New Alliance is Tackling Fragmented Security Solutions (GSX 2019)

09/12/2019 | By Sarah Kloepple

The Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)—which launched at the ASIS 2018 Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference—returned to GSX 2019 to update facilities managers and building owners on what it’s accomplished in the last year.

In case you missed it, OSSA brings together different organizations and businesses in the security realm to create standards, requirements and specifications for common security components such as an operating system, an IoT infrastructure, a collective approach for data security and privacy.

OSSA’s goal is to “drive for improved levels of performance for security and safety solutions,” according to press materials. The organization believes current fragmentation is holding the industry back from true innovation and integration.

“If you look at [security] innovations today, very often they are limited to one company. We tend to think in silos,” says Pieter van de Looveren, OSSA marketing committee chair and director of marketing for Bosch Security Systems. “True innovation comes from the marketplace, where everyone steps in.”

[Related: 5 Security Trends to Watch For in 2019]

OSSA founding members include:

  • Bosch Building Technologies
  • Hanwha Techwin
  • Milestone Systems
  • Pelco
  • VIVOTEK Inc.

As of the GSX 2019 show, OSSA now has more than 30 members, including such businesses as:

  • Device manufacturers
  • Chip manufacturers
  • Software developers
  • Distributors
  • System integrators

“What we want to do is open up the marketplace,” says van de Looveren. He adds, “Typically In buildings you see multiple devices being deployed over years, and also multiple devices from multiple brands. Unfortunately, some brands aren’t always compatible. We want to open up the marketplace, and we want to enable our customers to be brand independent.”

In the nearly one year since OSSA launched at GSX 2018, van de Looveren says the organization has, in its first stage, focused on standardizing video surveillance cameras.

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“We want to [focus on] the whole security and safety space, but we started with video cameras, because we have to start somewhere,” he says. “What you typically see in the video business is that, today, everyone does it their own way. Tomorrow, we want to standardize it.”

He adds that OSSA has already created its first operating system to be deployed across surveillance camera brands. Those products, when commercially available in 2020, will carry the OSSA logo to give the end user a sense of trust and peace of mind over things like privacy of data.

The alliance aims to help facilities managers better see the opportunities from the security system components that they’re investing in and receive a better return on investment.

“System integrators should not be thinking about brands,” van de Looveren says as an example. “They should be thinking about, ‘Who is my facilities manager? What is he or she in need of?’ Then put the pieces together.”

He reiterates that the goal is to fix fragmented solutions by focusing on best practices and standards that genuinely meet the needs of the end user.

“If you combine brands, you will be as strong as the weakest link,” says van de Looveren. “If you want to truly embrace trust, you need to come to common agreements, and you need to say as an industry, ‘This is how we are going to tackle it.’”

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