Ken Pefkaros Appointed As RGB's New Sales Director For Europe … – SecurityInformed

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25 Jan 2023
RGB Spectrum®, an industry pioneer in the mission-critical video for real-time decision support announced the appointment of a new Sales Director to cover Europe, Ken Pefkaros.
As a 20-year veteran of the RGB Spectrum team, Ken is transitioning to this new role in marketing. Initially domiciled in San Francisco, he will be establishing a new office in Paris later in 2023.
Ken has a wealth of experience within the industry and intimate knowledge of our product portfolio. His dedication and expertise will be utilized across Europe to support customer and partner demand.
Bob Marcus, President of RGB Spectrum shares, “Ken’s broad range of experience in business development and project management is a welcome addition to our international team. I’m confident that he will play a significant role for our clients in his region.” 
Ken will be attending the upcoming ISE 2023 Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain. Please stop by RGB Spectrum’s booth #3K850 to meet him in person.
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Dr. Henrik Siegle has been the CTO at Bosch Building Technologies since November 2021. In this interview, he speaks about the megatrends of energy efficiency and sustainability, and about new developments in the building technology sector. Dr. Siegle, the building industry is currently facing major challenges in the form of climate change and energy shortages. How is Bosch Building Technologies dealing with these challenges? Dr. Henrik Siegle: Energy efficiency and sustainability have long been key priorities for us – and, indeed, for the entire Bosch Group. For Bosch Building Technologies, this also particularly applies to building automation. We have continually built up our strengths in this area in recent years, including through the takeover of other companies, especially in the United States and Germany – all with the aim of making buildings more energy efficient and more sustainable. We do this in a variety of ways, including automated HVAC control systems based on presence detectors, intelligent lighting and shade control. This approach enables us to optimize the operation of buildings, cut costs for customers and play our part in saving resources. Bosch itself became climate-neutral in 2020. How did you manage that? To achieve climate neutrality, we have implemented measures in four key areas Dr. Henrik Siegle: Bosch started addressing energy efficiency issues early on, which is why the Bosch Group, with more than 400 sites worldwide, is already climate-neutral. To achieve climate neutrality, we have implemented measures in four key areas – increasing energy efficiency, using more renewable energy from our own production, purchasing green energy and, finally, offsetting unavoidable CO2 emissions. We are working on further optimizing our mix of measures, because the Bosch Group is totally committed to energy efficiency. We want to promote use of our energy-efficient products, but that’s not all – we are also keen to demonstrate our corporate commitment to sustainability. That’s why we analyzed all our divisions, documented energy consumption and developed strategies for each individual division to cut our use of energy further. As the Bosch Building Technologies division, we supply solutions for the Group. One example is our cloud-based energy platform, which is used to analyze the individual energy flows in a factory on a very frequent basis and to predict future consumption. This enables us to continuously optimize our energy consumption at each individual site. The Bosch plant in Homburg is a good example. Since introducing the energy platform there, we have cut CO2 emissions by 6,700 metric tons in the first two years alone – that’s a reduction of 12 percent. At the Bosch Group, we also aim to reduce the CO2 emissions that we don’t generate ourselves directly, but which are produced in the supply chain, for example, or when our products are used. At Bosch, we are aiming to reduce these emissions by 15 percent by 2030. Can you give us some more examples of what Bosch Building Technologies is doing to help improve sustainability? Dr. Henrik Siegle: There are many initiatives and projects underway to increase sustainability at Bosch Building Technologies. One example is an environmentally friendly packaging concept that recently won an award within the Bosch Group. The concept, which involves reusing packaging material, not only significantly reduces the volume of waste, but also speeds up the repackaging processes. What’s more, the optimized size of the packaging also substantially reduces freight and storage volumes, which again cuts CO2 emissions. Our remote services are another fantastic example of the steps we are taking to increase sustainability. By offering our customers remote maintenance, we reduce the working hours involved, but that’s not all – this also prevents our service engineers having to travel to the customers’ premises, which again helps cut CO2 emissions. What is the significance of energy efficiency in the building sector overall? Dr. Henrik Siegle: Alongside industry, the building sector is responsible for approximately 40 percent of total CO2 emissions, so energy efficiency is clearly hugely important. The high proportion of emissions demonstrates the enormous potential for reducing energy consumption in the building sector and what big contribution we can make in this area with our sustainable solutions. Bosch turned the climate neutrality that we achieved as a Group into a business model Bosch turned the climate neutrality that we achieved as a Group into a business model and set up Bosch Climate Solutions GmbH, which is now part of Bosch Building Technologies. This means we are now in a position to offer to develop a climate neutrality strategy for other companies and supply them with the solutions they need through our system integrator. Companies have growing obligations to report on what they are doing to help the environment – and that’s why we’re working together with our partners to develop the building management services suite, or BMSS for short. This open, domain-spanning service offering combines and integrates the individual building systems, services and software solutions from various areas of application. This means the reliable facts