Daily Archives: 11/03/2015

Pilgrims Group appoints country director as part of footprint expansion in Algeria

Global security and risk management specialist Pilgrims Group has announced its first country director for Algeria, confirming the company’s commitment to developing its portfolio of services for businesses working in the region. 

Algeria has large oil and gas reserves and a major part of its GDP comes from this sector.

Martin Fuller has been appointed to the country director’s role and brings with him a wealth of experience in risk mitigation, crisis management, business development and business continuity.

Fuller’s previous roles include development director at G4S with responsibility for the oil and gas markets in Africa, security team leader for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), principle consultant for a Middle East security management company and twelve years working at BP International as a security, crisis and business continuity management specialist.

On his new role at Pilgrims, Fuller told Risk UK: “My focus is to grow Pilgrims’ footprint throughout the country and manage our operations to ensure the highest quality of service delivery. While it’s easy to travel to Algeria from Europe, our clients deserve and expect close management of their contracts and this is most effectively met through having a permanent local presence. It also helps us meet and maintain the necessary contacts and service our clients need with maximum efficiency.”

Martin Fuller: country director for Pilgrims Group in Algeria

Martin Fuller: country director for Pilgrims Group in Algeria

Fuller added: “By living in Algeria, I can develop a personal and hands-on understanding of the day-to-day challenges that businesses face in the country. This will perfectly position us to add value to our clients’ operations by delivering what they need, when they need it and by being able to anticipate those needs.”

Risk management and risk assessments

Pilgrims has already energised a partnership with The Mesli Group which operates a well-established security guarding company (by the name of CGPS) with over 4,000 officers deployed throughout Algeria.

A number of key services are already provided by Pilgrims in Algeria. “Currently,” stated Fuller, “our main service offerings here cover key areas of risk management, from embedded risk managers and logistic co-ordinators, the provision of risk assessments and the development of appropriate mitigation plans, among them technical security solutions, through to comprehensive journey management support using our in-house cars, drivers and tracking systems, close protection teams, medical support – including our own fleet of ambulances and medics – and motor cycle response teams.”

A key service also provided for international clients is Pilgrims’ award-winning pre-deployment hostile environment awareness training (HEAT), delivered either through its Centre of Excellence near Gatwick Airport in the UK or at its Training Academy located in Algiers.

Commenting on Fuller’s appointment, Pilgrims’ managing director Bill Freear said: “I’m delighted that Martin has joined the growing Pilgrims ranks. His in-depth understanding of the risk management spectrum and, in particular, the oil and gas industry makes him an ideal lead for our future plans in Algeria. The manner in which he has quickly aligned himself to the Pilgrims ethos and become an invaluable member of the team is a credit to his commitment and capability.”

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Survey highlights retailers’ continued appetite for competitive advantage through digital surveillance

According to the latest Centre for Retail Research (CRR) survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter (27%) of UK retailers have cited ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adoption of network IP for the third year running.

Similarly, across northern Europe, the survey – which was commissioned by Axis Communications – shows that an average of 31% of retailers said that integration with business intelligence applications is their main driver for adopting network IP, peaking at 35% in Denmark.

Of the 278 UK retailers who responded, encompassing no less than 20,350 stores, the data shows that 92.8% currently use CCTV with over 60% of interviewees planning to convert to network IP technology.

‘Quality of Image’ sees the biggest increase in priority with a 40% rise in UK respondents naming it as the most important factor when migrating to network IP.

Other major drivers for the adoption of IP technology include ‘better remote access’ (18%), ‘scalability’ (16%) and ‘reduced total cost of ownership’ (12%), all of them showing an average increase compared to the results of last year’s survey.

According to the latest annual Centre for Retail Research survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter of UK retailers cite ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adopting network IP

According to the latest annual Centre for Retail Research survey into the use of CCTV in retail, over a quarter of UK retailers cite ‘integration with business intelligence applications’ as the main reason for adopting network IP

Migration from analogue CCTV to network IP

Commenting on the survey results, Andy Martin (retail business development manager at Axis Communications) said: “The migration from analogue CCTV to network IP continues to be of huge importance to the retail sector and will be the biggest single factor impacting on retail security as digital surveillance and network video become the standard.”

He continued: “The UK High Street is still the origin of the bulk of retail transactions, but unfortunately physical stores also carry the highest overheads so the need to ‘sweat the assets’ is vital. Surveillance systems are no exception to that rule. This is where network IP really has an advantage as it can be used to improve both service and sales, not just security, and deliver a real return on investment.”

Martin added: “With retailers operating on increasingly smaller margins, reducing costs is a key priority for them. While IP-based video surveillance does make a noticeable improvement to the top line, the long-term aim of superior image quality should be the lowering of total cost of ownership as it enhances detection and improves forensic investigation.”

Martin sees retailers’ use of business analytics and intelligence applications continuing to mushroom in line with developments in cloud computing and big data.

“With network cameras’ capability to provide higher resolution video and be connected from everywhere 24 hours a day,” he stated, “retailers are now receiving more and more data from a greater number of sources. Business intelligence applications are needed to help retailers manage this huge amount of information and to assist them in interpreting the data so that it’s useful.”

Given that network video is an open platform solution, it can seamlessly allow integration with emerging technologies and, therefore, transforms the surveillance camera from being a forensic tool aimed at solving problems to a proactive tool that’s designed to optimise business processes and reduce cost.

