Emergent Trends in Monitoring Services
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Monitoring | July 2, 2013, 7:00am AEST
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.
As an example, IPVideo Corporation recently launched its new Global Fusion Center in New York, a centre from which the company will offer PSIM as a cloud-based solution. This solution is global. A company can exploit this service from Sydney as easily as San Francisco.
According to the company the C3 Fusion solution ties sources of information into an operating overview. These sources include VMS platforms, DVRs, IP cameras, access control systems, building management systems, GPS tracking, fire alarm systems, burglar alarm systems, and even AIS tracking of ships.
The IPVideo Corp monitoring centre, which is going to be initially staffed by 6 people, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, will handle health monitoring of video management platforms and door access systems, virtual guard tours of facilities driven by a case management system that’s built into the monitoring software. There will be video verifications of panic alarms, as well as receipt of alerts from devices tied into building management systems.
This is a big-end system but others are more compact. Take the S9i Surveillance Cloud Server from Smartvue. It starts end users off with a cloud video solution comprising 5 cameras supported by 100GB of cloud storage for $US39 per month. This is sufficient for event recording at lower resolutions only but it’s a signpost.
S9i scales up to 300 cameras – from any manufacturer – and includes scalable integrated cloud storage, cloud monitoring, collaborative video sharing, and enterprise management for one to thousands of cameras from almost any web browser on Apple or Windows or phone and tablet apps from Apple, Android and Win8. And yes, this service, too, is global.
Another development is a team-up involving a big alarm monitoring outfit in San Antonio with 20,000 monitored lines. United Central Control has teamed up with cloud-based CCTV supplier CheckVideo to offer video services and training for all 500 of its security installers. The training covers not only installations but sales, too.
The cloud-based services CheckVideo brings to the alliance include video detection and response, video alarm verification and virtual guard tours. Meanwhile, analytic capabilities allow cameras to detect the presence of people and vehicles, not just respond to raw motion, which, as we all know, reduces nuisance alarms. The way the thing works operationally is that alerts from CheckVideo are sent to United Central’s CSAA-certified central station for assessment and response.
Elsewhere, Time Warner Cable is now retailing home security by offering IntelligentHome, its home security/home management product, in hundreds of retail stores across the U.S. According to Time Warner, IntelligentHome is a wireless system that offers ‘professional home security’ along with features, including CCTV, that allow customers to check on kids or pets, arm or disarm their security system, turn on a light or set the thermostat via a smartphone, laptop or in-home touch screen.
Nothing we’ve not heard of before, is it? The thing to pay attention to here, people, is the trend. And while it’s happening in America, it’s worth bearing in mind it was American Edwin Holmes who first commercialised monitored alarms. Interestingly, too, Holmes Burglar was bought by none other than AT&T in 1905.
Time Warner is among a number of telecoms, cablecos and other companies, large and small, that are now selling their security products in a retail environment. Those companies include Comcast, AT&T with its Digital Life solution, Lowe’s, Verizon, Security Options, The Alarm Company and SecureWatch 24. Hopefully Australia’s Telstra isn’t paying attention to its vertical markets.
Adding to the fun recently was satellite TV provider DirecTV which bought LifeShield Home Security and plans to bundle security and cable services. DirectTV will begin marketing LifeShield products and services under the LifeShield brand in the first quarter of 2014. Protection 1, which provides monitoring for LifeShield’s 22,000 existing customers, will continue offering its services.
Something of related interest during the month was that ADT Corporation recently created a new chief information officer position and appointed a former telco exec, Kathleen McLean, to the position. Shortly after taking up the role, McLean said technological advancements in the electronic security industry now make the time ripe for such a move.
“The confluence of new applications, including home automation and security, and advances in telecommunications technology…brings the CIO role from the back office to the front office,” McLean said.
Closer to home, Rackspace has launched a public cloud computing service based on the OpenStack open source operating system out of Erskine Park in Sydney. We’ve talked up OpenStack in SEN before as a good option for users or installers who opt for cloud-based security solutions.
What’s good about it from the point of view of security people? OpenStack allows your engineers to build private clouds and leapfrog them to new data centres whenever they like. The advantage is that you and your clients are not bonded to the proprietary ecosystems of monolithic providers like Google, Amazon, Apple and possibly, Telstra. In the new world order, quick footwork will be your key survival adaptation.