Articles by Rodrigue Zbinden
While COVID-19 caused widespread disruption and many challenges for businesses, its sudden arrival prompted some very quick decision-making around how to maintain operations. For some businesses, cloud-based video conferencing solutions provided a welcome alternative to meeting face-to-face. A year on and it seems that this sudden and mass adoption of cloud has accelerated a digital transformation process in other departments. Physical security too is increasingly moving to the cloud in the form of hosted solutions, where Video Surveillance as-a-Service (VSaaS) is providing comprehensive protection across a range of industries and sectors. To better understand the impact of this migration to the cloud, hosted security provider Morphean commissioned a survey of 1000 senior decision-makers across the UK, Germany and Sweden, working in HR, facilities management, IT and security. As well as ascertaining purchasing intent around hosted security applications among a broad spectrum of buyers, the results would provide key indications around the abilities of cloud to benefit organisations in regard to both security and business operations. An increasing urgency around VSaaS and ACaaS adoption Low costs, flexible scalability, demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the adoption of hosted solutions Survey results revealed that 51% of senior decision-makers are currently using cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or a door entry/access control system (ACaaS). This represents a 3% increase in comparison to responses from a 2019 survey (48%), and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. Low costs, flexible scalability and demand for real-time and remote access to security data are key to the accelerated adoption of hosted solutions in the current climate. A significant 70% of respondents agreed that the pandemic had actually increased the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt VSaaS and ACaaS, with IT Services revealed as the sector with most respondents strongly or somewhat agreeing (82%), followed by Security (73%). Results highlight a hosted physical security market which is in a strong position for 2021. Physical security utilising the cloud can unlock many security and business benefits for the modern organisation as it faces many new challenges. Business optimisation and operational insights The benefits of VSaaS and ACaaS prompted Morphean to examine what areas of the business were optimised, or in need of improvement. 43% of those surveyed stated that data/information security was the most optimised aspect of their company. The total number of respondents who indicated that physical security was already optimised had risen by 4% since our 2019 survey, to 27%. It was those working in IT who saw the greatest disparity in security-related optimisation, with far fewer recognising that physical security was optimised (28%) compared with data/IT security (55%). This may point to an opportunity to increase physical security optimisation to be on par with data/IT security. 95% of those surveyed agreed that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making it would influence adoption. It is clear that the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. As an example, consider an office environment where access control and video data can be used to determine an employee’s movements in the event of a positive COVID-19 result and alert others who may have made physical contact with that individual. A future proof business model Decision-makers surveyed that use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19 78% of the 1000 senior decision-makers surveyed anticipate their organisations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on-premises, businesses are able to customise and scale quickly to meet ongoing challenges without the need for large upfront capital investment. The convenience of as-a-service can be paid for out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of the cloud. Yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Full support and extensive functionality From a customer perspective, 28% of respondents highlighted cost benefits as a key factor in the move towards VSaaS/ACaaS and 19% indicated that they would expect to see all-inclusive updates/upgrades and support. VSaaS and ACaaS are supported by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades, so are always up to date. Additionally, functionality such as remote management allows operations to be monitored offsite via mobile device. Access from any location (32%), remote maintenance (31%), and the ability to monitor empty sites (29%) were all identified as key benefits of introducing VSaaS and ACaaS, alongside better security (40%) and better functionality (33%). The revelation that such technology is employed by over half of organisations across a wide range of industries is a comforting validation of its benefits, and evidence that hosted physical security is in great demand. 30% of those surveyed indicated that they did not currently use such solutions, but were considering their implementation. Cloud’s resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide flexibility in a security and business solution that meets the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the safety of passengers and staff aboard public transport has been an ongoing concern. The scenes of underground trains, still packed with commuters as infection rates soared, will have raised alarm bells with bus and train managers, transport officials and government representatives alike. Now, as infection rates hold steady and people slowly return to the workplace, a rise in commuter levels, coupled with a need for strong infection control protocols, is putting a strain on an already overburdened transport system. Managing passenger flow through bus terminals and train stations, while ensuring adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing policies, can be a difficult task. On buses and trains, staff have the unenviable task of challenging any individual who flouts the rules, while attempting to maintain safe operation for the benefit of all passengers. This is where advances in digital surveillance technologies can play an important role in enhancing security, improving operations and supporting the customer facing teams in their day to day roles. The power of the cloud Keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemicCloud or hosted technology has played an important part in keeping businesses afloat and people connected throughout the pandemic. When it comes to physical security such as video surveillance and access control, today’s cloud-enabled systems are far removed from the outdated CCTV and manual access control technologies employed in the past. Cloud connectivity brings with it many benefits, from a security, operational and also business intelligence point of view, thanks to the powerful data that these solutions produce which can be used to inform decision making. The advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. Managing occupancy across bus and rail Monitoring the movement of staff and passengers is an essential part of being able to maintain a safe operation. Through the utilisation of surveillance cameras at entrances and exit points, as well as at key areas within transport terminals and on the transport mode itself, occupancy thresholds can be determined to ensure passenger numbers do not exceed safe limits. Network surveillance cameras, accessed via mobile device, can enable transport officials to check passenger flow in real-time, while live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached, enable swift drafting of security or operations personnel to address the situation. Live alerts