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Financial institutions benefit from video-driven analytics with March Networks Searchlight4

Financial institutions benefit from video-driven analytics with March Networks Searchlight4

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 4/1/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

March Networks®, a leader in intelligent IP video surveillance for financial institutions worldwide, is pleased to introduce March Networks Searchlight™4 for Banking. The new, video-based business intelligence solution provides banks and credit unions with exceptional insights into customer service, operations and marketing, helping them improve performance and win new business. It also delivers powerful search and investigation capabilities that enable financial institutions to reduce costs associated with ATM skimming, cash harvesting and other fraudulent activity.

Most banking organisations have invested significantly in video surveillance systems to ensure the security of their customers, employees and assets. Many have taken that investment further by adopting software applications that combine recorded video with ATM and teller transaction data, making it easier to investigate suspicious transactions.

New Searchlight for Banking extends the benefits of integrated data by incorporating intelligent analytics – including people counting, queue length and dwell time – from March Networks' MegaPX Indoor
Analytics Dome camera.

Conveniently accessible via the software's browser-based dashboard, Searchlight provides financial institutions with a complete view of their retail banking business using customisable reporting tools that enable them to:

* Improve customers' experience and optimise staffing;
Searchlight delivers metrics on customer experiences, including wait times and the number of people in line at teller stations or ATMs. Managers can easily run reports to analyse and compare data from one or multiple locations and use that information to optimise staffing or identify where more training is needed. This knowledge is key to branch performance, as customer experience is the most common reason consumers give for opening and closing accounts, ahead of fees, rates, locations and convenience (Ernst & Young 2014 global consumer banking survey).

* Improve fraud defenses and cut investigation costs;
Searchlight enables banks to identify potential fraud and reduce investigation times considerably with integrated video, audio and transaction data, and the ability to search across multiple sites simultaneously. Managers can easily view statistics on which branch, teller or ATM has the most withdrawals or deposits over a certain amount, for example, and pull up the recorded video for further review. The software can also proactively alert managers or investigators to suspicious activity at an ATM, which could indicate ATM skimming or cash harvesting.

* Assess financial services and promotional success;
Measuring how well a promotion is working in a branch, or seeing if it's been executed correctly across the organisation, can be invaluable to marketing teams. Searchlight delivers visual auditing capabilities and sophisticated metrics on customer dwell times. Staff can use the software to assess how long a potential customer waited to speak with a financial service advisor or if promotional signage is having an impact. If one branch is outperforming, they can use Searchlight to uncover the reasons why and make adjustments at other locations.

* Enhance security and operations.
With Searchlight, authorised managers and security/operations staff can remotely spot-check branches from any networked location to assess customer activity, maintenance, policy compliance and overall operational efficiency. The software provides detailed reports on a variety of events, such as when a safe is opened, and makes it easy to review suspicious activities using synchronised video and audio.

“Searchlight extracts relevant information from vast hours of recorded video and data and turns it into effective business intelligence,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “It gives financial institutions the insights they need to improve customer service and overall performance, and allows them to leverage investments they've already made in video surveillance by extending the value it delivers to additional groups within the organisation.”

Finnish museum protects priceless works of art with March Networks security solution

Finnish museum protects priceless works of art with March Networks security solution

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 3/25/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The newly-built Serlachius Museum in Finland is benefiting from a video surveillance system powered by March Networks Command™ Professional video management software and capturing video from more than 90 IP cameras located throughout the facility. The solution provides the museum with comprehensive oversight and awareness of visitor movements and will deliver solid video evidence in the event of an attempted theft.

Live video from selected cameras is available for viewing at the museum's reception area, and authorised museum employees are able to watch live or archived video from their own workstations using March Networks'
browser-based Command client.

The ultra-modern museum built out of sleek wood and glass is based in Mänttä, Finland, 260 kilometres north of Helsinki, and opened last summer. It comprises three exhibition spaces, a restaurant with spectacular views, a festival hall and a spacious museum shop. It is the legacy of paper mill owner and art collector Gösta Serlachius, and sits adjacent to Gösta Manor which was Serlachius' private residence.

The March Networks IP video system has been designed to cover the Manor, the new Pavilion which houses the museum's collection of Finnish and European masterpieces and a glass-walled passageway which connects the two buildings.

The Serlachius Museum's local security systems integrator, KMV Turvapalvelut Oy, recommended a March Networks video surveillance solution based on previous experience and teamed up with March Networks certified provider Tele-Projekti Oy to design the state-of-the-art, server-based system.

“Following a demonstration, we were satisfied that March Networks could provide us with the reliability and ease of use we were looking for,” said Gösta Serlachius Art Foundation CFO Juha Roponen.

Thirty-six March Networks MegaPX WDR NanoDomes and WDR MiniDome Z cameras cover the interior of the Pavilion, capturing crystal-clear images during the day when bright sunlight streams through the glass-walled structure, as well as in near-dark conditions at night – a feature of the cameras' wide dynamic range capability.

Video from Gösta Manor is captured by 16 analogue cameras that were part of the museum's previous video surveillance system, while 28 Infinova T Series bullet cameras record activity in the sculpture park, parking lot and other outdoor areas. Several Power-over-Ethernet switches provide power to the cameras.

