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Memoori: Acquisitions Have Doubled in Past Two Years, Without Major Suppliers

Memoori: Acquisitions Have Doubled in Past Two Years, Without Major Suppliers

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Memoori Business Intelligence | Updated: 10/6/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

One of the more baffling and intriguing findings of our third annual report The Physical Security Business in 2011 is that despite a surge in acquisition activity, which has doubled in the last 2 years, most of the traditional market leaders have not participated and watched this going off from the sidelines.

It is not easy to fathom out why... because like all multinational companies, up to 2008 / 9 they had an active policy of growth through acquisition and they all have strong cash reserves. By 2010 the security industry had got itself back to profitable growth and the industry had proved itself to be an attractive robust business, as our report shows. Although company valuations have gone up they are still below 2008 levels. So what could be the reason or reasons for this change of attitude to this business? They have the money and attractive companies are available to buy at realistic prices. This has been proven when outsiders (some with deep pockets) are taking their share of the market, through acquisition without any 'retaliation' (so far).

In the report we delve into the details of the structure and shape of the market showing that most of the relatively medium to small companies are focused on one product area; specialise in introducing innovative technologies. Those that backed IP Networking products 10 years ago now hold the strong ground.

The multinational companies such as Bosch, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric, Siemens and UTC Technologies are both product manufacturers and system suppliers and cover almost all aspects of physical security. When you take account of this and review market share on the basis of product sales (which our report does), then it shows that average market share figures are little more than 3 percent with the highest around 12 percent. If you then start to look at market share in some of the segments, say the fast growing IP Video networking camera market (not inconsequential at $1.3 billion) then the leading supplier Axis Communications has a share around 35 percent with no other supplier in reach.

You then have to wonder if some of the major traditional suppliers are spreading themselves thin on the physical security front and need to refocus on either the product or systems business or combine these to focus on particular product areas for specific vertical markets.

Most have been successful in growing their systems business during the last 3troubled years. One of the major reasons for this is they have fed off their heritage estate business and at the same time have integrated activities from other parts of their organisation such as fire detection and extinguishing, evacuation control, mass notification and energy management into holistic solutions for their clients. Siemens have shown an acquisition appetite for specialists in verticals such as transportation; last year they acquired Republic Intelligent Transportation Services to expand their reach in the traffic solutions and services business. A combined portfolio of Siemens' products and solutions and Republic's services and maintenance provides an opportunity to leverage their expertise.

It has been quite clear since the beginning of this decade that in order to grow the business some fundamental changes had to be made to attract buyers. The new business model had to be built around "How through IP technology, do we move the clients security operations from a cost centre to a cash generator and converge with the business enterprise?" Because growth will get little benefit from marginally better economic trading conditions in the future but from new products and systems that deliver a better return on investment.

Our report shows that much of the investment in acquiring security companies in the last 2 years has come from outside the security business particularly Defense and IT / Communications companies. They are able to leverage their expertise to join up solutions with the business enterprise and we think they see this business as much more than a safe port in a storm.

So the traditional majors of the physical security business now have a growing number of new competitors from outside the industry and a stronger competition from product specialists in the middle ground. The recent manouverings of Tyco to split in to 3 separate companies with 2 based on security and safety is very likely to open up the opportunity for at least 1 "mega merger" in 2012 and our betting is that the traditional major players in our industry will not sit it out this time around.

Johnson Controls to Provide Security Solutions for 12 Stadiums in Brazil

Johnson Controls to Provide Security Solutions for 12 Stadiums in Brazil

Editor / Provider: Johnson Controls | Updated: 9/22/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The Brazilian Ministry of Sports announced that Johnson Controls, the global leader in delivering solutions that increase energy efficiency in buildings, has been chosen to design and install advanced, integrated security systems for 12 major soccer stadiums throughout the country.

The $29 million project will include the design, supply and implementation of mass access control designed to quickly pass large numbers of people, video surveillance, ticket systems and a communications network at stadiums used by Brazilian A and B Championship Leagues. Some of the sites, which seat from 20,000 up to 60,000 fans, will also host competition in the 2013 Soccer Confederation Cup. Two of the stadiums will be venues for main matches at the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup, also being held in Brazil.

Alcino Reis Rocha, national secretary of Soccer and Defense of the Fans Rights for Brazil's Ministry of Sports, said Johnson Controls was selected in a competitive bid process during which the company showed a superior understanding of the technology required to complete the complex project.

“Johnson Controls scored the highest of all competitors in the systems technology category during the bidding process, provided a competitive price and could point to experience in helping secure major arenas, airports and other mission critical facilities throughout Latin America and around the world,” said Mario Filho, Brazil systems business, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls.

Filho also said that the long-term strategic relationships Johnson Controls developed with vendors, agencies and organizations in Brazil and throughout the region were key to presenting a strong team solution and securing the contract.

The innovative access control system, designed with South African partner DEX Security Solutions, will link the web portal where soccer fans purchase tickets and register to attend games with local law enforcement databases. The names of purchasers will be checked against those of known troublemakers and registered criminals who may be denied entry. Each stadium will have entry turnstiles and readers (barcode, proximity and biometric) to confirm the identities of those seeking access.

Johnson Controls also will oversee the installation of nearly 1,700 surveillance cameras, video servers for recording and video analytics to help spot potential problems inside and outside the stadiums. Officials at each stadium will monitor the video from separate security stations designed and built by Johnson Controls.

“This is another example of Johnson Control using its proven technology experience to provide our customer with an innovative solution designed to meet specific needs.” said Kevin Melton, VP, systems Latin America, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. “This project will help us and the Ministry of Sports to enhance the experience of Brazilian soccer fans attending games in these 12 stadiums.”

The stadium security plans and concepts meet the FIFA requirements for security at the 2014 World Cup.

Completion of the design and installation process is expected to take about a year.

In addition to the company's expertise in building technology, security solutions, building integration, energy efficiency and sustainability, Johnson Controls has been recognized for its commitment to ethics and integrity by being listed in the Brazilian government's Pro-Ethics Company Registration. This listing recognizes companies for having developed concrete actions to promote ethics, integrity and prevent corruption. Johnson Controls is one of only four companies to be named to the inaugural list.

Ten Years Later: The Rise and Transformation of an Industry

Ten Years Later: The Rise and Transformation of an Industry

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 9/9/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

On September 11, 2001, four suicide attacks carried out by terrorist group al-Qaeda claimed nearly 3,000 lives and billions of dollars in damage, leaving the world in utter shock in the months and years that followed. Aside from the economic and political ramifications, one significant impact of the attacks was how profoundly life was changed for much of the world's population. Fear, and many other considerations, spurred massive investments in security. The security industry saw rapid growth, and overall awareness increased significantly among the general public. Today, 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, security has grown to be a multibillion-dollar, recession-resistant industry that is highly competitive and is redefining itself in many ways. Armed with funding from both the public and private sectors, the security industry was able to develop new and innovative technologies in the early 2000s. Although the 2008 recession significantly shrunk VC investments in R&D, innovation has not completely come to a halt. The advent of IP-based systems and its accelerating adoption have enabled some exciting new possibilities that deliver more for less to end users, and the movers and shakers of this industry, new and old alike, are now anticipating easier-to-use, smarter, single platforms that could manage and dictate security, building and many other systems simultaneously.

The 9/11 attacks were significant in that they were much more like an act of war, even though it was not conducted by a state actor as it traditionally is, said David Olive, Principal of Catalyst Partners. “It had very deep impacts on the economy and on a general sense of security. It is an event that one remembers throughout his or her lifetime, much the same way as one remembers the first time humans stepped foot on the moon.”

