Ten top integrators talk tech
YARMOUTH, Maine—For the second year in a row, Security Systems News has asked 10 top integrators which technology trends they believe integrators should be paying attention to and why. Again this year, cybersecurity and cloud were among those top trends, but several other technologies were identified including video and data analytics, big data.
Executives from the following companies participated in this report: Extravision Video Technologies, Security Equipment Inc., Integrated Security Systems, Tech Systems, Firstline Security, Pro-Tec Design, SDI, STANLEY Security, SSI and Convergint Technologies.
President, Extravision Video Technologies
It is very unfortunate to say, but major trends are often the direct results of events that are affecting the world. Last year publicized cyberattacks created a new level of awareness which prompted manufacturers and integrators to react in order to help their customers and their IT groups to work together and adapt a series of technological measures to counteract such risks. This will now continue to be a major trend and system integrators have a part-ownership of this.
We are witnessing an increased requirement to better prepare ourselves against violent and often deadly attacks, and the corporate world is no longer immune to those threats. Law enforcement and the corporate world are facing the same issue: How can we better secure ourselves, our employees, and our citizens? Technology must be part of the equation.
I believe we’ll see two major trends. The first is preventive behavioral detection methodologies that can only be achieved by advanced video analytics. These analytics will come in many flavor, such as facial recognition, suspicious behaviors and even an automatic-threat recognition prompting a lockdown. This is why VMS companies are investing [in these technologies] knowing their VMS will play a much larger role in the coming few years. I believe that VMS will take the forefront over access control systems because they will manage from their much more intuitive interface.
The second trend is the development of PSIM that can link multiple technologies in one unified platform. The role of an efficient PSIM is to collect, analyze, verify, resolve, report and audit, but it also needs to prevent.
Advancements in PSIM developments will require that they more effectively prevent—by initiating actions flagged by the software—and act, whether it be by alerting a monitoring center or by simply isolating the threat until re-enforcement is dispatched.
A proper PSIM must involve all software activities no matter what they are, and interpret the meaning of the activity in a simplified form. A good example of this would be to provoke a lockdown of a facility when a confirmed hostility has occurred in the neighborhood as it is picked-up by the media and law enforcement. Although these activities are not on the corporate network, its proximity may have an impact on a facility, and a lockdown may help protect the people from further harm.
EVP, Security Equipment Inc.
I think hosted and managed services are really going to take off in 2016, specifically hosted and managed access and video. With the reduced deployment costs and ongoing administrative labor being practically eliminated, small- and medium-size companies will be looking to take advantage. Throw in the ability to connect from basically anywhere and it's hard to argue against cloud services.
Jeffrey S. Nunberg
President & CEO, ISS, Integrated Security Systems
There are two areas that I think will make big gains in 2016. The first is cloud service offerings: Hosted and managed access is poised to break out of the gate especially with offerings from Feenics and BluB0X. The second is video analytics: Between processing horsepower increase in speed, demand for analytics and reduction in cost, this technology will be largely deployed in 2016
President, Tech Systems
An important technology is cybersecurity requirements including settings, features and tools. Safeguarding networked physical security systems from potential hackers and viruses remains a challenge. Our industry hasn’t fully embraced its level of responsibility in this area. Entities like PSA Security Network are beginning to identify where the vulnerabilities lie and how to effectively mitigate these risks. I expect manufacturers to establish a more structured cybersecurity program within their product lines. The evolution of cyberrisks warrant significant investment and I anticipate that manufacturers will be releasing new features and training to support a cyberaware and secure environment.
CEO/founder, Firstline Security
Facial recognition is becoming a more recognized alternative to biometric readers. This technology is not subject to issues with dry skin, cuts, or aging of the user, and it is providing a higher degree of accuracy. While facial recognition is a more costly option today, I expect this to change in the near future.
Director of sales and marketing, Pro-Tec Design
I believe we are going to see clients make a step up in video resolution this year. Although a standard compression method (H.265) hasn’t been adopted which would significantly help offset the data increase, companies like Axis are inventing new ways to decrease bandwidth on its new series of cameras. Most of our clients use 720P as a standard interior camera resolution and 1080P or 5MP as standard exterior resolution. Instead of just taking the decreased bandwidth as a savings, I believe we will see clients invest that savings in higher resolution standards. I believe we will see 1080P become the new standard for interior cameras and 4K as the new standard for exterior cameras.
The other trend I see is with clients’ use of their systems. I wouldn’t call it a technology advancement, but rather a deeper use of their existing system. Clients are inquiring about how their access control or video surveillance systems can utilize data from other systems such as infant protection, asset tracking, visitor management or patient-wandering to enhance their business operations. Maybe I’d term it technology consolidation?
Dawn Nash Pfeiffer
With the ever-increasing tsunami of digital video data being collected by our industries of focus, integrators need to pay attention to the application of enterprise video content management (EVCM) platforms. EVCM systems are not device- or network-focused, they are instead oriented to taking video data from a wide range of sources that an enterprise may use for video acquisition.
Sources include those controlled by an organization, as well as external sources of data relevant to organizational operations. In law enforcement alone, petabytes of video are being generated daily by agencies via their fixed, in-car and now body-worn cameras. In addition, there is video and image data collected from private camera networks (stores and businesses) and cell phone images and video from the public.
This data needs to be reviewed, catalogued, stored and retrieved in a manner that meets evidentiary integrity standards, complies with governing regulatory requirements, and facilitates efficient police investigations and crime analyses. It also needs to work in tandem with other systems' data including 911 dispatch, records management, social media and the growing Internet of Things in the surrounding environment.
V.P., CTO, STANLEY Security
The first technology integrators should pay attention to is mass notification and situational awareness options. Clients have a growing concern around employee safety and understanding what security products are available and how they can be integrated into the existing corporate security strategy to create a safer working environment.
The second technology is mobile security products in general. There is a great deal of interest in security-related solutions that can be used on mobile devices, this includes access control, CCTV, personal emergency products or (PERS) devices. As our society goes mobile, so will security.
The final technology is the cloud-based conversion of just about every security product offering. Over the last five years we have seen a major shift to cloud-based products and services for a host of reasons, some are driven by the customers’ IT professionals while others are driven by simple economics. Whatever the case, we will continue to see more solutions offered in this configuration as the industry evolves.
Wireless technology has matured in both bandwidth capacity and security while maintaining very reasonable price-points. The concept of secure gigabit wireless allows for very flexible camera placement in both indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, combining wireless cameras alongside traditional /wired cameras can provide redundancy not just in placement, but also with multiple bridged networks. Furthermore, while special knowledge is required to analyze the wireless space, labor and material costs related to cabling burdens can be substantially reduced, therefore yielding an overall cost benefit.
VP Security Division, Convergint Technologies
One of the top technology trends in 2016 involves the emergence of network diagnostic software tools that translates real-time information (big data) of physical security devices into actionable intelligence. These solutions generate proactive alerts on the health of network devices, identify trends to justify system upgrades, and provide detailed reports designed for executives to make informed decisions. As it relates to servicing and maintaining physical security systems, a more proactive and data-driven approach is required. Network diagnostic tools provide the empirical data needed to make timely, informed and cost-effective decisions.