In the latest of our series of prop-tech and innovation interviews, we discuss the challenges facing the residential sector from a technology perspective with Grainger’s CIO, Paul Glibbery
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Paul Glibbery is the Chief Information Officer for Grainger PLC the UK’s largest listed residential landlord. His appointment reflects Grainger’s significant investment in its technology platform CONNECT, which provides an integrated solution to enhance the customer experience and improve operational efficiency. Paul has over 20 years of extensive experience leading the delivery of global technology and digital business transformation programmes for major brands including Hewlett Packard, Airbus and Fujitsu. During his 7-year tenure at Hewlett Packard, Paul held a number of appointments. He was Delivery Director for the $1Bn HP UK Defence contract, led the Group’s EMEA Business Transformation Programme and was most recently responsible for a Global business, with the remit of helping clients implement a strategy to transition to digital services.
What was the challenge you faced that led to Project Verkada?
“Security is a key challenge and focus area for a landlord like ourselves across such a broad portfolio,” remarked Paul. “Clearly, resident safety is our number one priority and having reliable and modern security systems is essential. However, we had multiple legacy CCTV systems which did not meet the standards and level of best practice that we always strive for.”
“We, therefore, embarked on the project in Q4 2020 to upgrade the systems and leverage the most modern technology and infrastructure using cloud-based computing.”
So, how does the solution work in practice?
“Well, the Verkada Intelligent Hybrid platform sits in the cloud and can be accessed centrally. It provides real-time monitoring and analysis and means our security teams are more responsive and informed.”
Presumably, this has streamlined operations and provides greater security for your residents?
“Well indeed. What’s more, the Verkada Command centre is a web-based dashboard where our colleagues can access footage in seconds. They can do this remotely and share footage with other colleagues, security staff or emergency services via email or text. With features such as motion detection, people analytics, heat mapping, crowd alerting and vehicle analytics our team can quickly search across the dashboard to find relevant footage. The solution is secure and GDPR compliant.
“We opted for a 10-year warranty system so that it is baked into all our build-to-rent assets. This provides cost savings for the business, and, of course, we will receive all upgrades automatically.
“It’s been a real game changer for us, and as I said at the start, it enhances resident safety across the portfolio.”