Boardroom
NICE


In The Boardroom With...

Rafi Bhonker
VP, Product Management and Business Development
NICE

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Rafi. Please give us an overview of your background.

Rafi Bhonker: Thank you for the opportunity. It's my pleasure. I am currently Vice President of Product Management & Business Development for the Situation Management Division of NICE Systems. NICE is the worldwide leader of intent-based solutions that capture and analyze interactions and transactions, realize intent, and extract and leverage insights to deliver impact in real time. Driven by cross-channel and multi-sensor analytics, NICE solutions enable organizations to improve business performance, increase operational efficiency, prevent financial crime, ensure compliance, and enhance safety and security. NICE serves over 25,000 organizations in the enterprise and security sectors, representing a variety of sizes and industries in more than 150 countries, and including over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies. I am excited to be at NICE at a time when the PSIM/Situation Management market is really taking hold. In the span of my career thus far, I've accumulated more than two and half decades in software and business development. I'm proud to say I was one of the early pioneers in the PSIM/Situation Management space, having come to NICE in 2010 with the acquisition of Orsus. Prior to that, I held executive positions at a number of start-up companies, including Mercury, a company that revolutionized the automated software testing market, and was later acquired by HP.

SecurityStockWatch.com: One will read on www.NICE.com that NICE Situator delivers a "Situation management software platform that enables situation planning, response and analysis for the security, safety and emergency markets." Please give us an overview of Situator benefits and capabilities

Rafi Bhonker: NICE Situator is a Situation Management software platform that enables automatic situation planning, response and analysis in real time, as well as thorough post incident reviews and investigations. NICE Situator integrates to a wide array of sensors and security systems, analyzing and correlating information to help organizations connect the dots and improve situational awareness, incident response and decision-making. NICE Situator's generic gateways and open architecture make it possible to integrate to virtually any existing or future security device, system, or data source. Organizations that deploy NICE Situator are not constrained to specific types or brands of security solutions but rather can chose the solutions that best satisfy their security needs. With NICE Situator, organizations can fuse many different types of security devices and systems into a unified platform, including: access control, video systems, perimeter intrusion sensors, location tracking (RFID, GPS), panic buttons, environmental sensors, communication devices, and much more. Through this integration, NICE Situator is able to present a Common Operating Picture (COP), with real-time alerts and information from all integrated systems displayed on an intuitive multi-Iayered Geographical Information System (GIS)-based interface. NICE Situator also provides a framework for automating complex response workflows and standard operating procedures (SOPs), so security operators not only know what's happening and where, but how to respond as well.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What are your key target markets and what is your perspective on the market drivers for NICE Situator at this challenging economic time?

Rafi Bhonker: NICE has been working very closely with our partners and customers in a number of key vertical markets this year. We are especially focusing on transportation, utilities, banking and public safety. The current climate has actually been beneficial for this. Budgetary considerations, tougher regulations and increasing amounts of sensor data are driving organizations toward off-the-shelf type Situation Management solutions like NICE Situator. Leveraging NICE Situator, they can create a fully interoperable and open security ecosystem that allows them to leverage existing and new technologies to the fullest for greater situational awareness. These capabilities, along with the ability to integrate adaptive response plans, help ensure compliance with regulations, improve efficiency and accelerate response time.

Take the utility sector for example. The NERC (the North American Electric Reliability Corporation's) CIP standards require electric utilities to put security frameworks in place to identify and protect their Critical Cyber Assets and infrastructure from threats that could effect the reliable operation of the bulk electric system. CIP-006 stipulates that unauthorized access attempts to CIP locations must be reviewed immediately and handled in accordance with the utility's CIP-compliant incident response plan. Situation Management can help utilities comply with this specific aspect of CIP. NERC also enforces these regulations through an auditing process. NICE Situator can automatically capture actions taken during the course of incidents so utilities can easily produce reports needed for compliance audits.

Research also shows that Situation Management can improve response time significantly. Manual observation is replaced by automatic correlation; manual logging of incidents by automatic tracking. Instructions in manuals give way to adaptive workflows embedded in Situator; paper maps to integrated GIS. Everything is presented to the operator in real time and in the right context. Ultimately, this reduces human error and saves a huge amount of time.

SecurityStockWatch.com: We read with great interest about the NICE Situator case study with the Virginia Port Authority and how LAX is using Situator in their new Airport Response Coordination Center. Care to elaborate on these very impressive "wins"? Any other success stories you care to mention?

Rafi Bhonker: We're very excited about our recent NICE Situator implementations, including our deployment of NICE Situator at the new LAX Airport Response Coordination Center(ARCC) which makes LAX one of the most technologically advanced airports in the nation.

