SIA Member Profile: Laurie Aaron, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Building Intelligence Inc.

How did you get into the Security Industry?

I took the long way home when it came to getting my college degree. I was working as a Project Engineering Associate at United Technologies Space & Sea Systems and going to school nights to get my Engineering degree. Although coordinating projects for the space shuttle was very interesting, my goal was always to be in technical sales, so well into my third year of Engineering I crossed over to Marketing and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. At that time I decided UTC Aerospace was not going to be the type of technical sales I had in mind as the sales aspect was primarily responding to Government Requests for Quotation. I was looking for something that would allow me to be more in control of the sale yet technical enough to keep my interest, when Sensor Engineering advertised for a Regional Sales Executive. I interviewed and got the job selling Wiegand & Proximity cards and readers. It wasn’t “rocket science,” but it was innovative for the Physical Security industry and it was a lot of fun! Shortly thereafter, HID acquired Sensor and the rest is history. I gradually migrated from selling cards and readers to selling access control and video systems to selling security solutions, and I love it!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Currently I am bringing new, highly innovative solutions to the market. Identity and access management in the physical security domain was a new concept six years ago when I started evangelizing (selling) it. Today it exists as a market segment called Physical Identity & Access Management (PIAM) and is being monitored by industry analysts as it grows in revenue spend, interest and acceptance. Most recently I have joined Building Intelligence (BI) as a partner and look forward to creating demand for another innovative, much-needed solution set in the security industry. BI provides cloud-based solutions for managing Visitors, Vendors and Vehicles – essentially the much neglected “back door” access to facilities and campuses everywhere by untrusted identities. Changing the way the industry views security is extremely exciting and rewarding and I believe my role as Chief Marketing Officer at BI will allow me to make an impact on the industry overall by evangelizing another concept that has been highly neglected by our industry due to lack of technology in the past.

What’s your prediction for the biggest trend that will take place in the security industry over the next year?

A year is not a lot of time for change to become evident, however over the next year, I think we’ll see some strong adoption of trends that have been taking place for several years such as more acceptance of cloud based solutions. Security Managers lowering their cost of ownership, moving their budgets to Operating expenditures as they are allocated less capital expenditure dollars and trusting the solutions in the cloud to meet their needs.

How about 5 years from now?

I think Near Field Communications (NFC) will drastically change the way people access facilities, cars, homes, etc. It’s amazing to me how tethered people have become to their phones, using them for communication at every level. I think we’ll see a swift migration to using these devices for identification, authorization and access and it will change the way credentials are issued, tracked, and maintained.

What does your organization receive from membership in SIA that you’d like to share with others?

The ability to get involved in industry initiatives through SIA work groups/councils, better understand trends and have visibility to the market by participating in educational sessions at ISC, the New Product Showcase and networking at events such as the SIA Member’s Receptionat ISC.

Will you be attending ISC West in April? If so, what are you most looking forward to about the event?

Yes, Building Intelligence will have a booth 146 – it will be our first real introduction to the Security Industry in a big way. I am looking forward to sharing the BI value proposition with attendees and colleagues and getting their feedback. We will also be providing an education session on Vehicle Access with a use case presented by our client from Time Warner Center, one of the highest profile targets in New York City. I am eager to share new ideas with the audience and get their input on the overall risk as it pertains to “back door” access.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association (SIA).