Live video from selected cameras is available for viewing at the museum's reception area, and authorised museum employees are able to watch live or archived video from their own workstations using March Networks' browser-based Command client.

“The system gives our customer service personnel awareness of where our visitors are in the museum, and in the event of a theft, vandalism or other incident, it provides solid evidence of what happened,” said Roponen.

Video is stored on an external hard disk array with archiving capacity of approximately six days – more than enough to investigate reported events.

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 1/27/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

In recent years the most talked-about security threats to banks have been cybercrimes and fraud. Though it seems that traditional security systems are no longer in the spotlight; banks still make substantial investment in their physical security systems. Changes in the design and layout of banks as well as banks' desire to make the most out of their installed systems have great impact on the design and implementation of current security systems.

Banks hold the great responsibility of keeping our money safe. Even though most of this money is now in the form of electronic bits and bytes, banks are still one of the first associations when we think of security and surveillance systems.

Banks usually balance the mix of their security systems between discrete and unobtrusive systems such as emergency buttons and small hidden cameras (e.g., at the counter area or an ATM pinhole camera) and more visible measures such as guards and larger cameras. The visible security systems serve a double purpose, both deterring potential violators as well as giving customers a feeling the bank is indeed a safe place to keep their money. Surveillance systems installed in banks will usually combine several cameras with different functionality. Outside the bank infrared cameras will provide day and night monitoring. Inside the branch, dome and bullet cameras are used for lobby and counter monitoring for clear picture capturing and forensic evidence. The main purpose of these cameras is to prevent illegal intrusion by unauthorized people as well as monitoring the office environment to prevent property loss.

CHALLENGES OF THE BANKING VERTICAL
A major obstacle facing security companies and systems integrators is aligning the security needs of individual branch locations with the requirements outlined by the corporate headquarters. “Securing the bank branches themselves is different from securing a corporate headquarters or data center location, as branches are more often the targets for criminals since it's assumed that's where the money is located,” explained Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security. Therefore, the standard level of security and defense are more in-depth at a branch than for a corporate office. Many times legacy systems, or different versions of the same platform, may be found in different regional branches of the same institution within a country, which makes centralized management difficult. In addition, there may be internal resistance to changes or upgrades that the corporate standards demand due to funding constraints, or the local staff being inexperienced and lacking training regarding proper security measures and systems. Another challenge may simply be a matter of timing and scheduling; implementing major technology upgrades across very large financial institutions with many branches and offices.

NEW BANK LAYOUTS
In recent years banks have been changing their traditional set-up to be more appealing to customers. There are more “light” branches located inside shopping malls and supermarkets. Traditional branch layout and design have also changed and now include more open floor plans and fewer staff which are tasked with broader responsibilities. “More in-branch automation and systems found in these new types of banks very likely means that they may not have the same levels of cash that traditional branches have,” added Frowert. “During a robbery attempt, the suspect may be confused when he discovers there is limited teller cash and no safe like there would be in a traditional bank set-up. These new frameworks for bank branches will affect the security of the customers themselves and the bank's security model for protection,” he explained.

As a result, emphasis is placed on new systems that offer increased ATM protection through anti-skimming technology, access control, and proper lighting measures for ATM vestibules to help ensure customers are properly protected.

BENEFITS OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR BANKS
Like any other enterprise, banks require their systems provide security, safety, efficiency, and cost saving. “Normally, powerful VMS software can integrate four systems, such as video monitors, access control, alarm systems, and the intercom system, which are used to communicate with bank clients at other locations, for example using an ATM at a different site,” said Nathan Chen, Solution and Product Manager at Dahua Technology. In turn, each system includes several components: alarm systems for example will include fire alarms, seismic sensors to detect if someone is digging into the bank, and emergency buttons. Access control systems will combine card readers, biometrics, magnetic door sensors, etc. This provides banks with an integrated solution instead of four stand-alone systems. In addition, sensors such as smoke detectors or temperature sensors are now built in the cameras and can send alarms directly to the DVR system. This way the bank can benefit from having several sensors on one platform and cut costs.

Systems integration is also critical for protection against insider threats by employees which can be very costly. “An increasingly popular step in mitigating insider threats through an integrated security system includes linking access control to identity management,” explained Frowert. By integrating these systems, financial institutions can restrict employee access to sensitive areas, track entry/exit times by employee or department, and use a log correlation engine or security information and event management (SIEM) system to log, monitor, and audit employee actions. By monitoring these types of systems, managers may notice individual employees trying to access part of the building they are not authorized for, which is activity they can then flag and subsequently continue to monitor the employee's behavior for other activity that might lead to an insider incident.

HYBRID DVRs AND NVRs
Hybrid DVRs and NVRs allow the integration of both existing analog cameras and newer IP cameras. The use of hybrid DVRs and NVRs can therefore help banks make the most out of their existing legacy systems and give them the flexibility they need in adding more cameras or testing new cameras and technologies.

