Brenton Kelly — Security Professional in a Changing World

Integrity-Alarm-Access-Control-Card-Reader-Keypad-Fob-CardAs someone who has been involved in providing security solutions for both commercial & industrial clients across Australia for many years, I’ve been fortunate to be part of an evolving industry that has embraced new technologies and adapted successfully to the changing needs of the market. There are many ways in which the security business has changed, and the landscape now is almost unrecognisable to when I first began in the industry.

My Role as a Security Consultant

One of the biggest changes has been what it is that business managers want and expect from me as a security consultant, and what they need from a security system. What I am able to offer has evolved too, in that the scope and number of solutions I’m able to provide has grown, and this has also meant that I’ve had to get closer to the way my clients operate, and understand more about how their businesses work.

Whether they’re business owners, operators or managers of retail premises, what my clients increasingly seek from me are holistic security solutions that aren’t siloed — they expect customised security systems that are integrated into the whole operation of the business, are easy to administer, and are designed to suit their specific needs. A stand-alone CCTV system or a burglar alarm is no longer enough.

As a result of my long experience as a security provider, I’ve been at the forefront of technology introducing my clients to a range of new technologies, and as a consequence I’m able to design customised security systems that incorporate the latest hardware and software, and that deliver the right solutions to meet their differing needs.

SINE_Visitor & Contractor Management Solution 1Integration is the Key to Effective Business Security

In years gone by, both home and commercial security systems tended to be siloed i.e. there was little or no integration between the different components. The expectations in this regard have changed markedly, so that now when I am designing a security solution, integration and user interaction are key.

For instance, I now provide Adelaide business security solutions where every aspect is integrated and where other business systems such as access control system, CCTV, time and attendance systems and visitor management systems, are able to ‘talk’ to each other in such a way that they can all be controlled and monitored centrally, rather than each part operating as a stand-alone system.

Significantly, the introduction of Cloud-based security systems has revolutionised both functionality and ease of integration. Using smart devices, even a relatively modest security system gives you enormous control and accessibility, and can easily be operated remotely from your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are and at any time of the day or night.

What I have found to be especially attractive for business owners is the greater degree of self-management that Cloud-based security systems provide. I work with clients to design intuitive user interfaces that enable authorised users to operate and monitor the system security from a mobile device, including receiving instant notifications in the case of an alarm being triggered, being able to arm and re-arm the system from your phone, and even being able to control and direct your CCTV cameras remotely from a hand-held device.

There are also cost and time savings associated with Cloud-controlled security. Although on-premise hardware is still required, there is minimal outlay on software, and upgrades are carried out automatically as part of your subscription, meaning there’s no downtime during updates, and no need for IT technicians to be called in.

All of these factors have combined to make the self-management of security systems possible in ways that were beyond our reach when I first started out in the business.

Hikvision 360 degree IP Network CameraThe Changing Face of CCTV

CCTV has long been a staple of security, and although the basic idea behind it has remained the same i.e., being able to see what is happening in your premises without actually being there, how this vital part of any Adelaide business security strategy is delivered has evolved enormously, and now my clients are coming to rely on CCTV to do more for them than ever before.

What has been particularly fascinating for me as a security professional has been developing the capabilities of CCTV and devising new uses for the technology beyond simply recording what is happening in a given place at a particular time, or as a means of identifying visitors to premises.

For instance, a CCTV solution can be customised in a number of ways, depending on your specific needs. As an example, in retail outlets CCTV can be configured so that it provides ‘exception’ monitoring, where you receive instant notifications when something that is out of the ordinary occurs in your premises e.g., when an unauthorised person in observed in a place where they don’t have access permission, for instance.

However, CCTV now has further uses beyond security, such as a tool for analytics and marketing. For instance, CCTV systems can be used for heat mapping in retail premises, so that you can measure the parts of your store that receive the most traffic and so position popular stock items or specials in strategic locations. Likewise, for larger retail outlets like shopping centres and malls, heat mapping allows you to see which parts of the complex get the most footfall traffic and so enable you to set appropriate rents, or position pop-up shops, in these areas.

For commercial premises that have car parks for employees and/or visitors, CCTV can incorporate license plate recognition technology which controls access. When a car arrives at the boom gates, the license plate is able to cross-referenced with a database so that if a vehicle is registered to use that car park, or if they have paid the appropriate fee in the case of a commercial parking space, the gate automatically opens. Using an integrated, automated CCTV system in this way reduces costs and saves time, as there are no fobs or passes to issue (which are frequently lost or forgotten), and so hold ups and problems caused by user error are reduced.

Aside from these new uses for CCTV, the overall picture quality and accessibility have improved dramatically. When I first started working with CCTV cameras, the image quality was often so poor that it was impossible to pick out people’s features for identification purposes, no matter how long they were captured on screen. Now, however, because we have become so used to HD in other areas of our lives, this has driven the development of CCTV technology to match — those grainy, pixilated images from the past are no longer acceptable.

The same is true of retention. In my earliest days in the industry, there was very limited CCTV retention (if any) and so you still needed someone to be present to monitor the footage. This changed a little with the introduction of VHS cassettes, where limited footage could be recorded and then retained, but tapes still had to be changed and they couldn’t be kept forever. However, we now have the technology to record and retain infinite amounts of footage, and there is now no danger of important information being lost because there wasn’t room to record it.

Paradox PDX-TM50W Touch Screen KeypadWho Needs Security?

Another of the most significant changes that I’ve seen in my time as an Adelaide security consultant is the sheer range and number of business and organisations who now want and need security installed in their premises. Whether it’s the greater accessibility and affordability of security systems that has prompted this growing demand, or whether the demand has been driven by societal factors is subjective, but what is clear is that security in one form or another is in place in almost every type of business, organisation or service provider.

For instance, I have provided integrated security solutions for clients who want operational efficiency through reducing shrinkage and creating better throughput, or through better monitoring of staff, systems and equipment, such as plant and production lines. In food processing facilities, effective monitoring systems are used to monitor and improve cleanliness and hygiene procedures.

In the care sector, such as in hospitals and aged care facilities, CCTV and other integrated security solutions have become necessary for improved patient care, and the control and protection of drugs. This is also the case in pharmacies and other retail outlets, where shrinkage can be a significant issue.

Adelaide Business Security Professional

Brenton Kelly is one of Adelaide’s leading authorities on commercial & industrial security. Brenton is a licensed security professional ISL 207014 and A-COM Solutions Pty Ltd is registered as a Security Solution Provider with ASIAL (Australian Security Industry Association Limited). ASIAL corporate membership #60186.

Aiphone-IX-Series-Intercom-OverviewTo find out more, telephone 1300 852 856 or email us today.