The year ahead holds endless promise for the physical security industry, and much of that future will be determined by which technologies the industry embraces. The menu of possibilities is long – from artificial intelligence to the Internet of Things to the cloud and much more – and each technology trend has the potential to transform the market in its own way. We tapped into the collective expertise of our Expert Panel Roundtable to answer this question: What technology trend will...
It’s not surprising that people are nervous about the security of newer technologies, many of which are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). While they offer greater efficiency and connectivity, some people still hesitate. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of news stories about multinational corporations being breached or hackers taking control of smart home devices. Both of these scenarios can feel personal. No one likes the idea of their data falling into criminal hands. A...
Cobalt Iron Inc., a provider of enterprise data protection SaaS, launches the Cobalt Iron Partner Portal, an online portal where the company's partners can access collateral, register deals, request sales support, and find answers to frequently asked questions. Providing the most current sales enablement tools and resources, the new partner portal will be a one-stop shop for all Cobalt Iron channel partners: resellers, value-added resellers and distributors, and service providers that resell Sa...
Honeywell announced the launch of Pro-Watch 4.5, the latest iteration of its flagship connected security platform for enterprise and critical infrastructure markets, is available beginning January 2019. Incorporating new features as well as program updates, Pro-Watch 4.5 meets the latest industry compliance requirements, reduces total cost of ownership and increases operator productivity with improved flexibility and scalability from single site to global deployment. Pro-Watch 4.5 Security Plat...
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
With the coming of a New Year, we know these things to be certain: death, taxes, and… security breaches. No doubt, some of you are making personal resolutions to improve your physical and financial health. But what about your organization’s web and mobile application security? Any set of New Year’s resolutions is incomplete without plans for protecting some of the most important customer touch points you have — web and mobile apps. Every year, data breaches grow in scop...
Maxxess will be at Intersec 2019 showcasing its latest advances in corporate risk reduction, improved people management and smarter hospitality access solutions - including new releases in its popular eFusion and Ambit solutions. eFusion Security Management The latest version of the VisitorPoint module within the eFusion security management platform will be showcased, offering a host of new streamlined functions for efficient people and visitor management. Harnessing current advances in cloud computing and mobile communications, VisitorPoint is being used at premises from hotels and campuses to corporate headquarters. It allows the whole process of visitor management to be streamlined in a way never previously possible. For example, it lets guests’ phones be used as access credentials, making it a perfect alternative to room keys in the hospitality sector. Compatibility of the VisitorPoint system with ASSA Abloy Hospitality products has proved to be particularly popular with hotels. VisitorPoint System VisitorPoint is also ideal for busy hotel reception teams who need to keep across who is entering the premises VisitorPoint is also ideal for busy hotel reception teams who need to keep across who is entering the premises. With the latest version of VisitorPoint, users can easily view pre-registered visitors in advance; manage and sign-in large groups in seconds; book meeting rooms; manage visitor car parking; and automate notifications and messaging. Now organizations can go even further in streamlining their people and diary management processes, thanks to integration with Outlook and Google calendars. A new VIP feature allows automatically tailored welcomes for specified guests and/or groups; and a QR Scan App allows visitors and VIPS to be immediately verified. In addition, a new, sleek self-service kiosk will be unveiled at the show, which is ideal for positioning in hotels and high-end corporate lobbies. Open-Technology Systems Integration Meanwhile, with its versatile, open-technology software eFusion is proving a practical alternative to costly or complex conventional PSIM solutions. It offers the advantages of a modular, building block approach and gives users the freedom to integrate, customize and adapt their security systems to meet both current needs and emerging risks. Ensuring compatibility with leading surveillance, intruder, access and fire detection systems, eFusion now supports more than 60 off-the-shelf integrations and several important additions are confirmed for the show. These latest integrations include Jaquies IP intercom hardware; the mobile phone app GuardPoint; and the Metra locker system hardware. “For users who want control and better value from their security investments, eFusion with its expanding choice of integrations is the ideal management platform”, says Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA. Smart, Open Infrastructure The eFusion platform allows legacy systems to be transformed into a smart, open infrastructure and extends the life of equipment" “The eFusion platform allows legacy systems to be transformed into a smart, open infrastructure and extends the life of equipment. Our technology is proving particularly popular because it gives users all the advantages of advanced PSIM without the associated cost or complexity.” eFusion can be easily scaled from one site to multiple sites globally and it can connect stand-alone systems for easy upgrades such as retro-fits with existing hardware. Network Monitoring For Public Safety Also on show, Ambit allows security controllers to communicate directly with both individuals and groups and to monitor the safety of everyone on site (or on multiple sites), for example employees, residents, visitors, or contractors. Now Ambit users will benefit from direct notification of a wide range of risks thanks to a new integration with the NC4 incident alert service. NC4 monitors risks and issues alerts in real time, covering potential threats ranging from terrorist incidents to weather events, from civil disruption to cyber-attacks. With this new integration, as N4C alerts arise they will be filtered by proximity/relevance and directly sent to Ambit users. Lone Worker Monitoring Visitors to the Maxxess stand will also learn how Ambit’s latest life-saving technology comes with a choice of applications tailored to the user’s needs. For example, it can allow lone-worker monitoring; courtesy communications and remote escorting after-hours; panic alarm features; and individualized messaging during incidents. It can help security teams co-ordinate and work more effectively with emergency responders too as well as improving the efficiency of day-to-day operations. We are well positioned to further capitalize on major infrastructure projects across the region such as hotels and leisure" With new customers and projects including Bluewater Island, TAJ Hotel & Residences JLT Dubai, TAJ Hotel & Palace on Palm Jumeirah, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Emirates Flight Catering Extension, the Jewel of the Creek and Yahsat, 2019 will be an exciting year of growth for Maxxess in the Middle East. Maxxess Expands Middle East Reach “We are well positioned to further capitalize on major infrastructure projects across the region such as hotels and leisure. The demand for increased operational efficiencies across the MENA region has seen many organizations look to automate tasks and at the same time mitigate against the potential for human error. This is evident in the demand we’re seeing for streamlined visitor management, the elimination of keys and better optimized workforces across security and facilities management functions.”, said Lee Copland, Managing Director, Maxxess EMEA. He adds, “And as real-world applications for artificial intelligence become a reality, we are continuing to collaborate with our world leading video surveillance partners to bring these advanced analytics into the eFusion platform. Meanwhile, we will continue to support our customers in complying with revised fire and safety codes and new security regulations.”
