Assured Data Protection, the prominent IT managed services provider (MSP) for cloud data protection solutions, announces that it has entered into a global partnership agreement with Confluera, a provider of next-generation detection and response solutions, to provide eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) as part of its established data protection service offering. The agreement enables Assured Data Protection to expand its cloud data management portfolio, drive engagement with new and existing...
ONVIF, the renowned global standardisation initiative for IP-based physical security products, is pleased to announce the appointment of Leonid (Leo) Levit as the new Chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee. Leonid Levit serves as Director of System Integration at Axis Communications and brings to the Chairman’s role a strong technical background and more than a decade of product management, marketing and sales experience. Levit takes over from Per Björkdahl, who is stepping down fr...
PSA Security Network (PSA), the globally renowned consortium of professional systems integrators, has announced the addition of EAGL Technology to its Managed Security Service Provider Program (MSSP). EAGL Technology is a manufacturer of indoor/outdoor IoT wireless gunshot sensors, as well as sensors that can detect vape, car collisions, flood waters and critical infrastructure failures. Active shooter threat detection “EAGL produces solutions that address today’s real-world securi...
Netwatch Group, a security group comprised of NMC, CalAtlantic and Netwatch, is pleased to announce that Bill Bozeman, CPP, will be joining their Executive Board. One of the most respected professionals in the security industry, Bozeman will bring his unparalleled expertise and over 40 years of experience to bear, in helping steer the organisation to meet corporate objectives in 2021 and beyond. Security industry veteran Bill Bozeman is one of the security industry’s most accomplished an...
The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is supporting this year’s UK Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs), which is part of a global awards scheme currently running in 12 countries recognising outstanding performance in their private security sectors. This year’s UK OSPAs awards show will be taking place ‘virtually’ on the afternoon of 25 February and NSI is delighted to be sponsoring the Outstanding Security Installer/Integrator category. NSI congratulates t...
HID Global, a worldwide front-runner in trusted identity solutions, announced it has expanded its award-winning Seos® credential family with two new products. The Seos 16K is the industry’s first credential certified to the highest IT security level established by the independent testing service provider TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH, and it features the highest memory in the series to support multi-application deployments. Seos Essential is a new, single-application credential th...
Armis®, the agentless device security platform, and Viakoo®, a pioneer in automated IoT cyber hygiene, announce a partnership that brings together IoT device discovery and remediation. The number of connected Enterprise IoT devices used in workplaces across all industries is exploding. Experts say that by 2025, one should expect more than 40 billion of these devices interwoven into our everyday lives. And although these devices help improve efficiency and reliability, they lack the management and security needed to keep them safe from cyberattacks. Traditional asset management Most enterprise IoT, operational technology (OT), and biomedical devices have limited on-board security controls. Traditional asset management and security products can't see unmanaged and IoT devices that can't host software agents. Active network scanners can cause sensitive OT equipment or critical patient-connected devices to malfunction. And misconfigured or unpatched devices can expose vulnerabilities that create a massive attack surface and considerable risk. When an out-of-compliance device is found, the best outcome is to remediate potential risks and to return the device to service. Armis detects such out-of-compliance devices, and Viakoo can trigger certain actions on them, like firmware updates, configuration modifications, certificate refresh, and password changes, which can remediate risk. Achieving greater value Viakoo solves a difficult and necessary task by automating cyber vulnerability remediation" Devices that can’t be remediated would continue to be monitored by Armis for suspicious or malicious behaviour and quarantine. Both the Armis and Viakoo platforms are agentless, do not require the installation of any hardware in the environment, and install in as little as minutes, using the infrastructure one already has, with no network changes. Armis integrates with Viakoo and other IT security and management systems just as easily, from the firewall to the NAC to the SIEM, letting the user achieve greater value and more automated response. “Viakoo solves a difficult and necessary task by automating cyber vulnerability remediation,” said Peter Doggart, VP Business Development, and Global Channel at Armis. Eliminating cyber vulnerabilities “Our integration provides a best-in-class solution for organisations to quickly eliminate cyber vulnerabilities and be in control of their IoT infrastructure. Together, Armis and Viakoo provide a unified cybersecurity vulnerability management solution for unmanaged, medical, OT, and IoT devices - critical for any IT or security team.” “Unmanaged IoT devices represent the largest attack surface within an organisation,” said Bud Broomhead, CEO of Viakoo. “Armis has the most comprehensive solution to discover these devices; now, combined with Viakoo, customers can quickly and cost-effectively make these devices secure, visible, and capable of delivering their full value.”
DICE Corporation (The New DICE Corporation) is empowering security integration companies with Matrix Integrator, a cloud-based video event monitoring, surveillance, and alarm notification suite for any video system, anywhere, and at any time. Interactive video monitoring For the first time, security integrators can directly provide end-users with automatic and managed interactive video monitoring services, while also controlling their business operations at the same time. “In the past, DICE Corporation has been perceived solely as an automation software company for monitoring stations,” explained Avi Lupo, DICE Corporation Co-President. Avi Lupo adds, “However, the security industry has evolved from just a basic alarm panel and a central station providing simple alarm services. With the New DICE’s Matrix Integrator and our new technologies, we are offering integration companies, and the industry as a whole, a new way of doing business.” Matrix Integrator Matrix Integrator is a complete platform with managed services, such as video verification and remote guarding Matrix Integrator is a complete platform with managed services, such as video verification, remote guarding, virtual guard tours, business management and virtual doorman, all using advanced video analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and cloud recording of events. Other services provided via Matrix Integrator include object detection and human behaviour analysis with real-time notification. Flexible, scalable, and easy to implement and use, Matrix Integrator not only offers a new way of selling CCTV, but also at the same time, provides recurring additional revenue (RMR) every month. Integrated with DICE’s exclusive hybrid technology Using DICE Corporation’s exclusive hybrid technology, integrators can bridge to a professional central monitoring station of their choice at any given moment and any time. Many event applications can go directly to an end user’s cell phone and/or to cloud video recording. Integration companies can also choose to bridge to a professional monitoring station of their choice to monitor accounts at night, weekends, or 24/7. SaaS, PaaS and IaaS technology in the Cloud “Central stations are not required but it is an option. Some services are managed and require operators to handle them, while others are automatic and can be provided without staff,” said Avi Lupo, adding “So central stations are providing managed services for the integrator, but the technology and control is in the hands of the integration company.” All Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) technology, including receivers, reside in the Cloud at DICE’s secure UL/ULC data centre. Unified platform to control PTZ and IP cameras New technologies allow DICE Corporation to move the ‘smart’ from the camera to the cloud New technologies allow DICE Corporation to move the ‘smart’ from the camera to the cloud. Any camera or Network Video Recorder (regardless of the manufacturer) can provide video analytics without the need to invest in expensive new technology. The unified platform also provides controls for all IP cameras, PTZ cameras, and field devices, as well as one-click camera views. Plus, because the platform is on the Cloud, there are automatic version updates. Remote modification and interactive services The bottom line is that there is a minimal upfront cost for both integrators and end-users in installing a new system. Furthermore, in most cases, the integrator has no need to return to the site to upgrade the system and provide these new interactive services. “The world is changing and so is the industry,” stated Avi Lupo, Dice Corporation’s Co-President, adding “Matrix Integrator is a new, innovative way of selling CCTV with many advantages. This is an opportunity for integrators to benefit from a competitive edge and change before they have to.”
