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MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 4/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX, a manufacturer of digital high-resolution and network-based video security systems has released details of a project at Wm Morrison Supermarkets that is helping to secure access and reduce management complexity across 40 critical sites supporting the retailers “farm to fork” business strategy.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets is a major UK food retailer with over 500 stores across Britain and subsidiaries including Farmers Boy, a manufacturer and distributor of food products; Woodhead Bros, a meat processing business; FlowerWorld, a wholesale flower business and other business interests including multi-channel online retailing.

The company prides itself on its hands on approach to the food distribution chain and in 2008, the newly appointed Data Centre Services Manager, Darryl Shears, began a program to strengthen the resilience and security around its critical IT infrastructure as part of a wider software migration from legacy systems to a unified Oracle based platform.

“We have sites that range from northern Scotland, to Bridgwater in the south west and Sittingbourne in the south east and managing this estate from a centralised team in Bradford is a logistics challenge,” explains Shears, “We need to be able to monitor key comms rooms and IT equipment remotely both proactively to stop any issues from escalating and to react quickly to ensure any problems are dealt with effectively.”

To this end, Morrisons decided upon a strategy to upgrade each of these vital IT and comms rooms with environmental monitoring, remote surveillance and remote access control technology. With a requirement for an ultra-reliable, easy to manage yet flexible system, the firm turned to Express Data, a trusted and long serving technical adviser and installation specialist for assistance.

Following an extensive evaluation programme and based on a number of strong reference site examples, the supermarket group selected a solution including MOBOTIX CCTV cameras, Panduit environmental monitoring and access control technology. “The MOBOTIX solution, especially the hemispheric technology allows us to use just one or two cameras to cover single or multiple rooms with the resolution and reliability we required,” explains Shears, “In addition, the built-in flash storage support means that we can still record the site even if we have a network connectivity issue.”

The team based in Bradford can use the MOBOTIX cameras to view anybody requiring access to a secure room and remotely open doors and monitor any activity within the room. The system has the option for fully bi-directional audio and requires only 5W per camera which aligns with the company's stated aim to use low energy technologies across its operations.

Over the last 24 months, Express Data has worked with Shears and his team to implement upgrades at an additional 11 sites and created a standard blueprint for the resilience and security at each of the critical sites.

The build includes power redundancy and best practice access procedures with a full visual audit trail. In total, the supermarket has deployed around 140 cameras and, “…as we roll out new sites or make any changes, we now see MOBOTIX as part of our standard build and the system has proven extremely reliable while seamlessly integrating into our other operational systems and processes.”

Axis appoints Ivan Tjahjadi as regional country manager for ASEAN and Indochina

Axis appoints Ivan Tjahjadi as regional country manager for ASEAN and Indochina

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 4/22/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Axis Communications, the world supplier in network video, appoints Ivan Tjahjadi as Regional Country Manager for ASEAN and Indochina.

Based in Indonesia, Ivan will be spearheading all facets of the business operations and activities of Axis Communications in the region, including Malaysia. He will particularly lead the company's strategic development as well as sales and marketing activities in the country.

“Ivan brings with him over 20 years of solid experience in sales and marketing, general management and distribution. His solid track record managing multiple business models and establishing business relationships with partners and customers will be extremely valuable in helping us to enhance our capabilities in the region. We are confident that the Malaysian business will thrive under Ivan's dynamic leadership,” said Oh Tee Lee, Director of Axis Communications, South Asia Pacific.

Expressing his delight with the appointment, Ivan said, “Malaysia is a key market for Axis Communications. I am excited to build on Axis' success in one of the most progressive markets in the region. Surveillance has been identified as a crucial element for Malaysia's public safety. The government has recently allocated a great deal of resources to install 496 closed-circuit cameras (CCTV) in 25 local authorities to prevent street crimes in urban areas. As a driving force behind the shift from analog to digital video surveillance which paves the way for a more secure, smarter and safer world, Axis will continue to offer customers the market leading quality and customer experience that they have come to expect from Axis Communications.”

Ivan has chalked up an extensive sales track record history having held high level positions in large MNC corporations like Compaq, HP and channels such as PT. ECS Indonesia previously.

Standalone NVR is on the rise

Standalone NVR is on the rise

Editor / Provider: Tevin Wang. a&s Asia | Updated: 4/21/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Many brands are offering standalone NVRs, preparing to send first timers to IP solutions. These bundled packages not only offer clear images, but also are affordable and hassle-free solutions.