ADT Inc., global provider of monitored security and interactive home and business automation solutions in the United States and Canada, has announced the unveiling of its newly redesigned smart home security system – the ADT Command Panel & Control Platform (ADT Command) – as well as a suite of smart security and home automation products at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). This year’s theme, “Real Protection,” will highlight the products ADT offers to ensure customer safety from any location. ADT Command ADT Command is a dynamic and innovative wireless panel with numerous smart home capabilities, including seamless set up and control with the ADT Control app, that allows customers to protect and automate their homes from anywhere at any time. “As home automation continues to evolve and become more accessible, we know our growing community of 3 million smart home customers want and expect a security solution that is fully integrated with the latest technology innovations,” said Don Young, ADT Chief Information Officer & Executive Vice President, Field Operations. “With ADT Command & Control, consumers get best-in-class monitoring service from the largest security network, combined with the most cutting-edge technology. The Control platform supports over 250 devices, ranging from carbon monoxide detectors to smart light bulbs, providing custom-fit solutions that provide customers with real protection.” ADT Monitoring And Emergency Response ADT Command customers receive ADT’s monitoring and emergency response, backed by 4,000 monitoring professionals across 10 monitoring centers ADT Command customers receive ADT’s monitoring and emergency response, backed by 4,000 monitoring professionals across 10 monitoring centers, providing 24/7 protection, 365 days a year. Key features include: Smart Security: Know who is arriving home and when, with the 7-inch wireless, touchscreen Command panel that snaps a photo when the system is disarmed using its built-in camera. By creating dynamic scenes and rules, your smart home devices work in harmony to keep your family safe. For example, in case of a fire, the system can be connected to the thermostat, lights and doors, making it easier and safer for everyone to get outside. Connected And Secure Home: Keep your home connected 24/7 with the panel’s battery backup with dual path Broadband and LTE cellular communications. ADT Command features two-way encryption RF sensor technology to help reduce the potential for hacking. For increased control of your home, unique user codes and permission settings can grant access to users only on the days and times you specify. Geofencing And Voice Control Technology: The app’s geofencing technology generates helpful automations and alerts to trigger events, with reminders such as arming the security system when you leave the house. With voice control technology, you can easily control your system simply with your voice. Remote Arming And Disarming Of System: Use the Control app to carry out preset automations when you leave or arrive home, allowing you to remotely arm or disarm your system. No matter where you are, you can rest easy knowing your doors are locked, your lights are on or off and your home is secured. You can even watch live video and images from your mobile phone, tablet or smartwatch, so you can stay connected to your home no matter where your travels take you. ADT Solutions On Display At CES 2019 Located at Veronese 2504 at the Sands Expo Convention Center, ADT will be showcasing several additional products and services that bring users peace of mind and real protection irrespective of where they are. Highlights include: ADT Go: This all-in-one mobile safety app provides a companion with you wherever you go—whether you’re in the car or in a new city. Created in partnership with trusted locator and communication tool Life360, the app offers family check-in and location geo-fencing capabilities, local crime data, driving activity alerts, crash detection and response, roadside assistance, and 24/7 SOS emergency response from ADT’s trusted live monitoring agents. Available in Apple and Android app stores, ADT offers two service options to give you peace of mind that fits your family’s needs. ADT Video Doorbell: The weatherproof, high-definition video doorbell provides front door security, allowing users to receive alerts, photos and videos, when the doorbell is engaged. The doorbell can also reduce false motion events by using object detection, pairing it with other motion data to determine true events and provides superior video quality and crisp wide-angle views with de-warping features. Voice Control Integrations: ADT’s integrations with Amazon Alexa and Google Voice Assistant provides users a hands-free solution for dynamic scenes that deliver a personalized service. Customers can utilize voice commands to arm or disarm their systems, lock and unlock doors, and manage other smart devices like lights and thermostats—making the home not just smarter, but safer. Interactive Crime Map: ADT’s free, interactive crime maps provide up-to-date information on crime statistics, including assault vehicle theft, robbery, and more. This tool assists future homebuyers when considering a neighborhood and helps travelers choose the best places to stay when visiting a new city.
Johnson Controls has introduced exacqVision Cloud Drive storage, an untethered way for customers to easily store, access and search critical surveillance video in the cloud. As a pioneer in video solutions, Exacq recognizes that many customers are turning to cloud solutions to provide an offsite copy of video that ensures protection against natural disasters, theft and other events while reducing capital expenses and increasing accessibility. Allocating Storage Across Multiple Cameras exacqVision Cloud Drive storage helps security and IT teams lower their Total Cost of Ownership by eliminating some of the unnecessary hardware costs and management of storage infrastructure. With exacqVision Cloud Drive storage, users can easily allocate storage across multiple cameras and archive event video and bookmarks to the cloud. Video is natively searchable by the exacqVision Client or Exacq Mobile app, providing powerful benefits over generic cloud storage providers. Released with the latest version of exacqVision (9.8), the new exacqVision Cloud Drive storage is available on an annual subscription basis for exacqVision Professional and Enterprise customers.
Pulse Secure, global provider of secure access solutions to both enterprises and service providers, has announced that the IAIT Lab (Institute for the Analysis of IT components) has completed an extensive test of Pulse Connect Secure, resulting in superb findings across usability, comprehensiveness and interoperability for the market leading VPN solution. Pulse Connect Secure Pulse Connect Secure provides easy, secure, authenticated access for remote and mobile users to corporate resources—anytime, anywhere. Pulse Connect Secure is the most widely deployed SSL VPN for organizations of any size, and across every major industry, to enable productivity through seamless, protected access to applications and information. The solution offers Zero Trust-based secure access through integrated user, device and security state authentication and robust connection sets that ensure compliant pre- and post-connect access to hybrid IT infrastructure. Pulse Connect Secure includes Pulse Secure Clients and the AppConnect SDK Pulse Connect Secure includes Pulse Secure Clients and the AppConnect SDK. Pulse Clients are dynamic, multi-service network clients, which can be implemented agent or agentless, for mobile and personal computing devices. Pulse Clients can be simply deployed, enabling users to quickly “click and connect” from any device, anywhere. Pulse Secure AppConnect SDK delivers per application SSL VPN connectivity for iOS and Android clients, enabling IT departments to create an even more transparent and secure mobile app experience for their users. Multi-Factor Authentication And Data Security The Institute for the Analysis of IT components (IAIT), an independent testing laboratory based in Germany, examined Pulse Connect Secure under real-world conditions through a series of testing scenarios. The highly detailed, nine-page report covers 16 core functions ranging from initial configuration, policy development, through enterprise onboarding, host checking functionality, FQDN split tunneling, multi-factor authentication, as well as data center and cloud Single Sign On along with interoperability with a range of third-party applications. The complete review offers several conclusions, including: The Pulse Connect Secure appliance is perfectly suited to establish secure means of access to company resources via any kind of connection whatsoever. In the test, the solution was able to score highly across a very large scope of functions. Despite the vast range of applications, data stores, and services, Pulse Connect Secure proved to be relatively straight forward to be set up and managed. Both the wizards and the extensive documentation are helpful with this. In the test, it was easy to integrate our appliance into the vendor’s central cloud-based management tool Pulse One. Administrators looking for an efficient solution for securing access to their company resources should definitely take a look at Pulse Policy Secure.
Maxxess Systems introduces new enterprise software that combines security, communications, business intelligence and data integration into a single, easy-to-use platform called Maxxess InSite. Maxxess InSite, Unified Interface Platform Maxxess InSite sets a new benchmark for security and business intelligence software platforms by every standard of measure" Nothing operates, functions or looks like Maxxess InSite. It combines systems intelligence and human intelligence to detect and respond to unfolding events in real-time – all of which is queued, organized and displayed on a highly-intuitive user interface. In doing so, Maxxess InSite truly enables early action, allowing IT, Operational Technology and Physical Security departments within organizations to correlate data, improve response coordination, and deal with issues when they’re small – before they become large and costly. This new system is uniquely categorized as an Awareness and Response Coordination System. “Maxxess InSite sets a new benchmark for security and business intelligence software platforms by every standard of measure,” said Nancy Islas, President of Maxxess Systems. “It goes beyond basic detection and control. It empowers total awareness and provides users with unprecedented capabilities to help prevent incidents from happening. It also coordinates the activities of first responders and the people they are assisting from the moment a threatening event is detected. And best of all, is the simplicity of Maxxess InSite’s operation.” Security And Business Intelligence Software Maxxess Insite is a single system that harnesses the power of myriad system technologies Maxxess InSite features an open-architecture framework to accommodate virtually any security or business intelligence application with comprehensive functionality – from automated responses with database integration to mobile alert notifications with two-way communications. Hardware and software solutions from more than 50 different leading manufacturers are already integrated into Maxxess InSite, providing more combined capabilities and functionality than any other cross-platform solution available. This allows Maxxess InSite to be configured for virtually all applications, employing any combination of software modules and hardware to deliver each user with a highly customized solution and unparalleled efficiency. Myriad System Technologies Maxxess Insite is a single system that harnesses the power of myriad system technologies, effectively expanding their collective capabilities while also making human interaction more intuitive. It meshes the capabilities of the following systems and technologies, and more: video surveillance, access control, GPS/IPS location technologies, intrusion detection, fire safety systems, perimeter detection/protection, HVAC/building management, smart phones and tablets, ID/credential badging, two-way communications, guard tour, visitor management, time and attendance, license plate recognition, hotkey emergency notification, reporting/forensics, wireless sensors, elevator/escalator control and database integration. Kevin Daly, CEO of Maxxess Systems, added, “The beauty of the product is that even with these diverse integrations and functions, the system is very user friendly. Simplicity of use is truly the system’s ultimate sophistication.”
