A High Profile Solution

The Challenge
Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As a fast growing business, managing large camera networks and mitigating risks across multi sites in a timely manner posed new challenges. To continue being at the forefront of operating safe and secure retail and leisure environments, Majid Al Futtaim realized a need to modernize their current, outdated, analog surveillance infrastructure.

 

The Solution
With the open platform approach of Milestone, Majid Al Futtaim now has a flexible and scalable solution that works with the widest range of camera manufacturers and can easily integrate best-in-class technologies from eco-system partners to solve any new demands or challenges that may arise. Following a comprehensive vetting process, Majid Al Futtaim chose a complete security and video surveillance solution consisting of Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS at its core with Axis topof-the-range cameras and Pivot 3 hyper converged server infrastructure for optimal storage. In 2014, iCetana’s dynamic live monitoring system was added to help offset the challenges of actively monitoring their large camera networks and enable their security providers with a real-time assessment and response capability.

 

Advantages
Milestone XProtect Corporate allows Majid Al Futtaim to operate the entire surveillance solution from a single management interface in the UAE. Being able to access all the sites from one location, the shopping mall operations team can view security cameras from their offices, enhancing optimization of operations. Other relevant parties can also leverage the information directly from mobile clients enabling more efficient administration overall. Operational costs related to the hardware, servers and cameras have been reduced from 23 percent to 7 percent.

 

Organization
Majid Al Futtaim

Location
Middle East and North Africa

Industry Segment
Retail

Milestone Partner(s)
Axis
Pivot3
iCetana
Solution
XProtect Corporate

Number of cameras
Close to 10,000 cameras, across 30 properties, in 5 countries

 

 

Background
Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Dubai, Majid Al Futtaim has had several CCTV surveillance systems from various manufacturers installed at their malls over the past 20 years. Always at the forefront of innovation, in 2012 Majid Al Futtaim realized it was time to search for a solution that would enable them to operate a seamless, totally integrated video surveillance platform, across all locations.

 

Multi-Site Operations
As video surveillance systems are becoming increasingly complex and technically sophisticated, the UAE and municipal policies require surveillance solutions installed in public locations meet stringent requirements for reliability, availability and zerofault tolerance.

In 2012 Majid Al Futtaim began a system renewal initiative; a standardization of systems with vendors and technologies across all sites to improve the efficiency and management of their security infrastructure. The sheer size of the operation with multiple sites across several countries and more than a thousand cameras at some sites created a number of challenges that Majid Al Futtaim had to address. In addition to this, the UAE law stipulates secure storage of data for a minimum of 31 days, zero image loss and downtime. Capturing, protecting and mobilizing massive amounts of critical, sensitive data was, therefore, vital.

Another challenge from the growing video surveillance network was to ensure the capability of actively monitoring hundreds or thousands of cameras while minimizing data overload and fatigue in human operators. In the security surveillance industry, studies have proven that even the most well trained operators struggle at focusing intensely and making judgments on a vast amounts of visual data for long periods of time. The longer an operator is assigned to monitoring multiple video screens the less number of events they notice which can lead to missed events, and events identified “after the fact” or in post event review mode. Furthermore, most large sites (over 300 cameras) can only physically display one-third of the cameras on their surveillance network at any point in time.

 

World-Class Solution
Majid Al Futtaim wanted a state-of-the-art security solution that could meet their needs, yet advance and grow with them as the business develops. Known as a leader in adopting cutting-edge technologies and innovations to provide world-class infrastructure across its mall portfolio, Majid Al Futtaim initiated the search for the optimal video surveillance solution.

Continually looking to maximize the impact from their investment, they decided to deal directly with best-of-breed manufacturers for every single part of the surveillance system. By creating their own robust test environment, they began an intensive vetting process with leading security manufacturers. Milestone XProtect Corporate VMS, a powerful IP video management software designed for large-scale and highsecurity deployments was evaluated through extensive tests over four months. Six camera manufacturers were tested for performance, image and bandwidth.

Today Majid Al Futtaim runs a world-class video surveillance infrastructure with close to 10.000 cameras across 30 properties in five different countries, all federated directly into the UAE from Oman, Bahrain and Egypt. Majid Al Futtaim in Beirut, Lebanon will be joining in next year.