Videx Security appoints James Rose, an experienced professional in the access control and door entry market, to National Projects Manager. In the newly created role, James is responsible for Videx’s large-scale access control and entry projects, predominately in the social and private residential sector. A key element of his role involves onsite leadership for the project team, taking ownership of the full project life cycle from initiation to completion. Developing strong relationships James is an integral part of the Videx team and has been working at the company for over 10 years. He has a strong technical and sales background with extensive knowledge and expertise of the Videx range of access control and entry systems. John Rickard, Managing Director of Videx, said: “James not only has an in-depth understanding of the business, our products, and the industry generally, but he also has developed strong relationships with key partners - installers, distributors and integrators - through his technical and sales roles at Videx over the years. Together with his passion for innovation, James will be able to create new business opportunities with large scale, expansive projects in his new role.” Prioritising technology innovations Both James and James will work closely together in securing larger contracts for Videx “At Videx, we pride ourselves on providing a bespoke security solution and understanding a customer’s specific requirements which sets us apart from other entry manufacturers. Building on this USP, James will help us to secure more projects where the specification required is highly bespoke and tailored to specific customer needs.” The news follows the appointment of James Gray to National Sales Manager. Both James and James will work closely together in securing larger contracts for Videx, focusing on those sectors that provide the most growth potential to the business. Of particular focus this year are local authority and housing sectors as well as the healthcare industry which is calling for increased door entry and access control measures as they focus on bringing the current pandemic under control by reducing the spread of COVID-19. James added: “I am looking forward to taking on a challenging, but exciting, role as we push forward with our growth plans, prioritising technology innovations and best-in-class customer service.”
Evolution, the foremost integrated Fire & Security systems business, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the launch of its new company logo. The logo has been given a stylish and modern refresh to reflect the development of the business since its foundation in 1996 and to symbolise the company’s ethos of always looking towards future success. Delivering excellence Richard Lambert, Managing Director of Evolution, says this is an important milestone for the company: “Since our launch we have continued to grow and achieve, establishing Evolution as a leading fire and security systems integrator across the UK and Europe.” “We're excited about the future of the business and the industry, and this modern refresh aligns with our goal of continuing to deliver excellence to our clients, providing them with the systems, services and support that meet their specific needs.”
Heavily used interior and exterior doors need an access solution that’s both robust and intelligent. The new SMARTair i-max Escutcheon from ASSA ABLOY ensures only authorised users pass through these doors, via a range of credentials including virtual keys stored on a smartphone. Fast, wire-free installation makes it easy to implement or extend a SMARTair access control system in any building. This new wireless escutcheon with an inbuilt RFID reader and Bluetooth compatibility handles the punishment of high-traffic, frequent-use doors. It meets standard EN 1906 Category of use: Grade 4 for robustness — the highest level, recommended for doors ‘which are subject to frequent violent use.’ Wire-free installation This hard-wearing, resistant build quality makes the SMARTair escutcheon ideal for busy doors at education establishments like universities and schools; healthcare sites including hospitals and nursing homes; offices and co-working spaces; apartment complexes and multifamily residences; and public institutions like government buildings, sports centres, and libraries. Its robust design, redefined aesthetics and wire-free installation are perfect for these high-traffic environments — facilities with busy students and teachers, or doctors, nurses, visitors, and subcontractors always on the move. The SMARTair i-max escutcheon is also available with an antibacterial coating, for healthcare and other sterile settings. Proximity credential technologies The new escutcheon is battery powered and works with all standard proximity credential technologies The new escutcheon is battery-powered and works with all standard proximity credential technologies, including MIFARE®, DESFire, and iCLASS®. An optional integrated PINpad provides the opportunity to add another layer of security with multi-factor authentication. One can specify individual doors to open with PIN verification or credential verification — or to require both. The new i-max sacrifices none of its style in pursuit of functionality. The new escutcheon comes in a variety of contemporary finishes and handles options — with up to 16 different combinations. A multi-coloured LED gives visual warning signals at a glance. This new SMARTair escutcheon fits glass, wooden, or aluminium doors — including fire and emergency exit doors — and is available for Scandinavian, Euro, Finnish, and Australasian door profiles. System management options The new escutcheon is compatible with all SMARTair system management options: Standalone, for basic access control functionality; Update on Card; Openow and Pro Wireless Online, for real-time management of every door and system user. The i-max escutcheon also offers another way to open doors: the SMARTair Mobile App to open doors remotely and the SMARTair Openow mobile app. With Openow, users no longer carry a separate card or fob credentials. Instead, their smartphone stores secure virtual keys which can be issued, amended, or cancelled at any time. So, users no longer need to waste time collecting or validating an access card to open doors locked with a new SMARTair i-max escutcheon. With Openow, if one has their phone, they are already carrying the keys.
PSA, one of the world’s largest consortium of professional systems integrators, announced the addition of Dedrone to its Managed Security Service Provider Program (MSSP). Dedrone is a solution provider in the airspace security. “Dedrone provides early warning, identification, location, and mitigation against all drone threats,” said Tim Brooks, PSA’s Vice President of Sales and Vendor Management. “As the market and technology leader in airspace security, Dedrone is an important addition to our lineup of products.” Critical infrastructure facilities Drone technology has advanced tremendously, aiding in surveying, disaster relief, delivery, and a myriad of business and consumer applications. However, in the wrong hands, a drone’s accessibility, capabilities, and ease of flying makes it especially suitable for hacking, surveillance, and terrorism. Dedrone protects organisations from malicious and unauthorised drones by securing the airspace using sensors and software technology. Drones pose a physical and cyber security threat to enterprises and critical infrastructure facilities" “Dedrone is proud to be a part of PSA’s MSSP programme, where together with PSA, we will deliver complete airspace security,” shares Dedrone CEO Aaditya Devarakonda. “Drones pose an increasing and escalating physical and cyber security threat to enterprises and critical infrastructure facilities. PSA’s network of security providers now has access to Dedrone’s market-leading solution to ensure their customers are protected against unwanted or malicious drones.” Drone detection sensors Dedrone smart airspace security utilises best-in-class drone detection sensors to feed data into Dedrone’s cutting-edge software platform. Airspace activity data, including drone type, flight time, flight speed and flight path / location, are automatically reported, enabling security providers to assess their airspace activity in real-time, and prevent drone-based interruptions. Dedrone’s smart airspace security is delivered through their proprietary Airspace Security-as-a-Service (ASaaS) programme and starts with a diagnostic threat assessment. Organisations can determine the scope of their drone activity, and from there, work with PSA and Dedrone to build out a comprehensive airspace security programme that meets the specific threat. PSA’s MSSP programme hinges on uniting pioneering partners in cyber security and cloud-based security solutions, offering training and certification opportunities and financing options with assistance from PSA.
