The Synology 2016 conferences will be held across 17 countries, providing a chance to develop closer customer relationships with attendees
Derren Lu, CEO of Synology Inc and Scott Lee,
Senior Manager of Software Development
Group for Surveillance

Synology – a company founded by two former Microsoft employees – began as a storage solution provider and grew to include surveillance in its product offerings. While many security companies in Taiwan are voicing their concerns over falling sales, Synology is seeing its products grabbing shares in the security market and the sales figures are continuing to grow.

Synology began its annual series of global roadshows in September, holding large-scale conferences in 17 countries spanning three continents, starting in Shanghai, China and ending in Istanbul, Turkey. In these “Synology 2016” conferences, the leading network-attached storage (NAS) vendor unveils new products and plans for the future. Most importantly, however, Synology sees these conferences as a chance to develop a closer relationship with their customers.

SourceSecurity.com’s APAC correspondent, Alyssa Fann caught up with Synology’s CEO, Derren Lu, for a quick interview at the end of the Taipei conference to discuss the company’s marketing and product strategy, and the story behind Synology’s success. As CEO, Lu oversees Synology’s global operations, with a focus on delivering products with innovative features and unrivalled customer service. Previously, Lu was also General Manager of Synology France, responsible for expanding growth in European markets.

Tracking the trends

SourceSecurity.com: Over 1,000 people registered for the Taipei event alone. What is the story behind these large-scale events?

Lu: End users today differ from end users of the past. The Internet of Things has changed the way companies interact with their customers. End users today strongly feel the need to understand and trust your company before using your products. For Synology, annual conferences such as these provide a platform for us to communicate with our customers and build a stronger relationship.

SourceSecurity.com: What are the main strategies that have enabled Synology to grow since its founding to become a global company?

Lu: We began as a software company, and one of Synology’s strengths is that we had no burdens. This enabled us to look at the entire market and trends to focus on catching what is important. For example, two trends that I feel Synology has successfully caught onto are cloud and mobile. When the first iPhone was launched, Synology immediately established a team to work on making our features mobile-friendly, as we saw mobile devices gaining significance in the future.

Overall, we analyse the main trends in the market and whether Synology has a part to play. If the answer is yes, we do it.

New kid on the security block

SourceSecurity.com: Were there any trends specific to the surveillance market that Synology has successfully caught on?

The years that it took IP-based solutions to overtake analogue solutions were beneficial for us – it allowed Synology to perfect its product offering

Lu: We began to offer video surveillance recording in 2007. Although we are a storage solution provider, we felt that simply providing a storage solution was insufficient; hence, we began to look at the applications that require storage. We immediately saw the large demand for storage in video recording. Back then, the security market was still predominately analogue, but we saw IP-based solutions overtaking analogue, which would translate to requirements for larger storage capacity and flexible storage options as resolutions grow. Hence, we chose to only focus on the NVRs for IP-based security solutions, despite security industry veterans suggesting to us that it may be years before IP-based solutions overtake analogue solutions in the security market.

At Synology, however, we decided not to divide our resources because we saw the analogue market as saturated. In fact, the years that it took IP-based solutions to overtake analogue solutions were beneficial for us – it allowed Synology to perfect its product offering. As a latecomer to the security market, Synology chose to focus on its strengths and compete in a new paradigm, instead of competing against established analogue solution providers.

Seeing value, not costs, in customer feedback

SourceSecurity.com: What is the percentage of security sales in Synology’s total sales?

Lu: Based on our analyses from data that users have consented to share, one in five Synology users also use our security solution. Also noteworthy, our beta software release of surveillance station 7.1 saw 35,000 to 40,000 downloads in the first couple of weeks. This is interesting as it is only the beta version, which is not generally popular with businesses as they are often averse to risking their stored data. We were surprised to see the amount of interest generated by the beta version of the software and that our end users are open to new concepts and features.

SourceSecurity.com: Did the customers take this opportunity to provide feedback?

