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IHS Research note: Canon to acquire Axis Communications

IHS Research note: Canon to acquire Axis Communications

Editor / Provider: IHS | Updated: 2/11/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Canon announced a public offer today to acquire Axis Communications. Axis is one of the world's largest suppliers of video surveillance equipment.

This is a massive development in the video surveillance equipment market. Until 2014, Canon was a small player in this market. However, back in August 2013, it revealed big ambitions when its CEO, Fujio Mitari, spoke about security cameras becoming an “important pillar” for the company and the market having “limitless possibilities for growth”. Then in June 2014, Canon acquired the world's largest supplier of video management software, Milestone Systems. Now, Canon is purchasing the world's largest supplier of network cameras. All of this shows just how seriously Canon is about expanding its interests in the video surveillance equipment market.

IHS estimates that Axis Communications was the third largest supplier of video surveillance equipment in 2014 with over 5% of a global market worth around $15 billion. Despite this, the company has faced intense competition, particularly from Chinese rivals in recent years. The largest of these, Hikvision and Dahua, have both been gaining market share faster than Axis. At the same time, the average selling price of a network camera has more than halved between 2010 and 2014.

Canon's acquisition of Axis is the latest in a number of major changes to the structure of the supply chain for video surveillance equipment. It comes just two months after Samsung Group sold Samsung Techwin. Today, the supply chain remains highly fragmented. The top fifteen suppliers account for less than 50% of revenues and there are thousands of small suppliers. Consolidation has been anticipated for some time and Canon's purchase of Axis could be just the start of a series of industry acquisitions in 2015.

Canon to acquire Axis for $2.8 billion

Canon to acquire Axis for $2.8 billion

Editor / Provider: Canon | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Canon Inc. announces that it has decided to make a recommended public cash offer (the "Offer") to the shareholders in the Swedish company Axis AB ("Axis"; President and CEO: Ray Mauritsson) to tender all their shares in Axis to Canon. Completion of the Offer is subject to a number of conditions. The Axis shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

The Offer is friendly in nature and the Board of Directors of Axis has decided to recommend Axis's shareholders to accept it. The three largest shareholders in Axis, including the founders, who hold in aggregate approximately 39.5% of the total number of shares and voting rights in Axis, have undertaken to accept the Offer subject to certain conditions.

Under Phase IV of its Excellent Global Corporation Plan, launched in 2011, Canon aims to maintain its highly profitable structure and join the ranks of the world's top 100 companies in terms of all key measures of business performance. As a key strategy toward the achievement of this goal, Canon aims to develop new business through globalized diversification.

In recent years, the video surveillance system market has continued to realize rapid growth. Canon views its network surveillance camera business as a promising new business area and positions the business as a driving force for future growth within the Canon Group. Canon would be pleased to welcome Axis, the global leader in the network video solutions industry, into the Canon Group.

After the completion of the Offer, Canon envisages the following synergies.

1. Strong technology synergies
The combination of Canon's excellent optical and imaging technologies and Axis's outstanding network image processing technology will enable both companies to offer innovative, sophisticated network video solutions. Furthermore, by making use of Canon's wide range of research and development capabilities and manufacturing technologies, Axis will be able to boost product competitiveness.

2. Strengthening the intellectual property portfolio
Canon and Axis each own intellectual property in different technology fields. Together, the combined intellectual property portfolio will be strengthened across a broad area of technologies, allowing leveraged product development which will contribute to an increased ability to introduce new and innovative products, solutions and services to the market.

3. Enhancing the distribution and service network
To date, Canon has created a global distribution and service network for its camera products and business equipment. Additionally, Axis has a well-established worldwide network of 75,000 business partners, including system integrators. With Axis joining the Canon Group, Canon will be able to add Axis's distribution and service channels for network system products.

Axis is a global company that has continuously created innovative products and services from its founding in 1984 to today through its entrepreneurship and unique corporate culture. Following completion of the Offer, Axis's current management team will remain in place and its headquarters, development centers, and sales offices will remain in their current locations. The strong Axis brand name will be maintained and applied in all relevant markets. Furthermore, Axis will continue to be a separate legal entity within the Canon Group.

Overview of the Offer
1. Offer Price
340 Swedish krona per share

2. Number of Shares to be Purchased by Canon
69,461,250 Shares (100% of the issued shares in Axis)

3. Funds Required for the Purchase (Estimated)
Approx. 23.6 billion Swedish krona (Approx. 333.7 billion yen when all issued shares in Axis are acquired)

4. Indicative Timetable
Estimated date for launch of the Offer: Early March 2015
The Offer will be launched as soon as the Offer document is approved by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and Nasdaq Stockholm in early March 2015.

5. Other
Completion of the Offer is conditional on receipt of necessary regulatory, governmental or similar clearances, approvals and decisions, including from competition authorities.

