Should IPVM Expand To Cover Intrusion?

Recently, we have been getting weekly requests to cover intrusion detection / alarm monitoring.

Today, we rarely cover intrusion. Indeed, we are significantly expanding our team this year but the core focus is expanding camera and VMS testing.

However, our expansion into access control is going well, with dozens of reports now and concluding our first course in that area. Plus, we have lots of interesting access control discussions regularly.

So, that said, what about intrusion? Are you interested?

If there is some really significant product release/etc., then it would be nice to see an update on an intrusion product.

But doing general coverage, product testing, or updates on basic company info, I personally think there isn't enough interesting going on in the intrusion segment, and it's already being covered decently enough.

No. Different breed of product, different breed of installer. If you want to do something in this space get a different domain name and call it something different.

Brian, who do you think covers intrusion the best?

Gleason, we looked at different domain names when we first started covering access control (specifically ip security market info) but people found it very confusing (which website do I need to go? where is that post?, etc.).

IPVM is an IP forum so my interest would go only as far as which Intrusion panels integrate exclusively via IP with VMS`s. to create true Integrated Security Systems.

My reasoning is that Intrusion systems have been around even before IP even existed, and it is a whole lot different and huge market full of tons of manufacturers.

I agree with Brian's point of vue and believe we should stick to IP related devices as the core of this forum

Harold, IPVM is about physical security technologies, not just IP. If it was just IP, we wouldn't cover lenses or locks but you can't deliver an IP surveillance or access system without those two respective components.

Obviously, what value each section provides will vary based on the person. I find video posts more interesting than access control ones but there is clearly a sufficient segment of our members who feel otherwise.

Access Control has gone IP so its valid for IPVM to include it in its analysis, therefore locks are too. Lenses are a main components of cameras wether IP or analog, but I see still see Intrusion ( or Fire) a a whole separate field. Just my respectful thoughts.

You can cross reference the sites or even have search results display across different market sites, but I feel having them segmented is probably better. I'd rather not have to compete with alarm guys on video jobs that think they know what's up cause they read ipvm. If they subscribe to both and pay for both, then they have business contributing to both. But to saturate ipvm with intrusion dealers seams a stretch. Plus, more revenue for you...

The access control makes sense in IPVM, but not burg- or fire even for that matter. These two could go together, even. Fire and Burg Market Info...?

First things first tho... Before you start another site, perfect the mobile version of this site. Or dev an app. I have to use the full site on my iPhone because the mobile version never loads right or at all. And fix the auto correct!! The auto correct with an iOs device is awful! It picks words that dont even exist!

Auto correct on iOS is an Apple feature, nothing to do with IPVM. Here's how to disable it.

It's not Apple... It's something with the text input method on the posting box. I can't imagine Apple's auto correct is so unrefined that its replacing actual words with odd sentence fragments. I can't be the only one that's dealing with this... Right?

I like the addition of Access Control with CCTV.

I would only like to see intrusion included in regard to system integration

Yes you should cover the alarm market , fire alarms not so much but intrusion. I don't think there's much difference between video and intrusion. You get the same line of BS from the manufacturers as you do in the video Market. Lots of integrators out there do install alarm systems. And when these systems dont work proeperly, they make a lot more noise than the camera system does. According to my parents intrusion is more important than video (I disagree, since half of our business is video). Come on guys this will be fun, discussions about Octopopits and Popexs are just as cool as ones about ONVIF.

I t think Intrusion should be part of IPVM. Typically we do not do your trunk slammer intrusion alarm systems however we do high end intrusion, panic and perimeter alarm systems and most of the time we integrate them into VMS or card access systems.

Forgot to mention we integrate our Bosch alarm panels G series with our access control line a fair amount, so that type of interaction happens out there. We never really tie the video system with any intrusion or access control system

I think if you're doing intrusion, then you're probably willing to pay for the advice and coverage of an intrusion site. And I would definitely do fire with it. Fire is a requirement- burg and video is not. It will help the growth of the intrusion site for sure.

People tend to prefer a 'buffet' approach over 'a la cart'. For instance, we could have separate charges for access control vs video or for each video test or for different segments within video. However, most find that confusing and frustrating. My experience is that most people would prefer a reasonable flat rate and get all access. It's like Netflix vs Apple.