A direct effect of the attacks was the formation of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) one year later, in November 2002. Tens of billions of dollars were budgeted for the DHS, mainly allocated to first responders and disaster control. However, a hefty amount was also poured into the security industry through government projects or R&D funding.

In the early 2000s, there was a lot more innovation due to the resources dumped into R&D by venture capitalists and various governments, which aimed to adapt existing technologies to be used for homeland security purposes, said Dilip Sarangan, Research Team Leader for Physical Security, Frost & Sullivan. “Many new concepts and products emerged during that period. VCA, DVRs and IP-based security systems are just some examples.”

Almost from the very beginning, the Science and Technology Directorate of the DHS put out to the private sector a high-tech needs list. At the time, it was led by retired US Navy rear admiral Jay Cohen, who brought over some Department of Defense processes where they identified needs, put out announcements to the private sector and funded development of that technology, Olive said. “Resources were put into development of a wide spectrum of technologies, such as biochemical detectors, sensors, biometric systems and integration of disparate databases for easier information sharing. The DHS was very strategic in these investments in that they looked for technologies that potentially had a commercial market.” Over the past 10 years, communications between agencies have increased drastically in an effort to prioritize shrinking budgets, said Monica Heyl, CEO of Monica Heyl & Associates. “Technologies that can be reliably applied across different scenarios are what we can expect to happen more and more.”

Maturing Technology
Many of the technologies developed during that period have matured significantly in terms of commercialization. VCA, for example, was a technology that was little understood 10 years ago, Sarangan said. “Now, it's something end users do understand. They understand its capabilities and limitations, and that it is valuable to an organization when used for clearly defined functions.”

Funding from organizations like the DHS has undoubtedly played an important role in establishing and developing the market for physical security. It has led to technology innovation and increased sales, said Jon Cropley, Principal Analyst for Video Surveillance and VCA Research Group, IMS Research. “Government spending (not including education, retail or transportation) accounted for around 15 percent of the global market for VCA in security and business intelligence applications in 2010.”

In spite of this, the market for video analytics has not grown as quickly as many expected. Reasons include installation problems, false-alarm rates, lack of clear market education and the global economic downturn, Cropley said. “As the global economic environment improves, analytics providers are working hard to address these other issues. As they do, the market for VCA is forecast to grow steadily. Continued funding has provided the firm footing on which this market growth will be built.”

Another example is the proliferation of IP-based security systems. The introduction of networking has been the most revolutionary element in modern security systems, said John Moss, CEO of S2 Security. Putting it all on the network simplifies data transmission and eliminates all infrastructure costs that might be required of an analog system, Sarangan said. “This is definitely a market where there is a lot of potential. It has applications mostly in government and critical infrastructure installations, but some of those applications also benefit large organizations and make a lot of sense to use in the commercial world as well.” [NextPage]

Integration
With the advent of IP-based security solutions, integration and interoperability have improved significantly. Integrating security systems with other subsystems in a building is starting to become easier now that the same protocol and common platform can be used, Sarangan said.

This has, in part, led to a major change in the way security is approached. Traditionally, building automation, HVAC and other systems were always integral in the original design of the building, and were factored into the whole design in very early stages. Security was almost always looked at afterwards, and was something that people did not consider until after the building was constructed, Sarangan said. “Now, people are beginning to give security the same priority as they give building automation systems. They are starting to realize that security systems should be a part of the initial design and should be connected to the building during construction.”

It will take a while before it happens everywhere, but that is one thing that has changed over the past few years and will continue to gain momentum, Sarangan added.

New Players
Players in building automation have been playing a bigger role in security for obvious reasons. It fits well into their business strategy in that integrating security into their systems provides more value for their customers. After the 9/11 attacks, a lot of end users were in very unique situations where they had to provide levels of security that they did not typically provide in their buildings or businesses, said Andre Greco, Director of Sales for Security and Fire in North America, Johnson Controls. “Customers wanted to increase security to the point where they knew that only authorized individuals were getting into certain areas or into the building in general. We saw a lot of increased needs for turnstiles in high-rise, multitenant environments. There was also more demand for formalized visitor management processes and more in-depth vetting of individuals that were coming into the building, especially in major metropolitan areas.”

There has also been increased demand for securing areas that are wide open and see a lot of public access. Previously, security systems were focused on battling petty crimes such as theft or vandalism, Olive said. “Now, with the new terrorism overlay, areas that typically would not have security need new solutions to meet these new requirements.”

Building automation tends to look at the building from a different perspective. “When convergence became a hot topic seven or eight years ago, we started to see that almost everything low-voltage, critical or noncritical, within a building would be run across the network. We knew that it was a situation where IP was quickly going to become very prevalently,” Greco said.

Changes
One effect of the convergence between IT and physical security is a change in mentality. For some companies, network cameras are procured through the physical security department, and yet it is becoming more common for the IT department to make these decisions, Moss said. “The two departments are not as far apart as they used to be. The people I would see 30 years ago in security were almost always from law enforcement, whereas today I see people in physical security that actually came from IT backgrounds.”

Integration companies more well-known in the IT world have contributed to the industry as well, helping installers and end users cope with IP-based video surveillance. “They let people know that it's OK to put video over your network and store video with HDD-based storage solutions, and that it's necessary to have redundancy for video applications. They've helped companies understand that video is here to stay and that it's just another type of data. As it becomes more and more IP-based, it's going to fall under the realm of the IT department, and companies such as Cisco and Anixter have helped the IT community from that standpoint,” Greco said.

Even though the security industry migrates more slowly than most other industries, there have been changes over 10 years; however, it is hard to determine whether those changes were caused or only influenced by 9/11, Moss said. “Most of the changes I've seen in the industry are related to changes in the general economy, so the rate of change in the industry might be a little higher than normal because of the influence of IT on physical security. The overall rate of change has not been particularly caused by 9/11.”  [NextPage]

Awareness
We live in very dangerous times, with far more threats than previously imaginable. Kids that do not know anything about biology and chemistry can search the Internet and find recipes to make very dangerous biochemical reagents, Heyl said. “They can buy and make these with little cost, and this has created a situation where one individual can go out and do significant damage to a lot of people. This makes it difficult to keep under control these people and government radicals who live on the outside of society. The world has become a much more dangerous place.” The recent tragedy in Oslo is just another example.

The attack could have been prevented had the Norwegian authorities been more vigilant, said Joshua Sinai, Associate Professor, Center for Technology, Security and Policy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. “As an extremist, he should have been known to the authorities, identified through data mining and behavioral analysis. Once identified, he could be flagged as a potential threat and properly monitored after legal procedures.”

The increase of threats has made people more aware of their surroundings than ever before, especially when it comes to traveling. Governments are continuously educating the public to take note of anomalies and report them to the authorities. Consistent audio messages and visual reminders have people constantly aware of their surroundings, Greco said. “There are a lot of campaigns just to keep awareness high that if you see something, you need to say something. This is so that the public does not become complacent, or forget about what happened 10 years ago; we need to continue to have a heightened sense of awareness to potential risks.”

Furthermore, with the advances in global communications, significant events rarely go unnoticed. “We are living in a globalized world and in increasingly open societies, which are characterized by the interconnectedness through new media,” said Gert van Iperen, Chairman of the Board of Management, Bosch Security Systems. “Whenever a national disaster, a violent revolution or a terrorist attack takes place, the entire world gets informed about it immediately. People all over the world watch live, with ongoing pictures provided by the mass media.”