India: Land of opportunities in 2015

India: Land of opportunities in 2015

Editor / Provider: Lisa Hsu, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Over the pas past two years, India's economy has been slow, mainly as a result of investments grinding to a halt due to the election. However, all this has changed since Narendra Modi was elected as the new prime minister last year. Since Modi came to power, foreign and local investments have been positive, with expectations for further economic growth in the next two years, and opportunities for the security industry in growing project demands.

Before the election in 2014, foreign investments were slow due to investor hesitation and uncertainty in what the new government would bring. Now, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to build 100 smart cities and increase the speed of project clearances has resulted in positive foreign and local investments. Combined with the prospect of rate cuts, GDP growth is still likely to rise to 6.4% in 2015 from 5.6% in the previous year.

The government's reform agenda to revive economic growth in the country includes increasing foreign direct investment in the insurance sector from 26% to 49%, which is predicted to result in US$6 to 8 billion in capital inflow, and to amend archaic labor laws to reduce regulatory interference while coaxing employees with more benefits, whilst also promoting the “Make in India” campaign. As having the largest private-public partnership (PPP) market in the world, 3P India will be implemented to introduce more PPPs into the mainstream of project execution, as well as plans to upgrade infrastructure in 500 urban areas. Along with this, land purchase rules will be changed to allow for easier acquisition of land for infrastructure and industrial projects.

India's GDP advanced to 5.3 % in the third quarter of 2014, Barron's Asia forecasted India's economic performance in 2015 to continue optimistic growth as new Prime Minister Modi brings in higher private sector investment. To further boost GDP growth, the government also plans to introduce value-added tax (VAT) that can replace more than a dozen taxes that increase incentives for corruption, which will add another 1.7 percentage points to GDP growth if successful. With the implementation of all of Modi's reform agenda, the next few years for India will be very promising.

“Today, India has an elected new government with a good majority in the upper house of parliament to help and take firm policy decisions. This will attract foreign investments and help the economy to pick up quickly. Signs of improvement have already started, I believe within a year, we can see a clear shift,” said Anil Dhawan, Chief Executive of DB Secure Solution.

According to an industry expert, with the help of the new government, dramatic changes can be seen, and opportunities will open up for big cases. 2015 will be a very promising year for various security members due to the political situation, which will help generate more businesses.

High Security Awareness
Criminal activity is the main driver for security's growth, not only in India, but the whole of South Asia. The tragic events that have taken place in the last decade, ranging from mass terrorist attacks to public crimes against women has created the need for safer cities. The South Asian Terrorism Portal has identified 179 terrorism groups operating in India, and the threat has worsened in recent years. In 2008, a series of attacks killed 172 people, and in 2011, three bomb explosions at different locations killed 26 people. Security awareness and security demand is therefore a major priority for both government and private sectors.

Promising Indian security market, 2015
Today, the strong growth of the Indian security market has gained attention among foreign players as well as investors. According to an industry expert, compared to 2013, 2014 has seen a slightly higher growth in the security market. 2013 was slow, mainly because everyone was waiting and observing the market. Now, the Rupee against the US dollar is weak, creating pressure on the economy, especially imported goods. However, the future for the market holds high expectations. Coupled with new technologies, new product launches such as HD over coaxial cable, the market demand will be stimulated. Growing awareness on the benefits of electronic security equipment among cities is expected to escalate demand for electronic security equipment in the near future. “The government will also bring another positive impact, which is to promote security awareness, as well as standards for installation and manufacturing, which will create an overall market growth drive,” said Dhawan.

“Following the past two or three year's downturn, the minimum growth for 2015 will be at least 10 to 15%. As for the new government, a lot of infrastructure projects are being pushed forward, and it will take a minimum of at least 18 months before actual security demand comes in,” Dhawan continued.

Another driver for the security market is the migration to IP, and demand from low-end IP cameras to quality IP cameras. According to an industry expert, at least 20% of his clients are turning towards IP, which can effectively create high revenue. “The IP market is segmented, dividing between premium and low-end markets. A premium IP camera is reliable and has good quality, support service, and distribution, which has features such as VCA, facial recognition, and people counting,” said Sudhindra Holla, Country Manager of India at Axis Communications. With price as a key issue, people are always looking for good quality products at low prices. “The total cost of ownership (TCO) depends on how hardware and software are made to work together. Unless we get this right, we are only working to drop device prices that in turn creates sub-optimal solutions and increased TCO,” Santosh Pillai, Director and CTO of 2020 Imaging explained.

