security-camera

SCSI changes the game

SCSI’s new and innovative 4G, DirectConnect and DirectWireless monitoring services, bring together a magnitude of vastly improved communication solutions for the security industry.

DirectConnect is a secure and reliable 4G Fixed IP Sim service that connects field devices such as CCTV, Access Control, BMS, Medical or any IP device via a VPN connection. 

DirectConnect is deployed through a standard 4G router that connects to SCSI’s private and secure network. This enables the 4G router to have a fixed IP address at all times, removing the inconvenience of having to visit the site to reconfigure hardware should the network allocate another IP address to the device as is typically the case. Users can connect to their sites via the web, Software GUI, Android or IOS devices once they connect to their VPN.

Central Monitoring Stations can easily connect to remote CCTV equipment to carry out Video Verification on alarms as well as offering Virtual Guard Tours to increase revenue, reduce false callout fees and improve customer service.

As DirectConnect is an easy deployable solution that only requires a 4G router, it often means IT Departments don’t need to be involved. Whether you are looking to remotely monitor a building site with no infrastructure, have a location that doesn’t allow video or security data over their networks, or, require a low cost remotely managed network solution, then DirectConnect is a solution for you.

With flexible data rates on a month to month basis or fixed term contracts, DirectConnect really is a solution for all.

DirectWireless delivers high grade wireless alarm monitoring to over 95% of the Australian population and is ideal for high risk sites, as well as a ready option for most new or existing alarm systems that rely on traditional PSTN phone lines for communications. 

Unlike traditional dialler based monitoring across regular telephone (PSTN), radio or mobile phone services, DirectWireless does not suffer from network congestion or in any way share the public telephone network. This means that it does not share its network with systems such as traditional telephones, faxes or ADSL/DSL services and therefore can not be tampered with by hackers over PSTN internet type connections. DirectWireless is a totally secure IP wireless network dedicated for alarm monitoring only. There is no public access to the DirectWireless network and best of all, there are no phone lines to cut.

DirectWireless replaces this outdated expensive approach, and it provides a secure wireless IP alarm transmission system available with a running cost comparable to most PSTN dialler alarm systems. By connecting your alarms to one of the many authorized DirectWireless central monitoring stations, you can turn your investment into a far more effective security system.

DirectWireless is designed to meet AS2201.5-1992 Class 2, 3 and 4 alarm transmission systems, and interfaces to any standard alarm control panel, the product is perfect for any installation and provides a high level of wireless security.

‘Always On’ alarm monitoring

DirectWireless is a dedicated, wireless communications solution for alarm monitoring only. It reports all alarm, operational status, and event messages reliably, securely, and instantly to the alarm monitoring service provider any time and any place an alarm event occurs.

DirectWireless not only permanently connects your alarm to your monitoring service provider, but also regularly checks and tests the status of your alarm interface every 90 seconds or 24 hours depending on the service plan chosen.

This helps to detect any breaks between your alarm system and your central monitoring station. In the event of an actual incident, alarm messages are instantly transmitted across the DirectWireless network and acknowledged by your central monitoring station ensuring an immediate response.

fibre-optic-nbn

The facts about NBN and how it effects business

With the NBN now rolling out to different parts of the country there seems to be more confusion than ever before on how the NBN will effect business. Some of this confusion has surfaced due to the different rollout plans for domestic and business and some from misinformation being circulated by dubious business attempting to panic business customers into immediate action.

Here are the facts:

  • The NBN is a Federal Government initiative which aims to provide Australians with access to high speed broadband. The project is expected to be completed in roughly 2021.

Under the initiative, fibre to the premises will be rolled out, on a region-by-region basis, to 93% of Australia’s premises, while the remaining 7% will be served by either fixed wireless or satellite technologies.

  • NBN Co is responsible for the process of connecting fibre services to the NBN
  • Copper services will be phased out and eventually disconnected where NBN has been connected.
  • Residential grade products must be migrated to the NBN within 18mths of NBN being made available.
  • Business grade copper products are not currently scheduled for disconnection but when this scheduling begins, they will get 36mths to migrate to NBN.
  • Copper services will no longer be available for purchase where NBN is now available.
  • Telstra’s Migration Plan provides wholesalers with control over the timing of the migration of their end users’ services to the NBN.
  • Copper customers will be able to lodge orders to cancel services at any time before the required disconnection date.
What are your business options when NBN arrives?
  1. Keep your current phone system (if its VOIP capable) and add a NBN VOIP gateway.
  2. Upgrade to a VOIP phone system
  3. Move to a hosted solution
  4. If you have an existing ISDN/VOIP service, relax, there is no current need to do anything
Introduction of Traffic Classes

A key capability of the NBN is the introduction of four traffic classes to improve quality of service for RSPs targeted retail offerings. What this means is traffic for telephone calls, IPTV, gaming or business applications, including health and education, may be allocated to the appropriate traffic class, given priority and managed across the network to ensure there is a satisfactory customer experience.

The four traffic classes are described by NBN Co in the Ethernet bitstream fact sheet:

Traffic Class 1 (TC-1). Our highest priority traffic class. It is delivered as a committed information rate (CIR) with defined latency, jitter and loss characteristics. It is suitable for applications that require highly deterministic traffic parameters such as voice.

Traffic Class 2 (TC-2). A traffic class that provides support for latency sensitive, interactive applications such as video conferencing, converged business collaboration, IPTV or gaming. It is delivered as a committed information rate (CIR) with defined latency, jitter and loss characteristics.