Homeland security is now increasingly regarded as personal responsibility, which was generally not the case pre-9/11, Olive said. “However, there is still a lot of education that needs to be done as to what people can do to protect their life and lifestyle. While the general public is much more resilient against these attacks, we are not yet where we need to be.” Unfortunately, many corporations still view security as an unnecessary expenditure. They do not realize that this is an investment that will be returned within several quarters, said Anthony Roman, CEO of Roman & Associates, an investigation, security and risk management consulting firm. “If security technology and the security department were coupled with corporate risk management, which is responsible for assessing accidents and incidents, as well as economic losses to crime and internal theft, savings could be made on insurance claims, tort liability losses, damage to corporate branding and regulatory fines.”

Riding Recession
The security industry has grown significantly over the past 10 years. Despite the 2008 recession and weak recovery, the market for security electronics has continued to grow, albeit at a slower pace, Sarangan said. “Obviously, customers do not have the same capital to invest in security, but the industry was still growing at 5 to 6 percent per annum even over the past three years.” Compared to other industries, ours did remarkably well and is currently proving to be recovering quickly, van Iperen said.

While many regard the security industry as “recessionproof,” it is a notion that remains a myth. There is no such thing as a recession-proof industry, Sarangan said. “When budgets are shrinking and customers can no longer afford it, they simply will not purchase. The security industry was growing at a decent rate even through the recession, but that's about as recession-proof as it gets.”

Nevertheless, countries that are more under the threat of terrorism continue to see hefty government spending in security, Sinai said. “They're purchasing a lot of counterterrorist and public-safety equipment. That is a new market and huge opportunity for technology companies.”

Striving to Innovate
One reason why it remained growing through the recession was it began to deliver more value to end users. “The industry has been innovative both technically and commercially and has produced better products at lower prices that deliver on ROI; this is why buyers are investing in new systems, said Allan McHale, Director of Memoori Business Intelligence, in a prepared statement. “This is why IP networking products have pushed ahead with a forecast growth of 35 percent this year. Those companies that have focused on IP network products have increased their market share and at the same time have increased their profitability.”

Many larger companies took a big hit through the recession, but overall growth in the security industry was maintained by a lot of new and smaller companies, Sarangan said. “In addition, many companies coming from the IT sector have been doing pretty well over the past few years. The hit to larger companies was mainly offset by the growth of these smaller companies and IT companies, which had a lot of growth within the security world. Over the past few years not only IT, but building automation and building management companies also made a play in security and saw pretty good growth.”

An advantage of these newcomers was that they were experienced in more than security. The impact of the recession was minimal for Johnson Controls because for the past three years, customers have been looking for solutions that increase efficiency and productivity, as well as reduce costs. “It makes sense for them to continue to invest because of a solid ROI model,” Greco said.

Bigger companies see security as a growth opportunity, and they are trying to expand their product lines to be able to provide more value to customers. “They have the resources to expand their offerings in a tremendous growth industry where nobody has an overwhelming market share,” Greco said.

This actually drives innovation in the industry. Larger companies generally do not innovate their products, Moss said. “The smaller, private ones innovate their products but have less resources. The normal flow for the past 30 years has been that entrepreneurs create innovative companies and products, which are ultimately purchased by much larger entities that have the capital and infrastructure to grow them.” Although innovation has slowed as a result of less money invested in R&D mainly due to less venture capital spending, it has not stopped altogether. “Things like VMS are becoming more commoditized, but there is still a big market for good, quality management software that manages surveillance and control systems,” Sarangan said. “Another example of innovation through the recession is PSIM. This is definitely an innovation that adds great value for the end user.”  [NextPage]

Crystal Ball?
The next big thing for the security industry will probably be more effective and seamless integration. “A major innovation we expect to see in the next few years is some type of solution, perhaps a software product, that actually can integrate any and every product into a single solution. We will definitely see those products within the next few years,” Sarangan said.

Security is really headed toward integration of multiple systems onto a single platform, and system integrators will find it easier to integrate these products, which ultimately benefits the end user, Greco agreed. “Stand-alone systems and disparate technologies are going away quickly as companies continue to produce products based on an open platform.”

Admittedly, there are still hurdles to overcome before this can be realized. There are still companies using proprietary technologies, and are not willing to share APIs or SDKs with other companies so that integration can be accomplished, Greco added. “However, it is certainly a lot further along than it was as little as three years ago. This is really driven by customer demand, as they expect their systems to be integrated on a single platform. The IT industry has been doing integration for 25 years, and integration will become more relevant as security becomes increasingly IT-driven.”

Cloud computing for security applications will mature in two to five years, Greco said. “While there are concerns over information security, current issues will be resolved and the market will mature. One big benefit is the ability to store data in the cloud rather than maintaining storage on-site.”

Identity management is another technology that is not very common today but will become very common in five to 10 years. “This is a concept that end users could really take advantage of in their businesses, and we will start to see that technology become widely deployed when end users are installing or upgrading their access control systems,” Greco said. “Not many companies today offer software that allows human resources information to abide by a set of predetermined policy, which in turn creates an access profile for a card holder and exports that profile into the access control database. The benefit is complete elimination of manually setting up an access control database and managing changes with that access control database.” The integration of human resources, policy engine and access control will become the norm.

More than anything, the 9/11 attacks increased the scale and brought focus to an industry that was previously scattered and diffused, Olive said. Future developments will continue to see convergence and integration of disparate systems, as this is clearly what end users are demanding.

Integrated, interoperable and holistic solutions are the further evolution or development of the industry, van Iperen said. “Let's take the integration of fire detection and evacuation systems as an example. This combination has been in increasing demand from the market side for some years now, with good reason: Both systems strengthen each other and reinforce safety and security.” And it does not necessarily mean that products will become more expensive to purchase or more difficult to use.

Turbulence or Storm, Physical Security Industry Will Sail Through It

Turbulence or Storm, Physical Security Industry Will Sail Through It

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Memoori Business Intelligence | Updated: 8/9/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

The Physical Security industry has performed well for the first 6 months of this year and we are bullish about the prospects of continued growth for the full year.

However a financial cloud is gathering which is affecting confidence for world economic trading conditions. Debt problems in Europe look to be more serious than first thought 6 months ago, and now the impending cap on the US Federal budget deficit will probably constrain world growth prospects in 2012.

These factors will affect buyer's budgets in Europe and North America but it is anticipated that they will have less impact in Brazil, Russia, India and China where growth in demand for security products is currently much higher.

There is only one solution to reducing the impact of these events or even nullify them; and that is continue with the innovation programme of delivering more effective security systems at lower prices.

This is the reason for the security industry coming out of the recession in 2009; in a much better shape than most other industries. It has consistently delivered more for less and more importantly provided much higher rates of return on security investments. Now has to be the time to dig even deeper and increase all efforts in developing wireless technology, IP networking cameras, HDcctv, managed video as a service, analytics and convergence with the business enterprise.

This may be best achieved through merger, acquisition and alliance. These activities have in both volume and value terms increased significantly in the 1st half of this year and this has continued into July.

In January this year we forecast that 2011 would be a bumper year for acquisition and merger activity and in the first 6 months of this year the industry is well on track to achieve this. We identified 45 deals having a value of $6.506 billion and for the same period in 2010 we noted 43 deals having a value of $2.9 billion.

In June this year two major deals accounted for almost 70 percent of this. We have recorded 6 acquisitions in July compared with only one in the same period of 2010. The most significant of these transactions was Xtralis's acquisition of Germany's HeiTel Digital Video, bringing Xtralis into the remote video market; Identive Group's acquisition of Polyright SA, a provider of identity management solutions for the education and healthcare markets based in Sion, Switzerland and Verint System's acquisition of Vovici, an industry leader in enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions. All of these were strategic buys and were paid for in cash.