Like most industries, the fields of security, access and safety have been transformed by technology, with AI-driven automation presenting a clear opportunity for players seeking growth and leadership when it comes to innovation. In this respect, these markets know exactly what they want. They require solutions that accurately (without false or negative positives) classify and track people and/or vehicles as well as the precise location and interactions between those objects. They want to have access to accurate data generated by best-of-class solutions irrespective of the sensor modality. And, they need to be able to easily deploy such solutions, at the lowest capex and opex, with the knowledge that they can be integrated with preferred VMSs and PSIMs, be highly reliable, have low install and maintenance overheads and be well supported. With these needs in mind, camera and computer vision technology providers, solutions providers and systems integrators are forging ahead and have created exemplary ecosystems with established partnerships helping to accelerate adoption. At the heart of this are AI and applications of Convolutional neural networks (CNN), an architecture often used in computer vision deep learning algorithms, which are accomplishing tasks that were extremely difficult with traditional software. But what about 3D sensing technologies and perception? The security, safety and access market have an additional crucial need: they must mitigate risk and make investments that deliver for the long-term. This means that if a systems integrator invests in a 3D sensing data perception platform today, it will support their choice of sensors, perception strategies, applications and use cases over time without having to constantly reinvest in alternative computer hardware and perception software each time they adopt new technology or systems. This begs the question - if the security industry knows what it needs, why is it yet to fully embrace 3D sensing modalities? Perception strategy Intelligent perception strategies are yet to evolve which sees designers lock everything down at the design phase Well, one problem facing security, safety and access solutions providers, systems integrators and end-users when deploying first-generation 3D sensing-based solutions is the current approach. Today, intelligent perception strategies have yet to evolve beyond the status quo which sees designers lock everything down at the design phase, including the choice of the sensor(s), off-the-shelf computer hardware and any vendor-specific or 3rd party perception software algorithms and deep learning or artificial intelligence. This approach not only builds in constraints for future use-cases and developments, it hampers the level of perception developed by the machine. Indeed, the data used to develop or train the perception algorithms for security, access and safety use cases at design time is typically captured for a narrow and specific set of scenarios or contexts and are subsequently developed or trained in the lab. Technology gaps As those in this industry know too well, siloed solutions and technology gaps typically block the creation of productive ecosystems and partnerships while lack of commercial whole products can delay market adoption of new innovation. Perception systems architectures today do not support the real-time adaptation of software and computing engines in the field. They remain the same as those selected during the design phase and are fixed for the entire development and the deployment stage. Crucially, this means that the system cannot deal with the unknowns of contextually varying real-time situations where contexts are changing (e.g being able to reflex to security situations they haven’t been trained for) and where the autonomous system’s perception strategies need to dynamically adjust accordingly. Ultimately, traditional strategies have non-scalable and non-adaptable competing computing architectures that were not designed to process the next generation of algorithms, deep learning and artificial intelligence required for 3D sensor mixed workloads. What this means for industries seeking to develop or deploy perception systems, like security, access and safety, is that the available computing architectures are generic and designed for either graphic rendering or data processing. Solutions providers, therefore, have little choice but to promote these architectures heavily into the market. Consequently, the resulting computing techniques are defined by the computing providers and not by the software developers working on behalf of the customer deploying the security solution. Context…. we don’t know what we don’t know Perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, thereby improving the performance post-deployment To be useful and useable in the security context and others, a perception platform must have the ability to adjust to changes in context, can self-optimise and crucially, can self-learn, thereby improving the performance post-deployment. The combinations of potential contextual changes in a real-life environment, such as an airport or military base, are innumerable, non-deterministic, real-time, often analogue and unpredictable. The moment sensors, edge computing hardware and perception software are deployed in the field, myriad variables such as weather, terrain as well as sensor mounting location and orientation all represent a context shift where the perception systems’ solution is no longer optimal. For example, it might be that a particular sensor system is deployed in an outdoor scenario with heavy foliage. Because the algorithm development or training was completed in the lab, the moving foliage, bushes or low trees and branches are classified as humans or some other false-positive result. Typically, heavy software customisation and onsite support then ensue, requiring on-site support by solutions vendors where each and every sensor configuration needs to be hand-cranked to deliver something that is acceptable to the end customer. A new approach for effective perception strategies Cron AI is building senseEDGE, which represents a significant evolution in the development of sensing to information strategy. It is a 3D sensing perception and computer vision platform built from the ground up to address and remove the traditional deployment and performance bottlenecks we’ve just described. senseEDGE is aware of the user application reaction plan indication to trigger an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera The entire edge platform is built around a real-time scalable and adaptable computing architecture that’s flexible enough for algorithms and software to scale and adapt to different workloads and contexts. What’s more, it has real-time contextual awareness, which means that the entire edge platform is, at any time, aware of the external context, the sensor and sensor architecture and the requirements of the user application. Furthermore, when it produces the object output data, it also aware of the user application reaction plan indication, which could be triggering an alarm or turning on a CCTV camera when a specific action is detected. This approach turns traditional perception strategies on their head: it is software-defined programmable perception and computing architecture, not hardware-defined. It is free from the constraints imposed by traditional CPU or GPU compute dictated by hardware architecture providers and not limited to the perception built defined during design time. And, being fully configurable, it can be moved from one solution to another, providing computation for different modalities of sensors designed for different use cases or environments, and lower risk of adoption and migration for those developing the security solution. Future perception requirements senseEDGE is also able to scale to future perception requirements, such as algorithms and workloads produced by future sensors as well as computational techniques and neural networks that have yet to be invented. Meanwhile, latency versus throughput is totally software-defined and not limited by providers of computing architecture. Finally, contextually aware, it is fully connected to the real world where the reflexes adapt to even the subtlest changes in context, which makes all the difference in time and accuracy in critical security situations. This is how CronAI sees the future of perception. It means that security and safety innovators can now access and invest with low risk in a useable and scalable perception solution that can truly take advantage of current and future 3D sensor modalities.