about sustainability that are needed for ESG reporting can be generated – in other words, facts that constitute evidence of environmentally friendly operations. When it comes to the demand for energy efficiency solutions, is there such a thing as a typical customer? Dr. Henrik Siegle: We have a huge range of customers – from schools and hospitals to drugstore chains and industrial sites. Bosch Building Technologies offers a smartphone-based solution to provide contactless access to buildings Alongside sustainability, the connection of individual systems in safety and security technology has been a key topic for a long time now. How is Bosch Building Technologies positioning itself here as a full-service provider? Dr. Henrik Siegle: When it comes to connectivity, Bosch Building Technologies benefits hugely from cross-divisional collaboration within the Bosch Group. Overall, connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT) are topics that we actively addressed at Bosch at a very early stage. As a result, we now have many years of experience of developing relevant technologies and applying these solutions professionally. There are a few solutions, in particular, that really stand out, such as Aviotec, our VdS-approved video-based fire detection system. The system’s security camera performs intelligent video analysis, which means we can detect a fire at a much earlier stage compared to conventional fire detection technology. What’s more, the camera’s built-in intelligence means it can be used for other purposes What’s more, the camera’s built-in intelligence means it can be used for other purposes, too, such as anti-intruder and anti-theft protection. We can also use it to monitor compliance with social distancing rules, for example. This is an innovative example of the connection of domains. However, it also goes without saying that connectivity plays a major role in our business within systems, too. In this context, I would like to mention our connected solutions that make it possible for technical building equipment processes to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. These solutions include condition monitoring and predictive maintenance, for instance. One example is fire detection systems that independently supply information about their own operating condition and the necessary maintenance intervals. Another example comes from our Access & Intrusion business unit: We now also offer contactless access to buildings via a smartphone-based solution, i.e. via mobile credentials. In your view, what are the current and future market trends in security and building technology? Dr. Henrik Siegle: Well, regardless of market trends, it’s really important to us that we always put the customer at the center of everything we do. What we want are solutions that meet customers’ needs – both now and in the future. Thanks to our user experience, or UX, method, we have an excellent understanding of what a customer actually wants and needs. That’s why we involve customers in the testing of our innovations as early as possible – it helps us find out whether and how the future product works in practice. We’re therefore always particularly close to our customers. We don’t just develop our products and solutions on this basis, but our services, too. When it comes to video security and intelligent building control in particular, artificial intelligence plays a key role Innovations in building technology are very wide ranging and, in my view, they all revolve around the megatrends of energy efficiency, sustainability, security and artificial intelligence. When it comes to video security and intelligent building control in particular, artificial intelligence plays a key role. This has huge potential – and we want to realize this potential more and more at Bosch. The video-based fire detection system that I’ve already mentioned is an excellent example. The thing that makes us stand out on the market is our business model, which is based on two key pillars. One of these is our system integrator business. This means we offer everything from a single source, right from the initial inquiry, consultancy and planning through to implementation and operation. The second pillar is our product business. The direct customer interface in the system integrator means we get direct feedback in the system integrator itself, both from customers themselves and from our colleagues. We incorporate this feedback into our product development processes. How is your system integrator business doing? Dr. Henrik Siegle: Very well. We’ve experienced good growth in this area in both Europe and North America. What’s more, just recently, we’ve also significantly expanded our system integrator business again through acquisitions in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. One of our priorities is ensuring that our technology is always state of the art. Developing our expertise in this area also means that regular training for our associates is important, since technical developments are becoming more and more dynamic. Given this background, are you also feeling the impact of the skills shortage? Our business model can only work if we have skilled, motivated associates Dr. Henrik Siegle: It may sound obvious, but needless to say, our business model can only work if we have skilled, motivated associates. The question of how we attract new associates is not the only important one – it’s also vital to consider what we do for the ones we already employ. For example, we have our own academy spread across three sites in Germany, where we provide our associates with regular training, and we also put on a wide range of professional development seminars. To attract new talent, we offer dual study programmes along with programs for trainees, Master’s students and PhD students. We also often attend various career fairs. What’s more, we’re working more closely together with universities and institutes. We have quite a lot to offer in this regard. Our purpose, ‘Building solutions for a better life,’ doesn’t just motivate me personally – it also resonates very well outside Bosch. Bosch gives its associates the opportunity to work directly on important topics of both the present and the future with the aim of making the world a safer, more sustainable place – using state-of-the-art technologies such as artificial intelligence! Nevertheless, the skills shortage naturally still poses a major challenge.