Investment in the industry was particularly buoyant in July. Devcon Security, a super-regional alarm company that has rapidly expanded into a national US player in the past year, announced a new $215 million credit facility that includes $110 million in new financing. Vector announced on July 28 the completion of a new $225 million credit facility that includes $75 million in new financing and the GEO Group announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program of up to $100.0 million of GEO's common stock.

The most encouraging feature of the business is reflected in the financial performance of security players. The 4th Quarter 2010 and 1st Quarter 2011 financial announcements showed for the most part revenues and profitability well up on the same quarter of 2010 and this has continued with the 2nd quarter announcements that have just been released.

The traditional players active in most segments of the market such as Ingersoll Rand, Johnson Controls, UTC, Nice and Honeywell have announced growth in revenues and profitability in the 2nd quarter as have the specialist smaller niche players such as Vivotek, Video IQ, 3VR and Mobotix.

One thing is for sure the security industry is going to ride out this anticipated financial turbulence because it is in a healthy state and has confidence that it has been through worse before.

Johnson Controls Expands US Health Care Facility Security

Johnson Controls Expands US Health Care Facility Security

Editor / Provider: Johnson Controls | Updated: 6/2/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Union Hospital is the largest provider of health services between Indianapolis and St. Louis, serving west central Indiana and eastern Illinois. The hospital strives to meet the health care needs of the region through compassionate, efficient and high-quality services. In this effort, Union Hospital embarked on an expansion that has set a new standard for health care in the area.

With technology in mind, the hospital selected Johnson Controls to install wireless controls and integrated fire alarm and security systems in the new facility.

The five-story, 575,000-square-foot expansion features a spacious design with private rooms, convenient access and much better parking. As the single largest construction project in the history of Terre Haute, the new facility will have a significant economic impact. Since its beginnings in 1892, Union Hospital has continuously improved and expanded its services and facilities to provide care to the region's residents.

"Johnson Controls has had a presence at Union Hospital since 1968. The reason they've maintained that presence is because they have excellent products and support," said Dave Snapp, Director of Construction Development for Union Hospital. Despite this history, Snapp needed assurance that Johnson Controls could provide what the hospital was looking for in the new facility, especially the fire alarm component. "We narrowed the list of vendors down to six and then Johnson Controls kept making the cut. Ultimately providing us not only the added value of integrated systems but also wireless technology," Snapp added.

Wireless approach saves costs, simplifies installation Union Hospital involved Johnson Controls in the design-assist process, allowing them to bring new ideas to the design team for consideration such as making the building management system wireless.

A building management system, used to monitor and control HVAC systems and equipment at four existing facilities, was expanded to the new hospital as part of the project.

Excited with what they saw, the executives asked Johnson Controls to rebid the project, switching from a wired approach for the system and temperature controls to a wireless one. A move that eliminated the need to install conduit stub-ups for the temperature controls and pull the communications bus, and one that saved the hospital more than US$51,000 when compared to the wired approach.

In addition to a reduction in cost for the hospital, the construction team realized the added benefit of compressing and simplifying its work schedule. By not having to manage and coordinate the installation of room thermostat rough-ins and BACnet communication wiring for 400 patient rooms, the team was better equipped to meet project deadlines.

The new hospital expansion also features a Johnson Controls fire alarm system and security management system. All four existing facilities on the Terre Haute campus were retrofit with the systems as part of the project. The systems are fully integrated with the expanded system, which is used to monitor and control HVAC systems and equipment at the main hospital, cancer center, professional office building, ambulatory surgery center and the new hospital.

This integration creates a common platform for all of the systems across the entire campus. If a fire or security alarm is activated, hospital personnel can monitor it and take appropriate action. The system is also used to monitor and control HVAC equipment at Union Hospital's second location in Clinton, Indiana.

The ability to integrate these systems was a key factor in selecting Johnson Controls. "I was pleased to see that the fire alarm and security systems could be integrated with the expanded system," Snapp said. "It brings added value to the system we already had in place while giving us the ability to monitor and control all the systems from a single location."

Johnson Controls maintains the system under a service agreement. The goal is to fine tune the system and implement energy efficiency strategies to continually optimize HVAC equipment performance and reduce operations costs wherever possible. Under a planned service agreement, preventive maintenance is conducted on variable air volume boxes, air handlers and YORK chillers.

In addition to card access at primary entrances across campus, the system is used to monitor and control 36 prescription drug drawers in the pharmacy at the new hospital. With the swipe of a card, authorized personnel can access and dispense medicines as needed. The hospital is also a beta test site for Johnson Controls PoE card readers. The access control system is upgraded continually campus-wide, including an interface with the DVR system and surveillance cameras.

Assigning Access Priorities

Assigning Access Priorities

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 6/1/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Physical access control needs to be carefully configured to ensure highly sensitive areas, such as the maternity/nursery units and pharmacies, are armed with maximum security and privacy. A&S examines the common authorization settings and afterhours access control of health care facilities for effective foot traffic control.

Electronic access control settings vary for maternity/nursery units, pharmacies, clinics and nursing homes. Managing foot traffic in these areas requires system integrators to apply different configurations to maximize safety and work efficiency.

In physical access control, tailgating users — those who follow an authorized user into the restricted area without validating their own entitlement to that space — are a challenge, said Derek Botti, IT Architect for Tivoli Industry Solutions — Health Care, Electronics, Manufacturing and Smart City Industry Lead, IBM. "Mantrap solutions are typically reserved for highly controlled areas, so while most physical access solutions can establish differing levels of access, ensuring controlled access is still a challenge."

To address this challenge, security managers need to assess the necessary level of access for every unit within the institution. "Areas like the maternity unit require integration to infant abduction warning systems, and pharmaceutical units require dual-factor authentication," said Mark Thummel, Account Manager of Security and Fire in Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. "The integration to the surveillance system to various degrees

Derek Botti
throughout the facility is an effective way to increase security of the facility and improve the effectiveness of the security personnel."

For perimeter control, vehicular access should be monitored and managed with card access, surveillance, intercoms and remote access, said Lisa Pryse, President of the Health Care Division, Old Dominion Security. "For areas which are main portals into the facility during various hours of the day, card access coupled with a receptionist or security officer is preferable. All other entrances should be secured 24/7 by card access or a keyed lock."

In many cases, the main entrance to the emergency room (ER) remains open 24/7, unless there is an extreme security situation requiring the department — or entire facility — to move to lockdown or restricted access mode, Pryse continued. "All doors to the ER should have the capability to be placed into a secured/card access status. For normal operations at the ER, security personnel should be present at the main entrance, lobby and in the patient treatment areas. The doors into the patient treatment areas should be secured 24/7 with card access, both from the ER lobby side as well as from the other areas of the health care facility. Additional integrated security systems may be required in the behavioral health areas of the ER."

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Infant tagging is necessary for the nursery as well as for the labor/delivery, obstetric and pediatric areas, Pryse said. "Access control protocols should be available on all doors, stairwells and elevators. Infant tagging should have the capability to delay egress when an unauthorized event takes place. It is preferable to dedicate security personnel to issue photo passes for these areas," she added.

After-Hours Control
After-hours access restrictions are performed by programmed settings that correspond to daily activities. "With simple configurations, employees, patients, visitors and authorized guests can be limited to certain sections of the facility and the time frame they are able to enter the authorized areas," said Matt Conrad, Director of Global Innovation and Customer Experience for Health Care, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. "The system can also limit the number of entrances during after-hours."