This year has brought about changes in virtually every sector. As with other frontline industries, the security sector has been tested more than those able to move entirely to remote working. While the promise of a vaccine means an end is in sight, the post-COVID era will not bring with it a return to the ‘normal’ we knew before the pandemic. Organisations have adapted, becoming more resilient and agile and this will have lasting effects. The coming months will continue to be testing. The tiered system will see the precautions in place fluctuate with the situation. Initial lockdown period At the same time, a gradual return to normal as the vaccine is rolled out will require adaptive measures. The security sector will be at the heart of keeping people safe throughout this process. The initial lockdown period and the first wave of panic buying might seem like a lifetime ago. However, the introduction of the second lockdown in November was accompanied by another wave of stockpiling despite organisations trying to reassure their customers. It is uncertainty that breeds anxiety, and we continue to see this as the restrictions fluctuate across the country. The tier system depends upon a number of factors: case detection rate, how quickly case numbers are rising or falling, positive COVID-19 test numbers in the general population, pressure on the NHS in that region, and local context and exceptional circumstances. Social distancing measures For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role While travel is allowed in all tiers if necessary for work, government advice still recommends that those able to work from home should do so. This means that throughout the country, many buildings will remain empty or at minimal capacity for some time to come. Security risks vary with the restrictions in each area. Although shops are largely open, tier three still requires the closure of many premises. Vacant premises are more vulnerable to theft and damage, meaning officers and security technology remain in higher demand than usual. As more premises are allowed to open, the need for officers to implement social distancing measures increases, stretching the sector like never before. For the sector to meet demand, technology will be needed to work alongside the manned guarding role. Temperature checking devices It will continue to be important in providing security when officers cannot be present in person through CCTV and sensors. But it will also be integrated into the manned guarding role to streamline processes. We are already seeing the start of this as many officers are using handheld temperature checking devices to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We’ll also see temperature scanners installed into buildings to allow security guards to focus on other priorities. Those businesses that are open will need to continue to adapt to the changing regulations in the coming months. Christmas is a busy period that stretches the retail sector. Unpredictability results in heightened stress levels and makes it more difficult for people to reliably take in and recall information. Security officers are a key first point of contact both to enforce measures and reassure anxious staff and members of the public. Enforcing one-way systems Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption Some shops are enforcing one-way systems and limiting the number of customers allowed inside. Over Christmas, many more may choose to do so. Security officers will be responsible for ensuring these precautions are followed. With the heightened pressure of the festive period, it can be hard to predict how members of the public will respond to officers enforcing measures. Security staff will need to keep members of the public safe and prevent disruption. Doing so will require tact and empathy in dealing with customers. Within shops, too, officers will be tasked with ensuring social distancing and other measures are followed effectively. Doing so, they must work closely with clients to understand what protocols are in place and how to handle a breach. They must also be able to enact discretion. For example, clients may not take issue with protocols being broken momentarily or accidentally. Extensive government guidance There is extensive government guidance on the precautions that should be taken on various premises. They include the introduction of one-way systems and limiting building capacity. Measures such as one-way systems may be broken by those that don’t notice or don’t care. Officers must be able to judge what responses are appropriate while maintaining a calm and reassuring presence. The security officer role has long been moving toward a more front of house position as, for many visitors to a building, they are the first point of contact. The pandemic has accelerated this trend. Working on the frontline of the pandemic, officers have had to play a more multifaceted role than ever before. Officers still act as deterrents and manage security issues, but they must also use empathy and strong communication skills to inform and reassure customers and staff onsite. Adapting to new technology They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices Being able to demonstrate this flexibility and to read a situation and react appropriately will be some of the skills most in demand in the industry in the future. Officers will need to build close working relationships with clients. In addition, many will have new roles, such as taking temperatures with handheld devices. They will need to be able to learn quickly on the job and adapt to new technology and practices. Technology, too, will be more important. If the global pandemic has driven any point home, it is that we cannot always see or sense threats. Data-driven insights Temperature checks and occupancy sensors will be the norm in protecting from COVID, while security technology and data-driven insights will continue to grow in popularity. The security sector specialises in adapting to the unexpected and the threatening. It continues to demonstrate incredible value through the pandemic. While the coming months will undoubtedly be trying, the sector is adapting. Lessons have been learned from the pandemic that will affect business globally. Security specialists are taking these on and creating a stronger and more effective industry.
When we popped the champagne to celebrate the start of a new year in January, not many could predict that less than three months later, we’d be facing a global pandemic and the economic challenges that a worldwide lockdown would bring. In conversations over the last several weeks, reports from integrators have vacillated between being flush with work or fearful that projects were drying up — without a whole lot in the middle. But in these conversations, a central theme has emerged: diversification. My background was heavily rooted in security integration but in the last 10 years shifted to risk — both management and mitigation practices — and this emerged long before I began my career in security. It isn’t a new phenomenon for companies to be looking at the risk management strategies they had in place and rethinking their direction. This global pandemic, and the effects it has had on the workforce, has significantly altered what many organisations deem “normal” day-to-day operations, meaning that many organisations are asking one key question: “can my business withstand this?” The challenge exists in ensuring asset security For many end users, the challenge exists in ensuring asset security in locations that are experiencing low occupancy as a result of work-from-home policies or in vacant facilities altogether. For integrators, there is a balance between continuing to install projects while keeping the health and well-being of technicians and employees top-of-mind. Considering these factors, business resiliency in times of crisis can be built by integrators implementing the following strategies: Diversify the portfolio As an industry, it’s safe to say that the winds of change are beginning to shift away from solely “per project” to more recurring monthly revenue (RMR) business models — and today’s crisis may be the catalyst for more of this change. Integrators that embraced this model in the early days, despite the hurdles that a transition like this brings, are seeing the benefits of this move. In economic downturns, RMR allows an organisation to map out incoming revenue streams and ensures money will continue to come in despite restrictions on new products and investments from customers. Offer more service-based products Part of diversifying a portfolio involves engaging in a more service-based approach to business. Establishing a monitoring services department, integrating a cloud-based video and/or access control service into the mix, or bringing more system monitoring services in play can go a long way in offering more than hardware-driven sales. We’ve talked a lot in the last several years about so many organisations transitioning from large capital expenditures (CAPEX) to more operational expenditures (OPEX) and the opportunities this presents to integrators; now is the time for providers to harness this trend for the health of their business. Emphasise the management Through managed services, the value for the customer is that integrators take on the diagnostics, testing, remote monitoring and more — all via the cloud or hosted models, which means fewer “truck rolls” and costs associated. In the current environment, saving a visit to a site can help protect technicians. For new customers, the external management of a system can mean all the difference as there are a number of end users that don’t need a headache that legacy systems create as it relates to maintenance, updates and manpower oversight. Securing an integrator’s business can mean being able to serve customers by diagnosing and triaging issues quickly and highlighting the value provided in day-to-day management. Look at new vertical markets From a resilience perspective, critical infrastructure and government-related markets, such as water and energy, and local and municipal customers rarely see a reduction in spending amidst a downturn, which can make these markets a solid investment for integrators. While some of the regulatory requirements in place, such as adherence to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and GSA contract guidelines, may be daunting, the ability for firms to weather the storm by serving these markets can help integrators see continued success. Understand your books One of the first things that integrators must do before a crisis hits is to understand their balance sheet. So many integrator firms are built on the premise of being really exceptional at highly technical and complicated installations, which is why they are good at what they do. But the real challenge is the balance of this ability with the skills needed to grasp business continuity from a bookkeeping and planning perspective. Act as a consultant One of the biggest challenges for customers during a crisis is making quick decisions that can impact the rest of the organisation both in the short- and long-term. In the security environment and the status of where the world is currently, the needs customers had a month ago are far different than now, so acting as a consultant and working with them to address their concerns through existing technology — or recommending new solutions — can mean all the difference in building a relationship with existing customers or in working with new ones. Offer services that leverage existing investments So many customers out there today have invested heavily in video surveillance equipment and hardware that they want to ensure will be around for the long haul. Investing in new equipment can be a real hindrance in normal circumstances, much less those we’re currently facing, so it’s critical that more open solutions are offered to customers. For example, cloud-based video offerings that leverage existing cameras and allow end users to configure them with the touch of a button are a value-added benefit that can favour integrators in the long run. Continue training your staff Right now, while many integrators see a slow down taking place, it’s critical that those with the means to do so offer more value to end users by incorporating continued education and training for technicians. This can go a long way in making the services offered more appealing to customers. Integrators who set aside resources to train staff and encourage certifications are building a foundation for success. There’s no way that integrators can address the demands placed on them without investing in the people within their organisation. Integrators and security leaders are tasked now with the added complexity of navigating a worldwide crisis. While so many see the challenges ahead, there is opportunity within these challenges to take forward-thinking business practices and implement them on a broader scale. Doing so can have the potential to change the face of the industry as we know it.
