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The physical security market continues to experience growth as users look to capitalize on the promises of emerging technologies and because of this, 2017 proved to be a great year for Oncam. In fact, this year was the best year in Oncam's history in terms of sales, as 360-degree fisheye cameras have gone from being a “specialty” camera used only in certain applications to a primary device for enabling total situational awareness. Today, many of our customers leverage 360-degree cameras exclusively to provide extensive coverage inside a facility or in a large outdoor area, with traditional narrow field-of-view cameras used only at “choke” points. Increase In Cybersecurity Threats And Breaches At the end of 2016, we predicted a major trend this year would be an increase in cybersecurity concerns for users of physical security systems, and we were right. An increase in cybersecurity threats and breaches have put organizations on watch. Based on this and the adoption of more IT-centric infrastructure and protocols, there is significant collaboration between IT and physical security, and true “convergence” is finally starting to happen. The adoption of video analytics also continued to increase this year, as most video surveillance projects involved the use of some form of analytics and data analysis. Demand For Safeguards As we move into 2018, the trends of 2017 will roll over, and cybersecurity will continue to be a major issue. Suppliers of hardware and software will put an even greater emphasis being cyber secure and end users will increasingly demand safeguards. Additionally, the deployment and use of advanced analytics based on newer artificial intelligence-based technologies will continue to increase. It will be the technology providers that find ways to allow users to capture additional value from the information collected by security systems that will accelerate growth. Oncam made significant investments in new products that leverage analytics and cloud technologies. In 2018, we will continue to invest in the development of new products, with a focus on solutions for particular applications across industry segments. Beyond our technology advancements, we've invested significantly in boosting our sales force in the Americas and adding industry experts to ensure sustained customer and partner success with our solutions. From our vantage point, Oncam is well positioned to capitalize on opportunities for growth in the coming year.
2017 was quite an interesting and eventful year for the physical security industry. The economy has been robust and technology has become progressively sophisticated—with interactive services, cloud computing and network-based solutions taking charge to provide new insights to installers and their end-user customers. The Internet of Things is creating increasingly integrated solutions, with a heightened emphasis on total connectivity. Changing Security Expectations World events have also put the spotlight on the need for comprehensive security at public events, tourist attractions and schools and campuses. Security is an expectation and systems integrators are becoming trusted advisors to their customers, who are looking to them to solve problems or issues. Residential systems are more robust and now, are migrating to the commercial side of the business. There’s a blurring of the lines of technology—many of the products that come to the security industry originate from the consumer side. This proposition is also changing expectations by both residential and commercial customers, who want common, easy operation from their smartphone or user interface. Unexpected was some of the biggest deals in the industry, including acquisitions by dominant companies who grew even larger and continued ongoing consolidation on the manufacturing side. Those who remain will need to be progressive and step up their game with the latest proven technologies. Selling hardware isn’t the end game any longer. It’s providing solutions that generate revenue for security dealers and offer a solid return on investment for the end-user. In addition, solutions need to be easier for the user, and integrate many different systems and components across the enterprise. Cybersecurity Safeguards End users want to get the most out of their solutions—and they want to be able to have more than safety and security. They are looking for the types of products that yield insights into system performance and give them the data the need for greater control and to proactively address any challenges or problems before they occur. Downtime is not an option and therefore, there’s an increased emphasis on consistent power so solutions are always on and running reliably. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines Cybersecurity is a dominant conversation in the security industry these days and that buzz will continue into 2018. Because solutions are increasingly network connected, they have vulnerabilities that will have to be addressed by service providers and manufacturers. Manufacturers will need to take the upper hand in providing hardened products—testing and certifying for cybersecurity safeguards. That is not an easy task and can be expensive, but it needs to be done. Because cybersecurity is in constant evolution, many will go the route of outsourcing this component of their manufacturing to third parties well-versed in threat detection and hardening. Hardened products will also need to evolve with new emerging attacks. For security dealers and integrators, physical security and cybersecurity services will be part of their offerings and no longer separate disciplines. Intelligent Access Control Solutions Manufacturers no longer operate in silos. They are working with systems integrators to more fully understand their needs and those of the end-user. Manufacturers are also partnering with technology providers—bringing in the expertise of others so their solutions are comprehensive and holistic. We will continue to see integration of formerly disparate components, open systems and open APIs. There will also be strong migration to access control systems with edge intelligence and power over Ethernet, leveraging existing cabling for network connectivity. The winners will be those who take the lead in providing cyber secured and hardened products, as well as companies who partner with others to bring best of breed solutions to market. The losers will be those who continue to develop proprietary, closed systems and fail to recognize the importance of network connectivity for real-time, proactive reporting. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7 Ongoing Partner Success LifeSafety Power® has been working consistently and diligently on elevating the status of power from unintelligent hardware device to network-connected component that yields rich data for the user and allows the installer to provide remote monitoring and managed power services. We have changed the paradigm of power but there’s additional work to do to get people to understand the new, critical role power plays in comprehensive enterprise and campus security. Now, security installers can help the end user know what’s happening with locks, access control, gates or other connected solutions and fix problems before they happen. Without networked power, the facility cannot yield the proper insights it needs to stay reliably connected 24/7. We have also had continued, ongoing successes with our many partners in the access control community and that’s where we will further focus our efforts in 2018—working with leading security solution providers to present the best technologies and solutions that are reliable, certified and present the types of insights security dealers need to offer customers to provide the highest levels of service. This will also help security dealers and integrators differentiate themselves and compete more effectively in the crowded marketplace.
