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ADT reports Q4 and Full Year 2014 result

ADT reports Q4 and Full Year 2014 result

Editor / Provider: ADT | Updated: 11/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

FOURTH QUARTER 2014 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
* GAAP results: revenue of $883 million, net income of $82 million, diluted EPS of $0.47
* Diluted EPS before special items of $0.55(1); up 19.6% over prior year period
* Recurring revenue of $819 million, up 5.4% or 5.8% in constant currency(1)(2)
* EBITDA before special items of $458 million(1), up $27 million or 6.3%
* BITDA margin before special items of 51.9%(1), up 100 basis points from prior year
* Operating cash flow of $354 million and steady-state free cash flow of $966 million(1), up 3% from prior year

FOURTH QUARTER 2014 BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS
* ADT Pulse customers grow to over 1 million
* Lowered revenue attrition to 13.5%, a sequential and year-over-year improvement of 40 basis points
* Lowered unit attrition to 13.2%, a sequential improvement of 30 basis points
* Reduced Direct Channel net SAC creation multiple to 30.1x, a sequential improvement of 1.0x
* Customer base reaches 6.7 million, not including wholesale contract monitoring accounts of approximately 95,000
* Completed post-separation transition activities from Tyco
* Completed 83,000 2G conversions in fourth quarter 2014; 221,000 in FY 2014

The ADT Corporation reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2014. The Company reported diluted earnings per share of $0.47. Excluding special items for the separation from Tyco, merger and restructuring costs, 2G radio conversion costs, and discrete tax items, diluted earnings per share was $0.55, a 19.6% increase as compared to diluted earnings per share excluding special items of $0.46 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Using the Company's cash tax rate, diluted earnings per share before special items was $0.79

The Company reported total revenue of $883 million, an increase of 4.4%, or 4.7% in constant currency, compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Recurring revenue, which made up 93% of total revenue in the quarter, was $819 million, up 5.4% compared to the same period last year and up 5.8% in constant currency. Recurring revenue growth in the quarter was primarily driven by an increase in ADT's organic average revenue per customer, which rose 3.7% over last year to $42.32, and the consolidation of Reliance Protectron for eleven weeks in the quarter. Revenue attrition for the quarter improved 40 basis points sequentially and year-over-year to 13.5%, while unit attrition for residential and small business improved 30 basis points sequentially, and 10 basis points from last year, to 13.2%. ADT closed the quarter with 6.7 million customer accounts, including Reliance Protectron accounts, a 3.6% increase over last year. The customer accounts exclude approximately 95 thousand wholesale contract monitoring accounts. EBITDA before special items increased by $27 million to $458 million, 6.3% higher than the prior year and EBITDA margin before special items was 51.9%, a 100 basis point improvement over the comparable period last year. The year-over-year increase in margins was primarily attributable to recurring revenue growth, productivity improvements and cost efficiencies slightly offset by the consolidation of Protectron in the quarter. Excluding Protectron, EBITDA margin before special items was 52.6%, 170 basis points above fourth quarter of 2013.

Free cash flow before special items was $54 million(1) in the quarter, down from $91 million(1) in the same period last year due to an increase in customer acquisitions and other growth investments, as well as higher interest paid on incremental debt in the quarter. The Company also reported steady-state free cash flow before special items, calculated on a pre-tax and unlevered basis, of $966 million(1), up 3% from last year.

FULL YEAR 2014 RESULTS
For the year ended September 26, 2014, the Company reported net income of $304 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.66. Total revenue was $3.4 billion, a year-over-year increase of 3.0%, or 3.4% in constant currency(1). Recurring revenue was $3.2 billion, up 3.7% compared to the same period last year and up 4.0% in constant currency(1). EBITDA before special items increased by $77 million to $1.8 billion(1), ending 4.6% higher than the prior year and EBITDA margins before special items was 51.8%(1), a 70 basis point improvement year-over-year. EBITDA margins before special items excluding Protectron was 52.0%(1), 90 basis points above 2013, in line with our guidance for margin improvement of at least 50 basis points. Excluding special items, diluted earnings per share for the year was $2.02(1) compared to diluted earnings per share excluding special items of $1.84(1) in 2013. Using the Company's cash tax rate, diluted earnings per share before special items was $2.92(1).

"We ended the year with a solid quarter, consistent with our most recent guidance, positioning us to drive profitable growth in the year ahead," said Naren Gursahaney, ADT's chief executive officer. "I am proud of how our team has responded to the competitive landscape, while continuing to leverage ADT's competitive advantages to deliver a great customer experience and create long term value for our shareholders. We continued to build on the momentum we have seen over the past two quarters, as we drove increases in gross adds, exceeding last year's strong fourth quarter performance, and reduced attrition below prior year and our guidance for the year. Our strong operational results and our continued commitment to cost efficiency fueled improvements in EBITDA before special items(1) and bottom line results(1). Pulse continues to perform well, as we recently added our one millionth Pulse customer, and our overall fourth quarter take rate was 51%. We completed our post-separation transition activities from Tyco, freeing up resources to sharpen the focus on our operations, to improve the customer experience, and to strengthen our competitive position. While we are pleased with our progress this quarter, we recognize we have more to accomplish and I am excited about what our team can accomplish in the year ahead."