Standard and basic settings with electronic access control can designate when or at what doors, equipment or
Mark Thummel
data network levels the employee may have access to. Biometric scanning can help assure that the person attempting to enter is actually that person, not somebody carrying an authorized person's card, said Dave Cullen, Director of Business Development for Health Care, Lumidigm.

"Photos of the users should automatically appear on the screen as the person enters various levels of access, and this photo can then be compared by the security personnel with the person viewed by the surveillance camera," Pryse said. "Intercoms should be made available at designated entrances to provide assistance and a response by a security officer if necessary."

Policy management integration establishes reasonable after-hours or out-of-cycle physical access, but lacks flexibility for ‘break-the-glass' functionality when required, Botti said. "Restricting physical access to bottleneck access points requiring human intervention is common, to restrict after-hours access to those areas that can be staffed by security personnel responsible for validating after-hours needs."

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Centralized Monitoring
Today, securing different units within a health care institution can be met by integrated software solutions like physical security information management (PSIM) and video analytics, although cost considerations might hinder their real-life uptake. "Larger facilities, or those with multiple hospitals within a system, have begun investigating these technologies, but often video surveillance is still managed through human interaction and as a post-
Lisa Pryse
incident analysis,” Botti said. "Health care IT budgets simply do not address this as a priority because many of these initiatives are seen as costs with no return, even in the current climate."

However, other industry experts are optimistic about future deployments, as they help security personnel monitor foot traffic and safety in various units within a health care institution. "Video analytics and PSIM are definitely picking up speed as they allow multiple facility locations to have the security systems viewed and operated from one central location,” Pryse said. “This change is preferable, as it applies economy of- scale principles — fewer staff are required to perform the same or more functions."

To group all existing systems onto one monitoring and controlling interface, health care facilities should look for access control devices that are based on open standards. "Open architectures are designed to work with most access control and other security systems," Conrad said. "This ensures that the devices chosen will not only work now with the existing system but also any system they might move to in the future. By not having to replace devices during a system transition, their future acquisition and installation costs can be greatly reduced."

Health Care Institutions Unify Safe Access to Information and Places

Health Care Institutions Unify Safe Access to Information and Places

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 6/1/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Unseen dangers such as identity theft and infant abduction are often shadowed by the busy and buzzing atmosphere found in health care facilities. As security concerns in health care facilities increase, more and more institutions are combining their physical access control and logical access control systems for better management of their patients, staff, visitors and assets. In converging different access control systems, smart cards and biometric credentials are becoming the necessary tools to clearly track foot traffic and enforce authorized access to information and places, as they offer high-level data security and identification accuracy. Health care complexes often span across several buildings and campuses, adding onto the security management complication which can now be facilitated by effective physical access control and logical access control systems.

Securing public spaces is a tricky business. Health care facilities are no exception, where patients, visitors and staff openly interact on a daily basis. Three areas need to be reviewed to provide a solid safety assessment, said Kenneth Mara, President of World Wide Security. "First, the safety of patients and staff should be considered by limiting the amount of people who can or should have access to certain areas. Second, access to medical records and medicines need to be controlled. Third, health care facilities should be designed in a way to keep

Kenneth Mara, President of World Wide Security
patients from wandering the premises," he said. "The last consideration is especially important for psychiatric centers and patients with Alzheimer's or other dementia illnesses."

In health care settings, a card system combining physical and logical security has become the main access control method, for everyday administration and operation. "In health care, there are staff members that may shift roles depending on the time of day, or the location access is requested," said Derek Botti, IT Architect for Tivoli Industry Solutions — Health Care, Electronics, Manufacturing and Smart City Industry Lead, IBM. "Many do not have different physical access controls for the different roles, but do have different logical access controls for the different roles."

"The challenge often arises when the staff member in this capacity chooses the access control for one role when actually performing a secondary or tertiary role,” Botti added. “Add in a constant state of flux as it relates to volunteer staff, temporary staff and educational staff; and the security and IT departments typically face issues that are not seen in other industries or facilities."

Physical-Logical Integration
Building a reliable and fluid physical-logical access control system that contributes to operational, financial and clinical effectiveness is a necessity for many health care facilities. "As health care institutions expand their technology infrastructure and deploy multiple systems, they inherently produce an environment with separate access control systems, with multiple credentials issued and managed through duplicate processes with limited interoperability," explained Dave Cullen, Director of Business Development for Health Care, Lumidigm. "The result is an expensive process of credential management and an institution that is exposed and at risk for security breaches, resulting in expensive penalties and fines. More importantly, frustrations with system access will ultimately have a negative impact on the user and, in turn, on the quality of patient care."

The process of accessing areas and information is expected to become simplified by integrating the physical and logical access control systems into one. “IT and security departments are hoping to leverage n-factor authentication solutions to clinical systems and workstations that are able to use the same badges used for physical access to the buildings and nursing units themselves," Botti said. "In that regard, the IT and security departments are facing a desired integration of birthright provisioning, such that access to physical spaces and logical systems are granted through the same process."

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Industry regulations and demands are pushing for convergence of physical and IT access control as well. "The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) legislation requirements are pushing health care organizations to facilitate increased security levels for patient and other critical information," said Lisa Pryse, President of the Health Care Division, Old Dominion Security. "Though bandwidth is scrutinized to provide for multiple secure uses, more security systems are centralized into one area as well as coordinated with the IT department."

Challenges
When the physical and logical access control systems are installed by different integrators, the foremost problem faced is compatibility between the two systems, as the installers might not be trained on both systems, said Eric Assouline, Export Sales Manager, CDVI Group.

Another problem is that the systems would run separately and likely would not read each other's credentials, nor would a smart card carry a biometric template that helps lower network traffic and provide greater privacy for the employee, Cullen said. "Interoperability of the systems delivers a flow of critical information from disparate systems to the right person at the right time. Communication systems enable visibility of information up- and downstream, avoiding costly bottlenecks."

Most often the problem is the lack of open standards in health care IT solutions, Botti said. "If the vendor of choice uses a closed system with proprietary or little API support, the integration between logical and physical access systems becomes a cumbersome and often expensive customized effort. There would also be issues with correlating data between the disparate systems, because there is no real free exchange of data between these solutions. The integration done is for a very narrow band of use cases and tends to miss backend analysis and correlation, which results in additional lengthy and expensive integration efforts."

Teamwork
Ensuring smooth integration between physical access control, logical access control and other security systems is not the sole responsibility of the systems integrator. Security managers and CIOs acting on behalf of the institutions should also thoroughly understand both the existing systems and potential new systems to get a clear idea of how convergence works.

Typically during integration, solution providers have tried to investigate what existing security solutions are in place and where to leverage existing infrastructure components, such as badges or identity stores, Botti said. "If

Dave Cullen, Director of Business Development for Health Care, Lumidigm
possible, instill an interface as part of the implementation of a logical system that provides a single source provisioning solution between the physical access and logical access identity stores."

A converged physical and logical access control system often falls under the CIO's jurisdiction, with the security manager reporting to the CIO. In health care facilities, however, it is often divided between two distinct management chains, pitting physical security against logical security, Botti said. To avoid this standoff, both the CIO and security manager should understand both physical and logical systems to optimize performance, Assouline said.

"CIOs develop the long-term strategic direction of the hospital, and IT is at the core of reducing health care costs and establishing efficient processes," Cullen said. "Protecting these investments is also the responsibility of the CIO and included in this plan should be a strategy for streamlined physical and logical access controls. Streamlining backend identity and access management systems is only the first step to an efficient security infrastructure. It helps when the CIO understands both worlds, but it is equally important that the security manager likewise understands both types of systems."