Dahua Technology
Ice Wu, Storage Product Director
Despite analog systems still take a large portion in Southeast Asia's security market, the IP migration pace is fast and furious with 2- 300% growth per year. Currently the analog-IP ratio is 7:3. Singapore and Korea have comparably better economies, IT infrastructure, plus their prevailing of 3G/4G networks; for them, the ratio is nearly 50/50.

Dahua's standalone NVRs are going great in various market segment ranging from top to entry-level. For instance, due to increased security awareness and city surveillance projects, highly reliable series like NVR6000DR, NVR724-256DR are wining projects after another for their supporting channels, large storage space, scalability, and intelligent video analytics.

Our project-based NVRs such as NVR7064-RH, are designed for banking, airport, train stations, and power stations for their HD video storage. Fisheye cameras are also a booster for NVR selling as DVRs do not support these 360-degree cameras. In this case, retails & malls are showing great potentials. Home surveillance market are also promising as bundled NVR package are easy to install even for an everyday family lacking IT knowledge. Compared with analog systems, network cameras offer clearer videos and remote monitoring capability.

It is clear that the whole security industry is migrating to HD. The path to HD varies though: one is via analog signals; another via digital ones. For analog upgrades, Dahua's HD-CVI solutions have advantages in costs, easy to install, plus no need to rewiring. A simple replacement with HD-CVI cameras can achieve HD.

IP solutions are more suitable for new projects, and customers have continuous demands for scalability. These segments tend to have IP-friendly environment, which saves a lot in wiring. PoE and WiFi NVRs, on the other hand, are more favorable to families for its plug & play setups.

Dahua's advantages include:
Total solution provider: Our complete product lines ranging from cameras, NVRs, VMS, and apps for smartphone viewing.
* One-stop solution offering high-, mid-, and entry-level solutions
* Future-proof and third-party supportive
* World-famous branding with reliable quality and fast service
* Exclusive codes offer clear Images

EverFocus Electronics
Benjamin Lee, Regional Sales Manager
Singapore has been well-positioned to achieve significant IP growth in Southeast Asia for its economics and IT infrastructure, followed by Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Singapore's mid- to high-end segments have steady requirements. Its IP-friendly infrastructure and strong demands for network cameras attribute to continuous requirements for NVRs. Transportation projects, commercial buildings, and hotels are major verticals adopt NVRs.

Our NVRs are largely deployed in commercial buildings in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Vietnamese government projects prefer NVR solutions as well. Our mobile NVRs in Thailand are largely adopted as well. Compared with other Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia has been slow to pick up IP migration and NVR pace. Major verticals in Indonesia deploying NVRs are retails. Myanmar is showing great potentials in manufacturing and retail segments. Our targeted verticals in Southeast Asia are retails, commercial buildings, and SMBs, which usually are small projects and require fewer cameras.

Despite small systems, they usually request IP networking for remote monitoring and management. Standalone NVRs not only make IP solutions easier for smaller installers and operators, but also economical in costs. Standalone NVRs are often designed for 32 channels and under and require no additional IT training, making them affordable and easy to use.

Our long-term analog system users are showing great interest in IP and EverFocus has always looked highly on these established customers. We have been putting a lot of efforts for customer relationship maintenance by offering solutions catering to their needs. As for new customers who already have IT knowledge, it is always much for easier to promoting them IP-based solutions than those without IT know-how. Seeing this issue, EverFocus just launched plug & play standalone NVRs (ENVR8304D, ENVR8304E) targeting analog users who crave for one-stop IP migration. We believe that features like plug & play, easy to set up, and intuitive GUI are best weapons to win market share.

We will continue satisfying customer needs by fast offering the most suitable solutions with high interoperability. We will work more closely with local SIs this year by offering more solution-based packages with easy setups and scalability.Software is another area that we will add extra R&D efforts. Prompt urbanization in Southeast Asian cities brings out more mass transit system projects. There are going to be huge demands for mobile NVRs. Our reliable and innovative solutions definitely provide added values to customers.

