This is how organisations can be productive and protect people’s wellbeing during the pandemic

By Jannie Erasmus, head of surveillance and analytics at NEC XON

Many organisations have already run headfirst into the challenges around monitoring and managing Covid-19 and contact tracing when there’s a suspected Covid-19 exposure.

Manual systems are slow, resource intensive, costly, inaccurate and inhibit rather than empower managers and executives.

Teams of people are manually capturing visitors’ details, either on paper, in apps not designed for the job, or in systems that provide some but not all functionality. The results are often the same.

The Human Cost
Swarms of visitors and employees are unable to social distance in a company’s reception area. People are either late for meetings or waste time upon arrival. It takes a lot of people to do the job manually and they are slower than automated systems as well as less accurate.

Poor Oversight
Executives, managers and employees who must take responsibility for wellness and compliance cannot adequately do so. It is difficult to ensure policies and procedures are correctly followed by all health and safety workers and prove it.

Financial and IT Underperformance
It’s expensive to monitor and manage Covid-19 protocols, policies and procedures manually in the workplace. It’s impossible to do it with any speed and accuracy suffers. Systems purely focused on managing and monitoring Covid-19 deliver slender, if any, ROI. Although it’s easy to justify them from a humane perspective, the financial justifications can be a lot tougher. They’re not usually designed around returns, digitisation of the business, nor helping businesses modernise and digitally transform.

It’s understandable that all the IT-based solutions to date have not met the pretty tough requirements that Covid-19 protocols put on businesses. There hasn’t been enough time to have the proper experience to develop the right technologies for turnkey solutions.

But that’s changed.

NEC XON has used NEC’s NeoFace Watch AI-driven facial recognition to create a dependable platform for Covid-19 monitoring and management. It’s called NeoFace Watch Thermal.

The platform has been recognised by NIST as the world’s best facial recognition technology for the past 17 years running. NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It’s the lab services of the US Department of Commerce and its results are acknowledged as the de facto global standard.

NeoFace Watch Thermal automatically monitors that employees and visitors adhere to health and safety protocols. It alerts relevant stakeholders and escalates when necessary.

It helps to automate building access, minimising business interruptions and maximising employee productivity while containing costs associated with managing and responding to Covid-19 health and safety scenarios. It reduces the workload on employees who must otherwise manually scan people and capture their details at building entrances. Being automated and AI-driven, the solution can be pre-populated with consensual employee and visitor details.

It provides rapid and accurate contactless access for authorised personnel as well as advanced features such as protocol adherence. It can automatically ensure people wear their masks and social distance as well as monitor numbers of people on the premises.

NeoFace Watch effectively and securely meets POPI and GDPR requirements. It integrates existing databases or any SQL database.

To date, many businesses have struggled to justify the investment in standalone Covid-19 solutions, the need for which may dissipate once vaccination achieves herd immunity. NeoFace Watch Thermal is based on the AI-driven platform that is naturally extensible. It can integrate time and attendance, physical security access and monitoring as well as cybersecurity. It can integrate Internet of things (IoT) devices and networks or it can be used to create or extend complex solutions for industry.

Covid has put a lot of organisations under tremendous financial pressure. Being able to ensure maximum returns and benefits is a significant advantage. Particularly when you demonstrate that employee and visitor wellbeing is your number one priority. It’s the smart tech move.

Support your organisation’s sustainable future today

Caption: Anthony Laing, GM of Networking at NEC XON

Caption: Jannie Erasmus, head of surveillance and analytics at NEC XON


NEC XON is the combination of XON, a Systems Integrator providing custom ICT and security services and solutions in Southern Africa since 1996 and NEC Africa, the African business of the global technology giant NEC Corporation. NEC Corporation implemented its first communication solution is Africa in 1963 and established NEC Africa in 2011 to grow its business ICT and public safety.

Kapela Holdings, XON’s B-BBEE partner since 2012, continues as NEC XON’s B-BBEE partner in South Africa with Israel Skosana as chairman of the board of directors of NEC XON.

NEC generates global revenues in excess of $30 billion by orchestrating a brighter world for public entities, enterprises, telecoms carriers, and providing system platforms for businesses.

The combined NEC Africa and XON (NEC XON) operations seek to more fully explore the opportunities for safe city, energy, cyber security, telecommunication solutions, retail, energy, managed services, cyber defence services and cloud (both public and private) among others in sub-Sahara Africa.

NEC XON maintains its head offices in Gauteng, South Africa with a footprint that covers all nine provinces in South Africa and 16 Countries in sub-Sahara Africa.

Media enquiries: Mark Harris, NEC XON
Contact details: (011) 237-4500,

Issued by: Michelle Oelschig, Scarlet Letter
Contact details: 083-636-1766,