You are at : Search > Articles Search Results

Articles Search Results

143 Articles and 17 related Products found for Siemens

From Vision to Reality Turning Convergence Into Real Business Value

From Vision to Reality Turning Convergence Into Real Business Value

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Siemens Building Technologies | Updated: 5/5/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

Productivity and cost optimization, risk management, compliance, business continuity and sustainability are key objectives of corporations worldwide. Anand Mecheri, CMO of Siemens Building Technologies, examines the consequences of convergence of physical systems with IT and among safety, security and building management systems.

Solutions for safety, security and energy efficiency today are still largely implemented and managed separately. Over time, these solutions are expected to converge and interact with other business systems to deliver a value that is far greater than the functions they individually deliver.

Convergence started with building system backbones integrating into the IT infrastructure. But convergence is not just that. The end state with convergence will be when the customer has a seamless view of his business with collaboration among the underlying processes to achieve continuous improvements to productivity and reduction of costs and risks. There are several consequences for the industry.

Many of the control devices (the automation layer in a system) have evolved into generic IP edge devices running applications to manage building services.

● Open and standardized communication protocols between the control equipment and management stations over an IP network are becoming a reality.

● Management stations are increasingly open to interface with business systems using standard IT protocols such as LDAP, XML, TCP, HTTP and Web services.

● New services, such as hosted/remote access management, virtual guard tours, integrated mass notification and incident management, remote energy monitoring and remote services for building performance optimization, are all in some way driven or influenced by convergence.

Simplified system architectures would mean lower life cycle costs and TCO driven by backbone infrastructure, flexibility and investment protection. With standardization and eventually the potential to have vendorindependent control equipment under a common management system, the customer can upgrade the systems without ripping out everything. This was also the key value driver for the IT revolution in the 1990s.

The ability to leverage on remote services over the Web will be of great benefit for customers to obtain professional services without having to build up premisebased capability, which is more difficult and more expensive. The ability to seamlessly integrate building services with other business systems will open new capabilities hitherto not visualized in the areas of facility management, energy efficiency, energy management, convenience and enhanced security.

[NextPage]Converged solutions will also support enterprise risk management; this includes compliance with various regulatory requirements, such as those laid down in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Basel II.

The convergence of the physical and logical worlds is already here. Security and safety solutions are increasingly deployed on IT networks. Several open standards have already been published, especially in video surveillance and access control. Enterprise security is being jointly addressed across the physical and logical domains. IT network events are getting monitored by the physical security applications and vice versa. An integrated identity management approach at enterprise level is readily available.

Similarly, solutions for smart grids require demand response capability to be implemented in buildings with communication over the Web based on open protocols. Remote and hosted services are already available. Integration of physical systems with IT systems for provisioning, change management, case tracking, predictive energy planning and sustainability reporting is all available today, in varying degrees of maturity. Thus, convergence has in fact already permeated to many of the building disciplines.

The convergence of safety and security is a growing chapter within the convergence story. Traditionally, the two systems have been integrated to address scenarios arising from a fire alarm, such as opening accesscontrolled doors to allow for unhindered evacuation or closing fire doors to compartmentalize the zone of fire. Safety and security systems today are increasingly converging to common management stations to address further needs for intelligent (incident) response, such as in situational awareness and evacuation planning.

Managing incidents requires well-structured processes driven by site-specific workflows. Only such an approach can provide us with the assurance that every incident is well-managed from a response point of view. Reduction of complexity, unified command and control, standardization of policies and procedures, and logical user interfaces and workflows that reflect the scenario are implemented to manage incidents more efficiently. This results in improved accountability and assurance

Effective response starts with gathering requirements and defining scenarios. Then, determine the availability of resources and their preparedness to manage each scenario. This is followed by creating situational awareness from several sources, such as convergence of alarms and events from subsystems, or receiving emergency calls. Then, communicate to first responders on a converged communication platform. Next, alert building occupants who may be impacted and give them appropriate directions.

The signaling in buildings should be available on multiple media, including PCs, LEDs or video screens, PDAs, and dissemination of information via text messaging or email. Additionally, you need to provide decision support and make a common platform available to share the status, protocol/process, decisions and actions. Last but not least, an effective solution requires the implementation of the process and capability to gather feedback on incident progress to have a corrective, closed-loop process that enables the response to be adapted dynamically and in real time.

Disaster recovery strategies should encompass business continuity as much as sustainability. Disaster recovery demands ensuring integrity of configuration/master data and restoration of the defined functionality in the quickest possible time. When a site recovers from an incident, the security, fire and automation systems also need to be restored to ensure the operational parameters are restored to support operations. The systems also need to ensure that the site is not exposed to a greater risk than what existed before the incident, including risks to the sustainability processes and initiatives that were in place prior to the event.

The industry must adapt to this environment. The opportunities to enhance customer benefits can only be achieved with the addition of required skill sets in the design and development of the solution which will now extend beyond its conventional realms. We need to gain a better understanding of the processes that we can now start influencing and building solutions that address them. We will also need to develop competencies for a consultative sales process. The IT skills required for system integration will also be higher. New services will need to be developed and productized.

Some end customers are still relunctant to buy into “integrated and converged solutions,” due to the perceived higher costs; the value add is not fully understood. To provide complete control over all processes that affect business continuity, operational costs, productivity and sustainability, investment into building technologies must move from a cost center perspective to being a business enabler. We will continue to embrace and drive this change, including development of standards that takes convergence into account.

Siemens Access Control System Operated by Danish Power Generator

Siemens Access Control System Operated by Danish Power Generator

Editor / Provider: Siemens Building Technologies | Updated: 4/13/2011 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Siemens has built a working relationship with DONG Energy, Denmark's largest power generator. Having delivered a number of diverse projects for the company, the recent has seen Siemens work with DONG to establish one common access control system across all of the company's 85 sites throughout Denmark.

Producing more than 50 percent of Denmark's power and approximately 40 percent of its heat, DONG is one of the energy companies in Northern Europe. Its business is based on producing, distributing and selling energy and energy-related products through traditional power plants and wind farms, not only in Denmark but also in the U.K., the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Poland and France, as well as through hydroelectric plants in Sweden. The company employs around 6,000 personnel mostly working at its Danish sites.

DONG believes that maintaining a good working environment and a high level of safety for employees and suppliers is a prerequisite for operating a healthy and efficient business. This corporate responsibility being an integral part of its values and vision, the company requires all staff to undergo a safety and security certification course for each of its sites at which they work or visit. This attitude was the major driving force behind a move to improve the access control systems deployed at the 85 sites in its homeland, though the initiative also addressed recommendations made by the Danish authorities that regularly monitor security and safety at Denmark's critical infrastructure facilities.

