The private security industry in South Africa has become one of the fastest growing industries. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IOT) and under the umbrella of Industry 4.0, following the rapid advancement of wireless communication technologies, there is no shortage of new technology solutions that are launched into the security industry on a daily basis.
Many of these solutions are driven by the engineering fraternity that sees a technological opportunity as a result of the advancement in the electronic component industry. But for solutions to be meaningful, the technology needs to attract widespread use and provide new benefits to all stakeholders that are exposed to it.
Betatrac is a local South African firm that, as far back as 2010, looked at the increasing reliance on the private security sector. The firm had been at the forefront of mobile GPS and GSM geolocation solutions since 2002 and decided to use its expertise to apply it to the conceptualisation of wearable geolocation technology in the private security guarding sector.
The firm has always been aware that there are numerous products available in the market that track vehicles, assets and people. While many security companies make use of one or other tracking product, the key emphasis that underpins Betatrac’s design philosophy, is on how the data is gathered and what value is extracted from the data. A successful solution has to meet the needs of all stakeholders and provide tangible and commercial benefits.
It all starts with the security guard and how he or she is expected to perform his or her duty. A security guard cannot be burdened with additional equipment that requires the use of his or her hands during the course of duty. Providing technology that becomes part of the guard’s uniform and is worn on the body was one fundamental requirement that Betatrac aimed to achieve from the start of the development phase.
Another key aspect was that of the patrolling route, this cannot be too rigid and prescribed and has to be altered at a moment’s notice. Hence the concept of virtually defined, rather than physically defined waypoints, was introduced by the firm.
An additional, important element in the complex chain of a guarding service is the guard’s supervisor. Supervisors are responsible for multiple guarding sites and the effectiveness of their role does benefit from an electronic supervision system on their own performance as well.
Most importantly, the data that is collected by the devices has to be exhaustively analysed in order to provide meaningful and tangible benefits to the organisation. In order to survive, a modern business has to be able to rely on data driven decision-making. The Betatrac AIMSS (Analytical Intelligent Management of Security Systems) platform has been developed to integrate data streams from any Betatrac product into a single user environment.
From here the system provides alerts and automated performance reports that remove the requirement for continuous platform monitoring and manual data analysis and reporting. More than just an asset or personnel tracking system, the software provides a digital workforce management tool and service quality assurance platform. A security service provider is thus able to concentrate their efforts towards their customer base, knowing that the crucial tasks of service management and quality assurance are automatically taken care of in the background.
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