With the thriving economy increasing funds for public and private sectors, the security market is expected to flourish with the growing economy. “As the new government settles the new budget, many projects in infrastructure can be seen, such as for smart city, and even the commercial sector is improving,” said Holla. The security market in India grew from $882 million in 2013 to $953 million in 2014, and is forecasted to reach $1.1 billion in 2015, according to Gartner. “Performance in 2015 will pick up, especially in sectors such as smart city, transportation, infrastructure, government, banking, and education,” he added. Verticals like banking and financial services, that have had a strong focus on security, are now investing in technology approaches that can enable them to grow their business securely.

ConstruCting 100 smart Cities
Investments of approximately $1.2 trillion will be required over the next 20 years across areas such as transportation, energy, and public security to build smart cities in India, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The government's plan to build 100 new smart cities and develop modern satellite towns around existing cities will open up opportunities for the security industry, mainly for surveillance projects and green building solutions.

Safe City Projects, Ready to Roll Out
Covering every area of security from surveillance through PSIM to other physical security equipment, safe city projects will create huge opportunities for security companies. A budget of $1.2 billion will be allocated for smart cities in the 2014-15 budget, and under the flagship “safe city” project the Union Ministry proposes $333 million to develop seven big cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Hyderabad) with a total investment of $100 billion to focus on technological advancement and automation rather than manpower.

India's first ever safe city project is already underway in Surat, which will be the first city to implement surveillance cameras at every corner. Establishing a partnership with Microsoft and its partners Iconics and SoftTech, the project will be implemented in five phases, which will deploy a network of 5,000 surveillance cameras across 500 locations, covering an area of 150 square kilometers in Gujarat's second largest metropolis.

Smart Buildings on the Rise
India is expected to emerge as the world's 3rd largest construction market by 2020, by adding 11.5 million homes every year to help with the urban housing shortage, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Moreover, with the launch of the smart cities program, smart buildings are essential to help in the successful implementation of smart cities. The intelligent building management systems market is around $621 million and is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2016. As of August 2014, more than 2,771 green buildings projects were registered with the Indian Green Council, and will be able to deliver integrated lighting, improved comfort and air quality, and most importantly, greater physical security.

According to McKinsey & Company, India can save approximately $42 billion every year with efficient energy management. Currently, buildings in India consume approximately 40% of total energy generated, and 20% of water, as well as 40% of carbon emissions, 30% of solid waste and 20% of water effluents. However with smart buildings, 30% of water usage, 40% of energy usage, and a reduction of building maintenance costs by 10 to 30 % can be saved.

Bright Future Ahead
As India continues to boom, many who seek will find opportunity in the constantly evolving country. High hopes are held with Modi leading India to the way of success, with expectations for great success in the smart cities project, which will open up opportunities to give the security industry a boost it needs to get back on track.

Indian Security Industry Turns to Solutions
Currently, India's security market is still quite product driven, where people are familiar with various products and is fast to accept them. However, the market competition over price has resulted in companies competing for market share by reducing product price. One major network camera vendor pointed out that their unit prices were forced to drop approximately 10% in 2014.

Therefore, many security companies turn to solutions or try to enhance products for application use. “Although many vendors claim to be solution providers, very few take a problem-centric solution approach, therefore education and promotion are needed to bridge the gap," Santosh Pillai, Director and CTO of 2020 Imaging explained. With companies such as Autocop India (Facility Security Division) transitioning to become a solution provider, focusing on end to end solutions, systems integrator (SI) partners are able to gain better margins from value added services. According to Maulik Shah, CEO of FSD at Autocop, “We provide central monitoring systems, command and control systems to SIs so they can provide central monitoring services to end users. For example, in events with banks that have more ATMs and branch offices, a central monitoring system can provide ATMs with better protection.”

Tamron also has moved to targeting customers through an application based approach rather than just box selling their products, educating customers that their lenses give good quality results for instances in automatic number plate recognition and facial recognition. The company will penetrate deeper into the market, with their main focuses on city surveillance, petroleum, oil and gas, ITS, and industrial sectors, said Ashutosh Fotedar, Assistant Sales Manager for Tamron India.

VIVOTEK surveillance system deployed in Mongolia Commercial Bank, Khan Bank

VIVOTEK surveillance system deployed in Mongolia Commercial Bank, Khan Bank

Editor / Provider: VIVOTEK | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Kahn Bank: Helping Mongolia Grow Since 1991
Khan Bank is Mongolia’s largest commercial bank. It provides banking services to an estimated 70% of Mongolian households. Established in 1991, Khan Bank has continued to grow and expand its service since its inception. Today, Khan Bank has 530 branches throughout Mongolia and provides comprehensive banking services to individuals and companies. Never settling for the status-quo, Khan Bank has also continuously invested in technology to enhance the quality of service it provides its customers, such as an extensive ATM network covering Ulaanbaatar, aiming capital and major district centers and nationwide access to internet and mobile banking. Moreover, the rapid growth and development of Khan Bank is expected to continue as Mongolia continues to perform economically. This young bank is preparing to gallop, like Mongolia’s world famous horses, into the future.

