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Interview: Vidsys on its CSIM platform and the UAE’s Hassantuk programme

UAE – A Smart and Safe city programme has been launched aimed at reducing the cost of inspecting buildings for more than 150,000 buildings across the UAE. Vidsys, a converged security and information management software (CSIM), provider announced that Injazat Data Systems will employ its CSIM platform as part of the UAE’s Hassantuk programme.

SSN Gulf caught up with Philip Stockham, Vidsys’ Vice President Operations, EMEA, and Injazat Data Systems’ Atif Al Braiki, Director of Strategic Projects, to find out more.

What will Vidsys’ role be in the UAE Hassantuk Programme?

STOCKHAM: Vidsys’ Converged Security & Information Management (CSIM) solution is the central application for the Hassantuk Alarm Receiving Center (ARC). As a key partner, we are supporting the overall design as well as configuration of the CSIM solution aligned to the project objectives.

AL BRAIKI: Vidsys provides a fully integrated, state-of-the-art, public security platform that currently maps, visualises, monitors and manages all fire, life safety and maintenance alarms from connected buildings. It has provided the building block for additional public safety and monitoring services.  

How did the agreement with Injazat Systems come about?

STOCKHAM: Injazat studied the market and selected Vidsys for the CSIM element based on readiness of technology and experience on prior similar projects.

How long will Vidsys’ role in the programme take to implement?

AL BRAIKI: Full configuration, integration and testing will have been completed by March 2018, providing a rich, fully functional platform in a very short period of time. Vidsys will continue to provide support and enhancements throughout the programme

It has been stated that the programme will reduce the cost of inspecting buildings. How will it reduce costs?

STOCKHAM: Via automation, a key tenet of the programme is an Internet of Things approach, this will mean that without human interaction, the ARC will be alerted of health issues around the fire and life safety systems at the connected buildings across the UAE.

How will the platform be monitored? To the layman, it seems like there may be a lot of false alarms which will be time consuming to deal with. Can you briefly explain how the system will work?

STOCKHAM: Vidsys has inbuilt capability to filter or correlate alarms to present to the operator what is relevant for them to act upon.

AL BRAIKI: The system is driven by artificial intelligence. Alarms are automatically filtered into two primary categories – maintenance alarms (previously either not dealt with or considered to be a false alarm) and fire and life safety alarms. All fire and life safety alarms are transferred within milliseconds to a professional team of operators in the ARC. The system auto contacts the listed contact for the premises for a verification. False alarms are logged and the emergency services automatically updated, verified alarms are passed through to the civil defense along with building intelligence, for example, pre-fire plans, HazMat, building use and exact location.

Can you expand on how the alarm receiving centre will work?

AL BRAIKI: The purpose-built ARC will run 24/7, 365 days a year. Shifts of professional operators will handle all fire and life safety alarms, while maintenance alarms are automatically routed to the designated maintenance company and Emirate-wide civil defense teams. The ARC is equipped with the latest technology to allow the operators to fulfil their duties in the most effective and efficient manner.

This is a large-scale programme, with 150,000 buildings involved. Is it the largest you have ever worked on?

STOCKHAM: Vidsys has supported many city, state and even national scale public safety projects. Safe City and projects based upon an Internet of Things approach are a growing area for us globally.

AL BRAIKI: The team at Hassantuk has a significant amount of experience from around the world, including the Middle East, UK, Europe and USA, having worked on the most complex and largest programmes across the world. Hassantuk will be the region’s largest public safety platform.

Can you give examples of the software being successfully used elsewhere?

STOCKHAM: We also support the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, with their central surveillance platform under the Monitoring and Control Center, which is highly relevant to Hassantuk.

I read that the technology could be connected to individual villas? Is this correct? Does this have privacy implications for residents?

AL BRAIKI: The technology is capable of connecting to any system in any building, making it both versatile and scalable. Currently, the law does not include villas, however, Hassantuk can easily accommodate multiple millions of connected devices. There are no privacy implications, only improved safety.