Milestone Systems produces open platform video management software (VMS). Our customers use our software, Milestone XProtect®, to manage their video surveillance installation. Using our VMS, customers can install, monitor and manage cameras and other hardware components.
“We’ve struck a gold mine! We’ve been able to catch errors like never before. We now have the ingredients for a well-oiled machine.” — Dave Falater, North American IS Director, MITSUBA.
Established in Japan in 1946, MITSUBA Corporation has a long history of excellence providing quality electrical components for automobiles. They have since expanded to over 50 facilities in 18 countries worldwide, establishing the plant in Monroeville, Indiana, in 1997. Comprising about a quarter-million square feet, the Indiana plant specializes in the production of wiper systems, electric power steering motors, and power sliding door systems for several automobile manufacturers.
MITSUBA President, Yuichi Nagase, has declared their “number one priority is thorough quality assurance and a stable supply of products, which are our fundamental business practices.”
OBJECTIVE: ABLE TO MODIFY
The MITSUBA Indiana plant team sought a way to implement their president’s desire to take customer satisfaction to the next level. As a supplier of automotive components that are installed by the manufacturer during vehicle assembly, one error in a MITSUBA component can halt the entire assembly process and be extremely costly to their customer. Therefore, reducing the number of components with errors would directly correlate to an increase in customer satisfaction.
MITSUBA utilizes their own motor, control, and mechanism technologies for their production processes. Because these customized production areas are frequently adjusted due to advances in technology, they required a solution that could be easily modified. The Indiana Plant also desired a cost-eﬀective solution that could be implemented across their 20+ production areas.
IP VIDEO MONITORING SOLUTION
Milestone Partner Northwestern Ohio Security Systems (NWOSS) came up with a solution to maximize quality assurance in production areas using the AXIS FA Series network camera system and Milestone Systems’ Video Management Software (VMS). The AXIS FA Series system consists of a main unit, the FA54, that can connect up to four modular-style cameras.
Dave Falater, North American IS Director for MITSUBA, said his team mounts the modular-style cameras directly on the production lines and can easily adjust their views to allow plant management to zoom in on a particular process. Using the Milestone VMS, plant management is able to view historical video for each production area.
The quality and frame rate of the video provides details on the smallest of deviations. If an error is observed, the video displays the component’s serial number with time stamp so plant management can locate the faulty component quickly. Plant management can then make any necessary adjustments to the components, equipment, and processes to perfect the overall production.
SUCCESS: OPTIMIZED OPERATIONS
Falater described a scenario in which the camera system had an immediate impact on quality assurance: spotting a bolt that was being installed slightly oﬀ vertical in one of their components. Plant management was able to quarantine the aﬀected parts. Then they fine-tuned the production equipment to eliminate future errors.
In the year since the solution has been implemented, the MITSUBA Corporation Indiana Plant has not received a single complaint on product quality issued by a customer.
Facial recognition has seen huge breakthroughs since the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) first began testing in 2010. Accuracy has seen massive gains, especially from 2013-2018.
In the 2018 test, the most accurate algorithm was 20 times more accurate than the 2013 equivalent. Essentially, 95 percent of the matches that failed in 2013 now yield correct results. Compare that to 2010-2013, when the most accurate algorithm reduced its error rate by 30 percent. This reduction in error rates since 2013 is due to wholesale replacement of the old algorithms with new ones based on deep convolutional neural networks — completely revolutionizing the technology.
Optimal recognition results
One entrant in the newly energized market is RealNetworks, whose SAFR for Security is an AI-based facial recognition solution for live video that integrates video management system (VMS) solutions. With 24/7 monitoring, SAFR detects and matches millions of faces accurately in real time, enabling teams to manage a watchlist across any number of video feeds.
SAFR says it delivers optimal recognition results with 99.86 percent accuracy in under 100 milliseconds, even in real-world conditions where faces are in motion, at different angles, under poor lighting, or partially obscured. SAFR builds on RealNetworks’ 23-year history in video technologies. Launched in July 2018, SAFR — secure, accurate facial recognition — is enabling new applications for security, convenience, and analytics.