As the cost-of-living crisis intensifies in 2023, owners of construction companies will place a greater emphasis on environmentally-friendly materials, public safety, and strategies to increase value. Physical protection Key events in 2023 will have an impact on the physical protection of people, property, and businesses. King Charles III’s coronation in May will be the focus of nationwide large-scale gatherings and celebrations and is already receiving security preparations. Even though this presents a unique security problem for the UK, there are also ongoing circumstances to take into account.  As a recession looms and families suffer with the rising cost of living, it is impossible to dismiss the likelihood of economically driven crime, labor discontent, and even civil disturbance. Meanwhile, high-profile, frequently contentious debates about counterterrorism policies continue to be a part of the security landscape. Security services and safety management  The year will be challenging due to a lack of labor and materials and an increase in prices The year will also be challenging due to a lack of labor and materials and an increase in prices. Security services and safety management will have difficulties as a result of all these problems in 2023.  Here are some themes I believe will emerge in 2023, along with advice on how to properly approach security in your forthcoming builds:  Dedication toward sustainability  Building industry discussions are increasingly focused on sustainability, and companies of all sizes are under pressure to enhance their sustainability efforts and reduce their carbon footprints. A consultation on the Environmental Audit Committee’s (EAC) plan, which has the potential to address the source of 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, the built environment will be launched by Ministers in 2023.  It’s critical that procuring more sustainable materials for new construction becomes the standard as a new regulatory framework for net zero in the built environment is developed. ​ Eco-friendly alternatives  Look for eco-friendly,​sustainable fencing and responsibly sourced gates, and use regulated wood when it comes to perimeter security measures.  Any sustainability or responsible sourcing certificates will have a more meaningful context if all these criteria are met first because the best use of the timber has been made, and a product with a long lifespan eventually results in less deforestation.  Understanding the connection between value and carbon efficiency  Many businesses will ratchet up their perimeter protection to combat the anticipated rise in crime The cost-of-living crisis, which is expected to turn into a recession, is a significant issue that is impacting the UK. Many businesses will ratchet up their perimeter protection to combat the anticipated rise in crime. This may need to be considered while building new commercial properties.  Developers might want to take expert advice on fencing for high-value residential structures into account.  Fencing and gating solutions There is increasing acknowledgment that choosing lower-quality fencing and gates for perimeter fencing around residential and commercial property projects is less sustainable and potentially more expensive in the long run. This is due to the likelihood of replacements and repairs, which increases waste. Construction companies and professional builders will carefully consider the lifetime cost of fencing and gating solutions in 2023 as the recession bites, looking beyond upfront product expenditures to find the best value and lowest long-term carbon effect. The guarantee’s duration is important.  Environmental preservation Environmental preservation is important on construction sites as well. There are many benefits to developers implementing measures like hedgehog-friendly security fencing. When it comes to security and protecting hedgehogs, vertical bar fencing checks all the right boxes. Since the fencing features pale spacing which conforms to anti-trap regulations, hedgehogs have more than enough room to pass between the pales to the other side.  Public safety during significant events in 2023  Be prepared for new legal restrictions designed to safeguard the public Professional builders should think about temporary and long-term security solutions for commercial properties during major events like King Charles’ coronation in May. Any temporary solutions must be strong enough to endure big crowds. Be prepared for new legal restrictions designed to safeguard the public. Martyn’s Law anti-terror Protect Duty The Martyn’s Law anti-terror Protect Duty, which advanced in the legislative process in December, will have draft legislation set to be published in the spring of 2023. There is little doubt that this will significantly alter the building sector as well as how public areas, venues, and the people who use them are safeguarded. Security measures There is currently, except for select sporting venues and public transportation, no mandate that anyone takes any effort to prevent such incidents, including establishing security measures like HVM (Hostile Vehicle Mitigation) barriers, having an action plan, or providing training. This is going to change, though, in light of the suicide attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017, which claimed the lives of 23 people who had just left an Ariana Grande concert. Adopting new rules  The government is also attempting to adopt new rules that will make it an offense not to take preventative measures or know what to do should an assault occur, as a result of a campaign by Figen Murray, whose son Martyn died in the incident. An obligation to protect is introduced by the Protect Duty. Behavioral and physical controls Building contractors hired to ensure that new builds are safe should add physical safeguards like fences, bollards, CCTV It’s crucial to think of security as a blend of behavioral and physical controls. Building contractors hired to ensure that new builds are safe should think about adding physical safeguards like fences, bollards, CCTV, and blast-resistant glass. The owner of the property must undoubtedly think about establishing and sustaining a security-conscious culture. It is insufficient to select a security product such as fencing, bollards, or CCTV and hope for the best. Guidelines A fence and gate system that complies with other safety requirements, such as fire rules and health and safety codes, will be recommended by responsible construction companies. To be ready and prepared to comply with this significant new obligation as the year goes on, I would advise organizations and chosen construction partners to use the data and guidelines made available by the government and police agencies. 
