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Milestone Christian Ringler as Regional Director in EMEA

Milestone Christian Ringler as Regional Director in EMEA

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 2/25/2015 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), announces Christian Ringler as the new Regional Sales Director for the DACH and SET territories in Europe. He is based in Munich, and reports to Milestone VP EMEA, Thomas Lausten.

“I am thrilled to be in a global company, and I am eager to experience the power surge of the Milestone partner ecosystem,” says Christian Ringler. “It is clear to me that success depends on partnerships and that open platform technology is the enabler here.”

Christian Ringler has held positions in G4S, Siemens, Panasonic and SeeTec, bringing a wealth of experience from within the physical security industry. He spent the last six years at SeeTec AG as Head of Sales and Country Manager for Germany.

“Christian’s strong experience and industry knowledge has already made him a key addition to the Milestone family. His appointment is a sign of our commitment to further accelerate and expand our business in EMEA. The ever-increasing demand from our customers led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and partnerships, and it is very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Christian’s caliber to fulfill this role,” says Thomas Lausten, VP EMEA, Milestone Systems.

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Surveying trends in the security integration market

Editor / Provider: Scott Lindley, President, Farpointe Data, a&s International | Updated: 2/19/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

In today's world, sophisticated security end users demand for higher levels of expertise and interoperability, forcing systems integrators to emphasize on seamless integration to provide users with optimal performance and automation.

It is evident that the majority of security installations are becoming more and more complex. No longer content to monitor and manage separate access control, fire alarm, video surveillance, intrusion, and HVAC control systems, corporate security and technology managers want to consolidate and integrate various disconnected security and facility management systems. At a dramatically increasing pace, the IT department is leading the initiative, particularly given the trend toward convergence of physical and logical security systems. End user customers are demanding that their integrator or dealer understand their business and their infrastructure. Security dealers and integrators must quickly decide whether or not they want to be part of this new security paradigm or slowly wither away, providing traditional stand-alone solutions. With every new advance in the installation marketplace, dealers and integrators must again and again decide whether to keep pace. Successful implementations require greater technical knowledge of systems than ever before along with products that work together more easily, while simultaneously providing better ease of use to end users.

Dealers and integrators who want to be positioned for continued success in this evolving marketplace need to choose not only the right products for any given installation, but align with manufacturing partners who will provide them with the best prospects for long-term success, manufacturers that heavily invest in both new scaleable technologies for their products and support programs for their channels.

A New Quid Pro Quo
It used to be that the dealer or integrator that sold the most widgets earned “most favored” status from its manufacturers. Having that status resulted in recognition, special perks, and discounted pricing for those who delivered. However, in a direct reflection of the new realities of today's security market, this simply isn't the case anymore. It is not that manufacturers no longer appreciate top sellers or want to avoid rewarding them. It is because forward-thinking manufacturers know that their dealers and integrators have to stay on top of the latest technology trends in order to stay competitive. These manufacturers want their dealers and integrators to succeed in a manner that will keep both the integrator and the manufacturer successful in the years to come.

Being Seamless is Essential
Reliance on proprietary technologies and platforms inhibits innovation, integration, and the assimilation of emerging technologies. Issues arising from proprietary technologies plague too many systems which is self-defeating for the security industry, and creates major problems for security dealers and integrators, hindering end users from having flexible, scalable security platforms that cost-effectively protect their people and assets.

We increasingly hear that a major trend that will permeate physical access control now and for the foreseeable future is the growing connection between physical security and IT security. Because of this, there is growing demand by organizations for migration of computer-based systems to a common software platform or to standards-based platforms that can be easily and seamlessly integrated. Leveraging technology breakthroughs and a need for increased security, companies will also more rapidly adapt smart cards, two-factor readers, biometrics, long-range wireless, and intelligent video into their overall systems.

Physical access control systems on an enterprise level are now described as much in IT terms as they are in access control terms. New command and control integration platforms are giving integrators a wider range of solutions to help end-users meet this challenge head-on while, at the same time, requiring the integrator to have higher levels of IT expertise.

Integration Equals Success
Today, the various components frequently used in the typical security system are not only disconnected, but from different manufacturers, complicating or making integration impossible. All too often, they employ incompatible hardware or proprietary, unsynchronized databases or completely inconsistent user interfaces that compete for space and attention. Such systems may be inefficient and need many people to manage them, and security personnel who have been forced to use them have been frustrated for some time but these systems will not pass muster with IT personnel.

However, there is a good reason for this — such systems increase employee and training costs, foster unnecessary equipment expense, have gaps causing security and safety breeches, and can produce downtime in mission-critical operations. Since IT budgets and management are responsible for many of these operations, they are beginning to dictate what will be used, particularly for physical access control systems.

Seamless integration means the physical access control department, as well as other groups in the enterprise, have the freedom to select different technology vendors, relying on the command and control platform to handle the integration. This extends to system hardware. Today, with one card reader, users can read the most popular 125 KHz proximity cards, including those from Farpointe, HID, and AWID. 13.56 MHz smart card readers can process contactless credentials based upon NXP Semiconductor's Mifare technology as well as based upon France's Inside Technologies. Such readers provide continuity throughout the organization, without having to eliminate legacy cards while additionally building a pathway to higher security applications in the future. Dealers and installers who want to be able to offer this type of powerful security platform to their customers must be willing to stay one step ahead of the technology.

Partnering for Success
Dealers and integrators must recognize and respond to these emerging trends if they want to remain competitive. That means partnering with companies that are also aware of where the market is going and are staying one step ahead of customer needs. Integrators need more than just equipment in today's market. At a minimum, they require training, technical support, sales and marketing expertise and, of course, innovative, forward-thinking products. Today's partnerships are based on helping both partners build their businesses and profits, not just selling more products.

