The new year brings the chance to reflect – and as the last year of the decade, 2019 seems an especially appropriate one to think back on. For BlueWave, it was noteworthy for a handful of reasons, many of which are outlined below. Yet the most important part of 2019 remains, as it has for the last 15 years, our personnel. Without the dedicated women and men who swing the hammer day in and day out, we would have no cause for celebration, no pause for recollection. This document is both a celebration of, and a testament to, the tremendous work they have done and continue to do.
In with the NEW
We found ourselves saying the word “new” a lot the past year. We opened a new office, added a handful of new faces, brought on new clients, launched a new marketing strategy and built new software. We got new BlueWave coffee mugs, some of us started sitting on new yoga balls and we went to a few new tradeshows. Among the many new developments, three marked the direction and ultimate success of our year, (1) the launch of our new website, (2) the addition of new products to our line (video, ULA, software), and (3) our entrance into new market verticals.
BlueWave Security 2.0 – the new and improved website
As one of the first IP addressable Access Control manufacturers, way back when, we were at the forefront of the integration between the internet and the world of physical security. Our website, one of the very first of its kind, was cutting edge, explanatory, and saw us through the beginning of our business. The internet has changed a lot in the past 20 years…. unfortunately, our website did not. So, this past year we committed to a new look, a new feel, some upgraded imagery, and, most importantly, a brand-new website.
With the help of Eagle Marketing, our local Marketing and Website Development partner, our website was born. With a “slideshow” banner, automated webinar sign-ups, a BlueWave blog, detailed cut sheets and marketing material available for download, and case study documentation, we are thrilled with our new web presence.
The website also includes information about the lesser known areas of BlueWave, and tidbits about what we are up to. For example, did you know that BlueWave has a sustainability initiative? We use recycled cardboard boxes, brew our coffee by the pot, have reusable coffee mugs and are enrolled in a Community Shared Agriculture program (CSA).
For more specifics head over to the website www.bluewavesecurity.com
New Product Launches
Remaining on theme, 2019 saw the introduction of a handful of new products to the BlueWave line. We took great pains to remain current with our technology, iterating our software twice to fix bugs, add functionality and increase usability. But we also know that tech is only as good as the hardware it controls, so we made sure to add relevant hardware to our line as well. This year saw the introduction of a full spectrum BlueWave video line.
With five different camera options, covering up to a full 360 degrees, and megapixel power up to 12K, we can cover all your angles. What started as a modest three camera offering has now grown to a full-fledged, BlueWave OEM line. Our cameras, whether a 2-megapixel interior dome or 12 megapixel fisheye, all come preloaded with unique IP addresses, custom management software, integrations with preexisting security infrastructure, and a free training webinar. The cameras connect to a Network Video Recorder (NVR) that can handle up to 32 cameras and 40 terabytes of storage.
As a relative latecomer to the camera game, we have gotten up to speed fast. Easy to install and easier to manage, our cameras quickly became our fastest selling product in only 14 months.
With an eye to the future we plan on adding even more megapixel power, unique mounting options for those hard to reach places and a price point that is hard to beat.
Despite all this talk about cameras, we like to think of ourselves as a software company. Unlike most access control manufacturers out there, we built our management software in house and continue to improve upon it with our own engineers. This past year, we released two new versions of our software.
Spearheaded by our Head of Engineering, Natalie David, BlueView Version 18.0 was a major platform upgrade released in April of 2019. The new software features include:
Advanced Reporting: Filter, sort and export report results to various formats from the web interface. Quickly and easily narrow results to what’s most relevant.
Muster Report: Run a web report to determine which users have badged into a facility but have not badged out.
Improved Maintenance Tools: Enable/disable a door controller and force a full or incremental update to the door, using the web interface. “No Activity” web report expanded to cover Company/Site/Area to help determine which credentials in the system have not been recently used. Shift Use counts in the BlueView Shift screen help tidy your system by pinpointing which Shifts are used in Permissions, and which may be deleted. Time Zones for door controllers now displayed as standard time zone options, offering more intuitive use for installations across multiple time zones.
More Options to Customize Web Interface: Specify a check box view rather than a drop-down box for Access Group selection. Re-label Email and Cell Phone fields to store custom data. Display only Active cardholders on BlueWeb Home screen.
If all that weren’t enough, Natalie and her team were back at it in December with yet another improvement, BlueView Version 18.2. This update includes a brand-new user interface that includes quick links to the most used features, improved navigation between our “Webpages” and the full software and enhanced in-application help and support.
New Market Verticals
Growth was a major theme for our 2019 fiscal year and attacking new markets was a major part of that plan. Behind the energy and leadership of our new external sales team we broke into industries previously untapped, including Education, Local Government and Municipalities, Senior Living Facilities, Food Services and even a few Fortune 500 tech companies.
Working with such a diverse client based not only brought in more business, it also encouraged us to look at our technology with fresh eyes – and many of the improvements to our software and hardware offerings were born of feedback from new clients and new industries. For example, the muster reporting function in our software was created at the request of one of our School District clients, enabling them to see, in real time, what credentials are on premises. A particularly useful function in the event of an emergency.
A Few New Faces
We would be remiss not to mention the shot in the arm a few new faces provided us this past year. Among many others, a few notable additions to the BlueWave team include:
Rick Garcia, Senior Developer, who provided essential engineering expertise in the creation of our new software releases and has been instrumental in assisting our engineering team in anything and everything else. Rick is hard at work on a few exciting changes coming 2020, including a new BlueWave App and exciting integrations between our video and access control software.
Jack Merrifield, Director of National Accounts, joined early in 2019 and immediately began building an external sales team and pursuing new verticals. Jack was instrumental in our increased video sales, closing a few monster video deals that affirmed our confidence in the new BlueWave video line. On to 2020, Jack continues to build his sales team and is helping us open a brand-new sales office in San Diego, CA.
Neal From, Sales and Production Associate, came on to the team as a part time warehouse helper. In short order Neal had a noticeable impact on our business and we encouraged him to join us full time as a member of the Sales team. With limited prior experience in sales, Neal has soaked up everything like a sponge and established himself atop our sales leaderboard.
Not everything in 2019 was sparkling and new – and we are good with that! Perhaps our biggest value as an access control and video provider, is our expertise and technical support. Led by Alex Ezverov and James Botek, both veterans of BlueWave, 2019 saw the continuation of our successful support initiatives. This includes Annual Support Agreements, remote troubleshooting, onsite troubleshooting, tech dispatching and project management. Ensuring your system gets installed correctly and works the way you want it to is essential – and our tried and true support model makes sure of this. With more planned support offerings in 2020, we are committed to making support as easy and available as possible.
As the new year and decade begin to gain momentum, we are keeping a keen eye on the future. Our calendars are marked for much more exciting news coming from BlueWave in 2020. We have plans for a new Southern California office, a mobile based app, video and access software integrations, a 2-door controller, continued growth, more new hires, more blog posts, more webinars, and on and on. We want the new standard in physical, IP based security to be blue.