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Bosch launches new AMAX  intrusion alarm systems

Bosch launches new AMAX intrusion alarm systems

Editor / Provider: Bosch | Updated: 4/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Hybrid panels and wireless peripherals expand applications supported and improve performance
* Three intrusion alarm systems with 8, 32 and 64 zones
* Hybrid operation combines support of wired devices and the new RADION wireless family
* More flexibility and scalability allows customizable security for numerous applications

Munich – Bosch Security Systems completes its portfolio of intrusion alarm systems for residential and small to medium commercial applications with the launch of two new members of the AMAX family of control panels. This launch is further supported by the introduction of RADION, a new family of wireless peripherals. Private households as well as owners of SMBs (Small Medium Businesses) now have the flexibility to choose between wireless and wired detectors, thus protecting their assets with an individually configurable security solution.

Intrusion alarm systems for every purpose
Introduced in 2013, AMAX 4000 is now backed by two new intrusion control panels – AMAX 3000 and AMAX 2100. Together, the three solutions cover a three-step application range: AMAX 2100 is suitable for small applications with a maximum of 8 zones, AMAX 3000 is designed for facilities where 32 zones are required, and AMAX 4000 covers larger properties with up to 64 zones, for instance a medical center with several individual practices in the building. AMAX 3000 and 4000 can additionally be operated in hybrid mode, connecting wired detectors, such as Bosch Blue Line Gen2 Series, as well as wireless peripherals from the new RADION family. The compact AMAX 2100, running wired detectors only, completes the portfolio.

The new RADION wireless family includes motion detectors, surface and recessed mount door and window contacts, universal transmitter, keyfobs and smoke detector. This makes it suitable for new installations, as well as for use in existing installations thanks to compatibility with existing “DSRF” wireless systems and legacy control panels from Bosch. Furthermore, the RADION family offers another special feature: by using up to eight repeaters even remotely located detectors can be integrated in the AMAX alarm system, expanding system range up to 1,350 meters. In addition to numerous mechanical design features to improve the ease and reliability of installation, all RADION peripherals can be automatically enrolled within the intrusion system.

“The new AMAX family has a broad application spectrum covering nearly the complete European intrusion control panel market,” says Peter Hupka, product manager AMAX. “Bosch is thus further increasing the level of potential customization solutions, especially with AMAX 3000 and 4000. Their hybrid properties enable utilization of RADION wireless peripherals, reducing or eliminating the need for building work,” he explains further.

All three AMAX intrusion alarm systems, as well as the RADION family, are EN 50131 grade 2 certified. AMAX panels are available in eight language versions to suit diverse application needs. With 90 percent of the standard alarm situations pre-programed, they are also easy to install and operate. Alarm transmission uses a standard telephone landline (PSTN), while modules for additional transmission via IP and GSM/GPRS are available. Further, all AMAX intrusion alarm systems can be remotely controlled with programming software for PC and used for fire detection by integrating smoke detectors.

The complete AMAX and RADION family will be available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from April 2014 onward.

MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

MOBOTIX supports UK Morrison Supermarkets upgrades surveillance

Editor / Provider: MOBOTIX | Updated: 4/23/2014 | Article type: Security 50

MOBOTIX, a manufacturer of digital high-resolution and network-based video security systems has released details of a project at Wm Morrison Supermarkets that is helping to secure access and reduce management complexity across 40 critical sites supporting the retailers “farm to fork” business strategy.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets is a major UK food retailer with over 500 stores across Britain and subsidiaries including Farmers Boy, a manufacturer and distributor of food products; Woodhead Bros, a meat processing business; FlowerWorld, a wholesale flower business and other business interests including multi-channel online retailing.

The company prides itself on its hands on approach to the food distribution chain and in 2008, the newly appointed Data Centre Services Manager, Darryl Shears, began a program to strengthen the resilience and security around its critical IT infrastructure as part of a wider software migration from legacy systems to a unified Oracle based platform.

