SP&T News

Microsoft, Siemens to kick off ISC West this year

One of the best attended sessions at ISC West is undergoing a facelift.

The State of the Industry Roundtable, which last year featured such well-known faces as Richard Chace, CEO and executive director of the Security Industry Association, and Bill Bozeman, CEO of the PSA Security Network, this year will feature newcomers like Microsoft and Siemens.

February 14, 2011  By  Craig Pearson

Sandra Jones, who hosted the session last year and will do repeat duty this year, says the line-up change is indicative of a broader shift in the industry towards new and different companies entering the market.

“These guys have to continue to find ways to capture market share and generate new revenue,” says Jones, a respected industry analyst and principal at Sandra Jones & Co., based in Chardon, Ohio. “You can’t sell the same old thing you sold last year and expect people to keep coming back. It’s my opinion that we’ve come to a point where security, which was once a grudge purchase really is just wonderful technology providing real-time information.”

The two panelists announced so far are: Mike Howard, General Manager/Chief Security Officer at Microsoft, and Cary Boethel, Vice President & Business Unit Head, Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. Security Solutions Business Unit.

More panelists will be added prior to the event — one is likely to be someone in the residential security market.

The number of consumer-facing organizations entering the security market is indicative of sweeping change in the industry, says Jones, citing Verizon’s announcement last year that it will offer integrated home management, including energy and security services. Closer to home, cable provider Rogers Communications recently announced plans to offer residential security services.

Jones notes that some companies that have dabbled in security services in the past were not successful. It can be difficult for new entrants into the market, because they still need to focus on their core business, she says. They need a savvy market strategy, a good understanding of the security business and the right partnerships.

The other side of the coin is that established players may find it in their interest to partner with these companies rather than defend their turf.

Last year’s State of the Industry Roundtable concluded with Richard Chace’s announcement about the creation of ISC Solutions, which replaced the ISC East trade show. (ISC Solutions has since merged with the Securing New Ground event. Together they are known as Security Week, which will be held this November in New York City.)

This year’s panel may be more of a brass tacks event with more straight talk from business leaders.
Last year’s panelists “were some of the smartest and best and most respected people in the industry,” says Jones, “but maybe the people this year will provide a different perspective.”

The State of the Industry Roundtable will be held Wed. April 6, 9-10 a.m. at the ISC West 2011 event in Las Vegas.

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