An Exciting Start to ASIS 2014

I started my day off with a jolt; not the good kind of jolt you get from an awesome cup of gourmet coffee either. You see, my flight to ASIS 2014 left at 7 a.m. from Dallas, and well, let's just say I overslept…big time!

After jumping straight out of bed at 5:45a.m. - oh yes, literally 45 minutes before boarding was to begin – I threw my hair into a ponytail, grabbed my bags and rushed to the airport. I arrived a little frazzled, to say the least, but I soon calmed down as I spent the next 2 hours of flight time thinking about what was to come.

I finally arrived in Atlanta with one thing on my mind – hitting the showroom floor, ready to see all the wonderful people in the security industry who I have formed relationships with as well as all the new things the security industry has to offer. I must say, I wasn't disappointed.

My first stop was with PPM, who specializes in integrated incident management. This Canadian-based company, whose employees were decked out in hockey jerseys, is on the up and up when it comes to analyzing high volumes of data and processing it into intelligence for their customers.

Best described in a triangular shape, PPM believes that data for intelligence belongs at the top point as all other security-related occurrences shape the outcome of data. Without events, there is no data to be collected; therefore, events create data.

"We are doing something no one else is doing," explained Brian McIlravey, co-CEO. "We sit at the top with all systems with the end goal of providing intelligence from connected systems."

Moving on, I spent some time with Kirby Han, art director for Altronix, who was excited to introduce me to a couple of new products. Entrada ended up being one of my favorites. Typically, network door controllers do not have a fire alarm interface. Should a fire occur, communication between the door controller and fire alarm is non-existent, meaning the controller won't tell the lock to open the door. However, Entrada connects to the network door controller, up to 100 meters, so communication can take place. This is huge for the fire and life safety vertical.

Two cups of coffee later, I found myself at the Guardian 8 booth, speaking with Paul Hughes, COO, who informed me that they have recently moved from an 1800 sq. ft. building to one that is 6000 sq. ft. Needless to say, this company is growing, which is always nice to see in the industry.

Guardian 8 is seeing growth in the K-12 and college/university vertical with their non-lethal ProV2, described as a compact, lightweight personal security device. When it comes to active shooters penetrating educational environments, most institutions are missing a solid protocol: what to do with the time between discovering the shooter and when law enforcement arrives.

A popular protocol is the "Run, Hide, Fight" method; however, "people don't want to fight and don't know how to fight," said Hughes. "So, we have created the 'Delay and Defend' method."

Wrapping up the first day of ASIS 2014, I found myself wandering around Atlanta's aquarium in awe of the docile Beluga whales, the majestic sting rays and species of fish, reflecting on a day of learning and comradery. How peaceful, calm and trusting these aquatic animals were soaring through the water without a care in the world. And, to think, I'm part of an industry that creates this same feeling for humans, only instead of water, security products and services are offered.

I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings.

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