to warn that health and safety protocols are being breached Through internet of things (IoT) connectivity, additional devices can be easily added to complement the surveillance solution and unlock further benefits. Network audio speakers can be triggered to play pre-recorded messages to alert or inform passengers. Similarly, frictionless access control, enabling customers and staff to move ‘hands-free’ through gateways and ticket checkpoints to avoid viral spread, is made possible by having an access reader which is activated, for example, via QR codes on a mobile phone. And when access readers are integrated with surveillance cameras, this will act as a second layer of authentication to grant or refuse access based on valid staff credentials. Improving security in challenging times Such technologies, interconnected and able to share data, can be used to more effectively report in real time on activity that threatens to have an adverse effect on passengers, staff and the transport environment. Significant parts of the rail network are relatively unmonitored, and inevitably these areas are more vulnerable to vandalism. Similarly, on bus services, abuse of passengers and staff, and acts of criminal behaviour remain a concern. By alerting security staff to a developing situation before it occurs, an incident can be dealt with quickly, minimising disruption to transport services. Cloud based technology can be relied on Cloud based technology can be relied on to not only help improve current services, around passenger occupancy in the current pandemic, but also to help transport officials plan for the security challenges of the future. Simple customisation and easy scalability, plus software upgrades and firmware updates to ensure the system is always up to date and operational, form essential components of a future proof solution which is capable of bringing peace of mind to the transport industry. Additionally, predicted future benefits include the potential for customers to check transport occupancy levels via a mobile app. This would inform them of particularly busy times of passenger transit, allowing more choice over when and where to travel based on real-time data, and ultimately helping to even out passenger numbers to balance journeys and greatly improve efficiency and flow. In a busy world where the demands on our rail and bus networks are now impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and indeed the possibility for further related challenges in the future, such cloud-connected technologies represent a worthwhile investment.
COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown saw an unprecedented demand for cloud-enabled technologies across Europe. Such services enabled people to stay connected and allowed some businesses to relocate personnel and continue to operate successfully. With enterprise-focused video conferencing mobile app downloads showing a weekly 90% increase in comparison to pre-COVID-19 figures, it’s clear that cloud services have proven invaluable in these challenging times. Now, as the benefits to business of cloud technology become apparent, and the grip of COVID-19 begins to loosen, senior decision makers must consider the learnings from the past few months and look to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs or become more agile in the long term. Digital transformation presents some enticing advantages for those companies that have been slow to adapt. The physical security industry, traditionally video surveillance cameras (CCTV) and access control, will have witnessed how cloud infrastructure is not only cost effective and safe, but is a force multiplier for connecting platforms, services and people with potent business benefits. The future is VSaaS and ACaaS In today’s modern, connected world, dated technologies are giving way to their cloud-enabled successors, video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS) and access control as-a-service (ACaaS). In this context, cameras and readers are added to a network as IoT devices that bring security systems up to date and represent a vital component in any modern, cyber-secure digital strategy. Frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings But better security is just one benefit of a much greater system that can bring real value. Built in analytics, for example, that utilise the data from network video cameras and smart access control devices, produce valuable business insights that help to inform and automate decision making. In the recent pandemic, frictionless access control has meant touch free access to buildings; while occupancy tools have helped retailers adhere to strict government guidelines on social distancing. And as more security equipment becomes connected to the wider IT network, the advantages have not been lost on the IT industry that is expressing more than a passing interest in the adoption and management of such systems. Morphean recently conducted a survey of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe, with the purpose of providing clarity around their security purchasing intent in the 2020s. Findings revealed that as many as 84% of IT managers are currently using or considering VSaaS or ACaaS systems, pointing to an appreciation of the convergence of physical security and IT security, and a willingness to embrace systems when integrated with IT in the cloud. An adaptable business model with recurring revenues Of course, it is not just the IT industry that is changing mindsets towards hosted physical security. As a result of COVID-19, end customers are demanding it too and found it easier to scale at speed when business circumstances changed. Rather than being tied to fixed IT infrastructure on premises, a hosted solution offered greater dexterity as operational challenges around the pandemic arose. Businesses were able to customise and scale quickly to meet ongoing need without the need for large upfront capital investment, instead, paying for the convenience as-a-service out of operational expenditure as a monthly cost. This is the proven business model of cloud, yet the security industry has been slow to adopt it. One key challenge is the way in which the prevalent business models in the sector operate. VSaaS is still alien to installers and integrators used to selling hardware on narrow margins, reliant on existing financial arrangements with distributors to fund new equipment. Transitioning to sales cycles based on monthly licences rather than up-front purchases won’t be easy, but the security channel must learn how if it is to remain competitive and drive new business opportunities. This recurring revenue model will be interesting for the physical security industry who will have witnessed uncertainty and, in some cases, a downturn in revenues as decisions around capital expenditure were put on hold during the crisis. Instead, convenient and recurring monthly payments will have put the installer on a firmer footing and guaranteed ongoing vendor support backed by the latest software updates and firmware upgrades to ensure delivery of a high quality service that’s always up to date and online. What is driving your digital strategy? VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution Cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. VSaaS and ACaaS provide a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. CEOs and CIOs within the physical security reseller industry must learn the lessons and apply the learnings to drive their businesses forward in the ‘new normal’ where hosted security solutions must surely play a major part to expand their offering to a wiser customer base. Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, and a chance to forge new business relationships to face the challenges of an ever changing world.