Create security responses
SAFR targets facial recognition for live video, identifying camera-unaware faces moving in real-world conditions. In the April 2019 NIST results, SAFR tested as the fastest and most compact solution among algorithms with less than 0.022 False Non-Match Rate — 62 percent faster than the average speed, according to the company. SAFR now provides capabilities such as live video overlays alerting security professionals to events in real time, automatic bookmarks with rich metadata for investigative work, and alerts that can be customized to create security responses.
Facial recognition algorithms
Five years ago, facial recognition algorithms would struggle to match forward-facing people from still images, let alone camera-unaware moving faces from live video with variations in rotation and tilt. SAFR says they have achieved a balance of accuracy and performance for live video. A contributor to this accuracy is consistency across a range of skin tones. The algorithm was trained on a highly diverse global set of over 10 million non-simulated real-world faces.
SAFR was optimized for speed and can sample a face multiple times during the same period of time as other algorithms, subsequently increasing its accuracy. SAFR achieves the performance through edge processing. Distributed architecture enables efficient bandwidth consumption, reducing the roundtrip latency of facial recognition speed to under 100 milliseconds. The savings lower total cost of ownership (TCO): SAFR uses one-sixth the compute power of competing facial recognition solutions, equating to $500,000 or so in savings on a 250-camera deployment.
SAFR also uses off-the-shelf hardware and is optimized to leverage inexpensive GPUs. SAFR can be deployed on premises or in the cloud, and supports Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android. When SAFR is paired with a VMS, such as Milestone XProtect, the integrated experience includes 24/7 monitoring to detect and match faces in real-time.
SAFR for Security provides live video overlays, notifications, and automatic bookmarks directly through the Milestone XProtect interface.
SAFR is designed with privacy in mind. All facial images and signatures are AES-256 encrypted in transit or at rest.
“We’re excited to partner with Milestone Systems to help security professionals achieve focused and prioritized security 24-hours-a-day,” said Dan Grimm, Vice President and General Manager of Computer Vision at RealNetworks. “We look forward to working with Milestone to help their customers achieve greater value with SAFR.”
PlateSmart has partnered with video management software (VMS) platform provider Milestone Systems since 2016. Recently, the two organizations enhanced their relationship when PlateSmart earned Milestone Gold Partner classification.
“As a Milestone Gold Partner, PlateSmart’s integrated solution has been verified in its design, installation and configuration,” said Mike Budz, director of sales, PlateSmart. “With this relationship, PlateSmart and Milestone will be able to work even more closely together to deliver complete and customized security solutions.”
The PlateSmart ARES® automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) solution, which is camera-agnostic and software-only, integrates seamlessly with the Milestone XProtect® VMS. This allows ARES to trigger actions within XProtect, such as alerts, emails — even physical alarms.
“If ARES detects a vehicle that the user has placed on a ‘hot list,’ meaning it’s not supposed to be on the property, it can trigger any number of actions in XProtect,” Budz said. “For instance, an alarm might sound in a security office, or a red light might be activated so that a security officer can talk to the driver before allowing the vehicle to enter.”
Budz explained that a hot list could contain license plates associated with former employees, troublesome patrons or known thieves. For educational institutions, it might reference vehicles driven by suspended or expelled students. When integrated with Milestone XProtect across multiple locations, such as retail outlets, the ALPR can even be used to combat organized crime.
“If a vehicle on a hot list is detected on one property, an alert can go out to other locations so they can be on the lookout for that vehicle,” Budz said. “They can even notify local law enforcement so they can be ready to make an arrest.”
Speaking of which, law enforcement can enhance their investigative efforts via PlateSmart and Milestone. When used as part of city-wide surveillance, local law enforcement agencies can create their own hot lists of vehicles associated with recent crimes, outstanding warrants, AMBER Alerts, BOLOs, etc. When alerted of a hit, police can be dispatched to the area in which the vehicle was seen.
“The addition of PlateSmart as a Gold Partner in the Milestone Technology Partner Program enables alignment on go-to-market activities and other strategic initiatives,” said Jeremy Scott, strategic alliances program manager, Americas, at Milestone Systems. “Being a Gold Partner shows PlateSmart’s commitment to collaboration and the Milestone innovation community, supported by PlateSmart’s verified video analytics integration to Milestone XProtect VMS.”