The Challenge: Khan Bank’s Previous Security System Unable to Keep Pace. A Trial is Held to Determine the Ideal Solution.
In this climate of rapid growth and expansion, Khan Bank required a thoroughbred surveillance system which could keep pace with its changing demands and keep Khan Bank ahead of the field. At the heart of any bank is its ability to secure its customers’ property, and as such the safes at each of Khan Bank’s branches required the utmost level of security. Unfortunately, the bank’s previous security system was not able to keep up with Khan Bank’s security needs, leading to a need to revolutionize its entire security system. The bank needed high quality and high megapixel surveillance cameras not only for its central headquarters, but for every branch across urban and rural areas, and all ATMs in the Ulaanbaatar area.

In order to determine which surveillance system could provide them with the absolute best performance for this vast network, Khan Bank decided to run a trial between the leading providers of security systems, including VIVOTEK.

The Solution: VIVOTEK – Ahead of the Field and Ready to Help.
No stranger to a challenge, VIVOTEK, along with local distributor ITZONE LLC’s highly qualified and experienced engineers and sales team, were able to provide the strongest solution and exceed Khan Bank’s demanding expectations.

A total of 675 VIVOTEK cameras were installed across Khan Bank’s Mongolian network. The broad coverage, high resolution, variable focus and specialized design of VIVOTEK cameras ensured that Khan Bank’s offices, branches, safes, ATMs and entrances could all be monitored on a secure and stable high-performance IP network system. Khan Bank, thoroughbred among Mongolian banks, had finally found a surveillance system that could keep pace.

High-Quality IP Cameras Secure a Vast Network of Banking Facilities.
The largest demand for coverage was found in the halls of Khan Bank branches. These wide spaces required cameras with extremely wide-angle coverage and high image quality, while also blending in with the interior design of the bank’s branches. For this task, ITZONE LLC chose VIVOTEK’s FE8174 for its combination of high coverage, high quality and low profile. The FE8174 is capable of 180 degree panoramic views while mounted on the wall, or 360 degree surround views if mounted on the ceiling. The FE8174 also offers a variety of display options including original surround view, panoramic view, and regional view for various mounting applications. In addition, in both the panoramic as well as regional viewing modes, users can utilize the ultra-smooth ePTZ function to easily zoom in and focus on a region of interest (ROI). All of these features mean that the FE8174 was able to provide superb coverage of all of Khan Bank’s branch halls.

The VIVOTEK FD8136 ultra-mini fixed dome network camera was chosen for this central task. Its tiny profile hides an incredibly high-tech camera, capable of producing high quality imagery in a variety of formats. For public and outdoor spaces, VIVOTEK’s FD8355EHV and the FD8371EV were adopted. For ATM coverage, the FD8355EHV 1.3 MP fixed dome network camera, featuring WDR Pro II, 30 Meter IR, 3D Noise Reduction and Smart Focus system, offered unbeatable coverage in any lighting conditions, day and night. For outdoor spaces, particularly the entrances of Khan Bank’s branches, more than fifty FD8371EVs were installed across its network, allowing high-megapixel coverage in difficult operating environments. The FD8371EV is ideal for such solutions, able to withstand Mongolia’s extreme weather conditions and safe from any attempts at vandalism or tampering.

To add to the functionality of their system, Khan Bank uses Milestone XProtect Enterprise, which is an easy-to-use video management software platform designed especially for large-scale and multi-site surveillance applications. It supports intuitive control of an unlimited number of cameras for monitoring live video, recording, and sharing evidence. All the video captured across multiple branches can be transmitted back to the main XProtect management and displays in the central control room. The security staff can instantaneously view events at different sites via the unified, intuitive interface, increasing bank operational efficiency and speeding the reaction time whenever events occur.

The Latest Surveillance Solution, the Simplest Installation
Finally, this rejuvenation of Khan Bank’s surveillance systems, providing the bank with a total best-of-breed security solution, was able to be achieved remarkably easily. Thanks to VIVOTEK’s efforts to provide high-tech surveillance systems which are able to be installed easily and are also simple to maintain, Khan Bank’s new surveillance system not only provides remarkable advances in coverage and reliability, it also simplifies the entire process of surveillance and footage retrieval. As a result of this upgrade, Khan Bank can now feel free to expand and grow with Mongolia, safe in the knowledge that VIVOTEK is running alongside and keeping pace.

New prospects for building management and security system integration

New prospects for building management and security system integration

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, Freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 2/10/2015 | Article type: Tech Corner

Combining security and building management gives an additional layer of information and operational capabilities. A growing number of network-based solutions will increase the benefits of building management systems and security integration. Even though the synergies between the two seem obvious, nonetheless, ownership issues are an obstacle to this integration.