Morphean’s CEO, Rodrigue Zbinden, explores the benefits of hosted video surveillance and access control, and what the growing interest from the IT community might mean for the physical security sector. Digital transformation continues to have an impact on every industry. In the physical security sphere, traditional CCTV and access control systems that once sat outside the connected world, are being replaced by their intelligent, cloud-enabled equivalents. The tired stand-alone legacy solutions of the past are increasingly being overhauled in favour of the smarter, customisable and scalable digital versions of these technologies. The question then is this: does this represent a new horizon for the physical security industry, or is it an existential threat in the form of a land-grab from the IT sector? Digital transformation continues to have an impact on every industry As the tectonic plates, as represented by the physical security and IT industries, continue to converge, it is clear that the underlying responsibility for physical security systems will be questioned. Conscious of the rapidly growing adoption of IoT devices, such as a surveillance camera, and their connection to IT networks and hosted data centres, Morphean commissioned an independent survey into the attitudes and behaviours of 1000 IT decision makers across the UK and Europe. We wanted to gain a better understanding of purchasing intent for evolving security provision in the 2020s. Landscape Report: Hosted Security adoption in Europe Our results revealed that as many as 84% of IT managers are currently using, or considering using, cloud-based video surveillance (VSaaS) or access control (ACaaS) systems. This points to an appreciation of the convergence of the physical and cyber security realms, and a willingness to embrace the merging of physical devices, connected through the IoT, with existing IT and cloud infrastructure. Of those considering such solutions, nearly 8 in 10 respondents said that integration with existing platforms or emerging technologies would also accelerate VSaaS and ACaaS adoption. The growing confidence in cloud seems to translate into more positive purchasing intentions around hosted security solutions with 77% of IT managers reporting that physical security is not currently optimised and one in five identifying it as a priority for 2020. Of those considering hosted security solutions, 4 in 5 (79%) anticipate introducing them to their business within a year. Our survey also revealed that 36% of IT managers identified operational performance as a priority for improvement within the next year. When we consider the many aspects of operational performance, productivity will always be a key measure, and cloud facilitates leaner decision-making, being more adaptable to the changing business landscape as required. Business application: unlocking intelligence Cloud-enabled physical security has much potential beyond security Cloud-enabled physical security has much potential beyond security. The data collected by network cameras and other physical security devices, combined with other sources of intelligence, can be used for a multitude of different purposes. For example, real-time analysis of visitor numbers, gender and age demographic in a retail store could be cross-referenced with promotional campaigns to gauge effectiveness, or used to identify insights into customer behaviour patterns, such as hot and cold zones. The same platform might ‘learn’ to predict the behaviours that cause queue build-ups, and trigger alerts more readily to advise management that more till staff are needed. In the transportation industry, intelligent analytics can be used to improve operations across a small fleet of vehicles or an entire transport hub. Cameras and sensors can be integrated on board buses and trains to provide instant images and video footage to control centre personnel, while proactive intruder and loitering alarms employed at busy stations and depots, can deter suspected troublemakers before an incident occurs. People counting technology provides insights which can be used to increase or decrease security provision according to the amount of footfall, or to predict when additional turnstiles should be opened to more effectively manage queuing customers. The existential threat For the IT security professional already working with cloud systems and services, the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. And, it is perhaps because of its digital DNA that the IT department is increasingly responsible for physical security purchasing decisions, a relationship historically managed by the fire and security professional who has been slow to adopt digital transformation practices and cloud-based business models. But we know there is an opportunity for the physical security provider because the IT manager who is well versed in computing protocols may have scant knowledge around maximising the full potential of physical security systems. The challenge is that IT will already have an existing relationship with their own IT solution providers, to whom they may naturally turn to help them with their physical security requirements. It is imperative, therefore, that the physical security provider of today becomes well versed in not only cybersecurity principles but is also able to speak the language of IT in order to successfully compete. The challenge is that IT will already have an existing relationship with their own IT solution providers Establishing partnerships One approach, given the nature of the shifting security landscape, is for IT and physical security vendors to unite in the delivery of a mutually beneficial and overarching solution. This would enable them to pull together their combined expertise to not only offer comprehensive protection of software and systems from a cybersecurity standpoint, but also take care of access control, perimeter protection, surveillance and all aspects of physical security too. For the IT manager, confident about the security of their cloud provision and committed to optimising physical security within their business, the bringing together of physical and cybersecurity solutions, provided by IT and physical security providers who speak the same language, can only be beneficial, enabling them to meet all of their security requirements. As the threat, both cyber and physical, continues to evolve, vendor partnerships and a joined up strategic approach could well prove to be the best line of defense for today’s businesses.
Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, discusses the business benefits from merging video surveillance and access control technologies as demand for ACaaS grows. The big question facing businesses today is how they will use the data that they possess to unlock new forms of value using emerging technologies such as the cloud, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence. Some data is better utilised than others: financial services were quick to recognise the competitive advantages in exploiting technology to improve customer service, detect fraud and improve risk assessment. In the world of physical security, however, we’re only just beginning to understand the potential of the data that our systems gather as a part of their core function. Benefits of ‘Integrated access control’ The first thing to look for is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functionsWhat many businesses have yet to realise is that many emerging technologies come into their own when used across multiple sources of data. In physical security, for example, we’re moving from discussions about access control and CCTV as siloed functions, to platforms that combine information for analysis from any source, and applying machine learning algorithms to deliver intelligent insights back to the business. ‘Integrated access control’ then looks not just to images or building management, but to images, building management, HR databases and calendar information, all at the same time. And some of the benefits are only now starting to become clear. The first thing to look for, of course, is how multiple sources of data can be used to improve physical security functions. For example, by combining traditional access control data, such as when a swipe card is used, with a video processing platform capable of facial recognition, a second factor of authentication is provided without the need to install separate biometric sensors. CCTV cameras are already deployed in most sensitive areas, so if a card doesn’t match the user based on HR records, staff can be quickly alerted. Making the tools cost-effective In a similar vein, if an access card is used by an employee, who is supposed to be on holiday according to the HR record, then video data can be used to ensure the individual’s identity and that the card has not been stolen – all before a human operator becomes involved. This is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business functionThese capabilities are not new. What is, however, is the way in which cloud-based computing platforms for security analytics, which absorb information from IP-connected cameras, make the tools much more cost effective, accessible and easier to manage than traditional on-site server applications. In turn, this is driving growth in ‘access control as a service’ (ACaaS), and the end-to-end digitalisation of a vital business function. With this system set up, only access control hardware systems are deployed on premise while the software and access control data are shifted to a remote location and provided as a service to users on a recurring monthly subscription. The benefits of such an arrangement are numerous but include avoiding large capital investments, greater flexibility to scale up and down, and shifting the onus of cybersecurity and firmware updates to the vendor. Simple installation and removal of endpoints What’s more, because modern video and access control systems transmit data via the IP network, installation and removal of endpoints are simple, requiring nothing more than PoE and Wi-Fi. Of all the advantages of the ‘as a service’ model, it’s the rich data acquired from ACaaS that makes it so valuable, and capable of delivering business benefits beyond physical security. Managers are constantly looking for better quality of information to inform decision making, and integrated access control systems know more about operations than you might think. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lightsRight now, many firms are experimenting with ways to find efficiencies and reduce costs. For example, lights that automatically turn off to save energy are common in offices today, but can be a distraction if employees have to constantly move around to trigger motion detectors. Integrating lighting systems with video feeds and access control creates the ability to control the lights depending on exactly who is in the room and where they are sitting. Tracking the movement of employees Camera data has been used in retail to track the movement of customers in stores, helping managers to optimise displays and position stocks. The same technology can be used to map out how employees move around a workspace, finding out where productivity gains can be made by moving furniture around or how many desks should be provisioned. Other potential uses of the same data could be to look for correlations between staff movement – say to a store room – and sales spikes, to better predict stock ordering. What makes ACaaS truly exciting is it is still a very new field, and we’re only just scratching the surface of the number of ways that it can be used to create new sources of value. As smart buildings and smart city technology evolves, more and more open systems will become available, offering more ways to combine, analyse and draw insights from data. Within a few years, it will become the rule, rather than the exception, and only grow in utility as it does.
