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IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

IndigoVision regards access control and VMS most crucial in securiy systems

Editor / Provider: IdigoVision | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

 John Semple, Head of Product Management for IndigoVision, explains the individual and collective strengths of Access Control and Video Management Software.

Both Access Control software and Video Management Software (VMS) have become vital components in modern security systems. However, many are confused as to how exactly the two should be deployed.

It is important to get this right, as the two have very different strengths and features, and deploying the wrong one as the front end could leave end users without features that could be useful, or even vital to their security system.

In this article, we will examine the strengths of both Access Control and VMS, and how the two can be used to enhance each other and provide a better all-round security system.

The Strength of Access Control
Access Control systems are designed with immediacy in mind. Whenever someone interacts with the system, by swiping an ID card for example, the system immediately informs the operator who is requesting clearance, and what they are attempting to access.

It does this by accessing an extensive database, which can include information such as names, pass codes etc.

One striking aspect of this process is how the system relies on the person in question co-operating with it; in order to be effective, it requires the subject to willingly interact with the system. Let's take, as an example, a member of staff walking up to a door to swipe their ID card; they actively wish to be identified as they know they are.

Access Control software, even with video integration, is designed for this type of installation. Video functionality is often a basic “live video” pop up, giving visual verification along with the Access Control database information.

Unfortunately, Access Control systems are ill-equipped to deal with an intruder actively seeking to bypass the system by forcing entry through a door or gate. It is also limited when dealing with intruders bypassing controlled entry points altogether by forcing entry through a window or fence. In cases such as this, basic video display in the Access Control software provides limited information beyond the initial alarm, making it difficult to establish precisely what happened and has limited pre and post-event video analysis capabilities.

The Advantages of Video Management
This is where VMS comes into its own, with its more proactive nature allowing it to detect intruders whether they choose to engage with the surveillance system or not.

This means that VMS can provide a complete visual account of events before during and after an incident, leaving operators in no doubt as to what transpired.

Indeed, the ability to review evidence from before during and after an event is one of VMS' greatest strengths. Designed with a more forensic-based approach in mind, VMS features tools, such as thumbnails and bookmarks, to allow specific clips to be marked, searched and reviewed effortlessly. The footage can then be easily exported to the appropriate authorities.

This means that VMS can quickly establish a detailed timeline of events leading up to and following the main incident, which can provide vital information in an investigation, or key evidence in a trial. IndigoVision's Control Center even water marks video, both at the point of recording and again at the point of export, to guarantee that the video is authentic and has not been tampered with.

The superior analytics the VMS supports such as motion detection are another asset, as they offer a wider variety of logics to trigger alarms. In the case of IndigoVision's Control Center there is an additional benefit in the form of Activity Controlled Frame rate, which allows cameras to function at low frame rate and only increase to full frame rate if an analytic is triggered with no impact on video quality, while greatly reducing storage.

It is also worth noting that the VMS offers far more comprehensive surveillance, for example if a building is protected by Access Control alone and a car outside is stolen, the system will be of limited help. A strong VMS however could capture the incident and provide valuable evidence to resolve the situation.

So while Access Control performs one specific function exceptionally well, VMS is able to provide the security surveillance for a variety of areas of the property to be secured, creating a more adaptable and comprehensive surveillance system. All of these features mean that VMS is highly effective in open areas, areas of high traffic where checkpoints are not feasible, or areas with multiple points of entry, such as an airport.

Integration – The Best of Both
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Access Control and VMS providers have been working to integrate with one another.

This allows Access Control systems to employ more video functionality such as live & playback video and PTZ control & export, while VMS can monitor Access Control events such as elevator control, card tracing and advanced door monitoring.

In most cases though, it is still best to deploy Access Control and VMS side by side, as this creates a more robust and well-rounded system. If the security system has been designed around limited entry points, with Access Control entry, and the operator only requires a basic visual verification, then Access Control software may be sufficient.

However, the more advanced analytics and forensic capabilities of VMS, combined with its versatility and wider coverage, make it better suited for monitoring larger areas with numerous entry points. Therefore in these environments, VMS should be the front-end, with an integrated Access Control plugin to allow management of events and alarms.

