Farnek leveraging Android smart watch for location and messaging to officers

UAE-based technology and sustainability-driven facilities management company Farnek, is to benefit from increased demand for commercial security, particularly manned security detail, over the next four to five years, in the UAE capital. Farnek’s security division, based at its office in Abu Dhabi, has gained significant market share during the past 12 months. This is primarily due to the introduction of its smartwatch system and a highly trained workforce able to maximise the benefits this new technology affords.

In order to satisfy the technology demand, Farnek has invested AED 5 million into research and development to advance, amongst other tech-driven initiatives, its multifunctional smartwatch technology. Unique to Farnek’s security offering, the Android watch is programmed, coded and developed in-house and provides attendance and incident reporting as well as call facilities. All watches are connected to Farnek’s state-of-the-art command centre, to pinpoint the exact location of guards and provide them with real-time updates.

With an existing customer base including hotels, residential real estate and industrial premises, Farnek has seen growth in its manned security division in Abu Dhabi. Having launched initially with just 72 guards in 2017, Farnek is now outperforming the market with a current growth rate of 8% per month and now employs over 170 guards.

According to Gartner, the leading research and advisory company, spending on information security technology and services in the MENA region topped AED6.6 billion in 2017, an 11% increase on the previous year. Recent market figures from research outfit, Frost & Sullivan, have estimated that the Middle East commercial security market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 16.5% to AED20.6 billion by 2022.

The research indicated that demand for IP-based video surveillance systems, access control and intrusion detectors would continue to drive the market, which is supported by increased government spending on infrastructure projects and the introduction of new and more stringent regulations, creating additional market opportunities.

Farnek is the leading provider of sustainable and technology-driven Facilities Management in the United Arab Emirates. Established in UAE since 1980, Farnek Services is a Swiss-owned independent total facilities management company. With a skilled workforce of more than 5,500 employees, Farnek delivers professional facilities management services to several sectors; Aviation, Hospitality, Banking, Retail, Shopping Malls, Telecom, Residential, Commercial, Infrastructure, Government, Education, Leisure and Entertainment.

Discussing Farnek’s market position and the growth of the security industry in Abu Dhabi, Saeed Tamimi, Farnek’s Abu Dhabi Security Manager, said that he expects Farnek’s headcount in Abu Dhabi, to more than double within the next few years, as the infrastructure becomes more sophisticated and demand for technology-led security and surveillance increases.

“Security in Abu Dhabi has witnessed incredible growth over the last decade, in parallel with the UAE capital’s economic performance and the rapid growth of its infrastructure. Naturally, across all vertical industry sectors including tourism, real estate, leisure and banking, end-to-end mobile, digitally led, full protection services, are in high demand. This is where Farnek has been able to capitalise on and expedite its market offering.”

According to Tamimi, offering a well-trained and tech savvy workforce is essential if clients are going to realise the full potential of their investment in secure technology. And there are add on benefits and niche market openings.

“These opportunities are not only confined to security companies supplying hi-tech equipment and more locally-based manned security details, this sophisticated equipment will need to be installed and maintained, particularly with the UAE’s abrasive summer climate. So, we see additional prospects for more sophisticated maintenance as this fast-paced vertical market inevitably grows,” added Tamimi.

“This new age surveillance is all about automation, intelligence, and resource efficiency, commented Markus Oberlin, CEO, Farnek. “We are currently focusing on command and control room solutions, body cameras and Mobile DVRs, time and attendance solutions with cloud management and video door phone systems,” added Oberlin.


Key takeaways

Strategy

  • New age surveillance is all about automation, intelligence, resource efficiency.
  • Demand for IP-based video surveillance systems, access control, intrusion detectors will continue to drive the market.
  • Increased government spending on infrastructure, stringent regulations are creating market opportunities.

Execution

  • Focusing on command and control solutions, body cameras, mobile DVRs, time and attendance with cloud management, video door phone systems.

People

  • The Android watch is developed in-house and provides attendance, incident reporting as well as call facilities.
  • Smart watches are connected to Farnek’s command centre to pinpoint location of guards and provide real-time updates.

Cash

  • Farnek has invested AED 5 million to advance its multi-functional smartwatch technology.