Convergint Technologies’ rapid growth has come through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions — they have acquired 35 companies since 2014. Growth has been a focus since day one when the founders started the systems integration company with 10 colleagues in a basement. Today, the diverse company includes more than 5,000 employees globally. As technology has advanced and business practices have evolved, Convergint’s core values and beliefs have guided their path forward. Customer-centric approach Convergint’s culture is a critical aspect of the company, from the executive level to frontline colleagues. “It is essential that the companies we look to acquire and develop partnerships with directly align with our people-first, customer-centric, inclusive culture centered on colleagues and customers,” says Mike Mathes, Executive Vice President, Convergint Technologies. “This approach has allowed us to maintain and grow our number of colleagues across our acquisitions and enables us to continue being our customers’ best service provider.” Integration practices Many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition A simple but important consideration as Convergint grows through acquisitions is: No two companies are the same. While some integration practices can be standardised across the company, many practices have to be form-fitted to each individual acquisition, says Mathes. “Our objective is not to come in and immediately implement change. We want to build on what has already been successful within the local market and share our learned experiences. There is plenty we can learn from each other and create a much better organisation.” Mathes says that Convergint’s view of a successful acquisition is that 1+1=3. “The end result is always much more impactful than what we anticipated,” he says. “Every acquisition brings with it an experienced leadership team, dedicated and skilled colleagues, vertical market and technological expertise. Most acquisitions are in geographies where we do not already operate, so with every acquisition, we increase our capability to serve our customers much better.” Also, the network of Global Convergint Technology Centres (CTCs) helps expand clientele, and the Convergint Development Centre (CDC) offers new support capabilities allowing acquisitions to grow at a very high rate. Expanding service Are there more acquisitions to come? Mathes says Convergint is always open to further expanding its footprint across the globe, improving its ability to service customers, deepening their technical expertise, and continuing to expand service offerings across the current and new vertical markets. However, the current focus remains on several key factors: service to colleagues, customers, and communities. “While obviously, acquisitions fuel our growth, the addition of these organisations to Convergint has really improved our ability to service clients on a global basis,” says Mathes. Acquiring ICD Security Solutions in Asia, for example, made Convergint a pioneer in that market for U.S.-based multi-national companies. Meeting customers demand “Convergint does not weigh market conditions when making an acquisition decision,” says Mathes. Rather, they are primarily focused on meeting or exceeding their customer’s needs on a local to a global level. They see acquisitions as a potential way to extend their geographic reach so they can be closer to customers. An acquisition might also expand technological or vertical market expertise. “The end goal is for us to enhance our service capabilities by attracting and retaining talented colleagues and leaders to better service our customers,” says Mathes. Enhancing and expanding services Convergint identifies how to leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options “Economies of scale” have not been a consideration. They have never sought to acquire companies and restructure them in the process, for example. Rather, each company brings forth a unique skillset, is carefully vetted by the executive team, and provides purpose in the company's mission and vision for the future.” “Frontline colleagues are Convergint’s most valuable assets,” says Mathes. Rather than restructuring and eliminating skilled, knowledgeable colleagues, Convergint identifies how they can leverage the expertise to further enhance and expand current service options for customers. “Our colleagues and their skill sets are our competitive advantage—they remain an essential element to our success,” says Mathes. Demand for integrator services “We continue to experience a growing demand for innovative solutions across electronic security, fire alarm, and life safety,” says Mathes. “As companies innovate further and rely on technologies such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, IoT, and cloud solutions, we expect to see an increased demand for integrator services. Our customers demand a local service provider who is responsive and can meet their needs, which is why Convergint aims to be its customers’ best service provider.” This year, Convergint is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In 2021, they will continue to focus on the same critical components that have dominated since day one taking care of colleagues, customers, and the communities where they operate.
The coronavirus pandemic had a monumental impact on all aspects of the business world, including the security industry. However, amid the gloom and doom, many security professionals also saw opportunity: New ways the industry’s products could be applied to address the challenges of coping with the virus. This article will review some of those opportunities, based on our reporting throughout the year and including links back to the original articles. During and after the pandemic, security systems are an important asset when it comes to helping to keep occupants and buildings safe as employees return to work. For example, video analytics can provide insight into how spaces have previously been used and can help to predict where and when occupants encounter each other or congregate. Role of thermal cameras These foot-traffic patterns can inform settings for a variety of devices - like ventilation and temperature controls - and even help owners create social distancing plans and monitor personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance. Thermal surveillance, a mainstay of traditional physical security and outdoor perimeter detection, began being deployed early in the pandemic to quickly scan employees, contractors and visitors as part of a first line of defence to detect COVID-19 symptoms. These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices These systems provide flexibility and can offer integrations with multiple VMS platforms and access control devices. Thermal cameras can be a tool for detecting fever, but any use of the technology for this purpose is full of qualifications and caveats. Importantly, how the camera system is configured makes all the difference in whether temperature readings are accurate, and the downside of inaccurate readings is obvious - and potentially deadly. Temperature detection systems FDA guidelines limit how the cameras are used, not to mention guidance from other regulatory/government bodies such as the CDC. One of our Expert Roundtable panelists compares the market to a “wild west scenario,” and almost all the panelists are clear about how customers should approach the market: Buyer beware. There are many companies jumping into selling temperature detection systems to the state, local governments, hospitals, airports and local businesses, but do they know how to drive one? Anyone can get behind a car and drive it into a wall by accident. The same can happen with a temperature detection system. Customers need to know what questions to ask to ensure they maximise the accuracy of body temperature detection systems. Rise of contactless Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favor are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. "Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Facial recognition system Another contactless system that benefits from concerns about spread of COVID-19 is facial recognition. New advancement in software, specifically in the areas of algorithms, neural networks and deep learning and/or artificial intelligence (AI), have all dramatically improved both the performance and accuracy of facial recognition systems, further expanding its use for an increasing number of applications. A low-tech solution - the face mask - became a leading preventative measure during the pandemic. But, a high-tech solution is necessary to ensure that everyone is wearing them. Cameras powered by artificial intelligence can now identify whether or not people entering a facility are wearing facemasks and help enforce adherence to mask mandates. This technology is proving to be a cost-effective solution that reduces risks of confrontations over masks policies and gives managers the data they need to document regulatory compliance and reduce liability. Smart video analytics Other technology approaches, including artificial intelligence (AI), were also brought to bear during the pandemic. The German data analytics powerhouse G2K, for example, has developed a Corona Detection and Containment System (CDCS) that is ready for immediate use in record time. Detection takes place in combination with AI-supported data analysis to specifically identify virus hotspots and distribution routes, as well as to identify other potentially infected persons. One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated One specific AI application fuels the reopening of the world and successfully keeps the spread of the virus abated. A “collaborative security” application includes a synthesis of smart video analytics, facial recognition, object identification/detection, and thermal cameras that can support the reopening of businesses globally when installed within those facilities frequented by customers. Enforcing social distancing Several applications have been successful to date and will increase in usability in the foreseeable future, creating “smart cities” working together towards a safer, more secure world. The site of one pilot programme is the 250,000-square-foot HID Global facility in Austin. For the pilot programme, 80 HID Location Services readers were installed in a wide area in the facility, including a variety of environments. Initially 30 badges and 30 fobs, all BLE-enabled, were issued to employees. If a badge identifies another nearby beacon (suggesting a social distancing failure), it emits a blinking LED light, which can be seen by the offending co-worker. To ensure social distancing, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon is emitted from an employee’s fob (or from a badge that has the same functionality). The beacon communicates peer-to-peer with a beacon emitted by another employee’s fob or badge to alert if the location of the two employees is less than six feet apart. For contact tracing, the beacons communicate via a nearby “reader” (a BluFi BLE-to-Wi-Fi gateway) to the Bluzone cloud-based software-as-a-service. COVID-19 white papers In addition, we published several White Papers in 2020 that addressed various aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. They included: The top five security lessons learned that apply across all industries navigating COVID-19. Using video analytics to keep staff, visitors and customers safe by enforcing social distancing. How antimicrobial treatment on door handles and levers can reduce disease spread. How companies can put in extra precautions that will continue to grow and adapt with their environment over the long-term. Determining the practicalities and capabilities of today's thermal cameras to accurately detect body temperature.
