Cloud-based video surveillance products
The cloud is here to stay. Its resilience and ability to connect the world during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved its worth, even to the uninitiated who have now witnessed first-hand the value of connected systems. Video and access control as a service provides a flexible and fluid security and business solution to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry, where the changing threat landscape means investing in the cloud is an investment towards success. This article will look back at our articles in 2020 about the growing popularity of cloud solutions for physical security, with links to the original content. Product offering While most people agree on the definition of “cloud,” there are several points about the terminology that may require clarification. Private cloud or public cloud? VSaaS or unlimited storage for video? Beyond the basics, the terms become foggy, reflecting a variety of notions about how cloud services fit into the broader physical security marketplace. As cloud usage becomes more popular, it’s important that marketers be precise in their terminology, and that integrators and end users be diligent in understanding the specifics of available product offerings. Different meanings “The cloud has many different possible connotations, depending on the context,” says Yu Hao Lin of Rasilient Systems, one of our Expert Roundtable panelists. For example, corporate CIOs will more likely understand the cloud to be a private cloud platform. As such, the public cloud is a ubiquitous term while the private cloud is more specified. Cloud system security Security of cloud systems is an ongoing discussion in the industry, especially how cloud system cybersecurity compares to that of on-premise systems. Our Expert Panel Roundtable weighed in on this question. “While both kinds of security systems serve their purpose, it can be argued that the streamlined updates that are commonplace with cloud-based solutions may put them at more of an advantage when it comes to data security,” says panelist Eric Widlitz of Vanderbilt Industries. “Also, most reputable cloud-based solutions are running in secured data centers by companies such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, so you also get to take advantage of all the security layers they have protecting your data.” Hybrid cloud video security solution A growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security There are several relatively new companies pushing cloud in a big way. Verkada is fast-growing company currently currently focusing to deliver an all-in-one hybrid cloud video security solution powered by edge processing inside the camera. The growing list of cloud players reinforces the importance of the cloud in the future of physical security. Combining AI and cloud video One company investing in the cloud is Eagle Eye Networks, which has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel to finance the realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end-users,” says Ken Francis, President. Eagle Eye offers an application programming interface (API) to enable the integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. Eagle Eye is also investing in its own AI development and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus and MobilisID Identiv introduced the Hirsch Velocity Cirrus cloud-based Access Control as a Service (ACaaS) solution and MobilisID smart mobile physical access control solution. Hirsch Velocity Cirrus is an optimal solution for both end-users and integrators, with lower upfront costs, reduced maintenance, enhanced portability, and the future-proof assurance of automatic security updates and feature sets. MobilisID is a smart mobile physical access control solution that uses Bluetooth and capacitive technologies to allow frictionless access to a controlled environment without the need to present a credential. Advantages and disadvantages Advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, when supporting staffThe advantages of cloud-based physical security technologies are many, and have wide-ranging applications for all areas of the transport sector; across stations, transport hubs, and vehicles. When used to support staff and complement existing processes, such systems can prove invaluable for transport professionals in helping to create a safer working environment, promoting confidence among personnel and passengers, and assuring passengers who are fearful about the current pandemic that all possible precautions are being taken during their journey. 5G supporting cloud-based applications 5G is the first communication environment that is cloud-native. As such, 5G networks will support cloud-based applications in a way that 4G, 3G and 2G can’t support. For instance, sensors (e.g. in a manufacturing plant) often have small internal storage and rely on synced devices (e.g. gateways) to interact with the cloud. Soon, these sensors will be able to work more efficiently, interacting with the cloud via the ultra-low latency and the edge computing capabilities supported by 5G networks. Increasing use of IoT Unlike current IoT services that make performance trade-offs to get the best from these existing wireless technologies, 5G networks will be designed to bring the high levels of performance needed for the increasing use of IoT. It will enable a perceived fully ubiquitous connected world, with the boosted capacity offered by 5G networks transferring exponentially more data at a much quicker rate.
