The Business Drivers that Make Communication Critical

An Interview with Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America the manufacturers of Vingtor-Stentofon solutions.

Why do you come to The Great Conversation?

The reason we continue to come to the Great Conversation in Security is that it challenges us to listen to the Security Executives who are struggling to optimize their programs at the same time as they are dealing with an ever-expanding risk profile. More than ever, we realize that it is essential to give them the means to hear, be heard and, most importantly, be understood in their critical business and security processes.

What have you learned this year, that you can share with us?

Earlier this year we spoke with the ex-CSO of the Port of Miami, Louis Noriega who expanded our definition of “critical communications” to include all port operations and cruise operations as well as security.

We spoke with the project manager of the Georgia Ports Authority integration of access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection and critical IP Intercom-based communications. Using the IP Intercom supported by video gave this port the means to secure the port of entries across 1,200 acres. It gave their Security Operations Center the ability to reduce the time of entry, increase its security, and reduce the expansion of the port’s security officers by remotely confirming or denying access.

We spoke with the Dylan Hayes, Physical Security Program Manager, at Children’s Hospital the #1 children’s hospital on the west coast. To Children’s “patients and families come first”. Because of that, the time it takes to respond to a distress signal can mean the difference between life and death. Seconds matter. Children’s integrated the IP Intercom with the access control and guard radio systems by leveraging the interoperability inherent in the IP Intercom and access control system. “Many hospitals are not able to staff a security operations center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”, said Larry Minaker, ASG’s Client Manager for Children’s. “At the end of the day, not only was a solution tested and validated that maximized Children’s existing investments, but added operational functionality and communication redundancy was established.  These were important benefits bridging the gap of time sensitive communications and staff response.”  The solution expanded the capability to monitor and respond to all types of critical infrastructure alarms, further improving the culture of safety at Children’s.”

The common themes we see with all these clients, is the need for the following core elements of any evaluation of communications technology we call this:

The Critical Communication Scorecard

1. Intelligibility. “This is #1 for a reason”, said Hoffpauir.  “Your communication must not only be heard, but it must be understood in every situation. You cannot predict the level of noise or disruptive conditions that might occur on your campus or in your buildings. This is a mission critical element to any communications solution and it must not fail.

2. Interoperability. Your communication tools must work with other enterprise systems including access control, video, and VoIP-based phone systems. This must not just be an API listed on a data sheet. You must see this evidenced by the vendor’s business model and through its investments in securing the trust of the leaders in these areas. We have developed close ties with Lenel, AMAG, Genetec, Milestone and other because of our common goal of reducing risk and communicating vital information at the time of need

3. The ‘Ilities’. To be a leader in IP Communications, you must know the needs of CIOs and Data Center IT Directors in managing mission critical systems. They understand the importance of the term ‘critical’. They are asking for high availability, scalability, reliability and maintainability so that any threat is confronted with a secure and robust communication response at the time of need.

What will you be sharing at this year’s Great Conversation?

We will be participating in several breakout sessions including the Critical Communications session on Day One and Day Two. The work that the Enterprise Security Risk Group (eSRG) is doing in our industry changes everything. And having their principal, Wendi Walsh moderate, given her background in campus security will be very compelling.

What do you hope to learn on March 6 & 7 at The Great Conversation?

We are excited to attend and listen to the vision of information and identity management from Lenel and Alert Enterprise as well as the panel on the Insecurity of Security. We have been working on the hardening of our systems and we look forward to hearing what others are doing.

As well, the more we learn about Enterprise Security Risk Management’s goal of a 360-degree view of the risk and the security program itself, the more we realize our role of providing critical communications is not just a job, but a mission. Lives will be saved. Efficiencies will be gained.