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Standalone NVR is on the rise

Standalone NVR is on the rise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[GDSF Secutech 2014] VMS works wonders for verticals

[GDSF Secutech 2014] VMS works wonders for verticals

Editor / Provider: William Pao, a&s International | Updated: 4/18/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

VMS is demanded by any vertical market that needs video surveillance to keep facilities and premises safe and secure. Operators from different verticals, however, look for different things in their VMS based on the specific demands and needs of their respective industries. The topics of VMS and its applications in different vertical markets took the center stage during this year's Secutech Taipei and were a main theme discussed by panelists in the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) held alongside the exhibition. During the event, industry experts shared their insights into VMS requirements for different verticals and what they considered to be good video management software.

Airports/Public transportation
Scalability is one of the first things operators of airports and public transportation facilities look for in choosing the right VMS solution. As the number of cameras increases with the construction of new airport terminals or new subway stations, the ability of VMS to grow with the system becomes critical.

“When we first did the Taipei subway system, we had 1,000-plus cameras and 17 stations, but the numbers have increased to more than 10,000 cameras and more than 100 stations,” said Isabella Lin, Sales Manager of Overseas Sales Division, Instek Digital, which was chosen as a partner of the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. to deploy video surveillance solutions. “Scalability has become an essential thing.”

Reliability, or the ability of a system to maintain stable, steady operation even in the event of system failure, is also crucial. Every piece of video is vital in accident prevention or post-event investigation and is too precious to be lost during any time. Management software that enables continuous system access and uninterrupted video streaming is therefore another important factor that airport and public transportation operators look for.

Finally, video management software nowadays must include a certain level of intelligence, which analyzes abnormalities in videos and responds to those abnormalities accordingly. When someone intrudes into an off-limits area or loiters on the subway platform, a solution with good analytics will detect those scenarios and send an alert to the security personnel. This way, tragedies may be prevented, and lives saved.


“Analytics is becoming a lot more mature, and we're seeing new applications,” said Justin Schorn, Co-Founder of Aimetis, which has deployed VMS solutions in major international airports in the world, including those of Brasilia, Munich, and Perth. “With no analytics, a solution is a very much passive, not a very reactive one. But with analytics, it's more of a proactive product.”

Safe city
Surveillance plays a critical function in keeping cities safe, livable and responsive to crime, terrorist threats and attacks, accidents and disasters. According to a previously released whitepaper, Milestone, a leading VMS provider, said after a city in Brazil installed a video surveillance system, it noticed a 6 percent reduction in crime. A Nevada police department installed cameras in a high crime area, and within a year research showed that 52.7 percent of the residents felt there was less drug dealing in the area and 77 percent felt that the surveillance system had enhanced their quality of life.

“A safe city project aims to protect citizens and assets. It involves technologies providing situational awareness to various stakeholders, and enables overall operational picture to all relevant agencies,” said Sunny Kong, Director of Sales of Asia, Milestone.

Yet meeting those objectives entails more than installing a bunch of cameras on street lamps or traffic signals. It also has to do with monitoring a gargantuan amount of video footage and identifying people, objects or behaviors that are suspicious. Again, this is where analytics comes in, said Wilson Chin, Marketing Vice President, Verint Asia Pacific.

“It's not so much about (the solution) identifying a license plate. It's more about recognizing that the license plate is supposed to be assigned to a white Honda minivan, and now it's on a black four-door sedan Toyota. That's an alert that someone has switched the license plate,” he said. “As the analytics gets more sophisticated, that's when its value in a big city solution becomes apparent.”

Chin also mentioned the importance of open web monitoring in a safe city solution, which relies on the collective wisdom of the people to identify suspicious individuals or fight crime.

“For those of you who followed the Boston Marathon incident a couple of years ago, you know that one of the ways they tracked down the individuals was analyzing thousands of thousands of photos taken by people through their smartphones,” he said. “It wasn't just the monitoring points of the cameras that was deployed by the city. It was people with smartphones. They would put things on Facebook or Twitter, which greatly expanded the number of images available for analysis. This is the power of crowdsourcing.”

