Healthcare security applications
It was over a century ago that Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) was founded, as a gift by industrialist Uri T. Hungerford. The vision was to create a community hospital that would serve as a beacon of hope and a place of comfort for the sick and injured. 100 years later, that same community spirit has helped CHH evolve into a vibrant, independent, affordable healthcare network that delivers a comprehensive range of healthcare programs and services for over 100,000 lives in Northwestern...
Since 1967, Southside Medical Center has been providing affordable healthcare and related services to the insured, underinsured, and uninsured in downtown Atlanta. As one of the oldest and largest community health centres in Georgia, Southside Medical Center has continued to advance healthcare in the area by becoming the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) of Excellence to offer additional services beyond primary care. “We are in a new era and are moving forward with plans to ha...
Hospitals, medical centers, university training centers, clinics and other healthcare institutions are exposed to legal liability, ethical concerns, and subject to litigation and lawsuits, as well as changing regulation worldwide. Facilities have drugs and medical equipment onsite, making them a tempting target for crime. Healthcare Industry Challenges At the same time, aging populations in developed nations will drive increased demand for patient treatment. Rising populations and econom...
The City International Hospital (CIH) is a new multi-specialty hospital located within the Binh Tan district in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Located in the International Hi-Tech Healthcare Park, CIH features the latest medical technology and imaging equipment. With a large volume of visitors anticipated at the hospital every day, the need for a best-in-breed surveillance solution was a high priority from the onset of the project. To fulfill this requirement, hospital administrators turned to Citek...
Hamilton Health Sciences, a March Networks customer since 2004, is the second largest healthcare organization in Ontario with seven hospitals and 11,000 employees serving 2.3 million residents in Hamilton and the surrounding area. Keeping patients, staff and visitors safe, and protecting the organization’s physical assets in so many locations is a demanding job, but a monitoring center with a video wall and March Networks DecodeStation VX software has been a game changer. State-of-t...
Background When the security team at Palmetto Health Baptist, an acute care Medical Center in Columbia, S.C., invested in an upgrade to their surveillance cameras from black-and-white to color, they did so with the expectation that it would significantly improve the quality of video they were capturing. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the equivalent of putting new paint and tires on a car that really needs a new engine. In the hospital’s case, the new cameras only made it more eviden...
From satellite imagery to street views to indoor mapping, technology has disrupted our past world. This has left us dependent upon new ways to visualise large spaces. This new world has brought many benefits and risks. But what does that mean for the security professional or facility manager today and what technologies can be used to secure buildings and improve facility operations? A Brief History Of 3D Technology Starting May 5, 2007 (inception 2001), Google rolled out Google Street View to augment Google Maps and Google Earth; documenting some of the most remote places on earth using a mix of sensors (Lidar/GSP/Radar/Imagery). The mission to map the world moved indoors May 2011 with Google Business Photos mapping indoor spaces with low cost 360° cameras under the Trusted Photographer program. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware and unavailable computing power With the growth of 3D laser scanning from 2007 onwards, the professional world embraced scanning as effective method to create digitised building information modeling (BIM), growing fast since 2007. BIM from scanning brought tremendous control, time and cost savings through the design and construction process, where As-Built documentation offered an incredible way to manage large existing facilities while reducing costly site visits. In the earlier days, 3D scanning required a high level of specialization, expensive hardware, unavailable computing power and knowledge of architectural software. Innovation during the past 8 year, have driven ease of use and lower pricing to encourage market adoption. Major investments in UAVs in 2014 and the commercial emergence of 360° photography began a new wave of adoption. While 3D scanners still range from $20K – $100K USD, UAVs can be purchased for under $1K USD and 360° cameras for as low as $100. UAVs and 360° cameras also offer a way to document large spaces in a fraction of the time of terrestrial laser scanners with very little technical knowledge. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors The result over the past 10+ years of technology advancement has been a faster, lower cost, more accessible way to create virtual spaces. However, the technology advances carry a major risk of misuse by bad actors at the same time. What was once reserved to military personal is now available publicly. Access to building plans, satellite imagery, Google Street View, indoor virtual tours and aerial drone reconnaissance prove effective tools to bad actors. Al Qaeda terror threats using Google Maps, 2007 UK troops hit by terrorists in Basra, 2008 Mumbai India attacks, 2016 Pakistan Pathankot airbase attacks, ISIS attacks in Syria using UAVs, well-planned US school shootings and high casualty attacks show evidence that bad actors frequently leverage these mapping technologies to plan their attacks. The weaponization of UAVs is of particular concern to the Department of Homeland Security: "We continue to face one of the most challenging threat environments since 9/11, as foreign terrorist organizations exploit the internet to inspire, enable or direct individuals already here in the homeland to commit terrorist acts." Example comparison of reality capture on the left of BIM on the right. A $250 USD 360° camera was used for the capture in VisualPlan.net software What Does This Mean For The Security Or Facility Manager Today? An often overlooked, but critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing. Most facilities managers today work with outdated 2D plan diagrams or old blueprints which are difficult to update and share.Critical vulnerability to security and facility managers is relying on inaccurate drawing Renovations, design changes and office layout changes leave facility managers with the wrong information, and even worse is that the wrong information is shared with outside consultants who plan major projects around outdated or wrong plans. This leads to costly mistakes and increased timelines on facility projects. Example Benefits Of BIM There could be evidence of a suspect water value leak which using BIM could be located and then identified in the model without physical inspection; listing a part number, model, size and manufacture. Identification of vulnerabilities can dramatically help during a building emergency. First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans and they must have immediate access to important building information in the event of a critical incident. Exits and entrances, suppression equipment, access control, ventilation systems, gas and explosives, hazmat, water systems, survival equipment and many other details must be at their fingertips. In an emergency situation this can be a matter of life or death. Example Benefit Of Reality Capture First Responders rely on facilities managers to keep them updated on building plans A simple 