There's also significantly greater costs in having multiple sites, both on software development and marketing.

Yeah, but now you're spreading yourself thin on Video. There's a ton of tests people want to see on video still and you may push video users away if intrusion is taking up time and resources from IPVM. Id stick with the current format and do it well. Leave intrusion for other people.

Information is always useful John, whats important to suscribers is its depth and quality. In any case, your suscribers will read what they consider more interesting within their respective fields of expertise and/or the current project they are working on.

You should definitely cover intrusion. I have not found anything on the website covering I-View-Now's offering of cloud service integrating DVRs and Intrusion systems. It is a slick application sending a 10 sec clip to the central station centered around the alarm event, cameras mapped to the system zones. Video Alarm Verification is the wave of the future with faster response by police and apprehensions.

Yes. It's not a camera. It's an IP-based intrusion detection system (unless it's a CCTV antique.) It's got motion sensing, alarm generation, alarm input, etc. You shouldn't be treating these things separately as a practitioner. Yes, I appreciate the maintained focus of IPVM.COM, but basically if the thing takes light in at the front "and does other stuff" then the "other stuff" is relevant. Including intrusion, LPR, etc, and whatever else you might run as software plugins in your camera.

Yeah, but then the argument can be applied to data, switchgear, a/v, intercom, phone systems.... Where do you draw the line? I think that IPVM is ok how it is now.

Re: where to draw the line, the line is physical security.

Btw, we hired one new person to do camera testing full time this month and have another full time person starting next month. I think they'll be quite a lot of new camera tests being published every month.

Yes. I believe Intrusion should be included.

Even our "small" money room deployments include integrated Intrusion systems. Small does not necessarly mean "simple". We have walked many interators through intrusion system integration (with help of some IPVM users, in fact).

Intrusion system integration is a weak point for many integrators, in my opinion, so they often don't tell end users / buyers about the potential opportunities to protect their property with the inclusion of an integrated intrusion system.

To me, coverage of intrusion detection makes sense as it is physical security, however fire does not. Maybe ancillary systems should only be covered in the context of "High value integrations." However, I think fire scope really adds a ton of work if you want to do it well, and probably isn't the prime focus of high majority of your audience.

Ether way, I would also consider effects of taking on new scopes. do not spread yourself too thin... unless you raise fees I can't see the quality being maintained and i think most of would agree what quality wins over quantity.

i would gladly pay an extra $5/month if that meant you could add another scope (ID, Fire, more detailed integration, etc.).

Undisclosed, I've never thought of doing fire. Part of that is because it seems to fall out of physical security and what security integrators (not all security integrators do video / access / intrusion but many do at least 2 of the 3). Fire tends to be handled by others (or at least that's my perception).

The goal is to keep IPVM membership prices the same but just add in more (e.g., over the next couple of months more camera and VMS testing, other security topics in the future, etc.). The main thing that would be separate is training / certification courses but I'd like to keep all information available, across all topics as part of the same IPVM membership, without price increase.

I really like the idea of IPVM diversifying into intrusion. As noted above, many integrators include intrusion as part of their core offering. The alarms industry is increasingly creeping into video, and I have to think the opposite is true. Drawing a line in the sand and saying 'intrusion isn't my business' does not mean it is prudent to ignore what's going on.

Maybe this should be rephrased as "does IPVM aspire to be the leading resource for Video Surveillance?" or "Does IPVM aspire to be the leading resource for all electronic physical security systems?" I think that their is gap in unbiased, professional coverage of these systems so their seems to be great opportunity for you.

I am guessing that since you have dived in on Access Control (and quite successfully it seems) - that answer is probably the latter. Or maybe not... maybe you just had a great resource in Brian (and others) that you wanted to make good use of.

The next question would seem to be - what next after Intrusion Detection? PSIM? The Operations side of security? etc. Would you have the resources to do this? Just like any good design (not just security) - what is IPVM's go-forward (5yr, 10yr, etc.) plan and how does Intrusion Detection and other systems fit into that?

