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Innovation is the name of the game
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Innovation is the name of the game

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The safety and security market is a dynamic and fast growing one, defined by cutting-edge products and solutions that get launched in the market on a regular basis. Perhaps, nowhere has AI manifested its impact more profoundly than in this sector, with companies constantly innovating and experimenting, to stay ahead. In this interview, Prateek Verma, Sales Director (MEA Region), Vantage Integrated Security Systems (VISS), speaks to Anita Joseph about the company, its products and services, the safety and security landscape, growth strategy AI, and much more.

Prateek Verma, Sales Director (MEA Region), Vantage Integrated Security Systems

Give us an overview of your company, and tell us how AI has been helping you stay ahead of the game?
Vantage Integrated Security Systems (VISS) is a 30-year old, UK-based company that has the largest global portfolio of safety and security products. We began our MEA region operations in 2014 through our office in Dubai. Today, we have an impressive list of clients in the region and have been executing key projects across key sectors. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a game changer and in today’s world where there are endless factors threatening public and personal safety AI has helped our company align its thought process and every action to make sure safety and security comes first. Indeed, AI is taking the world by storm, and we have spared no efforts to incorporate the latest trends into our portfolio of products as well. We use AI to offer a host of ‘smart services’ and customize the needs of our clients, making sure they are able to monitor people, places and assets important to them, anytime, anywhere.

How is AI transforming your product line and what advantages does it bring, to your range of offerings?
AI has made things smart, more efficient and cost-effective. Earlier, our safety and security products, like everyone else’s, used to be very basic, but AI continues to considerably enhance the range and potential of these products. For instance, our range of CCTVs used to have a separate software earlier. These would be integrated with traditional systems on a licensed basis and provide a basic set of services and functions. But now, our CCTV camera range comes equipped with futuristic features such as intuition detection, object identification face detection, emotion capture, and face comparison technology, all integrated within the products themselves. These provide 100 percent accuracy and quick results, all thanks to AI.

Who are some of your key clients in the UAE and what are some of the major projects that you have executed in the country/region?
Some of our key clients in the country include RTA, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Health, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), McDonald’s, Hilton Hotels, RAK Port, University of Sharjah, Emaar, Novo Cinemas, Belhasa Group, British Petroleum and Dubai Hospital, to name a few. Our list of projects is growing and ongoing with these companies and I wouldn’t want to get into the details here. However, I would like to tell you about some of the key projects we have executed in Saudi Arabia, one of the largest regional markets. We have over 27,000 cameras installed in Mecca, which covers the vicinity of the Holy Mosque, and also the adjoining Abraj Al Bait, which houses some huge, large-scale hotels. We also have our cameras fitted in one of Riyadh’s largest malls. All of these cameras have 100 per cent accurate alerts and alarms, facial recognition technology and movement capture features incorporated into them.

Apart from CCTV cameras, what are some of your other products?
Like I said earlier, we have the largest global portfolio of safety and security products and solutions-CCTV cameras are just the tip of the iceberg. We have smart biometric access control systems which have transformed from basic fingerprint scanning, to even facial and Iris recognition of faces that have been disguised and disfigured. We also have high definition analog solutions, smart home solutions, IP Cameras, in-store and back office solutions, digital and network video recorders, vehicle cameras, single door standalone controllers, multiple door controllers, entrance control systems, people entrance management systems such as turnstile gates, vehicle entrance management systems such as boom barriers and parking management systems, to name a few. All our products are growing and evolving and we are constantly innovating and reinventing to stay on top of the game.

How would you rate the UAE market for smart safety and security solutions? And how would you describe the completion in this market today?
UAE, especially Dubai, is a ‘smart’ market, and there is a tremendous focus on the safety, security and well-being of its residents. For this purpose, the authorities and private sector companies in the country spare no effort to install the latest and the best products and solutions. Earlier this was a niche market, but now it has become a highly commercial segment, with plenty of players around. So I would describe the competition in this market as fierce, especially with cheaper Chinese safety and security products also becoming widely available. The players in this sector have to constantly experiment, innovate and be cost-effective, to stay ahead of the game. In this context, Vantage has this unique aspect of being extremely cost-effective and catering to a wide variety of budgets and tastes. We have over 35 service partners in the UAE itself and have made our mark as a company of choice.

You mentioned cost-effective. How cost-effective are your products?
We have products and solutions ranging from AED 50 (for basic security products), to huge, complicated military installations costing around AED 90,000 per unit. Our home products are extremely budget friendly. For instance, our smart Wi-Fi video doorbell for homes costs around AED 300. It all depends on the kind of product and the type of requirement, but I can assure you, we have something for everyone. Safety and security products and solutions are no longer expensive and difficult to install, and we are pioneers in making sure our customers are safe and secure in every sense.

What is your growth strategy? And how do you propose to maintain your market lead?
Our customers are our focus and inspiration and our products and solutions are tailored to suit every safety and security need of theirs. Our market strategy has always been to introduce products and solutions that connect with customers, both industrial and residential, and hence increase visibility. We have also managed to position ourselves as a company that is equally concerned about the safety of individual residents as well as large organizations. In fact, we have an entire range of smart home solutions that are pocket-friendly, compact and easy to install.

How do you envision the future of this sector? Where are we headed?
That’s an interesting question. Technology is changing by the minute, so those safety and security products that are cutting-edge and relevant today, will become redundant tomorrow. Even in terms of cost, what is expensive today, will become cheap in future. Cloud is huge today, a game changer, and there’s no saying what it’s capable of. The future is exciting, unpredictable and loaded with promise and opportunities.

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