From the Product Manager's POV

The big leaguers do it, but who knew that businesses also scouted talent? American Dynamics found the talent it needed and wanted to deliver skilled IT products. By acquiring Trident Tek, American Dynamics merges its already strong brand recognition with a scalable Linux-based NVR recording platform. We wanted to know more about the merger and the product, so we talked with Irene Lam, director of product management for American Dynamics.

Q.Why did American Dynamics acquire the assets of Trident Tek?

A.American Dynamics acquired Trident Tek for two main reasons: A talented IT skills set with many years of experience in delivering products into the IT market and a scalable Linux-based NVR recording platform. This acquisition positions us to be a security company with IT expertise and leverages our core competencies as an integrated access control and video manufacturer.

American Dynamics has had and continues to have strong brand recognition with our products such as Intellex and SpeedDome with an established global sales channel. With the integration of Trident Tek, we have infused innovation and technology leadership into the American Dynamics portfolio, especially in a changing market where IT has become one of the major choices, if not the top one.

Q.What is unique about the NVR offering?

A.The NVR has an embedded Linux kernel from a bootable CD—both the operating system and application are installed within minutes. The benefits are ease of install, data recovery and, most importantly, performance. This is measured by stripping out the operating system heavy processes and, thus, most of the CPU is in idle to record more cameras and/or serve video to multiple clients.

The NVR also has unique capabilities such as built-in redundancy and a storage management platform that allows for Levels 1 and 2 backup without a thirdparty application. It lends into minimal patch management but lower total cost of ownership with just the elimination of the software licensing cost.

The NVR also can be configured and administered via an agnostic Web client such as Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox. American Dynamics also has a software development kit that is 100 percent standards- based to allow for third-party integration, such as in access control.

Q.What did American Dynamics launch during ISC West this year?

A.American Dynamics has shown in four months that it has completely integrated the former Trident Tek team and platform into the American Dynamics VideoEdge IP solution line. The VideoEdge NVR now supports multiple codex—the efficient proprietary Active Content Compression, as well as two open standard compressions: M-JPEG and MPEG-4. ACC is our own proprietary compression developed more than 10 years ago for video surveillance to offset the noise and limited motion that plague many cameras. Another benefit of ACC is lower bandwidth compression, which is translated into lower storage requirements since the noise is filtered out and frames are only sent when motion is detected.

A white paper on the American Dynamics Web site with supporting qualitative data shows the benefits of ACC. It is important to note that supporting ACC is the first step toward developing a unified client, allowing for the migration of Intellex customers into the VideoEdge IP solution.

While we will continue to support ACC, American Dynamics also recognizes that to remain an open platform, we have to support other industry-accepted compressions—as we have demonstrated at ISC West, but also have on our road map to support H.264.

The splash screens are completely rebranded, and this is the first step toward allowing our existing American Dynamics customers to mix and match multiple platforms and technologies.

Q.How do you plan to migrate the existing Intellex DVR customers?

A.The plan is to launch a VideoEdge or unified client at or around the ASIS International 2008 tradeshow time frame, using the development work to support ACC. There is a single management platform to configure, manage and administer VideoEdge NVR and Intellex. It is about investment protection— migrating to the new platform at customers’ own pace. We want to ensure that our customers can feel confident in choosing Intellex today, but that they do not have to rip out everything when they are ready to move to an IP solution later.

Q.What is the American Dynamics road map on the NVR?

A.To complement our NVR line, we are working on peripheral edge devices supporting ACC, such as an encoder and hybrid SpeedDome, but our most exciting product is the VideoEdge client. We also are looking into adding more features to promote our open standard architecture, such as supporting H.264, and to add to our growing list of third-party IP devices.

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