the standard,” Kim said. “Aside from this, we continue to bolster compatibility with thirdparty independent software vendors to ensure that our network products are compatible with the vast majority of systems that are being installed today.”

At least 300 cameras on the market are ONVIF-compliant, compared to 100 in 2009. “There are many other business sectors where standardization created opportunities,” said Jonas Andersson, Director of Business Development and Global Sales, Axis Communications. “The interface just changed the market. It's providing the entry level for confidence in equipment.”

As technology changes, standards are works in progress. “In standardization, we are a leading participant for the PSIA initiative in video surveillance and storage,” said Clifford Cox, PM of Digital Video Systems, Global Security Products, UTC Fire & Security.

The HDcctv standard is seeing increased uptake, extending the lifespan of analog products. “2010 saw a tremendous amount of development in HDcctv products,” said Robert Beachler, VP of Marketing, Operations, System Design for Stretch. “Stretch announced its first production HDcctv in 2009, and during 2010 we saw more than 50 different customers begin development of their HDcctv end products.”

Not everyone believes in HDcctv, as some vendors are convinced IP is the wave of the future. “HDcctv is a good try, but we will not go that way,” Martin said. “Sony, Axis and Dallmeier are working together in a work group for ONVIF.”

New construction remained sluggish in 2010, pushing access control makers into the logical realm. “The ecosystem that we have fostered is not just about opening doors any more, but also trusted identity and credential management,” said Denis Hébert, President and CEO of HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). “The acquisition of ActivIdentity will widen the scope of HID's expertise with incremental and complementary capabilities focused on the convergence of physical and logical access control.”

Scalability and adaptability are essential in new solutions. “Different layers and levels of security should be provided to customers in flexible modules and applications, such as multitech, multimodal readers,” Venkat said. “We are also seeing more access integration with building technologies.”

Scalability and adaptability are essential in new solutions. “Different layers and levels of security should be provided to customers in flexible modules and applications, such as multitech, multimodal readers,” Venkat said. “We are also seeing more access integration with building technologies.”

Nedap integrates access control with other security systems at the controller, simplifying the user's network architecture. “We handle the storage, network camera, IR detector, intercom and card reader directly from our controls,” said Hans Schipper, GM of Nedap Security Management. “Then you have one solution and a single server. When we talk to customers, we talk about TCO, not initial investment.”

A deeper integration benefits users with many doors. “We see better integrated public address/ intercom products in the market and wireless access control systems that can be used by enterprises, offices, residential homes and hotels,” Lim said.

Several companies strengthened their portfolio through partnerships. “We feel our biggest successes have been some innovative enhancements in widening compatibility, a robust product deployment, and significant successes in our OEM or partnered solutions,” said Timo Jauhianen, VP of Sales and Marketing, Idesco. “In particular, partnered solutions have proven to be a dynamic area for us because, in addition to enabling leaps in product innovation, they often serve as resources for other projects as well.”

Biometrics was hampered by the construction slowdown, as well as uncertainty limiting uptake. “Probably the most frustrating challenge is one of legislation,” said Tomaz Bergant, CEO of TAB Systems. “Some countries have adopted restrictions on the use of biometrics for access control or time and attendance. We have some ways to overcome this, but clearly this is not an ideal situation for us.”

Users are unfamiliar with biometric readers, requiring constant education. “Until they have experienced using facial recognition, customers can start out skeptical,” Bergant said.

Establishing Channel
Manufacturers had trouble expanding their channels, as the recession affected end users across the spectrum. “Project funding remains an issue,” said Phil Scarfo, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Lumidigm. “Confusion in health care programs has caused some delays and has slowed growth in this key vertical.”

However, start-ups fared better. “Regarding channel development, we actually increased our channel by adding a distributor in Korea and establishing a sales office in Shanghai, China,” Beachler said.

End users are more aware of security, but face a dizzying amount of choices. This requires ongoing outreach from installers and vendors. “The trend is more the identification of the right products to use for the right applications,” Brissette said. “There are so many new products and changes. Users must decide between network cameras and analog cameras, as well as how to store video and how to view it.”

Some vendors have increased education for professional users, with more online resources. “The type of training needed now is different; it used to be about explaining why IP, but now it's all about what choices are available in IP and what you need to look out for,” said Fredrik Nilsson, GM for North America, Axis Communications.

Production Costs
Production was an issue this year, with increased logistics costs, but did not affect some makers. “We have an advantage over competitors as we manufacture the bulk of our components on-site,” said Peter Francis, Regional Manager for Asia, Gallagher Security Management Systems. “We also work with a lean manufacturing philosophy — production on demand.”

Other makers managed to reach their growth targets. “We were truly fortunate in the recession, because it actually gave us an opportunity to ‘retool' some of our processes and make rapid progress innovating exciting new products,” Jauhianen said. “We had a projected goal of 25-percent growth from the previous year, and we achieved that. The recession did impact our component forecasting, but even that has proved a boon because it compelled us to emplace and synthesize processes that will enable our future growth.”