“We have sites that range from northern Scotland, to Bridgwater in the south west and Sittingbourne in the south east and managing this estate from a centralised team in Bradford is a logistics challenge,” explains Shears, “We need to be able to monitor key comms rooms and IT equipment remotely both proactively to stop any issues from escalating and to react quickly to ensure any problems are dealt with effectively.”

To this end, Morrisons decided upon a strategy to upgrade each of these vital IT and comms rooms with environmental monitoring, remote surveillance and remote access control technology. With a requirement for an ultra-reliable, easy to manage yet flexible system, the firm turned to Express Data, a trusted and long serving technical adviser and installation specialist for assistance.

Following an extensive evaluation programme and based on a number of strong reference site examples, the supermarket group selected a solution including MOBOTIX CCTV cameras, Panduit environmental monitoring and access control technology. “The MOBOTIX solution, especially the hemispheric technology allows us to use just one or two cameras to cover single or multiple rooms with the resolution and reliability we required,” explains Shears, “In addition, the built-in flash storage support means that we can still record the site even if we have a network connectivity issue.”

The team based in Bradford can use the MOBOTIX cameras to view anybody requiring access to a secure room and remotely open doors and monitor any activity within the room. The system has the option for fully bi-directional audio and requires only 5W per camera which aligns with the company's stated aim to use low energy technologies across its operations.

Over the last 24 months, Express Data has worked with Shears and his team to implement upgrades at an additional 11 sites and created a standard blueprint for the resilience and security at each of the critical sites.

The build includes power redundancy and best practice access procedures with a full visual audit trail. In total, the supermarket has deployed around 140 cameras and, “…as we roll out new sites or make any changes, we now see MOBOTIX as part of our standard build and the system has proven extremely reliable while seamlessly integrating into our other operational systems and processes.”

MFNE and AES to co-host Secutech ASEAN 2014

MFNE and AES to co-host Secutech ASEAN 2014

Editor / Provider: Messe Frankfurt New Era | Updated: 4/23/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Secutech ASEAN, formerly known as Secutech Thailand, is officially scheduled to take place from 26 – 28 November 2014 at Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre (BITEC). Known as Thailand's leading and largest professional event for the security as well as fire and safety industries, Secutech ASEAN 2014 is expecting to welcome over 150 exhibitors, showcasing the latest innovations in security technology for government, commercial as well as private use.

Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd (MFNE), and its new partner, Asian Exhibition Services (AES) Ltd will be organising the 2014 show. Commenting on this new partnership, Mr John Shi, General Manager for Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd said: “It gives me great pleasure in announcing our new partnership with Asian Exhibition Services Ltd. The firm is well-known for their expertise in managing industrial-based trade fairs in Asia. With its headquarters in Bangkok plus an expansive network in the region, AES possesses the expertise in bringing professionals from the private sector and granting support from government bodies. Our show is quickly proving itself to be an invaluable component to the growth of Thailand's security market.”

Commenting on the local market, Mr David Aitken, Managing Director of Asian Exhibition Services (AES) Ltd added: “The Thai government recently announced its plans to invest USD 70 billion in regional infrastructure development, which is expected to aid the commercial and residential construction boom, starting from the last quarter of 2014. Under this initiative, extensive opportunities will be created for Thailand's professional security industry, and will further consolidate its status as the largest security market in Southeast Asia. I believe attendees to our next edition will not only find a wealth of next generation solutions, but also have a chance to make a number of valuable industry contacts.”

While visitors are expected to come from a range of backgrounds, industrial, government and building professionals are the top three groups attracted to the show. Security products and solutions which these and other professionals can find at Secutech ASEAN include IP cameras, access control systems, HD SDI cameras, industrial and occupational safety systems, vehicle security systems, associated security components and much more.

In order to highlight the most in-demand areas in Thailand's security market, four specialty sections are being arranged for the 2014 show:

Surveillance Systems:
According to IMS research, the Thai market accounts for 29% of the video surveillance market in Southeast Asia, and is expected to experience double-digit growth over the next few years. The Surveillance Systems section was designed in order for brands to showcase their latest solutions in IP, HD-SDI, IR as well as hybrid surveillance technology. Newly-developed transmission and storage solutions as well as customised video analytic and control management software will also be on display at this section.

