CCTV Switchers & Switches - Expert commentary

Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment
Surge protection for security installations: 2017 saw increased investment

In 2017, DITEK saw how power surges from the many natural disasters that took place damaged many businesses. In a natural disaster, or even everyday business operations, a facility’s entire investment in security, life safety and surveillance systems technology can be disabled or rendered useless in a few seconds. Surge protection solutions can mitigate those risks and protect security investments. Proactive approach to risk mitigation Throughout 2017, we also witnessed a change in how enterprises view surge protection, which included how investments are being made in surge protection to protect valuable security, life safety and surveillance systems, while also reducing downtime, manpower costs, liability vulnerabilities, and possibly compliance issues that can force businesses to actually cease operations. Effective security management is about mitigating risks. But risks cannot be mitigated without a proactive approach. Enterprises and integrators, who take the time to assess risk and to develop a strategy to incorporate effective detection, deter and response criteria to protect physical assets will be successful in 2018. 2018 and beyond That strategy includes designing surge protection into new security systems, while also adding surge protection to existing systems. Enterprises and security integrators who implement a surge protection strategy during security planning processes – or after – will be exercising prevention and mitigation, and they will be successful in 2018 and beyond.  Surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise surveillance and security systems In 2017, Ditek continued to offer security end users a solid surge protection solution. We also successfully educated system integrators, who are seeking value-added products or services to incorporate into their portfolios, on the importance of surge protection devices. Educating security integrators We believe that surge protection devices have an untapped potential for enterprise video surveillance and security systems, because they can and do meet safety and security challenges that have been rarely identified in the past. We are looking forward to 2018, when we will continue to develop new surge protection products – including a new product engineered to protect up to twelve individual fuel dispensers, which is critical to the financial operation of convenience stores. We will also continue to educate security integrators about the importance of including surge protection in the design/build RFP, to not only secure an enterprise’s valuable security equipment, but also to help integrators to differentiate their capabilities and knowledge from the competition.

Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture
Technology evolution leads to changes in security control room furniture

Technology is changing the look and function of today’s security control rooms. Old-school CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitors are giving way to the thinner, flat screen monitors in the control room environment, but the transition is gradual. Randy Smith of Winsted still sees many control rooms that need to make the conversion, which is a boon to his company’s business. Furniture today is designed differently to accommodate the thinner monitors, often with larger screens. Need for integrated rack systems With the increase of IP-based systems comes the need for integrated rack systems that include advanced functionality such as cable management, adds Jim Coleman, National Sales Manager, AFC Industries. Server rooms are environmentally controlled by cooling systems and power systems monitored on the IP network. Low-profile flat screens allow centres to utilise space vertically, thus creating a smaller footprint for the consoles. Additionally, with IP-based systems, workstations will have a smaller footprint because there is less cumbersome equipment. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security, says Coleman. This environment also helps with cable and power management. AFC builds technical furniture racks that adhere to the precise needs of computer network server room operators. The company designs and fabricates LAN workbenches with versatile functionalities, and server room workstation racks that are scalable. There is a complete line of IT workbenches, IT computer racks and computer server rack mounts with flexible mounting options. In most cases the servers are stored in a secured, climate controlled environment to eliminate overheating of the servers and maintain their security Flexible control room designs Matko Papic, Chief Technology Officer of Evans Consoles, says the transition from bulky CRT equipment to flat-screen (lower profile) monitors was a major disruption in control room design; it changed the whole dynamic. Another evolution is the use of IP video streaming, which allows more flexibility in manipulation of audio-video content, and requires more flexible control room designs. Another shift, driven by larger, higher-definition monitors, is a shift to fewer monitors that display more information. Instead of a smaller monitor for each information stream, larger monitors now consolidate that information into “dashboard” displays. Looking ahead, control rooms will need to be more flexible, both in the initial design and the ability to adapt to changing technology, says Papic. Legacy customers who are currently using PCs may be moving to more remote applications. Sit-stand equipment will continue to be increasingly prevalent. “There will be more emphasis on flexibility, technology integration, and the ability to change over the life of the system,” says Papic. Consolidation of multiple operations into a single system A trend in security is consolidation of multiple physical operations into a single system, says Papic. As a result, more customers are taking more interest in alarm management and situational awareness. How is the technology being used in terms of alarm triggers? How can the systems react rapidly and provide information to a larger audience in the control room? These questions impact how control rooms are designed, and Evans Consoles can adapt lessons learned from other markets to these trends in the security arena. Greater use of technology is inevitable, says Coleman of AFC Industries. “It is virtually impossible for humans to monitor all security data at the street level in our cities,” he says. “As computers become more powerful and their programs more all-encompassing, we will see a greater shift to robotic and technology uses that will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities and safety Read our Control Rooms series here

Will security industry consolidation stifle innovation?
Will security industry consolidation stifle innovation?

