See our Unique Offerings at ASIS

Jody_Headshot_2017_croppedBy Jody Ross, Global Vice President of Sales and Business Development, AMAG Technology

Summer is winding down and football season is right around the corner. That must mean ASIS will be here soon!

This year, more than ever, I am excited about ASIS. After working closely with our customers and implementing features you suggested, we are proud to release the newest version of our policy-based identity management platform, Symmetry CONNECT.

Meeting compliance is at the forefront of today’s security concerns. We understand the importance of not falling out of compliance and encountering heavy fines along with potential other losses. Symmetry CONNECT can help you stay in compliance without adding costly staff. It eliminates manual processes, reduces costs, and automates your onboarding, offboarding and access provisioning.

Visit our booth 3823 to learn how CONNECT can manage the entire identity of your employees, contractors and visitors while saving you money and keeping your company in compliance.

BlueReadersWe are also featuring our new Symmetry Blue reader range. Imagine using your phone, something you carry with you all the time, to open doors and all you pay for are the readers? That’s what you get from AMAG. We offer our mobile app for FREE, while our competitors charge for it. Come check it out. I think universities and commercial entities will be the early adopters of this forward-thinking technology, but it’s useful in essentially all vertical markets.

We added new features to our SymmetryWEB web client. Drop by our booth 3823 and learn how you can easily manage alarms and cards in Symmetry Access Control from a tablet or smartphone.

I invite you to come visit us to see what’s new, say hello and ask questions. We want to hear from you. AMAG provides a unique offering unlike no other company. Where else can you get access control, video management, identity management and visitor management all from the same company? Stop by and give us the opportunity to learn your needs and figure out how we can help. Contact me at jody.ross@amag.com or my team to schedule a demo or just stop by our booth 3823 at ASIS.

 

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How to Keep your Symmetry System Safe from Cyber Threats

RHImagehiResBy Ryan Howarth
General Manager – Technical Support
AMAG Technology

The recent security threat that has come via virus/malware has brought the needs of security and securing systems to the forefront. Below is some guidance that can be followed to ensure your Symmetry system is kept safe and secure.

The Ransomware attack was based off a vulnerability found in the Windows Server Message Block (SMB) 1.0. Symmetry only uses SMB for file sharing for backup locations and NVR if the video files are saved on a separate file Server.  If you do not have this defined, you can remove this Service from Windows or update it to a newer version.

MS patch updates – AMAG provides a monthly list of tested patch updates. We recommend that these patches are regularly applied to your system. Visit our Partner Site to see if you are up to date.

AntiVirus – Ensure that Antivirus is installed and updated with the required exclusions for where Symmetry is installed to remove the need for re-scanning:

Program File\Security Management System (from V7 > Application Server / Client / NVR)

ProgramData\Security Management System (from version 8> Application Server / Client / NVR)  

Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL\Data (Microsoft KB309422 Database)

Windows\System32\msmq (Microsoft KB829259 clients\Application Server)

ProgramData\Symmetry (from version 8> for NVR’s)

Port listing – Please refer to the Software Installation Manual Appendix E, as this will provide the port listing that Symmetry requires depending on what has been setup and configured.

Symmetry files/patches – Ensure you only load Symmetry files from either the Partner website or supplied via our AMAG team. All software supplied by AMAG is code-signed, so please check the validity, and review any Microsoft security messages that are displayed as part of the installation process.

Database Backups – Ensure at a minimum that a daily Symmetry database backup occurs and that these backups are stored off the network. In an event of a required full-rebuild of your system, you will have a backup of your database if the database computer becomes unusable.

Upgrading – As older versions of Symmetry and Microsoft products reach the end of their Support and Maintenance lifecycle, it is increasingly important to upgrade Symmetry and the underlying OS to ensure the health and security of your system. As part of your maintenance program, upgrades should be planned for on a regular basis.

For more information about Symmetry Server maintenance best practices, a more detailed guide has been compiled by the Support Team and is freely available on the AMAG support site.

Growing the Enterprise Team

JonathanMoore

Jonathan Moore, Senior Director Enterprise Solutions

AMAG welcomes Jonathan Moore as Senior Director Enterprise Solutions Group. Jonathan is responsible for managing pre-sales and enterprise sales support for Symmetry solutions. He is an expert in compliance regulations in several vertical markets, and will capture and design solutions enhancing operational efficiencies based on AMAG’s products. Previously, he held several positions at Quantum Secure, the most recent was Director, Technical Solutions North America.

 

 

 

 

 

adamhetman.jpg

Adam Hetman, Applications Engineer

Adam Hetman joins AMAG as an Applications Engineer. Adam will be responsible for providing pre-sales technical and consultative support to AMAG’s RSMs regarding new sales opportunities throughout the US. He will assist with specifications, trade shows, and will support resellers and partners with all aspects of pre-sales and applications engineering. Adam worked at Tyco for nearly 18 years as a sales estimator and installer.

Both Jonathan and Adam report to Vice President-Enterprise Solutions, Stuart Tucker.

Meet Your AMAG US Training Team

AMAG Technology offers a variety of training classes and webinars to educate technicians and end users about the Symmetry Product Portfolio. Our dedicated team of trainers teach classes in the Torrance, California; Burlington (Boston), Massachusetts and McLean, Virginia training center locations.

Meet our team!

don-boling-face-2Don Boling, Training and Education Manager
Don started his career in security at Bosch in 2002 where he worked for nearly nine years before joining AMAG in 2011 as a Technical Training Specialist. He was promoted to Training and Education Manager in February 2012 and runs the North America training department. Don loves spending time with family and friends, particularly attending sporting events for his favorite teams! His passion for education extends outside of work. Don teaches on a wide variety of subjects including computers, networking systems and religious studies.

Pete at PSA 2017Pete Marr, Technical Training Specialist
Pete has worked in the security industry for 30 years, and training has always been part of his career in some way or another. Before that he served eight years in the U.S. Navy as an Interior Communications Electrician. Pete enjoys training because he can share his knowledge and experience with others and then see the “light come on” when a student “gets it.” His other primary functional specialty is content development. Outside of work, Pete plays music (guitar, bass, mandolin and drums) and writes songs. And he’s seriously addicted to trivia!

 

Valerie Professional PictureValerie Samuels, Technical Training Specialist
As an AMAG Technology trainer, Valerie is learning more everyday about the access control industry which is very new to her. She enjoys learning about the industry and is constantly learning new things even from her trainees each week. Valerie has a BA in Communications from Kean College of New Jersey. After working in radio and as an educator for the Baltimore City Public School System, she became a software trainer for Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente before starting at AMAG. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing video games, going to the beach, attending concerts, and traveling back east to visit family.

 

RickJaschobRick Jaschob, PSP®, Technical Training Specialist
Rick started with AMAG in November 2015. Prior to working for AMAG, he worked for Johnson Controls for 25 years and held positions such as Field Engineer, Technical Training Specialist, Applications Engineer/Tech Support, and Sales Engineer. In his free time, Rick enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and rafting.

 

JohnPhelpsJohn S Phelps, Technical Training Specialist
John started his training career with Comcast Cable Communications as a Field Training Instructor where he worked for 14 years. He moved on to AXIS Communications where worked for approximately 9 years as a Technical Curriculum Developer and Senior Trainer. He started at AMAG in September 2016 and his specialty is Video Surveillance and content development. When not training, he enjoys photography and playing guitar in his band, Ransom Monkey, which will release a CD this summer!

Check out our new three-day Symmetry Starter Class. Starting in July, technicians that are new to the industry or new to Symmetry can take this class to learn all the basics of access control as well as of the Symmetry Security Management System. The class prepares installers for the Symmetry Essentials class.

For more information about AMAG’s Symmetry Training Program or to sign up for a class, visit http://www.amag.com/en/Services/Training.

AMAG Welcomes Dan Ireland as Eastern Canada RSM

Dan Ireland--head shotAMAG is excited to announce that Dan Ireland has joined the AMAG team as the Regional Sales Manager for Eastern Canada. Dan will drive business and support Symmetry Resellers in Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. He reports to Senior Director of Sales, Justin Wilmas.

Dan comes from Resolver (formerly PPM), where he was the Director of Business Development for their Command Center Applications. Prior to Resolver, Dan spent most of his career in the video surveillance arena, including Regional Sales Manager roles with Avigilon, Pelco, DVTel, and Samsung.

Dan lives in Georgetown, Ontario with his wife Andrea, twin daughters Alyssa and Sydney, and their dog Max. Outside of work, Dan likes to golf in the summer and play squash in the winter. He volunteers on and chairs multiple committees at both the golf and squash clubs. Dan also spends lots of time running all over southern Ontario cheering on his daughters’ soccer team, or his wife Andrea at her running and hockey events.

You may contact Dan at dan.ireland@amag.com.

New Courses Streamline Symmetry Training Program

675x468_Training_Class_2AMAG Technology’s Symmetry Security Management System has expanded the last several years and now includes more features, modules and video management product line choices. To more effectively train and certify technicians AMAG has developed a new two-phased training approach, and now offers a 3-day Symmetry Starter Class and 2-day Hardware Class.

For technicians new to Symmetry or new to access control, the Symmetry Starter Class teaches the fundamental skills required to install and perform initial programming of a Symmetry Access Control system. The 3-day class is a prerequisite course for the Symmetry Essentials class. Technicians achieve an Associate Level Certification after the Essentials class.

For technicians who understand access control and / or are familiar with the Symmetry Security Management System, they will have the option to test out of the Symmetry Starter Class and be placed directly into the Symmetry Essentials class.

By grouping technicians by experience level, classes will operate more efficiently.

The Symmetry Starter Class begins in July, and will be available at all three North American training centers. Technicians can register now:

  • July 11-13, McLean, Virginia
  • July 18-20, Torrance, California
  • August 8-10, Burlington (Boston), Massachusetts

For technicians or those who are installing and servicing Symmetry hardware, the new 2-day Symmetry Hardware class teaches how to install nodes, door controllers and readers, and service the hardware after installation is completed. Course completion is not required for Symmetry Certification.

Coming in September

Revised Symmetry Essentials Class –  This course will be available at the Torrance, California; McLean, Virginia; and Burlington (Boston area), Massachusetts training centers.  This revised class will now cover video, elevator control and card formats, plus other new material. Upon successful completion of the 5-day class, students achieve Associate Level certification. Students must pass or test out of the Symmetry Starter Class prior to attending this class.

Revamped Symmetry Advanced Class – This is a required 5-day class for support of the Symmetry Global System and to receive Professional Level Certification. Students will demonstrate proficiency in numerous additional features, modules and advanced configurations. This course will be available at the Torrance, California; McLean, Virginia; and Burlington (Boston area), Massachusetts training centers.

The new courses are only available in North America.

Watch for more information at http://www.amag.com/en/Services/Training.

Celebrating Customers at ISC West

By AMAG Technology, Vice President of Global Sales & Business Development, Jody RossJody_Headshot_2017_cropped

Every year AMAG sets aside an evening to honor and celebrate our top resellers. It’s a tradition that’s occurred since well before I began working here, and one I think should continue for a long time. Our resellers work hard. They go above and beyond to service their end users, often working long nights and weekends away from family. It’s nice to take a moment and celebrate their accomplishments.

Convergint.EagleThis year, we celebrated our top resellers at our annual Eagle Awards reception in Las Vegas in conjunction with ISC West. Please join me in congratulating the winners.

Master Reseller Award – Symmetric Interconnect Systems

Government Reseller Award – Infotec Systems Corporation

Canadian Reseller Award – Alpha TSI

Partner Award – PSA Security Network, Inc.

