Significant news developed last month which provides concrete evidence of the convergence of the physical security world with the information technology world. Cisco Systems Inc. announced plans to buy SyPixx Networks Inc. (www.sypixx.com), a company that makes network-centric video surveillance software and hardware that enable existing analog-based video surveillance systems to operate as part of an open IT network. (Read SDMâ€™s exclusive coverage of this story, beginning on page 15.) Do you suppose that merger gives license to be called a â€œconvergerâ€?
In the IT network industry, Cisco is a household name. At my desk where I write this column is a new Cisco IP telephone, ready to be deployed. Soon my calls will be transmitted through Voice over Internet Protocol technology.
Cisco is self-described as â€œthe worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.â€ Further, â€œCisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create Internet solutions that allow individuals, companies, and countries to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and strengthen competitive advantage.â€ (www.cisco.com)
Its strategy in acquiring SyPixx bears out this philosophy, acknowledging that the melding of Cisco and SyPixx technologies will allow legacy video surveillance systems to feed video streams across a network. Ciscoâ€™s Intelligent Converged Environment platform is â€œan architecture that you can run a lot of applications across. Video surveillance is one of them, but more will follow,â€ said a Cisco spokesperson.
For what may be the first footstep into the security market by an IT company, the question for installing companies â€“ dealers and integrators â€“ is: Does this acquisition represent a competitive threat or bring a new supplier to the market, or both? Will Cisco be working with security systems integrators to deploy its converged solution, or will it bypass the installer channel altogether? But then again, that is the same question asked of all the many new technology companies targeting the thriving security industry. Stay tuned, because Ciscoâ€™s presence at ISC West this month will provide the security industry with telling answers.
Notes Security Industry Annual 2005, published by Lehman Brothers, â€œWe do not know what the security industry go-to-market channel set-up will look like in five years, but we believe it is certainly going to be changed by the rapid move toward â€˜convergingâ€™ the security and IT worlds.â€
SDM is committed to bringing all of its subscribers through the transition into the networked security world. Every month we bring you feature articles and departments that cover security technology for networks. As an extra bonus, sign up for the free e-mail delivered newsletter, Todayâ€™s Systems Integrator, by visiting www.sdmmag.com, and clicking on the pop-up box at the top center of the home page.