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To Evolve, Our Industry Must Choose Common

​Today’s connected existence is a fascinating point in time as humans tap into technology to interact with each other and the things around us. As security management experts, we can significantly up the ante involving the security and safety of people, places, and situations by leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). It affords new opportunities by blending advancements of camera technology, software solutions, data aggregation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. 

In today’s world, however, we must all be willing to connect. We cannot work in siloes and constrict users to single brands. To increase value for customers and consumers, security stakeholders must cooperate and agree to allow individual devices, software, and systems to interoperate by means of one common platform. This platform needs to establish a baseline when it comes to device performance, data security, and privacy protection.

OSSA’s Ch​arge

To establish this baseline, the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) formed in the fall of 2018. OSSA’s five founding members—Bosch Building Technologies, Hanwha Techwin, Milestone Systems, Pelco, and VIVOTEK Inc.—hail from various continents and differing business profiles. They decided to lead a charge toward unity with the goal of creating a framework for a common standardized platform that’s accessible to everyone in the security and safety space.

This month, we’re proud to mark our organization’s one-year anniversary—working alongside more than 30 international players that currently comprise the OSSA member roster. 

Available to E​​veryone 

In our first 12 months, OSSA created a common Technology Stack specification to cater to product/services innovation and to reduce market fragmentation. Our group also defined a common and vendor-agnostic operating system (OS) that together with the Technology Stack will fuel the development of value-added solutions for customers and users. 

OSSA committees and workgroups met on a regular basis to develop hardware and interface specifications, as well as a common market approach to data security and privacy. 

Framing the F​uture

Top drivers for OSSA for the next two years include further growth of our ecosystem of member companies to produce and drive the adoption of new standards and specifications for products and solutions in the security and safety market. 

OSSA will also provide guidance on interpreting these standards and specifications to promote more intelligent, useful solutions for users. Another outlet is to establish agreed-upon best practices on data security, personal privacy, and standardization of product performance specs, and improved interoperability. 

These are all key to delivering a high-quality, reliable, and satisfying experience for users. They also allow for more innovation because we will be able to attract more application developers. 

Another component on our roadmap is the introduction of a certification program for hardware and software solutions. This program will ensure offerings meet the agreed-upon standards and specifications set forth by OSSA—further enhancing the levels of quality and trust within the industry. 

Hel​​​p Us Move the Mark

The drive for unity first, differentiation second is what’s attracting forward-looking entities to our alliance. OSSA is steadily growing, and we hope to encourage more companies to join this team effort. We’re at a pivotal point in the security and safety industry. Alliance members can weigh in on this paradigm shift and set the direction of the entire market.

Companies that can gain from and contribute to our cause include device manufacturers, software developers, system integrators, device component manufacturers, installers and commissioners, service providers, management software providers, distributors, specifiers, consultants, and others.  

To see where member companies are showcasing prototype cameras based on OSSA’s commonly defined Technology Stack and OS, see our Events page at opensecurityandsafetyalliance.org/news-events/events​. Or, reach out to us at communications@opensecurityandsafetyalliance.org; to exchange thoughts about working together to benefit all.

 

Johan Jubbega is president of OSSA.

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