Tag Archives: Analytics

The Risk UK Interview: Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president at VCA)

Over recent years, VCA has achieved significant success promoting its analytics as an OEM edge-based solution which can be incorporated into other manufacturers’ IP cameras and devices. No less than 250,000 video channels worldwide are now using the company’s analytics.

VCA has now launched its own brand of IP network devices and software. Here, Kevin Waterhouse (executive vice-president for global sales at VCA) explains to Risk UK the thinking behind this bold step of introducing a new range in a marketplace that’s not short of manufacturers competing for the attention of installers, systems integrators and end users.

Risk UK: Until now, your business model has been based on offering the VCA analytics platform as an OEM solution. What has motivated you to change direction?

Kevin Waterhouse: We remain committed to offering our analytics technology as an OEM solution. Customers can be assured that our long-term strategy includes plans to work closely with an increasing number of manufacturers of surveillance cameras and other devices, as well as Video Management Software (VMS) providers, to ensure this important part of our business will continue to grow.

However, what we have embarked on is a twin-track approach whereby VCA will also directly support systems integrators to help them generate new revenue streams by supplying them with ‘out-of-the-box’ analytics built into the VCA brand of IP network devices.

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Kevin Waterhouse of VCA

Risk UK: What are these new revenue streams to which you refer? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The new revenue streams relate to the opportunity to provide end users with intelligent video surveillance solutions that can do so much more than just deter or detect criminal activity. The analytics incorporated into the new VCA range enhances our ability in the video monitoring sector to reduce false alarms and improve detection.

It also opens up the opportunity to gather reliable and verifiable data to help a diverse range of businesses and organisations such as banks, casinos, hospitals, educational establishments, retailers and hospitality venues achieve a greater understanding of the behaviour of people who work at or visit their premises.

The technology is capable of capturing metadata that can be graphically displayed in customisable reports to provide marketing, Health and Safety, Human Resources and other operational departments with the information they need to achieve their business objectives.

By dealing directly with systems integrators, we’ll be able to ensure that they benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of our pre- and post-sales support teams such that they’re equipped with the necessary tools and have the confidence to be able to offer the full benefits of VCA to their clients.

Risk UK: Can you give us some examples of how this will help your new customers generate new revenue streams? 

Kevin Waterhouse: The analytics built into the VCA devices will enable them to offer their clients added value from their investment in video surveillance systems and, if they wish, offer the cameras as part of a ‘Security as a Service business model. We intend to work closely with a hand-picked network of customers to help them profit from this model and, in the process, offer tangible benefits to their clients. 

In the retail sector, for example, with training and support from VCA, systems integrators can offer their clients the opportunity to increase productivity with less staff, improve customer satisfaction by minimising delays at check-outs or identify the best times and locations for product promotions.

These are just a few goals that can be achieved with very little effort with the help of devices featuring VCA analytics. It also provides security personnel with a powerful tool to detect and combat theft and other criminal activity. 

Risk UK: There are now a large number of other analytics solutions available for customers. How does VCA stand out from the crowd? 

Kevin Waterhouse: ‘User friendly’ may be an overused phrase, but it is in fact an accurate description of VCA analytics. The significance of this should not be underrated, as there’s a perception in the marketplace that analytics can be difficult to implement and use.

We will be adding to the user friendliness of our analytics over the coming months with a new dashboard graphical user interface which will make it even easier for any business to view both real-time and historical business intelligence.

VCA analytics has also established a reputation for being highly accurate and, when employed for intruder detection purposes, has a very low rate of false alarms. This is particularly important in outdoor environments. Here, false alarms continue to be a major issue for organisations who need an effective perimeter protection solution to detect intruders.

It’s now taken for granted that HD cameras from any reputable manufacturer should be able to capture evidence grade images. However, our on-board video analytics significantly upgrade the capability of VCA cameras which, for this type of application, should perhaps be better described as ‘Intelligent Video Detectors’.

In this respect, they provide a great opportunity for VCA installers, remote monitoring centres and end users to work in harmony when it comes to reducing the time-consuming and costly impact of false alarms. It’s just another excellent example of how VCA can support the supply chain by generating new revenue streams while at the same time providing end users with a robust and reliable solution.

Risk UK: You’ve spoken about the new devices carrying the VCA brand, but you also mentioned VMS providers. Can you expand on this part of your strategy?

