Why SYMMETRY INCIDENT MANAGEMENT is
a global security industry game-changer
The digital revolution has transformed every aspect of the security business, making adaptability, innovation, global capability and a seamless customer experience more important than ever.
To keep up with this digital transformation, G4S has redesigned Symmetry Incident Management, our comprehensive incident and case management system, to allow customers to report, track and resolve security incidents in real time, while simultaneously managing their people, sites, assets and security team.
“From the outset, the system was really good at what it was designed to do: incident capture and notification,” says Allison Maffei, Vice President of Managed Services at G4S North America. “It was well thought out and scaled to meet the needs of the US business.”
However, a global company requires a global product, so once customers began putting pressure on the system with specific requirements, the team went back to the drawing board.
“We took into account every request that’s been made by a customer, a business leader or a prospect, along with everything the other products on the market do, and we started building a plan for Version 7,” explains Allison. “Any tool is only as good as the money it saves and the time it gives you back. We built this tool with that front-of-mind: by assessment, by event and by user.”
This involved taking some of the ideas and functionality from the current version and looking at how it could be enhanced to improve the user experience and intuitiveness, allowing for better data capture and process optimisation. “It also meant adding a site management and site assessment capability to ensure customers had one single powerful tool,” says Allison.
Working in the cloud enables G4S to offer hosting outside the US. “It means we could spin up a server for a customer in the UK, for example, that was compliant with EU rules using Microsoft Azure,” says Allison. “Before, an IT team would have had to go out and find data racks and storage spaces.”
With two servers running on the eastern and western US coasts, the new system also provides improved business continuity. “Should there be a fire, flood or hurricane, we can flip from one server to the other easily,” explains Allison. To more closely align with the modern requirements of Fortune 500 companies, Version 7 also moved to a three tier architecture.
a complete overhaul
Symmetry Incident Management is now comprised of three modules: event management, site management and security management. The modules sit in a modern interface that has been designed with familiarity and intuitiveness in mind.
“We saw this as an opportunity to distinguish ourselves from other, more difficult-to-use tools by having something that was really simple,” says Allison.
To enhance the customer experience, functionality within the new interface emulates a number of the smartphone and tablet technologies users rely upon in their daily lives.
“Data is only as good as its ability to help you make better decisions. Symmetry Incident Management helps customers make better choices across resources, staffing and reporting. Simply put: ask the right questions, get the right answers,” says Allison.
To that end, Version 7 has been built to display custom landing pages based on roles. Each shows 13 dashboards, which provide quick and easy access to the most relevant data and tasks. This allows customers to consume vast amounts of data in a meaningful way, transforming information into insights or decisions quickly and easily.
“If customers allow us to use the information captured in Symmetry Incident Management, it enables us to perform a better service, with analysts constantly monitoring, driving and developing individual security programmes. There’s a lot of power in the data,” says Allison.
Having been designed from its inception to be a global product, G4S has ensured that the user experience will translate from country to country. As well as using inline spelling and icons to streamline the incident capture reporting process, Version 7 has the ability to translate the 76,000+ terms existing within Symmetry Incident Management into different languages. “Today we have English, Spanish and French Canadian, but we can support any left-to-right language,” Allison explains.
New administration tools in Version 7 mean the customer can change reports or assessments themselves, without going back to the developers. Furthermore, artificial intelligence has been built into a G4S product for the first time.
“By combining artificial intelligence and analytics, we've moved the whole conversation forward. We've harnessed the same machine learning that's advancing technology all over the world to provide customers with predictive analytics – analytics that help you avoid problems before they've begun,” says Allison.
The new system is able to learn from whoever is inputting data, helping security officers and investigators to write cleaner reports that include all the required information – and avoid mistakes – without the need for manual checking by a supervisor. Version 7 also provides a dashboard for supervisors to view the success rate of their direct reports, allowing them to develop targeted training.
“We've harnessed the same machine learning that's advancing technology all over the world to provide predictive analytics that helps users to avoid problems before they've arisen.”
The interactivity of the system components also makes data capture and analysis highly efficient.
“We’re trying to make sure that all of our new products use the same type of technology so that they can easily talk to one another – as well as other products,” explains Allison. One of these products is AMAG Technology’s leading access control and video management software, Symmetry.
The integration with Symmetry enhances Version 7’s responsiveness and extensive capabilities, allowing, for example, a customer to set highly advanced, customised alerts for door alarms.
“When an officer creates an event in Symmetry Incident Management that contains a person of interest, this is communicated back to Symmetry to ensure the credentials for that person have been disabled, and that the visitor management system has been updated to prevent these credentials from being issued,” says Allison.
It is this integration that enables operators to stay agile and responsive throughout an event, all the while remaining in one system.
The current version of Symmetry Incident Management also integrates with the Visual Command Centre situational awareness tool from Everbridge and the SureView Immix video management platform, which will carry over to Version 7.
“This means, for example, if a security officer creates an incident in Symmetry Incident Management using their smartphone, the system automatically pulls into that incident the local camera views at that location. It ensures that everything is captured accurately, and the operational intelligence centre can see exactly what’s happening around the officer in real time,” explains Allison.
Designed with an eye on the future, the system architecture is very much open, allowing for further developments and integrations – ensuring Symmetry Incident Management will stay ahead of the game for years to come.