Monthly Archives: May 2021

QED and EmpiricAl partnership brings Computer Vision AI to wider market

EmpiricAI has secured a major new distribution agreement with electronic security distributor QED, its first UK partner, that will see its Computer Vision AI (Artificial Intelligence) solution offered across the UK and Europe.

The announcement comes against a growing realisation that the security industry plays a crucial role not only in the protection of people and places, but also in terms of providing peace of mind for employers and employees alike in a wide variety of workplaces.

QED now becomes one of the first to market with an advanced Computer Vision AI solution. It was developed by EmpiricAI specifically for improving Health and Safety and productivity in business and industry.

Headquartered in Preston, QED is expecting strong demand for its new offer from a range of sectors including construction, manufacturing, corporate offices, retail and other customer-facing branches.

QED was initially attracted by EmpiricAI’s WorkSafe Analytics (WSA) platform because of its functionality and ease of use. WSA uses AI-powered Computer Vision technology to help businesses gain an accurate view of potential risks in the workplace. The software ensures compliance with Health and Safety guidelines.

Integrated into on-site CCTV implementations, WSA is able to carry out real-time monitoring and detection of any non-compliance of social distancing, correct PPE/mask usage and occupancy guidelines. Comprehensive analytics and reporting on compliance at room, building and site-wide levels and their trends over time enables organisations to monitor and improve the effectiveness of their Health and Safety initiatives.

Restoring employee confidence

EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision technology has been shown to restore employee confidence around safety. This is set against a backdrop of research showing that more than 60% of workers report inadequate safety in their workplace when considering all factors, not just the pandemic, which can significantly affect their productivity.

Steve Constantine, QED’s product development director, explained: “This partnership with EmpiricAI has been driven by the need to add more flexibility to our product range to support our partners working in environments where it’s important to monitor compliance with safety procedures. In addition, it also allows us to provide a timely and relevant solution to help address the Health and Safety challenges businesses are facing at the present time.”

Salman Chaudhary, CEO at EmpiricAI, responded: “Our WorkSafe Analytics will complement QED’s customer-driven solutions. We see the partnership with QED bringing the benefits of Computer Vision to a much wider market and especially for those professionals required to adhere to strict Health and Safety procedures. The combination of our advanced technology, backed up with QED’s security offer and proven customer service will make the benefits of Computer Vision much more accessible to customers.”

Technical support

QED provides a next day delivery service and 24/7 online ordering underpinned by “exceptional” customer service and technical support. The business offers advice before and following a sale, with its ethos being to earn the lifetime loyalty of customers.

A dedicated account manager from QED is assigned to all customers, supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team of professionals. A bespoke online customer portal is available where customers can place orders, view their order histories, download invoices, request reports and manage company account users.

*For more information on EmpiricAI’s Computer Vision AI WorkSafe Analytics visit www.qedgroup.co.uk

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Johnson Controls adds cloud-based access control to Cloudvue platform

Johnson Controls – the specialist provider of bespoke solutions for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings – is introducing Cloudvue with access control thanks to the Tyco Kantech KT-1 one-door controller. This powerful technology collaboration enables centrally managed cloud video surveillance and access control across an entire organisation from a single browser and is very much part of the Johnson Controls commitment to providing technology so that customers can maintain safe building environments, healthy business operations and seamless occupant experiences.

The combination of the KT-1 one-door controller and Cloudvue Security Management allows organisations of all sizes to easily manage doors, users and schedules from any browser or mobile device. Users can receive intelligent alerts on real-time door activity from the integrated video surveillance and access control platform.

Cloudvue provides organisations with powerful intelligence that streamlines security, improves operational efficiency beyond security and integrates with the Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital platforms, a complete suite of connected solutions for sustainability, new healthy occupant experiences and safety and security solutions.

“The combination of the KT-1 and Cloudvue provides end users with multiple modes of operation to fit a variety of operational needs within the same organisation using a single door controller,” explained Scott Humphreys, senior product manager for Cloudvue at Johnson Controls. “The native integration offered between Kantech and Cloudvue ensures seamless operation and more robust feature sets for any access control configuration.”

