Tucked away on the south-west coast of Finland, set a few kilometres back from the stunning archipelago coast on the edge of Finland’s fifth largest city, Turku, is one of the security industry’s best kept secrets.
Teleste is a manufacturer and complete solution provider that probably most of our readers have come into contact with in some way or another without even knowing it.
Solution providers for Virgin Media, BT Redcare, SNCF in France, The Chicago Transit Authority, Hong Kong Area Traffic Control, London Underground, Mexican Subway, St Petersberg Pulkovo Airport, the US Secret Service and Queensland Police are just a few names on their impressive project list.
In fact, Teleste currently has a large-scale solution deployed on every continent across the globe less Antarctica.
Now in its 60th year, Teleste was established in 1954 in Finland and today has 30 offices worldwide and some 1,300 employees, helping make Teleste one of the top video surveillance solution providers in the world. The company has been providing IP solutions since 1999/2000 when it delivered a digital IP-driven network solution to the Swedish road authorities – probably a world first.
In an exclusive interview and briefing, Johan Slotte, Teleste’s Deputy CEO, gave Philip Ingram an overview of Teleste’s activities and plans.
“Teleste focuses on two customer groups, network operators and security operators and we ourselves provide products and services,” Slotte said. “We have taken a lot of care to examine our markets in detail and our focus is primarily on what we describe as ultra high end (tens of thousands of cameras networked into one system) and high end (from hundreds to thousands of cameras networked) systems.”
With Teleste’s output being solution focused, integration with projects from the early planning stages is paramount and it has shown its true worth on many large scale projects, such as a distributed IP video solution around Chicago for the Chicago Transport Authority, and a country-wide federated national video security monitoring system for SNCF with over 13,000 live cameras.
When asked how Teleste approached its relationships with customers at such a high level, Slotte explained, “Teleste does not want to just sell a product or solution to a customer. Our ethos is to build up a long term, long lasting relationship and this has been proven in the very many large scale projects we have been and are involved in.”
Looking at trends Slotte outlined that, “An increasing requirement with any solution is the ability to bring all of the information together. The Teleste approach to this is though our patent pending Command and Capture product that has the capability of handling multiple systems through one interface and can easily and rapidly integrate third party systems into one user interface. This benefits all by allowing very fast and cost-effective integration of all systems into one.”
When asked if this was Teleste’s future as a video security systems provider, Slotte said, “We know where we are today and have planned where we are going out to 2017 in detail. We are a global software company that provides system solutions. We have an evolving strategy ensuring we will be recognised globally as the technical integrator of large security solutions for the public sector. We will remain focused on what we call the ultra high-end and high-end markets as other companies providing similar activities focus on the middle ground.”
He went on to say, “Teleste has been an integrator for large projects for many years with the Chicago Transport Authority or the Paris Prefecture de Police being key examples of complex, geographically large public private networks based on a Teleste System. These prove we design scalability in from the beginning of a project and our solutions therefore have no limits.”
Teleste’s business areas are wide ranging and include rail, road, airport, public space, security, military, utilities, industry, and intelligent home. They are one of only nine Finnish based companies with the International Railway Industry Standard (IRIS) certification from Loyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), giving them a real edge on major rail infrastructure projects.
Technological development remains an important part of Teleste’s activities, and it has developed a security system that integrates the on-board systems with the infrastructure for the Chicago transport Authority, allowing seamless wireless passage of data from the trains to the stations. Slotte explained that this is something that was not technically possible until recently and is easier if you can control the core technologies, for example video, which is well within Teleste’s control.
So, the message Philip Ingram has gained from meeting Teleste on its home turf is that it is different to others in the market. Different in that for such a successful technical integrator for such high level projects it is still a relatively unknown entity. Different in that not many will realise that Teleste was one of the first to produce an IP based network solution – 14 years ago. Different in its vision for the future with a clear strategy to develop cost effective solutions able to operate across a number of different verticals at any scale and integrate together – building the future.
However, what really marks it out as different its Scandinavian philosophy with an understated way of building lifelong relationships, not just selling a product or capability. Teleste’s track record is second to none, proving what it can do in the most difficult of circumstances for the most complex projects and its ability to provide the Right Picture, at the Right Place, at the Right Time.