"More CIOs now partner with security managers in order to manage a complete physical and logical access control system," said Brian Stemp, PM of Access Control in EMEA, ADT Security. "The responsibilities of each position could be influenced by the budget provided for each department, yet the two sides need to establish close ties in order to deliver efficient and solid work."

Drivers
The drivers for the convergence of physical and logical access control systems in health care institutions are reduced cost, increased security and reliability in the installed system. New platforms used for physical access control open up possibilities to integrate with logical access control faster and easier, while costs have decreased due to a wider selection of solutions, Assouline said.

Converged systems are driven by the desire to reduce operating costs and redundant components when examining the solutions from an enterprise-level view, Botti said. "In some cases, it is to reduce the overall complexity of the entire ecosystem — reducing the number of badges such that physical and logical access can be controlled with the same token."

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"In other cases, it is driven by a desire to reduce the operating costs — reducing the total solution footprint by integrating solutions and eliminating redundant components that are performing the same task in an isolated fashion," Botti added. "In some other cases, it is a function of providing better regulatory compliance auditing — having a single source of the truth, which simplifies attestation, birth righting and sun setting of identity."

"Health care facilities are recognizing that they have a responsibility to protect patients, staff and property," Cullen said. "A good integrated security schema can have great impact on the cost of insurance for a hospital. Protecting the physical well-being of staff and patients has always been important, but as more patient information becomes electronic and interoperable, it is critical that this information is only available to those with appropriate permissions. Patient information falling into the wrong hands carries expensive penalties and fines, and can negatively impact the marketability of that facility."

Utilizing Smart Cards
Smart cards are useful for many functions: access control, payroll and attendance systems, among other tasks. Contactless cards in particular help limit and control infections in health care settings. Sensitive areas like the intensive care unit or pharmacy require dual-factor authentication, combining biometric verification with the assigned smart card.

Biometrics
Biometric deployments in health care facilities have traditionally been problematic, as conventional systems fail to operate reliably in harsh environments and situations, Cullen said. "Frequent hand washing, heavy use of
Eric Assouline, Export Sales Manager, CDVI Group
chemicals and cleaners, the wearing of latex gloves and a wide range of demographic issues make biometric enrollment and authentication quite difficult and challenging."

Newer biometric techniques enable fingerprint scanning even when hands are gloved. "Multispectral fingerprint scanning, which has the unique ability to scan beneath the surface layer of skin, handles the environmental factors that can affect fingerprints," Cullen said.

As well, with a decrease in pricing and an increase in ease of use and maintenance, biometrics is becoming more and more adopted in access control systems at health care institutions, said Mike Grimes, President of Integrated Biometrics. "Some of the most dramatic changes are the increased security that comes with no longer having a PIN code, which can be shared, and cards, which can be lost, shared or stolen."

"Contactless smart cards minimize overhead when dealing with biometric template management and distribution," said Dan DeBlasio, Director of Business Development, Identity and Access Management, HID Global (an Assa Abloy company). "Rather than storing biometrics on a server and distributing them over a wired network, a contactless smart card-based system allows biometric templates to be carried by the card holder, offering a stronger level of authentication and security commonly referred to as ‘match on card.'"

Visitors
The convergence of physical and logical access control systems is largely restricted to staff and patients. However, effective monitoring of visitor access, especially during after-hours, ensures overall secure access in health care facilities. A common way to guard restricted areas is to program access points, permitting only authorized personnel with identification cards to gain entry or exit. “Some health care institutions may also want to integrate intercoms into access-controlled doors so that visitors can communicate with staff during after-hours,” said Philip Verner, Sales and Marketing Manager, CEM Systems (a Tyco International company).

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Adding video to two-way audio can instruct unwanted visitors they have entered an area they should not be in, Mara said. "Video and audio communications allow for interaction with a perpetrator in a possible crime in action and elevate it to a more serious response level for first responders. This can be important during after-hours, when guard services need a complement, or in place of guard services in remote areas as well."

Industry experts agree that relying on temporary access cards plus an existing access control system might be cost-prohibitive and insufficient in managing after-hours visitor access. On-site security personnel would still be needed, although manpower can be reduced and redistributed to high-risk areas. "The enforcement of visitor badging requires the direct involvement of the security personnel," said Mark Thummel, Account Manager of Security & Fire in Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. "They may not be needed at the location where the badging process takes place, but their presence is critical at key entry points, such as the main elevators or main lobby entrances to other facility areas."

Visitor crime and theft occur in health care facilities due to the openness of the premises, although petty theft is more prevalent compared to serious crimes. The most costly crimes are committed by employees, such as stealing equipment, supplies and pharmaceutical substances, Cullen said.

"Theft is a serious issue within these facilities, because many of the assets are portable, expensive and difficult to track," Botti said. “Implementing real-time location services integrated with physical building controls has become a rising trend, as more health care facilities, especially around the emergency department, try to curb the loss of this equipment. Unfortunately, these initiatives are typically done outside the scope of either physical access control or logical access control and are instead often managed by supply chain management initiatives, which create yet another tower for these solutions."

Advancing with Technology
Technology brings both efficiency and risk to the table. For instance, tablet computers are useful tools for instant data retrieval and can be carried by medical personnel on rounds. However, data security and patient privacy are open to new threats.

Usability versus manageability is always a tough challenge for the enterprise, Botti commented. "In health care, the choice has been managed both ways in our experience. There were cases where no devices were allowed on the facility networks that were not directly managed by the IT department, including smart phones. In other
Philip Verner, Sales and Marketing Manager, CEM Systems (a Tyco International company)
cases, the policy allows any device to attach to the network, with the employee community required to sign documentation stating they accept all responsibility for the management of the device and understand any breach or exposure created by the device becomes the responsibility of the individual."

"New technologies like this will surely add onto the threat level and data leakage risk," Stemp said. "To counter these issues, the security and IT departments must work together to formulate extra encryption for harder access to important information by unauthorized persons."

To fill in the gap between the two extremes, physical security is able to assist in securely locating the assets at all times. "Assets could be tagged so that an alarm would sound when the assets leave the premises," Assouline said. "Flexibility of asset management integrated with access control, combined with a good knowledge of the system integrator with a well-educated end user, will enable better processes in securing the assets and personal resources of the hospital."

Biometrics can help too. Access to data networks that have sensitive information can be tightly controlled, as can physical access to the computer rooms or the rooms that hold paper files by implementing biometric scans, Cullen said.

Dual-factor authentication can be added to access portable computer devices which contain patient or business information, Pryse said. "The data housed on the equipment should also be encrypted to prevent unauthorized access in the event of a lost or stolen tablet computer or PDA. The end users should weigh the cost of securing the access and providing adequate firewall protection against the speed or efficiency of patient data entry or retrieval in a live environment."

HID Provides Access Control to US Insurance Company

HID Provides Access Control to US Insurance Company

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 5/31/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

As a mutual insurance company, Employers Mutual Casualty Company (EMC) serves policyholders and independent insurance agents and prides itself on comprehensive protection, superior service and financial stability.


In 1995, EMC built a 20-story corporate office building in Des Moines, Iowa. EMC worked with Johnson Controls, a security systems integrator, to design, install and service their building equipment and security. At that time, they installed a Westinghouse system for access control, an IFC fire alarm system, and a building automation system.


Fifteen years later, the security system was basically the same as when it was first installed, it was in dire need of an upgrade in order to perform the functions EMC needed.