KT-1 offers intuitive, cost-effective, cloud-based management capabilities. The Kantech KT-1 is available as a cloud-managed, Ethernet-ready, powered single-door controller with support for up to two readers for entry and exit control.

Connected to the Cloudvue Security Management cloud service, the KT-1 delivers advanced access control features with fully integrated cloud video surveillance options.

The KT-1 also offers the following features: Single touch button for fast and automatic controller enrolment, ‘plug and play’ installation, Power over Ethernet for flexible power input and highly secure 128-bit AES encryption.

*Further information is available online at https://www.cloudvue.io/

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Zicam Integrated Security selects Wisenet as preferred video surveillance brand

Zicam Integrated Security Ltd – one of the UK’s fastest-growing installers of electronic security systems – has selected Hanwha Techwin as its preferred single source provider of IP network video surveillance solutions. 

“As a systems integrator always looking to innovate and provide end user clients with added value from their video surveillance systems, we’ve decided to work ever-more closely with Hanwha Techwin,” stated David Salisbury, managing director of West Midlands-based Zicam Integrated Security, which has specialised in state-of-the-art surveillance and detection security systems for over 25 years now.

Salisbury went on to state: “While we always offer objective advice to end user clients in respect of the best cameras, recording devices and VMS available to meet their specific requirements, we’ve found for most projects we’ve been involved in over recent years that, via authorised distributors, we’ve been able to source everything needed from the Hanwha Techwin Wisenet product range.”

Remote monitoring

Although Zicam Integrated Security is able to take advantage of the full Wisenet range when recommending the most suitable products for specific applications, the business has recently been specifying Wisenet P Series AI cameras for almost all projects where the video surveillance systems are being remotely monitored.

“In addition to the superb quality of the 4K images captured by these cameras,” continued Salisbury, “they’re also equipped with deep learning AI video analytics which deliver a high level of detection accuracy while minimising false alarms. This is proving to be extremely valuable to our clients, such as DHL, in terms of them efficiently and cost-effectively protecting their assets, people and property.”

STEP Partner

As a Gold level Hanwha Techwin STEP Partner, Zicam Integrated Security is able to benefit from the support offered by the partnership programme, including an enhanced five-year warranty, access to a wide range of technical support resources, lead sharing and co-marketing activities.

Ben Speakman, UK country manager for Hanwha Techwin Europe, observed: “We’re naturally delighted that a knowledgeable and highly professional systems integrator such as Zicam Integrated Security has committed to recommending Wisenet-branded products to its clients wherever possible. We’re very much looking forward to helping the Zicam team capitalise on the new business opportunities being created by our next generation products, many of which are equipped with deep learning AI video analytics.”

*For more information visit www.zicam-security.co.uk

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Senior leadership promotions announced by guarding business SSGC

SSGC – one of many security guarding companies providing vital services to keep the country running during the COVID-19 pandemic – has now appointed a new CEO and managing director following a year of huge growth. David Stubbs is appointed to the newly-created position of CEO of both SSGC and WLTS (a new offshoot firm which delivers temporary labour and recruitment services to businesses), while the business has promoted Demelza Staples to the role of managing director of SSGC. Staples formerly served as operations director.

SSGC has grown from a £1.5 million annual turnover business in 2014 to reach a current turnover of more than £100 million. Both appointments are part of its plan to continue growing as the country navigates its way out of the pandemic.

Last year, the Armed Forces Covenant signatory deployed more than 4,000 members of staff to marshal COVID-19 Testing Centres across the UK, many of whom were military veterans. It has since expanded to provide lateral flow testing support for schools across the UK and launched the aforementioned WLTS business, which has already secured a £40 million contract to provide personnel to Comensura (the business that speclialises in managing supplies of temporary, permanent and contract labour).

A former military policeman, Stubbs was a key driver in the management buy-out of SSGC in 2014, while Staples is an experienced retail professional specialising in risk, security, loss prevention, operations and Human Resources.

Continuing ambition

In conversation with Security Matters, Stubbs explained: “I’m delighted to have guided the business to its current position. The creation of the new CEO role is another sign of the continuing ambition of the business as we look to build a winning senior team which will deliver positive change within the security sector.”

