Interview: Alberto Pastorello, International Sales Manager, EL.MO. Spa
We have been protecting people and assets for more than four decades by developing and providing technologically advanced and integrated security solutions, and this can be seen in all our product lines. Our comprehensive range of devices covers all types of installation requirements, from small to large applications, and focuses on four main product lines
a&s Adria: Mr. Pastorello, tell us something about yourself, your professional and educational background, what are you in charge of at EL.MO.?
Pastorello: Hello, I’m Alberto Pastorello, International Sales Manager of EL.MO. Spa. I deal with customer relations, specifically I support and provide our clients with solutions that best fit their needs, while creating lasting business collaborations worldwide. I’ve been always interested in technology and innovation, this brought me first to enroll to engineering school, and later to land a professional path within EL.MO.. I started from the company’s internal system design team, designing security solutions for our clients, while developing and increasing know-how and expertise during the years; this helped me when offered the chance to enhance the Company’s presence abroad, a challenge that I accepted with enthusiasm and I’m happy to confirm that brought us many good results, both in terms of business partnerships, and product portfolio development.
a&s Adria: EL.MO. has been designing, producing and supplying intrusion prevention, fire prevention, video surveillance and access control systems since 1975. Give us a brief presentation of your product lines? What product from each category would you single out as the best-selling (flagship) one and why?
Pastorello: Protecting people and assets is what we’ve been doing for more than four decades, by developing and providing technologically advanced and integrated security solutions, and this can be seen throughout all our product lines. EL.MO. comprehensive range of devices cover all types of installation requirements, from small to large-scale applications, and focuses on four main product lines.
We can start with intrusion detection, its devices are available in both wired and wireless configurations, and range from traditional to EL.MO. advanced technologies, such as ULTRABUS and NG-TRX. This line can count on up to EN50131 grade 3 IMQ-ALLARME-certified solutions, designed and manufactured to withstand and safeguard against any threat.
Highly integrated with intrusion detection is e-Vision®, EL.MO. specific brand of top-performance video surveillance products. Based on multi-standard analogue systems and IP devices, e-Vision range is available in different formats, that allow 24hr monitoring, prevention and identification of all types of criminal acts. Several devices are also AI-powered, offering a number of specific and advanced features, in order to ensure the maximum control and monitoring of areas and premises.
EL.MO. also offers a wide range of fire detection devices, cutting-edge high-performance prevention and safety products for large- and mid-sized businesses: our fire protection devices, such as FYRA proprietary analogue-addressable device line, offers the best possible solution while maximizing the investment-performance ratio.
Finally, protecting access points to sensitive areas from unauthorized entry is just as important for us: to limit access to sensitive areas we can provide an extensive selection of controllers, proximity card readers and biometric fingerprint systems designed for this very purpose, catering to even the strictest security requirements.
Ultimately, it’s important to point out that being a one-stop supplier to our customers is definitely a fundamental element for us: being able to offer them tailored solutions, integrated systems and added-value services without the need to refer to other professionals but EL.MO. is an exceptional tool that we believe grants an extraordinary business growth.
a&s Adria: To integrate all those systems on a single cloud platform you use e-Connect. What are its key features and do you find cloud to be the future of security systems?
Pastorello: e-Connect is a web service, available in different formats, that allows different product lines and systems to interact effortlessly while providing an all-round solution to end-user and installers/distributors alike. This cloud platform features a multilevel structure, thus is able to answer the needs of all parties, granting more autonomy for end-users, and business opportunities for the professionals, while keeping its focus on to security. To security professionals specifically, e-Connect is an extraordinary tool that allows to manage all the systems of their customers on a single platform, with the possibility to customize, supervise and assist all the systems even remotely. This turns out to be an exceptional advantage for our clients, which can provide ad-hoc solutions and high-value services to enrich their business proposal.
In a broader sense, we believe that cloud-based solutions will increasingly gain importance in the security market, as happened in any other sector: since almost a decade ago, when we first started to involve in this kind of innovations, integration and cloud systems has become a relevant element in the provision of a complete security solutions. Now more than ever, with IoT and integration demand at its peak, a synergic interaction between devices is necessary. EL.MO. is not only listening and following trends, but actively working by promoting deeper implementations, un example is the integration with Amazon and Google voice assistants within our intrusion detection systems, as well as IFTTT services, that grants a tighter and more resilient solution, not merely related to security, but spacing into the smart living experience.
a&s Adria: What are the main advantages of ULTRABUS, EL.MO.’s advanced RS-485 serial bus for its security systems?