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 Maluik 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.

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Stepping into new trends: Video surveillance in 2015

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 1/30/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

A new year brings new trends. Many of the trends from 2014 have since turned into industry standards, such as HD resolution and IP surveillance; however, new ones have emerged to keep the security industry on its toes in 2015.

The Market at a Glance
In 2014, video surveillance accounted for approximately 53% of the total market share (US$13.5 billion) in terms of global physical security product sales, according to Memoori Business Intelligence. Double-digit growth has been the norm in the video surveillance market over the last decade, and analysts at IHS forecast similar growth in the new year, predicting more than 10% growth in 2015. Furthermore, Marketsandmarkets has predicted that the global video surveillance market will reach roughly $42.1 billion at a CAGR of 17% for the period 2014 to 2020, with the IP system market expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.5% during the same period. Rising crime rates, an increase in terror attacks, and growing security concerns all are contributing to this growth.

Who Reigns Supreme? IP vs. Analog
The move to IP is no longer so much a trend as it is simple fact: New installations are going IP and many analog users are upgrading to network-based solutions. With that said, does that mean that IP has finally taken over analog in video surveillance? The answer is yes and no. In terms of revenue, IP sales have surpassed analog sales; however, in terms of quantity, analog shipments still outnumber those of IP. This is poised to change, with analysts believing that IP shipments will take over analog by the end of the decade. Evidence of this shift can be seen in markets like Latin America where the overall market — one that is heavily focused on analog — is now leaning toward IP equipment for the first time (by supplier revenue), according to a report by IHS.

Asia Leads the Way
In the world of security, Asia has had a tendency to be a step behind when it comes to the most up-to-date technologies. In the coming years, though, APAC is forecast to be the fasting growing region for IP video surveillance globally at a CAGR of 44.3% during the period 2013 to 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research. The report also pointed out that North America is expected to experience the highest share in the IP video surveillance market by 2020, predicting that the continent would be the highest revenuegenerating segment with a value of about $19 billion in 2020. However, China is estimated to have been the largest regional market for video surveillance equipment, accounting for a third of global revenues in 2013.

Trends for the Growing Market
Along with growth come trends, trends that help drive growth and keep the market up-to-date with new and exciting technologies. In 2014, we saw IP surveillance become a norm and HD resolution become a standard. In the following, a&s explores a few of what we expect to be the most popular video surveillance trends for 2015.

High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) One of the most important developments for 2015 will be that of high efficiency video coding (HVEC), also known as H.265, which directly relates to another trend: 4K resolution. HVEC will play a significant role in the feasibility of 4K in security applications. According to security experts, about 90% of surveillance products currently use HVEC's predecessor H.264 for compression. However, that is set to change. “Our outlook is that most future advancements in the market will focus on compression, as the megapixel market has evolved extremely quickly and the compression will need to advance nearly as quickly to meet the growing demand for higher resolution images. H.265 may be the answer to this as there is a tremendous amount of computational power required for the compression and decompression of these images that the industry is currently grappling with,” said Stephen Carney, Director of Video Product Line Management at Tyco Security Products.

Pervasive use of H.265 has many implications for the security industry. With the ability to double the data compression ratio compared to H.264 at the same level of video quality, H.265 will greatly improve the usability of 4K in security applications. In fact, both Hisilicon and Ambarella introduced IP camera SoCs based on H.265 at the end of 2014 and widespread use of H.265 is expected within the security industry by the second quarter of 2015. This will in no doubt directly impact the adoption of 4K.

Finding Applications for 4K
The entrance of 4K resolution into the security industry was met with both curiosity and excitement. Similar to how HD was expected to be the new standard for image resolution when it was first introduced into the industry (which it since has become), many believe that 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) will eventually replace HD as the standard, and the availability of H.265 in security will be a catalyst to this; however, this change will not happen overnight. “4K will certainly be a trend to watch, though broad adoption will be problematic for the security industry at this point due to limitations on current camera form factor/lens combination, bandwidth, and storage constraints and the cost of the equipment versus the benefits or necessity of the additional resolution gained with the technology,” Carney said.

Despite the current limitations, many of the obstacles should soon be resolved. Aside from H.265 helping with data compression, the rapid rollout of 4G across the globe should assist in dealing with bandwidth problems, as well as better, improved accompanying hardware (e.g., lenses, monitors, etc.).

Bigger, Better Image Sensors
With the trend of 4K in 2015, along with the fact that HD has become the standard, bigger, better sensors are now needed to support such high-quality images. The trend toward increased value of total image quality will utilize large image sensors, the latest iris system, and high picture quality at near IR, said Koji Maunari, GM of the Industrial Optics Business Unit at Tamron. In fact, the image sensor market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8%  from 2014 to 2020, according to a recent report by Marketsandmarkets. Not only are manufacturers coming out with bigger sensors, they are also adding special technologies to further enhance image quality, specifically designed for video surveillance use. Well-known sensor makers such as Aptina, Omivision, and Pixelplus are now pushing out larger image sensors, while companies such as Sony have come out with new sensor technology specifically addressing the needs of the video surveillance market. The new Starvis technology, a back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS sensors specifically designed for video surveillance, was released by Sony in mid-2014. The technology extends from the visible light range to include the near-infrared range to support filming at night, which is often a problem area for 24/7 outdoor surveillance in most CMOS cameras. The improved performance at night will help more extensive adoption of CMOS cameras in the near future. Additionally 4K sensors are also being developed. These new sensors can support up to 12 megapixels (4:3) and 4K (17:9), and even support 4K at up to 60 frames per second. Furthermore, with sensors now reaching 1/1.9 inches, even higher resolution and clearer images are possible.

HD-over-Coax Gets More Advanced
HD-over-coaxial solutions are not new to the security industry. In fact, IMS Research, an IHS company, named HD-over-coaxial solutions a trend for 2012; however, at that time the solution in question was more or less limited to HD-SDI, which turned out to be not nearly as cost-effective as the security industry had initially hoped. Yet, like with any technologies a little time has yielded new-and-improved solutions, and 2014 saw just that with the introduction of new HD-over-coaxial solutions. One of the major proponents of HD-over-coax is Dahua Technology, who came out with their HDCVI technology in late 2012. However, it is not until more recently, in the last year, that the industry has really seen HD-over-coaxial solutions take off, with many other companies coming up with their own technologies and solutions as well, such as AHD, ccHDtv, and HDTVI. HD-SDI has also evolved: The new generation has upgraded in long-distance transmission, and more importantly, has become more cost effective.

Despite the fact that the overall market is going digital, many definitely still see plenty of room for HD-over-coaxial solutions, noting acceptance of the technologies particularly in developing regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Renewed Life in Intelligent Video Solutions Intelligent functions have been touted for a while in security, but it isn't until more recently that they have been widely incorporated and desired in video surveillance. In fact, as of recent, a certain degree of analytics on the edge has become a standard feature for most IP cameras. From entry-level to high-end, cameras can now be differentiated by how “smart” they are. As part of this, video surveillance has proved capable of not just recording and reviewing, but preventing and analyzing. “The IP revolution has changed the surveillance cameras from a forensic tool aimed at solving problems after an incident has occurred to becoming a vital part of proactive intelligence chain. Network video cameras collect valuable data that can be analyzed and turned into actionable insights,” said Johan Paulsson, CTO of Axis Communications.

The idea of actionable intelligence is one reason intelligent video solutions are seeing an up surge in demand. “We [Verint] believe that actionable intelligence presents an opportunity for customer to implement solutions that enhance security and safety, while reducing operating costs and increasing productivity and efficiency,” said Brian Matthews, VP of Global Marketing and Product Development for Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

Another reason demand is growing is due to more developed technology. “Advancements in analytics should also not be ignored, as this segment of the market has progressed to where analytics are accepted as reliable, accurate, and part of the day-to-day operations of a large percentage of users. Some analytics, such as facial recognition, will definitely benefit from the higher resolution images and increasing levels of clarity as camera technology continues to progress,” Carney said.

The many benefits that intelligence brings to video surveillance, especially now that the technology is more reliable, are being realized across verticals. Certain verticals like retail have found particular use for intelligent video, where the data is being used for business intelligence. “Especially video content analysis solutions like Bosch's that do not only automatically trigger alarms on the basis of pre-defined alarm rules, but also enable the tracking of objects,” said Erika Gorge, Corporate Communications Manager at Bosch Security Systems. “This kind of intelligence can also be used to obtain information that goes beyond a pure security purpose such as marketing intelligence information on the scenes being under surveillance — for example number of people (people counting), movement of people, registering characteristics like color or crowd density information.”

Furthermore, we will also see a higher adoption of big data for multiple applications, such as smart cities, in 2015, where a smart surveillance camera with advanced VCA could definitely play an important role. We will see how VCA changes a surveillance camera into a content provider for big data.

There is a catch, though: Avigilon's recent acquisition of ObjectVideo's entire patent portfolio and licensing program. In the future, Avigilon will replace ObjectVideo as the patent holder to lead the future development of VCA technology, once again reshuffling the intelligence market. The impact this move will have on the security industry as a whole will be massive, and not necessarily in a good way — Avigilon now holds 124 US and international patents and 202 US and international patent applications as a result.

Integrated Systems Become a Must
In the past, integration of disparate systems has been a struggle for many users. With newer solutions, the ability to integrate is in high demand, and as such integration has become a focus for many security players.

“Integration has been talked about a long time — but as a user experience it has been less than ideal. You will soon see systems that deliver on that promise of a seamless user experience,” said David Gottlieb, Director of Global Marketing Communications at Honeywell Security. William Ku, VP of the Brand Business Division at VIVOTEK echoed confidence in the integration trend: “The full integration of disparate systems, including video surveillance, intrusion systems, perimeter detection, access control, and real-time intelligent analysis on data will be the trend in managing security in every vertical application since the security could be secured seamlessly and enable staff to respond to intrusion or threats in a short time and solve the events on-site in an effective way.”

The trend for more integrated systems is also what will help push IP growth forward, as the IP market has matured and entered into the late growth stage of its product life cycle. Yet, the low-end market still has significant potential for IP growth, as noted by Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development at Milestone Systems.

In the middle and high-end markets, however, the trend for more integrated systems will continue to drive IP growth. “In the market for advanced solutions with high camera counts there is a significant opportunity to offer more advanced integrations with access control and other security applications,” he added. “Verint believes in and has realized increased demand for innovative, integrated solutions that combine situation management, communications, and cyber intelligence, and facilitate collaboration across security and law enforcement agencies. We believe that today's government organizations, institutions, and multinational corporations, in connection with safe city, border control, transportation security, critical infrastructure, and other large-scale security initiatives, are interested in and preparing to deploy unified security solutions that fuse data from a wide range of security systems and intelligence sources to enable efficient information correlation and analysis,” Matthews said.

Hope for 2015
A lot of major changes took place in 2014 that has in a way left a question mark hanging over the fate of the security industry — the Canon Europe acquisition of Milestone Systems, Anixter acquisition of Tri-Ed, and most recently the selling of Samsung Techwin to Hanwha Group. Yet, one thing is for certain: there will always be a need for security and video surveillance. This sentiment is what industry players are emphasizing when it comes to future growth of the security/ surveillance market. Development for the overall market may not be as rapid as it once was, but with the above trends helping to drive surveillance growth, as well as the continued growth of things like video surveillance as a service and cloud computing, there is definitely still upward hope for the future of video surveillance.

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

Banks cash in on integrated, scalable systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CriticalArc's Safezone enhance safety and security at the University of York

CriticalArc's Safezone enhance safety and security at the University of York

Editor / Provider: CriticalArc | Updated: 1/13/2015 | Article type: Education

The University of York launched CriticalArc’s SafeZone on the 8th January to provide round-the-clock safety reassurance to students and staff. York is the first University in the Russell Group to roll out the simple-to-use, free application designed to help those on campus to summon security or safety assistance via their mobile phones.

The SafeZone system allows security or first aid personnel to pinpoint the location where help is needed. It also provides students and staff with a way of summoning general assistance swiftly from the Security Services help desk through a simple tap of an on-screen button.

Nearly 20,000 students and staff will be able to access three main features using SafeZone -- emergency, first aid and general help. Emergency and first aid options will bring security or first aid officers to the location of the call, while the general help button connects directly to the Campus Services Helpdesk. The SafeZone system will also help the University send targeted notification messages to students and staff in the event of an incident in particular areas or buildings on campus.

Security staff across campus have put SafeZone through exhaustive trials for more than a month and the University will stage a series of roadshows this week to explain how students and staff can sign up for the app. SafeZone works within designated zones covering Heslington West, Heslington East, the King’s Manor and the University Boathouse.

Denis Fowler, the University’s Director of Health and Safety said: “Our campus is already very safe but SafeZone gives students and staff extra reassurance that assistance is no more than the touch of a button away.

“The system allows us to monitor the positions of security personnel and first aiders so we can deploy them swiftly and efficiently to provide assistance and support where necessary. Previously, in the event of an emergency many students automatically called 999 but SafeZone™ provides a more targeted method of summoning assistance on campus.”

The University has worked with the developers of SafeZone, Australian company CriticalArc, to introduce the system.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, EMEA Director, CriticalArc, said: “SafeZone’s adoption at the University of York is testament to how it can revolutionise the way education institutions manage their day-to-day security and safety operations, while ensuring a safer learning environment.

“SafeZone provides security teams and first responders with the right information quickly, to improve their ability to react to situations efficiently and appropriately. By providing an unobtrusive security application versus traditional physical security equipment, we’re empowering the University to mitigate risk and improve brand reputation through enhanced duty of care, while gaining significant efficiencies through the improved deployment of manned response teams.”

Market consolidation brings opportunities

Market consolidation brings opportunities

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 1/12/2015 | Article type: Hot Topics

2014 has been quite a special year with many significant corporate acquisitions, such as Canon Europe and Milestone, Anixter and Tri-Ed, and Vanderbilt and Siemens Security Products. This year is probably not a fast-growing year but has been quite meaningful for all the industry professionals, who can give us more understanding toward the pressure over margins in the channels and new customer's requirements for a product supplier. From reviewing the world market demand in 2014, we can clearly see how the industry and market move toward year 2015.

QUICK GLANCE AT GLOBAL MARKET DEMAND
The world economy is improving slowly. The global market for security products and systems was predicted to grow 8 to 10 % in 2014, according to current market researchers. However, in the real world, if we look at the actual revenue from multinationals covering all different product lines and geographic regions, frankly speaking, it should be around 2 to 3% growth, without mentioning the squeezing margins of the small- to medium-sized companies in all different tiers of the sales channels.

The security industry indeed is affected by the world economic market status. If looking into the security industry of a country, it is often strongly related to its financial status quo. An industry expert provides a quite close-to-reality statement and said, “There are some markets in the world that are financially troubled. A large part of this industry lives for big projects, projects which are funded by the states, the government, and authorities. If they already have systems that are working — old legacy systems — they are not going to finance those systems. They are not going to rip them out if it's working when they are financially troubled.” This pointed out why a financial crisis still influenced greatly the growth of some markets, such as South Europe now.

BEYOND GROWTH, SQUEEZING MARGINS IN CHANNELS
Even though we see certain growth remains in the global security industry, the companies in sales channels still try very hard to keep a good balance between growth and profit margin, which is the key issue that the security industry is currently facing. The industry expert continued and said, “Even though some market researcher said the market will grow by 20 or 22% (in the IP video surveillance) now and in the future, in reality it's very difficult for some companies to grow by 20 to 22% with their desired margins. You either can grow, but you have to sacrifice your margin because you need to fight with the prices, or you will keep your margin, and you will have a lower growth rate. Very few companies will have both.”

According to the recent and also past reports of a&s Security 50, some leading suppliers have migrated from offering devices only into providing systems as solutions for different types of projects, in order to stay profitable and competitive in the market. Some regions like Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia really feel more pressure due to Chinese products, since they are mostly box moving markets. To keep away from the price competition, developing systems/solutions has become a major movement for most channels since IP technologies were introduced to the security industry around early 2000.

SYSTEMS INTEGRATORS ARE SUFFERING FROM INTEGRATION
Suppliers including distributors, resellers, and wholesalers evolve toward solutions not only for survival but also for offering best-of-breed products for systems integrators. End users now are more educated and care more about return on investment (ROI). Not only security, they want more extra benefits and functionalities from security devices. Another industry expert also pointed out that for a large-scale project, big systems integrators usually have enough knowledge in designing systems and solving problems in integration matters, so there won't be any problems.

However, for small- to medium-scale projects, systems integrators still experience a certain level of challenges in compatibility and interoperability among products from different brands, which might hinder the completion of a project. It also pushes some of the second-tier suppliers to offer solutions instead of devices. The advantage that it brought to systems integrators is the guarantee of completing a project. Via the cooperation and communication with the suppliers, systems integrators may find new applications and demand over these solutions too.