FLIR Systems, Inc. has announced FLIR TruWITNESS, an industry-first wearable sensor platform designed for city-level security and public safety operations. TruWITNESS combines video, audio, location data, Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, and cloud and management software in one solution, allowing organizations to reach a new level of situational awareness. FLIR TruWITNESS Wearable Sensor Platform TruWITNESS is designed for any public safety organization that requires on-scene, real-time mobile surveillance. Worn on an individual’s body or mounted inside vehicles, TruWITNESS includes visible-video, audio, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors. These sensors combine to send alerts and stream data to a central command center in real-time to ensure full situational awareness and global event handling. Featuring FLIR Neighbor Aware inter-device connectivity, TruWITNESS acts as an IoT device, triggering nearby TruWITNESS devices, fixed and motorized Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) security cameras, and other connected sensors to act upon an alarm event. TruWITNESS becomes a key component of FLIR Systems’ Video Management System, United VMS, which command centers use to manage video surveillance. United VMS combines video, audio, and other related data and makes it available for real-time situation management and forensic purposes. Visible And Thermal Sensors For City Surveillance FLIR offers both visible and thermal sensors for use by cities in security, traffic and public safety applications FLIR offers both visible and thermal sensors for use by cities in security, traffic and public safety applications, and FLIR United VMS integrates these devices into one comprehensive, omniscient system. Adding TruWITNESS to the system, extends the reach to virtually anywhere, providing for enhanced real-time situational awareness, informed decision making and additional opportunities to affect a positive outcome. “The market for wearable video surveillance technology today is confined mainly to law enforcement, but we believe TruWITNESS helps extends well beyond it,” said Jim Cannon, President and CEO at FLIR. “Imagine a private security professional finds an injured pedestrian in front of a building they patrol. Equipped with a TruWITNESS platform and devices, security personnel can stream video of the situation not only to their command center, but with local law enforcement, the emergency medical personnel who are on route to the scene, or doctors in a nearby hospital. For the first time, TruWITNESS enables any public safety organization to use video to respond to complex situations and evolving threats as they occur.”
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.
Whether you are a veteran in the access control world or have never installed a card reader before, there are always ways to increase profits in the ever-evolving world of access control. The hope is that by considering a few key focal points, you can find ways to increase market share. Whether we are releasing an electronic lock through a simple intercom button or using biometric and multi-authentication based on a database; the tactics for bringing on more revenue is the same. Learning to focus on a few key items can help open up opportunities. Business Access Controls Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access controlIf you are new to access control, it’s important to determine the right product offerings for your business model and experience level of your team. Mistakes in estimating or installing can be costly and complex. Take advantage of manufacturer training both online and in the classroom for both your sales team and installation department. It’s important to understand the fire and building codes in your area to make sure you design the proper solution for your customers. Furthermore, understanding the products, components and proper wiring can save you money in labor and materials. Today we will look at four focus points: Vertical Markets, Cloud-Based Access Control, Technology Upgrades, and Preventative Maintenance and Service Agreements. These four focal points are simple to implement and can be easily added to your current operation. Vertical Markets Understanding vertical markets is a strong strategy for success in increasing your profits with access control. The concept is that understanding a certain vertical and their security needs can increase your sales team’s marketability. If you spend your time focusing on the healthcare industry, for instance, you will see that HIPA requirements open doors for selling access control. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective salesHaving logs of who entered your HR files room or patient records storage is a crucial part of addressing privacy concerns. Getting to know the regulatory concerns of different verticals is a great strategy for more effective sales. Another example could be apartment communities or other multifamily dwellings. In this competitive marketplace, these complexes are looking for ways to stand out in their market. Knowing this and being able to offer amenities like secured locks with Bluetooth credentials that tenants can open with their smartphones is a selling point for you and for your customer. Building on each customer you contact within a vertical is like free sales and marketing training. The more you learn from each potential client, the more you increase your conversation starters for the next potential client. Cloud-Based Access Control With the growing cloud-based access control market, integrators can find more opportunities in small businesses and vertical markets that typically wouldn’t be on the radar of your sales team. A typical card access system often makes the move from the traditional lock and key systems to electronic card access cost prohibitive. This is due to the large upfront costs for a server, software and annual licensing. With cloud access, integrators can offer less expensive upfront costs with low monthly subscription fees that cover all software updates, database backups, security patches and more. The real benefit for the integrator is the reoccurring revenue. By helping our clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for our companies that increase our profitability. Building reoccurring revenue not only provides cash flow but also keeps your name on the top of the minds of your customer and that leads to additional sales. By helping clients save money on server, software and IT infrastructure costs, we are securing reoccurring revenue for companies that increase profitability Technology Upgrades Another often overlooked opportunity is technology upgrades. Training your sales staff and even service technicians to watch out for clients with older technology can reap major benefits. When you bring new technology to your clients, you show another value that you bring to the table. Even if your client isn’t ready to make an upgrade, you can easily plant a seed that will get their minds and budgets rolling. An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system An easy example is a customer with an older intercom door access system. This may have met their needs 10 years ago when it was installed, but the office has grown and perhaps an integrated card access intercom system is a great technology upgrade. Bringing this to the customer will once again show that you are the “subject matter expert” and your customer will be more apt to refer you to their friends and colleagues. Another easy way to find technology upgrades is to dig through your ageing client list and build a list of potential targets that you have not visited lately. If you keep records of what was installed previously, it will make it easier to plan ahead and bring solutions to your next visit, saving your sales staff time and again building confidence with your clients. Preventive Maintenance And Service Agreements One thing that sales teams often miss is the opportunity to add service agreements and preventative maintenance agreements. Even if a customer already has an access control system, they may not have a service provider and may be interested in securing a service agreement. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labor or just labor for an annual feeShowing the value of a service agreement is paramount, adding annual or semi-annual preventative maintenance to your service agreement is one way to add value. Inspecting locking mechanisms, request to exit motions and buttons, door status switches, headend equipment, batteries and power supplies, can save your customer from a costly after-hours service call or the inconvenience of a non-functioning access control system during business hours. Additionally, checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failure. Typically, a service agreement can be written to cover all parts and labor or just labor for an annual fee. It is helpful to come up with a percentage of the install value that makes sense so that your sales team can easily quote a service agreement for your customer. Offering several levels of service also opens the table for negotiations. You can offer an “all parts and labor 24/7” or a “parts and labor M-F 8AM-4PM”, as an example. Offering guaranteed response times can also be a marketing strategy. Critical Area Access Management Checking computer hardware and software logs for errors can save a customer from a catastrophic failureA 24-7 facility that has 200 employees moving in and out of critical areas may be a great potential customer for a high-level service agreement with semi-annual preventative maintenance and a guaranteed 4-hour response time. Where a small office that is only open during standard business hours may be better suited for a labor only M-F with annual preventative maintenance inspection. The point is that a creative, intentional, and focused approach to access control can yield the fruit that brings long-term success to your team. Building a plan and learning from each prospect, sale, and installation will develop a process that brings results. Attending a trade specific expo like ESX will give you the opportunity to meet with manufacturers and other integrators that can help you implement a product offering and strategy for success.
