Access control system accessories - Expert commentary

Surveillance in 2017: 360-degree cameras  a primary device for total situational awareness
Surveillance in 2017: 360-degree cameras a primary device for total situational awareness

The physical security market continues to experience growth as users look to capitalise on the promises of emerging technologies and because of this, 2017 proved to be a great year for Oncam. In fact, this year was the best year in Oncam's history in terms of sales, as 360-degree fisheye cameras have gone from being a “specialty” camera used only in certain applications to a primary device for enabling total situational awareness. Today, many of our customers leverage 360-degree cameras exclusively to provide extensive coverage inside a facility or in a large outdoor area, with traditional narrow field-of-view cameras used only at “choke” points. Increase in cybersecurity threats and breaches At the end of 2016, we predicted a major trend this year would be an increase in cybersecurity concerns for users of physical security systems, and we were right. An increase in cybersecurity threats and breaches have put organisations on watch. Based on this and the adoption of more IT-centric infrastructure and protocols, there is significant collaboration between IT and physical security, and true “convergence” is finally starting to happen. The adoption of video analytics also continued to increase this year, as most video surveillance projects involved the use of some form of analytics and data analysis. Demand for safeguards As we move into 2018, the trends of 2017 will roll over, and cybersecurity will continue to be a major issue. Suppliers of hardware and software will put an even greater emphasis being cyber secure and end users will increasingly demand safeguards. Additionally, the deployment and use of advanced analytics based on newer artificial intelligence-based technologies will continue to increase. It will be the technology providers that find ways to allow users to capture additional value from the information collected by security systems that will accelerate growth. Oncam made significant investments in new products that leverage analytics and cloud technologies. In 2018, we will continue to invest in the development of new products, with a focus on solutions for particular applications across industry segments. Beyond our technology advancements, we've invested significantly in boosting our sales force in the Americas and adding industry experts to ensure sustained customer and partner success with our solutions. From our vantage point, Oncam is well positioned to capitalise on opportunities for growth in the coming year.

Connected, cyber-secure solutions will lead the security market in 2018
Connected, cyber-secure solutions will lead the security market in 2018

2017 was quite an interesting and eventful year for the physical security industry. The economy has been robust and technology has become progressively sophisticated—with interactive services, cloud computing and network-based solutions taking charge to provide new insights to installers and their end-user customers. The Internet of Things is creating increasingly integrated solutions, with a heightened emphasis on total connectivity. Changing security expectations World events have also put the spotlight on the need for comprehensive security at public events, tourist attractions and schools and campuses. Security is an expectation and systems integrators are becoming trusted advisors to their customers, who are looking to them to solve problems or issues. Residential systems are more robust and now, are migrating to the commercial side of the business. There’s a blurring of the lines of technology—many of the products that come to the security industry originate from the consumer side. This proposition is also changing expectations by both residential and commercial customers, who want common, easy operation from their smartphone or user interface. Unexpected was some of the biggest deals in the industry, including acquisitions by dominant companies who grew even larger and continued ongoing consolidation on the manufacturing side. Those who remain will need to be progressive and step up their game with the latest proven technologies. Selling hardware isn’t the end game any longer. It’s providing solutions that generate revenue for security dealers and offer a solid return on investment for the end-user. In addition, solutions need to be easier for the user, and integrate many different systems and components across the enterprise. Cybersecurity safeguards End users want to get the most out of their solutions—and they want to be able to have more than safety and security. They are looking for the types of products that yield insights into system performance and give them the data the need for greater control and to proactively address any challenges or problems before they occur. Downtime is not an option and therefore, there’s an increased emphasis on consistent power so solutions are always on and running reliably. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines Cybersecurity is a dominant conversation in the security industry these days and that buzz will continue into 2018. Because solutions are increasingly network connected, they have vulnerabilities that will have to be addressed by service providers and manufacturers. Manufacturers will need to take the upper hand in providing hardened products—testing and certifying for cybersecurity safeguards. That is not an easy task and can be expensive, but it needs to be done. Because cybersecurity is in constant evolution, many will go the route of outsourcing this component of their manufacturing to third parties well-versed in threat detection and hardening. Hardened products will also need to evolve with new emerging attacks. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines. Intelligent access control solutions Manufacturers no longer operate in silos. They are working with systems integrators to more fully understand their needs and those of the end-user. Manufacturers are also partnering with technology providers—bringing in the expertise of others so their solutions are comprehensive and holistic. We will continue to see integration of formerly disparate components, open systems and open APIs. There will also be strong migration to access control systems with edge intelligence and power over Ethernet, leveraging existing cabling for network connectivity. The winners will be those who take the lead in providing cyber secured and hardened products, as well as companies who partner with others to bring best of breed solutions to market. The losers will be those who continue to develop proprietary, closed systems and fail to recognise the importance of network connectivity for real-time, proactive reporting. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7 Ongoing partner success LifeSafety Power® has been working consistently and diligently on elevating the status of power from unintelligent hardware device to network-connected component that yields rich data for the user and allows the installer to provide remote monitoring and managed power services. We have changed the paradigm of power but there’s additional work to do to get people to understand the new, critical role power plays in comprehensive enterprise and campus security. Now, security installers can help the end user know what’s happening with locks, access control, gates or other connected solutions and fix problems before they happen. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7. We have also had continued, ongoing successes with our many partners in the access control community and that’s where we will further focus our efforts in 2018—working with leading security solution providers to present the best technologies and solutions that are reliable, certified and present the types of insights security dealers need to offer customers to provide the highest levels of service. This will also help security dealers and integrators differentiate themselves and compete more effectively in the crowded marketplace.