He continued: “It’s critical to the business’ ongoing success that SSGC mirrors the country by forging ahead into a post-pandemic world, building a solution which is fit for the new way of conducting business. I’m heartened by the sizable contract wins over the last couple of months. Hopefully, they’re a sign that we’re doing things the right way. It’s especially pleasing that our social value activity is being embraced by the larger, more evolved corporates. As a business, we will continue to invest in a better living standard for all of our staff and the wider communities in which we operate.”

Further, Stubbs stated: “There are many brands emerging from the growth of SSGC as we maintain our focus on specialisation and meaningful innovation. I’m excited by the challenges and opportunities that the future holds. I would like to congratulate Demelza, who has made a hugely positive impact on our COVID-19 testing-related security solutions delivery. I’m certain that she will prove to be an exceptional leader for the business.”

Challenging and rewarding

Reflecting on her own new role with the business, Demelza Staples said: “It’s amazing to have been involved at a senior level in this business’ rise to the top. Very few of us experience 1,500% year-on-year growth where we work and, while the last year has been challenging, it has been the most rewarding of my life. I’m pleased that the Board has afforded me the managing director’s post.”

Staples went on to comment: “Probably the most exciting part for me is the fact that SSGC has already continued with its winning ways. There are a number of really positive announcements to be made at the start of my journey in the managing director’s chair.”

In conclusion, Staples informed Security Matters: “Through our commitment to the veteran community and the Continuing Professional Development of all our employees, we’ve managed to build a highly-skilled team to support our growth programme. I’m delighted to be taking on the managing director’s role and thank the owners of the business for offering me this fantastic opportunity.”

*Further information is available online at www.ssgc-net.com

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Genetec Clearance camera registry streamlines public-private collaboration

Genetec – the technology provider of unified security, public safety, operations and business intelligence solutions – has announced an update to its camera registry module for Genetec Clearance, the digital evidence management system that facilitates collaboration between public safety agencies, corporate security departments, businesses and the general public.

Video evidence is an invaluable tool to help investigators review events, assist the public and solve crimes. However, the methods used to retrieve recordings from privately-owned cameras can be cumbersome and time-consuming as they rely on security officers manually collecting video from the scene.

The camera registry module for Clearance offers an entirely digital and automated experience to facilitate this process on a much swifter basis and provides a new avenue for law enforcement to work closely with residents and businesses in their community.

“Genetec Clearance is now our overall case file with everything in it, including all of our evidence and case-related documentation,” said Captain Mike Bell, Identification Division Commander at the Galveston Sheriff’s Office in Texas. “Where we used to keep paper records, we now store everything digitally in Clearance including crime scene photographs, patrol photos from mobile phones, interviews and all of our reports and records. Using Clearance means that, when we have to work with case files for whatever reason, all of the data we need is right there at our fingertips.”

Digital public safety

The module allows cities and agencies to create a digital public safety programme whereby businesses, public institutions and residents can enrol to assist with investigations. Once participants have registered their cameras, detectives can rapidly locate cameras nearby investigations and request recordings to facilitate evidence collection.

Recordings are provided voluntarily by participants and are sent back to the authorities through a secure web portal. Video exports from any camera system may be shared such that business owners and residents can continue to use their existing equipment without incurring any additional costs to participate in the programme. Detectives can then review and preserve videos received from these requests directly from Clearance.

Erick Ceresato, senior product group manager at Genetec, told Security Matters: “Investigators are under a great deal of pressure to solve cases. Our goal is to provide cities and public safety agencies with the technology that helps them to reduce the time spent on mundane tasks and provide methods for them to collaborate more effectively with businesses and the public.”

Cresato added: “We’re pleased to offer solutions like Genetec Clearance that can be used to build closer partnerships within communities and better leverage the full potential of evidence that’s available to improve public safety.”

