Pelco's Quiet Transition

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It came without a whole lot of fanfare, but Pelco, which not too long ago exemplified the end-to-end vendor of proprietary video systems, has slowly transitioned itself into a supplier aiming to leverage open platforms.

pelco.gifPelco's PartnerFirst program, launched last year, counts among the company's most significant initiatives. The program enters 2010 with more than 100 vendors in segments ranging from analytics to SCADA to storage and forms the center of Pelco's plan to shift toward integration of open, best-of-breed platforms. 

"It's really demand from our customers. They want the flexibility to use our product with other manufacturers' products," said Dave deLisser, director of third party integration and partnering at Pelco. "As much as you like to think you have the best product, you can't be the best at everything."

Although it has been low-key, Pelco's transition to open systems raises the stakes for vendors and integrators who maintain IP migration is a slow-moving market trend. Pelco enjoys high brand recognition in almost every vertical and market segment. As its integration message begins to flow through the integrator channel, the contention that IP integration and centralized security management are for deep-pocketed, large-scale, multi-site installations will get tougher to defend.


Lee Caswell, founder and chief marketing officer of Pivot3, which announced its participation in PartnerFirst December 23, admitted to early skepticism. But after working on the integration of Pelco's DigitalSentry video management software (VMS) and Pivot3's Serverless Computing line of video storage servers, Caswell emerged impressed with the speed and passion of the Clovis, Calif.-based vendor. 

"My impressions have been very positive," Caswell said. "Pelco provided the software and hardware to prove out Pivot3 compatibility and made sure the integration went smoothly," he said, adding that Pelco's close collaboration is "part of a new initiative and a core value going forward."

"There's a 100 percent commitment to open architecture," said Ed Troha, managing director of global marketing for ObjectVideo. Troha, who spoke to Security Squared at the ASIS International conference in September, said Pelco offers ObjectVideo's analytics systems with its new Sarix IP megapixel camera line, which has plug-and-play compatibility with a number of VMS and physical security information systems (PSIMs) with a variety of vendors.

For Pivot3, the partnership means its distribution channel can sell its virtual storage solution loaded with DigitalSentry software. In reciprocation, Pivot3 has named Pelco a member of its HD Storage Alliance.

Pelco's deLisser said vendor integration, with Pivot3 and other suppliers, is a matter of responding to the market. "We determined there is more growth to be had by working with other manufacturers than there was from not," he said.

Looking for ROI

Since its acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2007, Pelco has been signaling its shift away from proprietary systems toward open platforms and IP. Schneider supplies building automation systems and, like Johnson Controls, it is looking to position security systems as a natural extension to building management (Pelco's DX8100 DVRs and Endura NVRs integrate with Johnson Control's P-2000 security management system). There has been some trial-and-error. Last January, Pelco closed its access control business, which was viewed as a retrenchment by some at the time. However, the move may have strengthened its credibility with access control partners such as AMAG, CBORD, Lenel Systems International, Gallagher and Paxton Access Ltd.

Page:   1   2  Next  »

It came without a whole lot of fanfare, but Pelco, which not too long ago exemplified the end-to-end vendor of proprietary video systems, has slowly transitioned itself into a supplier aiming to leverage open platforms.

pelco.gifPelco's PartnerFirst program, launched last year, counts among the company's most significant initiatives. The program enters 2010 with more than 100 vendors in segments ranging from analytics to SCADA to storage and forms the center of Pelco's plan to shift toward integration of open, best-of-breed platforms. 

"It's really demand from our customers. They want the flexibility to use our product with other manufacturers' products," said Dave deLisser, director of third party integration and partnering at Pelco. "As much as you like to think you have the best product, you can't be the best at everything."

Although it has been low-key, Pelco's transition to open systems raises the stakes for vendors and integrators who maintain IP migration is a slow-moving market trend. Pelco enjoys high brand recognition in almost every vertical and market segment. As its integration message begins to flow through the integrator channel, the contention that IP integration and centralized security management are for deep-pocketed, large-scale, multi-site installations will get tougher to defend.


