Tag Archives: security

Texecom sponsors new competition to raise awareness of apprenticeship opportunities in security and surveillance industry

Along with CSL and Hikvision, Texecom is sponsoring the new Electronic Security Systems Competition at this year’s WorldSkills UK LIVE on 21-23 November at the NEC in Birmingham.

WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security launched the competition to raise awareness of apprenticeship and career opportunities in the security and surveillance industry.

Attracting over 70,000 visitors, WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event. The event also hosts the national finals of the WorldSkills UK competitions which see the UK’s top apprentices and students compete to win Gold, Silver and Bronze in their chosen skill.

TexecomWorldSkillsLive

This year, for the first time, visitors to WorldSkills UK LIVE will be able to watch apprentices take part in the Electronic Security Systems Competition which has been designed to reflect the role of an electronic security engineer and the high standards that are expected within the industry.

“Texecom has been a long-standing supporter of engineering apprentice training within the security industry and we’re delighted to partner with WorldSkills UK and Skills for Security for the launch of this competition,” explained Clym Brown, Texecom’s marketing director. “Electronic security fundamentally protects people’s lives and livelihoods and, as such, is a very worthwhile endeavour for young people to consider as a career choice. This new competition will highlight the skills and innovation in the industry to a wider audience, as well as increasing the training level and knowledge base of electronic security apprentices already involved.”

As part of its commitment to helping the next generation of security engineers and installers adapt to the digital revolution, Texecom recently launched the Texecom Academy. Designed to help security professionals stay ahead of the digital curve, it redefines what it means to be a security professional by providing the skills, tools and mindset that will define the future of security for installers and their end customers.

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Axis Group receives Employee Engagement Award nomination from Institute of Customer Service

Axis Group, one of the UK’s fastest-growing security, cleaning, Front of House and support services organisations, has been selected as a finalist in the Institute of Customer Service’s ‘Customer Satisfaction Awards’ within the Employee Engagement Strategy category.

The nomination is in recognition of the Axis Group’s people strategy. Launched in 2015, it features nine distinct business components, all feeding into the central Employee Engagement and excellent customer service focus. It’s now the cornerstone of the business’ company ethos and integral to Axis’ ongoing goal of becoming ‘The Employer of Choice’ within its sector.

Reward and recognition programmes, Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, communication and Axis Group’s employee portal are all tools that Axis uses to further employee engagement and satisfaction. The company also offers counselling, health and financial well-being initiatives, all of which have helped to increase staff retention by 20% in just four years.

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Jonathan Levine, CEO at the Axis Group CEO, stated: “We’re constantly having to look at innovative ways in which to attract and retain the best talent and develop remuneration packages that go beyond ‘traditional’ benefits. We achieve this through encouraging excellent performance, clarifying responsibilities and delivering tailored and engaging learning and development programmes.”

Levine added: “We want our employees to feel motivated, committed and empowered to act in the moment to resolve problems, display empathy, demonstrate consistency and continuously find ways to improve both customer and personal experiences.”

The nomination follows the Axis Group’s ServiceMark Accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service, which was achieved as a result of its drive to put customer service at the forefront of its business.  

ServiceMark is a national standard recognising an organisation’s achievement in customer service and its commitment to upholding those standards. It’s awarded based on customer satisfaction feedback, a six-day assessment of standards and employee engagement with an organisation’s customer service strategy.

“I’m absolutely delighted that the hard work and dedication of so many people has been recognised with this nomination,” concluded Levine in conversation with Risk Xtra. “It’s the recognition we need to stand out in front of current employees, future employees and customers for being a company that values its people.”

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New wave of UK universities adopts SafeZone solution from CriticalArc

UK universities including the University of Greenwich, the University of South Wales, the University of East Anglia, the University of Manchester and the University of Central Lancashire are adopting CriticalArc’s SafeZone service for improved campus security.

With more than 25% of universities now using SafeZone across the UK, it has grown from being an innovative technology deployed by pioneering institutions to become a mainstream ‘must-have’ solution for the higher education sector.

