More than any other software company serving the electronic security industry, Genetec has embraced cloud. Genetec’s founder and CEO Pierre Racz sees cloud as a logical progression for all businesses based on economies of scale and the outsourcing of non-core competency.
In the same way Goscinny and Uderzo’s character Obelix fell into a cauldron of magic potion as a baby and was blessed with superhuman strength, Pierre Racz’s intrinsic nature and long tenure as master of his own business have imbued him with superhuman honesty. Racz swings truth beams across the dark spaces of the electronic security industry like a light sabre. Conversations with the man burst in a series of vivid exposures, revealing intricacies of technology, flaws of competitors and ways in which the future will be just like the past.
SOMETIMES clichés can be utterly inverted. When it comes to community crime prevention initiatives undertaken through the Attorney General’s Department’s National Crime Prevention Fund, which is funded under section 298 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, there are 10 million reasons crime does pay.
Up until June 30 2015, Australia’s National Crime Prevention Fund has provided nearly $A10 million for 53 local council safety infrastructure projects, with most these funds being invested in video surveillance solutions and lighting. The NCPF is a $40 million purse which was put aside to address gang violence and street crime.
Alarm monitoring’s future continues to look nebulous – the only certain thing is that the future will not look anything like the past.
Will we see the demise of the traditional alarm panel, with its 8 or 16 input zones and single dialler comms path in coming years? Yes, definitely. The question is, what will take its place? The nature of future technology is an area of doubt. Will the majority of alarm systems retain limited traditional features locally and shake out automation in the cloud? Many seem to be going down that path.
David Lenz brings Hills broad experience in sales, distribution and marketing and he combines formidable focus with unhesitating honesty. Lenz says Hills got some things wrong in the past and he’s on a mission to set the business to rights.
GENERALLY speaking, straight talk from senior management can be hard to come by but there’s plenty of it from Hills’ David Lenz, who is in the process of re-booting the Hills’ culture through a process of key appointments and re-engagement with customers and vendors. Lenz isn’t afraid to point out Hills needs to reinvent itself as a more powerful, more passionate version of what it used to be.
JA: There have been a number of changes to the management team at Hills, could you tell us about those?
Security 2015 Expo was a great opportunity to take a look at the best new electronic security products. There was plenty of good stuff and it was readily possible to discern the ongoing development of key trends in the market.
HELD in Melbourne for the second year, Security 2015 Expo, saw good numbers – as usual, the biggest day was Day 2 – and loads of fun things to play with. If I had a gripe with the event it was that I needed one more whole day to get around all the stands. Yet again there were stands I did not get to spend time on and when you’re talking about the latest developments in the industry, it’s poor form not to have seen everything before drawing your conclusions.
SOMETHING interesting came out of SecTech Roadshow’s HD Camera Shootout, something still photographers have known for a long time. A beautiful image is a work of art requiring the combination of deep technical comprehension with creativity.
You mightn’t think CCTV installers would be interested in blowing away backgrounds to isolate faces in a foreground, leveraging ambient light to increase detail or using CCTV cameras to tell stories but thoughtfully considered and within the constraints of typical lens focal lengths and aperture ranges, that's exactly what they are doing.
Commissioning IP cameras is a tap dance but there’s plenty installers can do to ensure they get useful performance without completely rebuilding an image stream. Too often cameras are installed with no regard for the realities of optical performance and the results are image streams that fail to deliver operational benefits.
Tyco Security Products’ Leon Langlais (left), senior director of growth markets and regional strategy (l), and Ken May, vice president sales, Asia Pacific
Tyco Security Products has changed its route to market and is now being distributed in Australia exclusively by Hills Ltd. It’s a significant move for both companies, as well as for integrators and end users who rely on iconic brands like DSC, Software House, CEM and American Dynamics. SEN editor John Adams speaks with Leon Langlais and Ken May of Tyco Security Products.
JA: You have many brands under the Tyco umbrella – which does Hills now distribute?
KM: There are 9 brands in the Tyco Security Products portfolio and from 13th March 2015, Hills represents 7 of these, including DSC, Software House, Kantech, Sur-Gard, Visonic, CEM Systems and Exacq.
JA: This is a big deal for the market at multiple levels - how did the new agreement between Tyco and Hills come about? What was process involved?
Google setting up home security and automation patents
OUR electronic security industry has been a source of great entertainment from the perspective of technological leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. Nothing is going to change, if recent events are anything to go by.
If you thought video surveillance had dropped anchor at 1080p, you thought wrong. At ISC it was all 4K from quality makers and in the case of Avigilon, it was about 7K. And with all this talk of high resolution in the air, video compression is about to become the most important word on everyone’s lips.
ARE we witnessing the end of the open platform model? Will the electronic security industry of the future bear a new generation of proprietary systems supporting most major projects? On face value, that seems likely but on reflection it’s unlikely much will change but buyer attitudes - for the time being, anyway.
Fuelling speculation over the past 18 months have been multiple manufacturers positioning themselves to mirror what many in the surveillance industry are calling The Avigilon Model but which might just as accurately be called The Geutebruck Model, The Indigovision Model, or The Mobotix Model.
What they are talking about is the now-proven strength of Avigilon’s decision to manufacturer quality cameras as well as developing a quality VMS platform that although opened up to other manufacturer’s product, is often installed as a proprietary solution alongside Avigilon’s high resolution cameras.
2014 was a strong year for new product releases in all electronic security market segments. We saw good things in CCTV, alarms and access control. Perhaps the changes were more evolutionary than revolutionary, except in the area of remote management.
IT’S always tough as army boots to unpick the strands of product releases and judge the best releases of any given year and 2014 was no different. Happily, it was a good year for new product and unlike past years, this strength was across the board. I could not pick a single product that really broke out of the mould and offered the market something it has never seen before but there were plenty of products that delivered on the promises of past years.