Analysis

Clearfix
Sat
26
Jul
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FY2013: A Year to Remember

2013 financial year was about acquisition, distribution juggling
2013 financial year was about acquisition, distribution juggling

The last financial year has been noteworthy from a local security business perspective with multiple acquisitions and plenty of heat around distribution agreements. But was it a growth year?  

THERE’s not much doubt the last financial year was awash with acquisitions. Never has the local industry seen so much activity – with Hills taking on networking solutions OPS, Intek and others, Suretek buying NT Software, Allegion (formerly Ingersoll Rand) acquiring FSH, Ingram Micro breaking into physical security and Telstra buying into SNP Security. There’s been plenty going on in the global market, too. 

Broadly, you can read a number of things into an acquisitive market. For a start it suggests many companies are holding large cash reserves. A wave of acquisitions could also suggest the market is peaking and businesses struggling to find real growth are buying market share. 

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Sat
19
Jul
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Time Travel: The Next 5 Years in Electronic Security

John Adams, editor, Security Electronics and Networks Magazine
John Adams, editor, Security Electronics and Networks Magazine

IN the wake of Security 2014 Exhibition, it’s tempting to project the mind ahead 5 years and try to imagine the sorts of issues and technologies we are likely to be living with. 

Some technologies are obvious – there’s going to be lots of cloud. We're seeing it in video surveillance, alarms and automation, and access control. I think in 5 years cloud will be deeply embedded as a layer of the professional monitoring industry. I think TelstraSNP is a good sign – that alliance shows Telstra knows what a security system is and understands duty of care. It’s a recognition likely to mirrored by new players. 

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Sat
19
Jul
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The Interview: Marcus Kneen, Indigovision

Marcus Kneen, CEO, IndigoVision
Marcus Kneen, CEO, IndigoVision

IndigoVision is one of IP video’s heroic explorers. According to CEO Marcus Kneen, the company’s survival through the fierce landscape of the digital transition has depended on the brilliance of its solutions and the team’s commitment to each other and to customers. 

MARCUS Kneen, IndigoVision’s CEO, is a zealous touring cyclist and sea-kayaker and his love of elemental challenges that pivot on dependable gear, careful logistics, and a combination of teamwork and self-reliance, says much about the nature of the man. At the end of our chat when Kneen tells me one of his heroes is legendary Australian Antarctic explorer, scientist and academic, Douglas Mawson; I’m not surprised. The consummate team leader, Mawson refused to quit, even when he believed he could not survive. 

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Fri
20
Jun
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4K Or Not 4k? UltraHD IP Cameras

Vivotek virtual 4K display at Security 2013 in Sydney
Vivotek virtual 4K display at Security 2013 in Sydney

It  looks like the next benchmark for video surveillance cameras is going to be the Ultra HD standard, with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 – around 8MP. Given the challenges networks may face carrying Ultra HD video streams it’s hard to say just when we will see the technology reach a tipping point. 

THERE are a couple of signs worth paying attention to with Ultra HD (commonly called 4K in consumer and CCTV industries). The first is that UHD consumer monitors are now dropping in price at a time many homeowners’ first 1080p HD monitors may be starting to look a little tired. Something else to bear in mind is the consensus forming in digital photography that 8MP is the sweet spot that allows the best balance of low light performance and high resolution. 

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Wed
11
Jun
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Escape from Analogue

Escape from analogue
Escape from analogue

2014 was the year touted by business analysts as The Great Tipping Point – the year IP cameras would finally start to dominate the video surveillance market. 

The analysts were right but not in the way I expected them to be. IP is suddenly in the ascendency but not in an incremental way. By all accounts, IP is obliterating analogue in much of the Australian market and once IP proliferates it will lead to sweeping changes. 

To check if the analysts were right about The Great Tipping Point, we spoke with 3 major local distributors of video surveillance equipment and 1 manufacturer of both IP and analogue cameras. The results speak for themselves. The numbers most people would expect come from Bosch Security Systems. Currently, Bosch is sitting at 50/50 analogue and IP and the company says IP is growing at 8 per cent annually, with analogue shrinking at 2 per cent. 

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Tue
27
May
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Security 2014: Bring Your Hustle

Scenes from Security 2013 in Sydney
Scenes from Security 2013 in Sydney

WHETHER it’s the earlier date of Security 2014 Exhibition or simply the passage of years, this year’s security event seems out the gate early, creating a sense of hustle most people in the electronic security industry must be feeling a lot these days. Product upgrades are almost constant and the latest market leaders are usually overtaken within 12 months. (Pre-register right here!)

In 2013, the key building trends we identified were things like price deflation, thermal cameras, video verification, cloud-based security solutions, wireless and mobile management of security solutions. Also noticeable was the digitisation of wider electronic security solutions - IP access, alarms, intercoms, home automation and the rest. A surfeit of features was another trend, with buyers getting more for less.  

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Fri
16
May
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DIY Cloud Security Solutions: The Next Wave?

Zwobbx offers situational awareness
Zwobbx offers situational awareness

As the electronic security industry turns to the latest consumer technology to change the way users interact with security systems, it should come as little surprise that a growing wave of niche-hungry start ups is looking at security electronics. 

THERE are a couple of recent releases that attract attention for their simplicity, the fact they integrate so much in very small packages. I think it would be a mistake to think of these as true security systems but it’s equally foolish to assume end users will not desire a similar level of features and flex from professional domestic security solutions in the future. 

Whether this tech is a real commitment to the market or a fishing attempt for the sort of monster buyout we saw with Nest is a moot point. This clever stuff is coming and it will appeal to young people – life-long renters who have grown up with technology and who represent the next wave of customers. 

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Tue
06
May
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Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies
Emerging technologies

GIVEN the increasing symbiosis between electronic security solutions and consumer and industrial technologies, it’s always instructive to think about the ways emerging technologies might impact on security electronics in the years ahead.

I can never think about this long before grounding on the sandbank of broader IT infrastructure, our own IP technologies, thickening cloud. It’s a duplex connection. At the same time digital technologies liberate our systems, they constrain us through the limitations of compression, bandwidth, storage, unrealistic cost and the painful proprietary aspirations of global players, each wanting to own the future. 

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Mon
24
Mar
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Ultra Broad Band: Coming Ready Or Not

Ultra broadband coming
Ultra broadband coming

EVEN if Australia has opted out of the NBN, it remains obvious where networks are going to in the future. Ultra broadband.

It’s always tough to talk about broadband with a straight face. Over-subscription and under investment in cable, fibre and wireless infrastructure by a whole ecosystem of ISPs means the majority of customers rarely get the services they pay for. But change is coming, regardless of the strictures of government and commercial expediency. 

There’s no doubt that more bandwidth is desirable – the more bandwidth, the more desirable. And that’s precisely what the propeller-heads at Google have come up with. Broadband so beamy it makes our defunct national broadband network look petite. 

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Tue
18
Feb
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Electronic Security: Projections Of Growth

Our connected world
Our connected world

ONE of the most pervasive news trends of the past 12 months has been projections of growth in the demand for security electronics and networks – not just slight growth but enormous growth. Not only are the numbers being thrown around very large, they seem to take in most parts of the market. 

There’s growth in IP video. There’s growth in thermal cameras. There’s growth in the security demands of key utilities – and this latter is spread across the entire market – including intrusion detection, perimeter, fire, building management and access control. We’ve also seen projections of growth in areas like building management and home automation which recently saw a huge confidence play, with Google buying home automation manufacturer Nest Labs for more than $US3 billion. 

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