PROGRESS ON 2014 PRIORITIES: DELIVERING ON GROWTH INITIATIVES
* Growth investments in ADT Pulse propels Pulse customer base to over 1 million subscribers - The Company continued to extend its position as a leading provider of monitored interactive home automation solutions, achieving strong growth in its ADT Pulse platform. In our residential direct channel, approximately 70% of new customers purchased a Pulse security system, and upgrade units more than doubled from a year ago. Total ADT Pulse surpassed the one millionth customer milestone and now make up 16% of ADT's total customer base.

* Attrition reduction initiatives leading to improved customer retention - The majority of customer attrition is driven by relocations associated with the housing recovery as well as non-pay customers. The Company continued to take action to reduce customer attrition by completing its roll out of tighter credit screening policies and implementing other non-pay initiatives, strengthening resale efforts, customer loyalty programs, and driving increased penetration of ADT Pulse automation services, which currently exhibits better retention characteristics. These actions, along with a more stable housing market, drove improvements resulting in revenue attrition in the quarter of 13.5% -- a 40 basis point improvement sequentially and year-over-year, and unit attrition in our residential and small business channels of 13.2% -- a 30 basis point improvement sequentially and 10 basis points below 2013.

* Increases in dealer channel production surpasses prior year level - Aligned with a key priority to improve productivity in the dealer channel, the Company took steps to strengthen the quality and output of this channel.
* *Customer adds from the dealer channel grew by 20% sequentially and 17% from the fourth quarter last year. ADT dealer production, excluding Protectron, rose 7% sequentially and 5% from the fourth quarter last year. Dealer production has risen every quarter this year and this is the first quarter in 2014 we reported year-over-year growth.
* *The Company expanded its dealer network and drove a 47% take rate in ADT Pulse units in the quarter, up from 23% in the comparable period last year.

* Expanding presence in business interactive security and automation - The Company is executing on growth initiatives in the small business and mid-size commercial space.
* *Following the expiration of the non-compete provisions with Tyco, the Company re-branded its Small Business channel as ADT Business, with an expanded focus into the mid-size commercial space.
* *ADT Pulse take rate in the small business channel continued to improve as 46% of new small business customers added during the quarter adopted Pulse.
* *The Company expanded its video surveillance and analytics offering to include both cloud-based and on-site secure storage solutions, providing small business owners with enhanced visibility into the security of their business premises.
* *The Company continued to execute upon its strategic plan to deliver customized security and automation solutions to address the most common needs and concerns of business owners within a particular industry by announcing the Food and Beverage Solutions Bundle in addition to the previously announced ADT Retail Solutions Bundle.

* Forging new partnerships to achieve future vision - The Company continued to build out its strategic partnerships as it looks to expand beyond its strength in managing and protecting physical assets to protecting digital assets and protecting its customers outside of the home.
* *The Company announced that it will begin marketing its products and services at Best Buy, creating a strong reatil presence for ADT in the US.
* *The Company announced a new relationship with IFTTT, a service that enables consumers to create powerful connections with one simple statement - if this then that. The partnership will enhance the ADT Pulse home automation experience as ADT and IFTTT are planning to test a beta version of an ADT Pulse Channel on IFTTT, connecting a customer's ADT Pulse-enabled home with more than 100 existing Channel partners. Whether it's adjusting the thermostat in reaction to local weather conditions, or arming the security system based on users' GPS data, an ADT Pulse Channell on IFTTT could enable users to put many aspects of their home on auto-pilot.

* Completed Reliance Protectron acquisition positioning Canadian operations for growth - The Company completed its acquisition of Reliance Protectron, expanding and strengthening its position in Canada. The Company has begun integrating Protectron's operations and customer base, which includes approximately 370,000 high quality residential and commercial customers (excluding approximately 30,000 wholesale contract monitoring accounts). Included in the Company's consolidated results are Protectron's operations for 11 weeks of the fourth quarter 2014.

"We delivered another quarter of solid execution and improved operating metrics, while accelerating our investment in growth," said Michael Geltzeiler, ADT's chief financial officer. "In the fourth quarter, we closed the Protectron acquisition, prepared for the launch of expanded commercial capabilities and advanced several new partnerships designed to strengthen our business for the future. We achieved our cost objectives for the year, grew steady-state free cash flow(1), improved EBITDA margin before special items by 90 basis points(1) before Protectron and drove direct subscriber acquisition creation multiples back below 30x for the quarter. For the year, we reported a 10% increase in diluted EPS before special items(1) enhanced by optimizing our capital structure with the repurchase of 35 million shares and increasing leverage. We also increased our quarterly dividend by 60%. With the post-separation transition activities behind us, we have a healthy list of productivity improvements still to be executed in both cost to serve and SAC, providing a runway for increased profitability and investment funding to fuel growth."

PROGRESS ON 2014 PRIORITIES: DRIVING COST EFFICIENCIES
* The Company made progress on its cost efficiency initiatives, improving its EBITDA margin before special items(1) and direct creation multiple excluding the impact of upgrades over the course of the year. Total operating expenses before special items(3) were up only 5.5% over last year despite the acquisitions of Reliance Protectron and Devcon as well as higher depreciation and amortization ("D&A") expenses of 10.5%, as we transition our customer base to Pulse and home automation. Excluding D&A, total operating expenses before special items(3 rose 1.8%.