As a result, DONG Energy determined to establish a common access control system across all of its sites in Denmark to increase the security level and to ensure easy access for all employees to centralized and decentralized power plants, city stations and office buildings alike. DONG placed the order with Siemens for the multisite access control system specified by its own facility management team. The contract was duly completed on schedule and all DONG Energy employees are able to use the same card to access all sites anywhere in the country. The project included not only implementation of new systems and the replacement of old, third-party systems, but also the facility to interface with DONG's system application & products system for exporting human resources data.

The new Siemens access control system provides freedom of movement for thousands of employees in a secure environment at numerous locations scattered throughout Denmark. It is flexible, scalable and easy to use and in its entirety comprises 6,000 contactless smart cards and proximity cards, 79 door controllers, 617 readers or proximity coupling devices and four printers. The system is also installed in smaller substations and office buildings throughout Denmark and has the capability for future expansion into other international locations.

The central controllers of the access control system play a crucial role, as they are the interface between the integrated software and the field-level devices. Two types of controllers are installed, which work in tandem on the same site. Communication between all the controllers in the system takes place peer-to-peer, independent of the server. So if connection to the server should be interrupted, operation of the system is unaffected.

Following the successful implementation of the access control system, Siemens was also awarded the service contract for three years.

DONG Energy is aiming to be a major international supplier to the whole of Northern Europe. The company has approximately 70 current licenses for research of oil and gas and is undertaking drilling activities in the Danish and Norwegian part of the North Sea.

Smarten Up Security in Green Buildings

Smarten Up Security in Green Buildings

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 4/13/2011 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Smart or green buildings are multilayered integration projects, with security playing a vital part in building management for safety. These building projects worldwide offer the security industry new business opportunities while driving technological advancements for energy efficient and intelligent products.

With a growing awareness of environmental issues and the availability of advanced technologies, smart or green buildings have become a fast growing trend, leading to a booming vertical. “Generally there is more awareness of green initiatives and the threats posed by environmental degradation,” observed Terence Lee, Regional Director for APAC System Integration Business, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies. “We see a growing trend that end users are becoming more active in driving the effort to help sustain the environment. Everyone is talking about environmental sustainability and it has become a core value for many contemporary organizations.”

A reliable physical security system, comprised of energy efficient surveillance and access control products, is an important component of a successful building management system in smart and green building projects. Industry experts contribute the average budget for security in intelligent buildings to a maximum of 5 percent of the total construction cost, said Theodore Bier, President of T.M. Bier & Associates. “The average budget is still relatively small compared to the total construction cost,” said Vincentius Liong, Director of Integrated Security System Solutions, Elektrodata Sistem Integrasi. “The cost of security systems is on average 1 to 2 percent or even smaller of the total construction cost.” Despite this observation, the importance of a resilient security system within a smart/green building should not be taken lightly, as business opportunities abound.

A recent report published by McGraw-Hill Construction, titled “Green Outlook 2011: Green Trends Driving Growth,” states the US green building market increased 50 percent in value from 2008 to 2010 — despite the effects of the recession. This translates to growth from US$42 billion to potentially $71 billion, comprising around 25 percent of all new construction activities in 2010. According to projections, the green building market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015. “Smart and green building requirements are coming from multiple locations, with the most from North America and Europe, based on what we have observed,” said Ryan Hughson, PM at Delta Controls.

In “Energy Efficient Buildings in Europe,” published by Pike Research, ongoing greening efforts in Europe were mandated for all new building construction. Major renovations must meet nearly-zero energy standards by the end of 2020 — 2018 is the earlier deadline for public buildings. Pike Research found the largest European markets for green buildings are Germany and France; in fact, the combined market of the rest of Europe, including Eastern Europe and Russia, is comparable to the market of either Germany or France. When looking at Europe's long-term plans, the green building market is moving from gestation to the growth phase.

In APAC, awareness for smart/ green buildings is picking up faster than before, triggered by global warming. “Large companies and corporations in Indonesia have taken the lead in promoting the trend of smart/green buildings and energy efficiency/energy saving in sustainable buildings to cut energy costs, optimize building efficiency and improve holistic company image,” Liong said. “It is hard to get exact numbers at this point on the market size, but we estimate that it will be large enough in the next 10 years and offer growth potential above average when compared to other industries, achieving as high as 20 to 30 percent growth annually.”

[NextPage]Also in APAC, Pike Research found retrofitting projects are becoming the more cost-effective approach, as the cost of new constructions increases. Developers and building owners will be inclined to reinvest in and upgrade existing facilities, allowing for the latest technologies to be incorporated and used.

“There is greater push for green building projects in emerging markets as seen in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America,” said Peter Boriskin, Director of Product Management, UTC Fire & Security. “New buildings and infrastructure retrofitting projects will provide opportunities for the industry. From both building management and security management perspectives, new technologies help to reduce TCO as well.”

Security products used for intelligent buildings regard energy conservation with utmost importance. “The goal of products that target the smart/green building vertical is to greatly reduce energy costs while improving the user experience,” said David Wilts, Director of Integrated Building Technology, Crestron Electronics. “Our preferred approach is to address all of a building owner's needs by integrating the ‘conditional logic' of the following systems: lighting, shades, HVAC, AV, security, scheduling (Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Domino or others) and energy monitoring.”

For smart buildings, integration can be made easier with multiple products. “For instance, Ethernetcapable field-level controllers enable system designers to create a flat architecture, which eliminates the pain of integration with multiple levels of communication,” Hughson said. “It is beneficial not only for reducing the amount of system knowledge a person needs to work with a network, but minimizes logistical concerns for integrating with components in harder-to-reach areas.”

“We have developed wireless controllers for much the same reason,” Hughson added. “We have one IP network that allows one to move seamlessly throughout the network and jump off into wireless for difficult-to-install locations. We want to avoid the strains by creating a network that fits the design of a building.”

Similarly, using Power over Ethernet reduces the number of wires that must be strung for the network, leading to reduced cost, less downtime and greater flexibility in installation compared with traditional wiring, Lee said.

“Typical indoor motion sensors are simple binary switches indicating motion or no motion, and such sensors have a long-standing history of certain basic and unavoidable operational flaws, such as false motion detections from movement around but not in the room and changes in airflow from cyclic operation of HVAC systems,” said Francis Létourneau, Sales Director for Lyrtech. “Typical motion sensors don't account for the type of objects, such as a person versus a plant,or the time the objects remain in the monitored area. They are also incapable of tracking objects while they are in the monitored area and incapable of compensating for the number of objects in the monitored area, something vital in HVAC control.”

By combining video analytics and motion detection technologies, an intelligent occupancy sensor (IOS) would be able to determine both the type and number of objects in a single room accurately. “A substantial portion of the IOS's interfaces is integrated to the onboard DSP and it benefits from a relatively small FPGA and generic components, which makes the total cost of incorporating the IOS into a manufactured solution quite low for a device of its kind,” Létourneau added.