To enable that kind of connectivity between citizens and government agencies through smart devices, an enabler is needed, and according to Milestone's Kong, that enabler is the open platform.

"An open platform enables the use of best-in-breeds in technologies,” he said. “It allows freedom of choice, future-proofs investments, and ensures third-party integrations easily."

Banking
No vertical needs security more than the banking industry, which processes a tremendous amount of money on a daily basis. Yet a surveillance installation can get complex and sophisticated when it comes to banks, which operate different sites including corporate buildings, branch offices, ATMs and cash depots. Monitoring these sites to ensure that they are always safe has thus become a priority for security operators.

“The main purpose for a bank in having a video surveillance system is two-fold,” said Jukka Riivari, CEO of Mirasys, which has done business with five out of the top 50 banks across the world, four out of the top six Nordic Banks in Europe, and three central banks. “One fold is to make sure that the premises are intact; there is no intrusion to the premises after the office hours or during the office hours. The other is how can you reduce the false alarm rate so you only have real alarms.”

To manage videos from different locations the VMS must have strong centralization features that can, for example, alert local authorities on irregular banking activities at a specific branch office. Intelligence must also be included in the video management software to reduce false alarms. A complex alarm list, for instance, may be built into the system to make sure that people suspected of intrusion or loitering match the criteria on the alarm list.

At the same time, banking VMS should be able to interface with other technologies, for example access control, intrusion alarms and transactional systems, to prevent and reduce fraud and other financial-reduced crimes. According to a survey conducted by the European ATM Security Team, ATM card skimming resulted in losses of nearly 111 million Euros across Europe during the first half of 2011. Meanwhile, a study released in 2011 by the Aite Group estimates that card fraud costs the U.S. card payments industry US$8.6 billion annually. Against this backdrop, VMS integrated with transactional systems allows instant revelation of transaction irregularities that may result from card skimming.

“It's the specific solutions, not just the DVRs and cameras, that keep the hundreds of branch offices safe,” Riivari said. “You need to be able to detect someone trying to put a skimming device into the system. That is the purpose of one of those solutions needed, not just tools.

Safe and sound
While VMS works differently across verticals, experts at GDSF all reached the consensus that VMS should allow scalability, reliability, integration and intelligence no matter which vertical it is deployed in. These requirements help ensure normal and safe business operations, which are ultimately needed for the end user's sustainable growth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---By Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Synectics to showcase Synergy 3 at Counter Terror Expo 2014

Editor / Provider: Synectics | Updated: 4/16/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Synectics will showcase its evolved Synergy 3 command and control platform at Counter Terror Expo 2014, the international security event at London's Olympia exhibition centre.

The latest evolution of Synectics' field-proven technology, Synergy 3 is the result of over 25 years' security industry experience and sector expertise. Simple to deploy and integrate, Synergy 3 provides a flexible, open platform to suit a range of applications across sectors including critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and high security.

Visitors to the Synectics stand at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be introduced to the integrated command and control system, which enables alarms and events, security and process control sub-systems, video, and data to be monitored, managed and recorded from a single unified interface. Demonstrations will be offered highlighting Synergy 3's new and enhanced functionality, including its fully customisable user interface and interactive mapping engine with GIS technology, along with the flexible, tiered software licensing options.

Synectics' COEX 2000 and 3000 camera stations, which provide surveillance for the world's most challenging oil and gas and marine applications, will also be available for demonstration.

Another highlight of Synectics' presence at Counter Terror Expo 2014 will be a presentation by David Aindow, Product and Technology Director at Synectic Systems. He will deliver a session in the Security Solutions Seminar Theatre - Intelligently Integrated Surveillance Solutions - at 11.30am on Tuesday, 29th April.