“Our customers are interested in how they can protect their investments in legacy infrastructure while also taking advantage of the benefits of newer technology. There is an increasing move towards new NVRs because they can prolong the use of video surveillance systems as well as provide enhanced features to end users,” iterated Stefano Torri, European Sales Director of March Networks (an Infinova Company). These provide both analog and IP camera support and allow organizations to test and deploy IP cameras selectively, alongside existing analog cameras. “Banks are thinking about the broader benefits of the technology they use, so for example, NVR technology provides advances in video compression and storage management compared to earlier DVRs, and the use of H.264 compression, optimized to limit video signal noise, makes images clearer while reducing the use of bandwidth and storage. These things are important if a bank wants to tag video based on user-defined criteria, such as motion detection, transaction events, or alarms. Software that delivers intelligence and analytics is also a growing trend amongst banks and financial institutions,” he added.

ANALYTICS
An example of an analytics function used in banks is loitering detection, detecting for instance when a person lingers around an ATM machine. If such an event is detected, security personnel can then access the video recording in real-time and make a decision if further action is needed. Analytics can also provide information on customer behaviors (e.g., people counting, queue monitoring) which can be shared across the organization to improve not only security surveillance but also customer service and marketing. For example banks can analyze dwell and wait time at branches and change branch staffing appropriately to make sure there are enough tellers to service the waiting clients.

Apart from connecting the different systems in the branches, banks can also share information between locations. This feature has been gaining traction and makes security more comprehensive. Intelligent video applications allow an internal investigator to track fraudulent transactions and alert branches. “For example, entering a stolen card number into the system will deliver brief video clips of every associated transaction from anywhere across the entire retail banking network,” explained Torri. Not only can security managers easily export this information to branch managers, but they can also present it as integrated case evidence to the police.

KEYLESS ENTRY
Apart from using video analytics, banks are using intrusion detection and keyless entry to improve security measures and increase cost effectiveness. Replacing or re-keying traditional locks can cost a bank up to US$3 million in just one year. To mitigate the risks and costs associated with using traditional keys, banks are implementing new, wireless locks which work with inexpensive access cards to open entry doors. These new technologies also provide audit friendly reporting for the activities of any individual or of a specific entry point in the branch.

OPPORTUNITIES IN BANKING
Banks are relatively conservative players in the security market usually waiting to implement tried and tested solutions. Due to their large scale and many sites, frequent changes of security systems are not likely. Therefore solutions that help banks take advantage of their existing systems, integrate several functionalities together, and introduce newer technologies will be the choice for the banking vertical.

5 Tips for a Successful Security Installation in Banking
Matt Frowert, Director of Marketing for Financial Services at Tyco Integrated Security, provided the following five tips for banks when deploying a security surveillance system.

  1. Find an experienced integrator who specializes in bank physical security. 
  2.  Look for a partner who can support everything from single bank branches all the way up to money center banking models (banks who deal with governments, large corporations, and other banks).
  3. Network with security affinity groups of industry organizations, like the American Bankers Association, to receive recommendations on vendors from other banks in your area.
  4. Standardize on leading access, video, and intrusion systems supported by vendors that have a track record of investing in technology. 
  5. Invest in communication with and training of banking staff to enable them to effectively use the systems (e.g., arming the alarms at the branch level, managing the distribution of codes at the branch level, etc.).

Retailers gain transformative business insights with new March Networks Searchlight™4

Retailers gain transformative business insights with new March Networks Searchlight™4

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 1/13/2015 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks® is pleased to introduce a new video-based business intelligence solution that helps retailers elevate store performance and drive profitability in an increasingly competitive landscape. March Networks Searchlight™4 provides retailers with the valuable insights they need to improve customer service, marketing and operations, as well as loss prevention and security, across a few or hundreds of locations.

A majority of retailers have invested significantly in video surveillance to enhance security. Many forward-thinking organizations have also integrated their video with point-of-sale (POS) transaction data to gain powerful loss prevention and investigation capabilities. New Searchlight4 extends the value of that visual and transaction data dramatically by combining it with business analytics that deliver relevant information to operations, marketing and customer service groups. Using Searchlight's dynamic browser-based dashboard, retail teams can run customized reports in just minutes – allowing them to analyze and compare store performance and customer behaviors, identify trends and discover new opportunities for improvement.

Customer Service, Conversions and Workforce Optimization
Most retail organizations are working hard to both provide customers with exceptional service and optimize their workforce strategies. In one recent survey, only three percent of retailers said their defined customer experience is executed consistently in every store every day, while another study noted that in-store sales increase by an estimated 25 to 50 percent when customers are helped by a knowledgeable retail associate. Long lines are also an area of focus, as consumers are willing to wait just five minutes on average before they abandon a purchase and leave the store.

Searchlight helps retailers address these critical areas using the integrated data, including reliable analytics from the new March Networks MegaPX Indoor Analytics Dome IP camera. A people counting analytic makes it easy for retailers to determine conversion rates and run site-by-site comparisons, for example, and then review the integrated video for further analysis. A queue length monitoring analytic provides equally useful data, allowing retailers to adjust staffing schedules to optimize the customer experience. In addition, Searchlight's operations audit report provides daily snapshot images taken from sites at pre-determined times, enabling regional managers to quickly see if stores have opened on time or if there is no associate on the floor at certain times of the day.

