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BICSI forging ties with security industry

BICSI, a professional organization that supports the IT services industry, is reaching out to the security community, according to its new president, Brian Hansen.
 
BICSI (Building Industry Consulting Service International), an organization typically associated with structured cabling systems, is evolving, said Hansen — IP convergence has become the catalyst for change.


May 18, 2010
By Neil Sutton
Neil Sutton

“Where’s all this going? It’s all going IP-based. If it’s going IP-based, what’s it running over? The same cabling system you’re installing for everything else: Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, fibre. It’s all running over  that same stuff,” said Hansen, who took over as BICSI president earlier this year.

The security industry has experienced a similar transition toward IP, creating greater interest in security for BICSI members, said Hansen. To accommodate these interests BICSI introduced the Electronic Safety and Security (ESS) Specialist certification in 2009.

“There is an identified stakeholder group within our membership that had a need for security and surveillance or safety type of certification,” he said, adding that more security-based certifications could be added to its curriculum in the future.

BICSI has also been in touch with existing security organizations like ASIS International in the hopes of forming partnerships and information-sharing agreements. The aim is to take advantage of synergies that already exist between ITS and security professionals, he said.

“We hope that BICSI can fill the void with some of the organizations that we’ve partnered with to give them training that they don’t have or aren’t giving to their members now,” he said. “Hopefully, vice-versa, they have core educational material and certifications that our members can get too.”

BICSI held its most recent conference in Montreal, attracting exhibitors that cater to the security market. Axis Communications, Panasonic Canada, GE Security Canada and JVC all had a presence on the show floor.

Bob Moore, Canadian country manager for Axis Communications, said BICSI is becoming increasingly important for security vendors.

“BICSI is an organization that believes in standards, and they’re big into all types of structured cabling as well as security. It’s important for Axis to be here to educate this market on the advantages of network video over analogue,” he said.

He also agreed with Hansen that technology convergence has resulted in a greater degree of overlap in skillsets.

“The convergence of the market where security and IT are overlapping is continuing today, and this show represents that. I’ve seen end-users who are running the data networks and are responsible for physical security. That’s a continuing trend.”

He also agreed with Hansen that technology convergence has resulted in a greater degree of overlap in skillsets.

“The convergence of the market where security and IT are overlapping is continuing today, and this show represents that. I’ve seen end users who are running the data networks are responsible for physical security. That’s a continuing trend.”

The educational component of the 2010 BICSI Canadian Conference focused on the organization’s core competency (seminars like “40Gbps Over Twisted-Pair Cabling: Planning for a New Ethernet Application”), but also touched on issues like CCTV deployment over an IP network.

Hansen said that, while BICSI is unlikely to ever put on a show that focuses exclusively on security applications, he anticipates there will be more security content at future events.

“We will expand the presentation format. As we grow through this process – because we’re still pretty young with ESS – we will try to get more people involved,” he said. “We’d love to have more presentations in the security arena if we could.”

BICSI’s remaining conferences in 2010 will be held in Bogota, Dubai, Dublin, Tokyo and Las Vegas. Hansen said that BICSI plans to make more frequent Canadian stops in the future.