Unlike some competitive ALPR solutions, PlateSmart never has access to the license plate data. It is owned by the end user and subject to their usage and retention policies as well as local, state and federal laws.
For more information about how PlateSmart and Milestone work together to provide a complete perimeter security solution, visit the Milestone Marketplace: http://bit.ly/PlateSmartMilestone.
Industry analysts agree artificial intelligence will have a huge impact on physical security market growth, particularly video surveillance.
Erin Harrington, contributing writer for SSI magazine, interviewed several top executives to weigh in on the subject:
Artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies are coming out of the shadows of engineering labs and military applications and finding their way into consumer and commercial security deployments. With the ability to tap into other information facilitated by sensors, such as people counting, identity management and heat monitoring, an AI system can provide end users infinitely more information than traditional security applications ever could.
But despite the high hopes and sometimes dashed expectations, AI systems are still very much a foreign term to the security market. A more educated and realistic understanding of AI capabilities will only be made possible by the benefits of time and experience.
One thing it doesn’t take advanced analytics to figure out: AI technologies will only continue to evolve and take a predominant place in the video surveillance market.
A recent report from Research and Markets notes that AI will be a key driver of growth in the global physical security market. It projects a CAGR of 7.3% from 2018 to 2023. In addition, AI video analytics, according to Memoori, are expected to propel growth in the video surveillance market and see a CAGR of 13.4% between now and 2023. [Here are excerpts from thought leader] insights on the AI landscape [that] speak to the latest developments, security and safety applications, early adopter markets, longer term projections, systems integrator opportunities, and overall challenges.
Advanced Video Analytics Highlight Latest Developments
Jake Cmarada, senior business development, enterprise sales for video surveillance camera maker Dahua, says that continued advancements in facial recognition, perimeter detection and heat map analysis are among the latest AI developments. The ability to house enormous image libraries and process from edge devices is now the trend. Deep learning models on the server side allow data collection and access in real-time to make safer, smarter and more efficient sites.
“Realistically, in security we can now only see examples of machine learning,” states Tim Palmquist, vice president Americas at VMS provider Milestone Systems. “Trained algorithms combined with new compute capabilities are making the long-awaited promise of reliable and productive video analytics come to life and become practical in day-to-day use. We don’t yet see commercial security examples of software that can learn and evolve being utilized much. We should expect, however, that these types of applications will soon make their way into our marketplace and, in turn, unlock a whole new chapter of innovation and opportunity.”
End Users Reap Greater Business Intelligence
Some potential security customers are already experiencing how AI can impact their bottom line in other ways. Learning customer demographics for retail vertical applications, for example, to analyze the purchase data, gender, age and interests to provide related merchandise/product promotion is among one of the most common use cases Cmarada points to.
“AI-enabled software delivers insights and intelligence that streamline business processes and provide business intelligence to improve the whole operation and grow the business,” he says.
“There are many cases where complex algorithms can automate otherwise manual processes, but historically there was not enough compute capability to effectively deliver results,” Palmquist contends. “Recent advancement in GPU and CPU capacity have begun to resolve the compute issue, making machine learning more practical in day-to-day use cases. Today we see video analytic solutions that work very well. Color, direction, correlation, object identification, facial recognition, synopsis, etc. are all examples that we see successfully in use today.”
Object recognition, pattern recognition, anomaly detection, predictive analysis are some of the more applicable AI use cases Jack Wu, co-founder and CEO of drone system integration specialist Nightingale Security. He predicts these to become very popular soon: “Currently, we’re seeing object detection as a pervasive trend. Anomaly detection will increase in accuracy as object detection becomes more mature and less false positives are being recorded. In the near future, rule-based task automation will become the standard and lead to autonomous patrolling, autonomous incident reaction and on-board decision making. Those features will lead to robots being able to monitor and react to incidents in real-time with humans brought into the loop as the robot’s performing identification, tracking and following.”
Large industrial customers and critical infrastructures as well as the military rank among the earliest AI adopters, Wu believes, due to mission-critical facilities protection that, if left unsecure, can have large financial, political and national security consequences. Retail, utilities and government agencies are also among the early adopter crowd to target, according to Cmarada.