Merchandising and Promotional Metrics
Tracking the success of on-site advertising, promotions and merchandising puts retail marketing teams at a distinct advantage, allowing them to adjust efforts for maximum benefit. By integrating dwell time analytics and POS transaction data, Searchlight helps marketers determine the effectiveness of different marketing offers and compare success rates across locations. Using the intelligent software, marketing staff can see if an endcap display is underperforming in a few specific locations, for example, and then quickly review the associated video to see if there's an issue with how the display appears in those stores. If a retailer is charging premium rates to merchandisers for digital signage, marketing can also use Searchlight to provide supporting performance metrics.

Loss Prevention and Employee Performance
With theft and fraud costing retail organizations an estimated $128 billion globally and $42 billion in the U.S. alone (Global Retail Theft Barometer 2014), many retailers have developed extensive loss prevention (LP) programs to fight back. Searchlight arms store owners, managers and LP teams with advanced detection and investigation capabilities that help them identify potential losses faster and stop them sooner. The software integrates POS transaction data, surveillance video, analytics and alarms, and enables retailers to filter efficiently through that data using advanced transaction summary and reporting tools. With Searchlight, retailers can pinpoint trends, such as high and low employee or store performance; search across multiple locations simultaneously by transaction type, amount or card number; identify and visually verify suspect transactions; and gather strong case evidence to improve apprehension and recovery rates.

"Video has long been overlooked as a source of 'big data' even though it captures virtually everything that happens within a store and delivers immediate, real-life context to the viewer," said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. "Searchlight4 turns the millions of hours of recorded video into video-based business intelligence that retailers can use to make decisions that directly impact profitability and the customer experience. In addition, it allows them to maximize the investments they've already made in their video surveillance systems and extend the benefits to internal teams beyond loss prevention and security."

March Networks is demonstrating the new Searchlight4 software and its complete IP video solution for retail in Booth 1331 at Retail's Big Show Convention and Expo, January 11-13 in New York City.

March Networks video surveillance selected to protect ATM in Sweden

March Networks video surveillance selected to protect ATM in Sweden

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 10/22/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

March Networks®, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, has announced that Bankomat AB, one of Sweden's largest ATM services providers, has selected the company's high-performance 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs for advanced security and asset protection of a 2,200 ATM network, with an initial large-scale rollout slated for completion by the end of 2014.

Bankomat is co-owned by the five largest banks in the country: Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank, and has been gradually consolidating each financial institution's ATM network. Many of the ATMs previously had no video surveillance or relied on a variety of different vendor platforms.

Stanley Security, a March Networks certified partner, recommended the March Networks 8704 Hybrid NVR as the ideal platform for Bankomat, and is currently managing the rollout. The 8704 model is designed for space-constrained locations like an ATM and has optimised H.264 compression – unique to March Networks – that delivers detailed HD video and noticeably sharper images from legacy analogue cameras without impacting video storage requirements. The highly-reliable recording platform also features an internal backup battery guaranteeing a systematic shutdown in the event of a power failure, a variety of security features and up to 2 TB of onboard storage.

“The unique model offered by Stanley Security and March Networks delivers greater efficiencies for ATM oversight,” explained Bankomat Security Chief Peter Svahn. “The ATMs are equipped with between two and four cameras. Many of the sites have older analogue cameras, but a transition to IP technology is in the works. IP cameras give us much better quality, so there's no reason I can see to work with analogue equipment.”

Stanley Security, which is also responsible for managing and servicing the video solution and retrieving video at Bankomat's request, is using March Networks' Enterprise Service Manager (ESM) software for centralised control of all recorder programming.

“The decision to standardise on March Networks made sense,” said Anders Gustafsson, Stanley Security's Stockholm-based Vertical Segment Manager for banking. “They are a preferred vendor in the banking market because of the functionality of their systems, their ease of use and reliability. It's not often that we have to replace a March Networks recorder.”

Complementing the video security at each ATM is Stanley's Pacom access control system, which allows security operations personnel to remotely unlock ATM service doors for authorised armoured car staff. Integration with the March Networks system allows Stanley Security guards to access video at the location to keep an eye on the scene and alert law enforcement in the event of a holdup or unauthorised access.

N.America foodservice giant deployed March Networks surveillance systems

N.America foodservice giant deployed March Networks surveillance systems

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 9/26/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Compass Group North America is a leading foodservice management company with annual sales over $12 billion and more than 200,000 associates. Its operating companies, including Morrison Healthcare, Bon Appétit Management, Levy Restaurants and Wolfgang Puck Catering, serve more than seven million meals a day in schools, hospitals, senior living communities, corporate campuses and sporting venues across the U.S. and Canada.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Compass Group North America has the privilege of serving such prestigious clients as Microsoft, IBM, United Technologies Corp., SAP, Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University and the District of Columbia Public Schools. In addition, Compass Group provides catering to special events such as the US Open and the Academy Awards.

The group's success in the foodservice business relies on getting a lot of things right —from procurement and logistics to the preparation of nutritious, palate-pleasing food. Dedicated, trustworthy associates and satisfied customers are critical, but so too are loss prevention and an effective means of operational oversight.

Compass Group North America began deploying March Networks video surveillance systems in 2008 and currently has them installed in some 300 foodservice sites.