Zigbee is a familiar name in the smart home arena, and the Zigbee Alliance is expanding its technology approach to address the challenges of the Internet of Things. As the Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved, the need has become obvious for stronger unity among brands and ecosystems to enable products within smart environments to work together more easily. Working to serve that need is the Zigbee Alliance, which seeks to promote collaboration in the Internet of Things by creating, evolving, and promoting universal open standards that enable all objects to connect and interact. Shifting the smart home market Their IoT effort took off when Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance announced an industry working group in December 2019 to take the ‘best of market’ technologies from smart home standards, portfolios and ecosystems and to develop a ‘super spec’ that will be open, inclusive and a significant industry shift in the smart home market. Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability" “Zigbee Alliance has been for a while now working on openness and interoperability, which has led us to the Project Connected Home over IP (CHIP), which is looking to unify the environment, under one technology, one certification program and one logo,” says Chris LaPré, Zigbee Alliance’s IoT Solutions Architect. “It really does fuel IoT possibilities, whether in security or any other sectors.” Project CHIP is a royalty-free connectivity standard that unifies brands and ecosystems into a single smart home automation system that operates any other technology based on Internet Protocol (IP). Simplifying product development The intent is to simplify product development for device manufacturers, broaden consumer choice, and to ensure easy discoverability, deployment and engagement to fuel connected living. “We have noticed that, as the IoT has evolved, there is a stronger need for unity, which is why we are developing Project Connected Home over IP,” says Jon Harros, Zigbee Alliance’s Director of Certification and Testing Programs. “It fits with the Zigbee Alliance’s goal to unify systems, and to focus on everyone using the same application at the top. It unifies that environment, whether you are integrating your system with Amazon Echo devices or connecting to Google Home.” Participating in development of Project CHIP are 125 companies of various types from around the world working together with more than 1,100 of their experts serving across sub-committees to formulate specifications and fine-tune the project. Home system technologies The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes Although the technology is being developed for the home market, the specifications have been formulated with an eye toward expanding into the commercial market in the future. Development of open, interoperable systems provides greater freedom for consumers to choose among the many technology choices on the market, without being tied to a single brand or ecosystem. Zigbee Alliance certifications and memberships span the globe, with roughly a third in Europe, a third in North America and a third in Asia. Involvement in Europe is slightly higher than the other regions. Alliance members represent manufacturing sites all over the world. Project CHIP is a newer initiative of the Zigbee Alliance, which previously developed Zigbee Pro to enable home system technologies to operate using IEEE 802.15.4 wireless signals on the 2.4GHz radio band over a self-healing true mesh network. The original Zigbee protocol is used for many applications around the world, including smart homes. Certification transfer programme Among the strengths of the Zigbee Alliance are years of experience certifying products, which includes testing them and confirming that they comply with the promoted specifications and functionality. The specifications are open standards that are developed in cooperation with all the companies that are Zigbee Alliance members. Another route is the certification transfer programme, in which a company chooses a certified white-label product, becomes a member of the Alliance, and then rebrands the product while retaining the certification. “It helps them get products on the market quickly while they build their own knowledge base,” says Harros. “All our work is focused on standardising the behaviour and functionality of products and making sure everyone is following the same standard to get interoperability,” says Harros. “Members all contribute to the standards.”
