The Quicker Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- Oct 01, 2014
One of the perks of my job is the opportunity
to travel around the country and visit various
product manufacturers. Not long ago, I took
a swing through Southern California with an itinerary
of visiting seven or eight companies.
I made every appointment, but one. Traffic is so
bad in California it’s difficult to travel from one side
of the valley to the other. Of course, it didn’t help that
I wrote down the wrong address and city. Thanks to
Google Maps, I arrived on time and without incident,
though, to most of my appointments.
A couple years ago, I wrote a story about Glendalebased
Arecont Vision’s MegaLab, where technicians
and engineers spin up VMS solutions and push them
to their limit. Arecont Vision now has 130 cameras at
work in the lab. It’s all about technology partnerships.
One thing that has changed at MegaLab is Arecont
Vision testing its own Omni camera. The camera has
been so successful that they sold 600 units on the first
day it was offered. And, true to form, the camera was
put through the ringer at MegaLab.
Arecont Vision introduced its version of a low-light
lab, unveiling a camera that excels at night through a
new algorithm. For management, it is a Spatio Temporal
Low Light Architecture (STELLAR), and it
will be part of the MegaDome 2 series.
However, as things change in the world of technology,
there are still some matters that remain the
same. For instance, VMS companies that want to participate
with the MegaLab can do so 24/7 worldwide.
Companies are able to remotely access the system and
spin up their software. They also can examine remote
focus and remote zoom on a camera. There are currently
25 VMS programs installed at MegaLab.
“We’re also finding that our VMS partners are releasing
better quality software,” said Diego Simkin,
technology partner manager. “MegaLab is really an
Easy Button concept.”
After All the Glitz and Glamour
My journey in California also took me out of the city
to visit Greg Bier, the CEO and director at Vitek. This
company has been around since 1999, and claims its
key verticals in automation and electrical supply.
“I’m glad to say we’ve come a long way since those
humble beginnings, but one important thing has never
changed,” Bier said. “Our commitment to our customers
is to go above and beyond their expectations with
every opportunity. These relationships forged over
many years are our most cherished asset, and we will
never forget those who have been supportive of us and
those whom we’ve been able to support over time.”
I had an insightful meeting with Greg. Seems he
left New York after high school to become a musician.
That goal worked out well, but after the glitz
and glamour, the security industry became his goal.
Bier and his company, located in Valencia, are developing
and manufacturing video surveillance products
that meet all expectations of the end user, and
come at a value that will never change.
In the Wee Hours of the Morning
Early one morning, I ran into an old friend, Doug
Wheaton at HIKVision. I almost didn’t recognize
Doug as he has dropped a bunch of weight. He looks
awesome and is a good model for some of us who
need to drop more than a few pounds.
HIKVision had a good name in cameras and
equipment; but then, it seemed, they disappeared. I
can tell you that they are back in the chase. The company
has been around for about 13 years. They started
with 28 employees and have grown into a global enterprise
of more than 8,000 workers, including 2,800
research and development engineers.
It was great to see Doug again, and I can assure
you they will be making an impact in the U.S. market
again very soon.
Built by Hand
Because I depend upon PR agencies for so much, I
was steered in the direction of Louroe Electronics,
located in Van Nuys. In my travels, I’ve seen a lot of
automation, especially when building circuit boards,
but this is not the case at Louroe.
CEO Richard Brent gave me a tour of the facility.
When we entered the high-tech area, I was surprised to
find workers building circuit boards by hand. Using a
slide line, employees would meticulously add various
parts, one after another, using their hands as tools.
“It’s all about teamwork at Louroe,” Brent said.
“Our employees like what they are doing, and they
enjoy working together.”
Brent said that business in California is sometimes
challenging, but they meet a minimum pay standard
of $18 per hour and pay for employee healthcare. He
said that he is pleased that the company can do all of
this and keep people employed.
“We invest in our employees,” Brent said. “We
have a very diverse group of people, and I believe that
works to our advantage.”
I love these work trips where I can see first-hand
at what pace the security industry is moving. Since
the draught in 2008, it seems to me that the industry
is picking up; buyers are spending more money; and
people are working more. All of this is exciting news.
This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Security Today.