In the past, physical security for buildings would be a later addition to the master plan, yet security design nowadays is brought early into the building lifecycle depending on the degree of security focus and complexity of the building, said Dave Bartlett, VP of Smarter Buildings, IBM. When included in the beginning, system integrators (SIs) would be able to take advantage of this opportunity for easier work later on during actual installation, Boriskin said.

While construction sites need to be under video surveillance for property theft, highly sensitive buildings require extensive background checks with proper identity and access management for construction and maintenance workers, Bartlett said. “Developers and building management teams need t o consider electronic surveillance equipment and networks, camera vantage points, conduits, seals and tamper resistance for electronic cables and trays. This requires the building developer community to consider security design alongside architectural drawings. Successful security implementations rely on the philosophy of ‘defense-indepth,' so there ought to be multiple layers of security enforcement and management for both the physical and logical realms.”

The intelligent and energy-efficient aspects of a green building each pose different integration challenges. “A smart building is designed from the ground up with interoperability in mind, but the intention of integration is not enough,” Hughson explained. “When integrators get to site and begin working with the hundreds of peripherals that make up this organism, it will come down to the small choices about how these components act on the network. Are components sensitive to the bandwidth and security requirements of the site? Are components flexible enough to allow for diverse integration with rigidly designed products? Are components simple enough to configure that time won't be wasted in needless configuration? These considerations create a fulcrum that must be balanced for the smooth implementation of a smart building.”

“The success of a green building lies in the engineering,” Hughson continued. “Tools must be designed to support the knowledge of the technician on-site. Feedback information from the system needs to be simple to understand but detailed enough to provide value. Living data is needed because no matter how well-advanced the planning of constructing a building, all the pieces will not interact until after the building is in place.”

The various building functions are made available in the construction stage to connect different technologies under a central management system. Traditionally there is a lack of coordination between security staff and other divisions, based on the nature of security work, Bier said. In order for the building to operate smoothly, effective communication between different systems is much needed.

“Intelligent buildings incorporate building automation together with security and fire safety systems to enhance the user experience while minimizing operational costs,” said Anand Mecheri, CMO of Siemens Building Technologies. “Integration of energy metering and power quality in a building greatly supports these goals.”

[NextPage]“Building automation, electrical power distribution systems, lighting systems, fire safety and security systems are generally not ordered at the same point of time. The planners/technical consultants who design these systems for the developer are also not the same. Therefore, there is a situation where different systems that need to talk to each other to create a homogeneous, intelligent environment are designed by different people, tendered at different points in time in the construction program and awarded to different suppliers who may not be able to deliver an integrated value proposition,” Mecheri said.

As green building projects cross the boundaries of different business cycles and company specialties, there is a great organizational challenge posed for these projects, Boriskin said. “It is rather difficult to ask different groups of people to work together and to understand each other's business, yet organizational convergence is crucial for these businesses to work together. Even when the top management team pushes for more efficiency from top down, getting these groups to work together is challenging.”

In order to have a holistically integrated system, higher-level management software is needed to connect the building automation system (BAS) and security system through a standards-based approach, allowing them to speak the same language, Boriskin said. “The ideal situation is that end users are able to pick a protocol that everyone can utilize and communicate with. A helpful way to overcome communication barriers might be adopting network standards, computer standards, XML and Web services as industry standards, based on an internationally unified set of standards, for easier integration, although this has yet to be established.”

In addition, the lack of awareness, education and technical knowledge of building managers and owners on the full features and capabilities of BAS might lead to conservative cost considerations, which often influence the scalability of the BAS installed. “Most usually regard the budget of BAS as the last priority of the whole building construction cost,” Liong said. “Whenever necessary, at the end of the construction project they can easily cut down the budget of a proposed BAS to the lowest minimum and downgrade the specification requirement without considering the lesser functions of the installed BAS later on.”

To facilitate smooth integration of different systems into one BAS, having an integrated building technology project manager would lead to successful project completion, Wilts said.

Building subsystems are largely analog, even for newer recordholding skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa and Taipei 101. However, more smart buildings are adopting an IP-based backbone as technology continues to advance, Bier said.

In fact, the convergence of analogand IP-based security systems is noticed in newer smart/green building projects. The ideal approach blends the two technologies with the backbone infrastructure all over the IP network, Wilts said. “Adoption of IP and IT networks as the backbone for building systems helps in minimizing engineering and deployment challenges for new buildings and for existing retrofit applications,” Mecheri said. “For example, deploying an analog video solution in an existing building presents a massive challenge of dedicated cabling to be retrofitted. Alternatively, utilizing existing data points to bridge analog video into the IP network is the most practical way to retrofit a surveillance system into an existing building.”

“Traditional analog systems are acceptable for small sites, but scalability is limited when deployed on larger sites,” Boriskin explained. “With an IP-based approach, protocols that live with security and building management systems would be able to intercommunicate better and faster. With an IP solution, the number of hardware devices gets reduced and SIs would be able to scale the system appropriately to the size of the site.”

Currently implemented network types, like Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol, have been around for 15 years or more already, Hughson said. “While it is probable that these networks will continue to be installed in the short-term, it is important to consider the rising demand for live data and the strain that is placed on a network. IP presents a great deal more longevity when considering what the network needs five years from now.”

Physical Security Consolidation and Funding Slowed Down in 2011 Q1

Physical Security Consolidation and Funding Slowed Down in 2011 Q1

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Memoori Business Intelligence | Updated: 4/7/2011 | Article type: Hot Topics

Despite marginal growth and a lack luster financial performance by suppliers across the industry in 2010, consolidation increased by 75 percent on its 2009 figure that had already picked up from its precipitous fall in 2008. Similarly new investment in the supply side also increased rapidly in 2010. So with a forecast improvement in trading conditions it was naturally assumed that the trend in both consolidation and investment would continue its upward trend in 2011 and beyond.

The first quarter results analyzed in the monthly Executive Brief “The Physical Security Industry in 15 Minutes” show that both consolidation and investment has slowed down significantly. In the first quarter of this year the number of acquisitions is 20-percent down on the same period of 2010 when Tyco made a US$2 billion acquisition of Broadview Security. The number of investments has halved compared with the same period of 2010.

Allan McHale, Director of Memoori, predicted at the beginning of this year that this high rate of consolidation would continue for a few years because the major suppliers absented themselves from the dealing tables in 2010, announcing that they will be active in 2011 and companies from the Defense and IT & Communications industries were expected to continue making forays into the security industry.

The drivers that accelerated the consolidation and investment process in 2010 are still very much in place. Technologies such as wireless, SaaS, network cameras, video management analytics and HDcctv are rapidly gaining market share and opening up new business opportunities.