The presentation will include an insight into the part that an integrated solution can play in managing advanced security needs, risk mitigation and improved efficiency, and the future of integration.

Paul Webb, Managing Director, Synectic Systems, said: “Counter Terror Expo 2014 is a key date in the global security calendar. Synectics is proud to be taking part in an event which will help to determine the future for international security in an evolving world.

“We are looking forward to meeting customers and sharing the potential benefits that Synergy 3 can now bring to end users of every type and size – from small companies to enterprise-scale operators.

“We are certain that Synergy 3 is the ideal solution for critical national infrastructure, oil and gas, and marine environments, where risk mitigation and improved operational efficiency is essential. It is now easier than ever to deploy a command and control solution tailored to suit any surveillance or business intelligence requirement.”

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

Pelco IP cams integrated with March Networks Command VMS

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

March Networks and Pelco by Schneider Electric announced the integration of the March Networks Command video management system (VMS) with Sarix Series IP cameras, Spectra HD Dome PTZ and Sarix TI Thermal Imaging camera systems. The integration provides organizations with greater flexibility when selecting an IP video surveillance solution, and ensures faster, more cost-effective system deployment.

“We are excited by this support for our complete range of IP cameras, including our new Sarix Professional and Enhanced Ranges, by the March Networks VMS solution,” said Kristina Holmqvist, Business Development Manager EMEA at Pelco by Schneider Electric. “This integration provides the possibility for our joint customers to use our multipurpose range of cameras with March Networks' high performance solution.”

March Networks Command is a scalable, standards-based VMS designed to work seamlessly with leading security products and systems. This open approach makes it easy for customers to adopt the software solution and choose the IP edge devices that are best for their applications. Command is one of the only VMS solutions able to support complete surveillance system configuration and administration – in addition to live and archived video access – via its browser-based client interface.

Built upon the three pillars of innovative imaging science, sophisticated industrial design, and advanced processing power, Sarix delivers a crisp, clear image. With the Sarix Series, Pelco by Schneider Electric offers a complete line of IP bullet, box and dome cameras for any lighting condition, application and environment. All new Sarix cameras integrate with major third-party video management systems through the Pelco API, and other third-party software and systems through the ONVIF Profile S standard, and they work seamlessly with Pelco video management systems.

The deep Command 1.7 integration with Pelco IP cameras supports a complete list of capabilities including: audio capture; H.264, M-JPEG and MPEG4 video compression; multi-encoding; presets and tours; motion, Adaptive Motion and Directional Motion detection; and robust I/O and PTZ control.

“Working with best-in-class security manufacturers like Pelco to expand the choices available to our Command VMS customers is a priority for our company,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “We are pleased to announce this integration and join Pelco's Partner First community.”

VIVOTEK panoramic PTZ cameras integrate with AxxonSoft VMS

VIVOTEK panoramic PTZ cameras integrate with AxxonSoft VMS

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

VIVOTEK has announced successful integration of two of its latest security solution technologies with AxxonSoft's widely used Axxon Next video management software (VMS). The first integration move allows Axxon Next users to transparently access and control VIVOTEK's sophisticated Panoramic PTZ feature as implemented on two coordinated VIVOTEK cameras. In a further move, VIVOTEK has enabled integration of the Axxon Next interface with VIVOTEK's Smart Stream technology for optimizing video streaming from one of its award-winning cameras.

The integration with Axxon Next has enhanced the agility and scalability of VIVOTEK's Panoramic PTZ solutions. Panoramic PTZ draws on a combination of VIVOTEK megapixel fisheye camera SF8172/72V with speed dome camera SD8363E, allowing users to simultaneously monitor an area overview from a fisheye model while providing the capability for a detailed regional view from a speed dome. The fisheye camera provides 180° panoramic view or 360° surround view without blind spots. With sophisticated mechanism, the SD8363E provides fast, precise pan/tilt/zoom movement and captures details at top-notch quality. With the new advance in integration, Axxon Next users can take advantage of the VMS package's new Tag & Track feature—which allows the labeling and tracking of moving objects either selected manually or detected automatically—using VIVOTEK's box camera IP8162P for overviews and the speed dome camera SD8363E for detailed views of the tracked objects. As a result, existing Panoramic PTZ users have an additional popular VMS option that allows them to continue drawing on the powerful capabilities of VIVOTEK's technology without compromises to usability.

