Tag Archives: Facilities Management

Vericon Systems launches “innovative” EmeRed device for automating emergency lighting tests

Vericon Systems – the provider of innovative building management systems and technologies – has launched EmeRed, an intelligent device that automates the process of testing emergency lighting to ensure such lighting is working when needed and help facilities managers comply with relevant Health and Safety legislation.

The intelligent device, which can be easily retrofitted, re-imagines how new technology can be created to improve safety, ensure compliance and reduce costs. EmeRed monitors the performance of every light and automatically transmits the results to a dedicated portal that can be accessed online via the cloud. This gives facilities managers, estate managers and property owners complete visibility of the status of individual lights in a single building, as well as performance trends across an entire portfolio.

EmeRed reports a range of different factors to ensure lighting is always on the top line, such as battery degradation and energy consumption. It also measures the life outstanding in each battery to ensure they’re replaced before an emergency occurs and automatically reports any potential failures or problems.

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Bernard Cook, managing director of Vericon Systems, said: “The industry has been too slow to adapt to new technology and new thinking. Testing emergency lighting equipment is an important responsibility, but manual testing is often a time-consuming and therefore costly job. Using EmeRed’s smart technologies and machine learning to automate emergency lighting testing can save building and facilities managers valuable time and money, especially so in comparison to manual testing. It guarantees 100% compliance and enables real-time information to be viewed or downloaded remotely.”

EmeRed’s small, wireless design makes it extremely quick and easy to install. Once installed, the device takes just a few minutes to configure to ensure life safety systems are fully compliant. EmeRed can also be connected and integrated with other Vericon Systems products and solutions that support an entire building ecosystem.

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Hochiki Europe systems partner Tees Fire Systems secures £1.5 million contract to protect University Hospital of North Tees

Specialist fire and security engineer Tees Fire Systems (TFS) Limited has just won a seven-figure contract to install a new hybrid system at the busy University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

TFS Limited is one of 20 companies nationwide that are part of life safety systems manufacturer Hochiki Europe’s exclusive Systems Partner Network. The accolade recognises TFS Limited as a company with extensive expertise in the life safety and security industry and affords the business use of the latest products and technologies available from Hochiki Europe.

The University Hospital of North Tees provides services to people living in East Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and the surrounding areas. The hospital was founded back in 1968 and has current capacity for 563 beds across eight floors. The estate is managed by North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP.

As part of the contract, TFS Limited made the decision to specify products from Hochiki Europe for the project. Kevin Hynes, managing director at TFS Limited, said: “When our tender for the University Hospital contract was successful, we were praised for our technical knowledge. This is a testament to the hard work of our sales team and our status as an Hochiki Europe Systems Partner.”

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During the course of the contract, TFS Limited is providing ongoing technical support for the end user around the installed solutions. The company also holds monthly progress meetings with hospital facilities managers to keep disruption to staff and patients to a minimum.

Mark Smith, UK sales manager at Hochiki Europe, added: “Installing life safety systems in healthcare environments can be challenging due to the complex layout of the buildings and the vulnerability of some occupants. As well as keeping disruption to a minimum, it’s also important that the new installation doesn’t compromise the functionality of existing systems. Over the next two years, we’ll work closely with TFS Limited to ensure that the new fire alarm system provides the highest levels of safety from the very moment it’s installed and best protects staff, patients and the premises.”

Steven Taylor, assistant director of estates and capital for the North Tees and Hartlepool Solution LLP, which is the organisation responsible for managing the healthcare estate, concluded: “We were very impressed by the technical knowledge and significant experience demonstrated by TFS Limited when it comes to working within a busy hospital environment. TFS Limited’s approach and insight is refreshing and provides the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust with full confidence that the project will be well managed and progressed in a collaborative manner.”

Work to install the new system began in June this year and is expected to be completed by Summer 2020.

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Barracuda Networks helps Leeds United FC to tighten up its cyber defence

Cloud-enabled security and data protection solutions specialist Barracuda Networks has been selected by Leeds United Football Club’s management team to help protect it from today’s advanced cyber threats.

Working with Leeds-based IT reseller and club sponsor Altinet, Barracuda Networks is providing Leeds United FC with its Message Archiver in order to make the storage and access of e-mails simpler, quicker and more secure. As well as being easy to set up and manage, the new e-mail archiving solution allows Leeds United FC to combine on-site hardware with cloud-based replication. This ensures that e-mail data is easy to recover in the event of an attack or data loss.

“As a multi-million pound business, we’re dealing with high volumes of important and confidential e-mails on a daily basis so we have to assume that we’re a high-value target for cyber attackers,” said Mark Broadley, head of IT and facilities at Leeds United FC. “Our legacy e-mail solution wasn’t providing a high enough level of protection, and had meant that staff within the HR and legal teams were spending a lot longer finding information than was needed. On the recommendation of Altinet, we were delighted to make Barracuda Networks the first signing of this very important project.”

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Barracuda Networks’ solution helps Leeds United FC to easily meet regulatory requirements and take complex discovery requests in its stride. This is particularly important given the club’s historical high turnover of personnel, and the need to find and read archived e-mails in minutes rather than hours or days.

Chris Ross, senior vice-president for international business at Barracuda Networks, said: “Being selected by Leeds United FC to improve and modernise the club’s data protection is an important accolade for us. With cyber attackers becoming ever-more sophisticated and data protection rising higher up the corporate agenda, it’s important that organisations replace legacy solutions and keep up-to-date with the latest threats.”