Exacq technologies releases new exacqVision hybrid  ELP-series NVR

Exacq technologies releases new exacqVision hybrid ELP-series NVR

Editor / Provider: Exacq (Tyco) | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Exacq Technologies, part of the Security Products business unit of Tyco, a leading manufacturer of video management system (VMS) software and servers used for video surveillance, has expanded its line of network video recorder (NVR) solutions with the introduction of the new cost-effective, professional ELP-Series, featuring hybrid and IP camera servers. These servers utilize the exacqVision VMS software and are scalable with all exacqVision systems.

Hybrid ELP-Series NVRs include 8 or 16 analog camera inputs for instant connection of analog security cameras and can host up to 24 IP cameras. The ELP IP Camera Server is designed for IP cameras and encoders exclusively, with up to 24 IP cameras per system. All of the ELP-Series recorders include the exacqVision Professional VMS software with four IP camera licenses and are easily expandable to 24 per server.

Up to 8 terabytes of internal storage is currently available with the exacqVision ELP-Series, which utilizes continuous-duty, enterprise-class hard drives for high reliability operation. The ELP-Series also features and internal mSATA drive which stores and runs the exacqVision VMS software and the Linux operating system. This provides quick system start up and added overall system reliability.

Designed for easy, out-of-the-box deployment, the ELP-Series comes pre-loaded with exacqVision Professional video management system (VMS) software. The powerful exacqVision VMS software allows users to monitor video, audio and data in real time. Additionally, users can conduct investigations on recorded video, audio and data and search across multiple servers seamlessly. Users can administrate the system and view video directly from the server using the included exacqVision client. Remote users can access the ELP-Series—along with any exacqVision system—using the exacqVision client (Windows, Linux, Mac), the exacqVision web client, and the exacqVision mobile app (iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 devices). Client software and mobile applications for exacqVision are freely distributed and available for most operating systems.

Each ELP-Series NVR includes a three-year hardware warranty and three-year software subscription agreement. Software updates are produced regularly and incorporate powerful new exacqVision VMS features and enhancements.

Milestone names new managers for market business in S. Africa and Saudi Arabia

Milestone names new managers for market business in S. Africa and Saudi Arabia

Editor / Provider: Milestone System | Updated: 4/10/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has hired Michael Metcalfe as Channel Business Manager for Southern Africa and Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider as Channel Business Manager for Saudi Arabia.

"In response to the sharply rising demand for open technology video solutions in the area, we are ramping up the Milestone organization in Southern Africa. I am delighted that we have Michael joining Milestone Systems as Channels Business Manager for Southern Africa. His long experience with distributors is perfectly suited to address the possibilities our distribution partners have growing their business. Michael will be at IFSEC SA and several other local events," says Peter Biltsted, Sales Director, Middle East & Africa, Milestone Systems.

Michael Metcalfe has more than 10 years experience in distribution and Channel Development. He has been employed by the largest South African Distributor, Tarsus Technologies and most recently held a position as Sales and Business Development Manager from another large distributor, Duxbury Networking, before joining Milestone.

"I am thrilled to be at Milestone Systems as this position enables me to listen and react to the business needs in the Milestone partner community. I am looking forward to strengthening the existing relationships with our partners and widen the reach of the Milestone brand in Southern Africa by making use of my previous experiences in the channel business model," says Michael Metcalfe.

Milestone focus on relationships with Saudia Arabia partners and customers
Last month Milestone also extended its reach in the Arabian Peninsula with a new hire dedicated to the Saudi Arabian market.

Peter Biltsted, Sales Director, Middle East & Africa, for Milestone Systems, says: "I have the pleasure and honor of welcoming Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider as new Channel Business Manager for Saudi Arabia. He will accentuate Milestone as a local company that is honored by the attention we are getting from our highly esteemed customers in the country. Ahmed has gained valuable experience in supporting and strengthening sales in Saudi Arabia in his previous positions at other international companies."

Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider has a background in Engineering and Sales from the IT Industry, having held a position as manager at SBM (Saudi Business Machines) for more than eight years and lately had his own consulting company for IT and infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia.

"I am excited to be part of an organization that is truly innovative and consistently striving to bring the advantages of open platform video technology to partners and customers. As a Saudi national, I am dedicated to developing the partner channel further and interacting with users on their terms," says Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider.