In addition, VIVOTEK has also completed integration of its Smart Stream technology on its IP8371E camera with the AxxonSoft VMS. VIVOTEK's Smart Stream reduces bandwidth consumption and storage requirements of video from the IP8371E camera, by using full resolution only for predefined areas in the field of view—either regions of interest, or automatically detected moving objects—while utilizing a lower baseline resolution for background areas of no interest for the surveillance application. Integration of Smart Stream with Axxon Next allows users of the VMS to gain the benefits of this advanced feature while providing simple management from the VMS's native interface.

Commenting on the company's latest moves, VIVOTEK Executive Vice President Steve Ma said: "We're delighted to build even greater integration of our Panoramic PTZ and Smart Stream technologies with AxxonSoft's terrific open-platform video management software. Existing customers of both VIVOTEK and AxxonSoft will benefit, and seamless interoperability between our cameras and Axxon Next make for an extremely appealing surveillance solution for potential new customers as well."

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

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

 John Semple, Head of Product Management for IndigoVision, explains the individual and collective strengths of Access Control and Video Management Software.

Both Access Control software and Video Management Software (VMS) have become vital components in modern security systems. However, many are confused as to how exactly the two should be deployed.

It is important to get this right, as the two have very different strengths and features, and deploying the wrong one as the front end could leave end users without features that could be useful, or even vital to their security system.

In this article, we will examine the strengths of both Access Control and VMS, and how the two can be used to enhance each other and provide a better all-round security system.

The Strength of Access Control
Access Control systems are designed with immediacy in mind. Whenever someone interacts with the system, by swiping an ID card for example, the system immediately informs the operator who is requesting clearance, and what they are attempting to access.

It does this by accessing an extensive database, which can include information such as names, pass codes etc.

One striking aspect of this process is how the system relies on the person in question co-operating with it; in order to be effective, it requires the subject to willingly interact with the system. Let's take, as an example, a member of staff walking up to a door to swipe their ID card; they actively wish to be identified as they know they are.

Access Control software, even with video integration, is designed for this type of installation. Video functionality is often a basic “live video” pop up, giving visual verification along with the Access Control database information.

Unfortunately, Access Control systems are ill-equipped to deal with an intruder actively seeking to bypass the system by forcing entry through a door or gate. It is also limited when dealing with intruders bypassing controlled entry points altogether by forcing entry through a window or fence. In cases such as this, basic video display in the Access Control software provides limited information beyond the initial alarm, making it difficult to establish precisely what happened and has limited pre and post-event video analysis capabilities.

The Advantages of Video Management
This is where VMS comes into its own, with its more proactive nature allowing it to detect intruders whether they choose to engage with the surveillance system or not.

This means that VMS can provide a complete visual account of events before during and after an incident, leaving operators in no doubt as to what transpired.

Indeed, the ability to review evidence from before during and after an event is one of VMS' greatest strengths. Designed with a more forensic-based approach in mind, VMS features tools, such as thumbnails and bookmarks, to allow specific clips to be marked, searched and reviewed effortlessly. The footage can then be easily exported to the appropriate authorities.

This means that VMS can quickly establish a detailed timeline of events leading up to and following the main incident, which can provide vital information in an investigation, or key evidence in a trial. IndigoVision's Control Center even water marks video, both at the point of recording and again at the point of export, to guarantee that the video is authentic and has not been tampered with.