IP networks whether for access control, intruder alarms or video surveillance are on the verge of a long strong run. Through these factors and IT convergence, the fundamental goal of achieving the buyer's ROI is becoming a reality. The defense- and IT-related companies entered the security business because of its proven robustness during the recession and the fact that it provides opportunities to leverage their high technology, which has not changed.

In the first quarter alarm monitoring acquisitions continued to make a major contribution to the consolidation process and it's expected to continue, driven by the basic need to consolidate this fragmented sector. In addition the players here want to pursue the opportunity that is opening up through integration of the different security services delivered through SaaS which is enabling a much more comprehensive and cost-effective service to both residential and commercial customers.

The most notable sale in the first quarter of this year was the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Infinova. This US-based company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in January and got a much higher valuation than it would have got in the western world. Some 37 million shares were issued at $8.2/share, yielding a value of about $306 million.

[NextPage]Within days its price reached an all time high of $9.5 per share raising its value to $357 million, which for a $57 million revenue company (2009) with annual growth running around 20 percent over the last two years is a very high valuation. However its valuation is approximately $243 million.

In January 2010, HikVision, a company having annual sales in 2009 of $300 million and solely serving the Chinese market listed on the same exchange and raised $500 million making an exit sales ratio of valuation 1.66 and an EBITDA ratio of 4.4 which is far from being highly rated. So it would appear that within a year the Chinese security market has moved up a gear or two and this will inspire western companies to take a serious look at floating on the China Stock Exchange. Not surprisingly China based, China Security Systems Technology (CSST) listed on the NYSE but based in China is unhappy with its current valuation and is looking to go private.

The most interesting deal this month was Tyco's purchase of Signature Security Group for $171 million. Tyco intends to combine Signature Security's Australian and New Zealand operations with its ADT Security business under the ADT name. Signature Security is a provider of electronic security services in Australia and New Zealand, providing security installation and monitoring services. This deal looks a strategic fit with ADT business, providing increased scale and attractive operating synergies.

Alliances in the first quarter numbered 24 compared with 23 in the same quarter of last year, so this is at least one area that is still very buoyant.

So how is the financial performance of security players standing up? The fourth quarter financial announcements made recently show for the most part revenues and profitability well up on the same quarter of 2010 and the full year outperforming 2009. With almost all anticipating improved trading conditions in 2011 it looks as though revenues and profitability will improve on 2010.

The star performers in 2010 include Axis Communications, Mobotix, Basler, China Security & Surveillance, Authentec and Bio-Key, despite the fact that their fourth quarter was well down on 2009. These companies are very specialist and perform in the high growth areas of the business and are strong in geographic markets that performed well in 2010.

Tyco, Honeywell and Siemens all increased both profitability and growth and are bullish about 2011. Cooper and Ingersoll Rand similarly increased their growth and profitability, whist Bosch returned to profitability on increased sales.

With trading conditions looking buoyant and the drivers that accelerated consolidation and investment in 2010 still well in place we believe that the slowdown of acquisitions and funding in the first quarter of 2011 does not indicate in anyway a change of course but is just a short-term deviation. This industry will not buck the trend much longer for global merger and acquisition activity is well up on the same quarter of last year. Listings activity has been the highest on record so far this year, with firms raising a total of $24 billion from IPOs. Interestingly Asia, which dominated equity capital markets in 2010, continued to lead the field, with China accounting for 41 percent of issuance.

For more information, please visit

Middle East Market Update: Siemens Building Technologies

Middle East Market Update: Siemens Building Technologies

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.

Siemens Building Technologies

As a global security solutions provider, we bring a lot of experience and best practices to the Middle East. Over many years, we have also built up strong local teams which I am convinced are among our most capable people worldwide. The countless greenfield projects in the region often demand the latest technologies, which are usually one or even two generations ahead of typical projects we see in other parts of the world. Consequently, the required skill sets are very different; we employ IT specialists and engineers rather than people that can only install controllers or cameras.

One big issue we do face in the region is a typical Catch-22 situation: How does one specify the newest systems and technologies when there are still no existing reference projects using these advanced technologies? Luckily, our global community of experts is very capable of adapting novel solutions, sharing expertise globally and solving complex problems at a very fast pace. While some competitors still discuss classic video and access control systems with customers, we are discussing the latest IP-based solutions, including comprehensive security management with integrated command-and -control capabilities. Our customers no longer want proprietary, closed, single-discipline systems, but truly valuable situational awareness, through integration with subsystems, as well as decision support.

In a highly volatile market with great potential, a successful solutions provider can only differentiate itself by maintaining excellent customer relationships through providing exceptional services, delivering on promises and providing complete, interoperable, cutting-edge solutions.

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
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.

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.

[NextPage]Shiny Stars
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.

Converged Solutions Engage Security Personnel Ⅱ

Converged Solutions Engage Security Personnel Ⅱ

Editor / Provider: By a&s International | Updated: 3/8/2011 | Article type: Infrastructure

Technical Assistance
Maintaining public transit security usually falls to the system integrator who installed the system. “It is the responsibility of the system integrator to ensure the complete integration together with the customer approving it,” Anderson said. “Typically several pilot tests are made and finally an acceptance test and sign-off in these kinds of larger surveillance system projects.”

The integrator has to be on-call for mishaps such as failing cameras to full-blown crises. While the transit authority will have its own security force, equipment issues are generally handled by the installer. With such a range of situations, integrators need to have good communication skills for problems and challenges, Segall said

Experience is a definite plus. “VidSys looks for integrators with physical security and IT industry expertise and demonstrated client engagements across vertical markets, a particular technology or industry niche,” Fowler said.

Public-transit work is carried out by reliable system integrators, who are either global or local. “Through this cooperation we can guarantee the supply of reliable and high-quality ticket and card materials for mass transit systems and be certain that they operate in the system without interruptions,” said Samuli Str?mberg, VP of Marketing, RFID, UPM Raflatac.

While having a long resume helps, it must reflect positively on the integrator. The U.S. is UTC Fire & Security's main market for public transit, which is large but tight-knit. “The properties know what the other properties are doing,” Szmania said. “They hear the good things and the bad things about the systems. Your reputation is extremely important to your business.”

Specifying Security
As any number of things could disrupt mass transit, careful planning is a prerequisite. “Typically, the mass transit system, integrator and Infinova work together on the design of the system to ensure that the resulting solution meets the mass transit organization's expectations,” Wilson said.

Newer technologies are seeing uptake, albeit slowly. Agent Vi has seen more requests for proposals specify analytics and has generated awareness by publishing case studies. “Offering case studies allows systems integrators and end users alike to read about our solutions and determine whether they are suitable for their needs,” Ashani said. “It's not a cutting-edge market; integrators and end users want to see results before they try it themselves.”

