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Historical city Yerevan makes its first step to safe city with Avigilon

Historical city Yerevan makes its first step to safe city with Avigilon

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 8/19/2014 | Article type: Government & Public Services

The Capital of Armenia deploys Avigilon High-Definition Surveillance System as critical first step in safe city Initiative
One of the oldest cities in the world dating back to 782 BC, Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, is the country's political and economic hub. With more than a million residents and attracting tourists from around the world, Yerevan is compact and crowded, with an intense cultural life that draws a lot of traffic. Like all municipalities, Yerevan is vulnerable to threats driven by overcrowding, criminal activity, and natural disasters. To improve the safety of its citizens and visitors, the city has launched a “Safe City” initiative to reduce and prevent crime, and enhance the quality of life in the city. At the heart of its Safe City initiative is the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, currently deployed in the city's roads and parking lots with plans to cover the entire city to better protect its people, property, and assets.

Challenge
Manage municipal paid parking system and roll out a Safe City initiative to better protect people, property, infrastructure, and assets.

Solution
Parking City Service has deployed 1,600 Avigilon HD 5 MP Bullet cameras with adaptive IR technology in parking areas within the city center, and plans to install another 5,400 Avigilon HD cameras for complete coverage across the entire city. Six operators manage the surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™, storing up to two weeks of 24x7 continuous surveillance footage on 40 Avigilon Network Video Recorders located in the new air-conditioned data center.

Benefits
- Effective management of paid parking system
- Secure parked vehicles and prevent crime
- Generate revenue for city
- Assist in traffic flow management - Faster footage search and export times
- High-quality image detail for identification - Scalable to meet future Safe City goals

The First Step
As a first step in Yeravan's Safe City Project, the municipality engaged Parking City Service, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and support, to manage the surveillance system deployment at the city's parking lots and to monitor traffic in the crowded downtown core. “We believe that customers of the new paid parking system should receive good value for their money – ensuring the safety of vehicles is absolutely critical,” said Vazgen Harutyunyan, director at Parking City Service. “We looked at solutions from all the major players and selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for its exceptional image quality that captures the smallest details, advanced search and playback functionality, and ease-of-use.”

Avigilon in the City
Parking City Service has installed 1,600 Avigilon HD 5 MP Bullet cameras with adaptive IR technology in designated parking areas to date and plans to install another 5,400 Avigilon HD cameras for complete coverage across the entire city. Six operators manage the surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM)™, storing up to two weeks of continuous surveillance footage on 20 Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs), located in the company's new air-conditioned data center. Parking City Service installed the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system in no time, with excellent support from the Avigilon team. “We had no issues with installation and set-up, and Avigilon answers any questions we had promptly and accurately,” confirmed Harutyunyan.

Parking System Management
The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is used primarily to manage the city's new paid parking system and regulate what has been a disorderly situation for years. “We leverage the image quality of the Avigilon HD cameras to capture the license plates of vehicles parked in our lots and if payment is not made, a ticket is issued,” explained Harutyunyan. Operators review archived footage to identify vehicles that have not paid, creating a five-minute video clip that is attached to the ticket. “We create between 500 to 600 video clips each day, which we are able to do efficiently using the advanced search and playback features of the Avigilon Control Center software,” noted Harutyunyan. The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system ensures patron safety and parking availability, and also helps generate revenue for the city that can be used to further improve traffic flow in the downtown core.

Intuitive Searching Saves Time
Searching through large amounts of footage can be time consuming work, but operators can dramatically reduce the time required using the advanced functionality of the ACC software. Operators can digitally zoom in on image details from single or multiple cameras to capture necessary data and have full control over forward and reverse playback with drag and zoom capabilities for faster search times. “Avigilon Control Center is extremely user-friendly and intuitive, so we can quickly search through multiple cameras for fast results – in fact, we can complete all our reports in just a half an hour, even when multiple cameras are involved,” stated Harutyunyan.

Exporting Video Boosts Safety
The city also leverages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system for public safety purposes, reviewing footage of theft, vandalism, crime, and accidents in surrounding areas for investigative purposes. Feedback from local law enforcement and municipal agencies has been positive. “We can quickly and easily export video to help police in their forensic work,” explained Harutyunyan. “In one case, in which a man entered a building with a rifle, we were able to immediately provide footage which led to his arrest within hours.” Surveillance video is also shared with the city to assess traffic flow or analyze other urban planning concerns. “By collaborating with the city, we can help improve traffic flow, reduce crime and congestion, and enhance the overall quality of life in Yerevan.”

Clear Image Detail
Another key selling feature of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system is its exceptional image quality – both day and night. The Avigilon HD Bullet cameras are equipped with built-in adaptive infrared (IR) illumination to increase in-the-dark visibility without using a visible light source, important for operators to effectively capture minute details, such as license plate numbers, at any time of the day or night. “I also really like the fact that the Avigilon HD cameras come with an integrated lens for remote focus and zoom control,” said Harutyunyan. “I can easily change a camera's focus from 3 mm to 9 mm or 22 mm for even greater clarity.”

Future Scalability
Scalability was another important requirement, especially given the city's plans to expand the surveillance system right across the municipality. “With the Avigilon surveillance system, we will have no blind zones in the city center, with cameras installed on posts every 30 to 40 meters,” described Harutyunyan. “The Avigilon system will easily grow with us as we work towards 100 percent coverage of the entire city within the next few years.”