The superior analytics the VMS supports such as motion detection are another asset, as they offer a wider variety of logics to trigger alarms. In the case of IndigoVision's Control Center there is an additional benefit in the form of Activity Controlled Frame rate, which allows cameras to function at low frame rate and only increase to full frame rate if an analytic is triggered with no impact on video quality, while greatly reducing storage.

It is also worth noting that the VMS offers far more comprehensive surveillance, for example if a building is protected by Access Control alone and a car outside is stolen, the system will be of limited help. A strong VMS however could capture the incident and provide valuable evidence to resolve the situation.

So while Access Control performs one specific function exceptionally well, VMS is able to provide the security surveillance for a variety of areas of the property to be secured, creating a more adaptable and comprehensive surveillance system. All of these features mean that VMS is highly effective in open areas, areas of high traffic where checkpoints are not feasible, or areas with multiple points of entry, such as an airport.

Integration – The Best of Both
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Access Control and VMS providers have been working to integrate with one another.

This allows Access Control systems to employ more video functionality such as live & playback video and PTZ control & export, while VMS can monitor Access Control events such as elevator control, card tracing and advanced door monitoring.

In most cases though, it is still best to deploy Access Control and VMS side by side, as this creates a more robust and well-rounded system. If the security system has been designed around limited entry points, with Access Control entry, and the operator only requires a basic visual verification, then Access Control software may be sufficient.

However, the more advanced analytics and forensic capabilities of VMS, combined with its versatility and wider coverage, make it better suited for monitoring larger areas with numerous entry points. Therefore in these environments, VMS should be the front-end, with an integrated Access Control plugin to allow management of events and alarms.

Exacq technologies releases new exacqVision hybrid  ELP-series NVR

Exacq technologies releases new exacqVision hybrid ELP-series NVR

Editor / Provider: Exacq (Tyco) | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, a leading manufacturer of video management system (VMS) software and servers used for video surveillance, has expanded its line of network video recorder (NVR) solutions with the introduction of the new cost-effective, professional ELP-Series, featuring hybrid and IP camera servers. These servers utilize the exacqVision VMS software and are scalable with all exacqVision systems.

Hybrid ELP-Series NVRs include 8 or 16 analog camera inputs for instant connection of analog security cameras and can host up to 24 IP cameras. The ELP IP Camera Server is designed for IP cameras and encoders exclusively, with up to 24 IP cameras per system. All of the ELP-Series recorders include the exacqVision Professional VMS software with four IP camera licenses and are easily expandable to 24 per server.

Up to 8 terabytes of internal storage is currently available with the exacqVision ELP-Series, which utilizes continuous-duty, enterprise-class hard drives for high reliability operation. The ELP-Series also features and internal mSATA drive which stores and runs the exacqVision VMS software and the Linux operating system. This provides quick system start up and added overall system reliability.

Designed for easy, out-of-the-box deployment, the ELP-Series comes pre-loaded with exacqVision Professional video management system (VMS) software. The powerful exacqVision VMS software allows users to monitor video, audio and data in real time. Additionally, users can conduct investigations on recorded video, audio and data and search across multiple servers seamlessly. Users can administrate the system and view video directly from the server using the included exacqVision client. Remote users can access the ELP-Series—along with any exacqVision system—using the exacqVision client (Windows, Linux, Mac), the exacqVision web client, and the exacqVision mobile app (iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices). Client software and mobile applications for exacqVision are freely distributed and available for most operating systems.

Each ELP-Series NVR includes a three-year hardware warranty and three-year software subscription agreement. Software updates are produced regularly and incorporate powerful new exacqVision VMS features and enhancements.

Milestone names new managers for market business in S. Africa and Saudi Arabia

Milestone names new managers for market business in S. Africa and Saudi Arabia

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

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has hired Michael Metcalfe as Channel Business Manager for Southern Africa and Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider as Channel Business Manager for Saudi Arabia.

