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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
As organizations around the world resume operations, new requirements for creating a safe workplace for employees are driving the need to automate approaches to manage employee social distancing and conduct contact tracing. HID Global, a worldwide provider in trusted identity solutions, announced landmark additions to its HID Location Services IoT ecosystem that simplify and streamline managing these protocols, and drive compliance to federal, state and local requirements to help prevent workplace exposure to COVID-19. HID BEEKS™ Aware fob The new HID Location Services for Workplace Safety physical distancing application leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) HID BEEKS™ Aware fobs that alert employees when they are closer than 6 feet (2 meters) for a specified period of time. The new contact tracing application uses the same HID BEEKS Aware fob or a BEEKS badge/badge holder that is easily added to existing ID cards, providing a full digital trail of an employee’s whereabouts and historical interactions while at work. This makes it possible to rapidly respond to cases and activate isolation procedures as needed. The physical distancing application is currently being piloted and adopted by major healthcare institutions and enterprise organizations worldwide, including at HID’s North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas. HID Location Services for Workplace Safety “Digitally managing social distancing is critical to encouraging the necessary behavioral shifts that will create a safer and more secure environment to which employees feel comfortable returning to work,” said Mark Robinton, Vice President of IoT Services, Identification Technologies with HID Global. “Our goal with HID Location Services for Workplace Safety is to use our established IoT ecosystem to help organizations restore productivity with confidence by making it easier for everyone to adjust to workplace physical distancing and taking the manual leg-work out of contact tracing.” Its real-time time monitoring and analytics capabilities can help ensure compliance Employers define distancing policies and alert parameters; zones can be created with geo-fences around high-traffic areas (breakrooms, hallways, lobbies) to minimize large congregations of people. HID BEEKS Aware BLE fobs are issued to employees, visitors and contractors to carry while at work. Using peer-to-peer capabilities, the fob will flash and sound a brief audible alert when employees are within 6 feet (2 meters) for more than 2 minutes (or as configured by administrator). Contact tracing reporting With a click of a button, detailed reporting enables contact tracing using historical data on movement and interactions in order to trigger safety protocols. For standalone contact tracing, employers can couple the functionality with existing employee ID badges. Fast set up using HID BEEKS devices, secure HID Bluzone Cloud Software, and HID BluFi™/ other gateways. Immediate access to real-time analytics that include location data such as interaction type and contact duration (including start and end times). Uses existing enterprise networks or Bluetooth over Wi-Fi network connectivity and cloud services to simplify implementation. No additional infrastructure, hardware or network wiring needed. Building upon a proven IoT ecosystem HID Location Services is already in broad use by Fortune 500 companies for managing building occupancy, optimizing office and facility space, asset tracking and monitoring the health of equipment. The latest workplace safety additions to HID Location Services underscore the IoT ecosystem’s ability to quickly scale and adapt to the dynamic requirements of today’s hospitals, manufacturing facilities, and enterprise organizations. Its real-time time monitoring and analytics capabilities can help ensure compliance to a number of other safety requirements, such as hand hygiene policies and other regulations introduced as part of the “next normal.” Organizations are able to leverage their investment beyond today’s global health crisis, since HID Location Services lays the foundation to easily add even more IoT applications-all of which can be centrally managed on a single platform.
The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organizations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organizations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organization show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimizes risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organizations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimize wait times. Customize the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organizations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organizations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organizations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organizations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organizations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.
HID Global, a worldwide provider in trusted identity solutions, announced its new WorkforceID™ platform that enables a seamless, effortless experience when using identity credentials to access physical and digital workplaces at an office, in the field or on the road. The new ISO27001-certified identity cloud service platform simplifies how employees access what they need to do their jobs, while solving workplace and visitor security, regulatory compliance and a variety of new business challenges as employees are returning to work. WorkforceID inherits the best capabilities from the enterprise-grade HID SAFE™ physical identity access and visitor management software, and combines them with deep customer insights from over 250 organizations around the world, to make a generational leap in unified identity management. Buildings, IT resources access control It brings a completely digital and turnkey deployment for administrators, and removes the complexity of installing, configuring and supporting on-premise software. For employees, contractors and visitors, it provides an ultra-convenient user experience with several streamlined digital workflows, such visitor self-check-in and rules-based access to buildings and IT resources according to employees’ modified work schedules. “WorkforceID solves many of today’s identity management challenges and will also offer unique services to address evolving and specialised work environments, from expediting hospital visits and healthcare worker onboarding to accelerating workplace security audits,” said Brad Jarvis, Vice President and Managing Director of the Identity & Access Management Solutions (IAMS) with HID Global. “We will continue to launch exciting new applications with our WorkforceID platform that will support a growing family of trusted identity solutions for workplaces.” Cloud-based onboarding, visitor badging kiosks The award-winning platform enables organisations to unify, automate and simplify identity issuance and management at a single facility or across any number of distributed office or remote work locations. Its first two available services are employee ID badging and visitor management: HID WorkforceID Credential Manager and ID Badge Issuance: Automates badging across the identity lifecycle including cloud-based onboarding, card printing and offboarding. Administrators know the details of all active credentials, at any location. HID WorkforceID Visitor Manager: Improves the visitor experience through reduced wait times and the ability to use self-service badging kiosks. Administrators can customize the visitor experience and security measures while benefitting from automated policy compliance. “Our mission is to enable a safe, secure and productive workforce,” said Julian Lovelock, Segment Vice President at HID Global. “The WorkforceID platform gives organizations a simple but powerful set of cloud-based applications for managing identities, with a great user experience that takes the manual processes out of adapting to new challenges in today’s work environment.” Renew annual subscriptions online To date, hundreds of organisations are piloting the solution to take advantage of enterprise-grade visitor and credential management in their small and medium businesses. Administrators simply register for a free trial plus easily activate and renew their annual subscriptions online. HID plan to add more tools, features and applications to the WorkforceID platform to deliver deep analytics and reporting capabilities and meet the rapidly expanding credential management requirements of increasingly connected workplaces.
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