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico needed to implement a centralized and efficient perimeter security system for all public schools on the island. Intrusions and assaults at educational institutions have increased, and Hurricane Maria further exacerbated problems with the destruction of infrastructure. The solution: The need to repair hurricane damage also provided opportunities to invest in modern improvements. The Department of Education chose to install a video surveillance system with more than 10,000 cameras, speakers, and other security devices in 856 schools. In the same way, a centralized control center was established using the Corporate version of Milestone Systems XProtect® video management software (VMS). Devices installed  Milestone Systems: XProtect VMS Software XProtect Smart Client Milestone Interconnect Cameras from Axis Communications and Uniview DH-Vision Seneca Servers and Optex Sensors The advantages: Audiovisual material captured by the system helps agencies to evaluate and manage areas for public use Endowed with the same annual budget that allowed the monitoring of 250 institutions, the new system enabled the Puerto Rico Department of Education to cover all 856 public schools. Since the system has been operational, there has been a 97% reduction in intrusions within educational institutions. In addition to protecting the educational program, the audiovisual material captured by the system helps other government agencies to evaluate and manage areas for public use and investigate incidents. Need for a centralized security system Ensuring a safe environment is a growing challenge for schools and colleges: theft, fights, and bullying are some of the problems that not only affect students, but also teachers, employees, and, ultimately, the government entities that subsidize the educational system. In Puerto Rico, for example, the Department of Education was concerned about the increase in unauthorized intrusions, robberies, and assaults within its schools. This index shot up after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure in 2017. Even before this natural phenomenon, there was no centralized security system that integrated an overview of all schools. There were disparate installations of video surveillance equipment (cameras, alarms, and lighting) but only in approximately 250 of the schools. Centralized command center González said the proposal was born to begin the process to acquire a video surveillance system for public schools  After the hurricane, top priority was given to providing perimeter security for all schools through an effective centralized command center instead of investing in the repair and purchase of separate systems. “The hurricane damaged the island’s communication and lighting systems, a circumstance that promoted intrusions into schools and increased vandalism. We had no visibility of what was happening and we could not find a way to avoid these escalations,” said César González Cordero, Security Commissioner for the Puerto Rico Department of Education. He adds, “However, we could not afford to buy and repair equipment individually for all schools, so a centralized and coordinated effort was necessary.” Based on this context, González said, the proposal was born to begin the process to acquire a video surveillance system for public schools in Puerto Rico, focused on perimeter security. Perimeter security for all schools Genesis Security Services, Inc. of Puerto Rico was selected to develop the perimeter security project for the 856 public schools on the island. This Puerto Rican corporation was founded in 1997 in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico by brothers Roberto and Emilio Morales, who are leaders in security services at the government level. “We have provided security to the Department of Education for more than 15 years through our onsite guard service. That is why we knew the design, location, assets, and vulnerabilities of various educational establishments. This was a great advantage when executing the project,” said Yasel Morales, Technology Director at Genesis. Video system Milestone XProtect video management software supports more than 8,500 security and surveillance devices In October 2018, the installation of cameras and other devices began in all schools. The video system mission control was built inside the Genesis Central Station, located in the Carolina municipality (in the island’s northeast region). Video data from all schools are returned to Central Station, where it is managed with the Milestone Systems XProtect Corporate open platform VMS. Leveraging the power of the open platform, Milestone XProtect video management software supports more than 8,500 security and surveillance devices, and more than 450 software integrations from more than 3,500 technology partners. NVRs, DVRs and cloud solutions Alliance partners include providers of network video cameras, cloud solutions, DVRs and NVRs, servers and storage equipment, alarm and detection systems, video analytics, GPS technology, laser and radar scanners, boxes of emergency calls, and more. “At the Central Station, we have fifteen workstations, with the same number of operators per shift. There we have a video of ten monitors distributed between the stations. Likewise, we have two dispatch centers that serve as backup: one in the municipality of Yauco and the other in San Juan,” Morales explained. Uniview DH-Vision 4-megapixel cameras, audio speakers As part of the project, approximately 10,000 Uniview DH-Vision 4-megapixel cameras were installed in 856 schools (an average of 12 cameras per campus). Audio speakers from Axis Communications and a range of Optex sensors also were integrated. The