AMAG is a particularly ironic choice because, in IPVM voting of 200+ integrators, AMAG was chosen as the worst access control manufacturer for 2020. Unlike the OSPAs, integrators gave reasons, particularly forced hardware upgrades, poor tech support, and antiquated proprietary hardware.
Whether one thinks AMAG is the 'worst' manufacturer or not, virtually everyone who knows this market can agree that AMAG is not the most 'outstanding'.
While an OSPAs representative responded to IPVM's inquires, there was no explanation of why AMAG won. The OSPAs deferred to the judges:
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Thank you for your message. The judging process for the OSPAs is set out on the website and all judges mark according to that policy (About - US OSPAs) . The panel of judges, all nominated by leading security associations and groups, evaluate and score each nomination independently, against a published set of criteria – with the highest scoring nomination deemed the winner. The full list of judges can be found here Judges - US OSPAs
However, the judges provide no explanation for their selection:
For clarification, each judge marks independently (against the criteria specified on the website) and they are required to declare any conflict of interest on every mark sheet (and clearly cannot mark any entry that is deemed a conflict). The winners are selected based on the cumulative scores of the judges, (for this reason it would be inappropriate to ask judges for their viewpoints on individual nominations, and in any event the process is anonymous).
There was 'information' published about why the winners won, as the OSPAs mentioned:
We do publish further information on why the winners were considered outstanding, which you can find here: Winners 2020 - US OSPAs
However, the 'information on why the winners were considered outstanding' reads like it was from AMAG's marketing team:
AMAG Technology’s unique offering delivers an end-to-end solution of Access Control, Video Surveillance, Intrusion Management, Identity Management, Visitor Management, Incident Management, Analytics and Mobile solutions, powered by a policy-based platform to operationalize security. AMAG understands today’s business challenges with internal procedures, globalization and managing business continuity as a result of COVID-19 and has adopted a customer-centric approach to help organizations mitigate risk, ensure compliance and reduce costs. They address these challenges by offering a suite of Symmetry security solutions that work together to meet those goals, including Symmetry Business Intelligence, a hosted solution that uses analytics to detect abnormal behaviors. [emphasis added]
Indeed, the OSPAs confirms that the 'information' was from AMAG:
We ask all the finalists to provide a shortened summary of their achievements based on their entry which we use on the website.
Certainly, one of the underlying intentions of the OSPAs is positivity and to recognize those doing well.
The problem is creating awards that set reasonable expectations that the award giver has the competence and ability to deliver 'credible, transparent and respectable' awards. When it comes to security equipment manufacturers, it is quite clear that the OSPAs does not.
Good Example of Positivity
By contrast, if organizations like the OSPAs want positivity, they should be more like Tim Wenzel, who is doing a '#thekindnessgames' effort on social media where he recognizes people he appreciates, as the example below shows:
That is positivity without any claims about who is the most 'outstanding' or 'awards' that deceive buyers.
My kids recently started playing recreational sports and my wife and I agreed that we are categorically against participation trophies as we don't want the joy of our kids' future successes to be cheapened by meaningless awards before they have actually accomplished something. Fast forward to last week, my son comes running up to me wearing an award metal. As I was about to kill the mood, my wife told me to look at the inscription on the metal "excellence in sportsmanship". This is an acceptable compromise. Perhaps these companies would look less ridiculous if their paid awards were more like my son's sportsmanship metal. Something like: "Excellent Competitor" or "We tried really hard".