Home Security & Automation:
Thailand expects a 6.4% growth rate in its housing market for the foreseeable future, particularly as demand for second homes increases in resort destinations like Phuket. This section aims to showcase the latest in digitally-integrated home security and automation systems, while also educating buyers and end-users on the unique benefits the growing technology offers.

Building Automation & Access Control:
Commercial properties are increasingly utilising automation technology and sophisticated access controls in the operation of buildings. This is meant to offer developers, contractors and other building professionals with a comprehensive outlook on intelligent building solutions they can apply to existing and future properties.

Fire & Safety:
Known as one of the biggest sectors of the security market, fire and safety regulations are increasingly becoming stricter in Thailand. Building and factory owners in Thailand are now being required to make greater efforts in installing fire prevention devices in their properties. Additionally, greater demand for fire and safety solutions in Thailand is being driven by the country's growing construction market. This section will feature products and solutions to meet Thailand's increasingly sophisticated fire and safety market.

For further details about Secutech ASEAN, please visit http://www.secutechthailand.com/en/

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

 

Standalone NVRs continue to devour the DVR market

Standalone NVRs continue to devour the DVR market

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

Affordable IP products from major manufacturers have helped to accelerate the migration from DVR to NVR, as it quickly becomes a lower cost option to install network cameras where a network infrastructure is already in place. The main driver behind the migration from DVR to NVR is standardization.

NVRs are starting to be used in more scenarios, especially with the launch of 4 and 16 channel units that look and feel much like analog DVRs. With a monitor output and a DVD writer, standalone NVRs make IP solutions easier for smaller installers and operators. It is now not uncommon to see 4 channel HD solutions in small high value retail installations.

Another factor is PoE enabled NVRs that allow for plug-and-play. The plug-and-play function makes everything much easier, which proved to be very popular in the SMB and DIY market.

IP-friendly infrastructure
Although many developing countries in APAC are still using analog solutions, new projects are gradually moving to IP. Why? The vast majority of new buildings utilize a structured cabling system designed to support all subsystems within, from telephones to building management. It is only logical that security systems also use the same infrastructure. In this case, the TCP/IP Networking Protocol along with IP-friendly building makes wiring, integrating, and managing much easier than old buildings cabling.

According to Sony Electronics APAC, worldwide NVR sales will certainly expand. Amongst all the regions, Asia's migration to IP systems is remarkable, and such a trend will reinforce the growing number of NVR sales. In addition, a recent take up of NVRs in SMB, as well as in home security verticals, has been observed. The key drivers are low prices and easy installation and operation.

Still using DVRs? Think again
Here are some of the main reasons why many adopt NVRs over DVRs:
* Higher resolution for each channel
* Storage capacity; NVR storage capacity is larger than any DVR
* Ease of management, NVRs can be easily managed via software
* High scalability; a single NVR can handle more cameras
* Cost effective:
    - analog compatibilities
    - lower cabling installation cost
* Future-proof: NVRs can be quickly repaired and replaced, and easily upgraded compared to DVRs
* PoE and wireless compatibilities enable installation in hard-to-wire environments

Many of the standalone NVRs have functions that bear resemblance to their DVR predecessors. In addition, many NVRs' GUIs are exactly the same as DVRs, so switching from DVRs to NVRs does not put any unnecessary burden on users as they do not need to change their usual routine — no additional training is required. For smaller installations, 16 channels and under, only basic or non-IT knowledge is required.

Standalone & PC-based NVRs
While both PC-based and standalone NVRs record and store video, manage cameras, enable viewing of recorded contents, and archive histories, the differences between the two lie in how they operate, and the features they provide.

Standalone NVRs are smaller and more compact in size compared to PC-based NVRs. In terms of performance, standalone NVRs operate on SoC, and usually have one or more DSPs for video compression and decompression, and a CPU for other functions. On the other hand, PC-based NVRs utilize the CPU for video compression/ decompression, viewing and recording content, and managing cameras.