 Michael Metcalfe                       Ahmad Saleh Al-Haider

 

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Increasing adoption of situational awareness systems in critical infrastructure

Editor / Provider: Michelle Chu, a&s international | Updated: 4/8/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Situational awareness has become a leading consideration in the protection of critical infrastructures, particularly for sites that want to conduct higher risk management and decrease the damage caused by potential threats. According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global security market for situational awareness systems — ranging from access control; physical security information management (PSIM) software; human-machine interface (HMI); video systems; and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) defense systems — is expected to generate revenue of US$168.3 billion by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 10.1 percent from 2013 to 2020. Every critical site demands a different level of integration, mostly dependent on the possible challenges and threats.

Ranging from natural conditions to social demonstrations, critical infrastructures need to be prepared for whatever may jeopardize the security of their sites. Critical infrastructures often cover a vast area and contain hazardous substances, making them an even bigger challenge to protect. If a critical site is not properly secured, any attack could possibly lead to hazardous consequences. In order to be able to instantly respond to a threatening incident, the solution has to allow operators to deploy every subsystem in the site through the same centralized management platform. More importantly, the centralized management platform should be able to communicate with both new and legacy systems. To answer the unique requirements of the critical infrastructure sector, many situational awareness systems, particularly PSIM solutions, have been strongly promoted in this market.

ADOPTION OF PSIM
During the last few years, adoption of PSIM solutions has dramatically increased in the critical infrastructure sector. As an emerging segment, the PSIM market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 25.8 percent from 2013 to 2019, due to the decreasing prices and increasing awareness among end users, according to Transparency Market Research. “It can be said that by pure volume, PSIM software may still be in the innovation phase of adoption, which is around 2.5 percent of all available customers; on the other hand, there are some indicators that suggest that PSIM software adopting has moved into an early adoption phase, which is around 13.5 percent of customers,” said Joshua Phillips, Director of Marketing of Enterprise and Critical Infrastructure of Video Intelligence Solutions at Verint Systems.

PSIM solutions are being increasingly used in government applications, such as law enforcement agencies, the military, ports, airports, transit systems, civilian agencies, and corporations with critical infrastructure assets. For instance, the city of Baltimore, U.S., has used PSIM to link assets and creat interoperability between around 50 agencies for large-scale public events. While, the new World Trade Center complex in New York City, U.S., has decided to use PSIM software as part of the ground-up solution for security and building management systems, according to Darren Chalmers-Stevens, VP of EMEA at VidSys.

PSIM: TOTAL INTEGRATION PLATFORM
PSIM solutions seem to be the answer to the demand of centralized management systems, offering efficient threat-response procedures. PSIM software provides organizations with a seamless interface, integrating security systems, building management, and on-site facilities and subsystems that enable operators to deploy every device when required. Furthermore, PSIM software is able to integrate systems — such as perimeter, intrusion/motion detection, video surveillance, access control, fire alarm, mass notification systems, audio, gas detection, radio communication, Internet, IT, and building automation — both legacy and new, making them interoperable on the same interface and workable with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Pre-Programmed Course of Responses
In addition to enhancing centralized management, PSIM software can proactively protect critical sites from potential threats and minimize damage with a series of coordinated and predetermined responses. “A PSIM solution allows organizations responsible for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) to take a proactive approach to security by implementing measures supported by resilient business processes for identifying, investigating, responding to, and recovering from a range of security threats,” stated Keith Bloodworth, CEO of CNL Software. “The pre-programmed response is done by tailoring the solution to manage the standard operating procedures as dictated by the plant or facility and by building an effective network of communications with external systems, and in an emergency, this may prevent a disaster turning into a tragedy with massive impact.” Once the system is aware of danger or an abnormal event around the site, the PSIM software will send out notifications to related individuals, and suggest a series of tailored operating procedures.

As an open software platform, PSIM software is able to integrate analog and IP-based devices and systems, aggregate information from all facilities, communicate among integrated systems, and then provide real-time alarm and event verification, as well as prioritize emergency response, which can ease labor intensive operations and increase efficiency, as Chalmers-Stevens explained. For instance, if an alarm is triggered by a sensor or motion detector somewhere on the site, corresponding live surveillance images from around the location will then be automatically presented to an operator in the security center. In the mean time, the geospatial location will be sent to the PSIM system, which then identifies the incident site on a map and responds to the threat accordingly. Since the threat-response procedures are all pre-programmed, any operator on that shift would know exactly how to deal with the problem.

