The Security.World community voted during the summer of 2017 and selected the Physical Security and Video Surveillance industry’s Top 12 Influencers. This Profile is one in the series of 12 of those individuals that are making a difference in our industry. Congratulations to Mitchell Kane, President, Vanderbilt. We reached out to Mitchell to get his views and insight on what is happening in the physical security and video surveillance market.
The international Security.World community of physical security professionals has just selected you as one of their Top 12 industry Influencers for 2017. What is your reaction to that?
I’m honored to be part of this esteemed group. I’ve watched and admired many of these individuals throughout my career, and it is a pleasure to be recognized alongside these leaders.
How long have you been active in the physical security/video surveillance industry and what brought you into this industry?
I fell into the industry in the 1970s. It wasn’t like today where young professionals seek out roles in this industry; rather, there was an opportunity to install some CCTV cameras and we’d say, “Hey, let’s try it.” So, my entry into the security industry was somewhat non-strategic, but this inauspicious start led to a very long and rewarding career.
Today, I have more than 40 years of experience in the security market. I served as a partner of Integrated Access Systems/Geoffrey Industries, which was acquired by Ingersoll Rand, in 2003. In 2012, Vanderbilt Industries was formed as an access control/video surveillance business unit spin-off from Ingersoll Rand, and today, I serve as President of Vanderbilt Industries (USA), which remains a global leader in creating state-of-the-art security systems.
How have you seen the industry change over the past few years?
I have seen many, many changes over the years but what I have found to be most challenging, and exciting, was the shift from hardware to software. When I started in the industry, there were few security consultants, and “systems integration” firms were a rarity. Most security companies installed fire and burglar alarm systems; CCTV was an emerging technology. Banks still used film cameras. The market was basically hardware centric. But as systems became more critical to business operations, clients developed a need to to be able to integrate one system with another (CCTV, alarm, access control).,
Our company was strategic in adapting and commercializing integrated systems. We engineered offerings where hardware and software were integrated to create a custom security solution to meet our clients specific needs. In the early days, we adapted this approach which proved to be a huge differentiator. Of course, now software holds all the value in today’s marketplace and integration has become much easier through collaboration and standards. We’ve come a long way in the last 30 years and it’s benefited the client and the integration community greatly.
What do you see has been the single most impactful technology in the industry?
It’s really all about software today and what value that software can provide that makes client deployments less complex, enables integration with other systems (whether security, building management or IT) and increases the user experience.
Please share with us your visions of this industry and what it will look like for manufacturers, integrators, installers, central stations, and end-users in the near future.
As an industry, I think the future rests on convergence, and I’m not talking about technology convergence here. I think we need to think beyond that concept and truly think about how our customers need to collaborate internally to combat today’s security and business challenges. If you look at the access control market, it has experienced a number of integrations in areas such as video surveillance and video management software in an effort to better protect businesses and enterprise applications.
But nowhere is the integration scope more progressive than the collaboration between those that set and manage corporate network policy (i.e. IT executives) and security teams, particularly in regard to access control. Helping our customers shift access control from a siloed system within the security department to one that is a collaboration between network security, trained IT specialists and CIOs positions the overall organization to offer valuable input when it comes to security decisions. This also helps to mitigate any potential cybersecurity threats. We are all aware that the cybersecurity of an access control product or technology is crucial. The growing use of the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with a heightened concern for cyber threats, and IT professionals can make certain that proper data safety protocols are being followed.
At Vanderbilt, we help our partners understand the customer’s corporate policy objectives to ensure the solution meets or exceeds their requirements, and they can then pass on their knowledge to the customer.
Tell us about a newer technology that you think is going to significantly alter the industry landscape.
I believe cloud-based solutions are gaining a significant increase in acceptability. In 2014, IHS Markit forecasted that the Access-Control-as-a-Service market would top $530 million by 2018 and $1.8 billion by 2025. Users are becoming more comfortable with the idea of the cloud, and therefore, cloud-based products are now more widely accepted across the security industry. This model offers significant benefits as users can see real benefit from not having to worry about servers or locally installed software. Access control expenditures can shift from Capex to Opex.
We believe in the future of this technology. Last year, we acquired Access Control Technologies (ACT) to bring a cloud-based offering to the Vanderbilt portfolio and we are now delivering this platform to the U.S. market. The Vanderbilt ACT365 managed solution allows end users to remotely control and manage access to their facilities. Organizations can easily scale the solution to accommodate additional doors or cameras, as well as view live and recorded video, manage users, and in the event of an emergency review alarms, all from a unified interface on a tablet or smartphone. It’s about making access control accessible, less complex andmore cost effective.
What vertical market do you think is going to witness the biggest impact of industry advancements and why?
Mitch: For us, we see great opportunity for cloud-based solutions within the small-to-medium business market, retail and banking, or any organization that typically do not have a dedicated IT team.
What are your thoughts about technologies that may be intersecting with more individual/personal applications (i.e.: biometrics, cloud, IoT, wearables, etc.)?
Overall, in today’s world the cloud is an overused term that seems to be a mystery to most within the security industry and even to those in the consumer market! But in all actuality, it’s growing in popularity. From a personal use case perspective, the cloud enables users to be mobile by administering permissions, control and settings through a Web-based device.
That provides instant access to information and control is invaluable. It also empowers users to engage more with their system and that is always beneficial as more use cases emerge. But there is still a disconnect on the definition of the cloud and its use cases, (many people confuse a hosted solution with a managed solution) which is why it falls to manufacturers and integrators to educate clients on the importance of this technology and how best to use emerging cloud-based applications.