National Reseller Award – Tyco Integrated, LLC

President’s Circle Award – Convergint Technologies, LLC

Regional Awards

Northeast – Advanced Video Surveillance

Northwest – Aronson Security Group

Central North – Applied Network Concepts

Southwest – ACME Security, Inc.

Eastern Canada – Alpha TSI

Western Canada – Stanley Canada

Central South – Advanced Connections, Inc.

Mid-Atlantic – Elite Contracting Group, Inc.

Southeast – Universal Security Systems

Great Lakes – Zenith Systems

Mountain States – Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions, Inc.

SAMMY Winner – ESS

ESS.SammyWin2

Enterprise Security Systems, Operations Manager, Clint Crosston, President, Kurt Kottkamp, AMAG Technology VP-Global Sales & Business Development, Jody Ross, and ESS, Sr Sales Engineer, Jim MacQueen – PSP. 

I would also like to congratulate Kurt Kottkamp and Enterprise Security Systems for their SAMMY Award for Integrated Installation of the Year for LPL Financial!  The project was LPL Financial’s new Campus Headquarters in Fort Mill, SC. ESS installed Symmetry Access Control with Symmetry CompleteView Video Management integrated with Vingtor-Stentofon’s Turbine IP emergency communication system. Congratulations to President, Kurt Kottkamp, Operations Manager, Clint Crosston, Sr. Sales Engineer, Jim MacQueen and Sr. Installation Technician, Matt Mastrangelo. This award is well-deserved and we at AMAG are thrilled to see Kurt and his team recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Congratulations to all the winners!

AMAG features identity management, a two-in-one appliance and mobile technology solutions at ISC West

By AMAG Technology, President, Kurt TakahashiKurt Takahashi_photo

AMAG Technology has been hard at work preparing for ISC West and producing security technology solutions to meet your needs. It is our goal to deliver systems that will mitigate risk, meet compliance and save your organization money. The solutions we will be showing at ISC West will do just that.    

We are excited to launch our new Symmetry Security Appliance. This two in one solution delivers access control and video management in one small device. The power of Symmetry Business Access Control with Symmetry CompleteView Video Management comes pre-installed in a four inch rock canyon tall nuc front corner top copydevice that supports eight cameras and 16 doors. Easy to install and affordable, it’s perfect for smaller applications and upgrades.

Stop by our booth and get a preview of our new Symmetry CONNECT identity management platform. The new user interface provides everything an organization needs to manage identities and meet audit and compliance requirements. Organizations will reduce operating costs when automating on and off boarding. Receive notifications when you are about to fall out of compliance, and use CONNECT’s extensive and customized reporting to satisfy compliance demands. If your business must meet government audit and compliance requirements, I invite you to learn more about how Symmetry CONNECT can help your business.

BlueReadersOur new Symmetry Blue mobile reader delivers affordable mobile access control. Users can download the app for free as there are no subscription or licensing fees. With mobility on the rise, more companies are adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. The convenience of BYOD will create the demand for organizations to use smartphones for access control. Most people will forget their wallet or access card before they forget their phone. It’s perfect for organizations that have mobility as a key business priority.

In addition to our new products, our Symmetry Access Control, Symmetry CompleteView Video Management system and Symmetry GUEST visitor management system will be in the booth. I invite you to stop by our booth 10053 and get a demo or just say hello. See you at ISC West!  

Integrated System Delivers Efficiency and Huge Results for Yale University

By AMAG Technology, Public Relations Manager, Kim Rahfaldt

Credit: Tom Parker/OneRedEyeThe Symmetry SR Retrofit system allowed Yale University to affordably upgrade from their legacy system and save millions of dollars.  Yale was able to keep its existing cards, 5,200 HID card readers and wiring.  Installers simply replaced the micros – or control panels – one building at a time.  With the campus having 947 controllers to convert, this provided a huge savings.