A silver robot is seen gliding along the corridors of Akershus University Hospital (AHUS) in Oslo, Norway. AHUS is one of Norway's “digital hospitals” and among other cutting edge technologies it also uses automated guided vehicles, small robots that travel the hospital using a virtual “track” that deliver supplies (e.g., linens, food, and medicine) from storage rooms to the wards and clear waste. The robots transport special containers weighing up to several hundred kilograms, free up personnel, and increase the hospital's efficiency. However, unlike human employees, these robots can't swipe an access card or press an elevator button. Technology came up with a solution: “The robots are guided by the hospital's building management system (BMS) which is linked to our access control system. The access control system is in charge of opening the doors when a robot approaches, and operating the elevators to take the robots to the right floor,” described David Ella, CTO of AMAG Technology.

This is an example of how integrating security systems with BMS can add an additional layer of information and management capabilities to answer both security and operational needs. Currently these integrations are popular in large campuses like universities, hospitals, and large corporate headquarters.

The connection between BMS and the security system is two-way. “Our products can see the alerts in the BMS system and trigger an alarm,” explained Ella. For example, when a BMS sensor goes into alert (e.g., a heat sensor overheating), this can be converted to an alarm within the security system, prompting security personnel to check if there is a fire. If a fire is detected, the access control system can open doors to make evacuation faster, or provide a report describing which employees are inside the building and where. In the other direction, a swipe of an access card will instruct the BMS to switch on the lights and heating on the employee's specific floor or switch off the lights when the last employee has left. This way, it is possible to achieve cost efficiency, cutting expenses on lighting, heating, and other expenses as well as delivering an eco-friendly value.

Occupancy sensors, used by BMS to detect occupancy and automatically switch on the lights, can alert security systems that an intruder is in the building. For instance, if the security system detects an intrusion, it can switch on the lights in the area so that detecting the intruder is easier and the recorded video footage is clearer.

Market asks for Integration
The value of integrating an access control system with building management is critical in today's data-driven business environment. “More than ever, today's customers require that the systems they invest in be able to integrate with other network-enabled platforms, such as BMS,” explained Mitchell Kane, President of Vanderbilt Industries. The ability to change the environmental or power profile of a building based on information gathered in the access control system is highly valuable, and helps users reduce ongoing costs while controlling access points securely.

The main products integrated with BMS include access control systems (including readers, cards, controllers, and software used to create, manage, and use secure identities) and visitor management systems. “Other integrated systems are mobile access control solutions, including mobile IDs and mobile access apps that are used with mobile-enabled readers, door opening solutions, and lock systems,” said Simon Siew, MD of APAC at HID Global.

Access control and video surveillance are the two systems integrated the most. “By far, the integration between access control and video surveillance systems is the integration that customers request most,” Kane said. Video is a valuable tool when combined with access control data, as it provides visual verification of alarms and a variety of access control events. “The correlation of the data from these two systems also allows for an additional level of situational awareness. Video playback can provide security personnel or first responders with a better understanding of a security or life safety event before responding,” he added.

“In the last two years, we noticed that customers want to move from ‘traditional' BMS companies that are big, expensive, and not so flexible in integrating third party auxiliary systems,” said Rick Huang, Business Development Manager of Alstron. “The solution is software houses that provide third-party software that can connect to the energy management module, video surveillance, and access system. The limitation of these systems is that they have to rely on software development kits supplied by the manufacturer,” he added.

Integraing smart functions
Integration of systems is not the only thing that end users are looking for. In fact, the integration of smart functions, such as analytics is also in demand. “There is the growing demand of more intelligent security systems, intelligent electronic locking systems, and security cloud services that fill the gaps that current systems are either too expensive or cumbersome to maintain,” said Patrick Lim, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Ademco Security Group. “The biggest trend is in smart integrated security systems, or what we call human-centric security. The whole idea is to utilize security technologies to make a facility smarter and a lot friendlier to the inhabitants.”

“Currently, most systems are just integrated but not really smart. Using big data analytics, we can use security devices, which collect the data and have daily interaction with people to predict situations and automate intelligent decisions. This is very different from current solutions that are very rigid and mostly ignore human inhabitants for the sole sake of efficiency and energy saving,” Lim added.

Furthermore, through the use of big data analytics and correlating information from different sources, the systems will be able to predict situations and act accordingly. For example, if the system detects a buildup of people in the lobby of a convention center, this can trigger the air conditioning in the convention hall to start cooling the area in advance in a more efficient way. Currently, the systems only detect the people when they are inside the convention hall, forcing the air conditioning system to “blast” the venue to cool it quickly, which is inefficient and energy consuming.

