Fri 1 May 2020
5 myths that could be holding your security team back
Deciding to use a new piece of software is always a big moment for a security team. Whether it’s considering the cost implications, the impact of training the team up, or whether it’ll actually make your working lives easier – there’s a lot to consider.
We recommend taking your time with this decision. If you feel like human error and time-consuming processes are making your security team less than effective, then your solution needs to be just right for your organization.
That’s why we want to dispel any myths about Agora. We want to give you the knowledge you need to make an informed decision for your control room, offering facts and banishing any doubts or worries you might have.
We hope, after reading this, that you feel better prepared to make choices that won’t hold your security team back from doing the best job possible.
Myth #1: Investing in a new security system is expensive
On a day-to-day basis, how much time do your security operators spend dealing with false alarms? How much time is taken up with training? Do you have multiple guards onsite to keep all operations monitored sufficiently?
These are significant costs to your business. If you are manually handling access management and other control room functions, then you are not only increasing the chance of human error, but there are higher risks, and inevitably, higher costs.
Companies can reduce operational costs by centralizing security operations. Agora’s offering is based on integrating video, audio and GPS, making it an innovative time-saving solution – and therefore a money-saving solution.
Instead of manually operating each piece of software associated with different security functions across your business, Agora operates as the ‘maestro of the orchestra’, monitoring activities such as:
- Remote entry/exit management
- Alarm video verification
- Remote escort
- Remote guard tour
With Agora, you will reduce operational costs by minimizing false alarms. Instead, when an operator starts handling an alarm, they will be guided step-by-step through its resolution. This not only shortens first response and alarm handling times, but it significantly reduces human error, saving money and removing risk.
Remote entry/exit management also allows you to decrease the number of onsite guards you require and lowers general operational costs, such as operator training hours.
Myth #2: Agora is going to be just another platform we have to manage
We know that the last thing a business needs is to feel overwhelmed with too many platforms to keep track of. This is particularly true of the security sector, where multiple tools are required to keep your environment safe.
This is precisely why Agora is such a transformative addition for security teams. Instead of adding another platform to monitor, it takes over your existing ones and runs them through one, simple interface. Instead of multiple screens (which take ages to train new staff on and create more opportunities for errors to be made) Agora simplifies.
For example, Agora integrates with other systems beyond video surveillance, such as access control. You can also integrate with systems such as:
- Fire detection panels
- Intrusion detection panels
- IP Intercoms
All sorts of different security and safety equipment can be monitored, and in some cases, you can go beyond security and safety, bringing gateways and software modules together. Agora can communicate with other technologies, like IT systems or building maintenance systems.
It's an open platform that allows a control room team to command and control what's underneath all the security and safety equipment – not an additional piece of kit you need to learn.
Myth #3: Agora will take too long to get our team trained up on
Technology is great and its ability to continually evolve is exciting. One of the challenges this can bring however, is the workload for security operators; with every update, there comes additional training or more minute activities for you to monitor.
Nowadays in the control room, operators receive thousands of different signals, including:
- Radio calls
- Phone calls
- Alarms coming in
- Video wall updates
- Technical faults
Because of amazing technology such as video analytics software which takes information from the video streams coming directly from the camera – there are even more alarms for control rooms to monitor. It can take a long time for an operator to learn how to balance, process and act on these signals.
Everyone within your team needs a very easy, straightforward application that allows accurate, fast decisions to be made. They also need a solution that's not difficult to change or to adapt because organizations are living entities, which constantly change with time.
We know that if the software isn’t easy to train on, the Head of Security will have to depend on technical staff to operate the system, then give her the information that she needs. But if she can open her laptop at home using a VPN, then she can check on security operations herself, which is far more powerful.
We focused on two concerns as our primary incentives when we created Agora: we had to make it easy to use, and easy to configure. It does not require a lot of training, and that is one of its most appealing qualities.
Myth #4: Agora doesn’t do anything new that our existing software doesn’t already achieve
Imagine the cockpit of an aeroplane. There is a pilot and a co-pilot. If the pilot needs to focus on something other than flying or to take a break, the co-pilot steps in. Agora is your security team’s co-pilot. It’s unlikely any other program you run has this level of oversight across all security aspects at your business.
Agora acts as an assistant for the control room operator. The main feature of the platform is to uniquely offer a step-by-step workflow and instruction list to guide the operator through any given situation. Everyday security issues, which your existing software is unlikely to deal with automatically, can be entered into a procedure. These include:
- Suspicious behaviour seen on a camera
- A camera that’s lost signal
- An incoming intercom call
- An expired card alarm coming from the access control system
- An alarm panel running on low battery
Agora can offer a procedure to cope with any tiny security problem, right up to major incidents, especially when you need to react quickly. The platform will signal whether the failure is genuine, and whether you need to call someone to fix it.
Agora gives you the tools to truly feel in control, managing all underlying systems by using just one, single software interface. That's a value we don’t think any other product adds for organizations.
Myth #5: If we use Agora, our security systems will be just like everyone else’s when we need a customizable solution
Agora allows the security manager to write the procedures for any situation. We know that every organization is different, depending on the data they keep, access workers need and product/service offering they specialize in. We don’t treat every user the same – which is why Agora is highly customizable.
After your expert service provider or security installer finishes setting up the system based on your security guidelines, Agora then lets you fine-tune your procedures, permissions, phone and email contacts, so that the software will fit like a glove to your specific requirements. This way, as your organization evolves, the configuration of Agora also evolves to meet current requirements and concerns.
There are times when you may need to change details such as:
- A phone number
- An email address
- Response plans for holidays when people aren’t around as much
- The order of the tasks that your operator must follow in a given situation
Choosing the right platform to help your security team is a big decision. We hope we’ve given you the tools you need to choose what’s right for you, and put your mind at ease about any doubt you might have had about Agora.
With its unique capabilities and procedure functions, we’re confident your whole team could soon be delivering a more consistent, considered and error-free security experience with Agora.