Standalone NVRs are better suited for systems where the number of cameras is within the limits of an NVR's capacity. PC-based NVRs are decidedly more powerful in processing data, and offer much more flexibility in storage scalability, compared to standalone NVRs. PC-based systems also offer more camera scalability, whereas standalone NVRs tend to have an upper limit of camera capacity.

Standalone NVRs triumph over PC-based NVRs in the following areas: price, reliability, and stability. With fewer components and packaged in a compact case, they are appealing in price and more reliable in performance. They are also more stable, secure, and less prone to viruses and hacks, as they run on Linux, as opposed to a Windowsbased system. Finally, as they run on a standalone operating system, they have a shorter boot time, compared to the longer loading time required by PC-based NVRs.

With their many benefits, standalone NVRs are gaining traction in the market. In response, several manufacturers are hearing this call and offering attractive standalone NVRs. Smaller projects benefit most from the features and capabilities of standalone NVRs and SMB enterprises are able to save substantially on costs.

More importantly, standalone NVRs are not only powerful, but also boast ease-of-use features, such as auto search and built-in network power to remove the need of a PoE switch. The perk of this function is that it further reduces costs for customers as they do not have to purchase PoE switches, which could be costly.

Lowest price may come at a cost that is too high
The rising popularity of standalone NVRs has resulted in numerous manufacturers sprouting up in Shenzhen, China. Although standalone NVRs from these manufacturers come with an extremely lower price tag, their reliability may remain questionable.

Education remains key to the widespread adoption of standalone NVRs in Asia. Standalone NVR providers should work hard to show end users and installers the benefits of standalone NVRs. At the same time, the first users to adopt standalone NVRs would most likely to be SMBs as they stand to benefit most from low-cost systems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

---By Lars Thinggard, CEO, Milestone Systems

Tyco discloses expanded security Global Center of Excellence

Tyco discloses expanded security Global Center of Excellence

Editor / Provider: Tyco | Updated: 4/17/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Tyco announced the expansion of its Global Center of Excellence (GCoE) in Birmingham, Alabama, that enables multinational companies to streamline and standardize their security systems around the world. The GCoE develops standards, technical specifications and detailed work plans that enable consistent security installations globally, while also providing customers with remote system audit services to verify functionality and compliance to corporate standards.

With the increasing number of global clients supported by the GCoE, the expansion of the center will allow Tyco to better serve clients with a single point of contact for their global security needs. Fortune 500 customers are seeking to streamline and standardize their global integrated security systems by consolidating the number of local system integrators they work with worldwide. Managing multiple integrators across hundreds of locations can lead to operational redundancies, quality degradation, compliance issues, and increased costs. The center will also play a key role in the company's effort to create comprehensive solutions for customers that encompass a range of building systems.

"Integrating systems and technologies to solve customers' problems is at the heart of our future, and this center brings us a step closer to that vision," said George Oliver, Tyco's Chief Executive Officer. "We are driving toward bringing not only security systems, but also fire and other building systems together on a common platform to provide customers with unprecedented insight and control over their operations."

"The Global Center of Excellence offers a lot of value to our customers by providing a single point of contact for all global security needs, saving time and resources while allowing access to multiple competencies in a centralized location," said Renae Leary, Vice President of Global Accounts at Tyco. "As companies are driving out costs and consolidating real estate and operating expenses, many are now realizing the huge benefits that come with standardizing on IP-based security solutions and partnering with a global integrator. This alignment delivers consistent execution of technology in terms of quality, timeliness and most importantly a higher standard of security to protect their people and assets."

The new 24,000 square foot facility currently houses 90 employees, including certified design engineers, computer-aided design operators, program managers, system engineers and other specialists, who design and document global security standards for enterprise-level intrusion security, access control, video management, fire systems and integration. The GCoE's diverse team has multiple competencies, including fluency in 14 languages, and is well-versed in the business and cultural nuances required to successfully conduct business in the 38 countries the center supports, so customer standards and technical specifications can be maintained and updated as needed.

The new facility is located at 1800 International Park Drive in Birmingham, Alabama.

