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IOSH CEO Bev Messinger named ‘Rising CEO Star’ at Charity Times Awards 2019

IOSH CEO Bev Messinger has been named ‘Rising CEO Star’ at the Charity Times Awards 2019. Messinger won the award after overseeing the transformation of IOSH to enable it to deliver its five-year strategy, WORK 2022, that’s specifically designed to shape the future of the occupational safety and health profession.

Part of this transformation included the ‘Attraction and Induction’ Programme to improve IOSH’s offer as an employer. Indeed, this was named ‘Change Project of the Year’ at the awards ceremony, which took place at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge in London on Wednesday 2 October.

Messinger joined IOSH back in October 2016 and has led the organisation through a period of change. This has included the development and implementation of the organisation’s new strategy, which was launched in April 2017 to enhance the occupational safety and health profession, collaborate with like-minded organisations and influence and strengthen its impact globally.

Messinger appointed a new senior leadership team and began a five-year ‘Transforming Together’ Programme that has made IOSH more modern, flexible and agile in order to deliver the new strategy. This has focused on three key areas: IOSH’s people, its ways of working and its operating model.

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Bev Messinger

The end result has been an improvement in how IOSH recruits, retains and develops employees, better systems and processes and significant financial improvements. All of this has helped the Institution continue to develop its vision of a safe and healthy world of work.

Award judges said Messinger was “recruited into a challenging position and has rapidly instigated a programme that has returned the organisation to stability, while also introducing new policies and a culture that has created new opportunities.”

Speaking about the accolade, Messinger said: “I’m delighted that IOSH has been recognised by these prestigious awards. It’s testament to the collective work that has been done over the past three years. We are now halfway through delivery of our WORK 2022 strategy, through which we’re shaping the future of occupational safety and health to ensure millions of working people worldwide are protected. Key to this has been transforming IOSH as an organisation to make us more business-like and customer focused such that we continue to meet the needs of our members.”

Messinger added: “As CEO, I’m proud to lead an amazing team who are delivering this transformation and would like to thank all the staff at IOSH for their hard work. I’m also grateful for the support of our members, in particular the Presidential team, our Council and the Board of Trustees.”

HR and people development

Messinger is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has a wealth of experience in HR and people development.

Before joining IOSH, she held posts at Ofwat (as senior director for business improvement) and at Coventry City Council, where she served as corporate director of customer and workforce services, head of HR and acting CEO.

Dr Bill Gunnyeon, chair of the IOSH Board of Trustees, stated: “These awards demonstrate how IOSH has grown and developed over the past three years. A wide-ranging transformation programme has been ongoing to ensure the successful delivery of our WORK 2022 strategy and to better support the needs of our global membership. That we’ve been able to do all of this in such a relatively short timescale is the result of the strong leadership provided by our CEO, Bev Messinger, together with the hard work and commitment of our great team of people who work for IOSH and our many member volunteers across the world.”

IOSH’s ‘Attraction and Induction’ Programme aimed to improve its proposition to employees to make it an employer of choice, focusing on the recruitment, on-boarding and induction of its people.

Jasbir Bilen, head of people at IOSH, explained: “We were delighted to be shortlisted for these awards alongside many big names in the charity sector, and to win is simply fantastic. As an organisation, we’re being transformed to ensure we deliver our WORK 2022 strategy. Everyone at IOSH is playing a role in that. We can all be proud of this achievement and recognition.”

Bilen concluded: “The work of our CEO has made the organisation stronger, more efficient and financially stable and enhanced IOSH’s global profile by facilitating the developing of excellent collaborative relationships. All of this has been achieved in just over two years.”

Now in their 20th year, the Charity Times Awards are held to celebrate Best Practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector.

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IDIS Global Partners Summit highlights developments in analytics and end-to-end solutions for strategic markets

The latest advances in video analytics – including improved classification, accuracy and speed – were unveiled at a Global Partners Summit of international security and video surveillance professionals hosted by IDIS in Seoul, South Korea.

The three-day event, attended by senior executives from leading security distributors from 23 countries, focused on how IDIS is responding to market trends and needs, developing end-to-end solutions (including specialist technologies for a range of vertical markets) and pushing forward with improvements to the IDIS Deep Learning Engine, the technology which powers the company’s ‘AI in the Box’ and IDIS Deep Learning Analytics solutions for end users.

Earlier this year, IDLA Version 3.0 was introduced as a service module for up to 80 channels within the IDIS Solution Suite VMS and it set new performance benchmarks by achieving an accuracy of 97%-98% while dramatically reducing false alarms. Responding to customer demand for easier, more affordable analytics for smaller applications, IDIS also launched its aforementioned DV-2116 ‘AI in the Box’ solution.