IP IntegratIon and Its Challenges
Most companies and institutions today have installed a variety of generally disparate and isolated systems, ranging from security, access control, and video surveillance to incident response, perimeter detection, and alarm monitoring. “Although these systems typically cannot easily share information, if at all, there are natural synergies between each of them. IP-based solutions make it easier to integrate the information and provide the opportunity for a single new system that can be much greater than the sum of its individual, disparate parts,” Siew explained.

“IP-based access control is particularly important for organizations that want to integrate security and BMS,” he stressed.

Integrating access control with BMS on a single network delivers better facility management. “Today's IP-based access control systems enable facility managers to bring intelligence to each door for streamlined system monitoring, management, and reporting via standard web browsers. Facility managers and venue operators not only have immediate visibility when doors are forced open, but also gain valuable key remote-management, report-generation, and auditing capabilities. Additionally, points of failure in the system are reduced when deploying edge devices, since each device controls a single door,” added Siew.

In addition, there is a preference towards system integration in a single user interface. A single interface allows for centralized control and management and helps put in place standard operating procedures, explained Ken Lee, Director of Operations at KZTech. Lee also highlighted the role of PSIM solutions, “With more PSIM solutions getting cheaper, building security managers are moving into integrated solutions rather than multiple standalone systems.”

While IP integration may be the key to a more efficient system, there are still challenges. “When people say that systems ‘integrate' it is critical to understand what this means,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. “Is it possible to control the other system? Or only get information? For example, the access control and the video might not be completely compatible to each other. Integration should be seamless both-ways, with bi-directional information.”

The use of data communication protocols such as BACnet (building automation and control networks) or XML for buildings and ONVIF or PSIA for cameras greatly increases the potential for integration and the potential for limiting the control of proprietary systems. However, currently there is no open standard widely applied. “The more information we bring using common protocols, the more systems we can integrate,” summarized Ahrens.

Need for Network Savvy Integrators
With the growing role of IP-based systems, the importance of installers who are extremely network and computer savvy and are able to diagnose communication faults and port issues are also growing. “The key in choosing an integrator is having a knowledgeable integrator supported by a robust manufacturer that has quality and awareness to the clients, good warranty, and service, knowledgeable about information technology/programming and fast, accurate support,” explained Ahrens. “Installers nowadays need to understand also the network transmission and distribution levels and not just cameras and should maintain constant touch with manufacturers.”

“As a company, we [Vanderbilt] partner with systems integrators to deploy our systems and we provide them with the training necessary to gain the knowledge needed to best integrate our technologies with other IP-enabled technologies,” said Kane. “We invest in providing strong support and training to our resellers because it is their responsibility to explain the benefits of linking technologies together when possible. There are many instances in which a building's security is managed by a facility manager and a tenant's security is managed by the tenant. This can lead to the installation of multiple systems. If a systems integrator can bring these multiple stakeholders to the table to have a conversation about the integration of systems beforehand, an investment will be much more valuable to all parties moving forward,” he added.

Ownership problems and knowledge gaps hinder integration
The integration of BMS and security seems natural. However, few facilities choose this integration. “We started integrating BMS and security systems about 10 years ago, but this integration opportunity is not so popular. We sell about 2,000 systems a year, but less than 1 percent are integrated with BMS,” said Ella.

The main issue hindering integration is not technological but external. In most environments the systems are owned by different stakeholders; the BMS are owned by the landlords, whereas the tenants own the security systems. In many cases the BMS is already installed in the building and tenants can't change it. In addition, knowledge gaps exist between building and security systems professionals since each system has a different focus.

“End customers themselves are facing a dilemma regarding the integration of the systems and are looking for a system that can bring services together,” added Huang. “For example, installing anti-smoking detection sensors in ‘no-smoking' areas like hospitals, who should be in charge? The facility manager or the security manager?” As the industry is trying to find a balance between the two systems, Huang believes that there will be more integration in the future.

New regulation promotes Integration
The integration of BMS and security systems is easier to plan in advance when designing a new building. For existing buildings, the willingness to change systems is very low. A new environ-mental regulation is changing things in Singapore. The new regulation stipulates that all new and existing buildings needing extension or major retrofitting work, with an area of 2,000 square meters and above, must comply with the Environmental Sustainability regulation as stipulated in the Building Control Act. “As a result, this regulation became the drive for building owners to upgrade to BMS that can comply with the regulation and monitor and reduce their energy consumption. Along with the upgrade they also look for integration opportunities with other systems,” said Huang.

Similar initiatives around the world might prompt similar integrations in other places.

Future trends
Industry players are noting many other trends, in addition to integration, when it comes to BMS. “There is significant interest in mobile applications. Users of all sizes, whether it is an enterprise customer or a small-to-medium-sized business, want to be able to manage their security infrastructure from anywhere in the world. As the industry and technology continues to advance, mobile applications and functionality will become highly adopted,” said Kane.

