it is a great advertisement in that it makes a clear distinction about cloud first solutions and legacy based on premise solutions. The trend for non CAPEX type solutions is now very clear. Ad seems to be directed to those desiring a truly hosted solution, that if you are considering the old giants such as Lenel and Software House then you are making a mistake. No issues with the ad.
The ad is aimed at anyone still putting in a client- server solutions. There only a few examples I can think of that a client server architecture is required. 95% of Cloud solutions have both a CAPEX component and a OPEX component although we also offer a pure CAPEX and a pure OPEX solution.
The majority of on-premise access systems use this architecture
I am guessing or at least would say that, in the broader world, think email, CRM, files, etc., it's heavily cloud-based.
If I was selling what they sell, I would certainly point it out (Brivo does the same) and it's worth thinking about.
The bigger question is whether these applications specifically should be or are ready to be put in the cloud. By ready, I mean there are mature enough options in the space for enterprise use (and I am thinking VSaas, where there are few).
I personally think they are and think that the correct architecture is a hybrid approach where you have ability to make decisions at the edge and leverage the benefits of the cloud.
Watch the consumer market and you will see where this is moving.
Where the access control cloud based vendors hurt themselves is when they get into this holy war of "cloud only" vs the camp that's always says "you won't take my client servers away." What they should be preaching is "hybrid." For security reasons, latency, performance, privacy and a whole bunch of reasons, why not leverage both?
the best solution today is absolutely hybrid. Access panels linked directly to the Cloud. The decision is still made locally. If you lose internet everything still continues to function. With video it’s the same thing. A local NVR or appliance connected to the Cloud. In the case of video you can also record directly to the camera you just need a gateway so you don’t open up any inbound ports. But it’s all hybrid.
Thank you for restating what I wrote about hybrid but not addressing the point about the stale marketing and messaging of “cloud” that you’ve been stating in this thread, BluB0X still uses and most cloud vendors haven’t progressed past.
It’s time for the industry to critically think and develop more value statements.
BluBOX was purpose built for enterprise. So I think we are more than ready and we are already supporting these enterprise customers. I know Brivo and Feenics also have enterprise customers. It’s more about integrators educating themselves and seeing a chart of Cloud vs Client Server capabilities. This would be great for IPVM to do as a non biased third party to really educate the market.
Yes, I really mean this. Maybe I didn’t explain it well. The existing client server solutions would be better served moving to a Cloud solution like BluBOX. The architectural benefits and capabilities of a hybrid Cloud solution far exceed what client server solution can do. If this is true, and I can prove it, why use client server at all? The answer can’t be because that’s what everyone else is doing. It’s legacy. It’s 40 year old technology with tremendous limitations. Here’s one: Mercury has a leap year bug. All the LP controllers need to be updated with new firmware. Client server solutions need to Figure out who has LP controllers then somehow dial into each and update the firmware one by one. At BluBOX we just press a button and everything is updated.
I am having real trouble following you here. With all due respect, you seem to be throwing around buzzwords like "legacy", "Cloud" and "client-server", but then give examples that don't remotely support the point you seem to be trying to make.
All "Cloud" means is "someone else's computer". Yes, all your customers' controllers connect into "your computer" and not their own. However, this has little to to with the required firmware upgrade for the Mercury LP Leap Day bug.
You did not "hit a button and everything was updated". That would have brought every one of your LP customers' doors offline for the 2 to 3 minutes the upgrade takes, simultaneously, without warning.
I fully agree that being a "Cloud" provider (customers hardware using "your computer" instead of theirs), does make this process easier to manage. You have access to real-time data of what firmware your customers' controllers are running, and are in a position to force that update if necessary. That said, this has nothing to do with "legacy" or "client-server"-ness (as client-server refers to user interface, not hardware comms).
It absolutely has EVERYTHING to do with the Mercury Leap Year bug and our ability to distribute firmware upgrades much more easily than legacy client server systems. Let’s talk about client server systems for a moment. Most systems are standalone systems driven by a server. In order for an integrator to update the firmware they need to either dispatch a tech to site (very expensive) or if they have remote connectivity, they can log in and update that server. The integrator needs to know which systems have LP controllers and which have EP controllers. Many integrators have difficulty getting this information easily to even know what sites to upgrade. Many integrators have a challenge getting and maintaining remote connectivity. Often times it requires IT permission. Another logistical nightmare. Lastly, Mercury put out a patch, then put a new firmware version two weeks later. What did integrators install. The better thing would have been the firmware upgrade. But if you already did that would you really go back and do it again? Doubt it.
Now let’s talk about Cloud architecture. In our implementation we are constantly connected to all controllers. We know which are LP and which are EP. We can automatically or manually command a firmware upgrade to specific controllers or all controllers. Our Mercury instances run in parallel to all controllers so we can have many threads running simultaneously. Yes each controller takes a few minutes to upgrade but I’m not sure what that has to do w anything when you are doing things in parallel. All our integrator partners can command a firmware upgrade with the press of a button from our Controller Diagnostics screen. As for the patch vs a full firmware upgrade, we did the latter because it is easy to upgrade and this was the better option for all customers.
There is a world of difference between what you have to go through trying to manage any software in a client server environment vs a Cloud environment. Perhaps the point that was missed is that all systems are connected to the same Single Cloud environment not separate Cloud environments for each customer.
This is the written equivalent of an infomercial making an everyday task look impossible.
'Somehow dial into the controller'.
I have all of the controller available from a central server. Right-click, update firmware. It took me longer to write that sentence then it would to update most of my controllers. And, I maintain control of my system.
In our previous company we ran a central server for all our small Mercury sites. We know all about the pros and cons. One of the pros is that you can update your firmware centrally. But the central server model is the EXCEPTION not the norm. I submit that most integrators struggles with the Leap Year bug as I described in my previous post. This is comparison I was making , not a fringe case.
The slide is labelled "Revenue", not "Valuation". Also it would be pretty amazing if you were "spot on" on a Revenue prediction that was done 2 years prior.
Valuations are usually some multiple of revenue, particularly if you have RMR as a big component. If you are raising money on a $56M valuation that would imply to me that your revenue was a lot less than that.
There is a difference between what a company sells for in a transfer of control situation (that’s the value of the company) vs what the company raises money at and incentivized investors. Investors never pay what the company is worth. We are not talking a publicly traded company either.
Credibility and Skin are both intrinsic business life cycles regarding this comet/dinosaur thread morphed IPVM style aha moments.
Investors can role as impostor or sucker to accept the on-boarding risk of an social gentlemen s agreement. In order to stir the pot, split the pot then pursue.
I think IPVM needs a true case study with BluB0x access control pitted against any other solution using and unbiased customer base in order to keep the sanity of being unbiased.
Let's say you pit BluB0x against genetec? Using a real life customer with substantial needs for security(no 5 door systems).
Does the cloud deployment/services render/implement easier than traditional server client thick infrastructure?
Shoot it out, even with all the old/new variables in the security industry, what do we find out? what did we learn? Is this testing not the criteria of IPVM itself?
The english construct of words can inhibit a stalemate logic within an internet thread forever. Let's bypass that and get onto USE case based results rather than prove your numbers or so and so says this or that.
You have the engineering staff and facility, let's get to work and exercise those minds for an IPVM view rather than all the one-offs in this thread.
I think BluB0x has given up enough keys for IPVM to test and give us users of the forum their engineered manifesto.
