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G4S: Combining manpower and technology for end-to-end solutions

G4S: Combining manpower and technology for end-to-end solutions
In light of today’s economy, security providers have to deal with increasing challenges such as those posed by increased competition and smaller budgets. Companies have started to increase customers’ return on investment through systems that would not only provide security, but also provide information that can aid them in managing their assets and business operations.
Budgets all over the world are taking a hit as companies are tightening their belts in order to deal with recent global economic turbulences. Many security companies are seeing projects either being delayed, payment plans being stretched out or, in some cases, cancelled. Despite this, customers are not willing to compromise on safety and continue to seek out innovative market-leading solutions, challenging security companies to create systems that can offer the same level of services but in a more affordable package.

There are, of course, many ways of going about this. Some turn to new technologies, others focus on fully integrating existing systems. For G4S, a global integrated security company, this meant combining two resources, manpower and electronic security systems, into one unique total solution.
Mark Horton, Regional Solutions 
Director for Asia, Middle East, G4S

As one of the few companies that has the means to do so, the company was able to offer its customers solutions that can lessen threats to security at a reasonable cost. "G4S' differentiator is the ability to combine manpower, technology, and process. Its corporate strategy is to strengthen their value-engineered solutions to the marketplace demonstrating the added value whilst reducing operational risk," said Mark Horton, Regional Solutions Director for Asia, Middle East at G4S.

"We balance the customers' operational requirements together with the available budget to find some common ground in providing the best risk mitigation at a lower cost, especially by integrating a number of systems together to reduce the overall cost of ownership," continued Horton. "G4S are exhibiting market leading third-party drone detection, automatic license plate recognition (ANPR) solutions for reading license plates, access control, video surveillance, and turnstiles. G4S integrates them to an overall solution to match their customers' needs."

Going Beyond Basic Security
Security companies also have to contend with customers' expectations that they will be getting the most out of their investments. Therefore, security systems are now increasingly relied upon to not only provide security, but also double up as sources for information that can help enterprises improve their day-to-day operations.

"When we deal with our customers, we don't just focus on security. A well designed security system should impact many areas of their business, security being number one. But in addition a good security system can reduce health and safety risks as well. They can improve operational efficiency and, equally important, customer engagement," noted Horton.

For instance, in retail, security systems can be used to improve customer experience through video analytics that can detect customers who are not being attended to and alert the staff to go and engage with them. A good solution can also identify health and security breaches such as slip and trip hazards or blockage of emergency exit routes. Thus, aiding the authorities to quickly manage the situation, which can lead to improved operational efficiency, decreased overall costs, and possibly even more money being reinvested into security.

Total Banking Solutions
An example of end-to-end solutions that would encompass services beyond mere security is the solution designed by G4S for financial institutions. Aside from installing physical security systems such as intrusion detection, access control, screening, and scanning systems, G4S offers banks solutions that can cover everything from manpower outsourcing to high-security cash processing and transport. This approach has enabled them to stay competitive in this sector, as well as work alongside government-owned security companies that widely operate in various regions around the world, such as in the Middle East.

Selecting the Right Technology
Creating these multi-tasking systems require an in-depth knowledge of the products that are available on the market, as well as their interoperability. Security solution providers often work closely with clients and project consultants to determine their needs and provide appropriate solutions. Being technology agnostic would be important as it would allow them to choose the right technology for the job and not be limited by their own portfolio.

"The starting point is to make sure that every technology is right. We have a very, very capable project delivery team but if we don't get the technology right, that'll be a problem for the customer so selecting the best technology partners, our project management, and how we deliver that to the customer is very important so we wouldn't impact their operation," shared Horton.

He continued by adding that customers, such as those in the Middle East region, are very interested in adapting new, smart technologies that can further improve security. Facial recognition software that can be used in various infrastructure projects such as in retail malls and airports is a hot topic. The company has also seen an increase in demand for video analytics to aid in early detection of unusual behavior or events and expects that this would lead to further inquiries regarding behavioral recognition in the near future. Another technology that has risen in popularity is biometric access control as it is a more reliable method of identity verification, compared to traditional card systems.

End-to-End Solutions is Key to Staying Competitive
Security systems has progressed beyond just simple installations of video cameras in the premises. It has evolved to the point that it can help businesses improve their profitability and protect the well-being of both their customers and employees. Security providers would need to continue to innovate and find ways to create systems that can keep up with this growing trend in the industry.

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