Most vendors certify installers or contractors on how to deploy their solutions in a timely fashion. “The sales cycle is pretty long and the project size is quite large, so it is normal to have more parties involved,” said Cosimo Malesci, VP of Channel Sales and Marketing, Fluidmesh Networks.

Because of the long sales cycle, as well as the extended product life span, scalability is a procurement consideration. “Purchasing a system with upward compatibility is important from the outset because it enables transit agencies to upgrade and enhance a system without having to purchase brand new equipment,” Notbohm said. “Transit agencies should also investigate the vendor's product road map to ensure they can equip additional vehicles that are compatible with the rest of the fleet, as budgets allow.”

Today security is factoring into station design long before they are built. “Security needs to have the infrastructure is in place to support it,” said Jamie Edgar, Global Director of Integrated Sensor Systems, Smiths Detection. “For metros built 20 years ago, it's costly to go in and provide retrofitted solutions. There's usually not enough space.”


Future Challenges
Mass transit has evolved, with rolling stock vendors providing the security hardware for subway cars before they land on track. “They realize video surveillance manufacturers don't understand the hardware specifics to be installed on a train,” Segall said. There is also a great diversity in the hardware specifications for onboard video equipment on subway cars and buses.

It is less expensive for end users to specify security for new vehicles, because they can design for wiring and power, Szmania said.

Retrofitting trains is more costly, as older trains are not designed for video equipment. “The newer trains have the camera infrastructure built in,” Edgar said. “We're having discussions with train manufacturers such as Bombardier to do advanced planning for video cameras and video communications in train cars.”

Global Standards
Public transit is covered by many rules, but most regulations are regional and rarely international. As they vary nationally and even regionally, solutions must meet all the requirements of the individual customer, Notbohm said.

A customized approach for every transit organization is time-consuming and inefficient. “There are currently no national standards for bus security in China,” said Yingming Li, Product Director of Topshine Technology. “We are working with end customers and distributors for more uniform standards.”

Presently, no single standard covers public transit. “Certifications for FCC, CE, RoHS and ISO all must be passed to be specified for transportation projects,” said James Tseng, Senior VP of Telexper.

Public transit rules are detailed and country-specific. “In Europe, the mobile DVRs must operate from 30 degrees to 55 degrees Celsius,” Tseng said. “In the Middle East, operating temperatures go up to 85 degrees Celsius.”

A more universal standard is the Secur-ED consortium, which is striving for an EU solution. “All relevant stakeholders for equipment and operators are working together,” Segall said. “We're working very closely with Bombardier, Siemens, Thales, Alstom and manufacturers of rolling stock.”

For now, public transit rules remain highly detailed, with whole books dedicated to the subject. “It's a barrier to entry for many smaller companies,” Szmania said. “When we go and bid on opportunities, all our departments are involved to make sure we do everything properly for New York City or Philadelphia.”

A holistic approach will streamline public transit. “We talk about equipment, but ultimately, there are the personnel, processes and then the technology,” Segall said. “A good solution is a good combination of the elements.”

Siemens Sets Its Sights on IT

Siemens Sets Its Sights on IT

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Team | Updated: 12/30/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

Solutions are the core of Siemens' business, as described by Frank Pedersen, CEO of Security Solutions, Siemens Switzerland.

Siemens Building Technologies boasts a large portfolio for security, which becomes even bigger with complete solutions. “We deliver our solutions via our own team,” said Frank Pedersen, CEO of Security Solutions, Siemens Switzerland. “We have partners located around the world to be close to where our customers are. If you say you need a video solution for the Jardin Building in Hong Kong, then we're your new best friend.”

The company sees an industry migration from hardware toward software-related solutions. For greater integration, it is strongly building on open standards. “Software is really the heart and soul of the integration,” Pedersen said. Siemens is an IT player in the security market.

Solutions remain consistent with Siemens' founding principles from 160 years ago. “Our corporate philosophy is that there is inherently more value in solutions, meaning we give you something and optimize it over its lifetime,” Pedersen said. “Solutions are something Siemens has learned from its founding fathers.”

Siemens prides itself on understanding applications. “We see companies come to us because they see their security in good hands and our long-term strategies,” Pedersen said. “We don't get in a market and go out two years later. Our application know-how and our longevity combined with the technology is why we will be a dominant player in the future.”

Smart security is the direction of the future. Corporate governance requires keeping tabs on what is happening with the corporation's offices worldwide. “Smart is something that gives you situational awareness, a rule engine, because inevitably something will happen,” Pedersen said. “It has to be more than just preventing things from happening. How we can react smarter and better is important.”

Road Ahead
Siemens' understanding of applications opens up its business opportunities. Its solutions are tailored to each vertical and account for regional differences. Harbors, airports, finance institutes, data centers, and pharmaceutical sites are among the large projects where Siemens has found success.

The company's global presence has improved its access to customers. Siemens is in 192 countries, with its Building Technologies division established in 51 countries and the Security group currently in 30 countries. “We have business in all major markets,” Pedersen said. “Our position in the Middle East is good.” Siemens also has the highest market share in Brazil, based on independent research.

A complete portfolio gives Siemens a competitive offering. “It is a certain value proposition to work with Siemens,” Pedersen said. “It has a higher value to say leave everything and let me integrate it.”

Security Reinvents Itself After the Storm

Security Reinvents Itself After the Storm

Editor / Provider: The Editorial Team | Updated: 12/30/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

Editorial Director John Shi examines security trends, finding out what's hot at the biennial Essen 2010 exhibition.

Security has taken a new direction, after being buffeted by the financial crisis. IP emerged as a winner, highlighting the importance of convergence and integrated solutions.

The epitome of integration was Siemens, which offers a single interface for video surveillance, access control and intrusion alarms. “We are an IT player in the security market,” said Frank Pedersen, CEO of Security Solutions, Siemens Switzerland. “This is where the future is.”

Software is the heart and soul of integration, helping users solve problems. The Siemens platform integrates with information security systems, providing users with useful information to make timely decisions. This can be considered corporate or high-level integration.

On a smaller scale of integration, we see security management of single systems — surveillance, access control or intrusion alarms. This gives the user tight control over one system, managing each device. A number of German companies are in this niche, including Ela-Soft and Advancis Software & Services. Two traditional access control makers have branched into software — Primion has now expanded into access control software, while Dutch Nedap launched its controller-based VMS this year. This solution elevates products and service to all physical security systems.

From a management standpoint, this expansion makes good business sense. Adding software extends the product line and increases the market scope for the company. My first impressions of European makers were their deep knowledge of integration and applications, to serve clients who cared about having their problems taken care of. At Essen this year, this continues to hold true.