* Cost to serve / G&A - Cost to serve before special items(3) was up 3.5% compared to last year and increased 6.8% sequentially due to higher product related costs associated with the increase in ADT Pulse accounts and the addition of Reliance Protectron.


* Subscriber acquisition cost (SAC) / Creation multiple - Total net SAC creation multiple, excluding the impact of Pulse upgrades, was 30.6x, a sequential improvement of 0.4x. Direct net SAC creation multiple, excluding the impact of upgrades and Protectron was 29.9x. Sequential improvements in the net creation multiple were driven by SAC improvements, partially due to the higher level of gross additions, rationalization in the installation area and higher ARPU from our new customers. We expect to benefit more from these and other initiatives, including the launch of electronic contracts and planned hardware efficiencies in 2015.

PROGRESS ON 2014 PRIORITIES: CAPITAL STRUCTURE OPTIMIZATION
* Share repurchase - In 2014, the Company has repurchased 35 million shares for $1.4 billion, at an average price of $38.49.
* Debt/Capital Structure - Long-term debt totaled $5.1 billion at the end of the quarter, bringing the Company's leverage ratio, based off of a trailing twelve month EBITDA before special items, to 2.8(1) on a pro-forma basis.
* Quarterly dividend - The Company paid a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share on August 20th, an increase of 60% versus last year.

FULL YEAR FISCAL 2015 GUIDANCE
The Company is providing the following guidance for full year fiscal 2015:
* Recurring revenue growth in the range of 5% - 6%
* EBITDA before special items growth in the range of $70M - $100M
* Year-over-year increase in gross additions for direct and dealer channels
* Unit attrition below 13%
* Steady-state free cash flow before special items greater than $1 billion

Fairmont Jakarta safeguards the guests security with QNAP VioStor NVR solution

Fairmont Jakarta safeguards the guests security with QNAP VioStor NVR solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by QNAP | Updated: 11/24/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Situated at the south end of Jakarta's central business district, Fairmont Jakarta features 380 well-appointed guestrooms and suites. Known for its location and scale, the Fairmont Jakarta hotel features 3,500 square meters of function space, including a 1,200 square meter ballroom.

With hundreds of guests visiting each day, Fairmont Jakarta management requires a large-scale surveillance system to ensure customer safety while monitoring and recording hotel activities. In the first stage, they needed to deploy a video surveillance system capable of simultaneously monitoring tens of security cameras in the extensive areas in and around the hotel building. The management also preferred a surveillance system that would be highly flexible and expandable, allowing for the easy addition of new IP cameras.

After thorough research, Fairmont Jakarta selected the QNAP VioStor VS-12164U-RP Pro+ NVR for their security system deployment. The VS-12164U-RP Pro+ NVR features extensive expansion capabilities and allows for new models to be easily integrated into the system using simple network connections without physical cabling and complicated setup procedures.

The QNAP VS-12164U-RP Pro+ VioStor NVR is a high-end 2U chassis network surveillance server that supports high quality real-time video/audio monitoring, megapixel recording (up to 10-megapixel), and playback of multiple IP cameras. The VioStor VS-12164U-RP Pro+ can simultaneously handle inputs from up to 64 megapixel cameras. Featuring a powerful Quad-core Intel® Core™ i5 processor with 8 GB DDR3 RAM, it is an enterprise-grade NVR that delivers high performance with 450 Mbps throughput for recording and smooth playback of multiple megapixel cameras. With HDMI output and hardware decoding, the VS-12164U-RP Pro+ provides the ability to deliver up to 300fps Full HD local display. The Linux-based VioStor VS-12164U-RP Pro+ enables quick and easy deployment of multiple NVRs. It is designed with the user in mind and offers a simple and intuitive setup in six steps. Coupled with powerful performance and stability, this solution is tailor-made for enterprise surveillance needs.

The 18th Secutech offers biz opportunities for global security players

The 18th Secutech offers biz opportunities for global security players

Editor / Provider: Secutech | Updated: 11/10/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech is the annual international exhibition and conference for world-class manufacturers and discerning buyers of security products and solutions. The 18th edition is officially confirmed to take place from 28 – 30 April 2015 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center in Taiwan.

Mr Parson Lee, Managing Director of organiser Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd, said: “The upcoming edition of Secutech will be held in April. This strategic timing allows exhibitors to present their latest technologies and launch new products during the optimum sourcing season. The show is highly anticipated by suppliers from across the globe, especially those in China, South Korea and Taiwan. These three major manufacturing bases account for up to 70% of the global security-based product output. We will once again serve as a premier networking platform for fair participants to form strategic partnerships and distributorships.”

Two debut product zones with enhanced categorisation cater to industry needs
Secutech 2015 aims to cater to demand for a wider spectrum of safety and security-related products. As a result, six special product zones, two of which are new additions to the fair, will be featured. The latest zones cover:

* Transmission & Network
Transmission distance limitations have been a major obstacle for HD migration. However, recent advancements in transmission and networking technologies allow video feeds to be sent at higher speeds. The Transmission & Network zone will feature leading Taiwanese information and communications technology (ICT) solution providers to present last mile technologies. There will also be a demonstration area for industry professionals to exchange ideas for smoother HD migration.