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Delegates learned of future enhancements in meta-data searching by class, colour and number, plus the ability to search a specific area of interest. People counting, fall detection and the ability to search by the direction of an object’s movement were also previewed and delegates received advanced notice of a new range of AI-ready 5 MP cameras, featuring deep learning on-the-edge analytics, due for release next year.

Technology roadmap for 2020

The Global Partners Summit also previewed IDIS’ ambitious video product and technology roadmap for 2020, further building out the company’s end-to-end solutions for core vertical market sectors.

Innovations in recording and camera technology, and the growing importance of cyber security, extended warranties and the advantages of delivering lower total cost of ownership and lower total cost to serve for systems integrators and installers were among key topics discussed at the event.

IDIS works closely with its partners and hosts the annual Global Partners Summit as an opportunity to exchange market insights and steer its strategies for product development, technical support and marketing.

Partners shared Best Practice implementations and related Case Studies in core vertical markets including retail, education, logistics and distribution and hotels.

Awards for Best Practice

Joon Jun, president of the IDIS Global Business Division, recognised outstanding project implementations and presented special awards for Best Practice to Alarm Automatika from Croatia and BTCO of Chile.

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This collaborative approach, focusing on long-term partnerships, is a key element in the company’s success. It’s a customer-focused model that has seen IDIS grow continuously since 1997 to become Korea’s largest in-country video surveillance manufacturer, with regional operations now expanding across 50-plus countries.

Concluding the Global Partners Summit, special partner awards were presented by YD Kim, CEO of IDIS, recognising outstanding collaboration and sales growth over the last year. These were given to Alarm Automatica of Croatia, CCTV Center from Spain, EPCOM of Mexico, JES CQTEC of Thailand and Japan’s Secure Inc.

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Joon Jun

“The expertise, energy and commitment from all our partners at this year’s Global Partners Summit demonstrates yet again that collaboration is that the best route to success,” said Joon Jun. “Together, we’re giving our customers the most advanced video surveillance solutions, ease-of-use and installation, scaleability and protection against today’s cyber security risks.”

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AMG continues expansion drive with opening of new northern office

AMG – the ISO 9001:2015-approved UK manufacturer and global provider of fibre, analogue, IP/Ethernet, wireless and hybrid communication transmission solutions – has announced the opening of a new northern office.

Expediting company growth on the back of new leadership, AMG has started its growth plan, providing a presence and local support for its customers in the north. Capitalising on significant new external investment, the new Leeds office will offer technical, sales and training support as well as customer demonstration facilities.

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As part of the company’s expansion drive, AMG will also offer new sales and technical career opportunities.

“Demonstrating our commitment to providing a broader depth of customer support, I’m delighted to announce the opening of the new AMG northern office,” explained managing director Steve Clarke. “This latest move forms the first stage of AMG’s exciting expansion strategy whereby we’ll be looking to recruit expertise to broaden the depth of our customer sales and technical support. Our aim is to build a solid platform with which to bring the technical and performance benefits of AMG’s products to more customers.”

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Milestone Systems introduces centralised Search feature in capability enhancement for XProtect

In the latest product update of Milestone XProtect 2019 R3 VMS, Milestone Systems has introduced several new features and capabilities. These include centralised Search, a new driver framework, adaptive streaming and enhanced device password management.

With this product update, Milestone Systems highlights that the business is continuing to pursue ever-higher performing software to fulfil the market’s rising demands for cost-effective video technology solutions.

One of the main features of the 2019 R3 release is Search. This is a new centralised search platform in XProtect Smart Client that makes it possible for end users to search for everything in one place. Previously, end users performed several standalone searches, depending on what data they were searching for. With the new Search tool, users can search for motion, alarms, events, bookmarks and other types of data in one single place enabling rapid and efficient video investigations.

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Moreover, the new Search platform also smoothly embeds partner integrations and their powerful analytic capabilities via dedicated filtering options. Through specific plug-ins and devices, search criteria such as line-crossing and object-in-field will be enabled directly in the Search Tab, saving time and increasing efficiency.

Milestone Systems provides customers with support for more than 8,000 cameras and devices. In order to allow XProtect device support to grow exponentially with the number of devices in the market, and to provide support for new types of devices such as the Internet of Things, the company has introduced its Driver Framework. Within the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit, this allows device manufacturers to develop their own drivers and provide faster device compatibility and deeper integration that goes beyond the capabilities of ONVIF.

This new feature will enable end users to receive lower resolution streams from the recording server when a high resolution one isn’t required (for example, when displaying video in the smart client or smart wall in window sizes smaller than a full screen). This will give users smoother viewing and a better user experience, a lower total cost of ownership due to less hardware being needed to decode unnecessary high-resolution video and a better use of bandwidth that can then be employed for other requirements within the organisation.

The new Device Password Management continues XProtect’s focus on ease of use and enhanced cyber security during set-up of new installations, as well as when expanding existing ones. This feature makes it possible for system administrators to manage all devices’ passwords directly from the XProtect Management Client for selected device manufacturers.