When suppliers mostly roll out their solutions and systems, systems integrators also need to go through a certain learning curve of a new sales model. For example, in the past, it was all about the quantity of products. Now, when selling solutions, systems Integrators also have to learn how to sell service, with professional consulting servicing too, in order to provide a real solution to end users.

TRANSFORMATION OF DISTRIBUTORS
Mergers and acquisitions on the manufacturers' side seem pretty normal, which usually aim to complement the acquirer's product lines and international presence. The most significant example should be Canon Europe acquiring Milestone Systems. In the distribution channels, Anixter merged with Tri-Ed, highlighting the current problems of a distributor.

According to several industry experts, the distribution business today undergoes huge problems in keeping margins and providing specific products and services to customers, since the box-moving business couldn't satisfy most systems integrators' demand. A consultant suggests that to be a good distributor, there are only two ways: first, you are a great logistical company. You buy in bulk, put it in stock, and ship it out. You might make 5 to 6% margin. Since you are an excellent logistical company, naturally you don't have to add any intelligence into it; the intelligence is made by the installer. Otherwise, the distributor should be really focused, having a focus on certain verticals, some geographic areas, and some customers.

“Systems integrators and resellers have become more and more knowledgeable. When they understand more, they need a distributor, more than a box mover (in the long past). They need products, availability of the products, and financing, because of course, if you have projects, you might say, for now we need payment terms … instead of 30 days, I need 90 days, 120 days, or 150 days, because that's what the end users are saying. Can distributors help them with that? They need logistic possibilities because customers may give the order one day and want the product the next day. However, not all distributors can do that. Therefore, here comes the consolidation in distribution,” he elaborated.

So, distributors need to make choices to be successful either in the aspects of financing and better logistic ability or in certain vertical approaches and keeping good relationships with people who specify the projects. However, this is also varied by the markets, too. If a major distributor doesn't believe the market needs to have the best solutions, they just reply to some clever installers, who have a higher expertise in technologies. On the other side, installers need to have distributors who have the products in stock and are financially stable.

2015: YEAR TO BECOME VALUE-ADDED
After the recent market consolidations, many industry professionals also even predicted that there would be more coming up in 2015. However, we are still positive about the security industry in the near future due to the emergence of more value-added players in this market. The whole industry continues to enjoy the growth from the IP migration.

Americas
The performance in mature countries versus emerging countries is still quite varied by regions and countries. The mature market, such as the U.S., continues to recover. According to Karl Erik Traberg, Head of Corporate Communications and Business Development of Milestone Systems, even though the US market performed a little weak in the first half, both consumer and government spending in the U.S. is doing well in the second half of 2014. We can expect to see how it will drive higher growth in the economy and the physical security industry into 2015. South America, on the contrary, is cited by many companies for its strong demand, such as Bosch and Assa Abloy. “The sales trends for the private residential market and in South America were strong. High-security products, electromechanical products, security doors, and traditional lock products showed good growth. However, the growth was slightly negative in Canada and Mexico,” stated in Assa Abloy's half-year review of 2014.

Europe
Europe is more uncertain since the region has been weaker than expected in the second and third quarter of 2014. Overall, the European economic situation will be more stabilized. “The markets in Finland, Britain, Africa, and Eastern Europe showed strong growth. Scandinavia, Germany, and Benelux showed good growth. Sales were stable in Iberia and France but the trend was negative in Italy and Israel,” Assa Abloy's report also said.

IDIS also confirmed the recovering economy in the U.K. Brian Song, MD of IDIS Europe said, “If we take the U.K., for instance, there is an incredibly large legacy analog installed base. The recession impacted many upgrade projects and the improved economy is now enabling customers to reignite and in most cases extend those projects. So taking IP together with HD, we're seeing continued demand as end users continue to struggle with the poor performance and inefficiencies of analog. So for IDIS, we are seeing the adoption of IP increasing through retrofit projects as well as new infrastructure investment.” With the stabilized economy, Europe can be ready to enjoy the demand from new geographic territories and lifestyle. Bernhard Sommer, CEO of SimonsVoss Technologies said, “The security requirements of businesses, organizations, and private persons is increasing considerably. Borders are shifting and are opening up, for Europe in particular; this results in an entirely new security situation. People are more mobile, more flexible, and make use of mobile communication everywhere. This changes lifestyle and usage habits, also in the area of security. Mobility and security are melting together.”

Russia is a problem area in this region due to the current problems with Ukraine. “Parts of Eastern Europe continued to be negatively impacted by the ongoing political turbulence in the region,” also observed by Axis' half year report.

Emerging Regions in MEA and APAC
The Middle East continues to show strong growth and increasing demand toward IP video surveillance and access control systems. The region remains the most important for growth momentum of multinationals, pointed out by almost every single company in a&s interviews. Although some areas in the Middle East region are experiencing political upheaval and economic instability, the oil exporting countries, especially GCC countries, will continue to impress the industry with the largest projects and most tech-savvy installations. Africa is also a region that couldn't be ignored by its growth force. Bosch especially pointed out South Africa for a positive market trend.

Asia, on the other side, has been performing as expected in 2014, and growth is set for 2015. Southern Asia, especially ASEAN countries, recovered somewhat after a weak first quarter of 2014 while Northern Asia showed stable growth, such as China and South Korea. “The markets in Australia, Southeast Asia, and South Korea showed strong growth. China showed a good sales trend in traditional lock products, while fire and security doors grew strongly. New Zealand showed good growth,” Assa Abloy provided a good explanation here.

Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union creates safe and open environment with Avigilon's systems

Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union creates safe and open environment with Avigilon's systems

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 12/29/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Secure $15 million in assets, protect staff and members, and meet key insurance requirements while maintaining an open environment where members can freely enter and exit to receive services.

Solution
Brooklyn Cooperative's staff manage the system from their desktops using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) with High-Definition Stream Management™ (HDSM). The company installed Avigilon HD 5 MP cameras with exceptional low-light performance on the exterior of the building to monitor all entrances. Avigilon HD 1 MP and 2 MP cameras were installed in other high-traffic areas including: the ATM vestibule, main lobby, teller station, office area, workshop, and storage and server rooms. Brooklyn Cooperative stores 120 days of continuous surveillance footage on an Avigilon Network Video Recorder (NVR) – a vast improvement over the 30 days previously attained and a top insurance requirement. The credit union can also monitor the system remotely from home during off-hours.

Benefits
Brooklyn Cooperative can meet and exceed the requirements set by their insurance provider to ultimately lower premiums. With detailed coverage of the ATM vestibule, the credit union can also resolve claims of debit card fraud to lower liability costs. Brooklyn Cooperative monitors the storage area and offices to protect confidential member information from loss or theft. Users can search and locate footage in a fraction of the time of the previous system. The company has also eliminated the risk of false alarms by being able to monitor the system remotely during off-hours before contacting police. Brooklyn Cooperative has had no network bandwidth issues since deployment and plans to integrate its new branch when it opens later this year for central management.
* Meet insurance requirements
* Resolve debit card fraud claims
* No network bandwidth issues

Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union Creates Safe, Open Environment to Help Members Build Assets with Avigilon High-Definition Surveillance System
As New York City's fastest growing credit union, Brooklyn Cooperative is dedicated to supporting the economic development of two of the city's most under-banked and low-income neighborhoods, Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant. By offering a range of services to its 6,800 members (including homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling, free tax preparation, and core financial services), Brooklyn Cooperative helps families and businesses build assets and secure their economic success. With workshops and financial counseling sessions running after hours, Brooklyn Cooperative operates outside traditional bank hours in an open environment. Security solutions suitable for closed banks, such as time stamps, physical gates, and motion detectors, are not practical in this environment. To secure its $15 million in assets, protect staff and members, and meet insurance requirements while ensuring member accessibility, Brooklyn Cooperative deployed the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for its exceptional image quality and detail, efficient storage, and ease-of-use.

Security in Open Bank
Located on one of the city's busiest streets, Brooklyn Cooperative's main branch spans a city block, with both front and back entrances. The credit union has an ATM vestibule, teller station, and main lobby at the front, offices in the center, and an open workshop area in the back. Files are stored in the basement, which also houses several additional offices and the server room. “Our physical location and unconventional hours make security a challenge,” explained Samira Rajan, CEO at Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union. “We selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system on the recommendation of a board member who is responsible for physical security at a large bank in Manhattan.” Rajan chose to partner with Digital Provisions, Inc., a local technology integration company, for their expertise, support services, and cost.

Range of Coverage
Staff manages the surveillance system from their desktops using Avigilon Control Center with HDSM. The company installed Avigilon HD cameras ranging from 1 MP to 5 MP for complete branch coverage. “The fact that Avigilon offers such a wide range of cameras was a top selling feature for us,” commented Rajan. The credit union installed Avigilon HD 5 MP cameras with superior low-light performance on the exterior of the building to monitor all entrances and installed Avigilon HD 1 MP and 2 MP cameras in all other hightraffic areas. “By installing higher resolution cameras in only key areas and leveraging Avigilon's advanced motion detection technology, we lowered our investment costs and can store 120 days of surveillance footage – a vast improvement over the 30 days we previously attained to help meet a key insurance requirement.”

Lowering Insurance Costs
While asset protection and staff safety are top goals for the new high-definition surveillance system, so too is the ability to meet critical insurance standards. “The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system allows us to meet insurance requirements such as achieving 120 days of storage and delivering indisputable evidence for police investigations,” explained Rajan. With coverage of the ATM vestibule, which is a target for fraud and debit card misuse, the credit union can more accurately address false liability claims to save money and lower insurance premiums. Brooklyn Cooperative can also monitor the storage area and offices to protect confidential member information from theft. “I expect to lower our premiums because we will be in a better position to meet more insurance requirements,” added Rajan.

Smooth Operations
After a brief training session, Rajan and her team were up and running on the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system in no time. “Avigilon is a thousand times easier to use than our previous system,” stated Rajan. In fact, Rajan was able to quickly investigate a report of stolen funds using the Avigilon Control Center software. “We identified the perpetrator in less than 10 minutes and successfully recovered the lost funds.” Rajan has also been impressed with how easily the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system has integrated into its existing network. “We've had no glitches or bandwidth issues at all – it is running very smoothly,” observed Rajan.

Eliminating False Alarms
With the ability to monitor the surveillance system from home, Rajan can rest easy that the credit union is safe both day and night. “Previously, any motion would trigger the alarm and our monitoring firm would automatically call the police, resulting in more than 60 false alarms,” said Rajan. “Now, the Digital Provisions service center can check footage before calling the police, giving us greater peace of mind.” Employees now enjoy a greater sense of security and are no longer distracted by old security procedures such as panic buttons, motion detectors, and time stamps, which required time and effort to properly manage.

An Integrated Future
Another advantage of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is its scalability, which will make it easy for Brooklyn Cooperative to integrate its new branch when it opens later this year. “I am looking forward to having a coherent surveillance system that can be centrally managed,” concluded Rajan. “We are very impressed with how well the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system addresses all our requirements, performs as promised, and will meet our future needs.”

Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l airport implements integrated security solution from SDI and Verint

Minneapolis-St. Paul Int'l airport implements integrated security solution from SDI and Verint

Editor / Provider: Verint Systems | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

SDI (System Development Integration, LLC), a systems integrator specializing in airport security technologies, and Verint® Systems announced that together they will deliver the first phase of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport's (MSP) Integrated Video and Information Systems Network (iVISN) Surveillance System. The iVISN Program will replace its current CCTV system with advanced technology to help enhance and maximize security capabilities and improve the performance of security personnel.

MSP is located in Minneapolis and St. Paul near the suburban cities of Bloomington, Eagan, Mendota Heights and Richfield. Spanning over 3,400 acres, MSP has one airfield, four runways and two terminal buildings. Serving more than 32 million passengers a year, it accommodates over 430,000 landings and takeoffs annually, making it the 12th busiest airfield in the United States.

To implement the first phase of the iVISN Program, as well as provide ongoing support, MSP selected SDI. SDI has partnered with local firms Pro-Tec Design and Premier Electric, which will provide field implementation and integration services and electrical contractor services, respectively. Additionally, TRICOM Communications will deliver structured cabling and electrical services.

"SDI's intimate knowledge of the nuances of an airport's concept of operations, security protocols and underlying technology components will serve to drive the technical solution to the operational reality that MSP envisions,” said David A. Gupta, SDI Chief Executive Officer.

SDI will implement Verint's Nextiva® Video Management Software™ (VMS) and Nextiva Physical Security Information Management™ (PSIM), both of which MSP selected in August 2012. The Verint VMS solution will monitor both conventional and megapixel IP cameras across an integrated IP-based network. Bridging the video system to the airport's security and access control system, the SDI team also will deploy the Verint PSIM solution. Upon completion of what will be a multi-phased deployment, the system is expected to include more than 2,500 cameras, 100 workstations, and a variety of video analytic and informational interface programs, including license plate recognition.

“Nextiva Video Management Software and Nextiva Physical Security Information Management are part of Verint's fully-integrated IP security suite, which is designed to help airports—like Minneapolis-St. Paul—better protect facilities, provide greater situational awareness and optimize security operations,” added Steve Weller, senior vice president and general manager, Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions™. “Once deployed, the Nextiva solution will support the airport in handling its operational complexities and security challenges even more efficiently.”

Around the world, airports and critical infrastructure organizations of all sizes count on Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions to deliver advanced security and business intelligence. Based on years of experience, Verint has a proven track record of delivering scalable, fault tolerant, high-availability solutions designed to cover security and surveillance across an airport's entire network—from terminals and perimeters, to parking lots and other facilities. Today, airports across the globe use Verint Nextiva to enhance situational awareness, improve emergency preparedness and response, and provide authorized personnel with comprehensive security and operations intelligence.

Named as the integrator of record for the iVISN project, SDI has been providing delivery of robust VMS and PSIM design, implementation, integration and maintenance for airport and public safety clients since 1991. The firm has a well-established track record of deploying large-scale VMS within live, Category X airport environments, as well as integrating Cat X standard operating procedures into PSIM platforms to deliver enhanced airport security operations. Additionally, SDI has an in-house network infrastructure group to deploy necessary network infrastructure and storage components.

Vertical market: Hospitals combine forces and security

Vertical market: Hospitals combine forces and security

Editor / Provider: Israel Gogol, freelancer, a&s International | Updated: 12/22/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Hospitals are in the business of serving people and their families. Their primary goal is to provide patients with medical care, comfort, and peace of mind. Traditionally security systems in healthcare have been used for access control, providing forensic video and personal alerts for staff in cases of violence, and monitoring at-risk populations such as infants or patients suffering from dementia to protect against kidnapping or wandering.

“The purpose of healthcare security management is to contribute to the protection and safety of all those delivering medical service and safeguarding public and private assets against loss, theft, fraud, damage, and disruption, which could be detrimental and a risk to the continuation of patient care. Patients, employees, and visitors assume that since hospitals take care of the community they are immune from local crime and the ills of society,” said Nick van der Bijl, an honorary president of the National Association for Healthcare Security in the U.K. and former healthcare security manager. However, by their nature, hospitals are violent places, some of which are of a clinical nature — post-operative trauma, serious mental health, and pain. But there are also instances when violence is of a criminal nature, such as violence against others.

Behind the scenes, hospital security teams face numerous challenges that involve the safety and security of employees, patients, visitors, and confidential personal information, as well as safeguarding dangerous materials, pharmaceutical supplies, and more. A breach in any of these areas can cause financial, legal, and reputational damages.

In addition, hospitals have to work under a strict regulatory environment complying with numerous standards. First and foremost is of course safeguarding patients' medical information. Many other regulations influence a hospital's daily operations: from financial regulations (for example in case the hospital accepts credit card payments) to regulations regarding the storage of hazardous and radioactive materials. The need for compliance is a significant factor for the performance of healthcare providers. “Healthcare by nature is a very open environment so any security systems put in place must work within this construct, providing a secure environment to patients, employees, hospital property, and regulated health information while having a negligible impact on the flow of patients, visitors, and staff,” explained Drew Neckar, Director of Security Services at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

With many different departments, entrances, elevators, parking areas, etc., and a constant flow of staff, “hospitals are ultimate high-traffic sites,” explained Courtney Dillon Pedersen, Corporate Communications Manager at Milestone Systems. “Monitoring all of these scenarios can be aided by comprehensive video monitoring and access control, which today is in hot demand as a unified solution for greater efficiency.”

