Wikileaks – the larger picture…

10 12 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most stories that grasp for short moments,  Wikileaks drama is being played out around the world and now the second phase seems to beginning to catching flare.   Loyalists (today..) are ready to take this so-called mis-fortune and turn it around for their chance @ tasting the pie.   The scary part is they seem rather confident in their ability to duplicate the same thing.   Publish sensitive material.

What I see as the larger picture:

  1. the ability to get the information {which challenges Security procedures in place}
  2. it exposes the potential hording of the masses to inflict their power.

Cyber attacks on numerous Commerce sites [rendering them useless] is exactly what these same sources fear in so-called Big Brother” theory camps.   The potential to lead innocent / blind / zealous / naive individuals down a path where their action (though good on the surface..) is disruptive, has always been the tool of  potential World Powers (not one has turned out to be any good for society or man-kind).

We would rather honor John Lennon’s 30th anniversary.  Though I would guess he would be proud..the people actually agreed on doing something together universally.  Which is a start….

 


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Video Surveillance – where are the APPs?

27 09 2010

The mind set created in this Sector reflects that of Box pushers.  We all know surveillance is moving (if not already there…) toward IP.  Which in turn means Network Solutions.  Those of us from the IT world understand the real meaning – APPs will rule.

There is a big difference between capturing an event (security) and utilizing the data of the event. [Analytics] (Customer Service, HR, Production, Work flow, Predictive purchasing, etc…)

With analog dominating 80+% of the market place (focused on simple security…) it takes a different mindset (and skills…) to actually re-shape the landscape toward additional uses of Surveillance Systems.  With Platform solutions addressing compatibility issues vendor centric solutions are a thing of the past.  It does not matter what the hardware is.

We’re on the verge of seeing more 3rd party APPs developed that take this concept from idealism to reality.  As stated before, this is the same story played out in IT.  Once we got past PCs / then Servers, we focused on APPs that allowed us to make sense of the all the data we so happily love to accumulate.  Without a purpose/direction to why we collect this, creates a cost factor.

The problem – first there’s the skills set of IP, not a simple plug/play solution anymore.  It requires an investment from an integrator.  If the integrator is already involved with Network IP Solutions the move is easy.  Since the system was once a stand-alone it’s now on the Network, IT controls it, not Facility/Security Mgrs.  Second – if less than 10% of the market place has this opportunity where’s the ROI on the investment?  The challenge is understanding where the opportunities truly are.  If the integrators business model is based on Selling Price, they’ll never make the move to IP.  This reveals the 3rd problem – order takers vs selling solutions.  

Let’s get a little crazy here.  Why do 90% of these stand-alones (though they have loaded software on a hard-drive…) not capable of taking an additional APP that can enhance their system for the customer.  Reason – box pushers don’t have IT capability. 

 I know my future is with a Platform developer….unfortunately, integrators are not there yet





When forums turn into Sales Pitches…

24 09 2010

Unfortunately using the forums for guerilla marketing is far too common these days. Those willing to do so do are self serving exploiters of the forums with little regard for others dedicated to the spirit of the forums and lack comprehension of forum’s true value.
Do they honestly think we are not revenue driven? The reason we refrain from using the forums for whoring products is because of our dedication to our industry and love of sharing knowledge. Almost every one of us represents a company or product or is a regular user of these technologies. I admire the ones who truly contribute their experience and knowledge to help define and grow the technology.   Alan Waxenburg

                                    ****************

The shame Alan is your right, to bad those that do agree turn right around a disregard the premise.   If they had any sense the post(s) in question would actually serve more purpose in a different place.  Like Youtube.com 

Each of us do have particular alliances because no-one can actually do them all.  But what is disturbing an underlining concept (especially here) [CCTV Video Surveillance..] of product centric solutions.   It is rare to see a thread that focuses on a solution without a product pitch.   

Can you image a thread that definded a solution w/specs vs product?

A camera should have {this} when the need of better images is questioned.   A VMS package should have {this} with editing issues.    A storage solution should have {this} when comparing historical data.  Analytics should do {this} when predictive measures are needed.   and so on…. returning to the basics and addressing the “needs”.

On the other hand when questions/discussions START with opinions on particular manufactures it just opens the flood gates.  It only over-shadows the tightening of the market an opportunities.  This procedure translates directly to a client, where their being sold a product vs a solution.  {masked by guerilla marketing techniques}

I’ve had more success when I present a solution with direct focus on the solution/result than the products I choose to accomplish the task.   When you focus on products – cost comes into the picture pretty fast.  Because that is something the nay-sayers can research.





My Experience / Goals w/LinkedIn

23 09 2010

When asked by a Search firm about my efforts / use of LinkedIn, my response: 

Surveillance is in the midst of an Industry upgrade to IP protocol.  Though the transition is slow (analog dominating 80+% of the market) the benefits of networked surveillance cameras manifest the additional benefits beyond Security.   Example:  Analytics which retail has long used to monitor buying patterns of customers by watching the path they take in a location.   This type of thinking is beginning to take hold within other organizations in terms of:  Customer Service, OSHA, Training, Production, and Shipping and not to mention Marketing (where Video is King).  They have the content, now what will they do with it.