Taking it from another perspective, Palmquist notes, “In our industry, video analytics is the obvious early adopter of machine learning. Consequently, they will also likely be the first forward with learning software that better meets the definition of artificial intelligence. Outside our industry, we can see that autonomous driving capabilities — machine learning augmented by LIDAR [light detection and ranging] — is another early mover.”
Governments and healthcare providers are turning to technology to bring efficiencies and improve patient care. According to a report presented at last year’s World Economic Forum on ASEAN, a healthcare spending crisis in South-East Asia is imminent. Driven by factors like ageing populations, unhealthy diets, and increasing rates of diseases like diabetes, demand for healthcare is increasing rapidly across the region. As a result, total healthcare spending by the ASEAN 6 nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – is expected to rise to US$740 billion by 2025 from the current figure of US$425 billion.
In the face of such an increase in demand, governments and healthcare providers are turning to technology to bring efficiencies and improve patient care.
In fact, this is happening across all industries, with organisations everywhere looking to harness new technologies to help them do things better and at lower cost. For instance, a corporation with a large office complex no longer needs an army of security guards to keep it secure 24 hours a day. Instead, a surveillance system using analytics software powered by Artificial Intelligence can do the same job by monitoring thousands of cameras simultaneously. The system can recognise anomalies – from intruders, to fires, to suspect packages – then highlight a particular video feed for further investigation by a human. A job of many has become a job of one, but more importantly it can also be done more effectively.
While security seems a natural application for this sort of technology, it is also catching the eye of healthcare providers. Such video surveillance systems can be programmed in countless different ways and can also learn over time, becoming more accurate and more useful. It’s not difficult to imagine how this type of power could be applied to a great number of scenarios in the healthcare setting.
For instance, nursing is renowned as being one of the toughest jobs around, with many patients to care for and constant demands on their time. Video technology has the potential to notify nurses if a patient’s dressings have not been changed when they should have been, or if a bed-bound patient needs assistance.
If an elderly person falls it can be very serious. In a homecare setting, if a patient falls when no one is on watch duty, or when staff are busy elsewhere, there is also a chance the patient might not be seen quickly. Video technology can be trained to recognise when someone falls – distinguishing the movement from someone lying down on a bed or sitting on the floor – then alerting staff and directing them to the right location.
As well as helping medical practitioners improve patient care, video analytics can also help increase efficiency.
For instance, by analysing human behaviour at different locations at different times of the day, analytics can improve staffing levels by providing accurate information about where staff are being posted versus where the greatest amount of activity or need is. This can help managers post staff exactly where and when they’re needed, making the best use of resources. The same sort of information can help managers improve emergency procedures, too.
Similarly, with hygiene such an important factor in hospitals, video analytics can monitor traffic and notify cleaning staff if facilities need to be cleaned on a different schedule.
Video technology’s ability to identify objects means it can also be valuable in helping to keep tabs on the location of expensive equipment, which can be especially difficult to track when facilities rely heavily on temporary staff.
To ensure pharmaceuticals are only handled by the right people, systems can use facial recognition to track access – or even control it when paired with an access control management system. For instance, a camera would recognise when an approved person approached a secure room or cabinet and grant them access, while non-approved personnel or members of the public would remain locked out.
While there are clearly many potential uses for this advanced video technology, and there are naturally questions around cost for healthcare providers. While there are many different pieces of hardware and software that can be employed in a video surveillance solution, at varying costs, most people are unaware that much of a building’s existing security infrastructure can still be used.
For instance, the existing network of cables – which is usually expensive and time consuming to install – can potentially be used. An open architecture video management software (VMS) will also allow products made by different manufacturers, such as cameras, to be linked up to new elements such as analytics software.
Video surveillance used to be used simply to record evidence or act as a deterrent, with cameras looking down empty halls or at closed doors. Today, video surveillance is no longer just a ‘sunk cost’. The examples discussed here are only a few ways the healthcare industry could harness the capabilities of video, which is already being applied in other industries across the region, and the potential is limited only by the boundaries of our imagination.