The security industry will continue to see consolidation through acquisition in 2017. At the advent of IP camera adoption, we saw a great decline in large vertically integrated companies, which spurred a new era of innovation within smaller IP camera manufacturers, VMS providers and other hardware companies for storage and managed switches.   We are now living in a new era of consolidation that is taking us full-circle back to vertical integration. Ultimately, the industry as a whole suffers because this consolidation will stifle innovation until the next big technology disruption takes shape. Interoperability across different verticals  This time last year, we noted that the marketplace was moving toward converged technologies and the need for alarm management across multiple platforms into a common interface, turned out to be a popular request. If anything, we are only seeing just the beginning phases of this transition. The biggest surprise is that interoperability is not only confined to security technology, but also extends to parallel systems such as building automation, safety and environmental controls, and even Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Using Video Event Management Software (VEMS) alongside these intelligent platforms proves to be a valuable verification process for many new and exciting vertical markets. Arteco plans to continue the revenue growth and brand awareness achieved in 2016 Event-based video security software At Arteco, our highest growth sectors tend to be slightly insulated from economic fluctuation in the sense that we focus on securing critical infrastructure (electrical utilities and communications) as well as corporate and education campuses. Unfortunately, the continued growth in active shooter incidents have made physical security concerns top of mind for many organisations regardless of economic impact. The unexpected repercussions are that many new security technologies are emerging that cater to real-time event notification on both the macro and micro level. The exciting part of this trend is that users are leveraging a layered approach with multiple autonomous applications working together toward a common goal to improve security, which will hopefully ensure a high level of protection.  Business growth and challenges Business has continued to grow year-over-year, and 2016 was a huge step forward for Arteco not only in terms of revenue growth, but also increased brand awareness in the United States and abroad. Our biggest challenge continues to be the crowded VMS market, which is filled with lower cost or even free substitute products. We are making great strides in overcoming this challenge by having a wonderful team of people, both on the technical and sales side of the organisation, who are focused on finding new and innovative ways to advance intuitive, open and affordable event-based and intelligent video security software into 2017. See the full coverage of 2016/2017 Review and Forecast articles here 

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Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre
Safety in smart cities: How video surveillance keeps security front and centre