Component supplier Stretch witnessed significant component and raw-material shortages firsthand, beginning in 2009 and continuing to 2010. “However, once we adjusted to the increased lead times, we were able to shield our customers from that issue,” Beachler said. “Because some of our customers were cutting their engineering staff, we saw a marked increase in our board-level business, rather than customers designing their own boards.”

The component shortage had little effect on Genetec, apart from slowing its access control projects. “We were affected by currency fluctuations this year, making it more challenging to maintain pricing across regions and preserve profitability,” C?té said. “We also experienced more creditrelated losses than ever before in our history.”

The component shortages made pipeline planning more difficult for Lumidigm, Scarfo said.

However, some vendors were unaffected by a limited supply chain. “Being one of the major camera modules and image sensor manufacturer, Sony uses its own camera modules for the security cameras it produces,” said Yoshikazu Hirano, GM of Security Solutions, Business and Professional Products Asia Pacific, Sony Electronics. “Therefore, we did not experience any component shortage or supply issues.”

Transmission solutions are essential, beating market expectations. “Weak consumer confidence and frozen budgets continue to linger in the markets that were most affected by the 2008 financial market crisis,” said John Crockett, CEO of KBC Networks. “However, many organizations view KBC's products as way to reduce existing costs, so we are seeing a strong demand from companies that need to lower expenditures.”

Industry experts felt the recession sorted the wheat from the chaff. “Less established companies tend to forget that they cannot service their customers long-term if they cut corners to lower prices and are not profitable,” Lim said. “It is a vicious circle, and the downturn exposed many of these weaker companies.”

Product development remains a crucial differentiator. “While we understand other companies are cutting back on R&D, Samsung continues to invest more than ever in improving and expanding product ranges based on feedback from our customers,” Kim said. Samsung makes its own DSP chipsets, with a new manufacturing facility to bring solutions to market faster and take advantage of the latest technology.

A long-term road map keeps companies on track. “One of the key lessons is don't change your strategies based on good or bad times — otherwise, you lose your focus,” Nilsson said. “Despite the slower growth last year, we still increased our investment in marketing, R&D and sales, and grew our application development partners to more than 800.”

Growing Pains
A rare group of vendors actually had too much business during the downturn. An increased number of threats boosted sales for some.

“Delta Scientific's greatest challenge was keeping up with our orders, a wonderful challenge to have,” said David Dickinson, Senior VP of Delta Scientific. “We have hired additional people and added extra manufacturing shifts to do so.”

Asia was a goldmine, as demand remains strong. “Sony's security solutions business in Asia has rebounded particularly well, with double-digit growth in the first half of the year,” Hirano said. “In fact, the business has enjoyed a steady growth in the last three years.”

Smaller companies were able to increase their footprint. “Recessions are actually a great time to be a start-up because we are not as affected by the global economic environment,” Beachler said. “Because we are growing market share rather than already having a large market share, we did not see a downturn in business. Quite the contrary, Stretch has had an unbroken string of five consecutive record sales quarters.”

Online media were an affordable option for companies on a budget. “As the industry moves toward IP, a lot more training will be required, and webinars are a great but cost-effective way to deliver the right message,” Robbins said.

New media had more direct benefits and cut down unnecessary costs. “We pursued a strategy of using interactive marketing to create awareness through social media, industry influencers and also relying on a lean, dedicated sales force,” said Stephen Whitten, founder and CTO of FutureSentry. “By foregoing the extraordinary expense of traditional advertising, direct mail and public relations to build our sales pipeline, we preserved capital and maintained our financial independence.”

Consolidation saw marked improvement in 2010. “Memoori predicts the spend on merger and acquisition activity in 2010 will more than double the 2009 figure and will exceed the previous high of 2007,” said Allan McHale, Director of Memoori. “The recent flurry of activity in September slated buys worth $3.5 billion. The vast majority was spent on US companies in biometrics, defense and enterprise security linked to PSIM.”

Mergers or corporate restructuring yields improved efficiency. Samsung Electronics transferred its security division to Samsung Techwin at the beginning of the year, swelling its product development team. “As a result, this year alone we are on track to bring out more than 170 new products — not only across our video surveillance and IP networking portfolios, but also our new access control, video door entry and intrusion detection portfolios,” Kim said. “Under a single Samsung, we have been able to accelerate our plans for growth and have quickly evolved into a provider of fully integrated security solutions.”

In a fragmented industry, mergers and acquisitions are a welcome sign. “At the moment, there's a lot of competition, but that's a good thing because it means there's a lot of potential,” Nilsson said. “Size does make a difference in this business, so we are expecting more consolidation — perhaps from more than 300 players to less than 50 over the next few years.”

The global credit crisis took everyone by surprise, crippling many industries. While security was no exception, the industry took market conditions in stride and adapted technology accordingly.

Developments in HD, smarter management software and remote monitoring deliver real value, which is in demand for all seasons. Newcomers are giving established brands a run for their money, offering quality alternatives at lower prices.

“Competition is getting tougher, and one needs to have a unique solution and great partners to grow business,” Wong said.

