Security MEA speaks to Costa Boukouvalas, the CEO of AgilityGrid and Laura Boukouvalas, the Marketing Director at AgilityGrid, about the surveillance solutions market in the Middle East
Tell us about AgilityGrid’s presence in the region.
Laura Boukouvalas: We are a solutions provider based out of Dubai, UAE and we deliver IP-based CCTV security solutions for businesses and government bodies across the GCC region. We also have some representation in South Africa.
We work a lot with law enforcement agencies, government sector, retail, hospitality, hospitals, and education. We work with a number of system integrators and we also work directly with some end users, based on the project size. We recently also announced the opening of our training center of excellence that will provide certification to our channel partners.
Which brands do you represent in the region?
Laura Boukouvalas: So, we work with a wide range of brands in the region. We recently signed our partnership with Intransa for the entire Middle East region. They do excellent high performance storage solutions for surveillance-based workstations. We are involved in solution design and providing surveillance infrastructure from end to end.
Some of the other vendors we work with include Doo Technologies for camera simulation software; Cathexis and Milestone for Video Management Systems; Seagate for enterprise hard disk drives; Hikvision, Avigilon, and IDIS for cameras; Viakoo for Performance Monitoring Software; Snap for surveillance camera tracking software; and Herta for facial recognition software.
How has your partnership with Intranza worked out?
Costa Boukouvalas: The partnership with intranza was dormant for a while but it has been working in the background because of a lot of OEM relationships. they have been building hardware for a lot of vendors. they have a lot of expertise in the area they operate in. they understand the market better than anyone. They are doing lots of innovation in terms of software solutions especially for systems that consist of hundreds of cameras spread across a huge area.
A project that started with say 100 cameras is now a 500 camera project because of regulations that need coverage of each and every corner. So if a room needed one camera previously, it now needs four cameras and you need to have a proper software solution in place in order to handle all that data efficiently. In that space, Intranza does a very good job.
What sort of trends have you seen in the regional surveillance solutions market?Laura Boukouvalas: Video analytics is a growing area in the surveillance sector in this region. This is especially true in areas that have large camera installations such as at government buildings and certain big private companies. What companies are coming to realise is that it requires a lot of management to manage an instal base of 1000 or 2000 cameras. They need to manage such systems effectively and optimally, because there may be a room for human error if you only rely on the operator.
How is surveillance data handled in this region?
Costa Boukouvalas: Many governments and companies in this region follow the EU way of GDPR compliance. This is because they want to be abreast with what is happening in other parts of the world in order to stay innovative. Many governments are saying that the data that is collated through these solutions needs to be handled by their own local team. Many of them are moving the data off to a local data center such as those run by Injazat. This will get even stricter with all ministries and agencies adopting policies as to how such critical data is handled.