Urban populations are expanding rapidly around the globe, with an expected growth of 1.56 billion by 2040. As the number of people living and working in cities continues to grow, the ability to keep everyone safe is an increasing challenge. However, technology companies are developing products and solutions with these futuristic cities in mind, as the reality is closer than you may think. Solutions that can help to watch over public places and share data insights with city workers and officials are increasingly enabling smart cities to improve the experience and safety of the people who reside there. Rising scope of 5G, AI, IoT and the Cloud The main foundations that underpin smart cities are 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cloud. Each is equally important, and together, these technologies enable city officials to gather and analyse more detailed insights than ever before. For public safety in particular, having IoT and cloud systems in place will be one of the biggest factors to improving the quality of life for citizens. Smart cities have come a long way in the last few decades, but to truly make a smart city safe, real-time situational awareness and cross-agency collaboration are key areas which must be developed as a priority. Innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns Public places need to be safe, whether that is an open park, shopping centre, or the main roads through towns. From dangerous drivers to terrorist attacks, petty crime on the streets to high profile bank robberies, innovative surveillance cameras with integrated IoT and cloud technologies can go some way to helping respond quickly to, and in some cases even prevent, the most serious incidents. Many existing safety systems in cities rely on aging and in some places legacy technology, such as video surveillance cameras. Many of these also use on-premises systems rather than utilising the benefits of the cloud. Smart programming to deliver greater insights These issues, though not creating a major problem today, do make it more challenging for governments and councils to update their security. Changing every camera in a city is a huge undertaking, but in turn, doing so would enable all cameras to be connected to the cloud, and provide more detailed information which can be analysed by smart programming to deliver greater insights. The physical technologies that are currently present in most urban areas lack the intelligent connectivity, interoperability and integration interfaces that smart cities need. Adopting digital technologies isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Smart surveillance systems It enables teams to gather data from multiple sources throughout the city in real-time, and be alerted to incidents as soon as they occur. Increased connectivity and collaboration ensures that all teams that need to be aware of a situation are informed instantly. For example, a smart surveillance system can identify when a road accident has occurred. It can not only alert the nearest ambulance to attend the scene, but also the local police force to dispatch officers. An advanced system that can implement road diversions could also close roads around the incident immediately and divert traffic to other routes, keeping everyone moving and avoiding a build-up of vehicles. This is just one example: without digital systems, analysing patterns of vehicle movements to address congestion issues could be compromised, as would the ability to build real-time crime maps and deploy data analytics which make predictive policing and more effective crowd management possible. Cloud-based technologies Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation Cloud-based technologies provide the interoperability, scalability and automation that is needed to overcome the limitations of traditional security systems. Using these, smart cities can develop a fully open systems architecture that delivers interoperation with both local and other remote open systems. The intelligence of cloud systems can not only continue to allow for greater insights as technology develops over time, but it can do so with minimal additional infrastructure investment. Smart surveillance in the real world Mexico City has a population of almost 9 million people, but if you include the whole metropolitan area, this number rises sharply to over 21 million in total, making it one of the largest cities on the planet. Seven years ago, the city first introduced its Safe City initiative, and ever since has been developing newer and smarter ways to keep its citizens safe. In particular, its cloud-based security initiative is making a huge impact. Over the past three years, Mexico City has installed 58,000 new video surveillance cameras throughout the city, in public spaces and on transport, all of which are connected to the City’s C5 (Command, Control, Computers, Communications and Citizen Contact) facility. Smart Cities operations The solution enables officers as well as the general public to upload videos via a mobile app to share information quickly, fixed, body-worn and vehicle cameras can also be integrated to provide exceptional insight into the city’s operations. The cloud-based platform can easily be upgraded to include the latest technology innovations such as licence plate reading, behavioural analysis software, video analytics and facial recognition software, which will all continue to bring down crime rates and boost response times to incidents. The right cloud approach Making the shift to cloud-based systems enables smart cities to eliminate dependence on fibre-optic connectivity and take advantage of a variety of Internet and wireless connectivity options that can significantly reduce application and communication infrastructure costs. Smart cities need to be effective in years to come, not just in the present day, or else officials have missed one of the key aspects of a truly smart city. System designers must build technology foundations now that can be easily adapted in the future to support new infrastructure as it becomes available. Open system architecture An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations For example, this could include opting for a true cloud application that can support cloud-managed local devices and automate their management. An open system architecture will also be vital for smart cities to enhance their operations and deliver additional value-add services to citizens as greater capabilities become possible in the years to come. The advances today in cloud and IoT technologies are rapid, and city officials and authorities have more options now to develop their smart cities than ever before and crucially, to use these innovations to improve public safety. New safety features Though implementing these cloud-based systems now requires investment, as new safety features are designed, there will be lower costs and challenges associated with introducing these because the basic infrastructure will already exist. Whether that’s gunshot detection or enabling the sharing of video infrastructure and data across multiple agencies in real time, smart video surveillance on cloud-based systems can bring a wealth of the new opportunities.

Eagle Eye Networks forecasts key video surveillance and security trends for 2021
Eagle Eye Networks forecasts key video surveillance and security trends for 2021