*Further information about Genetec Clearance is available online at https://info.genetec.com/clearance-camera-registry-features.html

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Vemotion issues multi-stream, multi-media hybrid video encoder and recorder

Vemotion Interactive – the UK manufacturer of low-latency, high-performance, ‘plug and play’ live video streaming solutions for systems integrators and OEM solutions providers – has just released the VB-36, a rugged MIL-SPEC, multi-stream, multi-media hybrid encoder and recorder.

Capable of delivering high-quality images combined with extremely low latency, the VB-36 encoder supports any mix of analogue, IP, HDMI and HD-SDI inputs. Capitalising on Vemotion’s V-TX transmission technology, the VB-36 delivers amazingly low latency and high-quality images transmitted at efficient bitrates, even within the most challenging of wireless (GPRS, 3G, 4GLTE, 5G, Wi-Fi and Satellite) or wired (UTP and fibre) network conditions.

Suitable for a wide variety of video transmission applications, the rugged, aluminium-bodied MIL-SPEC VB-36 is ideal for use in harsh environments, such as on-board vehicles or extremes of operating temperature. Offering flexible performance, the encoder caters for additional input ports and PoE to provide power for multiple IP cameras from just one device.

In combination with the Vemotion viewer, users can choose a camera to view, using data only when viewed. Multiple cameras can be viewed in different split-screen formats – including mosaic and quad screen – from just a single stream. Furthermore, the VB-36 can accommodate more streams and more analogue cards (or an additional modem, etc) to provide flexible configuration in order to meet any advanced streaming requirement.

Definition of parameters

The VB-36 employs user-friendly set-up and features, and together with a local user interface, includes the ability to define on-board recording and transmission parameters for full-rate camera viewing and control (including recorded footage playback).

“The VB-36 delivers highly efficient video streaming on astonishingly low bandwidth video transmission,” commented Steve Haworth, CEO at Vemotion. “Easy to add to existing infrastructure, the VB-36 is a highly reliable, robust and flexible encoder and recorder. It’s suitable for a wide variety of professional video streaming applications.”

*Further information is available online at www.vemotion.com

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SMARTair i-gate electronic padlock introduced by ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions

Offering resistance to attack and extreme weather, in addition to wire-free installation and battery-powered operation, the SMARTair i-gate electronic padlock is built for use almost anywhere. This new device in the SMARTair wireless access control range from ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions enables security and facility managers to add real-time control to non-electrified gates, cupboards, cabinets, closets and crates wherever they are and whatever the climate.

For many organisations, security and access needs do not stop at the perimeter door, yet finding reliable locking devices which are easy to operate with an electronic access system can be difficult. Gates and outbuildings are hard to reach with cabling. Access devices may not have the resilience required for reliable operation outdoors. The i-gate is built to meet these challenges.

“The SMARTair i-gate electronic padlock helps our customers extend wire-free control to new access points,” explained Félix Morán, SMARTair product manager at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA. “It can be instantly moved to wherever a resistant and adaptable locking device is needed. Site managers no longer need to worry about outbuildings, gates, cupboards and more. They can now monitor and control access to them electronically, remotely and in real-time when needed.”

System upgrade

Upgrading an existing padlocked closure simply involves swapping the devices and integrating the i-gate padlock into an existing or new SMARTair wireless access control system. No drilling or wiring is required.

The i-gate electronic padlock is available in a contemporary black finish with stainless steel shackle. Exterior and interior openings previously unsuited to electronic access control can now be controlled and monitored from a familiar software interface, including remotely from the SMARTair Web Manager.

An i-gate padlock is compatible with any SMARTair system management option: standalone (for basic access control functionality), update on card, Openow (for access management and unlocking via smart phone) and Pro Wireless Online for real-time management of every door and system user.

Compatibility with any credential

The SMARTair i-gate padlock is robust enough for almost any climate conditions. It has a watertight cover (with an IP68 rating) and an internal cylinder with durability to an EN 15684 Class 6 certification. These padlocks are battery-powered and work with all standard proximity credential technologies, including MIFARE, DESFire and iCLASS, as well as Bluetooth Low Energy.

When combined with Openow, the mobile solution for SMARTair, end users no longer need to carry separate card or fob credentials. Instead, their phone stores secure virtual keys which can be issued, amended or cancelled at any time.