360° walk-through can help first responders with incident preparedness if shared by the facility manager. Police, fire and EMS can visually walk the building, locating all critical features they will need knowledge of in an emergency without ever visiting the building. You don’t require construction accuracy for this type of visual sharing. This is a solution and service we offer as a company today. Reality capture is rapidly becoming the benchmark for facility documentation and the basis from which a security plan can be built. Given the appropriate software, plans can be easily updated and shared. They can be used for design and implementation of equipment, training of personnel and virtual audits of systems or security assessments by outside professionals. Our brains process visual information thousands of times faster than text. Not only that, we are much more likely to remember it once we do see it. Reality capture can help reduce the need for physical inspections, walk-throughs and vendor site-visits but more importantly, it provides a way to visually communicate far more effectively and accurately than before. But be careful with this information. You must prevent critical information falling into the hands of bad actors. You must watch out for bad actors attempting to use reality capture as a threat, especially photo/video/drones or digital information and plans that are posted publicly. Have a security protocol to prevent and confront individuals taking photos or video on property or flying suspect drones near your facility and report to the authorities. Require authorization before capturing building information and understand what the information will be used for and by who.There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today Nefarious Use Of UAVs There are a number of technologies to combat nefarious use of UAVs today, such as radio frequency blockers and jammers, drone guns to down UAVs, detection or monitoring systems. Other biometrics technologies like facial recognition are being employed to counter the risk from UAVs by targeting the potential operators. UAVs are being used to spy and monitor for corporate espionage and stealing intellectual property. They are also used for monitoring security patrols for the purpose of burglary. UAVs have been used for transport and delivery of dangerous goods, delivering weapons and contraband and have the ability to be weaponised to carry a payload.Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time The Federal Aviation Administration has prevented UAV flights over large event stadiums, prisons and coast guard bases based on the risks they could potentially pose, but waivers do exist. Be aware that it is illegal today to use most of these technologies and downing a UAV, if you are not Department of Justice or Homeland Security, could carry hefty penalties. Facility managers must have a way to survey and monitor their buildings for threats and report suspicious UAV behaviours immediately to authorities. At the same time, it’s critical to identify various potential risks to your wider team to ensure awareness and reporting is handled effectively. Having a procedure on how identify and report is important. Investigating reality capture to help with accurate planning and visualization of facilities is well worth the time. It can help better secure your facilities while increasing efficiencies of building operations. Reality capture can also help collaboration with first responders and outside professionals without ever having to step a foot in the door. But secure your data and have a plan for bad actors who will try to use the same technologies for nefarious goals.
They say that every choice has a cost. It's a basic principle that, economically speaking, nothing is free. If it doesn't cost actual money, it may be expensive in terms of time, attention and/or effort. These are interesting observations to keep in mind as one peruses the various "free" video management system (VMS) offerings available on the market. Some are provided by camera companies to unify their products into a "system", even if it's a small one. Other free VMS offerings are entry-level versions offered by software companies with the intent of the customer upgrading later to a paid version. For more insights, we asked this week's Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the value of “free” video management systems (VMSs) and how can a customer decide whether “free” is the right price for them?
Market dynamics are changing the U.S. residential security market, creating new business models that better appeal to the approximately 70% of households without a security system. Smart home adjacencies have helped revitalize the traditional security industry, and alternative approaches to systems and monitoring for the security industry are emerging, including a new batch of DIY systems. Growth in the residential security market and its position as the channel for smart home solutions have attracted numerous new entrants. Telecoms, cable operators, and CE (consumer electronics) manufacturers are joining traditional security players as they compete to fulfill consumer demand for safety and security. Connected products also provide a layer of competition as consumers must decide whether having category devices such as doorbell video cameras, networked cameras, and other products suffice for their security. Increasingly Competitive Landscape Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry For instance, IP cameras are a highly popular smart home device rooted in security, and Parks Associates estimates 7.7 million standalone and all-in-one networked/IP cameras will be sold in the U.S. in 2018, with $889M in revenues. Product owners may feel their security needs are fulfilled with this single purchase, as such dealers and service providers are under increasing pressure to communicate their value proposition to consumers. Categorically, each type of player is facing competition uniquely—national, regional, and local dealers all have a different strategy for overcoming the increasingly competitive landscape. Smart home services can provide additional revenue streams for the security industry. In Parks Associates’ 2017 survey of U.S. security dealers, 58% report that smart home service capabilities enable extra monthly revenue. Almost half of dealers also note they have to offer smart home devices and services in order to keep up with their competition. While white-label devices are acceptable in some instances, dealers need to integrate with hero products whenever possible when those exist for a category. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services are all potential benefits and good for business Improved Customer Engagement That 2017 survey also revealed 36% of security dealers that offer interactive services report security system sales with a networked camera and 16% report sales with a smart thermostat. For dealers who have added smart home devices and services, enhanced system utility, increased daily value, and improved customer engagement with the system are all potential benefits and good for business. Security has served as the most productive channel for smart home solutions, mainly because the products create natural extensions of a security system’s functions and benefits, but as smart home devices, subsystems, and controllers expand their functionality, availability, and DIY capabilities, many standalone devices constitute competition to classical security. Particularly viable substitute devices include IP cameras, smart door locks, smart garage doors, or a combination of these devices. Products that are self-installed offer both convenience and cost savings, and these drivers are significant among DIY consumers—among the 6% of broadband households that installed a security system themselves, 39% did it to save money. Enhance Traditional Security Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security While many security dealers believe substitute offerings are a threat, some dealers do not find such devices an existential threat but instead view them as another path to consumer awareness. They argue that the difference between smart product substitutes and traditional security is that of a solution that provides knowledge versus a system that gives one the ability to act on that knowledge. A common theme among professional monitoring providers is that a homeowner who is aware of events happening in the home does not necessarily have a secure and protected household. For example, a Nest camera, a DIY product, notifies a consumer via smartphone about events in the home when it detects motion, but only when the notification is opened and identified will a consumer be able to act on the related event. Self-installable smart home devices may resonate with a segment of the market who want security but are unwilling to adopt professional monitoring; however, providers can leverage these devices to enhance traditional security features and communicate the value of professional monitoring. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth Increased Market Growth A key counterstrategy for security dealers and companies is to leverage their current, powerful role as the prime channel for smart home devices. Many security dealers now include smart home devices with their security systems to complement their offerings and increase system engagement. For example, as of Q4 2017, nearly 70% of U.S. broadband households that were very likely to purchase a security system in the next 12 months reported that they want a camera to be included as part of their security system purchase. In response, many security system providers now offer IP cameras as optional enhancements for their systems. Smart home devices and features, while posing a threat to some security companies, are a potential way forward to increased market growth. Security dealers have an opportunity to become more than a security provider but a smart home solutions provider rooted in safety. Provide Status Updates Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services The alternative is to position as a provider of basic security with low price as the key differentiator. Comcast has entered both the professionally monitored security market and the market for smart home services independent of security. It has discovered that monetizing smart home value propositions through recurring revenue becomes increasingly challenging as the value extends further away from life safety. Since the security industry remains the main channel for smart home services, security dealers are in a unique position to leverage that strength. Value propositions must shift from the traditional arming and disarming of a system to peace-of-mind experiences that builds off the benefits of smart devices in the home to provide status updates (e.g., if the kids arrived home safely) and monitoring at will (e.g., checking home status at any time to see a pet or monitor a package delivery). These types of clear value propositions and compelling use cases, which resonate with consumer and motivate them to expand beyond standalone products, will help expand the home security market.
Last week, the Schedule 84 Suppliers Research Panel participated in reviewing the 2018 contracting year with the GSA Schedule 84 leadership team. Our panel group consists of experienced contractors and consultants meeting for a monthly conference call. Schedule 84 is the GSA Schedules Contract for Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facilities Management, Fire and Rescue. Our opinions are part of a research program to provide valuable feedback to the GSA Schedule 84 program and on to the GSA central office. The director of GSA Region 7 Schedules Program, the Schedule 84 Branch Chief and the Category Manager Subject Matter Expert who manages our suppliers' panel gave us their full attention as we discussed the successes of the program, hot topics, problems and the future. We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort and renewed enthusiasm Innovative Review Team We determined 2018 under the Schedule 84 team to be a year of innovative thoughts, cooperative effort, renewed enthusiasm and productive changes building upon the successes of 2017. There was high praise for the accessibility to the Schedule 84 staff. Their consistent quick response to questions and concerns, thinking outside the box and supporting the program by partnering with their contractors was much appreciated. There has been a renewed spirit of partnering to cooperatively bring the best to agency customers. It seems to be working as per the Center Director sales are growing for GSA Schedule 84. Advocating For The Security Industry In my experience, business development starts with the Administrator from Region 7 in Ft. Worth, TX. As the annual Schedule 84 Industry Day at the SSAC begins he is shaking every hand and passing out his cards looking folks right in the eye asking, “how can I help you?” They have the best practices and most organized paperwork. The SSAC director has chosen well in her staff and is hands-on in every endeavor to direct things along when challenges occur or to improve the program. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry It continues with the center’s CASE Manager encouraging the contractors at events, visiting agency customers and promoting the GSA Schedules Program by helping coordinate the partnering. The new 84 Branch Chief is knowledgeable, innovative, tireless and has been heavily involved in advocating for the security industry for adding new technology, meeting with industry associations, understanding the complexity and challenges of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD12) and advocating for the purchasing Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) utilizing the appropriate standards and the GSA Program among other innovations. As far as the supplier panel, we gave our GSA Schedule 84 team and leaders high praise for 2018. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List Changes In The GSA Program Some changes this year in certain GSA programmes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) developed to assist with solution procurements. This new SIN was added to Schedules 03FAC, 56, 70, 71, 00Corp, 738X and 84. Under Schedule 84 it is SIN 84-500. GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex Essentially this SIN allows agencies procuring under the aforementioned GSA Schedules’ programmes to purchase and the contractor to add items and services not known prior to the task as a Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) not to exceed 33% of the order. For more information and FAQs on OLMs go to www.gsa.gov/olm. This is not to take the place of “Open Market” items for adding products only that are not listed on a company’s GSA Contract. Physical Access Control Products Previously, GSA Schedule 84 consolidated many Special Items Numbers (SINs) to make finding products and services less complex for the agencies. GSA also added new categories or SINs for clearly identifying Physical Access Control Products that appear on GSA’s Approved Product List according to the standards created under FIPS201. These products appear under SIN 246 35-7 after being tested and approved by GSA. To be qualified to install these products under the GSA Program at least one individual from the GSA Contractor company must complete the class and be CSEIP certified before applying for labor SIN 246 60-5. Additionally, the company must demonstrate certain qualifications and have past performance for this type of work. The Security Technology Alliance offers the training class and certification. Certified individuals and approved products are listed at www.idmanagement.gov. Companies