Tag Archives: USA

Wavestore expands into North America with focus on customer service and support

Wavestore, the open platform Video Management Software (VMS) developer, has opened a new office – designated Wavestore Americas Inc – in Montreal to service the company’s expanding customer base across the USA and Canada.

In combination with the firm’s headquarters in Uxbridge, the new office space significantly expands Wavestore’s footprint and supports the company’s growth strategy. With a dedicated team of sales and support professionals already in place to promote and drive the highly successful Channel Partner Program, the local office will offer the business’ portfolio of VMS products to customers across the whole of North America.

WavestoreV6.4

James Smith, managing director of Wavestore Global, commented: “Wavestore is currently enjoying record sales into its key focus markets, but we know that simply having great products isn’t enough. Our customers tell us that they really appreciate the fact we’re there for them when they need help with things like specification and technical support. By opening an office in North America with a dedicated team to meet local demands, we can ensure we live up to the high expectations that our customers place on our brand.”

JamesSmithWavestore

James Smith

Mark Cup, director of Wavestore Americas, added: “We’re very proud of the success Wavestore has seen after the release of Version 6. With that success comes a need to scale our efforts, especially in a growing security market like North America. We’re looking forward to signing up customers to our Channel Partner Program. We’ll soon be running our first day-long Systems Integrator training sessions where delegates can be ‘hands on’ with the system.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

Europe is the world’s top tourist destination… but are tourists safe?

Worldwide, tourist travel is on the rise. Indeed, international tourism actually dwarfs any other type of leisure business in terms of growth. One of the global regions benefiting the most from this trend is Europe: the world’s first tourism destination.

Central to the dynamism of European tourism is accommodation: hotels, B&Bs and online-rented space, but due to a loose legislative framework for safety, which is rapidly becoming obsolete as our habits as tourists evolve, hotels might also become European tourism’s Achilles’ heel.

Of all the dangers posed to a tourist’s safety in a European hotel, fire remains the biggest. Currently, the legal basis on the matter is a 1986 EU Council Recommendation on fire safety in hotels. Since EU Recommendations are, by their very nature, non-binding legal acts, this has resulted in mainly localised and incomplete measures. Fast forward 30 years later, and it’s clear that the Recommendation has had limited effect on hotel safety in Europe: a fact acknowledged by hotel federations and consumer associations alike.

The main issue is that local self-regulation resulting from the EU Recommendation hasn’t guaranteed an even level of safety across the EU. Enforcement varies considerably from country to country, and even from city to city, including in the same region, and largely depends on the size of the hotel. All-too-often, small hotels are less well scrutinised, and somewhat more ill-equipped than bigger ones to deal with fires. Local laws frequently link the number of rooms with compliance to the Recommendation.

Global trends

An analysis of global trends in tourism shows that, as our tourist habits evolve, the risk resulting from the current situation increases: more and more travellers choose to go ‘off the map’ opting for smaller hotels rather than big chains. This new type of tourist also tends to visit exactly those countries where safety in hotels is less controlled.

Add to this the relatively unregulated development of increasingly popular online ‘homestay’ networks, such as Airbnb, and you have a flammable cocktail. The situation seems to be calling for a fast reaction.

euralarmlogo

The most recent attempt to initiate binding legislation on tourism accommodation safety arose in October 2015. A Resolution of the European Parliament called for a consistent European approach around risks related to fire. Reactions to the Resolution from various Brussels-based influencers highlighted a novel situation. All parties involved – ie consumer associations, hotel federations and Euralarm, the European Trade Association representing the electronic fire and security industry – now seem to agree that a legally binding EU Directive would be the right solution to address the issue.

Industry-led survey

Unfortunately, the initiative derailed due to a lack of reliable supporting data. The exact level of risk existing for the flows of tourists travelling to and inside Europe remains a question mark.

Outside of empirical observations, statistics on safety in tourism are notoriously hard to come by, with reputational issues hampering self-reporting. An EU Commission-initiated data collection programme launched in 2008 resulted in a blatant failure.

The focus now is on a survey led by the industry, rather than the EU. Among others, Euralarm has asserted its readiness to help with new data collection efforts. The organisation has also offered to provide support and expertise to the EU Institutions and the CEN-CENELEC European standardisation platform for the development of the relevant legislation and necessary standards needed to improve fire safety in hotels.

