Technology sweeping security sector in Middle East
HD CCTV and PSIM systems' demand is high in the Middle East region
Security in the Middle East is now making a move towards using the latest forms of technology, according to reports from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).
In an interview with fmME, Mike Parry, international sales manager, Remsdaq, and former chairman of the BSIA's export council, said that the Middle East is a key market for UK firms and is investing heavily in technology and software.
"Some of the new facilities that are coming in now, and some of the consultants we work with - especially in the facilities management market - are looking for smart solutions. Whether it’s access control, print technology, video technology or maybe monitoring vehicles, vehicle tagging, commanding control facilities. It’s quite a broad range."
He added that the technology in the region is growing, with the telecom industry like Etisalat in the UAE and Mobily in Saudi Arabia having an infrastructure programme to control and monitor their facilities.
Parry stated that while the oil and gas sector has always been huge for the British firms in terms of facilities management, they are also now getting involved in more hotel-related work - especially in Qatar. "There’s 300 new hotels being built in Qatar over the next few years, and supporting that infrastructure, like sports stadiums, hospitals, and banks, is where UK companies see the growth."
He pointed that out that in addition to HD CCTV, and counter-terrorism strategies, one thing that is now growing is PSIM, or Physical Security Integrated Management. Parry explained that it is the new term for a command control system.
PSIM integrates all the FM systems together into one master command control system, which allows a facility manager to keep on track of everything going on in the area s/he is managing. "We look at how you’d bring together all of your monitoring equipment. The facilities manager will need to know where his staff are, where his vehicles are, and what allocations are needed. The facility manager will need that technology for the information that is there but has been waiting for something to bring it all together."
Parry added that a lot of technology in the region is moving to digital from analogue. "A lot of security companies are working together with the IT managers and facility managers to understand that adding security to the network is safe, because a lot of people are concerned if they put this over their network, who else can access it? And it’s convincing the facility managers that that information of my staff is going to be secure."
The BSIA also released a survey which outlined key points for members of its export council. When questioned regarding the approach to security technology which they believe has had the greatest impact in the Middle East over the past 12 months, the areas out in front - cited by 25% of those surveyed - were HD CCTV and PSIM (Physical Security Information Management). In third place was hybrid security solutions on 17%.
Other elements that were reported as having had a real impact were biometrics for access control, more efficient and reliable switch mode power supplies for security systems, and IP-related technology.
The also asked council members what the drivers were for customer buying decisions in the Middle East.
It was discovered that although initial purchase price was ranked as the most important by a third of respondents, compliance with industry standards was next - cited by 20% of companies dealing with Middle East customers.
Following on from this, in joint third, came ease of operation, technological innovation and strong business connection. Above and beyond these, other subsidiary factors mentioned included: the high level of robberies.
The survey also sought to discover which vertical markets were leading the way. It was reported that the top market sector was government on 46.7%, followed in second place by residential buildings on 13.3%.The remaining sectors were: banking (specifically ATM protection), transport, hotel/leisure and office developments.
View a video on BSIA's findings with Tony Smith, a council member: