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One World, One Call: How End Users Can Leverage Partnerships to Streamline Security Across the Globe

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Friday, May 25, 2012
Renae Leary
Tyco Integrated Security

Business operations in today’s market increasingly take on a global approach. Many of today’s growth-oriented businesses tend to extend operations to other states and countries once solidifying success in existing markets, and this trend will only continue to accelerate. Corporations conduct business with a number of entities in a variety of locations and their customers can be as close as Poughkeepsie or as far as Peru.

The global approach to business drives a need, desire and requirement for a streamlined approach to security. Technologies, services and procedures need to be managed from a centralized location to bring not only increased security and safety, but deliver long-term ROI and business efficiencies to the customer. A security systems integrator dedicated to providing a high-level of service and innovative technologies to multinational customers is an ideal partner for an enterprise security leader. Therefore, such a customer’s security program requires a structured approach from a single service provider to bring a worldwide security program together successfully.

One Worldwide Partner
Whether you’re a C-level executive at a large, multinational enterprise or a smaller corporation with various locations, it is ideal to rely on a single set of security standards and ideally a single service provider to fulfill security needs. With one systems integrator, there is no more searching through databases to determine who to call for a specific need or looking for someone to address critical concerns quickly. When an organization partners with a global vendor, they are provided with one point of contact for all their needs, while streamlining technology and service deployments across the globe.

As security solutions have become more complex, IT-centric and network-based, a knowledgeable solutions company can execute cohesive logical and physical security installations across the globe, which is critical to ensure consistent and cost-effective operations. This approach also lends itself to more efficiency in the enterprise and assists in defining management objectives. With this in mind, enterprise organizations are an ideal candidate to contract a single integrator for all its physical and logical security solutions. An experienced service company will provide one team for all plans and devise cohesive and well-executed loss prevention, security, business management, and risk assessment goals and strategies.

There are many options available to the enterprise that wants to leverage logical and physical security on the network. Software platforms, such as physical security information management systems, can be deployed and managed in-house or in the cloud. IP or analog surveillance is another consideration, as well as access control ranging from simple single door control to managed access. The possibilities for effectively managing physical security and logical network controls are endless and it takes a comprehensive solutions provider to provide a robust plan and the personnel needed to effectively deploy a worldwide security program. A single-source technology and service provider that is experienced in global operations connects the end user enterprise to all the efficiencies of the network and streamlines business on the IT network.

A dedicated, experienced security systems integrator will also know and easily grasp the pain points of global customers. These providers critically understand the local and regional regulations and legalities of overseas operations; effectively plan and execute, and communicate regularly; consistently follow project status; and update and maintain services and software. This frees management of these day-to-day tasks to allow enterprise security teams to focus on their vision and roadmap of building a successful security and business analytic program across the globe.

Building a ‘standard’ system    
Consider a sole integration company your single source of command and control. A single source provider that acutely understands business here and abroad can help organizations standardize technology and services no matter where a company conducts business or has facilities. A dedicated team focuses on delivering integrated enterprise security projects in a consistent solution. Hands down, customers who standardize on products and services realize immediate and long-term cost efficiencies and improved levels of security. By partnering with a security integrator that can deliver a consistent level of support and security systems across the world, customers have access to dedicated account management, and the latest updated product and services specifically tailored to an organization’s needs.

Trusting a security program to an experienced systems integrator delivers the same type of service in one location as it can at another 5,000 miles away, and allows security practitioners to realize significant savings in time, resources and money. The real value to a global company is the consistent integration of systems to provide central control through a single point of contact, delivering peace of mind to the security team and C-level executives.

Third tallest building in Chicago enhances security, conducts fire evacuation drills

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05/16/2011

CHICAGO—Since the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1, Thomas Begg Jr., director of security life safety for the Aon Center in Chicago, the third tallest building in the city, said he has heightened security awareness in and around the building. “We’re more vigilant and looking for things out of the ordinary,” he said

Trends in wireless technologies and the emerging PSIM market

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

By David Sylvester, VP of Business Development, Roper Industries

Wireless sensor networks in commercial settings are continuing to gain traction for life-safety applications. The wave of smart phones and tablet computers has contributed to an increased acceptance of wireless as a reliable alternative to wired in security and life-safety. 900MHz wireless sensor network technology, in particular, continues to prove itself as a trusted solution for emergency situations. Decision makers in the security industry are seeing a surge in the demand for wireless solutions, particularly in IP-based security solutions and applications that require mobile security capabilities. The need for integrated security solutions that can tie all the benefits of wireless together into a single, seamless platform as well as manage security infrastructure has become top of mind for many. Security dealers and directors are increasingly leveraging wireless throughout their organizations for these reasons. In 2011, we are seeing several trends that reflect this movement towards wireless.

Trend #1: Standardization on IP-based Hardware and Systems
Video is a hot topic today and generates the majority of physical security industry buzz. It is also clear that systems are leading to IP based platforms. Manufacturers of access control panels and video management systems are integrating their security networks into a cohesive IP-based solution. The transition to IP-based specifications is accelerating and will quickly drive the industry standard for all products.

