Healthcare security applications
Like many inpatient health facilities around Europe, the Centre Psychothérapique de Nancy (CPN) in France had a persistent problem with lost physical keys. If a key went missing — lost or misplaced, by a resident or staff member — multiple cylinders in a unit would need to be replaced. The expense in terms of staff time and money was significant, and never-ending. And like many other health centres, CPN turned to Aperio wireless technology for a solution. Over 160 Aperio wire...
It was over a century ago that Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) was founded, as a gift by industrialist Uri T. Hungerford. The vision was to create a community hospital that would serve as a beacon of hope and a place of comfort for the ill and injured. 100 years later, that same community spirit has helped CHH evolve into a vibrant, independent, affordable healthcare network that delivers a comprehensive range of healthcare programs and services for over 100,000 lives in Northwestern Conne...
Nowadays, the telecare sector still relies heavily on traditional systems or even analogue systems, which lags behind the proliferation of smart technology in other sectors. Akuvox, with its blockbuster indoor monitor, is tipping the UK telecare sector towards more humane, proactive and intelligent care through a project involving half a million elderly people living in thousands of care homes. Akuvox's customer, a key telecare service provider in the UK, sought to transform its traditional tel...
Hospitals, medical centres, university training centres, clinics and other healthcare institutions are exposed to legal liability, ethical concerns and are subject to litigation and lawsuits, as well as changing regulation worldwide. Facilities have drugs and medical equipment onsite, making them a tempting target for crime. Healthcare industry challenges At the same time, aging populations in developed nations will drive increased demand for patient treatment. Rising populations and eco...
The Savelberg nursing home has implemented smart domotics to provide elderly people affected by dementia with a wider range of movement. Depending on individual abilities, residents can move freely within three living zones. Savelberg has chosen the Conview Care solution from Leertouwer, which uses MOBOTIX cameras. Integrating residential and care services Savelberg in Gouda is part of Zorgpartners Midden-Holland. Zorgpartners is a full-service organisation offering diverse residential and car...
When it comes to securing a residential care home, there are no second chances. You need access control you can trust. In Pamplona, the Casa de la Misericordia care home put its trust in SMARTair™, advanced wireless access control from ASSA ABLOY. Caring for elderly residents Caring for vulnerable or elderly people presents a unique set of security challenges. Crucially when it comes to access control, residents may find it difficult to adapt to new or complex technology. Yet at the same...
From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A brief history of 3D technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modelling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialisation, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organisations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts." Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What does this mean for the security or facility manager today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects. Example benefits of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example benefit of reality capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared. They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorisation before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious use of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualisation of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalise the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly competitive landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved customer engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance traditional security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased market growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide status updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetising smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research programme to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 programme and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the programme, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative review team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the programme by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Centre Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating for the security industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organised paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavour to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the programme. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the centre’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilising the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes in the GSA programme Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical access control products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labour SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates to guidance for procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA programme for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorised by the manufacturer. GSA pricing tool Since the GSA utilises a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming challenges for the security community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) programme that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorised under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forwardThe GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernisation is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable tools for vendor training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod programme have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialised repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditisation). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a CCTV system and why?
