Amid all the discussion of security integration and end-to-end solutions on the first day of IFSEC 2016 was an undercurrent of uncertainty. The international trade show opened at ExCel London just days before the historic "Brexit" vote, when Britons will decide whether to remain a part of the European union or to exit the politico-economic fusion of 28 member states. With the Brexit referendum this week, the polls are neck-and-neck, so the vote could go either way, hence the uncertainty. If "leave" wins the vote, what might it mean for business, including the security and video surveillance companies exhibiting at IFSEC? Brexit implications on security market For example, if Great Britain leaves the EU, might it increase costs of goods flowing throughout the larger European market? Would a distributor in Germany face new costs and/or more complex processes when sending equipment to Britain? EU laws would still apply during a two-year negotiation period if the UK votes to leave. Therefore, changes are unlikely to be immediate; however, long-term uncertainty can be bad for any market, whether it's the stock market, the currency market, or the security market. "Once you exit the EU, there may be different rules related to larger contracts," says Ivo Drent, Arecont Vision's Vice President of European Sales. "Suddenly a UK company quoting jobs in the EU will face a different climate." Manufacturers from other countries, including the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, would eventually need to renegotiate export contracts with the newly independent United Kingdom. Given a skilled labour shortage in the UK integrator market, might a "leave" vote also complicate the ability of companies to recruit candidates from neighbouring countries, and thus aggravate the problem? Dominant security themes at IFSEC Although Brexit was a topic of discussion at several IFSEC stands, there were plenty of other aspects of the security market to consider, too. Manufacturers here are enthusiastic and quick to tout their new products, although many of them were shown previously in the United States last spring at ISC West. However, they're new to the international visitors to IFSEC. Also, the themes of integration, end-to-end systems, and technology partnerships dominated discussions. New products at IFSEC 2016 If "leave" wins the vote, what might it mean for business, including the security and video surveillance companies exhibiting at IFSEC? Arecont Vision was among the companies introducing actual new products here, including the new SurroundVideo Omni Mini IP Dome Camera, a 2-, 6- or 10-megapixel all-in-one camera with two sensors that are remotely user-configurable and provide true day/night video suitable for indoor/outdoor use. The low-profile camera is useful in schools, retail and banking (ATM) applications. Its small size makes it less noticeable and unobtrusive, even in environments that are sensitive to aesthetics. It replicates many of the benefits of Arecont Vision's four-sensor SurroundVideo cameras in a smaller form factor and at lower cost. "It can replace multiple single-sensor cameras or pan-tilt-zooms (PTZs), and give coverage exactly where you want it," says Jeff Whitney, VP Marketing, Arecont Vision. "If you cover a wide area, you never lose situational awareness." An emphasis on solutions rather than single products is another theme you hear repeatedly this year at IFSEC. For example, the sensor company Optex is promoting its REDSCAN mini RLS-2020I, an indoor laser scan detector that provides a 20x20-meter vertical or horizontal detection area, as an adjunct to video analytics. The sensor helps to protect assets and equipment by creating an invisible laser wall that detects any intrusion. Combined with a video analytics system, the hardware can increase reliability and eliminate false alarms. Leveraging the two technologies creates a result that is greater than the sum of the parts. A demonstration at the stand involves a display of drink glasses and spirits (as might be seen at a bar after closing). A "laser wall" protects the display: Anyone who tries to touch a glass triggers an alarm. The alarm trigger is faster and more accurate than a video analytics approach - there is no delay as pixels are processed. The detection zone can be divided into four sections, with each linked to a PTZ preset that directs camera coverage where it is needed. Technology partnerships Technology partnerships are also making news. Milestone opened the show with a press conference announcing an agreement with Dell to introduce a range of "plug and play" solutions for the surveillance market. The solutions can support 8, 16, 26 and 48 cameras and come complete with Milestone Xprotect and Microsoft Embedded licenses. There will be more to see on the second day of the show, and possibly more Brexit discussion, too. The vote is on Thursday, the last day of the show.
