The Future of Cameras in Marketing is Hot

Technology is a field that never stands still. And one such area of innovation is the functionality of cameras and recorded video. Marco Della Peruta, the Head of Technical Services at Sensor Security, tells us more about this exciting advancement and its associated benefits.

“In simple terms, heatmapping is a camera’s ability to monitor a scene and visualise the varying levels of activity using different colours. This means that traffic or movement can be accurately measured and the information is displayed as colour densities. These shades range from clear through blue, green, yellow, orange and red to show heightened levels of activity. This enables the viewer to easily see where high and low traffic areas within a scene lie.” That said, Marco is quick to point out that heatmapping isn’t the same as thermal cameras that identify instantaneous thermal heat and motion detection, which is indicative of current movement.

Below are images of what can be achieved through heatmapping:
screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-4-38-11-pm

The benefits of heatmapping are numerous. Marco highlights retail, maintenance and warehousing as examples of where heatmapping can boost marketing and planning efforts greatly.

He explains, “Take a store for example, heatmapping can identify when the busy periods are and which areas within the shop are over or underutilised. This gives the managers an almost immediate ability to raise the efficiency of their outlet.” Marco continues, “Heatmapping also provides an accurate insight as to what people may have been doing in key areas within the monitored scene and actions can be taken to encourage foot traffic at key times in key areas. The converse is true and steps can be taken to reduce excessively congested spaces.”

Marco continues to explain that if one overlays the heatmapping findings with the 4Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place and Promotion), one quickly understands that 25% of the process is based on ensuring that customers see the product. “There is popular research out there that suggests that 70% of brand selections are made at stores, 68% of buying decisions are unplanned and 5% of consumers are loyal to the brand of one product group. These figures in themselves reveal how critically important it is to make sure that high-level brands are placed in the high traffic zones.”

Not only does heatmapping help improve the layout of a shop, it can assist shopping center’s in identifying which equipment has been through been through higher duty factor usage. It can also help management plan their maintenance schedules at times that are least inconvenient to the shopper. Warehousing is another area that can benefit from heatmapping. Marco explains, “While most warehousing environments have stock information on what is high moving, the flow of traffic is not always easy to identify.” He continues, “Heatmapping insights can help decongest bottlenecks and make general activity flow more smoothly. The same thinking can apply to courier and distribution companies.”

Is heatmapping the only technology or method to produce such statistics? No, says Marco, “RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tracking could be an alternative in the field. RFID is similar to heatmapping in that it records the movement of radio devices, such as mobile phones. This means that individuals can be monitored to a much higher specificity than heatmapping, however, it lacks the visualisation aspect – and it may actually be an invasion of people’s privacy.”

Furthermore, Marco points out that the heatmapping camera is gathering information about changes in the image and collating this data. The results are then displayed in easy-to-interpret colours, and – given that this information exists in a database format – specific time segments can be isolated and the information for that period is displayed. This means that the busiest hours, days and months can be isolated and leveraged. In short, the implications are benefits are endless.

To find out more about this exciting technology, please call Sensor Security on (011) 314 9419 or email: info@sensorsecurity.co.za

Sensor Security are international distributors of Bosch, Hikvision and Virdi products.

Video Surveillance in Public Transport

A freeflowing argument for proactive vs. reactive solutions

A robust public transport sector is key to a thriving African economy; it decreases the number of vehicles on the road, it alleviates congestion and it reduces the carbon footprint. Clifton Greeff, Senior Business Development Manager and transport security solutions specialist at Sensor Security, talks more about how modern operators can ensure a safer commuter experience.

“We’ve taken a close look at the role video surveillance plays in public transport and the technologies and solutions that can aid operators in running their day to day business more efficiently. And given how liability claims have become more common place, we’ve investigated incident management as an important part of this solution too.” He adds.

A transport operator is faced with numerous challenges, including: a diversity of environments, health of equipment and system integration. Henry Brown, Sensor Security Sales Director, explains, “Video surveillance is used where commuters are present at stations or when they are on-board a bus or a train. These are known as static or mobile environments – and each has its own set of circumstances.” Clifton picks up the thread, “For example, the safety of the commuters at stations is paramount, while at the depots it’s the assets that one wants to protect. Operators also need to make sure that there are no obstructions en route that may put passengers at risk or cause scheduling delays.”

The duo explain that in static environments one typically sees a high camera count, which in turn leads to many “missed” incidents. Multiple cameras also require intensive monitoring and – more often than not – it’s difficult to locate the moment in question. Clifton expands, “When an incident occurs, video evidence is typically required from two different systems, making it harder for operators to supply solid forensic evidence, leaving them legally vulnerable.”