Progress in European legislation and standardisation is often slow unless the issue makes it to the news headlines. In 2004, after a number of tunnel fires with resulting casualties, the EU Commission was forced to publish a Directive on tunnel fire safety. Should we wait any further before adopting a Directive on tourism accommodation safety?

Time to act

Any failure to act quickly could lead to another cost for Europe. As tourism is now more globalised than ever, competition becomes fiercer, and parts of the world with more stringent and well-established regulations for safety in tourism accommodation might hold a key advantage.

In the United States for example, a Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act has been in place since 1990. Potential future incidents resulting from poor regulation could hit Europe’s tourism industry particularly hard. Its reputation as a safe destination has already taken a blow due to recent terrorist attacks.

Tourism is one of the engines of the European economy and an important source of jobs. Eurostat reports that one-in-ten non-financial enterprises in Europe belong to the tourism industries, and that these 2.2 million enterprises employ an estimated 12 million people. That’s more than one-in-five of individuals employed across the services sector.

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK News, Uncategorized

Axis Communications publishes detailed Sustainability Report for 2014

Network camera specialist Axis Communications has issued its Sustainability Report for 2014, with environmental considerations, business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) very much in focus. The company’s fifth annual Sustainability Report describes the progress made in a number of fields such as environmental impact and anti-corruption. Great progress has also been made in work dedicated to informing and auditing suppliers in order to ensure compliance with Axis’ Supplier Code of Conduct. The Sustainability Report was prepared according to the G4 global reporting standard.

“Axis Communications works proactively with sustainability issues on a long-term basis since a responsible attitude is an important success factor for our global business operations,” explained Ray Mauritsson, the company’s president. “I’m proud of what we have achieved during 2014, from optimising our logistics flows to minimising our environmental impact as well as countering corruption in the value chain and working to create a safer and more secure world.”

Axis aims to be a driving force behind the development of innovative security solutions which assist end users in both the private and public sectors to meet today’s critical challenges, such as protecting people and important infrastructure while also helping to solve today’s urban problems such as traffic congestion.

As a global company with employees in 49 countries and partners in 179 countries, Axis aims to be a leader in the security industry when it comes to CSR and, as a result, assumes a long-term responsibility for how the company’s operations affect employees, partners, suppliers, end users and other important target groups.

Ray Mauritsson: president of Axis Communications

Ray Mauritsson: president of Axis Communications

“Our ambition is to serve as a model for the industry in terms of sustainability,” added Mauritsson. “This latest report shows how our sustainability work has delivered positive results across the entire value chain. I look forward to continuing the work relating to Axis’ industry-leading measures such as our anti-corruption program.”

Key facts and figures in the report

Some important points raised in the 2014 Sustainability Report are as follows:

  • Axis’ comprehensive anti-corruption work has been intensified. All employees have participated in training and more than 100 of the company’s distributors have undertaken to comply with the company’s policy of zero tolerance against corruption, bribes and conflicts of interests
  • 96% of Axis’ suppliers that have an impact on the company in terms of the environment or sustainability have either been audited by Axis supplier inspectors or are certified to ensure that they follow Axis’ requirements relating to environmental considerations, the working environment and occupational safety
  • Axis has managed to cut the company’s carbon dioxide emissions by 13% during 2014, primarily through its optimised logistics flows and reduced distances for transportation
  • The company has continued to phase out PVC plastic from its products while 65% of the company’s network cameras and video encoders are now PVC-free
  • During 2014, Axis’ employees participated in surveys conducted by Great Place to Work in Sweden, USA and Germany and the company realised top positions in all countries
  • In order to raise environmental awareness among its suppliers, Axis held webinars through its training program Axis Supplier Academy, whereby all suppliers were informed about the company’s views on sustainability issues as well as rules and laws for material accounting
Axis Communications' headquarters in Lund, Sweden

Axis Communications’ headquarters in Lund, Sweden

In the 2014 Sustainability Report, as stated Axis has changed over to the new G4 reporting standard which is an update of the leading rules for sustainability reporting drawn up by the Global Reporting Initiative.

As part of Axis’ transition to the new reporting standard, the company has initiated dialogue with key target groups and stakeholders which has provided important insights that can be used to continue improving the company’s long-term sustainability work.

*The Axis Communications Sustainability Report for 2014 can be downloaded from this link: http://www.axis.com/corporate/sustainability/index.htm

Leave a comment

Filed under Risk UK, Risk UK News