Author: John Davies
There isn’t much left to describe the events of 2020 that hasn’t already been said multiple times by many commentators, but it’s fair to say most people won’t have fond memories of the year! It was a year that defied everyone’s predictions and, beyond times of war, was one of the toughest in living memory for the global population.
However, I and the team at TDSi have a ‘glass half full’ perspective, we like to see the positives and to learn from any negatives because this is how you evolve. When I reflect on 2020 the challenges are outweighed by the sense of pride I have in the way TDSi and, most importantly, the people that make it what it is, reacted to the most unforeseen of circumstances. It’s also important to focus on the future rather than just dwelling on the past.
Secure access control is always important for all sectors (and of course for us all personally in protecting the people and things that matter), but when you have a dangerous and initially unknown virus on the loose it brings the importance of what we do into sharp focus.
The pandemic has really shown who the key workers are in our society – healthcare professionals, cleaning staff, and the logistics/retailers that ensure the supply of food and medicines being obvious examples – and I think the security industry has shown just how vital we are too, by ensuring safety as part of the protection remit.
Whether its delivering Track and Trace services (something which TDSi was very quick to develop and roll out for free to anyone using our EXgarde or GARDiS software), occupancy management, or people counting – access control has been there. Non-touch authentication systems have also proven to be a key ally in helping to slow the spread of the virus, by removing further potential channels of infection.
We started off 2020 like any normal year, with firm plans to roll out new products and to physically meet customers and partners at various planned events. Sadly, most of the major face-to-face events (save for Intersec 2020) were overtaken by the pandemic events, but we continued to engage and educate through a regular series of Table Talk online seminars.
We excitedly launched our new web-server embedded GARDiS access controller in January to great interest from the market, then the aforementioned Track and Trace solution in May to help combat the new threat. By the autumn, we also had two further significant launches – the GARDiS Bluetooth Low Energy reader (which enables the contactless authentication of security credentials from a compatible mobile phone) and Version 2.0 of our flagship GARDiS software (which introduced a whole raft of exciting additional features).
Despite the most unusual of circumstances going on in the world, TDSi treated the year as ‘business as usual’ as far as possible – we have continued to serve customers, provide advice, and support to our partners and continue to supply products as normal. We even found time to take on new team members, including Keith Beech to our Logistics Team, Zara Taylor as Marketing Manager, and Product Engineer Oscar Johnson as our first higher-level Apprentice.
With the challenges of 2020, it’s even more important to look forward to what 2021 has in store. TDSi has some exciting developments to launch during 2021, including further enhancements to our GARDiS range of software and hardware.
We also hope that some of the delayed or postponed events will be able to take place later in 2021 (The Security Event at the NEC Birmingham is slated for September for example). However, we are always on hand to assist with any queries or needs via our online portals or even on the phone!
We have all had to adapt considerably during 2020, but I am sure that TDSi, the security industry, and our society as a whole, will be stronger for all these challenges. As security providers, we specialise in ‘expecting the unexpected’ and have had a big reminder that you never quite know what is around the corner, but it always pays to be prepared for as many eventualities as you can.
There are still many challenges ahead in defeating the ongoing pandemic, protecting people and their health (both body and mind), and protecting livelihoods. But for now, we have all earned a breather to take stock and approach 2021 as a fresh opportunity to be the best we can be.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish our customers, partners, and the amazing TDSi team a Happy New Year and a safe, secure, and hopefully less eventful 2021!
John Davies, Managing Director of TDSi