*Software & Storage
Higher resolution images are propelling intensive usage of data storage and management. The Software & Storage zone will be a networking platform for hardware makers, software developers and system integrators to interact. This zone aims to raise awareness of Video Management Software (VMS) and Video Content Analytics (VCA) technologies in Asia. VMS is the foundation for video monitoring, analysis and recording. The development of its extensive application is influential to various vertical markets in the industry. Regarding VCA technologies, they automatically analyse video to detect and determine temporal and spatial events. These technologies are applicable to home automation, retail, transport, safety and security.

These two zones make their debut alongside returning product zones for Access Control, Key Components & Parts, IP & HD World, and Smart Home. All zones aim to promote development within the industry.

Secutech will also organise a series of highly thought-provoking seminars. Prominent industry players, keen on sharing their knowledge and experiences, will be the speakers. Highlights include the Global Digital Security Forum (GDSF) and the Composec Conference. Attendees can expect to gain insights into the evolving global security industry through presentations and interactions with experts.

For more details about Secutech 2015, please visit www.secutech.com. Alternatively, please call Ms Sandra Chen at +886 2 2659 9080 ext 761, or send an email to sandra.chen@newera.messefrankfurt.com.

With 12 events, Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading organisers of fairs and congresses for the expanding international field of safety and security technology. Nine trade fairs and three high-grade congresses in Germany, Asia, the Middle East, South America and the Russia Federation provide optimum opportunities for gaining a foothold in these dynamic growth markets. Further information is available at www.safety-security.messefrankfurt.com

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading trade fair organisers, generating around €545 million in sales and employing some 2,000 people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 150 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2013, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 113 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany. Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt's exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.messefrankfurt.com/.

VIVOTEK releases new version of iViewer app

VIVOTEK releases new version of iViewer app

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 11/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

VIVOTEK announced the release of its re-designed and iOS 8 or Android 4.0 compatible iViewer app, which enables users to monitor locations remotely by providing access to surveillance camera video directly from their iOS or Android handheld device.

Steve Ma, Executive VP at VIVOTEK, stated, “With the booming of connected handheld devices in the past decade, surveillance on the move is regarded as an essential element in the realization of seamless security. VIVOTEK, in addition to providing our valued customers with high quality network surveillance products, is strongly committed to creating user-friendly and convenient solutions. Ever since the launch of our iViewer app, we have applied great R&D resources to interface and functionality optimization. Today, we are pleased to release the upgraded iViewer app with a friendlier user interface and more exciting new features, making remote monitoring more flexible and enjoyable.”

iViewer allows users to stream live video from hundreds of cameras, which can be accessed by VIVOTEK's professional central management software VAST, VIVOTEK free video management software ST7501, and VIVOTEK NVR. Users can also directly connect to individual cameras via IP address or an IP finder. With persistent dedication to improving the entire performance of the app and maximizing the benefits of the remote and real-time monitoring, VIVOETK has also introduced further new features in this upgraded version, such as a user-friendly Interface, a “My favorites” menu, a Tutorial introduction, and Multiple ways to add devices (manual insert & local network search).

HEDON Spa & Hotel optimizes security with GKB diplomat IP solution

HEDON Spa & Hotel optimizes security with GKB diplomat IP solution

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by GKB | Updated: 11/10/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Background:
Triger, who has partnership with GKB for more than 7 years in Estonia, Europe, is a professional and comprehensive solution provider for small and large integrated electrical and low current system. Their current project with GKB is to upgrade the surveillance of their resort: HEDON SPA & Hotel.

HEDON SPA & Hotel, a historical Mud Baths of Pärnu renovated to a Modern SPA-Hotel in Estonia; a beach side SPA hotel with the most enjoyable environment. There are 72 hotel rooms and 6 suites in HEDON SPA & Hotel.

The Challenge
HEDON SPA & Hotel requires IP Cameras at 3 separate areas but with central recording, monitoring & management systems. GKB IP Diplomat can provide them a well-performed, flexible and decentralized platform to monitor visitors' safety with high image quality anytime and anywhere.

Solution:
In this project, Triger has installed GKB D44731 & GKB D34731 IP cameras at the SPA and hotel area. They are IP megapixel cameras with H.264 compression and 8 video streams for separate software usage.

GKB team also provides GKB DN4801 Linux NVR at the SPA and hotel areas; NVR is designed for a relay viewing and management platform. The SPA & Hotel administrator can use GKB Viewer-11 software for central monitoring, playback and remote evidence downloading at the monitoring station.

Benefits:
* Remote Accessibility
GKB Diplomat IP provides cloud-based solution with central monitoring and recording platform at competitive price.

*A Flexible and Cost-Effective Solution
GKB DN4801 is able to record up to 48CH, a various channel options for user to easily expand cameras without adding extra license fee.

Bosch delivers networked evacuation solution for three Kuwait refineries

Bosch delivers networked evacuation solution for three Kuwait refineries

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 11/7/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Bosch Security Systems has delivered an IP-based and networked public address and voice evacuation systems to all refineries of Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). KNPC is mainly responsible for the oil refining and gas liquefaction industry in Kuwait and operates three refineries throughout the country: Mina Abdullah Refinery, Mina Al Ahmadi Refinery, and Shuaiba Refinery.

In a move to improve employee safety on the refineries' premises and to streamline operations, KNPC decided to implement modern evacuation systems with superior intelligibility and a central management platform for all three refineries.

Local Bosch partner Knetco designed and implemented the solution based on Bosch's digital PRAESIDEO public address and evacuation system. One of these systems was installed at each of the refineries, supporting a total of 4,500 horn and ceiling speakers, 212 amplifiers and seven network controllers. Divided into eight independently addressable zones each, the systems cover office buildings, control buildings and workshops.

