Sitting down with an SDM Magazine editor at the annual GE conference for systems integrators, Provoost focused on the companyâ€™s Open Protocol Exchange Network (OPEN) project â€“ really a security industry-wide network to establish and promote openness. â€œNo one should doubt,â€ he said, â€œwe are all about action-oriented resultsâ€ with a program that aims at physical and logical security while also involving biometrics and smart cards.
Provoost, marketing manager for credentials and readers with GE Infrastructure â€“ Security, realizes that his effort is not â€œgo-it-alone.â€ Within the OPEN program, XceedID Corp. of Golden, Colo., is already working with GE to create next-generation contactless smart card and readers with an open protocol. â€œIn going forward, the industry should expect others joining OPEN,â€ he said. In the case of XceedID and its expertise in advanced contactless radio frequency identification products, GE intends to market and sell what comes out of the relationship through its traditional channels while XceedID will market and sell the new products through other traditional access control manufacturers and similar companies serving vertical markets.
Such a strategy is a winning situation for security systems integrators and end user buyers, Provoost contends. â€œOPEN will surely unlock their future, too. And this all comes at a very critical time.â€ The GE executive believes now is the time for many to migrate from proximity to contactless and radio frequency and smart cards. â€œThe typical capital investment in technology turns over every handful of years and now is the time for end usersâ€ seeking personalization data and multiple technologies for secure solutions.
Beyond the expanded feature sets and flexibilities that openness brings to the table, Provoost also firmly believes that itâ€™s time to walk away from a past that is still hanging on by its proprietary fingernails.
According to the GE executive, the security industryâ€™s reliance on proprietary technologies and platforms inhibits innovation, integration and the assimilation of emerging technologies. â€œIn a world that demands higher security, from retail to banking to military installations, too many systems are plagued by issues arising from proprietary technologies. This is self-defeatingâ€¦it creates major problems for security dealers and integrators and hinders end users from having flexible, scalable security platforms that protect their people and assets. OPEN should go a long way in eliminating these problems,â€ Provoost concluded.
Organizations ranging from ISO and ANSI to the Security Industry Association and IEEEâ€™s Open Security Exchange also are addressing open technologies and architectures from a variety of directions. Provoost doesnâ€™t view any conflicts. â€œAs an industry leader, we see the need to set the bar.â€
To make his point again, Randy Provoost repeated his first thought of the interview: â€œThis is all about action-oriented results.â€
Then he was off again to talk with a group of systems integrators about OPEN, technologies and how to better serve end users into the future.