Traffic Class 3 (TC-3). A traffic class designed to give priority to transactional data such as business applications running on a WAN. It is delivered as a committed information rate (CIR) with defined latency, jitter and loss characteristics.

Traffic Class 4 (TC-4). Our ‘best efforts” traffic class is designed for browser based applications such as the internet and web browsing. It is delivered in a range of peak speeds (PIR) that are asymmetrical.

FTTB Vs FTTN

NBN Co’s FTTB Ethernet bitstream service will support traffic class management, however, there are several important limitations identified in Section 6 of the FTTB product technical specification.

The first limitation is that only TC-1, TC-2 and TC-4 are available for FTTB at this time. What this means is that potential high value business applications are not being supported and this limits what RSPs can offer and restricts the possibility of new innovative solutions being developed by Australian business for the global digital economy.

Another limitation is that FTTB will provide a very limited number of connection speeds and yes, the connection speeds are identified as ‘up to’ meaning that you could be paying for the fastest plan available which is likely to be marketed as providing “up to 100/40 Mbps” and get only 25/5 Mbps.

So what this all means is the average customer will get a very minor speed upgrade to the existing ADSL and the greater majority of customers will continue to get “best effort” traffic with low upstream speeds and because of high prices the benefits of traffic class management and improved quality of service will fail to appear.

Unfair pricing

NBN Co has introduced an unfair pricing structure in the latest revision of its product price list. FTTN/B are sold as ‘up to’ services, in other words, you get “up to 100/40 Mbps”. With FTTP you get 100/40 Mbps precisely.

The question that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) must answer is why should NBN customers pay the same for FTTN/B as FTTP? And there can only be one answer to this question. Customers should pay for what they get and most Australians on FTTN/B will not get anywhere near the connection speeds of FTTP for the same pricing tier.

Sources: 

MARK GREGORY, Technology Spectator
NBN Co.
Telstra
Optus

data-server

10 trends shaping the future of conferencing

The Conferencing services market is estimated to grow by 23% in the next seven years (2014-2021). The exponential growth will be spurred by high growth rates in visual communications and collaboration, growth of virtual teams, cost reduction and productivity enhancements. Thanks to the guys at EZTalk this list is based on research conducted on more than 20 of the leading conferencing-services providers.

1. User Experience is Key

Long gone are the days when only tech-savvy individuals could operate the latest technology. Simpler and more aesthetically pleasing interfaces are now a key factor for virtual teams before they agree to acquire a web conferencing service. A more-intuitive user experience is now more important than ever and will continue to be a major consideration. Video and audio conferencing tools should be well designed to meet the needs of the end user enabling even novices to adapt easily to the technology.

2. Mobile-First Strategies are Coming of Age

The emergence of powerful, affordable and reliable smart phones has shifted the attention of the entire world towards mobile. Web conferencing services have not been left behind. Some conferencing service providers have reported that mobile conferencing apps account for 60% of their customer base this gives a clear indication that the Smartphone revolution should not be taken lightly and will continue to drive the growth of video and audio conferencing services.

3. Company-Wide Conferencing

Firms are now actively deploying video and audio conferencing services for their entire workforce. The growth of this trend is attributed to active-host and full-deployment models and affordability of the service. This trend will only continue to grow as more and more companies realize the benefits of conferencing services.

4. VolP is Replacing PSTN

The traditional PSTN networks have served us well but VolP is increasingly becoming the go-to solution for conferencing calls. This is a natural transition and the growth of VolP traffic is expected to lower the average selling prices in the years to come.

5. Web Conferencing is becoming a Collaborative Platform

Enabling collaboration online is one of the strengths of web conferencing. Firms are finally coming to appreciate the ability to create an affordable work space online that previously required members to travel in order to collaborate. An example is the Cisco Spark which has made it possible for team members to share content, leave notes and host meetings online.

6. Firms are using Multiple Conferencing Solutions

The growth of conferencing services has led to the innovation of various audio, video, file sharing and collaborative solutions, unfortunately or fortunately these services are offered by different providers. This has led to firms using multiple conferencing providers at a time The growing trend has led to confusion and some disorganization but has enabled the smaller players in the industry to compete.

7. Visual Conferencing Continues to Grow

High-quality visual conferencing and the networks to support it on an array of devices have enabled the rapid growth of video. In addition, the increased number of millennials in the workplace and affordability of video conferencing solutions have helped the business world overcome the fear of being on camera.

8. Content Management is the Future

Managing audio and video recordings, file sharing and the collaborative work space is the next big step that conferencing services have to take in order to further mature their products. This will be made easier with the parallel a similarly accelerated growth of cloud computing. Conferencing services should be able to make information searchable, digestible and readily available.

9. Conferencing Minutes are Now Sold in Bundles

On-premise and hosted Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC) bundles are now incorporating audio and visual capabilities. Enterprise communication vendors such as Microsoft have streamlined their packages and are starting to offer products within UCC entry-level bundles. This will ultimately keep reducing the cost of conferencing services enabling smaller firms to get involved.

10. Hosted Video is Becoming Mainstream

Traditional video conferencing is steadily transitioning to the desktop and Smartphone. This factor in addition to more firms adopting an open space work place has led to ad-hoc meetings. Hosted video will is expected to keep growing as more and more organizations realize that cloud computing and conferencing solutions can bridge the gap between them and large corporations.