Intercoms increasingly popular in education, campuses and multi-tenant housing markets
Intercoms increasingly popular in education, campuses and multi-tenant housing markets

Part 1 in our Intercoms in Security Series Lambert-St. Louis International Airport uses Code Blue intercoms Organisations are demanding a new level of interoperability among mission-critical security systems. Intelligible audio, the ability to hear, be heard and be understood, is critical to communication, which is essential to the core security processes within an organisation, as well as to emergency situations. Intelligible audio provides a platform to optimise various processes, including the use of security officers. “Our main thrust is to ensure our clients see intelligible and interoperable audio, not as an option, but as instrumental to their budget optimisation, stakeholder communication and risk mitigation efforts,” says Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America, a manufacturer of intercoms and other communications solutions. Iintercoms in building safety and security  The role of intercoms in building safety and security is a given across many markets, and that use is growing. Intercoms are used in campus call boxes, elevators, muster locations, and for emergency notification. The trend is toward video, audio and access control, all tied together. There is also an emphasis on providing intelligible audio in any environment, even demanding ones. The education market has historically been a large sector for intercoms. Emergency phones and intercoms traditionally have been found throughout education settings, including colleges and universities, where they remain quite popular. Expanding markets for two-way communication In recent years, however, their popularity has also grown within the healthcare and mass transit sectors, where their versatility allows authorities to react to emergency situations while also providing a wide range of applications for non-emergency situations, such as car trouble or requests for directions. Intercoms can fulfill a variety of emergency and non-emergency needs in places like downtown Santa Ana, California (Photo courtesy Code Blue) “Markets of all sizes and shapes can benefit from a two-way communication solution that can help individuals place calls for assistance with first responders, police departments or customer service representatives,” says David Fleming, Chief Design Officer for Code Blue Corp. Intercoms for public and private sectors Aiphone is another intercom manufacturer for which education is a big market. Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp., says about 80 percent of both public and private K-12 and higher education campuses are using at least one intercom in some form. That percentage grows to nearly 100 percent for hospitals, which are using intercoms as nurse-call stations and at parking facilities, exterior door entries, nurseries and pharmacies, he says. "About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms" Up to 70 percent of larger multi-family facilities are also using intercoms. And that percentage is even higher in older, heavily populated Eastern cities. Many locales have laws mandating the use of audio and video intercoms on buildings beyond a threshold number of units. About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms, says Czerwinski. In the past year, Aiphone’s emergency stations have become very popular, particularly in campus settings; both commercial and higher education. Also, a growing number of unmanned parking garages are using the stations to allow patrons to immediately reach first responders or security personnel. Each of these markets still has growth potential, but by its sheer size, the commercial market offers the greatest opportunities, according to Aiphone. Video-enabled IP intercoms Intercom usage differs widely in various global markets, according to Craig Szmania, CEO of 2N USA, a manufacturer of IP intercoms. In the North American market, intercom usage is relatively low compared to the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, where intercoms are a more mature market. Security, convenience, systems integration and IP-versus-analogue adoption are driving usage and growth to more than 20 percent year-over-year. More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution, according to Szmania. “Our intercom portfolio targets all the major verticals, but we have had particular success in the education sector – K-12 and universities,” says Szmania. “These end users are looking for specific features in securing their campuses, providing convenience to their administrators, employing programmability for differing use scenarios throughout the campus, and integration to their telephony or other systems.” More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution Szmania says the latter point is becoming a particular need in light of a requirement for campus-wide communication and coordination in emergency situations. “Our intercoms integrate seamlessly with third party solutions such as Cisco’s telephone systems that are the communication backbones of many schools and campuses,” he adds. IP-based solutions in residential verticals Considering near-term growth potential, single family and multi-tenant residential verticals have fantastic opportunities for increased usage of door stations/intercoms in the United States, according to Szmania. The company has entered this space over the last several years and has grown to be a market leader in IP-based integrated solutions, especially in the home automation space. The adoption of IP networked solutions for condominiums and apartments is just taking off, driven in part by consumer demand for mobile-anywhere video, audio and door control. The service is also a driver for integrator/dealer adoption of the technology to provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). 2N has also achieved triple-digit growth in commercial building installations over the past two years. Building owners, IT departments and security managers want and need a networked solution for control and security. 2N’s open platforms are a good fit, says Szmania. Read part 2 of our Security Intercoms series here

Latest HID Global news

HID Global deploys Seos credential technology and HID readers to upgrade American School of Guatemala’s access control system
HID Global deploys Seos credential technology and HID readers to upgrade American School of Guatemala’s access control system

HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that the American School of Guatemala has selected its Seos credential technology to modernise its physical access system. Enhanced campus security The solution significantly improves campus security and traffic efficiency for students and parents, along with enabling staff to easily issue and manage access credentials. “We’ve significantly improved the management of vehicle traffic by reducing the time it takes for parents to access the parking lot. We’ve been able to improve evacuation and emergency processes for our students and staff,” said a spokesperson for the Security Office, American School of Guatemala. Seos credential technology The spokesperson adds, “And, best of all, we have an automated system to manage the entry and exit times of our employees to know where everyone is located on our large campus.” The American School of Guatemala is a private K-12 college preparatory school in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The school partnered with local security integrator, Grupo RQM and HID Global to replace its legacy system, which consisted of written documentation and fingerprint logs. HID readers installed at access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points and 1,500 Seos smart cards issued to students, parents and staff. In addition to automating and streamlining access to the school’s buildings, the solution has led to a reduction in the average student drop-off time from 40 to 18 minutes. The school also launched a pilot with HID Mobile Access to allow secure access to the school’s parking lot via mobile IDs stored on smartphones. To gain entry, users simply drive up and hold their mobile phone to a reader, an important feature since most students travel in bulletproof armored vehicles that lack the ability to lower windows.   Upgraded security and authentication solutions “The American School of Guatemala’s access control system has all the hallmarks of HID’s industry-renowned security and authentication solutions,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global.  Harm Radstaak adds, “From flexibility and security to ease-of-use, HID’s unique combination of forward-looking technology and intuitive design helps create a robust solution that fortifies the school’s campuses and elevates the user experience.” Due to the successful deployment, school officials plan to replace its traditional key system with Seos smart cards for additional use cases, such as library and student payment services.

HID Global acquires Technology Solutions and adds ruggedised mobile RFID readers to its identification technologies portfolio
HID Global acquires Technology Solutions and adds ruggedised mobile RFID readers to its identification technologies portfolio

HID Global, a worldwide provider of trusted identity solutions, announced that it has acquired Technology Solutions (TSL) UK Ltd, a global provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) handheld readers. TSL designs develop and manufacture ruggedised mobile RFID readers and other multi-technology, mobile device peripherals used to identify and track products and assets. “The acquisition of TSL is a strategic fit for HID, which builds upon our leadership in identification technologies by adding proven handheld RFID readers to our robust portfolio of tags and Internet of Things enablement solutions,” said Björn Lidefelt, CEO of HID Global. “Expanding our RFID components business with TSL readers provides our customers a one-stop-shop for a complete RFID offering of hardware and integration tools - all through a shared distribution channel.”  Mobile data capture TSL works with a worldwide network of distributors, OEMs and system integrators to offer innovative mobile data capture solutions for a variety of applications, such as supply chain management, stock inventory control and ticketing. The TSL handheld readers are industry-agnostic for use in retail, hospitality, animal ID, waste management, industry and logistics and any vertical market or application where RFID tags are used. TSL products make it possible for customers to select their mobile device of choice for display and data processing The reader portfolio is focused on RAIN RFID ultra-high frequency (UHF) and also supports high-frequency (HF), low-frequency (LF), barcodes and QR codes for the broadest range of use cases. With a core competency in designing reader units that are independent of display units, TSL products make it possible for customers to select their mobile device of choice for display and data processing and easily upgrade to new phones and tablets as display devices over time. Mobile operating systems In addition, the range of handheld readers are operating-system-independent; they work with iOS, Android and Windows phones and tablets, as well as other Bluetooth-enabled devices. TSL also provides its own mobile apps and a proven, stable, easy to use developer platform with SDKs and APIs that make it easy for third parties to develop across all major mobile operating systems, resulting in hundreds of apps supporting the readers to date.  Based in Loughborough, United Kingdom, Technology Solutions was founded in 1994 with a focus on engineering and operations excellence serving Fortune 500 companies around the world. TSL is now a Business Unit within HID’s Identification Technologies Business Area, which is led by Marc Bielmann, Senior Vice President and Head of Identification Technologies.

ASSA ABLOY announces the acquisition of global RFID provider Technology Solutions in the UK
ASSA ABLOY announces the acquisition of global RFID provider Technology Solutions in the UK

ASSA ABLOY has acquired Technology Solutions (TSL) in the UK, a global provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) handheld readers. TSL designs, develops and manufactures ruggedised mobile RFID readers and other multi-technology, mobile device peripherals used to identify and track products and assets. "I am very pleased to welcome TSL into the ASSA ABLOY Group. TSL is a strategic technological addition to the ASSA ABLOY Group and reinforces our current RFID offering and provides complementary growth opportunities,” says Nico Delvaux, President and CEO of ASSA ABLOY. Broad RFID portfolio “The acquisition of TSL expands HID’s broad RFID portfolio with proven hardware and integration tools that extend our leadership in identification technologies,” says Björn Lidefelt, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Technologies business unit HID Global. TSL was founded in 1994 and has some 25 employees. The main office is located in Loughborough, UK. Sales in 2020 amounted to about MGBP 3 (approx. MSEK 30) with a good EBIT margin and the acquisition will be accretive to EPS from start.

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