Find more information about 2010 Market Review:

2010 Market Review: Market Dynamics Pick Up the Pace

Biometric Access Control System Installed at Chicago Office

Biometric Access Control System Installed at Chicago Office

Editor / Provider: FST21 | Updated: 12/3/2010 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Los Alamos Technical Associates (LATA) has installed access control system from FST21 in its downtown Chicago office. The LATA entrance allows access by recognizing employees by the way they look, talk and walk as well as being aware if they are in distress and can even carry a conversation with them and their visitors.

The system modernizes the way people enter buildings, offices and secure areas. No key, no card and no code are required because the face and voice of authorized personnel works as a key. Using biometrics with a combination of face, voice, license plate and pattern of behavior recognition, the access control system provides automated convenient identity management access while maintaining the high level of security.

LATA, a diversified engineering, environmental and technical services company serving worldwide clients, has repeatedly set standards for excellence and has demonstrated capabilities for solving the scientific and engineering problems. LATA’s Chicago team focuses on information technology and systems integration with expertise in biometrics, security, GPS/GIS and applications to increase business efficiencies. The Chicago office works with local clients including the City of Chicago, O’Hare international airport, Cook County, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra heavy rail commuter system, the Chicago Housing Authority and others. The Chicago team also works with multiple public transportation and other agencies across the nation and is working on other security, access control and biometric time and attendance projects in the region.

“This is the system based on fusion technology that integrates facial recognition, voice recognition and behavioral recognition into a cohesive identification system.” said Pat Anderson, Department Manager and Manager of LATA’s Chicago Office.

Before the access control system was installed, LATA was using a hand reader with a keypad, which Anderson admits was invasive and a little time consuming for employees. Employees don’t even break a stride in walking toward the door and entering. The camera sees them, welcomes them and opens the door.

Growing Profits in Lean Times Part Ⅱ

Growing Profits in Lean Times Part Ⅱ

Editor / Provider: by a&s International | Updated: 12/1/2010 | Article type: Security 50

Production Costs
Manufacturers have a number of operating costs that affect their prices, as well as their profitability. This year, production costs were affected by a component shortage as well as limited warehousing. Final prices were subject to unfavorable currency changes, an inevitable part of global business.

Mobotix managed to lower its material usage ratio, or the cost of materials to the total output, to 26.2 percent from 29 percent, the company said in a prepared statement.

Some costs can be saved by establishing overseas branches. “The real cost is not in external things, but in our growth and expansion,” said Tony Yang, International Marketing Director for Hikvision Digital Technology. “In 2008, we had a joint venture in India, as well as a Russian joint venture and European offices in 2009. Aside from the expansion of our US office, these were necessary investments, as entering new markets offers greater flexibility. With local operations, there are more services and support that can be delivered to the market within the shortest time.”

Other providers found new locations helped their bottom line. “RCG relocated our operational headquarters to RCG Tower in Malaysia in mid-2009, which has proved to be significant in the midst of the global financial crisis by means of lowering operating costs and bringing substantial benefits to the company,” Lee said. “With competitors kicking in, RCG adjusted its pricing model to maintain attractiveness. We, however, believe that we will still have sustainable margin.”

Some makers automated production and relocated manufacturing facilities. While Assa Abloy was not in the top 10 for profit growth, it is worth noting that its Global Technologies division moved production from Western Europe to China. It joins several other makers who produce in China, including Bosch and Panasonic. As Asia manufactures most of the world's security equipment, it seems likely more companies will go east in the future.

In light of the numerous external challenges, it was interesting to note how many companies emphasized connecting with customers. Aside from making sales, manufacturers with a long-term strategy repeated that placing client needs first was a continued priority.

The migration to IP remains a hurdle. “IP still accounts for only 30 percent of the market, and this shift is still ongoing,” Mauritsson said. “We will continue to make efforts in education, present more competitive and attractive products, and penetrate smaller installations.”

Other providers saw the IP challenge as an exciting prospect. “Although the security market is moving from older analog systems to IP, 90 percent of this transition has still yet to take place, giving IndigoVision a clear opportunity,” said Oliver Vellacott, CEO of IndigoVision.

Education is a long-term challenge for manufacturers. “Some technologies do not require throwing out existing equipment,” Yang said. “Users should understand the actual costs involved in product replacement. If they are very conservative, we need to address those concerns.”

Implementing new technologies remains a challenge. “A key challenge for us and for the industry in general is the speed at which technology can evolve to cover new needs and solve specific problems,” Fullerton said. “Interesting developments and applications can and will be seen in lower-level analytics, solid-state storage, and incident reporting and management, as video enablement of various business processes will be increasingly appreciated and become prominent.”

Acceptance also is a challenge, as L-1 noted that biometrics have yet to achieve widespread commercial acceptance. The cost, performance and reliability of the competition will also keep biometric vendors on their toes, the company said in a prepared statement.

No silver bullet exists for profit growth. Being the first to commercialize new technologies is an advantage, such as what Axis Communications did with the network camera, but not a surefire way to make money.

Solutions with good value and cost-effective performance will command better returns, so manufacturers will do well to listen to clients, instead of promoting the newest features. It takes a long-term strategy and a commitment to customers to develop a winning solution and retain clients.