A Safer City Environment
The parking lot surveillance solution is just the first step in Yerevan's Safe City Initiative to enhance public safety and protect critical infrastructure, property, and assets. With broader access to surveillance footage, city officials can respond to events faster and more accurately than before to reduce crime and manage crisis situations in real-time – on every street corner. “Our final goal is to create a safer city for residents and visitors alike,” concluded Harutyunyan. “With easier and more timely access to high-quality surveillance footage through the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, we can easily achieve greater situational awareness for better overall protection.”

 

Avigilon supplies HD solution to multi-municipal water supply system in Portugal

Avigilon supplies HD solution to multi-municipal water supply system in Portugal

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 7/4/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Challenge
Implement an advanced HD video surveillance system that is both cost effective and easy to operate to effectively oversee a massive, multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system in Portugal.

Solution
águas do Mondego SA, the concessionary company operating the multi-municipal water supply and sanitation system in the Baixo Mondego-Bairrada region of Portugal, installed 55 Avigilon HD cameras to monitor 27 different facilities across 13 municipalities. Security officials at águas do Mondego SA manage the high-definition system from their desktops inside the company's main control room using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) network video management software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. The security team also uses the ACC Mobile application to view live and recorded images wirelessly and Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.

Benefits
The versatile Avigilon HD solution has enabled águas do Mondego SA to effectively manage multiple facilities, ensuring operational efficiency and water supply quality. Leveraging ACC Mobile, security staff can monitor all sites remotely and make logical decisions while offsite because of the clear image detail that the Avigilon solution provides. Avigilon's HDSM technology is also instrumental in keeping the company's bandwidth low, a crucial factor for the company as the majority of its network is required for other operational needs. The intuitive interface makes navigation simple for the 30-plus users of the system. As águas do Mondego SA gradually transitions from their existing analogue system to an HD surveillance solution, they use Avigilon Video Encoders to ensure all cameras effectively run on the same platform.
- Remote access to all sites
- Easy to operate interface
- Reduced installation and maintenance costs
- Superior image quality
- Minimal impact on the network

Multi-Municipal Water Supply Company in Portugal Deploys Avigilon High-Definition System to Protect its Assets and Water Supply

Founded in 2004, águas do Mondego SA was created with the goal of providing the best water supply and treatment services in Portugal. Today, the company has grown tremendously and is currently responsible for overseeing over 80 different sites in 13 municipalities across the country. Prior to deploying the Avigilon solution, águas do Mondego SA used analogue video to cover the perimeter of just eight of those facilities. In order to protect their assets and the long-term safety of the water supply, the management team at águas do Mondego SA knew they needed to invest in a full-scale HD video surveillance system. “Our legacy analogue CCTV system was expensive and did not provide usable image quality that we could use for process control,” said Carlos Capucho, engineer at águas do Mondego SA. “With the old system, we could not do any remote monitoring and there were plenty of faults. Replacing our analogue system with an HD video solution was inevitable.”

The management team searched for a system that was easy to install, operate and upgrade and had a detailed but practical graphical user interface. With the assistance of Domosinal Systems, their Portugal-based partner, águas do Mondego SA conducted a thorough market analysis of different HD video surveillance system providers before ultimately choosing Avigilon because of its image quality, ease of use and versatility. “We concluded that Avigilon's end-to-end HD surveillance system was the most compatible with our operational needs,” stated Mr. Capucho. “In the years since installing Avigilon, we are pleased to report that the system has far surpassed our initial expectations.” As of December 2013, the company uses over 55 Avigilon cameras to oversee 27 facilities across Portugal with plans of expanding to 20 more facilities in the next year.

Integration with SCADA Software
águas do Mondego SA uses supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to gather and analyze real-time date of their water supply at each site. The management team at águas do Mondego SA have been able to leverage the Avigilon ACC software as a complementary tool for their SCADA systems, enabling remote and reliable video verification with HD images without any dedicated maintenance. “The Avigilon solution is directly integrated into the SCADA management systems,” said Mr. Capucho. “If SCADA detects an event, the Avigilon supporting footage can be sent to the operators, giving them enough real-time information to make an educated decision. The integration between the Avigilon system and SCADA means operators have fewer platforms to monitor.”

Remote Access
Avigilon's ACC Mobile application has made it convenient for the security team at águas do Mondego SA to monitor each of the 27 sites. With their previous system, the company did not have remote access, forcing them to make long trips whenever a situation arose. “In the past, when we received alarms, we had to go back and forth between sites that were more than 80 kilometers apart,” Mr. Capucho said. “With the Avigilon system, we can use the high-resolution footage to track our system's various stages of treatment online, without having to actually be on location.”

User-Friendly System
According to Mr. Capucho, “The Avigilon HD video surveillance system installed at Aguas do Mondego SA is easy to use with almost no maintenance required.” Mr. Capucho added, “The ACC software is an effective tool that helps us save on both cost and time when we need to go back and search for footage. The company has saved money on repairs and maintenance and it is easy to train all of our security staff on.”

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 2)

Editor / Provider: Jill Lai, a&s International | Updated: 6/25/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

"Big data" and the "Internet of Things"(IoT) now are not only discussed in the IT and communications idustries, but they are also ready to influence and even upturn the securiy industry. While we anticipate a connected society, the world is also vulnerable to malicious physical and cyber security attacks. Fortunately, security technologies have evolved and developed to prevent any disasters from happening.