Pastorello: ULTRABUS is the advanced serial bus designed by EL.MO. that completely change the approach to the setting-up of wired intrusion detection systems. In fact, devices operating on ULTRABUS are fully software controllable and programmable, even locally or remotely. This helps installers as it grants a considerable reduction in the number of field devices compared to classic hardwired systems, and the opportunity to implement advanced settings. As mentioned, ULTRABUS simplify the installation process while bringing precision and efficiency, from the commissioning of the system to following configuration and maintenance activities. The long range and flexibility of ULTRABUS systems in fact allows the design of simple yet effective solutions, with up to 3 km range and star formations, and its wide range of available devices can also count on smart functions.
a&s Adria: High sensitivity of radio receiver, triple frequency, two-way communication, anti-collision technique, and advanced encryption are making your NG-TRX on of the most advanced bidirectional wireless systems for intrusion detection. Can you explain each of these features in detail and give us an example of NG-TRX use?
Pastorello: NG-TRX is another innovative technology which features extremely high performances, besides freedom of installation and configuration, it grants an exceptional level of security thanks to the employment of different levels of protection. First of all it’s fundamental to highlight that NG-TRX is a wireless system, designed upon two-way communication, that can reach up to 2 km in open field. This technology allows to create extremely flexible systems without weighting on sensitivity: in fact, control units and working devices constantly exchange information, transmitting data regarding the signal quality and devices status. This type of bidirectional transmission enables among other things to the remote configuration of devices, making installation and maintenance easier, as well as managing and sorting all the information received from its devices, thus avoiding information overload, common in one-way, simultaneous communications.
In case of severe disturbance our system can count on a sensitivity which is 20 times more sensitive than a traditional one, guaranteeing more effective communications. As previously said, we particularly care about the security of our systems, this is why NG-TRX can count on triple frequency for its transmissions, and advanced encryption algorithms. The transmissions between the systems’ elements take place on three differentiated frequencies that, according to environmental conditions, automatically move to the frequency guaranteeing the highest level of effectiveness and security, shielding also against jamming attacks. Finally, the devices communicates under the protection of encrypted algorithms, encryption keys and rolling codes, which guarantees secure communications that cannot be decoded by outsiders.
a&s Adria: One of the major problems when it comes to intrusion detection systems is false alarm rates. How do you make those rates lower?
Pastorello: EL.MO. has designed specific products that helps the prevention of false alarms, I’m referring specifically to the VISIO2K devices and, in a broader matter, to the InstaVision function. The first is an intelligent sensor which merge the sophistication and potential of video surveillance with the effectiveness of infrared technology. In fact, VISIO2K leverages IR and on-board Motion Video Analysis to detect and examine the scene, and only after establishing it’s a real threat event, it sends the image to the control panel, which immediately notify the user through the e-Connect platform. InstaVision instead is a function that exploit the already deep integration found throughout our product lines, increasing the synergy between intrusion detection, fire detection and video surveillance through e-Connect. InstaVision helps end-Users to verifying in real time the status of their systems through live images, images recorded at the exact time of the event, and images recorded a few seconds before the occurrence of the event directly from e-Connect app notifications.
a&s Adria: When it comes to video surveillance, you offer both the AHD/TVI/CVI multistandard technology range of products as well as IP range. Why is e-Vision the ideal solution to create high definition CCTV systems on RG59 coaxial cables, in the first case, and how do you achieve e-Vision IP product range to provide the best investment/performance ratio? Do your IP range of products exploit AI technology and to what use?
Pastorello: e-Vision® AHD/TVI/CVI multistandard technology stands out for its extreme ease of installation and for maximizing the investment-performance ratio. With the video signal being transmitted over RG59 coaxial cables with a range of up to 300 meters, CCTV systems can be created from scratch or existing systems upgraded effortlessly and at little cost. The options are endless, including the creation of hybrid systems, with AHD/TVI/CVI, analogue and ONVIF IP security cameras, and integration with the latest communication technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, for viewing images and controlling the system remotely. While a classic video surveillance system comes with various limitations, means of transmission and a fixed number of possible extensions as the number of cameras increases, e-Vision® IP systems instead adapt to accommodate changing needs without altering the structure of the network. On the other hand, the IP line is the ideal solution for complex setups requiring high levels of detail, up to 4K, or where there is no limit to size. The structure is Ethernet based and exploits the latest AI digital communication technologies to essentially analyze video streams. For example, analytic capabilities allow the system to detect when an imaginary line is crossed, distinguishing between vehicles and individuals, perform face recognition or read car number plates to enable a barrier to be opened or kept closed. All this changes though once VCA applications are embedded into the solution, transforming passive IP video systems into proactive solutions.
a&s Adria: What are the key innovations in recently presented e-Vision Pro Manager Enterprise, the new version of the centralization software dedicated to the e-Vision PRO line?