listed with SIN 246-35 7 and SIN 246-60 5 may be found by searching at www.gsaelibrary.gsa.gov. Updates To Guidance For Procurement Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide Updates to guidance for procurement of PACS will continue to be posted to the GSA PACS Ordering Guide. The ordering guide posted at www.gsa.gov/firesecurity is a valuable support tool created to assist agencies with understanding the requirements of FIPS201 and procuring a PACS. The guide includes relevant regulations, FAQs, sample systems designs, sample statements of work, a list of key points of contract for additional help and questions. In partnership with GSA and guided by the GSA Ombudsman group, the Security Industry Association and the Security Technology Alliance members and their contractor companies participated in a GSA Reverse Industry PACS Training Day on September 17, 2018. We presented from an industry perspective important fact on PACS system requirements, procurement planning, providing information on resources and further educating with panel discussions, individual presentations and amusing skits to over 300 Government agency staff and acquisition specialists. You can find some of the unedited recording of the PACS Reverse Industry Day Training on YouTube. Some changes included the creation of a new category of products/services Special Item Number (SIN) for Order Level Materials (OLM) GSA Schedules Program A hot topic about the GSA program for 2018 was also an issue for the prior year. The GSA Schedules Program is a streamlined contracting vehicle incorporating specific Federal Acquisition Regulations for more efficiently purchasing commercial items. Companies may apply per a continuous open season for a 5-year contract with three 5-year options to renew. Contractors are vetted for past performance, corporate experience and financial capability. Products and services are considered for offering to Federal, State and Local customers (for Schedule 84) with pricing that is determined to be fair and reasonable through negotiations with GSA. To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor To make the determination for fair and reasonable pricing GSA carefully reviews the commercial practices of the contractor as well as the competition of identical or similar item pricing. The most vocal complaint of concern from the contractors was regarding the consideration of competitor contractors offering identical items with out-of-date pricing or holding a Letter of Supply not authorized by the manufacturer. GSA Pricing Tool Since the GSA utilizes a pricing tool to determine if the pricing offered is competitive, a rogue competitor can cause a pricing action to possibly be rejected due to out of date information even as the manufacturer offers an update of the product. This is an issue on all GSA Contracts that the supplier panel hopes will be reconsidered by GSA policymakers at the central office. Most of us believe the Letters of Supply should only be issued by the manufacturer or with documented specific permission of the manufacturer to a reseller. Manufacturers may want to have a better understanding of the Letter of Supply, how it is considered by GSA and more carefully choose their Government partners for experience and compliance. Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy Overcoming Challenges For The Security Community Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract Another challenge for the security community is regarding the lack of accessibility of participating dealers to GSA eBuy. GSA eBuy is an online Request for Quotation (RFQ) program that is for GSA Contract holders only. Agencies will post their requirements by Special Item Number for at a minimum 48 hours. Contractors may only see RFQs which are posted under the Special items Number(s) that were awarded to their GSA Contract. GSA Participating Dealers may take orders on behalf of a manufacturer if they are authorized under the manufacturer’s GSA Contract. They may also have an online PO Portal to receive orders. But they have no access to GSA eBuy to response to RFQs. Usually, under these arrangements, the manufacturers do not respond directly, so there is a problem using GSA eBuy for opportunities as their GSA Participating Dealers have no access to respond. GSA Schedule 84 Leadership In some instances, a contracting officer may allow an emailed quotation. However, with the use of the electronic ordering system, this has become a common problem we hope to bring to the attention of policymakers. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward The GSA Schedule 84 leadership has been helpful to explain the challenges to the agencies to try and resolve such issues. So, what’s up for 2019? GSA modernization is coming. There will be improvements to their tools and more consolidations of SINs and more. There have been discussions of a revival of the GSA Expo. The Expo offered training for contracting staff both Government and private industry. Valuable Tools For Vendor Training Equally important is the networking, meetings and the exhibits of the contractors. Expos have been discontinued since 2012 but smaller events have been growing as well as online webinar training. Webinars are valuable tools for GSA and vendor training, but they do not take the place of being able to meet your customers face-to-face. GSA online eOffer and eMod program have made processing actions more efficient. Some changes to the programmes may make the presentation of documentation more effective going forward. The GSA online website for viewing the items on the GSA Contract and for purchasing items, GSA Advantage could definitely use an update as it has been basically the same for 20 years. Keep an eye on GSA Interact for the latest happenings with GSA.
One of the biggest recent security divestitures in the news was the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global, which occurred around a year ago. The seller in that transaction was ACRE (Access Control Related Enterprises), also the parent company of Vanderbilt and ComNet. We recently spoke to founder and CEO Joe Grillo, a 30-year industry veteran, about the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market, ACRE’s future, and new opportunities opened up by the Mercury sale. Q: What’s new with ACRE? Grillo: We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player" ACRE is a company I founded in 2012, and since then we have had six acquisitions and one divestiture. We’ll never focus on ACRE as a brand, but we currently have more visibility of ACRE as a parent company with our two strong brands, ComNet and Vanderbilt. Last year was a very busy year [with the sale of Mercury Security to HID Global] because it takes as long to sell a brand as to buy one, maybe more so. Q: What’s next? Grillo: What you are seeing from us this year is that we are again in a buying mode. No announcement yet, but we expect one by the end of the year. We are well-funded, have great partners, and see an opportunity to continue to grow acquisitively as our highly fragmented space of access control continues to consolidate. From the standpoint of ACRE, with the ComNet and Vanderbilt brands, we are also doing more integration on the backside – not what the customer sees. We will continue to grow toward a $200 million business. We were there when we owned Mercury, and we will get there again. We have an opportunity to have organic growth and to have some scale on a global basis to be a decent size player. Because ACRE are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity: ComNet is a good example" Q: Do you see the M&A market being more competitive – more companies looking to acquire? Grillo: There’s a lot of money chasing not-so-many deals, so evaluations can get expanded. But as interest rates creep up, it is definitely a challenge to find the right valuation, the right financing and the right strategic fit. It is a very strategic market. Q: There have been some big acquisitions lately. Were you guys involved at all in evaluating those opportunities? Grillo: Because we are owned by a private equity company, we are brought into every opportunity. An example of that was ComNet. I would not have been aware that the founder passed away two years ago and that there was this opportunity to own the business. So we look at everything; anything that’s out there we look at. The biggest recent announcement in our world was S2 (being sold to UTC/Lenel), and, yeah, we looked at that. It didn’t fit our profile – it was too expensive. Great business, and it’ll be interesting to see how it fits into the UTC environment. There was also Isonas [which was recently sold to Allegion], but the size didn’t add enough scale, but I like the technology. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, which is more attractive than video systems for ACRE Q: So what are you looking for in an acquisition? Grillo: It’s hard for us to find something that moves the needle, and you have to find that right balance. Is it something we can digest and have the financing for, and also is there room on the back end? We are private equity-owned, so we know there will be an exit for our investors, too. So we have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible. If you look at our acquisitions, we have done two “carve outs.” The Vanderbilt name didn’t exist until we bought the business from Ingersoll Rand, and then we bought the [intruder] business from Siemens. That’s how Vanderbilt came about. You get a lot of value when you carve out a business, but there’s a lot of work. In the case of Mercury or Access Control Technology (ACT) that we acquired; they were growing and profitable but they stretch your finances a lot more. So you have to find the right mix in there. Q: Does video interest ACRE at all? Grillo: We have to find the right balance, good valuations, the right size and digestible"ComNet is our video play. ComNet sells communication networking solutions and products, and 70 to 80 percent of that is used for video systems. But unlike cameras, which don’t interest us, it’s actually good margins, highly specialized repeat business and with good channel partners. So where are we going to play? Cameras – no (because of commoditization). We have some recorder technology (from the Siemens acquisition) and we have the communication networking technology (with ComNet). On the software side, we have looked at a lot of the VMS companies, and a lot of them have been on the market. But the valuation expectations can be high because they are software companies. And we really believe in partnering as a good thing, too. If we integrate to Milestone or Salient or some of these companies, we will never lose an access control client because they chose a particular VMS. Q: ACRE is also looking to grow organically, isn’t it? Grillo: From a technology perspective, we are a product company and we are continuing to bring new products to the market with the ComNet communication networking business and the access control business. And in Europe, we have a third leg of the stool, which is the very successful intrusion and burgular alarm business we acquired from Siemens (SPC products now sold under the Vanderbilt brand). That business continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio.The intrusion and burgular alarm continues to do well and is now one of the highest performing segments in our portfolio" Q: But you don’t have to own a company to make it part of your solution. Grillo: An important word is integration. We have to integrate to all the wireless locks. We have to integrate to the VMS systems. But we don’t have to own them. Q: How has the Mercury Security divestiture impacted the rest of your business? Grillo: It has opened up the opportunity for us to look at Mercury partners as possible acquisition targets without worrying about conflicts with the very good business of Mercury. We have more flexibility now compared to the Mercury era. Q: How will the economic cycle impact the security market? Grillo: Interest rates are a much bigger issue than the overall economic cycle. We talk a lot about it with our owners – clearly interest rates are tightening up. If you go out to do acquisitions or to borrow money to do something with your business, it will be tougher than it was two years ago, and it may get worse in the next two years. Security is less impacted by the economic cycle than some industries.
In the simplest terms, video systems capture and record video. But supporting these basic operations are a growing number of other functions that expand usefulness and the ability to interact with related elements in a larger system. As video system functionality expands, we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What is the most important function of a video surveillance system and why?
Virtua called on the services of CM3 Building Solutions of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania to design and install their new system, as well as local manufacturer’s representative, ASR Enterprises, Inc. to assist with equipment selection. After choosing ExacqVision NVRs, Virtua’s management team met with various megapixel camera suppliers to review their product lines and to see demos. After extensive testing and analysis, Arecont Vision megapixel cameras were selected for Virtua’s new system as a result of their superior resolution, processing power, product selection and use of H.264 compression technology. New Arecont Vision megapixel cameras added to the security systems throughout Virtua’s facilities are connected to ExacqVision’s hybrid network video recorders (NVRs). The system design allows for the seamless transition to a networked platform over time, eliminating the need to immediately replace all existing analog cameras. The hybrid recording solution also enables Virtua to immediately capitalize on the performance and cost efficiencies of Arecont Vision megapixel cameras in locations where they are most needed, with the ability to easily integrate additional megapixel cameras overtime. To preserve the integrity of security operations, new Arecont Vision megapixel cameras and ExacqVision NVRs are installed on a dedicated network connected by an NVR server with dual network interface controller (NIC) cards. This method isolates video bandwidth from the hospital’s data network until video needs to be viewed via a remote client. The NVRs are installed locally with varying storage requirements based on current camera counts and anticipated future expansion. Virtua’s smaller facilities have 2 Terabytes of storage, while hospitals and larger facilities have storage capacities ranging from 8 to 40 Terabytes. Surveillance and access control systems for Virtua’s hospitals, long-term care facilities, health and fitness centers, and corporate business services facilities are monitored centrally at the company’s Incident Command Center (ICC) located in Camden, New Jersey. The ICC is the location that also dispatches security personnel to all facilities. The megapixel cameras used throughout the Virtua system include Arecont Vision models AV8185, AV3155DN-1HK, AV2155 and AV3105. Arecont Vision’s SurroundVideo® AV8185 is an 8 megapixel, 180-degree panoramic H.264 IP camera that incorporates four 2-megapixel CMOS image sensors to provide 6400x1200-pixel panoramic images at 5.5 frames-per-second (fps). Th e panoramic view can also be set at lower resolutions to provide faster frame rates, such as 1600x1200-pixel images at 22 fps or 800x600-pixel images at 88 fps. Low-light sensitivity is 0.2 lux at F2.0. The 180-degree panoramic camera can substitute up to 24 analog cameras. Features include image cropping and up to four regions of interest for forensic examination and digital PTZ. The megapixel cameras used throughout the