Eagle Eye Networks, a pioneer in cloud video security, publishes their latest whitepaper ‘Smart Cities: Cloud Video for Connected, Secure Cities.’ A valuable resource for city leaders looking to build a smart infrastructure, the paper delves into applications, public use, key technology requirements, and smart city engineering and architecture. “Recent successes have shown that cloud-based solutions are indispensable elements of smart city infrastructure, which includes both public and private infrastructure elements,” explains Ken Francis, President of Eagle Eye Networks. Cloud-Based deployments Eagle Eye Networks is proud to partner with city officials around the globe to accelerate innovation and deployment “Cloud-based deployments are essential for cost-effectiveness, scalability, and short deployment timeframes. Eagle Eye Networks is proud to partner with city officials around the globe to accelerate innovation and deployment timeframes by building a cyber secure, open, cloud-based security foundation for their cities.” The whitepaper outlines 11 key requirements of smart city technology initiatives, including: Intelligent Connectivity – City leaders must develop a sound networking plan for any proposed project, verifying the infrastructure capabilities and documenting the planned intelligent use of existing network infrastructure and any new infrastructure to be added as part of the project. Simple Scalability – Explore the future vision of the smart city infrastructure and document how the modern solution being proposed will satisfy current needs and also be both expandable and manageable for future growth. Device and System Interoperability – Ensure the immediate interoperability requirements have all been identified. Work out and document how they will be addressed by current product capabilities or near-term vendor roadmap items. Open Systems Architecture – Don’t just conform to smart city planning, but contribute to it – especially for strategic infrastructure design and elevating citizen and visitor experiences. Actionable Data and Analytics – Security technology service providers should consider the many opportunities that are appropriate for a city seeking to improve the smart city venue. Finally, join Eagle Eye Networks at Smart City Live 2020, November 17 and 18. The worldwide native digital event for cities is hosted by Smart City Expo World Congress.
Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with cloud video creates systems that are smarter, safer and more cost-effective. Furthermore, adding AI capabilities can widen the advantage gap of cloud video systems compared to on-premise systems, especially for cost-conscious end users. “We strongly believe the total cost of ownership (TCO) for cloud systems is more affordable,” says Ken Francis, President of cloud video surveillance company Eagle Eye Networks. “And introducing really powerful AI will expand the cost differences.” Combining AI and cloud video To finance realization of their vision to combine AI and cloud video, Eagle Eye Networks has raised $40 million of Series E funding from venture capital firm Accel. The money will allow Eagle Eye to continue its steep growth curve and leverage AI on its true cloud platform to reshape video surveillance. “The investment will make video surveillance smarter and safer for end users,” says Francis. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish The system sends captured video to the cloud, where a variety of AI or video analytics systems can extract valuable data from the captured video. Eagle Eye offers an application programing interface (API) to enable integration of best-in-breed third-party AI and analytics systems to leverage the video. In effect, end users have maximum flexibility to manage and analyze their video data however they wish. Delivering lower costs In addition to offering integration with third-party systems, Eagle Eye is investing in its own AI development, and hiring additional development and customer service personnel. As new technologies become part of the Eagle Eye platform, customers benefit from lower costs because of economies of scale. Keeping the emphasis on development of cloud systems, Eagle Eye also offers customers maximum flexibility in choosing their cameras. Eagle Eye’s on-premise cyber-hardened “bridge” can connect to almost any camera from thousands of manufacturers, including those connecting with HD-over-coax. The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded the need for end users to view their premises remotely, and in the process has highlighted shortcomings of their existing video systems. As a result, video manufacturers - including Eagle Eye Networks - are seeing a surge in end users updating their systems. Cloud video surveillance Given the costs of installing and maintaining hard drives for local storage (and additional challenges during a pandemic lockdown), more end users are opting to use cloud systems. In effect, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating installation of cloud video surveillance. “Our industry is the most resilient in the world,” says Francis. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then COVID slowed everything down As a whole, 2020 has been a successful year for the cloud system provider. Eagle Eye Networks was on track to double their growth in the first quarter, and then the COVID lockdown slowed everything down. During the second quarter, their revenue from setup fees and appliances fell by 35% or so, but subscriptions increased slightly including customers looking to keep watch over their shuttered businesses. Temperature alerting solutions The third quarter saw another big uptick in business; August and September were booming, and not just from projects that were delayed from Q2. There has also been a spike in customers looking to apply temperature alerting solutions, says Francis. In uncertain economic times, cloud systems require around 40% less up-front costs, and provide flexibility to eliminate the system (and the expense) at any time without losing a large financial investment. Cloud video has reached a tipping point in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, among other locales, but the technology lags in some other geographic areas such as France. Driving adoption is availability and cost of sufficient upload speed and bandwidth. In addition to Eagle Eye’s branded growth, the company also provides the OEM engine behind a half dozen or so cloud systems offered by other manufacturers. Backing multi-site enteprises About eight years old, Eagle Eye Networks has focused squarely on the small- and middle-sized business (SMB) market, especially multi-site businesses such as retail, banking and healthcare. They also work with local governments and K-12 schools. Moving forward, the company will seek to expand more into multi-site enterprise customers, some of which have 1,000 locations around the world and need to store their video locally to meet regulatory requirements. Multi-site businesses, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff Multi-site businesses, especially, benefit from the cloud by eliminating the need for local IT equipment and expensive staff. As Internet connectivity becomes less expensive than installing new cable infrastructure, cloud systems will become more attractive to large campus environments such as colleges and airports, says Francis. The advent of 5G connectivity will also be a plus. All Eagle Eye products are NDAA compliant. Premium support services Further expanding its services, Eagle Eye Networks is poised to launch “Premium Support Services,” in which the cloud provider’s employees will proactively monitor and service customer sites for a minimum additional monthly fee. The cloud structure enables most problems to be addressed and solved remotely without needing to send personnel to a site. The new investment from Accel, a funding partner of top-tier tech companies such as Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify, is Accel's first investment in the security industry. In addition to investing in AI, Eagle Eye also plans to leverage the funding to expand into new regional markets with new data centers and additional staff in business development, sales and support roles.
GSX 2019 got off to a jaunty start Tuesday. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their booths. There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side), while the trend toward system sales is continuing. Here's a review of Day 1 from the show floor. Dahua continues to educate market “Traffic-wise, the show is better than last year,” observed Tim Shen, Director of Marketing at Dahua Technology USA, at midday on Tuesday. “We met more people from Latin America,” he added. Shen theorized that Chicago is at the center of a larger territory of customers than last year’s location (Las Vegas).Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement: “We’re still here" Dahua has faced some negative publicity in the last year since they were banned from procurement by U.S. government customers by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Dahua’s presence at the show makes a statement, says Shen. The statement is “We’re still here.” Shen said only one visitor to the Dahua booth even mentioned the NDAA on the first day of the show, and the visitor was misinformed about the provisions and implications of the law. “There is a lot of misinformation,” he says. “We need to continue to educate the market.” Facial recognition, video metadata, and people counting New at the show is the Dahua Analytics+ line of cameras that feature more in-depth analysis of data such as facial attributes, video metadata, and people counting. For example, the cameras can identify 128 points in a face, with an additional 256 attributes analyzed by the back-end recorder. Analysis can provide information such as age and gender, which can help a retailer analyze the demographics of their customers, for instance. Dahua is also adopting some of its consumer line of products for sale through the commercial channel. These include a flood light camera, a 2-megapixel WiFi camera and a doorbell camera. The products might be used outside of a retail store, for example, to complement Dahua commercial cameras that are used inside the store, says Shen. Dahua previewed a new multi-sensor camera that also includes a speed dome. The multi-sensor component combines eight views, each 2 megapixels, for a total of 16 megapixels. Below the multi-sensor camera