New research into the impact of COVID-19 on physical security purchasing decisions has revealed a sharp increase in the necessity/urgency for businesses to adopt hosted video surveillance (VSaaS) and access control (ACaaS) solutions. While 70% of 1000 senior decision-makers in IT, security, FM and HR roles agree this to be the case, 78% also anticipate their organisations’ use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. The independent survey, commissioned by hosted security provider Morphean, revealed that over three-quarters (76%) of senior managers in the UK, Germany and Sweden have increased their use of video conferencing (e.g. Microsoft Teams), 65% have increased their use of office applications (e.g. Microsoft 365), and 70% of those in the security sector are now strongly inclined towards cloud adoption. Further results can be accessed in the published whitepaper: Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe. Growth in physical security 51% use cloud-based service for VSaas or ACaas and an increase of 3% reflects growth in the physical security market 51% say their company is currently using a cloud-based service for video surveillance (VSaaS) and/or access control (ACaaS). This is an increase of 3% over 2019 (48%) and broadly reflects projected growth in the physical security market from USD $93.5b in 2020 to USD $120.3b by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.2%. The accelerating adoption of hosted solutions is buoyed by its low cost set up, flexible scalability and demand for real-time and remote access to security data. Remote monitoring and maintenance Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean SA, commented, “The results highlight a hosted physical security market that will see strong growth in 2021 as cloud applications are proven to deliver business continuity in challenging times. At the height of the lockdown, many business premises were unoccupied and potentially vulnerable, but remote monitoring and maintenance made possible by hosted security were a welcome advantage.” “We also saw a spike in demand for frictionless access control enabling a totally hands-free experience and negating the need for physical contact. Business leaders will now be considering the learnings from the past year and looking to apply them to boost productivity, streamline costs and make organisations more agile.” Analytics will drive the adoption For the security professional already working with cloud services, the growth in connected digital devices through the IoT is resulting in a growing appetite for physical security, such as network cameras, to enhance existing IT systems and assist business intelligence gathering. 95% agree that if an existing security system could deliver insights beyond security to assist decision making (i.e. occupancy or test and trace analytics), it would influence adoption. Flexibility in remote working Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns More flexibility in working locations is the benefits respondents are most likely to identify from moving business functions to the cloud (50%), followed by easier collaboration (44%); more cost-effective (44%); safer / better security (38%). 82% anticipate the levels/frequency of remote workers and flexible working in their organisations to be higher post-pandemic and in the longer term than they were pre-pandemic. Security will need to be enhanced to facilitate greater flexibility in worker patterns. An access control solution that is linked to HR records, for example, can check the swipe of an access card against staff records. A staff member who is flagged as being on leave, absent or no longer employed will trigger an automated alert to the relevant personnel. Surveillance cameras also provide secondary authentication through visual clarification of an individual’s identity. Landscape Report 2020/21 The Landscape Report 2020/21: Hosted Security adoption in Europe is the third study of its kind by Morphean, and facilitates a better understanding of market trends with comparative data from 2018 and 2019. Other key findings revealed by the study include: 78% anticipate organisational use of cloud technologies to increase in the future as a result of COVID-19. The security sector reflected a strong inclination towards cloud adoption (70%). IT Services (52%) and Commercial Offices (49%) are the two sectors that anticipated the greatest degree of change in their organisation’s use of cloud technology. 73% of managers believe their organisations are more inclined to adopt cloud as a result of their governments’ responses to COVID-19 - UK (74%), Germany (71%) and Sweden (73%). 27% said physical security was optimised in their companies, a rise of 4% in 2019 (23%). The retail sector was least likely to say that physical security was optimised (19%). VSaaS/ACaaS uptake shown to be more prevalent in Sweden with 59% already utilising such services, with 34% in the UK and 31% in Germany considering it. Embracing future-proof technologies Rodrigue Zbinden concludes, “For the physical security reseller, the study will demonstrate that hosted security solutions must play a major part in expanding their offering to a wider customer base.” “Cloud-enabled physical security solutions represent an investment into improving security and operations, a chance to forge new business relationships, and an opportunity to embrace future proof technologies in preparation for whatever challenges the future might hold.”
A new whitepaper published recently details market analysis of attitudes towards cloud adoption and purchasing behaviours behind hosted physical security from 1000 IT decision makers from across Europe. The in-depth survey, undertaken by Morphean, a provider of hosted security solutions, illustrates a market that has overcome initial concerns about cyber-security, has understood the clear benefits and will be seeking to adopt such solutions at pace in 2020. The independent survey of key decision makers within companies from UK, France and Germany with more than 50 employees clearly shows better security, cost benefit and better functionality to be the most influential factors and the most commonly realised benefits of hosted security solutions including video surveillance as-a-service (VSaaS) and access control as-a-service (ACaaS). Hosted security solution It revealed that 84% of IT managers are currently using (48%) or considering using (36%) a hosted security solution These solutions are part of a cloud security market that is expected to grow from USD 4.1 billion in 2017 to USD 12.7 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 25.5%. The ‘2019 Landscape Report: Hosted Security adoption in Europe’ is the second study of its kind by Morphean, and facilitates a better understanding of market trends with comparative data from 2018. It revealed that 84% of IT managers are currently using (48%) or considering using (36%) a hosted security solution, which is broadly consistent with the 89% who said they would consider such a solution last year. It also shows that better security ranked #3 among the main benefits realised by the cloud (44%) compared to 27% in 2018; representing a 63% increase in the year and shift in perception around cyber security concerns. Key survey findings 2019 key survey findings include: Better security, cost benefit and better functionality are viewed as the most influential factors AND the most commonly realised benefits of hosted security solutions Half of respondents cited better security as the #1 benefit of using VSaaS / ACaaS; better functionality (42%) and cost benefits (38%) placed #2 and #3 respectively Half of IT managers have identified data / information security as a priority for improvement in the next 12 months 84% of IT managers are currently using (48%) or considering using (36%) a cloud-based video surveillance or access control solution Of those still considering VSaaS and ACaaS, 79% anticipate introducing these solutions to their business within 12 months 77% of IT managers report that physical security is not optimised; 20% have