Lu: They were very eager to provide feedback on the products in general. We found that they were eager to use this opportunity to communicate with us and did not limit their feedback to the new features. For Synology, we see great value in listening to the voices of our customers, as they often go on to recommend Synology to their friends and employers. We have many cases where our products, including surveillance solutions, were recommended to businesses by employees who use Synology products at home.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

Alyssa Fann APAC Correspondent, SourceSecurity.com

In case you missed it

Moving to sophisticated electric locking
Moving to sophisticated electric locking

In part one of this feature, we introduced the shotbolt – a solenoid actuator – as the workhorse at the heart of most straightforward electric locking systems. Shotbolts remain at the core of most sophisticated electric locking solutions as well. But they are supplemented by materials and technologies that provide characteristics suited to specialist security applications. Here we look at some more demanding electric locking applications and contemporary solutions. Preventing forced entry Where the end of the shotbolt is accessible, the electric holding force can be overcome by physical force. That’s why anti-jacking technology is now a frequent feature of contemporary electric solenoid lock actuators. Anti-jacking, dead-locking or ‘bloc’ technology (the latter patented by MSL) is inherent to the way the locking assembly is designed to suit the requirements of the end application. The patented bloc anti-jacking system is highly effective and incorporated into many MSL shotbolts deployed in electric locking applications. The bloc technology uses a ring of steel balls in a shaped internal housing to physically jam the actuated bolt in place. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm Real life applications for MSL anti-jacking and bloc-equipped shotbolts include installation in the back of supermarket trucks to secure the roller shutter. Once locked from the cab, or remotely using radio technology, these shutters cannot be forced open by anyone with ‘undesirable intentions’ armed with a jemmy. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm. While anti-jacking features are an option on these shotbolts, consideration was given to the construction materials to provide durability in saltwater environments. Marine locks use corrosion-proof stainless steel, which is also highly polished to be aesthetically pleasing to suit the prestigious nature of the vessel while hiding the innovative technology that prevents the lock being forced open by intruders who may board the craft. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common A less obvious example of integrated technology to prevent forced override is a floor lock. This lock assembly is mounted beneath the floor with round-top stainless-steel bolts that project upwards when actuated. They are designed to lock all-glass doors and are arguably the only discreet and attractive way to lock glass doors securely. In a prestigious installation at a historic entranceway in Edinburgh University, the floor locks are remotely controlled from an emergency button behind the reception desk. They act on twin sets of glass doors to quickly allow the doors to close and then lock them closed with another set of subfloor locks. No amount of stamping on or hitting the 15mm protruding bolt pin will cause it to yield, thus preventing intruders from entering. Or leaving! Explosion proofing In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosion. For example, remote electric locking is used widely on oil and gas rigs for stringent access control, general security and for emergency shutter release in the event of fire. It’s also used across many industrial sectors where explosion risks exist, including flour milling, In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosionpowder producers, paint manufacture, etc. This adds a new dimension to the actuator design, demanding not only intrinsically safe electrical circuits and solenoid coils, but the careful selection of metals and materials to eliminate the chance of sparks arising from moving parts. Resilience under pressure The technology boundaries of solenoids are always being pushed. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common. More recently, while not directly related to security in the traditional sense, proportional solenoid valves for accurately controlling the flow of hydrogen and gases now exist. Magnet Schultz has an extensive and somewhat innovative new range of hydrogen valves proving popular in the energy and automotive sectors (Fig. 2-6). There’s a different kind of security risk at play here when dealing with hydrogen under pressures of up to 1050 bar. Bio security Less an issue for the complexity of locking technology but more an imperative for the effectiveness of an electric lock is the frequent use of shotbolts in the bio research sector. Remote electric locking is commonplace in many bioreactor applications. Cultures being grown inside bioreactors can be undesirable agents, making 100% dependable locking of bioreactor lids essential to prevent untimely access or the unwanted escape of organisms. Again, that has proven to be topical in the current climate of recurring coronavirus outbreaks around the world. More than meets the eye In part one, I started by headlining that there’s more to electric lock actuation in all manner of security applications than meets the eye and pointed out that while electric locking is among the most ubiquitous examples of everyday security, the complexity often involved and the advanced technologies deployed typically go unnoticed.Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple For end users, that’s a very good thing. But for electro-mechanical engineers designing a system, it can present a challenge. Our goal at Magnet Schultz is to provide a clearer insight into today’s electric locking industry sector and the wide range of locking solutions available – from the straightforward to the specialised and sophisticated. Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple. There’s no substitute for expertise and experience, and that’s what MSL offers as an outsource service to designers. One benefit afforded to those of us in the actuator industry with a very narrow but intense focus is not just understanding the advantages and limitations of solenoid technology, but the visibility of, and participation in, emerging developments in the science of electric locking. Knowing what’s achievable is invaluable in every project development phase.

