Tag Archives: Cloudview

Notting Hill Genesis surveillance upgrade project witnesses Cloudview and Amthal Fire & Security working in tandem

Amthal Fire & Security has been working closely with secure cloud CCTV specialist Cloudview in order to upgrade legacy network surveillance systems and realise smart cloud-based and, importantly, compliant solutions for the benefit of staff and residents involved with Notting Hill Genesis. 

Notting Hill Genesis is one of the largest housing associations in London and the South East, with its head office at Kings Cross and five further site locations requiring high quality protection for more than 1,500 office-based members of staff.

Amthal Fire & Security has been working closely with Cloudview to take responsibility for security maintenance across the office portfolio, alongside ensuring the safety and security of residents housed in both new and existing dwellings.

To ensure efficiency savings, compliance and smart capability when it comes to CCTV, Notting Hill Genesis’ visual data partner Cloudview has supplied its specialist systems for Amthal Fire & Security engineers to install across the office and development network.  The new system removes the need for DVRs and allows authorised personnel instant and secure remote access for the management of evidential footage stored as required in case of a threat or an emergency scenario.

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Compliance with the GDPR

Suki Kahlon, office services manager for central services at Notting Hill Genesis, informed Security Matters: “The need to update CCTV systems for ensuring compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was of paramount importance, both for the Notting Hill Genesis team and also for our residents and their safety. Partnering with Cloudview and, later on, Amthal Fire & Security has been of great benefit. They understand our working environment.”

Kahlon continued: “Both companies operated in such a way as to enable a scalable upgrade programme of works across our office base and various housing developments. Essentially, our ambition is that wherever we have CCTV systems in place, we want to upgrade to the cloud and bring our networks together in a centrally managed visual data infrastructure. The Cloudview solution has been well received by building managers and authorised personnel.”

To date, Amthal Fire & Security’s installation and maintenance teams have completed install works at the head office in Kings Cross and at the West London office in Hammersmith, in addition to new housing development connections.

Visual data

The new surveillance technology is created to offer alerts when instant action is required and based on what’s identified as a threat. Visual data can be accessed anywhere at any time and on any device. It can also be shared immediately and saved for up to 12 months if required, with 30-day delete options as standard in order to comply with the GDPR.

Crucially, the data is only accessible to authorised personnel, all of whom have audit control capability for full compliance.

Stephen Bates, CEO at Cloudview, observed: “Notting Hill Genesis is committed to providing safe and secure communities in which residents can thrive. Equally, the client is very clear on its responsibilities to its team members who are at the heart of these communities. The need for smart surveillance technology that can be centrally managed is integral. We were delighted to offer a solution that could bring these requirements together. With the help of Amthal Fire & Security, we have enabled a seamless installation process between all Notting Hill Genesis’ offices and housing developments.”

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Phil Bryant, manager of the strategic accounts team at Amthal Fire & Security, added: “At the heart of social enterprise is the overriding need to create homes and communities in which residents want to live, with management taken care of by the dedicated local teams employed by Notting Hill Genesis. The organisation now has smart systems in place to ensure ongoing safety and security.”

Bryant continued: “The Cloudview system installed by Amthal Fire & Security, with both of us operating in constant collaboration, has proven to offer best value and significant efficiency savings that can be maintained to ensure ongoing compliance and simple maintenance plans. It also allows Notting Hill Genesis staff to have a much more reactive and instant approach to any threat identified, thereby affording total peace of mind.”

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‘Vortex in my Cortex!’… James Wickes on ‘Security and the Cloud’

The security sector is only just waking up to the idea that many features offered by the cloud extend the capabilities of existing security solutions into new and lucrative markets. So what’s on offer? James Wickes has all the answers.

It’s nigh on two months since the last IFSEC International attendee left the airy corridors of the ExCeL Exhibition and Conference Centre. Show organiser UBM has hailed the event a massive success by every measurement and the security world is now retiring on the beach for its summer holidays.

During the show I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to air a short presentation to IFSEC International’s visitors on the condition that I limited my spiel to the general benefits of cloud technology and didn’t recite a Cloudview propaganda speech. Asking a salesman not to sell? That was the first challenge to be confronted.

The second challenge was somewhat unexpected. When I arrived at the hallowed halls early on the appointed day, I broke into a cold sweat. Every ‘What if?’ scenario I could dream up entered my head, and everything I had meticulously planned to orate for my compliant and grateful audience disappeared into the dark and inaccessible vortex in my cortex that no amount of rolled-up newspaper punching or controlled yoga-style breathing was going to unlock.

Once on the podium, some of my ‘What ifs’ sprang to life. There was the inevitable bloke having a chat on his mobile phone, the microphone didn’t work all of the time and, of course, there was the guy that just wanted to give me a good verbal bashing as I was wrong and he was right.

Too much to try and say

Anyway, I crashed through my Powerpoint deck like someone running across a collapsing bridge, repeating word for word what was on each slide, rendering the whole reason for actually being there in person somewhat pointless. In my 30 years in the IT Industry I’ve had plenty of experience of giving presentations on all sorts of subjects to all sorts of audiences all over the world – so why did I freak out at IFSEC International 2014?

James Wickes: director of Cloudview

James Wickes: director of Cloudview

Put simply, there was just too much to try and say. The PC, Internet and smartphones have enabled mainframe computing resources to be made available to all and sundry and its latest costume is known as ‘the cloud. Yes, it’s powerful. Yes, it’s accessible. Yes, it’s scalable… but it’s certainly not new.

Far from disrupting the security and CCTV world, cloud services are only now just about beginning to make any kind of dent in it. That’s because the security industry is only just waking up to the idea that many features offered by the cloud extend the capabilities of existing security solutions into new and lucrative markets that exist, unclaimed somewhere between itself and the IT industry. And that these can be accessed by using packaged cloud services bolted onto current hardware and software offerings.

These markets are facilitated as much by legislation as they are by technology. Health and Safety and the litigious/insurance culture we’ve all experienced in some way that demand ever larger amounts of CCTV data are securely stored for long periods of time for future reference, and ideally off-site.

Of course, the best way of doing this is through integration with an effective cloud service. For the end user there are many, many features offered by Cloudview (I’m sorry, I’ve said it now) and other cloud service providers that can augment CCTV solutions without compromising security and don’t actually require a degree in astrophysics to implement.

Channels to market

Then there’s the somewhat knotty issue of ‘channels to market’ early VSaaS (Video Surveillance as a Service) providers built their business models around in selling direct. This is fine for Hamstercam.com-type offerings but, for anything more serious, channel partners are essential not just to instigate sales and do the installation work but to specify the correct hardware solutions for the plethora of vertical markets that all require different ways of doing things.

All in all, in my humble opinion the UK security and CCTV industry is on the edge of a vast collective opportunity that can be facilitated by adding cloud services to existing and new customer solutions. It’s happening now and it’s picking up speed. So it’s worth taking a look at what’s available, what’s feasible and how it can be wrapped into existing end user offerings.

Next year, when you’re cutting a stride past Costa early in the morning on your way into IFSEC International and you see in the corner of your eye someone gently rocking back and forth, muttering to themselves and punching a copy of one of that day’s national newspapers please don’t call security. It’ll just be me getting ready for my presentation.

James Wickes is director of Cloudview (UK)

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