Lee Caswell, founder and chief marketing officer of Pivot3, which announced its participation in PartnerFirst December 23, admitted to early skepticism. But after working on the integration of Pelco's DigitalSentry video management software (VMS) and Pivot3's Serverless Computing line of video storage servers, Caswell emerged impressed with the speed and passion of the Clovis, Calif.-based vendor. 

"My impressions have been very positive," Caswell said. "Pelco provided the software and hardware to prove out Pivot3 compatibility and made sure the integration went smoothly," he said, adding that Pelco's close collaboration is "part of a new initiative and a core value going forward."

"There's a 100 percent commitment to open architecture," said Ed Troha, managing director of global marketing for ObjectVideo. Troha, who spoke to Security Squared at the ASIS International conference in September, said Pelco offers ObjectVideo's analytics systems with its new Sarix IP megapixel camera line, which has plug-and-play compatibility with a number of VMS and physical security information systems (PSIMs) with a variety of vendors.

For Pivot3, the partnership means its distribution channel can sell its virtual storage solution loaded with DigitalSentry software. In reciprocation, Pivot3 has named Pelco a member of its HD Storage Alliance.

Pelco's deLisser said vendor integration, with Pivot3 and other suppliers, is a matter of responding to the market. "We determined there is more growth to be had by working with other manufacturers than there was from not," he said.

Looking for ROI

Since its acquisition by Schneider Electric in 2007, Pelco has been signaling its shift away from proprietary systems toward open platforms and IP. Schneider supplies building automation systems and, like Johnson Controls, it is looking to position security systems as a natural extension to building management (Pelco's DX8100 DVRs and Endura NVRs integrate with Johnson Control's P-2000 security management system). There has been some trial-and-error. Last January, Pelco closed its access control business, which was viewed as a retrenchment by some at the time. However, the move may have strengthened its credibility with access control partners such as AMAG, CBORD, Lenel Systems International, Gallagher and Paxton Access Ltd.

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At the same time, Schneider has been investing in smaller companies that can add value to the Pelco line. One example is Agilence Inc. (not to be confused with Agilent Technologies), which markets an events-based analytic solution for retail point-of-sale application. The solution can integrate with Pelco's video software on the physical security end and IBM's Store Integration Framework on the IT side, thereby giving its video surveillance systems a direct, measureable ROI role in strategic management of retail loss. In December, Schneider Electric Ventures announced it was providing $500,000 of a $2 million funding round in Camden, N.J.-based Agilence.

Among Pelco's most visible moves has been its strategic partnership with Cisco Systems, which provides Pelco and its integrator channel an entree into the enormous base of customers who use Cisco IP networking equipment.

It's Pelco's PartnerFirst Program that offers the most visible evidence of its transition. The company has formed numerous partnerships with vendors in access control, building management, IP cameras, analytics, PSIM and storage. In addition to Pivot3, Pelco added Intransa, another storage system supplier, last week. Partners in each category can be found here.

Pelco works closely with each partner on the development of interface specifications and related solutions for its DVRs, NVRs and video management systems. deLisser said (see chart below).

Pelco Video Integration
Product     Integration Partners     Released Solutions    Solutions in Development

DX 8100 DVR                56                               46                                    10

Endura NVR                   57                               31                                    26

DigitalSentry VMS        50                               35                                   15

Source: Dave deLisser, Pelco

Pivot3's Caswell found Pelco aggressive and committed. Pivot3 storage servers incorporate VMS software directly onboard. The partnership process began when a Pivot3 learned a customer that was its consolidating storage systems wanted them run Pelco's DigitalSentry VMS software, which Pivot3 was not supporting at the time.

Fast prove out

Pivot3 licensed DigitalSentry software for 64 cameras, and Pelco donated the cameras to prove out interoperability and scale. The company moved quickly, Caswell said, getting functionality in one week as well as providing architect and engineering (A&E) specifications, tools and widgets for assistance in configuration.

Pelco has also made the DigitalSentry software easier and less complex to install, Caswell added. For example, the software now loads from one disk, rather than three as it had in the past.

"I applaud them for moving more quickly than some of the others," Caswell said of Pelco's overall strategy. "They  have so many assets and their muscle hehind open systems could bring the next generation of growth."

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