As part of the security program, Yale University wanted to incorporate its other solutions with Symmetry to further enhance their campus security system. The Symmetry SR Retrofit System integrated with several technologies to deliver an effective and efficient security solution.

Providing clear, understandable audio was a must for Yale, who uses audio to speak with students who want to gain access to a residence hall or building, but do not have their access card. Symmetry integrates with a Vingtor-Stentofon Alphacom Audio Server with IP Intercom station. Students push a button and a video of the student pops up at the security station. The student requests access and the security person verifies who the person is before buzzing them into the building.

Biometric fingerprint readers operate with Symmetry to secure laboratories. The fingerprint readers provide another layer of security for critical research labs and areas where limited access is granted.

Yale University installed an NEC Fault Tolerant Server that is located at an undisclosed location, off campus. The server provides continuous availability and achieves near-zero downtime, which is critical for a college campus.

“We have to be fault tolerant because of the size and magnitude of the security system,” said Yale University, Director-Information Technology, David Boyd.

Operationalize the Future

As Yale transitions to its new Symmetry SR Retrofit System, in conjunction, it is using Symmetry CONNECT, a policy- based identity management system. Symmetry CONNECT seamlessly operates with Symmetry Access Control and Yale’s legacy system, providing a workflow that is used across both systems. Information entered in Symmetry CONNECT is transmitted to the two systems, creating a seamless interface. Once the migration is complete, Symmetry CONNECT will help Yale improve its on-and-off boarding process.  

“We plan to improve Credit: Tom Parker/OneRedEyeefficiencies using Symmetry CONNECT by creating a webpage for building managers to provision access and make changes for students,” said Boyd. “Eliminating our old system of sending emails to a central scheduler will save money and time, and improve how we service our students and staff.”

Future Integrations

Yale plans to integrate Symmetry Access Control with its existing Milestone xProtect Video Management System, linking alarms with video in all circumstances and provide a safer campus. When an alarm sounds in Symmetry, the video of the area will automatically pop up on the monitor.

They are also exploring the idea of utilizing wireless locks for dorm rooms in the future. Wireless locks will allow students to use access cards to enter their rooms, and the locks will sync to Symmetry on a scheduled basis. This is an affordable option for educational environments where a large number of doors need to be tied to the security system.

Training Changes Deliver Flexibility for Today’s Busy Customer

don-boling-face-2By Don Boling, Training and Education Manager, AMAG Technology

AMAG’s Training department is making some changes in how we deliver training for the growing Symmetry product line and ever busy customer. The changes reflect an effort to become more flexible in meeting our customer’s needs.

NEW Hardware Class – A new three day Symmetry Hardware only course has been designed for those that would like a better understanding of controllers. In this course, we cover all current hardware platforms: Symmetry M2150, EN-Series and SR-Series. This hands-on course teaches students how to install and wire hardware.

NEW Video Class – We have launched a new three day Video class that covers installation, configuration and integration of Symmetry CompleteView Video Management with the Symmetry Access Control System. Students leave class with an in-depth understanding of video recording and camera configuration to assist in the optimization of the Symmetry CompleteView Video system.

NEW Monthly Webinars – We are introducing Monthly Webinars for our Symmetry System users who would like a better understanding of how to perform day-to-day operations. Check the website for a list of topics and how to register. List coming soon.

MORE Online Training Coming Soon – We also will be offering more online training content that will provide training on basic networking, card formats and other Symmetry related topics. Look for those classes in the next few months.  http://www.amag.com/en-US/Services/Training/Videos/

Customers can also take Instructor-led classes in the Burlington, Massachusetts Training Center (Near Boston) in addition to the McLean, VA and Torrance, CA locations. All courses are available at each Training Center.

Additional information will be forthcoming. Please check our Training Department website often for more information and updates to the AMAG Training program.  If you would like to register for a class, please visit http://www.amag.com/en-US/Services/Training/ or email us at: training@amag.com.