Pastorello: e-Vision PRO Manager is the new comprehensive security management platform, that properly supports all the e-Vision PRO products and other devices from the main players in the global market. This new system is equipped with powerful video monitoring capability, it supports real-time preview, centralized recording, local and remote playback, backup, alarm linkage, intelligent analysis, and much more. In addition, it is built on an open system architecture, as it supports SDK/OCX for third party integration for a comprehensive security. The software in fact support access control systems, intrusion detection systems, attendance systems, intercom systems, electronic fence, RFID, dynamic environment monitoring and other subsystems. Besides, this platform supports various AI applications, such as face-control-based solutions (face access control, face surveillance, face attendance and face greeting), people counting, behavior analysis (item care, area invasion), and so many more. For its enormous potential, e-Vision PRO Manager can be widely used from smart retail to large and medium-sized video surveillance system, for example, parks, banks, commercial buildings and other industrial applications, granting full control and monitoring of the area to be protected.
a&s Adria: TACORA hybrid control panels and HEKLA analog addressable control panels are your key offerings in fire protection. What are the main differences between them and are they certified to the strict CPR regulatory standards?
Pastorello: Available in different models, custom configured to the requirements of each project, the TACÓRA® control panels exploit a dual operating mode, conventional or conventional-analogue addressable hybrid with FYRA® protocol, to ensure far-reaching monitoring of fire risks. This extreme power is coupled with super easy programming and use: the user-friendly interface, with graphic display and indicator LEDs, makes controlling the system’s operation quick and intuitive. With the use of the optional GSM, LTE and LAN modules, the TACÓRA control panels can interface with e-Connect, enjoying all the advantages that it offers: remote supervision, graphic maps, management and support, and InstaVision® video verification.
With the HEKLA® series instead, we have made a real breakthrough in the fire detection sector, presenting the market with a series of high-performance analogue addressable control panels. A key element of the whole system is the ability to create highly complex yet easily deployed structures. Based on a modular architecture designed to grow to meet changing requirements, HEKLA control panels can work either on their own or as part of a network comprising a large number of units. As an added bonus, the system is teamed with products from the new FYRA series, EL.MO.’s line of analogue addressable devices with built-in isolator. Flexibility and integration are again two key cornerstones of the HEKLA design: in fact it can communicate with supervision, central alarm or building automation systems, whether EL.MO. or third-party systems, all of which is achieved quickly and with very limited deployment costs.
a&s Adria: Cybersecurity is still a big issue. During last year, sophistication and number of those kinds of attacks have increased. How do you battle data losses and breaches?
Pastorello: EL.MO. can count on many elements to protect against data losses and breaches, first and foremost we own full propriety of the servers in use, which means complete control, in terms of both security and service continuity, ensuring a high-profile protection for end-users, without compromise. This means, for example, immediacy in management of future introductions of blocks, filters etc., which is not guaranteed by third-party servers. These servers also present a high degree of robustness to cyber attacks: Denial of Service (DoS), brute force, etc. etc. As mentioned before, we employ encryption protocols for communications between control panels and servers, and between servers and mobile devices. All the information stored within the database are encrypted as well, in order to ensure the maximum security, as well for privacy reasons. On a periodic schedule, we run also Vulnerability test and Penetration test, which allow us to detect if any malicious attempt or corruption event have occurred. In case a scenario of this kind takes place, we devised disaster recovery / Business continuity planning intervention plans, so if the firewall that control incoming and outgoing connections to servers failed as well to protect the data, we have standard procedure to minimize any damage. All these measures helps to keep safe EL.MO. systems against cyber attacks, and are continuously and mutinously updated in order to respond to these ever-growing threats.
a&s Adria: What vertical market do you focus on or have the most references? Could you present several important projects you were working on in the past couple of years (give us info on specific projects, how many and what kind of devices you used, what were customer expectations and results)?
Pastorello: From what shared so far I hope it’s clear that EL.MO. can provide solutions suitable for any kind of environment depending on the security needs of the customer and the installation requirements: we can count on many references spacing from the residential sector to the large-scale distribution, from the automotive to the Horeca industry, as well as financial, public and service institutions. To give you some examples I can cite the Opera Primeziaole Pisana, the Bank of Ghana, and Program, which are respectively from the public sector, a financial institution and the automotive industry.
The Opera della Primaziale Pisana (OPA) are a non-profit organization concerned with managing and looking after the architectural complex that incorporates the magnificent monuments set around the city of Pisa’s cathedral square, Piazza del Duomo. The complex was in need of protection against acts of vandalism, terrorism, and common criminal acts, while it also required a system that would detect early signs of a fire, provide video surveillance, and pick up potentially dangerous situations in general. The comprehensive GLOBALPRO supervision software was used for the centralized control of all the security systems with 24hr monitoring, both locally and remotely, in order to view the information quickly and effectively. In addition, the software’s flexibility means it can be reconfigured at any time to include additional control units or accommodate new operating requirements. MIRASYS software was used to manage the video surveillance system. This software allows operators to manage and check recordings, to run video analysis for movements, and provides facial recognition, all of which is supervised in real time by the police.
