Lucia Fosco, director of loss prevention for La Senza Corporation, Dorval, Quebec, Canada, takes notes during a break-out session at i3Innovision 2008.

The thing about ideas is that they have to come into existence somewhere. The hottest trends in security today were once nothing more than a fleeting “Wouldn’t it be nice if...” in someone’s mind.

i3Innovision 2008, an annual conference hosted by i3DVR International Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, brought together representatives of all the players in the security industry (manufacturers, representative firms, consultants, distributors, integrators and end users alike). They discussed a lot of current ideas, and maybe even triggered a few new ones over the three days of the conference held in Mexico — and that’s just what i3DVR hoped would happen.

The conference is designed to educate attendees on leading technologies, give them a chance to interact with each other, confirm i3DVR’s direction for the future and continue to develop relationships between the company and its customers.

Vy Hoang, vice president of i3DVR, said new ideas or at least the confirmation of ideas is just one of the benefits his company sees from the event. From a marketing perspective, Hoang said the conference is invaluable because it confirms or questions the current direction of the company’s research and development department. The information gathered at the conference also helps i3DVR meet the needs of its customers — because it has specifically taken the time to ask and listen.

“We want to always be in a position to give our customers what they specifically need,” Hoang said. “At Innovision, I get top companies to sit down and talk to me face to face about what they need and what they are thinking. I get a cross reference of all the markets — and I have the chance to confirm if I am doing things right by talking to everyone who is here.”

Hoang also sees the conference as way to get his customers talking and to help them understand each other.

“Some people would advise us not to bring everyone all together at once. They’ll tell us we should have a separate day for integrators, a separate day for end users, etc. — but I don’t find that that helps. End users and integrators can have ideas about each other that don’t match up. When they get together and they get to hear each other’s concerns and needs, it opens up a whole new level of understanding and communication and introduces a new level of synergy between the parties.

Attendees agreed with the value of getting everyone together.

“Bringing all the players within the supply chain together creates a great forum to discuss the benefits, challenges and best practices when taking a product from innovation to successful installation and effective use. This kind of collaboration has tremendous benefits to all involved,” Bryan Stolth, director of sales, ADI-Burtek, said.

The event included presentations from industry-leading companies including Tommy Hilfiger, BP Usco, Burger King, Penn Traffic, La Senza, Urban Outfitters, the ESB Group, HeadCount Corporation and the York Region District School Board. Each presenter had the chance to share their experiences, the solutions that have worked for them and their visions for the future.

While each company discussed unique problems and solutions, i3DVR products have proved to be a solution for all of them.

“My company is passionate about creating solutions for a customer’s specific needs,” Larry Bounds, the founder and chief executive officer of The ESB Group, Springville, Ala., and one of the presenters at the conference, said. “i3DVR provides us with the products that let us create those solutions. When you are working to provide the best, it pays off to work with a visionary, innovative, conscientious company — that in turn strengthens those qualities in your own company.”

Informative sessions on video analytics, business activity monitoring (BAM), central management software (CMS), Internet protocol (IP), and megapixel cameras were also included to help attendees better understand the products.

Breakout sessions let the attendees talk out loud about problems they are having, successes they’ve enjoyed, or changes they want to see made — “wish lists” for the future development of products.

i3DVR also outlined the direction it is taking as a company in the future. Partnerships will be announced with leading server, camera, and storage companies in the upcoming year as i3DVR positions itself to stay competitive while providing its customers with the best possible solution — for less.

“We will be announcing partnerships as we slowly transform ourselves into a software company who offers a little bit of hardware. We have always built the whole machine, but there’s no profit in it, and we can’t offer our customers the whole solution that we always want to make available to them,” Hoang said. “Moving forward we are focused on proving to our customers that we can get them a little bit more for a little bit less. If we can show that, there is a lot of market possibility for us.”