is mounted a speed dome that can zoom in on regions of interest in the larger multisensor view. The camera will be launched in the fourth quarter. The show was humming with activity much of the day, and most exhibitors said they were pleased with the numbers and types of potential customers visiting their exhibits ACRE reports continued North American growth “The industry’s momentum will continue to grow,” predicted Joe Grillo, Principal of ACRE. New areas such as cloud and mobile credentialing have the fastest growth rate, but are starting from a much smaller base, he said, so momentum in those categories will take time.ACRE sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market Grillo noticed the first morning of GSX was busy, although there was a bit of a lull at midday. In terms of the business outlook, Grillo sees continued rapid growth with no slowdown in the North American market, although there have been some negative elements creeping into the outlook in Europe. Cybersecurity concerns in access control I caught up with Grillo at the booth promoting RS2, a Munster, Ind., access control company that Acre acquired last May. It is the only Acre company that is exhibiting at GSX. RS2 is one of two access control companies acquired by Acre in the last year — the other was Open Options, Addison, Texas. Grillo said the two acquired companies are complementary, especially in terms of their sales channels and geographic strengths. Although both are national companies, RS2 tends to be stronger in the Midwest, while Open Options sales emphasis is centered in Texas and emanates to the rest of the country. Concerns about vulnerabilities are a growing issue in access control, said Grillo, and more large endusers are conducting penetration testing of systems. The industry should welcome the scrutiny, he added. Cybersecurity also represents an business opportunity in access control, noted Grillo. Concerns about the vulnerabilities of legacy technologies such as 125Khz proximity cards and the Wiegand protocol will likely accelerate the pace of companies upgrading their access control systems There seemed to be less emphasis on product introductions than at the ISC West show in the spring (although there is much that is on the new side) Eagle Eye Networks and cloud-based VMS Ken Francis of Eagle Eye Networks had already realized some new client opportunities during the first day of the show, although he was not optimistic at the outset. In contacting potential clients to meet at the show, he had heard that many were not attending. Among Eagle Eye Networks’ news at the show is full integration of body-cams into their cloud-based video management system. “It’s the most unique thing happening from a video management perspective,” Francis said. Previously, if someone needed a video clip from a body cam, they had to use a separate software system. Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed" Francis continues to be bullish on the subject of cloud adoption of video management and made a bold prediction: “Five years from now, at least 80 percent of all VMS systems will be cloud-managed.” Eagle Eye Networks is doing its part with “rocket growth” that is reflected in an increase of company employees from 27 to 165 or so. Economies of scale have enabled Eagle Eye Networks to lower subscription prices by up to 45 percent. Genetec's release self-service PIAM system Many of the “new” products at GSX 2019 are slight variations on what was introduced at ISC West last spring. An exception is Genetec’s introduction of ClearID, a self-service physical identity and access management (PIAM) system that enforces security policies while improving the flow of people within the organization. The new system is integrated with the Genetec's Security Center Synergis access control system. PIAM systems have historically been customizable, complex to install and costly, which is why a lot of companies have not used a system. Genetec’s differentiator is that it is an off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box solution for a broader base of customers. “We scanned the market and found a lack of off-the-shelf identity management systems,” said Derek Arcuri, Product Marketing Manager, Genetec. “Targeting the mid-market, we are providing an accessible, ready-to-go cloud-based system that is ‘baked’ for the average company but can be integrated and expanded to include other systems.” The trend toward system sales at the show is continuing ClearID will simplify operation for the security department, which was previously tasked with a lot of administrative work in response to various departments. ClearID “pushes down” the authority to use the system to stakeholders (such as IT and/or facilities directors) and provides a system they can use themselves without involving security. “It empowers stakeholders and employees to work directly through the system rather than going through security,” says Arcuri. “It gives employees access based on stakeholder policies and improves the flow of people through an organization. The security director is relieved of administrative work and can work on ‘real’ security.” I saw some other things today, too, which I will share in a future GSX article... And more about the show tomorrow.
