Automation, Cloud, Cyber & Unification at the heart of Tyco’s Video product strategy
If you want to know anything about the future product strategy for the Tyco video brands, there is probably no one better to ask than Alan Riegler, Senior Sales Director EMEA, Access & Video, for the security products division of Johnson Controls.
In this interview, Alan, who has been a member of the Tyco senior management team for over 10 years, provides an insight into how the company is looking to establish clear blue water between its premium level video surveillance solutions and the mass market products which have flooded the market in recent years.
Q. Alan, how are the Tyco video brands, such as American Dynamics, Exacq and Illustra, able to successfully compete in what many regard as an overcrowded market?
A. Our approach has always been to look at how we can offer system integrators opportunities to generate new business and help their end-user clients achieve maximum return on their investment in a video surveillance system. We have done this by packing our cameras, recording devices and software platforms with innovative technology, much of which is proprietary.
This technology, which has mainly been developed at our UK Engineering Center of Excellence, has been introduced in response to changing market demands and with the intention of delivering greater value by providing real-world practical benefits over and above what might normally be expected from a high quality video surveillance system. This means offering the best available solutions in terms of helping combat criminal activity and which are also capable of helping business increase productivity through, for example, the use of video analytics.
Q: What is Tyco’s approach to developing a product strategy?
A: We are fortunate in having access to a large network of knowledgeable system integrators who are highly successful within the regions and vertical markets in which they operate and who have a true understanding of what end-users are expecting from their video surveillance solutions. We highly value the input of these customers, which together with the in-depth research carried out by our talented product management team, has assisted us in devising a product strategy which we believe will ensure our ongoing success.
Q: So, without giving away any secrets, can you given an indication as to what kind of new products we can expect to see from Tyco?
A: It might be best if I make use of this article to provide a view of the bigger picture, rather than list the numerous new products which are in the pipeline. By bigger picture, I mean that our product strategy is focused on four major technology streams and these are Automation, Cloud, Cyber & Unification.
Tyco has been among the first to recognise the potential for machine learning solutions which incorporate advanced forms of video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).
Whilst the intuition and experience of security personnel, which when combined could be described as ‘emotional intelligence’, cannot easily be replaced, there is no doubt that the application of machine learning and robotics technologies provide a powerful tool for control room operators to more effectively respond to any threats. Being able to detect abnormal activity patterns, predict behaviour, facilitate action macros in response to complex events whilst minimising false alarms and augment 3D data from multiple sources, are just a few examples of where Tyco intends to lead the market and deliver significant value to what end-users would normally expect to achieve from their video surveillance systems.
In simple terms, our decision to accelerate our development of Cloud based solutions will mean our customers will be able to benefit from a significant reduction in the capital, maintenance and operational costs associated with data storage, by utilising our Cloud archiving, Cloud monitoring and service offerings. Customers will have the option to choose to use either our hybrid or pure cloud solutions, with the freedom to migrate when they decide the time is right to do so. They will also be able to take advantage of the greater mobility and interoperability offered by the Cloud.
Regardless of the size or complexity of your security system, the need for cyber security has never been greater. At Tyco, we believe the prime responsibility for combatting efforts to access confidential data or video by an individual opportunistic hacker or organised criminal gangs, lies squarely with the manufacturers of hardware and software solutions. In this respect, the threat to the reputation of the electronic security industry and more importantly, the potential consequential loss to our customers, more than justifies our pro-active approach to negating the risk of a cyber attack against both our Cloud and on-site, edge based solutions.
The Tyco Cyber Protection Program is one of the industry’s first to offer a holistic approach to cyber security for physical security products and is intended to give installers, systems integrators and end-users the confidence that we have minimised the possibility of introducing vulnerabilities into our electronic security solutions. From the very beginning, all our new products and software are designed and developed with the benefit of advice from certified experts who then oversee a testing and validating process specifically developed to identify potential cyber security vulnerabilities.
The Program has been developed with the benefit of experience of providing high security and mission critical solutions to Government and multi-national customers over several decades, but takes into account emerging threats and trends.
We have set the bar extremely high with our American Dynamics video management systems and Illustra IP cameras, and are committed to employing the same cyber safety mindset across other product lines within our product portfolio.
We are committed to offering complete Unified solutions which allow our customers to ‘see more, do more and save more’ by the deep integration of our access control and video solutions with products and systems offered by our technology partners. Our Connected Partner Program is driving our efforts to create an electronic security ecosystem which is future-proof, whilst providing users with the flexibility to choose the possible combination of products, systems and software to match their current requirements.
An excellent example of this is our victor unified video management system which seamlessly synchronises video with data from access control, fire, intrusion and other systems. Future-proof and scalable, it has been designed to provide a high performance solution which provides operators with superior situational awareness, as well as an easy way to investigate incidents and generate activity reports.
Victor Intelligently delivers the right video and other critical information such as event notifications, maps and health monitoring, to the right person at the right time and with the flexibility to display the video and other information on single or multiple screens, as well as video walls.
The Tyco Brand
Q: Following Tyco’s merger with Johnson Controls, there was an anticipation that the Tyco name would disappear and your products would be rebranded. Can we still expect to see this happen?
A: Almost all Tyco products have or will have Johnson Controls branding. However, it has been decided that our security division products will be an exception. This reflects the fact that we are a well established and highly respected brand within the electronic security sector. Our message to the market can be simply put; we now proudly work for Johnson Controls, but we sell Tyco and are approaching the future with a high level of confidence and clear direction.