Podcast: Six Questions for Dean Drako, CEO of Eagle Eye Networks
Talking about Cloud Video Surveillance Adoption is Growing Rapidly in Europe
After opening a new data center in Frankfurt and exhibiting at Security Essen 2018, Eagle Eye Networks, also exhibiting at intersec Dubai 2019, is eager to show the German and other European markets why they are to be watched. Cloud-based Video Management is Eagle Eye Networks’ field of expertise and their Cyber Security background really gives them something to talk about – and for others a lot to ask. After meeting Eagle Eye Networks at Security Essen, GIT SECURITY had the opportunity to ask Dean Drako, the CEO of Eagle Eye Networks, about his point of view.
GIT SECURITY: Mr. Drako, having seen Eagle Eye Networks’ products at Security Essen made it clear that the company has a unique view on the topic of cloud-based Video Management. It was mentioned that the company sees their solution as ‘The bridge between IT and Security’. Can you elaborate on that and state which specialty you bring to the market?
Dean Drako: Our DNA is in Cybersecurity and IT. We educate our valued resellers about the advantages that the Cloud (which is part of IT), offer compared to on-premise solutions – easier to manage, lower TCO, higher reliability, and higher cyber security. Customers are asking for more features and capabilities from the physical security industry. These are best delivered as cloud-based solutions as their complexity increases. There are very good reasons that most of IT is moving to the cloud – these same reasons apply to video surveillance.
Dealers and customers need to consider cyber security when choosing a surveillance solution. The Eagle Eye Cloud VMS delivers a truly cyber secure solution. Eagle Eye Bridges physically isolate the cameras from the Internet, thereby preventing hacks via the cameras. Since our infrastructure is cloud-based, our ability to add new features like analytics is extremely simple.
We saw Eagle Eye Networks working with quite a few partners at the exhibition. How do you ensure that the partner companies meet your cybersecurity standard and that your clients can trust your partners the same way they trust you?
Dean Drako: Eagle Eye works with over 2000 different cameras via a large number of camera partners. We also work with the best professional resellers and integrators who service and install our products. There are two answers to your question depending on partner type:
- For resellers: As a cloud service, Eagle Eye Networks has more control over the software and platform, the Eagle Eye Cloud VMS, such as our team of professional security engineers who are working 24/7 can maintain our cybersecurity in a more comprehensive way than can be done with a traditional on-premise solution. In addition, we provide training and guidance to our customers and resellers on proper installation. These two items insure cyber security.
- For camera manufacturers: Our architecture and infrastructure are purposely built to protect data. Our architecture will normally isolate the cameras from the customer’s network and the internet making them far more secure than normal. For these two reasons our customers and camera partners choose to work with us. We ensure that the user experience is secure with the core architecture.
What is your target group? SMEs and the home security market?
Dean Drako: We target business customers of all sizes and shapes. Those with multi-locations, SME or commercial, will benefit significantly from our solution. Both the economics and the user experience benefits increase exponentially in a true cloud solution as the number of sites increases. From a cost perspective, managing data in the Cloud is extremely cost effective. The customer only pays for what they use. No software needs to be installed or managed. This yields considerably less installation, service and IT staffing costs. Finally, the avoidance of technology obsolescence is a big advantage for the commercial market segment. Why pay over and over for your hardware? From a customer perspective, Eagle Eye Networks has invested heavily in a platform that provides a powerful solution for businesses, including easy user management, multi-site viewing, and multi-site management. The Internet may go down, but the Eagle Eye Security Camera VMS keeps recording and working. The onsite Eagle Eye Bridge is in constant communication with the sites’ cameras, monitoring their status and awaiting the internet re-connectivity to securely deliver the video to the cloud.
Is cloud-based SaaS widely accepted in Europe?
Dean Drako: For video, the US is still leading in terms of cloud adoption, but we are seeing a large pick up in Europe over the last 12 months. The adoption is growing quickly because of the better user experience, cost advantages, more complete mobile applications, and the general increase in cloud adoption for IT. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium score very high on bandwidth. In these countries Eagle Eye Networks has experienced considerable growth and we’re seeing it now happening more in the UK, Spain and Germany. Eagle Eye provides very advanced bandwidth management technology as well as encryption which makes it possible to utilize the Eagle Eye VMS even with low bandwidth. There are many drivers for cloud adoption, in Spain for example, end-user demand is being generated by businesses who are frustrated with stolen DVRs. Although we could have outsourced our cloud needs to the likes of AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google, we chose to build out our own cloud infrastructure to obtain the needed layers of security, guarantee compliance with local regulations, reach the necessary price points, and minimize video latency. One of the keys to building a successful cloud and cyber business is owning the technology and infrastructure from end to end so you can deliver the best product. This means we have the in-house skills to clear any hurdle and solve any customer problem or need. To provide the best global solution for surveillance video, I could not afford to take the risk of outsourcing our cloud needs. We have added many datacenters in Europe to cater to local storage of data needs and GDPR.
You now have the experience of opening a data center in Frankfurt. In terms of privacy, how is the German market different from other markets? What are the biggest challenges?
Dean Drako: The German market has always been a leading market for new technologies. What we learned in Essen is that Germany is excited about cloud video surveillance. When we explain about the DNA of our company in Cybersecurity and how we look at the Cloud, Germans are very interested. In our opinion, the opening of the datacenter in Frankfurt was required to enter the German market. Germans quickly realize we take the concerns about the Cloud and Security extremely seriously and have something to show for it. I was the founder of the global cyber security company, Barracuda Networks, that specializes in providing cloud-based firewalls, virus and spam protection - all delivered by way of a cloud subscription service. If any data breach happens in a retail company, this will harm their credibility for sure, but they will probably be able to continue to do business as their core competencies lie in other areas and the public will still value them for these competencies. With us, security is our competency and our lifeline at the same time.
What are the targets for the next six months?
Dean Drako: In the last 1,5 years, we have focused on globalizing our business and localizing our efforts - especially in Europe. We added data centers in Dubai, London and Frankfurt, in addition to the Netherlands, to provide wider regional coverage and localized support. We opened a new Eagle Eye Networks office in Japan and new distribution partnerships in the Nordics and Spain. The Eagle Eye user interface has been localized into seven different languages. In the next 6 months, we will be working hard on training and adding resellers in Europe. There will be a big focus on Germany and its surrounding countries. We expect to add additional data centers in Europe. We are investing heavily in AI, Analytics, and Big Data. For example, last month we added loitering to our existing suite of analytics. The cloud allows us to develop additional analytics and AI functions and make them available to our customers.