REMINDERS BEFORE CHOOSING PSIM SOFTWARE FOR CIP
PSIM software is used for situation management; however, it has become harder to satisfy end users' requirements from various verticals, as this software is mostly focused on security and overlooks specific demands from different sectors. For example, “In areas subject to flooding and landslides, the cost-benefit of the pluviometer [rain gauge] integration far outweighs the value many PSIM solutions provide by integrating to the standard players in the security area,” Phillips pointed out. “The critical infrastructure customer finds it more affordable to replace one or more of the existing video systems than to wait for a PSIM provider to adapt to their environment.”

Despite the fact that PSIM software can provide critical infrastructures with a totally integrated platform, there are still some challenges that PSIM vendors have to contend with. One problem is reaching a consensus on total integration between all the departments in an organization, especially the IT and security teams. Since different departments have different security concerns, some might be nervous about sharing access to a database and servers on a centralized platform for example, according to Chalmers-Stevens.

In addition, critical infrastructure is a competitive sector in the security market, especially since required solutions and security management platforms can be provided by not only PSIM companies but many other VMS companies as well. A PSIM solution can be far above most end users' budgets — critical infrastructures usually have a higher budget for hardware, but software products are not always given the same consideration, according to Bloodworth. In order to deploy similar integration and management systems, end users must sometimes make compromises, opting for other affordable solutions and products that offer them acceptable and alike functionality.

FINAL WORDS
Even though past obstacles remain as issue, PSIM software manufacturers continue to pay attention to the education of end users in critical infrastructures every year. PSIM software, as an example here, demonstrates how important it is for critical infrastructures to improve their total security via situational awareness systems and the benefits they can get from the systems. It could be expected that, in addition to PSIM solutions, the adoption of situational awareness systems will peak significantly in the coming years.

Milestone Systems announces extended availability of Milestone Husky Series

Milestone Systems announces extended availability of Milestone Husky Series

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 3/27/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), announces extended availability for the Milestone Husky Series of network video recorder (NVR) appliances. These NVR appliances – preinstalled with Milestone's XProtect video management software (VMS) – will be available in 2014 Q2 in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and in Q3 for Asia and Pacific regions.

The Milestone Husky Series of NVRs has already been introduced in the U.S. and Canada, with the Milestone Husky M50 model being available first. Due to the demand, a staged roll-out plan has been put in action. The entire line of models are now available in the U.S. and Canada and will be showcased at the ISC West show in April.

Based on appearances alone, the Milestone Husky NVRs are different from others in the market. The appliances are sleek and sophisticated – designed to fit any environment, even on a small retail shop's shelf. Ensuring reliability and durability, the hardware is industrial-grade and works seamlessly with Milestone's VMS. Yet, it is the flexibility of the Milestone Husky Series is what makes the solutions stand out.

“We have redefined the NVR concept by providing our customers with embedded surveillance solutions that are customizable and scalable,” says Lars Nordenlund, VP of Incubation and Ventures at Milestone Systems. “Milestone Husky has already had tremendous response in the market because the series makes it so easy to customize a solution that meets their specific needs – from a single location flower shop to multi-site installations. Milestone Husky offers simple solutions with more than 50 preconfigured options.”

Milestone Husky is available in three models designed for different security or business video requirements:

* The Milestone Husky M10 is a very sleek and small fanless device ideal for entry-level surveillance and sites with no space for traditional IT equipment. The model supports up to 8 cameras. 
* The Milestone Husky M30 Designed for workstation installations with comprehensive surveillance needs. Customizable and scalable for business growth, the model supports up to 20 cameras. 
* The Milestone Husky M50 is a rack-mounted solution, feature-rich with unlimited options, and perfect for advanced installations with sophisticated security needs. The model supports up to 80 cameras.

The Milestone Husky appliances are ready to use, featuring automatic device discovery with wizards for configuring the entire system, and the device license keys are pre-activated.

Customers get instant and remote access to live and recorded video through a flexible choice of client interfaces: Milestone XProtect Smart Client (available with the Milestone Husky M30 and M50 models), XProtect Web Client or Milestone Mobile – all available in 27 languages.

The Milestone Husky M30 and M50 will not only be offered in preconfigured versions, Milestone also offers an online configurator that makes it simple for customers and partners to explore their options.

The Milestone open platform supports more than 3,000 camera models from over 100 manufacturers, as well as compatibility with ONVIF and PSIA compliant devices. Third-party integrations with video analytics and access control add even more value when using the Milestone M30 and M50 models.

Milestone customers are not the only ones who can benefit from the Milestone Husky solutions. “I believe that Milestone Husky is a tremendous opportunity for Milestone partners as well, since these appliances enable them to focus 100% on their customers' business needs and not worry about the technology behind the solution,” states Nordenlund.

Milestone expands Solution Certification for IT infrastructure vendor products

Milestone expands Solution Certification for IT infrastructure vendor products

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 3/24/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS) announces fully reported performance certification of Milestone Solution Partners with IT infrastructure components such as servers, storage, and workstation products. The first to achieve this comprehensive process with documented results are HP, NetApp, PROMISE Technology and Razberi, with several others in process.

The IT infrastructure, server, storage and client platforms are integral parts of a video surveillance management system, so miscalculation on server or storage requirements impacts the success of a system's operation, resulting in support calls. Milestone has therefore been working extensively with IT infrastructure vendors to ensure their systems are optimized for the Milestone XProtect product family, and that the infrastructure vendors understand how to specify, build and deliver optimal systems for the customer environment.

The Milestone Solution Certification for IT infrastructure vendor products provides verification of the components being interoperable and optimized for performance with XProtect VMS. The certification process results in documentation of a solution's proven maturity and quality, and differentiation from non-certified components for a competitive market advantage.

Each certification project consists of three phases, beginning with two scenarios, where there is both a benchmark test and a maximum performance test. During each test, statistics from the Milestone XProtect Recording Servers are gathered to judge the performance of the system as a platform for video recording. After the tests are conducted, this data is analyzed and the findings are presented in a full report, with details on the configuration of the test system and a summary.

These tests identify that a given system meets minimum expected performance thresholds based on known benchmarks. The certification also measures the maximum number of cameras, at a given frame rate, resolution and codec that can be supported by the server and storage system.

The end result is a definition of the system's capabilities compared to the known benchmark values, which are also used by Milestone to create generic server and storage recommendations. The end result is the certification of the server/storage products' operational performance capabilities in the known environment. The documentation outlines how best to tune the product for the Milestone XProtect platform.

The Solution Certification full report includes a ‘known good' (optimal) configuration for a surveillance system using the Milestone XProtect VMS and the solution partner's products. The optimal configuration contains the solution architecture, the performance results, use-case information, detailed system configurations for both the XProtect VMS components and the solution partner's products.

“Integrators and end users can reference the known good configuration data from the Milestone certification process to help build a solution with confidence. They get documented proof that these video surveillance solutions operate within the parameters of the maximum performance test results,” says Christian Bohn, VP Strategic Alliances at Milestone Systems. “Certifying our partners is not new - we have been doing it successfully for several years with software integrations, and the expansion of this with the hardware vendors is natural to build continuing trust in Milestone for both partners and customers.”

The Milestone certification results are valid for the lifecycle of the products tested, and there are options for yearly re-certification. This means that when Milestone or the partner launches a new product version, it can be documented that the integration is compatible and optimized.

Axis network cameras stand guard over remote power plants

Axis network cameras stand guard over remote power plants

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/18/2014 | Article type: Infrastructure

Mission
GDF Suez is the world's largest independent electricity producer, generating more non-nuclear electricity than any other provider. GDF Suez Canada operates two large 10-megawatt solar facilities and 13 wind-turbine sites, each producing 10 to 99 megawatts of power. These sites are all in remote locations, so managing and securing them would be expensive and labor intensive were it not for modern networked security cameras.

Solution
GDF Suez Canada partnered with systems integrator Freedom Lock and Security to install and manage AXIS P3364-LVE Fixed Dome Network Cameras and AXIS P5534-E and Q6034-E PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) Dome Network Cameras at its wind and solar sites. The cameras record still images of the equipment for maintenance and management, and the PTZ units are set to “patrol” specified areas. In-camera analytics detect motion and trigger alerts, and the system is connected over fibre to central GDF

Suez facilities, where the data is stored on two terabyte video servers running Luxriot VMS. GDF Suez staff can view the feeds on computers, tablets or smartphones.

Result
The cameras have produced significant reductions in both vandalism and theft. Power plants use a great deal of copper wiring, and this makes them high-value targets for thieves. The cost of shutting down to replace lost wiring climbs quickly. GDF Suez found that preventing even one theft more than pays the hardware and operation costs of networked surveillance cameras.

Security challenges
The solar and wind power-generation facilities operated by global power company GDF Suez are vast installations set in remote areas of Ontario. The seven wind power sites are located on working farm land and each has six turbines scattered across unfenced land. GDF's two 80-acre solar sites are fenced but, with approximately 42,000 solar panels at each site, they are still vulnerable to determined vandals.