When the world starts to look into "big data" and how IoT can benefit everyone, the trend forces the security industry to gradually switch their attention to data and content beyond product specifications to better fit the needs of a connected world.

Open Platforms Drive Total Integration
Integration has been an unstoppable trend in all industries, especially when it comes to IoT. Eventually, in a connected world, every system will be connected in a single network. The security industry will also continue to evolve. To build up a future-proof solution, integrating different systems through proprietary SDKs and APIs no longer seems like enough. Companies now concentrate on how to construct a more open platform in order to seamlessly manage and utilize different resources in different security equipment. According to Genetec's white paper, it suggests that a truly unified platform in video surveillance can optimize resources by sharing common servers and databases for authentication and permission, licensing, configuration settings, alarms and evens, audit and activity log, video recording, and access logs.

"Because of the open and standardized features, IP-based video surveillance has become more accessible and affordable. End users in small-scaled market sectors, such as SMBs, now are willing to consider IP-based products. We do see an increased demand for these types of products from the education sector in K-12 schools, retail and even residential sectors are picking up," said Kostas Mellos, product marketing, video, Interlogix and Lenel.

Looking at the access control market only, it has been actively developing with the introduction of different new technologies. The market's high growth still mainly comes from the migration from mechanical locks to electronic locks. However, what is really driving the growth of the market is the need for open platforms. Access control systems, in the past, were very closed, simply for restricting entrance to a building, room, and property. Until recently, users have started to realize the benefits whenever it links with other systems. “What really differentiates us from other companies is, in our hardware and firmware. We develop to an open platform and protocol, which is very critical for the credentials and access control systems for future expansion or integration of other future technologies. That is why we are chosen for replacement projects and also big projects, like One World Trade Center,” said April Daltron-Noblitt, Director of Vertical Marketing at Allegion. Both the access control and video surveillance markets are developing their solutions very fast in open platforms, which also is closely tying both sides together. Companies, like Axis, Avigilon, and Genetec have developed their own integrated systems. The partnership of video and access control companies has become basic to form an integrated system. “Genetec offers its end users a unified security platform, which seamlessly integrates video, access control, and license plate recognition. The open platform supports a vast ecosystem of cameras, access control edge devices and third party software tools, including analytics, biometrics and perimeter detection hardware.

Genetec's IP access control system is also increasing its compatibility with other access control hardware products. The most recent ones are our partnerships with ASSA ABLOY and Salto, who produce quality WiFi, PoE wireless locks,” said Andrew Elvish, VP of Marketing and Communication at Genetec.

On the other hand, PSIM is not only able to supervise multiple distinct systems and further manage information coming from these systems, but also presents all the information in a single user interface, which plays a vital role in big data and IoT. “Verint recently launched a new situation management platform that allows users to integrate a variety of systems providing real-time intelligence to respond to events,” said Courtney Mamuscia, Global Communications Director of Verint Video & Situation Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems. “This new solution expands our current PSIM application that has experienced significant growth in the critical infrastructure sectors and city-wide surveillance.”

However, some experts also warn that some PSIM products might have problems in lacking a built-in video, access control, and event integrated solution, which should be the key for selecting a “real” PSIM.

Social and Business Identity Takes Shape
While IoT gradually takes shape in the access control industry, end users have become more comfortable with making online payment via cards, PCs, tablets, mobile phones, and other wearable devices. Paym, a UK-based company, announced in April that consumers can use their mobile to make bank payments in the country. This trend is also going toward granting physical access control remotely via mobile devices, making access control as a service (ACaaS) gain more adoption. Furthermore, Brivo Labs claimed itself an IoT company, which launched its and also the industry's first social access management solution this year. Its main objective is to use social identities to “develop innovative applications that connect virtual communities with physical spaces,” said on Brivo Labs' website. According to Lee Odess, VP of Marketing at Brivo Systems and GM of Brivo Labs, by using Brivo Labs' API platform, physical access authorization now can be granted by using your profile on social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn, on mobile devices and wearable computing devices, such as Google Glass. It is truly a revolution in the physical access control field. Next, Brivo will develop their solution to adopt Bluetooth devices to provide end users more convenience to remotely access and manage doors.

Identity Management Spurs Growth of Biometrics
When we, as end users, start to enjoy the freedom of multiple ways of payment and easy access to a space, worries about the security mechanism in these solutions arise. What makes things worse is when we lose our credit cards, with tap-andpay- on-the-go feature, or mobile phones or devices, it also means we lose our credentials and even precious money. On the other hand, for enterprise users, especially multinational companies, how to well secure their physical and intellectual property, help workers make mobile offices work more efficiently, and get easy access in these spaces without spending extra time and paper work becomes their top priority in access control. A robust identity management solution becomes prerequisite for users ranging from public to enterprise users. For enterprise users, multi-factor identities for both physical and logical security could be the best choice; biometrics is an important factor binding all these together.

HID acquired IdenTrust to expand our identity management and secure authentication solutions offering, and enable us to provide banking customers with a trust network for issuing, authenticating, and using digital identities based on open standards,” said Jeremy Hyatt, Director of Global Public Relations of HID Global. “Our Lumidigm acquisition extends our multi-factor authentication portfolio with biometrics for high-security environments, while positioning us to deliver a variety of new secure identity solutions.” Besides, biometrics also becomes a unique selling point for different fields because of its unique identification feature, according to Bill Spence, VP of Sales of North America, Europe and Australia at Lumidigm. In amusement parks, biometrics has attracted many return customers. Lumidigm's solution was adopted by amusement parks, where parents' fingerprints had to match their child's RFID wristband when collecting them from the park grounds. On top of that, the system can also ensure that only one person uses each ticket. To prevent ticket fraud, parks today can link each ticket to a specific customer with the touch of a finger.

