Genetec recently concluded a series of online events including “Elevate 2021”, an annual event that went online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke with Daniel Lee, Managing Director for APAC, and Lee Shelford, APAC Sales Engineering Manager from Genetec to learn about the event and the company’s focus for the coming year.
In this article, we speak with Genetec
who recently concluded a series of online events including “Elevate 2021”, an annual event that went online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our talk with Daniel Lee, Managing Director for APAC, and Lee Shelford, APAC Sales Engineering Manager from Genetec pinpoints highlights from the event and the company’s focus for the coming year.
The big difference in this year’s Elevate 2021 event was a more focused audience and a regionally focused program. “Last year, the event was open to all. This year, we sent out invitations only to certified partners,” said Lee. Breakout sessions were hosted in five languages: Thai, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and English to cater to a wide range of partners across the region.
Another unique difference setting the event apart from other online events was the investment Genetec made in its own production studio. “Last year, we hosted a lot of webinars and virtual events. So we decided to invest in our own broadcast studio in Montreal. This has really amped our virtual events’ production value and allows our company executives to interact directly with the audience in a highly professional setting. The ability to engage directly with our executives during the plenary sessions was very well received by our partners,” explained Lee.
The company has established a strong foothold in APAC and plans on further expanding it in the future. Genetec is currently present in 14 cities spanning eight countries. “This is extremely important, especially now in a pandemic. With the travel restrictions caused by the pandemic, and re-opening strategies varying by country and even city by city, it would have been a lot more challenging for us to serve our customers without a local presence in these major cities.”
Genetec enjoyed a 250% growth in sales in APAC for the past 3 years and aims to continue its investments in the region. The company is focused on increasing its presence in Australia, India and Japan along with the rest of APAC with its regional office in Singapore.
The event’s keynote speeches were centered on the company’s commitment to privacy and data security. On that note, Genetec CEO Pierre Racz introduced a new single sign-in policy for stronger identity management, which will be strengthened by the issuance of certificates of authority in the future. The key change will be in the switch to a policy-based identity management from a rule-based one. “The ability of the system to understand where you are, and manage your authorization accordingly is the key difference. For example, users will be allowed to perform certain actions from the office, but they will not have the same permissions when logging in from other, less secure locations,” explained Lee.
Increasing availability of cloud services
Cloud services were a central theme in the event. The company is working on expanding its hybrid cloud offering, allowing organizations to combine on-premises and cloud operations. In terms of future development, the company is taking a staged approach.
“To support customers in this evolution, Genetec is providing a clearly phased approach that advocates a gradual porting of functionality to the Cloud”, explained Lee Shelford, Genetec Sales Engineering Manager in APAC. “Currently, the cloud can be used to extend on-premises capabilities with connected services and solutions. The next phase will involve the management of on-premises components through the cloud. The ultimate goal will be to enable cloud-based microservices with managed appliances.”
Customers can also choose to have Genetec manage their solution entirely, with the company taking full responsibility for the deployment, application and maintenance. “Some customers prefer Genetec to manage their systems for them while others may have their own IT resources and infrastructure and prefer to manage it themselves. We are offering freedom of choice for the user,” added Shelford.
Other developments on the road map include better API integration and a switch from thick client to web client and mobile apps.
Shelford explained the benefits of the switch to a web client: “With the new web client and the single sign-on, users will be able to access all relevant systems the moment they sign in, knowing that they have access to the most recent updates of the software without having to update each workstation separately.”
Designing for the cloud
Shelford pointed to the importance of having solutions designed for the cloud from the ground up: “We’ve noticed a tendency of a lot of security companies to simply take the software they have running on a server on-premises and just move it to the cloud. This causes scalability and security problems. You need a VPN to extend the On-Prem network to the cloud, thus adding bottlenecks and multiple points of failure. This is why Genetec is investing in developing modern containers and micro services running the solution in the cloud by design. In doing so, it will be easier to deploy and run. The future is being able to stream directly from the camera to the cloud, run analytics and other services such as archiving and indexing in the cloud, and bringing it back efficiently.”