In order to enable central controlling, monitoring and broadcast of emergency messages, all PRAESIDEO systems in the individual refineries were connected to the operator's Emergency Control Center in the head office building. The connection was implemented utilizing the existing network infrastructure so that no costly cable works were required. Being based on open standards, the entire solution could also easily be integrated with the existing siren system.

Trends in airport security: meeting the challenges

Trends in airport security: meeting the challenges

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Siemens Enterprise Security | Updated: 11/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The challenges facing today's airport security decision makers become ever more complex, as additional processes traditionally outside of their scope of responsibility have to be considered. These include passenger flow management, higher capacity aircraft, differing passenger security classification criteria, legislative compliance and the increasing pressure of operational uptime and profitability. The security industry is responding to all of these challenges, and as it does, there are several discernible trends coming to light.

Trend 1: Use of intelligent, wide-area surveillance
The implementation of any comprehensive security policy usually involves a multi-layered approach with the first line of defense being the surrounding airport perimeter. There have recently been a number of highly publicized incidents at airports, which were initiated as a result of a perimeter security breach - both inadvertently and deliberately. Such incidents not only pose an immediate threat to operations as well as passenger and airport asset security and safety, but can damage an airport's reputation in today's competitive market and undermine trust and confidence of business partners and customers.

The current sophisticated solutions for effective perimeter security detection include, amongst others, long-range, thermal-imaging surveillance cameras, false alarm resilient presence and motion-detection sensors, as well as ground-radar detection and tracking. Once deployed, these external detection systems can be operated through intelligent management platforms to automatically qualify and identify unauthorized attempted access well beyond the airport boundary and contain a potential risk before it poses a threat to operations and assets.

The benefits associated with the live tracking of qualified objects, vehicles and people via video analytics have also assisted airport operators to effectively manage all ground activity in a typically busy and dynamic environment. All movement and activity is automatically mapped against planned and authorized routes with real time integration of other airport databases. This facilitates airport security operators to be alerted and react to extraordinary events and suspicious behavior aided by pre-defined and approved workflows. Today's large-scale surveillance solutions filter critical events from camera and other sensor input, graphically displaying results via a comprehensive digital map on a single screen. Integrated three-dimensional analytics determine particular object attributes, supporting operators in pre-qualified classification of all activity and incidents. Using intelligent policy zones and virtual barriers, these systems detect, track, and classify activity, enabling operators to see what is happening throughout the whole area in real time.

Trend 2: Protection of the apron
The airport apron, where aircraft are parked, loaded, unloaded and refueled, is an extremely high-risk and sensitive area. To counter the threat of unauthorized access, state-of-the-art video systems with intelligent algorithms are being implemented to track objects and persons, and to interpret and define routine aircraft servicing operations while parked within the apron area. These solutions facilitate the immediate detection of extraordinary activities and maintain a constant state of vigilance, ensuring the security of aircraft and associated assets.

Current solutions available to airport operators make use of surveillance cameras to create virtual barriers or zones, around fences, buildings or areas within the apron, that trigger automatic alerts when unauthorized activity occurs. Images from cameras covering the area are automatically displayed to the operator, tracking and classifying activity in real time. Operators simply view one graphical display of the entire apron area showing all the necessary information. When an incident occurs, the exact location is pinpointed and the fast and efficient deployment of security personnel or suitable resources facilitated.

Trend 3: Optimization of existing terminal infrastructure
The need for controlled and efficient transfer of passengers travelling to or arriving from destinations with differing security credentials within a common terminal area is a challenge facing many of today's airports. In Europe, for example, there is need for the measured, controlled and secure segregation of passengers travelling from Schengen* and Non-Schengen countries. Globally, many international airports face similar passenger segregation requirements when looking to process domestic and international passengers in their ever busier terminals.

In these situations, immigration and customs procedures are performed in segregated areas under particular conditions, but often use the same terminal infrastructure. Solutions are needed to eliminate the possibility of passengers or objects being transferred from one controlled zone to another. Unique measures are now being installed in many airports to facilitate the automated transit between only predefined and pre-approved areas. A major European airport, for example, is currently installing a solution to allow passengers to access existing common use elevators to travel between terminal levels with differing active security policies. When an elevator is called, the absence of passengers or objects is assured through detailed scanning of the elevator cabin by multiple surveillance and thermal imaging cameras, together with 3D motion detectors. The process is completed within seconds, ensuring the elevator is empty before setting off and no breach of security through the transfer of persons or objects is possible.

Trend 4: Measuring of passenger flow
Despite recent economic setbacks, air travel continues to grow globally. Code-sharing between carriers, the use of larger aircraft and the ‘hub and spoke' system offer tremendous efficiency gains to airlines, but have also resulted in increased passenger numbers being within the terminal at any one time.

The resulting formation of bottlenecks and queues is a key issue facing today's airports. Stringent security procedures compound the problem, necessitating passengers to arrive hours before boarding and restricting their movement within the terminal. Adequate numbers of staff must be in position to manage all corresponding processes and the expected facilities must also be available. Balancing this provision of optimum service against cost and the consequences of unexpected delays is a truly complex task.

