Cloud services

Creative Security Adopts a Cloud-First Strategy With ZAG

For more than 20 years, Creative Security has provided security solutions for organizations across California, ensuring staff and premises stay protected. However, the company also needed to ensure its internal IT tools and services were helping, not hindering, its core business objectives.

Like many businesses of a similar size, they had set up their IT infrastructure in the building. But having an on-premise IT environment created challenges.

First, they had to navigate ongoing upfront capital costs whenever they needed new technology. Second, they faced the significant hassle, workload and expense of monitoring, patching and maintaining all their physical systems.

“Whenever our servers went down, I was the one fielding calls and emails at 2 a.m. and trying to get our IT partners to come and resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” said Trevor Wall, chief operating officer at Creative Security. “It was a nightmare situation and a source of constant distraction.”

As more of the company’s on-premise infrastructure reached the end of its operational life — faced with high capital investment to bring it up to date — Creative Security needed an IT strategy change.

“Maintaining our legacy systems required so much time, cost and manual effort,” Wall said. “But I knew we increasingly live in a world where that can all be handled by somebody else in a cloud-based environment, which sounded appealing.”


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When Wall started exploring options for migrating servers, files and systems to the cloud, he came across ZAG Technical Services. Wall was impressed with ZAG’s philosophy that technology was an integral part of doing business, that IT investments drove ROI and gave companies a competitive advantage, and that the right solution enabled businesses to grow.

“From the first whistle, ZAG acted like a project manager and [its team members] were able to answer a bunch of our questions about cloud migration, which gave me faith in their knowledge and expertise,” Wall said.

Before embarking on broadscale cloud migration, ZAG engaged in discovery and research hours to establish that cloud migration was an advantageous solution for Creative Security. These discussions happened over several months as ZAG provided clear reasons for adopting a cloud-first strategy.

Switching from the high capital expenditure of replacing existing hardware in the building to monthly cloud subscriptions would save Creative Security money and deliver corresponding benefits. These included increased agility and flexibility for the workforce, more robust security and hours saved by eliminating the workload of maintaining on-premise IT equipment.

Once Creative Security embraced the strategy, ZAG began managing the organizational shift towards cloud-first adoption, using Microsoft’s cloud-computing service, Azure.

In addition to helping Creative Security maximize its IT resources by adopting cloud-based solutions, ZAG also provides hands-on support fighting cybercrime. Even more valuable has been ZAG’s role in providing technical consultancy. As a result, Creative Security now pitches for contracts they felt under-qualified to pitch for before because of the more technical knowledge required for success.

Creative Security has earned approximately $1 million in additional revenue by using technology as a competitive advantage since partnering with ZAG — a feat Wall said would not have been achieved without them.

“I can think of specific projects that had technical components that were out of our realm of expertise,” Wall said. “When we consulted with ZAG, they provided novel ideas and opportunities for what was actually possible, which enabled us to win contracts that were bigger than we had before.”

By transitioning to cloud-based infrastructure, Creative Security has also unlocked significant cost and time savings, including more than $100,000 in upfront investment by eliminating the need to upgrade servers, systems and software. Meanwhile, they’ve regained hundreds of hours a year by removing the workload of ongoing maintenance and oversight.

Creative Security saw even more value from ZAG’s solutions when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“When we first considered moving to a cloud-based environment, we trusted ZAG’s judgment that it was the best solution for future-proofing ourselves, and saving time and money across the business,” Wall said. “With every application, file and system available instantly via the cloud, colleagues could continue to provide exceptional service to customers remotely without an issue.”

With ZAG, system uptime is improved, time and cost savings are unlocked, and security and scalability are maximized. Best of all, Wall has a skilled, technical team on the end of the phone that cares about making his business successful.

“Before we worked with ZAG, we felt like we couldn’t get out from under the thumb of being a small business,” Wall said. “With ZAG, we have an entire company that’s dedicated themselves to making us more productive — and is heavily invested in seeing us succeed.” — By Courtney Wolfe, SDM Managing Editor //

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Hanwha Techwin announced that the Star of Hope Mission in Houston has installed hundreds of Hanwha security cameras and a Wisenet WAVE VMS to help secure facilities for unhoused men, women and children. Star of Hope selected a combination of Wisenet S, X and P series Hanwha Techwin cameras for its video surveillance system. In part, the decision about which cameras to purchase was based on the level of detail required for different locations. In particular, Star of Hope needed higher levels of detail for outside locations and lower levels for interior spaces.

Star of Hope installed 262 cameras, using 12 MP cameras on the perimeter, 4 MP cameras in courtyards and 2 MP cameras inside buildings. P series 12 MP 360-degree fisheye cameras also were installed in classrooms. Star of Hope’s Women and Family Development Center has a security command room with a video wall that features nine 40-inch screens that are actively monitored 24/7.

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Arcules announced that local Nebraska non-profit Together recently streamlined its security infrastructure through the Arcules unified cloud platform. The solution allows scalability for Together by being cost-effective, simple to use and compatible with existing IP cameras and networks.

“By adopting a cloud-based platform, Together has been able to significantly reduce security management and maintenance,” said Together President and CEO Mike Hornacek. “Software upgrades are automatic, and continuous monitoring and proactive support alerts our team to potential issues before they become problems. As a non-profit, we are often spread thin, and Arcules’ cloud-based infrastructure has made us more effective in ensuring the safety of our facilities and participants.”



Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance was facing issues when users had to place their palms on the surface of the palm geometry reader they were using. These devices were not able to reflect real-time attendance in the system, so they were not gathering correct time-attendance data for timely and accurate salary payments. To resolve these challenges, they wanted the latest contactless technology for a centralized time-attendance solution. Furthermore, they needed a solution that could easily integrate with their own time-attendance and payroll software.

The Ministry decided on Matrix, which offered a comprehensive People Mobility Solution that took care of all their business challenges. Matrix provided a centralized solution, which connects 141 different locations with the COSEC CENTRA server to their corporate head office located in Jakarta. Attendance of each employee can be marked from any location, since the terminals are connected with each other and the central server through a VPN network. User credentials are transferred automatically to every device connected with the COSEC CENTRA server. Matrix’s COSEC DOOR PVR, a contactless technology that reads the internal vascular pattern of the palm and gives accurate results to provide utmost security and hygiene, was also installed.

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Contra Costa County in California has opened a new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) featuring a state-of-the-art situation room equipped with the latest real-time visualization technology. The solution chosen was a combination of RGB Spectrum’s Galileo display processor coupled with its Zio AV-over-IP platform. Contra Costa County selected the RGB Spectrum solutions for their 24/7 reliability, support for diverse signal sources, ability to disseminate information to local and remote locations simultaneously and exceptional 4K image quality. Rosendin Electric, an experienced audio-visual design-build integrator based in San Jose, Calif., was commissioned to design and deploy the center’s visualization system.

“It is extremely important for EOC personnel to be able to investigate an incident and make decisions on deploying resources,” said Rick Kovar, emergency services manager for the Contra Costa County Sherriff’s Office. “One of the things we learned from previous disasters is that we need to maximize situational awareness. The video wall is key for achieving this. In a wildfire situation, for example, we have access to fire cameras across the county. We have GIS maps that display hotspots. There’s data available from a variety of sources. RGB Spectrum’s systems allow for their efficient transmission and display to all decision makers. This improves the common operating picture throughout the facility.”

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