Solutions Key to Success
Geutebruck provides a contrast to Siemens. A private company with a 40-year history, it remains focused on video surveillance and delivering effective solutions, said Katharina Geutebrück, MD of Geutebruck.

While the 2008 financial downturn affected premium providers, Geutebruck maintained its quality and German production to offer value. The company further emphasized the importance of truly solving customer needs, rather than hyping technical fads or slick demos. A cheap product that does not serve a purpose does not offer real value.

Dallmeier expounded further on price versus value for discerning buyers. In terms of expense, a good product working reliably outweighs a product that has a lower price but poor performance, said Georg Martin, Marketing Director for Dallmeier electronic.

Calling for Budget Solutions The economic slowdown heralded greater acceptance for budget solutions in a conservative market. German security products have traditionally required a minimum of a two-year warranty, with most makers and distributors covering products for three years. The warranties for peripherals are even longer, with 10 years being standard.

The lean times have made price the priority. Satisfying basic needs takes precedence over the product's lifespan. The consumer mindset has also taken hold: If the product breaks, it can easily be replaced later. Coupled with the deluge of Chinese offerings, the German market has been shaken up, becoming more open to budget products.

The slow economy has accelerated the polarization between high end and low end, a view echoed by most security experts. While analog still has the dominant market share, it yields limited returns. There is no middle ground in the playing field, which requires makers to cater to the high-end needs of power users or meet basic needs for cutthroat prices.

Breaking into the high-end market revolved around understanding customers and solving problems in their vertical segment. By accurately honing on in marketable solutions, effective integration and exotic technologies unfamiliar to most, high-end providers can meet client needs. This makes them competitive and increases the bottom line.

Bosch Security Systems made an interesting statement at the show, with a delivery truck parked prominently at its booth. It appeared to be a prop, until on-site staff explained that Bosch not only developed cutting-edge solutions, but also delivered cost-effective products that were available right away. In the face of polarization, it is admirable to see a company take such a bold two-pronged strategy.

Distributor Brands
Price wars have increased the pressure on distributors and resellers. More products need to be sold in order to be as profitable as before, yet it is difficult to increase volume in a competitive market. In light of this dilemma, more distributors are offering solutions under their own brands. This increases their profile, improves their sales and boosts profits.

Distributor ABUS Security-Center started out making mechanical locks, then grew its portfolio through acquisitions. Today, it positions itself as a security manufacturer, emphasizing German design and a complete portfolio in video surveillance and intrusion detection. It understands market needs and can serve homes as well as large corporations. With technical know-how and production facilities, ABUS Security-Center is confident about future growth.

Service was also an emphasis for distributor Monacor. With catalogs in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian, its market reach extends throughout the European Union. It promotes a branded Monacor line as well.

German surveillance distributor Videor will raise the profile of its IP portfolio. As its British sales have slowed and clients remain cautious about security investments, network video offers better ROI for customers who can afford it. The alternative is basic packages with bargain prices, with middle-of-the-road products essentially disappearing.

Videor considers traditional security installers to remain its main channel. As fire and alarm equipment is highly regulated in Germany, related electronic security integrators can also include video surveillance. The company has no plans to move into access control or intrusion detection, maintaining its focus on surveillance and strengthening its Eneo product line.

Santec has 36 years of history, producing its own product line for the past 25 years. Apart from analog sales, the company is developing megapixel cameras, panoramic cameras and HDcctv cameras. It even offers VMS for the mid- to high-end market, while keeping prices affordable. Santec feels confident its portfolio will remain competitive outside of German-speaking regions, such as the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Speaking of brands, it is interesting to note the reemergence of Grundig. The former audiovisual maker, which also had security offerings, is drawing from its consumer experience to offer competitive solutions. It will be managed by Aaset, which has a good track record in the French and German markets.

Long Road to IP
IP had a notable effect on the Chinese security market, as traditional installers have had trouble picking up the necessary skills for planning, installation and maintenance. It was surprise to learn that IP-savvy Germany, which is leaps and bounds ahead of China, is facing the same problem with its installer knowledge base. The advent of IP is a major wakeup call for traditional security manufacturers.

IP providers cannot become complacent. Education for installers and system integrators will be necessary, to ensure a painless migration to networking. Tips on product setup, maintenance and operation will be essential to win the hearts and minds of integrators.

Commercialized VMS
German VMS provider SeeTec was ranked No. 2 in EMEA by IMS Research for 2010, making it a successful software company. Putting technical specs aside, it emphasizes major verticals such as transportation and retail, then incorporates each market's minute needs into its finished solution. Along with market customization, SeeTec also integrates video content analysis in its VMS. This level of commitment has paid off despite slow market conditions.

Another VMS standout is Russian Axxon, named by IMS as the market leader in EMEA. It also focuses on market customization, accounting for unique needs. Axxon has considerable experience at home, with deployments in city surveillance, energy, and oil and gas. Tailoring a solution to its application is something Axxon does well.

New Horizons
The security industry has undergone a transformation, accelerated by the credit crunch and the migration to IP. Among the many changes are falling prices and a trend to maintain profitability. This underscores how the customer is king, with customization being essential. As networking is inevitable, integration will be a central part of value. Finally, branding is an unchanging principle for staying ahead and winning market share.

Scale New Heights in 2011

Scale New Heights in 2011

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 12/21/2010 | Article type: Hot Topics

As 2010 ends on a high note, optimism is high for 2011. A&S talks to research analysts, manufacturers and channel players to find out what's next in the year to come.

The financial crisis shook up physical security, eliminating unfit players. A “recessionproof” industry took a hard look at itself and emerged stronger. Manufacturers had to explain to buyers the additional benefits of their solutions, making value the spec to beat.

Consolidation is expected to continue in 2011. “We expect that 2011 will set a new record for mergers and acquisitions, but the rate of growth in consolidation will fall off,” said Allan McHale, Director of Memoori. “Most of the major security companies, including Honeywell Security, Schneider Electric, Siemens Building Technologies, Johnson Controls, Bosch Security Systems and UTC Fire & Security, have yet to seal a deal in 2010, and it is most unlikely that they will be able to resist the temptation in 2011. The main driver will continue to be IT convergence, combined with the fact that major companies have strong cash reserves and venture capitalists want to realize their investments.”

Open Standards
Standards offer customers more choices for best-of-breed solutions and spare manufacturers the hassle of individual third-party integrations. The value proposition for standards will keep going strong in 2011. “While both ONVIF and PSIA have made good progress in gaining equipment vendor support, the topic of standards in network video surveillance is still very young, and it is unlikely that standards will have any sudden impact on the video surveillance market,” said Gary Wong, Senior Research Analyst for Video Surveillance and VCA, IMS Research. “However, the eventual adoption of open standards will force video surveillance equipment vendors to increasingly focus on differentiating themselves from competitors.”