IP based video surveillance enjoys high market penetration in Middle East

IP based video surveillance enjoys high market penetration in Middle East

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/15/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The video surveillance market is greatly influenced by government rules. HD and megapixel has become standard for video surveillance cameras and 180-day video storage is required for almost all market sectors. The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) also updates the rules every year. The government regulations usually include where the security cameras must be placed, several details about its specifications, and also, how to make sure they are able to produce good quality video. "In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, it is important to make sure that your IP-based video surveillance system meets all legislation and governmental standards, which should be the key elements of business here," said Peter Biltsted, Director of MEA at Milestone Systems. According to an industry expert, some IP-based video systems might have the problem of losing images, which would cause the end users and systems integrators to get fined afterwards. Therefore, high reliability of IP-based video surveillance systems is required for this region.

HIGH ADOPTION OF IP-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE
Due to regulations from the government, the trend of full IP-based video surveillance starts from the U.A.E. such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and then spreads the rest of the Gulf countries. The IP-based video surveillance trend also leads to high adoption of some innovations in this region, such as multi-megapixel, low-lux, and intelligent video analytics.

In the Middle East, people usually want the best technologies. For surveillance, the standard would be around 2 to 3 megapixels with WDR, because of the strong sunlight. ANPR and facial recognition are also usually required for infrastructure projects.

In large facilities, such as stadiums, hotels, campuses, and city surveillance projects, end users look for a more cost-effective way to have better coverage over a large area. “Multi-megapixel cameras are proving their worth here. Using multi-megapixel (1,080p for example) cameras, end users receive a minimum resolution more than seven times better than standard definition (VGA) or analog cameras. Megapixel cameras provide detailed information for capturing license plates and faces, said Scott Schafer, Executive VP Sales, Marketing and Service at Arecont Vision. “We have examples of customers that use 75 cameras to cover an area that would have required about 2,000 analog or standard definition VGA cameras delivering 40 pixel-per-foot resolution, which is enough to identify faces in a crowd. In campus settings, we have used eight multi-megapixel panoramic cameras to replace 24 standard definition cameras and the new system delivered superior resolution at a lower price.”

Intelligent Video Adoption
The local requirement of up to 180-day storage for HD megapixel video in some cases drives the need for more intelligent management of data, especially in large-scale projects such as infrastructure. "To provide an efficient forensic search after events take place, and also meet the challenges of managing so many cameras and data in a large environment, there is a need for intelligent video. And since people here are quite open to new technologies, they are starting to use intelligent video analytics (IVA) for marketing and management purposes," said Hakan 畤yi?it, Regional Director of Middle East at Bosch Security Systems.

Intelligent video is commonly used for high-end retailers and some large retailers deploying 160 to 200 cameras for people counting and heat maps. "In some five-star hotels, it has become common to have people-counting features to see who gets inside of the hotel building, 360 fish-eye camera at main areas like lobby/restaurant, heat mapping to analyze customers flow, and missing-object analysis for the retail stores inside. Some hotels provide the live-streaming video online for marketing.

Samsung also provides such solutions for retail/commercial markets controlled by Samsung security management platform," said Ali Boussi, Regional Sales Manager at BASS/Samsung Techwin. Due to the demand for intelligent video in this region, “Kedacom launched its latest NVRs, with the latest video analytic technology to do smart searching and quick location of the event as soon as the alarm is triggered. Besides, Kadacom also has a complete solution of centralized chain-store management and HD video surveillance solutions for courts,” said Zhiqiang Liu, Marketing Director, Kedacom Technology.

IP for SMB
The small-to-medium business (SMB) sector is also adopting IP technologies, starting from the U.A.E. “I would say in the MEA market, especially in GCC countries, there is very high percentage of SMB market using IP. Even small retail shops — usually requiring six to eight cameras — still need to meet government requirements for megapixel resolution. The analog system can't reach that standard.

All the shops need to be approved by the government. If they are not satisfied with the evidence, they will ask you to shut down the shops or replace the system entirely. That's why convergence comes there. I would say, in the next two to three years, GCC countries will not allow video that does not supply a certain level of video quality,” said Biltsted.

