Smart communications enhances security business

February 2003 IT infrastructure

As crime continues to escalate, security companies are having to look to new technologies and techniques to outsmart criminals and syndicates that have become increasingly sly and sophisticated.

And while the security industry retains steady growth, competition between companies is becoming fiercer. The recent trend in acquisitions by multinationals and the merging of security firms makes it even more critical to maintain high levels of customer service, which is measured in terms of response and reaction time and the rate of success in protecting clients and their assets.

Communication technology is one of the most costly and complex components of large organisations, yet it is a vital component, particularly in the emergency services industry. The answer lies in determining which technology to use to maximise return on investment and to enhance productivity. But with the constant barrage of new and improved products, deciding which one will best suit a company's needs is no easy feat.

According to Philip Hime, marketing manager for Alcom, the sole distributor of Motorola two-way radio products in South Africa, many security companies are using two-way radios as their primary communications technology, but few are truly harnessing the power of this technology to streamline operations and improve customer service.

Philip Hime
Philip Hime

Hime cites an example: "Take the typical scenario of a burglary: an alarm is activated and a vehicle is dispatched to respond. Most of these vehicles are fitted with mobile radios so the guards have contact with the control room. But what happens once they leave the vehicle? Unable to communicate with the control room, they face potential ambush or the criminals flee and a futile chase ensues. In both instances, the control room has no contact with the guard and is unaware of what action has been taken or whether the guard and the customer are safe."

"And even if the guard has a portable radio with him when leaving the vehicle, he has to juggle his firearm and radio while trying to climb over gates or walls. Additionally, if he is investigating an alert or surveying an area, he risks a call from the control room that could alert suspects to his presence and place him in danger," he says.

So what is the solution? Hime says that the increased functionality of today's two-way radios provide a range of features designed specifically for professionals in the security industry. "Motorola's GP and GM series of portable and mobile radios all offer 5-tone signalling, which allows the radios to be programmed to transmit critical information such as who is calling and whether it is an emergency or a status call. They also allow companies to prioritise calls according to the signal received which provides them with more specific information and results in better frequency utilisation, faster response and promotes proactive security."

Before leaving the vehicle, the guard can activate a voice-storage function on his mobile radio and record details of his location, the status of the emergency and the action he is taking. The control room can page the vehicle and access the message at any time. In an emergency, the emergency signalling function allows the user to alert the control room by pressing a panic button on the radio. The radio can be programmed to mute mode so that a silent alarm is sounded and the control room knows to send back-up without having to contact the guard and alert suspects.

The whisper mode function has been designed for discreet communication, reducing the volume of the incoming signal and enabling the caller to whisper into the radio and still be heard in the control room. And for remote workers, the radio can be programmed to send an alert to the user at regular intervals, requiring him to press a button that resets the radio. If there is no response to the signal prompt, the control room is alerted. In this way, they know whether the guard is at the site and is safe.

Robust communication tools

In the case of attack or injury, the 'man-down' feature automatically sends an alert signal to the control room if the user is in a horizontal position for a set period of time. "All these features have been created to enhance staff and client safety and to maximise productivity," Hime explains.

Also, many companies are not prepared to pay for a more sophisticated radio. "While the initial outlay may be higher than that of a basic push-to-talk radio, companies can gain a fast return on investment by buying a more robust communications tool that lasts longer, provides increased safety for both their staff and clients, maximises the use of frequency, improves productivity and reduces unnecessary call-outs which contribute to escalating costs. All this in turn contributes to customer service and satisfaction, something which companies who face increasing competition can not afford to neglect."

For information contact Philip Hime, Alcom Systems, 011 235 7640.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Accelerating global IoT deployment
October 2019 , IT infrastructure
Upcoming suite of Eseye products will deliver global IoT connectivity with near 100% coverage, automated onboarding and data provision into AWS IoT Core.

Digitising Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
October 2019 , Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
Mobile technology has the potential to change how Africa approaches patient and healthcare, says Phathizwe Malinga, managing director, SqwidNet.

Edge computing ? drivers and benefits
September 2019 , IT infrastructure
Edge computing brings bandwidth-intensive content and latency-sensitive applications closer to the user or data source.

Advanced connectivity enables fast and flexible networks
September 2019 , IT infrastructure
Advanced networking is the unsung hero of our digital future, offering a continuum of connectivity that can drive the development of new products and services and transform operating models.

Duxbury Networking launches Solar Switch
November 2019 , IT infrastructure, Products
Duxbury Networking has launched its Solar Switch with tailored capabilities for applications in less-accessible areas where electricity is not available or not reliable.

8-port PoE managed switch
November 2019, Regal Distributors SA , IT infrastructure
The NW101-7 is an 8-port PoE managed gigabit network switch capable of supporting 4K high-definition video transmission.

4-ports industrial PoE managed switch
November 2019, Regal Distributors SA , IT infrastructure
The NW100-3 is a 4-port industrial full gigabit PoE wall-mount gigabit managed network switch with 1 x 60 W and 3 x 30 W PoE ports capable of supporting 4K high-definition video transmission.

Mobile shredding plant simplifies secure data destruction
November 2019 , IT infrastructure
Companies no longer need to take unnecessary risks when disposing of their IT assets, they can now destroy digital data before it leaves their premises.

A platform approach to innovation and value
CCTV Handbook 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure
Moving to the platform model of doing business holds tremendous advantages for end users and smaller developers, but also for the whole technology supply chain.

Selecting the right surveillance storage
CCTV Handbook 2019, Capsule Technologies, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, IT infrastructure
Storage is an integral part of a surveillance installation and the solution chosen can make or break the success of your project.