SafeZone addresses key challenges for universities by enabling students and staff alike to quickly and easily reach their campus safety and security teams and by allowing first responders to respond to calls for assistance up to 50% faster.

It improves the safety, security and well-being of students and staff, both on campus and off, and raises security team preparedness for a full range of events they may face, including major incidents. SafeZone enhances student satisfaction as well as student well-being and is now helping universities to succeed globally as they work to attract and retain students with safer and more welcoming learning environments.

University Building

Through its advanced Command and Control software, SafeZone OmniGuard enhances team efficiency, with real-time situational awareness making it easier for command teams to see and co-ordinate resources to address incident ‘hotspots’. Safezone also supports heat mapping to enable patrol pattern optimisation and improves workplace Health and Safety, serving as a powerful lone worker solution.

Expanding the team

Announcing the latest wave of adoptions, CriticalArc confirms that it’s also expanding its team with the appointment of two new customer success managers. They will work closely with system users to spread Best Practice, provide support and help deliver maximum benefits from SafeZone.

Sean Edge takes on this important role for CriticalArc in the UK, while Karl Palma will be working with customers in Australia.

Darren Chalmers-Stevens, managing director for the EMEA and APAC regions at CriticalArc, stated: “With the number of SafeZone users now expanding rapidly, we’re investing not only in developing the technology and its capabilities, but also in delivering and sustaining high-level customer support for our growing network of users.”

In tandem with its success in the higher education sector, SafeZone is also being adopted increasingly in other key areas including implementations in the critical infrastructure, transport, utilities, Government and healthcare sectors, with rapidly developing markets in the US, Australia and, indeed, globally.

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GCHQ accelerator launches with The Landing to support start-ups in improving digital safety

In partnership with GCHQ, The Landing and global tech accelerator UP Ventures have been selected to deliver a ground-breaking accelerator: the Safe Citizen Digital Innovation Lab. Applications to join this GCHQ accelerator, which will start in early 2020, are being sought from companies who have customer-facing technology solutions aimed at improving citizen digital safety across the North West. 

This follows on from the GM Future of Health Challenge accelerator which received unprecedented application numbers and is now underway with a cohort of 15 companies, led by UP Ventures at The Landing, in the heart of Salford’s MediaCityUK.

GCHQ is a world-leading intelligence, cyber and security agency with a mission to keep the UK safe. In parallel with celebrating its centenary year, GCHQ is opening a new strategic hub in the heart of Manchester.

GCHQ is excited to engage with the thriving tech ecosystem in Greater Manchester and the North West and will be imparting exclusive tailored technical expertise into the programme. The GCHQ accelerator seeks start-ups that have harnessed cutting-edge technology in a creative way to make a difference to day-to-day life. This could be anything from informing and, in turn, empowering citizens by providing new insights from connected devices and services through to the creative use of data to deliver social impact in the region.

GCHQ’s deputy director for Manchester stated: “The Greater Manchester community has been fantastically welcoming to GCHQ and we’re just as pleased to be here. This accelerator programme is an early chance for us to begin working with the buzzing tech community in the North West. The ‘Safe Citizens’ theme for the accelerator combines our passion for exploring innovative cutting-edge technology with our desire to make a real contribution to the region. We look forward to building relationships with a diverse range of technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.”

GCHQ at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Pioneering “a new kind of security”

In order to pioneer a new kind of security as it expands into Greater Manchester, GCHQ is seeking to engage with external partners in the region, sharing unique technical expertise and collaborating with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, industry and academia to make a difference in the community.

Danny Meaney, CEO of UP Ventures, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for emerging tech businesses to gain unique access to GCHQ’s world-class engineering and technology teams, as well as leading digital thinkers and our strong investor network.  We’re excited to help bring another initiative to the market that has the potential to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives through applied technology here in Greater Manchester and the North West. We’re also pleased to build on our long-standing and successful partnership with The Landing.”

The 16-week accelerator programme will leverage unique technical infrastructure and facilities, including the Vodafone 5G Innovation Lab which provides real world urban environments for demonstration of products and services of MediaCityUK. GCHQ is keen to contribute to the fabric of Greater Manchester. Therefore, the programme welcomes submissions that provide “life impact” solutions for vulnerable groups across the region, empowering and connecting citizens through the ingenious use of technology.