Find More 2010 Security 50 Articles :

Asia Weathers the Storm

Growing Profits in Lean Times PartⅠ

Bucking the Downward Trend: Top 10 Revenue Growers of 2009

● Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅱ

● Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅰ

Growing Profits in Lean Times PartⅠ

Growing Profits in Lean Times PartⅠ

Editor / Provider: by a&s International | Updated: 11/30/2010 | Article type: Security 50

While the recession has increased budget offerings and driven prices down, a number of companies still managed to grow their profits. We find out more about their growth factors and differentiators for success.

Staying profitable was no easy task in the dire financial climate. Yet a number of companies were able to increase their profit in 2009. We take a look at the Top 10 Companies for Profit Growth to see how they managed to boost profits in lean times.

Most companies scaled back their profit growth projections due to the financial slowdown. While no Security 50 manufacturer lowered their profit goals, the average profit loss was 4.2 percent in 2009.

Eight of the Top 10 profit growers were in video surveillance, including network video providers Mobotix, IndigoVision, Milestone Systems and Axis Communications. Asia had a strong showing, with Dahua Technology, Hikvision Digital Technology, Hi Sharp Electronics and C-Pro Electronics boosting profit margins. The remaining two companies were biometric providers L-1 Identity Systems and RCG, with all 10 companies posting double-digit profit growth.

As the Security 50 participants averaged profit losses, Mobotix's profit growth of 32.9 percent is all the more astonishing, leading the Top 10 Companies for Profit Growth. “The gross profit margin increased due to the positive effects of economy of scale,” said Ralf Hinkel, CEO of Mobotix, in a prepared statement. Positive effects included increased dome camera sales, which rose 58.8 percent and improved profitability.

IndigoVision increased its profits by 29.8 percent, with a gross margin of 64.1 percent. “Gross margins were lower than last year, reflecting a change in sales mix and greater volumes, but the contribution from gross margin grew 30 percent to a record US$26.1 million,” the company said in a prepared statement. Its lower margins were partly due to increased operating costs, which were 24 percent higher at $21 million.

Newcomer Milestone's profit growth of 18.7 percent was nothing to sneeze at, either. “In the U.S., we are doing particularly well in education, transportation, city surveillance and industrial processes; retail is slowly coming back as well,” said Eric Fullerton, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Milestone Systems. “In Asia and Europe, government stimulus packages are put to use in major infrastructure projects that require constant monitoring — and in large quantities of surveillance cameras.”

For L-1 Identity Solutions, its gross margin fell slightly to 29.4 percent in 2009, from 30 percent. “The decrease was due to changes in the revenue mix resulting from lower biometric revenues and higher revenues from secure credentialing and services,” L-1 said in a prepared statement.

The industry is headed in two directions: solutions for vertical-specific applications and low-end products. For this year's profit growers, solutions were clearly the way forward.

Adding solutions in HD and outdoor cameras helped Axis stay profitable in 2009. It commits 13 percent of its revenue to R&D, with thermal imaging being the company's next differentiator. “New products — some 20 in 2009 — definitely contributed to our growth,” said Ray Mauritsson, President of Axis Communications. “In terms of vendor alliances, partner programs such as ONVIF also contributed to growth and profit.”

Mobotix is equally committed to product development, with a staff of 53 employees and an R&D budget worth $5.5 million in 2009. It switched to a new processor last year that doubled computing power for four camera lines, the company said in a prepared statement. However, this required mechanically adjusting products and delaying new launches, with all production taking place in Germany.

RCG's complete lineup of RFID and biometrics for access control helped solidify its margin. “RCG invests significantly in R&D every year,” said Dato' Lee Boon Han, CEO of RCG. “Our R&D team designs innovative products and solutions to meet various market demands. With our business operating for 11 years, we offer a diverse portfolio of products and services that sets RCG apart from its competitors, which is key to the company's growth and ongoing success.”

For software provider Milestone Systems, training is essential for channel partners. Without training, installers and users will not reap the full benefits of a management solution. “For cost and efficiency reasons, we started working with Connex International for specialized training in the U.S. in 2009, and this year we decided to invest some money in the company, for better presales and product training services worldwide at a lower cost to us,” Fullerton said.

Milestone previously conducted the training in-house, but found Connex could do the same much more quickly in the U.S. “We charge distributors and system integrators for these training sessions, but they get to take away and sell complimentary software licenses that are easily worth two times what they pay for,” Fullerton said. “Connex offers at least eight hands-on labs and classes per week, and with each class serving eight to 12 trainees, thousands can be certified in a year — much more cost-effectively than what we can do ourselves.”

Find More 2010 Security 50 Articles :

Asia Weathers the Storm

Growing Profits in Lean Times Part Ⅱ

Bucking the Downward Trend: Top 10 Revenue Growers of 2009

● Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅱ

● Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅰ

Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅰ

Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅰ

Editor / Provider: by a&s International | Updated: 11/30/2010 | Article type: Security 50

2009 witnessed a soft market, slow construction and tight security budgets. Despite tough conditions, 10 companies managed to beat the market with robust revenues. A&S examines how they performed and where they found blue oceans.

In the wake of 2008's Lehman Brothers collapse, 2009 was a grim year. A record number of banks closed and businesses went bust. Consumer spending dropped to all-time lows, with new construction and employment opportunities growing scarce.