Chris McDonald, Senior Vice-President of Loss Prevention, joined the group in April 2012 by which time its loss prevention strategy was “pretty much already in place,” he said. “I was familiar with several different video surveillance systems, but had never dealt with March Networks and wasn't familiar with its technology. However, it didn't take me long to become a big fan. We've had really good success with it.”

 Valuable Video Evidence
Compass Group has a mix of 8000 Series and 4000 C hybrid networked video recorders and uses both analog and IP cameras to cover cash registers, food storage areas and back doors. Loss prevention staff in Atlanta rely on a third-party exception reporting system to alert them to potentially suspicious point-of-sale (POS) transactions and use the March Networks video surveillance system to view the associated video.

Performance metrics are also tracked to alert management to potential issues.

“For example, if we see that we're buying more food than we're producing, we'll start watching video,” said McDonald.

Unusual sales patterns are also cause for concern, prompting loss prevention staff to pay special attention to no-sales, voids and other potentially suspicious POS transactions flagged by the exception reporting system. Using video surveillance to view the actual transactions can provide McDonald's team with the evidence they need to take action against a dishonest cashier.

Video also allows the loss prevention team to monitor compliance with company policies for cashier accountability. As is the case in most retail environments, cashiers have their own cash drawers or unique log-ins which allow management to identify the cashier responsible for every transaction. Sharing log-ins defeats the purpose, but can be easily detected using video.

The same applies to the company's policy of always requiring two people present for cash counting during the completion of a shift, but as McDonald has discovered, having two people in the same room isn't always sufficient.

Video illustrating any lapses helps to improve compliance and is used by Compass Group for training purposes.

Operational Oversight
Traditionally, Compass Group has used video surveillance almost exclusively as a loss prevention tool, said McDonald. “We'd install cameras over the cash registers, the safe and the freezer door to make sure no one was stealing cash or inventory. There hasn't been a big focus on using video surveillance for operational oversight, but that's a direction we're moving in, especially with our Morrison Healthcare division.

“We're installing more cameras to provide us with an overview of the retail operation, the food preparation and dining areas and will be doing more video audits. Managers will be able to see, for example, if the salad bar is presentable after 12:30 in the afternoon and if the lettuce bowl is full — things like that, so even if they're offsite for the day, they'll be able to check in remotely on their laptops and see how things are going.”

Installing video surveillance systems in its foodservice locations can be complicated given the fact that Compass Group is typically operating under someone else's roof, explains McDonald.

There is also a wide range of scenarios — from seven day per week, public facing operations in a hospital, for example, to five day per week corporate cafés in restricted access campuses.

“Multiple permissions are invariably required to install video surveillance in one of our foodservice locations,” said McDonald. “We have to consult with HR, security and legal if we're capturing video of their employees. Then we have to go to IT because we have to pull cable. We try to demonstrate what we expect in terms of ROI and reduced number of incidents. We also sell them on the customer service benefit.”

This year alone, according to McDonald, 30 additional Compass Group sites have been equipped with March Networks video surveillance systems. For these and other more recent deployments, Compass Group is acquiring March Networks 8000 Series Hybrid NVRs, which come in 4-, 8-, 16- and 32-channel configurations and allow for the transition from 100 % analog to 100% IP cameras.

Convenient Browser-Based Client
Also underway is a transition from March Networks Visual Intelligence software to the company's new browser-based Command Enterprise video man­agement system, which can support up to 10,000 video recorders and 128,000 video channels in multisite applications.

“With Command, we don't need software loaded on each computer terminal, so it's a lot more convenient,” said McDonald. “We don't have to get IT involved as much or worry about updating software.”

Compass Group recently transitioned to March Networks Managed Services for tier one telephone support and monitoring of system performance.

The March Networks Managed Services team makes sure that the recorders and cameras are operating properly and dispatch system integrators if onsite maintenance is required.

“I don't have any issues at all with the technical support we have received,” said McDonald. “I've never had a question March Networks technicians couldn't answer or a problem they couldn't solve.

“We're very happy with the reliability of our March Networks technology and excited about how it can continue to contribute to our success, not only as a loss prevention tool, but as a means of ensuring the quality food service our customers have come to expect from us.”

March Networks aims for market growth in Europe

March Networks aims for market growth in Europe

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 9/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks is implementing an ambitious development program to increase its market share and growth in the European video surveillance market, reflecting its expansion and success in North America. The program will be managed by European Sales Director, Stefano Torri, and will target key regions such as the UK, France and Italy.

This growth strategy, will focus on the expansion of local teams within March Networks, working closely with newly recruited and existing channel partners. Together they will target and support core vertical markets including banking, retail and transport, where March Networks already has a reputation for delivering quality market leading IP video management solutions.

The task for Stefano Torri will be to consolidate and grow March Networks' impressive net sales in the first quarter of 2014, which increased by 78% year-on-year compared to 2013. As well as the UK and France, where the objective is to triple revenues, he will be overseeing developments in the Benelux and Scandinavian regions, and will also oversee the introduction of a new Partner Program in Europe.

"Stefano Torri is well placed to spearhead this strategic drive for expansion in Europe,” said Peter Strom, President and CEO of March Networks. “He has proven managerial skills and a deep knowledge of the European market and we strongly believe that he will implement this intense development program, which aims to achieve global market leadership, with great success.”