Domino's Pizza is one of the largest and fastest growing food service company in India with a network of 850+ restaurants in more than 200 cities. The Pizza delivery expert is a renowned provider of the organised pizza market with 70% market share in India. With its most famous half an hour delivery strive, Domino's Pizza marks the importance of communication and time growing towards its vision of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world. Today's retail supply chain executives are moving more products farther and faster than ever before. Communication is a critical parameter when it comes to the Pizza industry as it directly affects, delivery on time, order noting, supply chain relationship and most importantly food management process. In the era of fast life, demanding consumers putting pressure on the supply chain process, Domino's Pizza required all its branches to work in synchronisation managing food delivery on time. Advanced communication system The major challenge was to connect multiple branch offices with headquarters for day-to-day communication. Following it, Domino's Pizza also required 30+ lines as a trunking solution for voice calling at all the branch offices with minimum infrastructure cost. Products And Solutions Offered: Matrix and its channel partner Sun Line Communications Systems worked together and provided an IP enabled PBX solution - ETERNITY GE for all multi-site telephony needs of Domino's Pizza. ETERNITY GE is an advanced communication system offering convenient features and flexible functionalities in line with the changing needs of organisations. The reliable architecture and easy to use platform delivers the unmatched performance to meet the needs of controlling costs and managing operational expenses. ETERNITY GE supports any combination of TDM, IP, GSM PRI trunks and subscribers along with networking of multiple systems across locations. Centralised management of IP-PBX System With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices Peer-to-Peer connectivity over IP between IP-PBX at HO and 15+ ETERNITY GE located in branch offices for seamless connectivity. With installation of 15+ ETERNITY GE at branch offices, Matrix connected all the locations with head office over IP to provide seamless integration all over India for Domino's employees for quick connectivity. With IP telephony, Domino's Pizza saves telecom costs by any call placed between head office and branch offices. IP telephony feature of ETERNITY GE provides simple 3-digit dialling, call transfer, conference, voice mail access and other call management features for inter-branch communications With the requirement of 30+ trunks at every branch location for voice calling, PRI acts as a perfect network to not only save telephony cost but also saves cabling cost as 30 channels are offered on a single line. Unified communication for workforce With the web based Remote Management feature, all the systems can be centrally managed by the IT administrators from a single location without visiting any branch offices. Innovative SPARS M2S - Mobile Softphone application enables supervisors to carry office extensions wherever they go. They can reach each other by simply dialling an extension number or browsing through the corporate directory. Enhanced collaboration with video calling, instant messaging and presence sharing, voice mail features. Results : Unified Communication for workforce collaboration and better customer responsiveness Low terminating cost of PRI lines as compared to analogue lines for each user Reduced call traffic as high as 40% Future-proof solution with scalability for further expansion plans
HID Global, a globally renowned company in trusted identity solutions, has announced that the American School of Guatemala has selected its Seos credential technology to modernise its physical access system. Enhanced campus security The solution significantly improves campus security and traffic efficiency for students and parents, along with enabling staff to easily issue and manage access credentials. “We’ve significantly improved the management of vehicle traffic by reducing the time it takes for parents to access the parking lot. We’ve been able to improve evacuation and emergency processes for our students and staff,” said a spokesperson for the Security Office, American School of Guatemala. Seos credential technology The spokesperson adds, “And, best of all, we have an automated system to manage the entry and exit times of our employees to know where everyone is located on our large campus.” The American School of Guatemala is a private K-12 college preparatory school in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The school partnered with local security integrator, Grupo RQM and HID Global to replace its legacy system, which consisted of written documentation and fingerprint logs. HID readers installed at access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points The new system includes HID readers installed at pedestrian and vehicle access points and 1,500 Seos smart cards issued to students, parents and staff. In addition to automating and streamlining access to the school’s buildings, the solution has led to a reduction in the average student drop-off time from 40 to 18 minutes. The school also launched a pilot with HID Mobile Access to allow secure access to the school’s parking lot via mobile IDs stored on smartphones. To gain entry, users simply drive up and hold their mobile phone to a reader, an important feature since most students travel in bulletproof armored vehicles that lack the ability to lower windows. Upgraded security and authentication solutions “The American School of Guatemala’s access control system has all the hallmarks of HID’s industry-renowned security and authentication solutions,” said Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global. Harm Radstaak adds, “From flexibility and security to ease-of-use, HID’s unique combination of forward-looking technology and intuitive design helps create a robust solution that fortifies the school’s campuses and elevates the user experience.” Due to the successful deployment, school officials plan to replace its traditional key system with Seos smart cards for additional use cases, such as library and student payment services.
Singapore’s Changi Airport Group, one of the most innovative and technologically advanced airports in the world, has selected Genetec, Inc., a foremost technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations, and business intelligence solutions to enhance and upgrade its security system. The three-year project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, will see Genetec™ Security Centre, a unified security platform that blends IP security systems within a single intuitive interface, underpinning the airport’s security operations, with a specific focus on the video surveillance system across its terminals. The contract was awarded to Genetec following a rigorous competitive tender process. “Increasingly, our airport customers are understanding the deep business insights Security Centre is capable of delivering, its ability to inform and create value for multiple areas of an airport business operation and improve the overall passenger and employee experience,” said Giovanni Taccori, Commercial Lead Transportation, APAC at Genetec, Inc.
Aperio wireless locks from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions now integrate seamlessly with the versatile AEOS access control by Nedap to bring a range of concrete business benefits. Optimising access control with these battery-powered wireless locks can boost convenience for building users and help make better use of spaces. It can increase efficiency by enabling the integration of functions and processes across the organisation. Existing AEOS users can integrate battery powered Aperio devices to extend the reach of their system. Or, by combining Aperio with AEOS, the user can build a cost-efficient, wire-free access control system from scratch. Aperio cylinders, escutcheons and locks with online (or offline) capability can be implemented alongside existing or new wired doors connected to AEOS. This gives security managers more control over additional rooms or other defined areas at their premises. Seamless and secure integration Devices from the Aperio lock range that integrate with AEOS include the award-winning wireless handle (H100), escutcheon (E100), cylinder (C100) and security lock (L100). Aperio devices are available for almost any interior or exterior door, including wooden doors, glass doors and fire doors. Because all Aperio locking devices are wireless, they can be installed quickly, without causing disruption to buildings or work schedules. The locks are connected to AEOS via communication hubs that allow control of up to 16 locks each One recent ASSA ABLOY benchmarking study finds labour costs for installation are over 80% less for wireless locks versus wired locks. There’s also no inconvenience when it comes to identification: site users continue to gain access with the same credentials they were using before the integration. Aperio online integrations can use different interfaces (for example, RS485 or IP). The locks are connected to AEOS via communication hubs that allow control of up to 16 locks each. Improved and efficient management Offline Aperio integration meets the important OSS-SO industry standard for offline access control, so customers have the freedom to choose the best devices to connect to AEOS. Facility managers can connect both online and offline Aperio devices interchangeably. These multiple integration options allow AEOS users to select the most appropriate locks - whether Aperio wireless or wired - for their specific requirements at each door. “ASSA ABLOY’s Aperio wireless locks enable a complete access control solution using wireless technology,” says Christian Nagel, Nedap channel manager. “It enables us to offer a system with a high level of flexibility.” Facility management Staff and visitors open each door for which they’re authorised with their individually programmed MIFARE credential The AEOS control panel provides a powerful set of functions. It displays events for any Aperio device, including door and battery status, as well as tamper detection. The AEOS software enables full control and efficient management and eliminates unproductive tasks, including the need to duplicate data entry. At Ghent’s Hospital Maria Middelares, Aperio locks combine with AEOS to protect staff, visitors, patients and confidential data, as well as medicines and valuable equipment. Around 700 doors are equipped with Aperio offline locks. They are connected to AEOS, which controls every door, credential and user from a one interface, saving facility managers time and money. Staff and visitors open each door for which they’re authorised with their individually programmed MIFARE credential. Electronic security system Similarly, at Rotterdam’s 16,000-capacity Ahoy Arena, offline integration between Aperio and AEOS offered an affordable way to incorporate mechanically locked doors into an existing electronic security system. Facility managers at Ahoy extended access control without having to change card readers or control panels. The Aperio–AEOS integration at InHolland University of Applied Sciences is online, giving security managers real-time control over their multi-site premises. More than 500 Aperio wireless door devices are deployed at 7 separate InHolland campus locations. These battery-powered locks provide tested and trusted protection for the university’s most important areas, including offices and exam storage rooms. “I am very satisfied with the implementation and operation of the Aperio solution,” says Frans Bruggeman, Facility Services Consultant at InHolland.