The ability to measure and manage queues at all key points within the passenger flow path is a key element in optimizing airport operations. Intelligent solutions are now available to assist staff in tracking, managing and sharing information about passengers and their luggage. Technologies such as flow-monitoring and predictive analytics can enable airports to capture and access data in real-time, supporting them in making the most effective decisions. Examples of technology supporting airport queue and passenger flow optimization, whilst reducing operational costs, include the automated validation of boarding passes and automated staff scheduling and dynamic deployment of resources in response to real-time passenger activity. Utilizing accurate passenger flow data offers airports the opportunity to enhance operational efficiency, optimize terminal layouts, and to reconfigure retail areas and increase revenues as a result of a better understanding of passenger behavior. Real-time data of expected and actual waiting times is increasingly being provided to passengers and has been proven to reduce the potential for passenger frustration and dissatisfaction, in turn improving the airport's reputation and securing repeat business. Monitoring capabilities can be used to track assets such as wheelchairs and vehicles for passengers with reduced mobility, ensuring their availability when needed.

Trend 5: Biometric identification and verification
For a number of years, researchers have been developing highly secure authentication techniques that use the recognition of measurable biological characteristics for enhanced security and improved convenience.

There is an increasing demand from the airport sector for the more wide-spread use of biometric verification technology to compliment and increase the security of traditional access control and identification solutions. Unauthorized access tops the list of airport security threats according to a recent survey of airport security managers. The potential mis-use of staff and contractor ID badges to gain access to unauthorized areas within an airport requires a highly effective yet user-efficient means of providing additional security levels. As biometric solutions become ever more cost effective and reliable, their use is expected to increase. Several technologies such as fingerprint, face, iris and retina scanners for identity validation have been used for a number of years, with differing levels of success. Palm vein detection is among the latest technologies being introduced into the market, utilizing one of the most effective and widely accepted identification techniques, through the contactless and safe scanning of human vein patterns within the palm of the hand. The unique palm vein patterns of each human individual are extremely complex, and the position of the veins remains unchanged for life, ensuring identification is extremely reliable with even skin defects or superficial injuries not affecting the performance of the reader.

Verification readers use infrared technology to scan the blood vein patterns within seconds and typically validate the pre-stored characteristics of the registered user's card, ensuring the card is only used by the true owner.

Meeting the challenge with the right partner
These trends ably demonstrate that the security industry is responding to today's challenges and addressing the needs of airport operators. Within an airport however, certain security solutions can compromise the efficient flow of passenger and air traffic. It is therefore important that problems or threats are identified early and dealt with reliably, with systems working together to ensure an optimum level of reaction and response. Integrated solutions enhance security, increase efficiency and reliability while reducing airport operators' exposure to risk and improving the overall passenger experience. Command and control platforms from leading manufacturers are a critical part of the day-to-day running of an airport and provide a coordinated, timely and appropriate response to all security and safety incidents.

Only a limited number of security solution providers can offer a bespoke airport portfolio, the necessary knowledge, global reach and project experience required to meet the demands of today's airports. Fewer yet are fully able to deliver integrated airport projects, supporting clients through technical design and specification, project management, training and long term service and support.

Modern airport security is a complex and dynamic subject, but, with the support of the right security solution provider, a most effective solution is more accessible than ever.

(*The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries which have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders, utilizing a common Visa policy.)

                                                   - By Steve Batt, Market Manager Airports, Siemens Enterprise Security

 

Click here for more information about airport security solutions by Siemens Enterprise Security

 

Vietnam rallies behind security

Vietnam rallies behind security

Editor / Provider: Lisa Hsu, a&s Asia | Updated: 11/4/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The anti-China protests that escalated to a riot in May resulted in damages to factories in industrial parks. Many of them were looted or burned down, causing injuries and several deaths to people who were caught in the incidents. The aftermath of the event led to losses of millions of dollars in damages and ceasing of manufacturing operations, as well as temporarily causing economic consequences as factories were required to close down for safety issues. Such violence meant an increase in security demand. Now, Vietnam is reevaluating their security issues, looking to improve safety and deter future incidents.

ECONOMIC GROWTH STILL STRONG
Despite the riot, Vietnam is unlikely to suffer significant economic impact. According to IHS Research, the economic and commercial impact on Vietnam's investment image in the wake of the anti-China riot will be limited, since production is likely to resume quickly in the affected areas. Additionally, the drop in Chinese investment is expected to be temporary, as it is more likely to delay commitment to new projects than lead to the cancellation of existing projects in Vietnam. In fact, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, China has 893 projects on going in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of US$4.7 billion. Furthermore, Japan and Taiwan, the two biggest investors in Vietnam, have registered capitals of $28.7 and $27.1 billion respectively in the country, showing that investors still see Vietnam as an ideal location for investing.

So what does this mean for security? According to Tran Nguyen Dung, Director of HDTEK Technology, “Growth of the security industry is due to market demand. Recently, the real estate market has recovered a bit, the bank system problems are being solved step by step, the belief in the stock market is increasing, and the exchange rate is quite stable.”

SECURITY AWARENESS INCREASES
During the chaos, the lack of security made catching culprits who vandalized and robbed factories even more difficult, as many did not have any surveillance cameras or intrusion alarms installed. With insufficient equipment to capture clear footage of incidents, families who lost loved ones in the riot were not able to bring justice to the criminals. However, this experience has led more Vietnamese people and companies, many of which normally ignored security issues in their organizations before, to become more aware of their security system and services, creating a turning point for the Vietnamese security industry, according to Hoang Qui Hop, GM of T&T Security.

