Having recently accepted the role as strand leader of the industry strand of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy, this blog is intended to provide some background on who I am, and the first steps that I intend to take to formulate work streams for the strand.
My day job is a Video Surveillance Product Manager, responsible for the product strategy of Johnson Controls in the UK and Ireland. I have been with the business for 26 years, initially starting in procurement for my first 6 years and then moving on to product management. The product strategies I am responsible for cover the whole market from small residential systems through to enterprise solutions for blue chip companies.
During my many years in this role I have seen the market move away from traditional CCTV analogue systems using VCR’s, multiplexers and box cameras, to the complex new world of networked IP video surveillance systems utilising the latest video Analytics and offering global connectivity.
I also recently accepted the role of Vice Chair of the Video Surveillance Section of the British Security Industry Association, which brings me into regular contact with a variety of members including consultants, installers, distributors, monitoring centres and manufacturers to discuss both good and best practice of providing video surveillance systems.
Vision and Scope
Firstly, to explain the term “Industry” when used in relation to this strand, this term covers any person or organisation involved in planning, designing, installing, commissioning and supporting surveillance cameras, as well as the monitoring of those systems.
My view is that the industry strand should not work in isolation to the other strands. Much of the work carried out by the members of this group will have a direct impact on the daily work of the other strands and I am very keen to collaborate and support with the other stakeholders who are supporting Tony in his role as Surveillance Camera Commissioner. My first action will be to reach out to each of the strand leads so that I can better understand the projects that they are working on and to offer the support of this strand if required.
From the feedback I receive from the other strands, I will then create the deliverables that this strand can provide to support Tony.
Following in the footsteps of my predecessor, my objectives for this strand are to define in detail what we mean when we talk about the industry providing good and best practice. “Good practice” meaning meeting minimum standards that we set, and “best practice” meaning meeting all relevant British and international standards as well as achieving certification against the Surveillance Code of Practice.
The video surveillance market has an extremely wide range of installed legacy systems from analogue to IP (and everything in between!) and our work in the strand needs to ensure that we provide recommendations and guidance that can help owners and operators upgrade to the latest standards across all of these systems, or to review and replace equipment where the age of the system means that current requirements are no longer being met.
Innovation is extremely fast in this market and the strand will need to ensure that awareness and education for video surveillance system owners and operators is regularly provided to allow them to make informed choices in line with the principles of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and any other associated guidance. The strand will regularly review and update the Buyers Toolkit to ensure that the guidance includes recent technological advances.
Having worked in the video surveillance market for a considerable time, I am aware that the use of a myriad of acronyms and “tech speak” appears very confusing for anyone who is not part of the industry, therefore another of my aims for the strand is to demystify these terms and to help owners and users understand in plain English what video surveillance systems are, and the numerous benefits that using these systems can provide.