Kevin Waterhouse: Sure. In addition to our edge-based devices, we’ve developed a server-based software tool that will make the integration of our VCA software very quick and with little CPU overhead. The software can be added to either Linux or Windows-based software.

We already have a number of VMS clients embedding VCA and expect many more to follow along with PSIM, access and intelligent building software providers. In addition, we will shortly be launching a new device which will allow VCA to be added to any IP camera providing an RTSP stream.

Risk UK: So is VCA not developing its own VMS?

Kevin Waterhouse: Absolutely not. We have a very good relationship with the leading VMS providers and have worked closely with them to develop our VCA software tool. However, we have now released some application-specific software to support our edge devices. Ucountit, for example, is our cloud-based Business Intelligence service and Utrack is a unique auto tracking software tool. Both have been introduced because we believe it’s important to provide application solutions that fully exploit our analytics technology.

Risk UK: So you have new products and new services, but will you have sufficient resources to directly supply and support these systems integrators? 

Kevin Waterhouse: We will not hesitate to continue investing in HR to ensure that our pre- and post-sales services more than match any increase in sales. It’s already the case that we have a strong technical support team in place and have recently recruited three seasoned security professionals to ensure that we can support customers worldwide.

Gary Mercer has joined VCA as UK sales manager while Ami Paz is our new business development manager for Israel and Çağlan Dilber has been appointed business development manager for the MENA region.

Ian Young has also joined the EMEA team to drive the software and applications developments and business.

All four have extensive global experience in the design and implementation of analytics applications across many different market sectors. Recently, we’ve extended our US team. There’ll be more news on this in the near future.

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Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service keeps public informed thanks to CrowdControlHQ’s social media platform

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is using a social media risk management and compliance platform from CrowdControlHQ to monitor and govern its corporate social media accounts including Twitter and Facebook. More than 30 users across the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service access corporate social media accounts via the platform’s central dashboard.

There has been an increase in engagement witnessed across all accounts in the last two years which has seen the number of Twitter followers double to over 17,000.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service uses social media for two-way communication with residents and county stakeholders, including other Fire and Rescue Services and local Government officials businesses as well as schools in the area.

CrowdControlHQ was selected for the central management of the Fire and Rescue Service’s social media activity following research and a presentation from the company.

Caroline Jones, digital and media services manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue, explained: “We chose CrowdControlHQ for the level of control and analytics that the company’s solution provides. We wanted a platform where we could allow multiple people to post to corporate accounts. CrowdControlHQ does that safely and securely and it gives a history of all activity, for example who has posted to what and where. Information like that is important for audit purposes.”

Management from a single point

Using CrowdControlHQ makes it possible to manage corporate social media accounts from a single point. Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service chose to have just one account for each social media channel rather than each fire station or areas of the service posting to individual accounts. This means it’s easier for the public and other stakeholders to receive updates by finding, following and commenting on corporate accounts rather than multiple social media accounts for different fire stations across the region.

Jones continued: “Social media is a great way to communicate with the public. Where there are incidents throughout the day it’s really easy, thanks to the central control in CrowdControlHQ, to publish a Tweet or post a message on Facebook and to then plan Tweets for the weekend. Recently, in just 28 days we had 437,000 impressions and posted 168 Tweets. The management team takes social media very seriously and fully supports it as a communications channel.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service also promotes other Fire and Rescue Services’ campaigns and champions national safety initiatives such as the annual road safety campaign using Twitter and Facebook, with links to a web page. CrowdControlHQ is used to plan Tweets and posts in advance and then measure the success of campaigns using the analytics generated.

James Leavesley, CEO at CrowdControlHQ, commented: “We have seen a variety of social media strategies emerging across Emergency Services providers tasked to drive communications objectives. For some, the emphasis is on single channel or multi-responders while others may adopt a multi-channel or in some cases a partnership-style approach.  However, what consistently underpins all the strategies we see is the need for more brand representatives to become involved in delivering messages to the public, raising the reputation risks associated with delivering complex public engagement. Using a risk and compliance platform gives organisations the confidence that they can manage and respond to social media communications effectively, consistently and in a timely manner.”

About Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is led by the Chief Fire Officer and the Service Management Team.  It has 25 fire stations, four community safety centres, three community fire protection offices and a headquarters based in Winsford.

The Fire and Rescue Service responds to emergency incidents – known as Emergency Response (ER)  – across the four unitary council areas of Halton, Warrington, Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester.