 

Effective Security Operations
To address the challenges with ongoing security monitoring operations, Majid Al Futtaim undertook extensive testing of iCetana’s dynamic live monitoring at two locations in the region. iCetana’s system makes live video monitoring operations more manageable and enables operators to immediately respond to exceptional security, safety and operational events before they escalate. The system automatically monitors live-video feeds to self-learn what normally happens on each camera view. It then instantly highlights operators to any “unusual” events as they occur inside the mall. As a result, operators are more engaged and able to focus on those events, enabling assessment in real-time and initiate immediate response.

iCetana’s system has significantly increased operators’ effectiveness and the Milestone XProtect VMS system helps enhance overall resource allocation in the security administration. Majid Al Futtaim can now much more effectively deploy appropriate security measures and resources to deal with offenders, ultimately providing a secure and safe shopping mall environment for its visitors, clients and staff.

 

Improved System Performance
The system performance is greatly improved with an uptime of 100% and zero image loss. This is probably the most important benefit as the government will impose heavy fines should a company not live up to the statutory regulations.

Pivot3’s industry-leading, high availability servers ensures Majid Al Futtaim systems never drop a frame or lose video data and are resilient enough to handle the latest developments in video surveillance such as 4k video and 360-degree cameras. Even during peak loads or multiple failure events, the system continues to maintain optimal performance levels.

 

Benefits
The system performance is greatly improved with an uptime of 100% and zero image loss. Operational costs related to the hardware, servers and cameras have been reduced from 23 percent to 7 percent. Real-time response capability helps make overall security operations more effective by immediately identifying risks. Today there are approximately 10-12 incidents actioned per 300 cameras.

 

About Majid Al Futtaim
Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 15 international markets, employing more than 33,000 people, and achieving the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the Middle East.

Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 20 shopping malls, 12 hotels and three mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, City Centre malls, and also four community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company holds exclusive rights to the Carrefour franchise in 38 markets across Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, and operates a portfolio of more than 160 outlets in 15 countries.

Majid Al Futtaim operates 191 VOX Cinema screens and 23 Magic Planet family entertainment centres across the region, in addition to iconic leisure and entertainment facilities such as Ski Dubai and iFly Dubai, among others. The Company is parent to the consumer finance company issuing ‘Najm’ and “Voyager” credit cards, a fashion retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, AllSaints and lululemon athletica, and a healthcare business that operates City Centre Clinics. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management. The Company also owns the rights to The LEGO Store in the Middle East and operates in the food and beverage industry through a partnership with Gourmet Gulf.
www.majidalfuttaim.com

 

About iCetana
iCetana® has developed and patented an innovative dynamic live monitoring solution that enables a more effective approach to the monitoring of video surveillance networks. The solution provides operators with an immediate opportunity to assess and action safety, security, operational events in real-time. This mode of operation enables proactive risk management in order to protect people, property, and brand. It has proven itself in market segments such as shopping malls, mass public transport, city surveillance, and university campuses.
www.icetana.com

 

About Pivot3
Pivot3 is the world’s leading provider of dynamic hyper converged solutions and predictable flash storage. Pivot3’s patented solutions dramatically improve data center simplicity and economics by increasing scale-out performance, driving down complexity and cost, saving an extraordinary amount of disk and physical space and ensuring fault tolerance. With Pivot3’s unique Quality of Service and Virtualization Management capabilities, customers are able to prioritize data and application performance based on business value. Today, Pivot3 has more than 2,000 customers around the world deploying more than 16,000 hyper converged infrastructures in multiple industries such as video surveillance, healthcare, government, transportation, entertainment, education, gaming and retail. The company has won numerous awards and was most recently featured by CRN in their top 50 Virtualization list.
www.pivot3.com

 

About Axis
Axis offers intelligent security solutions that enable a smarter, safer world. As the market leader in network video, Axis is driving the industry by continually launching innovative network products based on an open platform – delivering high value to customers through a global partner network. Axis has long-term relationships with partners and provides them with knowledge and ground-breaking network products in existing and new markets. Axis has more than 2,100 dedicated employees in more than 50 countries around the world, supported by a global network of over 80,000 partners.
www.axis.com

 

 

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