Part 1 in our Intercoms in Security Series Lambert-St. Louis International Airport uses Code Blue intercoms Organizations are demanding a new level of interoperability among mission-critical security systems. Intelligible audio, the ability to hear, be heard and be understood, is critical to communication, which is essential to the core security processes within an organization, as well as to emergency situations. Intelligible audio provides a platform to optimize various processes, including the use of security officers. “Our main thrust is to ensure our clients see intelligible and interoperable audio, not as an option, but as instrumental to their budget optimization, stakeholder communication and risk mitigation efforts,” says Jim Hoffpauir, President of Zenitel North America, a manufacturer of intercoms and other communications solutions. Iintercoms In Building Safety And Security The role of intercoms in building safety and security is a given across many markets, and that use is growing. Intercoms are used in campus call boxes, elevators, muster locations, and for emergency notification. The trend is toward video, audio and access control, all tied together. There is also an emphasis on providing intelligible audio in any environment, even demanding ones. The education market has historically been a large sector for intercoms. Emergency phones and intercoms traditionally have been found throughout education settings, including colleges and universities, where they remain quite popular. Expanding Markets For Two-way Communication In recent years, however, their popularity has also grown within the healthcare and mass transit sectors, where their versatility allows authorities to react to emergency situations while also providing a wide range of applications for non-emergency situations, such as car trouble or requests for directions. Intercoms can fulfill a variety of emergency and non-emergency needs in places like downtown Santa Ana, California (Photo courtesy Code Blue) “Markets of all sizes and shapes can benefit from a two-way communication solution that can help individuals place calls for assistance with first responders, police departments or customer service representatives,” says David Fleming, Chief Design Officer for Code Blue Corp. Intercoms For Public And Private Sectors Aiphone is another intercom manufacturer for which education is a big market. Bruce Czerwinski, U.S. General Sales Manager, Aiphone Corp., says about 80 percent of both public and private K-12 and higher education campuses are using at least one intercom in some form. That percentage grows to nearly 100 percent for hospitals, which are using intercoms as nurse-call stations and at parking facilities, exterior door entries, nurseries and pharmacies, he says. "About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms" Up to 70 percent of larger multi-family facilities are also using intercoms. And that percentage is even higher in older, heavily populated Eastern cities. Many locales have laws mandating the use of audio and video intercoms on buildings beyond a threshold number of units. About 40 percent of commercial units – from strip malls to large, multi-tenant campus settings – are using intercoms, says Czerwinski. In the past year, Aiphone’s emergency stations have become very popular, particularly in campus settings; both commercial and higher education. Also, a growing number of unmanned parking garages are using the stations to allow patrons to immediately reach first responders or security personnel. Each of these markets still has growth potential, but by its sheer size, the commercial market offers the greatest opportunities, according to Aiphone. Video-Enabled IP Intercoms Intercom usage differs widely in various global markets, according to Craig Szmania, CEO of 2N USA, a manufacturer of IP intercoms. In the North American market, intercom usage is relatively low compared to the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region, where intercoms are a more mature market. Security, convenience, systems integration and IP-versus-analog adoption are driving usage and growth to more than 20 percent year-over-year. More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution, according to Szmania. “Our intercom portfolio targets all the major verticals, but we have had particular success in the education sector – K-12 and universities,” says Szmania. “These end users are looking for specific features in securing their campuses, providing convenience to their administrators, employing programmability for differing use scenarios throughout the campus, and integration to their telephony or other systems.” More and more video-enabled IP intercoms are seen as an integral part of a system wide security and video solution Szmania says the latter point is becoming a particular need in light of a requirement for campus-wide communication and coordination in emergency situations. “Our intercoms integrate seamlessly with third party solutions such as Cisco’s telephone systems that are the communication backbones of many schools and campuses,” he adds. IP-based Solutions In Residential Verticals Considering near-term growth potential, single family and multi-tenant residential verticals have fantastic opportunities for increased usage of door stations/intercoms in the United States, according to Szmania. The company has entered this space over the last several years and has grown to be a market leader in IP-based integrated solutions, especially in the home automation space. The adoption of IP networked solutions for condominiums and apartments is just taking off, driven in part by consumer demand for mobile-anywhere video, audio and door control. The service is also a driver for integrator/dealer adoption of the technology to provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). 2N has also achieved triple-digit growth in commercial building installations over the past two years. Building owners, IT departments and security managers want and need a networked solution for control and security. 2N’s open platforms are a good fit, says Szmania. Read part 2 of our Security Intercoms series here
Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads. No longer in favor are contact-based modalities including use of personal identification numbers (PINs) and keypads, and the shift has been sudden and long-term. Both customers and manufacturers were taken by surprise by this aspect of the virus’s impact and are therefore scrambling for solutions. Immediate impact of the change includes suspension of time and attendance systems that are touch-based. Some two-factor authentication systems are being downgraded to RFID-only, abandoning the keypad and/or biometric components that contributed to higher security, but are now unacceptable because they involve touching. Touchless biometric systems in demand The trend has translated into a sharp decline in purchase of touch modality and a sharp increase in the demand for touchless systems, says Alex Zarrabi, President of Touchless Biometrics Systems (TBS). Biometrics solutions are being affected unequally, depending on whether they involve touch sensing, he says. Spread of the novel coronavirus has jolted awareness of hygiene as it relates to touching surfaces such as keypads “Users do not want to touch anything anymore,” says Zarrabi. “From our company’s experience, we see it as a huge catalyst for touchless suppliers. We have projects being accelerated for touchless demand and have closed a number of large contracts very fast. I’m sure it’s true for anyone who is supplying touchless solutions.” Biometric systems are also seeing the addition of thermal sensors to measure body temperature in addition to the other sensors driving the system. Fingerscans and hybrid face systems TBS offers 2D and 3D systems, including both fingerscans and hybrid face/iris systems to provide touchless identification at access control points. Contactless and hygienic, the 2D Eye system is a hybrid system that combines the convenience of facial technology with the higher security of iris recognition. The system recognises the face and then detects the iris from the face image and zeros in to scan the iris. The user experiences the system as any other face recognition system. The facial aspect quickens the process, and the iris scan heightens accuracy. TBS also offers the 2D Eye Thermo system that combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module. TBS's 2D Eye Thermo system combines face, iris and temperature measurement using a thermal sensor module Another TBS system is a 3D Touchless Fingerscan system that provides accuracy and tolerance, anti-spoofing, and is resilient to water, oil, dust and dirt. The 2D+ Multispectral for fingerprints combines 2D sensing with “multispectral” subsurface identification, which is resilient to contaminants and can read fingerprints that are oily, wet, dry or damaged – or even through a latex glove. In addition, the 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue. The system fills the market gap for consent-based true on-the-fly systems, says Zarrabi. The system captures properties of the hand and has applications in the COVID environment, he says. The higher accuracy and security ratings are suitable for critical infrastructure applications, and there is no contact; the system is fully hygienic. Integration with access control systems Integration of TBS biometrics with a variety of third-party access control systems is easy. A “middleware” subsystem is connected to the network. Readers are connected to the subsystem and also to the corporate access control system. An interface with the TBS subsystem coordinates with the access control system. For example, a thermal camera used as part of the biometric reader can override the green light of the access control system if a high temperature (suggesting COVID-19 infection, for example) is detected. The enrollment process is convenient and flexible and can occur at an enrollment station or at an administration desk. Remote enrollment can also be accomplished using images from a CCTV camera. All templates are encrypted. Remotely enrolled employees can have access to any location they need within minutes. The 3D+ system by TBS provides frictionless, no-contact readings even for people going through the system in a queue Although there are other touchless technologies available, they cannot effectively replace biometrics, says Zarrabi. For example, a centrally managed system that uses a Bluetooth signal from a smart phone could provide convenience, is “touchless,” and could suffice for some sites. However, the system only confirms the presence and “identity” of a smart phone – not the person who should be carrying it. “There has been a lot of curiosity about touchless, but this change is strong, and there is fear of a possible second wave of COVID-19 or a return in two or three years,” says Zarrabi. “We really are seeing customers seriously shifting to touchless.”
