A New Low In Embarrassing Security Awards (OSPA)

Author: John Honovich, Published on Aug 03, 2016

The trade show stunts continue, though this one purports to be 'credible' and 'respectable'.

The Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) are spreading across the world. Next stop, next month, is the US version at ASIS.

Inside this note, we analyze the deep problems of these 'best' awards and how ASIS plans to profit from this.

OSPA Worldwide

There are OSPAs being organized in various countries (e.g., Australia, the UK, Germany and just announced Nigeria).

Interestingly and sadly for the US, the US version added a security manufacturer category. Additionally, the US one focuses on selecting the 'best', a much harder task than the non-US versions which have so far selected the simpler 'outstanding' entrant.

OSPA USA

OSPA USA announced finalists in a variety of categories including 'Best Security Manufacturer', 'Best Integrator / Solution Provider', 'Best Customer Service Initiative', etc.

A key differentiator is that no payment is required to enter, which is atypical for most security industry programs. Each entrant is asked to write ~1,000 words which is used to help judges make decisions.

The problem is the breadth of the categories that make judging accurately and fairly impossible.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Manufacturer Best

The category that best exemplifies this is 'Best Security Manufacturer' which is incredibly broad, including the following 5 top choices:

Comparing these companies is senseless. Orion Entrance Control makes turnstiles, American Science and Engineering makes X-Ray inspection systems. Are those companies better or worse than Dahua or Genetec who do completely different things?

[Btw, and Hikvision cannot make the top 5? They have been crushing Dahua and the entire US market for 3 years now and they did not even make top 5?]

For sure, it is great for whomever wins it because they can then market that they are 'best security manufacturer' in the USA. But what does it really prove when the criteria is so vague and the contestants are so broad?

Integrator Best

The integrator category makes only slightly more sense, including 3 large integrators but also 'Integrity Advocate' which bills itself as 'identity verification with one line of code'. Is that better than TycoIS? Maybe you think anything is better than Tyco but comparing the two makes no sense.

Service Best

There are only 3 finalists in this category:

Is Chuck Andrews personally better at customer service than Axis? Did only these 3 make the cut? So Axis is one of the best in the US at customer service but could not beat Orion Entrance Control for one of the 5 top manufacturers?

Award Specificity Required

For awards to have validity, the category being awarded needs to be specific enough for it to be objectively and quantitatively measurable (e.g., 'Best Outdoor Fingerprint Reader' or 'Best WDR Camera Performance' or measuring based on revenue, unit sales of products within a category, etc.).

Unfortunately, the OSPA categories are so broad and the choices so fundamentally incomparable, that it serves no real goal outside of marketing for the entrants.

Company Behind This - Perpetuity

The company behind OSPA is Perpetuity Research, a UK organization, that claims to do real research. Minimally, having such deeply flawed awards undercuts their own mission / branding. While many have asked IPVM to launch awards, the fear of undermining our own brand is certainly a major factor in why we have not.

ASIS Makes Money

ASIS makes money off of manufacturers - more than half their revenue and effectively all of their profits through sponsorships and exhibitions.

For the US OSPAs, ASIS posted this sheet looking to generate $50,000+ revenue for companies sponsoring the announcement dinner. This is in addition to ASIS other award program ('Accolades') where they charge each $2,000 for participating and then pick ~10 winners.

The public loses, the organization doing this (Perpetuity) loses but, as always ASIS and the manufacturers will make money off this.

