Q&A: Jacquelyn Hall-Davies, Bosch Canada
Q&A: Jacquelyn Hall-Davies, vice president of sales for Bosch Security and Safety Systems in Canada
This article originally appeared in the Fall issue of BIOT Canada, a sister publication of SP&T News.
BIoT Canada: Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, has stated that a strategic target of your firm is to have all of your electronic product categories IoT-enabled by 2020. How easy or difficult will that be?
Hall-Davies: For Bosch Security and Safety Systems, we are well on our way to achieving this goal. We have an extensive portfolio of networked cameras, our latest intrusion panels have native IP connectivity, and our video, intrusion, access control and communications systems all work together to deliver integrated security and communications solutions for connected buildings and more. This integration represents the beginning steps toward the Internet of Things in security.
BIoT Canada: How do you see AI being used in order to help you reach that goal and what role is it currently playing when it comes to your division’s product mix?
Hall-Davies: We are hearing about AI more and more in the security industry, but the reality is that the term has become a buzz word that is often used to describe capabilities that aren’t truly AI. What we do have is intelligent devices that are beginning to be able to learn and track their situations and surrounding conditions.
Machine learning, which is a form of narrow AI, enables a device to learn without explicitly being programmed. With machine learning, devices, such as surveillance cameras, can be taught about new objects or situations within a particular scene. The camera would then retain this information and call on it when processing subsequent scenes. We are looking at these capabilities to enhance our offerings in the near future.
BIoT Canada: The cloud is also critical and to that end, what is your company’s Video As A Service strategy and how is VSaaS being received in the Canadian marketplace?
Hall-Davies: The cloud is enabling new capabilities in the security marketplace. For example, with verification now required by the Toronto Police Service for all burglar alarm activations, video verification is becoming more important in Ontario, as well as in other provinces.
With IP cameras connected to the cloud, the monitoring centre can easily look-in to verify the source of an alarm and choose the appropriate escalation path, such as performing remote live intervention and triggering a police response to help reduce damage to the property. Nearly all of the monitoring centres in Canada are equipped with our video monitoring services capabilities.
We are also using the cloud to assist integrators with installation to make it easier to configure systems and to access them remotely. The result for the user is reduced costs through more efficient installations and service.
BIoT Canada: Integration is key in an IoT world, particularly when it comes to smart buildings. Can you give me examples of how integration of your products is being used in Canada?
Hall-Davies: This is an exciting time in the industry, and Bosch is focused on solutions that integrate intrusion detection, access control, video surveillance, and communications to solve the users’ problems. The industry is no longer talking about selling widgets; it’s all about solutions to address pain points. Rarely do we look at systems as purely video or strictly intrusion anymore.
We’re looking at how we can connect the IP cameras to the alarm panel, while bringing in access control and communications to create a fully-integrated security solution that solves the user’s security and communications pain points. Integration helps to streamline operations to improve efficiency, protect high-security areas and high-value assets, and keep operators and building occupants better informed.
We’re participating in summits and listening to customers to learn what the needs are and what the expectations are for intelligent buildings and smart cities.
There’s a wide range of possibilities with integrated systems. Take, for example, a commercial building that has integrated intrusion detection, access control and video surveillance to understand some of the possibilities.
When an employee presents access credentials at the facility entrance, not only does the door unlock, but the intrusion detection system can automatically disarm, and the security operator can be alerted through video displayed from a nearby camera. This helps the operator ensure no one is tailgating behind the employee.
Video also provides situational awareness when other control panel events occur. If someone tampers with a motion detector, the security control panel can trigger a nearby camera to send a video snapshot via email or text to the facility manager.
It can also alert security personnel and trigger a pan-tilt-zoom camera to focus on the relevant area for further investigation.
Integrating security technology with a public address system is also beneficial for initiating pre-recorded messages based on security events. For example, activating an emergency pull station or pressing a wireless panic button can automatically trigger a public address system to play emergency instructions through a loudspeaker while also notifying facility personnel with a different message through two-way radios.
BIoT Canada: Data security is as important as physical security, which is why you have partnership agreements with companies such as Genetec and ISS. How did the relationship with each come about?
Hall-Davies: Bosch is driving a systematic approach to maximize data security by considering both physical safety and cybersecurity simultaneously. This system approach is the key to achieving the highest standards in end-to-end data security. We create trust by assigning every component in the network an authentication key, we secure data from hackers by encrypting it the hardware level using a cryptographic key that is safely stored in a unique built-in Trusted Platform module, we offer easy ways to manage user access rights, and we can support the set-up of a public key infrastructure.
Through our Integration Partner Program, we also ensure that our products and features are compatible with users’ preferred solutions. For example, when Bosch cameras are fully integrated with Genetec systems, resulting in an end-to-end data security solution incorporating all Bosch network video surveillance cameras, plus Genetec Archiver and Security Center.
All network-wide communications between Bosch cameras and Genetec Archiver and Security Centre are assigned an authentication key. This electronic signature enables the system to verify the legitimacy of network components like cameras or storage units, and viewing clients, ensuring that an infrastructure of trust is built before network-wide communications start.
Overall, Bosch has long-standing partnerships with industry providers, including Genetec, Milestone, ISS, OnSSI, Exacq, and many others.
BIoT Canada: Finally, you belong to several industry associations including the Canadian Security Association, the Canadian Society for Industrial Security, and ASIS International. What is the key benefit you get out of being a member of each?
Hall-Davies: These industry associations are important for networking within the industry. For dealers and integrators, they also provide opportunities for training to further develop their skills. It is essential that we have these organizations to support technology development, regulation, and certification.