IPVideo Corporation, a leading manufacturer of IP audio/video recording, IoT sensor technology and passive visual weapons detection systems, is proud to announce its verified integration with its award-winning HALO IoT Smart Sensor and Milestone XProtect. As a verified technology partner IPVideo’s award-winning HALO sensor is now available on the Milestone Marketplace.
Launched in February, Milestone Marketplace enables Milestone Technology Partners to market their applications, hardware, and services that integrate with or are designed to work with Milestone XProtect VMS.
“With HALO, Milestone partners and end-users now have a way to receive event-based alerts in the Milestone management client for privacy concern areas like bathrooms, hotel rooms, dorm rooms and hospital rooms where cameras are not allowed,” states Jack Plunkett CTO of IPVideo Corporation.
HALO supplies Milestone VMS a MJPEG stream showing the current status/readings of its sensors and transmit alerts to The XProtect Event Manager when thresholds are exceeded. These alerts in combination with email and text notifications allow security or facilities staff to investigate the cause of any alarm.
With HALO, designated personnel will be alerted when environmental changes occur in typically unsupervised areas. HALO can detect flammables, hazardous chemicals, air quality changes such as vaping and smoking and changes in temperature and humidity. HALO can also detect noise level fluctuations and can send alerts when unusual activity occurs. HALO will also analyze room occupancy through light detection.
“With Milestone Marketplace, we open up the innovation power of our community of buyers and sellers. Milestone Marketplace enables our technology partners like IPVideo Corporation to grow their HALO IoT Smart Sensor business through the global Milestone Systems community. HALO’s technology – which goes beyond traditional video – offers intelligence that cannot be gained by video alone. This is another shining example that highlights the Milestone community,” says Jeremy Scott, Strategic Alliances Program Manager, Americas, at Milestone Systems.
For further information regarding HALO IoT Smart Sensor and IPVideo Corporation, visit www.ipvideocorp.com/halo/ or call 631-969-2601.
It sounds pretty simple really, doesn’t it? As an organisation with a strong security mission, you have invested a lot of money – not to mention time, effort, expertise – in a sophisticated surveillance system, and you expect it to work as well as it possibly can.
For a while, it will. All the cameras have been deployed fresh out of the box, their firmware is up-to-date, the latest edition of Video Management Software (VMS) connects them twenty-four hours a day, alerts are set for unexpected items and visitors, access control allows trusted staff members to enter and exit the premises, allows or denies them access to certain areas depending on their status, allows them to access hardware such as printers, computer terminals, as well as logical control of files and applications.
A fine plan, but one which can be cut down by the simple act of assuming that vendors are all doing their bit to keep their part of the security machine moving forward. Sadly, it is not always the case.
Take surveillance cameras for example. Without a trusted vendor that is committed to regular firmware updates, the best high-definition cameras in the world are left exposed to cyber threats. The same goes for a VMS vendor. Selling software licences is one thing, but providing a solid commitment to the ongoing health of a security plan is an integral part of that licence, or at least it ought to be.
As well as keeping on top of the constant evolution of cyber threats, a solution that is regularly updated will also keep abreast of the latest technology, expanding its boundaries as solutions evolve.
An agile development platform allows software to be updated quickly, without having to take it offline. Additions and tweaks can be made in the core programming without much disruption, enhancing the platform ‘on the fly’. This means that vendors can keep their platform up to speed with the very latest modifications, and pass those updates and changes on to customers without needing to release a major software update. This allows an organisation to update their VMS or other software components quickly and easily, without a major disruption to the normal running of their security operations.
This duty of care extends to resellers, integrators and other partners as well. In the modern world, where every solution and component piece of a security network needs to be hardened against the threat of cyberattack, it is more important than ever for proper collaboration between major players.
This extends to partner training, which provides a network of trusted companies with the equipment and experience they need to get the absolute best out of a solution. The phrase “set-and-forget” just does not apply in the modern world, where threats evolve almost as fast as they are blocked.
Update packs for camera firmware should be applied every six to eight weeks, in a best-practise scenario. It is important for vendors to align with like-minded, trusted companies and work toward a solution that does not just address part of a problem but looks at it from the end user or integrator’s point-of-view and provides a holistic approach. Companies that work together will come to know and trust each other’s product offering and core mission, which makes updates, integrations and training much easier and more effective.