The demand for identity management provides new startups with pretty big business opportunities too. Bionym developed the first wearable authentication device that utilizes a user's electrocardiogram (ECG) to validate a person's identity, according to their company website. Zwipe, a new, next-generation biometric card, a contactless smart card credential with on-card fingerprint reading, eliminates the problems of solely deploying PINs and standard cards. The contactless Zwipe biometric card lets users authenticate themselves directly on the card through something they are, a fingerprint, using their already installed card reader. Only then will the card system activate the lock. This is much more secure than simply using a standard card, which verifies only something they carry, the card. Also many companies, which develop NFC rings and bracelets, intend to provide more flexible and innovative solutions to secure our access to either the virtual or non-virtual world.

A Connected World Makes a Safer Environment?
Thanks to IoT, we can expect a connected world in the future. Although new technologies bring us more convenience in terms of mass information and life comfort, do these also help us construct a safer environment? Without making security the priority, I am afraid that all these new and innovative technologies would be in vain. If the aforementioned developments in the security industry can cause everyone to be more aware of security, I would say the future of this connected world will be bright

* Take look into How big data and IoT revolutionize the security industry (Part 1)

UK First Direct Area relies on Avigilon Control Center Software

UK First Direct Area relies on Avigilon Control Center Software

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 6/23/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Challenge
To provide a newly built, world class arena with the latest generation security technology that could efficiently manage and monitor all areas of the venue to ensure the safety of staff and patrons.

Solution
From a 24-hour control room inside First Direct Arena, the security team manages their high-definition surveillance system using Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. With the Avigilon solution in place, the security team at the arena is able to manage dozens of IP cameras that oversee the piazza, stands, parking lot, concession areas and entry points. Operators of the Avigilon system use ACC Mobile to view live and recorded footage remotely from their smartphones and tablets. With Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs), the team is able to store up to 30 days of continuous surveillance footage.

Benefits
With the user-friendly and intuitive ACC software, the security team at First Direct Arena is able to monitor and manage crowd activity - both in the stands and throughout the exterior of the venue. The advanced search functions of ACC help the security team locate and accurately assess recorded footage in minutes. With the Avigilon ACC platform, the security team is able to monitor a large number of IP cameras and record footage without freezing or slowing down the system. - Improve crowd management
- Reduce investigation time
- Accurately assess incidents in the stands
- Protect against false liability claims

A State-of-the-Art Arena Deploys Avigilon High-Definition System to Protect Patrons and Improve Crowd Management
For decades, Leeds was the largest city in the United Kingdom (UK) without a major venue to host concerts and sporting events. After much demand for a modern and functional venue, city officials planned to build a multi-purpose concert hall with a spectacular fan-shaped design. In the fall of 2013, with Sir Elton John playing to a capacity audience of 13,500 people, First Direct Arena officially opened its doors for business. The arena will play host to over 140 events per year ranging from professional sports matches to top-billed music concerts to Disney on Ice. In order to protect the £50 million, approx $85 million, venue and all patrons in attendance, management needed to deploy a sophisticated HD video surveillance system. First Direct Arena engaged leading UK-based security specialists, Reflex Systems Ltd., to deliver an integrated solution incorporating video surveillance, access control, and perimeter and intruder detection. Under the recommendation of Reflex Systems, First Direct Arena chose the ACC software because of its multiple features and capability to efficiently manage a full-scale IP surveillance system. It also helped that a wide range of high-profile arenas and stadiums like the Slovnaft Arena (Slovakia) and Rogers Centre (Canada) relied on the Avigilon solution. Lee Sinnott, facilities manager at First Direct Arena agreed, “I saw that Avigilon products were deployed in numerous stadiums throughout North America and Europe,” Mr. Sinnott said. “It was comforting to learn that the system could be used for exactly what I needed it for.' What the Arena needed was a system that would be easy to use, provide efficient storage management and immediate and accurate searching capabilities. All features, Mr. Sinnott says, the Avigilon system delivers. “I would say our Avigilon system is significantly better than any kind I've seen previously,” he said.

Efficient Crowd Management
According to Mr. Sinnott, First Direct Arena predominately uses HD video surveillance to effectively and efficiently monitor crowd flow. With the ACC software, security personnel are able to monitor a variety of situations, such as altercations in the stands and theft, in an organized and timely manner. “The Avigilon system enables us to mitigate out some of the problems,” Mr. Sinnott said. “We've encountered less problems with crime because we can predetermine if there is going to be an issue somewhere.” The software has also been helpful in identifying possible interferences in traffic flow in and around the arena. “ACC has allowed us to manage our multiple cameras better than we have previously in other venues,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Say we see on the monitors that there is congestion at the front of the bar. We can now quickly adjust our staff and make dynamic changes so that we can provide better service at our concession stands.” Mr. Sinnott also points out that HD video surveillance helps accurately assess incidents where liability of the arena is a factor.

