UTC (United Technologies Corporation), held a road show for its customers and partners in Cape Town, Durban and Midrand earlier this year. The purpose of the road show was to provide a comprehensive overview of the company’s solutions and capabilities in the security market, with displays and presentations that focused on product lines for surveillance, fire, alarm and intrusion and access control.
Hi-Tech Security Solutions was invited to the Midrand event where we were given a brief introduction to some of the technology innovations the company was talking about. This article will focus on three technology areas, access control, intrusion and fire. In the CCTV Handbook 2017, which will be distributed at the same time as this publication, we will focus on the surveillance aspect of the road show.
Integration is key
In the area of non-surveillance solutions, UTC had much to offer at the road show. However, in keeping pace with the rapidly integrating industry it serves, many of the products are now easily integrated into surveillance systems to offer a complete security solution to customers. The company also reminded customers that it was still the number one seller in many access control market categories (according to IHS 2015 research), and second overall in terms of the market for all access products.
In terms of its portfolio of solutions, UTC has a complete range of solutions that cover small installations through to the multi-location enterprise. Its portfolio includes logical security, access control, asset management, integrated alarm and intrusion, biometrics and smartcards, fire, intercoms, visitor management and many other product areas. More importantly, all its systems are integrated, making it simple for companies to install and manage full solutions covering all their needs from a single management interface.
Of the various access brands under the UTC banner, the company has recognised names such as Lenel, OTIS, Edwards and Supra, among others. It has done a significant amount of work to ensure that these systems are leaders in their particular fields, while still being easily integrated with each other and products from third parties.
For example, the Lenel OpenAccess Partner Community includes over 150 partners and over 250 products which work together. Moreover, the OpenAccess Alliance Programme offers a set of APIs (application program interfaces) to allow hardware and software developers to make their systems part of the OnGuard platform.
In addition to integration, scalability is another key area for UTC. Being able to cater to the requirements of small companies just as easily as for enterprises is key to its portfolio of products in all areas of the security market.
UTC has also ensured it keeps abreast of the current environment in which privacy and the protection of sensitive information is important, by including full encryption in some of its products. For example, in its Lenel product range it offers end-to-end encryption from its printers and encoders to its software, panels, readers and credentials to ensure companies are able to keep personal information secure and out of the wrong hands.
This has also been extended to its BlueDiamond mobile access solutions, which puts access control on users’ mobile devices and allows for easy management and control by the company. It is also one of the only companies that has made provision for the reuse of mobile credentials should someone leave a company, for example.
Alarm and intrusion
In the alarm and intrusion sector, the company once again has a range of products that cover the market from residential installations through to commercial, including banking and other high-security areas.
The product range in this segment covers securing everything from the fence to the inside of a house or business location. Again, it has the software to manage and support a range of products, such as UltraSync, a secure cloud solution that connects UTC devices with remote applications via a web portal.
Fire and safety
UTC’s portfolio of fire products also covers the range of applications required for fire safety installations. One solution highlighted at the road show was the Ziton ZP2 platform, which covers the mid- to high-end range of addressable panels.
The ZP2 provides customers with an intuitive user interface, hardware that is simple to install and a management platform to make controlling your fire infrastructure easier, and to make emergency event resolution faster. The panel, for example, can cater for 64 nodes, 256 loops, 2048 addressable zones and 64 conventional zones. It is also backwards compatible with older Ziton and Apollo field devices.
Among the other features offered in this series are wizards for panel and network configuration, as well as for upgrades. New firmware can be loaded via a USB flash drive and configuration is handled via a USB cable connected to a PC. Users can also program up to 200 rules into the system as well as set up to four email accounts for remote notifications. For broader communication and integration requirements, both Modbus and BACnet are standard.
UTC also provides a range of software products to assist in the planning of fire safety installations, as well as the ATS8600 management application for users. With this platform, users can easily see events as they happen on a monitor, while being able to unlock doors, activate sounders and initiate any other processes required.
In addition, and as can be expected, UTC also offers a mobile app, FiRe mobile-2, which can be used to perform common configuration and maintenance tasks on compatible UTC fire products from a mobile device.
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