Suntec City is a major multi-use real estate complex located in the Marina Centre neighbourhood in downtown Singapore, consisting of a shopping centre, a convention centre and office buildings. Managed by APM Property Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ARA Asset Management Limited, Suntec City comprises of five high rise office towers built around the world’s largest fountains, the Fountain of Wealth.

Towers One to Four are 45 floor buildings representing the four fingers of a hand, and Tower Five has 18 floors and represents the thumb. APM is an innovative property and asset management company, which operates as a fully independent yet integrated property management platform. APM have the right expertise in securing reputable retailers and multinational corporations for retail and office properties. They provide and coordinate professional services, and foster positive relationships with tenants.

Monitoring and managing Suntec City

APM implemented a multitude of diverse systems to monitor and manage Suntec City including the building management system, lighting management system, fire protection and detection systems, elevator management systems, public address systems, access control and security surveillance system, security guard patrol system, footfall counting system and a parking guide system.

APM operators with different roles and system expertise were physically dispersed among the different locations, from the various local Fire Command Centres (FCC), a Building Management Systems (BMS) room and a carpark control room, to manage these systems. WEY Technology Singapore Pte Ltd faced significant challenges for the Suntec project. The first technical mandate was to integrate all the disparate equipment from nine locations onto a single platform while maintaining individual system integrity without software upgrades or system intrusions. Second, the solution needed to provide a centralised system of control from a single consolidated control room so that any operator could manage any system from any desk.The Central Fire Command Centre is better organised and more flexible than ever before"

Logistics challenges

WEY also took on substantial logistics challenges. As the general contractor for the entire new Suntec City Central Fire Command Centre (CFCC) renovation project, WEY was responsible for all coordination with third party suppliers and specialised sub-contractors. All the work had to be carried out during ongoing operations at the live site, with minimum disturbances to operators and procedures.

WEY Technology’s solution is based upon the WEY Distribution Platform, an IP-based network that connects and switches virtually any system, new or legacy, to any workplace in real-time. For Suntec City, WEY connected 47 different sources located in nine sites to a new fibre optics backbone over KVM-over-IP technology using IP Remote Transmitters and Receivers. The network converges at seven state-of- the-art workplaces at the completely refurbished CFCC.

A single WEY Smart Touch multifunctional keyboard with an integrated 10" touch screen is deployed at each operator position. With the Free Seating feature, operators can sit anywhere within the entire network, view, access and interact with all the sources, according to their individual authorisation profiles. Desktops are uniform, neat and tidy, and the operators enjoy a single user interface to manage their complete environments.

A 2x3 46" WEY video wall crowns the CFCC and provides an overview of all sources and closed circuit TV feeds. Operators are now fully prepared to take immediate appropriate action in case of an incident. Three UltraFlex Mini PCs administer the WEY Distribution Platform and the video wall controller. UltraFlex Mini PCs are full-fledged high performance, low power PCs with an extremely small footprint. The WEY Smart Touch keyboards, UltraFlex Mini PCs and the IP remote devices are designed and manufactured by WEY in-house in Switzerland.

Crisis room is connected to the WEY Distribution Platform

A crisis room is connected to the WEY Distribution Platform and therefore, to all of Suntec’s sources. Here, WEY installed a WIFI projector and a WEY Smart Touch keyboard. In case of an emergency, APM management can meet here, access the data, view the situation and immediately implement contingency plans. WEY’s professional project manager worked round the clock with weekly meetings and daily reports to coordinate the entire renovation of Suntec’s CFCC.Suntec enjoys best in class, easy-to-use working environments with a guaranteed latency-free user experience

Over a dozen sub-contractors completely refurbished the centre, removing debris and delivering new electricity infrastructure, fire protection, air conditioning, ceilings, walls, doors, carpets, custom-built technical furniture and an entirely modern design. WEY deployed the project during ongoing operations with minimal disturbance to operators. Delivery time was thirteen weeks from contract signing to the live date.

Flexibility is a key benefit of WEY’s state-of-the-art solutions. Operations have been fully consolidated in the single CFCC Central Fire Command Centre. Here, security officers, engineers and the management team collaborate efficiently while supervising the complex. This optimises human resources and significantly increases security for property and tenants. For Suntec, another major benefit is that all their sources and equipment have remained intact. There have been no costly upgrades or changes of settings required to integrate new or legacy systems, thus protecting Suntec’s investments.

Suntec enjoys easy-to-use working environments

According to Giuseppe Zaccaria, Managing Director of WEY Technology for the Asia Pacific region, “WEY has deployed the most advanced and cost-effective command and control room. Suntec enjoys best in class, easy-to-use working environments with a guaranteed latency-free user experience.”

Mr. Nicholas Tan, General Manager of Suntec City states that, “The Central Fire Command Centre is better organised and more flexible than ever before. Now that all the common functions are controlled from consolidated desks, our operators can manage Suntec City much more effectively and respond immediately to situations. The WEY team also coordinated the entire project with the other stakeholders and vendors, and absolutely fulfilled all our requirements. APM has found in the WEY Asia Pacific team not only a very efficient solution provider for its technological requirements, but also fantastic support and commitment.”

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Enhance traditional security systems within your smart home
Enhance traditional security systems within your smart home

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.

What is the value of "free" video management systems?
What is the value of "free" video management systems?

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?