Value of deterrence
Vandals are drawn to power facilities, according to Augusto Di Maria, Director of Project Management at GDF Suez Canada. “At one site, on an annual basis, we would get a pickup truck driven down one of the roads and lit on fire. We always had to go in and clean up the mess. You also get people with golf clubs and a bunch of balls who come out to see what damage they can do to solar panels. The panels are surprisingly strong, but if you hit them just right you can do damage.”

To secure its sites, GDF partnered with Freedom Lock and Security to install a total of 40 Axis network cameras at its wind and solar plants. The all-IP cameras are a mix of AXIS P3364-LVE Fixed Dome Network Cameras, and AXIS P5534-E and AXIS Q-6034-E PTZ Dome Network Cameras.

“Since we've had the cameras, the vandalism issue is gone. The cameras are a deterrent, because when you are out to cause mischief, you look around to see if there are security measures. If you see cameras, you leave.” While the presence of Axis cameras alone has kept vandals at bay, the intelligent network video has allowed GDF to take security to the next level

Image usability matters
When an incident does occur, image quality is paramount, as Di Maria learned at a previous job. “We had people steal a lot of copper and copper connectors, and the video system captured them doing it. But the quality was horrible: we couldn't read a license plate or see a face, or even tell what color the car was. If we had better cameras, we could have figured out who did it.”

Di Maria wanted a better system at GDF Suez, and Gord van der Grinten of Freedom Lock and Security recommended Axis. “As an integrator, Axis is a win-win. If you put in second-rate equipment it will inevitably fail, and that is bad for the client and bad for my business.” The cameras use existing fibre connections at the power plants to link to video servers at GDF Suez' offices. The cameras are all made by Axis, and the VMS is from Luxriot.

The PTZ cameras pan through a preset surveillance area. If onboard analytics detect motion, the cameras lock in on that area. “The cameras record 24/7 at a lower resolution, transmitting the images to the GDF servers, but anytime they sense motion, they immediately begin recording in high-definition and trigger an alert to GDF Suez,” van der Grinten said. “The analytics have proven to be very effective in this environment.” In many areas, ambient light is strong enough to provide adequate illumination even at night, but when that is not the case, the sites employ the cameras' Lightfinder technology.

The cameras also take regular snapshots of the far-flung equipment to monitor issues such as snow loads on solar panels. These images are used daily by maintenance staff. “We have them rotating at intervals to take snapshots of solar panels and email those to maintenance personnel. We are looking for factors such as snow loads, and we chose the cameras based on their ability to take still photos and send them off,” van der Grinten said. Di Maria added that “part of our role is to ensure we know when the panels are covered in snow, and that is much easier to do if they can refer to these photos.”

Worthwhile investment
The return on investment has been immediate. “Copper theft is a huge problem, and not so much because of the actual value of the copper but because of the delays caused by theft,” Di Maria said. “We have to isolate a station—turn everything off, and lose that revenue—and then send someone in to replace the copper, fix the fence, etc. It's costly and it's a huge nuisance. If I can prevent one theft of copper, then I've paid for the cameras 10 times over — easily.”

Luxriot Mobile is available for beta testers

Luxriot Mobile is available for beta testers

Editor / Provider: Sponsored by:Luxriot | Updated: 3/17/2014 | Article type: Hot Topics

Luxriot Mobile is a free application for Android and iOS, it allows users to access Luxriot VMS Servers' live and recorded video streams using smartphones or tablets from almost anywhere. This easy to use application allows multiple cameras monitoring simultaneously.

Until now most of the customers already were able to use their mobile devices to view live and recorded video from their VMS'es via the Luxriot Broadcast Server. But Luxriot finds introducing native applications for Android and iOS to be a great improvement for customers, since native application allows Luxriot to offer more important features as well as to increase usability and outcome from Luxriot VMS.

Following features will become available for beta testers:
- Live video from one or multiple cameras
- Play back recorded video
- Video stream quality adjustment for efficient bandwidth utilization
- Multiple Server setup
- Save camera screen layouts
- Snapshot to share
- Connect using 3G, 4G and Wifi


A&H Software House, is a global developer of an open architecture Video Management System – Luxriot VMS. Luxriot VMS accepts MJPEG, MPEG4 and H.264 as well as HD and megapixel video streams from Network (IP) cameras, encoders and video capture boards. Luxriot VMS is integrated with over 2500 devices from all major manufacturers and provides a client-server architecture to build hybrid scalable solutions from a single NVR/DVR to the multiple server system with thousands of cameras.

