Andreas Pettersson, CEO at Arcules talks about the role of an open platform in transforming traditional video monitoring for the present market players.
1. Tell us about your role at Arcules.
As CEO, I help guide the Arcules team toward reinventing traditional video monitoring for modern enterprises. The core of my job involves problem-solving and helping navigate the landscape of cross-collaboration across departments to achieve the best possible outcome for the organization. Prior to becoming CEO, I served as Chief Technology Officer and was heavily involved in the development of the Arcules unified cloud security platform, so I understand our challenges and come at them from a unique perspective.
2. What are the applications or rather opportunities you seek to have with your product?
From a broad perspective, Arcules wants to seek opportunities to help organizations that have a global footprint that in the past have not been able to join their physical security applications into a unified experience or environment. We view applications that also provide more than simply physical security as being valuable for these kinds of organizations, where devices traditionally used for protecting physical assets (like video, for example) can now be used for streamlining business operations and processes or even bring new revenue opportunities to the table.
3. How did you define the vision of Arcules?
Since the beginning, I’ve sought to solve something with the Arcules system that allows organizations to be more proactive in their physical security goals by providing insight and awareness about what’s truly going on. Modern enterprises shouldn’t have to sift through years of video to find what they’re looking for to address an incident or find an anomaly. If you have to look at the video, we’ve failed as a company because our ultimate goal is providing customers with the right kind of technology that adds more awareness for both their security applications and their business optimization goals.
4. What are some of the unique lessons you have learnt from analysing your customer behaviour?
We’ve really lived the idea that the day you predict how a person is going to use your product or think about your product, is the day you stop listening and learning. When you’re in a business that relies on customer use and engagement, you have to be willing to invest the time and effort into listening to what they have to say about your product, their needs and their vision for how to meet those needs. We’ve learned at Arcules that a new user will always have something unique to tell you; and part of building an approachable company and product is to embrace the idea that we’re a learning organization. And the only way we remain that way is by staying curious and continuing to listen, as well as daring to ask “why” or “tell me more” or “what do you think of A, B, C?”
If you think you know what your end customer wants, you’re screwed.
5. What are some of the distinctive features of Arcules cloud security platform?
There are a few features that are distinct within the physical security market, one of which is the fact that we are an open platform. This is an important distinction to make because there are so many cloud video platforms that lock you into buying their camera technology. This doesn’t make it flexible enough for the broad majority of customers, which is one of the things that Arcules sought to be. It’s also an extremely wasteful practice to replace a functioning camera with one that will only work if you’re locked into a subscription with that company. Another important distinction is that the platform we built was built with the consumer mindset. You shouldn’t have to sit through a 4-hour training to learn a software platform. We wanted to build a platform that was intuitive enough that it could be used by anyone within the organization, so we hired user experience experts and designers who came from top Silicon Valley companies and other consumer technologies to do so.
6. Arcules was recently in the news for partnering with Milestone Systems to Deliver Hybrid VMS Solution. Can you elaborate more on the same?
Arcules as a company was started within the Milestone incubator program, then spun off to become its own company in 2017, so the partnership roots begin years before the Arcules platform made it to the marketplace. Last year, we really began working on the best possible way for customers using the Milestone XProtect video management system (VMS) to incorporate more cloud-based technology into their extended locations.
A good example of this is when you’re looking at a healthcare facility, like a hospital. This market primarily keeps their data stored on-premise and has invested significantly in these storage solutions. But adding additional satellite locations can be somewhat cost-heavy if you have to adopt on-premise hardware at each location. Integrating with Arcules allows these organizations to extend the reach of the XProtect platform using the Arcules unified cloud security platform, eliminating the need to invest in on-premise technology for each additional location. The cloud-based nature makes this more scalable for XProtect customers.
7. What are some of the common pain points that your customers commonly approach you with?
One of the primary pain points we received after we began offering our solution was the struggle that companies had with low bandwidth. There are a lot of forward-thinking, innovative companies that want to get to a point where they’re using a pure cloud video option for all of their physical security needs, cutting down on the amount of investment they have to make with cumbersome hardware (not to mention the resources needed to keep this technology completely up to date). But for various reasons, they aren’t able to increase their bandwidth to accommodate the full cloud solution. This pain point became a jumping off point for Arcules to introduce its Edge Cloud solution this year that allows customers to store their video data on the edge, with the metadata sent to the cloud, almost eliminating any bandwidth need at any time in the day.
8. What advice would you like to give to the upcoming cyber security-based tech start-ups?
One thing I think start-ups struggle with is wanting to reinvent the wheel; but there are so many ideas and ways to use existing technology from adjacent industries and apply them to your own.
See if you can use that technology and broaden it into new market segments or verticals, taking existing functionality and enhancing it to make them unique for your organization.People are often so stuck in a siloed mindset that they don’t look beyond their own comfort zone and in doing so, address so much waste with regards to time and resources that is in the market today.
9. Can you give us a sneak peek into some of the upcoming product upgrades that your customers can look forward to?
A big focus in the coming months is adding features that not only address the needs that an organization has for physical security, but also ones that drive business optimization, as well. For example, the ability to solve a tailgating problem within access control; determine occupancy levels using video surveillance technology to optimize staffing levels; or integrate intelligent HVAC into access control to control temperature based on occupancy to save on energy usage. We want to be able to provide the right kind of information for decision-making purposes.
10. Which is the one cyber security breakthrough you will be on the lookout for in the upcoming year?
Although I don’t think it will be mainstream anytime soon, there’s significant progress being made in homomorphic encryption; that is, the ability to work on data while still encrypted. This would be a great addition to have in the security toolbox already available as part of the wider Security by Design and Defense in Depth Principles Arcules already follows.
11. What is the one quote that has stayed with you throughout your professional life?
My answer requires a bit of background and explanation. It’s the saying, “Always fix the broken window,” and it’s rooted in a criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes. The theory was tested in a rundown neighborhood, where researchers parked a car with a broken window on a street. Individuals came by and stripped pieces of the car one by one until it was unsalvageable. Then they did the same in a more affluent neighborhood, where they experienced the same outcome.
Now, this can also apply to the people within your organization. The equivalent is having a toxic employee or presence on your team. Either you have to fix the problem, or you run the risk of alienating the broader organization and their ability to deliver results. You want to build a culture where the culture outs the broken window and you’re better able to fix it before it becomes problematic. So, always fix the broken window.
CEO at Arcules
As Arcules CEO, Andreas Pettersson is leading the Arcules team in reinventing traditional video monitoring for modern enterprises. Since the company’s formation in 2017, Arcules has introduced an award-winning integrated video surveillance service that brings together video data, access control and analytics into one unified platform. In 2019, the Arcules Integrated Video Cloud Service received the SIA New Product Showcase award for cloud solutions. Prior to becoming CEO, Andreas was Chief Technology Officer.