In the 2019 R3 update, Milestone Systems has doubled the number of supported device manufacturers and added the option to schedule future password changes according to the cadence in given organisations and their password policies, in turn making device password management fully automatic.

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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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Kentec provides fire protection for Yorkshire Power Station project

A Sigma XT extinguishing panel and accessories manufactured by Kentec, the life safety control systems manufacturer, are protecting a power storage station built in Hefei, China and then brought over to Yorkshire.

The Guangzhou Wanzhen Information Technology Co Ltd completed the installation and commissioning of the project for Sungrow Power in Hefei earlier this year, after which it was transported to Yorkshire, where the storage container was fixed to the site. The storage station forms part of Sungrow’s photovoltaic solar energy project.

From construction to installation, the project was completed in just four months, with the methodology now being used as a blueprint across the power construction industry.

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The installation included a Sigma XT Extinguishant panel, status unit, abort switch and warning signs. A spokesperson for the Guangzhou Wanzhen Information Technology Co Ltd has stated the Sigma range is ideal for high-risk sites such as power stations. “Kentec’s Sigma range is highly reliable and renowned throughout the industry for its robust build quality. We were very happy to specify the system for this project.”

Three initiation circuits are included as standard with the Sigma XT releasing panel. This means release can be configured to activate from any combination of detection zone inputs to enable specific and controlled activations, thus protecting a site’s critical equipment from unnecessary extinguishant release damage.

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Kevin Swann, managing director of Kentec, observed: “A large LED display provides a highly-intuitive interface for end users to configure systems to suit their specific sites. With all of the electronics mounted on a single, easily removable steel plate, the panels are both robust and easy to install.”

The LED display informs on the time remaining until release for added user safety. This countdown timer can be duplicated on up to seven status units per panel to provide localised indication of system status. Any number of abort switches can be connected to the abort terminal, in turn providing complete convenience of system design.

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The Sigma XT has been approved and certified to EN 12094-1, EN 54-2 and EN 54-4, with UL and FM versions also available.

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iProov Study: UK public “overwhelmingly unaware” of deepfake threat

A nationwide study conducted by biometric facial authentication specialist iProov has revealed a sheer lack of awareness and education around deepfake technology among the UK public, with almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents saying they’ve never even heard of a deepfake video.  

Deepfake is a technique for human image synthesis based on Artificial Intelligence. It’s used to combine and superimpose existing images and videos on to source images or videos using a machine learning technique known as generative adversarial network. Due to these capabilities, deepfakes have been used to create fake videos. Deepfakes can also be used to create fake news and malicious hoaxes.

The research polled 2,000 respondents across the UK to reveal their attitudes towards (and understanding of) deepfake technology. The results highlight a need for awareness and education on the impact of deepfakes which, if not addressed, will have huge implications on personal and professional security.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Bud (founder and CEO at iProov) said: “Awareness is the first defence against any cyber security threat, as we’ve already seen with attacks like phishing and ransomware. Deepfakes, however, represent a whole new kind of danger to businesses and individuals. Technology also has a big role to play in combating the threat, yet if the vast majority of people in the UK have such little awareness of deepfakes right now, they simply cannot begin to prepare themselves as they need to.”

Deepfake

Underlying societal threat 

Until recently, deepfakes were a nascent concept. Today, the technology behind deepfakes is threatening to undermine the notion of trust in moving images and is becoming increasingly accessible – be it through the creation of fake news or spoofing the identity checks required to log into a bank account.

However, the research has revealed members of the public to be largely unaware of the threats. Even once respondents were provided with the definition of a deepfake video, almost a third (28%) said they believed them to be completely harmless. More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) confessed they didn’t believe they would be able to tell the difference between a deepfake and a real video.

Detecting fraudulent identities

Interestingly, once those surveyed were provided with a definition of a deepfake video, they began to recognise the technology’s mounting threat. In fact, just under two-thirds (65%) of people said that their newfound knowledge of the existence of deepfakes undermined their trust in the Internet.

Notably, consumers went on to cite identity theft as the biggest concern (42%) for how they believed deepfake technology could be misused. Almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents also said they would be far more likely to use an online service with preventative measures in place to mitigate the use of deepfakes.

Despite the security implications of the specific concerns raised surrounding identity theft, more than half of all respondents (55%) surprisingly called out social networks as the party most responsible for dealing with deepfake synthetic videos.

Bud added: “Taking the fight to this new wave of fraud means that security measures in this new post-truth era simply have to be as creative, sophisticated and fast-moving as the fraudsters. While the adoption of biometric technology to crack down on deepfakes is growing among financial institutions, Governments and large-scale enterprises, the challenge ahead lies in the effective detection of a genuine human presence. It’s a challenge that should not be underestimated.”

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