Clifton directs the conversation to the mobile environment, “If you think the camera count in the static environment is high, this number quickly rises in a fleet. As an operator, one needs to ensure that the equipment fitted to a vehicle, train or bus can withstand dust, vibration and heat.” Harsh conditions result in a high equipment failure rate and can even damage the host vehicle. What’s more, many of these cameras are not viewed live – largely given bandwidth and data storage constraints – making it hard to ascertain whether they are functioning or not. “And as mentioned previously, operators need to ensure that their cameras are online, recording, focused and unobstructed. So that should there be an incident, there is footage available.” Clifton continues, “This strongly indicates the value of an in-depth health monitoring system. And in fact, in the world of mobile surveillance system health monitoring, this has been a critical part in guaranteeing a 99% uptime.”

The final challenge Clifton talks about is disparate operating systems. “Historically, public transport systems rely on two completely different video management systems.” He continues, “But at Sensor, it’s our goal to deliver a modern surveillance system that caters for both mobile and static environments, offer robust and in depth system health monitoring, as well as the technology to offer a pro-active, event driven system with a structured work flow for the controllers.” The result? A safer and more efficient public transport system for passenger, transport operator and their employees.

To find out more about this exciting technology, please call Sensor Security on (011) 314 9419 or email: info@sensorsecurity.co.za

Sensor Security are international distributors of Bosch, Hikvision and Virdi products.

Sensor Enters Into Gas Suppression Distribution

Sensor Security has been systematically building on its vision to provide end-to-end solutions without compromising on their unyielding commitment to quality. So it comes as no surprise that South Africa’s leading independent importer and distributer of electronic security equipment has recently acquired the rights to supply two new premium product ranges.

Henry Brown, Sensor Security Sales Director, tells us more, “Sensor is extremely proud to announce that we have aligned ourselves with the best fire suppression partner in the global market. One of the many benefits of this agreement is that it enables our client’s access to the exclusive range of INERGEN® and ECKOSHIELD gaseous fire suppression systems.” Brown is specifically referring to the INERGEN® IG541 (pre-engineered and engineered) fire suppression systems and the ECKOSHIELD-227® (pre-engineered and engineered) fire suppression systems.

Brown explains, “These suppression systems are based in the principle of oxygen replacement. Gaseous fire suppression, or clean agent fire suppression, uses inert gases and chemical agents to extinguish a fire. The agents discharge as a gas, which is not only quickly and uniformly distributed within the enclosure, but it doesn’t leave any residue that could damage sensitive equipment or be expensive to clean up.”

In the case of the INERGEN® system, the oxygen concentration is lowered to between 10-14% by the application of IG-541 (the clean agent) and at this oxygen level common fires will die out. Where other extinguishing agents just lower the oxygen level, INERGEN® distinguishes itself by reducing the oxygen level in the room to below flame threshold, but still retains sufficient oxygen for breathing. Brown continues, “What’s more, the IG 541 is a gas that’s naturally present in the atmosphere, which means has no greenhouse effect and its ozone layer depletion potential is zero. When discharged, the IG-541 achieves design concentration in 60 seconds. This makes it ideal for applications such as data processing centres, museum collections, original document storage, bank vault systems, generator and turbine enclosures to name but a few.”

Brown steers the conversations to the ECKOSHIELD-227® systems. “The ECKOSHIELD-227® pre-engineered fire suppression system is SABS approved and the fire suppression agent used here is HFC227.” Brown continues, “It’s fast and effective with low space-to-weight characteristics. HFC227 offers the best overall combination of the properties desired in a Halon 1301 replacement, along with being the most cost effective replacement.”

The NFPA 2001 lists HFC227 environmentally acceptable and safe for human exposure. HFC227 is extensively used throughout the world and continent of Africa as suitable fire protection system and supported by a major service network. ECKOSHIELD-227® HFC227 cylinders are manufactured in South Africa and are approved to SANS 347:2012. The agents are governed by SANS 14520 part 1, the Clean Agent Gas standard for South Africa, with different standards and regulations in other parts of the world.

Talking about the hardware aspect of these systems, Brown had this to say, “A gas suppression system typically consists of the fire detection system, along with the specific agent used, the agent storage containers, agent release valves, agent delivery piping (if it is an engineered system and not modular) and agent dispersion nozzles. The obvious benefit of a pre-engineered fire suppression system is that there is no need to run pipe work within the area.” He continues, “As a result, the site owner experiences the minimum of interruption and better avoids clashes with other mechanical and electrical reticulation services. Where larger areas need to be protected an engineered system is required to make sure that the gas can be sufficiently dispersed.”