“I believe this incident is a wake-up call for Vietnam's manufacturing sector,” said Terence Ng, GM of IndoChina at Bosch Security Systems. “Many industrial parks and factories were set up over the past years since Vietnam started industrialization, but there were insufficient or no investment in protecting and securing these facilities which is posing a threat to the safety and security of personnel. Now, industrial park and factory owners can no longer take security for granted and need to work on a comprehensive protection plan for their personnel, assets, and facilities.”

Hop also observed that apart from upgrading security systems to protect themselves, “companies are starting to work more closely with local authorities for assistance to obtain information about their employees for background checks, and human resource departments in companies are taking more interest in their staff.”

GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES TO BRING BACK INVESTORS
Vietnam has offered tax breaks and other incentives for companies whose factories were damaged or destroyed during the riot to maintain trade relations, with a reduction of up to 30% in special consumption tax, and reduced import and export tariffs. The government has also committed to ensuring absolute safety for people, businesses, and foreign agencies in accordance with the law and its international commitments.

“The government will have to give assurances to all foreign investors all over the world that it is making its best effort and taking measures to restabilize the business environment for foreign invested companies in the country,” Ng stated. Similarly, Dung emphasized, “Vietnam is a reliable environment to invest. They [the government] are giving compensations to the damaged companies. This is a very good way of handling the situation.”

Additionally, more companies from various verticals have been approaching security solutions, fueling additional growth in the Vietnam security industry. There is an increase in market demand by industrial parks, correction facilities, and city and marine surveillance verticals, which are faced with the need to satisfy companies and citizens requiring protection against future incidents, and to ensure reliable security systems are in place, said Ng.

LOOKING FOR NEW PREVENTION TECHNOLOGIES
Although the incentives offered to companies affected by the riots by the Vietnamese government are not directly related to security, money saved from tax and rent deductions can go to investing in security solutions.

“Companies must seriously look into a physical protection system to protect their assets and facilities against further theft, sabotage, or other malevolent human attacks,” suggested Ng. This system should involve “the setting up of a factory security team, equipment, and procedure to deter, detect, or delay any intrusive action.” He further emphasized the need for a plant's security forces to be able to delay an attack or defend itself until it can notify an emergency response team. Similarly, Bryan Quý, Sales Director of Namson Engineering, emphasized that security solutions providers should supply users with solutions to better connect consumer security systems to the police or government agents to process support requests faster.

In regard to equipment, Ng suggests that there will be an increase in market demand for high resolution HD and megapixel cameras with wide dynamic range and low-light sensitivity functions, as demand for video clarity and recognition capabilities have become increasingly evident. Other products such as external and internal alarm sensors for perimeter and facility protection, and access control linked with video systems to prevent unauthorized access are options for companies to install to protect their property. Video content analysis with functions such as crowd detection, loitering, and fire and smoke detection can be used to immediately recognize risks and reduce the need for human operators. With the growing location of banking ATMs, security solutions are needed to secure different banking locations.

Nguyen Minh Cuong, Assistant Manager for System Solution Division of Panasonic Vietnam, notes that camera and alarm systems are basic requirements, with an estimated growth of over 10%  for the banking security market. High resolution cameras will be popular in order to monitor customers' behavior in the ATM booth, and remote monitoring will also be an option for banking security solutions. Alarm systems are on the road to becoming the most essential technology for ATMs, as the feature to alert authorities or operators in situations is the main purpose of security systems, especially after business hours.

SOLUTIONS, NOT JUST PRODUCTS
Regardless of whether the riot brought more business to security companies, security companies still need to step up their game. According to Ng, it is essential for security solution providers to be able to offer a comprehensive intelligent solution — one that can reliably capture, analyze, store, view, and manage large amounts of video and alarm information, from early detection of potential problems to final response action. It would also be ideal to have software solutions with site maps and integrated functions to different sensors and elements of the physical protection system. Combining both equipment and software solutions would form a multifunctional and expandable platform that fits into the company's personal requirements.

Since the riot, security solutions providers are under more scrutiny to maintain standard codes and regulations for security solutions, said T&T's Hop, “especially for banks, factories, airports, seaports, casinos, and oil and gas industries. Not only should they sell products but also solutions with the after-sales service.”

Post riot, more people will be willing to spend money on security issues. For example, more homes will install 24-hour-monitored security systems with burglar alarms, panic call, and fire alarm functions. Hop noted that the cost of security systems is not expensive at this time; therefore, it is affordable to install one or two HD IP cameras in a residential home. Furthermore, with the evolution of technology, most people own smartphones or tablets, allowing consumers to monitor their houses through security apps on-the-go via the Internet.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE
Despite the negative impact brought on by the riots, growing security awareness as a result of the events will hopefully provide Vietnam with the push it needs to jump-start its security market. Furthermore, as the economic situation in Vietnam — and across the globe — continues to improve, as well as adding on the support of the government to bring in more foreign direct investment, Vietnam has the tools it needs to build up and improve its security landscape.