Facial recognition has a long history dating back to the 1800s. To track down criminals, such as infamous bandits Jesse Woodson James and Billy the Kid, law enforcement would place “Wanted Alive or Dead” posters advertising bounties and soliciting public cooperation to help locate and even apprehend the alleged criminals. In addition to the bounty, these posters would include a photo and brief description of the crime, which would then be circulated to law enforcement agencies around the country and displayed in every US Post Office to speed up apprehension. Facial Recognition Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology have led to the widespread use of computerised facial recognitionToday, technology such as social media, television and other more specialized communication networks play a more influential role in the recognition process. Advancements in artificial intelligence and biometric technology, including the development of Machine Learning capabilities, have led to increased accuracy, accessibility and the widespread use of computerized facial recognition. The significance of this means that facial recognition can occur on an even larger scale and in more challenging environments. This article will explore key milestones and technological advances that have resulted in the modern incarnation of facial recognition, before discussing the capabilities of cutting-edge “one-to-many” technology which is increasingly being used by counter-terror defense, police and security forces around the world. Technology Inception And Developments The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour, which was considered very impressive at the time The 1960s marked the start of computerized facial recognition, when Woodrow Wilson (Woody) Bledsoe developed a way to classify faces using gridlines. Bledsoe’s facial recognition still required a large amount of human involvement because a person had to extract the co-ordinates of the face’s features from a photograph and enter this information into a computer. The technology was able to match 40 faces an hour (each face took approximately 90 seconds to be matched) which was considered very impressive at the time. By the end of the 1960s, facial recognition had seen further development at the Stanford Research Institute where the technology proved to outperform humans in terms of accuracy of recognition (humans are notoriously bad at recognizing people they don’t know). By the end of the century, the leading player in the field was a solution that came out of the University of Bochum in Germany – and the accuracy of this technology was such that it was even sold on to bank and airport customers. From this stage on, the facial recognition market began to blossom, with error rates of automatic facial recognition systems decreasing by a factor of 272 from 1993 to 2010 according to US Government-sponsored evaluations. The aim for facial technology is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware Modern Usage Of Facial Recognition Fast-forward to the modern day and facial recognition has become a familiar technology when using applications such as the iPhone X’s Face ID capability or MasterCard Identity Check, passport e-gates at airports and other security and access control points. These solutions implement a consensual form of identity verification, as the user has a vested interest in being identified. This is a “one-to-one” facial recognition event, one person in front of the camera being compared to one identity either on a passport or the app. In these scenarios, the hardware is specifically developed for the application at hand, therefore technically much easier to accomplish. Facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments The safety and security world brings a much more complex problem to solve – how to pick out a face in a moving and changing environment and compare it to several faces of interest. “One-to-many” facial recognition is a much harder problem to solve. It’s even more challenging when the aim is to achieve successful and accurate recognition on commonly available hardware like live CCTV feeds and standard computing hardware. And unlike in the 1960’s where identifying a face every 90 seconds was acceptable; the safety and security market requires near instant feedback on who a person matched against a watchlist is. Security And Safety Applications The idea behind all facial recognition technologies is broadly the same: you start with an image of a person’s face (ideally a high quality one, although machine learning means that to a point we can now even use video without reducing accuracy). A fully front facing image is best, think a passport photo, but machine learning and new software has made this more flexible. An algorithm converts this image into a numeric template, which cannot be converted back to an image and so represents a secure one way system. Every numeric template is different, even if it started out as an image of the same person, although templates from the same person are more similar than templates from different people. The accuracy of facial recognition continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments What happens next sounds simple although the technology is extremely complex: templates of people’s faces are taken in real time and compared to those in the database. The technology identifies individuals by matching the numeric template of their face with all the templates saved in a database in a matter of seconds or milliseconds. To put this into perspective, imagine you are at the turnstiles of a busy train station looking for a person on the run. Today’s facial recognition technology would be able to identify that person should they pass in view of a CCTV camera, as well as notify the police of any additional persons of interest, whether they are a known terrorist or missing vulnerable person on an entirely separate watch list. Because of technical progression, facial recognition can now be used in a variety of governmental and commercial environments, from identifying barred hooligans attempting entry at a football stadium or helping self-excluded gamblers at casino to overcome addiction. Real-Time Assessments The latest evolution of facial recognition pits the technology against an even more challenging application – directly matching individuals from body worn cameras for real time recognition for police officers on the beat. This capability equips first responders with the ability to detect a person from a photo and verify their identity with assurance. The broader implication for this means that every interaction, such as stop and search or arrest, can be supported by real-time facial recognition which will see cases of mistaken identity driven down on the streets. First responders can now for the first time be deployed and furnished with the ability to identify wider groups of people of interest with a degree of accuracy that previously relied only on the fallible human memory. As the accuracy of the technology continues to increase alongside deployments in more challenging and complex environments, its ability to support government initiatives and law enforcement means the debate about the lawful and appropriate use of facial recognition must be addressed. Facial recognition should not be everywhere looking for everyone, but when used properly it has the potential to improve public safety and we should make the most of its potential.
How’s this for a simple access control scenario? You walk up to a door, wave your hand in front of a button, the button lights up, and the door opens. That’s the simplified user experience that startup Openpath is promoting as it enters the crowded and mature market for physical access control. Openpath says a simple user experience provides the extra boost needed for mobile credentialing to gain momentum. In this case, it’s even simpler than using a card credential (no searching in a bag or purse for the card). And there’s no personal identification number (PIN) code to remember; no “intrusive” biometric element that can concern some users. James Segil, President and Co-Founder of Openpath, says the simplified process “uses fewer thought cycles.” Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology “We wanted to make mobile access control that people want to use and can use safely and with ease,” he says. “We wanted to make using a smart phone for access control easier and more reliable than using a keycard.” Simplified User Operation In the simplified scenario, the mobile credential resides on a smart phone that can remain tucked away in the user’s purse or pocket. The credential remains active without the user needing to open an app. The wave of the hand signals intent, which causes the button to light up, activate and the door is ready to open. Segil says the simplicity of operation has contributed to the system seeing an unheard-of 94% adoption rate among users. Reliability of the system comes from Openpath’s SurePath triple-connect technology. The smart phone credential is delivered using Bluetooth, WiFi or LTE (cellular) – whichever signal reaches the reader first enables the door to be opened. So even if a company’s WiFi is down or Bluetooth proves unreliable, there is still a third option. Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems Seamless Cloud Integration Segil is a serial entrepreneur who has had experiences as a frustrated user, dealing with many different offices, people and access control deployments over the years – subletting office space, changing PIN codes, dealing with 10 different offices using 10 different cards. Based on that experience, Openpath’s founders saw a need for a more user-centric approach to access control, and a chance to improve the office experience to be more aligned with employees’ experiences in their smart homes. Segil says he also saw “significant lethargy” among incumbent players in the access control space, and a market in which mobile and cloud technologies had still not taken hold. In addition to a simplified user experience built around mobile credentialing, Openpath deploys “seamless” cloud integration and makes it easy for landlords and tenants to integrate Openpath with other systems. The “elegant” readers, including a flush-mounted version, fit in well with high-end office environments. The company launched in May 2018. Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. Openpath is focused on the commercial real estate market, where they have already seen significant adoptions, especially among mid-sized companies. Larger deployments as part of new construction are in the pipeline. National System Integration In the past six months since its launch, Openpath has been signing up national and regional channel partners all across the U.S. and now has a nationwide footprint and is able to service customers all over the U.S. They are not yet disclosing any specifics about the number of partners they have signed up and who they are. “I can share that we have a number of large national system integration and security brands on board as channel partners and many more regional and local system integrators,” says Segil. They are looking for additional integrator partners. “There is a cohort of folks out there who say ‘I get it,’ and I want to offer it to my customers,” says Segil. The cloud element of the system can provide recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Openpath’s system offers flexibility in terms of meeting each customer’s security needs. In addition to the “super convenient” scenario described above, the system can also be configured to be “super secure,” using two-factor authentication and other measures, says Segil. There are multiple “flavors” between the two extremes. It can also be integrated with elevators to enable the buttons on allowed floors. Integration With Existing Systems Cloud software simplifies operation for both tenants and landlords. The system is backwards-compatible to existing systems and can be used to retrofit and mobile-enable a legacy system, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites. The software can interface with enterprise applications such as Active Directory, and an application programming interface (API) facilitates integration with other systems and building components. It operates with marketing automation platforms such as Flack and visitor management systems such as Envoy. The system is backwards-compatible, providing the benefits of mobile features and cloud operation to multiple sites Open standards make the system easy to install in new or existing buildings using RS485, or Cat 5 or Cat 6 wiring, whatever is in place. Retrofit installations can use existing panels, servers, software, etc., or they can be replaced. The Openpath panel is installed right next to an existing panel in a retrofit and preserves all legacy integrations of the previous system. Access Credentials Compatibility In its simplest configuration, the Openpath system consists of single or four-door panels wired using standard ports, Wiegand ports and REX ports, each connected to software in the cloud. Each panel works offline if the internet connection is down. Various key fobs, cards and other credentials are available in addition to mobile credentials. Openpath was one of the new exhibitors at last fall’s GSX show in Las Vegas, occupying a large-sized booth for a startup company. The “beautiful” hardware drew a lot of attention, says Segil. “The channel loves us, and we signed a lot of people,” he adds. “We were excited by the response.”