“Even for small customers here, they want integration. They usually want access control to be integrated too. If they have 25 cameras in place, they also want a perimeter solution to be integrated with their systems," said Biltsted.

"What I also found in this region is people have more awareness about security and they use surveillance for more than just for security. They will use the surveillance video to check if the store is clean. So, customers would choose cameras with a corridor view. We also bundle it with our software," he continued.

COMPETITIVE IP-BASED VIDEO SURVEILLANCE MARKET
 IP-based video surveillance technologies have penetrated to different market sectors here. Intelligent video is commonly used in a five-star hotel and even the small shops want an integrated system for video surveillance and access control. The Middle East has become a competitive market for IP-based video surveillance technologies. To satisfy end users' desires for new technologies, more and more integrated solutions will be introduced to the market for different applications.

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Middle East shines in 2014 (1): Saudi Arabia

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 4/9/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. — still remain the region's top countries with the largest security markets. In 2012, the Middle East fell dramatically, “due to three unforeseen circumstances — the regional civil unrest, the fall in the price of oil and its production, and the fall in the US dollar,” according to IHS. The actual growth rate of video surveillance equipment in the Middle East fell to 5.3 percent. Although social turmoil and fluctuations in oil prices still made 2013 uncertain, the Middle East security market is predicted to bounce back to around 10 percent in 2013 and grow 12 percent in 2014. “The economy was a bit soft in 2012 and many customers delaying purchasing.

Implementation of many projects began in 2013, resulting in an excellent year for us,” said Watheq Abu Gharbiah, Regional Manager of Middle East at FLIR Systems. Most of all the suppliers expect the recovering momentum to continue through 2014 and 2015. Firstly, the U.S. began easing some of its economic restrictions against Iran this January, including its sanctions on cars and petrochemicals products. Secondly, recovery of the Iranian market would also raise the region's average growth rate. The latest cheerful announcement is of Dubai winning the bid to host the 2020 World Expo. The BBC reported that authorities in Dubai forecasted the 6-month event to bring in around US$23 billion and cost the country around a total $8.4 billion, of which around $6.5 billion is expected to be government spending on infrastructure projects. Finally, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is also serving as a major driver to boost the overall economy in the region.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
To support the active economic activities in this region, protection of critical infrastructure ranging from airports, seaports, oil and gas, public utilities, highways, railways, metros, and etc., is important. Critical infrastructure protection remains as the most crucial market sector in the Middle East.

The oil and gas sector requires refinery protection and is the largest market sector here. The scale of projects in this sector is also much larger than other market sectors. Aside from the GCC countries, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Northern African countries, also have great potential. Robert Kirkaldie, Director of Marketing/Sales for Security Systems Division at Southwest Microwave, which designs and manufactures integrated, electronic perimeter security systems, especially for the oil and gas sector, in this region said, “In a country like Saudi Arabia, we mostly deal with perimeter projects of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. The biggest complex in oil and gas, which comprises of a storage tank, pipe lines, transportation, and all other facilities, can have a perimeter of up to around 20 kilometers. Thus, the size of a refinery is much bigger than a prison or power plant.”

Another fast developing market sector is airports. Cities in the Middle East compete to build the biggest and most modern airports to attract tourists. Abu Dhabi is planning its new $3 billion international airport terminal, while Doha, Qatar is near completion with its new airport. “Dubai has the largest airport here. The old one, which traffics 150 million passengers annually has 3,500 CCTV cameras. The latest one has around 5,000 cameras. Elsewhere in the region, the latest airport in Doha will begin operations this year; Saudi Arabia has 15 new airports; and Kuwait International Airport also has plans to expand,” said Gharbiah.

The Middle East is a project-oriented market. “Because it is so diverse, each country does have their particular preference toward products and partners. I think this unique characteristic brings a good opportunity for CP Plus to build up our own distribution business here. This year, we are going to set up five or six branch offices in some countries in the Middle East,” said Aditya Khemka, Director of CP Plus.