Dan Sodergren, head of business services at The Landing, observed: “Thanks to our unparalleled facilities and a commitment to innovation from all partners, this is a significant opportunity for companies to explore how a ‘Smart City’ can work for its customers. Using technology for good is something we’re incredibly passionate about and we’re excited to receive applications from those who can really make a positive difference to all of our lives in the 21st Century.”

*Apply to the Safe Citizen Innovation Lab 1: http://thegchqaccelerator.mystrikingly.com

**Deadline for entries is 8 November. Successful applicants will be announced by 13 December and the programme begins on 13 January 2020

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Axis Group achieves ServiceMark accreditation from The Institute of Customer Service

Axis Group has successfully achieved the ServiceMark accreditation from The Institute of Customer Service following a major initiative to put customer service at the forefront of its businesses within the security, cleaning and reception services sectors.

ServiceMark is a national standard recognising an organisation’s achievement in customer service and its commitment to upholding those standards. It’s awarded based on customer satisfaction feedback and an assessment of employee engagement with an organisation’s customer service strategy. Not only does ServiceMark accreditation help organisations to understand how effective their customer service strategy is, but the process also identifies areas for future improvement.

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Axis Group CEO Jonathan Levine commented: “We’re the only security, cleaning and reception companies to have achieved the ServiceMark accreditation. Each and every one of our employees has played their part in the process and should be justifiably proud of this recognition.”

Axis Group joined The Institute of Customer Service in May 2017 after recognising that customer service was at the heart of all of its Group operations: “We wanted to benchmark our services against the best and look for areas in which we could improve,” added Levine.

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In the assessors’ report, Axis Group was congratulated for its focus not only on customers, but also employees. “We’re grateful to all those customers and employees who engaged in the assessment process and for their ongoing support as we endeavour to take our customer service to an even higher level.”

Axis Group operates in a very competitive market and Levine believes that building a reputation for service excellence in all its areas of operation can become a crucial USP. Axis customers gave the company a Customer Service Index of 79.4 out of 100 (against a UK Customer Service Index benchmark of 76.9 for the service sector). This Index was generated from customers’ perception and experience of Axis’ service delivery, complaint handling, customer ethos, emotional connection and ethics.

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Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, stated: “Congratulations to Axis Group for achieving ServiceMark accreditation. It’s a clear sign of the Group’s commitment to continue to improve customer service standards. By acting on the insights gained from customer feedback as part of the ServiceMark accreditation, Axis Group will be in a strong position to offer customers what they want, when they want and how they want it.”

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Axis Group will now hold the accreditation for a three-year period with a re-assessment in late 2020. “Our ServiceMark achievement doesn’t mean that we stop our efforts,” concluded Levine. “We’ve built action plans with short-, medium- and long-term objectives on how we can uphold and further improve the service we deliver to both our colleagues and our clients. The Axis Group journey continues.”

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Key industry players join forces to establish FiRa Consortium focused on Ultra-Wideband technology

Recognising the need for emerging applications to build on a strong foundation that supports interoperability among all categories of devices, sponsor members prominent in the spheres of access, secure connectivity and mobile/CE device solutions – namely the ASSA ABLOY Group (which includes HID Global and NXP Semiconductors), Samsung Electronics and Bosch –  have announced the launch of the FiRa Consortium.

The new coalition is designed to grow the Ultra-Wideband (UWB) ecosystem such that new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive, ultimately setting a new standard in seamless user experiences. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association are the first companies to join the newly-formed organisation.

The FiRa name, which stands for ‘Fine Ranging’, highlights UWB technology’s ability to deliver “unprecedented accuracy” when measuring the distance or determining the relative position of a target. Notably so in challenging environments, UWB technology outperforms other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in RF connection and security “by a wide margin”

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Charlie Zhang, chair of the FiRa Consortium and vice-president of engineering at Samsung Electronics, stated: “As an industry consortium, we believe UWB technology can transform the way in which people experience connectivity. We’re very much committed to the widespread adoption of interoperable UWB technologies.”