identified physical security as a priority for improvement in the next 12 months Potential business intelligence benefits The increased appetite for hosted security presents an opportunity for us to work with businesses" Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO, Morphean SA reflected on the study: “Our research clearly points to a market that is overcoming initial concerns about cybersecurity, understands the clear benefits of hosted services and reflects growing confidence and purchase intent for 2020. The increased appetite for hosted security presents an opportunity for us to work with businesses to help them improve their physical security, while also educating them on the potential business intelligence benefits offered by surveillance and access control solutions when integrated in the cloud.” The growing confidence in cloud seems to translate into more positive purchasing intentions around hosted security solutions with 77% of IT managers reporting that physical security is not currently optimised and one in five identifying it as a priority for 2020. Of those considering hosted security solutions, 4 in 5 (79%) anticipate introducing them to their business within a year. Cloud-enabled security solutions While this clearly represents an opportunity for the IT reseller community to enhance its service offering, the report does highlight two trends that may inhibit growth; the first being the physical security industry’s ability to adopt the as-a-service business model; the second is system integration with emergent technology such as AI. With cloud technology we have a toolset that changes the way businesses think and act" Alex Hilton, CEO of The Cloud Industry Forum added, “With cloud technology we have a toolset that changes the way businesses think and act, ensuring a competitive landscape for years to come. Morphean’s latest research reveals that decision makers are seeing better security, cost benefits and improved functionality as a result of a switch to cloud-enabled security solutions. Cloud presents very real opportunities, but vendors need to hone their offerings and capabilities in order for its full potential to be realised across all markets and sectors.” Driving operational performance The Morphean survey also found that there has been a 5% drop in cloud investment over the past year. In 2018, 33% of the IT budget was spent on cloud services over the previous 24 months and this figure has dropped to 31.38% for 2019. This is in spite of the fact that the majority of respondents (78%) had said that they expected cloud related spending to increase due to the favourable benefits it presents. It’s not the only contradiction found in the report. Cloud is key to driving operational performance, and yet 78% of IT managers felt that this area of the business was underperforming while only 36% identified it as a priority for improvement.
A new study of 1500 IT decision makers across Europe into the attitudes towards and behaviours behind cloud adoption has provided some revelatory insight that will serve the physical security industry. The survey, conducted by Morphean, a Video Surveillance-as-a-Service (VSaaS) innovator, highlights not only a favourable shift towards cloud but also a need to adopt technology to extract the intelligent insights needed to accelerate business growth. Respondents from organisations with 25 employees and above from the UK, France and Germany were asked to share their views on cloud technologies, cloud security, future cloud investment and new areas of cloud growth. The results showed that while nearly 9 out of 10 businesses surveyed are already using cloud-based software solutions, 89% of respondents would possibly or definitely move physical security technology such as video surveillance and access control to the cloud. Furthermore, 92% felt it to be important or very important that their physical security solutions meet their overall business objectives. Respondents estimate that 47% of their internal data will be cloud processed in the next two to five yearsKey survey findings include: 89% of businesses surveyed are using cloud-based software solutions, with 81% having set a cloud strategy for the year ahead Over a quarter (27%) of cloud users report the principal reason for moving services to the cloud was that it is safer/offers better security options (ahead of cost-effectiveness and ability to collaborate) On average, 33% of IT budgets have been spent on cloud services in the past 24 months; 78% expect their cloud spend to increase within the next two years Respondents estimate that, on average, 47% of their internal data will be cloud processed in the next two to five years 89% of respondents would possibly or definitely move physical security technology such as video surveillance and access control to the cloud 92% feel it’s important or very important that their physical security solutions meet their overall business objectives 25% have had a data breach in the past 24 months Of the 11% of respondents that would not consider using the cloud for physical security, 64% advised this was due to cybersecurity concerns Cloud offers better security options Over a quarter (27%) reported the principal reason for moving services to the cloud was that it is safer/offers better security optionsResidual reluctance to shift to widespread adoption of cloud in the face of growing cyber threats appears to be waning. Paradoxically, it would seem that the rise in cyber threats has led to a consensus that cloud is more agile and better prepared to face the threat of cyber-attack versus an on-premise solution. Over a quarter (27%) reported the principal reason for moving services to the cloud was that it is safer/offers better security options - ahead of cost-effectiveness and the ability to collaborate - while 25% have experienced a data breach in the past 24 months. As end-users continue to see the benefits of cloud solutions, adoption is forecast to rise. On average, 33% of IT budgets were spent on cloud services in the past 24 months; 78% of respondents expect their cloud spend to increase within the next two years and estimate that, on average, 47% of their internal data will be cloud processed in the next two to five years. Some of this growth is expected to be in systems that are not typically associated with cloud, such as video surveillance and access control. Adoption of cloud in security sector Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, states, “This study of our market across Europe underpins what we already knew from conversations on the ground but lacked the statistical evidence to prove. Fears of cyber-attack have hindered enterprise adoption of cloud in certain industries, such as the physical security sector. Fears of cyber-attack have hindered enterprise adoption of cloud in certain industries, such as the physical security sector" The attitude that ‘if we don’t own it, we can’t control it’ has perhaps persisted until now. But with more and more businesses migrating their legacy systems to proven cloud platforms for email, CRM, ERP and HR, we know that security will be the next big area of growth for a number of sound reasons.” Business intelligence benefits “We now face an unpredictable future. Businesses are realising that not only is cloud technology more secure, more agile and more cost-effective than its on-premise alternative when deployed correctly by a proven partner, but the business intelligence benefits that it provides far outweigh the risks. The increasing integration of devices across a network, enabled by IoT, is helping businesses overcome new challenges by making use of the increased amount of data hosted in the cloud and analysed by machines using artificial intelligence. For example, in retail, Morphean’s cloud-based VSaaS platform where IP cameras are designed for stock monitoring can also alert managers when queues begin to develop at checkouts. The onus is now on system integrators and installers to understand the cloud platforms available to them and help end customers reap the benefits on offer.”