By the numbers, ONVIF has greater uptake, with more than 220 members and 389 compliant products as of November. PSIA has been around longer but is supported on 63 products, a fraction of ONVIF's offerings. “PSIA stands out because it is focused on developing IP standards for all technology sectors,” said David Bunzel, Executive Director of PSIA. “This includes video surveillance, access control, video analytics, recording and software management platforms, and storage devices.” PSIA released its video analytics specification in September 2010, with an access control specification to follow in the coming months. “This eases complex installations for integrators and enables end users to choose the best solutions that meet their security needs,” he said.

Several vendors have solutions compliant with both standards. “We're firm believers in standards,” said Jumbi Edulbehram, VP of Business Development, Next Level Security Systems. “Our products support ONVIF and PSIA, the two main standards for network-based security systems.”

Another vendor with solutions conforming to both bodies is Hikvision. “Currently, there have been substantial requests to manufacture products that support both ONVIF and PSIA standards,” said Tony Yang, International Marketing Director at Hikvision Digital Technology. “Products that embrace both the analog and IP technologies, the hybrid products, are also in demand.”

Honeywell has its own Open Technology Alliance, with increased third-party cooperation and support for PSIA and ONVIF. “We are members of both organizations, and our intent is to have all of our systems — NVRs and DVRs — support both standards and to offer edge devices like cameras in one or the other standard,” said Johnny Allia, VP and GM for EMEA, Honeywell Security.

With the varying levels of uptake, some vendors are taking a wait-and-see approach to make sure they embrace the right standard. “If standards are updated, this will make integration easier,” said Herve Fages, Global Marketing Director for Pelco (a Schneider Electric company). “Pelco is looking at different standards. Customers are asking for better and easier integration.”

Another video alliance to emerge is HDcctv. “2011 will represent the first full year of HDcctv equipment sales, and IMS believes that the initial adoption of HDcctv equipment will be low,” Wong said. “While the initial increase in camera cost from SD to HD is likely to be marginal, the cost of HDcctv DVRs are expected to be significantly higher than their SD counterparts until economy of scale can be achieved.”

As IP is expected to reach its tipping point (by sales volume) by 2013 or 2014, there are doubts about the longevity of HDcctv. “HDcctv is a niche market for specialty analog CCTV installations,” Edulbehram said. “We will not support this initiative since we fully embrace the cost savings that IP convergence systems enable.” Next Level is working on cost-effective products for smaller facilities as well as enterprise systems.

However, some product makers believe that HDcctv will gain market position and status. “Contrary to market predictions, like reports published by IMS, I believe that analog products will continue to dominate the market in the years to come,” said Craig Scott, CEO of OVii.

The credit crunch squeezed buyer wallets and put pressure on solution providers to diversify their portfolios. Even traditional access control players, such as Nedap, added VMS functionality to their controller management solutions.

Schneider Electric branched into the cloud, as Pelco has expanded compliance for IP-enabled products on US government networks. While Pelco has an impressive hardware lineup, networking and integration are the way forward. “We're seeing the first change, switching from analog to IP,” Fages said. “The next step is to have HD. Then the next step is cloud computing, cloud recording and cloud management, which will change the industry.”

VMS is expected to move beyond managing video systems alone. “In 2011, IMS expects to see vendors place an increasing emphasis on verticalization, creating verticalspecific solutions,” Wong said. “For ‘open-platform' VMS vendors, while the horizon for instant interoperability among all types of network video equipment is still far away, 2011 should see vendors of VMS begin to focus on developing more innovative solutions.”

Solutions are the way forward. “In 2011, we will continue to expand our line with innovative offerings,” said Daniel Gundlach, VP of Marketing for the Americas, Bosch Security Systems. “Specifically, the market will see new products that provide a full solution for HD video and enhancements to our control panels for intrusion, fire and access control.”

Video surveillance or managed video as a service has emerged as alternative business models, with everyone from new companies to channel partners and ISPs eyeing this space. More managed video offerings will be ahead in 2011.

No - Frills Video
Top-shelf video manufacturers have launched budget cameras for basic surveillance needs. Sony released its affordable HD line this year, with fewer lens choices and no IR. This marks a departure from adding more features to a more practical solution for a general range of applications.

“There's increasing demand for security systems to be user-friendly — easy to set up, easy to configure, easy to use,” said Daniel Ong, VP of Certis Technology International, Certis Cisco Security. “The challenge is to achieve user friendliness without compromising the security and integrity of the systems. With the increasing popularity of IP-based systems and edge devices, customers are also expecting security cameras, DVRs and access control systems to be ‘plug-and-play' with minimum setup and configuration required.”

Some solutions have automatic configurations of network video streams for easy setup. “For our product development road map, Cisco announced the industry's first medianet-enabled network camera that provides simplified plug-and-play configuration with medianet-enabled Ethernet switch ports,” said Lindsay Hiebert, Marketing Manager for Cisco Systems.

Regional preferences should be accounted for. “We've recognized the need to design products for the local market,” said Mark VanDover, President of Tyco Security Products. “We address the price needs.”

Breakthroughs in networking, storage and compression technologies are driving growth in the network storage market. “The increase in the number of video channels per installation and the resolution of the cameras are some of the primary reasons for the growth of data in video surveillance applications,” according to Frost & Sullivan's report on the North American physical security network storage market.

Network storage, in particular IP storage area networks, is at the forefront of new enterprise surveillance projects. IMS's report, “The World Market for Enterprise and IP Storage used for Video Surveillance,” forecasts network storage will account for more than 30 percent of world video surveillance storage revenues in 2013, which are likely to exceed US$5.6 billion by then.

Better storage and cloud options will benefit end users. “More storage capacity and faster computing resources will be delivered as hardware in standard servers increases,” said Lee Caswell, founder and CMO, Pivot3. “We will pass these improvements along to our customers as they become available in the marketplace.”

Components Semiconductors form the innards of security devices, making physical security a potential goldmine for component suppliers. In-Stat forecast revenue from analog cameras, network cameras, DVRs, NVRs and encoders will reach $19 billion in 2011. However, image sensor revenue for surveillance cameras will drop from $700 million in 2008 to $435 million in 2013.

Overall semiconductor predictions, which include consumer applications, will grow 8 or 9 percent in 2011, according to IDC. This market upswing is reflected in Intel's investment in NetPosa, a Chinese IP video provider. Its ONVIF-compliant NVRs and servers will be based on Intel architecture and software.

Network camera providers are sensitive to semiconductor supply, as they require sensors and processors, which are rarely made in-house. “We continue to enhance our product quality to enlarge our market share,” said William Ku, Director of Brand Business for VIVOTEK. “That way, we will have stronger bargaining power in component purchases.”

