Ken Amos, director of loss prevention at Walgreens, knows what Kevin Long, David Fowler and Karen Seinfeld are talking about.

Amos, who works for the largest provider of retail prescriptions in the United States, with more than 6,000 stores in 49 states, is responsible for protecting employees, profit and assets across all facilities including stores, home healthcare facilities, pharmacy mail order centers, distribution centers and offices.

What he has also discovered is that security video can go beyond security so that business and security missions and goals blend together. Amos has friends – Gavin Long of BAE Systems, David Fowler or VidSys and Karen Seinfeld of Raytheon also see analysis, proactive security, collaboration and the use of security video that goes beyond protection as the key to return on investment.


Amos uses security video to protect employees, customers and assets but the technology also works for the business. He and his approach were featured in Security Magazine's March cover story.
Long, Fowler and Seinfeld also have a similar view with emphasis on physical security information management or P-SIM.

The concept stresses analytics, rules and procedures and the shift to images as a means for information and decision-making.

For Amos, “We are charged with both the physical security and profitability of these units but also the investigations into charges of unfair treatment, working closely with our employee relations and human resource departments, to quickly address any complaints or issues brought forward by external or internal sources.” Some uses of security technology mirror that physical security/profitability equation.

“Walgreens’ LP truly began the transition from ‘Security’ to ‘Business Partner’ over 15 years ago. So when I came into the department, I was able to leverage a lot of trust that had been built up between LP and operations.” He added, “We still have to make our arguments -- but we do it with the same cost/benefit spreadsheets that every department uses when they are asking for resources. When I first arrived in LP, one of the first areas I increased emphasis was analytical tools and people to give us the ability to better quantify losses and measure success. Had we not done that first I don’t believe we could have gotten the buy-in from senior management on subsequent projects.”


Companies such as McDonald’s, for example, use security video to track training of employees as well as life safety and customer waiting needs. Other retail businesses employ security video for business needs. For example, some retail facilities use monitored security video to allow in authorized delivery people after hours.

In addition, emerging technologies, such as 3D facial recognition, are bleeding into business needs. With the help of the extreme Fusion embedded database management system from McObject running on embedded Linux, and media processors based on Advance technology from Texas Instruments, the enterprise access control division of L-1 Identity Solutions has changed the architecture of its 3D face reader product, moving the processing “smarts” from a connected server to the device itself in order to deliver a new level of speed and convenience for users.

The new face reader system now accomplishes key computing tasks including image processing and facial search and matching on the device, eliminating its back-end industrial server. This improvement saves on shipping cost and installation complexity, and also minimizes space requirements, so that the security technology is even more unobtrusive in the high-traffic workplaces for which it
is designed.