Morphean, an innovator in Security-as-a-Service, leads the security industry into a smarter digital future that promises unique business insights by leveraging AI. Swiss tech company Morphean, a provider of cloud analytics and Security-as-a-Service, today opens a new chapter in its development. This latest round of financing confirms once again that digitisation and cutting-edge technologies using the Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are fundamentally changing the security and business intelligence industry. A continuous investment of this kind is indicative of the rising curve of the business intelligence market, which is continuing its expansion and will reach a total volume of USD 22.8 billion by the end of 2020 according to Gartner's forecast. With KOTTER Invest GmbH from Germany, another partner joins an impressive group of existing Morphean shareholders, such as Securitas Group Switzerland, Swisscom, AM-Tec, Capital Risque Fribourg and iCortex. KOTTER Invest is the investment division of the KOTTER Group, which also includes KOTTER Security, the family-run security service provider in Germany. Morphean's secure cloud analytics Market growth is driven by end-users' demands for a higher return on investment (ROI) from their security facilities, which can be achieved by gaining more insight from their data. In addition, in the new age of security, installers and integrators are looking for simple system set-ups, platforms for cyber security, and increased revenue opportunities. Morphean's secure cloud analytics platform successfully helps customers and installers achieve these goals. In retail, for example, analytics can determine which demographic profiles visit a store in a given period of time – enabling in-store promotions that are precisely tailored to the preferences of the clientele. The increase in digitisation and IoT has led to an overabundance of data that must be managed in a secure and intelligent manner" Friedrich P. Kotter says: "Our customers' needs are constantly evolving. Thanks to the digital technologies provided by Morphean, we can offer our customers improved and more individual solutions. In addition, the increase in digitisation and IoT has led to an overabundance of data that must be managed in a secure and intelligent manner. Morphean is transforming this market and is well on course towards leadership in this area: The company uses AI to analyse data that is securely stored in the cloud, and is thus able to provide unique insights. This enables our customers to achieve an even higher level of security and at the same time receive relevant information about the performance of their company. Our investment partnership will help open a new chapter in Security-as-a-Service." Intelligent and proactive monitoring This latest investment underlines the fact that our vision of the future is becoming reality" Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO of Morphean, adds: "Morphean raises the bar for the application of video surveillance and access control systems. This latest investment underlines the fact that our vision of the future is becoming reality. Based on the latest IoT and cloud technologies, the Morphean platform improves security by providing intelligent and proactive monitoring. The data provided by each connected IoT device also allows us to enable companies to monitor trends and improve performance through actionable insights provided by Artificial Intelligence. Morphean helps companies increase their revenue from their security investments."