Frequent M&As Creates New Demand
Recent changes in the healthcare business environment in the U.S. have led to a series of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) between healthcare providers. These are driven by regulatory changes and strategic initiatives. Hospitals merge to gain economies of scale and deal with reimbursement cuts, to get a better strategic position in the market or purchase smaller, less profitable hospitals that became too strained financially as a result of high compliance costs.

According to a report from strategic advisory and investment banking firm Hammond Hanlon Camp, in 2012, more than US$143.3 billion in healthcare M&As took place in the U.S., one of the highest volumes recorded in a decade. The U.S. is the global leader in healthcare M&As; however, this trend is not limited to the U.S. and appears also in Europe (mainly the U.K., Germany, and France) and APAC (Thailand, China, India, and Australia).

From the security perspective this convergence has had two implications. The first is overcoming the challenges of managing a multi-site environment often with different systems that now need to work together. A second implication is a growing need for security systems to show a return on investment (ROI) that will justify their expense.

“Security nowadays is turning into an ROI perspective — security managers need to prove they have a benefit and contribute financially for example through loss prevention,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice. One way of achieving loss prevention is by preventing theft. In addition, the data collected by security systems is also useful. For instance, access control systems can provide information about how many people pass through a certain door. This data too has implications, if more people than planned pass through the door the hospital might want to schedule maintenance or re-plan emergency evacuation routes. This way the hospital can avoid potential bottle necks because too many people pass through one door.

A major challenge in multi-site management is interoperability, an issue presented by M&As that requires the merging of several facilities. “Each one of these hospitals has different systems and the challenge is how to combine them successfully. This raises many issues — how to register all the employees to the system quickly and efficiently and how to prevent them from using multiple cards. Another key issue is employees or contractors not removed from the systems in time. For example, in one hospital I encountered 3,000 active cards in the system for only 700 employees,” said Ahrens. An additional constraint is that oftentimes hospitals do not have situational awareness in mind. There is no dedicated area to set up a control room and this hurts the efficiency of security operations.

“In healthcare's current climate of acquisitions, reorganizations, and uncertain finances, a security professional rarely has the opportunity to choose a single new security system as a solution for a new installation in multiple sites. It is more often the case that they are tasked with allocating resources to integrate existing, often outdated, systems to work in parallel while trying to provide a seamless user experience at all facilities,” added Neckar.

Placing More Emphasis on Training
As in other verticals, the proper use of security systems and achieving their full potential is a challenge. All too often users fail to understand a system's capabilities and therefore underutilize the system. “The pressing problem about security systems is that we don't know what we are buying. We install them, but don't fully use them to their full potential — it's more of a ‘check-the-box,'” said Ahrens.

Apart from the technological challenge, the human factor is important. “When integrating hospitals and other healthcare facilities, sometimes the technology isn't the problem as much as the psychology of the people involved and their different approaches to security,” explained van der Bijl. For example, employees of a mental health institution will have a more pro-security culture as opposed to a community care facility where employees have lower security awareness. In this case, the integration of the two facilities is more complex than just integrating the security systems. Van der Bijl recommends making security a concern for all hospital staff and not just security officers. “One of the roles of the security function is also to make sure security is visible and promoted among the employees. Reporting security incidents should not be in a stand-alone system but should be part of the hospital's reporting system,” noted van der Bijl. At the end of the day, a lot still depends on the quality of the security officer. “Smart security officers are highly critical, they are the face of security and should have the proper training on how to behave in a hospital,” he concluded.

Choosing the right security system seems like the biggest challenge, however, healthcare operators should also emphasize education and training for their systems to ensure its proper use.

Role of Video Analytics in Healthcare
In the open and busy environment that exists in the majority of healthcare facilities, traditional analytics such as line crossing or license plate recognition have provided limited benefits. “Analytics are still at a price point that healthcare institutions can't justify,” stated Drew Neckar, Director of Security Services at the Mayo Clinic Health System. “However the next generation of ‘smart' analytics that rely less on a set of pre-programmed rules and more on providing alerts when situations vary from the ‘normal' conditions show significant promise.”

A robust video surveillance set-up combined with powerful video analytics can alert security staff to incidents before they occur by flagging anomalies in movement or behavior. “Certain behaviors can be indicative of imminent criminal activity or an incident; intelligent video solutions can recognize these actions and alert security personnel, freeing up their time to respond to incidents rather than monitoring banks of screens,” said Daniel Wan, UK Channel Marketing Manager at Honeywell Security. Additionally, integrated systems with access control can let teams know who is entering premises and more importantly who is leaving and with what.

Potential Role of PSIM in Hospitals
Physical security information management (PSIM) solutions have the ability to overcome the obstacles of separate access control systems and integrate multiple disparate security systems. They can also add multiple sub systems in addition to video management software (VMS) systems and access control such as public announcements, patient tracking, equipment traking, panic buttons, IT systems and building management systems. “The benefit of PSIM is that it answers the requirement for standardization, however it should come after a thorough evaluation of pros and cons,” said Sean Ahrens, Security Consulting Services Practice Leader at Aon Global Risk Consulting Security Practice.

PSIM can also help make sure the proper procedures are followed. “For instance, if equipment is tracked by RFID sensors and if it is not properly sterilized, the PSIM can alert to this missed step, allow for a corrections to be made, and save the hospital non-compliance fines. This is one way PSIM results in a strong return on investment (ROI) for healthcare customers,” explained Ellen Howe, VP of Marketing at Vidsys. Though its potential is recognized, PSIM in hospitals is still not widespread. “Many hospitals postpone decisions due to price concerns, but there is definitely a significant ROI when comparing this to running separate systems, for example in monitoring and auditing access logs, or in the case of an alarm,” said Ahrens. For example, if there is an alarm for an abducted child, the security officer can immediately see what the perpetrator looks like and take action instead of searching for footage in different systems.

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