The ongoing challenge of IT and data risk management
The ongoing challenge of IT and data risk management

Managing IT and data risk is a challenging job. When we outsource our IT, applications and data processing to third-parties more and more every day, managing that risk becomes almost impossible. No longer are our data and systems contained within an infrastructure that we have full control over. We now give vendors our data, and allow them to conduct operations on our behalf.  The problem is, we don’t control their infrastructure, and we can never fully look under the hood to understand and vet their ability to protect our data and operations. We have to fully understand how important this issue is, and ensure we have the right governance, processes and teams to identify and mitigate any risks found in our vendors. No longer are our data and systems contained within an infrastructure that we have full control over Today, everything is connected. Our own networks have Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  We have VPN connections coming in, and we aren’t always sure who is on the other end of that connection. It is a full-time job just to get a handle on our own risk. How much harder, and how much larger should our teams and budgets be, to truly know and trust that our vendors can secure those devices and external connections?  For every device and application we have internally, it is very difficult to even keep an accurate inventory. Do all of our vendors have some special sauce that allows them to overcome the traditional challenges of securing internal and vendor-connected networks? They are doing the same thing we are – doing our best with the limited human and financial resources allocated by our organisation. Risk stratification and control objectives  The benefits of outsourcing operations or using a vendor web application are clear. So how can we properly vet those vendors from an IT risk perspective?  The very first thing we need to put in place is Risk Stratification. Risk Stratification presents a few targeted questions in the purchasing process. These questions include – what type of data will be shared? How much of this data? Will the data be hosted by a vendor? Will this hosting be in the US or offshored? Has the vendor ever had a data breach? These questions allow you to quickly discern if a risk assessment is needed and if so, what depth and breadth.  Risk stratification allows you to make decisions that not only improve your team’s efficiency, but also ensure that you are not being a roadblock to the business Risk stratification allows you to make decisions that not only improve your team’s efficiency, but also ensure that you are not being a roadblock to the business. With risk stratification, you can justify the extra time needed to properly assess a vendor’s security.  And in the assessment of a vendor’s security, we have to consider what control objectives we will use. Control objectives are access controls, policies, encryption, etc. In healthcare, we often use the HITRUST set of control objectives. In assessing against those control objectives, we usually use a spreadsheet.  Today, there are many vendors who will sell us more automated ways to get that risk assessment completed, without passing spreadsheets back and forth. These solutions are great if you can get the additional budget approved.  Multi-factor authentication  Even if we are using old-fashioned spreadsheets, we can ensure that the questions asked of the vendor include a data flow and network/security architecture document.  We want to see the SOC2 report if they are hosting their solution in Amazon, etc. If they are hosting it within their own datacentre, we absolutely want to see a SOC2 Type II report. If they haven’t done that due diligence, should that be a risk for you?  Today, we really need to be requiring our vendors to have multi-factor authentication on both their Internet-facing access, as well as their privileged internal access to our sensitive data. I rate those vendors who do not have this control in place as a high risk. We’ve recently seen breaches that were able to happen because the company did not require administrators or DBAs to use a 2-factor authentication into sensitive customer data sources.  In the assessment of a vendor’s security, one has to consider what control objectives to use This situation brings up the issue of risk acceptance. Who in your organisation can accept a high risk? Are you simply doing qualitative risk assessment – high, medium and low risks? Or are you doing true quantitative risk analysis? The latter involves actually quantifying those risks in terms of likelihood and impact of a risk manifesting, and the dollar amount that could impact your organisation.   So is it a million dollars of risk? Who can accept that level of risk? Just the CEO? These are questions we need to entertain in our risk management programs, and socialised within your organisation.  This issue is so important – once we institute risk acceptance, our organisation suddenly starts caring about the vendors and applications we’re looking to engage.  If they are asked to accept a risk without some sort of mitigation, they suddenly care and think about that when they are vetting future outsourced solutions. Quantitative risk analysis involves quantifying risks in terms of likelihood and impact of a risk manifesting Risk management process  In this discussion, it is important to understand how we think of, and present, the gaps we identify in our risk management processes. A gap is not a risk. If I leave my front door unlocked, is that a control gap or a risk? It is a gap – an unlocked door. What is the risk?  The risk is the loss of property due to a burglary or the loss of life due to a violent criminal who got in because the door was unlocked. When we present risks, we can’t say the vendor doesn’t encrypt data. The risk of the lack of encryption is fines, loss of reputation, etc. due to the breach of data. A gap is not a risk.  Once we’ve conducted our risk analysis, we must then ensure that our contracts protect our organisation? If we’re in healthcare, we must determine if the vendor is, in fact, a true HIPAA Business Associate, and if so we get a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) in place. I also require my organisation to attach an IT Security Amendment to these contracts. The IT Security Amendment spells out those control objectives, and requires each vendor to sign off on those critical controls. We are responsible for protecting our organisation’s IT and data infrastructure – today that often means assessing a 3rd-party’s security controls One final note on risk assessments – we need to tier our vendors. We tier them in different ways – in healthcare a Tier 1 vendor is a vendor who will have our patient information on the Internet. Tiering allows us to subject our vendors to re-assessment. A tier 1 vendor should be re-assessed annually, and may require an actual onsite assessment vs. a desk audit. A tier 2 vendor is re-assessed every 2 years, etc. We are responsible for protecting our organisation’s IT and data infrastructure – today that often means assessing a 3rd-party’s security controls. We must be able to fully assess our vendors while not getting in the way of the business, which needs to ensure proper operations, financial productivity and customer satisfaction. If we truly understand our challenge of vendor risk management, we can tailor our operations to assess at the level needed, identify and report on risks, and follow-up on any risks that needed mitigated.