Hikvision USA Inc., a global provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and other emerging technologies, along with video surveillance products and solutions, worked with Hikvision integrator TAS Electronics in New York to furnish a full-scale surveillance system for 'The Armadillo', a repurposed armored truck the Utica Police Department (UPD) uses to deter crime in the community.

When the decision was made to upgrade the Armadillo, the immediate concern was the camera system, because it is the lifeblood of any high quality digital video recording network. Knowing this, we demanded the best equipment available,” said Edward Noonan, deputy chief of police for the UPD.

Hikvision and TAS Electronics provided us with high resolution cameras that have the ability to see in the dark, and we can control these cameras remotely through an app on our smartphones with remarkably high resolution.The Armadillo is a great example of our integrators collaborating with a local police department to deliver improved safety and security to their community"

Improved community security

Six Hikvision turret cameras and two Hikvision PTZ dome cameras were installed on the vehicle for comprehensive panoramic surveillance. To provide 65 days of video storage and recovery, TAS installed a 32-channel Hikvision Pro-Series DS-9616NI-I8 NVR with 12 TB of storage.

Hikvision’s technology, combined with TAS’ expertise, resulted in a resource that improves crime monitoring and deterrence, making the streets safer for the citizens of Utica.

The Armadillo is a great example of our integrators collaborating with a local police department to deliver improved safety and security to their community,” said Alex Asnovich, Head of Marketing, Hikvision North America.

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2019 to see a rise in cyber and cloud security solutions
2019 to see a rise in cyber and cloud security solutions

2018 was a good year for integrators and manufacturers across the board. The economy has been strong which manifested itself in many ways but in particular construction was booming. This was very good for the security industry, especially those integrators and manufacturers who provide services and products in the commercial space. Two of the most unexpected things that impacted the market, and will continue to impact it into 2019, are the trade war and the rapid rise of interest rates. I have been monitoring both very closely and didn’t expect the trade ‘skirmish’ to escalate into the trade war it has become. Similarly, interest rates have started to rise which was a bit of a surprise and one that will definitely impact the nation’s economy and by extension our market. Upcoming cloud-based trends Cyber has definitely taken a strong foothold in the industry and with the continued expansion of cloud-based services I see three main trends coming in 2019. The first is the rise of cloud-based products and service offerings that security integrators will have access to. While we have had a few key players already offering cloud-based solutions for a couple of years on the video side in particular, I see this really picking up steam across all other security and life safety solutions. This really leads into the second trend which is integrators adjusting their business models to leverage these cloud-based solutions into recurring revenue models as managed security service providers (MSSP). The ability for integrators to develop their own managed service portfolio will be key; PSA is already working with several partners to help bring a portfolio offering to our membership which is really exciting. I anticipate that we will see about 10% of security integrators take hold of this new model in 2019 and then expect that number to increase by around 10% each year until the majority of the security business is cloud-based and integrators accept the new model of being an MSSP. Finally, of course is cybersecurity. Cyber has definitely taken a strong foothold in the industry and with the continued expansion of these cloud-based services, it will be more important than ever to integrators, manufacturers and end users alike. MSSP portfolio offering The more progressive security professionals will see cyber as an opportunity, a part of the MSSP portfolio offering, rather than just a threat that we have been talking about for going on five years. The winners in this market will be the integrators and manufacturers who can adapt to all these changes, leverage new technologies we are seeing with AI and cloud-based solutions, and those who stick to commodity-based solutions will be left behind. There are some remarkable things happening with AI technology, analytics, biometrics PSA’s growth has been remarkable. We have exceeded our own growth plans year over year and have also exceed the market projected growth marks as well. We continue to add more offerings to our membership to help them stay ahead of the curve, which in turn helps us to do the same. Right now, we are investing in programs that provide data to our integrators to help inform their business decisions. Data is key for any business and PSA has spent a lot of time working with developers and our integrators to understand what the most meaningful data is they need and how we can best deliver that to them by way of dashboards and reporting tools. Future technology advancements The biggest challenge we face is really tied to the higher interest rates that we have seen so far this year and what lies ahead. We help future fund projects for our integrators so when we see higher interest rates, we must closely monitor that and make business adjustments along the way as well to flex along with those rate hikes. I have been in this industry a long time so clearly my enthusiasm for what the industry is doing doesn’t fade. But what makes it really exciting right now is really related to technology advances. There are some remarkable things happening with AI technology, analytics, biometrics – you name it. It is a very tech heavy industry that people can feel good about being a part of and is an industry that will continue to grow so the opportunities are endless.