In summary, if you are looking for innovative, reliable and quality gaseous fire suppression systems, talk to the team at Sensor. They will be able to advise you on which system is best for your specific circumstances, in addition to offering you 24-hour support.

For more information about Sensor and product range please call Sensor Security on (011) 314 9419 or email: jean@sensorsecurity.co.za. Sensor Security are international distributors of Anviz, Bosch, Eckoshield, Hikvision, Inergen and Virdi products.

Hikvision’s IP system protects bespoke vehicle company

GRW is one of South Africa’s leading providers of sophisticated road transport trailers; designing, manufacturing and servicing a wide range of bespoke vehicles, each configured to provide a solution to the unique transportation needs of an individual client. GRW has now invested in an IP video surveillance system to protect its premises against unauthorized access and to monitor the large, modern production facilities, and is already reaping the benefits from the integration of analytics with the IP cameras.

“From the outset we knew that the proposed video surveillance system should successfully serve a dual purpose, helping supervisors and managers monitor the workshop operations during opening hours and securing the perimeter 24 hours a day,” said Edmund Casaleggio, Sales Executive at Sensor Security.

“There was also a need to make the combined system as simple and easy to operate as possible, ensuring that operations staff had unrestricted access to the workshop video feeds while not being distracted by the security cameras and vice versa for the security officers, who are best served by complete concentration on securing the premises.” Following extensive consultations with GRW staff, the final design of the dual-purpose system involved a total of 18 Hikvision cameras, eleven on the perimeter and seven in the workshop area, all feeding in to a 32-channel Hikvision NVR at GRW, and to Security Sensor’s control room.

A Smart Perimeter
Perimeter patrolling with guards having proved ineffective, GRW was also keen that the introduction of cameras did not mean that an individual would have to be assigned to constantly manage the video surveillance system around-the-clock. Therefore, the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A Smart 1.3MP low-light box camera was selected to monitor the perimeter of the plant, with active use of the cameras smart analytics intrusion flags ensuring that GRW’s security officers and Sensor Security’s control room are pro-actively notified of any unauthorized movement around the premises.

As well as the smart intrusion detection, the Hikvision DS-2CD4012F-A also features smart codec, smart focus, smart VQD, smart face detection and smart audio detection. They also benefit from 3D DNR and digital WDR, and the day & night IR cut filter allows successful video operation down to 0.001 Lux.

A Watchful Eye on the Workshop
Seven Hikvision DS-2CD2132-I 3MP mini dome cameras keep watch over all operations in the workshop area, assisting the supervisors and managers to remotely monitor processes on the floor. This process is made much easier and more efficient for these staff due to the integration of the Hikvision DS-9632NI-ST 32-channel NVR with a PC, ensuring that operational staff are only presented with images relevant to the production area. A Real Success “This newly-installed state-of-the-art IP CCTV system automates the process of protecting GRW’s premises against unauthorized access and monitoring the production facilities while eliminating the possibility of human error,” Casaleggio said. “GRW is already reaping the benefits from the integration of analytics with the IP cameras and is set to continue for many years.

Source: Asmag

Sensor supports asset rentals

By Nicolette Maree, Sensor Finance

Sensor Finance was launched in May 2015 as the dedicated funding channel for Sensor Security, a Hikvision and Bosch distributor. The company addresses some of the critical funding obstacles of security technology for businesses.

According to Deloitte’s Strategic Risk Survey, “we have seen an increased interest at board-level to manage and understand strategic risk, in fact it has become a priority. At the same time security governance is transitioning from a policing function into becoming more strategically aligned to the business. We believe companies will soon be addressing the impact of security and security technology at board level.”

Sensor Finance financed security technology for 2RM Security at the premises of SAB Newlands.
Sensor Finance financed security technology for 2RM Security at the premises of SAB Newlands.

Sensor Finance offers asset rentals to clients. Rental agreements can be structured over terms of 24 months and up to 60 months. Our transactions are off-balance, which means that businesses can still have their bank credit lines available for other transactions.

The concept of asset rental in the security industry is not new. We have seen some of the bigger security role players incorporating finance into their service agreements, ­facilitating the finance costs and risks themselves. We have offered some of these companies the opportunity to take over the management and risk of the rental agreements as the management of rental and leasing agreements requires specialised skills.

Sensor Finance offers a business solution and not solutions to homeowners or individ­uals. When we assess a rental application the following criteria is taken into consideration:

• How long has the business been in operation?

• Annual turnover (must be above R2 million).

• Credit record.

• Does the rental application support a new tender or business deal for the client?

• Profile of directors / business owners.

