- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
For end-users and customers there are huge advantages to having an integrated security and building management system that brings together intrusion, access, video, fire and other functions, says product company UTC.
Integrated systems can do more, work better and are easier to use. They can adapt, so they allow organisations to evolve and grow without being hampered by old, inflexible technology. For larger users, they make it easier to manage multiple sites, to control sites remotely, to deal with flexible working hours and large numbers of people.
These are all potential benefits of integration – if the system is designed and installed properly – and they are changing the market. In the rapidly changing security sector, the good news for installers is that easier integration is increasingly being designed into products and entire product families. Manufacturers seek to deliver products in different fields that work together much more easily. This is a significant improvement. It offers installers routes into new areas of work as it is becoming simpler to tie systems together and to present the user with a single, user-friendly front-end graphical user interface (GUI). It also makes it easier for installers to migrate upwards and to take on more ambitious contracts.
Kevin Swann, country manager, UTC Fire & Security UK Ltd, says he has noticed a shift of gear, even during the last two years. “We are seeing a lot of installers who traditionally specialised in one or two areas but who are now looking for wider opportunities. The move towards integration is becoming much stronger now. It’s being driven by demand from end-users and by competition among installers who are offering more in order to win business.”
What sort of thing are they offering? As an example, UTC’s access control technology, TruPortal, now links with its TruVision video and the two together offer much more than the ‘sum of their parts’. For example installers can set up a system that records or shows video images of door access events, such as attempts at unauthorised access, or all door entry activity on specified doors. False alarm incidents can be reduced by tying access control to intrusion systems, so that only authorised alarm system managers can gain entry while the alarm is set. And the introduction of products such as the PIRCam next year, will allow images of alarm events to be sent to end-users’ android. This is visual verification made easy and made exciting, immediate and useful for the customer.
“There is so much potential in these technologies that I don’t think people have realised quite how powerful they are yet,” says Kevin Swann.
Perhaps the most important example of this is the soon to be launched Advisor Advanced management software. This management package will allow the easy integration of fire, access, intrusion and video systems into one system. It is designed to be used by organisations of all sizes. So it will provide routes to expansion as needs change.
For the user, from small and medium installers to major organisations, the solution will give a single interface for security and facility management. It means that the various technologies do more by working together – for example, delivering video verification of fire and security events and allowing improved access control during emergencues. It will also offer different levels of control for different users of the system – managers, operators and guests.
Kevin Swann says: “With the new Advisor Advanced management software, customers will be able to see and control what’s going on at their premises using their smart phones. This won’t just be useful for security, but also for situations such as caring for the young, elderly or vulnerable people, managing building controls and making business operations more efficient.” And, he adds, easier integration doesn’t just deliver more capable systems – it helps the whole market to develop.
As complexity is removed from the technology, there is greater choice, increased competition and more flexibility. Customers who want more function-rich solutions can now look to the growing number of installers who can do this work. Kevin Swann adds: “This is great for installers who are able to move between basic domestic/small and medium installer projects, to more complex, larger scale corporate installations and even up to top-end enterprise systems.”