Stefano Torri joined March Networks in 2013, following his previous role as European Sales Director for VideoIQ Inc, a market leader in the Video Content Analytics sector. He has over twenty years of channel sales management experience in the IT and physical security/video-surveillance markets, including roles at Mobotix AG and Plasmon plc.

UK Security Market(2-2): Hot and crowded

UK Security Market(2-2): Hot and crowded

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 8/27/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The UK security market carries some special features; the most notorious is its large number of legacy analog systems. In addition, bearing the consideration over extra cost of re-cabling and labor, complexity of different projects, and requirement toward high quality, UK customers naturally take extra caution in making purchases and adopting new technologies, such as IP. Over the years, the IP adoption speed has picked up dramatically for a country with high resistance to IP; however, it is still comparatively slower than the US, Middle Eastern, and Scandinavian regions. According to different vendors' comments, the ratio of analog to IP installation in the U.K. is around 50-to-50 or 40-to-60. Steve Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products, dissected the IP growth momentum and said, “The price of IP security products has become more challenging over the past 12 months. It pushes the higher-end IP market to generate more values, such as embracing more intelligent video and mobility in security systems. It also helps stimulate the traditional, cost-driven, analog market (such as the U.K.) to adopt more IP.“

Fully Supports Different Technologies
In a country with widespread legacy systems, companies in the U.K. pay extra attention to developing different technologies, such as encoders/ switchers or hybrid systems to fulfill the requirements for fusing analog and IP systems together. Gerard Otterspeer, Regional Marketing Manager of Video Systems for EMEA at Bosch Security Systems, suggested, “The U.K. has a large base of legacy systems. So, there is always a need to make sure if your systems are able to integrate with legacy systems. We feel that the UK market is going IP quite fast; roughly, 60 percent of our projects here use IP. When providing the IP products here, we also have to ensure they connect with other analog systems too.” In addition, “It is very important to have full product portfolios to support the large legacy market. We do have a wide range of products, such as encoders, and also HD hybrid cameras supporting IP and analog,” he highlighted.

This was also echoed by Axis. Andres Vigren, Product Manager for Axis Communications said, “The U.K. has a history of analog. We are coming from IT. It is very important to have a complete portfolio also including encoders and media converters, to make sure that customers can easily upgrade from analog to IP. Media converters are easy to deploy which you can still keep your coaxial cables.”

Looking to another group of companies, they bring a different statement in appropriate solutions to this market by highlighting the major benefits of using hybrid systems. Carney said, “We have heavily invested in the migration solutions, particularly hybrid solutions that employ a mix of analog and IP technology. I think the encoder market has disappointed some people in some aspects since it costs more for hardware and software for further upgrade. Some people expect encoders could be the transition point, but I would say the transition actually begins with hybrid NVRs and DVRs.” He further explained, “Tyco's American Dynamics and Exacq hybrid NVRs have IP and analog inputs. So, just because in the future the customer fully upgrades to IP, the processing power remains the same whether the device is handling analog or IP video."

March Networks also focused on hybrid NVRs, Stefano Torri, European Sales Director at March Networks said, “Inside the hybrid NVR is a box of encoders, so you can connect it with IP cameras and of course support analog. It is one well set-up alliance, embedded with video management software and added in video analytics. We develop our own video analytics, which we called ‘business intelligence.' We provide a very strong video analytics and value-added software for transaction integration with POS and ATM systems, particularly for big commercial, retail, and banking sector.”

End-to-End Solutions to cater to SIs
Due to the aforementioned considerations of UK customers and extra cost over installation, companies usually have to cater to what systems integrators really need and also bring more added values. Therefore, the total cost of ownership (TCO), return on investment (ROI), and ease of installation are most often evaluated when selecting products and designing systems.

The number of companies who provide end-to-end solutions rise in the market to further ensure systems have seamless compatibility and interoperability. Andrew Myung, Director of Strategy & Planning Team for Global Business Division at IDIS emphasized, “To optimize the values of total video surveillance solutions, education to customers is very important. The obvious example is especially when the retail customers have chain stores around the country; it carries extra time and cost to upgrade their systems within all their branches. Therefore, what we propose is the simplicity of IP systems with the idea of ‘plug-and-play,' which is very similar to the old, analog systems. Since what we provide is a very wide, end-to-end product line, the hefty increase of installation and maintenance time, labor and difficulties can largely be alleviated.” In the U.K., brand awareness and quality are important. What is worth noticing is IDIS, well-known in the OEM business for a long while, spent a very short timeframe preparation to complete its full IP video product lines and market its own brands in the U.K. and other European regions. This year, it has already launched 4K cameras, NVRs, and also monitors.

Full Video & Access Control
Integration to Simplify Work for SIs Solution providers are also working on developing integrated systems. Avigilon, another end-to-end solutions provider, this year, further demonstrated its integrated access control platform, which is able to manage an alarm from access control and video in one single platform. “Our most recent version of access control software includes the introduction of an appliance, which is an ideal solution for up to 32 readers, to address the physical security needs of small to mediumsized sites. It simplifies security with a cost-effective, all-in-one appliance,” said Ian Povey, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management for Avigilon, in a press release.