Cloud analytics and security-as-a-service innovator, Morphean, has put cybersecurity at the heart of the design of a significant upgrade to its intelligent software platform. The Morphean platform takes cybersecurity to the next level, giving users the ability to deploy two-factor authentication to access the platform and the insights within it that are derived using artificial intelligence. This ensures the PII held remains impenetrable, and readies its customers for a cyber secure future. In light of the increasing cyber threat encountered by all industries from across the globe, and the concurrent need for legislative measures to ensure compliance, the Morphean platform delivers a robust and secure cloud environment. The upgrade will remove some of the burden of regulatory compliance such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), meaning the user can focus on implementing the insights delivered by the platform to drive business performance. Morphean only hosts its platform in Tier 3 data centres or higher by collaborating with proven hosting partners, respecting the highest and strongest certification standards" Securing data hosted on servers Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean, states, “Security as a Service means exactly that. Creating world class cloud analytics and business intelligence technology is no longer enough in today’s cyber threat landscape. We have to ensure that our solution is more secure in every way than an on-premise alternative. That is why Morphean only hosts its platform in Tier 3 data centres or higher. We collaborate with proven hosting partners, respecting the highest and strongest certification standards* in all regions we operate. Morphean has already begun upgrading its existing customers to benefit from the platform’s new features as part of the as-a-service model.” The growing number of devices connected to networks, and the resulting volume of data, provides not only exciting opportunities for businesses to extract meaningful insights from that hosted data, but it also puts the security of such data firmly in focus. Where once, these data sources were limited to physical security devices such as surveillance cameras and access control, with the growth of IoT the Morphean platform will now collect data, and extract insight from any network connected technology. We’ve been helping service providers secure systems by automatically changing the root password of a device recurrently, encrypting all communications via SSL" Encrypting communications via SSL This is possible in a variety of sectors, including retail, transportation, industrial applications and government-related industries. In retail, for example, utilising data from IoT devices is enabling immersive shopping experiences that appeal to today’s digitally-native shopper. Smart cameras are helping store managers map out a customer’s journey through its outlet by identifying hot zones; smart shelves are helping retailers identify when stock requires replenishment, or if many high-value items have been taken in quick succession, which could indicate a theft. “From very early on, cybersecurity has been an important consideration within our technology,” Mr. Zbinden continues. “We’ve been helping service providers secure systems by automatically changing the root password of a device recurrently, encrypting all communications via SSL and facilitating the connection of a device to the server. We also regularly utilise security professionals to audit our platform via penetration tests. Having access to game changing business intelligence is only effective if the technology utilised is 100% cybersecure, and compliant with local legislation. We believe the new Morphean platform effectively achieves this.”
Morphean and Digital Barriers announce a new collaboration to offer Digital Barriers’ government-accredited video analytics and facial recognition solutions as an enhanced Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) solution across the Morphean video surveillance platform. First SmartVis video analytics suite as a VSaaS provider This combination will bring a market-leading solution to businesses looking to enhance their control over physical security and business intelligence, whilst reducing costs and IT complexity. Morphean will become the first European-based business intelligence and video management platform provider offering the SmartVis video analytics suite as a VSaaS solution into the commercial sector. "By employing Digital Barriers’ SmartVis analytics, Morphean can rapidly augment safety and security capabilities across our clients’ assets, leveraging the latest in AI analytics, no matter how large the enterprise or how challenging the environment," said Rodrigue Zbinden, Morphean CEO. "This collaboration with Morphean underscores the significant technical lead that SmartVis has over its competition. Morphean’s surveillance and business intelligence platform across large-scale retail unlocks a brand-new market for Digital Barriers, one that complements our engagements with defence and law enforcement customers around the world," said Manuel Magalhaes, Vice President, Global Alliances, Digital Barriers.
Morphean plans to lead a new business model within the security environment: VSaaS Morphean, Europe’s leading supplier of VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service) hosted video monitoring solutions, has announced a fresh injection of capital that will enable it to grow rapidly in this new and buoyant security market, using it to offer its platform all over the world. New investors This increase in capital was provided by the existing shareholders (iCortex, AM-Tec and Venture Capital Fribourg), as well as two new investors Swisscom Ventures and Swiss Securitas Group. Although they are minority shareholders, these two investors are of great strategic importance to Morphean. Swisscom is providing its expertise in the field of telecommunications, the IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data and Business Intelligence. The fact that Switzerland’s leading security company, Swiss Securitas Group, has acquired a stake in Morphean supports our vision and confirms the importance of shifting the traditional security market towards VSaaS. Changing face of security environment Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO & co-founder of Morphean comments “With the support of our partners and bolstered by these new financial resources, I now have all the tools at my disposal to enable me to make my vision of turning the security market on its head a reality.” In the medium term, Morphean intends to open up its capital by means of an initial public offering (IPO), becoming the “leading pioneer” for this new business model within the security environment. Save Save
Martyn is a believer in cloud-basedsecurity, and is excited to representMorphean in the European market Martyn Ryder has joined Morphean after 10 years with STANLEY Security most recently heading up their Products and Solutions across 14 Europe countries post their acquisition of Niscayah. Martyn comes with a wealth of experience of European security market, having brought several cloud offerings to market in both Europe and North America. Martyn has joined Morphean as Sales Director for Northern Europe to support their continued growth plans to expand their VSaaS (Video Solution as a Service) offerings wider throughout Europe, specifically in the UK, Ireland and Nordics. VSaaS offerings “I’m excited to be joining Morphean, I’m a strong believer that cloud based solutions in the security market will continue to grow and become a key technology for both customers and security service providers. I feel Morphean is well-placed to serve the European market and become a key player in the VSaaS offerings”, said Martyn Ryder. “The hiring of Martyn Ryder is an important milestone and it confirms our position as leader in the market of innovative video surveillance solutions. This is part of our current structure growth in order to ensure the achievement of our objectives. Recently, we also hired Marjorie Virdis Mager as Marketing Manager. Her know-how in Marketing & Communication as well as her experience in the domain of video solutions at Dartfish will give us the necessary tools to broadcast our values to the target”, tells Rodrigue Zbinden, CEO at Morphean.