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Thu 21 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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IP in 2008

As the security sector's profile in the Middle East continues to heighten, Gilles Ortega, regional manager of Axis Communications, outlines some of the key issues facing the sector in 2008.

As the security sector's profile in the Middle East continues to heighten, Gilles Ortega, regional manager of Axis Communications, outlines some of the key issues facing the sector in 2008.

What current trends is the Middle East security sector experiencing?

The convergence from analogue to IP video in an on-going trend and will continue to increase in 2008. Most of the security solutions are now being installed on IP Networks and customers are no longer reluctant to this technology trend.

What are the key issues facing the security sector in 2008?

Convergence from analogue to IP is an issue that affects everyone within the whole security market - manufacturers, integrators and end users.

Convergence at the end user level means that we will see a new breed of security officers responsible for both physical and logical security, as integration of legacy security applications becomes possible.

With the new technology in place, installers and integrators will need to train customers of the new technology, re-train or hire new staff with these skills sets (within the installer/integrator community) and define a new approach to the market as the competition increases within the IT integrator community.

Is the region doing enough to keep itself secure?

The installation of security solutions is proportional to the increasing need for it. Both the public and the private sectors are adapting their security systems to the rules and regulations set by Government authorities.

In fact. many hotels in Dubai are installing video-surveillance systems or upgrading existing systems in accordance to the specifications set by the Dubai Police department.

Is there a predominant shift towards using an integrated IP platform instead of analogue?

We've seen rise in the convergence from analogue to network video solutions. Interest in network cameras is becoming more intensive.

Market analysts - IMS Research - expect network video and IP based surveillance solutions to grow by at least 40%.

The level of interest in network video has seen a sharp increase and has resulted in a 45% growth in the network video product area for Axis.

What impact does this have on costs? Is IP more expensive?

Network IP cameras do cost more than analogue cameras, but when evaluating the cost of deploying any security project, whether analogue or network video technology, it is important to asses the total cost of ownership (TCO). Recent research by IMS has reported that the cost of an IP based system is far less expensive than an analogue one.

What problems could building owners/facilities managers have if swapping from analogue to IP?

At the initial stage, owners and facility managers might find it a little difficult in getting familiar with the IP based systems and the maintenance of IT hardware.

But the manufactures and software editors will train their customers to ensure that the use of this technology will not affect a company's efficiency.

What advice would you give to people making the change?

Choosing the right company to assist in the migration process is a very importance decision. Customers should not base their decisions solely on the cost of the product.

Factors that should be taken in consideration include a selection of brands, overall costs, the benefits of new system and an integrator who will execute the job.

In your opinion, which industry sector is taking security the most seriously and why?

Almost all industry sectors are marking the importance of security. There are a few sectors such as the Tourism and Transportation sectors that are a little more advanced than others; however every sector is realizing the importance of having a secure environment.

Every customer who has initiated a security project with Axis Communications through our integrators has being actively involved throughout the entire process.

Name:Gilles Ortega

Company:Axis Communications

Job title:Regional Manager

Responsibilities:Sales and marketing activities in the region

Present in:Currently, 22 countries in the region including, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Libya.

Company background:Axis Communications is an IT company offering network video solutions for professional installations.

The company was founded in 1984 and drives the ongoing shift from analogue to digital video surveillance. The Dubai office was opened two years ago.

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