IEEE Standard 802.15.4/4z in focus 

The starting point for UWB technology is the IEEE Standard 802.15.4/4z, which defines the essential characteristics for low data rate wireless connectivity and enhanced ranging. It’s the aim of the FiRa Consortium to build on what the IEEE has already established by developing an interoperability standard based on the IEEE’s profiled features, defining mechanisms that are out of scope of the IEEE standard and also pursuing activities that support rapid development of specific use cases. 

The capabilities of UWB promise to make it an essential technology in many areas, among them:

*Seamless access control UWB can identify an individual’s approach towards or away from a secured entrance, verify security credentials and let an authorised individual pass through an entrance without physically presenting the credential

*Location-based services UWB offers highly precise positioning, even in congested multi-path signal environments, thereby making it easier to navigate large venues such as airports and Shopping Centres or find a car in a multi-story parking garage. It also enables targeted digital marketing campaigns and foot traffic data. Retailers can present customised offers, Government agencies can tailor their notifications and entertainment venues can personalise recommendations during events

*Device-to-Device (Peer-to-Peer) services By providing precise relative distance and direction between two devices, UWB lets devices find the relative location of each other even without infrastructures such as anchors or access points. This allows people to easily find one another in crowded spaces or find items even when they’ve been placed in hidden areas

Use with other wireless technologies

Due to its low power spectral density, UWB offers little-to-no interference with other wireless standards, so it’s well suited for use with other wireless technologies including Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

There are also adjacent markets that leverage UWB in other ways, especially automotive. “The FiRa Consortium’s commitment to a complete ecosystem means we will work with other consortia and industry players to develop approaches and define parameters,” explained Charles Dachs, vice-chair of the FiRa Consortium and general manager at NXP Semiconductors.

FiRa Consortium members will have the chance to influence industry trends, gain early access to technical details, certify interoperable products, expand the UWB ecosystem and share expertise. Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, director and treasurer of the FiRa Consortium and CTO of HID Global, commented: “We encourage anyone from any relevant industry area who has a vested interest in the success of UWB to join us and contribute to the Consortium’s work.”

*To learn more about the FiRa Consortium and the benefits of membership visit www.firaconsortium.org

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Nortech controllers manage access at shared parking facilities

The CPC202 and CPC204 Shared Occupancy Controllers from access controls specialist Nortech are compact, standalone, intelligent units that control access for groups of users sharing the same parking facility.

A single CPC204 Shared Occupancy Controller can provide full access control to a parking facility that’s shared by up to four independent user groups. As well as validating user credentials, it will monitor usage and prevent each user group from exceeding its allocated number of parking spaces. In addition, it will work almost any barrier/gate system.

The CRC202 Shared Occupancy Controller can be used to control access to a parking facility by a single group of users, preventing over-occupancy of the facility. It can also be used to manage the sharing of a facility by two user groups.

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Both Shared Occupancy Controllers provide a comprehensive range of access control functions such as restricting parking to certain times of the day, preventing the abuse of pass cards (pass back) and supporting visitor management by dint of using group-specific PIN codes.

The controllers support independent readers and gate controls for entry and exit gates/barriers and work with most types of card reader/vehicle ID reader. They have capacity for up to four count groups (CPC204) or two count groups (CPC202) and can accommodate anything up to 9,999 users per group.

The CPC202 and CPC204 devices also have capacity for up to 65,000 cards/tokens, provide a choice of counting methods and can control up to four message signs, Space/Full signs or traffic signals.

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The compact and easy-to-install controllers optimise parking capacity, thereby maximising return on investment. They also help to prevent parking in unauthorised areas. This not only improves safety, but also avoids disputes and minimises disruption to a given location.

Other benefits include the saving of fuel and reducing of pollution by preventing drivers from entering the car park when spaces are not available as well as the comprehensive range of access control features. The visual indication of which companies have spaces available also helps to avoid queuing and enables each tenant company to manage their own parking allocation.

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