There are many new technologies at ISC West this year. There are also some tried-and-true solutions on display. More mature products have the benefit of being fully vetted and battle-tested, which may make them a more comfortable choice for security customers. I had a couple of discussions on Day 2 of the show about the advantages, and possible drawbacks, of new products. “To a security director, when you say ‘new,’ he translates that into ‘risk,’” says Bill Spence, VP of Sales, U.S., Canada and Western Europe for HID Global’s Lumidigm biometrics brand. “Anytime you say new, there is a probability of risk. The key is to educate. Education quantifies risk, and an educated customer can make an intelligent decision about risk versus reward.” “We have to take customers from where they are to help them understand new technologies,” says Spence. “We must give them a bridge to that understanding, and education is the bridge.” Lumidigm Biometrics Integrations An app provides graphics that take installers step-by-step through the installation process HID Global is incorporating Lumidigm biometrics into the new iClass SE RB25F fingerprint reader being highlighted at the show. Two-factor authentication can use either a card or mobile credential along with biometrics; there is no latency; and templates can be stored on a card. Another new offering at the HID Global booth is an augmented reality tool to simplify installation of newer systems that incorporate the more secure OSDP protocol. An app provides graphics that take installers step-by-step through the installation process. Also highlighted at the HID Global booth — and at the booths of turnstile manufacturers throughout the show — are embedded readers that provide tested and certified mobile access control for turnstiles. IClass SE technology is embedded in the iRox-T Turnstile Reader from Essex Electronics. Innovative Security Technologies There’s a delicate balance at any trade show between creating excitement about new products and educating customers to be comfortable with new technologies. There is some of both at ISC West 2019. In the future, hardware will be a delivery device, not the core of systems “We are on the cusp of change in the industry, and it’s closer than ever,” says Jennifer Doctor, Johnson Controls’ Senior Director, Project Management - Intrusion. “We will see the impact of promised technologies that will come from other industries, such as artificial intelligence. The very definition of security is changing. We are an industry that needs to be risk-averse, and we need to prove out the technology. There is innovation, but we just need to make sure technologies are what the market wants and expects.” “In the future, hardware will be a delivery device, not the core of systems, which will come from intelligence in the software and from services,” she adds. “The products we deliver will enable that.” Have 30 percent of service companies in the U.S. security market jumped into the cloud? PowerSeries Pro Intrusion Portfolio Johnson Controls is highlighting the commercial PowerSeries Pro intrusion portfolio, which features PowerG encrypted technology that enables wireless systems that are cyber-secure. The cloud is coming on strong, and one company finding success in cloud systems is Eagle Eye Networks, which has seen 93% compounded annual growth over the past three years. Economies of scale have enabled them to lower subscription prices by 35%, with an extra 10% decrease for customers that pay annually. Ken Francis, President of Eagle Eye Networks, says they are signing up 50 new dealers a month for the cloud video offering. Francis estimates that 30 percent of service companies in the U.S. security market have jumped into the cloud “It’s really heating up,” says Francis. “The general cloud is driving increases in the surveillance cloud.” Jumping To Cloud Embracing the cloud and recurring monthly revenue (RMR) requires that dealers transform their businesses to ensure success. Francis says dealers should dedicate sales resources to cloud offerings rather than expect everyone to sell the cloud, and there should be a base commission plan on RMR services in lieu of upfront project fees. March Networks is also showing integration of video with the Shopify cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) system “Talk to professionals about your cash flow and understand how to capitalize on financing partners to ensure cash flow while investing in the RMR stream,” he adds. “And look for ways to reduce your costs to serve the customer base as your RMR increases.” For example, use of remote site diagnostics, configuration and support can avoid the need for expensive “truck rolls” that can undermine profitability. Francis estimates that 30 percent of service companies in the U.S. security market have jumped into the cloud. Alarm companies, which are accustomed to the RMR model, are generally ahead of the curve, while traditional security integrators are lagging. “It’s a requirement to change or die,” he notes. Insight Hosted Managed Service Also, in the area of managed services, March Networks is highlighting its Insight hosted managed service that can provide instant information on video systems located at remote sites, including visibility into firmware versions, camera warranty information, and cybersecurity status of systems. The ability to dive deeply into system status empowers a new recurring revenue stream for integrators. Color-coded icons summarize system status and show pending issues and clicking on the icons provides detailed workflow information. The system can also be offered for smaller systems such as those at convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants. March Networks is also showing integration of video with the Shopify cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) system. The integration enables managers to evaluate POS information, especially anomalies, to determine possible employee theft and other shrinkage issues.