As an established leader in the insurance industry, EMC has the responsibility to have a secure access control system twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As a standard aspect of its business, the company has files containing personal and confidential information. The office building also houses a law firm, so EMC is obliged to keep this tenant's confidential client files secure as well. To help maintain its leadership position, EMC needed to update its security with the latest technology and resources.


"Our security system was definitely the weakest link of our systems," said Scott Gooch, Control Center Supervisor at EMC. "The highest-risk system was the card access and security."


Upgrading the Westinghouse system was not an option. Support was almost extinct because Westinghouse had moved on to newer systems. In addition, Westinghouse stopped making the older system's field devices, so if EMC added any buildings, the Westinghouse system would not support it. As the Westinghouse security system became obsolete, EMC feared that it may become vulnerable to security risks.


EMC needed an access control security system that could eliminate security risks and serve the company well into the future. The company started searching for a security system that would support its whole corporate campus: six buildings, two parking lots and one parking structure in Des Moines, and an additional building in Ames, Iowa.


EMC naturally turned to their systems integrator of more than 30 years, Johnson Controls, for expertise. Johnson Controls worked with HID Global to create a solution for EMC.


"HID was a natural choice," said Troy Marshall, of Johnson Controls. "HID products have a widespread reputation throughout the industry for high quality and flexibility."


By contrast, an issue with the previous system was that only proprietary Westinghouse cards and products could be used. The interoperability of HID's products allows EMC to use a variety of card technologies and not be tied to one supplier.


And while the Westinghouse system could provide location-based authentication, it required the addition of multiple readers, one for entering and another for exiting, it was cost prohibitive to do this with the existing system.


Johnson Controls recommended solutions that would alleviate the limitations of EMC's previous system: The security management system integrated with combination cards with HID readers buildings and long-range readers for parking garages.


"The HID solution is exactly what we need," Gooch said. "It's flexible and adaptable for the future, and most importantly, provides security where the Westinghouse system was vulnerable."


To make sure the entire campus is secure at all times, the joint Johnson Controls and HID solution was installed in phases over eight weeks.


Johnson Controls installed an access control system that encompasses the entire campus. 160 of the readers have 64-bit authentication keys, and require matching keys to function. All data transmission between the card and reader is encrypted using a secure algorithm. These readers also have custom keys that provide the highest level of security, with cards and readers that are matched to individual sites or customers.


To keep the two parking structures secure, EMC went with 12 of the readers from HID. These readers combine the longer read-range of contactless technology with the power and heightened security of smart-card technology.


While the new readers were being installed, EMC simultaneously took photos and made badges for 1,800 employees. For less than four weeks, some employees had to carry both their old and new badge, but otherwise day-to-day operations were barely disrupted during the installation. The 1,800 photo badges were printed over one weekend using two printers on site and distributed to employees over the following two weeks.


These photo badge cards recommended by Johnson Controls for EMC are HID contactless smart cards. Optimized to make physical access control more robust, EMC's 32-bit photo badge cards provide high-speed, reliable communications with high data-integrity to further secure the company's campus.


With field programming, it's easy to add or subtract employees, or change their access. This way, someone in corporate security in Des Moines can program a card for someone in Ames, or anywhere else within the system. EMC also has the ability to add applications to the cards, including cashless vending, time/attendance and logical access.


The entire installation of the integrated security system was completed within eight weeks.


With the Johnson Controls access control system in place, the security of EMC staff, buildings and everything they contain has improved. All of the system's information is centralized in an environment that uses current technology.


"The significant return on our investment is the cost-avoidance strategy," Gooch said. "We wanted to proactively replace the security system rather than wait for a catastrophe."


The Johnson Controls and HID solution also integrated securely with the IT backbone already in place at EMC. Since the field network controllers are IP addressable, EMC can easily add controllers wherever the security system network expands.


"Because of this integration, lots of hours of labor are no longer necessary," Gooch said.


Employees are also seeing a benefit from this new technology, making the elevators faster. Upon entering the elevators, the photo badge is automatically read and gives secure access to the floor they need. With the old Westinghouse technology, employees had to wait for the reader to verify the cardholder and then grant employees access to a specific floor.


"It's unusual for employees to experience the benefits of a new security system," Gooch said.

Middle East Market Update: Johnson Controls

Middle East Market Update: Johnson Controls

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 3/31/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

With so much talk on integration and IP, the Middle East is probably one of the few places in the world that brings out the best qualities of the two in real-life installations. Aside from Dubai, the rest of the United Arab Emirates is booming with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman in infrastructural development and greenfield commercial projects. While market potential is tremendous, challenges surrounding market access and talent management remain. a&s talks to some of the most active players in the region to find out what's ticking in the region after the 2009 financial crisis and economic slowdown.

Johnson Controls

We are starting a new products group worldwide , wi th the Middle East ahead of the other regions. This speaks volume as to how we approach the market, how we are trained, and how much we value the building HVAC and fire and security business. We will also focus on service more and work with customers and consultants more before project bidding starts. For example, when building life cycle is taken into consideration, cheaper low-end products actually cost end users more in the long run. This is the kind of education and service that we can offer upfront

The recent financial turmoil has forced everyone to do a much better job. We have taken on a consultative role, rather than reactive, that ultimately guarantees operation and efficiency savings. While outperforming ourselves in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Egypt and Libya after the recession, we are doing particularly well in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a lot of service and maintenance contracts. Instead of selling products and engaging in price negotiations, we ensure proper understanding and education early on. Coupled with increasing legal requirements for security and safety systems at certain establishments like hotels, the market will only grow, with more than 30 percent projected for 2011.

Of these emerging requirements, more are becoming IP-based only (about 85 percent of new builds), which facilitates major IT/telco integrators to merge with manufacturers specializing in controls and products. These new partnerships, such as with Cisco Systems, can help address more fundamental issues like network design and bandwidth traffic, which are usually encountered in large-scale projects such as universities, hospitals, airports and mega shopping centers.

Two I's Facilitate Entry into the Middle East

Two I's Facilitate Entry into the Middle East

Editor / Provider: Hayden Hsu | Updated: 3/31/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

With so much talk on integration and IP, the Middle East is probably one of the few places in the world that brings out the best qualities of the two in real-life installations. Aside from Dubai, the rest of the United Arab Emirates is booming with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman in infrastructural development and greenfield commercial projects. While market potential is tremendous, challenges surrounding market access and talent management remain. a&s talks to some of the most active players in the region to find out what's ticking in the region after the 2009 financial crisis and economic slowdown.

The recent youth-inspired uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa appear to be spreading as Tunisia and Egypt became catalysts for a broader phenomenon of change. Protests have occurred in a growing number of countries in the region, from Algeria and Morocco in the west to Bahrain and Yemen in the east, attesting to the significance and necessity of both public and private investments in security and safety measures as the implications have now affected the global economy, to say the least.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had announced financial-support measures, worth an estimated US$36 billion, in a bid to avert the kind of popular unrest that has toppled leaders across the region and is now closing in on Libya's Muammer Gaddafi, reported the Financial Times. The cash-rich Saudi government has also pledged to spend $400 billion by the end of 2014 to improve education, infrastructure and health care. The discussions on security infrastructure that A&S had with various manufacturers, distributors and system integrators at Intersec Dubai now seem uncannily timely in retrospect, and are summarized below.