More good news for exhibitors on the second day of the Global Security Exchange (GSX) in Las Vegas. Brisk attendance continued early in the day, and then slowed somewhat in the afternoon, but most comments from exhibitors were positive. Exhibitors such as Lenel were “thrilled” with the show, and noticed the steady, good traffic and lots of sales leads. Lenel’s position at the front of the hall probably helped. New developments in mobile credentialing are a big trend at GSX, and Lenel’s BlueDiamond mobile credentials are traveling on a new path, so to speak. The access control company is introducing the idea of “Pathways” as a way of automatically signaling intent to a Bluetooth-enabled smart phone to open a door. A recognizable “pathway” is programmed into the phone, based on signals from nearby readers and locks and also geolocation signals. The system recognizes when a user travels along the pathway and automatically signals the correct door(s) to be opened along the way without the user having to touch his smart phone.A recognizable “pathway” is programmed into the phone, based on signals from nearby readers, locks and also geolocation signals Providing A Lightweight Alternative “When you trigger a pathway, it’s signaling intent to open the door,” says Greg Berry, Vice President Mobile Credentialing, Global Security Products, for United Technologies, parent company of Lenel. “Pathways are customized to a user’s needs and are the common places you are going all the time.” A user who walks the same path daily to the door of an office will find that door opens automatically. Previously using mobile credentials has been “slightly more work than using a badge,” says David Weinbach, Manager of Identity and Product Innovation for Lenel. “Now with Pathways, it’s less work than using a badge.” Specifically, a user no longer has to take out his phone and push a button to signal intent. “Rather than trying to emulate the badge, you create an experience that is better than the badge,” adds Berry. “We want to change the paradigm and turn the market on its ear.”New browser-based clients are being released with each new version of OnGuard software Other news from Lenel includes the release of more mobile and browser-based clients for OnGuard to be used for greater convenience alongside the Window-based clients. Providing a “lightweight” alternative enables some of the functionality of the Windows client in a format that is easy to access on the go. New browser-based clients are being released with each new version of OnGuard software. Cloud-hosted systems using Microsoft Azure are also among the plans for OnGuard, which ultimately will offer on-premises and cloud options. There’s not much comment from the Lenel folks about their parent company United Technologies’ plan to acquire S2 Security, which was announced days before the show. They would only say that the acquisition is waiting for regulatory approval, and that the expectation is that the two companies’ products will be complementary, given S2’s focus on the SMB (small and medium-sized business) market and Lenel’s strength at the enterprise level. The acquisition strategy is to grow both businesses. More details to come about the new combined company. Modern Network Infrastructure NVT Phybridge, a PoE connections company located near the back of the hall, also reported steady booth traffic on Day 2. “There are lots of customers and partners here,” said Steven Fair, Executive Vice President. “We are pleased with the quality of people, but not overwhelmed with the quantity.” FacePRO AI facial recognition is used for real-time searches of terror suspects or criminals throughout a location NVT Phybridge, which provides IP networking products for the telephony industry as well as security, is focused on networking concepts at GSX, in particular the changing requirements for network infrastructure in the age of IoT. We are pleased with the quality of people, but not overwhelmed with the quantity.” Fair uses the term “Modern LAN” to describe the new, changing requirements and in consideration of the specific networking needs of each edge device, whether cameras, sensors, or door access control devices. “Start with the edge device — what does it need from the network? What are its needs and have there been any innovations to enable you to connect to the network more economically?” asks Fair. There is also a green aspect to designing network infrastructure. Can existing equipment, such as coaxial or single twisted-pair cabling, be used, and thus save on disposal costs of the used cabling as well as lowering installation costs? Among NVT Phybridge’s offerings that can serve the changing networking needs in the IoT era is Smart Path PoE, which offers smart power, smart network access and secure connections. The CLEER family of products provides ethernet over existing coaxial cabling to enable easy transition from analog to IP cameras. The PoLRE products supply ethernet and power to travel over a single unshielded twisted pair cable with reach over 400 meters. The products have been used recently to transition a series of cruise ships from analog to IP video without having to replace cabling and spending only two days in dry dock for the installs. A New Focus Away From AI Panasonic is looking to apply AI-based capabilities to vehicle recognition in the near future, with the ability to identify vehicle characteristics Deep learning and artificial intelligence (AI) seem to be taking a lower profile at this show, perhaps signaling the end of the hype. Companies that mention AI point to specific products that use the technology and are currently available. For example, Panasonic is featuring its FacePRO AI-based facial recognition system. The system uses face images captured from video — grabbing up to 30 to 35 faces a second as video is recorded. The system saves the best of those face images, eliminating extensive duplication, as thumbnails, which are linked to the video footage where the faces appear. To find video in which a face appears, the operator merely drags-and-drops the thumbnail image and commands the system to “go fetch” video that contains that face. The system then produces a timeline showing where the face appears in the feed from each video camera on the premises, so an operator can track the movements of a suspect throughout a facility. The tool helps to simplify and shorten the workflow of locating a suspect in real-time and is affordable for a wider range of uses beyond the traditional airports or high-end applications. The FacePRO software is offered on any Panasonic camera, and works with a separate FacePRO server that is integrated with the video recorder. The system can be added easily to existing systems and is useful for such applications as real-time searches for terror suspects or other criminals throughout a location. Panasonic is also looking to apply AI-based capabilities to vehicle recognition, too, in the near future, with the ability to identify vehicle characteristics such as color, type of vehicle and direction of travel. On the VMS side, Panasonic is transitioning its Video Insight software to a modular approach, tailoring solutions for a growing range of vertical markets, such as transportation and retail, all using “plug-ins” that enhance operation of Video Insight software. No additional license fees are involved That’s just a sampling of what I saw on Day 2 of the show. I have more to share in a final show report, including what I see tomorrow on the final (shortened) day.
The concept of door locks means something totally different in our current age of smarter buildings that house data-driven businesses. Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control. Locks can also increasingly be a part of a smart building’s flow of data. The opportunities of these new technologies and approaches are significant, but there are also pitfalls. I heard an interesting discussion about these topics presented by several business leaders from lock company Allegion at a press event at ISC West earlier this year. Here are some highlights from that discussion. Q: What new developments in emerging technologies do you see in the coming years? There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems" Mark Jenner, Market Development Director: Connected locks, other types of sensors and all the data being aggregated inside buildings provide opportunity for data analytics. The buzzwords around technologies can cause confusion for integrators and end users, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning, and what’s the difference among all of them? My opinion is that they are important, but the big theme across them all is opportunities for new business models for the integrator, and opportunities to solve problems for end users. And it’s not just technology for technology’s sake. There’s opportunity for implementation of the technology to solve real problems. Devin Love, Market Development Manager: You can’t just have a solution looking for a problem. You see a lot of people who understand technology in their own lives, and they want to translate that into their businesses. That’s where I think it’s exciting. You now have all this technology, and people understand it to the extent that it improves their daily life. They go through their day with less friction, with more ease, and technology fades to the background. There are two levels of value. One is the longer, bigger, broader scope of what the technology can bring to a company using it, but on an immediate basis, there is the value of tracking how a business is running. These sensors are collecting data. For example, if you are a multi-tenant property, you can look at how amenities are being used. What do my residents really care about? That informs future decisions. Robert Gaulden, Project Based Business Leader, Electronic Access Control: I have been studying the multi-family space for the last couple of months. The customer experience is really driving a lot of that technology adoption. What you’re seeing today, whether it’s a mobile device or some other device, is the ability to move throughout the property, and gain access to the perimeter and to your tenant space. All of this adoption is around that experience. There’s multiple players coming into the space, from Amazon wanting to deliver packages into the tenant space to residents who don’t want the inconvenience of using a key. Technology adoption to solve problems, and also to drive experiences, is where a lot of the balance will play out. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently" Brad Aikin, Channel Led Business Leader, Integrator Channel: From an integrator perspective, there are two things. One is how they can approach end users, and the scope of what integrators consult with them about is wider. I think we as an industry are getting beyond those high-traffic, high-security applications. Those are still critical, but the value we bring around security and convenience is opening a new incremental opportunity. Also, the experience of the integrator and how they conduct their business is important, from generating quotes to communications to proactive servicing. It’s important that we look at how integrators can use the technology to do business more effectively and efficiently. Gaulden: We as an industry, and we as manufacturers, need to understand what data we are generating so we can run our businesses more efficiently from every aspect, whether you’re the property manager, the building owner, the integrator, or whether you’re the manufacturer. These devices and technology are being pushed out everywhere and will generate the data. How we learn from that – especially when you apply security to it to be more proactive – provides huge opportunities. Jenner: What data is important and what’s not? Folks get overwhelmed with too much data at some point. What’s important for an application at the end user level? What do they really need to solve the problem? Love: Privacy gets involved as well, especially with consumer products. The attitude is “stay out of my private business.” But if you’re an employee now, all bets are off. Now you have a professional relationship with the people you work with, so there is a different lens that you look through when tracking data. You use the data to everyone’s benefit, and it’s a different paradigm than in your private life. Aikin: Also, where does that data create a better experience for the person? That’s what drives the money and value: What level of information sharing makes my experience better? The technology is also getting smarter in terms of “how do we sort through the valuable information?” Hardware locks and keys are still around, but they co-exist with a brave new world of electronic locks, wireless locks, networked systems, and smarter access control Q: As facilities connect more devices and sensors, the cybersecurity threats increase. We have already seen Internet of Things (IoT) devices being used as the attack point of cyber breaches. What are the vulnerabilities that make those attacks possible, and how can integrators protect their customers? Love: Certainly, this is an extremely – maybe the most important – piece of our industry. What is the point of everything we do if we can’t instill that trust? But what we need to solve here also comes with opportunity. There’s certainly hope. You’re not seeing a frontal attack on the technology. It’s usually some loophole, or some older device that hasn’t been updated, or wasn’t installed correctly, or it was social-engineered. The opportunity is, not that it can’t be solved, but that it absolutely needs to be solved – and it can. Gaulden: Integrators need the ability to understand that cyber layer and what it means. Nowadays, everything runs on the network, and you won’t even get past the IT department to get on the network if you don’t have the right staff, the right credentials. From an integrator standpoint, you need the ability to add to your staff, to understand everything from the product level to the firmware and the software level, all the way to the deployment of the holistic system. You can’t just say, “That’s not part of our responsibility.” All these devices are now riding on the network. They can be protected from a cyber perspective, or you will have vulnerabilities. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate the conversation, that it is one ecosystem" Aikin: Everything is a communication device. With the concern and need comes an opportunity for the integrator. But it’s also in making sure integrators are having that conversation with end users and setting the expectations up front. What I’m providing you on day one is the best in the industry at this time, but tomorrow it may not be. My accountability and service are to maintain that environment and keep it running. I may not physically change the device you see, but the service I’m bringing to you is that security, and that comprehensive dialogue. The IT stakeholders already have that expectation, but there is a chasm in some organisations between the physical security and the IT stakeholders, and the integrator is facilitating that conversation. As manufacturers and business consultants to integrators, we should facilitate that conversation. It is one ecosystem. Q: Aside from cybersecurity, what are some of the other threats that integrators should be aware of as they work with customers to implement the new trends and technologies we have mentioned? Aikin: It is diversifying, all the options and the capabilities. With that comes confusion and misapplication. If I look at the trends around just wireless; I go back 10 years ago, there were even questions of whether wireless was a secure technology. That has progressed and continues to be part of the cyber conversation, just like any hardwired product. It’s something you have to maintain and be aware of. Wireless has really diversified. There is still a need for education within the channel, and most importantly, to the end user. There are still end users that assume a WiFi widget is the same thing as a Bluetooth widget is the same thing as a low-frequency widget. But they are all different. There are reasons there are different technologies. Nothing stifles the adoption of technology more than misapplication. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow a mix of technology" Gaulden: Integrators understand the differences in how various doors are used and how those applications will work. In the K-12 school environment, you want the ability for an instant lockdown, and a WiFi deployment probably isn’t your best option. You need a real-time deployment. However, my office door at headquarters doesn’t necessarily need real-time communication. I can pull audits off it once or twice a day. You have to mix and match technologies. For a high security door, you would proactively monitor it. But for a door where convenience is the goal, we can put electronic security on it but we don’t need to know what’s going on at any moment in time. We have different architectures within our lock base and among our software partners to allow that mix of technology. Jenner: End users want the latest technology, but it may not be for their applications. Those things drive more costs into it, when end users need to be putting money into cybersecurity and some other things. That’s part of the misapplication. Another risk is interoperability. That’s a big piece of the technology and as things change. How do we do a better job of supporting open architecture? It may not be a standards-based protocol, although we use a lot of standards, but we just need to make sure whatever protocols we use are open and easily accessible so we can continue to work with them in the future. We know that when our devices go in, they will support other parts of the ecosystem from an interoperability perspective. That’s important for integrators to know: How is this going to be applied and integrate with something in three, four or five years from now? It’s an expensive investment, and I want to make sure it will work in the future. Main photo: Business leaders from Allegion discussed new trends in electronic and wireless locks at a recent press event: (L-R) Robert Gaulden, Devin Love, Brad Aikin and Mark Jenner.
Integrity Security Group is using SmartTask’s SmartForms to gain added visibility and dramatically cut down on its administrative burden. Having adopted the employee scheduling and mobile workforce management software last year for the provision of proof of attendance, control room management and staff rostering, the company is now using its electronic data capture functionality to streamline a range of operational processes. Initially, SmartForms are being used for vacant property and mobile patrol inspections as well as daily vehicle checks, already saving more than 15 hours of admin a month. SmartTask SmartForms The SmartForms replace previous paper-based processes that were increasingly difficult to manage by the office-based admin team “We are now using the SmartTask SmartForms to help reduce administration, capture critical work data and enforce health and safety procedures,” explains James Chittil, General Manager at Integrity Security Group. “We are constantly looking at clever ways to take advantage of the software’s rich functionality, so we can continue to simplify and enhance the way we operate.” The SmartForms replace previous paper-based processes that were increasingly difficult to manage by the office-based admin team. All reporting for vacant property and mobile patrol inspections – for both scheduled patrols and alarm activations – are now completed using a SmartTask-enabled smartphone. By electronically capturing all relevant information, including photo evidence, Integrity can quickly provide customers with a status update and details of all undertaken work as well as respond to any identified issues. Vehicle Checks And Fleet Management Meanwhile, daily vehicle checks for Integrity’s fleet of vans are now completed using a specially-developed SmartForm, so the company can instantly see if drivers are complying with this health and safety procedure. Any vehicle-related problems or damage can be raised by the driver and actioned immediately by the admin team to mitigate fleet risk. Mileage data is also captured through the software, enabling maintenance requirements to be tracked and scheduled at appropriate intervals. “The SmartForms are enabling us to dramatically reduce paperwork and remove manual processes. This is making it much simpler for both our security officers in the field and our office-based admin team to capture, collate and communicate essential operational data. This is not only helping us make better use of our valuable resources, but also enhance the service we are providing to customers,” added James Chittil. Paul Ridden, CEO of SmartTask commented: “Our experience within the security sector means we are continually developing new functionality that overcome real-world problems for our customers. This is the reason we are working in partnership with a growing number of security businesses who recognize the value they can gain and the benefits they can achieve from using the SmartTask software.” Integrity selected SmartTask to replace an outdated time and attendance system, enabling it to effectively monitor the whereabouts and welfare of staff Lone Worker Protection Integrity selected SmartTask to replace an outdated time and attendance system, enabling it to effectively monitor the whereabouts and welfare of staff as part of its commitment to lone worker protection. The company is also using the intelligent rostering functionality to streamline internal planning processes, while the interactive dashboard supported the launch of a dedicated, out-of-hours control room operation by providing a live view of all scheduled shifts and expected or missed check calls. SmartTask is an advanced and simple-to-use employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution that enables security companies to better plan and manage their workers, so they are at the right place, at the right time. The cloud-based software solution combines intelligent rostering, live monitoring and integrated proof of attendance across both static and mobile teams, making it the ideal tool to improve operational control, enhance customer satisfaction, and support duty of care to staff.
Allot Communications Ltd., a global provider of innovative network intelligence and security solutions for service providers and enterprises worldwide, announces that Safaricom will be implementing a convergent network solution for its fixed and mobile customers. The tailored Allot solution features network analytics, advanced charging capabilities as well as Network Security and protection against DDoS. “We have a long and valued relationship with Allot,” said Thibaud Rerolle, Safaricom’s Chief Technology Officer. “With the visibility, control and security solutions provided by Allot, we will deliver added value with heightened quality of experience and protection to our customers from the rising cybersecurity threats, including DDoS attacks, phishing and Cryptojacking.” Protect Service Availability Proactively optimize network resources and customer service plans to maximize revenues By activating Allot’s network intelligence and security technologies, Safaricom is now better able to: Protect service availability and quality by blocking inbound and outbound DDoS attacks, Enhance quality of experience (QoE) through improved streaming quality, Proactively optimize network resources and customer service plans to maximize revenues, Turn detailed network, application and user data into actionable insights to drive customer satisfaction, and Save on CAPEX costs. “Safaricom joins several of the world’s largest global Tier 1 operators with its deployment of Allot,” comments Ran Fridman, EVP Global Sales at Allot. “I am confident the combined DDoS Secure and NetworkSecure convergent solution will bring value to Safaricom and its customers through a better, safer user experience as well as protection against a variety of online threats.”
HID Global, globally renowned trusted identity solutions provider, and Phunware, Inc., a fully integrated enterprise cloud platform for mobile that provides products, solutions, data and services for brands worldwide, has announced their collaboration to improve the experience for hospital patients and visitors to find their way within medical facilities, using wayfinding on their mobile phones. Wayfinding is indoor navigation to guide a person step-by-step on the way to a desired destination. Wayfinding And HID Location Services Phunware and HID are addressing the need of healthcare institutions to deploy standardised technology "The combination of Phunware’s market-leading wayfinding and mobile engagement capabilities with innovative HID Location Services will ultimately revolutionize wayfinding within healthcare institutions,” said Phunware co-founder and CEO Alan S. Knitowski. “It’s easy for visitors and patients to get lost in hospitals, and every time they do it puts appointment times and patient satisfaction at risk. With our location-aware app on a mobile device, we equip the visitor to get instant, turn-by-turn navigation that creates a better experience than that which is currently available on the market.” Phunware and HID are addressing the need of healthcare institutions to deploy standardized technology to provide a better wayfinding and visitor engagement experience inside the hospital, across campus and even in parking lots. Unified Healthcare IoT Solutions Healthcare organisations can easily lay out the foundation for IoT applications, such as wayfinding" “Wayfinding is one more application that we are integrating into HID’s unified healthcare IoT solution to make it easier for healthcare systems to manage a growing demand for automated and streamlined experiences,” said Rom Eizenberg, Vice President of Sales, Bluvision, part of HID Global. “With HID technologies, we have changed the location-aware landscape, delivering location as a service. Now, healthcare organizations can easily lay out the foundation for IoT applications, such as wayfinding.” Healthcare IoT-Enabled Platform HID’s healthcare IoT solution-enablement platform simplifies the delivery of real-time location of clinicians, patients and devices. The platform is enabled by Bluvision (part of HID Global). Multiscreen-as-a-Service (MaaS) Platform Phunware’s Multiscreen-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform also provides enterprise-level mobile wayfinding, engagement, data and more for other vertical markets, including retail, residential, hospitality, media and entertainment and more.