I agree. In fact we should compare BluB0X to all the major security platforms. I think an unbiased matrix of every aspect of a security platform and have IPVM publish the results. We will all know where we stand and what we need to improve.
OK, I think you are probably not deeply involved in the fundraising, which is understandable, what you are posting does not make sense or reflect how fundraising and valuations are handled.
the number you are quoting weee from a business plan 5 yrs ago.
It said it was updated January of 2017. Just over 3 years ago at this point. Though your new document does not show 2017 revenue, your 2018 revenue was less than half your 2017 projection on that document (eg: the projection for the same year the document was published), and 1/10th the original 2018 projection.
Yes, raising money to scale a team would help, but if the product is as great as you say it is, and as easy to sell and support, I would have expected higher revenue up to this point.
We are very happy with our progress up to this point. We are doubling our revenue and recurring revenue every year and will continue to do so. 80% of all startups fail so clearly what we have accomplished is amazing statistically. In addition and just like in the case of Tesla, when people analyzing a company focus only on the financial aspect they miss the much bigger picture which in this case is the change to Cloud and Mobile and who is in the best position to take advantage of that change. We believe we are one of those companies. That’s what the ad was about.
The value at which a company raises money it is not the same value at which a company sells itself for. If you do not agree with that or understand why I don't think there is much more we can add. I am happy to agree to disagree. Plus the IPVM post was not so much about fund raising and valuation. We were just trying to be responsive to the questions being asked.
I have seen BluBox and think they have a good product but this ad does turn me off. I guess I'm old school, I believe in selling on the merits of your product or system, not by bashing your competition.
Description:Illustration of the K/T Event at the end of the Cretaceous Period. A ten-kilometre-wide asteroid or comet is entering the Earth's atmosphere as dinosaurs, including T. rex, look on. By Roger Harris
While I am not familiar with BluBox, I do work with a good deal of Lenel/S2 as well as up and coming companies like Feenics and Open Path. The landscape is certainly changing as Security falls increasingly more under the IT umbrella. Cloud solutions were a very tough sell,(conceptually) 5 years ago but are now much easier with DoD and other giants utilizing cloud solutions.
The thing I find to be the best fit with a solution like Feenics is the Mercury based component as it eases some of the pain associated with a large-scale migration. My view is that Legacy systems like Lenel, Software House, AMAG, etc. will either be force to embrace this change or lose market share. The question with these giants is, "Can they make the changes needed fast enough to stay relevant?"
have yet to actually know of a department where it has happened.
It's certainly happening, who do you think is buying Verkada? ;)
To be clear, I think it's far more mixed and limited that the 'thought leaders' have been touting for decades now but IT managing security is increasing and real for a certain non-trivial percentage of physical security systems.
I actually have. In my previous company we put a Cloud based solution, Onefacility, at Hovensa Oil refinery in 2009 complete w the TWIC card. We competed against the major client server solutions and won because our solution was better and more integrated. The DOD just awarded Microsoft a 10B contract to move their stuff to the Azure Cloud. Do you really think Nuclear and Critical infrastructure aren’t going there too? The only thing holding them back are integrators that can explain the benefits of a Cloud solution over Client server architecture and address all the security concerns. We do this for the largest companies in the world on a regular basis.
They end of life Onefacility last year leaving lots of customers in a bad place. They rewrote visitor management and took a core component called CAC that we wrote for Bank of America. Overly complicated for most of the security market which are looking for simpler not harder. They are coming out with a new controller that is “open” to compete with the Mercury story. It is a long way away from BluBOX capabilities but I am very happy they are trying to make the transition 12 years after they bought my last company. We need more manufacturers moving their products to the Cloud. It will accelerate the adoption.
Do you really think Nuclear and Critical infrastructure aren’t going there too?
Yes. Because I sell to them regularly, and they make it clear they cannot utilize cloud security platforms due to concerns around cyber security.
The only thing holding them back are integrators that can explain the benefits of a Cloud solution over Client server architecture and address all the security concerns.
Cloud solutions have been around for a while now. If this statement is true, maybe the benefits of cloud are not as obvious and compelling as you seem to think? Sure, some integrators may never get it, but if lack of educated integrators is the "only thing" holding it back at this point, it is not the integrators fault.
With all due respect, it’s not as simple as “it’s the integrator.” There’s a shared responsibility amongst a lot of players. Yes there are a lot of “old guy security” integrators but the manufacturers have done a terrible job making changes, investing in main stream marketing, messaging and end user demand creation.
Do as you will but finger pointing at the integrators as the single point of failure is lazy and isn’t going to age well.
There are four parts to this story Four contributors
1. Manufacturers- they have done a terrible job innovating and moving to the Cloud And mobile while the world has gone there 10 years ago. If manufacturers don’t provide a modern product then integrators and end users can’t buy it.
2. integrators - integrators have been slow to adopt just like they were slow to transition to IP cameras. Previously there was a lack of Cloud products that could do it all. Now there are so there should be no excuse not to educate themselves and their clients
3. consultants - consultant have been slow to adopt Cloud but are finally more comfortable with the technology as they have learned more and clients are asking for it. This was one of the key takeaways at this years Mercury Technology event.
4. end Users - they get educated by integrators, manufacturers and consultants. If the majority of manufacturers don’t have a Robust Cloud product, and integrators are not educated and pushing Cloud and consultants are just coming out of the gate on Cloud then end users aren’t getting pointed in the right direction. Fortunately, end users have used cloud and mobile in every other part of their business so they are demanding it. That is what is pushing transition forward. In a general sense end user demand, a few manufacturers and now some consultants are driving the transition. That’s how we see it.
I can only tell you what I'm seeing out there in the field. Quite honestly, more and more meetings involve IT in the decision making process. Which, hasn't necessarily been a bad thing as they are already quite familiar with Softward Support Agreements, Licensing fees and the SaaS model. Additionally, the ability to shift the cost from a Capital expenditure to an Operational one appears to be gaining traction especially in the Commercial Real Estate Market. Not saying the Security Director role will be phased out but to ignore the shift leaves a lot of money on the table IMO.
I agree with you Ross. I have had clients whose IT Directors fought hard to take over the physical security function, only to quickly give it back once the reality of a Physical Security Manager becomes known. Often all it takes is a few calls from employees complaining about their lunch being stolen from the refrigerator, their car being keyed in the parking lot, or an exterior door that repeatedly fails to latch. As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
My clients don't care whether the solution is in the cloud or in the closet. They want doors to be secure and open when required for a minimum investment and lifecycle cost. They will pay exactly nothing for the "cool" factor of cloud ... at least as long as they listen to me ;)
Notwithstanding, cloud for access control has real potential to save a pile of money. To suggest the the Tycos and Lenel's of the world are not alive to this is simply not true. They are doing the math!
Clients should care and Integrators have a responsibility to educate their clients and themselves. Cyber security alone should be the reason to move to the Cloud and separate the people from the computers, data and network. In addition their are many things that clients want that can only be provided by a Cloud solution. That’s also the bad part in my opinion.
cost effective infrastructure w redundant servers that are 3000 mi apart that perform high availability, backups every 7 min and are as hardened as the pentagon
better cyber security
providing a mobile experience that encompasses 100% of a systems capabilities- mobile apps can’t do that, web-Cloud can
The ability to have a tenant manage their own security database and run reports for their employees within a base building system. This shifts the responsibility and liability to the tenants where it belongs.
visitor and vendor preauthorization from any device, anywhere, anytime
a unified UI/UX across all security applications
employees taking their own selfies for a Photo ID
there are 100 or more things that Cloud can do that client server can’t. This is a fact, not fiction.