User-Friendly Software
Managing a large scale video surveillance system, required by most major arenas, can be a daunting task for security personnel. But the intuitive ACC software has simplified the process for First Direct Arena's security employees. “To be honest, we find the overall feel of the software to be user-friendly and easy to train employees on,” said Mr. Sinnott. ACC's advanced search features have also been a time-saving tool for Mr. Sinnott's staff. “With our older software suites, downloading the large amounts of data could take hours,” he said. “Avigilon's solution is so much simpler and this is a true benefit of the system. Rather than tying one of our security officers up for hours on end looking for a needle in a haystack, I can just download the segment of footage I need.” The value of the system is proven when the venue's security personnel can quickly submit footage to local law enforcement officials to assist with investigations. “Providing evidence to our local police force is easy and the footage has been of excellent quality,” Mr. Sinnott said. “The efficiency of the Avigilon system and clear images provided cuts down significantly on resources and time spent.”

Top-level Functionality
In addition to the main control room on the ground level that monitors the entire premise 24 hours a day, First Direct Arena uses a second control room during events to monitor its grounds. With the ACC software in use in both rooms, Mr. Sinnott states that the synchronization of communication between operators is seamless. “The ability for collaborative investigations was another key factor in our choice of Avigilon because of the flexibility and functionality the feature gave us in both control rooms,” said Mr. Sinnott. “Typically, our older system just provided mirror images of the other screen. If an operator was watching one image in our main control room, an operator in our opposite control room would be watching the same image. With Avigilon we have complete control of functionality from both locations.” If one of the control rooms is disconnected, the security team can easily move to the system in the room without missing a beat. “This kind of flexibility gives us greater control and added functionality,” said Mr. Sinnott.

Avigilon secures health care department in Tampere, Finland

Avigilon secures health care department in Tampere, Finland

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 6/6/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Tampere Department of Social Services and Health Care, located in Tampere, Finland, is at the cutting-edge of health care, offering preventative services and solutions that reduce the social costs of poor health. As one of the country's most rapidly developing regions, Tampere City Department of Social Services and Health Care delivers primary care to its 215,000 residents through more than 200 social and health care units, and three hospitals.

With the help of the Avigilon solution, the department was able to lower criminal activity, monitor patients, enhance the services provided and improve onsite safety. In addition, management was able to save significantly on costs related to theft and damage and significantly reduced the number of false liability claims.

Preventing Crime
According to Raimo Rae, Hospital Engineer at the Tampere Department of Social Services and Health Care, the region has experienced a rise in vandalism, theft, and even violent crime since 2000. “We have also seen an increase in the occurrence of diagnosed mental disorders and drug use amongst employees and patients, further compelling us to improve security,” said Mr. Rae. “We are constantly enhancing our services to keep pace with society's escalating security risks.”

The department held a competitive bid and selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system based on the recommendation of Divacont Ltd., a local provider of surveillance system design and long-term partner. “Divacont is a very reliable, skilled, and professional partner,” explained Mr. Rae. “We chose the Avigilon solution because nothing else on the market compares in terms of quality and functionality.” Mr. Rae also wanted an all-in-one surveillance solution to minimize complications during installation and to facilitate system management and maintenance.

The Avigilon Solution
Previously, the Tampere Department of Social Services and Health Care had an analog-based surveillance system that only monitored the exterior of its buildings because budget did not allow for an indoor system. “We have learned through experience that it is also very important to cover the corridors and lobbies to effectively track client movement,” noted Mr. Rae. “Our nurses rely on the Avigilon system at night to monitor activity throughout the health centers to ensure their protection.” And with more cameras monitoring a larger area, users have more opportunity to capture a clear image of an individual or incident for positive identification.

The Tampere Department of Social Services and Health Care installed more than 335 Avigilon HD cameras ranging from 1MP to 5 MP across its properties, all of which are monitored 24/7 and managed using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. The department relies on 67 Avigilon analog video encoders to improve the performance of its existing 600 analog cameras. With 13 Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and plans to upgrade its remaining 25 servers to Avigilon, the department stores up to two weeks of continuous surveillance footage.

Resolving Crime; Improving Quality of Care
Tampere installed the Avigilon solution with several key goals in mind. Firstly, the department wanted a reliable way to clearly capture and record data about its facilities, patients, and employees to successfully resolve issues and ultimately reduce criminal activity. Secondly, employees needed a system that would assist with patient control, particularly during the evening and night shifts when only a few nurses are on duty. Finally, the department needed to easily review footage to assess and improve customer service levels. “We are committed to providing the highest quality care possible and are always looking for ways to enhance our services,” said Mr. Rae.

Complete Search Control
The Avigilon Control Center software, designed with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, gives users complete control over video playback – a key selling feature for Mr. Rae and his team. “Avigilon delivers the best search and playback functionality I have ever seen and the software could not be any easier to use,” commented Mr. Rae, who also leverages the advanced mapping interface to plot cameras and servers on an imported map for easy navigation. The department utilizes the map feature to track suspects in real time. “The mapping interface simplifies system management – especially important for us because the Avigilon system spans many locations of different design and size.”

Quick Searches for Positive ID
The innovative, user-friendly ACC software allows Rae to quickly and effectively search through footage for near-instant positive identification to speed up investigations. “With exceptional image clarity, we can now find the right evidence in a fraction of the time,” claimed Mr. Rae, who added that Avigilon's pixel search has been invaluable in his work. “In fact, our searches take less than 20% of the time than with our previous system.” He also regularly shares footage with the local police, who have been very impressed with the quality of evidence provided. “Our footage has led to warnings, dismissals, and even conviction in several cases, and we have also noticed a marked increase in confessions because the image quality is truly indisputable.”