Similarly, the NICE Situator solution is also used in the new Security Operations Center at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and at other airports internationally. NICE Situator helps the New Orleans International Airport comply with TSA 1542's directives, specifically with respect to preventing and detecting unauthorized entry to secured areas, evaluating threats in accordance with the Airport's security program, and if emergencies do occur, taking appropriate actions as specified in the Airport's emergency plan.

NICE has also had major NICE Situator "wins" in other sectors, including utilities, banks, and of course, ports. NICE Situator is used by the Virginia Port Authority and was also recently selected by the Port of Los Angeles to improve situational awareness and incident response capabilities.

SecurityStockWatch.com: We understand that NICE is a major participant at ISC. What are the industry themes and trends you'll be addressing at this years' leading security industry trade show.

Rafi Bhonker: The theme for this year's ISC West Conference is how to manage risk in the midst of change. The security industry is undergoing a lot of change: expanding regulations and compliance requirements, heightened security risks, IP migration, an overload of data from diverse security systems to cite a few. All of these trends are creating a demand for smart, open solutions that maximize situational awareness while minimizing cost of ownership. Consistent with that focus, NICE Systems will be demonstrating its smart security solutions in our booth 7109 at the conference.

Among the solutions we'll be showcasing, of course, is NICE Situator. In fact we'll be debuting a new version of NICE Situator (release 7) that enhances inter-agency interoperability and raises the bar in terms of openness, situation visualization and situation workflow. Version 7 features a number of important enhancements. These include capabilities for precise, real-time tracking of relevant assets (whether vehicles, aircraft, ships, radar targets, sensors, or a host of other resources). These capabilities are ready-made and vertical-market specific. They also address specific compliance requirements and standards, such as those of NERC CIP, the North American Electric Reliability Council's regulations for protecting critical infrastructure, and those of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS). The new version of Situator enables customers to leverage pre-configured industry-compliant visualization packages or easily customize their own visualization icons and logic.

With more than two hundred gateways to leading security and safety solutions, NICE Situator offers a very high level of openness. The next logical step was to extend that openness through external business process integration and that's what we did in NICE Situator version 7. Organizations can leverage a wealth of external information sources for decision support when responding to situations or threats. NICE Situator can query external correlation engines, enterprise systems, databases or web services…and based on that input, dynamically proceed down another path in the response plan. For example, in an airport emergency landing, external data fed into NICE Situator, such as the aircraft's size or type, number of passengers, or any hazardous materials on board, might dictate a specific response scenario.

This new capability offers an off-the-shelf approach to integrating a broad number of external correlation engines or third party data sources into an organization's workflow. There is no need for custom development; and data sources can include everything from background checks, watch lists, and threat levels, to weather service data and maintenance records. Interoperability is also improved by enabling a faster, more accurate approach for sharing information residing in different agencies or departments, and the applying that information for decision support.

Beyond Situation Management, NICE provides a host of other security solutions, including IP video recording solutions branded under the name of NiceVision Net. NICE will also be previewing the next version of NiceVision Net at ISC West. NiceVision Net is an analytics-enabled, hybrid Smart Video Recording platform that offers unmatched cost of ownership and allows security operations to migrate to IP at their own pace.

Consistent with these solutions and themes, we'll also be featuring hourly presentations by NICE subject matter experts in our booth - on a wide range of topics, from 'Smart Ways to Move to IP and Save Money' and 'Ten Ways to Lower Your TCO' to 'Using Situation Management Tools to Improve Security Operational Efficiency.'

In addition, I'll be participating in a PSIM presentation at ISC West on April 7 at 10:15 a.m. along with other industry experts.

SecurityStockWatch.com: What resources are available for end-users and the trade at www.NICE.com ?

Rafi Bhonker: Actually there are a number of different ways that end-users and the trade can stay informed. They can read more about Situation Management and NICE Situator , as well as other NICE Security solutions on NICE.com. They can follow us on Twitter @ NICE_Security and also stay up-to-date on latest industry trends by reading NICE Fusion, the NICE Security blog. The NICE Security Resource Center also has a wealth of resources, including newsletters, podcasts, customer stories and features, recorded webinars, and articles on timely topics.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Congratulations on being named the 2010 global PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) software solutions market leader by IMS Research. Please tell us more.

Rafi Bhonker: Recently NICE was excited to announce that it had been named the 2010 global PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) software solutions market leader by IMS Research (www.imsresearch.com), a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy services for the security industry. NICE was also the top ranked 2010 PSIM software provider by a wide margin for both the Americas and Asia. IMS Research attributed NICE's success in Asia to our "expansion in the region and significant project wins in India."

These results were released in IMS Research's report "The World Market for Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Software - 2010 Edition." The report provides an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the global PSIM market, including suppliers, growth forecasts and trends. According to IMS Research Senior Analyst Gary Wong, the author of the report, 'NICE's PSIM solution emerged as a clear market leader in IMS's research from a market share standpoint.

SecurityStockWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Rafi.

Rafi Bhonker: It was my pleasure.