Hikvision digital technology
Eric Shen, Product Marketing Manager
The network infrastructure in these Southeast Asian countries is very different, so does the IT knowledge of local system integrators. As such, the developments of embedded NVR in these areas have big difference. For example, Singapore is with good network infrastructure, and the local SIs are also proficient about network projects, this in result accelerates the development of embedded NVR in this country. Whilst in other Southeast Asian countries, due to the unmatured network environment, the NVR adoption will be a little bit delayed.

Actually, there is no specific vertical for NVR application. With IP adoption becoming widely accepted by users, embedded NVRs will also get applied in various verticals, such as financial institutions, city surveillance, transportation and retails, etc.

Embedded NVR is mainly adopted in newly established projects. Since for already existing analog applications, usually users are reluctant to transit from traditional CCTV system to IP system since IP surveillance needs more IT knowledge and higher cost associated with installation and maintenance, as well as higher requirement for network system. However, with IP security continues to boom, the requirement for HD surveillance improving, the IP products price is also getting much favorable than before as more and more manufacturers join in the competition in this area. Accordingly, NVR connection to IP cameras becomes much simpler, this allows convenient plug & play installation. Eventually, embedded NVR will be the main stream especially in new projects.

We promote the simplicity the combined NVR+IPC solution brings. As well, to note that embedded NVR will take the place of PC-based NVR in terms of ease of use, system stability and decoding capability; of note, plug and play NVR would play a more practical role to make easy installation and configuration.

Hikvision is always dedicated to the innovation of embedded NVR. As of now, we have developed NVR product supporting up-to 256-ch IP camera inputs and 24 HDD, with total throughput of 960Mbps (640Mbps for input / 320Mbps for output), specially designed for large-scale and high-end applications. This is the first in the security industry to compete against conventional NVRs.As mentioned before, we also address on the ease-of-use of products — the freedom, and comfort without hassles of cablings, configurations and complicated settings.

Coupling NVR with IP cameras is another method for promotion. Recently, we've put Hikvision Smart IPC in connection with our Netra-platform NVR to deliver a total Smart Solution, with front end camera delivering images of Smart Detection (instruction detection, face detection, line-crossing and much more), and backend NVR doing Smart search according to different period of time or locations, providing you with total control over the system.

NVR products will have increasing market share in SMB application, since the price of embedded NVRs is getting lower compared with PC-based NVR(with VMS software); in high-end applications, embedded NVR will also play a key role since it can well meet the requirement of system stability, compatibility and expansibility.

PC-based NVR still has its own stage, especially in large-scale projects; thus, it places great potential for embedded NVR to participate in this area. Embedded NVRs have overcome their perceived shortcomings in terms of storage capacity and types of storage medium through use of devices including IP-SAN and eSATA, etc. Furthermore, embedded NVRs can support interfaces for other surveillance devices which can be conveniently integrated with alarm systems and access control systems as well as PTZ remote control systems. This is very practical in large-scale applications. The benefits an embedded NVR offers over PC-based NVR — reliability, stability, complex decoding, low power consumption, ease of use and more — will eventually allow custmers to maximize the value of what they already own.

Milestone CEO: Open the analog mind block to boost your business

Milestone CEO: Open the analog mind block to boost your business

Editor / Provider: Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems | Updated: 4/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

As the trend towards digital video progresses, we are seeing corporations that are not taking full advantage of the possibilities for enhancing their business with visual data. The big block is not the technology, it is the analog mindset. To gain the full business advantages of digital video, you have to think about video as data and an important element in the IT infrastructure.

Analog video is all about pictures. To simplify it – all you can do with analog video is watching it. There are no integration possibilities, no interconnections to business areas, and no future proofing. The analog video lives and dies in its own closed world. Closed Circuit TV – CCTV: even the name CCTV has a bad ring to it in a digital world that is so much more open and interconnected. Analog video is all pictures – no data. Digital video (or IP video) is all pictures – all data.

All too often we see that a video installation migrated from the data-less analog old world to the digital future is used in the same way as the old installation. This means that nobody has asked the all-important question: “How do we utilize this new data source to improve or expand our business?”

Digital video is more than just video. Data can be analyzed and used in a business context. Digital video is a data source like all other data sources in IT infrastructure. This means that video data can be fed to other IT systems since true open VMS (video management software) can function as a digital video hub, not only feeding video data to other IT systems, but also integrating business functions.