Benefits
Not only does the Avigilon system allow the department to focus on improving security, but it has also helped save some of the costs that stem from property damage and theft. “We have succeeded in reducing the number of serious cases of crime, which consequently reduces the time and cost of dealing with these issues,” said Mr. Rae. Since deploying the Avigilon system, the department has only had three medical room break-ins, all of which were quickly resolved.

The department now has a reliable way to clearly capture data in its facilities to lower criminal activity, monitor patients, enhance the health care service provided, and improve onsite safety. With the user-friendly Avigilon Control Center software, officials can now easily find the right information for quick incident resolution, leading to improved processes and procedures, and convictions, when necessary. The department has also saved tens of thousands of Euros in theft and damage, and has significantly reduced the number of false liability claims.

Avigilon video analytics Rialto offers higher integration and protection

Avigilon video analytics Rialto offers higher integration and protection

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 5/19/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Avigilon Corporation, the major global provider of end-to-end security solutions, has recently made the addition of the Rialto video analytics appliance family to its product portfolio.

The Rialto appliances provide real-time event detection and verification, enabling users to proactively identify any unusual activity that occurs in a monitored scene and take immediate action as necessary. Users can effectively lower costs and increase efficiencies, reduce on-site theft and vandalism, and provide real-time crime prevention to secure assets with this technology.

Following Avigilon's recent acquisition of VideoIQ, Inc., this release marks the introduction of featured analytics to Avigilon's end-to-end security solution. The patented Rialto technology, when combined with high-definition video imaging, will provide users with superior perimeter surveillance to help protect property, assets and personnel. The flexibility and ease of installation offers a cost effective way for companies to integrate video analytics into their current analog or IP video surveillance system.

“We are truly excited to be introducing the Rialto analytics appliances to address customers' needs,” said Ian Povey, Avigilon's director of product management and product marketing. “With a prominent team of analytics developers and a broad portfolio of intellectual property, we are readily integrating best-in-class video analytics technology into our award-winning, high-definition solutions. Additionally, our global sales team is well positioned to take this leading-edge technology to market with our vast network of over 2,000 partners and resellers.”

The Rialto family of products is optimized by its “Teach-by-Example” functionality, which enables users to give feedback about the accuracy of various alarm events as they are generated. Rialto products are able to learn from this feedback and increase future accuracy, resulting in one of the lowest false alarm rates in the industry. This self-learning technology provides enhanced levels of protection, particularly suited for environments that require perimeter and intrusion theft protection, such as critical infrastructure and commercial installations.

Core features and benefits of the Rialto series:
Self-learning analytics:
Algorithm-based intelligence allows the system to recognize people and vehicles while ignoring irrelevant motion;
True object classification: The system classifies people and vehicles, while ignoring other objects that are unimportant to the scene;
High-definition analysis: Analysis of video up to 1080p resolution allows for more accurate identification of object features to help reduce false alarms;
Audio talk-down capabilities: Connects to external speakers for remote talkdown functionality to provide additional intrusion deterrence;
Instant notification: Real-time SMS or email notifications enhance on-site security and professional monitoring services;
Ease of installation: Plug-and-play setup means quicker installation and near-instant realization of the benefits of analytics technology;
Always-on technology: Video analytics are able to monitor an area 24/7, 365 days a year;
Open platform: The system is designed to recognize third party analog and IP cameras.

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (2)

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (2)

Editor / Provider: Eifeh Strom, a&s International | Updated: 5/6/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

As technology has improved and more market education has helped end users understand VCA's limitations. Acceptance has gone up and more and more security companies are seeing its immense value.

Embedded From the Start
While companies like the aforementioned found success with VCA software as a standalone product, other companies view VCA software alone as a nonstarter and thereby established companies with VCA embedded into other products, whether it be hardware or other software. “The initial assumption was that VCA is a viable product all by itself,” said Jesikov, “However, as time as passed by it became clear that VCA can only be a part of a bigger integrated product.”

SightLogix was founded in 2004 on the principle that software alone cannot solve a problem; it needs hardware to accompany it. John Romanowich, CEO and founder of SightLogix, explained that to solve the problem of detecting what is wanted and ignoring what is not wanted, good integration of hardware and software is necessary. As a result, since its founding, SightLogix has been embedding video analytics on the edge in thermal cameras for use in outdoor perimeter applications. By putting the analytics onboard the thermal camera, and applying a high degree of video processing, the camera shifts from simply a surveillance device to a security device, as pointed out by Romanowich.

Other companies, such as Intelligent Security Systems (ISS) were founded on a similar principle of embedding VCA software into hardware, but have since modified their business model, integrating video analytics into VMS instead of hardware. When ISS was established in 1999 they were a DVR manufacturer; however, their DVR had built-in analytics. Over time, ISS noted that more and more customers had a need for management services for their video. Therefore, based on customers' needs and where the market was moving, ISS shifted their focus from DVRs to VMS with added-value analytics, which they now embed into hardware, according to Aluisio Figueiredo, COO of ISS. “At the end of the day, if there is no value added, it's [VMS] a commodity. With value added we can provide a tailor-made solution for every customer.” When established in 2003, Aimetis was an analytics company focused on third party integration, but there were significant business and technology obstacles to overcome at the time. Because the potential of analytics was not yet understood, potential partners were slow to invest, explained Justin Schorn, VP of Product Management at Aimetis. “From a technology standpoint, the hardware performance of existing products was insufficient to simply ‘bolt on' analytics. As a result, Aimetis focused on building a video management platform from scratch with VCA as a key differentiator.”

