Alon Blankstein

AlonAlon Blankstein is the CFO of MATE Intelligent Video. Alon is a financial and Business development executive with a broad experience in all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and management. Alon has vast experience managing and consulting in the security surveillance.

How did you first get involved in the Security market?

My 1st experience is back in the early 80s as a soldier and later on officer in the IDF where I served for 4 years and I am still on call in the reserve forces holding the rank of Captain. Working my way through college I have held numerous armed guard assignments. All together gaining a unique (or sadly not so unique) comprehension of perimeter security challenges. Since then and until I joined MATE Intelligent Video back in 2005 I have held a variety of BizDev and Financial executive positions and/or consulted a variety of companies including a few Defense and Security related ventures like Urdan Industries Bio Sense Technologies.

As the CFO of Mate Intelligent Video you are in a unique position to comment on the perceived economic effects on the security video market. How do you see the intelligent video being affected?

From the perspective of a Video Analytics vendor one thing i have noticed is that each territory behaves differently (not sure if what we are experiencing is any representation to the market at large) and in some territories, especially in North and Latin America we are experiencing strong growth in the number of projects that we are requested to provide quotes and more important the conversion rate of quotes to POs have increased with a significant increase in both number of channels per project and more important the high ratio of analytics channels from the total video surveillance channels in the project.

So from our perspective we are experiencing an increased demand for high end Video Analytics. One of the reasons for this increased growth in our experience is the demand for ROI on existing and future investment in Security infrastructure and the ongoing goal of increasing the levels of security or at least keeping the same level of security while meeting budgetary constraints requiring the reduction of the total cost of security in the organization

Why did Mate concentrate on intelligent video and analytics?

Back in 1997 MATE was founded by a group of unique individuals that where experts in digital signal processing of video feeds, it is a very short distance from there to Video Analytics. MATE shifted to the security market around 2001 because we recognized that the explosive growth in video camera sales would drive the need for automation technologies like analytics.

In February 09 you released a new video encoder deemed TriggerNG (Next Generation) which seems very intriguing. Can you cover some of the advancements in intelligent video?

Video analytics innovators are being pulled by opposing forces. On one hand there is a move towards IP based video and on the other there is the practical need for companies to maximize the ROI from the older analog technology they already have. TriggerNG addresses this paradox elegantly by providing powerful analytics that can be deploy within an IT network while also supporting analytic alarms on older technology such as standard analog cameras and CRT video monitors.

What are the biggest changes you see in the intelligent video space?

ROI is king. Even though Integrators are still a little fearful of Video Analytics, we see that more and more of them are now receptive to products that have proven field records and good reputations. Video Analytics vendors have finally understood that they have to spend lots of resources to help integrators sell. The market trend is leaning towards hybrid solutions, but many integrators still have “edge” imprinted on the brain. The simpler the installation the better, clients want Plug-and-Play solutions and shy away from the PHD certified fine tuning configuration type of systems
What are the main benefits an organization derives from intelligent video?

First of all, it’s automation. The whole concept behind video analytics is that there is software that performs a function that would normally have to be performed by an operator, something that an operator can easily overlook. Certainly, the top-line functionality of video analytics is machine learning and automation of a function that would normally require multiple human beings to do. You can extend that not only to automated surveillance applications but to business intelligence applications where you’re looking at all this information-rich video content wondering ‘what else can I do with all the information that’s provided through this video system?’

One example would be to count the cars and people entering a facility (museum or other public area) and then be able to use that information as data to help better manage a business or advertising expenses and the way that facility is staffed. The key goals of video analytics are automation and gathering intelligence about the facilities.

Do you have any plans to partner or drive intelligent video through access control companies like Lenel, Cisco, Imron or others?

Yes we have plans to integrate with all of the above and many more. I think it is only a matter of time that all access control systems will have some form of video surveillance capabilities and with it means Video Analytics as well, this is part of a much larger trend of convergence between IT and Physical security. We have recently integrated our Video Analytics offering with Hirsch Electronics Velocity platform and we are integrated with several Video platforms and Command and control platforms that have some form of Access Control capabilities. We can easily integrate with most of the other platforms in the market as well. The most popular Video analytics alarms for use with Access control applications are Directional Counting, Man traps, Presence Detection and Wrong way Entry.

Where do you see the largest growth in the security market?

Without a doubt IP Based platforms are the highest growth sector in our industry

Is intelligent video cost effective in the enterprise market?

Video Analytics can be cost effective in any segment of the market. One of the main reasons for the increased growth in the deployment of Video Analytics is due to a growing requirement for Return On Investment (ROI) as I mentioned before when we discussed why the current market crises is actually providing accelerated sales for Video Analytics vendors that are well positioned in the market
Do you see intelligent video replacing more costly traditional methods EG: guards etc…?
You will always need the human touch in any system, and the down fall of many instaltions is when this is forgotten, but yes like any evolution that took place in so many industries in the past automation of surveillance processes provides great saving in guard related costs on the one side while providing increased security output.

Where is the one place you would send someone who wanted a better understanding of intelligent video?

I would send them to MATE because we spend quite a bit of time educating integrators and end-users on the options available in the market and our people have the experience to know how to best fit video analytics to the customer requirements and technology infrastructure.

MATE Intelligent Video is a technology leader in intelligent video surveillance systems. By using behavior tracking technology in a unique way, it closes many of the loopholes left open by other systems. MATE’s innovation converts ordinary video cameras into intelligent sensors and information systems that track irregular behavior, count people and detect events

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