Exclusive: Driving product innovation to deliver real benefits to customers
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In a 2020 survey by McKinsey, 85% of executives from more than 200 organisations across industries, felt that the COVID-19 crisis will have a lasting impact on their customers’ needs over the next five years. However, for many organisations, investment in research and development to address these needs has taken a back seat in the face of maintaining business continuity and cutting costs.
As organisations around the world continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and evolving cyber-threats, Gallagher, a manufacturer in security technology, is committed to driving product innovation to support their global customer base.
Gallagher’s Chief Product Officer, Meredith Palmer discusses the company’s relentless innovation ethos and shares what’s next for Gallagher’s enterprise security solutions.
A culture for innovation
The last 12 months have accelerated the evolution of security technology, with innovation taking the spotlight. The growth of smart security solutions was already underway, however the dramatic change in working and living patterns has made this technology more readily available than ever before.
Amidst this changing landscape, Gallagher continues to draw valuable insights to drive innovation and development in line with the ‘real world’ challenges of customers. Through their customer-centric approach, Gallagher strives to meet market needs and anticipate demand with extensive research and close relationships with customers and Channel Partners across the globe.
“It’s important to us that we take the time to truly understand our customers’ challenges and look for ways our technology can enhance their security, create better ways of working and deliver a return on investment.
“Protecting what’s important is at the heart of what we do and we thrive on working with our customers to ensure we are meeting their unique security challenges,” says Meredith.
Built on a solid foundation of innovation, 15% of Gallagher’s annual revenue is reinvested into Research and Development (R&D), allowing them to design and develop world-leading technology.
“Our research and product development teams work with customers, partners and industry bodies to stay ahead of the changing security landscape. This ensures our customers can take advantage of the latest security enhancements and protect their organisation from emerging cyber threats,” adds Meredith.
Responding to changing needs
As businesses around the world navigate the reality of COVID-19 becoming a part of our daily lives for the longer-term, the protection of employee and visitor health remains a number one priority. With workplaces reopening and a hybrid style of working becoming increasingly popular, the demand for solutions that enforce physical distancing and minimise the risk of a potential virus spread have escalated.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallagher developed its innovative Proximity and Contact Tracing Report to respond to a heightened customer need for site safety. This six-time award-winning tool enables organisations to quickly and accurately identify where a specified cardholder has been on site through fast and effective contact tracing.
“We consider it an essential part of our role as a manufacturer to focus our research, design and development efforts towards our customers immediate needs in physical and cybersecurity,” says Meredith.
“Through having complete visibility across our end-to-end supply chain, we can be agile with our design and manufacturing process and employ quality principles in every step.
“In the current climate, we recognised that businesses continue to face ongoing financial concern and uncertainty, which is why it was important for us to offer the Proximity and Contact Tracing Report tool free of charge to customers with a valid Command Centre license,” Meredith adds.
To meet the urgent need in market, Gallagher demonstrated their strength in agile product development by taking the Proximity and Contact Tracing Report from concept to delivery in just 28 days.
With organisations beginning to make a return to the office, the expectation for frictionless journeys has accelerated and more workplaces are looking for support to create a more efficient and dynamic working environment.
“Access control technology can play a key role in enabling organisations to implement seamless automation and intelligence across their site. A key focus for our product innovation this year was to build on our existing solutions and place an emphasis on smart security technology that gives sites increased flexibility, added security and greater user efficiency,” says Meredith.
Within the Command Centre v8.50 release, Gallagher introduced an intelligent enhancement for its TK Elevator System integration, giving sites the ability to tailor elevator access to the specific needs of passengers for a customised journey. By setting passenger default floors for automated floor selection, cardholders can simply arrive at their office elevator and it takes them to their usual floor without needing to lift a finger.
In addition, Gallagher’s v8.50 release provides sites with the ability to synchronise Mobile Connect credentials between trusted sites – saving administration costs and delivering a frictionless cardholder experience.
Cybersecurity has long been a concern for global sites; however, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a light on the cybersecurity risks facing organisations. With a sharp increase of cyber-threats against physical security systems already this year, it is now more important than ever to ensure organisations are partnering with a responsible cyber vendor.
Cybersecurity is an integral part of Gallagher’s security solutions. As a certified manufacturer to the highest level of national security in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand, Gallagher is recognised for having strong capabilities in cybersecurity design and penetration testing.
As part of its commitment to supporting customers against the threat of cyber-attacks, Gallagher developed Security Health Check, an industry-first auditing tool, designed to help customers identify cyber threats and prioritise risks.
“Our mission is to make cybersecurity an affordable priority for all organisations and to help our customers gain a deep understanding of how their security system works.
“As the first security system manufacturer to offer an audit tool of this kind, we hope to inspire our industry to become more transparent with its customers and empower them to better understand their vulnerabilities,” says Meredith.
Looking towards the future
With the cost savings and efficiencies that can be achieved with a cloud model of security software, more and more organisations are seeing the value in hybrid deployment adoptions that use a combination of both on-premises and cloud components.
“We’re seeing a strong shift towards hybrid security solutions that deliver the immediate benefits of cloud, while also allowing customers to keep their existing on-premises hardware.
“Remote capabilities and mobile devices that support a security team’s essential functions from anywhere, along with supporting contactless interactions, have been a necessary part of the COVID-19 security response and their popularity doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon,” says Meredith.
Gallagher’s Mobile Connect solution is a great example of remote capabilities. Its intelligent and flexible functionality enables a user’s mobile phone to replace their traditional access card, while also acting as a conduit for sending broadcast notifications, so the security team can communicate the latest protocols and “need to know” information quickly and easily to staff on or off site.
“Finding new and creative ways to protect people and assets, while offering frictionless experiences that streamline operations and enable organisations to be agile, will continue to drive Gallagher’s future security technology,” closes Meredith.