Renting benefits a company’s balance sheet. It eliminates depreciation schedules since rental payments are generally line-item expenses on the profit and loss (P&L) statement. By not having equipment debt on your balance sheet, your company is more attractive to financial institutions for other fiduciary needs. Since lease payments are usually treated as a pre-tax business expense, a company benefits by reducing its tax exposure.

There are several advantages of renting equipment:

• No upfront costs.

• Access to a higher standard of equipment which might be too expensive to buy outright.

• Pay for asset over the fixed period of time, which helps to budget for future.

• Spread the cost over a longer period of time and match payments to your income.

The bottom line is that renting minimises demands on cash flow, eases the impact of equipment obsolescence, maintains existing lines of credit and reduces tax liability.


For more information, contact Sensor Finance, Nicolette Maree, +27 (0)21 808 1635, nicolette@sensorfinance.co.za

Sales in the electronic security distribution industry

By Eckard Gerber, Sensor Security Systems

The security industry is one of the largest in the world. It is technologically driven and, at the same time, not completely dependent on the economy i.e. a better economy drives smarter products and solutions, while a slower economy promotes crime and demands at least the basic surveillance and control solutions. The demand is always there and the requirement will never disappear.

Eckard Gerber, Sensor Security Systems.

Besides the driving power of distributors, it has become essential for the security sales force to educate themselves on products, providing complete solutions, and most importantly, building sustainable relationships.

Sales success in our industry comes down to two factors, namely your organisational support and the individual sales consultant’s ability to form sustainable business relationships.

Organisational support

For a sales consultant to be successful in his/her personal capacity, they require the support and successful operations of the organisation. A poorly run business will almost definitely ruin the sales consultant’s reputation, thus negatively impacting the consultant’s future in the industry.

Some of the most important factors impacting an organisation’s success are:

Competitive pricing: Besides many important factors and abilities, price is still one of the key decision makers. It is of utmost importance for the organisation to perform adequate market research and apply the results to its strategies. Buying power, active negotiation and sound logistics form part of a company’s ability to provide competitive pricing.

Stock holding / availability: Having competitive pricing means nothing without a healthy and accurate stock holding. This forms part of a process that can make or break a company. The majority of security products are imported from all over the world with Asia and Europe being two of the larger contributors. Thus a key factor to the entire process is exchange rate driven and the rate of technological evolution. Having exactly the right stock at the right time and having enough of it proves to be a science on its own. This is a critical process that is key to the success of a company.

Investment and education of the organisational team: Success can only be obtained by employees educated adequately in their tasks; the entire business operation depends on it. Apart from the essential technical function, the sales team needs to be actively involved in constant product, feature, solution and marketing/sales training.

Currently we are experiencing product line evolution in periods as short as three months. To be competitive and successful you need to be completely up-to-date on products nearing their end-of-life and up-to-date on their replacements. Another very important part of a successful sales force that often gets overlooked is the support teams comprising administration and warehousing.

Individual sales consultant

Make it personal. It is up to you to gain the client’s interest, respect and ultimately a sustainable business relationship that serves both parties. Following a company’s or sales manager’s script is similar to selling ice-cream in the winter; the odds are one or two will buy from you because they wanted something and you were available by chance. You cannot fully express your belief, passion and confidence in your product or solution if you are not comfortably and confidently yourself.

The most important task of the sales consultant is to build sustainable relationships based on trust and respect.

Trust entails various aspects of business ranging from being able to advise on the absolute correct solutions to confidence in your after-sales support. For your client to gain trust in your ability, it is key to have above average product and requirement knowledge. Telling your client that you will get back to him on every other question asked is a great way to lose all your credibility. You should be the expert in your products.

Your client also requires a number of additional services, ranging from up-to-date product and sales training, telephonic and onsite sales and technical support to even assisting him/her closing a deal with the end user.

Respect for your client, irrespective of his monthly spend should always be your foundation during all aspects of the relationship. Sell confidence and respect in yourself rather than an ever changing product bound to price. Sell the service you can deliver to your client. The ability to communicate effectively to all people on all levels and instantly picking up on body language, positive or negative to keep the meeting/discussion/training effective and not to waste your client’s time are factors that set you apart from your competition.

Advice for interested students

The future of this industry is based on education, research and application. The majority of surveillance products are IP based and depending on the solution are becoming more and more dependent on advanced network infrastructure. All significant further developments are also only based on IP products. This offers a great industry opportunity for IT students studying networking or even software developers with the great demand for cross platform integration of VMS.

For more information contact Sensor Security Systems, +27 (0)11 314 9419, info@sensorsecurity.co.za, www.sensorsecurity.co.za