My understanding was that as recently as 10 years ago, it was a Lenel site, but I don't know what it is now. As far as AMAG goes, people go between AMAG and Lenel all the time, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is large-scale cross-poaching of customers going on.
BluB0X CEO Patrick Barry sent us an email in response, calling migration from on-premise to cloud easy:
'The only thing I think you have wrong is migrating from on-premises to Cloud. It is 10x easier to migrate from on-premise to the Cloud than migrate from from on-premise to on-premise. And with a lot less disruption.
Our integrators flip entire buildings and facilities in a day or over a weekend because you can prepopulate your hardware and personnel database in the Cloud without disrupting the current system.
The second thing that I think is important is to understand is the ease of converting a Mercury based system to BluB0X. Mercury hardware has about 40%-70% of the market share in the US depending upon who you ask. The majority are on-premise client server systems. We can flip those systems very easily with just a database migration and a controller firmware upgrade. That’s a lot of systems that can easily be migrated to BluB0X.'
My experience migrating from on-prem to on-prem was indeed difficult, but I have not migrated to BluB0X or other cloud systems. The difficulty was not something I'd qualify as an on-prem vs. cloud issue; it was mostly syntax and repopulating data in the right spot.
What is the difference between migrating to a new server as apposed to the cloud? This makes absolutely no sense. When we flip a system we have most everything programmed ahead of time. Sure the cloud is great when you internet connection is working... Then what????
Also I don't see how such a patent can be enforced.
I think Barry is conflating 'ease' with 'smoothness'.
Sure, migration will be smoother/without hiccups/minimized showstoppers when the new system is constructed in parallel/migrated before production and then 'cut over' at H-Hour on D-Day to replace the old system.
All the quirks and tweaks can be done and tested on a not-yet-commissioned system, but the amount of work required is still substantial.
So, I'd agree that the typical BluB0X migration can be 'smooth', but not easier than on-prem to on-prem in terms of complexity.
I agree, I can't see how it's some how easier to migrate to the cloud vs another on premise solution. I mean I guess in this case you don't need another server onsite up and running, but you still have to configure the database and the system to switch over.
Still need the new controller installed, or configured on the cloud database, still need cardholder and schedules ready to go on new cloud system. Etc.
you don’t need to provision a server - time and money
you can completely configure and then expose the entire system to your customer for training and continued data entry - this is very important in every install - in particular in multi-tenant DIY environments
you can configure integrations such as alarm video and visitor before deployment
customers can provide API integration before install
and one and on
if you have never dealt w enterprise Cloud solutions you just don’t understand these real world benefits
you can completely configure and then expose the entire system to your customer for training and continued data entry - this is very important in every install - in particular in multi-tenant DIY environments
As an integrator, I experienced customers considering 'migration' to mean they personally would not be responsible for data (re)entry.
The configuration of the system/handling cardholders is where the bulk of the effort happens. Is that right/wrong/different with a BluB0X system?
I do not understand what stops you to do the same with server client architecture....
Cloud is just about place of resources. I can take all the Master servers, satellite server what ever it is called and place them on the cloud (virtual servers) add great company services and here you are... you can call yourself to be the new advanced form of the life.
Nothing stops those dinosaurs to evolve and offer a smooth and safe transition to next generation of access controls. They have money, customers and experience.
Your right and many have done just that. Lenel’s newest version, 7.6, is their first version fully supported for use in the Cloud. It is still a Client-Server model with both fat client and Web based modules. We have three customers that are running Lenel Servers in AWS with no issues. As the VAR I can’t get to those from my office directly. I have to VPN into the customers network and then access the servers in their AWS cloud.
you don’t need to provision a server - time and money
That's the only difference. And yes it is some amount of time and some money, the rest of what you state is identical to switching from on-premise to another on-premise. I can completely configure and expose them to the whole system before install, only doors won't be live.
I can configure integrations before switch over
So on and so on.
The only difference, as you say, is not needing another server onsite up and running, but I don't see that saving me, the installer, that much time. Switching from one access control provider to another, the most time consuming part is the physical switch over, and the entire configuration of the new system, whether that system resides onsite or on the cloud, still needs to be configured.
If it's a mercury system, maybe it's a little easier, if it's not an exising mercury system, I can't see how BluBox would make my time ten times easier.
I would like to note I am note discrediting BluBox in anyway, I don't know the company, I don't know the software, I am just disputing the claim that switching from on-premise to cloud based in ten times easier than switching from on-premise to another on-premise. I can't see how it's any easier, again, aside from not needing a server onsite. Historically I've never handled that anyway, in the past customers IT departments would have a server ready, and then all I do is set up the software. So it sounds like with BluBox I'd save myself maybe a couple of hours of software installation.
Well said Daniel. Sure the software portion is probably a piece of cake. It's the actual cut over that presents the problems. Bad hardware, bad wiring and more. For the actual technician on site is there the time and aggravation comes in.
Even Mercury controllers do not give big advantages... the configuration of the system, keeping rights, transfer credentials, configure visitor management systems, integrations... this is the load and cost.
Re-using mercury panels for another system ..... brrrrr.
Who would be responsible for the funcionality of the Mercury controllers what if something goes wrong and people die? Ex lenel integrstor? New integrator? Lenel? Mercury?
The next step in access control is mobile, not cloud based servers, onsite controllers and a phone app. Any conceptual IoT device or service should be capable of running a wireless infrastructure by means of BLE, WiFi and Cellular with all these capabilities built right into each and every device.
Example: Why by a hardwired Cisco IP phone solution why our technology should be mobile network and computing. Unplug your office phones, stop using that mechanical typewriter.
There will be those that still want to build network racks for all their network gear to support all their hardwired systems. These are the dinosaurs of today and as smart as they are they are still not thinking outside the BluB0X. Change will happen, that much is guaranteed and those that keep pace will be just fine.
Scenario for all dinosaurs to think about, BluB0x inluded: Imagine each IP camera, each card reader, intercom were cellular enabled and all that was needed was power. Cameras will have local storage with the ability to archive locally via Wifi or remotely over the GSM connection. 5G is just the start for the exponential growth of these types of systems. Less Infrastructure dependency = faster deployment where manufacturers can bypass all the construction trades needed to mount network racks, ground and bond network racks, rack and stack servers, switches, UPS. Install cable, test cables, as-builts, cable raceways, BICSI codes stamped all over the contracts, NFPA, NEC, UL, Commscope 25 year warranties, service warranties, batteries, fire rated back board, hoffman enclosures, mercury panels, 22/6 shielded OSDP omg, and rough in conduits for card readers. Poof! All gone.
The power of the mobile phone in every IoT device imaginable. A network compliant with military regulated end to end encryption right out of the box.
Why take small steps BluB0X, if you want to be Elon Muskish then get on it.
The future is supported in the same manner Apple supports iPhone.
There is no need for techs, engineers, consultants for a security system that has more features that you may not see.
1. Your credential works everywhere, just like a debit card.
2. Camera data with your face id is accessible by you and you can opt to have your imaged obscured once the data is published.
3. All systems converged, natural unification of all technologies. No more pocket closed door vendors, companies or proprietary systems.
4. Technology services as usable as street lights for all. There is no reason wireless technology, on board cameras, mobile computers cannot be built into every aspect of infrastructure. Every bit of data can captured for application use, services, tracking, archiving, statuses, metrics and any other set of data needed can be implemented.
Instead of data centers, cloud, iphones, laptops xboxs and virtual host machines all computing needs to be implemented every man made(America First) device, technology, concept or any other concept that arrives in our conscious.
UD#2 Since you do not see this as a solution, do you have any other suggestions?
I agree with some aspects and take exception to others. I am not a huge believer in black and white all or nothing solutions. When you consider the vertical requirements of all security solutions I think the proposed solution will come up wanting. But for now we need to move the industry from client server to Cloud and that has proven difficult enough for manufacturers and integrators.
This is actually already happening and dinosaurs are already playing a big role there while a fly still has not noticed that :-) thinking how to rule the world with big words and sitting on the meal :-)
My thoughts (same I posted on LinkedIn): Its complicated. It really needs more definition and context. This is also an example of why the access control industry can't get out of its own way. They focus way too much on the technical architecture, that in the grand scheme matters, just not as much as the story being told around the value it creates (our industry pretty much sucks at marketing broadly). In some ways, yes BluB0X Security is correct (eg. cloud architecture vs legacy architecture), but in others I would argue they are as much a dinosaur as the rest (eg. marketing, storytelling, go to market strategy, management team with no diversity, etc). So it really needs context. To be fair, when companies get to the size of say LenelS2 and Honeywell, they have old moats that are hard for them to get out of but they do and have made moves to bring solutions more forward (eg. acquisition of S2). There are new (eg. Openpath Security Inc.) and older companies (eg. Brivo) that are driving the narrative and stand to win.
As far as Verkada, this is an example of access control becoming a feature vs an industry. Far easier to sell as an add on to other services they are already buying vs being a stand alone access control system.
And lastly, the IP conversation only matters if you are willing and able to exercise it. I'd be interested when that happens.
We will have to agree to disagree on the storytelling part. I give the team credit that when BluB0x came out to the market, the security 4.0 story was good. It got peoples attention and was creative. Since then, again IMO, it has gone stale and could use a better value story for the next chapter as the market and consumer have evolved. The client server vs cloud story has been told for 10+ years and its the same drumming sound over and over again. It is not just from BluB0x but the industry. I agree the slow adoption is frustrating and I do also agree that I believe its more to do with legacy mindsets than anything else. What I am stating that a message around having IP and the calling out other companies as being dinosaurs is again...stale. Especially when most of the companies that you called out have either already introduced a cloud system or are in process of doing so. Now we can argue over the definition of cloud, happy to do that, but sticking to the storytelling portion... It is widely accepted that our industry has been very interior focused and able to target the channel, and security departments with product feature, system architecture stories, and technical messages about cloud, etc. What it hasn't done is been able to articulate the value story well for consumers. For another reference, please see the mobile stories happening right now. There have been attempts to broaden the cloud story with a message to CIOs and others within end users but again, its a lot of "my blue Blinky light is much more Blinky than the other company" and "Let me show you my TCO calculator." I've read over your publicly available knowledge base BluINFO. A lot of info but lets be real, the usability is pretty tough so if you can point me to any specific information that would benefit me or broaden my education of the industry, cloud, BluB0x, etc, I am all ears.
I'll also recognize...I appreciate your willingness to engage. Not enough people do.
LenelS2 is supposed to be releasing their cloud version at ISC West this year. I am excited to see what they have to offer and how much they will charge. I have heard some figures but will wait to see when actually released. Regardless LenelS2 needs to figure out their pricing structure. Once you get to ADV or PRO versions the client prices sky rocket which to me are absolutely absurd IMO.
If you are still talking about ADV and PRO versions you have already missed the boat. Cloud is about democratizing security functionality. Enterprise for all no matter how big or small the system. All functions are available to everyone. It is usage based, on demand and pay for what you use. It is a nonlinear pricing Model that is just right for small, medium and large. That’s the difference between BluB0X and everyone else. We already know all this stuff. We’ve been doing it for 20 years.
Boy this type of marketing hype irks me. Physical security managers are a conservative risk-adverse people. Maybe it's young IT managers that would buy into this hype. Let me just say that my cat uses a BluB0x.
Wrong. When presented with the facts and functions of systems security managers 9 out of 10 times will choose a Cloud solution that offers what BluBOX does. The real issue is the customers are not presented the options because many integrators haven’t gone through the education process. They sell what they know and everyone in the industry know that.
I was going to possibly visit the BluBOX booth at ISC but now I really think NOT. This has turned into a really bad used car sales pitch. In my experience the more you try to defend and talk about your product the more I wonder how good your product is.
I fully understand cloud is here and the way to go when available but sometimes the cloud will not work as there is no way to get the cloud to the site.
"In other cases, like Genetec's Cloud Link, full access management and operation is available in the cloud, but only after a ~$1,000 local appliance is added."
Genetec's cloud offering is not for enterprise clients. While I could give you a long list of reasons, I leave you one:
They will not allow you to have operator history for more than 6 months. Meaning, if you need to see who gave an access level to someone or turned off a badge 7 months ago, you are out of luck on their "cloud". I have audit requirements and this is not running at a gas station.
I just ripped out their cloud. I do like Genetec, but this is a disappointment for sure.
As someone has previously stated, 'cloud' is just a buzzword that means someone elses computer. Our truly enterprise clients have their own virtual infrastructure which we like to call 'private cloud'.
I personally see no benefit in allowing someone else to host my data when I have access to private data centres and virtual environments. In fact, many enterprise clients insist on hosting their own servers due to GDPR requirements and a general dislike of external companies hosting corporate information.
Whilst mobile features have their place, we do not see a lot of demand for mobile clients or management. In large organisations the security manager does not want to be bothered out of hours, and usually have a security team with fat clients to handle operations.
Overall, the likes of SWH, Lenel and Genetec are not lagging due to their system architecture, rather their core features and in some cases clumsy UI.
Agree for those clients that are enterprise (a segment) and have the expertise (or hire it) to do so. That said some do not nor want to nor have the talent (or desire to pay for it) so having different offerings for different segments, makes sense. It’s actually a benefit to SaaS where you pay for what you eat.
Amen on the clumsy UI. Huge opportunity for companies to differentiate that spend a little time in the customer UI.
Cloud is NOT a buzz word and part of the challenge our industry has is that people treat it as a buzz word and misuse it ALL the time. It has a very specific definition with very specific benefits over client server architecture.
Mobile or Mobile Apps does NOT mean Cloud
Hosting a server of XYZ brand in the Cloud is NOT Cloud
Hosting a server for a customer is NOT Cloud
Providing Managed Services is NOT Cloud
Here is the NIST Definition of Cloud Computing:
Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
There is also a big difference between Public Cloud and Private Cloud.
I agree that some enterprise customers want to provide their own private Cloud. If that's what they want then they should. This is a very small portion of the market from our 20 years experience of providing Cloud solutions to enterprise customers. GDRP compliance can easily be achieved in either a public or private environments. The more challenging problem is an outbound multinational organization with multiple country-based data requirements.