2 reports cite this report:

The 3 Most Outstanding Security Manufacturers (OSPAs) Make No Sense on Sep 08, 2017
The Outstanding Security Manufacturer finalists (US edition) are here: And if you are wondering, "How did those 3 get chosen?" then you are...
Dahua Fakes Being American on Aug 10, 2016
Robbed from the Hikvision playbook, now Dahua takes it turn. Dahua, China's second largest manufacturer, is ramping up its marketing. Dahua...
Comments (5): PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

The 3 Most Outstanding Security Manufacturers (OSPAs) Make No Sense on Sep 08, 2017
The Outstanding Security Manufacturer finalists (US edition) are here: And if you are wondering, "How did those 3 get chosen?" then you are...
UTC / Lenel Joins FLIR Dropping ASIS on Sep 07, 2017
Weeks before a show, vendors are typically gearing up for their booths. But UTC / Lenel / Interlogix is joining FLIR in a last minute dumping of...
FLIR Security Business Struggling on Aug 02, 2017
FLIR's security division is an ambitious mix of FLIR's core thermal business plus multiple acquisitions, including of retail / consumer offering...
ASIS 2017 Cuts Day 3 Exhibits to 3 Hours on Jun 14, 2017
The 3rd day of major trade shows are always the worst attended. And with shows with poor traffic, like ASIS over the past few years, day 3 has...
Chinese 'Attacking Us From Every Direction', Says US FBI on Apr 25, 2017
"Chinese eating our lunch. Attacking us from every direction" said the US FBI's Deputy Director Andrew McCabe at the ASIS 2017 CSO Summit. .@FBI...
Manufacturers Cheer ISC West 2017 Performance on Apr 11, 2017
ISC West 2017 showed strong satisfaction results from manufacturers, similar to 2016's ISC West. 100 manufacturers rated their impressions of ISC...
Top Trade Shows For Security Integrators on Mar 16, 2017
100+ North American security integrators told us what trade shows they attend and why. The most well known shows are ISC West and ASIS but there...
ASIS Misrepresents Show Numbers on Feb 01, 2017
With years of struggling attendance and exhibitors increasingly frustrated, ASIS is gearing up for their 2017 show. Unfortunately, their 2017...
Axis Touts Positive IPVM Coverage and Canon 'Reverse Takeover' on Sep 19, 2016
Axis NA sales leader Larry Newman rallied his troops on the ASIS show floor, touting positive IPVM coverage and bragging about Axis 'reverse...
Weak ASIS 2016 Upsets Manufacturers, ASIS Working On Improvements on Sep 19, 2016
Manufacturer dissatisfaction with ASIS intensified this year. With survey results from 80+ manufacturers, the trend of diminishing returns from...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Avigilon Touting 'Made In America' on Sep 18, 2017
Canadian manufacturer Avigilon, who completed a US manufacturing facility in 2015, is now running a marketing campaign touting 'Made In America',...
Cloud Guy Prints Book, Misses Irony on Sep 15, 2017
On-premise security systems are dead. But $75 print books are alive and well. Such are the lessons from Brivo's CEO new book "The Five...
Forgotten Password Problem Importance on Sep 15, 2017
Forgotten passwords has become a major industry topic. For example, Hikvision has been emailing admin passwords in plain text until IPVM's...
September IP Networking Course on Sep 14, 2017
LAST Chance - Registration is ending. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance professionals...
Hikvision Launching Ezviz Pro on Sep 14, 2017
Hikvision is launching Ezviz Pro. In 2015, Hikvision expanded Ezviz, a direct to consumer offering, to North America. Now, Ezviz 'Pro' is...
Genetec Launches Community Connect Examined on Sep 14, 2017
Genetec has done best in large-scale, enterprise systems and relatively worse in smaller systems such as SMB. Now, Genetec is launching...
Master Keying Tutorial on Sep 14, 2017
Mechanical keys are the most fundamental, albeit unsophisticated, form of access control. Like access control, Master Keying allows large scale use...
Startup Turing Video Segway-Based Security Robot Profile on Sep 13, 2017
If security robots can not replace guards, perhaps the next best thing is a robot the guard can actually ride.  Turing Video has raised $5...
Fail Safe vs. Fail Secure Tutorial on Sep 13, 2017
Few terms carry greater importance in access control than 'fail safe' and 'fail secure'. Access control professionals must know how these concepts...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact