Gabriel Daher, former group general manager at Hills Group, has been made general manager of that company’s UHS security comms business. UHS is a network comms supplier and manufacturer.
There are a number of ways to view Daher’s repositioning but probably the correct one is that it indicates Hills Group’s senior management realises the company needs to get squarely on the front foot when it comes to alarm and video monitoring technology. The systems of the future will be all about the management and facilitation of comms networks and that demands a backend engineering solution that actually works.
Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs suggests big tech sees potential revenue in home automation and security. Though what sort of business model it believes will generate revenue is a little harder to say.
EVEN after everything we’ve seen going on in the monitoring market over the past 18 months, Google’s $US3.2 billion play for Nest Labs, an automation manufacturer founded in 2010 with a turnover of around $US300 million, seems extravagant.
CONNECT 2013 brought together installing security contractors from the First Alert Professional (FAP), Commercial Security Systems (CSS) and Honeywell Integrated Security (HIS) networks. What was said there deserves our attention.
ARGUABLY the global alarm industry’s biggest installer conference hosted 800 attendees who enjoyed educational sessions, including networking. Honeywell’s decision to host 1 conference covering multiple business segments highlighted the fact many industry segments are linked by networks to the same customers with solutions that enhance lifestyles as well as impact a business’ bottom line.
Scott Harkins, president of Honeywell Security Products for the Americas told the installers if the security industry can change lifestyles, then the entire dynamic of the industry will transform and open to unprecedented growth potential.
The Australian Coalition Government’s rapid move to shut down installation of the current National Broadband Network and move to an entirely different model may save money in the short term but it will hamper expansion and uptake of electronic security systems for decades to come.
NO doubt about it, the biggest news in monitoring this month is the new government’s quick action on the plan to cut back the $A45 billion national broadband network currently being rolled out across Australia. I think no matter which side of the political divide you sit, the presence of reliable, high-speed, future-proof NBN infrastructure was an appealing thought to electronic security people. With 1Gpbs download and 400Mpbs upload to each site, it promised fast, secure and dependable comms. If properly installed and maintained, it would have lasted many, many decades.
MANY end users and integrators have expressed concern over the communications implications of the NBN, mainly with regard to devices that utilise tone modulation (DTMF) to transmit data via conventional voice-based copper PSTN technologies, particularly monitored alarm panels.
Voice over IP (VoIP) has become a major technology within the communications space, though its use for DTMF applications is complicated as the nature of compression applied to a call by VoIP products can often disrupt data communication. With many of the telecommunications options being offered by the NBN using VoIP based technology,
Bosch Security Systems has recognised the need to develop solutions for the market.But just what is the current situation regarding monitored alarms and the NBN? NBN Co has created 3 potential ways that Retail Service Providers (RSPs) can deliver telecommunications to premises connected with the NBN:
ONE of the key changes the NBN will bring to monitored security solutions is third party components not necessarily designed to handle their newly assigned tasks. The issues are not insurmountable but they’ll need to be considered carefully.
A key issue is the insertion of hardware between an alarm system and its monitoring station. In the past, alarm panels communicated with receivers using Contact ID DTMF dial tones, after making a direct physical connection. With the NBN things will be different.
Alarm panels will be connected to NBN Co’s network termination device via one of a pair of ports – UNI-V or UNI-D. If it’s the UNI-V (Voice) that’s used, installers will need to ensure the NTD is optioned with an active UNI-V port, as well as a backup battery that meets or exceeds the ability of the alarm panel to keep paddling without mains power.
SOME of these key rollouts took place at ISC West this year but others are occurring locally and they all paint a picture of an industry of enormous opportunities, and some threats, that’s squarely in the eye of bigger players. Sure, most of this is happening in the U.S. but I think the fact these developments have now become a cascade should be instructive.
Some of the big moves involve integration of multiple security and management systems into virtual, global PSIM. Others involve video monitoring from traditional players. There’s also expansion of home automation including home security, bundled with pay television.
Whatever the variations in business model, and there are some interesting variations and proto-niches, all involve direct or potential monitoring of domestic and commercial premises, sometimes at extremely low cost.
IT has taken perhaps 15 years for wide area IP connectivity to become central to business operations but today loss of IP networks means business grinds to a halt. The centrality of digital communications, its ubiquitousness and the certain disconnection of old comms paths guarantees us an IP future.
There are multiple considerations here and it's quite possible that like the CCTV industry the alarms industry will see an extended period of hybridisation, with new installations being full digital and older ones jumping onto networks using some form of encoding.
In either case IP alarm monitoring is not a choice, it's inevitable. Telcos want to see the back of analogue and the reason for this is lack of bandwidth. Digital comms which can be compressed and rebuilt and readily pumped about through 1GB Cat-6, fibre, or 3G and 4G wireless links, is more compact. This is an important consideration.
And something else many PERS solutions do is limit themselves to supporting the elderly in relatively fixed environments. A typical aged care monitoring solution is generally a number of wrist or necklace pendants that communicate by wireless (around the 900MHz range), with a controller in a central location in the home.
Depending on the system, the pendants can offer wearers local support at ranges of up to several hundred metres but comms is often limited to a call for help with no duplex voice and there’s no triangulation or GPS support that might allow responders to quickly find a person near but outside their home.
IP has found the alarms industry at long last and rather than being a dreadful bogeyman heralding the beginning of the end, it actually ushers in a 5-year opportunity for installers to upgrade hundreds of thousands of existing alarm panels and to grow their businesses exponentially as the IP transition turbo-charges sales.
I have much love and respect for the original Australian-made key-drive Solution panels, the ground-breaking Ness 5000s and all the rest of those pioneers of the 1980s and 1990s. They were great systems, reliable and for their time, very capable. But there’s no longer any real excuse for continuing to sell customers what amounts to all-analogue intrusion detection technology. The next generation of systems can and must offer significantly more.