“This is clearly evident from the survey,” asserted Martin, “as nearly half of the UK retailers polled stated that queue management (49.9%) and people counting (49.2%) are the two most important non-security network IP applications of most interest to them.”

Increased adoption of business-focused analytics

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director at the CRR, commented: “The survey clearly highlights the continued move towards IP-based camera systems across the retail sector. This is a growing trend that’s driven by the need for HD-quality images and the increased adoption and use of business-focused analytics – two areas where IP systems demonstrate a clear advantage over older technologies.”

Bamfield added: “The survey results further suggest that retailers continue to appreciate the added benefits an IP-based system can deliver, which is readily evident in the high convergence rate each year.”

Andy Martin concluded: “Customer theft is still the biggest security challenge facing retailers at the moment, as nearly a quarter (24.2%) of respondents said that their main reason for using CCTV is to prevent or investigate theft. 80% of respondents cited the prevention of internal or external theft and better safety as the main driver for the use of CCTV, seeing an average fall in loss of 15%. As a whole, the UK has embraced the benefits that CCTV can bring. This is particularly true of the retail sector. Certainly for the UK, I believe that the migration to network IP has become the norm. It’s no longer a question of ‘If’ but ‘When’ the technology will be adopted.”

*The ‘CCTV in Retail’ survey involved 2,200 retailers operating across a wide variety of sectors and attracted 673 responses from specialists resident in the UK, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden

**Research was carried out by the CRR between July-August 2014 and follows similar Axis Communications-commissioned surveys conducted in 2013, 2012 and 2010

AxisCommunicationsCRRRetailSecuritySurveyInfographic1

AxisCommunicationsCRRRetailSecuritySurveyInfographic2

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Apollo Fire Detectors appointed solutions provider for Reliance Industries

Apollo Fire Detectors has boosted its international presence by becoming the fire detection provider of choice for a significant project being run by Reliance Industries, one of the biggest private sector companies in India.

Reliance is installing 4G mobile communication networks across India after its telecom arm, Reliance Jio Infocomm, was awarded a unified telecom licence enabling it to offer both voice and high-speed data services to subscribers across India’s 22 telecom circles.

Reliance is to build 4G data centres at each site which will house communication equipment and provide the base for an operational workforce.

Mumbai-based Technofire is responsible for the supply and installation of the fire alarm systems at each data centre and will train installers responsible for each site.

Technofire is currently working on 59 of these sites, a number which is expected to rise to over 200 in the near future.

Each site will benefit from the installation of Apollo Fire Detectors’ XP95-based heat and optical smoke detectors in addition to an OpenConnect Gateway which integrates fire detection with the buildings’ management systems.

Praful Sanghrajka: owner of Technofire

Praful Sanghrajka: owner of Technofire

Santacruz site in Mumbai

Fire panels for the sites are being supplied by Kentec and will communicate directly with Reliance’s MODBUS rooftop units via optical fibre ring networks.

The number of Apollo detectors at each site will vary depending on the size of the network. The first site is at Santacruz in Mumbai which will have 50 XP95 detectors installed.

Praful Sanghrajka, owner of Technofire, explained: “We supplied almost 500 fire alarm panels along with Apollo Series 65 detectors for Reliance mobile communications more than ten years ago. We’re therefore very proud that we’ve been given this additional opportunity to provide more Apollo devices along with customised fire alarm panels from Kentec.”

Vikrant Patil, Apollo Fire Detectors’ sales manager for India, added: “This new project builds further upon our valued relationship with Reliance Industries and Technofire. We have already worked together on large projects, such as the supply of nearly 45,000 fire detectors to the Reliance Hazira petroleum plant in Gujarat, India, but what sets this project apart is its scale of OpenConnect Gateway use. This is a very important project for Apollo as it will be the first of its kind in India using OpenConnect on such a large scale. It will set a precedent for the future.”

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Samsung Techwin appoints Dan England as technology partner manager

Dan England has been appointed technology partner manager for the Security Solutions division of Samsung Techwin Europe. He will be working closely with Samsung Techwin’s Applications Partners and VMS developers to raise awareness of how Open Platform technology can provide users with significant added value from their video surveillance systems.

“As someone who has spent the last 16 years working for consultancies and companies involved in the design and installation of integrated solutions, I’m very excited to have the opportunity to drive Samsung Techwin’s Technology Partner scheme,” explained England.

“The massive processing power of the DSP chipsets incorporated within the latest generation of Samsung Techwin WiseNetIII HD cameras has resulted in significant new business opportunities being generated for both the IT and security sales channels,” he continued. “I’m looking forward to playing a part in implementing a strategy which encourages a wide range of third party software developers to take advantage of our Open Platform technology.”

Dan England: technology partner manager at Samsung Techwin

Dan England: technology partner manager at Samsung Techwin

Bespoke video surveillance solutions

The latest generation of Samsung Techwin’s WiseNetIII Open Platform cameras “elevate video surveillance from being just a security system to a smart solution” that can deliver so much more.

While most currently available Open Platform cameras can only run one app, the processing power of Samsung Techwin’s WiseNetIII Platform DSP chipset provides customers with the option to run multiple apps at the same time.

On-board apps create opportunities for cameras to be used for multi-tasking, with various departments within a business or organisation able to simultaneously collect and analyse valuable management information via different specialist video analytics apps.

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