As this year's Security 50 ranking reviews financial reports from 2009, the mood was somber for electronic security. Six of the top 10 performers suffered revenue losses, while the other four posted double-digit growth.

Of the four manufacturers who grew, two were video surveillance providers: Victor Company of Japan (JVC Professional Systems) and Hikvision Digital Technology. The remaining companies in the black were access control solution providers RCG and L-1 Identity Solutions — the latter was sold to BAE Systems and Safran in September.

The reasons why these four companies grew are varied, but do not mean they were immune to the recession. “The global recession in 2009 has affected our growth projections,” said Tony Yang, International Marketing Director for Hikvision Digital Technology. “We did grow overall, but not as much as expected.”

A complete camera lineup complementing its surveillance solutions helped Hikvision increase revenue. “While most of the overseas markets were hit harder by the recession in 2009, the domestic market in China still maintained its strong growth from policy-driven projects,” Yang said.

A holistic-solution approach helped RCG weather the storm. “For 2009, growth was driven by execution of strategies to face challenges caused by the financial crisis; RCG has recorded revenue growth by focusing on solutions projects, as well as the areas that were less affected such as Southeast Asia, China and the Middle East,” said Dato' Lee Boon Han, CEO of RCG. “The impact of the financial slowdown was fortunately not too significant, as RCG has been focusing on numerous verticals supported by government stimulus packages.”

L-1 Identity Solutions grew 15.6 percent in 2009, which was slower compared to its 44.5-percent jump in 2008. “During 2009, L-1 was awarded 19 of 20 competitive credentialing procurements and booked approximately US$289 million in global driver's license extensions and new contracts,” the company said in a prepared statement.

Hampered Sales
Thermal surveillance provider Flir Systems suffered a modest revenue loss of 3.2 percent in 2009, maintaining steady sales. “Flir has experienced excellent growth as measured in both revenue and unit volume for our thermal security cameras over the past two years,” said Bill Klink, VP of Security and Surveillance, Flir Systems. The company is offering cameras at lower prices, with increased uptake by industrial, federal, municipal, recreational and residential end users.

Government mandates also softened the recession's effect. “Many federal regulations require increased perimeter security of critical infrastructure, and these regulations drive demand for security cameras,” Klink said.

Bosch Security Systems fell 5 percent by nominal revenue, with currency effects pushing it down 7 percent from 2008. “The global market for security technology fell by 13 percent, and this downturn was particularly severe in Western European countries,” said Gert van Iperen, President of Bosch Security Systems. “These countries saw declines in double digits, with the market in Europe shrinking by 17 percent and in North America by 13 percent. The reluctance of investors and the suffering construction industry were key factors for declined sales.”

Assa Abloy's Global Technologies division had a soft landing, with revenue dipping 2.1 percent. “The underlying trends and growing uncertainty in the world put security high on the agenda, driving the development of increasingly advanced solutions and upgrades of existing security systems,” the company said in a prepared statement.

ADT's product sales fell $382 million or 19.8 percent in 2009, primarily due to reduced volume. “The remaining decrease is related to the unfavorable impact of changes in foreign-currency exchange rates of $122 million,” ADT said in a prepared statement.

Key Verticals and Regions
Most of the Security 50 participants saw growth in public projects, particularly in emerging markets. The commercial segment for retail and banking remained sluggish, with replacement cycles or expansion plans on hold.

US sales held steady for Flir Systems. “Balanced execution across all of our primary vertical markets — government, commercial, critical infrastructure and residential — and our broad product mix ensure that we have a solution for all challenging imaging situations,” Klink said.

Bosch did well in critical infrastructure, transportation, and public order and safety. Entertainment also had strong growth.

“In APAC, we are expecting a welcome rejuvenation in the market development, which is expected to grow by 14 percent in 2010,” van Iperen said. “Latin America will grow by 11 percent. Even in EMEA, a turnaround has been achieved, and we expect slow but positive growth of 1 percent. In Eastern Europe, we are seeing market growth of 4 percent.”

RCG benefited from public projects as well. “On the one hand, we have increased the number of government-based contracts, which is visible even in the future,” Lee said. “On the other hand, we combine cutting-edge technologies — biometrics, RFID, wireless technology and new technologies like the Internet of things or machineto- machine — with our unique ability to develop solutions that suit customer needs, ensuring sales and new revenue streams.”

America's reduced spending power affected ADT. “The electronic security business decrease was primarily due to the slowdown in the retail sector, as retail capital projects and new store openings were canceled or delayed,” the company said in a prepared statement.

Emerging markets made up nearly 17 percent of Assa Abloy's sales, up from 9 percent five years ago. “The group is deliberately focusing on increasing its presence in the emerging markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America,” said Johan Molin, President and CEO of Assa Abloy, in a prepared statement.

“The 18-percent mark was passed toward the end of the year as Asian markets showed good growth again, while North American sales continued to decline and European sales were stable,” Molin said in a prepared statement.

Asia was a high point for Aiphone, particularly China, due to economic stimulus projects, said Shusaku Ichikawa, President and CEO of Aiphone, in a prepared statement. Europe and the North American markets are seeing gradual movement.