Balancing the scales: how Open Options acquisition complements new owner ACRE
Balancing the scales: how Open Options acquisition complements new owner ACRE

Open Options, based in Addison, Texas, provides a truly open access control architecture that will strengthen the ACRE portfolio and increase the breadth of solutions offered by the global provider of security systems. The acquisition of Open Options is also an opportunity for ACRE to focus on growth opportunities in North America and “balance the scales a bit,” says Joe Grillo, CEO of ACRE, which significantly grew its reach in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the acquisition of Siemens Security Products in 2015. “Open Options is also a company that's growing, is profitable and fits seamlessly into our vision for the access control space in which we operate,” says Grillo. Independent operations The strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States The Open Options brand will continue to operate independently under the ACRE umbrella. Open Options CEO and Founder Steve Fisher will continue in his role as leader of the company, says Grillo. “There is a strong and competent management team in place that will continue to provide leadership going forward.” Open Options’ open-architecture access control solutions will add value to the solutions ACRE already offers under the Vanderbilt brand. In a market that has traditionally been proprietary, the open-platform solution offered by Open Options helps deliver more opportunity to offer customers a full-scale solution based on their needs, says Grillo. In addition, due to its origin as a Texas-based company, the strength of Open Options in the Southwest provides significant additional coverage for ACRE in that region of the United States. Technical and financial resources On the other hand, ACRE provides a greater level of technical and financial resources that Open Options can utilise to help them grow even faster. These resources were not as available to the company if it remained independent, Grillo notes. ACRE’s divestiture of Mercury Security in 2017 facilitated this investment. As discussions began earlier this year, ACRE realised the potential of adding to its access control portfolio in the North American market, says Grillo. Open Options and Mercury have been "partners" for 20 years; Mercury provides hardware panels for Open Options systems. Each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently “The Mercury brand continues to be a strong one, so we're interested in continuing to nurture that relationship, and in fact we have become a larger and stronger partner to Mercury as ACRE,” says Grillo. “After owning Mercury for a number of years, we had the understanding of the company, the product portfolio and the partner relationships that defined it, so we were confident that the deal would be a positive one for the ACRE brand.” Meeting customer needs “Open Options and Vanderbilt share some customers already and we can leverage that by gaining more share of their business while providing them with a portfolio that will meet a broader set of customer needs,” says Grillo. “Where possible, we can look for synergies in channel partners that are not currently shared to provide access to both brands. This will be a benefit to Open Options, Vanderbilt and our customer base. However, importantly, each company will manage and make decisions about their reseller channels independently.” Are there more acquisitions on the horizon for ACRE? “We're always looking for opportunities that fit into the nature of our business,” says Grillo. “Companies that have growth potential and share similar go-to-market strategies and visions for the future are of particular interest to ACRE. "We're still operating in a highly fragmented market, so we're going to see continued consolidation in both access control and beyond, which means ACRE will be looking for the right opportunities to follow along that path.”

Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solutions growth with mobile access in 2019
Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solutions growth with mobile access in 2019

IHS Markit projects that the market for physical electronic access control solutions has grown to over $5.2 billion in 2018. The market has experienced stable and predictable growth rates that have hovered around 6 percent over the past several years. Electronic locks remain both the largest and the fastest growing product type in access control, representing nearly 40% of the global market size for all access control equipment. Impact of technological developments While market growth rates have been consistent, technological developments have dramatically impacted the market in 2018. The most prominent trend involves mobile credentials, which are poised to revolutionise the longstanding business model for access control system sales. The mobile credentials market was still in its infancy in 2018, but many end-users are already anticipating a transition to these credentials by installing compatible readers in their systems. By 2020, over 10 percent of all new readers sold in the market will be compatible with mobile credentials. Access Control as a Service Other trends to watch in 2019 and beyond include Access Control as a Service (ACaaS), which allow end-users to avoid the need to invest in costly on-site IT infrastructures to support their access control equipment. ACaaS solutions will be particularly popular to support small and mid-sized projects that service less than fifty doors. In addition, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons will support geopositioning in an increasing number of the world’s most advanced access control systems. Through geopositioning, the exact location of specific personnel can be identified at any site in real-time. The top fifteen access control vendors represent more than half of the total size of the global access control market, but there are pockets of opportunity for new vendors, particularly to accommodate small and mid-sized projects. The mobile credential and ACaaS markets will also be highly competitive in 2019 and should attract an influx of new market entrants.