Siew also expressed a similar view, “the introduction and accelerating adoption of mobile access solutions is one of the most important industry developments of the past few years. We anticipate there will be growing demand for mobile devices that provide a better way to open doors.”

Lim also sees a change in business models: “The industry already sold a lot of integrated systems in the last decade. The growing trend is towards a managed service model where customers do not just purchase hardware but requires integrated 24/7 management services to run and support these systems. There is also an emerging trend of customers procuring systems as services.” Purchasing a service gives clients the option to change providers as their needs change. The industry is moving towards greater integration of systems and sensors. New environmental regulations, the Internet of Things, and different programs for smart building management are all drivers that will increase integration opportunities in the future. Additionally, as the number of sensors that are internet-ready increases, so will the role of cloud applications that will manage these sensors for different platforms. Hopefully as integration becomes easier from a technology point of view it will also help to mitigate the problems associated with system ownership and increase the benefits for both building owners and tenants.

Hikvision announces 2014 Financial Revenues showing 60% Growth

Hikvision announces 2014 Financial Revenues showing 60% Growth

Editor / Provider: Hikvision | Updated: 2/6/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Hikvision, the global leader in innovative video surveillance products and solutions, has announced revenues of US$2.82 billion for the financial year 2014.

This corresponds to a 60.37% growth rate year on year and a compound annual growth rate over the last decade of 53%

"Hikvision's continued growth is attributable to our product innovation capability and complete product and integrated vertical solution offerings, as well as the expanding global service network. Keeping in touch with market trends, Hikvision has made stupendous achievements in both domestic and overseas markets in the last year," says Cynthia He, vice president at Hikvision.

"In 2014, Hikvision invested 8% of its annual revenue into research and development. Looking to the future, we will continue to devote our R&D efforts into delivering innovative products and vertical solutions that fulfil the ever-changing needs of the security industry, in the belief that we are ideally placed to provide a complete video surveillance solution to the market globally."

CP PLUS to implement H.265 to break through bandwidth limit

CP PLUS to implement H.265 to break through bandwidth limit

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by Adytia | Updated: 2/9/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

CP PLUS Teknologix Labs is set to implement H.265/HEVC standard in its upcoming range of video surveillance devices. An immediate successor standard to H.264, H.265 standard offers various improvements over H.264. H.265 implementation has generated huge optimism given industry's struggle with shortage of bandwidth, spectrum, storage, and imminent need to take growing HD content for multi-platform delivery.

 

With the implementation of H.265 standards, CP PLUS plans to introduce a range of video surveillance devices that support H.265 decoding and deliver its benefits
over 40% lesser bandwidth use.

 

A video coding format is a content representation format for storage or transmission of digital video content (such as in a data file or bitstream). Examples of video coding formats include MPEG-2 Part 2, MPEG-4 Part 2, H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), HEVC, etc.

The existing standard H.264 offers 40 to 50 percent bitrate reduction over MPEG-2, yet it has limitation on delivering HD content for broadcast and online. With the 4K/UltraHD cameras being introduced as a video technology revolution, the need for improved H.264 standard was overdue. H.265 meets the Ultra HD rendering requisite over even lesser bandwidth.

H.265 or HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) doubles the data compression ratio compared to H.264/MPEG-4 at the same level of video quality. Alternatively, it can provide substantially improved video quality at the same bitrate. It can support 8K Ultra HD or resolutions up to 8192x4320.

With the implementation of H.265 standards, CP PLUS plans to introduce a range of video surveillance devices that support H.265 decoding and deliver its benefits over 40% lesser bandwidth use.

The potential benefits offered by H.265 standards are as below:
* Accelerate demand and sale of 4K/Ultra-HD screens which has been largely limited due to large price difference and absence of UHD content. H.265 can offset the second challenge.
* Huge opportunities from reduced bitrate requirements enabling broadcasters and broadcast & online vendors to bundle more channels/content on existing delivery mediums.
* Extend far greater video quality experience compared to H.264 encoded sequence at the same bitrate.
* Ability to offer higher quality video images under bandwidth-constrained mobile networks.
* Realize differentiated and premium 4K content, multi-view encoding etc.

“H.265 encoding standard is one of the major encoding standard which will allow us to implement 4k solutions while keeping all network bandwidth on the bay. It will be a significant development for the future technological growth in HD surveillance”, said, Yogesh Dutta, COO, CP PLUS.