The government market was crucial to L-1, which made more than 95 percent of its sales to federal, state, local and foreign governments and government agencies. “Sales to customers outside the U.S. accounted for 41 percent of our revenue in 2009,” the company said in a prepared statement.

Ove rcast in Land of the Rising Sun
While the recession pounded While the recession pounded markets the world over, it hit a weak Japan even harder. Despite the odds, the Top 10 performers included three companies from the world's secondlargest economy: JVC, Tamron and Aiphone.

Currency valuations had a negative effect, with the yen appreciating faster than the US dollar and the euro. “The Japanese economy remained sluggish, as the capital investment and employment situation remained at a low level and consumer confidence continued to be stagnant,” said Morio Ono, President and CEO of Tamron, in a prepared statement.

Tamron's revenue fell 20.2 percent, witnessing improvement in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Some economic measures have stimulated demand at home, showing signs of recovery, Ichikawa said.

However, Aiphone fell 13.9 percent due to the economic downturn, amid increased insecurity about employment and consumer spending in the future.

In the professional AV systems business, where JVC regards security as its highest priority business, it is striving to win more orders by introducing new products lineups that utilize its camera and mechatronic technologies, the company said in a prepared statement.

Find More 2010 Security 50 Articles :

Asia Weathers the Storm

Growing Profits in Lean Times Part Ⅱ

Growing Profits in Lean Times PartⅠ

Bucking the Downward Trend: Top 10 Revenue Growers of 2009

● Security 50's Top Performers Rise Above the Fray Part Ⅱ

2010 Market Review: Market Dynamics Pick Up the Pace

2010 Market Review: Market Dynamics Pick Up the Pace

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 12/11/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

After the global financial crisis, 2010's recovery allowed security providers to breathe a sigh of relief. However, the market is still a long way from 2007 sales levels. We examine key figures, verticals and drivers that marked the past year.

In the wake of a recession, a number of optimistic market estimates were revised. The tipping point for network video was pushed back to 2013, as buyers tightened their purse strings.

Europe is expected to be behind North America, with 2014 or 2015 being the European tipping point, because users do not understand the benefits of IP video for medium or small installations, said Matia Grossi, Research Manager for Physical Security EMEA, Frost & Sullivan. A larger base of legacy equipment is also a restraint, along with lack of consultant knowledge.

The video surveillance market is expected to be worth US$10 billion for 2010, including equipment and software, Grossi said. It is expected to reach $18 billion by 2015, making it the strongest growing product segment.

Technologies that add convenience, such as wireless video, will drive growth. IMS Research found the market for wireless video surveillance was worth US$175 million in 2009 for the Americas and EMEA. Both regions are forecast to grow at a rate approaching 20 percent in 2010.

In access control, the global market is expected to exceed $1.8 billion in 2010, according to IMS Research. “Future trends in access control are centered on the ideas of flexibility, scalability and integration. SaaS, Web-based access control and electronic cylinder locks will certainly be at the forefront as the market emerges from the recession,” said Blake Kozak, Market Analyst, in a prepared statement. Biometrics is growing strong but underperforms compared to expectations, Grossi added.

Globally, intrusion detection will grow, although it is flat in Europe and North America.

Market Conditions
2010 was considered better than 2009, after the recession hit hardest. “Compared to 2009, global business has improved a lot this year,” said Denis Hébert, President and CEO of HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). “We have noticed that investment in business infrastructure to be more robust and scalable has returned.

Business seems to be picking up. “At the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, we saw an increase in the number of orders but a decrease in the size of each order,” said Gadi Piran, President of OnSSI. “To us, that meant higher operational costs, but it also meant a promise for more business down the road. Our end users did not drop their commitment to improving their security systems; they just scaled back what they were doing immediately. In the long run, those projects will be carried out in full.”

Networked solutions buoyed this year's sales activities. “Despite the recession, our sales of encoders, network cameras and NVRs have been on steady climb since last year and account for more than 23 percent of our revenue this year,” said Vincent Chen, Assistant VP of Product Marketing at GeoVision.

The migration to IP in security is comparable to the consumer still imagery industry, which replaced film with digital cameras in the 2000s. “Today, according to IMS Research, Axis is the second largest camera manufacturer in the world — including network and analog surveillance cameras — even ahead of companies such as Pelco,” said Fredrik Nilsson, GM for North America, Axis Communications. “At the beginning of the recession, people thought that analog would make a comeback because of a perceived lower cost, but IP simply offers better quality, greater scalability and lower TCO.”

Siemens Building Technologies observed soft markets in 2008, which made 2009 even harder. “We are hopeful that the world is on its way out of the recession,” said Frank Pedersen, CEO of Security Solutions, Siemens Switzerland. “I, unfortunately, do not see the world becoming safer. I see, therefore, a growing market in security solutions.”

Vertical Growth
While spending halted in 2009, it started to come back in 2010. Promising vertical segments include critical infrastructure and banking, Grossi said. However, the government sector was affected by budget cuts in North America and Europe.

Not all regions are cutting back. “APAC and the Middle East are the strongest growing regions, with double-digit growth in virtually every segment,” Grossi said.