This is important because a video system often serves more than one purpose. Most video systems are used for monitoring and securing people, perimeters and assets. When other purposes are introduced, the VMS has to be able to keep security functions in a safe environment, while at the same time enabling other systems to freely access the video data.

Digital Video is Data
A real-life example of this could be a video security installation securing a parking lot for a company. In the case of an analog installation, you would be able to see the video and review it later – that's all. You would be able to do the same with a digital system – but the digital systems would also enable the video to be actively used for more than just passive watching. You could use video analytics or integration to other systems to determine how many empty parking spaces there are at a given time, ensuring that customers would not be forced to park at another site. License plate recognition could be used to detect important customers arriving, alerting frontline managers to prepare a nice welcome. The system could also be used for advanced security purposes that are impossible to do in an analog system. Using metadata (which is data about data) the video could be analyzed and the results compared to external data sources. If a license plate is normally associated with a car of a certain color and the car entering the car lot suddenly has different color than expected, then the security staff can be alerted immediately.

Boost business with video
Another example is today's modern retail shops. The newest trend in retail is mobile shop assistants that roam the shop floor and handle payments on the spot using a tablet computer or a dedicated smart device. If you want to track this using analog video, you would not only have to install enough analog cameras to ensure that the whole shop floor is covered, you would also need to have a number of operators manually tracking the mobile shop assistants! This is clearly not a feasible approach.

In the digital world the mobile payment units could be linked to the video server, and a camera could be oriented to automatically record the customer session on video together with position and payment data from the mobile terminals. This can be used to improve the customer experience, train staff, optimize floor layout and of course, limit risks. The possibilities are endless when you have the digital mindset.

Best of all, when you use an open platform VMS, you can expand the use of video when you need it. The software is the core of the system, and enables you to expand its use endlessly by adding to the system. Analog video-systems are all hardware. Digital Video has intelligence in the form of software. It is the software that makes the investment future proof and cost effective.

Think Return on Video Investment
Speaking of cost, analog video surveillance systems are often regarded as cheaper than digital systems. Analog cameras cost typically less than digital cameras, an analog video recorder is cheaper than a server with software and the analog cabling is very simple. However, if you shift your mindset from Cost of Acquisition to Return on Investment this picture changes, due to the new possibilities to use video as data.

Intelligent searches can bring down the time spent searching for an incident in the video, smart and mobile clients enable flexible access to the video over digital networks, and video analytics can extract business relevant information. Think of the small difference in cost as an investment in the future.

However, using video as data has more far-reaching consequences than just using open platform technology in a digital network. The organization has to reflect the open digital mindset as well.

Typically, security and IT are regarded as separate functions in a company. Security is often reactive dealing with incidents. IT is more about enabling business going forward. When the concept of video as data comes into play, the organization in a company has to be open. Luckily, this is happening now. Research done by ESG indicates that 91 % of the surveyed organizations had their digital security systems supported by the IT department. This number was 52 % only 3 years ago.

80% of the IT professionals used video for Business Intelligence. The specific uses were - operational efficiencies (58%), production or process control (51%), inventory control (50%), identifying traffic patterns (49%) and employee training (47%). This tactical use of video reflects in investment plans, as 88% states that the business-oriented use of video helps justify IP video technology and infrastructure investments. This stresses even more that the IT-department must treat video as a valuable source of video data, not as an intruding force in the network. IT management has to recognize video as a business tool and look at the video possibilities. Security management has to look beyond the video pictures and into the business possibilities.

It is all a matter of mindset. Think digital, and think it now to start boosting your business.

---By Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems

Survey exposes surveillance myths created by CSI crime dramas

Survey exposes surveillance myths created by CSI crime dramas

Editor / Provider: Axis | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Canadians are hooked on crime dramas, and some shows are so convincing that our perception of what forensic technology can do has been skewed – especially when it comes to video surveillance.

"There have been impressive strides in facial recognition analytics, but it is not as prevalent as TV producers would have you believe. The technology works best in controlled conditions”

According to a survey by Leger for Axis Communications, the global brand in network video surveillance, 68% of Canadians said they watch crime dramas like CSI, Criminal Minds, Castle and Law and Order. Of those surveyed, most believe image enhancement techniques and intelligent software are readily available to help law enforcement easily identify suspects. Yet nearly 75% of surveillance cameras sold worldwide today remain analog (IHS Research), which is why security video often shown on the evening news is grainy and of poor quality, making identification difficult.