Complicated key management systems can detrimentally affect nursing care. Staff using older, mechanical key systems find it difficult to keep track of who has the keys. Searching for that person to gain access to controlled drugs can waste much of a nurse’s valuable time. Pharmacy managers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QE Birmingham), identified a better solution for secure, quick and convenient staff access to controlled medicines: the PROTEC2 CLIQ® electromechanical locking system from ASSA ABLOY group brand ABLOY. Encrypted electronic locking and identification PROTEC2 CLIQ® is a key-based access control system based on high-security mechanical disc cylinders combined with highly encrypted electronic locking and identification. ASSA ABLOY worked with medical equipment manufacturer Bristol Maid to supply QE Birmingham with 1,400 keys and 1,600 cylinders to improve medicine security at the hospital – further broadening the company’s experience in safeguarding access to healthcare environments across Europe. With CLIQ®, power to the cylinder is supplied by a standard battery inside every programmable CLIQ® key, so no wires are required, making it an ideal retrofit solution for doors, cabinets and mobile drug trolleys. Each employee can now carry a single, physically identical, programmable CLIQ® key that opens any CLIQ® cylinder for which the system has authorised its access. No CLIQ® cylinder can be opened without the key first being authorised by the software. Remote key management QE Birmingham’s new PROTEC2 CLIQ® system also allows for remote key management. Comprehensive audit trails for locks and padlocks are available on demand, so chief pharmacists and nurse managers can instantly generate a report detailing who has accessed particular cabinets or drug trolleys at any time. It is easy to remove access permissions from lost or stolen keys using the admin software, or to amend the access permissions of any CLIQ® key. All these features are enabled by CLIQ® technology, and combine to substantially increase the security of controlled drugs — and to save nurses’ time. “Efficiency is also increased,” explains Aaron Ballard Ridley, healthcare sales specialist at ABLOY UK. “As each nurse has access to their own key with personalised access rights, they don’t have to waste time looking for who has the key to a particular cupboard.” “The message from all nursing staff is that patients are getting medicines much easier and in a more timely fashion,” says Inderjit Singh, Chief Pharmacist at QE Birmingham. “For us, the key return on investment is the quality of service we’re providing.”
People feel at home where they feel good and are familiar with the surroundings. The retirement village in the centre of Windisch in a park-like environment, is an ideal place to be for people in their third and fourth stages of life. The facility provides different types of living, support and care, plenty of variety and numerous opportunities to take part in group activities. EVVA inner code system Elderly residents with different residential options including care and support call Sanavita Alterszentrum Lindenpark their home. A pleasant and appealing atmosphere within and around the development is paramount – it goes without saying that security is also in the focus. In terms of locking systems owners opted for a combination of mechanical and electronic locking system: EVVA ICS and Xesar. Xesar: guaranteed healthcare Particularly healthcare facilities are highly sensitive areas that not everyone should have access to. A highly secure, yet flexible locking system is required to ensure access restrictions and simultaneously grant medical staff fast access to individual areas. You can flexibly grant and revoke access authorisations. As a result, exclusively authorised users are granted access. Consequently, the existing locking system at Alterszentrum Lindenpark was replaced by Xesar. Safeguarding medical cabinets The electronic solution now also secures medical cabinets including drawers containing toxic substances as well as refrigerated medical cabinets at the corresponding ward facilities. The Xesar wall reader as the updater unit at the main entrance guarantees fast security within the existing virtual network. Xesar wall readers in combination with electronic motorised cylinders (EMZY) have been installed in all outside doors. The project was managed by EVVA Rotkreuz and local EVVA Partner UTO Sicherheitstechnik AG took care of system installation. Securing residents’ properties “Securing the building towards the outside and securing residents’ properties was the primary aim”, Remo Breuss explains, EVVA’s head of sales in Switzerland. “Exclusively authorised persons must have access to medical areas. Xesar can record a precise protocol showing who has access to what and when. The ICS mechanical locking system has also been integrated. "The vast number of different user groups was a particular challenge. The project also required plenty of expertise to comply with the requirements for an escape route concept as per statutory stipulations. The combination of electronic and mechanical locking system was the ideal solution for Alterszentrum Lindenpark.” EVVA technology in the facility 502 ICS cylinders 415 Xesar combi keys 21 e-half cylinders 56 e-escutcheons 162 e-handles 14 wall readers 1 updater unit