Carney continued, “Tyco also invested very heavily in integration of our video and access control systems. Both of our video and access control now are able to be integrated into one single platform, which we see as being a requirement for the middle to high-end market. These integrated solutions can better manage the work flow and cost, and provide better service.”

Since the UK market is quite crowded, companies are looking for more added values to differentiate their security systems. Meanwhile, end users no longer want standalone products but integrated solutions from a single company. Andrew Dicken, GM of System Solutions Group of Panasonic System Communications Company Europe said, “The market trend we have seen over the past five years across the EU, not just the UK, is a move toward integrated systems. Panasonic's System Solutions Group has engineering teams working globally on projects that integrate numerous products with proprietary or third party software and total security technologies.”

On the manufacturers' side, forming partnerships over technologies or strategic alliances is a common approach to develop integrated solutions. Panasonic's entrance into the European access control market is a very obvious example. To become a total solution provider, Panasonic Europe expanded its access control product line by forming a strategic alliance with Bravida Fire & Security, a leading access control and intruder alarm company based in Scandinavia. Dicken commented, “Through this strategic alliance, Bravida is able to use Panasonic's video surveillance and fire platform, and Panasonic uses Bravida's access control and intruder platform. Two companies are forming an alliance, a synergy of two major brands in Europe. We are designing products together and also are integration partners. Besides, we are able to share the market intelligence as well as engineering and sales resources.”

Third-party Partnership Calls for Open Platform
To cater to what systems integrators and end users need, some companies work on third-party integration and partnerships. Peter Ainsworth, Head of Product & Marketing at Samsung Techwin Europe said, “What we are highlighting this year is the processing power of our latest DSP chipset that is incorporated into our latest generation of video surveillance cameras is such that we can offer customers complete freedom and flexibility to choose the edge based video analytics App, which best matches their individual requirements. The DSP chipset has the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously and so, in addition to utilizing video analytics for security or business intelligence purposes, customers have the option to run a wide range of other types of Apps such as, for example, cloud storage.”

Another example is PSIM, which benefits most large enterprises, is able to integrate more non-traditional security sensors into the solution to get more operational benefits and save money to increase ROI, according to Jamie Wilson, Marketing Manager of Security of EMEA at NICE Systems. One case is PSIM collocates with VMS in building management systems to control lights, ventilation systems, and lift management. The integration enables the data from other systems to come in PSIM.

Constructing Security ecosystems
Telling from the latest development in the UK security market, it won't work if companies just follow the traditional way to do security business. Even manufacturers need to leverage the strength from other manufacturers to create new business and markets, not to mention other channel players. We can expect in the future for many security ecosystems to be built up. Again, companies working hard in the U.K. provide valuable examples for other markets, too.

Related Article:
UK Security Market(2-1): Hot and crowded

March Networks unveils 6700 Series Hybrid NVR and Edge 4e Encoder

March Networks unveils 6700 Series Hybrid NVR and Edge 4e Encoder

Editor / Provider: March Networks | Updated: 6/18/2014 | Article type: Security 50

March Networks, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, is pleased to introduce its new 6700 Series Hybrid Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and the Edge 4e Encoder. The high-performance products support a cost-effective transition to high-definition (HD) IP video and advanced business intelligence applications, while providing outstanding reliability and browser-based video management. In addition, the 6700 Series recording platform incorporates privacy masking and other privacy protection features to meet varying video surveillance guidelines across Europe.

"These latest additions to our portfolio make it easier for customers to deploy advanced IP video solutions sooner and more affordably," said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. "They support capabilities that deliver practical business benefits to an organization, and incorporate industry-first features that save customers and channel partners service costs in the field."

6700 Series Hybrid NVR
Initially available in 16 and 8-channel models, the 6700 Series recording platform provides exceptional hybrid flexibility, supporting any combination of analog and IP cameras up to a maximum of 16 IP cameras. Its optimized H.264 video compression ensures detailed, HD video and sharp analog image capture without increasing storage requirements.

Designed with channel partners in mind, each 6700 Series Hybrid NVR comes with a unique QR code on the front panel. Technicians working at a customer site can scan the code using March Networks' free GURU smartphone application to access a wide range of product information and utilities, such as on-the-spot troubleshooting, warranty status and express return material authorisations. The industry-first application is compatible with iOS and Android devices and can significantly reduce the time and effort required to service systems in the field. In addition, the rack-mounted 6716 R Hybrid NVR includes March Networks' innovative docking-station design, which further streamlines maintenance by allowing camera cables to remain in place when servicing is needed.

The 6700 Series recorders are fully managed with the March Networks Command video management system (VMS) and its powerful, browser-based client - one of the only thin software clients able to support complete system configuration and administration in addition to live and archived video access. Other system features available with the 6700 solution include interactive mapping, smart card and USB token authentication, and the ability to set user permissions down to the camera level and hourly timeframe.