With global events putting security at the forefront of everyone’s minds, IFSEC International 2017 was a chance for the industry to come out in force. Over 600 exhibitors and numerous seminars kept visitors informed on the latest innovations in security products, solutions and best practice. Despite the challenging heatwave, exhibitors were raring to go for the three mercifully air-conditioned days of the exhibition. SourceSecurity.com took to the show floor to check out what exhibitors were talking about. [Pictured: Nedap Security Management welcomes new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee] Increasing ROI in vertical markets Sustainable partnerships overtake integrations Power in the hands of the customer Adding Value In Vertical Markets The big question for many exhibitors was how to stand out on a show floor (and in a market) dominated by larger commoditized brands. Manufacturers rose to the challenge by deliberately positioning themselves as solutions providers within specific vertical markets, rather than trying to compete on low cost products. For Vivotek, the Taiwanese IP surveillance specialists, the emphasis was on adding value in particular markets such as transport and retail. Alongside a lineup of 180° and 360° solutions, the manufacturer debuted its 12-megapixel fisheye camera, FE9391-EV, whose 360° lens technology makes it ideal for crowd detection and loitering-time analysis in the retail sector, in addition to traditional security applications. Vivotek’s vertical market focus was further reinforced by demonstrations of its integrations with SeeTec and Wavestore. This collaboration forms part of the company’s Solution Integration Alliance program, which aims to create better end-user solutions through integration of Vivotek products with partner technologies. Collaborating On Technology And Customer Support This was a theme which resonated across the show floor. The Promise Technology stand firmly emphasized collaboration, with presentations from the storage provider’s IP camera partners including IronYun and Axis Communications. Particular importance was given to education and training for partners and end users to get the most out of integrated solutions. The emphasis for Promise Technology was on education and training for partners and end users Similarly, for Nedap Security Management, the increasing demand for connected systems means that open platform solutions are essential to excel within the security industry. As well as welcoming new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee, Nedap used its presence at the show to inform visitors about new and ongoing partnerships with key players in the industry. These partnerships include ASSA ABLOY, Touchless Biometric Systems and Milestone Systems. According to Jeroen Harmsen, Nedap’s Director of Product Management, the ability to provide collaborative solutions is becoming a key differentiator in the security sector and beyond. While many companies pursue product integrations, what makes sustainable partnerships stand out is ongoing cooperation on issues such as customer support. This, according to Harmsen, is why the deep integration of Milestone’s XProtect VMS and Nedap’s AEOS access control system has been so successful. Making Customers’ Lives Easier This insistence on customer service as a differentiating factor also extended to video surveillance manufacturers. However, not all exhibitors were aiming to achieve this through increased integration. Cisco Meraki, whose cloud-managed video system is relatively new to the security market, deliberately steers clear of the market trend for integration in favour of the ‘Apple’ approach, aiming to provide a comprehensive solution on one easy-to-use platform. The architecture is intended to make customers’ lives easier by removing the NVR from the equation - video is stored on the edge and managed via the cloud, eliminating the ongoing costs and maintenance associated with traditional hardware solutions. Eagle Eye Networks president Ken Francis was also hoping to highlight the benefits of customer-friendly cloud surveillance at the show. The acquisition of Panasonic's Cameramanager has allowed Eagle Eye Networks to cater to smaller businesses with cameras connected directly to the internet. The company’s cloud storage solution also includes Remote Power Cycling via an integrated PoE switch, allowing users to remotely repower cameras themselves with no training or expertise. Crucial to Eagle Eye Networks' customer-friendly outlook is the possession of its own local data centers worldwide, reducing cloud storage costs and allowing customers to choose where their video is stored. Making your security products stand out on a crowded show floor is no easy task, but IFSEC 2017 saw plenty of innovation from video surveillance, access control and intrusion providers alike. As competition increases, added value solutions, collaboration and ease-of-use are sure to help manufacturers make a splash at future shows!