In my opinion, it would be great if IPVM covered all significant electronic physical system types, their major integrations, and other systems which improve their effectiveness - broadening the readers knowledge and enabling/encouraging more holistic security designs. This site is easily one of the best web resources I have found in my design career - and having more content produced to the same level of quality would be great.

Undisclosed, good question / comment!

Yes, our goal is to be the leading resource for all electronic physical security systems. We do see that gap in coverage and think we can fill it. I also think there are synergies in covering video, access and intrusion that makes it easier to expand.

The biggest thing in the next 5 to 10 years would be to have definitive, comprehensive treatment of each area we cover. The reality, though, is that we need to prove that we can do it profitably. We've never had an issue with that so I am fairly confident that we can continue to scale our team and coverage.

Over the next 6 months, the priority is to demonstrate to ourselves and our members that we can radically increase the number of camera and VMS tests we do (as well as start access control testing). If we can maintain that and do it profitability, I would be more inclined to enter intrusion detection. That said, video is our core, and we would not expand at the detriment of being the absolute best in video.

Intrusion - Sure... Got for it. As long as it folds in with CCTV and Access Control. Now that many ACS & CCTV manufacturers are integrating intrusion into their systems, it seems like a no-brainer. But stand-alone or residential intrusion, that probably doesn't add much.

Why not physical security too? I would love to see some articles on ALPR/ANPR, perimeter protection (microwave, fiber and other sensing systems), turnstiles, vehicle gates, bollards and the like.

Fire on the other hand, is a totally different animal. I did it for years, hated it. For the most part it is totally unlike the video surveillance, access control and security. It's totally code driven (how crappy can it be and still be acceptable to an AHJ) and low-bid. For the most part, customers install them because they have to and not because they want to.

John, thanks for the response!

ALPR/ANPR and perimeter protection are certainly things we should cover (to me, the former is part of video surveillance and the later is the older stepbrother to video analytics). Likewise, I see turnstiles, vehicles, mantraps, etc. as part of access control.

I am OK with passing on fire :)

One note on Fire Alarms: Much of that business is regulation and specification driven. As a subject of study, 'general' updates don't scale well to a global readership because so many particulars exist.

Unlike intrusion work, where the barriers to enter that market (as an installer/designer) are fairly low, the same isn't true for Fire Alarm designers. Many US States require a rigorous licensing/apprentice process before minting a 'Fire Designer', and reciprocity between states is fairly uncommon (the rules are different from state to state).

I find fire alarm interesting, and I did quite a bit of it, but don't think it should be covered here. Not that I thought it was even proposed but jumping in on it anyway!

The market is split between what John G said, with those that just need the cheapest compliant system, and the high end where large companies actually care about monitoring it and there's some really cool technology to do so. A lot of readers might be interested in that end, but it's too little to really make it worth it.

Intrusion: yes.

I think there is some overlap. Using CCTV for intrusion detection, verses using some other technology. It would be nice to get some unbiased inforamtion. For example when is CCTV really a viable option? Analytics becomes a big player in this. Do certain tecnologies mesh well together (like triggering a PTZ camera to a fence section)?

In my job I get it a little bit of everything. ID Badges, ACS, CCTV, vehicle gates, fencing, etc. I find great interest in reading the fiber optic fence intrusion articles, almost as much as reading the 10MP 360 camera articles.

If you step back a bit, what are CCTV cameras used for? Isn't one of the uses to detect and ID intruders?

How much more do you expect to charge per annum if you offer intrusion? If you intend to add both access control (already embarked upon) and intrusion testing and reviews I would be surprised if you did not expect a return on your additional effort. You have indicated you are adding at least two more people to staff- clearly your expenses are rising. I think this is part of the question you should ask, especially if you intend to offer these services "buffet style".

Timothy, there's no plan to increase the annual membership charge. Indeed, it's been $199 for about 3 years and we have gotten much better / bigger in that period.

The 'return' we expect is more total members, either from new people joining or current personal members upgrading to share with co-workers. This has worked out well so far, and I do not see why it would not in the future.

What would be separate are courses -- dedicated, personalized training where we answer questions, grade exams, administer certifications, etc. We have done this with video and access already, and this has been a nice compliment.

However, the plan is to provide more reports - both in breadth and depth - to attract more people to become members at the same current membership rates.