Security Journal UK speaks exclusively with Keith Cornell, CEO of Cloudview and Jamie Allam and Phil Bryant of Amthal Fire & Security.
The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a significant impact on how organisations operate, and with many companies forced to move away from their usual ways of working, cloud-based solutions are now at the forefront of this new digital revolution. Prior to the pandemic, many organisations were a little sceptical and slow in their adoption of cloud-based solutions, and more generally, moving things to the cloud. However, the tide has now shifted and Cloudview’s pioneering cloud-based solutions are very much at the forefront of changing current perceptions of cloud video surveillance technology.
A year on, with COVID-19 restrictions finally being lifted, we are starting to see an increasing number of the UK workforce gradually going back to working from corporate offices again. Cloudview’s new partner, Amthal Fire & Security, is noticing how clients are starting to understand the benefits of cloud-based surveillance much more than they once were – however, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Security Journal UK sat down with Cloudview’s Keith Cornell, Jamie Allam, CEO and Phil Bryant, Key Account Manager of Amthal Fire & Security to discuss how the surveillance market has changed, the objectives of both companies as they strengthen their working partnership and how they are helping organisations to future-proof their security with Cloudview’s CVR solution.
Meeting rising demand
With cloud security still relatively new to the surveillance marketplace, Cloudview are in a strong position to educate and highlight the strong benefits of cloud technology. Cornell believes transparency and education are key to this and are of course some of Cloudview’s key objectives. Cornell said: “Who are Cloudview? You have to look at what our value proposition is. That is something not just important for our partners like Amthal, but also important for Amthal’s customers, the end users.
“We have to ask how that value proposition is well understood by the marketplace, something that ties in with our educational objective. We have to make people aware of what our services are and how Amthal’s value adds to these services. On the manufacturing side, we want them to understand that we are HD and that we are agnostic on cameras.”
Whilst there was a strong demand for Cloudview’s technology prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for remote access to surveillance footage has only escalated the company’s presence in the market. This has also reinforced the working relationship between Cloudview and Amthal. Bryant added: “The demand for Cloudview was strong and that’s why we started the relationship in the first place. I think we can put a lot of that demand down to the ease of connectivity that many of us have become accustomed to.
“Having Cloudview as an option and an upsell as we come out of the pandemic means that having the conversation about how you can access footage from sites, homes and offices has become much easier. I think it is on the rise and I think it will continue to rise.”
Cornell goes on to mention how the complexities of GDPR compliance – paired with the capabilities of cloud-based services – are paving the way for Cloudview’s CVR solution to help organisations future-proof their security. He added: “I think it is a combination of the fear of GDPR combined with the flexibility of cloud services. If we start with the fear aspect, we have to think about how we are all under GDPR now. GDPR compliance is fairly complex and if you are a data controller, you are held accountable for the security of the data.
“This goes back to questions about the cloud and the reasons it is so powerful – future-proofing. You have a very reliant, capable system that is backed up constantly; you are able to be future-proofed because you are able to change the work we are doing with the images on the cloud, in terms of alarming, defining events and role clarity.”
The importance of partnership
With much of Cloudview’s growth spanning from its relationships with end users and integrators, its partnership with Amthal is one of mutual benefit. Cornell explained: “What we have in Amthal, as a partner, is a two-way communication with the market. We are saying, “here is what our product is doing and here is why you as a partner can profit from this relationship”.
“We are listening to feedback and making sure that it is very easy to manage security across multiple sites. Part of our product development is listening to the important points that Amthal is making and then part of it is looking at what we are providing and why we believe it is valuable to them as a partner and to their end users.”
Amthal and Cloudview have just completed a major surveillance systems upgrade project for London-based housing association, Notting Hill Genesis, and the partnership is continuing to blossom; Allam and Bryant emphasised that both companies have very similar target markets and are working to help one another grow. Bryant mentioned: “Our original, mutual partnership with the Notting Hill association has given both of us the opportunity to cross-sell into different workspace sectors.
“We originally started in one sector in that business, with the office services, and now we have moved into housing stock, a much bigger part of that business. It has given us a move over into an area of workspace that we were not selling to.”
Allam continued: “From enterprise value, Cloudview has a technical product, a technical solution, but there is still a certain amount of ongoing care that it needs; things such as maintenance and cleaning, refocussing and relocating cameras. I think the relationship works really well.”
Spreading the word
Working to educate parts of the industry on the advantages of cloud-based video surveillance can be tough, but Cloudview believe that it is an important step in the progression of cloud and leaving technology such as DVR behind. Cornell said: “To me, it’s about moving away from intermediary equipment to pure cloud-based services, getting to where we connect directly to the cameras so that we can then search for particular events and times, something all done off-site and GDPR compliant.
“We are going to start doing panels where we bring these things up with various security groups to make it known that the evolution is already here and that we should get on with it and move to more powerful cloud-based services.”
“I think we have had very few issues, if any, surrounding this concept and solution.” Allam adds. “When we do take it to market we can be confident that it will deliver what we say it will. For us as a business, that gives a lot more confidence and motivation to offer the product as a solution.”
Cornell refers back to the company’s motto, “Simple. Smart. Secure.” as the fundamental benefit of cloud-based video surveillance for end users. “Simple; you can take any hardware, you connect it, it works,” he explained. “Smart; you have got the AI and you have got the ability to search for events. Secure; we talked about the GDPR aspects. It is not visible or sitting on a monitor that any people can walk by or take the hard drive of.”
As Cloudview explores ways of exercising greater control over the events captured by its CVR solution, the company will also be connecting its solution to more and more cameras and will be looking into more efficient ways of converting images into events. In regard to its partnership with Amthal and what the future holds, Cornell concluded: “Amthal is a very important partner to us. At the end of the day, our business is going to thrive if we make their business thrive.”
Allam also stated: “That’s how Cloudview is received within our business as well. It is not a normal relationship with an installer, or an integrator with a manufacturer – it is much more than that. We see it as a big part of our growth and our 12 month plan.”
With cloud technology expected to be a key talking point for visitors attending The Security Event 2021, Cloudview is looking forward to hosting demos and ensuring that its value proposition is understood – and crucially, that cloud-based services begin to be recognised and appreciated by the wider industry.
It is no longer a case of wondering if and when the evolution of CCTV monitoring is coming – it is already here.
This article was originally published in the August edition of Security Journal UK. To get your FREE digital copy, visit: https://digital.securityjournaluk.com