IFSEC Global Interview with Jamie Barnfield

1. What’s happening at IDIS in 2019?

It’s been a great twelve months since our last appearance at IFSEC.  We’re continuing to see major success in the retail, eating-out sectors, healthcare, education and commercial office space. 

IDIS technology can be found in operation up and down the UK high street from coffee chains, pubs and casual dining through to variety stores and fashion retailers including River Island, as well as world-famous haute couture boutiques.

IDIS is also being deployed across multiple sites for NHS Southern Health with tangible benefits quickly being realised beyond security in terms of improved patient care and staff safety.  A growing number of schools, independent and state, have also chosen IDIS to enhance their learning environments. 

It’s a similar story across Europe and the Middle East, where IDIS has been chosen for some major enterprise projects. One of the largest retail chains in Europe has now deployed over 2,000 IDIS DirectIP® cameras and 160 NVRs with centralised monitoring and control through IDIS Solution Suite VMS. 

IDIS was also chosen over major brands for one of the Middle East’s largest surveillance upgrade programs. The rollout at Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank (NCB) continues to expand and now encompasses around 1,500 NVRs and 3000 IP cameras across ATMs, branches and corporate offices.  And in the US we’re continuing to see rapid growth in the high-end retail and education sectors, as well as with local government, encompassing libraries and civic centres, and deployments at high profile cultural institutes.  

2. IFSEC is coming up and you guys have a major presence as always.  What can visit customers expect from IDIS this year?

IFSEC just wouldn’t be IFSEC without some beer, wine, fun and games…from 3 PM on Wednesday 19th the IDIS stand is where it’s at!  Not only are we inviting visitors to come and enjoy a free bar, we’re challenging them to try out their own speed, agility, and accuracy in tune with our video tech.  Visitors will get a chance to show off their skills on ‘lights out’ and ‘buzz wire’ game and they’ll be in with a chance of winning one of two European mini-break holidays.

The show is also the perfect platform to launch new products and technologies. This year we’re showcasing an array of new IP cameras since our customers are demanding higher resolution as well as specialist functions and features for a variety of environments and lighting conditions. 

This includes our extended Super Fisheye range, now featuring: a compact 5MP IR compact model; an updated version of our award-winning 12MP Fisheye that now comes with a Panomorph lens; a new 5MP line up of outdoor and indoor bullets and domes; a new LightMaster PTZ that features a powerful 36x optical zoom, auto-iris and a Hall sensor for optimum image quality;  as well as updated iterations of our most popular cameras that are now shipping with essential edge analytics.

Visitors can also see latest innovations in our 97% accurate IDIS Deep Learning Analytic, plus this year’s most exciting advances in privacy masking – exciting because it’s more accurate and easier to use, allowing video clips to be provided for evidential purposes in compliance with privacy laws. 

We’ll also be showcasing the best end-to-end solutions for retail, education and commercial office spaces, giving installers new levels of system-building flexibility and users a guaranteed low total cost of ownership.

And throughout the 3 days, if visitors are worn out or their feet are aching, they are also more than welcome to just kick back and relax on our popular comfy chairs and grab a tea or coffee and some snacks.

3. What is IDIS expecting from IFSEC this year?

What’s always a big draw for visitors at IFSEC is our comprehensive end-to-end retail solutions that encompass rapid deployment, compact cameras and recorders and award-winning fisheyes through to covert cameras and analytics, which are all proving to be a perfect fit for some of the UK’s most well-known and loved brands.

In addition, our fisheyes are proving to be incredibly useful for health & safety managers responsible for investigating accidents. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates slips, trips, and falls cost UK businesses £1 billion per year and make up 37% of all workplace reported injuries. They are common and widespread in public places, such as retail outlets, supermarkets, and shopping centres, as well as within a variety of workplace settings.   All such incidents need to be investigated.

And that’s really when IDIS Super Fisheye cameras really come into their own because a key feature is the advanced dewarping capability, which allows full retrospective pan-tilt-zoom in all directions on the recorded footage for post-incident investigation. 

360-degree vision means no blind spots, making them, really great for users who want to follow and track a subject live, and a really valuable ‘secret weapon’ for health and safety managers who have sites without 24/7 monitoring.  As anyone investigating an incident like a slip, trip or fall will know, a PTZ or fixed lens camera will only record what it’s pointed at, so if nobody’s actually controlling the system, events and details are often missed. In addition, most cameras are set to focus in on entrances, exits, cash desks, etc. and not the outer periphery.  So that means investigating an incident without visual evidence and proving/not proving liability becomes an expensive and arduous task.