The City International Hospital (CIH) is a new multi-specialty hospital located within the Binh Tan district in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Located in the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park, CIH features the latest medical technology and imaging equipment. With a large volume of visitors anticipated at the hospital every day, the need for a best-in-breed surveillance solution was a high priority from the onset of the project. To fulfill this requirement, hospital administrators turned to Citek Corporation, a technology integrator located in Ho Chi Minh City. IP surveillance with Arecont megapixel cameras The need to secure CIH by maintaining the highest levels of situational awareness was a primary design objective for the new video surveillance system. To achieve this goal, Hoa Lam’s management team worked together with Citek’s technical personnel to design and install a superior video surveillance system. The decision to deploy an IP surveillance solution featuring Arecont Vision megapixel cameras was based on superior functionality and image quality, ease of use, and the ability to manage the system centrally or remotely. “We always rely on the quality of Arecont Vision® cameras”, says Mr. Thomas Tran, CEO of Citek Corporation. “Our experience with Arecont Vision® has made them our first choice for every large project because of their exceptional performance and image quality.” Situational awareness both day and night Citek became an Arecont Vision® installer in Vietnam in 2009, and installation of the video surveillance system was a smooth process by the experienced integrator. The video surveillance system at CIH is monitored on a local network, which includes a main server and two client systems. There are approximately two hundred Arecont Vision cameras installed at the CIH facility to date There are approximately two hundred Arecont Vision® cameras installed at the facility to date, including approximately one hundred SurroundVideo® 360° AV8365DN 8 megapixel (MP) panoramics and 35 SurroundVideo® 180° AV8185DN 8 MP panoramic cameras. These high-performing cameras deliver exceptional situational awareness in both day and night lighting conditions. Additionally, there are approximately 60 Arecont Vision® MegaVideo® AV2115DN compact day/night megapixel cameras installed at key locations which are operational 24/7. “The quality of Arecont Vision® cameras more than satisfies our requirements for image quality,” said Mr. Lai Voon Hon, General Director of Hoa Lam-Shangri-La. “The system is working very well for us and Arecont Vision® is extremely responsive to our needs.” Substantial savings, superior coverage The CIH management team carefully evaluated their long-term return on investment (ROI) comparing IP and analogue surveillance system solutions. Since a smaller number of Arecont Vision® megapixel cameras provide superior area coverage to conventional cameras, substantial savings are derived. This includes reducing the number of cameras, cables, poles, and housings plus the requirement for less ongoing maintenance and fewer VMS licences. Additional savings are derived from the reduction in manpower needed to watch video feeds and guard the facility. Beyond the financial benefits, CIH management recognises the intangible ROI achieved from maintaining high security, which makes the facility a safer place for patients, staff and visitors. “The International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park will be the first integrated healthcare development in Vietnam to provide a comprehensive healthcare environment employing high-tech medical equipment and a professional medical staff. Our new video surveillance system is an important element of that environment,” said Mr. Lai Voon Hon.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and general practitioner surgeries are locations that pose significant challenges for security managers with lots of activities needing to take place quickly, such as lifesaving treatments, while ensuring the protection of patients, staff and property. MOBOTIX intelligent video MOBOTIX intelligent video systems, using decentralised architecture, have proven a particularly good fit to solve many of these issues. Alongside traditional video surveillance, MOBOTIX uses smart sensors able to detect a wide range of things such as person leaving a room or a bed during the night; how often lights are turned on; as well as the heat and room temperature control. Information from biomedical sensors and devices can also be captured and displayed in real time to notify care providers. Seamless integration For example, an integrated TELUS broadband service or other infernal facility infrastructures can send alarm notifications via SMS, voice & video messages or simply triggering a beeper. The open application programming interface (API) and software development kits allows MOBOTIX devices to be seamlessly integrated into a range of audio, video and SIP devices plus healthcare industry specific Lab Information System (LIS) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems: A truly healthy option.
Located in the city of Pinelands, South Africa's Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) is a non-profit, independent organisation operating throughout the Western Cape. However, in reality, this is the largest blood bank in the nation and shoulders a medical responsibility commiserate with this status. Annually in charge of over 165,000 units of blood, the WPBTS operates in accordance with both the World Health Organisation's international standards and local South African national law to assist patients with their medical needs. Monitoring medical areas In late 2011, the WPBTS contacted South African security installer Verivision to develop a hybrid solution that would: Ensure that sensitive medical areas are continually monitored Logistically monitor the packaging and dispatching of blood stock Monitor the movement of individuals throughout the facility Interestingly, from its very inception, this solution was meant to transcend the traditional goals of a normative security. This is to say, instead of only stopping 'bad guys', this WPBTS solution is intended to add value and bring logistical benefits to the medical facility. This is not to say that security was de-prioritised; but rather that it is meant to highlight the multi-functional IP role that Verivision aspires towards. iVMS Smart Search A big part of this value-add was the logistical tracking of blood packets. In this case, it was a Hikvision software feature that helped facilitate this aspect of the solution. Specifically, it was Hikvision iVMS-4200 Software's Smart Search feature for both the facility's existing analogue and IP cameras. Essentially, this feature provides motion detection, in a specified area, for security functions. In the case of the WPBTS, cameras are trained on a certain area containing valuable blood stock; if activity occurs, Hikvision's DS-8132HFSI-SH Standalone DVR is programmed to start recording a particular camera's video feed. Furthermore, if a bookkeeping incongruence is later detected, Smart Search allows the Material Manager (the individual largely responsible for the day-to-day and managerial duties associated with this IP CCTV system) to quickly search for the associated video based upon related date & time parameters. Keith Lewis, owner of Verivision, noted, "In many respects, this Smart Search feature is the key to the entire solution. Of course, it is only one of many aspects; however much of the hardware and technical work that went into designing the overall system was based upon the idea of efficiency. Smart Search very much epitomises this efficiency and has improved overall security while concurrently reducing shrinkage [loss] by a large margin. We are even able to better ensure laboratory standards are more efficiently met with WPBTS blood resources." Keeping with the DS-8132HFSI-SH, Mr. Lewis explained that in the WPBTS, the CCTV system has a unique internal design. Essentially, the CCTV system is maintained by the Central IT Department. In turn, the aforementioned Material Manager has an office in close proximity to this Central IT Department, and is connected by fibre-optical cable. Through these means, the Material Manager has the facility's lone client PC used to access any live or recorded video that is deemed to be of importance. "We are even able to better ensure laboratory standards are more efficiently met with WPBTS blood resources" The WPBTS requires video storage of anywhere between 50 - 90 days. With the medical importance of this facility, Mr. Lewis stated, "I only want the best possible resolution for both live and recorded views. This is why I chose the DS-8132HFSI-SH - it gives me 4CIF resolution real-time recording and an HDMI/VGA output at 1920×1080P resolution ... the best resolution possible for any of the analogue cameras in this medical facility." Current and future IP possibilities Hikvision's DS-9632NI-ST Embedded NVR was selected to allow the facility's IP cameras to function. As can be expected, Mr. Lewis expected nothing less from this NVR model. With up-to 5MP recording resolution and identical HDMI / VGA output as the previous DVR, he was not disappointed. Additionally, this NVR provides the ability to add 32 IP cameras to the overall solution, providing both an element of foresight and fiscal practicality for whatever the future may bring. IP eyes Placed in critical areas, such as the blood dispatch / transport area, and biometrically-secured access control stations, Hikvision's DS-2CD2012-I 1.3MP IR Mini Bullet Camera relies upon its excellent high-resolution capability to provide quality images. Almost antithetical to this 1.3MP technology is an equally important aspect: the DS-2CD2012-I's small, low-profile design. Mr. Lewis elaborated, "Since this model is primarily in main passageways, we wanted a camera that did not ... stick out. Instead, the goal was for a durable, unobtrusive camera that does a great job ... and with its IR ability, it had no problem doing this job in the middle of night, when the facility is locked-down and lights are off." Adding the proverbial cherry-on-top is the Hikvision DS-2CD7153-E 2MP Mini Dome Camera. Placed in the Transport Control Room, a logistical nerve centre of the medical building, the DS-2CD7153-E is responsible for keeping a visual record of exactly who is entering the building and exactly why they are doing so. In this transport control room, Hikvision's 2MP resolution mini dome is able to easily view the attendant's activities; giving a clear view of the logbooks and of people in the area. Providing a superb wide-angle view, this IP mini dome camera is both a security and value-added logistical benefit.