Outsiders Getting in on the Action
Although video analytics is not new to the security industry, adoption has only been gradual. Video analytics is not yet a standard, but seeing the added value of VCA technology, many security companies have acquired, partnered with, or developed their own analytics to add to their offering. Several notable acquisitions of video analytics companies have been made over the last decade, for example Infinova's 2012 acquisition of March Networks, and most recently Avigilon's acquisition of VideoIQ in January of this year. Additionally, in 2013, Kastle Systems, well known for delivering access control as a service, acquired CheckVideo, a provider of cloud-based intelligent video surveillance and alarm verification solutions. This trend of acquiring video analytics companies is also how many total solution providers got into the VCA game.

In 2007, Honeywell Security got in on the VCA game through the acquisition of ActivEye, a small specialist VCA company. This allowed the company to add complementary solutions to their video offering. Their goal in the acquisition was “to ensure that video content analytics sits at the core of integrated security systems, ensuring the technology provides tangible benefits to the security manager,” said Jeremy Kimber, Commercial Operations Marketing Leader of EMEA at Honeywell Security. Similarly, Tyco Security Products' 2008 acquisition of Intellivid, a retail data analytics company, was a stepping stone into VCA technology for the company, originally part of a retail-centric product offering, according Shahar Ze'evi, Senior Product Manager at Tyco Security Products; however, the company has spent the last few years developing the technology to provide functionality for the broader security market. Ze'evi further noted, “Our view of analytics has never been as a standalone application but rather as an additional tool that enhances our VMS offering.”

Many other security companies have acquired VCA companies as well. DVTel, a total solution provider of video surveillance, acquired intelligent video provider ioimage in 2010. “The addition of VCA technology to our product offering was important and necessary,” said Kim Loy, VP of Global Marketing and Chief Product Officer of DVTel. “Rather than start the development of VCA, the company [DVTel] acquired ioimage, which already had a strong brand that was known and trusted in the industry.”

More specialized companies such a FLIR Systems have also acquired more niche video analytics companies, such as Traficon, a company that specializes in video image processing software and hardware for traffic analysis. FLIR's 2012 acquisition of Traficon paved the way for the company to more aptly penetrate the intelligent transportation systems market.

THE YEAR FOR VCA (?)
Regardless of how or when security companies entered into the video analytics world, the increased interest is surely a good omen for the future of VCA. As more vendors begin to include video analytics in their offering, along with the continued growth of technology, accuracy, and education, there is no reason for 2014 to not be the year of VCA.

A decade in the making: VCA takes center stage (1)

Avigilon introduces latest HD security solution

Avigilon introduces latest HD security solution

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 5/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Following the recent acquisition of VideoIQ, Inc., Avigilon Corporation (Avigilon) recently made new product release—HD cameras as well as new upgrate of its intelligent video analytics and control center. These are set for advancing Avigilon's present security solutions.

Video Analytics
These real-time intelligent video analytics solutions  deliver a comprehensive preventative security solution. High definition video, instant and accurate object detection and classification alerts, and Instant notification are making it a smart 24/7/365 security system. With powerful analytics and video combination, the new video analytics help to prevent crime while providing high levels of identification and delivering positive ROI.

Avigilon Control Center 5.2
Avigilon ACC 5.2, the first major upgrade to Avigilon Control Center 5, provides advanced image detail more quickly and accurately than ever before by utilizing the next generation of High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) 2.0 technology. ACC 5.2 also enables users with large, distributed sites the ability to respond more quickly to real life incidents and conduct more efficient investigations with new enterprise level features.

HD Pro Camera Video
The new Avigilon HD Pro Camera Series are the industry's most advanced surveillance cameras on the market. Available in 8 MP, 12 MP and 16 MP resolutions, the HD Pro cameras deliver high-resolution images with Avigilon's next-generation bandwidth management technology to effectively provide maximum detail and coverage of expansive areas.

The 8 MP HD Pro camera is the intro camera to Avigilon HD Pro line. It provides the same resolution as over 25 standard VGA cameras. Underpinned by Avigilon next-generation H4 platform, the camera delivers superior image detail with improved performance, processing power and bandwidth consumption. The 16 MP HD pro camera keeps bandwidth low through seamless integration with Avigilon Control Center using our proprietary HDSM 2.0 technology.

Optex plug-in to integrate with Avigilon video management software

Optex plug-in to integrate with Avigilon video management software

Editor / Provider: Optex | Updated: 5/6/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Optex is planningto release a free plug-in to integrate its Redwall IP sensor range into the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) Video Management Software version 5.0.2.24 or later. With the free plug in, Redwall IP motion detection, perimeter security and the intelligent Laser sensors can now easily be integrated or added onto an IP security system managed by the ACC platform. In the event of intrusion they will trigger lights and camera pre-sets and point PTZs in the right direction to follow the intruders.

Town of Addison deploys Avigilon HD surveillance system

Town of Addison deploys Avigilon HD surveillance system

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Blending the diversity of a big city with the charm of a small town, Addison, Texas is one of the Dallas area's most popular destinations, offering more than 170 restaurants, 22 hotels, and 118 parks, all within an area of four square miles. With just 13,000 residents, Addison boasts a business and daytime population of more than 100,000 people looking for lodging, dining, and shopping opportunities. Driven to provide superior services, an enhanced sense of community, and a safe, high-quality living experience for residents and visitors alike, the Town of Addison has invested in the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system to protect people and property against theft, vandalism, and injury.