No-one wastes time collecting or validating an access card. They can unlock the new SMARTair i-gate padlock with a smart phone. With the Openow solution, an individual carrying their smart phone is already carrying their keys.

*Download a free brochure for the SMARTair i-gate electronic padlock at https://campaigns.assaabloyopeningsolutions.eu/hubfs/smartair/assets/AA_SMARTair_igate_SalesBrochure_04_2021_FINAL_WEB.pdf

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barox Ethernet switches successfully secure Cardiff’s Principality Stadium

Managed Ethernet switches supplied by barox Kommunikation AG – the global manufacturer of professional video switches, media converters and IP extenders specifically designed for video applications – have been installed to provide video surveillance, security and building management data transmission at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Initially built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and previously known as the Millennium Stadium, this massive venue regularly hosts large-scale events such as the Six Nations rugby, Rugby World Cups, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain, high-profile football matches and concerts. With a total seating capacity of 73,931, the Principality Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the world and boasts a fully retractable roof.

Specified to integrate the stadium’s 170 IP video cameras, access control, alarm and Building Management Systems on one single data network, 25 barox managed Ethernet PoE switches have been installed to deliver high-quality live video streams and data to the on-site Control Room.

Tender process

At the start of the project, a tender process witnessed specialist provider Ceaton Security Services selected to upgrade the existing security system. This included the replacement of the stadium’s analogue cameras with new IP units, as well as consolidating legacy IP cameras into one high-performance network.

Shane Gilgrass, security division manager at Ceaton Security Services, explained to Security Matters: “We installed over 100 additional IP cameras to expand the areas under surveillance coverage. Integrating the existing IP units into one combined system required a considered topology in order to successfully integrate the stadium’s building management system, alarm systems and access control regimes within the same network.”

Gilgrass added: “Installing a dedicated 10 Gigabit fibre security network in the stadium and integrating all the building functionality into one network place meant the network switches needed to be reliable. Using barox video switches as opposed to non-security data switches meant that we could have complete confidence in the speed, bandwidth and security of the network, no matter what the demands placed on it might be.”

Demanding requirements

Ceaton Security Services installed 25 barox RY-LGSP28-52/740 managed Ethernet switches across six floors of the stadium, including the roof gantry. Designed to cater for the demanding requirements of HD video networks, the barox RY-LGSP28-52/740 models deployed are a PoE+ layer-2/3 switch, with L3 functionality suitable for video over IP and video streaming in multicast.

Like all barox products, the RY-LGSP28-52/740 video switch is specifically designed for security networks and includes built-in cyber security with strong network hygiene and integrated cyber security functions. Alongside this, the RY-LGSP28xx switch allows simple integration into Video Management Systems as well as active PoE management and reporting, and engenders the ability to monitor and operate energy management for all connected devices across the network. This is supported by interactive topology maps for simplified device management in daily use.

“The unique interactive topology map feature means that network and device management at the Principality Stadium is simple and effective,” explained Gilgrass. “The GUI included with the barox products is designed specifically for video applications. Its ease of use has made it the ‘go-to’ tool for security systems management at the stadium.”

The barox GUI displays all connected devices graphically, highlighting their power, connection and performance status. Connected devices can be rebooted via the GUI if a problem is detected or otherwise set to automatically re-boot. This can save a great deal of valuable time solving device issues, freeing the team at the stadium to concentrate on other aspects of their security and building management roles.

Surveillance camera detail

With the greatly expanded and higher definition coverage from the new IP camera network, the Principality Stadium’s management team is enjoying “unparalleled” surveillance camera detail. This improved performance has enabled more comprehensive monitoring by the team during events as well as the capture of reliable evidential quality footage.

When events are not being staged or the venue is transitioning between events, the security team uses the high-quality camera video to secure the city centre-located stadium, monitor Health and Safety procedures on site and ensure that only authorised personnel are accessing the premises.

High-quality images and smooth frame-by-frame video is imperative for stadium applications, where CCTV operators or investigators can be presented with hundreds of individuals in one camera scene. Low quality or ‘jerky’ video with frame drop-out can result in incidents being missed or individuals difficult to identify. Unlike with other non-video specific devices products, barox switches for video are designed not only to transmit Jumbo frames, but also transmit them at 100 Mbps. This is essential for the reliable transmission of images from HD IP Cameras.