*For more information visit: www.cheshirefire.gov.uk

About CrowdControlHQ

CrowdControlHQ is one of the UK’s leading social media risk management and compliance platforms built for enterprise. It’s web-based software used by public and commercial organisations to support employees wishing to optimise their social media engagement delivery.

CrowdControlHQ provides tiered access and specialist control features to help manage the reputation risk associated with the delivery of social media in complex, multi-user, multi-campaign and generally busy customer service environments.

It’s a venture capital-backed British business servicing over 125 clients with over 10,000 users. Clients include Experian, Serco, Welsh Water, the Greater Manchester Police and Arriva.

*Additional information is available at: www.crowdcontrolhq.com

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Capita Technology Solutions launches ‘CloudVision’ security and business intelligence service

Capita Technology Solutions has launched an all-new hosted video surveillance and analytics service using automated technology to simplify security management and intelligence gathering, in turn solving the expensive and logistically complex challenge of using CCTV systems in real-time.

Capita CloudVision integrates high quality cameras and intelligent video monitoring, enabling businesses to enhance their control over physical security and business intelligence.

The system’s sophisticated analytics include cross line detection – which actively detects moving objects that cross a virtual line – and digital auto tracking which automatically detects and follows moving objects such as people and vehicles.

CloudVision also offers intrusion detection and a people counting facility, allowing retailers to monitor customer traffic.

Capita's CloudVision

Capita’s CloudVision

Data is stored in secure UK data centres and can then be accessed by any Internet-connected device, including mobile phones, subsequently providing data for Control Room and security staff. This enables organisations of any size to implement the most appropriate and cost-effective system possible, minimising infrastructure costs and simplifying installation.

The service was officially launched at IFSEC International, which ran at London’s ExCeL from 16-18 June..

Simon Furber, managing director at Capita Technology Solutions, commented: “Our new CloudVision service will be a key tool for companies looking to secure their assets or understand their business. Working at any scale, the new integrated system will mean that complex analytics tools and real-time security monitoring can be delivered wherever they are needed and when they are needed.”

Simon Furber

Simon Furber

*For further information about CloudVision visit: https://youtu.be/GR1RhgFBNd0

**Capita Technology Solutions is a value-added reseller and systems integrator business unit within Capita IT Enterprise Services. Technology Solutions offers a breadth of services across voice, contact centre, data networking and IT infrastructure to deliver high performance business operations. The business exists to remove complexity, risk and excess cost from IT services while optimising the lifecycle of existing IT investments. Further information can be found at: http://www.capita-its.co.uk/solutions/pages/technologysolutions.aspx

***Capita plc is the UK’s leading provider of customer and business process management and integrated professional support service solutions. With 68,000 people operating at over 400 sites – including 80 business centres across the UK, Europe, India and South Africa – the Group uses its expertise, infrastructure and scale benefits to transform its clients’ services, driving down costs and adding value.

Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 with 2014 revenues of £4.4 billion. Further information on Capita plc can be found online at: www.capita.co.uk

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March Networks delivers insights on “superior surveillance” in banking with video-driven business intelligence

March Networks, the global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, is helping banking organisations understand how they can use business intelligence drawn from video, analytics and transaction reporting to implement strategy, gain tactical and operational insight and facilitate effective decision-making. 

In a topical webinar, now available for replay on the Banking Technology website, Ely Maspero (March Networks’ IP video management solutions product manager) highlights the growing relevance and popularity of analytics and industry-oriented reporting tools. They’ve become so useful to banks, in fact, that an investment of just $1 in analytics resulted in an RoI of $13 in 2014, representing a growth rate of 18% since 2011[1].

Video and analytics are increasingly being used together, not only to provide data on specific ATM-related fraud, but also to deliver meaningful insights into bank branch performance and help improve customer relations, reduce waiting times and increase the effectiveness of in-branch marketing activities.

According to 61% of those individuals surveyed by Technology Business Research at the end of last year, the main driver of business intelligence software market growth is operational efficiency.

Ely Maspero of March Networks

Ely Maspero of March Networks

Financial institutions can be vulnerable to different types of fraud, from cash trapping and card skimming through to the more extreme use of explosives. While ATM fraud incidents fell by 26% last year, related losses did increase by 13%.

The combination of video and analytics can speed investigation times and identify at-risk ATMs to help reduce prevent fraud.

