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 (4) : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Dahua Ban Response: NOT Chinese Government Owned on Aug 08, 2018
Dahua has responded to the US Congress passing a US government ban on Dahua and Hikvision's products. While Dahua offered the now standard...
Hikvision Admits Ban To Become Law on Aug 03, 2018
Hikvision has admitted they expect the US government ban to become law as soon as this month. In a new 'Special Bulletin' to dealers, Hikvision...
Hikvision Drops ASIS / GSX, Ex-Dahua ISS CMO Takes Advantage on Aug 02, 2018
The fallout of the Ban Bill has begun and it is hurting the already beleaguered ASIS GSX show next month. Mega-exhibitor Hikvision has now...
US Congress Passes Bill Banning Dahua and Hikvision on Aug 02, 2018
The bill banning US government use of Dahua and Hikvision products has been passed by both chambers of Congress (House vote, Senate vote). The US...
US SAFETY Act Examined Amid Vegas Shooting Lawsuit on Jul 25, 2018
Creating an international controversy, MGM Resorts has sued shooting victims, despite or perhaps because the Las Vegas gunman used the MGM-owned...
$25 Million US COPS SVPP School Security Funding Examined on Jul 24, 2018
The US Congress has authorized the School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP) to fund various security measures and training to mitigate active...
AI Startup Anyvision Raises $28 Million Led By Bosch on Jul 20, 2018
Anyvision is the most ambitious heavy-spending video surveillance startup in many years. And, now, the startup has raised $28 million led by...
IFSEC Competitor The Security Event Launches, Same Week As ISC West on Jul 02, 2018
IFSEC is facing competition. Led by an ex-IFSEC head, partnered with mega-exhibitor Essen and hosted in IFSEC's old city, Birmingham, "The...
ASIS GSX Show Struggling Getting Exhibitors on Jun 26, 2018
The show formerly known as ASIS, now GSX, is less than 3 months away. And it is struggling to get exhibitors to go back to Las Vegas, just...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Alexa Guard Expands Amazon's Security Offerings, Boosts ADT's Stock on Sep 21, 2018
Amazon is expanding their security offerings yet again, this time with Alexa Guard that delivers security audio analytics and a virtual "Fake...
UTC, Owner of Lenel, Acquires S2 on Sep 20, 2018
UTC now owns two of the biggest access control providers, one of integrator's most hated access control platforms, Lenel, and one of their...
BluePoint Aims To Bring Life-Safety Mind-Set To Police Pull Stations on Sep 20, 2018
Fire alarm pull stations are commonplace but police ones are not. A self-funded startup, BluePoint Alert Solutions is aiming to make police pull...
SIA Plays Dumb On OEMs And Hikua Ban on Sep 20, 2018
OEMs widely pretend to be 'manufacturers', deceiving their customers and putting them at risk for cybersecurity attacks and, soon, violation of US...
Axis Vs. Hikvision IR PTZ Shootout on Sep 20, 2018
Hikvision has their high-end dual-sensor DarkfighterX. Axis has their high-end concealed IR Q6125-LE. Which is better? We bought both and tested...
Avigilon Announces AI-Powered H5 Camera Development on Sep 19, 2018
Avigilon will be showcasing "next-generation AI" at next week's ASIS GSX. In an atypical move, the company is not actually releasing these...
Favorite Request-to-Exit (RTE) Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 19, 2018
Request To Exit devices like motion sensors and lock releasing push-buttons are a part of almost every access install, but who makes the equipment...
25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...

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