In addition, there is a common misconception that hosting data is a driving decision. It is not from a cost perspective. Hosting infrastructure should only account for only 15% of the cost of a Cloud solution. The BIG part of the cost is in the software and services required to provide a real time enterprise class solution. That part is very difficult to duplicate in private environments. The other thing that is difficult is software upgrades. When you go the route of private Cloud you wind up branching your code instead of maintaining one supportable version for everyone. This turns out to be a support nightmare over time.
Mobile is a key differentiator, especially in enterprise environments. When you want your users to take their own selfies for a badge, preauthorize their visitors, use a virtual credential, use a virtual intercom or collaborate and see what everyone else sees in a multinational environment.
Cloud architecture lets you do things that are not possible in a client server environment. So IT IS about the architecture. It is also about the interface as teh Integrator points out. Creating a responsive UI/UX that allows you to run on any device, anywhere, anytime is very important. The current Client Server UIs do not support touch, mobile devices nor are they responsive.
I maintain that MOST customers, if properly shown what is available for Cloud solutions, would choose Cloud over Client Server almost every time. The problem is that customers are not shown and Integrators don't know what is available.
The problem is that customers are not shown and Integrators don't know what is available.
Patrick, we (including me and a lot of your competitors and our peers) need to take responsibilities that we are doing a horrible job storytelling. It is the same message, to the same people, in the same vehicles with the same results. We invest next to nothing (time and money) in marketing and marketing talent.
Here is a great article on storytelling that I think is relevant to the discussion:
I think storytelling is part of it. It is a technique that works and people can relate to it. It should be woven into everything we do and try to explain.
But our industry also lacks pure education and companies like IPVM and the trade magazines should be part of the solution. There is a lot of misinformation out there. You don't have to go further than this post to see it.
It is also not just one group that is the problem. It is all groups; manufacturers, integrators, consultants and media. We need better products, more knowledgeable integrators and consultants and more relevant content and analysis in the media.
BluB0X could do a much better job and we are working on that. As far as I know we are the only manufacture that makes publicly available all its information and content through our knowledge base BluINFO. My goal is to be as transparent and educating as possible. I do agree with your comment though. BluINFO is daunting. We are working on streamlining it and making it more user friendly and easier to navigate. But I think we have the right idea of sharing content with everyone, even our competitors.
Maybe not “no idea” but seems like they might be looking at this thru a narrow lens. Feel like some of the responses minimize what integrators face directly. Cutovers taking a day for a whole building seems like a salesperson’s take on what could happen and not what is actually practical, assuming were talking about something more than 10 doors.
We have been involved in thousands of on-prem to Cloud system cut overs in our careers as integrators and manufacturers. It's NOT a salesperson's pitch. That is just a cop out for not understanding the details of how and why something works. It is just a different way of cutting over a system that is enabled by Cloud architecture. As an example, it is a weekly occurrence that our partners convert a large Class A Commercial Office building with 5,000 people and photos, 35 companies all with different card formats, access levels and permissions, 50 - 100 Card Readers, 100 alarms, 75 Cameras, an integrated Destination Dispatch Elevator System, Visitor Management integrated with Access Control, Vendor Management integrated with Relay Elevator control and Power Management. All the tenants are trained the week before on the new system because they are the new administrators of the system, not the building office. Tenant facility managers have an opportunity to clean up their portion of the converted database usually over a week period. Every person in the building (all 5,000) receive a log in, password and instructions to preauthorize their visitors and vendors. The tenant facility managers, property management team and the security officers are trained on the actual system BEFORE cut over. On Friday the cutover begins. Between Friday and Saturday all the equipment is replaced or the Mercury Controllers are converted. Sunday is for testing and dealing with database issues, wiring issue, network issues etc. Monday is go live. All this done over a weekend with minimal disruption. I submit to you that what I just described CAN NOT be done and IS NOT done by any other manufacturer.
Paying employees with equity......hmm. Also known as cheap labor when valuation is way off the mark. Everyone can say 'we raised money at that value'. I think it's the same money raise as was attempted 4 years ago. Good technology, likely. A little bit of a questionable opportunity...yes. Look at people turnover near the top who was there 3-4 years ago and gone now. Equity doesn't pay the bills.
In my last company Touchcom we gave 20% of the company's stock to employees in the form of stock options. No one exercised their options because they never thought the company would be sold. Then G4S bought us for $56M. All the employees paid ordinary income tax and half their hard earned money went to the government.
At BluB0X I wanted to provide the opportunity for entrepreneurship for those that wanted it and had the stomach for it with less tax implications. This time around I allocated 66% of the company stock (not stock options) to employees. The stock granted was based upon your pay rate, hours worked and the percentage of salary taken as stock vs cash compensation. Each year the value of the company was increased such that the number of shares you received per hour worked reduced over time. There was a 4 year vesting period with a stock claw back if you left early. You could also contribute cash to the company to buy stock at the current valuation. As the company's revenue grew so did your salary.
Building a company from scratch is one of the hardest and most rewarding things anyone can do with their time on this earth. You work and average of 16 hour days, 7 days a week for 6 years straight to bring a company like BluB0X to life and begin to thrive. It is certainly not a journey meant for everyone or the faint of heart or conviction. I can tell you every B0XER personally sacrificed a lot to build BluB0X and I am grateful for their commitment. They deserve every accolade you can bestow upon them.
As for the few people that have left BluB0X, people come and go in every company. For those that have left, they retained a good portion of their equity and didn't have to do the hard work or complete the journey. I certainly wouldn't feel bad for them or make any judgement about them or the company. Things turn out the way they do usually for good reasons and I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with equity.
There was a 4 year vesting period with a stock claw back if you left early.
I'm surprised this is even legal. Someone decides to take a risk, and help you offset costs, by taking stock instead of pay, and if they leave you "claw it back"? Do ex-employees have to pay back cash wages as well?
You could also contribute cash to the company to buy stock at the current valuation.
Are there exercise or sale limitations when an employee decides to pursue this investment?
Come on...it's not shady. IMO, It is far more better opportunity than most companies give their employees. It is far more fair than most companies give their employees. And lastly, it is far more transparent to the employees most companies. Again, my opinion.
It is also an option. For some it works. For others it doesn't. But trying to throw shade at Patrick and his leadership team for doing something new (not really new but sounds like it is to some) and progressive, is also lazy, weak, and another example of a bad flex. Especially when you do it as undisclosed.
I agree it is not for everyone. I do not agree at all that it is a "far more better opportunity than most companies give their employees", as you stated. I think for the most part it is a worse opportunity, particularly when you look at the Bluebox financials.
The claw back only applies to shares not earned and not vested. IE you didn't earn them. Stock is granted up front before you did the work in anticipation of fulfilling the work. Ex-employees do not have to pay back cash wages because they were earned.
Everyone signs a shareholder agreement at the time they join and/or invests that contains their rights as a shareholder.
For all of the BluB0X bashing here, I will say the following:
The ad did its job. Here we are, in a thread 100-comments long, talking about it. Clearly it has our attention (even if 30 of those comments are from JT herself).
The management team there is very good. Patrick is quite capable, if even if I find myself counting the number of times he says "Security 4.0" every time I hear him speak. Sean is first-rate, and Simon is one of the brightest engineering minds in the industry. They seem to have some good ideas (not counting the Person Reader), and the management heft to execute them.
If I have any real concerns with them, is that they seem to be very top-heavy with senior guys that can't possibly work for equity forever, and who will be woefully diluted when significant external investment comes in. Also, such a small headcount, I find myself wondering who is doing the actual work? The sales and marketing folks seem to be enthusiastic, but at times sound borderline zealot.
I would think that close to a decade in, they would be further along than they are. While I don't think they will fail, my prediction is that they will be acquired within 2 years by an incumbent player that is also a Mercury partner, like Honeywell or LenelS2, or perhaps private equity like ACRE.
The ad did its job. Here we are, in a thread 100-comments long, talking about it
Agreed. It is polarizing and they are going to turn off some but from their position as a resource-constrained, relatively unknown company, this gets people thinking about them which is a net good thing.
I really don't know what all the hubbub is about the Security 4.0 message. It's a good message. It's the right message. It's a simple message that EVERYONE can relate to. But I agree that it is time to talk about the next chapter. Stay tuned...
In a startup everyone wears many hats. I don't see where we are top heavy. We are a very flat organization and we work as a team to get the heavy lifting done. The time for working for equity is in our past. Everyone is well compensated and secure in their jobs. BluB0X is very profitable every month and we are taking our profits and reinvesting them in our people, product and service for our customers.
In terms of headcount, we are 27, and it is the right number for where we are today. In a growing company you are usually resource constrained but clearly the work is getting done or we wouldn't be doubling our one time and recurring revenue and profits year over year.
In terms of Sales and Marketing I would like to see us be MORE bold with even MORE conviction. I think it is what is required when trying to change the hearts and minds of an industry.
For the record, BluB0X is only 6 years old. The first three years we spent developing our products to bring them to market. We started getting traction with integrators, consultants and end users over the past three years. It takes time, especially in our conservative industry, to establish credibility with your product and organization. Did we make mistakes? YES. Could we have gone faster if we didn't make those mistakes? YES. But trust me when I tell you that we are accelerating quickly now.
Sorry to disappoint but I really don't see an acquisition by any of those companies, or any other, over the next two years.
so most large scale companies, global and national level, were recently peddled over the past couple years that you don't need to staff IT personnel on site any more, just out source to a IT company in India and you can host most if not all of your computer services ( email, data storage, process control, network management, Etc) on the cloud though AWS or what not.
now they were promised that other than process of the change over they will save so much money and time by outsourcing all of the IT related services and personnel. that first year is fun a huge relearning process no more when there was an emergency you just called Bob in IT and he got right on it till it was fixed. But that was inefficient I mean poor Bob had an office somewhere on the grounds and he had to stop what ever important thing he was working on just to go and solve that problem, leaving more and more issues to pop up, and did mention how much it cost to train him so he can keep up with all the shinny new IT stuff the directors want. Man, we also had to pay that guy benefits too, that stuff is expensive do you know. So we gave him a nice severance package and sent him on his way. Now we have great ticketing system that everyone has to use, I am on day 5 of waiting for my AD login but I am sure today will be the day. also for some reason I cant connect to the back up drives in the cloud, the service tech is convinced that its a patch cable not a network issue I just wish he would find the right patch cable so I can back up all this important TPS reports.
also we now have to print out a years worth of reports and store them as we only have a one years worth of space on the cloud, and since we got rid of Bob and all those servers in his office he complained we needed a room for we cant save the data on site any more, goo thing Bobs office is empty we can store all those papers in there now. We just need a few more offices so we can comply with regs and have 5yrs of records for the feds..
after a year and a half of the Buzzword lies of outsourcing everything to the cloud, and service to 3rd world contractors, out of the ten global national customers I deal with 8 have went back to having in house services and servers for critical IT services.
I see this fairing about the same, a lot of brain dead CEO's director's who got their solely due to nepotism will hear "savings" and "Cloud" and start making plans to move to this system from my story for security and get burned in that same way.
With the exception of the licensing which is clearly lucrative regardless of manufacturer, I don't see any benefit from not having a server on site for security access control, especially video as the bandwidth alone would nuke internet connections, with the only exception is intrusion and that is only due to the nature of it.
oh and Bob Didn't come back so they refigure out how to make it all work again.
Yeah but that message and marketing are industry only uncontested lay ups that don't matter in the grand scheme. Its like my soap box of prox not being secure. Everyone knows it. No one cares. It is lazy marketing and an example of why adoption can't break free and go mainstream. At best, BluB0x, on its current path of inside marketing tactics that are (1) Cloud vs client server (2) Old steel is bad. "New'ish" cloud companies are good. (3) The traditional channel is the problem, we've done it all right, so lets scorch earth the channel (4) if it worked for Elan, it must work for us - is a $25M to $50M acquisition target if one at all. All the opportunity in the world right in front of them but predictable patterns of growth frustration tactics that waste energy.
And, in my opinion, just because it is being talked about doesn't mean "it worked."
On the point of Prox not being secure and industry messaging, we see and hear many companies upgrading their security system solely based upon knowing they need to move to a more secure credential technology. To whatever extent you played a part in that I think the message was delivered and is being acted upon.
Similarly, I think there is a lot more to BluB0X than meets the eye but time will tell how it all plays out.
"predictable patterns of growth frustration tactics" - I got a kick out of this - sounds like I am lying on a couch and your are a psychiatrist:)
I am not sure if it worked either but I don't think the conversation hurt. I can tell you that over the past week or so since our social media post and the IPVM post, a tremendous number of new integrators signed up to become BluB0X partners and many of them came to us with enterprise customers looking to move to the Cloud.
I have no doubt BluB0X has a lot more to it and I don't disagree with most of what you and the team are doing and are posting. My message gets lost in the noise but what I was trying to point out is that I think its just old and boring at this point to message "client server vs cloud" and "industry is dinosaurs" and "dealers are the problem." Especially as the message, for example just in these posts alone, go from cloud only to hybrid etc. It is not consistent and comes off as aggressive ("you either agree with us or you are dumb or extinct, like a Dinosaur"). Regardless if all of that is true (to a point most of it is IMO) but at some point the company saying it starts to look like they have a low level of self awareness and instead of wasting the calories on throwing what looks like a tantrum or bad flexes, make some changes to be the change you want. For instance, hire and prioritize marketing talent (internal or external - start small - here is an example: reach out to Bert Hart AlbertHart – A very very very small collection of my awesome work.. He can help).
Happy to meet at ISC West to talk more. I appreciate you spending the time to engage, I am happy to see you use this as an opportunity to tell your story and get your message across. It started rough but got there :)
Thanks Lee. Happy to meet up at ISC and talk more. We know we can do much better at telling our story and marketing. We certainly have our ideas and conviction but could use more help in the areas of bandwidth and execution.
Isn't Feenics and Brivo blowing it out with cloud access? No doubt it's the way to go for ease of upgrades, central data for multiple sites, etc.. No question there.
They need someone to throw a bunch of money out there at it like Eagle Eye did to 'make' the market. It doesn't matter if Eagle Eye has on premise equipment and isn't straight to cloud.....nobody cares because they have the $$ to market it well. No different than those selling cloud access but there's still a controller onsite. That kinda defeats the purpose BUT it is what it is. Cloud access to data, or true cloud where there is no device onsite (except the end device) are two different things but the customer can be told they are the same so who cares.
You need local hardware to make robust, fast access and alarm decisions. We have tried using Mercury's virtualized controller in the Cloud and a MR50 locally connected to a reader. It works really well MOST of the time. Less than 50 msec access decision, but I don't think it is something for high frequency access and reliability requirements.
You need a local gateway of some sort to allow for outbound only network port traffic to instantiate communication to the Cloud.
Right now it is best to have a local NVR or appliance for local redundant storage in the event of a internet failure and to aggregate communication to the Cloud. This will become probably just cameras with local SD camera storage at some point. I still think you will have a minimal, non Windows local appliance.
You also need a local appliance for destination dispatch elevators and power management.
BluB0X is awful. We have a multi-tenant deployment across the country and we have nothing but frustration with the system and BluB0X
Bad or Missing Features: The reporting system is inaccurate and awful. There are many features that BluB0X doesn't have that LenelS2, Software House, and the rest do have. They do not have Area Anti-Passback which is crazy. Without this feature the system can't do any type of area counting or man-trap (without an additional PLC.) We asked them if that feature could be added (over a year ago) and they said it would be extremely difficult because they would have to change the design of their product at a fundamental core level.
Upgrade Problems: Another major problem that BluB0X has is that because they control everything in the cloud, every customer is affect by every upgrade. The end customer has no say on when that upgrade happens. If something ends up breaking, it can effect every customer. They obviously will get it fixed as fast as possible but for large Corporate 100 customers that span the globe and have change controls with both local and global Security Operation Centers, that level of overbearing upgrading is worse that Microsoft's Windows Updates. I have personally mention this to a few of our larger customers who are in the Corporate 100 and they just shake their heads. There is no way that these types of customer will ever go to this model until BluB0X allows the end user to schedule their updates independent of other customers so it can be done on their timetable not BluB0X's.
Licensing Fiasco: On top of all this is their licensing which is horrible. They license for every reader AND every cardholder. And their billing is erratic. One month you will get a bill for X amount and then next it will go up 33% even though you haven't added any readers or cardholders to that customers system. It is extremely difficult to determine where the increase came from and why it happened. It is almost as if BluB0X intentionally makes their licensing and billing confusing so they can suck more money out of you every month. In one case we discovered that when using their intercom they billed us for every intercom press because it used bandwidth that hit their cloud. It is very difficult to maintain a consistent budget.
If BluB0X was purpose built for the enterprise then they really missed the mark on features and the update functionalities that I mention above.
Since the updates are both feature and function based, when they move a button or change how to modify or add something to another page or tab it can lead to confusion for the end users. In standard on-premises software deployment you can have a development environment, understand the changes that will happen in an upgrade, test them yourself, and then create training documentation to be used in training ahead of time. With BluB0X upgrades there is no warning of what is going to be changed and therefore you can very quickly be blindsided by tons of end user questions when upgrades take place. Image 30 site administrators all calling you because the place they used to go to "do this or that" has changed. You then have to figure out yourself the new method but then have to communicate that to 30 site administrators...and as you know, those things happen on days when your already have a full plate of your normal job responsibilities.
The move to the cloud with BluB0X was definitely not fully vetted by my company to the extent that it should have been. It was the shiny object and BluB0X was saying all the right things. When we, as the VAR, deployed it to a customer site and really started getting into the nuts-and-bolt we discovered many functionality issues and deficiencies. We are currently considering move away from BluB0X to a different cloud based solution or even possible an client-server based solution that can be put in AWS or Azure.
It was the shiny object and BluB0X was saying all the right things. When we, as the VAR, deployed it to a customer site and really started getting into the nuts-and-bolt we discovered many functionality issues and deficiencies.
yeah this is the story of my career except I am the guy standing there with all the parts be told to "make it work some how"
yet during the sale pitch "I am just being pessimistic" or "not being open to giving it a chance" when I asked certain questions or point out problems that may arise......
Thanks UM8 - Surprised they are using Mercury Panels because Jessica Trejowrote this earlier in this thread:
The answer can’t be because that’s what everyone else is doing. It’s legacy. It’s 40 year old technology with tremendous limitations. Here’s one: Mercury has a leap year bug. All the LP controllers need to be updated with new firmware.
So unless Blub0x is writing patches for Mercury Firmware, wouldn't they be in same boat waiting for Mercury to push the patch to them same as all the Dinosaurs she's disparaging?
If that's their value proposition, I'm having a hard time understanding it....
Or maybe it's really just a veiled cheap shot at the VARs or SIs?
UM15, I don't think it was a cheap shot. I think it was an unintentional error by a non-technical salesperson trying to make a technical point.
Many Sales/Marketing people in this industry know their buzzwords: Cloud = Good! Legacy = Bad! Client/Server = Bad! Mercury LP Leap Year Bug = Concern of the Moment! They are very good about "telling a story", and their audience (the people making the purchasing decision) are seldom very technical either. If a sales pitch is at risk for going technical, often an engineer is assigned to accompany the salesperson to the pitch. (This is often called "Sales Prevention".)
In any case, regarding the firmware update, it was a poor choice to use it as an example of a "cloud" value prop, as nearly any PACS can push a firmware update regardless if it's on-prem vs cloud. I think was a failure of preparing the marketing "story", and not nefarious.
Thanks Mike. This is one of the key points. Having to use your precious technical resources and roll trucks in some cases to patch this issue is a very painful and expensive solution to the problem. It also doesn't scale well. The more customers you get using the legacy on-premise client-server, the more difficult it becomes to support until it collapses on itself and you develop a reputation of poor support. Most customers and consultants will tell you that the biggest complaint they have is poor support. The architecture is part of the reason why.
The comment about legacy and dinosaur is primarily focused at on-premise client-server architecture vs Cloud architecture. Not Mercury panels. We believe that unless manufacturers and integrators adopt the new Cloud architecture and rewrite their platforms and business model for it, they will go the way of the dinosaur. And beyond just Cloud. it is really the combination of Cloud+Mobile+Biometric+Open+Unified+Smart+VaaS+Wireless+SIP. These are the core technologies that a platform should be built around. these are the core technologies that manufacturers, integrators, consultants should be promoting to customers.
The comment about Mercury panels and specifically our Cloud platform is that due to our architecture we have a much easier time dealing with the Leap Year bug than on-premise client-server architecture because we are connected to all Mercury controllers fro ma single Cloud instance from which we can update firmware in parallel with the click of a button. We were trying to demonstrate a real world painful event that is made much more manageable with a Cloud architecture. Something everyone that uses Mercury hardware can relate to.
We use industry standard open hardware; HID, Mercury, ASSA ABLOY, Allegion(Schlage), Life Safety Power, Milestone, Salient, Exacq, Avigilon.
We have an Open API published on the Web.
BluB0X designed, built and patented the Person Reader. All the software is 100% our own technology. It is proprietary at this point but our intentions are to make it available to the entire industry in the future. It uses Intel's Real Sense 3D multi-spectral camera and microphone. It also contain's HID's Multi-tech SeoS OEM Reader plus our own Bluetooth reader. You can read more about it on BluINFO if you are interested. We believe it represents the next generation intelligent reader. We need to iterate the software and design a few more times, get the volume up and the cost down to make that happen.
I was actually impressed with the Person Reader, I just thought it was a bit of a distraction given BluB0X's size and stage in development. I thought, is Patrick trying to be the next Hugo now, or Frank, or Rudy? I think that BluB0X will be successful as either a PACS provider or a reader manufacturer, just not as both.
In regards to patents in this industry, I worry when people mention those too much. IMHO, They tend to be issued too freely by law school dropouts in Crystal City, who don't know how to use Google to find prior art. For example, Lenel has a patent on transferring badge information between multiple sites! I can search up 5 cases of prior art in under a minute.
