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Sydney Opera House seeks channel amid tougher security stance

Engages in market sounding activity to further develop procurement strategy

The Sydney Opera House Trust (SOHT) has revealed its intentions to implement significant upgrades to its security systems and capabilities.

The iconic building attracts more than 10 million visitors each year and plays host to more than 2,500 events across its seven venues: the Concert Hall, Opera Theatre, Drama Theatre, Playhouse, the Studio, Forecourt and Utzon Room. 

Specifically, SOHT said the primary objective of the Security Systems Upgrade Project (SSUP) was to enhance its ability to detect and respond to threats through increased interoperability, with a scalable, future-proof and resilient network of systems.

Furthermore, the facility has emphasised four secondary principals based on reliability, maintainability, scalability and usability.

To do that, SOHT is seeking to engage with hardware or software manufacturers, integrators or distributors through a market sounding activity (MSA) in order to further develop its procurement strategy. Respondents will have until 1 April to make their submission.

The SSUP aims to help generate a high level of integration across all of its separate security systems into a single user interface to raise situational awareness, make it more intuitive and analyse information proactively.

Physically, it also aims to improve its emergency planning and response security teams to create further flexibility in scaling up during major events or incidents.

In addition to the core technology infrastructure and building elements, the SSUP will also include digital video analytics, video and facial recognition technologies, behaviour analysis and object recognition; new, upgraded and coverage enhancements to CCTV cameras and integrated command and control platforms featuring new physical security information management system and incident reporting.

Delving deeper, skills will also be sought around data collection and intelligence solutions; redundancy and back-up; and integration of communications systems.

The Sydney Opera House (SOH) is currently deploying a new identity management system, using SailPoint as part of the overall SSUP, which is expected to be completed in September next year.

A design concept report has also been developed to help outline the functional performance and specifications for each element of the project, and it will also consider innovative solutions.

“Ensuring that SOH’s operational capability to deter, detect, delay and respond to security threats that is well supported by fit-for-purpose infrastructure and technology, is critical to generating and maintaining the resilience of its operations,” SOH said in the MSA.

“Considering the varying uses for SOH and its surrounds, technology and systems are required to be elegant, dynamic and integrated in order to provide users with real-time situational awareness, and to allow tactical and operational decisions to be made with the utmost certainty.”

Currently, the SOH’s systems are supported by an extensive and robust digital network with scale to increase security-related data.

The facility also runs a digital surveillance, electronic access control, communications management, fire management, incident reporting and building systems, but in some cases, SOHT said the systems are approaching end-of-life.