Activity slowed on the last day of ISC West in Las Vegas, but there was plenty of momentum remaining and plenty more to see. In the end, Reed Exhibitions declared 2018 the biggest and most successful year to date for the show. There were an additional 4,000 square feet of exhibit space compared to last year and a 6 percent growth in overall attendance, according to Reed. The cloud, biometrics, deep learning and other technologies were among the big topics at the show, and even smaller exhibitors were pleased with the results. In particular, emerging technologies were successfully highlighted. Cloud-based Video Systems Cloud video company Eagle Eye Networks announced multiple new offerings at ISC West. One was the first cloud-based video system that accommodates HD-over-coax cameras using the HD-TVI protocol to operate over existing coaxial cabling. In effect, cameras connect with an HD-TVI recorder, which plugs into Eagle Eye Networks’ on-site hardware “bridge” connecting to the Internet. Eagle Eye Networks has also integrated Hikvision body-worn cameras into their cloud system; transmitting video using the Eagle Eye Bridge ensures end-to-end encryption and the evidentiary integrity of the video. Analytics in the cloud can be turned on and off at will for each camera, and could be deployed over a weekend and switched off the following week “A few years ago, fewer customers were ready to adopt the cloud,” says Ken Francis, President of Eagle Eye Networks. “Now market adoption is changing, and customers don’t want on-site hardware. End-users are driving the move to cloud systems.” He estimates the evolution is about halfway complete, and Eagle Eye Networks continues to sign up new dealers every month because their customers are asking for the cloud. Eagle Eye Networks’ third new offering at ISC West is “analytics in the cloud,” including familiar analytics such as intrusion, people counting and loitering. Francis says the economics of the cloud make implementation of analytics much more affordable – about $4 per camera. The economics of the cloud make implementation of analytics much more affordable Augmented Identity: Biometrics In Security Analytics in the cloud can be turned on and off at will for each camera. For example, analytics could be deployed over a weekend and then switched off the following week. “It’s a far more economically attractive and cost-effective service than on-site,” says Francis. Biometrics continue to make their way into the mainstream of the security market, and IDEMIA brought its message of “augmented identity” to ISC West. IDEMIA (formerly OT-Morpho) provides systems to the largest biometrics users in the world, including big customers such as the FBI and Interpol, and large-scale government projects around the globe. “If you can handle projects that big, enterprise applications are no problem,” says Gary Jones, Vice President, Global Channel & Marketing, Biometric Access & Time Solutions. He says that the company’s technologies apply to any vertical market, and they are especially common in major airports and big financial institutions, in addition to government. The company’s MorphoWave product allows users to wave their hand, and the system captures a three-dimensional shape of fingerprints. The touchless system is also “frictionless” -- it enables fast decision-making that promotes high throughput rates. Artificial Intelligence Applications AI and deep learning have been big topics of conversation at ISC West, and I saw a company on the last day of the show with a different take on the subject. BrainChip uses a type of AI called “spiking neural networking” that models the operation of neurons in the human brain - in contrast to “convolutional neural networks,” which use a series of math functions to train from pre-labelled data sets. The BrainChip Studio software can search vast amounts of video footage rapidly to identify either faces, patterns or objects. Applications are in law enforcement, counter-terrorism and intelligence agencies.The BrainChip Studio software can search vast amounts of video footage rapidly to identify either faces, patterns or objects “We search for specific things,” said Bob Beachler, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. The software can search hundreds of live or recorded camera feeds for a unique graphic pattern on an item of clothing or on a bag carried by a person, for example. The technology only requires modest processing power and consumes little energy, so it can be used with legacy systems without requiring hardware or infrastructure upgrades. Emerging Technology Zone A new Emerging Technology Zone at ISC West included participation by around 40 companies that are startups and/or new to the security industry. The section opened an hour before the main show floor and was located near the registration area, which increased traffic. “Generally speaking some people said it was hard to find, but I think it’s better for us as someone new to the market, rather than being on the main floor where you can get lost in the shuffle,” said Jeffrey Weiner, Vice President, Networks & Business Solutions, at Mersoft. “It was really smart that they opened this an hour earlier.” Mersoft, one of the Emerging Technology Zone exhibitors, has developed a software product to help the security industry do a better job of streaming live video. The software eliminates the startup delay and lag in live video. With dedicated software, video can be consumed by a browser or mobile app more easily Live Video Streaming “We accomplish that in two ways,” says Weiner. “One, we don’t trans-code the video into another format. Instead, we convert a security camera’s video from RTSP (real time streaming protocol) to WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), an open-source technology that has been used extensively in video conferencing, but not so much in security. The video can be consumed by a browser or mobile app more easily, and we don’t need a player on the