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ATF Services hooks into Azure and IoT to boost site security

Construction site theft in the sights of innovative cloud-connected camera solution

ATF Services is today launching a ground-breaking Microsoft Azure powered IoT wireless monitoring product – the ATF Intelligent Wireless Alarm – to tackle the rising problem of theft from construction sites that, if left unchecked, risks slowing the progress of the multibillion dollar sector.

ATF Services has developed into a multi-faceted site safety and technology services business now incorporating temporary fencing, solar surveillance technology, solar lighting and edge protection services divisions. It is now launching an Intelligent Wireless Alarm system that is cost efficient, scalable, resilient and internationally deployable.

According to IBISworld, Australia’s construction sector is a $349 billion a year business – but one increasingly being targeted by criminals.

Tool theft from construction sites and vehicles is a global problem which is on the rise. A recent study revealed that 39 per cent of residential builders were affected by theft or vandalism at their building sites. Of those, two thirds had experienced more than one incident.

While 61 per cent experienced the theft of raw materials, 46 per cent had experienced the loss ofsmall hand-held tools.  The cost of replacing tools or materials is only one part of the equation: without the gear to get the job done, customers’ projects get delayed and builders risk fines for delayed completion.

To combat the problem, ATF Services, working closely with Microsoft and Melbourne based digital consultancy Two Bulls, has developed the ATF Intelligent Wireless Alarm – a world-first IoT security device that provides continuous internet-connected monitoring for up to 12 months on just 4 AA batteries.

The ATF Intelligent Wireless Alarm is controlled via a mobile app, which allows the device to be configured to the requirements of the environment.  Site managers can download an app to access automatic alerts which are sent via app notification and/or email if devices detect any unexpected activity such as movement or sound.

The Intelligent Wireless Alarm is backed by the ATF Cloud platform, which is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure and is designed on top of Microsoft’s Service Fabric for reliability and scalability to support millions of concurrently connected devices.

The Intelligent Wireless Alarm is the first in a suite of IoT products by ATF designed to secure, track and monitor environments and equipment to help reduce the loss of assets, prevent vandalism and monitor productivity.  The solution is being offered as a value-added service to ATF clients through its specially formed division ATF Vision.

According to ATF Services CEO, Robin Mysell ; “ATF Vision has developed leading edge affordable surveillance technology, delivering a valuable service for customers and generating a significant new stream of business for ATF Services.”

The innovative solution is one of the first regional deployments of Microsoft’s Service Fabric, and features a pioneering IoT Gateway implementation.

Two Bulls used Microsoft’s IoT Gateway to create a custom-built field gateway to connect the camera’s industrial-grade multi-sensors to Azure.

Nick Darvey, technical lead for Two Bulls, said that Microsoft’s Service Fabric, its programming models and high-availability made it a natural fit for ATF’s requirements “as we don’t have the twenty years of research and PhDs necessary to build our own distributed system”.

Brett Shoemaker, Cloud + Enterprise Business Group Leader at Microsoft Australia, said: “Microsoft Azure’s reach and resilience, along with the rich IoT platform and tools underpins this highly innovative security solution that can now be sold internationally to tackle a real and growing problem.

“ATF Services identified a major challenge facing its clients and has developed an intelligent, scalable and resilient solution that will deliver solid returns on investment by ensuring construction sites are secured and projects meet crucial deadlines.”