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INSIGHTS

ONVIF to guide industry through transformational change: new chairman

ONVIF to guide industry through transformational change: new chairman
Earlier this year, Leonid Levit assumed the position of chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee. In this note, Levit speaks to asmag.com about ONVIF’s latest initiatives and what his focus will be.
Earlier this year, Leonid Levit assumed the position of chairman of the ONVIF Steering Committee. In this note, Levit speaks to asmag.com about ONVIF’s latest initiatives and what his focus will be.
 
Levit takes over from Per Björkdahl who stepped down from the chairman position after nine years. An industry veteran, Levit said his current and past experience would serve him well in his capacity as ONVIF chairman.
 
“I’ve been in the technology industry for more than 25 years, in engineering as well as leadership and business management roles. My current position as Director of Systems Integration at Axis Communications speaks directly to matters of interoperability and technology development,” Levit said.
 
Leonid Levit, Chairman,
Steering Committee,
ONVIF

He added: “Prior to this role, I was Global Product Manager of Analytics Solution for Axis. I’m looking forward to leveraging my technical background, leadership experience and practical knowledge of interoperability in the role of chairman.”
 
ONVIF is the global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products. Important standards include Profiles S and A. Last year ONVIF also rolled out the GitHub platform to facilitate development.
 
“Last year, ONVIF adopted the use of the GitHub open source development platform, an important step in streamlining our specification development processes and shortening the turnaround time for specification proposals,” Levit said.
 
“GitHub is also important because it allows developers from other companies and industries – in addition to ONVIF member companies – to provide input to the development of ONVIF specifications, based on their diverse perspectives and experiences,” he added.
 
ONVIF has also announced the Release Candidate for Profile M, which supports analytics configuration and information query for metadata, as well as filtering and streaming of metadata.
 
“Release Candidate for Profile M opens up the possibility to extract data that isn’t just valuable for security and safety applications but can be used for other industry purposes as well. I’m looking forward to exploring this further with ONVIF, as this will help device and client manufacturers as well as system owners to explore approaches that focus on vertical interoperability, allowing more multi-purpose usage of devices in the network,” Levit said.
 

Adapt to a changing landscape

 
As new chairman, Levit has a rather simple yet clear focus for ONVIF – how it can stay relevant for its members and to the security industry in general.
 
“The goal is to continue to drive ONVIF in a direction that speaks to the needs of the industry, as directed by our members, who ultimately decide the specific profiles and initiatives of ONVIF,” he said. “For now, we will continue to focus on how the ONVIF strategy will continue to adapt to the changing landscape of the security industry and global demands.”
 
According to Levit, security is undergoing a transformational change. The industry has evolved from simple surveillance to the use of AI and IoT to achieve various security and business intelligence objectives. Levit notes that ONVIF will continue to be tasked with meeting the needs of the industry amid this change.
 
“The use of AI-based algorithms is dependent on the sensor’s ability to provide data and metadata – and that requires interoperability beyond just the camera,” he said.
 
He added: “It’s important that we encourage and enable the adoption and growth of different applications within AI and within security devices. This will open up a great potential for the devices and clients in surveillance systems to provide increasing value beyond simple surveillance.”
 

Interoperability important as ever

 
ONVIF is all about interoperability, which has become more important than ever. In the pandemic, for example, end users need customized solutions that integrate devices from different brands.
 
This requires interoperability, which ONVIF will continue to work towards. “The traditional landscape of security is changing, in recent months with the scope widening to include the addition of bespoke solutions to satisfy pandemic safety measures, including crowd management, social distancing and face mask detection technologies. This is one example of the widening of expectations of security,” Levit said.
 
“I believe we as an industry can meet these expectations by strengthening the role of interoperability today and championing the use of open platforms that can help organizations to create a more holistic, intelligent and sustainable system that is flexible and based on changing user needs,” he continued. “As the economy continues to shift and move, the aging ‘build once and maintain forever’ mindset becomes even more impractical, with interoperability key to security and safety technology’s expanding role as a tool to manage broader operational and business processes.”


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