By: Mr. Syed Buddel Mansoor, Business Development Manager, Milestone Systems, India
As businesses slowly reopen in phases across the country and employees return to work, organizations are facing a new set of challenges beyond traditional security. Administrations of public facilities and commercial spaces are under pressure to modify and manage these spaces to comply with new COVID-19 safety standards.
Safety Regulations beyond Traditional Security
These are some of the most basic techniques that are being universally employed to maintain COVID-19 safety norms as countries around the world begin to ease restrictions. In the short term, these work well, but if these norms are to become long-term, they will require technological intervention. Consider the following activities:
- People Counting
- Access Control
- Social Distancing
- Queue Management
- One-way Routes
These activities go beyond the core functions of security monitoring and will be unable to sustain long term without the use of technology. No doubt, there are a plethora of solutions available in the market to address this; some are existing hardware technologies and software solutions which are now being rebranded; others are new kids-on-the-block. But the chief concern for decision makers would be how does one integrate existing applications with these new ones without incurring a heavy cost.
This is where the open platform video management software (VMS) provides an answer. A VMS can easily integrate standalone technologies, applications and devices, such as those used for crowd monitoring, heat mapping, managing automated doors, etc.
From using people counting analytics to verified access control, open VMSs allow for limitless integration and hold a wealth of potential. IP video also helps retailers capture and understand valuable business data such as footfall, people movement, performance benchmarks, as well as product attraction and conversion.
These solutions will become necessary for creating a safe workplace for the workforce to return.
Revamping Legacy Security Infrastructure
Most businesses today have existing technology installations. Often, these are a combination of proprietary standalone systems to meet different security requirements such as perimeter security, access control cards, and burglar alarms. There are many grey areas when it comes to the ease of incorporating new safety standards in legacy security frameworks. This is especially true for existing public and commercial environments, especially hospitals, critical infrastructure, transportation and educational institutions.
In order to integrate new safety regulations with the legacy framework, it is best to look at a brand-agnostic open platform which can integrate different solutions and devices. Such a flexible platform can also be easily scaled up. For example, few of the most serious concerns today are proximity detection, mask detection and thermal screening as safety regulations which are key factors in mitigating potential risks of disease transmission.
An open video management platform can integrate with video analytics for people counting and crowd management to trigger alerts for fast response or to modify work procedures. Thus, an open platform can provide a scalable solution to address physical distancing.
Creating new customer experiences in the long run
Beyond the basic functions of security monitoring and recording, video technology can offer myriad functions that can help businesses further their outcomes. Assuming with diminishing numbers of COVID-19, there will be relaxations in the current hygiene norms in public places. In such a scenario, technologies aiding the prevention of the COVID-19 spread now can help in creating new customer experiences in the long run.
For example, video technology can help in learning customer behaviour and improve the physical retail experience. Distance detection can be used to obtain information about customer density inside a store. This can be used to ensure customers always move freely in a store without crowds.
Many retailers are looking at introducing online experiences in their brick-and-mortar establishments. The aim is to help customers find relevant information on products; locate segments and items, etc.
Video analytics can help improve operations in activities such as deployment of staff, product display, and monitoring footfall and customer movement around the store. Businesses can therefore easily identify hotspots inside establishments and create the most effective routes for easy movement.
Improvement of business outcomes
As the pandemic brought about a global change in security norms, we transition into a new age where old strategies of security management are fast becoming obsolete. For organizations to embrace the new, it is therefore important to work with open, scalable and customized security solutions that can easily incorporate the fast-changing norms and requirements of today.