The Bank of Ghana is the State’s central bank, and for its new and modern five-storey building in the centre of Accra, the Bank relied on EL.MO. to provide an high-end and effective security system. Credit institutions are highly targeted locations, always under threats of attacks, vandalism, and robbery, as well as highly sensible places for personal data. For these reasons, EL.MO. provided a well-structured security system based on intrusion detection, able to guarantee system modularity through a common logic of centralization, granting uniformity and protection standards also for future integration, for remote sites and branches, geographically distant but connected. The powerful TITANIAPLUS intrusion detection control panel, especially suited for banking, commercial or industrial installations, control and manage the system formed by TRIAL485V, DTS3000L and TRES01485 sensors for wall or ceiling mount, which protect the building both internally and externally, while NEBULA security fog system prevents criminals to find and thieve precious objects as well as restrain them until law enforcements arrive to the scene. Any theft and intrusion attempt is also made unequivocally clear by the powerful LEDA485VOX external sound systems, which guarantee an immediate response in case of alarm. The whole system is configured on ULTRABUS, while GLOBALPRO is entrusted to monitor 24/7 the intrusion detection system. The whole systems is certified IMQ EN50131- 3 grade 3 environmental class II, EN50131-6, the minimum level of security expected in such institutions. Thanks to the security solution provided by EL.MO.. The level of protection has been satisfactory enough to lead to new integrations of EL.MO. solutions in other Bank of Ghana branches.
Operating in Italy since 1992, Program is part of the international Salford Van Hire Group, which boasts 50-plus years of experience in Europe in the management of company fleets, and manages over 13,000 vehicles. Program’s Florence site needed an all-round security system designed to keep a check on a wide range of circumstances and situations. EL.MO. presented an all-encompassing solution involving intrusion detection, fire protection and CCTV, granting the extensive integration of product lines by means of InstaVision and e-Connect. PROGRAM’s security management team can now receive alarm notifications and analyse in real time the situation straight away, the security system is managed by PREGIO2000 control unit, with DT2000 and TRIAL485 interior and exterior detectors for volumetric motion detection, and a multifunction touchscreen to control, enable and disable the devices and the whole system. Full perimeter protection employing tamper proofed columns with a 250m range implement the detection side of the project, while against any risk of fire, a system was designed based on point detectors, centrally managed with the aid of the Tacòra fire control panel. For remote control of the system, the proposal included the ATLANTE2K remote control, which has buttons for switching on and off the whole system, for day and night zoning, and for controlling programmable outputs such as automatic gates, exterior lighting, and so on. In addition, should the system pick up a, the images from InstaVision allow prompt action in case of break-in attempts or early signs of a fire.
a&s Adria: The security market is developing quickly. How will you manage to be at the forefront of innovations, keep up with the trends and sustain your position in the market? What can we expect from your company?
Pastorello: EL.MO. considers Research and Development strategical, this is why we have a whole department designated to this sole purpose: to test and improve the existing solutions we offer in our portfolio, and to constantly came up with new devices and technologies to answer the market needs. You see, the existence of this department is completely on line as what previously stated, EL.MO. is not only passively responding to external demands, but by carefully analysing the sector, we have been able to design solutions which features pioneering services, going much further than what it’s asked from the typical security system. Integration, coherence and above all the presence of shared and intersectional platforms, for management, configuration, and maintenance, working diagonally within all these areas, are the result of thorough analysis and some of the most relevant strength we can rely on. All these elements guarantee greater efficiency and effectiveness to our partners. We believe that these elements, which are a diverse products portfolio, synergic lines and also the supply chain’s technical and professional training activities, can definitely guarantee and result in extremely good business opportunities, for all the actors of the supply chain. For EL.MO., the future to expect is consistent with what done so far, and that can be seen all around us: increasing integration of services within a scalable, connected solution, which don’t lose sight on its most fundamental aspect, security.
a&s Adria: EL.MO.’s position in Adriatic region: sales results, growth, partner companies, marketing? Where do you see a possible improvement?
Pastorello: In the past years we’ve been able to create a strong network of professional Partners who operate in the Adriatic Regions. We mostly rely on qualified Installer companies and system integrators, which understand the quality and expertise that comes from EL.MO., as well as System Design studios who can count on our well-round solutions that not only grant security but also ensure “smarter” living through home and building automation integration. In addition, we guarantee direct Regional support, via our technical and commercial Team, as well as technical Support 24h/7 days, to help customers in case of assistance. As I said before we strongly believe in the educating and training our partners, this is why we also offer our clients an extremely powerful on-line training platform, EL.MO.’s e-Learning training and certification hub, which allows our partners to be always up-to-date and to access educational materials about our systems. We definitely aim to increase our presence in this region, as we understand it features great potentials and it’s growing demand of inclusive solutions.