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Make the most of what’s driving growth in the Middle East

Make the most of what’s driving growth in the Middle East
There is no doubt that the Middle East security market is all set to grow at a strong rate in the coming years.
There is no doubt that the Middle East security market is all set to grow at a strong rate in the coming years.

From a systems integrator’s (SI) and installer’s point of view, this is indeed positive news. However, understanding the factors that fuel growth is critical to ensuring that businesses are able to meet the customers’ pain points. According to Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager for Middle East and Africa at IDIS, factors like network security concerns play a major part. But at present most growth is driven by automation, artificial intelligence (AI), compliance and operational efficiency.

Apart from the technological reasons, there are also governmental initiatives that play a crucial role. In fact, Ettiene Van Der Watt, Regional Director for Business Development at Axis Communications, pointed out that the primary factor driving growth is the ambitious participation and push from the respective governments. With smarter and safer cities, a goal for most regions, governments are driving the increased adoption of IP-based products and solutions. The open platforms allow for integration between many technologies on a single platform which contributes to security and business intelligence.

System upgrades and operational efficiency

Aging and analog systems are often complex and time-consuming to operate as well as expensive to maintain, so system upgrades are still a major driver for IP surveillance solutions. End users in the region are now more focused on reducing life-cycle costs as well as evaluating initial price points. Al Asfar said that these customers are increasingly demanding reliable and high-performance solutions that are easy to operate, automate manual processes and keep maintenance costs low.
Jamil Al Asfar, Senior Sales Manager,
Middle East and Africa, IDIS

“Remote access is also a growth factor as security managers want to be able to manage surveillance from web browsers on phones and tablets while realizing the same control, image quality and performance they are used to in control rooms,” Al Asfar said. “There’s also a growing need to safeguard against the loss of vital recorded data during an array of fault conditions, ranging from network instability to power supply failure. The increased use of analytics has also made downtime even less appealing and so we’re seeing greater demand for failover and fault tolerance technologies.”

Regulatory compliance

Perhaps one of the most important factors to note is that the Middle East is a profoundly regulations-driven market. As governments come up with stringent rules to ensure safety and security, customers are forced to adopt newer and better technological solutions.

Speaking of IDIS, Al Asfar said that the regional compliances have been important factors in their growth and continue to generate new business. They range from regulations that mandate robust and well-maintained surveillance for specific types of businesses, standards for the implementation of megapixel cameras utilizing WDR, directives for the use of automatic license plate recognition (ALPR), increased storage retention and a transition to IP. “For instance, in Qatar, high-end retailers need to comply with rigorous security policies and a 120-day video retention policy that is implemented by the Security Systems Department of the Ministry of the Interior (SSD-MOI),” Al Asfar continued. “This was a primary factor for Al Sulaiman Jewellers when the company upgraded to IDIS IP and high-definition surveillance across its offices and network of showrooms.”

Artificial intelligence

The human brain is simply incapable of compiling and recognizing large data sets that require simultaneous calculations from multiple locations. AI can be of use here.

“Simple video analytics from heat mapping and queue counting through to ALPR are already making businesses smarter and more agile,” Al Asfar said. “There are countless more problems that have the potential to be solved. And even more, there are processes that could be automated for faster and more accurate results. There are obvious applications for public safety and homeland security that can leverage the power of facial recognition, appearance searching and behavioral analysis to help spot crimes and enable a faster or even preventative response. At the same time, AI capabilities could also be applied in high-risk environments where health and safety are a concern, such as in the construction and industrial sectors.”

Cameras and imaging technology are already used in manufacturing. The addition of AI could pre-empt anomalies in processes to prevent expensive production downtime as well as product defects.

End-to-end solutions

Customers in the region are increasingly looking to work with single manufacturers that offer one-stop-shop solutions that encompass surveillance equipment, video management software, storage, analytics and network accessories. Working with one manufacturer means seamless and rich operability and eliminates expensive, custom integrations and saves time compared with managing multiple vendors.
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