Techpro - if their CCTV systems miss it, it must be invisible!

August 2001 Surveillance

Having cut its teeth in regard to CCTV ‘system integration with design’ for the local casino industry, the specialist company Techpro is now aiming its sights at again becoming the supplier of choice in terms of commercial and industrial CCTV installations.

Founded in 1994 Techpro brought together the right people at the right time, and through providing quality custom systems designed with the needs of its customers in mind, today it commands a market share in the local gambling industry of more than 90%. Just one of its satisfied customers, the MonteCasino has almost 1200 cameras in operation, while the value of the largest single contract undertaken by Techpro was in excess of R15 million. A recent survey of casinos in North America and elsewhere has shown that security at our gambling centres and in particular the surveillance systems installed by Techpro are at the cutting edge of technology.

Expansion

The gambling industry, operating under the rules and regulations laid down by the Gaming Board, is indubitably the most demanding of CCTV applications. As all tables, roulette wheels and machine areas must be monitored on a continuous basis the industry expects and receives from Techpro a 24 h maximum turnaround on breakdowns. If this were not adhered to then the casino itself would lose money through having to close down certain areas or tables. To achieve this goal and to ensure maximum reliability of the total system Techpro had to ensure that the right equipment was installed. This latter area is one of the company's major strengths as it possesses the right technical know-how but does not distribute any CCTV products itself. In terms of equipment it can choose the brand and model which best meets the expectations of the end-user in terms of quality and cost, and as a result of its large purchase orders it is also able to obtain the best prices from local importers.

Techpro's expansion into the commercial market is already underway. The company was recently awarded the contract for a surveillance system on the N1 in the Tygerberg area. Although a relatively small contract (12 special cameras mounted on masts), these cameras and their control centre will have a dual-purpose application, this being traffic control and crime detection.

Techpro Director Allan Gien was at pains to point out that the shift in focus was a natural organic expansion of the company's business and will in no way affect their involvement in the still developing casino business. In fact the company is just starting on the surveillance system installation at the Hemmingways Casino in Port Elizabeth and it is heavily involved in helping existing casinos modify their systems to accommodate changes in usage of internal areas as a result of the new anti-smoking legislation. Gien believes that Techpro will still remain the installer of choice for the gambling industry and will continue to provide the best and most reliable solutions at aggressive pricing. With its large established base and maintenance contracts, Techpro will continue to fulfill its obligations. As regards the commercial and industrial applications Techpro will apply the leading-edge technology developed over the years in the casino business to provide end-users with higher levels of quality, reliability and overall security.

In terms of its new market thrust a major advantage the company has is its countrywide presence. While the head office is located in Gauteng it operates full office and service centres in Cape Town and Durban.

Having its own in-house R&D activity Techpro has developed its own interface technology which allows interfacing between the surveillance devices and other systems, including coin counters, tills etc. This same technology has also been used in large parkades to interface the surveillance system with boom gates.

Although Techpro is going to be putting a lot more effort into the commercial and industrial business the company already has a solid track record in this area, having installed anti-crime and surveillance systems for companies that include Mercedes Benz, Ster-Kinekor and Vodacom to name but a few. A major recent achievement was the award of the contract for the surveillance system for the new Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga. A very large network, this contract was awarded not just on the basis of cost but reflects the confidence that the prime contractor has in the competence of Techpro.

Today, Techpro is part of the JSE-listed Servest Group that acquired the company some three years ago in a friendly and strategic bid. Being in such a group provides the company with much more financial muscle and allows it to weather the cashflow problems involved with such mega-site work.

In its early days Techpro maintained a low profile as it focused on establishing its dominance in the gaming industry. Now, with proven technology and enhanced resources it intends to aggressively aim for similar market dominance in the many other areas where CCTV surveillance is required. In achieving its new objective the company will not lose sight of its founding motto, namely 'Systems integration by design'.

In addition to the design, installation, maintenance and support of integrated CCTV surveillance systems Techpro offers a full consultancy service that includes risk analysis. In-house expertise covers a wide range of technologies including CCTV and networking as well as broad-based and in-depth knowledge of the security industry and its needs.

For further details contact Alan Gien, Techpro, on tel: (011) 807 4261.





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