Virtua system include Arecont Vision models AV8185, AV3155DN-1HK, AV2155 and AV3105 Virtua also uses 2 and 3 megapixel Mega- Dome® IP cameras from Arecont Vision. Model AV3155DN-1HK is a 3 megapixel H.264 network (IP) MegaDome integrated camera, lens and IP66-rated dome providing 2048x1536-pixel images at 15 fps and 0.2 lux light sensitivity at F1.4. Features of the all-in-one camera include a 1/2” CMOS sensor and Arecont Vision’s Mega-Video® image processing at 80 billion operations per second. The camera employs H.264 (MPEG 4, Part 10) compression to minimize bandwidth and storage requirements while maintaining real-time image resolution. Capabilities include motion detection, image cropping, region-of-interest viewing and the ability to zoom into an image after it is archived (forensic zooming). Virtua uses the day/night (DN) model featuring a motorized IR cut filter which is removed in low light conditions to provide increased sensitivity. The 2 megapixel Arecont Vision AV2155 MegaDome® has similar features and provides 1600x1200-pixel images at 24 fps, with low-light sensitivity of 0.1 lux at F1.4. Both domes feature a camera gimbal with 360-degree pan and 90-degree tilt adjustments for easy installation. Also used at various Virtua sites is the Arecont Vision’s AV3105 3 megapixel box camera, which has specifications similar to the Arecont Vision AV3155 dome. Megapixel Benefit The image quality and digital PTZ capabilities of Arecont Vision megapixel cameras far exceed analog and conventional IP cameras allowing Virtua to capture and record extremely detailed video images over large coverage areas. Combined with recent cost reductions in NVR storage and network switches, the use of fewer cameras allows Virtua to transition to high-quality video with the highest levels of cost-efficiency, which translates into lower total cost of ownership and overall higher ROI. Arecont Vision’s megapixel cameras also allow for significant upgrades in system functionality compared to standard-resolution IP cameras. In addition to lower bandwidth and storage requirements, megapixel cameras dramatically decrease costs related to other elements of a system, including fewer software licenses, fewer lenses and a decrease in man-hours needed to install and operate systems. Additionally, Arecont Vision megapixel cameras’ ability to provide highly accurate digital PTZ functionality translates into fewer moving parts than traditional PTZ systems, which reduces maintenance costs and the potential for failure. “Due to the exceptional resolution provided by Arecont Vision’s megapixel cameras, and the deployment of several AV8185 panoramic cameras, we have easily expanded our coverage capabilities using fewer cameras with outstanding results,” said Paul M. Sarnese, System Safety Director, Virtua Health. “The performance of our new surveillance systems has helped us to improve overall security. It has been a win-win situation for Virtua.” The Arecont Vision system proves its value on a daily basis monitoring more than 4 million square feet of coverage area. After a recent incident at one facility, Virtua’s ICC staff reviewed crystal clear megapixel images within minutes and quickly distributed them to security managers and personnel throughout the enterprise for immediate action.
Security surveillance specialist AD Network Video is introducing its enhanced integrated HD IP video solution for hospitals. Virtual NVR delivers high definition IP video images for evidential purposes which directly tackle theft and anti-social behavior in a completely secure way. The Virtual NVR aims to offer hospitals secure environments, a culture of safety for patients, visitors and staff. The new solution offers video of high quality that can be used for whatever action is appropriate, including legal action if necessary. The Virtual NVR solution intelligently distributes video storage across single or multiple locations, with IP cameras recording and storing images on the in-camera server. These will carry on recording even in the event of a network outage as the devices operate as if they were standalone systems resulting in no single point of failure. The evidential recordings are easily accessible locally or from the control room via a single user interface and are exported in compliance with police and home office guidelines. Recordings can be archived and managed from a central location driving greater efficiency and flexibility in locating and retrieving video from multiple sites. Virtual NVR's secure and segregated network enables hospital operators to implement the HD IP camera solution and integrate event triggers. Virtual NVR has flexible and scalable qualities, from general practices to large hospital trusts. AD Group, of which AD Network Video is the solutions arm, has developed security surveillance solutions for more than 30 years. Current solutions include FireVu for early fire detection, and for logistics losses, TransVu. Both can be used in healthcare environments
Bon Securs Hospital, Galway, has integrated the SALTO XS4 Locker Lock into the drug and medicine cabinets used within a new build extension to the hospital to control when and by whom patient medication can be accessed.Bon Secours Hospital Galway is a 120 bed acute care facility, providing a wide range of surgical and medical services. It is part of the Bon Secours Health System, the largest private healthcare provider in Ireland, and currently admits 18,000 patients per annum, comprising 6,000 in-patients and 12,000 day-cases. A substantial expansion plan has seen 50 new Patient Bedrooms, a Physiotherapy Department, a new Restaurant and enhanced Laboratory, Medical Stores and Office Accommodation added to the hospital.“The XS4 Locker lock is designed to provide a high level of security protection and is ideal for use with drug and medicine cabinets as well as for more general use with hospital staff lockers” said Stephen Foley from Doorware, SALTO’s Irish distributor who carried out the installation at the hospital. “We’ve installed 32 drug and medicine cabinets with the new electronic locks and these now ensure that only authorized, accredited medical staff can access the drugs and medicines contained within them. Every time the cabinets are opened the event is automatically logged via their audit trail facility (the lock continuously records the last 1,000 operations in its memory) giving hospital management a useful security record.”XS4 Locker has been designed to offer the latest in state-of-the-art electronic access control technology in a low cost simple retro-fit format to solve the problem that most lockers, including those routinely used by hospitals, are supplied with very basic mechanical locks that usually offer little in the way of resistance to thieves. The XS4 Locker is designed to offerthe latest state of the art access controltechnology It can be fitted to most cupboards and cabinets to control access to any drugs, medicines or other equipment stored on site and upgrading from an existing mechanical lock is quick and easy. The old lock is removed and the XS4 Locker simply fitted in its place. No wiring is required, power is supplied by 3 AAA or optional lithium batteries good for 30,000 openings, and its exterior dimensions are a compact 54mm x 105mm x 28mm ensuring a neat fit and professional appearance. An ergonomically designed twist operated locking handle makes for easy use, even with wet hands, and its durable wipe clean construction makes it highly resistant to chemicals; UV radiation and physical wear and tear ensuring a long lasting, smart appearance.The access reader is built into the locking handle and the ID carrier - key card, wristband, key fob or bracelet – is simply presented to the reader and XS4 Locker will grant or deny access, providing an intelligent solution for high performance locker security in hospitals in a versatile easy to fit package.
One of England’s oldest childcare centres has invested in an IP network based video surveillance system manufactured by Samsung Techwin, to create a safe and secure environment for its staff and children. Gingerbread Corner, which is located in Croydon, Surrey, was England’s first latchkey scheme. It was established in 1976 with the objective of providing quality childcare for single parents of children aged between 5-11 after school and during school holidays. 37 years later, Gingerbread Corner has evolved and grown. It now provides year-round child-care for more than 160 children between the ages of 3 months and 11 years. An existing outdated analogue CCTV system needed to be replaced. Apart from the fact that there were just four cameras which only allowed the monitoring of entrances and exits, the quality of the images captured and recorded were not of sufficient quality to be of any practical use if and when an incident needed to be investigated. As a registered Charity, Gingerbread Corner relies heavily on its fund-raising activities to maintain and improve its facilities, as well as employing 40 members of staff. Despite concerns over significant funding gaps following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Gingerbread Corner’s management were determined to allocate sufficient capital for the installation of an effective replacement video surveillance system. “There are so many potential situations where access to high quality video evidence can help protect the children in our care and also verify that our staff has at all times professionally carried out their duties,” said Ben Dzendzera, Gingerbread Corner’s Operations Manager. “For example, with so many children living in single parent environments, we can avoid any disputes by being able to monitor, and if necessary verify, who has collected a child from our premises. Equally important, we can quickly resolve any issues which might arise through accusations of one child bullying another and we have a duty of care towards our staff to ensure they can be protected against any false accusations.” Ben invited a number of different companies to recommend a solution that would meet both Gingerbread Corner’s current and future needs. “It was clear that we immediately needed approximately 20 cameras in order to be able to monitor all activity throughout the site, but we also wanted to ensure that the system we invested in could continue to be expanded if and when our requirements changed.” Some of the quotations received provided for the new system to be analogue based, but Ben and his colleagues decided to take the advice offered by video surveillance and public address specialists Postfield Systems, who recommended that Gingerbread Corner should choose an IP network based system. The cameras offer multiple streaming with a choice of compression methods An analogue system would have provided Gingerbread Corner with a slightly lower cost option, but the justification for allocating the extra capital for an IP network based system was easily made. “One of the key advantages of choosing a Video over IP solution is that it is very flexible in terms of how it can be monitored,” said Ben. “Live or recorded images can be viewed by any authorised member of staff who has access to the Internet. I personally use the Samsung Techwin Net-i Viewer software on my laptop to view the video of any incidents, whilst senior management can access the system via smartphone when they are off site.” A total of 21 Samsung Techwin cameras have been installed, 16 of which are SND-3082 Day/Night network domes. These utilize Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) technology making them ideal for locations where there may be strong contrasting lighting conditions. The SND-3082 features Power over Ethernet (PoE) which means that both power and video/audio transmissions can be provided via a single Ethernet cable connected to Gingerbread Corner’s network. This has resulted in costs being kept to a minimum as there wasn’t a need for coaxial cable to be run to each of the 21 cameras. The five other cameras are Samsung Techwin SNO-1080Rs which are weatherproof cameras, have built in IR lighting and feature PoE. The SNO-1080R is part of a range of cameras which was designed to provide a cost effective network video surveillance solution for small to medium size applications. Both models offer multiple streaming with a choice of compression methods, providing the option to simultaneously transmit images to multiple locations at various frame rates and at different resolutions. This allows different authorised users to monitor live images at one location, whilst recording video evidence at another. The images from all of the cameras are recorded on one of two SRN-1670D network video recorders which have been designed to be user friendly in that they have the look and familiarity of a DVR. “As a non-profit organisation it is difficult to show a return on investment, but there is no doubt that the video surveillance system has given us peace of mind in knowing that if any serious incident takes place we can verify exactly what has happened by being able to retrieve the recorded video.”