Also, unless one is prepared to defend a patent, what's the point? ISONAS has long held a patent on a "reader that was also a controller". HID's EDGE device is a clear violation of this, yet they ignored it for a decade. It wasn't until the Allegion purchase that it mattered, because of the now much deeper pockets to pay for legal challenges, but now the 17 years of protection is almost up anyway.
Anyway, I'm not here to stir the pot. Overall I'm impressed with BluB0X and I wish it success.
I am actually relieved that no one took your lunch money. I would feel terrible:)
Your are not the first person to tell us that they think the Person Reader is a distraction. And by most measures you are probably correct. But one of our objectives is to try to move the industry forward in a direction we think it should go. We saw a need and filled a need. We hope customers and the industry will benefit from our efforts and ideas and the only way to make it happen is to get out there and do it.
I hear you on the patent stuff. I encourage you to read them both; Person Reader and BluSKY. We think (and so does the patent office of dropouts:) - I laughed) they represent core technology and product advancements. You may be right about deep pockets and enforcement. WE think they add tremendous value and credibility to what we have invented that can manifest itself in many ways. We believe it is a high barrier to entry fro what we have created.
And lastly, thank you for your approach to providing feedback, keeping an open mind and communicating with a kind heart. We need more of that in this world.
This would be the risk I see with moving to cloud for the larger customers. Once they invest into the concept and deploy, they're to some extent stuck with that vendor for the life cycle of the system. If the client/vendor relationship is ever jeopardized, it is the client that is exposed to the risk. How much of the data does the client actually own? What is the process for moving from one cloud provider to another? How many "other providers" are actually out there.
The greatest benefit I see with cloud is with instantaneous scalability. Being able to spin up another server or additional storage to meet customer SLA's. Having some automated auto-grow type of plan (video storage). While not as instant, virtualized environments offer this benefit and give the customer more control. It would also be good for small to medium deployments where servers may not be practical.
The benefit the "dinosaurs" bring to the table is the years of practical customer experience and being able to deliver features based on this level of exposure. However, many had the same mindset with Pelco as IP cameras took over the video market. They are already well integrated with other systems and third-party hardware / products.
The larger integrators also want more control over the whole process. Many of these systems do not give the integrator the level of control they would typically want to have with the system management and deployments for their clients.
I'm sure the lethargic response to cloud offerings is that folks want to see how it plays out. The benefits are not so extraordinary that it is compelling to be an early adopter. We want to see others get through the "growing pains" of a new architecture and see more maturity before we expose our customers to uncertain risks.
Strongly Agree with your points Mike Ridgley - and you also alluded to this:
Enterprise customers don't use Access Control in a vacuum. Without plug ins or integrations with 3rd party video systems & intrusion panels all you have is a silo'd system that just does a single function.
Good luck getting those to work in their startup cloud
This may be true of very recent Cloud startups. They are still coming up the development curve. However this is not the case for more mature Cloud companies such as BluB0X, Brivo and Feenics. If your company has been around for 40 years you probably have developed a few features that the newer guys don't have but the newer guys have many things that the legacy on-premise client-server systems will never have. that's the thing people should be focused on. Features are much more easily matched then architecture. Cloud based companies can also evolve their offerings much faster than legacy architecture. All customers get upgraded to the best they have to offer at a higher frequency. Their are no software distribution headwinds in Cloud architecture. So more customer get better and better software more often. In general, this is NOT the case with legacy on-premise systems.
I think it is a misconception that if you move to Cloud you are stuck with the Cloud vendor. By contrast, if you are an integrator and you are promoting and installing proprietary hardware, the customer is a lot more stuck than with a Cloud provider. They are married to that manufacturer, their software and the integrators in the area that support it.
Our view of the world is that of Open Cloud. Open hardware, open software and the ability to take everything and move it to another manufacturer/service provider at any time with 30 days written notice. The data is owned by the customer. We are a utility company offering the infrasturcture, software, upgrades and support to facility your security needs. Any good Cloud provider operates this way. And I would not recommend using any that don't. And we certainly wouldn't recommend using a manufacturer that uses proprietary hardware. It is just another way a manufacturer tries to lock you in to them. Its a bad business decision, especially for a large purchase. At the end of the day, we need to be the customers best choice. If we are not, they should be able to move easily to the better choice. No strings attached.
There are many benefits of our hybrid Cloud over legacy on premise client-server. Certainly infrastructure and scalability that you mentioned are two of them. By our count there are at least 30 major benefits for which client server can't compete with hybrid cloud in any practical way. And there are very few, if any the other way around. This is the area where integrators really need to educate themselves about what is available and what the benefits are. WE provide all the benefits and explanation in our open knowledge base, BluINFO. And then of course you have to actually try it and use it to truly understand it; the sales, installation, support and financial benefits. No persons knowledge can go beyond their experience - John Locke
As far as dinosaurs go, many may consider me a dinosaur. I know certainly my kids do. I've been in the security industry since 1994. I've built three integration and manufacturing businesses. And there is no question that the future is built on someone else's past. The nature of technology is to aggregate its past successes and continuously evolve. The next generation only evolves if it can do it better, cheaper, faster, smaller than the previous generation. that's where the dinosaurs come in. They are the bar by which everything is measured.
As far as experience goes, it would be a mistake to think that Cloud is new and for small or mid size deployments. The concept actually dates back to mainframes and the beginning of computers. The team at BluB0X in an earlier company Touchcom (later acquired by G4S) built the first enterprise Cloud solution back in 1999. Our team has 20+ years experience selling, installing, and supporting enterprise class Cloud solutions for some of the largest security deployments in the world across the commercial, financial, real estate and critical infrastructure verticals.
On the issue of control, I agree with you. We have witnessed this first hand now for the past six years and it is one of the biggest challenges we face with integrators. They have been used to doing things on their own for the most part and have developed a culture of control of their own destiny. The three things integrators "give up" some control with Cloud architecture are:
1. Buying and configuring server infrastructure
2. Software updates
3. Some higher end customer integrations that need to connect directly to the Cloud - Ex: Azure to Azure Active Directory or SSO.
While I understand it is different than what they have done before and that may take a little getting used to like anything new or different, it seems like these tasks are either low value or often not done.
1. Setting up servers and shipping them to site is low value. Plus many integrators claim they use the customers virtual server environment. So there should be no real issue there.
2. Our industry is notorious for not providing software updates because they require technicians, are time consuming and risky. So many customer get stuck with old software that never gets updated until it has to. Same goes for critical security patches, O/S updates, and firmware updates. So the Cloud is providing something that many integrators don't do regularly and is a genuine benefit to the customer.
3. Higher end integrations are a small fraction of what most integrators do regularly. Having the help and benefit of a Cloud provider often extends the capabilities of most integrators, not limits it.
When it comes to adoption I recommend several things:
1. Educate yourself - it is clear from all the posts that there is a lot of misinformation regarding what is available and what the benefits and risks are.
2. Try it - You are not going to truly understand it until you do.
3. Evolve with it - It takes time to educate every part of your team and adapt your company to a new paradigm. The sooner you start the further ahead you will be.
4. Adoption Curve - Everyone lands somewhere on the well know adoption curve. Don't become someone else's lunch. There are countless current examples of large companies and industries fading away quickly because they didn't evolve quickly enough or at all.