"In response to the sharply rising demand for open technology video solutions in the area, we are ramping up the Milestone organization in Southern Africa. I am delighted that we have Michael joining Milestone Systems as Channels Business Manager for Southern Africa. His long experience with distributors is perfectly suited to address the possibilities our distribution partners have growing their business. Michael will be at IFSEC SA and several other local events," says Peter Biltsted, Sales Director, Middle East & Africa, Milestone Systems.

Michael Metcalfe has more than 10 years experience in distribution and Channel Development. He has been employed by the largest South African Distributor, Tarsus Technologies and most recently held a position as Sales and Business Development Manager from another large distributor, Duxbury Networking, before joining Milestone.

"I am thrilled to be at Milestone Systems as this position enables me to listen and react to the business needs in the Milestone partner community. I am looking forward to strengthening the existing relationships with our partners and widen the reach of the Milestone brand in Southern Africa by making use of my previous experiences in the channel business model," says Michael Metcalfe.

Milestone focus on relationships with Saudia Arabia partners and customers
Last month Milestone also extended its reach in the Arabian Peninsula with a new hire dedicated to the Saudi Arabian market.

Peter Biltsted, Sales Director, Middle East & Africa, for Milestone Systems, says: "I have the pleasure and honor of welcoming Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider as new Channel Business Manager for Saudi Arabia. He will accentuate Milestone as a local company that is honored by the attention we are getting from our highly esteemed customers in the country. Ahmed has gained valuable experience in supporting and strengthening sales in Saudi Arabia in his previous positions at other international companies."

Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider has a background in Engineering and Sales from the IT Industry, having held a position as manager at SBM (Saudi Business Machines) for more than eight years and lately had his own consulting company for IT and infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia.

"I am excited to be part of an organization that is truly innovative and consistently striving to bring the advantages of open platform video technology to partners and customers. As a Saudi national, I am dedicated to developing the partner channel further and interacting with users on their terms," says Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider.

 Michael Metcalfe                       Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider

 

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s international | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Situational awareness has become a leading consideration in the protection of critical infrastructures, particularly for sites that want to conduct higher risk management and decrease the damage caused by potential threats. According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global security market for situational awareness systems — ranging from access control; physical security information management (PSIM) software; human-machine interface (HMI); video systems; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defense systems — is expected to generate revenue of US$168.3 billion by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 10.1 percent from 2013 to 2020. Every critical site demands a different level of integration, mostly dependent on the possible challenges and threats.

Ranging from natural conditions to social demonstrations, critical infrastructures need to be prepared for whatever may jeopardize the security of their sites. Critical infrastructures often cover a vast area and contain hazardous substances, making them an even bigger challenge to protect. If a critical site is not properly secured, any attack could possibly lead to hazardous consequences. In order to be able to instantly respond to a threatening incident, the solution has to allow operators to deploy every subsystem in the site through the same centralized management platform. More importantly, the centralized management platform should be able to communicate with both new and legacy systems. To answer the unique requirements of the critical infrastructure sector, many situational awareness systems, particularly PSIM solutions, have been strongly promoted in this market.

ADOPTION OF PSIM
During the last few years, adoption of PSIM solutions has dramatically increased in the critical infrastructure sector. As an emerging segment, the PSIM market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.8 percent from 2013 to 2019, due to the decreasing prices and increasing awareness among end users, according to Transparency Market Research. “It can be said that by pure volume, PSIM software may still be in the innovation phase of adoption, which is around 2.5 percent of all available customers; on the other hand, there are some indicators that suggest that PSIM software adopting has moved into an early adoption phase, which is around 13.5 percent of customers,” said Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

PSIM solutions are being increasingly used in government applications, such as law enforcement agencies, the military, ports, airports, transit systems, civilian agencies, and corporations with critical infrastructure assets. For instance, the city of Baltimore, U.S., has used PSIM to link assets and creat interoperability between around 50 agencies for large-scale public events. While, the new World Trade Center complex in New York City, U.S., has decided to use PSIM software as part of the ground-up solution for security and building management systems, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys.

