When it comes to innovative security, the Securitas name is top of mind. This company, headquartered in Sweden, is a global provider of specialized protective services based on people, technology, and information. Offering a diverse array of security services for clients large and small, cutting-edge technologies, including collaborative AV tools, are critical for Securitas team. We recently asked Frank Norman, Senior Director of IT, Securitas Security Services USA, to share his insight on AV/IT convergence in the company's New York office.
AV Technology: How is AV/IT convergence playing out in your company’s facility?
Frank Norman, Senior Director IT, Securitas Security Services USA, NYC
Frank Norman: As the largest security company in the world, AV/IT convergence is a big part of our overall company strategy. We have rolled out and support a large software and hardware-based video conferencing (VC) network that allows us to interconnect between our operations centers, remotely connect from our branch offices, or virtually connect from anywhere to meet a variety of Securitas use cases. These use cases include area, regional and corporate meetings, financial reviews, training and webcasts to name a few. We have deployed more than 200 HD video system endpoints in the last year.
What AV/IT problems have you solved recently?
Frank Norman: Securitas was looking for a technology solution that interfaced with our video conferencing platform to help us collaborate better as a company on solutions for our clients’ needs. The solution we found, and have since adopted, is Mezzanine by Oblong Industries.
Mezzanine is a powerful application that we have deployed as a control center application for our Client Experience Centers. It is a high tech, dynamic collaboration, and presentation tool that connects multiple people, multiple devices and multiple data sources all into one meeting. It is immersive technology that provides that ‘wow’ factor to our clients with live interactive sales presentations, rather than the old static power point presentation.
Securitas sells technology solutions, including Remote Guarding, along with our guard force. What better way to demonstrate to our clients that not only do we sell technology, but we utilize technology in our everyday workplace with tools like Mezzanine for client sales presentations? This helps to separate us from the competition.
What types of new tech or products do you want to learn more about?
Frank Norman: As technology evolves and companies move toward cloud solutions, we at Securitas are also evaluating cloud platforms as they relate to AV/IT. We currently have a software-based VC platform in Pexip, deployed as a multi-point bridged platform, that we integrate with our hardware VC platform. We are looking to move our on-premise nodes to a cloud provider. We see this as means of reducing our costs as well as creating a more flexible platform for our user community.
What AV/IT do you hope to buy in the near future?
Frank Norman: Right now our plan is to expand our current Mezzanine platform beyond Securitas North America. We currently have five Mezzanine rooms installed in North America, and we are possibly looking to expand that footprint with a Mezzanine room in every country with a Securitas presence.
Where are tech manufacturers getting it wrong or missing opportunities?
Frank Norman: Competition is good to have in the AV/IT arena, as it gives us the consumers multiple options to choose from that are cost-competitive. The problem is that there is not enough integration between products and consumers are looking for truly unified communications platforms.
What are your collaboration strategies?
Frank Norman: Being able to interconnect all Securitas entities globally on one convergent network, so that we can collaborate on solutions that meet our clients’ needs with tools such as Mezzanine by Oblong Industries.