combination of these technologies made it possible for every school to have an anti-intrusions system with its alerts feeding back to the Central Station. XProtect Express+, Milestone Interconnect Milestone Interconnect connects remote sites for a low-cost video surveillance solution Each campus has a Seneca brand server with the XProtect Express+ software installed. This communicates with the Corporate version at the Central Station through Milestone Interconnect™, a licensing platform that opens a communication channel between different hardware that normally cannot communicate with each other. Milestone Interconnect connects remote sites for a low-cost video surveillance solution. It is the ideal surveillance for a wide variety of industries that want an inexpensive way to get centralized supervision of multiple locations spread across one region. Remote management and monitoring With Milestone Interconnect, engineers and managers can easily monitor critical and remote areas from one central location. This means faster intrusion management because operators in the central system can access the video and receive alarms from remotely connected sites. This reduces the need to have local security personnel, maintenance, operation, and other costs, including visits onsite. Virtual gates Genesis created virtual gates using cameras that protect school spaces and ensure the safety of substations and solar panels, which are considered important assets for institutions. If someone crosses the virtual gate, an alert is generated locally and passed to the Central Station through Interconnect. Operators then make a visual confirmation and, if applicable, the emergency protocol is activated. “The emergency protocol is to contact the Security Commissioner and the Department of Operations. For this liaison, we internally designate an inspector. Once informed, they activate the security officers at the sites, who are trained to give quick responses and inform the police,” said Morales. Identifying suspicious activities Due to the management software, Genesis can easily find any recording of the schools Due to the management software, Genesis can easily find any recording of the schools and send it to the Security Commissioner, who can also receive the alerts directly through an application on his mobile phone. It should be noted that all personnel handling the system, both operators and technicians, have Milestone Systems certifications, which they obtained on the manufacturer’s website. Security Commissioner González explained that the directors and residents of the schools may contact the Central Station if they wish to report any suspicious activity within a school after regular hours. Genesis operations center González also clarified that “if for any reason a school principal requires a recording, he must contact us, and we request the information from the Genesis operations center. This protocol is designed to respect the right to be in a place without feeling guarded at all times, as stipulated in the public policy of Puerto Rico. In total, this system directly benefits almost 400,000 people.” Increased security at a lower cost According to the Security Commissioner, since the first camera was installed, they went from two or three intrusions per day to one or zero. Even in October 2018, they had no record of intrusions. Genesis Security Services, Inc. confirmed that since the system has been operational, there has been a 97% reduction in school intrusions. Reduced physical assaults Video technology has helped dispel theft of property by employees and has helped reduce rates of physical assault Video technology has helped dispel problems such as theft of property by employees and, more importantly, has helped reduce rates of physical assault and bullying among students. These results have helped build trust among Puerto Rican families when they enroll their children in schools. “The system provides agility and precision. It is more efficient and immediate than communicating with a guard who has to enter a facility to verify what is happening. It’s great working with a system that has visibility 24/7 in schools,” said González. Cost savings On the other hand, due to this project, it was possible to reduce the cost of security in schools using technology, one of the main objectives of the Department of Education at the beginning.  “We spent about $25 million annually covering just 250 schools with the guard system, and we had almost 600 schools left unattended. This project gave us the possibility of covering 100% of the public schools in Puerto Rico with the same budget,” González reported. Finally, it is important to note that many of these schools are located in vulnerable places on the island, so the system is also helping the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office to resolve cases that occurred around the educational facilities, and in general to contribute with the welfare of the community. Future projects On behalf of the Department of Education, the Puerto Rican Government is seeking ways to integrate this type of video analytics system with software programs and databases of organizations that advocate for sexual assault victims. “In the future, we want to have a system that is capable of identifying if a sex offender crosses the perimeter in school zones so that we can warn in time,” said González. On the Genesis side, Morales said that the next step with this project would be to develop video analytics for the VMS, not only to give perimeter security but also statistics such as counting people and vehicles. They also plan on integrating access control systems into all schools.
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