Ross added: “As it increasingly becomes about when you’re going to be attacked rather than if, data protection and recovery should form a key element of every organisation’s cyber security strategy. On top of keeping an eye on Leeds United FC’s cyber defences, we’ll be watching with interest and wishing the club the best of luck as it seeks promotion from the Championship back to the Premier League.”

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Servest receives prestigious Armed Forces Covenant ERS Bronze Award

Global facilities management service provider Servest has been given the Bronze Award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) in recognition of the company’s commitment to (and support of) defence sector personnel.

The ERS encourages employers to support the Ministry of Defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support for the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

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To be awarded the Bronze Award, Servest had to meet certain requirements including a pledge to support the Armed Forces, comprising of existing or prospective employees who are members of the community. Servest also had to demonstrate that the business is Armed Forces-friendly and open to employing reservists, Armed Forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.

Jason Etherington OBE, managing director of Servest’s security operation, said: “I’m delighted that Servest has received this award. When I joined the company, I was looking forward to enhancing and formalising the links Servest has already established with the military community and service leavers. I feel this award shows the progress that’s being made. I look forward to working towards the Silver Award next year.”

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Partnership between Cortech Developments and ACT affords end users optimised security solutions

Cortech Developments’ main software product, namely Datalog 5, now offers full integration with ACTpro Enterprise software designed by access control provider ACT.

The partnership between Cortech Developments and ACT will provide end users with an added value solution that optimises security across large estates incorporating multiple sites and buildings.

Commenting on the integration, Jason Blundell (head of sales at Cortech Developments) informed Risk UK: “The ACT collaboration demonstrates how interoperable systems mitigate risk, provide sustainable cost reduction, improve efficiency and deliver greater situational awareness.”

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ACT and Cortech Developments are achieving interoperability that provides cause and effect across an unusually wide range of building systems through data merging.

James McAlister of ACT added: “The alliance with Cortech Developments is another example of constituent parts of facility management coming together. We’re committed to wide-ranging data solutions, so working with a leading SMS provider was a logical step. ACT now offers a broader suite that can be used on complex and multiple sites.”

Both Cortech Developments and ACT operate across sectors including education, healthcare, retail, the utilities, transportation and Government with a particular focus on high-security environments and Critical National Infrastructure.

Cortech’s solutions are deployed in 27 countries, while ACT exports to over 40 nations.

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Axis Security selected to provide range of services for Lambert Smith Hampton

Axis Security, a leading deliverer of bespoke security services, has won a contract with commercial property consultant Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to provide a range of security services for eight of its properties in the North East of England.

The contract incorporates security guarding, concierge services, mobile patrols and key holding – including night and weekend cover.

Marcus Cain, regional facilities manager for the North at LSH, informed Risk UK that the company previously used a number of different security providers, with the new contract forming part of a rationalisation process.

“Axis Security boasts a strong presence in the North East region,” observed Cain. “The company’s clients include the UK’s leading property management consultancies, which gives us confidence that the business can deliver the range of services we require across our own diverse portfolio of properties.”

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Lambert Smith Hampton’s Grey Street offices

Cain added that Axis’ reputation as a good employer is also important. “We have peace of mind that Axis Security looks after its employees and that all officers are licensed with the Security Industry Authority.”

Many LSH properties are multi-tenanted and require flexible, responsive value-add services (for example, providing meter readings of vacant properties). Axis Security completes this particular task using Fast Field technology, giving LSH instant and reliable information to check against utility bills.

“On one occasion,” outlined Cain, “we briefed Axis in the morning regarding a new instruction in the North East region. The mobile patrol service was fully-mobilised that same day, including a meter readings collection for the Estate.”

Other technology employed in the contract includes TrackTik, which provides officer location tracking and enables officers to capture live footage of incidents. Cain believes this is a must-have compliance solution. “Lone worker welfare is an important Health and Safety issue, but the technology also means we can prove to relevant stakeholders that patrols have actually been completed.”

In conclusion, Cain stated: “Overall, Axis is a good fit for our business. They are genuinely responsive and understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.”

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Telefonica UK Property and ISS choose Ideagen’s Enlighten system to manage governance, risk and compliance

Telefonica UK, a leading digital and communications company, and ISS, the global facilities management service provider, are set to work with software firm Ideagen on improving governance, risk and compliance operations across the O2 estate.

Ideagen Enlighten, Ideagen’s cloud-based GRC application, is to be implemented and rolled out to bring several operational improvements to Telefonica UK’s Property department. The software will provide one source of truth for the management of controlled documentation, improve visibility of audit scheduling and automate action management and escalation. Enlighten will also enhance levels of reporting and increase accessibility for Telefonica’s mobile workforce.

Darren Bryanton, Telefonica’s national FM operations manager, said: “We regularly participate in audits to assist Telefonica UK in retaining an impressive portfolio of certifications and standards which are essential in demonstrating world class service to our customers. Enlighten will manage audits and document control for the department.”

Suzanne Burge, ISS’ quality and assurance manager, added: “After a thorough review of the market, we selected Enlighten due its scalability, accessibility and ease of use. We wanted a product that we could design ourselves to fit the needs of the business, not just now but also in the future.”

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Tim Blackburne, ISS’ account director, explained: “Telefonica UK’s high standards of operational compliance and audit success rely on clear governance, audit readiness and document management. Ideagen Enlighten gives us this.”

Andrew Neish, Telefonica’s head of property, commented: “Both Ideagen and Telefonica UK share the same vision of how innovation can drive improvement in business. This opportunity to provide a game-changing and transformational system is one that we’re very excited about.”

Ideagen is a supplier of information management software with operations in the UK, the United States and the Middle East. The company specialises in eGRC (Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance) and healthcare solutions for organisations operating within highly regulated industries.

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