3xLOGIC, Inc., a provider of integrated, intelligent security solutions, and a three-time Deloitte Technology Fast 500 winner, announced that the Flint (MI) Boys and Girls Club now enjoys significantly improved safety and security with its newly-installed 16-camera video surveillance system. Safety Concerns Tauzzari Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of Flint Boys and Girls Club, spent his early career working at clubs in Chicago, “Oftentimes, these were rough neighborhoods, so the importance of safety is strongly ingrained in me. The previous video surveillance system at the Club was adequate, but it was getting old and staff wondered if they were missing out on newer, better technology. The new video surveillance system monitors key areas inside the club and outside, with views of the approach to the entrance, as well as the parking lot “We had grown our old system up to 16 cameras, and we had expanded the number of areas under surveillance,” explained Robinson. “However, the image quality was not great, and we didn’t have much zoom capability.” Installation Of 16 4MP IP Cameras Robinson asked a staff member, who was in charge of monitoring the cameras on a day-to-day basis, to speak to the Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors. “This staff member told the Board plainly that we needed better technology.” Fortunately, Board Member Mike Buckel, VP Sales and Marketing for Sonitrol Great Lakes, knew exactly what was needed. Between Sonitrol Great Lakes and 3xLOGIC, the two companies worked with the Club to design and install a brand-new, fully-IP system of 16 4MP cameras, backed by a 3xLOGIC V5000 server. 3xLOGIC discounted the hardware and Sonitrol Great Lakes donated all the installation and on-going support and labor. “We could tell a huge difference immediately between our old cameras and the new 3xLOGIC IP cameras,” recounted Robinson, “and the ease of use was very clear as well.” The new video surveillance system monitors key areas inside the club and outside, with views of the approach to the entrance, as well as the parking lot, where buses and cars pick-up and drop-off. Ensuring Children’s Safety And Security Our kids know those cameras are there and it’s not only a deterrent, but parents and staff know we have our children’s safety and security as a top priority"The Flint Club has a large population—160-180 children daily during the school year and in the summer, upwards to 250 a day. As children move about the building, staff can monitor them, key in on any shenanigans, or worse, zoom into a situation with excellent clarity and solve any problems. “We are the safe place for the children in our community; we have to provide the safest environment possible,” said Robinson. “With this new system, we are accomplishing that. Our kids know those cameras are there and it’s not only a deterrent, but parents and staff know we have our children’s safety and security as a top priority.” 24/7 Mobile Access To Camera Views Robinson is also impressed with his 24/7 mobile access to camera views. “If I’m at home at 8:30 at night, I can access video on my iPad and make sure we’re closed properly. That provides real peace of mind. The system provides something else too: It used to be if I responded to calls at the Club after hours, my wife wasn’t too thrilled, she’s a lot happier with this new system!” The Club’s front desk staff monitor camera views during regular business operations, 9:00-5:00 and from 3:00-8:00 when children are present. Front desk staff and Robinson’s administrative assistant monitor all views and the front door, which is on a buzzer system to grant entry. Staff do a combination of live monitoring and after-incident review. VISIX Facial Recognition Cameras Some of the new cameras are trained on the Club van in the parking lot with feeds to the Flint Police CattEye surveillance programRobinson concluded, “Our new system is 100% better. Before, it could take us up to an hour to review an incident, now it’s immediate. We must be able to solve issues quickly, and get back to work, back to our priorities for the children. And I’ll tell you what, these kids know about the system, they see it in action, and they’re on their best behavior.” In addition to video being monitored onsite, some of the new cameras are trained on the Club van in the parking lot with feeds to the Flint Police CattEye surveillance program. Now that the new system is up and running and functioning well, 3xLOGIC and Sonitrol staff have introduced the idea of installing one of 3xLOGIC’s new VISIX Facial Recognition cameras. Such FR technology would enable the Club to create a watch list of faces, so they are notified if a person of interest approaches or enters the building. This way, unauthorized people are not picking up children from the Club.
Security installation specialist Vision Security Services installed Vanderbilt’s ACT365, a cloud-based access control and video management system, at Work.Life, a co-working and private offices facility in London Fields, east London. ACT365 solution was implemented late in the construction stage, as initially, the client had used a conventional system, before realizing late-on the benefits available from cloud management. Essentially, the client needed unified management of access points and video, both locally and remotely. It was for these reasons that ACT365 was chosen for the task. Remote Monitoring Capabilities ACT365 allows the system user to activate doors and analyze their status from any major web browser or the ACT365 appImportantly, ACT365’s remote monitoring capabilities deliver a force that gives business owners far greater visibility and control of their property. For instance, at the London Fields site, ACT365 allows the system user to activate doors and analyze their status from any major web browser or the ACT365 app. This allows Work.Life to make immediate remote adjustments to a user’s details, including updating access privileges when a lapsed membership is renewed. Crucially, ACT365 can also generate muster reports during a building evacuation, with marshals being able to see instantly from their phone or smart device if members have mustered out. Again, this function can be used remotely if required. Controlling Doors Through Smartphone Devices Vision Security Services operates as an integrator across access control, video surveillance, intruder alarms and barrier systems across the south of England and London from a base in Sittingbourne, Kent. Commenting on the installation of ACT365, Reg Butler, Director of Vision Security Services, stated: “There are very few true cloud-based access control solutions, and the ability of Vanderbilt’s ACT365 to synchronize access control events instantly to camera footage from a single platform means no time is wasted searching through video. Vanderbilt’s ACT365 appeals to our end-users regarding functionality and price point. They also appreciate being able to view sites and even open and lock doors based on what they see on a camera feed, all from a smartphone or web browser.” Protecting People And Assets During Emergency ACT365’s real-time management enables the kind of flexibility that system users need to instantly protect people and assets in the event of an emergency Overall, ACT365’s real-time management enables the kind of flexibility that system users need to instantly protect people and assets in the event of an emergency. Essentially, ACT365’s remote monitoring feature puts business owners first by eradicating once heavy responsibilities that can now be promptly completed through the click of a button on smartphone or desktop devices. This gives business owners convenience through simplicity. As explained by Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt: “ACT365 deals with convenience. It deals with things that are at the heart of customer pain points. Vanderbilt has always looked to invest in technology that will match our values of agility, flexibility, and dependability. "Products like ACT365 excel with these criteria. ACT365’s distinguishing characteristics deliver information rapidly, cost-effectively, and can be upgraded with the latest features as and when they become available.”
When a leading English university sought electronic locks for its newest student accommodation block, it turned to Aperio to extend its installed Gallagher Command Centre access control system. The University of East Anglia (UEA) has relied on Gallagher access control for a decade. To extend their Gallagher Command Centre system to Crome Court—a student residence with 231 en suite rooms separated into flats for between 8 and 13 postgraduates—they needed the right wireless solution. Wireless Locking Technology Aperio wireless locks are battery powered, and so use much less energyUEA’s needs included more than just security, stylish component design and affordability. Crome Court was specifically designed to minimise environmental impact, including CO2 emissions. Any access control system was expected to contribute to that goal. The university chose Aperio wireless locking technology from ASSA ABLOY. Aperio wireless locks are battery powered, and so use much less energy than wired magnetic security locks. They only “wake up” when a credential is presented to the reader. On Campus Training “We decided to offer Aperio to upgrade and extend our system at UEA because of its outstanding reputation within the security industry,” explains Jason Boyce, sales manager at Gallagher. “Having worked with us for 6 years, Gallagher knew we would deliver,” adds David Hodgkiss, national sales manager at ASSA ABLOY UK. Installation was quick and easy, aided by training delivered on campus by specialist ASSA ABLOY technicians. “We found ASSA ABLOY’s service faultless,” says Wayne Dyble, installation and support manager at Check Your Security, UEA’s service provider. Environmentally Advanced Profile There’s no need for expensive and time-consuming work changing the locks Crome Court’s secure doors are fitted with Aperio E100 online escutcheons. Students open them with programmable RFID smart cards, instead of cumbersome mechanical keys. If a keycard is lost, it is straightforward for UEA facilities staff to cancel it and issue a replacement—using a simple web-based interface or mobile phone. There’s no need for expensive and time-consuming work changing the locks. UEA also aimed to build Crome Court with an environmentally advanced profile. Here, too, Aperio delivered. Wireless locks are battery-operated and emit much less CO2 than wired magnetic locks. In fact, in carbon terms, Aperio locks emit 0.16 percent of the total emissions produced by standard wired locks. Flexibility is another Aperio asset: additional doors can be brought into the same integrated Gallagher system whenever needed. “We hope to roll out Aperio across all new and existing residential estate,” says Christine Beveridge, head of campus services at UEA.