"In the busy environment of our ITU ward we have nurses working in shifts and visitors walking in and out. Consequently, the policy of the NHS trust is that we need to securely store our drugs. Before, we used key based cupboards to do so. Each of our 65 nurses owned a key to operate them, sometimes up to 100 times a day. As a result of the intensive use, the locks wore out regularly. Sometimes the nurses couldn’t lock the cupboards properly anymore and bent or broke their keys as a result. Patient safety always comes first, and we had to be confident that the cupboards were secure at all times. We also had to comply with the national NHS policy to securely store the drugs. That’s where Nedap came in." Recommendation for Nedap "When we asked our partner Carillion, facilitator of the NHS trust fund buildings, about a solution to comply with the NHS security policy, they recommended Nedap. They worked with Nedap before in other NHS site projects, for example NHS Crawley & Horsham hospital. Carillion had heard about the locker management functionality of Nedap’s security management platform AEOS. They told us that this solution could help us solve our key management problem in a cost effective way. Not only for us, but also for Carillion themselves," says Tara Laybourne, Manager of the ITU ward, Darent Valley Hospital. No more key management "Because the mechanical keys and locks wore out all the time, Carillion had to come over very often to replace them. Also, every time you copy a key, the key gets worse. Eventually it didn’t fit the lock anymore. It was an ongoing problem. That’s why we chose AEOS Locker Management,’ says Tara. ‘The main reason is that the locks can be operated with badges instead of keys. All of our nurses now have one single badge which operates every drug cupboard on the ITU ward.’ Also from a maintenance point of view the electronic locker management solution is very cost effective; locks and keys don’t have to be replaced anymore and as the locks are wired, there’s no need to replace batteries. Tara says: ‘Generally, the solution serves a good purpose and is worth the money." Track and trace access "Apart from the fact that we can now secure the access to the cupboards, we can also track and trace who’s accessed the cupboards at what time. That’s also one of the reasons why we’ve chosen for AEOS Locker Management. According to NHS policy, we have to keep our drugs securely stored. They regularly perform audit trails to check if we comply to the policy. In case of an audit trail, we can easily prove that only authorised persons had access to the cupboards," says Tara. AEOS Locker Management provides access control on micro level. Via an easy to use web application, accessible via every web browser, users can easily define who should have access to which lockable compartment at what time. When asked about the user friendliness of the system, Tara says: "We’re happy about the system, but still finding our way around it though. Sometimes, when we issue a new badge to a new colleague, we accidentally issue a visitor badge instead of an employee badge. Consequently, the new colleague can’t open the cupboards. Then we know that we did something wrong. With a few mouse clicks we can fix our mistake; the system is easy to manage. To keep the process of managing the cupboards secure and clear, only myself and someone else are authorised to manage the system and assign badges. In case both of us are out, the others have an algorithm to check user history if necessary." "In the past keys were sometimes lost or misplaced. Since the installation of AEOS Locker Management, they never lost a badge, so that’s a great benefit too" User experiences When asked about the cooperation with Nedap and its certified Business Partner, Tara says: "The cooperation was good. Nedap was available to come over in the case of an event. For example, one time, the cupboard wouldn’t close. It turned out that the hinges where dislocated. Because the nurses lean on it all the time, we had to renew them. So, it wasn’t really due to the system. In the past keys were sometimes lost or misplaced. Since the installation of AEOS Locker Management, they never lost a badge, so that’s a great benefit too." Future proof Darent Valley hospital is now ready for the future. In case more drug cupboards should be equipped with Nedap’s electronic locks, they can be integrated into the existing AEOS Locker Management system with a few mouse clicks. Because the hospital opted for the solid AEOS security management platform, they can also choose to add on functionalities like access control, intrusion or video management later on. For now, they only use the locker management functionality of the platform and they only pay for the locker management feature they use. Darent Valley hospital Darent Valley is a modern hospital in Kent offering professional care, exceptional quality and providing patients with the latest technology for their treatment in safe, comfortable and clean surroundings. The hospital’s team of around 2000 professional and friendly staff provides care for patients across a full range of day-patient, inpatient and out-patient care. It works closely with the local community to improve the standards of its services and welcome all patients both locally or further afield. As Darent Valley benefits from the solid AEOS platform, they can choose to add on functionalities like access control, intrusion or CCTV later on. For now, they only pay for the feature they use.