SAUDI ARABIA IS BOOMING FAST
Amongst the GCC countries, Saudi Arabia is gradually catching up with the U.A.E. in terms of security market demand and growth potential. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of large government projects, making it very important in this region. Peter Biltsted, Director of MEA at Milestone Systems said, “Milestone will be more directly engaged in Saudi Arabia this year. This means we will put our feet on the ground in the country, whereas Milestone channel partners used to be in charge previously. We have a very good foothold in Saudi Arabia now, since we have done several large projects. Moving forward, we would like to leverage our past experience to strengthen our business foundation here.”

In the past two years, Saudi Arabia heavily restricted the number of foreign workers to secure the employment of local workers. In 2014, the restrictions are expected to be lifted in order to continually push the market to grow. “Saudi Arabia just started their new financial year and the government has announced plans to build six new cities. It also made a US$200 million investment in aviation toward the building of new innovative airports. We can also expect several new cities in Saudi in the near future,” continued Tarek Ismail, Sales Director of Middle East at Tyco Security Products.

Large-Scale Government Projects Everywhere
In terms of an average project size, it is not really possible to compare projects in other GCC countries with those in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi, one city is just like a country in others. John Davies, MD at TDSi also echoed, "In Saudi Arabia, the projects are much bigger. Last year, we supplied systems to several large government projects across the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is a very large country and represents more than 25 percent of the GCC GDP.

When you do a project for an institute in Saudi Arabia, it includes offices that are located all over the country. In contrast, institutes in the U.A.E. usually have only one or two offices." Ismail continued, “Our company has been here for more than 20 years. In Saudi Arabia, for example, we have the largest bank in the whole region as one of our customers. It is a national bank with 400 branches and 2,000 ATMs in the country. The number of buildings for VIP service, VIP accounts, and money transfer, is over 200. More than 1,300 recorders and 8,000 cameras from mixed brands were used in that project. From a banking point of view, a project this size covers the entire banking sector in the GCC countries. In Qatar, for example, the largest capital bank has a maximum of only 50 to 60 branches.”

Religious Buildings, Universities, and Banks
Saudi Arabia, being home to the largest and most holy Muslim mosques, has many religious projects. “It has many religious buildings, such as mosques and related infrastructures, where you can see thousands and thousands of cameras installed. Bosch Security Systems has done many projects in holy places in this country too,” said Hakan ?zyi?it, Regional Director of Middle East at Bosch Security Systems. “Bosch is also involved in many prestigious projects in the Saudi Arabian education sector. The country has the largest population in the region and almost half of the Saudi Arabian population is aged below 30. Hence, its government is focused on education and plans to build more universities and facilities to ensure its a much more competitive Saudi workforce in the future.”

 

Also, due to the country's conservative nature and religious background, the government has strict laws toward gender segregation in many public places, such as restaurants and shopping malls. Therefore, a public place usually tends to have more cameras installed for security and monitoring, compared to other countries. For example, in Saudi Arabia, it is pretty normal to have around 1,000 cameras for a five-star hotel, while only around 100 to 200 cameras are installed in a five-star hotel in the U.A.E., according to an industry expert in this region.

Considerations for Doing Business
Even though there are plenty of opportunities here, business is conducted very differently in the U.A.E. “The Saudi Arabian government sometimes has strong concerns about the origin of the products for certain projects to avoid products that are made in China,” said Noriyuki Hayashi, Senior Sales/Marketing Manager of System Solutions Department, MEA at Panasonic Marketing. Meanwhile, due to the sheer volume of government projects here, decision making usually takes a little while. Aditya Sahaya, Director of Business Development for Prologix Distribution also pointed out, "Traditionally, the U.A.E. is a very mature market, when it comes to CCTV and surveillance, and the end customers and consultants have very specific requirements which need to be adhered to. Saudi Arabia seems to be going down the same path. Despite a longer sales cycle, the country has been growing as the single largest market in the region."

* Let's take a further look into other areas in Middle East shines in 2014 (2): U.A.E., Oman, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan

 

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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