Rising Needs
Verticals
The Middle Eastern and African region is comprised of more than one billion people, and the average age is relatively low compared to mature markets, which drives a growing need for infrastructure such as power, water and utilities, education and other basic civil infrastructure, said Jurgen Timperman, Regional GM for the Middle East and Africa, UTC Fire & Security (UTCFS). “The oil and gas industry continues to boom across the region, and in addition, the area is rich in natural resources like gold, silver and minerals, further driving investments, development of these resources and overall business.” Aside from oil and gas, tailored solutions for many other verticals are offered, ranging from smaller applications such as residential, retail and banking, to hotels and all the way to critical infrastructure, transportation, aviation, health care, education and city surveillance. “Our customers care about protecting their people, their assets and investments. The 2008 and 2009 financial crisis has not changed this,” Timperman said.

Bosch Security Systems is back on track as well, with double-digit growth coming from airports, seaports, traffic and road monitoring, city centers, multipurpose arenas/stadiums, hospitals and universities, said Olaf Zeissig, Regional Manager.

“Demand for integrated video/access control systems and management software is particularly strong from citywide surveillance, housing authorities, airports and many greenfield projects,” said Michel Chalouhi, Director of Product Management at Genetec. “For these types of projects, we have to be very selective of our integration and installation partners, as we don't want to flood the channel while a lot of hand-holding is still required.“

Aside from the city surveillance and transportation sectors, Axis Communications is actively involved in the financial, retail and education verticals, especially in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said Baraa al Akkad, Regional Manager. “Although a lot of large-scale projects were put on hold in 2009, everything picked back up in 2010, and I'm talking about some good-size projects, even in momentarily cash-strapped Dubai.”

In addition to the obvious boom in the public space, midsized projects in the corporate and commercial space are also recovering, said Mohammed Zaheer, Division Manager for Business Connection. “About 70 percent of new installs, be it video surveillance or access control, go directly for IP because end users want end-to-end, connected solutions.” For 2011, growth of at least 15 to 20 percent was projected by Zaheer.

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Industry estimates show the product split as 46 percent (with a larger IP portion compared to mature markets) on video, 20 percent on fire detection and alarm, and the rest split between intrusion detection and access control, according to Timperman. Sources indicated that the regional market for IP-based surveillance hardware alone could be as much as $200 to $300 million a year.

“Typical Gulf mentality is such that specifications for government or other large-scale projects like oil/gas can only be met by larger US or European brands, whereas specifications for smaller, private projects can be met by Asian brands,” said Ali Boussi, Business Development Manager at Business Automation and Security Systems. Awareness is on the rise, though, and many vendors are closing the gap between the two “classes” by launching fuller, newer product lines.

Such sweeping changes have also been noticed by Panasonic Marketing. “To say that competition is tough is an understatement. Three years ago, we only had to fight with US and European brands, but now players like CNB and Hikvision are also competing bids with us,” said Noriyuki Hayashi, Sales and Marketing Manager for System Solutions in the Middle East. Ability to deliver quality-assured, total turnkey solutions in a cost-effective and timely manner is now a key differentiator. With its local engineers and merger synergy with Sanyo, the company can quickly target sectors such as government/ commercial buildings, universities and hotels in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which account for 70 percent of its business in the region.

Aside from adopting cutting-edge hardware, an “IT” mindset also needs to be instilled. “The industry still needs to learn a little bit as the full potential and opportunities of IT, such as service and maintenance models, are not seized,” said Peter Biltsted, Sales Director for the Middle East, Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand, Milestone Systems. “People need assurances if your solutions are used at critical infrastructure like government buildings, airports, seaports, power plants and military bases. IT people are good at these, and we are an IT company in the security space.” More than 50 percent of growth was estimated as the various regional conflicts continue to unfold and large-scale projects continue to pull through.

Another issue raised by many was cultural issues — a side effect from how consumer electronics are usually distributed in the region. “A lot of resellers here only want exclusives,” said Hidenori Taguchi, Head of Marketing for B2B Products and Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions. “On the other hand, we would like to see the IT/networking and security channels compete more to grow the market. The project-based nature of most installations also means working with system integrators more closely, which explains the limited number of distributors and resellers you see on the show floor.” For Sony and many others, devising, incorporating, fostering and increasing solution-based business (rather than silo products) will be one of the most important objectives and challenges for the many years to come.

Other product groups of focus include homeland security, as reported by the Homeland Security Research Corporation that spending on homeland security in the UAE alone is expected to double from roughly $5.5 billion to $10 billion in the next few years.

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In the Middle East and Africa, UTCFS products are used in most countries. “Securing the Abraj Al-Bait Towers hotel and the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia are two examples,” Timperman said. “Airports like Rafic Hariri International in Beirut and retail spaces such as the Dubai Mall rely on our fire products. Additionally, we offer integrated security solutions for Toyota Plaza in Bahrain and the Amiri Diwan in Qatar, to name a few.”

For Honeywell Security, top markets include Saudi Arabia, Libya, Qatar, Oman, the UAE and Turkey, with the entire region growing at roughly 25 to 30 percent, said Wisam Yaghmour, Regional Sales Director.

Saudi Arabia is likely to remain the biggest market in the region for security equipment and technology for the foreseeable future. Security concerns run very high, not the least because of a series of terrorist attacks some years ago against business infrastructure and residential compounds. Significant efforts and resources have been expended to protect universities, hospitals and critical infrastructure for the production and transportation of oil/gas, according to the US Commercial Service.

The various theme parks under construction, sporting or crowd-drawing events like the FIFA 2022, and high-end establishments that require at least 300 cameras per site will help Bosch grow exponentially in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, Zeissig said.

Even in smaller markets like Jordan and Syria, Milestone is doing much better than in 2009 and early 2010, with strong rapport with the local governments, military forces and police.

Quantum Leaps
The most noticeable change in the Middle Eastern security landscape is the pace of change. “Three to four years ago, education was severely lacking,” Zeissig recalled. “Now, most of our channel partners can troubleshoot network issues.”

Honeywell has also witnessed something similar. “We only sell to the right integrators that are knowledgeable, IP-savvy and trained,” Yaghmour said. “End users are getting smarter; they know exactly what they want technically. You need to ensure absolutely seamless integration that optimizes your customers' investments and the value adds of your solutions. When your customers have faith in you, orders will keep rolling in from future referrals or projects.”

For manufacturers like Axis, training sessions are held at their academies or offices every month. “Regular hands-on practice makes it easier to converge,” al Akkad said. “While education is one of our strengths, it is also one of our challenges in continuing to drive the shift to and growth in IP. So, we also educate our partners to listen to user and market needs and feed back to the R&D team for more quality and reliable products.”

There are also niche players that fill in the missing pieces in the IP supply chain — another sign that the market is rapidly approaching maturity. “We specialize in storage and wireless transmission, as well as backhaul support for industrial controls and product testing,” said Aditya Sahaya, Director of Business Development for Prologix Distribution. “With more and more IP-based products and solutions being adopted, we have become the go-to guys in the region; we expect to grow at least 200 percent this year.” Since many decision makers are still analog-minded, Sahaya believes there is plenty of room for analog/IP coexistence and for everyone to grow.

While it is crucial to stay on top of product development and channel management at all times, William Ku, Director of Brand Business for Vivotek, would like to remind all that it is equally important to remain in touch with your end customers to provide proper project support across the ecosystem for the long haul, as “total buy-in.” Sahaya added that long-term support, financial soundness, reference/experience, geographical spread and commitment are also important qualities that set players of different calibers apart.

The Middle East is brimmed with opportunities and surprises. While the market dynamics and channel structure are not like the wild wild “east,” the region does demand every ounce of strength and dedication even from the best. What follows is how four multinational system integrators see the regional market and share their insights: Johnson Controls, Schneider Electronic, Siemens Building Technologies and UTC Fire & Security.

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