Video, analytics and transaction data

From a marketing perspective, video and analytics may be used to help banks maximise their up-selling and cross-selling opportunities by analysing staff and customer behaviour. Multiple banking departments can use the powerful combination across all aspects of client relations in order to help them move from a product-oriented business model to one that’s more customer-oriented.

“Today, most banks are using video surveillance to help reduce losses and better protect their customers’ assets,” said Ely Maspero, “but the combination of video, analytics and transaction data can target more than loss prevention. Video-driven business intelligence can provide banks with valuable information on the behaviours and habits of customers and staff, helping banks refine and improve their in-branch services.”

Talking specifically about the webinar, Maspero added: “This webcast highlights the many opportunities that today’s video analytics can provide, including the reduction of vulnerabilities and improving customer experience to help build brand loyalty and increase revenues.”

Reference

[1] Nucleus Search, September 2014

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OPTEX set to highlight industry-specific security and safety solutions at IFSEC International 2015

The OPTEX Group will be exhibiting an extensive selection of smart access control and perimeter detection solutions at IFSEC International 2015, with an emphasis on the range of industrial and commercial applications for which its products are designed.

With the commercial audience in mind, OPTEX will be exhibiting its new iVISION+ on Stand E600. This is a wireless door and gate video entry system with up to 100 metres transmission range. Also on display will be battery-operated outdoor intrusion systems that now can integrate with the popular Ricochet-enabled wireless alarm panels for optimum performance.

For commercial and industrial applications, the OPTEX Group will be demonstrating key developments in its true integration capabilities. Farsight Security Services, for example, will be demonstrating its cloud-based monitoring solutions built around a combined Axis Communications camera/OPTEX Redwall sensor ‘core’ security system.

OPTEX will also be demonstrating exactly how its IP sensors are able to integrate with a multitude of PSIM and VMS providers to meet the demands of any high security project.

Detail of the OPTEX Accurance 3D solution

Detail of the OPTEX Accurance 3D solution

In terms of internal access control applications for high security projects such as data centres, banks, Government buildings and critical infrastructure, OPTEX is set to preview its new anti-tailgating access control solution known as Accurance 3D, as well as the SecurLan network cable protection technology.

Accurance 3D is a ‘time-of-flight’ tailgating and piggybacking detection technology that provides an extra layer of access control security. It features intelligent analytics to automatically detect intruders while also providing 3D height-colour co-ordinated images for system controllers.

“Safeguarding critical infrastructure, including data centres, requires a multi-layered approach,” said Ricky Miwa, managing director of OPTEX Europe, “from fibre optic perimeter intrusion detection systems to 3D thermal sensors for field detection and access control solutions designed for restricted access areas.”

Miwa added: “Our new sensing technologies are consistently delivering the very best in security solutions, while at the same time our ever-expanding partnerships with third party providers are delivering integrated solutions on a global scale.”

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NICE to demonstrate latest digital evidence solutions for public safety at 17th Critical Communications World Congress

NICE Systems will present its latest solutions for effectively managing digital evidence in the public safety sector at the 17th annual Critical Communications World Congress, taking place between 19-21 May in Barcelona. The company will demonstrate how multimedia and analytics software can improve efficiency and compliance, reduce costs and manage digital evidence on an effective and efficient basis.

Attendees are welcome to visit Stand C407 in Hall 8, Fira Gran Via, to discuss innovations in managing critical communications. Among other developments affecting public safety organisations, visitors will learn about the latest audio analytics, quality assurance and text-to-999/112 solutions for radio and telephony networks.

For critical communications, this includes NICE solutions for:

Retrieval and reconstruction

  • Audio, screen and electronic data can be searched, replayed, verified, reconstructed, organised and dispatched for incident investigations when NICE Inform, a powerful incident management solution, is integrated with the company’s multimedia capture platform

Service and compliance

  • Service delivery and regulatory compliance (EENA 112, ACPO national call handling standard, CALEA and ACB P33 QA standards, NG 999 and 112 compliance, etc) can be measured and improved using NICE Systems’ quality assurance and audio analytics solutions. Spoken words and data can be effectively and efficiently searched while digital evidence management provides secure, audited and controlled access to incident information

Drawing on experience from over 5,000 public safety market installations worldwide, NICE representatives at the Critical Communications World Congress will detail how the NICE capture platform creates a secure, stable and resilient foundation for comprehensive digital evidence and digital criminal justice solutions.

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