In The Boardroom With...
co-founder of Brivo Systems, Steve serves as President and CEO,
and has guided the company from its initial vision of providing
web-based security services and products to its current position
as the largest online access control system in the industry. An
interactive systems architect, Steve helped launch Brivo after serving
as Director of Internet Consulting for Sapient Corporation, where
he lead internet strategy engagements to support "dot com"
startups and Fortune 500 new ventures. Prior to joining Sapient,
Steve led internet strategy development in the healthcare informatics
industry for HCIA Inc. Steve also has over 10 years experience in
wireless communications as Vice President of Software Development
at Geostar Inc., the first commercial satellite-based vehicle tracking
system in the U.S., and as Director of Systems Engineering at Communications
SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Steve. It's an honor to speak with a member of the Security Industry Association's Board of Directors! Please give us a brief company history of Brivo Systems.
Steve Van Till: Few people in the security industry know that Brivo started out as a cloud-based consumer logistics company during the original dot com era in the late 90's. No one used the term "Cloud" back then, but that's essentially what it was: online applications to manage what were essentially complex access control interactions between consumers, shippers, and carriers, all wrapped into an end-user device that communicated to the Internet via cellular connection.
Seeing that physical security was an adjacent-and more established-market with similar problems to solve, we reinvented the company during the 2000-2001 stock market downturn and came out as a pure access control company using a SaaS business model and technology. Since then we've expanded into offering hosted video surveillance, while maintaining the same user experience with a single security management system.
After adding web service APIs about five years ago, we're now seeing
more customers use us as a "platform" company that provides
core application services for a variety of vertical applications-some
of which look very little like traditional security. That's what I find
most exciting about this business: how our solution morphs over time,
based on customer needs, in directions that few of us could have predicted
when we started out 13 years ago.
SecurityStockWatch.com: One will read on Brivo.com that, "Brivo Systems LLC is a security systems provider for organizations that need to protect buildings and facilities." Please give us an overview of your product line. Are there any new services or solutions you'd like to discuss?
Steve Van Till: At its core, the product line covers distributed access control and video surveillance in a single integrated user experience that we call a "security management system". We do all of this on a monthly subscription basis, with a very small on-premise technology footprint, and we attract customers ranging from the federal government and the larger retailers in the country to the smallest of small businesses, and everything in between. The incredible range in the size of our end users shows off the versatility of the SaaS model. This is something we see in virtually every other SaaS domain, but rarely exhibited by traditional on-premise solutions, which tend to be shaped for one end of the market or the other-not both.
One of the new services we'll be showing in our booth at the upcoming ASIS show is a solution for the federal market called CloudPass. It's basically an advanced, customized version of our existing commercial ACS WebService® offering, but segregated for federal government users and operated in a FISMA data center. Of course, it supports essential FIPS 201 and ICAM applications for the federal government, specifically around access control requirements.
In a more general sense, this new service demonstrates our ability to deploy vertical solutions that are customized to the specific, unique needs of that vertical, including regulatory and/or compliance requirements.
SecurityStockWatch.com: Can we drill down into Brivo success stories for a moment? Congratulations on the recent announcement regarding the "win" at North Bethesda Market which has installed Brivo ACS WebService® throughout this retail and residential complex ( http://www.brivo.com/about-us/media/press-releases/131). Care to elaborate regarding the solution Brivo provided here?
Steve Van Till: This solution looks a lot like the rest of our property management vertical applications, which remains one of our strongest markets due to the distributed nature of the property holdings in most management portfolios. Deployment of our cloud technology allows these property companies to grow smoothly from their first site to their hundredth or thousandth without ever having to think about servers, licenses, data center constraints, or internal IT resources. What's unique about North Bethesda is that it's a diversified residential and retail cluster, with multiple end user companies all being able to share a single system under a master account managed by the property management company itself. This is possible due to the tiered administration capability we rolled out many years ago, which permits secure resource sharing across disparate user groups-yet another major advantage of a cloud-based access control system.
SecurityStockWatch.com: Are there any other "wins" you'd like to discuss?
Steve Van Till: Yes, our recent win with ClubReady, a provider of health club management software and services. I like this one because it illustrates the concept of using Brivo as a platform for other business services. In this case, ClubReady-equipped fitness centers link a member's status to their ability to use the health club, or even certain areas within the club, such as tanning or spa rooms. Our system operates in the background, via web APIs, and the fitness club clients never even see it-even though the club and its members are getting the full power of an advanced access control system, just as a built-in part of their ClubReady SaaS-based membership management solution.
SecurityStockWatch.com: We understand that Brivo will be participating in the ASIS 58th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 10-13, 2012, Philadelphia, PA ASIS 58th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 10-13, 2012, Philadelphia, PA . May we have a sneak preview regarding what Brivo might be featuring this years' event?
Steve Van Till: : We will be showing the whole spectrum of Brivo offerings at ASIS, but most of what visitors to our booth will see-or not "see", since it's all in the cloud-are the SaaS products upon which we've built our reputation. As far as we know, we'll be the first in the industry to demonstrate a fully cloud-based, multi-tenant, FIPS 201-compliant solution that scales to millions of users.
At the other end of the spectrum, we think our commercial customers who
have not seen our Online Video Recorder (OVR) solution lately will be
impressed by the upgrades we've put in place over the past year. New to
OVR are browser-based, live streaming matrix video displays, video clip
correlation with access control events, and a video search capability
that provides direct access to the underlying video storage. These are
all part of the same application and user experience as the access control
components, so there's only one application to learn. All the integration
has been done already, so it's very easy to install and the end user is
up and running with minimal training.
SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank again for joining us today, Steve.
Are there any other subjects you'd like to discuss?
Steve Van Till: We've learned a great deal over the past ten plus years about what end users do and don't understand about the cloud. We've put that knowledge to work in creating a brief white-board video that explains physical security in the cloud in a way that we think is very accessible and amusing, yet accurate to the applications and concerns we see in the real world. If you can excuse the shameless plug, your readers can view that video here if they are interested.