Eagle Eye Networks, the globally renowned company in smart cloud video security, has shared the trends that will have the biggest impact on video surveillance, security, and use of analytics, to drive business intelligence and improvement in 2021. Cloud and advanced analytics Customers are asking for the cloud and advanced analytics will transform video surveillance systems into even more valuable business solutions. Compliance requirements are constantly evolving and IT departments are engaging with, and in many cases, owning video surveillance systems and customers are expecting systems to be open and connected. “A number of factors are driving the video surveillance trends in 2021,” said Hans Kahler, Vice President of Operations at Eagle Eye Networks, adding “Innovation from companies like Eagle Eye Networks and our partners is leading and meeting the demands of customers for their video surveillance systems to provide business insights in addition to security.” Combining AI and cloud video surveillance Combine the promise of AI and cloud video surveillance with the volatility, instability, and remote work environment of 2020" Hans Kahler adds, “Combine the promise of AI and cloud video surveillance with the volatility, instability, and remote work environment of 2020 and we have an environment where people are looking for their video surveillance and security systems to deliver more business value than ever before.” He further said, “The acceleration of cloud adoption and use of analytics to provide improved security and drive business improvement will make 2021 a transformative year for the industry.” Video Surveillance and Security Trends for 2021: Customers are asking for Cloud: The shift to the benefits of cloud in the video surveillance space are powerful and undeniable, including major cost savings, heightened data security, remote access and maintenance, flexible storage and retention, scalability, increased stability, and disaster recovery. Analytics and AI turn security systems into business solutions: Video surveillance systems are not just for security anymore, they’re also a valuable tool for business intelligence (BI). While AI has been talked about for several years, its deployment has lagged. This year, we’ll see AI move from the lab to practical adoption. Compliance requirements are constantly evolving: As video surveillance becomes a more widely adopted tool across industries and continents and more industries are using video for compliance purposes, regulating its use is becoming more prevalent. IT departments more engaged and owning video surveillance: IT leaders have not only got involved in the video management system, but have also started owning it. As part of their IT strategy, corporations are leveraging video for business process improvement while reducing unnecessary operational overhead. Demand for open, integrated systems: An open and connected ecosystem makes it possible for businesses and developers to integrate any number of applications on a single video management system (VMS) platform. The VMS platform handles all the heavy lifting of interfacing with the cameras, recording video, securely transmitting and storing video to the cloud, and making video available for use in the integrated applications. The days of vendors ‘locking’ users into their cameras or touting ‘hybrid’ systems (which require upgrades to vendor hardware to get new features) will not be accepted.

Eagle Eye Networks forecasts key video surveillance trends for 2021
Eagle Eye Networks forecasts key video surveillance trends for 2021

The events of 2020, combined with technological advances and the adoption of cloud and artificial intelligence for video surveillance, will make 2021 a transformational year for the industry. Eagle Eye Networks, the front-runner in smart cloud video security, shared the trends that will have the biggest impact on video surveillance, security, and the use of analytics to drive business intelligence and improvement in 2021. Customers are asking for the cloud; Advanced analytics will transform video surveillance systems into even more valuable business solutions; Compliance requirements are constantly evolving; IT departments are engaging with, and in many cases owning video surveillance; and, Customers are expecting systems to be open and connected. Customers demand video surveillance systems “A number of factors are driving the video surveillance trends in 2021,” said Hans Kahler, Vice President of Operations at Eagle Eye Networks. “Innovation from companies like Eagle Eye Networks and our partners is leading and meeting the demands of customers for their video surveillance systems to provide business insights in addition to security.” Delivering business value Hans Kahler added, “Combine the promise of AI and cloud video surveillance with the volatility, instability, and remote work environment of 2020 and we have an environment where people are looking for their video surveillance and security systems to deliver more business value than ever before.” “The acceleration of cloud adoption and use of analytics to provide improved security and drive business improvement will make 2021 a transformative year for the industry.” Video surveillance and security trends Customers are Asking for Cloud The shift to the benefits of the cloud in the video surveillance space is powerful and undeniable, including major cost savings, heightened data security, remote access and maintenance, flexible storage and retention, scalability, increased stability, and disaster recovery. Analytics and AI Turn Security Systems into Business Solutions Video surveillance systems are not just for security anymore, they’re also a valuable tool for business intelligence (BI). While AI has been talked about for several years, its deployment has lagged. This year, we’ll see AI move from the lab to practical adoption. Compliance Requirements are Constantly Evolving As video surveillance becomes a more widely adopted tool across industries and continents and more industries are using video for compliance purposes, regulating its use is becoming more prevalent. IT Departments More Engaged and Owning Video Surveillance IT leaders have not only gotten involved in the video management system, they’re actually owning it. As part of their IT strategy, corporations are leveraging video for business process improvement while reducing unnecessary operational overhead. Demand for Open, Integrated Systems An open and connected ecosystem makes it possible for businesses and developers to integrate any number of applications on a single video management system (VMS) platform. The platform handles all the heavy lifting of interfacing with the cameras, recording video, securely transmitting and storing video to the cloud, and making the video available for use in the integrated applications. The days of vendors locking users into their cameras or touting hybrid systems (which require upgrades to vendor hardware to get new features) will not be accepted.