Growth spurs new Tech Support Manager

November 12, 2009

Controlware announce the appointment of Mark Ashbolt as Technical Support Manager

Leading IP CCTV specialists and Value Added Distributors Controlware have appointed Mark Ashbolt as Technical Support Manager. Mark brings over 15 years technical experience to the role and will be responsible for managing UK support operations.

Prior to joining Controlware, Mark was most recently IT Manager at the Halcrow Group where he was responsible for managing a team that supported over 600 users. At Controlware, Mark is responsible for the management of all Customer Support operations including the Help Desk and onsite Technical Field Engineers. He is currently managing the transition of the company’s traditional Help Desk to an integrated Service Support model based around the introduction of procedures that will streamline operations to assist all areas of the business.

Customer focused support services

Mark and his team provide expert Technical Support for Controlware’s existing customers and new surveillance projects that can range from a few cameras to thousands across multiple sites. Having provided support services for more than 20 years Controlware engineers have a reputation for providing exceptional technical assistance enabling service contracts to be tailored to exact requirements for individual products or complete solutions. In this way the Controlware support team can help make CCTV more effective than before through regular firmware updates, configuration management and maintenance checks.

As the primary UK Technical support team for Controlware’s Cware open management platform the team also has expert strength in depth to deal with the most technical of enquires. The Cware open management platform enables users to benefit from integrated surveillance and recording solutions. Based on open standards Cware supports integration with leading vendor codec’s and cameras, external systems such as access control, video analytics and intruder alarms as well as technologies such as H.264. Systems based on the Cware management platform are future-proofed and provide a real-world return on investment for users, reseller and integration partners.

“We are pleased to welcome Mark Ashbolt to Controlware and are already seeing the benefit of having someone with his extensive experience on board,” said Mark Harraway, Country Manager, Controlware UK. “Mark has joined us during a period of extremely strong growth both in staff and customer numbers and we look forward to his input as we continue to evolve and expand our support services. “

Rapid growth of IP based CCTV

Mark Ashbolt’s career began with the RAF providing support for flight simulators before leaving to join the private sector. Having spent the majority of his career in management roles for the likes of IBM where he managed a multi-lingual Pan European team Mark Ashbolt is looking forward to this new role assisting Controlware’s integrator and reseller customer base especially at this time of exciting growth for the company.

“I am looking forward to helping Controlware meet the growing demand for IP based security systems in the industry at this exciting time and aim to ensure that the support team continues to provide the highest levels of support for our customers.”

For more information about Controlware click here.

Mark Ashbolt joins Controlware

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The importance of vocational training for CCTV

November 11, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the final part of his response to Mark Harraway of Controlware’s “Dont Go Hybrid”  article.

The security systems industry is one of exceptional challenge and reward. At Tavcom, we believe that the key to a successful future career in the sector lies with our special brand of vocational training – a careful blend and balance of classroom theory and ‘hands on’ practical experience that reinforces knowledge based learning. In a fast paced technological world we are not ashamed to state that some ‘old fashioned’ tried and tested methods of teaching still remain the best. In short, ‘Tell me and I will listen’, ‘Show me and I will observe’ and ‘Let me do it to demonstrate that I have learned’ are the maxims by which Tavcom’s team of experienced tutors continues to operate. Tavcom’s total independence of individual manufacturers or suppliers is fundamental to the success of training as students are able to observe and compare a selection of products side by side. This allows them to develop informed opinions of competing systems and support the choices and recommendations made within the workplace. In accordance with the sentiments expressed in this article, Tavcom’s policy is to utilise only equipment that is current and in general use – neither fully redundant nor excessively futuristic – for students to hone their skills.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Flexible system design is key for CCTV ROI

November 10, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

The sensible answer to all these issues (concering analogue, hybrid and IP technology) is for us to encourage progress and quality whilst coming to terms with the equipment we actually have available and using that to design cost effective solutions for the security and surveillance needs of clients that are both backwardly and forwardly compatible. Whatever the systems employed, the paramount consideration is to provide image quality that can be measured on a repeatable basis and will meet the expectations of the discerning user and the professional commissioning engineer.

