Tony Bill, CEO, Telstra SNP Monitoring
Tony Bill became Chief Executive Officer at Telstra SNP Monitoring in July 2015 after a career in the IT segment that spanned over 25 years. During this time, Tony held many senior executive roles, including Vice President for Hewlett Packard’s enterprise business across Asia Pacific and Japan where he oversaw 16 countries and 900 people across the region.
Traditionally, Security has been seen as the physical protector of assets and people. Today, with the advances in technology comes new ways of providing security and adding value. Information technology has enabled the innovation of systems, software and processes. It has given us the ability to distribute data for analytics. This technology has enabled Security to be utilised to provide insights and more importantly, assist customers to make better, more informed business decisions. Welcome to the next era of Security solutions.
"Access control, in its simplest form, is the restrictions and methods by which a company allows access to its premises"
The evolution from a simple point and shoot camera, to Digital CCTV which allows you to collect data to provide insights into the business as well as providing protection and monitoring is a good example of this change. This is how an “old world” asset that was installed to provide grainy images of an event that occurred in the past has now become a valuable business tool that aids in future decision making.
Today, that same single asset can be used for multiple purposes. It remains a core component of any organisation’s security system, but the images captured can also be used in the area of data analytics. For example, that camera can now track traffic as it flows through a store and produce heat maps – allowing retailers to place the merchandise they wish to sell faster in the path of the majority of customer flow. Equally, that same camera can provide a people counting function giving the operator information about peaks and troughs in business activity and subsequently have the appropriate staffing levels.
The coming together of IT and Security is most prevalent in Australia with the roll out of the NBN. Traditional back-to-base alarms that utilise the PSTN (copper) network will no longer provide the back to base function once the NBN rolls through town. All alarms back to the monitoring centre will then be over IP (VOIP) or 3G/4G. This is a significant change and one that all users of older alarm panels need to plan for ahead of time to ensure they remain protected once the old copper network is turned off.
The Cloud is also providing a cost effective option for companies to not only store their recordings, but allow small and medium businesses that previously could not afford access control systems, an option to more heavily secure their premises and assets. Access control, in its simplest form, is the restrictions and methods by which a company allows access to its premises. These typically take the form of an access card, but can move all the way through to biometrics such as finger prints or retina scanners. The cost of such access control can be at a prohibitive level for smaller business to justify their use. As a result this business will resort to multiple key locks or, worse still, nothing at all. Moving access control to the Cloud will mean it can be provided “as a service”. It will allow businesses to scale up and down as required – exactly as they would today around Cloud-based applications. It also means this expense can move to an OPEX model of monthly payments rather than a high capital expense.
Cloud is also an extremely cost effective way to store and retrieve captured images rather than relying on individual Digital Video Recorders in each location that can take many hours to access the information required.
The convergence extends deeply into Safe Cities as well. The ever growing threat of terrorism means local councils, along with law enforcement need to be utilising technologies in such a way that they can track and monitor persons of interest as they move throughout cities and locations. The “handshake” between CCTV networks, for example, can now be at a level that the individual being tracked can be passed from camera to camera and then moved in to a completely new network managed by a different authority. Eventually, this facial recognition technology will move its way into mainstream business and allow for much better customer experiences, particularly in a retail scenario. Today, privacy laws are such that this has limited application beyond the tracking and monitoring of persons of interest.
The security industry has typically delivered a single purpose solution – CCTV, monitoring, access control. With the convergence of IT and Security, integrators in this space need to deliver a much more customer-centric solution that addresses multiple benefits to derive a much greater return on investment in these assets. Organisations such as Telstra SNP Monitoring are at the forefront of this change bringing the old and new together and offering a seamless transition path through to the next generation.