Key considerations for robust residential security
Key considerations for robust residential security

In the UK, one burglary occurs every 106 seconds. This means by the time you've finished reading this article, at least three will have taken place. Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates and deter opportunistic intruders. With 58% of burglaries said to take place while the homeowner is in, it seems that even the second wave of lockdowns, and an increased number of people confined to their homes, won't do much to eliminate the risk of burglary. Prioritise security for peace of mind Security is paramount, and in the case of new build projects, should be considered from the very beginning of the design process, not as an afterthought. When it comes to securing pre-existing buildings, there are countless security options which will ensure the perimeter is robust enough to withstand opportunistic attacks. It's also worth noting that security features don't have to be complicated. There are plenty of high-tech digital systems flooding the market, which can go a long way to reduce the risk of burglary and will provide peace of mind to the end user. However, this article will demonstrate how traditional security measures, such as high-quality perimeter fencing, can ensure practical safeguarding of properties for years to come.  Selecting robust physical security options to protect property boundaries and homes is essential to limit crime rates Timber! There are a number of different materials which can be specified to create a strong boundary. From metal railings, to timber fence panels, they will each help deter criminals somewhat. Wooden fence panels are a popular choice for their appearance, and the right product and installation can help to increase security.Our timber acoustic fencing can also reduce noise by up to 32dB and has a solid face with no hand or footholds, while still retaining the attractive natural timber aesthetic of a typical garden fence. However, maintenance is key, and one of the first thing burglars will notice is the condition a fence is in, rather than a particular style. Therefore, old, broken or rotten fence panels are a green light for opportunistic thieves. These can be easily broken or bypassed with minimal effort. When specifying fences as part of a new build housing development, we would suggest opting for high-quality timber, as this will ensure that it is protected against rot. Look for products with an extended guarantee or those that don't need additional treatment over the years. The condition of the fence should still be regularly inspected, and simple methods such as clearing piles of leaves away from the base of the boundary can help to prevent rot which weakens the timber.  Securing fence panels The recent rising cost of timber has led to a dramatic increase in fence panel theft, and panels that can be lifted from the posts are an easy target. Mitigate this risk by screwing the fence panels into the posts. This makes it much harder for the panels to be removed from the posts and creates a more secure barrier.  Concrete posts do offer benefits, but we always advise on timber posts for any fencing. They're strong, just like concrete, but they continue the same natural theme as the rest of the fence. Moreover, if you screwed the panels to concrete posts, they would most likely crack and become damaged, and then be at risk to the elements.  Astute design Design is also important. Installing fence rails on the inside of properties to prevent them from being used as climbing aids is highly recommended. Even better, using panels without rails on high-end developments is a clever tip if you want a secure fence with a high-spec look. Security features don't have to be complicated High fences with solid panels and no gaps in between make it considerably harder for potential burglars to climb over. They also offer better privacy to conceal rear garden areas from intruders, and are much sturdier than other alternative panels.  One common mistake is designing in features such as trees or children's climbing frames too close to the boundary. These can be used by burglars as climbing aids when attempting to scale the fence, making access easy. Investigate the surrounding area, which flanks the outside of the property boundary, as an unfortunately placed bin or bench can also help criminals gain entry. If the removal of these items is not possible, designing in a spiky bush can help deter intruders. It's also worth noting that gardens with numerous large features such as bushes or sheds can also negatively impact the level of security. A clear line of sight across the entire garden is highly recommended where possible. If this view is blocked, it's considerably easy for intruders to hide undetected. Front gardens  While tall, solid fence panels are recommended for rear gardens to prevent intruders from being able to see in and climb over, the opposite is true for front gardens. For street-facing gardens, a low fence or hedge is recommended to provide a clear view from the house. It also makes it much harder for intruders to hide from passers-by or neighbours, who can raise the alarm during a burglary. Another useful security technique to consider is a gravel drive. These create noise, which means the homeowner will know when it is in use. Pair this with a strong boundary fence, the likelihood of burglary dramatically decreases. This article only scratches the surface in unveiling the sheer volume of effective home security options on offer to protect homes and gardens. These investments can help minimise the risk of traumatic break-ins, while also simultaneously boosting the aesthetic of the property and its surroundings. 

How is AI changing the security market?
How is AI changing the security market?

Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?