Rick Meyer, Executive Director, Friendship Village of Bloomington says, “In my sixth year at the Village, it became very clear to me and my staff how time-consuming and unwieldy our old access control system had become. The community opened in 1979, thirty-two years ago, and the existing access control system had been in place for fifteen years. We realised it was at the end of the road; it was clearly time for us to find a more modern and user-friendly system.” Floyd Total Security Recommended SALTO Rick Meyer further explains, “After evaluating our limited options with the existing service provider, we referred our problem to Floyd Total Security, a SALTO Inspired Business Partner and system integrator, also located in Bloomington, MN. Continuing Care Facilities are of critical interest for Floyd, and Bill Wood, who heads up the company’s electronic locking systems team.” “His team was charged with helping find the best solution for the needs of our project and brought SALTO to our attention.” “We liked the SALTO system from the start and Ray Satterfield, Director of Facility Management, suggested we ask other Lifespace Community facilities to assist in our evaluation. After several group presentations and a couple of site visits, they unanimously recommended SALTO over the other options, as did Gary Conkin, Lifespace Development and Construction Manager, who oversees and approves all construction projects from the corporate office in Des Moines, IA.” Outfitting The Facilities “Floyd met with the management team to understand how they needed various parts of the system to work to best suit our operation. They made sure we could take advantage of everything that the SALTO System could provide. The Village has just opened a new fitness center which was, of course, also protected with the SALTO locks. Various workers at the facility, like nurses and housekeepers have a range of scheduled time needs, and their access cards have been programmed accordingly.” Advantages Of The SALTO System Rick Meyer continues, “The Village was previously equipped with three separate systems; a traditional proximity card system on the perimeter and two generations of offline locks on administrative and resident doors. While these where easy for staff and seniors to use, they proved very costly to operate and maintain. Talk about time-consuming! Our facility has 415 doors with electronic locks for over 1200 cardholders. In order to program the old system to provide access cards for new occupants or to supply replacements for lost cards, a staffer had to carry a laptop with cable to every door lock covered by the new or lost card in order to recode for access. Many man- and woman-hours were lost in resolving these problems.” “Furthermore, we were having trouble getting parts and support for our old system. That was a growing problem, to the point where we actually had to ask some of our residents to go back to using metal keys. Not something we desired for a facility that prides itself on being up-to-date in everything!” “With SALTO it was easy. We no longer have to program at the door and we didn’t have to build an infrastructure with wiring through walls; we used the SALTO Virtual Network. When the locks where installed, of course they required initial programming. But unlike the other options, they don’t require ongoing lock reprogramming at the door as we make access changes. The SALTO Virtual Network (SVN) pushes and pulls data from our “hot-spot” openings to all the offline locks.” “We like the ability to set up the computer and program all the cards, rather than walking around to each location. The fact that Floyd and SALTO can reference many large installations in similar applications helped satisfy us that we’re using a proven product.” Employee Cards He stated, “The Village has about 285 employees including part-time, on-call, high school, etc. Our eight-person maintenance staff functions as security during the morning and early afternoon, followed by two trained security officers for the afternoon, evening, night and weekends. Cards issued to employees are automatically refreshed and updated when used at any of our seven “Hot-spot” doors, which makes it very easy to meet everyone’s access needs on the fly.” If A Card Is Lost “When a card is reported lost, there’s no big crisis. The cards are blank, with no telltale room number or ID, so someone finding it would have no way of knowing what unit the card gave access to. We simply delete it and assign a new one. Once the original card is deleted, it will no longer provide access to the exterior doors either: access is denied and facilities are notified. The lost card is also added to the blacklist of deleted cards which eliminates its value at the interior doors via SVN.” Rick Meyer explained. Friendship Village Population “A retirement facility like Friendship Village has a unique population. Apart from residents in healthcare, skilled nursing and long-term care, where the doors do not lock, there is assisted living, general residency, independent living and twelve free-standing town homes. There are also administrative offices and a variety of special facilities. All of their needs must be carefully addressed to avoid creating unnecessary problems.” “With the new system in the works, administrators set up meetings to alert employees and the resident body to what was coming, so they could appreciate the benefits and improvements. A permanent informational kiosk about the new SALTO system was supplied and staffed by Floyd to provide residents with any information they required.” Expectations Were Exceeded “The installation went well and timelines were met: a week for preparation, loading the software and training, then about four weeks for actual change out of the residence units, with perimeter doors switched over to the new system last. The entire implementation took about five weeks in the summer of 2011. Floyd technicians trained our maintenance personnel on the installation and maintenance of the battery powered door locks. This allows us to remove and install the devices ourselves when we remodel and refresh areas of the facility, a common occurrence with 425 units.” “This SALTO changeover is probably the easiest such install we’ve ever done. Residents feel safer in their units than they did before. Floyd couldn’t have provided a better or more accommodating crew. Our administrators had ample time to get familiar with the new system and feel comfortable with it. Michelle Hasbrouck and Chris Chromey from Floyd backed us up with responses to residents’ concerns and where available when we needed them.” “We would recommend this system absolutely! As a result of our experience, Floyd Total Security has implemented the SALTO Inspired Access Control System at two other Lifespace Communities: Grand Lodge at the Preserve in Lincoln, NE and Abbey Delray South in Abby Delray, FL.” “Two additional facilities in Florida and Pennsylvania are scheduled to begin installation later this year, with the balance coming online over the next two years. We think all our communities will be moving in this direction.” commented Rick Meyer.
As part of the centralization of five Munich hospitals, 20,000 old cards were gradually switched to new LEGIC employee ID cards for time & attendance and access control. With around 3500 beds, 260 day clinic places and 9500 employees, the Klinikum Munich, resulting from the merger of five clinics, is the biggest health service provider in southern Germany, today. As part of the centralization operation of the five hospitals, a central SAP system was implemented. It was decided to implement a certified SAP sub-system from Kaba for time & attendance and access control. At the same time, a company-wide card system was introduced. The areas for which employees use the new LEGIC ID are: time & attendance, access control, in the canteen, at food and clothing distributors. Kaba time & attendance terminals were installed everywhere and then 10,000 old cards were exchanged for the new LEGIC ID card. A further 10,000 cards were then given to sub-contractors and visitors. At the same time, new regulations were put in place regarding the use and payment of the catering facilities in the entire hospital. The Munich-based company Automaten Seitz implemented a cashless payment system (EC machine). Old cash register PCs and distributors were replaced. Now, employees, outside staff, visitors, interns, etc., can eat in any of the hospital’s five canteens without using cash. Access control was also extended. In order to be able to cover new requirements for flexible access profiles, the Kaba Attendance Management module was implemented. All employee authorizations will be taken care of centrally with this module. Central access control regulates, on all premises, access to underground garages or open parking spaces, canteen entry and entry to particularly sensitive areas (laboratories, computer rooms, etc.). The data center, which requires particular protection, is secured with high-security gates. Daniel Wolf from the StädtischenKlinikum, adds: “We have a certified sub-system for time & attendance and access control which is fully integrated in SAP and very stable. Overall, we are very satisfied with the system.”