Key findings of the survey include:
* 71% of Canadians think recorded surveillance footage can be enhanced in a lab using software.
* Most Canadians have very little idea how long surveillance video is generally stored, with 27% admitting they have no   idea and 26% believing video is stored indefinitely.
* Three-quarters of Canadians believe facial recognition software can easily pick individual faces out of a crowd for identification, with crime drama fans even more likely to believe this.

“When TV crime technicians produce an accurate photo of a suspect from the reflection off someone's sunglasses, it makes for good entertainment but it's not realistic,” said Bob Moore, country manager, Canada, Axis Communications. “IP camera innovations have improved image quality and image usability exponentially, but if police are dealing with low-resolution video common in the real world today, there is nothing that can be done to enhance the image.”

The surveillance industry is currently undergoing a shift from analog CCTV to IP video, with IP cameras expected to begin out-shipping their analog predecessors in 2017. This is because IP video offers much improved functionality closer to the technology shown on TV, including HDTV-quality video, ease-of-use, speed of forensic search, intelligent analytics and low-light recording in color.

Surveillance Cameras: Myths vs. Reality

Myth: Surveillance video quality can be enhanced in a lab using software.
Reality: “What you see is what you get,” said Moore. “If you don't start out with high resolution video, enlarging it will result in a bigger, blurrier, more pixelated image. Video clarity cannot be fixed after the fact. As a rule of thumb, an image must supply 80 pixels from ear to ear to ID a face.”

Myth: Surveillance video is stored indefinitely.
Reality: “In Canada, there are no legal guidelines regarding how long surveillance video is stored, but as a general rule 31 days is the average most video is stored before being overwritten. After all, it is data,” said Moore. “In practical terms, it's really an issue of storage and how much an organization has available to keep. Video that is pulled to be used as evidence in a case, however, could be kept indefinitely.”

Myth: Facial recognition software can pick someone out of a crowd.
Reality: “There have been impressive strides in facial recognition analytics, but it is not as prevalent as TV producers would have you believe. The technology works best in controlled conditions,” said Moore. “Some buildings employ facial recognition software to automatically open doors for authorized people, but the person must look directly into the camera and, most importantly, their faces must be stored on a database for comparison. This is much different than picking a random face out of a moving crowd.”

Myth: Most surveillance is monitored in real time.
Reality: “The opposite is actually true,” said Moore. “99% of security video is deleted without ever being seen. Of the video that is seen, only one percent of that is viewed live. Most security video is not monitored live by a person because of the expense involved. Thankfully innovations in IP video are moving video surveillance from a forensics-only tool to a proactive one.” “Today's IP cameras offer more flexibility and advantages than older analog models and hopefully provide real Canadian crime fighters with the images they need to do their jobs,” said Moore. “While it was good to see that 47% of Canadians do not believe crime dramas provide an accurate depiction of how security equipment is used, one-third still believe these myths to be true. With IP video, we're vastly ahead of the quality and ability of outdated analog CCTV, but haven't yet caught up to Hollywood.”

Down Hall Hotel upgrades HD IP surveillance solutions with IDIS

Down Hall Hotel upgrades HD IP surveillance solutions with IDIS

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 4/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Down Hall, one of England's most established country house hotels, has installed IDIS DirectIP using a phased approach to upgrade from its existing legacy analog CCTV. On the Hertfordshire and Essex border, Down Hall chose IDIS partner, Rutledge Integrated Systems (RIS), to manage the security upgrade following a refurbishment to include an exclusive gym, sauna and steam room facility.

IDIS DirectIP impressed with its HD performance, affordability, and the capability for a fast and simple phased install. With significant experience implementing DirectIP across hotel and leisure complexes, RIS demonstrated the powerful full-HD and networked surveillance capability with a delivery plan that kept the impact on hotel operations to a minimum.

Now complete, the first phase of upgrading 70 cameras across the Down Hall estate includes a one-stop-shop and full-HD solution comprising a range of DirectIP mega-pixel cameras, network video recorders (NVR), bundled video management software, and network switches. Covering the gym, sauna, steam room, and plant rooms, Down Hall is already realising the benefits of DirectIP surveillance through the improvement of staff and guest safety, and the ability to quickly identify any suspicious behaviour, while retrieval of footage has reduced from hours to minutes.