Milestone appoints new Director of Corporate Marketing and Director of Sales Distribution

Milestone appoints new Director of Corporate Marketing and Director of Sales Distribution

Editor / Provider: Milestone Systems | Updated: 3/14/2014 | Article type: Security 50

Milestone Systems, the open platform company in IP video management software (VMS), has hired Inger Holm Vinther as Director of Corporate Marketing and Kitty Van Der Sluis as Director of Sales Distribution in EMEA.

Christian Bohn, VP Alliances and Corporate Marketing, says: “Inger's experience from marketing positions at large Danish technology corporations with worldwide presence makes her a perfect fit for Milestone. Most recently she was head of Corporate Marketing at the global IT concern 3Shape, a 3D software and scanner company. In this position, Inger was supporting their rapid growth in 100 countries by building up a successful marketing department,” states Christian Bohn, Milestone Systems.

Prior to 3Shape, Inger held Marketing Manager positions in GnNetcom, Excitor and the ad agency Kunde & Co.

“With the continuing trend for open platform IP video technology uptake, there will be many exciting product launches from Milestone to handle the demand. It is my job to make sure that Corporate Marketing is geared to support this development. With responsibility for the Milestone brand and product brands, one of our most important tasks is to be even better at presenting them in new and interesting ways,” states Inger Holm Vinther, Director of Corporate Marketing, Milestone Systems. “I am also intrigued by the atmosphere and culture at Milestone. I like the entrepreneurial atmosphere, and I feel that technology is far more interesting and challenging to sell than shampoo or shoes - it requires experience and skill to communicate about the products in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand.”

Milestone focus on relationships with distribution partners
Milestone Systems has been evolving its partner initiatives over the years, including more resources being allocated to enhance collaborations with distributors. To help lead these activities in Europe, the Mideast and Africa, Kitty Van Der Sluis is the new Director of Sales Distribution in EMEA.

“With a clearly tiered business model, Milestone sells all of our software through distribution partners - which makes them a very strategic relationship chain to foster. We aim to listen, support and grow together for mutual success. I am looking forward to continue strengthening the relationships with our partners, making use of my previous experience from the IT and security business. I am familiar with many of the challenges our distribution partners face in driving growth, and Milestone has the right components to address these,” says Kitty Van Der Sluis, Director of Sales Distribution, Milestone Systems.

Thomas Lausten, VP of Sales in EMEA, also highlights the importance of collaboration with both security and IT distributors: “Milestone actively interacts with our distributors, who play a key role in our go-to-market strategy. Kitty has gained valuable experience in supporting and improving sales and distribution channels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in her previous positions at the international corporations Anixter and Tyco. Moreover, Kitty has comprehensive knowledge about the IP video surveillance business from an earlier position at Genetec.”

Axis assists Kwik Trip store chain for retail security and quality control

Axis assists Kwik Trip store chain for retail security and quality control

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 3/11/2014 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Mission
The Midwest-based convenience store chain, Kwik Trip, needs to protect itself against the same threats as many of its C-store competitors. In addition, Kwik Trip also manages its own bakery, commissary, dairy, and warehouse – producing, packing and shipping a wide variety of goods for all its stores 365 days a year. At the store level, the company wanted to install a high-resolution video surveillance system to help protect its thousands of employees and millions of customers, minimize theft and mitigate insurance claims. At the corporate level, they wanted to tighten quality control over food preparation, storage and distribution, as well as improve safety and security across its facilities.

Solution
Hunter Security & Surveillance Systems, Greenville, WI-based integrator and Axis partner, devised a cost-saving hybrid strategy that augmented the corporation's existing analog cameras with AXIS P3301 Fixed Dome Network Cameras in high risk areas of its retail stores and outdoor AXIS P1343-E Network Cameras at its car washes.

Hunter also deployed a full-IP strategy at the various corporate operations centers using a mixed-array of high resolution Axis fixed and PTZ network cameras running under the management of exacqVision video management system (VMS) software.

Result
Axis cameras have not only provided forensic evidence of criminal activity but have assisted the company in maintaining high standards for food preparation and safety, reducing merchandise shrinkage and identifying and correcting inefficiencies in production and distribution

“Whether we're talking about our retail stores, kitchens, distribution center, manufacturing plants or other facilities, employee safety is our most important priority,” said Brett Gooden, Director of Loss Prevention.

