Synectics: integrated surveillance solutions
Visit Synectics at Transport Security Expo 2015 – stand J30
An interview with David Petrook, Commercial Director at Synectics
Q: Will Synectics be exhibiting at Transport Security Expo 2015?
A: Yes, visitors will find us at stand J30 where we will be showcasing our extensive range of solutions for the transport market.
Many providers specialise in individual elements, such as cameras, control solutions, encoders etc., Synectics on the other hand is able to offer end-to-end, turnkey solutions developed to meet the specific needs of the customers we work with. It’s a holistic approach to surveillance and one that sets us apart – it’s why people buy from us.
The Expo will be a great opportunity for us to talk through our capabilities in detail and demonstrate the technology and expertise that makes our offering so unique.
Q: When you’re building a solution for the end client, do you make all the products you include in it yourselves, or do you bring in other suppliers?
A: Our ongoing investment in R&D means we do manufacture and supply many of our own solutions including cameras, servers, encoders, storage, workstations and of course our own command and control platform – Synergy 3.
Importantly though, our strategy is based on partnership and open architecture. A large part of what we do therefore involves integrating third-party products, such as ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), access control, intruder, fire and building management systems to name just a few.
We collaborate with a wide range of manufacturers to ensure our solutions – particularly Synergy 3 – are compatible with the latest technologies using open standards such as ONVIF and OPC where possible. This is important for end-users; the fact our integrated solutions are not prescriptive means they can be confident that they are receiving the best system for their specific application and not a ‘one size fits all’ option.
Q: It’s predominantly surveillance that you provide – cameras and surveying are key here. Am I right?
A: Yes. But actually that is quite a small part of what we do.
What customers really like is our ability to create integrated solutions that enable operators to control their environment, work efficiently, and gain maximum insight from the sources of data accessible to them – video footage is just one data element.
Take a major railway station, for example. What is going to be useful for helping operators to keep staff, passengers and infrastructure safe? A way to monitor footfall and peak traffic areas; a way to evacuate people efficiently in the event of a fire; a way to prioritise feed from specific cameras; a way to automatically open or close access to areas; a way to notify police quickly if threats are detected; a way to detect suspicious behaviour or left items and guide operators in an appropriate response.
The answer is all these things and more. Our integrated command and control solution pulls all these strands together in a single unified environment to deliver that answer.
Q: The markets that you work across include banking, critical infrastructure, gaming, marine, oil and gas, public space and transportation. Quite a few of these are relevant to the Transport Security Expo. What can you tell me about these?
A: We do a lot of work in the maritime sector, particularly in association with the oil and gas markets, for example developing solutions for LNG carriers and FPSOs. Our COEX range of camera stations designed to withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions are particularly important to this market.
At the other end of the marine scale, we also work with a number of cruise line operators to keep passengers and crew safe and maintain security around ship operations and gaming activity for on-board casinos.
At the Transport Security Expo, however, we will be focusing more on our integrated surveillance solutions for critical national infrastructure, transportation and public space.
Recent projects that demonstrate our expertise in these sectors include Jakarta Airport and a major German mainline station.
Earlier this year Jakarta airport selected our Synergy 3 command and control platform as the integrated airport security and safety management solution for its new terminal building. Our solution will see integration with intelligent video analytics, access control, fire detection, baggage x-ray scanners and CCTV. For the mainline station we’ve developed a system designed to help manage the flow of people across the site. They are both very interesting projects and very reflective of the type of work we do.
Q: Synectics is a global company, operating in a global environment. You have your Headquarters and offices in the UK, but also run offices in the Middle East, America and Singapore. You have a German office too, that covers Europe. Are there any parts of the world that you’re seeing a lot more interest from right now?
A: Indonesia and the Middle East are two important growth areas for us right now, particularly in terms of transport infrastructure.
Although it may seem quite small geographically, Indonesia has some of the most densely populated cities in the world. Projects there – particularly relating to public space or transport links – are therefore on a large scale. They have to be. The ability to manage and understand huge volumes of information is very important.
In the Middle East, security is still a top priority for many organisations. The fact that our solutions can integrate with so many high performance third party security solutions has strong appeal to this market.
Q: I’d like to talk about you now, David. You only recently joined the company as Commercial Director; could you tell me a bit more about your experience?
A: Yes, I joined Synectics in June. I’ve been in the security industry for nearly 30 years, starting out in distribution and then moving into manufacturing. I’ve worked for companies like Verint, NICE and, more latterly, DVTEL. My background is in large-scale video management systems for large infrastructure projects.
Q: Synectics invests a lot of time and money in shows and events around the world, as might be expected. Why have you decided to spend money, time, energy and resources in exhibiting at the Transport Security Expo in London? What is it about this show that particularly appeals?
A: Transportation is an important sector for us – across the Synectics group we have a broad service offering in this field. We want to attend exhibitions that enable us to meet the right people and showcase that offering in the best way possible. The Transport Security Expo meets that brief.
One key consideration for us is that it’s closely linked to ADS and UKTI. There’s a very large government backing for the exhibition in terms of encouraging inward interest from around the world. People from airports, ports, railway buildings etc. are being encouraged to come to the UK and see for themselves what UK companies have to offer.
We export our solutions all over the world and Transport Security Expo creates a platform for us to tell everybody that.
Q: Synectics will be giving a presentation at Transport Security Expo. What will this be about and who will be presenting it?
A: Our presentation will be given by one of our business development managers, Chris Bishop. He has been working successfully on our Jakarta Airport project and will be presenting a case study on this, focussing on physical security integration and the benefits of adopting a single command and control platform to unify site systems in order to achieve heightened situational awareness. He’s also going to cover future technologies and the direction our industry is taking.
Q: You also do a lot of work with the bus and coach market. Is that a key growth area for you?
A: We’ve had a huge amount of success with this sector – this year we actually celebrated our 25th anniversary serving the bus and coach industry. Go Ahead and National Express are among our customers.
We have a dedicated service offering for bus and coach operators but, as I mentioned earlier, we also have extensive experience in developing solutions for static sites e.g. fixed cameras on railway platforms. Our broader public space offering – often spanning whole cities – means we are ideally suited to tie all these elements together.
Imagine that a thief snatches a bag just before getting off a bus and in the process knocks over and injures a pensioner. He runs round a corner and is quickly out of sight. He then continues to the nearby station where he boards a train. In just 20 minutes he is miles away from the incident leaving a theft and an assault behind.
Our surveillance offering for the transportation market would enable that individual to be tracked from scene of crime to his end destination.