Government Projects
Public projects continued in 2010, having been awarded before the recession. “Our largest projects resided primarily in the public and military sectors,” said Timo Jauhianen, VP of Sales and Marketing, Idesco. “We continued experiencing our sharpest growth in Northern Europe and the U.K., although our customer base is truly worldwide now.”

Public safety and law enforcement were top markets for OnSSI, which had a number of installations. “North America was really our sweet spot this past year,” Piran said. “North America, namely Canada and the U.S., is where we saw most of our business.”

Sensitive government locations continued to require top security. “Delta's top vertical market for crash barriers, bollards and gates continues to be government agencies, such as embassies, military bases and local governments as well as government-related projects like water dams, transportation hubs and biohazard depots,” said David Dickinson, Senior VP of Delta Scientific. Conflicts in the Middle East increased Delta's business in that region, with Asia growing closely behind.

Government was Genetec's most significant market for 2010 sales, with North America being its best region. “We saw a strong accent put by governments in many regions on citywide surveillance as well as video surveillance and access control in public-housing projects,” said Alain C?té, Executive VP of Genetec. “There was also a significant component of our government sales that was for correctional institutions.”

A number of security players saw growth in the transportation market. “We have done a few projects for city surveillance as well as bus transportation projects,” said Sean Wong, Business Director for Security Systems in Asia, Anixter.

Large transportation projects are deploying management solutions. “While our solutions are suitable for many applications, we have been focusing on airports, seaports, city surveillance and oil/gas projects,” said Kim Robbins, Director of Marketing Communications for DVTel. “We are quite stable in the U.S. and the U.K. In APAC, we exploded in India and Australia this year. We are starting a South American office in Mexico soon.”

Government projects in transportation require experienced providers who have a complete range of solutions and services. “In EMEA, the government sector generally and the Middle East geographically were two areas that that were comparatively buffered from the ill effects of the recession,” said Ross McKay, Director of Product Marketing for Lenel Systems International (a UTC Fire & Security company). “In Asia airports, stadiums, power/energy, city surveillance and transportation have continued to blossom due to government stimulus investment and major events.”

Harbors and airports continue to be successful areas for Siemens Building Technologies. “Growth is in BRIC countries and the Middle East,” Pedersen said. “Based on independent research, we are the No. 1 security provider in Brazil, with the highest market share.”

Private Projects

Health Care
Health care fared well, as patient and staff safety remains a top priority. One such project involved 130 network cameras at a large project, said Peter Brissette, owner of

Schools and institutions are populated by bright young minds, making it a vibrant market despite the downturn. Delta Scientific's perimeter solutions were installed at several colleges and universities with high foot traffic, Dickinson said.

Newcomer FutureSentry launched in April, expecting its key markets to be in energy and transportation. “Our biggest surprise was the higher-education market,” said Stephen Whitten, founder and CTO of FutureSentry. “Security at US colleges is focused both on protecting property and people from harm, and convincing parents that they are sending their sons and daughters to the safest possible campuses.”

Education and transportation were key focuses for training and technical support at Infinova. “Geographically, we are doing very well in India, the Middle East, China and Latin America, especially Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela,” said Mark Wilson, VP of Marketing at Infinova. “Projects span across airports, railways, highways, toll stations, petrochemical facilities and so on.”

Children are a valuable investment, making K-12 security a continued priority. “We weathered the recession pretty well, as security investment in people and assets is always the last to be cut,” said Rajesh Venkat, VP of Marketing for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. “Our key verticals, K-12 and health care, are also more shielded; plus, we offer financing programs, so customers' choice of technology can mature and advance more efficiently.”

Education was Arecont's biggest vertical in the U.S., along with Fortune 100 corporate campuses, said Raúl Caldéron, VP of Marketing for Arecont Vision.

Banks are starting to increase their security spending, as Sony did well in the financial vertical for Vietnam, said Yoshikazu Hirano, GM of Security Solutions, Business and Professional Products Asia Pacific, Sony Electronics.

Casinos were another bright spot, as Ademco Far East completed work on Singapore's swanky Resorts World Sentosa, said Patrick Lim, Director of Sales and Marketing.

Macau's major casinos are investing in Dallmeier video solutions, which featured prominently at this year's World Cup in South Africa, said Georg Martin, Marketing Director for Dallmeier electronic.

Retail markets are picking up, especially in developing countries. “The retail segment in India is transforming from small local stores to organized, multioutlet chains, which translates into the increased need for security,” Hirano said.

Retail was Genetec's fastest growing market in 2010 as well, C?té said. It was followed by transportation, education and banking.

Solutions with good functionality go a long way. “We have seen strong growth in both the private and public sectors, in particular areas such as retail, commercial transport, public space and industrial applications,” said Jake Kim, MD of Europe, Samsung Techwin. “Many end users have been looking at ways to get more from their systems.”

Several US states permit medical marijuana, bringing unique retail-security concerns. “There are a lot of new retail locations that are opening up,” Brissette said. “All of them need strong security systems — not just video but physical security, alarm systems and so forth.”

