The danger in creating silos of the separate elements of a security system is that full functionality cannot be achieved since these elements are unable to communicate effectively. The end result is a system that falls short of its possible potential to provide organisations with a solution that leverages the full functionality of the individual parts of the whole. 

According to Gus Brecher, CEO of Cathexis Africa, the biggest challenge in implementing integration is acquiring buy-in from all stakeholders. This includes the suppliers/manufacturers of all the equipment to be integrated; the end users and the various managers thereof, as well as the system integrator.

“This is especially the case where the third party systems are being managed by different divisions. For example sometimes the time-and-attendance system may be controlled by HR, and the surveillance system and alarms panels by the security team. Or in a bank, the money counters are the realm of the bank managers, while the CCTV system fall under the security team.”

The primary objectives of a good integrated system are to improve control room effectiveness and efficiency; to facilitate video verification of events/transactions from the various systems; and to provide business intelligence. In order to achieve this, the system needs to provide a user-friendly interface with automated actions and control room operator notifications and also provide easy to retrieve information.

Integrated systems can dramatically improve the control room environment. “When so many events are being received in the control room, it is almost impossible for the operators to perform their jobs effectively. An integrated solution can make automated decisions in the control room environment to assist the operator to take fast, effective actions. On top of that, it is far easier to retrieve forensic information from the system,” says Brecher.

In addition to integrating the access control, CCTV surveillance, perimeter and fire detection systems, it is advisable to adopt software which is geared around pulling all these elements together and allowing management to mine data that will benefit the organisation.

Cathexis provides video management software that has been integrated with access control, fire panels, alarm panels, money counters, weighbridges, fence monitoring systems and point-of-sale systems. The CathexisVision software suite enables video to be associated with transactions from each subsystem and stored in a database for data-mining. The software also enables actions to be triggered from each specific transaction. “For example, on selected events one may want to switch a camera to a selected monitor in the control room, or send an SMS to a security manager, or play an audio clip to a speaker in the field or ends an alarm to an off-site control room. There are many options available,” says Brecher.

Held between 24 and 26 May 2016 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg, Securex 2016 will provide visitors with the unrivalled opportunity to interact with leading local and international manufacturers and suppliers of the best brands in security and fire technology and services.securex 2016…integrated security – cape business news

“We have seen an increase in the need for integration of security sub-systems. Exhibitors at Securex have risen to the challenge and are developing technology that is geared towards total system integration,” says Joshua Low, Securex Event Director at Specialised Exhibitions.

The ever-popular educational sessions in the free-to-attend Securex Seminar Theatre cover industry trends and legislation including talks on best practice regarding integration of security systems. Other visitor attractions include a New Products Display and the Business Matchmaking Service sponsored by Ideco, which allows visitors to be pre-matched with relevant exhibitors. This initiative allows meetings to be arranged in advance of the exhibition, thereby maximising the visitor’s time at Securex 2016.

Securex is aligned with a number of industry bodies that include ESDA, FFETA, FPASA, PSiRA, SAIS, SAIDSA, SASA and SIA.

Securex will again be co-located with A-OSH EXPO, Africa’s leading source for occupational health and safety (OHS) products and services. The exhibition, now in its sixth year, covers all aspects of OHS risk analysis and alleviation.