client, which is another way we reduce lag.” Another advantage is that WebRTC is natively encrypted; every packet is encrypted. In contrast, applications that transmit RTSP have to be wrapped in a VPN (virtual private network) tunnel, which takes some effort to maintain and is a battery hog on a mobile device. Also, multi-casting of video is easier, even using streams of various resolutions. Mersoft works through partnerships, offering a cloud-hosted service on Amazon and a version that can be installed on a local server. They have worked with several DIY camera sellers (who use cloud services), and with some major commercial service providers. “A new partnership strategy we are exploring is with systems integrators, who can incorporate Mersoft and provide a differentiator by improving their video performance,” says Weiner. The 22-year-old company is new to security, and ISC West provides opportunities for in-depth conversations preparing for a future in the security sector. Customizable Turnstile Solutions Delta highlighted their new designer series turnstiles, whose colorful appearance led booth visitors to ask about customization Even the smaller companies, located toward the back of the hall, were enthusiastic about ISC West this year. “The show has been great,” says Vanessa Howell, project manager of Delta Turnstiles. “We did get a lot of traffic. I am a niche product, so it’s not so much about quantity as quality [of leads]. I had great quality at the show.” Being away from competitors, which are grouped next to each other in the front of the hall, was an upside of the turnstile company’s booth location toward the back. Delta highlighted their new designer series turnstiles, whose colorful appearance led booth visitors to ask about customization. “They ask: ‘Why are turnstiles only sold in basic models?’” says Howell. “’Why can’t they look like a piece of art since they are the first thing people see when they enter a building?’ People are very open to making them prettier.” Delta Turnstiles has been coming to ISC West since 2006. “I have manufacturer’s reps, and this is one of two times I get to see them in one place, and they bring a lot of customers to me at the booth,” says Howell. “This is my only face-to-face meetings with some customers. I speak mostly over the phone.” Valuable face-to-face engagement was a benefit of ISC West, and many of those meetings will likely set the stage for continuing successes in our vibrant market. Until next year.
Cloud-based video systems are becoming more common in the market, growing faster than on-site recording systems. One of the largest companies in the cloud video sector, Eagle Eye Networks is aggressively expanding its offerings to the fast-growing market, and its geographic reach, with acquisition of Panasonic’s cloud-based video business, including the CameraManager and NuboCam brands. Expanding Eagle Eye Networks' Coverage In Europe The acquisition will expand Eagle Eye Networks’ coverage in the European region, where the CameraManager system is popular, and will include two additional data centers, to be added to EagleEye Network’s existing global network of seven data centers. The acquisition will also include existing CameraManager coverage in Latin America and Asia. The division’s 45 employees, including the managing director and technical director, are leaving Panasonic and joining Eagle Eye Networks. Panasonic Cloud Management Services Europe B.V. will be renamed Eagle Eye Networks B.V. The main product will be renamed Eagle Eye CameraManager. “Companies want the convenience of connecting cameras at a lower price point,” says Ken Francis, President of Eagle Eye Networks. “CameraManager is attractive to a segment of companies dealing with fewer cameras per site.” CameraManager Existing Relationships Eagle Eye Networks has been wanting to expand its footprint in Europe, including more channel partners. Along with the CameraManager acquisition come existing relationships with about 125 dealer/integrators in Europe providing cloud video services to small businesses. CameraManager also has two private-label agreements with Pronet Security Services in Turkey and with Securitas, which will both transition to EagleEye Networks. CameraManager has the largest small business/commercial camera count in Europe, not counting consumer cloud video. In addition to growing geographically, the acquisition will expand Eagle Eye Network’s business “down market;” that is, to smaller businesses with even fewer cameras and less-expensive systems. CameraManager’s approach to cloud-based video involves cameras that are connected directly to the Internet, an approach that works well for small businesses that need only a couple of cameras. In contrast, EagleEye Networks’ cloud-based system involves the use of a video management system (VMS) “bridge” appliance connected to the Internet at each location, to which cameras are connected; an approach that works well with applications requiring six or more cameras per site. “Now we can provide dealers both bridge and bridgeless solutions, everything they want,” says Francis. Panasonic NuboCam The acquisition will also include Panasonic’s relatively new NuboCam business, which offers a self-contained cloud-ready camera enabling telecommunications companies to connect to 4G/LTE networks. In effect, Eagle Eye networks will now offer three cloud video platforms worldwide. Combining the two technologies also provides opportunities for existing CameraManager dealers now to offer larger systems typical of Eagle Eye, and for existing Eagle Eye dealers to offer smaller systems. CameraManager was one of the earliest cloud video systems to launch, and has kept its technology current over the last seven or eight years, says Francis. Eagle Eye Network’s sister access control company, Brivo, will also be integrating with CameraManager using the application programming interface (API), enabling Brivo customers to purchase lower-priced cloud video systems.
