Interview: George Moawad, Genetec

Genetec Australia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 23 November, 2023

Interview: George Moawad, Genetec

After years of extensive disruption, will 2024 see the dust settle or can we expect the same rate of change?

It was widely believed that supply chain constraints and HR challenges would improve after the pandemic disrupted the business climate. However, as of now, our latest State of Physical Security Report indicates that these problems have not yet been resolved in the physical security industry.

Despite industry-wide layoffs, specific tech skills are still in high demand after many years. How can this be effectively addressed in 2024?

One of the things we are most proud of at Genetec is that we have not engaged in the industry-wide layoffs affecting much of the technology sector. Our growth and commitment remain strong. We’ve bucked the trend and significantly bolstered our Australian team from five to twenty-four team members in the past two years. We plan to hire an additional five people in the remainder of 2023 and are excited to continue our investment in Australia, expanding the team further in 2024 and beyond. Genetec is committed to investing into its workforce, platform and customers in Australia.

And, unlike many other international businesses, we are not solely hiring salespeople in the region. For each salesperson, we hire two engineers — for pre and post sales — to support customers through their entire journey with us.

Machine learning, AI and automation grabbed the headlines last year — what separates the hype from reality in terms of useful application?

Since the public unveiling of ChatGPT, AI has been the biggest news in the technology industry. But we see it as a buzzword and not the reality of what is happening in the public and private sector. Our focus is on intelligent automation and machine learning as tools to accelerate processes and enhance efficiency gains.

Genetec doesn’t believe people will be replaced with AI. There are too many important decisions and nuances to manage that algorithms simply can’t handle. These technologies can only replicate events and data they have seen before. They are not capable of original thinking, problem solving or creativity. The world still needs humans in charge and accountable for decision-making, especially in the public sector, and that remains as important as ever.

Our focus is on delivering tangible benefits that enable government departments and agencies to deliver better services to the communities they serve more efficiently. Not what science fiction shows tell us might be possible.

Privacy, data security and the exceptional customer experience… can they coexist?

For a long time, people were told that ensuring privacy and security would come at the cost of a positive user experience. At Genetec, we don’t believe that is true. Privacy and security are at the top of mind when we design and improve our products and services. We firmly believe that great security and privacy should not come at the cost of the user experience.

The challenge we face today is that the threat environment is dynamic. What protects us today may not protect us tomorrow. Defeating malicious actors depends on transparency and clear communication from vendors, the public sector and private organisations who share threat intelligence, newly discovered vulnerabilities and exploits. There is no silver bullet to counter cybersecurity and physical security threats. It requires a team effort.

Government departments and agencies are in a unique position. By taking the lead in using new technologies, sharing information and educating the private sector, they can be a beacon that shines a light on what technology can do to help us become safer and more effective.

As Country Manager for Oceania at Genetec, George leads a team of professionals delivering cutting-edge network-based security solutions for private, public, corporate and commercial clients. With over 27 years of experience in the electronic physical security industry, George has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this dynamic field.

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