Edge 4e Encoder
Also new to the March Networks portfolio is the new Edge 4e Encoder. The four-channel encoder enables organizations to seamlessly convert video from existing analog cameras into digital video running on an IP video network. The high-performance device works in concert with Command VMS installed on March Networks hybrid NVRs or industry-standard servers. It offers full frame rate resolution (25 fps PAL / 30 fps NTSC), H.264 and M-JPEG compression streams for bandwidth efficiency, and can stream all four channels in parallel to an optional internal SDHC card for enhanced redundancy.

As an added cost-efficiency, the Edge 4e Encoder requires just one license for all four video channels - making it a compelling and affordable option for IP video migration in many enterprise environments.

March Networks will demonstrate the next-generation 6700 Series Hybrid NVR solution and Edge 4e Encoder, along with its complete IP video solutions portfolio, in Stand D900, Hall S11 at IFSEC International, June 17-19, in London, UK.

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (2)

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (2)

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 5/6/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

As technology has improved and more market education has helped end users understand VCA's limitations. Acceptance has gone up and more and more security companies are seeing its immense value.

Embedded From the Start
While companies like the aforementioned found success with VCA software as a standalone product, other companies view VCA software alone as a nonstarter and thereby established companies with VCA embedded into other products, whether it be hardware or other software. “The initial assumption was that VCA is a viable product all by itself,” said Jesikov, “However, as time as passed by it became clear that VCA can only be a part of a bigger integrated product.”

SightLogix was founded in 2004 on the principle that software alone cannot solve a problem; it needs hardware to accompany it. John Romanowich, CEO and founder of SightLogix, explained that to solve the problem of detecting what is wanted and ignoring what is not wanted, good integration of hardware and software is necessary. As a result, since its founding, SightLogix has been embedding video analytics on the edge in thermal cameras for use in outdoor perimeter applications. By putting the analytics onboard the thermal camera, and applying a high degree of video processing, the camera shifts from simply a surveillance device to a security device, as pointed out by Romanowich.

Other companies, such as Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) were founded on a similar principle of embedding VCA software into hardware, but have since modified their business model, integrating video analytics into VMS instead of hardware. When ISS was established in 1999 they were a DVR manufacturer; however, their DVR had built-in analytics. Over time, ISS noted that more and more customers had a need for management services for their video. Therefore, based on customers' needs and where the market was moving, ISS shifted their focus from DVRs to VMS with added-value analytics, which they now embed into hardware, according to Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of ISS. “At the end of the day, if there is no value added, it's [VMS] a commodity. With value added we can provide a tailor-made solution for every customer.” When established in 2003, Aimetis was an analytics company focused on third party integration, but there were significant business and technology obstacles to overcome at the time. Because the potential of analytics was not yet understood, potential partners were slow to invest, explained Justin Schorn, VP of Product Management at Aimetis. “From a technology standpoint, the hardware performance of existing products was insufficient to simply ‘bolt on' analytics. As a result, Aimetis focused on building a video management platform from scratch with VCA as a key differentiator.”

Outsiders Getting in on the Action
Although video analytics is not new to the security industry, adoption has only been gradual. Video analytics is not yet a standard, but seeing the added value of VCA technology, many security companies have acquired, partnered with, or developed their own analytics to add to their offering. Several notable acquisitions of video analytics companies have been made over the last decade, for example Infinova's 2012 acquisition of March Networks, and most recently Avigilon's acquisition of VideoIQ in January of this year. Additionally, in 2013, Kastle Systems, well known for delivering access control as a service, acquired CheckVideo, a provider of cloud-based intelligent video surveillance and alarm verification solutions. This trend of acquiring video analytics companies is also how many total solution providers got into the VCA game.

In 2007, Honeywell Security got in on the VCA game through the acquisition of ActivEye, a small specialist VCA company. This allowed the company to add complementary solutions to their video offering. Their goal in the acquisition was “to ensure that video content analytics sits at the core of integrated security systems, ensuring the technology provides tangible benefits to the security manager,” said Jeremy Kimber, Commercial Operations Marketing Leader of EMEA at Honeywell Security. Similarly, Tyco Security Products' 2008 acquisition of Intellivid, a retail data analytics company, was a stepping stone into VCA technology for the company, originally part of a retail-centric product offering, according Shahar Ze'evi, Senior Product Manager at Tyco Security Products; however, the company has spent the last few years developing the technology to provide functionality for the broader security market. Ze'evi further noted, “Our view of analytics has never been as a standalone application but rather as an additional tool that enhances our VMS offering.”

Many other security companies have acquired VCA companies as well. DVTel, a total solution provider of video surveillance, acquired intelligent video provider ioimage in 2010. “The addition of VCA technology to our product offering was important and necessary,” said Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer of DVTel. “Rather than start the development of VCA, the company [DVTel] acquired ioimage, which already had a strong brand that was known and trusted in the industry.”

More specialized companies such a FLIR Systems have also acquired more niche video analytics companies, such as Traficon, a company that specializes in video image processing software and hardware for traffic analysis. FLIR's 2012 acquisition of Traficon paved the way for the company to more aptly penetrate the intelligent transportation systems market.

THE YEAR FOR VCA (?)
Regardless of how or when security companies entered into the video analytics world, the increased interest is surely a good omen for the future of VCA. As more vendors begin to include video analytics in their offering, along with the continued growth of technology, accuracy, and education, there is no reason for 2014 to not be the year of VCA.

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (1)

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