There are numerous functions an IP-based system can monitor, control, and derive business information from as an added benefit. By closely monitoring security points, building automation, identity management, users can demonstrate a measureable payback. The information obtained can be put onto the network to generate data that is correlated and presented to management to help better manage the business and increase efficiency. IP creates a common connectivity, establishing the basis for total system coordination. This, in turn, sets the foundation for development of new applications and capabilities, and ultimately a layer of PSIM solutions.

Trend #2: Adoption of Wireless Technology Accelerating Rapidly
Wireless sensor networks and wireless locking hardware have been available for years, but the adoption of these technologies for security applications has been a slow process. However, with the popularity of smart phones and iPads, decision makers are beginning to accept wireless technology as a ubiquitous solution. Wireless sensor networks in commercial settings for life-safety applications continue to gain traction due to their ease in extending monitored sensors, speed of installation, cost savings at the end-user level, mobility and reliability.

Wireless technologies and mobile hardware have set an expectation of being able to do our work anywhere, any time and while on the move. That said, it is critical to note that not all wireless is the same. When it comes to planning a wireless system designed for life safety, it is critical that decision makers are informed of the differences between “casual” wireless verses life-safety wireless technologies. Casual wireless is intended for information and data flow where disruption or loss of signal creates a need to log back on to the network, such as Wi-Fi. On the other hand, in a life-safety application, the loss of signal could equal loss of life. If a life-threatening event occurs at a facility or on a multiple-building campus, 900 MHz wireless technologies are an effective way to transmit an alert because of their long range, durability and reliability. It enables the system to process and locate the position of the event and alert authorities immediately. Security dealers and integrators are learning that the benefits using the appropriate wireless technologies will improve the tangible ROI that commercial property owners expect.

Trend #3: Wireless Systems Create Expanded Applications, Security, Situational Awareness and Location Capabilities
Today, the expectation that we can take our work with us is creating new applications for smart phones, as well as stimulating growth in rugged mobile computing applications. This use of wireless mobility generates productivity that quickly moves beyond the facility and includes the entire campus environment or even city. Increasingly, productivity, security and safety applications are driven from situational awareness and location needs.

In campus or city environments, situational awareness and location plays a key role in first responder support, situational verification and event resolution. As the number of mobile security persons and human assets increases, it is critical to know where they are located within a building or campus setting when a duress alarm is activated. Wireless solutions can enable mobile duress applications by determining the area and location of an alarm – allowing those who are in harm’s way to signal for help and be immediately located.

Wireless sensor networks ensure that critical staff on and off campus are alerted in the most efficient way possible in the event of a threat. They offer the ability to alert users after-hours or when campuses and buildings are typically empty. The faster critical staff are notified of an issue, the more rapidly they can take action and in some instances save lives. As decision makers evaluate their options, it becomes essential to find a situational awareness and location solution that offers productivity, security and life-safety. And increasingly, wireless sensor networks will continue to play a critical role in physical security systems.

Trend #4: PSIM Solutions Knit All Data & Information Together Creating Collaboration on a Single Platform

All wireless security trends are leading to an increased demand for Physical Security Information Management (PSIM). Today, there are many individual pieces of a security system – physical access control (PACS), video management systems (VMS), alarm monitoring/response, real-time location systems (RTLS) as well as IT system access. PSIM solutions bring all the disparate systems together into one cohesive solution. With a proper PSIM solution in place, users will see increased security and safety, as well as improved first responder efficiencies. These solutions also will demonstrate new elements of productivity that create clear return on investments.

To properly monitor continually expanding wireless applications, a system that has achieved PSIM should have the capability to connect and manage a variety of security applications, such as video surveillance, access control, intrusion, fire and life-safety, perimeter protection, mass notification and building automation. The flexibility and reliability of wireless systems will play an important role in this evolution. Because integrated solutions can be so complex, wireless sensor networks -- which are easy-to-install, user friendly and reliable -- are expected to gain increasing acceptance among the security industry.

Conclusion:
Wireless sensor networks in commercial settings are continuing to gain traction due to their ease in extending monitoring sensors, speed of installation, cost savings, mobility and reliability. Security dealers and integrators are looking for vendors who can better integrate differing pieces of a security system onto a single platform to attain true PSIM capabilities. As wireless technology for life-safety applications increases, the security industry will see the use of PSIM solutions steadily increase and expand across entire facilities and campuses.


David Sylvester is a vice president of business development at Roper Industries (www.roperind.com). Roper owns Inovonics (www.inovonics.com), a leading manufacturer of wireless sensor networks.

How to build an enterprise-wide security program

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06/27/2010

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—One of the largest private hospital chains in the United States, with more than 500 facilities nationwide, recently began a major effort to consolidate and streamline its security department on an enterprise level.

In a disaster, FEMA is depending on your business continuity plans

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05/10/2010

WASHINGTON—During a presentation at the Center for National Policy on April 23, Timothy Manning, deputy administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, discussed the criticality of the private sector in national disaster preparedness and recovery.

Preparing for one of the world's largest sporting events

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05/10/2010

SOUTH AFRICA—With exactly one month to go before the start of the FIFA World Cup games on June 11 in South Africa, law enforcement agencies and private security companies alike are entering the final stages of planning for the most widely-viewed sporting events in the world.