PSIM: TOTAL INTEGRATION PLATFORM
PSIM solutions seem to be the answer to the demand of centralized management systems, offering efficient threat-response procedures. PSIM software provides organizations with a seamless interface, integrating security systems, building management, and on-site facilities and subsystems that enable operators to deploy every device when required. Furthermore, PSIM software is able to integrate systems — such as perimeter, intrusion/motion detection, video surveillance, access control, fire alarm, mass notification systems, audio, gas detection, radio communication, Internet, IT, and building automation — both legacy and new, making them interoperable on the same interface and workable with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Pre-Programmed Course of Responses
In addition to enhancing centralized management, PSIM software can proactively protect critical sites from potential threats and minimize damage with a series of coordinated and predetermined responses. “A PSIM solution allows organizations responsible for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) to take a proactive approach to security by implementing measures supported by resilient business processes for identifying, investigating, responding to, and recovering from a range of security threats,” stated Keith Bloodworth, CEO of CNL Software. “The pre-programmed response is done by tailoring the solution to manage the standard operating procedures as dictated by the plant or facility and by building an effective network of communications with external systems, and in an emergency, this may prevent a disaster turning into a tragedy with massive impact.” Once the system is aware of danger or an abnormal event around the site, the PSIM software will send out notifications to related individuals, and suggest a series of tailored operating procedures.

As an open software platform, PSIM software is able to integrate analog and IP-based devices and systems, aggregate information from all facilities, communicate among integrated systems, and then provide real-time alarm and event verification, as well as prioritize emergency response, which can ease labor intensive operations and increase efficiency, as Chalmers-Stevens explained. For instance, if an alarm is triggered by a sensor or motion detector somewhere on the site, corresponding live surveillance images from around the location will then be automatically presented to an operator in the security center. In the mean time, the geospatial location will be sent to the PSIM system, which then identifies the incident site on a map and responds to the threat accordingly. Since the threat-response procedures are all pre-programmed, any operator on that shift would know exactly how to deal with the problem.

REMINDERS BEFORE CHOOSING PSIM SOFTWARE FOR CIP
PSIM software is used for situation management; however, it has become harder to satisfy end users' requirements from various verticals, as this software is mostly focused on security and overlooks specific demands from different sectors. For example, “In areas subject to flooding and landslides, the cost-benefit of the pluviometer [rain gauge] integration far outweighs the value many PSIM solutions provide by integrating to the standard players in the security area,” Phillips pointed out. “The critical infrastructure customer finds it more affordable to replace one or more of the existing video systems than to wait for a PSIM provider to adapt to their environment.”

Despite the fact that PSIM software can provide critical infrastructures with a totally integrated platform, there are still some challenges that PSIM vendors have to contend with. One problem is reaching a consensus on total integration between all the departments in an organization, especially the IT and security teams. Since different departments have different security concerns, some might be nervous about sharing access to a database and servers on a centralized platform for example, according to Chalmers-Stevens.

In addition, critical infrastructure is a competitive sector in the security market, especially since required solutions and security management platforms can be provided by not only PSIM companies but many other VMS companies as well. A PSIM solution can be far above most end users' budgets — critical infrastructures usually have a higher budget for hardware, but software products are not always given the same consideration, according to Bloodworth. In order to deploy similar integration and management systems, end users must sometimes make compromises, opting for other affordable solutions and products that offer them acceptable and alike functionality.

FINAL WORDS
Even though past obstacles remain as issue, PSIM software manufacturers continue to pay attention to the education of end users in critical infrastructures every year. PSIM software, as an example here, demonstrates how important it is for critical infrastructures to improve their total security via situational awareness systems and the benefits they can get from the systems. It could be expected that, in addition to PSIM solutions, the adoption of situational awareness systems will peak significantly in the coming years.

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