Exhibitors at this year’s IFSEC are thinking outside the box in terms of how they communicate their value proposition and how they interface with customers. In the process, some are rethinking how big trade shows like IFSEC fit with their goals. Panasonic's approach to the 'race to the bottom' Thomas Lausten, MOBOTIX new CEO How Gallagher benefits from IFSEC without exhibiting Panasonic Systems Communications Europe Panasonic Systems Communications Europe is one of several companies emphasizing solutions at IFSEC rather than products. In Panasonic's case, the approach helps to explain why the company doesn't have a traditional trade show stand. Instead, Panasonic opted to sponsor sessions in the security management education theater on the show floor, and to host potential customers in a (quieter, cooler) meeting room upstairs. "We are inviting some of our key integrators for general business meetings in a relaxed environment, and offering two lunch-and-learn events about cybersecurity," says John Boyle, Panasonic's Country Manager for the UK and Ireland. There was standing-room only at the cybersecurity events, he adds. TBS specialises in 3D touchless biometrics and offers a full portfolio of fingerprint biometric technologies Compelling Value Proposition Trade shows seem historically to be about "here's our new box," Boyle observes. "We would rather talk to customers and channel partners about what issues they face, whether it's counting people or detecting scenes." Panasonic is creating solutions that combine their own technologies with third party partners filling in any gaps. "We are creating value propositions that we can take to integrators. They need a new story to tell their customers, not just a new box. Let's look at Panasonic's technology and how that adds value. If we have a compelling value proposition, we are giving our integrators an opportunity to get more business." Boyle acknowledges that the Panasonic approach is a way to bypass the price-focused "race to the bottom" that is lowering camera prices. "Pricing comes later if the value of a solution has already been established," he notes. Touchless Biometric Systems Philippe Niederhauser, Head of Sales and Marketing for Touchless Biometric Systems (TBS), Switzerland, is amazed at how many people come to IFSEC seemingly to browse around with little focus on what they need. "There are people who don't really know what they are looking for," he comments. "If I go to a trade show, I know exactly what I want." Niederhauser also sees some of his fellow exhibitors missing the boat in terms of marketing, tending to emphasize products rather than solutions. "Some people just put products out there, and they look similar; it is hard to differentiate," he says. "This is where you need to show a difference in products, and communicate the value proposition." TBS specializes in 3D touchless biometrics, and offers a full portfolio of fingerprint biometric technologies, also including 2D optical, 2D capacitative, and 2D multispectral systems. MOBOTIX Keeps Focus On Technology A challenge in Thomas Lausten's new position is to communicate the advantages of MOBOTIX more effectively to the market Trends at this year's show are a big emphasis on cybersecurity, more integrated systems and applications that extend beyond the traditional definition of security, says Thomas Lausten, who just joined MOBOTIX as the new CEO. Cybersecurity is a strong suit of MOBOTIX, given the German video company's unique platform, an approach Lausten describes as "a computer with a lens." He says a challenge in his new position is to communicate the advantages of MOBOTIX more effectively to the market and to achieve the company's unrealized potential. "I don't see Mobotix as a traditional camera manufacturer," he says. "There is a fundamental difference between launching a camera and having a core philosophy as a company. I have been tasked with [managing] a company with a potential to be re-defined. Our mission is to develop a more open source company, although still an end-to-end solution, and a company that looks at the industry in a different way." He says the industry can expect new camera and software releases as MOBOTIX keeps its focus on technology. Quality Communication Through Smaller Events Gallagher, a New Zealand-based access control and perimeter security manufacturer, is an example of a company that seeks to benefit from IFSEC without exhibiting at the show. Steve Bell, Gallagher's Chief Technology Officer, traveled thousands of miles to the show for the networking opportunities, and Gallagher hosted a channel partner event in the evening, leveraging the fact that others have traveled to the show. "Trade shows are expensive outlays," says Bell. "For our strategy, we like more focused events, getting smaller groups together. Sometimes the big trade shows aren't focused enough. The people we might want to communicate with only have a short time, and it's a noisy environment. We don't have the quality communication we'd like to have. Smaller events provide more quality time." With manufacturers looking for new ways to engage with customers and build their businesses, the role of trade shows like IFSEC will, of necessity, continue to evolve.
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