The Very Group is the UK’s largest integrated digital retailer and financial services provider. It offers 1,900 brands to its four million customers. Due to the company’s growth, it built a new state-of-the-art fulfilment centre - close to one million square feet - to centralise operations and drive efficiency. The Very Group has historically operated from three fulfilment centres in the north of England. Due to the business’ growth, it needed a new, purpose-built and automated facility in a central, well connected location; that could accommodate all one-man fulfilment and returns operations on one site, and that provided room for continued expansion. The space offered by the new site in the East Midlands means that The Very Group can process more orders and use new technology to make the business more responsive, reducing the time it takes to get products to customers. Support business growth The site’s position in the East Midlands, adjacent to the M1 and East Midlands Airport, with its own rail freight terminal, will enable the business to increase its cut-off time for next day delivery to midnight from 7pm, and explore the introduction of same day delivery in the future. A crucial aspect of the new hub was security - with the need to not only secure the site and the stock inside, but implement solutions which would benefit the wider business too. The Very Group required a platform which could provide the business-wide value it was seeking The Very Group required a platform which could unite operations and provide the business-wide value it was seeking. The company approached Grantfen, initially on a consultancy basis, to guide the organisation on the route it should be taking and the technologies that could support its ambition. Grantfen quickly recognised the scope of The Very Group’s ambitions for a platform that was easy-to-use and that could bring together information from hundreds of different sensors and technologies. Incorporating video surveillance It put forward a comprehensive solution built on the Genetec Security Center unified platform. Incorporating video surveillance and analytics, access control, automatic number plate recognition and integration with other key business systems, this allowed The Very Group to deploy best of breed technologies from a range of vendors including HID Global, Axis Communications and SenStar. Perhaps the most important solution needed was tracking who was coming in and out of the building - with such a large workforce, combined with inbound and outbound deliveries, the facility has hundreds of people inside at any one time. Previously, security manually searched people selected at random. However, thanks to the robust Genetec software development kit, and Grantfen’s specialist development expertise, The Very Group has been able to adapt the solution and write its own code in order to use the access control system to implement truly random searches. Number plate recognition This has involved getting permission to hold employee data, but again, thanks to the new system brought together by Security Center, the data is housed safely. Moving from three fulfilment centres into one, consolidated facility meant a change in operations for The Very Group, and security needed to mirror this evolution. Therefore, with the volume of traffic coming in and out of the site increasing, The Very Group implemented automatic number plate recognition (ANPR). Heavy goods vehicles could be monitored coming in and out of the site, enabling those in the diary to enter and exit the grounds in an efficient manner. Plus, with timestamps now able to show when vehicles entered or exited the grounds, it helped with yard management and traffic flow, with Security Center able to generate reports on how traffic is moving around the yard. Employees are able to take advantage too - with the ANPR recognising them and seamlessly letting them into the car park. Health and safety standards The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment centre, means a new era for the group" This enhanced integration has benefitted other areas of the business too. The CCTV control room is now able to monitor fulfilment centre flow, looking at movements such as trailers, to help maximise efficiencies and ensure high health and safety standards. Dean Cooper, Head of Security at The Very Group, commented: “The opening of Skygate, our new fulfilment centre, means a new era for the group. We are a digitally-led business, and the fact we are now able to enhance operations and yield more value from security functions is going to help us operationally. Genetec and Grantfen have played a huge part in accelerating our sophistication in this area, and I look forward to how we can gain increasing insights from all the technology has to offer.” Deep integration and analytics While the roll-out has been relatively recent, the positive effects are already being felt across the business. This has led to future plans about what else could be introduced - all underpinned by Genetec Security Centre. “Genetec Security Centre is helping to improve inter-departmental collaboration thanks to its reporting functions, alongside benefiting operations and ensuring the security of the facility. We are an ambitious business, and as we grow we need a system that will continue to evolve with our requirements. Genetec enables this, and alongside its deep integration and leading analytics, we look forward to continuing the partnership over years to come”, concluded Cooper.
Ipsotek, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) powered video analytics, has announced that it has been awarded a security systems project at the Katara Culture Village in Doha, Qatar, in partnership with Mannai Trading Co, a Qatari based company listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange. Ipsotek’s highly scalable VISuite AI platform and advanced VISuite FR facial recognition system have been selected and approved by the Qatar Ministry of Interior to improve the security and safety as well as provide business intelligence at the iconic cultural village of Katara. VISuite AI enables users to efficiently manage automatically generated alarms in real-time, resulting in reduced operator response times and the ability to track chosen behaviours of interest in complex environments. Security threat VISuite FR automatically detects and informs operators of people that have visited a site multiple times in a configurable timeframe and could pose a security threat. It is optimised for use in busy and security-sensitives scenarios where the highest level of recognition is required. In addition to the project at Katara in collaboration with Mannai ICT, Qatar’s renowned Systems Integrator and the Information & Communication Technology Division of Mannai Corporation, Ipsotek has a number of other major projects across Qatar. The company has also announced that it has appointed Mr Jihad Marei as Country Manager for Qatar and is in the process of opening a new office in one of Qatar’s Free Zones. Key strategic partners We are very proud to have been awarded the Katara Heritage Village project with Mannai Trading Co." Also known as ‘The Valley of Cultures’, Katara is one of the main cultural destinations in Qatar, featuring a museum, open amphitheatre, opera house, cinema, conference hall, beach, Souq and multiple restaurants. Katara hosts hundreds of events and attracts over 10 million visitors each year. Charlie Bennett, Ipsotek Head of Sales for EMEA said: “We are very proud to have been awarded the Katara Heritage Village project with Mannai Trading Co. Mannai has become one of our key strategic partners in Qatar and we have enjoyed collaborating on several projects together this year, which is why we have also chosen to grow our presence in country further by employing Jihad Marei as Country Manager and open a dedicated office in Qatar.” Artificial intelligence video analytics Shamnad Karuvadi, Deputy Manager ELV Physical Security at Mannai Trading Co said: “We are very pleased to be working with Ipsotek as our solution partner for Artificial Intelligence Video Analytics. Ipsotek has added a great deal of value to the Mannai solution portfolio and together we look forward to providing the highest levels of safety and security to protect critical infrastructure. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Charlie Bennet & Mr. Jihad Marei at Ipsotek for their extensive support.”
Round table discussion
We are several weeks into 2021, and it is already shaping up to be an eventful year. The happenings and trends from 2020 will likely carry over into the new year, but in a fast-moving industry such as ours, there will also be additional trends to watch. Looking toward the year ahead, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the biggest security trends in 2021?
As an industry, we often speak in buzzwords. In addition to being catchy and easy to remember, these new and trendy industry terms can also reflect the state of the security market’s technology. In short, the latest buzzwords provide a kind of shorthand description of where the industry is - and where it’s going. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What new buzzword(s) rose to prominence in the security industry in 2020? (And how do they reflect industry trends?)
What a year 2020 was for the security industry! There were vast challenges that could not have been foreseen at the beginning of the year. It is safe to say that the events of 2020 defied all industry prognosticators. However, is that any reason not to hope our expectations looking ahead to 2021 will be much closer to reality? Can we possibly benefit from looking ahead and trying to plan for the challenges of the year ahead? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What will be the security industry’s biggest challenge in 2021?
How to ramp up perimeter security with license plate reader technologyDownload
Solve access control challenges in the healthcare sectorDownload
Getting the most value from Software Subscription AgreementsDownload
Shifting trends in operation centers and control rooms for 2021Download