Andrew Oxley, General Manager at Down Hall, noted, “IDIS DirectIP offered an affordable and compelling HD solution without the worry of on-going license fees. The operational benefits in terms of saving time and the ability to quickly detect and respond to crime are immediate. While we expect to significantly reduce our maintenance costs compared with the legacy system. The RIS team ensured minimum disruption to staff and guests, making sure our new facilities opened on schedule as we head into our busiest period of the year.”

Andy Rutledge, Managing Director, RIS, added, “Our fifth DirectIP project, we knew we could offer a competitive solution combined with a staged roll out, which allowed us to install in hours rather than days. The intuitive interface, very similar to analogue systems, means we then handed over to staff quickly and with minimum fuss.”

Packaged as a one-stop-shop affordable solution, comprising a range of IP cameras, network video recorders (NVR), video management software, and network accessories, DirectIP delivers unrivalled plug-and-play simplicity, combined with highest-quality performance, compatibility, and industry leading pricing.

Hikvision appoints Vince Lupe as Director of Business Development N. America

Hikvision appoints Vince Lupe as Director of Business Development N. America

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 4/11/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision recently had Vince Lupe joined the company as Director of Business Development, North America. Lupe is responsible for all business development efforts around integrator relations, partner programs and architectural and engineering firms. As Hikvision USA sees demand for its innovative video surveillance products grow rapidly and expand into new verticals, the addition of proven business development talent will aim to maximize further expansion for the company in the Unites States and Canada.

"Vince is a phenomenal addition to the management team and brings years of experience in the security industry, working closely with all the main stakeholders including distributors, integrators and A&E firms," said Jeffrey He, president for Hikvision USA. "We are thrilled about Vince's plans for expanding our industry footprint in the region, developing highly effective partnership programs with our key customers, capturing new and developing existing business opportunities."

"I am tremendously excited to join the Hikvision USA leadership team," Lupe said. "Having extensive experience in strategic business development in the security industry, I believe the company has developed a winning combination of technologies that solves real problems and aligns with customer needs. Being an industry leader in the global video surveillance market for years, the company is now becoming a true force in the North American market. This is the perfect time to roll up our sleeves and grow our success even further."

With over 25 years of security industry experience, Lupe comes to Hikvision from Honeywell, where he was responsible for leading the customer marketing team for enterprise security solutions, developing global market strategies, driving new product introductions and capturing the voice of the customer. During that time he also led the enterprise marketing programs for Honeywell Integrated Security Channel, focusing on large enterprise level integrated systems. Before Honeywell, Vince spent 25 years with Diebold as director, global channel marketing and partner strategies. While at Diebold, he was the main architect for business model change from security manufacturer to OEM distribution business model. Lupe holds a B.A. degree in Business Management from Malone College and an Associate Degree in Electronics Technology from Akron University.

Dynamic growth and exceptional products have seen Hikvision recognized as the No. 1 global vendor of CCTV and video surveillance equipment for two years in a row according to IMS Research's World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment Report 2013 and listed for seven years in a row in Security 50, a market survey recognizing the top 50 security vendors in the global security market.

Bass Computer and CCTV.net earned VIVOTEK 2013 Distributor Awards of Excellence

Bass Computer and CCTV.net earned VIVOTEK 2013 Distributor Awards of Excellence

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK recently announced the winners of the 2013 Distributor Awards of Excellence, including Outstanding Growth of the year, Bass Computers, and Outstanding Value-added Distributor, CCTV.net. The awards ceremony was hosted by VIVOTEK and took place during the VIVOTEK Distributor Conference in Taipei, Taiwan on March 17 at the Fullon Hotel & Resort.

VIVOTEK's Distributor Awards of Excellence recognizes global distributors for their outstanding performance and partnership, as well as achievements in measureable objectives, such as revenue, growth, marketing activity, value-added support and services.

"At VIVOTEK, we are extremely fortunate to work with Bass Computers and CCTV.net, who consistently deliver outstanding growth and value-added service solutions to our customers," said Harry Hu, President of VIVOTEK USA. "The Distributor Award of Excellence recognizes our partners' achievements and we look forward to winning more business, growing more profitably and delivering exceptional service with our distributor partners."

Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. — still remain the region's top countries with the largest security markets. In 2012, the Middle East fell dramatically, “due to three unforeseen circumstances — the regional civil unrest, the fall in the price of oil and its production, and the fall in the US dollar,” according to IHS. The actual growth rate of video surveillance equipment in the Middle East fell to 5.3 percent. Although social turmoil and fluctuations in oil prices still made 2013 uncertain, the Middle East security market is predicted to bounce back to around 10 percent in 2013 and grow 12 percent in 2014. “The economy was a bit soft in 2012 and many customers delaying purchasing.

Implementation of many projects began in 2013, resulting in an excellent year for us,” said Watheq Abu Gharbiah, Regional Manager of Middle East at FLIR Systems. Most of all the suppliers expect the recovering momentum to continue through 2014 and 2015. Firstly, the U.S. began easing some of its economic restrictions against Iran this January, including its sanctions on cars and petrochemicals products. Secondly, recovery of the Iranian market would also raise the region's average growth rate. The latest cheerful announcement is of Dubai winning the bid to host the 2020 World Expo. The BBC reported that authorities in Dubai forecasted the 6-month event to bring in around US$23 billion and cost the country around a total $8.4 billion, of which around $6.5 billion is expected to be government spending on infrastructure projects. Finally, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is also serving as a major driver to boost the overall economy in the region.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
To support the active economic activities in this region, protection of critical infrastructure ranging from airports, seaports, oil and gas, public utilities, highways, railways, metros, and etc., is important. Critical infrastructure protection remains as the most crucial market sector in the Middle East.

The oil and gas sector requires refinery protection and is the largest market sector here. The scale of projects in this sector is also much larger than other market sectors. Aside from the GCC countries, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Northern African countries, also have great potential. Robert Kirkaldie, Director of Marketing/Sales for Security Systems Division at Southwest Microwave, which designs and manufactures integrated, electronic perimeter security systems, especially for the oil and gas sector, in this region said, “In a country like Saudi Arabia, we mostly deal with perimeter projects of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. The biggest complex in oil and gas, which comprises of a storage tank, pipe lines, transportation, and all other facilities, can have a perimeter of up to around 20 kilometers. Thus, the size of a refinery is much bigger than a prison or power plant.”

Another fast developing market sector is airports. Cities in the Middle East compete to build the biggest and most modern airports to attract tourists. Abu Dhabi is planning its new $3 billion international airport terminal, while Doha, Qatar is near completion with its new airport. “Dubai has the largest airport here. The old one, which traffics 150 million passengers annually has 3,500 CCTV cameras. The latest one has around 5,000 cameras. Elsewhere in the region, the latest airport in Doha will begin operations this year; Saudi Arabia has 15 new airports; and Kuwait International Airport also has plans to expand,” said Gharbiah.

The Middle East is a project-oriented market. “Because it is so diverse, each country does have their particular preference toward products and partners. I think this unique characteristic brings a good opportunity for CP Plus to build up our own distribution business here. This year, we are going to set up five or six branch offices in some countries in the Middle East,” said Aditya Khemka, Director of CP Plus.

SAUDI ARABIA IS BOOMING FAST
Amongst the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia is gradually catching up with the U.A.E. in terms of security market demand and growth potential. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of large government projects, making it very important in this region. Peter Biltsted, Director of MEA at Milestone Systems said, “Milestone will be more directly engaged in Saudi Arabia this year. This means we will put our feet on the ground in the country, whereas Milestone channel partners used to be in charge previously. We have a very good foothold in Saudi Arabia now, since we have done several large projects. Moving forward, we would like to leverage our past experience to strengthen our business foundation here.”

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia heavily restricted the number of foreign workers to secure the employment of local workers. In 2014, the restrictions are expected to be lifted in order to continually push the market to grow. “Saudi Arabia just started their new financial year and the government has announced plans to build six new cities. It also made a US$200 million investment in aviation toward the building of new innovative airports. We can also expect several new cities in Saudi in the near future,” continued Tarek Ismail, Sales Director of Middle East at Tyco Security Products.

Large-Scale Government Projects Everywhere
In terms of an average project size, it is not really possible to compare projects in other GCC countries with those in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, one city is just like a country in others. John Davies, MD at TDSi also echoed, "In Saudi Arabia, the projects are much bigger. Last year, we supplied systems to several large government projects across the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is a very large country and represents more than 25 percent of the GCC GDP.