Exacq Technologies' latest Z-Series recorders feature higher performance

Exacq Technologies' latest Z-Series recorders feature higher performance

Editor / Provider: Exacq Technologies | Updated: 11/3/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, has released an update to its exacqVision Z-Series line of hybrid and IP camera recorders. These purpose-built network video recorders (NVR) feature higher performance, reliability and capacity at a lower cost for enterprise video surveillance deployments.

The enhanced exacqVision Z-Series recorders offer new robust options creating a performance-optimized solution for demanding applications. These recorders continuously record up to 1,200 Mbps of video, offering better performance to record more high definition and high resolution cameras. Ideal for large, enterprise installations, the exacqVision Z-Series delivers up to 1,800 frames per second of video to web and mobile clients, allowing users to deploy the freely distributed cross-platform client, web browser client or Exacq mobile app to more users simultaneously. Up to 500 exacqVision client users or 100 web browser/mobile app users can connect to a single Z-Series recorder at the same time. Each Z-Series now comes with a dual 10 Gbps network interface option for faster archiving and better mass client performance.

The Z-Series features front-accessible, hot-swappable hard drives for maximum reliability, along with RAID 5 or 6 to protect users against data loss and provide continuous operation. The Z-Series also comes standard with dual hot swappable power supplies, and hardware health monitoring in the exacqVision client.

Z-Series recorders include up to 64 analog camera inputs for instant connection of analog security cameras and can host up to 128 IP cameras. Pre-configured with exacqVision Professional or Enterprise video management system (VMS) software, Z-Series recorders come with eight IP camera licenses included for easy, out-of-the-box deployment. exacqVision supports more than 2,200 IP camera models from nearly 100 manufacturers. The exacqVision VMS includes the new EasyConnect feature that automatically finds, addresses and connects to over 400 different IP cameras. Z-Series recorders store up to 80TB per server and are expandable to 1.6PB with the addition of exacqVision S-Series networked video storage recorders.

Each Z-Series recorder includes a three-year hardware warranty and three-year software subscription agreement (SSA), which allows users to update their recorder with the latest exacqVision software features at no additional cost.

Brazilian Fire Department upgrades security with VIVOTEK cameras

Brazilian Fire Department upgrades security with VIVOTEK cameras

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 10/30/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

Upgrade the extant security system of the department
Bombeiros do Estado de São Paulo, a local fire department in São Paulo, Brazil, boasts a long and proud history of protecting its citizens. The primary missions of the fire department are the implementation of civil defense, fire prevention and elimination, search and rescue, and public aid in the state of São Paulo. Recently, a comprehensive security plan was devised to enhance the overall security of the fire department. A major aspect of the plan was to upgrade the extant security system of the department to not only improve the monitoring of external areas and the main entrance, but also support stationed guards in making their virtual rounds, decrease the risk of unknown attacks, and enhance the recording of daily activity outside the department.

The regional distributor Bellfone Distributor and local security system integrator Invert Systems were commissioned for the task. VIVOTEK cameras were the immediate choice of Bellfone Distributor and Invert Systems among numerous market-available brands because of their excellent quality and reliability. Alpha-Digi, VIVOTEK's national distributor in Brazil, plays an important role in supporting both system integrators' equipment procurement. To satisfy the requirements of the security plan, 44 VIVOTEK cameras were installed, comprising the IP8332, IP8335H, and FD8136 models, to upscale the entire security system within the department.

Excellent quality and reliability satisfy the requirements of the fire department
The project commenced on 27 March 2014, successfully installing 11*IP8332 models, 28* IP8335H models, and 5*FD8136 models in and around the department. The IP8335H network bullet camera is characterized by an HD WDR CMOS sensor for use in light-challenging conditions. The WDR Pro feature of the camera utilizes a double shutter technique to capture the dark and bright regions of an image, which are then combined to produce true-to-life images. The two frames are then combined to generate a highly realistic image. In short, the IP8335H is ideal for high contrast environments such as parking lots for fire-fighting service cars in this case.

The IP8332 camera features a removable IR-cut filters and IR illuminators that are effective up to 15 m. In addition, the camera is housed in a weatherproof casing, allowing it to withstand harsh or unstable weather conditions, rendering this model ideal for a variety of outdoor applications that require open angles. Subsequently, this camera model was deployed in numerous outdoor and patio areas around the department, and in the basement.

The FD8136 is a quite small network fixed dome camera. This model features Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, which makes installation quick and easy, and selectable focal lengths, which renders the model ideal for compact or enclosed spaces such as lifts.

In order to centralize and efficiently manage video at the fire department, VIVOTEK's professional central management software VAST was introduced. With intuitive functions and numerous features, the 44 cameras are well managed in a hierarchical system structure, enabling the monitoring, recording, playback and event trigger management with ease-of-use and efficient control.

Exponential Improvement of Security Infrastructure
Following the upscaling of the department's security system, relevant personnel have expressed that the project was a great success, and on-site security has improved exponentially. Stationed guards now have access to a comprehensive layout of the entire department from the monitoring room, making it easier to identify the weak points where patrols should be reinforced. With the responsibility of safeguarding the lives of countless citizens, Bombeiros do Estado de São Paulo, like all fire departments worldwide, is a hallmark for security. Protecting others is a persistent goal of the department, yet the safety of the premises is equally important. In this context, scaling suitable products that satisfy specific clients with a high level of strategic knowledge can be quite challenging. Nevertheless, VIVOTEK fulfilled all client demands, and all parties involved expressed a high level of satisfaction for the outcome of this project.

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