Customer care, however, should be a vendor’s number one priority – but it is something which is often overlooked.
While many companies talk a good game, and tell us that customer care is top of mind, it is not always the case. A proactive customer care package needs to include the above-mentioned product updates as they occur – rather than waiting to bundle them into a new version of the platform and release it months or years down the track. Incremental progress will allow a company to assimilate changes easily, always staying on top of the technology as it advances in accord with their security mission.
While regular updates are an important asset, a proper care program ought to be multi-faceted and pro-active. Self-help tools, live chat assistance, video and audio tutorials, informative articles and a global support community all contribute to peace of mind. Adding extra levels of care is also beneficial in some circumstances, depending on the size of an enterprise and the scope of their security network. Twenty-four hour, seven day direct technical support or even a dedicated technical account manager can reduce the administrative burden, and provide an avenue for fast-response problem solving in sensitive industries.
Empowering integrators and customers to get the best use out of that technology through education and regular outreach – as discussed above – will make sure that the security solution is being maximised, but ongoing attention to the overall health of the system is equally valuable. Having a system monitor built into a VMS ensures a continuously functioning platform, and one that can be monitored by the end user or their integrator using minimal resources. A complete overview of the system allows easy administration of network components and the software platform, and can be set to alert an administrator to potential technical incidents before they occur, as well as keeping an eye on firmware updates and component functionality.
Customer care extends to the simple act of communication.
Giving customers the option of calling and speaking to someone at any time provides the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if all else fails, you can speak to an expert whenever needed.
Vendors can, and should, take bigger steps toward helping customers maintain their security plan. The world has changed, and connected devices are both more functional and more vulnerable than they were in the days of analogue CCTV. An advanced system requires advanced attention to detail, and advanced levels of care from all vendors involved.
by Jordan Cullis, Director of Sales – APAC, Milestone Systems
With 17 retail, service and corporate facilities in Portland, Oregon, and Southwest Washington, Dick Hannah Dealerships has grown over 70 years to be one of the largest automobile companies in the Pacific Northwest U.S. Over time, the company had installed a piecemeal video camera system at several of its locations. But as they grew in scale and complexity, managers wanted to upgrade to a unified system to cover all sites in both states.
Dick Hannah Dealerships worked with Portland-based systems integrator REECE Complete Security Solutions to design and install a new video surveillance system from Milestone Systems. From business hours to after hours, with remote monitoring and access control integration, Dick Hannah Dealerships uses its video surveillance system for a wide range of security and operational applications.
“We’ve moved toward a best-of-breed, open platform approach with the Milestone portfolio, and a mix now of about 300 multi-sensor, PTZ and thermal cameras. With the new Husky server network and a healthy set of best practices in place, we can now make sure everyone’s needs are met,” said Max Saldana, Director of Strategic Accounts at REECE. “Executive staff and store managers can access a global look or view individual stores depending on how permissions have been set up. We have also enabled remote viewing and management for greater flexibility.”
UNIFYING LOCATIONS AND SYSTEMS
Saldana explained that they were able to leverage the company’s existing Lenel access control system and integrate it with the Milestone video system.
The integration with Lenel OnGuard is based on Milestone’s XProtect Access interface and enables operators to display Lenel access control events and alarms in the XProtect Smart Client. OnGuard Access is advanced, including a feature-rich alarm monitoring module allowing users to view events from OnGuard in real time in the XProtect Smart Client and acknowledge OnGuard alarms from the XProtect interface.
“Dick Hannah Dealerships now has some of the most cutting-edge technology in place,” said Saldana. “For example, they have Bluetooth card readers installed which allow use of their phones to unlock doors and get card credentials while the Milestone system backs up the process with visual video verification.”
There’s a current trend for thieves coming onto car lots, breaking into vehicles and stealing a car’s main vehicle computer. With the damage to the auto — usually broken mirrors, smashed glass and torn up dashboards — and the theft of the computer, a single instance can easily cost the dealership $8,000 to $10,000.