With global events putting security at the forefront of everyone’s minds, IFSEC International 2017 was a chance for the industry to come out in force. Over 600 exhibitors and numerous seminars kept visitors informed on the latest innovations in security products, solutions and best practice. Despite the challenging heatwave, exhibitors were raring to go for the three mercifully air-conditioned days of the exhibition. SourceSecurity.com took to the show floor to check out what exhibitors were talking about. [Pictured: Nedap Security Management welcomes new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee] Increasing ROI in vertical markets Sustainable partnerships overtake integrations Power in the hands of the customer Adding Value In Vertical Markets The big question for many exhibitors was how to stand out on a show floor (and in a market) dominated by larger commoditized brands. Manufacturers rose to the challenge by deliberately positioning themselves as solutions providers within specific vertical markets, rather than trying to compete on low cost products. For Vivotek, the Taiwanese IP surveillance specialists, the emphasis was on adding value in particular markets such as transport and retail. Alongside a lineup of 180° and 360° solutions, the manufacturer debuted its 12-megapixel fisheye camera, FE9391-EV, whose 360° lens technology makes it ideal for crowd detection and loitering-time analysis in the retail sector, in addition to traditional security applications. Vivotek’s vertical market focus was further reinforced by demonstrations of its integrations with SeeTec and Wavestore. This collaboration forms part of the company’s Solution Integration Alliance program, which aims to create better end-user solutions through integration of Vivotek products with partner technologies. Collaborating On Technology And Customer Support This was a theme which resonated across the show floor. The Promise Technology stand firmly emphasized collaboration, with presentations from the storage provider’s IP camera partners including IronYun and Axis Communications. Particular importance was given to education and training for partners and end users to get the most out of integrated solutions. The emphasis for Promise Technology was on education and training for partners and end users Similarly, for Nedap Security Management, the increasing demand for connected systems means that open platform solutions are essential to excel within the security industry. As well as welcoming new Managing Director Fokko van der Zee, Nedap used its presence at the show to inform visitors about new and ongoing partnerships with key players in the industry. These partnerships include ASSA ABLOY, Touchless Biometric Systems and Milestone Systems. According to Jeroen Harmsen, Nedap’s Director of Product Management, the ability to provide collaborative solutions is becoming a key differentiator in the security sector and beyond. While many companies pursue product integrations, what makes sustainable partnerships stand out is ongoing cooperation on issues such as customer support. This, according to Harmsen, is why the deep integration of Milestone’s XProtect VMS and Nedap’s AEOS access control system has been so successful. Making Customers’ Lives Easier This insistence on customer service as a differentiating factor also extended to video surveillance manufacturers. However, not all exhibitors were aiming to achieve this through increased integration. Cisco Meraki, whose cloud-managed video system is relatively new to the security market, deliberately steers clear of the market trend for integration in favour of the ‘Apple’ approach, aiming to provide a comprehensive solution on one easy-to-use platform. The architecture is intended to make customers’ lives easier by removing the NVR from the equation - video is stored on the edge and managed via the cloud, eliminating the ongoing costs and maintenance associated with traditional hardware solutions. Eagle Eye Networks president Ken Francis was also hoping to highlight the benefits of customer-friendly cloud surveillance at the show. The acquisition of Panasonic's Cameramanager has allowed Eagle Eye Networks to cater to smaller businesses with cameras connected directly to the internet. The company’s cloud storage solution also includes Remote Power Cycling via an integrated PoE switch, allowing users to remotely repower cameras themselves with no training or expertise. Crucial to Eagle Eye Networks' customer-friendly outlook is the possession of its own local data centers worldwide, reducing cloud storage costs and allowing customers to choose where their video is stored. Making your security products stand out on a crowded show floor is no easy task, but IFSEC 2017 saw plenty of innovation from video surveillance, access control and intrusion providers alike. As competition increases, added value solutions, collaboration and ease-of-use are sure to help manufacturers make a splash at future shows!
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