I am visiting IFSEC for the first time in several years, and one revelation is how well the event reflects the increasingly global -- and diverse -- nature of the security market. On the second day of the show, I was struck by the diversity of attendees, apparent in the many languages you hear spoken in the exhibit hall. I also kept coming upon confirmation of the variety of global security companies from around the world who are exhibiting at the event -- another reflection of a thriving worldwide market. Sometimes in the United States, we think of the “European market,” for example, but that designation is an oversimplification. In fact, there isn’t really a European market, but instead many different markets within Europe, each with its own special needs, all of them also sharing some of the same security concerns. Another trend is an increase in security for large venues and for public events, sometimes using temporary deployments of camera systems for crowd flow I chatted with Ivo Drent, Arecont Vision’s vice president, Europe, about some of the trends he sees throughout Europe related to the American company’s megapixel camera product line. For instance, he sees growth in city surveillance applications in France, while Central Europe (Germany and the Benelux countries) are enthusiastically embracing transportation/logistics applications. The transportation vertical is using Arecont’s cameras to achieve benefits beyond “catching the bad guy,” with insurance and tracking capabilities also contributing to a better business case. Drent sees growth in the transportation vertical expanding to Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, too. Another trend is an increase in security for large venues and for public events, sometimes using temporary deployments of camera systems for crowd flow and management applications as well as security. Arecont’s panoramic-view cameras offer good coverage of large areas. To serve the various European markets, Arecont has a 14-person European team, including local reps in individual countries or areas. The company is also finalizing a fully equipped technology lab (like the “Megalab” in Arecont’s headquarters in Glendale, Calif.), this one in Frankfurt. “We’re working to establish a European identity for an American company,” Drent says. “We are putting local people in the local markets.” Sony’s big message is about quality and the value of the Sony brand, which stands not just for meeting specifications but for being guaranteed to meet them Roger Lawrence, Sony’s project manager, video security, Professional Solutions Europe, also noted the regional differences among various European markets. For example, the United Kingdom is still primarily an analogue market in the process of migrating to IP, while Nordic countries and Eastern Europe demand the latest IP solutions, he says. The Sony stand depicts a “journey” among the supplier’s various vertical markets, including a coffee shop (retail), banking and transportation. Sony’s big message is about quality and the value of the Sony brand, which stands not just for meeting specifications but for being guaranteed to meet them. Sometimes an individual market is a source of innovation. In the case of Sony, innovation highlighted at the show comes from the company’s team in France, which has developed an Android app to help installers fine-tune cameras during installation. The operation typically involves use of an analogue monitor or laptop, which a technician might need to take up a ladder to make the adjustments. The app allows adjustments using a smartphone with no wires or cables -- the installer’s hands are free to work with tools. From Russia, I met Alexander Baranov, director of marketing for AxxonSoft, who demonstrated their video management system, and it was different than any other user interface I have seen. The system enables the user to access video intuitively from a schematic diagram or outdoor map of a facility, and it also can meld the video information with the schematic information to create almost an immersive experience. The system captures metadata to enable use of video analytics on recorded video for post-analysis of alarms, such as applying motion detection to a specific area. That’s just part of their story, and a huge global map in their booth further emphasized the diverse global market, with pictures of the Russian company’s representatives all over the world, from China to Mexico to sub-Saharan Africa. Avigilon’s press event highlighted broader integration of its browser-based Access Control Manager (ACM) product Another big player made a splash on Day Two. Avigilon’s press event highlighted broader integration of its browser-based Access Control Manager (ACM) product, including the ability to handle alarms in either the access control system or the video management system, or both. A new Professional version of the access control product is a hardened Linux appliance with 16- or 32-door capacity and the full feature set (and at a lower price). Avigilon began in the video sector, and the press event also highlighted the latest in their camera capabilities, such as the Rialto video analytics appliance resulting from the VideoIQ acquisition. Also, Avigilon’s HD Pro camera uses up to 16 megapixels, and the Avigilon system provides what amounts to resolution on demand. A 1 megapixel or so resolution is fine to view the larger image, but if you need to see something up close, you can zoom in, and the Avigilon Control Center software video display leverages the additional resolution to clear up the image almost magically. Everyone was squinting to read the name on a boat passing by outside the meeting room along the ExCel Centre’s waterfront. Nobody could read it, but the words were perfectly clear on the screen. Today I also got a chance to interview Ximen, vice president of Chinese video supplier Uniview, which recently entered the international market. That makes two of the large Chinese suppliers I have spoken with at IFSEC -- I met with Dahua yesterday and will speak with Hikvision tomorrow. A lot to tell about these Chinese manufacturers -- keep watching this space for more. I ended the day speaking with Vivotek, which among other things is highlighting their low-light functionality with a system called SNV -- Supreme Night Visibility. The Taiwanese company uses three types of wide dynamic range (WDR) with their products. They also have a 5-megapixel IR fisheye fixed dome network camera. IFSEC reflects a world of innovation and new technology approaches that will impact our market. The scope of possibilities leaves this IFSEC attendee both overwhelmed and eager to learn more. One day to go, but it has already been well worth the trip.
The new additions to Arecont Vision support the company’s continued global expansion and sustained growth Arecont Vision, the industry leader in IP-based megapixel camera technology, has increased its sales support for the European market with the addition of four new regional sales managers. The new additions to Arecont Vision support the company’s continued global expansion and sustained growth. “The addition of these four seasoned industry professionals is a testimony to Arecont Vision’s worldwide growth,” said Ivo Drent, Vice President of Europe Sales, Arecont Vision. “We will continue to build our team globally to maximize new business opportunities for our unique line of megapixel imaging solutions.” Pawel Domagala is the Regional Sales Manager for Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. He is Cisco CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) certified as well as English FCE (First Certificate in English) certified. He joins Arecont Vision from ADI/Honeywell Security where he was employed for almost eight years. During that time he worked in both engineering and sales capacities and provided support to channel partners and end users in the region. Erik Oudendijk is the Regional Sales Manager for the Benelux region (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg). Erik’s rich background has helped him build valuable knowledge and experience in product and system solution sales. Prior to coming to Arecont Vision, Erik spent 20 years at Siemens in the Netherlands, followed by three years with Trigion and Norbain as sales/account manager. Juan Jose Lopez Camara is the Regional Sales Manager for Spain and Portugal. His expertise ranges from sales management to training to marketing in numerous areas of security including video surveillance, alarm and access control systems. He has spent the last 25+ years in the industry working with Pelco/Schneider Electric and Ademco. Dave Gregory is the Regional Sales Manager for the United Kingdom. He brings 15 years of experience in professional security technologies to Arecont Vision. His technical background and overall industry experience have enabled him to perform successfully in both sales and marketing roles. Dave is a Cisco-qualified network engineer and has served as an installation and maintenance engineer. He has worked for Honeywell, Pelco/Schneider Electric and ADT.