Recently a juvenile came onto a lot at night and began jumping from car to car, smashing and denting each hood as he went along. The live video monitoring allowed the team to quickly see this occurring and take quick action to help minimize the damage. Without video, the vandal may have been able to damage many more cars.
BEYOND SECURITY, MANAGEMENT OF OPERATIONS
What began as an effort to make sure vehicles were not being stolen or damaged at night, Dick Hannah Dealerships and REECE have been able to bring together several technologies to better manage the company’s safety, security, and everyday operations.
“Call managers use the video all day long to see which Service Writers to transfer a call to, so the customer doesn’t need to be put on hold,” said Chris Stroebel, Service Desk Manager. “Before, calls would be transferred blindly to the service desks where staff can be away inspecting vehicles, and call managers just hoped someone was there. Video has helped solve these issues.”
“Our General Managers like having cameras where they can see the staff and customers. They check if people are on task, how they are handling situations,” said McKannay. “The video is now an extension of management. Either on-site or through their smartphone, a manager can see what’s happening, and if they get a call that something’s not being dealt with properly, the manager can verify the situation quickly.
With the cameras in place, the auto dealer has also seen a reduction in HR issues with employees, as well as a reduction in – and better management of – customer issues and complaints, including liability issues with vehicle damage, injuries and slip-and-falls.
NEW BODY SHOP WITH ANALYTICS
Dick Hannah Dealerships has just built a new 80,000-sq. ft. body shop and collision center in Vancouver. When vehicles are damaged, they come to this body shop for repair. This site is the first where their integrated security system is installed from the ground up.
“For the body shop facility, there’s a high level of performance needed from the video system,” Saldana said. “Clear image resolution in the video documentation of the damage on these vehicles with the car’s move through the facility is critical. We’re incorporating PTZs, high-definition multi-sensor cameras, along with some video analytics. It’s a powerful system.”
“Throughout this project, the engineering support from REECE and Milestone have been great,” said Sean McKannay, CIO & Digital Marketing Director, Dick Hannah Dealerships. “From best leveraging our systems to training our staff, this has been a collaborative effort all around, and we look forward to growing the system and utilizing more video capabilities with our new facilities and beyond.”
The city of Vicente López located in the north of Buenos Aires, in recent years has positioned itself at the forefront of the global Smart City movement. In 2014, the local government decided to transform Vicente López into a Safe & Smart City with a goal of proactive crime prevention. One major challenge was the limited ability to effectively observe live video feeds and review recorded video.
Becoming a Safe & Smart City
Certified Systems Integrator Exanet S.A. was contracted to provide a scalable, modern and unified video surveillance and monitoring system. Initially, 700 new IP cameras were installed with Milestone video management software. The camera count has risen quickly to over 1,350 cameras, to meet the target of 1,500 full HD cameras recording 24/7 by 2020.
Agent Vi’s savVi video analytics solution was also installed at the city’s Urban Monitoring Center (the CMU). savVi offers a set of advanced, automated video analysis tools enabling real-time event detection, video search, and business intelligence. savVi has been integrated directly into over 370 AXIS P1365 fixed cameras.
The integration with Milestone XProtect Corporate video management software (VMS) enables alerts and real-time detection clips from savVi to appear within the XProtect Smart Client interface. The deep integration of savVi’s forensic search tool into the Milestone software platform allows video search results to be viewed directly from within the Smart Client, creating a seamless user experience.
Proactive City Management
In line with the city’s stated goal of increasing public safety and proactively preventing crimes, behaviors typical to the area were determined. These profiles were used to define and schedule savVi’s real-time detection rules that alert to scenarios including crowding and loitering in public areas (government buildings, educational institutions, etc.), speed analysis to detect traffic congestion, stopped vehicles at intersections and in restricted areas and vehicles driving the wrong way on one-way streets, abandoned objects in public buildings, perimeter breaches, and more.