Current status will not benefit my future unless I change with the changing environment.  I have the skills to design / deploy solutions; the industry doesn’t have certifications that are widely recognized.  IP on the other hand defers back to IT skills where Cisco, CISSP, NICET has value because the Surveillance system is now on the Network.  However Cisco (Router/switch), CISSP (data Security), NICET (electrical wiring).  Manufactures offer certification (for their products) because Dealers/VARs/Integrators need someone on staff to sell IP Solutions.  Again they are not cross-recognized in the industry. 

Next approach has been contacting manufactures with the goal of Channel Development Director/Rep.  Considering my background I do know what a channel is.  That challenge has not bore fruit yet.  Some don’t or have no intention of having a physical presence in Chicago / Midwest.  Others prefer working through Distribution or Market Rep firms that push product purchases through distribution.  Again, local presence of niche Distribution focused on surveillance/security is limited.  Market Rep firms again rely on 100% commission, which at present I cannot afford to peruse.

Another stream I’m tapping is the Independent Consultant Role, again the problem of clarity arises, positions are merely Tech geeks that have experience with particular product manufactures, considering the vast array of manufactures good luck with that one.

The role I seek a cross-breed between Project Manager / Business Process Mgmt.   Where by using my experience / skills understand the clients business (and how they do business) their needs / concerns / expectations along with educating them on what a REAL ROI is an Investment not a purchase.

Yes, I do participate in discussion groups.  Keeps me abreast of what’s out there in terms of solutions / products and the talent level of those that claim Soap-Box titles.  After a while you begin to realize some these cyber-folks really have no social skills.  I do continue to generate threads on Surveillance / Security in Groups “Outside” of the subject title.   Goal is to get the interaction of people that would be outstanding contacts, (mainly those outside my network) for that convenient business deal.  That has been my focus of late.  How do I tap the pool of members within a group when those particular members are not really active within the group?  Some (like the individuals job seeking) are still a little shy about opening up their door to anyone.  Not to mention some Companies still block SNs like LinkedIn because they don’t see or don’t want to see any value. 

My hunt continues – want to succeed for two reasons – Personal (of course) but to actually be an example for those to follow.  We have way too many SN / Media Network Specialist / Experts on the market claiming success.  Where in truth their only success is selling you that $29.99 package, which you sat next to the Internet Richs / Real Estate Wealth (I could go on…) Infomercials.

Thanks for asking….John





Some People really need their own Social Network…

8 09 2010

One key component in developing your Social Network (i.e. Linkedin / Facebook / twitter/ etc…) is not only your connections but the quality of those connects.  More so when you participate in Group Forms and post.

At first you try and keep things simple, stay on topic yet not to soap box.   You always try an adhere to the rules of the group – language / direction / promoting products -services.   These general guidelines are “somewhat” overseen by the Group administrator or so we would think.  Often that is not the case.   Which leads to somewhat uncontrolable kaos.

This can be damaging.  Especially when the intent of your effort is to connect with a group of Professionals, share – perhaps learn and you slowly come to realize these same people are who I’m trying to avoid.  Not because the same subject can be posted through out 7+ similiar groups but these same individuals make an appearance bearing the same attitude.

One approach is actually “Hinding” the different groups you belong to.   Which is good from the point, to many, questions your reasoning when one views your profile.    The second: privately responding to individual post(s). 

Social Networking is about meeting new individuals.  Or in my case a True business connection to conduct potential business.   The challenge is finding a simple means of contacting potential prospects without the classic “PAY a Membership FEE” which doesn’t guaranty anyone would accept your polite solitation. 

There are many self-proclaimed Guru’s of Social Media.   I have only come across a few that can actually CLAIM success, that success is focused on selling the correct approach to SN.  Kind of reminds you of the Real Estate programs that flooded the market…

Some where in my journeys I will find the right vehicle, pose the right question and attract the right individuals, I so eagerly want to meet.  But truthfull if they don’t do anything except build a basic profile, don’t have any connections and don’t except msg’s…..I’m pretty much back to square one…





Is IP surveillance impacting the Security industry?

23 08 2010

This question was raised in the Video Surveillance Group on Linkedin:  my reply….

The impact: Awareness. There now is an actual path of progession. Mirroring such industries as IT, most were aware that advancements would bring options. Cost being an early deterent, is being replaced with needs.

Craig has a valued point we shouldn’t overlook. Current install base of Analog does dominate the landscape. A large % of these maynot see or need to jump right to IP. The question Craig asks: is the client actually a Networked Solution?

We’re slowly being handed options that make more sense (cost) in upgrading a current solution as the user(s) become more capable of understanding the benefits.

IP is not a replacement for Analog, it’s a better solution for enterprises that understanding the strains of managing a large network. Following Mitch Vine’s point, progression is the nature of the beast, though I don’t see it as a death march. Then again that will be determined by manufactures. Simon Carroll relates the big concern of Shared Network sources [storage, BW, etc] Which points to IT Depts becoming more involved with Security/Access Control. Unlike most, this challenges Organizational Charts of responsibility.

The key to IP is “USING” the benefits associated with it or should we say the “APPS” that allow us to create an ROI on the content collected. If all we see the system doing is monitoring or recording events it’s hard to argue the two platforms. Those of us from the IT world remember debating Pear to Pear Networking / to Sever based, everything changed once the Apps appeared, then decisions became much clearer. Being able to not only sharing the data but make use of it in helping an organization make better decisions.

IP opens the world to using Video content for more than just surveillance….





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17 08 2010

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