In this way, system designs and installations should never need to come under the critical, eagle eyes of the expert witnesses! Tavcom’s consultants will not mind losing that strand of business if systems are working efficiently for the benefit of people and property.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


HD can improve the quality of CCTV

November 5, 2009

Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response to Controlware’s Mark Harraway argument that IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. 

In the face of this Beauty and Beast IP conundrum there is a very strong case for enterprising suppliers and integrators to provide hybrid security solutions for their clients. Cost effective systems can be deployed – and sensible Operational Requirements achieved – by using the best of the client’s existing equipment whilst bringing the control and management of the scheme ‘bang up to date’.

For example, I am aware of the new technology from JVC that enables the use of High Definition (HD) cameras across existing coaxial cable runs and produces quite stunning real time pictures of 25 to 30 images per second over 500 metres or so. This sort of innovative design thinking will save the user thousands of pounds, dollars or yen because, when using this system, there is only a need to upgrade to HD technology when the picture quality being produced by conventional cameras fails to meet a specific need.

HD is upon us and it will be commonly available in the 16:9 format in the blink of an eye. That, of course, means we will require even MORE bandwidth for IP solutions, even more storage space for the recorded images although – if we don’t compress or manipulate the CCTV images any more than we do nowadays with the resultant alarming reduction in picture quality – there will certainly be a marked improvement in imagery!

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Is IP the new kid on the block for CCTV?

November 4, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

It is arguable that these traditional attitudes and problems may well affect the long term success and effectiveness of the new IP technology. For now, however, it is the new and very popular kid on the security block that can do no wrong! For many, in fact, it is now the only kid on the block … but with good reason? Let’s have a look at some of the arguments being put out about by the providers of ‘IP-only’ solutions. Many suppliers have a very narrow focal plane and say it is now the sole way forward and that there should be no other method of designing, installing and operating CCTV systems.

At Tavcom we have been teaching IP and networking solutions for the industry for the past 10 years now and I have always agreed with the opinion of thousands of installers and end users that whilst IP technology in concept is first class, in practice there are many instances where there is an insufficient supply of bandwidth to provide the images specified by the users for their operational needs.

What do you think? Is IP the only way forward for CCTV?

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


The nuts and bolts of IP CCTV

October 30, 2009

Mark Harraway argues IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the next part of his response below.

Let’s examine the basic operation of IP (Internet Protocol) and the terminology used for transmitting data and, in this instance, closed-circuit television across a series of cables, local area networks, wide area networks and indeed through the Internet.

IP generally uses a protocol called TCP which sends the information and data in ‘packets’. At their destination the receiver will then sent back to the transmitter an acknowledgement that it has received the information safely. The transmitter will then issue the next packet of data and await confirmation that it has been received before moving on to the next and the next … ad infinitum. This form of protocol is really quite impractical for sending CCTV images because each picture comprises such a vast amount of data that standard transmission lines currently used in networking are unable to adequately cope in real-time streaming terms. Instead we use another protocol called UDP which, quite simply, only sends the information to the receiver with no acknowledgement that it has been received safely and all in one piece.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article click here.

To read from the beginning of the Tavcom posts click here.


Dont go hybrid, Tavcoms view: Analogue, Hybrid or IP CCTV

October 27, 2009

IP is here and offers more than hybrid or analogue systems. So Mark Harraway argues here. Mike Tennent of Tavcom Training sets out the first part of his response below.

Love them or loathe them, the number of electronic security systems deployed in our buildings and on our streets has burgeoned in recent years and, without a seismic reversal of public and political opinion, that trend is set to continue, not only in the UK but around the world. Hard facts and figures are not easy to come by and are invariably hotly disputed but there can be little argument that we are now – for better or worse – a locked in, locked out, closely watched and frequently recorded society. CCTV, access control, intruder alarm, perimeter defence and other electronic security systems are ubiquitous features of modern life.

This proliferation of technology has meant ‘boom times’ for those who grew up with this new industry but now the goalposts are on the move. The rapid cross pollination and convergence of technology involving the security, IT and other sectors is creating exciting new opportunities for installers from other sectors to enter the security arena and dramatically enhance their career prospects.

To read the original “Dont Go Hybrid” article by Mark Harraway click here.