Analysis

Clearfix
Tue
16
Dec
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Lack of Technical Training Driving Product Towards DIY

Lack of training is pushing electronic  security technology into the realm of DIY
Lack of training is pushing electronic security technology into the realm of DIY

AFTER speaking with integrators a couple of months ago, as well as chatting with trainers at SIG, it’s been hard not to notice certain product trends in the industry. 

Alarm panels that self-install, surveillance systems that find themselves over networks. I made the point in last month’s editorial that pressure on price was going to see poor quality solutions installed by the unqualified installers but during the month I got to thinking that the issue was more profound than that. 

Perhaps the catalyst for my thoughts was Naren Gursahaney of ADT who said his company “recognizes the incredible opportunity developing” in the unmonitored, do-it-yourself (DIY) product segment that he rightly points out is largely unpenetrated by traditional security solutions. And thinking about this it seems there’s a confluence of forces coming that the industry in this country may have significant cause to regret. 

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Thu
20
Nov
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Automation Driving Security – But Where?

A majority of residents are favour the idea of smart homes
A majority of residents are favour the idea of smart homes

A recent study suggests homeowners like the idea of automation and consider safety and security monitoring to be automation’s central role. But they have their own ideas about installation and monitoring.

LOWE’S 2014 Smart Home Survey reveals a majority of residents are favour the idea of smart homes. But some contradictory findings include that while around 50 per cent prefer do-it-yourself solutions, 62 per cent believe home automation solutions are most beneficial for real time monitoring of safety and security. At the same time, nearly 30 per cent of home owners want domestic access control solutions they can control remotely from smart devices or workstations. 

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Mon
17
Nov
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The Interview: R. Todd Smith, S2

R.Todd Smith of S2
R.Todd Smith of S2

John Adams talks to S2’s R. Todd Smith about the open platform electronic security company’s growth, challenges facing the client-server architecture model and the subtle definition of open architecture.

JA: How is the S2 business going, Todd? We’ve had a pretty tough last 5 years. Are you continuing to experience growth globally in the current market?

RTS: Yes, we are doing very well. We now have a range of very high-profile global accounts in addition to local business we do in the U.S. We manufacture all our products in the U.S. so we can keep control of quality and our IP-based solutions are economical to install and maintain. We are making inroads in Australia, too. We are represented here by BGWT and they have strong sales and support capability and plenty of stock. 

JA: What do you put the success of the company down to?

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Mon
17
Nov
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Training Failure Imposes a Material Cost

Technical training failing to produce a new generation
Technical training failing to produce a new generation

SEN spent years droning on about technical training in a bid to encourage the creation of national technical standards for electronic security installers. Other organisations have taken up the torch at various times over intervening years but none has succeeded. 

Whether this is an issue relating to the challenge of getting consensus between the educational systems of multiple states, or whether it’s been a lack of financial application is a moot point. Something that has not changed in all those years is the lack of capable technicians. Decades after the last Wormald apprentices came through, the situation is worse than it’s ever been. Technology has not stayed still, yet the addition of networking as a new support strata has not removed the need for installers and integrators to have a handle on the fundamentals of electronics. 

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Mon
20
Oct
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Hikvision: Visiting the World's Largest Surveillance Manufacturer

Michael Bates, Hikvision
Michael Bates, Hikvision

Hikvision is the world’s largest video surveillance and electronic security manufacturer. It’s a towering achievement considering Hikvision didn’t make its first DVR until 2004. But what’s behind the company’s phenomenal success? 

ARRIVING in China after a long flight, I spend a Sunday mooching around Hangzhou with Hikvision’s Daniel Huang and Michael Bates. The idea is to get a sense of the city and of Chinese culture before visiting Hikvision’s head office and factory - to get a feel for what lies behind the Hikvision story. 

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Fri
17
Oct
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The Eaten by Wolves Factor

Wolves are real...
Wolves are real...

GIVEN the recent repeated and specific threats against Australia by terrorist organisation Islamic State, security managers, security system designers and electronic security integrators should get themselves well and truly onto the front foot. 

They need to be honest about what security systems can and can’t do, they need to ensure the systems they install are fit for purpose. They need to ensure our solutions are prepared.

The wider community is still struggling to come to terms with the ethical and social ramifications that surround its collective response to Islamic State’s threats. These have included multiple direct exhortations to its local supporters to harm Australia and Australians in any way possible. And while nothing major has happened yet, incidents in Queensland and Victoria, including the attempted murder of 2 police officers attacked in a stabbing frenzy by a man carrying an IS flag, sheet directly home to IS. 

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Sat
27
Sep
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Alarm Monitoring: You Need a Game Plan

Alarm installers and monitoring stations need a plan
Alarm installers and monitoring stations need a plan

Alarm installers need to sit down and map out a game plan to ensure their clients’ alarm solutions and their own businesses are prepared to handle the changes the market faces over the next 24 months.  

It’s going to be a weird couple of years for the Australian alarm monitoring market. It’s not as if we had no idea this was coming but having everything going on at once is going to be a challenge. It’s goodbye to 2G, goodbye to PSTN, goodbye to rebates, and hello to new technologies and powerful new competitors. 

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Fri
19
Sep
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Our Technological Hydra

Our technological hydra
Our technological hydra

Electronic security has always been an industry that combines multifarious technologies in thrilling ways. 

Our solutions touch on sensing technologies, local and remote communications, optics, displays, storage solutions, thermal sensing, networking pathways, identification technologies, software analytics, power supplies, software management solutions, firmware development and a hundred splintered specialities in between.  

In some ways nothing has changed - security technology continues groping for some modular approximation of machine intelligence – for the tireless watcher on the walls. In the past though, technologies moved towards their ultimate capabilities independently. But things are starting to change and we’re seeing far more integration than in the past. 

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Thu
14
Aug
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Feeble LANs, WANs Leech Away the Power of HD

Bandwidth constraints
Bandwidth constraints

LATE last month, the Little Rock Police Department in Arkansas publically acknowledged that its $US620,000 53-camera surveillance system is choked to a viewing and recording rate of just 10 frames per second because of insufficient bandwidth.

Next-door neighbour, the North Little Rock Police Department, is also having the same trouble, with its networked solution getting images back to the monitoring centre at only 15 frames per second. These numbers compare to the U.S. NTSC TV standard of 30 frames per second. 

The LRPD told its local TV station KATV that the problem stemmed from the fact local network providers could not deliver the bandwidth necessary to support its WAN-based cameras. At the same time they’ve gone public with the problems they’re having, both the LRPD and NLRPD point out that their CCTV systems have significantly reduced crime in both cities, as well as helping detectives solve multiple cases. 

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Wed
30
Jul
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Protecting Portable High Value Assets

Assessing risk levels
Assessing risk levels

Securing fixed assets is pretty much a text book affair; establish concentric security barriers around the asset, which increase in ‘hardness’ the closer they are installed to the item of value. 

WHEN you are protecting attractive and portable assets, the rule of thumb is if you are not using it, keep it locked down; classic Defence-in-Depth. However, it’s a different story when the object requiring protection needs to remain portable and even more difficult when it is mobile. Such protective security challenges require solutions that are often technology dependent (tech-heavy), focusing on improving detection and assisting the security response with plenty of up-to-date information, on top of any deterrence and delay characteristics designed to discourage would-be perpetrators.

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