During a telephone briefing to SDM’s editors in late March, as well as on the show floor of ISC West in Las Vegas, Cisco emphasized the message that, by entering the physical security industry, it has made a commitment to help transform what the company calls “isolated security operations” into a strategic asset using the Internet Protocol (IP) network.

“Fundamentally we offer a different value proposition than all the other players in the video market today,” Mark Farino, general manager of Cisco’s Converged Secure Infrastructure Business Unit, told SDM. “The difference is at the foundation of our value proposition, which is the IP network. We’re going to use that to transform legacy systems into a new platform.”

The vehicles for transformation include Cisco’s key additions to its IP-based video surveillance product portfolio. These new products use the IP network as a platform to transform disparate legacy security systems to be more collaborative and responsive while preserving customers’ existing investments.

“In today’s video surveillance world you have analog cameras going to control rooms. In those control rooms you have your recording devices, VCRs. Increasingly we’re seeing customers that want to unlock the value of that video, whether it’s a live stream or playback,” Farino said. “That means being able to view video from a network-connected laptop, or receive an alarm and be able to view it from a PDA. In order to do that you have to have an IP network.”

The latest offerings – a new IP surveillance camera, a scalable video recording and storage platform, and new video surveillance software – provide greater security scalability, and are easily integrated with other security and business systems to enhance the value of video. These products enable a smooth migration from analog to network-based deployments, and interoperate with third-party storage.

These new products extend Cisco’s safety and security product offerings, which already include an integrated communications and surveillance solution for mobile and outdoor environments; and the Cisco IPICS 2.0, which enables users to automate responses to specified events, such as communication via pagers, radios, IP phones, etc., among security personnel during a fire alarm.

The new Cisco IP camera, and scalable mass storage recording services platform are scheduled to be available by the end of May 2007. For information visit www.cisco.com.