Cisco IPICS system now rolling out in Canada
By Jennifer Brown
Cisco announced a series of security and safety product developments at ISC West in Las Vegas last month, including enhancements to services designed to help users transition to IP-based systems. Among those are its public safety dispatch and incident response system known as IPICS, which is now being deployed in Canada.
By Jennifer Brown
The Cisco IP Interoperability and Communications System (IPICS) is an IP-based dispatch and incidence-response solution that provides rapid communication using whatever desktop or mobile device is at hand to provide public safety personnel with continuous, real-time communication as well as streaming video.
When asked if Cisco has many Canadian businesses using its security products, Bill Stuntz, vice-president/general manager, of the Physical Security Business Unit, Cisco Emerging Technologies Group, said there are projects coming on board now but that more work is being done to expand the company’s presence in Canada.
“We’re doing some nice deployments in Canada and we just started deploying IPICS in Canada. It is one area we’ve not served as well as we could have so we are expanding our resources in Canada,” he said.
Cisco demonstrated solutions on IPICS mobile platforms, including Android, with future support planned for the Cisco Cius tablet. IPICS now includes expanded operating system support for Windows 7, as well as for iOS 4 devices, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
Updates were also announced for the Cisco Physical Access Manager, Cisco’s application for managing integrated security operations on an IP network. Cisco Physical Access Manager integrates hardware such as door readers, locks and biometric devices on campus environments and office buildings, providing a platform for integration with other IT systems.
There was also news about the company’s Network Readiness Assessment service for IP Video Surveillance that will help Cisco channel partners evaluate and better plan their customers’ network capabilities to support standard and high-definition video surveillance solutions.
The integrated safety and security solution offers advanced video surveillance capabilities and takes advantage of integration with network-based services to support end-to-end video quality while automating many aspects of configuration and deployment.
Cisco Physical Access Manager 1.3 now delivers enhanced local survivability for network-based access control by helping to ensure that if a system fails, access identity and operations still function effectively.
“One system can operate with a single server supporting hundreds of buildings but if you do lose network connectivity you can continue to use your access control system,” said Stuntz.
For example, an improved fault tolerant anti-passback feature works even in the event of a network outage to help ensure that premises maintain a high degree of security under uncertain conditions.
The company’s IP Video Surveillance Network Readiness Assessment Service helps customers remediate any network design or capacity issues by making training, knowledge and tools available to Cisco Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) Partners to analyze, inventory and assess customer networks.
Cisco also presented an updated list of its security “eco-system partners” including L-1, Sightlogix, VidSys, Zebra, ADT Business Solutions and Ingersoll Rand.
Stuntz said he could not comment on whether the partnerships extend to the Canadian branches of these companies as yet, but said they believe integrators like ADT play a major role in what Cisco is doing in the security industry. “We are focused on helping our integrators create successful businesses with our products to deliver to the end customer.”
“The challenge has been figuring out who is going to deliver these systems — is it traditional dealers, is it IT integrators? What we’re seeing is some of both. We’re seeing traditional partners like ADT really investing in this and adding training and adding network integrated capabilities. They are investing in making this transition and doing it right and doing it early,” said Stuntz.
Stuntz said Cisco continues to work with Pelco on camera development.
“We design some cameras ourselves and work with other companies. When we put the Cisco name in it though it becomes a Cisco device with all the services and support that comes with that,” he said.