Challenge
Provide a safe, high-quality living experience for residents, and visitors and protect against theft, vandalism, and injury.

Solution
At the 150,000 square-foot Athletic Club, 33 Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, and 5MP cameras monitor the entrances, swimming pools, racquetball courts, gymnasium, surrounding parking lots and outdoor areas. 26 Avigilon HD 1MP and 8MP 180 JPEG2000 HD Pano Dome cameras monitor key areas across the 44,000 square-foot Conference and Theatre Centre, and 33 Avigilon HD 3MP cameras were installed at the 20-acre Addison Circle Park, with another 18 portable Avigilon HD 1 MP cameras added during large events. The Town manages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center Network Video Management Software (NVMS) and stores up to 30 days of continuous surveillance video at the Athletic Club and Conference and Theatre Centre and 90 days of footage at Addison Circle Park on four Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs.)

In with the New
With an outdated surveillance system that was difficult to manage and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras that were unreliable, the Town of Addison decided to upgrade to a more advanced and user-friendly surveillance system that could deliver excellent image clarity and better performance. “Many of our PTZ cameras were failing and the OnSSI software was complicated and cumbersome, making it difficult to effectively monitor key areas across town,” explained Chad Hancock, network specialist at the Town of Addison. After looking at several options, the Town of Addison selected the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system based on the recommendation of Convergint Technologies, a local provider of surveillance system design, installation, and support. “The Town of Addison specified ease-of-use, performance, and affordability as key system requirements,” explained Phil Kertz, sales manager at Convergint Technologies, LLC. “We recommended the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system because we knew it would effectively meet the Town's current and future needs.”

Protecting Key Facilities
Addison is committed to providing friendly, personal, and considerate service to all residents and visitors. With a first-class athletic club, acclaimed theatre, state-of-the-art conference centre, and beautiful park in the heart of town where special events are held 29 weekends of the year, Addison offers a unique – and welcoming – community experience. At the 150,000 square-foot athletic club, 33 Avigilon HD 1MP, 2MP, and 5MP cameras monitor the entrances, swimming pools, racquetball courts, gymnasium, surrounding parking lots and outdoor areas. Twenty-six Avigilon HD 1MP and 8MP 180° JPEG2000 HD Pano Dome cameras monitor key areas across the 44,000 square-foot Conference and Theatre Centre, and 33 Avigilon HD 3MP cameras were installed across the 20-acre Addison Circle Park, with another 18 portable Avigilon HD 1MP cameras added during large events.

The Town manages the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system using the Avigilon Control Center (ACC) software and stores up to 30 days of continuous surveillance video at the Athletic Club and Conference and Theatre Centre and 90 days of footage at Addison Circle Park on four Avigilon Network Video Recorders (NVRs). “Avigilon offers a very impressive surveillance solution supported by a responsive team of experts for greater overall reliability,” noted Hancock. “We are very pleased to be working with Avigilon.”

Faster Search and Export
The Town's previous surveillance system was very slow, making it difficult to search, playback, and retrieve video in a timely fashion. “It was critical that the new surveillance system be easy to manage with advanced search and playback features to expedite the investigation process,” said Hancock, who also wanted a faster way to export recorded video to share with key stakeholders. Before, the process of exporting video would bog down the Town's server, which was both frustrating and counter-productive. Avigilon's use of image compression technologies has dramatically reduced bandwidth and storage requirements as well, leading to even faster search times. “With Avigilon, the ease of searching and exporting recorded video is unmatched.”

Liability Protection
The Avigilon high-definition surveillance system plays a key role in protecting the Town from a liability standpoint – particularly at the Addison Athletic Club, where members may suffer injury or fall victim to theft or assault. “We've witnessed the occasional fight at the gym – particularly on the basketball court – and a few instances of theft in the parking lot,” explained Hancock. Theft can be a problem at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre as well, where the facility has also experienced vandalism. “The exceptional image clarity and zooming capabilities of the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system, combined with the advanced search and playback features of the ACC software, make it much easier to identify perpetrators and resolve incidents quickly and accurately.” As a result, the Town can better protect itself against false liability claims and save costly payouts.

Crowd Management
“Liability protection is an important requirement at special events as well, where there is almost always a disturbance of some sort that needs to be investigated after the fact,” claimed Hancock. To effectively manage these large crowds, the Town is required to store video of all special events for one year in case a liability claim is filed. “It is absolutely crucial that we be able to effectively search through reliable and high-quality video to correctly identify individuals involved and quickly share with the local police for further investigation.”

Performance in All Conditions
With the Avigilon system installed at Addison Circle Park, the Town can also be assured a reliable, high-performance surveillance solution at all times of the day and night and in all conditions. “Our old PTZ cameras failed regularly because they could not withstand the weather,” noted Hancock. “The Avigilon cameras not only provide a vast field of coverage, they were also designed to handle the elements, providing greater reliability in all weather conditions.”

Budget-friendly Performance
As a small municipality, cost was also a key consideration for Addison. “Delivering the performance we need at a price we could afford combined with lower maintenance and support costs, Avigilon is an incredibly cost-effective solution,” concluded Hancock. “With the Avigilon high-definition surveillance system installed at key facilities across town, we can confidently deliver a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable “small town” experience to all our residents and visitors.”

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