Growth is ahead for access control. Global smart card shipments are set to grow 11 percent to around 8.5 billion units by 2013, according to RNCOS. Europe will see more transportation rollouts, while the US government will deploy cards for industrial markets.

Standards are welcome in the access control space, enabling large clients spread out over many countries to centralize management, such as access rights. They also can use one platform, rather than multiple clients. “Pacom has become a specialist in managing access control from multiple sites, and we plan to extend this core competence to support third-party systems,” said Johan Lembre, CEO of Pacom Systems. “This is one of the major driving factors why Pacom became one of the first members of ONVIF's access control initiative.”

Biometrics is benefiting from new sensing technologies. “These are good developments, but at the end of the day, they have to provide better performance at an equivalent or lower TCO than alternatives,” said Peter Costa, VP and Business Leader of Global Protection, Honeywell Building Solutions.

Intrusion and Automation
Demand for alarms is expected to grow in 2011, which could eclipse 2009 estimates of $2.9 billion, said IMS Research. Home automation is expected to increase as well, with system shipments to approach 2.8 million, according to ABI Research.

Intrusion detection solution providers are launching new technologies. “We plan to substantially broaden our portfolio with panels, detectors, accessories and solutions that answer the needs of different market segments in general and our customers' needs in particular,” said Laila Arad-Allan, VP of Marketing, Visonic. “Our lower-price products are just as reliable, even more so because they are less complex by delivering less features and not less costly components.”

Israeli intrusion provider Risco has expanded its portfolio through strategic purchases of access control and video companies. It now offers remote monitoring in parts of Europe, increasing its revenue beyond product sales.

Homeland Security
The 9/11 bombings had an indelible effect on security, putting terrorism on the list of threats. While no more planes have deliberately hit skyscrapers since then, the ingenuity of criminal minds has yet to be thwarted. The most recent example was November's attempt to send explosives disguised in printer cartridges aboard cargo planes, rigged to detonate remotely. With US cargo screening mandated by the end of 2011, more equipment will be required to keep up with demand.

As the recession called for cost-cutting measures, some organizations relocated production. While most manufacturers are staying put, they are more open to setting up shop elsewhere. “Despite increasing labor costs in China, the company currently has no plans to relocate its factory elsewhere, although it cannot completely discard the possibility in the future,” Yang said.

Belt-tightening includes eliminating rarely used features to cut cost. “We don't have any plan to move,” said Bruce Wu, Overseas Marketing Director for Dali Technology. Production in China remains advantageous and more flexible.

Other vendors do not plan to outsource labor. “Our products are produced in Taiwan, where labor costs are higher than China,” Ku said. “But we do not plan to relocate our factory outside of Taiwan in 2011.”

Managing personnel effectively can control costs. “Setting up a factory in Taiwan might not be as costly as some might think — it all depends on how people are managed to work to their full potential,” Scott said.

Automation can decrease costs while improving quality. “Our way of addressing the increasing cost of labor is by implementing more automation in our production,” Arad-Allan said.

A benefit of local production is closeness to buyers. “While the cost of labor is low, the challenge of managing quality and providing quick response time to critical customers demands that we keep our product development in the U.S. as it is today,” Caswell said.

Locating good partners can reduce cost as well. “For us to remain cost-competitive, we are considering using an OEM for peripheral devices — particularly when the item is already certified for use in countries in which we operate,” Lembre said.

Channel Development
Manufacturers will continue to rely on distributors for their channel in the upcoming year, rather than go to end users. “Our company follows the ‘direct sales, indirect fulfillment' model, which means that our products will be sold exclusively through distribution, but we will have a direct sales relationship with integrators and end users,” Edulbehram said. “That way, we can keep our prices lower by leveraging our distributors' efficiencies, and at the same time, have deep relationships with end customers and integrators for sales and support.”

Pacom also relies on VARs for sales, while networking with end customers and integrators directly. “For us as a manufacturer, the contact with end users is vital as we learn about their challenges and develop innovative and cost-effective ways in which they can overcome their issues,” Lembre said.

While selling to end customers is effective, it requires significant manpower. VIVOTEK will continue its channel efforts with distributors and system integrators, Ku said. Road shows with solution partners are another way it plans to expand its channel.

Channel partners can respond quickly to end-user needs . “Education is always provided in full to solution and channel partners to better prepare and educate users in using our products,” said Ian Cameron, MD of Mirasys.

Strategic partnerships can be an effective go-to-market strategy for specific vertical segments. “We will broaden our channel development toward telcos and utility companies who are interested in combining home security with their offerings and services,” Arad-Allan said.

Dis tributor Brands Distributors and integrators will launch more independent product lines in 2011, as margins and volumes fall. An example was Dutch integrator TKH Group acquiring Optelecom-NKF in November. “The phenomenon of distributors pushing their own brands into the market is not unusual, and Hikvision does not view this as a threatening move for intense competition,” Yang said. “Instead, the company will find ways to cooperate with a wobbling distributor to secure its foothold in the market and seize opportunities together. Even if a distributor asked Hikvision to accept OEM orders, the company would be happy to work together.”

Other product makers also felt distributor brands would not hurt their business. “We will focus on OEM sales for global distributors,” Wu said.

Distributor brands do not always compete with products carried by the distributor. “Even when working with ADI Global Distribution, a subsidiary of Honeywell, in Nordic countries, who have their own branded products, Mirasys continues to acquire good market share,” Cameron said. “In terms of functions, software abilities, scalabilities and interface applications, as long as the product is unique, market competition should not be feared.”

Marketing and Education
As the market rebounds, manufacturers are preparing to reach out to strategic buyers. “Our end users are the installers and central monitoring stations,” Arad-Allan said. “They are in most cases the decision makers of which security system to install in the home.”

Visonic's sales and marketing efforts will target installers with events, dedicated tools, webinars and papers. “Another media we will soon start using is social media, which is an excellent tool for engaging our customers in conversation, ideas, views and information,” Arad-Allan said.

The PSIA will focus on engaging consultants, end user sand integrators. “Over the course of 2011, PSIA will present focused educational offerings in specific regions and online,” Bunzel said. “We will continue to conduct strategic educational outreach to better inform the industry of our efforts.”

VMS is becoming more essential, yet requires training for end customers and channel partners. “We place a lot of emphasis on education, especially because the market is undergoing a transition from analog to IP,” Edulbehram said. “We will certainly use new media tools that are available for education — Web-based training — as well as networking with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.”

Returning to basics, dialogue is essential for manufacturers and solution providers to make customer needs the top priority for 2011. “Focusing on perfecting technical functions might be impressive, but might not suit the needs of the end users,” Scott said. “Build things people want to buy!”

First Page< Prev< | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 >Next >Last Page