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NEC Africa, XON consolidate safety and security for Africa


The XON public safety and security division, headed by Bertus Marais, now offers an extensive array of solutions from NEC’s portfolio specifically suited to the African market.
The business unit offers a broad yet tightly integrated range of public safety and security services and solutions that include citizen services, immigration control, law enforcement, public administration services, critical infrastructure management, information management, emergency and disaster management, and inter-agency collaboration.
“Citizens, businesses, organisations, essential services and government agencies can neither function nor flourish without personal, property, and personnel security,” says Eugene le Roux, president and MD of NEC Africa. “Government agencies and private firms face a multidimensional task in providing safety and security for individuals, organisations, regions, countries, and the continent. Physical and virtual crime are primary challenges; and agencies must also prepare for man-made and natural disasters such as the current water shortages in parts of our water-stressed country.”
“Although governments and businesses face numerous safety and security challenges, which can be resolved using the proper equipment and solutions, probably the biggest challenge is the number of skilled people they require to operate the equipment and man the desks,” says Marais. “We have a well-established cyber security operations centre (SOC) staffed by experts in digital security. NEC has globally-recognised expertise, equipment and solutions, which are also available as a service; staffed by experts trained in the latest global methods and best practice. Combining these two entities gives our operation one of the most advanced capabilities across the entire spectrum of physical and digital safety and security on the continent today.”
Le Roux says agencies in the globalised economy and the context of borderless political, ideological, religious and ethnic conflicts escalating around the world face a greater challenge than ever before.
“Border control is a historical challenge in South Africa where we have numerous international ports of entry and exit as well as extended borders that must be maintained and patrolled to control the influx of illegal immigrants as well as clandestine, cross-border criminal activities,” says Marais.
For example, cameras at border posts are the norm yet it is the software performing facial recognition that delivers the real differentiator in curbing crime and apprehending suspects and known felons. Although XON’s Safety and Security division supplies NEC hardware its software and services are product agnostic ensuring that the powerful software tools can be brought to bear even as they maximise investments in existing infrastructure.
“The total safety and security solution and services suite is broad,” says Marais, “but facial recognition for border control purposes is probably one of the most sought after solutions in the market today.”
NEC has achieved the highest performance evaluation in Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) 2014 performed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and has done so for three consecutive years.