Important element

Jumbo frames are a particularly important part of video transmission. They’re generally attributed to Gigabit, but in real world security applications are more usefully expressed at 100 mbps. A standard switch may claim to handle Jumbo frames, but this will not be at the required rate of today’s HD IP Cameras. If a standard switch only handles standard frames, or Jumbo frames but not at 100 Mbps, then video received in the Control Room will be ‘choppy’ and difficult to work with for the operators.

By dint of using barox RY-LGSP28-52/740 managed Ethernet switches throughout this project, both the security and event teams have been able to access seamless and error-free video transmission at the Control Room for effective identification or evidential prosecution.

Commenting on the new system, Darren Crossman (facilities and safety manager at the Principality Stadium) affirmed: “Since the commissioning of the barox-based IP video surveillance system upgrade, the camera video received in the Control Room is not only of considerably increased quality over the old system, but it’s also reliable. This is something that’s essential and that we rely on to safely manage large-scale events and crowd safety management in general.”

*Further information on barox and its solutions is available online at www.barox.ch/en

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Mary Jane Flanagan joins Ward Security in non-executive director’s role

Ward Security has announced the appointment of Mary Jane Flanagan as a non-executive director on the company’s Executive Board. Flanagan boasts over 30 years’ operational and Boardroom experience in customer facing industries including hospitality, facilities and consulting.

A Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Learning and a recognised member of the British Psychological Society, Flanagan has often served as a keynote speaker focusing on customer service and leadership excellence.

Commenting on the appointment, Kevin Ward (managing director at Ward Security) said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mary Jane to Ward Security. Our business is about people and customers and Mary Jane is an expert in both. We are focused on being the best possible business we can be, not just the best security business. Mary Jane brings diverse expertise and adds a different insight into our key areas of working. Her global experience will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen and grow.”

In response, Mary Jane Flanagan commented: “I’m excited be joining the Ward Security business as I feel we have aligned values. The company genuinely believes that its people and clients matter. We must ensure that we keep that focus while at the same time continuing to grow, prosper and be identified as the partner of choice. I look forward to helping Ward Security build an even stronger culture that demonstrates solid employee engagement, exceptional standards and customer-centric behaviours.”

Ward Security is a national provider of risk management and security solutions with a turnover of more than £45 million per annum and employing upwards of 1,000 members of staff.

*Further information is available on the Ward Security website at www.ward-security.co.uk

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Securitas appoints experienced sales director for electronic security division

Tom Clarke has been appointed to head up sales and marketing operations for the specialist electronic security division of Securitas UK. With over 15 years’ industry experience under his belt, and having occupied senior roles at companies including Mitie, Contract Fire and Security and Reliance High-Tech, Clarke brings a wealth of electronic sales expertise to Securitas.

In his new role, Clarke takes on the important task of leading on sales development for Securitas UK’s dedicated electronic security function, which includes overseeing the business development, account management and marketing teams.

Clarke has extensive knowledge of designing security solutions and managing relationships with national and European clients, particularly so within the corporate sector, where the wider benefits of security solutions such as building usage and occupancy management play a significant part. He’s also an authority when it comes to working in secure environments, among them defence organisations, immigration centres and prisons.

On joining Securitas, Clarke stated: “I’m really excited to join such a well-established and highly reputable global security organisation. We see a fantastic opportunity to grow Securitas’ electronic security offer in the UK, sharing ideas with colleagues and constantly improving our solutions. With a highly experienced team and a global brand behind us, we’re committed to leading the way in the industry as a world class security technology partner for our clients.”

Commenting on Clarke’s appointment, Arthur Agnew (head of electronic security at Securitas UK) said: “This is a key appointment for the electronic security division at a crucial time as we push forward with our primary objective of doubling sales by 2023. With a strong background in electronic security sales and marketing, Tom’s addition to the business will help us to accelerate our growth and improve the efficiency of our sales department.”

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