When you do a project for an institute in Saudi Arabia, it includes offices that are located all over the country. In contrast, institutes in the U.A.E. usually have only one or two offices." Ismail continued, “Our company has been here for more than 20 years. In Saudi Arabia, for example, we have the largest bank in the whole region as one of our customers. It is a national bank with 400 branches and 2,000 ATMs in the country. The number of buildings for VIP service, VIP accounts, and money transfer, is over 200. More than 1,300 recorders and 8,000 cameras from mixed brands were used in that project. From a banking point of view, a project this size covers the entire banking sector in the GCC countries. In Qatar, for example, the largest capital bank has a maximum of only 50 to 60 branches.”

Religious Buildings, Universities, and Banks
Saudi Arabia, being home to the largest and most holy Muslim mosques, has many religious projects. “It has many religious buildings, such as mosques and related infrastructures, where you can see thousands and thousands of cameras installed. Bosch Security Systems has done many projects in holy places in this country too,” said Hakan ?zyi?it, Regional Director of Middle East at Bosch Security Systems. “Bosch is also involved in many prestigious projects in the Saudi Arabian education sector. The country has the largest population in the region and almost half of the Saudi Arabian population is aged below 30. Hence, its government is focused on education and plans to build more universities and facilities to ensure its a much more competitive Saudi workforce in the future.”

 

Also, due to the country's conservative nature and religious background, the government has strict laws toward gender segregation in many public places, such as restaurants and shopping malls. Therefore, a public place usually tends to have more cameras installed for security and monitoring, compared to other countries. For example, in Saudi Arabia, it is pretty normal to have around 1,000 cameras for a five-star hotel, while only around 100 to 200 cameras are installed in a five-star hotel in the U.A.E., according to an industry expert in this region.

Considerations for Doing Business
Even though there are plenty of opportunities here, business is conducted very differently in the U.A.E. “The Saudi Arabian government sometimes has strong concerns about the origin of the products for certain projects to avoid products that are made in China,” said Noriyuki Hayashi, Senior Sales/Marketing Manager of System Solutions Department, MEA at Panasonic Marketing. Meanwhile, due to the sheer volume of government projects here, decision making usually takes a little while. Aditya Sahaya, Director of Business Development for Prologix Distribution also pointed out, "Traditionally, the U.A.E. is a very mature market, when it comes to CCTV and surveillance, and the end customers and consultants have very specific requirements which need to be adhered to. Saudi Arabia seems to be going down the same path. Despite a longer sales cycle, the country has been growing as the single largest market in the region."

* Let's take a further look into other areas in Middle East shines in 2014 (2): U.A.E., Oman, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan

 

EverFocus HD-SDI system secures NEXCO West highway toll booths

EverFocus HD-SDI system secures NEXCO West highway toll booths

Editor / Provider: sponsored by EverFocus | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mission
EverFocus has recently built-up the HD-SDI system, including 20 DVRs (EPHD04+) and 50 outdoor IR dome cameras (EHH5101) on the NEXCO-West (West Nippon Expressway Company Ltd) highway toll booths located in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi.

According to NEXCO-West, the toll booths require a system that is reliable and can produce clear images no matter on the staff or the POS machine. Moreover, cameras with anti-raining/snowing and small-in-size features are considered as the key points. Therefore, they chose EverFocus' HD-SDI DVR and outdoor IR dome camera.

Solution
Compact size along with elegant design has always been the major feature in the Japanese market. The EPHD04+ is a four-channel HD-SDI DVR that comes with a fine outlook and a small chassis design, plus its 1080p full HD resolution for live video recording, playback and archive videos, all these features have satisfied the customer's requirements. The easy installation, which is just the same as what we do for the traditional CCTV system, has also save the time and money.

On the other hand, for highway customers, they often choose box or bullet type cameras; however, cameras being hit by trucks or buses happened frequently. Hence, NEXCO-West has made a decision to adopt dome type outdoor IR dome for this project. The EHH5101 is weather resistant (IP66) and is able to provide 1080p HD video over coax.

Result
With EverFocus' HD-SDI system, the evidence can be safely and clearly collected, especially the POS machine and bill can be seen clearly through the monitor. According to the customers, accidents like vehicles passing by without paying the highway fee, or missed receiving toll bills have been decreasing. The full HD video images and the stable system bring the successful surveillance to the highway toll booths.

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