NVT TBus IP transmission chosen for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon

NVT TBus IP transmission chosen for the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon

Editor / Provider: NVT | Updated: 2/4/2015 | Article type: Commercial Markets

First held in 1970 by the New York Road Runners Club (NYRR), with just 127 competitors running loops around Central Park, today, the annual New York City Marathon runs through all five boroughs of New York City and is the largest marathon in the world

The Mission
For the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon, NYRR entrusted the supply of digital information transport services and a technology push package, to New York based IP network & electronic security specialists, Virsig LLC.

On the day of the marathon, the temporary system would be used to provide increased operational situational awareness, digital information transport for surveillance cameras, voice annunciators, media broadcast, and digital signage, including Jumbotron large-screen televisions.

The Solution
For the 2014 event, due of the limitations of installing signal over long and costly fibre runs, Virsig opted to transport digital signals over less expensive and more flexible coax cable. Allowing long cable runs to be readily deployed across the TCS New York City Marathon start at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, Virsig chose reliable Transmission Bus (TBus) IP transmission technology from Network Video Technologies (NVT).

Working in compliance under the National Park Service, US Park Police and the US Coast Guard Police authorities, NVT single and 4-channel TBus Ethernet over UTP/Coax transmitters, surveillance cameras, wireless nodes and antennas were installed in strategic light pole locations. The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) worked with Virsig to keep the power supply to the poles energized at all times, to power the temporary equipment forming the cost-effective 150Mbs Ethernet over Coax (EoC) transmission network.

IHS research note: Avigilon acquires more video analytics patents

IHS research note: Avigilon acquires more video analytics patents

Editor / Provider: IHS | Updated: 2/4/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

This comes around a month after it acquired all of Objectvideo's patents and licensing agreements. Avigilon is a major supplier of video surveillance equipment. Objectvideo supplied patents and licensing agreements for video content analysis software.

Our Take
Avigilon has grown quickly in recent years to become the eighth largest supplier of network video surveillance equipment. It is one of the few Western companies to have gained share in 2013 in the face of fierce price competition from Chinese competitors.

These purchases are a shrewd move by Avigilon. A major challenge for video surveillance equipment suppliers is ensuring that their solutions continue to have unique features versus the competition. Competing on price simply leads to lower margins. Offering solutions that include advanced video content analysis software is one way to differentiate these solutions from the competition.

It is forecast that shipments of embedded VCA recording channels (free and charged) will increase by an average of more than 70% a year over the next few years.

An increasing proportion of video surveillance devices are forecast to feature embedded video content analysis (VCA) software. In some cases, it will be offered as a free feature. In other cases, there will remain a charge. However, it is forecast that shipments of embedded VCA recording channels (free and charged) will increase by an average of more than 70% a year over the next few years. Many different video surveillance equipment vendors will supply them. Avigilon now owns the patents for many of the algorithms supplied. It therefore has great power to dictate the terms of supply to the very companies with which it competes.

Synology announces the official release of Surveillance Station 7.0

Synology announces the official release of Surveillance Station 7.0

Editor / Provider: Synology | Updated: 2/5/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

Synology announced the official release of Surveillance Station 7.0, the latest version of its robust video management system.

Surveillance Station 7.0 features a refreshed visual design, easy task automation, integration for network door controllers and other connected devices, expanded support for specialized cameras,
and ONVIF 2.4 compliance.

"With its beautiful, new multitasking design, advanced management tools, and comprehensive camera support, Surveillance Station 7.0 is the perfect choice for deployments of all sizes," said Alex Wang, CEO of Synology Inc. "We express our thanks to the users who spent time testing the beta version and working with Synology to ensure a better and more secure surveillance solution."

Surveillance Station 7.0 introduces new features, including:

Refreshed visual design and easy multitasking: The redesigned user interface emphasizes ease-of-use, multitasking, and customizable organization, delivering the most responsive experience yet. With the new Alerts Panel for Live View Analytics, users can conveniently play back and save suspicious events.

Efficient task automation with action rules: Surveillance Station 7.0 can automatically perform a wider range of tasks when pre-defined events occur or according to a schedule. For example, whenever a connected door is opened, a nearby camera can take a snapshot in response.

Centralized physical access control and video surveillance: Surveillance Station 7.0 centralizes physical access control and video monitoring in a single pane. When paired with the AXIS Network Door Controller solution, surveillance personnel can monitor, lock and unlock, or view access logs of connected doors — all from the familiar Surveillance Station interface.

Greater support for specialized IP cameras and ONVIF 2.4 compliance: Comprehensive integration for specialized camera features, such as object tracking and two-way audio, allows users to deploy a flexible surveillance system perfectly suited to their individual environment. With support for ONVIF 2.4, users and system integrators can take advantage of boosted interoperability and more flexible installation.

Intelligent surveillance with connected locks, alarms, and other external devices: Surveillance Station 7.0 supports the digital output that is included with some IP cameras, allowing users to manipulate external devices, such as alarms, magnetic locks, and many others directly in Surveillance Station.

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