Prior to 2004 only approximately 20 stores in the chain had surveillance systems in place. When Gooden was hired as the new corporate loss prevention director, he led an initiative to put analog CCTV systems in every store.

During this initiative, Kwik Trip was introduced to Axis network cameras by Greenville, WI-based integrator, Hunter Security & Surveillance. Matt Hunter, President and Installation Specialist for Hunter Security, initially recommended Axis for Kwik Trip's bakery and distribution center. Hunter suggested the high resolution offered by Axis cameras would help Kwik Trip better monitor their baked good production line, as well as verify product labels in the tobacco distribution center so they could more effectively oversee the handling of the high value items.

“From here, they saw the advantages of Axis cameras, so they wanted to try them in the stores,” Hunter said. The level of visual detail offered by high resolution Axis cameras provided the perfect complement to the analog equipment. “It was all about picture quality.”

“We partnered with Hunter Security & Surveillance to deploy Axis network cameras to cover the highest risk areas of our convenience stores,” Gooden said. “This included the front doors, the cash registers, high shrink merchandise aisles and kitchens. We relegated our analog cameras to building exteriors and low shrink merchandise aisles.”

In the past, Kwik Trip often relied on employee observation to verify the facts of an incident. Today, the Axis cameras have eyes on the situation. The high resolution cameras record and reveal detailed information about robberies, shoplifting attempts, employee theft, accidents and other activities. The video support helps the chain mitigate risks and reduce losses. “Compared to the old analog cameras, we see things a lot more clearly now,” Gooden said.

Joining the Neighborhood Watch
Many Kwik Trip stores are situated on the corner of busy intersections. Not only do these strategic locations make the stores more accessible to customers, they also serve as an extra pair of eyes on the neighborhood.

According to Gooden, local law enforcement often reaches out to Kwik Trip to review the video captured by its Axis cameras. “If something happens in the vicinity, there's a good possibility that the person who the police are looking for has been to a Kwik Trip right before or just after the incident,” shared Gooden. “It didn't take long for law enforcement to figure out that Kwik Trip usually has the best camera system in town.”

Assuring the highest quality control
Beyond the convenience stores, Axis cameras are integrated into every corner of the Kwik Trip operation. This helps the company achieve its goal of cost-effective operational excellence. For instance, at the corporate center, AXIS P3301 Fixed Dome Network Cameras keep an eye on food safety and sanitation standards in the dairy and the bakery, and AXIS P3343-VE cameras with weather-proof and vandal-resistant casing watch over ice cream production and freezer storage in temperatures as low as -40o F/C. In the distribution center, AXIS 216FD Network Cameras oversee a huge inventory of high-profit tobacco products that are vulnerable to theft.

Because the corporate center uses the exacqVision Enterprise VMS, Hunter Security was able to take advantage of the more advanced and intelligent features such as license plate recognition at the corporate fueling stations and near-immediate video retrieval.

The benefits of IP video system permeate throughout the entire company. “I deal with the Loss Prevention side,” Gooden said, “but our operations team also uses the Axis/exacqVision system to monitor what's happening in our kitchen center to improve the efficiency of how we cook our food. We monitor store inventory, especially the foods we sell, to reduce waste. Based on what we witness on the video, we've also added and changed store policies and training to improve the quality of our customer service.”

While each Kwik Trip stores archives its own video locally, the corporate communications center remotely monitors the cameras when incidents occur. Stores generally house the video for 30-60 days, depending on the size of the store, the volume of traffic and the size of the hard drive. When necessary, corporate extracts and stores incident video to preserve forensic evidence for prosecution.

Testing the benefits of full IP surveillance
Kwik Trip is currently field-testing an array of advanced Axis network cameras at its newest convenience store in Steven Points, WI. “We're building the surveillance system from the ground up to be a full IP-based solution indoors and out,” explained Matt Hunter, President of Hunter Security & Surveillance Systems.

Some of the features being explored in this test environment include two-way audio, HDTV-quality resolution with advanced H.264 compression, 360o and 180o fields of view, longer range lenses for day/night clarity and sophisticated in-camera analytics like license plate recognition.

This installation will give the Kwik Trip team an opportunity to see how best to incorporate cutting edge surveillance technology in their chain going forward.

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