Far and Wide
The recession affected each region differently. While some countries such as China, India, Australia and New Zealand are more cushioned, others got hammered. “Despite some hot spots of activity, all regions were generally down — and it was mainly those larger organizations with a ‘critical mass' that have weathered the storm best,” McKay said.

Some providers saw a marked improvement in the U.S. “For Bosch, orders overall are increasing every month and exceeding the prior year's month,” said Daniel Gundlach, VP of Marketing for the Americas, Bosch Security Systems. “The pipeline of projects continues to be encouraging, especially from the Central, Northeast and South regions, which have experienced a more rapid recovery than the West.”

Other vendors saw more growth on the coasts. “In the U.S., we oversaw implementations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Florida, Minnesota and California,” Whitten said. “Internationally, we had great success in the Caribbean, where multiple units were deployed at the region's largest seaport.”

America and emerging nations in Brazil, China and Eastern Europe saw strong demand for network-enabled products. “The recession has brought about more convergence, not just in technologies, but in channel structure as well,” Venkat said. “More ‘copetition' — cooperation and competition — can be expected.”

Some parts of Europe, such as Germany, weathered the year well. “We had a very interesting start because the 2010 spring was fantastic,” said Michael Zabler, Marketing Director for ABUS Security-Center. “It was very good especially for wireless alarms.”

Even the rest of Western Europe fared well for some, making up the bulk of Nedap's business in 2010, said Hans Schipper, GM of Nedap Security Management. Its international approach outside of Europe and the Middle East is mainly customer-oriented for MNCs.

Geutebruck echoed that Germany saw strong growth in 2010. “We had a very minor drawback in Spain and France,” said Katharina Geutebrück, MD of Geutebruck. “Australia was strong. This year will be, again, growing quite healthily.”

In Asia, more road and freeway projects adopted megapixel surveillance. “In the Middle East, city surveillance projects are springing up all over the map,” Caldéron said. “In Europe, transit systems still grew.”

The transportation vertical allowed Arecont to survive the recession relatively unscathed. “While our sales did not grow 80 percent like we did in 2008, we still managed to achieve more than 40 percent in 2009,” Caldéron said. “And we are expecting to significantly outpace the megapixel market growth rate of 50 percent in 2010. The U.S. and Asia were of our fastest growing regions, and the Middle East and Europe also did quite well.”

Government facilities, along with utilities and critical infrastructure, were major markets in the region. “We have identified development opportunities in various Asian markets and, as a result, have extended our business development team in the region,” said Peter Francis, Regional Manager for Asia, Gallagher Security Management Systems.

Governments worldwide are investing in infrastructure, which is spurring spending on video security. “Developing markets such as China and India, where the governments are increasing investment into infrastructure and public-security projects are showing accelerated growth for us,” Hirano said. “In India, most of the spending will come from the central government, with demands mainly from the upcoming development of the transport infrastructure.”

Market Drivers
2010 played host to several large events, including the World Cup, the World Expo in China and the Commonwealth Games in India. Security featured prominently for the events to take place safely and peacefully. Several homeland security mandates drove markets, such as contraband-scanning systems, perimeter protection systems, advanced biometrics and video analytics, Lim said.

Singapore has regulations which govern the installation, operation and maintenance intrusion alarms, Wong said. This drives the local market's standard, requiring the relevant companies to be compliant.

Local regulations will also affect product development. “The European marketplace for security is complex, with many different rules and regulations, which can sometimes prove difficult for a company such as Samsung who makes global products,” Kim said. “We are very good at feeding back information to our R&D teams to ensure that the products are fit for purpose wherever we sell them, and take into account specific requirements from specific countries.”

School of Hard Knocks
The financial downturn was unexpected, with long-term effects. Looking back on the past year, some companies felt they would not have done anything differently. “Don't panic,” Wilson said. “Stay ahead of technology would be our advice to all.”

Genetec felt it was on the right track. “We learned that forecasting is a difficult job at best, and it is quite important to remain geographically diverse,” C?té said.

Other vendors used the downtime to be introspective. “Recession is an opportunity to review structure and strategy — are we still on the right track?” Francis said.

DVTel used the recession to carve its niche. “We always ask ourselves to think outside the box, but the recession has taught us to be more focused, more innovative and more careful with strategic planning,” Robbins said. “Also, always align and ally yourself with partners that understand and believe in your technology.”

Value was an emphasis. “It was an opportunity for us to focus on business and deliver what was best for our customers,” Hirano said. “Our customers wanted to get more value with smaller budgets; subsequently, they wanted technologies that could deliver more value, were compatible with existing systems and had the flexibility of being expanded and upgraded.”

Newer players were able to compete with better value propositions. “The recession has taught us complacency and SOPs will always lose out to innovation,” Whitten said. “For those who deliver value and solve problems, recessions are a great ally in the competition against complicated products that do not deliver results.”

Regardless of the financial climate, offering customer value is the timeless hallmark of a good business. “The most important lesson is to be in it for the long run,” Piran said. “You can suffer a minor setback because of the economy, but if you stand by your customers and keep showing them value, they'll be with you when times are better.”

Find more information about 2010 Industry Review:

2010 Industry Review: Value Holds the Key to Future Technology

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