4. What does IDIS give its customers?

We are committed to delivering low total cost of ownership (TC) for end users and lower total cost to serve (TCS) for integrators and installers. 

That focus and much of our success can be tied to the IDIS value proposition, which is well-suited for a range of applications, market sectors and international geographies. More end users now look beyond initial price points and focus on reliability, high-performance, cybersecurity, fast and simple installation, ease of use and scalability. In addition, we offer customers a completely free IDIS Center video management software that is a good fit for small to mid-sized applications together with industry-leading warranties.  When customers take all of that into account, IDIS has a very compelling low total cost of ownership proposition, which is force multiplier dependent on how often customers upgrade their surveillance which is typically anywhere between 3-7 years. 

As a result, we saw 78% growth last year with IDIS well-positioned to gain further market share across our focus sectors. And that’s also because we’ve focused our sales efforts on developing close relationships with integrators and collaborating on projects. We can only realise success if we ensure the success of our installer and integration partners in terms of giving them the right mix of hardware and software to win projects and importantly ensure they’re more profitable through faster and easier installs and maintenance.  

Happy end users together with forward and backward hardware and software compatibility also ensure our partners win simply to implement upgrade projects.  IDIS and our partners’ sales guys regularly say that once end-user customers implement IDIS they don’t look back. 

For instance, customers loved the first iteration of our Super Fisheye range of cameras because of their silky-smooth controls and dewarping on the camera, NVR, on client software as well as the mobile app. Plus they delivered the real-time performance and recorded quality we promised. So, today many of those customers are upgrading to our latest models with compact designs, IR, edge analytics and Panomorph lenses.  

In addition, IDIS network recorders, simply can’t be beaten. It’s our lifeblood. We’ve been bringing to market industry-leading, highest performance recorders since the company was founded in 1997 and within the first year of operation IDIS was the world #1 for DVR sales.  Today our network recorders deliver sever-crushing performance and throughput as well as RAID support and failover. Every demo I’ve given over the last six IFSECs (and that’s a lot!), visitors always leave the IDIS stand impressed.   

5. We’re in an ever-changing video surveillance market, where does IDIS see the technology landscape in the next five to ten years?

Ultimately what happens to the technology landscape over the next five to ten years will be shaped by the conversations we have together.

There are several important trends shaping the market at the moment.

Concern about cybersecurity is one of the biggest. The ban on Chinese ICT and security products for US government projects has fed into concerns about potential ‘backdoor’ threats and the debate rages on when it comes to 5G.

The introduction of cybersecurity legislation is also focusing on minds (i.e. the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR; and more recently the UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Office plans to ensure that video surveillance equipment is Secure by Design and Secure by Default. At the same time, we see regularly in the news how organisations’ vulnerabilities are exploited, landing them with huge costs and reputational damage.

So justifiably security directors and integrators are taking a more proactive approach to cybersecurity. That’s why IDIS will be showcasing its multi-pronged and layered approach to the cybersecurity, with measures that ensure secure access, transmission and recording through to the integrity of video for use as evidence. Plus, we’ll be launching an advisory video ahead of the show so that installers and end users know what questions to ask.

Other big trends: we can expect to see a surge in demand for analytics. Already most professional IP cameras come with edge analytics and at IFSEC visitors will see our extensive range providing loitering and motion detection, heat mapping and other analytic functions.

Our VA in the Box analytics appliance has become popular with high street stores, boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. It’s cost-effective to install, easy to use, and comes without any license fees to provide heat mapping, queue management, people counting and analytics reports.

And of course, the whole industry is evaluating the possibilities of artificial intelligence and deep learning. But there’s a lot of hype and once tested accuracy has proven to be poor, implementation complex, with few benefits as well as a relatively small number of relevant applications.

We’ve focused on common needs for a variety of customers, such as the ability to track by colour, object and number, as well as Re-ID, which makes it easy to search for a specific individual within selected time and location parameters. And importantly, IDIS Deep Learning Analytics (IDLA) is delivering 97% accuracy in independent testing.

During the show, we’ll also be launching IDISwhich is IDLA-ready hardware, allowing the analysis of up to 16 channels and can be rapidly deployed through a simple connection to our VMS. So, visitors to our stand will see solutions that deliver improved security and operational efficiencies today that can be extended into other areas of their business in the future.

Looking ahead it’s also clear there will be strong demand for technology that enhances the user experience, plus demand for more/better integration.

I’d encourage anyone coming to IFSEC to try our Smart UX Controls and the de-warping on our fisheye cameras (both very impressive) and come and talk to us about off-the-shelf integrations with third-party cameras, access control, VMS and much more.

Talking and collaborating is what moves us all forward.