In addition, savVi’s video search capability was enabled to begin collecting metadata to allow the investigation of criminal acts in the post-incident phase, with a view to dramatically reducing investigation time in time-sensitive situations.
savVi’s business intelligence (BI) capabilities such as people and vehicle counting are employed by Vicente López to provide insight through automated statistical analysis of traffic volumes, movement trends and motion patterns. Data related to people and vehicles are presented via advanced visualization tools such as charts, graphs and heat maps.
savVi has enabled highly accurate monitoring of the city’s video feeds, effectively increasing the level of security without increasing the number of operators.
Implementation of video analytics has brought positive changes: savVi’s real-time alerts act to detect crimes as the incident unfolds to enable immediate responses, while savVi’s video search gives rapid post-event investigation, and BI statistical data enhances Smart City operations.
Public Safety and Businesses Protected
savVi was deployed at various sporting sites in the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where it was used to safeguard the BMX Freestyle and Skate competitions at the Buenos Aires Urban Park. A “technological fence” comprising savVi detection rules such as crossing a line, loitering, occupancy, suspicious object, and asset protection played a key role in protecting athletes, visitors and VIP guests.
On a city-wide level, using the real-time detection capability for loitering, the Vicente López security team has been able to solve cases of vandalism on public buildings.
The many car dealerships located within Vicente Lopez benefit from savVi use to counter the high level of vehicle theft in the area. In one case, the Vicente López investigations department was able to search video to quickly locate and identify the gang responsible for stealing a large commercial vehicle.
“Video analytics produce proven results in crime prevention and decision-making,” says Martin Gasulla, Undersecretary of Security at the Department of Security, Municipality of Vicente López. “Through the combination of different types of analytics, we have streamlined our camera monitoring and our preventive actions. We’ve adapted our protocols to respond more accurately to the alerts issued by the video analytics system, for immediate responses that in turn improve crime prevention.”
I’ve been a Solutions Engineer with Milestone Systems for over nine years, and worked within software development, systems engineering and the security space for more than 20 years. I like to think I have a wide range of experience with the roles and personalities of the professionals who work in these technology fields.
Something I have noticed is that when it comes to discussions on the empowerment of IT professionals, the physical security industry is a few steps behind other sectors.
Don’t get me wrong; the security sector has well weathered some huge technical and cultural changes over the last couple of decades. We’ve gone from working with very closed, coax-based systems to now talking about full IT systems integration and AI deployments. And the culture has moved from closed, autonomous, almost “secret” presence in an organization, to where the security team is now integrated with other organizational functions, sharing systems and video data for all manner of facility efficiencies and optimizations. There have been significant advancements.
But from my experience, IT professionals within our industry are still seen as a supporting role to other functions. Often during customer site visits, for example, the network engineer is seen as the “technical” guy who can explain the nuts and bolts of a project but is not seen as a project lead or decision maker.
I think this has become evident to me in the field, because at Milestone Systems we do not have this mindset. Milestone is progressive and diverse — very “open” in its culture. The roles and functions within the company are based on respectful, peer-to-peer relationships. We need to foster more of this perspective in the industry at large.
As a manager, I’m motivated to enable the growth of each of my team members. I like to come up with ways to challenge each person to think about what’s next for them in their careers, both here at Milestone and within the security industry.
As we look around today, CIOs are certainly no longer seen as just an operational function on the backend of a business. CIOs everywhere are rising to top management positions as critical drivers of business; especially with analytics and big data, cyber issues and compliance. In the IT world, the engineers have risen to the very top.
In a 2018 report, Korn Ferry found that 83 percent of nearly 200 IT executives said their role is more strategic than it was just three years ago. More say they are on their company’s executive committee, and CIOs are also getting paid more.
I’m saying all this to help our physical security industry recognize the importance of the technical roles in our business today. In the current environment, it’s the pre-sales engineers, technical support groups, professional consultancy services, and the training programs — all managed and enabled by engineers — that are interfacing with customers, differentiating companies and advancing the industry.
Physical security is no longer just a ‘man in his van’ hanging cameras and pulling cable. These very technical roles are making or breaking businesses in today’s market.
There’s so much talent within our industry (and so much cross-market potential with technology that is evolving) that we should not only strive to catch up with other sectors but instead take a leadership stance. With proper empowerment, the technical people within all our organizations are ready to step beyond their “traditional” supporting roles in the background, ignite the industry, and pull the entire community forward.